Price matching. If you go to another store that sells the 233 and point to a Walmart ad with the 231, they don't have to match the price. Best Buy does this all the time. IIRC when Pioneer plasmas were first being sold at Best Buy, a model number was, for example, something like 5041 where everyone else was selling the 5040. This way Best Buy could claim it was a different model, and they didn't have to match someone else's price.
I don't know about the 231 and 233, but another difference between the 531 and 533 is that the 531 lacks the IEEE-1394/FireWire/i.Link digital input that is provided on the 533. This is used to make digital connections and direct-digital copies from a mini-DV digital camcorder.
Note that the camcorder uses DV-format video and less compression (similar to M-JPEG) while the DVD recorder uses MPEG-2 and more compression, so some transcoding takes place during the recording process from the DV camcorder to the DVD recorder.
Opinions vary on whether the digital dubbing provides better results than an analog s-video and L+R audio connection from the camcorder output to the DVD recorder input.
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