DVR Reviews

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Philips DVDR3305

This is the best budget DVD recorder on the market by some margin. It offers excellent quality recordings straight from TV, impressive playback of shop-bought discs and is incredibly easy to use

Pioneer DV-989

Pioneer's DV-989 is a top-of-the-range DVD player featuring cutting-edge technology and connectivity. The price will rule it out for many but, as a partner for a compatible high-end system, very few players offer the same performance with both movies and music

Panasonic DMR-EH80V

Old meets new with the EH80V -- you can transfer your antiquated VHS tapes to DVD if you can bear the image quality, yet the machine also has a large 200GB hard drive and progressive scan video. It's missing a few key features and is expensive, but if you want to keep using your VHS tapes without having to compromise on modern features, the EH80V is a unique product

Panasonic DMR-EH60D

At last! A DVD/hard-drive recorder with integrated Freeview tuner. It's the centre of your AV setup in one box. Like most pioneering technology, the essential purchase will likely come with the follow-up -- the EH60D doesn't have dual tuners and can't even play DivX movies. But it's a solid AV performer with great recording features, and the convenience of the setup makes it a recommended purchase

Sagem PVR 7280T

The Sagem PVR-7280T is a mid-range recorder that's perfect for the modern home thanks to its modest hard-drive capacity and easy-to-use recording system. The box itself is mundane, and it won't record two channels at once, but if you're looking for a cut-price version of the Panasonic and Humax power recorders, it's still worth buying

Humax PVR-9200T

The Humax PVR-9200T is the Rolls Royce of Freeview recording, with every feature we could possibly ask of a recorder in addition to a massive hard drive. It's a winner against Panasonic's recorder on price, plus it's pure simplicity to use. If you need a recorder suited to the demands of a power user and the rest of the family, this is it

Toshiba SD-350E

If you've recently bought an LCD TV (such as Toshiba's own 32WL56) and have little cash left over, then the SD-350E is a good investment. It upsamples DVD video to high-definition resolution, improving the detail on the TVs we tested it with. It's actually better over analogue component video than digital HDMI and it's missing some connections on the rear, but it's still worth the asking price

Sony RDR-HX510

If you like to retain quality when recording to DVD, then the RDR-HX510 is for you, because you can now record that 2-hour movie in the highest quality to a dual-layer DVD. This extra functionality doesn't cost too much over Sony's previous recorders, but to make a perfect model Sony needs to add Freeview and a larger hard drive over this model's 80GB

Buffalo LinkTheater

Buffalo's LinkTheater admirably tries to offer consumers a great deal of functionality for a reasonable price. The end result will please and infuriate in equal measure, both for the possibilities of wireless media streaming, and the lack of basic AV requirements such as Scart output and DTS support. If you have patience and that flat-screen TV hasn't left you enough cash to afford a Media Center PC, then the LinkTheater will fill the gap

Panasonic TUCTH100

Panasonic's hard-drive Freeview recorder is the first of its kind from the major manufacturers, resulting in a solidly built machine that's slightly too expensive when compared to the competition. It's still the reference Freeview box, with features such as simple DVD dubbing, but we'd like a larger hard drive

Sagem PVR6280T

Sagem's box might look uninspiring, but it offers a Sky+-style recording system for Freeview. There are so many benefits to having a Freeview PVR, and Sagem manages to nail it with a great EPG and dual tuner functionality. The 80GB hard drive also offers 45 hours of recording, which should satisfy even the power user

Nissan DV100

Nissan is a very small player in the DVD market, but its ability to combine a stack of features for a miniscule asking price is very commendable. If you have a collection of DivX video and MP3 audio sitting on your computer, then this will let you play them as easily as you would a DVD. While it will look out of place underneath a premium flat screen, it can still provide it with a decent picture, and because nothing else touches it for features at this price, we admit to having a soft spot for it

Toshiba SD-150E

You might well ask if there's still anyone buying DVD players, but the Toshiba SD-150E is a great value upgrade for anyone who has bought a projector or flat screen TV. Component outputs provide a PAL progressive scan picture, which basically means a rock-solid picture with vibrant colours and excellent detail, and advanced features such as component outputs and DivX playback add to the value

Panasonic DMR-ES10

Panasonic's budget DVD recorder shows the manufacturer at the top of its game, reaping the benefits of the company's history in the market. It can record to various -R/+R/RAM DVD media and is one of the few models that can offer quality recordings at the 4-hours-per-disc setting. And with component outputs providing a very good AV performance to a flat-screen TV, this is the budget DVD recorder of the future

JVC DR-MH50

With smart, funky looks and a massive 250GB hard drive, the JVC is a premium recorder for those who can't get enough space. However, its crippling omission of an RGB Scart input means that recordings look poor at whatever quality setting you use, and as more people abandon analogue TV for the loveliness of Sky and Freeview, it's reason enough not to buy

Liteon LVW-5045

The Liteon LVW-5045 is a bargain combi recorder, but with Toshiba's RD-XS34 available at the same price, we'd have to recommend the latter. However, this is still a good recorder with an easy-to-use operating system, and when Liteon adds Freeview and dual layer recording, it could have a killer on its hands

Hitachi DV-RX7000E

Hitachi's DVRX-7000E may be the company's first DVD recorder, but it's the best value model on the market. Sitting way above the raft of cheap recorders from the no-name brands, it rewards you with stellar picture quality and useful features, such as the ability to remove advert breaks in programmes

Humax PVR-8000T

The Humax PVR-8000T is much like the Internet and the iPod -- once you use it, you wonder how you ever lived without it. However, while it's a brilliant piece of equipment to have in the home, the lack of dual tuners to let you watch something different from what you're recording is surprisingly restrictive