#1. Yes this device can copy things from your DVR, assuming they are not copy protected NCP. I've been told that pay stations like HBO etc. copy protect there shows.? It might be on your dvr, but to record CP material onto this Panny, you would need a "filter" or such device. Also note that all copying would be realtime.
2. I've read about HDMI switchers, but I'm sure someone else would be better suited to comment on that, and give you suggestions on where to buy.
3. Yes VHS does come out the HDMI port(you need to set it up, to do that), but it still only looks like VHS PQ....
4. This unit should do a fine job of converting your VHS tapes to DVD, again assuming they are NCP. Otherwise you would need to loop the VHS signal out of the unit, go through a "filter" and then back into the unit. Quite simple actually(I don't think just every DVDR/VHS can do this).
If your tv has unused component inputs, you might also want to consider just using those for the output of the EZ-47, the PQ should be pretty much the same, JMO, but then you would probably just want to save some $$ and get a EZ-37(I think) w/o the HDMI out. But you still would maby want the switcher for your DVR? then again you could consider ditching your Upconverting Panny DVD player, since the EZ-47 also upconverts.
Lots of options! Good luck.