Best DVD Recorder

Finding the best DVD recorder can be difficult with so many options on the market. But one thing is for sure: they are a much cheaper alternative to cable and satellite boxes. Also, some of our top picks can help you free up space on your hard drive by converting stored media to a physical disc.

With that in mind, we rated the Magnavox HD DVR/DVD recorder the top pick for the best DVD recorder, as it features hundreds of hours of recording space allowing you to store your favorite recordings and DVDs without the hassle of recording to discs, although disc-recording is still optional. It is perfect for anyone who has yet to upgrade to the best blu ray player.

Top 7 Best DVD Recorder Compared

 #1  Magnavox HD DVR/DVD Recorder

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Magnavox DVR/DVD recorder offers over 500 hours of recording footage with a maximum of eight hours in HD, making it have the biggest memory on this list. You can record footage to its 500GB hard drive, or export to a DVD, making it a user-friendly product.

Pros
  • 500 hours of recording footage
  • 500GB hard drive, so no need for discs
  • Records in 1080p
Cons
  • Most expensive on the list
  • No alternative recording modes
  • No onscreen TV guide

This versatile DVD recorder comes with a built-in digital tuner that lets you pause, rewind and record live TV. Something even the best VCR DVD combo doesn’t always do. There’s no need to record footage to a disc, as you can store high-definition programs to the hard drive. Similar to some products on this list, it records at 1080p.

Unlike others on this list, you can record multiple shows at one time, while continuing to watch TV. Alternatively, you can use the device as a DVD player, and you can also store your favorite movies on DVD to the hard drive at LP speed.

 #2  Sony RDR-GX300 DVD Recorder

Award: Best Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Sony RDR-GX300 DVD recorder offers five hours of recording time and boasts six different recording modes to adjust the recording quality to expand your disc’s memory. This DVD recorder also features an Electronic Programme Guide which makes it easy to select a show a record it, making the unit incredibly user-friendly and easy to use.

Pros
  • Video Recording mode to make edits to recorded footage
  • Six recording modes to suit your memory’s capacity
  • Surround-sound mode
Cons
  • Some customers reported the remote control came faulty
  • No SD slot or HDMI output
  • Edits could be smoother

This DVD recorder offers multiple recording sources, including DVD RW and DVD-RW recording, so you have the option to reuse your discs. The unit also features a Video Recording mode, so you can perform editing tasks, such as creating a playlist, making changes to the original title, and erasing advertisements. You can also record and use playback simultaneously, so others in the household can watch TV at the same time.

The six recording modes is a stand-out feature with this unit, as you can opt for the best-quality HQ, or choose a low-quality recording mode to reduce the amount of memory the footage uses. If you choose the best-quality HQ, this offers a maximum of one-hour recording time on a 4.7GB disc. If you have not upgraded to the best 4K UHD Blu-Ray player, this is sweet. The DVD recorder also features optional digital text and a surround-sound mode to make it one of the best units on the market.

 #3  ZSMJ 8541609116 Drive Recorder

Award: Best for Quick Transfers

WHY WE LIKE IT: The ZSMJ 8541609116 DVD recorder features a high-speed USB 3.0 for quicker transfer and download speeds than USB 2.0. The DVD recorder measures 5.8 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches, and weighs 7 pounds, making it the smallest and lightest on the list and the most portable unit on our list, allowing you to burn media from your laptop and also watch DVDs.

Pros
  • High-speed USB 3.0 cable
  • Portable and lightweight design, which is ideal for on the go
  • Also acts as a DVD player
Cons
  • Not compatible with Windows 10 or the latest MacBook Pro
  • 5gb is the lowest capacity on this list
  • The disc drive sometimes sticks

This DVD recorder utilizes a shockproof cable design with premium wire material to make it highly durable for traveling. Your purchase also includes two cables to prevent power shortage and act as a spare when you’re on the road. The high-speed USB 3.0 makes the DVD recorder copy footage up to 10 times quicker than a USB 2.0.

It offers a writing and reading speed of 5gb and doesn’t require an extra power supply. Simply plug the device into your USB port and your device will automatically detect it. This DVD recorder also acts as a DVD player, so you can watch movies and listen to music on the go from your computer. Even though no one likes to be away from the best smart TV.

 #4  Toshiba D-KR10 DVD Recorder

Award: Best for Busy People

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Toshiba D-KR 10 DVD recorder features five recording modes, and can transfer footage from a VHS to DVD. The product also allows you to set recordings via the Time Program button, so you can schedule recordings for when you’re out of the house, making it great for busy TV show lovers.

Pros
  • Can easily transfer footage from a VHS to DVD
  • Features editing options
  • Offers five recording modes
Cons
  • No USB port
  • Doesn’t support chasing playback, so you can’t watch TV while the product records
  • Measuring 144 x 96 x 48 inches, it’s not as slim as others on this list

This DVD recorder supports dual-layer DVD-R and DVD+R discs to double the video capacity for up to 8 hours of footage. It offers five recording modes and a flexible recording mode, so you can run the DVD recorder for a specific amount of time, and not just 30-minute increments like the other products on this list. It also features two speed settings, including slow motion and zoom instant skip, so you can watch the recorded footage to your liking.

Toshiba designed this DVD recorder with a high-quality 1080p rating, so you can watch your recordings in high-quality footage without the images becoming blurry. Of course, the best ultra HD TVs help with this. Not all DVD recorders feature an editing option, but Toshiba enable you to rename the title and skip any advertisements, so you can watch your finalized footage without any interruptions.

 #5  Lite-ON Black Premium Burner Recorder

Award: Best for Versatility

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Lite-ON burner recorder features 1GB RAM and supports up to eight hours of footage, and produces high-quality audio without any distortions. This recorder also provides an inexpensive way for desktop computer owners to back-up photos, and videos, as well as convert digital footage to a hard-disc format.

Pros
  • Features data protection so you won’t lose footage
  • Offers DVD-R and DVD+R
  • ABS system keeps the unit quiet when recording
Cons
  • Weighs 220 grams, making it one of the heaviest on this list
  • Data cable is quite short
  • Doesn’t work on TVs

The Lite-ON burner recorder is whisper quiet when recording, thanks to the Smart-X technology. It also automatically adjusts the maximum data read speed settings according to the amount of footage you’re recording, and the disc’s quality. As a result, you get the high-quality footage possible. Connect the device to your PC, and it’s compatible with most Windows laptops, though not suitable with Apple devices.

This product features both DVD-R and DVD+R, so you have the option to increase the speeds of your recordings. You can also use the device in quiet environments or late at night, as it’s fitted with an ABS system to prevent any vibration and noise while recording. You are going to enjoy this when paired with one of the best 90 inch TVs out there.

 #6  Panasonic DMR-EZ28K DVD Recorder

Award: Best for High-Quality Footage

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Panasonic DMR-EZ28K DVD recorder features a high-resolution four-hour recording mode, which is the most advanced on this list, and features a New Picture Processor with noise Reduction. The DVD recorder also produces high-quality footage with the 1080p image quality to produce sharp lines, making it ideal for high-quality audio and images.

Pros
  • Multi-format playback
  • 384Kbps sound quality in SP mode to increase footage length
  • 14 hours footage on one disc, thanks to the varying quality control
Cons
  • VIERA Link only works with Panasonic TVs
  • No feature for subtitles on recordings
  • Instruction manual is complex

This DVD recorder features numerous multi-format playback, including DVD, DivX, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD, CD-R and CD-RW. The produce also comes with a VIERA Link function that enables you to watch TV and record footage at the same time. The Link screen also provides numerous playback functions and you can set timer recordings to pre-record shows when you won’t be home.

As well as image quality, Panasonic also concentrated on sound quality by offering 384Kbps to produce clear tones, making it great for recording orchestral performances. The product also features an SD card slot, so you can transfer any recorded footage to your laptop and reuse the discs. When you opt for the dual-layer discs, you can record a total of 14 hours footage, though this is using the low-quality EP mode. You might choose another mode if you are using one of the best 65 inch TVs on the market, with the best TV wall mount.

 #7  Emerson EWD2204 DVD/VCR Combo

Award: Best for Value

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Emerson EWD2204 DVD/VCR Combo offers 10 hours recording time and features a transferring footage from VHS to Digital Disc, to make this DVD recorder unique. It comes an auto head cleaner, four speeds for playback, and one-touch recording for all the necessary features of a DVD recorder for an exceptional price.

Pros
  • Offers 10 hours recording time
  • DVD/VCR combo
  • One-touch recording for quick, instant recording
Cons
  • Not as many hours recording as other products on this list
  • Can’t watch the TV on another channel while recording

Emerson designed this DVD recorder so you can transfer footage from VHS to DVD so you can watch your favorite recorded footage whenever you wish. This device also allows you to watch VHS tapes via this recorder. To improve your viewing experience, Emerson included audio surround sound for high-quality audio when watching your footage.

We love the parental lock feature that prevents children or unwanted guests from viewing footage without your permission. Plus, the product also features disc formats including DVD-R and DVD-RW. With the proper enclosure, you could pair this with one of the best outdoor TVs and enjoy some sun and a show.

How We Decided

We chose the best DVD recorders by creating a strict criteria. It’s important the units can record a minimum of 5 hours of footage, and we also included some DVD recorders that offer up to 10 hours of recording. This diversity also suits a range of budgets, so you’re bound to discover a DVD recorder for your price range above. We opted for models with a minimum 4GB of storage, so you can record hours of footage at one time.

We also concentrated on DVD recorders with a range of compatibility. The above selections are suitable with Windows, Mac OS systems, and some are even compatible with laptops without a drive hardware. We also chose some selections that allow you to burn media footage to your laptop, or transfer footage from a VHS to disc, or play all material to a disc, as well as watch DVDs through the DVD recorder.

The best DVD recorder will quickly record your favorite shows, so we researched products ones equipped with high-speed interfaces featuring at least a USB 2.0 connection. To ensure your recordings are high-quality, we also researched models measuring around 1080p to reduce any fuzzy and blurry footage.

Product Category Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Capacity
    Not all DVD recorders have the same capacity. Most high-end products feature a double-disc setting, which doubles its capacity. This is great if you intend on recording hours of footage without having to remove one single disc and replace it with another. You should consider that a larger capacity makes the unit chunkier, so you’ll need appropriate storage space for the unit. You can also purchase a DVD recorder with an external hard drive to increase the unit’s capacity. Generally speaking, one offering 500 GB allows 860 hours of footage and means you don’t have to transfer the footage to a disc.
  2. Built-In Video Editing
    Advertisements can be annoying, so some companies designed DVD recorders with a built-in video editor. This enables you to remove advertisements and other chosen sections from your recorded material. Bear in mind, this is moreso for tech-savvy consumers, as some units can be complicated to edit.
  3. Compatibility
    It’s critical that your chosen DVD recorder is compatible with your TV. Double-check the sockets on your recorder to see if they match your TV, or other chosen device. The most popular connection is USB, which offers quick transferring speed, especially measuring 3.0 or higher. A DVD recorder with a USB port also enables you to transfer the footage to an external memory stick, so you don’t need to purchase discs. The most basic recorders are limited to HDMI – making them only suitable to use with a TV.

DVD Recorder FAQs

Can you purchase reusable discs?

Yes. rewritable discs come in DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, and DVD+RW formats. These discs are easy to erase the content, and you can reuse the discs a few hundred times. The most popular and compatible format with most devices is the DVD+RW. Both options offer a rewriteable format so you can reuse your discs. However, DVD-RW format requires a shorter burning time.

Do you need a DVD recorder with an external hard drive?

A DVD recorder with an external hard drive is more expensive than one without. However, this is a great option if you wish to record hours of material and don’t wish to transfer the footage to a DVD. Many units with an external hard drive also feature a high-speed connection, so you can record material quickly.

Do you need an Internet connection to use a DVD recorder?

Some DVD recorders can connect to the Internet if they feature a Freeview box. So, you’ll only require a Wi-Fi connection if you choose this additional feature. It’s not essential to use the Internet for recording or transferring footage to a device or disc.

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Amy Poole

Full-time Freelance Writer and Editor with a passion for traveling and cuddling my fox red labrador, Rosie.

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