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Looking for a DVD recorder with built-in VHS, HDD, PVR or digital tuner? Which? DVD recorder reviews rate all these types of DVD recorders for picture quality, sound quality and more, plus you can find one with the features and price tag you want using our compare DVD recorders tool.
Which? DVD recorder reviews are your best tool when choosing to buy a DVD recorder. But some things come down to personal preference, so our top DVD recorder buying tips in this video guide will help you decide what DVD recorder is best for your needs.
From PVRs to VHS and DVD recorders, there are many different ways to record from TV these days. In this video guide, the experts from Which? help you decide which type of DVD recorder you want, so that you can use the Which? DVD recorder reviews to choose the best model for your family.
At Which? our experts are continually putting the most popular DVD recorders through challenging tests. We have more than 50 DVD recorder reviews for models from top brands including Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba.
We award Which? Best Buys based on the results of our rigorous test program – and out of the dozens of DVD recorders we've reviewed, only 10 of them have met our very high standards. All of the Which? Best Buy DVD recorders offer high-quality recording that makes watching your favourite programmes a joy. They also have a range of features that won't have you throwing the remote across the room in frustration.
The Which? DVD recorder reviews rate how easy each model is to use, but some things are also subjective, so when you're shopping for a DVD recorder, it’s a good idea to try it out before you buy.
Make sure the remote control is intuitive and easy to use, the electronic programme guide (EPG) is easy to navigate and that discs don't take too long to load. Other things to look for when choosing a DVD recorder include power consumption, Freeview+, and bookmarking and resume features.
DVD recorders are great if you want record and archive TV for long-term storage, but you only get two hours of good-quality recording time per disc. If you want to make longer recordings, consider a DVD recorder with a built-in hard disk drive (HDD). Combination DVD/HD recorder offer more recording time and flexibility, but they are generally harder to use than standalone DVD recorders and PVRs and they usually only have a single digital tuner.
Which? also has a combination model, which works the same way as a regular DVD recorder, but also has a built-in VCR.
This should be your first question when considering buying a DVD recorder. We're big fans of PVRs (personal video recorders) – they're easier to use than DVD recorders, have massive recording capacity and you don't have to mess about with discs.
But PVRs are no good for permanently archiving programmes – when the hard disk becomes full you'll need to delete programmes before you can record any more.
Panasonic have launched the UK's first Blu-ray recorders, so it's now possible to record high-definition Freesat and Freeview TV programmes to disc. They’re still expensive compared to DVD recorders, though expect prices to come down over time.
We put all these Blu-ray models through our extensive test program – read our reviews to find out what the Which? experts thought.
Our viewing experts watch a series of movie clips and test patterns on pre-recorded and self-recorded discs to check motion, resolution and colour accuracy.
When testing a DVD recorder, our viewing experts watch a staggering total of 400 scenes before choosing which ones are Which? Best Buys. Our ergonomic experts also look at the design of the DVD recorder and the remote control, as well as the helpfulness of the instructions.