Originally Posted by breckcard
My main reason for having one is copying old home movie VHS-tapes.Here is what is important to me:
-Hard drive-Editing Ease
Doesn't need to have a tuner.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
You have only one choice: the Panasonic import EH69 (or the slightly less featured EH59). The Magnavox has essentailly no edit capability except for deletion (of titles or segments).
Trying to find used on eBay now isn't very promising, with EH55 recently going for around $600, used, though a year or so ago I found an eh55 just across the river for just over $400. I picked it up at the pawn shop, so no shipping costs.
I have the EH55 which has most of the features of the later imports, and do ALL my editting on the dvdr (I have 4 eh55, + eh85 and 2 e100h, also a Magnavox 515, a nice machine but editting is as primitive as Panasonic is great).
Use the Panasonic PLAYLIST feature, which allows pulling in titles or chapters from anywhere on the hdd. The playlist makes no changes to the source titles on the hdd, so you can use segments (Panasonic calls them "chapters") multiple times, and if "oops", you can correct or start over. The playlist stores only the chapter pointers, so takes up very little space on the hdd. Just don't delete the source till you've done your copying; deleting a source title also deletes the Playlist references to that source.
Reread Citibears excellent comments, since he has a Toshiba perspective I don't have.
Maybe should mention that editting on the dvd recorder (dvdr) does not give the smooth frame-accurate editting you get with tape editting. You get a half-second freeze at each edit deletion, or for seamless playback, there usually is a drop of perhaps a half second of the video. May not be a deal breaker, but be aware.