Originally Posted by tstoney
I went to the magnavox.com website and they show a 500GB HDD&DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner. When I clicked the "where to buy" button, it says coming soon. I'd presume they'll wind up at Walmart. In the meantime B&H has two Panasonics with hdd. A 250 gb and 320 gb models. They are designed for Europe but they told me they work in the U.S. except for the tuner that only works in Europe, but you can use video plugs from your satellite or cable box to the recorder and it's supposed to work. Unlike the Magnavox with digital tuner you can't use the antenna to record on the Panasonics.
Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond
I would be a bit wary of this claim -- European SDTV is 576i at 25 fps, whereas we're at 480i and 30 fps. Most European gear can play the US standard, but being able to record in that standard is another matter. I think it would be wise to check the manufacturer's specs before trusting what B&H is telling you.
I believe the recorders that tstoney
is referring to are the still current Panasonic DMR-EH59 and DMR-EH69 models which have 250 GB and 320 GB HDD's, respectively.
These are international models with analogue PAL tuners, and so may not work in Europe or even parts of Asia that is moving towards DVB-T or DVB-T2 free-to-air broadcast standards. (eg. Singapore has just announced the shift towards DVB-T2 from December 2013 onwards, but analogue will still be run in parallel until 2020. (ref. Channel NewsAsia -- Free-to-air TV channels to go digital from end-2013)
However, even though the tuner portion may not continue to work forever, the recorder is still useful for recording in PAL / NTSC formats over a direct AV-in connection.
You can see the reference to NTSC recording in Panasonic's own manual. (ref. see pages 11, 23, and 60, https://support.panasonic.co.nz/docstore/dmr-eh59_dmr-eh69%20operating%20instruction.pdf
More importantly, you can see jjeff's experience with using the recorder for NTSC footage on this thread. (ref. see post 24, http://www.avsforum.com/t/1359243/vhs-to-dvd-transfer-advice#post_21024686)
If you are interested in where the next generation of Panasonic's DVD recorders are going, the ones already available in London and Hong Kong use dig)tal tuners (ie. DVB-T and/or DVB-T2), have around 500 GB of HDD space, record in both MPEG-2 and H.264 formats, and can record HD channels too. Based on the manual, it also allows for editing of recorded videos and playing back of 3D Blu-ray discs. AV-in recording appears to be available through SCART connectors. They also have fancy wireless networking features %r8similar to Panasonic's latest TV's.
Problem ... the ones in Hong Kong cost around twice as much as the MPEG-2 SD-only DMR-EH59 / EH69 models. So if you're looking for a SD recorder, it might not make sense to pay for high-end features which you may not use.
And they do not have analogue tuners. (This is important to me since Singapore only has 3 digital free-to-air channels, of which only one is available in HD. The other two are duplicates of parallel analogue broadcasts. And in a city where over-the-air TV reception can be affected or blocked by lots of high-rise buildings, it is generally far easier and more stable to record over AV-in than over-the-air.)
More info can be found here:* Trusted Review's take on the DMR-BWT800 -- http://www.trustedreviews.com/panasonic-dmr-bwt800_TV-recorder---set-top-box_review
* Panasonic's Manual for the DMR-BWT800 -- http://tda.panasonic-europe-service.com/docs/2z4ff90d09z3z30c11z656ez706466z25z53e34393619023e814a0de50926b67c89e582377/tsn2/data/ALL/DMRBWT800EB/OI/854941/vqt3c13.pdf