Please note: this information was current as of November 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
Chris Ruggles sheds some light on the benefits of DVRs, the
digital take on the old VHS recorder.
Test results for four DVD/hard disc recorders, 160GB capacity, priced from $440 to $659
You can record TV programs onto the hard disc, and copy the ones you want to keep onto DVD. Or you could flop onto the sofa and enjoy a cornucopia of pre-recorded HDD entertainment at the touch (or two) of a button – no need to fiddle around with DVDs.
These models have an analogue tuner only, if you want to enjoy digital TV you will need to purchase a separate High Defiinition HD set-top box or Standard Definition SD set top box.
We tested them for:
- Picture quality
- Ease of setup and use
- Faulty disk handling
- Standby energy use
- The 160GB hard drives of the four models we tested give you a maximum recording time of up to 477 hours (varying according to the model).
- Playback quality of each would be improved with an HDMI (around $60) or component ($30) cable.
- Only one model could handle a damaged disc well.
- LG RH277H
- Panasonic DMR-EH57-K
- Pioneer DVR-550H-S
- Samsung DVD-HR753
Prices and availability checked April 2008.