Opinions on home DVD recorders or VHS/DVD-R combos

Hi all,

I’m wondering how many folks here have a standalone DVD recorder. We have need of one or two in my workplace (multimedia lab of a school in this case). As such, it needs to be reliable, built reasonably strong, and have good media compatibility, with a simple method of upgrading firmware if possible, and good firmware support. Our primary need is to copy non-commercial VHS tapes over to DVD, though I’m sure it would be even better if there were less restrictions, as educational VHS tapes tend to wear out and if those kinds of things could be converted to DVD as well, they’d last longer and we’d have an original fair-use backup.

My understanding of electronics is not a problem…but since I don’t own one of these, I’d like to talk to people here who do, what they own, and if they’re happy with it. Cost is definitely a factor, so please state it too, but I’ve seen what looked like reasonable stuff on the market between the (very rough) $300-600USD range, and I do believe firmly that I get what I pay for.

Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

Nobody has an opinion on this?

I have a Panasonic DMR E75VS recorder and of course it has postives and negitives. (approx $300.00)

  1. VHS direct to DVD. (main reason for purchase) A lot of tapes in the Philippines to be converted. :^)
  2. Can record 8 hrs VHS to single DVD.
  3. Direct recording from TV or cable box to tape or disc.
  4. Does support DVD-R


  1. Does not support DVD-RW
  2. Supports DVD-RAM (Expensive, waste of time and money for me)
  3. Tech manual very poorly written, they do include a DVD “how to” .(Very basic)
  4. Support on telephone and Email? none 45 min wait on Phone and no follow up on email.
  5. will not copy protected tapes direct. (1) of 4 tapes protected.

I would not buy this unit if I could go back 45 days.
Much cheaper and more versital way to go would be a VCR and one of the video capture devices, (not Plextor’s junk either.) (px-M402U) assumming you have acess to a computer.