Originally Posted by lemur21
Although - in the other thread, someone said that any inability to record to a DVDR was scare tactics -- if you hooked up your DVDR to your cable line, and the show was able to be recorded by the VCR, it *would* be recorded by the DVDR...I'm getting the sense you disagree with that.
More wishful thinking, and outright misinformation. You can't make assumptions of what a digital recorder will agree to record based on what a VCR records: VCRs pre-date broadcast copy protection, so they cannot "see" it, so they will record absolutely anything.
Because digital recorders, especially those with DVD burners, were only allowed on the market if they included harsh copy protection circuits, all DVD recorders respond to copy inhibit signals
. Older pre-2007 models worked as they were supposed to: the recording lockout only activates in the presence of genuine, intentional protection signals such as you might find on some PPV or premium cable/satellite channels, or protected studio VHS tapes. But something went horribly wrong when DVD recorders were updated for ATSC: they now activate the lockout all the time, randomly, whether or not there really is a protection signal. Their sensitivity is all screwed up, and the faulty sensor circuit is included in both tuner and tunerless models of any given mfr. Current combos even apply the protection sensor to their VCR sections, so those don't record anymore either.The tunerless Sony you're considering is no exception.
Unfortunately no one wants to believe this, or they hear it and have a hard time believing big companies like Sony would dare sell such useless junk. But truth is stranger than fiction, and this is the truth: the only current
recorder models exhaustively reported to AVS as not having these problems are the Magnavox H2160, the Panasonic EA-18 (tunerless) and Panasonic EZ-28 (ATSC tuner). If you must have a combo, the tunerless Panasonic EA-38 is the best bet but is not as reliable as the non-combo models. The Panasonic EZ-48 (combo with tuner) is second runner up behind the Sony as the most hated recorder on AVS: that should tell you that even within the same mfr and similar-looking models there is tremendous variation in usability.
All of this craziness is why you see so many "refurbished" or used DVD and DVD/VHS recorders at closeout outlets online, in stores and on eBay: they don't work
. That creates a domino effect, accelerating the consumer perception of DVD recorders being "hard to use, overpriced and worthless". It also further drives people into subscription recorders like TiVO or cable-satellite PVRs: those work perfectly and record everything, because they don't have DVD burners and the recordings are "trapped" inside them. (Yes, you can copy from them to an external DVD recorder or computer but then you're again at the mercy of protection sensitivity in the copying deck.)