A DVD recorder will solve one of two problems for you. If you are still using a VCR, it will allow you to move into the 21st century and use one device for both recording and watching programs and moves. If you are a Tivo (DVR) user, your capacity will run out faster than you think and a DVD recorder is a must have to transfer your stored programs and movies to DVD before they are deleted. It’s also great for making DVD’s from your old VHS or video camera tapes. The major downside to DVD recorders is a format war within the industry, dividing it in half. While most players will create DVD-R disks that will play on any conventional DVD player, the more advanced formats that let you edit and reuse DVDs will be incompatible with many other DVD players.
The Panasonic DMR-ES25S is a very good value. It contains a lot of features in a stylish slim package. You can record to a permanent, write-once DVD-R discs or erasable, rewriteable DVD-RW or DVD-RAM discs. A playback function also allows you to watch the start of a program while recording. Although the players is limited to a few recording formats, it will read virtually any major format out there, meaning that it’s a safe upgrade if you had a machine that recorded on a different standard in the past. It also has an HDMI output for the best connection to your TV and to "upconvert" existing DVD's to near HD quality.
Only the rewritable formats offer you the same sort of functionality as your VCR or Tivo, but it’s hard to want to record this way when it you may have limited places to play the DVD. Still this problem isn’t unique to Panasonic and hopefully there will be more of a consensus on a new HD recording format, although the industry again seems to be splitting itself up into two camps HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.Expand Review