VCR's are still the top choice for recording your favorite show while you visit Aunt Edith. But is it the time to upgrade to a DVD recorder?
Just like the DVD player, the DVD-R picture and sound quality as well as durability out pace those of the VCR. And think about freeing up entertainment real estate taken up by those VHS tapes when you replace them with skinny DVD jewel boxes. Access scenes or programs with the touch of a button, including those you recorded of your daughter tap dancing her little heart out at last year's recital. And since the disc is read with a beam of light, there is no change in quality no matter how many times you play it for appreciative audiences.
The VCR is still your cheapest option for recording video. But its versatility and quality suffers in comparison to the DVD technology. However this DVD technology is in process. Your tried and true DVD player you bought a couple of years ago may not play the DVDs you have recently recorded. The technology in favor next year may not be the technology you bought yesterday. Think VCR's Beta and VHS format a decade ago and you will get the picture.
There are two recording formats available right now. The plus (+) format and the minus (-) format both produce high quality DVDs. By and large, all DVD recorders will play both formats, even though it may record in one or the other. Some models are called multi-format recorders and record and play in both formats. Be prepared to pay more for these versatile machines.
First know the format ("+" or "-") of your DVD Recorder before you purchase a disc. There are two kinds of discs:
DVD Recordable or DVD/R discs - Once information is recorded, it cannot be changed or erased. DVD-R's are great for backing up your computer files, for home videos, or any kind of information that you want secure or preserved.
DVD Rewritable or DVD/RW — This disc allows you to record over previous material time and time again, up to 1,000 times. Any TV show or presentation that is needed on a temporary basis is a good candidate for this disc. This disc is more expensive than the DVD/R but over time the DVD/RW may prove cost effective.