It is easy to see the advantages of this approach. Recording to hard drives is much faster and less error-prone than recording to DVDs. It allows you to easily view one channel and record another, or to use the ‘instant playback’ feature to start playing your recording while it’s still recording – plus the much-mooted capability to pause live TV broadcasts. DVD recorders cannot do this.
Not to mention, of course, that you save money on buying DVDs. If you often record shows that you intend to watch once and then delete, you save yourself a whole world of trouble with hard drives compared to DVD recorders. It’s instant to delete a file off a hard drive, but annoying to erase DVDs.
Another advantage of hard disk recorders is that they can scan through files much faster, allowing you to skip commercials far more quickly than if your player has to unexpectedly skip ahead on a disc and find its place again.
The best option is to get a hard drive recorder that is also capable of recording DVDs, for the times when you want to keep something forever. However, another good option, if you have a computer with a very large hard drive, is to get a hard disk recorder that can be hooked up to your computer and archive that way – much quicker than writing to DVD.
One of the best things about hard disk recorders is that, if you’re a technical sort, you can even build one yourself, using free software such as MythTV and Freevo. Really, it’s just a computer plugged into your TV.