In a previous post, I asked for advice on a DVD recorder to replace my twice failed Samsung machine. The main purpose being to dump recordings from my TiVo to DVD. The advice from all who responded was the Philips DVDR3576H/37.
So, as promised, I am giving a real life experience of the Philips DVDR3576H/37 in regards to dubbing video from TiVo.
The machine arrived late yesterday and as soon as I had time I hooked it up with S-Video in from the TiVo and HDMI out to our Sharp Aquos LCD. The initial attempt at a direct dub from the TiVo to DVD burner was a complete bust. I got the dreaded "Cannot record this program to +VR mode". Looking up this error in the manual told me exactly what I feared. The video (a non-commercial documentary) was a "copy once" format. So I freaked. I had just spent $300 on a machine to dump my TiVo recordings to DVD and this machine wouldn't do the job. Since NewEgg has an exchange only policy for such things I was stuck with a piece of hardware that wasn't currently very useful to me. Of course once we move out of the country and I have to give up my TiVo, it is a reasonable replacement.
After taking a couple of deep breaths I started thinking about the possibility of a work around. I pulled out a DVD-RW so I could erase any failures and do some temporary testing. I then recorded about 5 minutes of the same program to the hard drive. Then I hit the direct dubbing button and much to my amazement and delight, the machine recorded the 5 minute sample to DVD without any problems or error messages. I then erased the disk and went through the same process with material from a different channel source. Same result. So I set up a full timer recording, TiVo to Philips HD and went to bed.
This morning, I checked the recording on the HD, and it was fine and complete. I then edited out the trailing material from the end of the program and hit the direct dub button. I chose high speed dubbing and about 20min later the 90min program was dubbed to DVD.
So, in conclusion, I don't understand the mechanics of why TiVo to DVD is prohibited but TiVo to HD to DVD is OK, but I'm both happy and relieved. And truth be told, it's much easier to edit the material on the HD than it was to edit it on DVD-RW in VR mode on the garbage Samsung recorder.
** Note. This experience is with a DirectTV Hughes TiVo-2. As to other TiVo boxes, your experience may be different.