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Hi, I am new to forum and have read posts with much interest. I have a specific question as to which DVR to buy. My needs are this: we homeschool and copy our curriculum off of a satellite feed. I am presently using VCR to do this but since I am taping 11 classes it gets to be alot of work. I would love to have the ability to record with a hard drive and make copies when I have time. Secondly I have lots of old VHS that I would like to preserve for my children (not just home movies) can this be done if these are commercial copies? And thirdly, we own a 8mm camcorder and would like to preserve home movies on DVD. Thanks so much!!
 

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I would say that either one of the Pioneers (e.g., 531 @ Walmart), the Panny DMR-EH50, or the Toshiba XS34 would fit your needs well. The first two lack a firewire input, but that should not be an issue because you don't have a digital camcorder. If you want to backup your commercial tapes to DVD, you will likely have to purchase a separate copy converter to connect between the VCR and the DVD recorder such as the Sima CT-200 available at stores such as Best Buy to remove copy protection during the dubbing process. Good luck.
 

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as a newbie also,I have to agree with that advice-those are the three everybody seems to be in agreement on as the best choices.The fun part comes in trying to chose between those three as to which is the most reliable and easy to use.I'm still up in the air but leaning towards the 531 if for no other reason then cost and ease of return.The XS34 sounds like the best bargain in the bunch except for a lot of reports that it doesn't always record what its supposed to,which would seem to be a deal breaker in your case.
 
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