Yes, it is far from perfect. Perhaps in other threads this has mentioned.
Yes, we need a standalone dvd-dvr that is at reasonable price.
But it eventually I got some hints that you can play hidef on regular dvds. But you need to play them on some of the newer blu-ray players. So some of us want to record hi-def from camcorder files--most are AVCHD. Some of us want to record hidef .mp4 files. Check the blu-ray players to see if they say they are compatible.
So it eventually I got a refurb LG Blu-Ray BP-125 for $40 (now $45). It said it would play AVCHD files and .mp4. And it does this with standard dvd disk. You can also play the files from thumb drives. When I put in AVCHD that came from my camcorder burned on a standard dvd using Nero 11 Video (as an AVCHD disk), the player recognized it and said 'AVCHD' on the screen. Once you start the process, you pull in the .msi files from the AVCHD subdirectories. Burn it. With a standard dvd you may get 20-30 minutes (not sure). But when played on the RIGHT blu-ray, it does play hidef.
For .mp4 hi def files, I used Nero burning ROM. I selected dvd UDF. Dropped the file into the program. The file was under 4 gigs. Again the player recognized it and it played. About 2 hours.
Maybe a lot of you may know about this, but it took me a long time to figure this out.
Obviously you can longer times with a blu-ray burner and disks. Internal blu-ray are pretty cheap for computers. There are also more external USB blu-ray burners but they are slower. Stlll haven't tried these yet.