DVD Recorder

When DVDs first came on the scene as a popular viewing format in the early 1990s, one of the common gripes about them was that they did not, like their rival format, VHS, allow for recording from television. And until a few years ago, VHS proponents had quite a lot to complain about. The earliest DVD recorder models worked just like VCRs. Even so, when the first DVD recorder was introduced in Japan in the 1999, it was priced at a whopping $2,500 to $4,000 US, well out of the price range of most consumers who simply wanted to record their favorite television shows for later viewing.

Fortunately for consumers, and the television networks that thrive on their viewership, the price for standalone DVD recorders dropped fairly rapidly as the years passed and the technology advanced, and now sells for as low as $200 US. Early DVD recorders only supported two formats of DVD, DVD Random Access Memory (DVD-RAM) and DVD recordable (DVD-R) discs. But as units were introduced to the market, DVD recorder technology continued to develop to accommodate DVD Rewritable (DVD-R), the DVD+R (a DVD format able to be written only once), the DVD+RW (a DVD that can be recorded all or in part without deleting or recording over the entire disc), and the DVD+R DL (the DL stands for “double layer,” a technology that allows the DVD+R DL to hold twice as much data as traditional DVDs.

For consumers wondering whether to give up the familiar VHS technology and make the switch, DVD recorders do offer some distinct advantages. First, of course, is DVDs’ visual and audio superiority over VHS. DVDs themselves are also more durable than VHS, which rely on magnetic tape that can easily become damaged or accidentally erased. DVD recorders produce a finished product that last longer and suffer from less effects of degeneration than VHS. For the tidy homeowner, DVDs are also smaller and much easier to store than bulky VHS tapes. And DVDs have some handy features that VHS could never accommodate, including easy-to-find recordings due to the presence of chapter titles, the availability of onscreen subtitling and the option to create playlists. Also, the old bugaboo of VHS – accidentally recording over some material – becomes irrelevant when using the DVD recorder. Neither will DVD recorders accidentally run out of space during recording.

DVD recorders face a challenge when it comes to market share. During the many years between VHS falling out of favor and the introduction of affordable DVD recorders, other technology such as the TIVO and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) stormed in to fill the technology void. Now, many consumers who were invested in recording their favorite television shows have already embraced TIVO and DVR. Further, now that blu-ray is eclipsing the DVD (and their updated form, the HD-DVD) format when it comes to home movie and television viewing, it remains to be seen whether DVD recorders can reclaim the market share that predecessors such as VHS commanded.

Because of the advances in technology, consumers would be well advised to research DVD recorders before investing in a technology that is quickly being eclipsed. Some proponents of DVD recorders cite as an advantage the fact that they allow users to use software to edit images recorded on DVDs, but the use of this technology is limited, especially when it comes to recording material off of television, because that material is protected under intellectual property rights.

If in the market for a DVD recorder, most major electronics companies, such Sony, Toshiba, JVC, Philips, Zenith, and Daewoo offer a model for consumer purchase.

This DVD Recorder Review is Written/Updated on Apr 4th, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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