If you're looking for best picture quality in the playback of DVDs, I think a stand alone player would be your best bet. But the convenience of having a recorder/player in one box is hard to ignore. My Sony RDR-GX7 recorder is a fine playback machine, but picture quality is a bit on the soft side when compared to my Sony NS999ES Player. Also ease of use is better with the player. But again, for what you get, you can't go wrong with a good DVD recorder.