DVD recorders: How to buy the best DVD recorder Best DVD recorder features
This article, How to buy the best DVD recorder, was last updated on 10 July 2009 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.
When buying a DVD recorder, look for the Freeview+ symbol. All new Freeview recorders should have this, and it means that they offer several features to make recording easier and more accurate. At present these are: accurate recording, series link and split recording.
Accurate recording alters the recording start and stop times so you don’t miss a TV programme if it starts early, runs late, or is rescheduled. It's not foolproof, as it relies on the broadcaster updating the EPG.
If your recorder lets you, it’s wise to add a few minutes of extra time to the beginning and end of a recording to stay on the safe side.
Series link allows you to set the recorder to automatically record all programmes in a series so you don't miss an episode.
When you first programme it to record an episode, it’ll ask you whether you want to record the whole series.
Split recording allows you to record a complete programme, such as a film that is split before and after a news broadcast – without recording the programme in between.
Other features that may be added in future to DVD recorders include trailer programming. This will allow you to press a button on the remote control when you see a trailer for a programme you’d like to record, and the DVD recorder will automatically add that to its recording schedule.
Digital TV gives you access to both TV channels and digital radio stations. The EPG shows the upcoming schedule for TV and radio, and many DVD recorders will let you record radio programmes in exactly the same way as a TV programme.
If this idea appeals, make sure that the recorder you buy has this feature.
Power consumption is important as a DVD recorder is likely to be left in standby continually so it can receive EPG updates and be ready to record selected programmes. A low standby power consumption is therefore desirable.
We measure the standby and running power consumption of DVD recorders we test. To find one that’s both kind to the environment and your pocket see our DVD recorder feature and price comparison tool.
DVD recorders (and players) that have a resume feature make life a lot easier. They remember where you stopped watching a DVD (if you leave it in the tray) and will start playing again from that point when you resume watching.
Models with multi-disc resume can remember this information for several discs, even when you remove them from the machine.
Bookmarking lets you tag your favourite points in a DVD, certain scenes for example, so you can easily find those points again.
Possibly more a feature for movie-buffs, but some people will find it handy.