I bought this as a VCR (and DVD player) replacement for use with a satellite box. For that, it works fine. The pros: a low price (relative to other units), and it works as advertised for the first few days. Instant skip is nice, and the DVD recording quality is better than videotape. You can adjust the tracking (this is what went out on my last two VCRs; it's nice to be able to adjust that.) It plays a wide range of files and discs--including MPEGs and MP3 (claimed; I haven't tried it). The cons: There's no co-ax cable input. There's no tuner either, and it comes with RCA cables, but it's the first VCR I've seen without a co-ax input. DVD recording is much more complicated than recording a tape (you have to format the DVD first, and it makes a difference whether you're using DVD+WR or DVD-WR. It is much more complicated than recording to a DVD-ROM, and read the manual before you buy a lot of either.) There are complications, like if you want to delete a DVD recording, you use "top menu", not "disc menu". The manual is helpful, but why one button couldn't be used for both is unclear. The timer is harder to set than other products I've used (you have to use one button to set the timer, another one to finish setting the timer, and a third to turn the unit off and timer on.) There were some annoyances. It defaults to DVD for recording, with no way to change that. If you set the DVD recorder and timer, you can't replay the DVD until the timer has finished recording. Also, if you're playing a tape or DVD back, there's no easy way to show the clock on the display (you can show it on the TV itself, but that distracts from what you're watching.) The range of the remote could be improved, especially compared to other VCR remotes I've used. I haven't yet tried recording a DVD and playing it on another machine yet, and I haven't tried tech support. The manual did answer everything I needed so far, and if you're technically competent (or patient), this unit has a lot of nice features, especially for the price.
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