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Buying Guides - DVD Recorders
DVD Recorders preserve your favorite TV programming and home videos, without the hassle of a VCR. Recording movies and TV shows on a DVD is easier and has better quality than a on a videocassette. A DVD recorder can even control a cable box or satellite receiver when used in conjunction with an IR Blaster.

Before purchasing a DVD recorder, consider the following:

DVD recorders with an electronic program guide will make recording TV shows and movies easier. An electronic program guide is an up-to-the-minute, on-screen guide that gives information about TV programming (usually two weeks in advance).

Using an IR Blaster will enable your DVD recorder to control your cable box or satellite receiver. The IR Blaster emits a signal that goes to the cable box, similar to the signal a remote control sends.

Do you want to transfer home movies? If so, then you might need a DVD recorder that has a built-in VCR or that has the right inputs for a camcorder. Using an external VCR is also an option if you connect it by using the inputs on the front panel of the DVD recorder. Depending on the type of camcorder that you are recording from you will need to get the right cables. For instance, if you are using a camcorder that records onto a hard drive, most likely, need a USB drive. So, check the type of cable that you will need to connect the DVD recorder and the camcorder.

Making multiple copies of a DVD is easy to do when you are recording from a DVR. If you connect a DVD recorder to a DVR then you will be able to make multiple copies of a DVD. That can be especially handy for making multiple copies of a home movie for relatives.

Although it may be tempting, professional movies and TV shows are protected. This will block a DVD recorder from recording some material.

There are two categories of DVDs that you can use to record-writable and rewritable. Writable DVDs can only be recorded on one time. Rewritable DVDs can be recorded, erased, and rerecorded. Writable discs can not be erased and rerecorded. They should be used for recording movies and programming that you do not want to lose.

Writable Discs Rewritable Discs
Permanent Erasable
DVD-R DVD-RW
DVD+R DVD+RW
DVD-R DL* DVD-RAM
DVD+R DL*  

*indicates dual-layer

Keep in mind:
All DVD recorders can record on DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-R DL *, DVD+R DL*, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW DVDs. Panasonic will also record on DVD-RAM DVDs.

Older DVD players may not be able to play writable or rewritable DVDs.

Depending on the quality at which you want to record your programming or movies, you will need to set the DVD recorder at a specific recording speed. For instance, for a higher quality recording, you will need to set your DVD Recorder at a lower speed. This will take up more space on the DVD on which you are recording-so you will be able to record less on one DVD. If you would like to fit more on a DVD, at a lower quality, then you should set the DVD recorder at a faster recording speed.

Some home computers and laptops have DVRs built-in. You will be able to connect the two units and record from your computer as long as the material is not protected.

Revised 10/21/2009


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