Yes, it converts component HD video down to anamorphic 480i via s-video. This was the reason I purchased it.
When recording, it did not set the widescreen flag. I don't know if this is because of the Ambery device or if certain stations aren't accurate about setting it properly. Do all HD channels set this flag as Y? I have a Toshiba DR420 which can set this flag for me. When I left it to automatic, it did not work properly so I had to force it on the dvd recorder to turn the flag to set to widescreen. I actually purchased the Toshiba over the Panasonic because of this feature since this was the only company I could find that offered this.
I just got the device and havn't recorded too much, but it was ok recording Dollhouse from FOX and I think it was CNN HD or maybe it was another HD news channel. I'll do a couple tests tonight to see if there are any copy protection issues.