Top 7 Hard Drive Recorders

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Hard drive recorders include devices such as Digital Video Recorders (DVR) and DVD recorders. DVRs allow users to record and store television programming on an internal hard drive and often function as a cable or satellite control box. DVD recorders allow users to record programming onto a DVD. Features that attract consumers to the top seven hard drive recorders include large hard drive storage capacity, intuitive user interfaces, and low cost. Depending on which receiver consumers choose, cost considerations should take into account not only the initial expense of purchasing the recorder, but also recurring costs such as monthly subscription fees for additional services that interface with the recorder.
If a user is searching for a DVR or DVD recorder to operate with existing cable or satellite TV service, it is important to ensure the recorder is compatible with that specific service. Stand-alone DVD recorders do not require the ongoing cost of a monthly subscription fee; however, user interface features are generally more limited. It is important for users to note that the top seven hard drive recorders have been evaluated and reviewed based on performance alone and not provider-specific programming and features.
1 Dish Network ViP722
Dish Network ViP722

The Dish Network ViP722 received a CNET editors' review of Excellent for features such as high storage capacity, quick response time, and a superb  remote control design. This DVR also features dual output mode to accommodate a second TV as well as the ability to record up to three HD programs simultaneously while playing a fourth program. Another notable feature mentioned by reviewers is the 30-second commercial skip feature with a quick response time, allowing users to quickly skip through commercials with just a few simple clicks. CNET editors, as well as users from across the Internet, cite the Dish Network ViP722 as one of the most fully featured DVRs available.


2 Dish Network ViP922 SlingLoaded DVR
Dish Network ViP922 SlingLoaded DVR

PCMAG gave the Dish Network ViP922 SlingLoaded DVR an editors' rating of Excellent due to its large, 1-terabyte storage capacity; user-friendly interface; and integrated Slingbox capability, which allows users to access and watch stored programming from anywhere using an Internet browser. This DVR is also compatible with Apple, Blackberry, Windows, and Android smartphones. ConsumerSearch rated this DVR as best-reviewed for additional features such as the on-screen remote, dual tuner, up to 1,000 hours of recording time, external hard drive compatibility, and an intuitive user interface for setting recording timers and customizing settings. Users should note that this DVR is only compatible with Dish Network satellite service.


3 TiVo Premiere
TiVo Premiere

ConsumerSearch rated the TiVo Premiere as one of the best-reviewed DVRs for features such as the intuitive user interface, dual tuners, and external hard drive compatibility. The TiVo Premiere also received positive reviews from PCMAG for its large storage capacity and wide selection of accessible online content. Additionally, this DVR can save programs to be recorded using a DVD recorder. Other features include remote programming using the Web or a smartphone, up to 45 hours of HD recording capacity, and extensive search features. Users should be aware that TiVo charges a monthly subscription fee in addition to cable or satellite service.


4 TiVo HD XL
TiVo HD XL

The TiVo HD XL can record two HD programs at once while simultaneously playing back a third program. This DVR received a CNET editors' rating of Excellent for attributes such as a 1-terabyte storage capacity, intuitive user interface and remote, excellent networking features, and expandable storage. The large storage capacity of the TiVo HD XL allows users to keep up to 150 hours of HD programming. Users are bound to find an extensive selection of available online and streaming content, and users' reviews from across the Internet indicate that the included TiVo remote is easy to use with a convenient backlit design. This DVR is not compatible with satellite service.


5 DirecTV HR20
DirecTV HR20

For receiving and recording MPEG-4 AVC programming, the DirecTV HR20 furnishes a user-friendly interface and a wide variety of features. This DVR received a CNET editors' rating of Very Good for features such as an RF-capable remote, impressive image quality, simultaneous HD recording and playback, and intuitive search functions. Additional reviews from a number of Internet users indicate that elements such as the ability to bookmark scenes within recordings and easy one-touch recording make this DVR a popular and reliable choice.


6 Magnavox MDR515H/F7 DVD Recorder
Magnavox MDR515H/F7

Not all DVD recorders are equipped with an integrated hard drive, and user reviews indicate that this is a highly desirable feature. The Magnavox MDR515H/F7 is one of the few available DVD recorders available with an onboard hard drive and it was chosen as one of the top four best-reviewed by ConsumerSearch. Features that earned this DVD recorder high review ratings include the 500-gigabyte hard drive, which allows users to record and store over 100 hours of HD programming, with even greater storage capacity at lower quality settings. Other notable qualities cited by ConsumerSearch as well as user reviews include an integrated digital clear QAM tuner and the ability to pause live TV. For users seeking a DVD recorder with an integrated hard drive, the Magnavox MDR515H/F7 is an ideal choice.


7 Philips DVDR3575H DVD Recorder
Philips DVDR3575H

The Philips DVDR3575H DVD recorder allows users to record programming, store it on the integrated 160-gigabyte hard drive, or record to a DVD. This DVD recorder received good ratings from CNET for features such as the ATSC tuner, which enables the recorder to receive digital broadcasts, as well as HDMI output scales up to 1080p. Additional features which earned this DVD recorder positive reviews are the 30-second commercial skip button and six recording modes from which to choose when recording to DVD.


Overview and Comparison

The following chart outlines the essential features and storage capacity of the top seven hard drive recorders. These DVRs and DVD recorders may all be connected to a basic television setup, and most of them have HD capability.
 

Hard Drive Recorder

Features

Hard Drive Storage Capacity

Dish Network ViP722

Can record local and other HD channels

Two full-featured and intuitive remote controls

Versatile and user-friendly

320 GB

Dish Network ViP922 SlingLoaded DVR

Large storage capacity

Integrated Slingbox feature for remote access

Intuitive user interface

1 TB

TiVo Premiere

Compatible with external hard drive for more storage space

Dual tuners

In-depth search features

320 GB

TiVo HD XL

Simultaneous HD recording and playback

Expandable storage capability

Ergonomic backlit remote

1 TB

DirecTV HR20

Receives and records new MPEG-4 AVC programming

User-friendly interface

RF-capable remote

300 GB

Magnavox MDR515H/F7

Integrated digital clear QAM tuner

Pause live TV

Record and store up to 100 hours of HD programming

500 GB

Philips DVDR3575H

HDMI output up to 1080p

Record programming for storage or recording on DVD

160 GB


Users should also note that the hard drive storage capacities listed in this chart do not include extra storage space that may be available from an additional external hard drive. However, not all hard drive recorders are compatible with external storage drives.
 

Shopping for Hard Drive Recorders on eBay

Choosing to purchase a hard drive recorder on eBay is an excellent way for shoppers to save money without compromising desired features and performance. Before beginning the shopping process, buyers should understand the process of searching for and purchasing a hard drive recorder in order to ensure the most positive purchase outcome.

Searching

To begin searching for hard drive recorders on eBay, simply type a search term such as High Definition DVR into the search box, which is located on each page. This query is likely to turn up a large number of results. You can narrow your search parameters by selecting criteria such as price range, location of the seller, or condition of the item (new or used). You may also begin with a more specific search query, including a brand and a model number, for example.
 

Conclusion

Hard drive recorders include devices such as digital video recorders (DVRs) and DVD recorders. While both types of device are similar in form and function, there are a few key differences that shoppers should understand before making a purchase. The primary purpose of a DVR is to record and store television programming, with user-friendly features that enable users to organize stored information in a convenient way. The primary purpose of a DVD recorder is to record TV programs or other media for storage onto a DVD. A DVR gives users the capacity to access online content, with many DVRs featuring remote control capability from a smartphone or other device. DVD recorders are less rich in features but more single-minded in purpose. No matter which type of hard drive recorder a buyer chooses, it is important to ensure compatibility with existing cable or satellite service as well as with existing home audio/video equipment that is intended to interface with the recorder. For a wide selection of new and used DVRs and DVD recorders, visit eBay and begin shopping.
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