LiteOn LVW-5115GHC+ DVD±RW Recorder
When I decided to replace my ancient hand me down VCR with something a little more modern (and working) I had a number of requirements:
1) Value for Money
2) Recording Compatibility
3) DIVX / Xvid Playback
In the Lite-On LVW-5115GHC+ I was able to satisfy all of my requirements. It's very reasonably priced, around £100, supports all the DVD and CD flavours (except Dual Layer) and has full DIVX & Xvid support. So what's it like to use?
Once you've connected it up and powered it on you'll need to navigate the menu system to get the recorder configured. The menu isn't impossible but it's also not as easy as it should be. Anyhow once you've got the date and time you won't need to access the menu too much. Of course if you're like me and get your TV through the analogue airwaves then you'll need to access the TV tuner menu. I can confirm that reports about the lousy quality of the tuner in this recorder are true. The reception isn't as good as the reception I was getting through my LG TV. A digital tuner would have been nice but I guess the £100 price point wouldn't have been possible. Anyhow after a lot of tinkering I managed to get all 5 terrestrial channels in more or less ok quality.
Recording in SP (Standard Play) mode provides 2 hours of 'DVD quality' MPEG video. The settings below that really aren't worth talking about. There is also a HQ (High Quality) mode that gives a higher bit rate MPEG 2 video. In it's standard form the recorded media can only be played in the recorder but if you finalize the recording then you can play the disc in any DVD player or computer.
Lite-On offer a one year warranty on this model also they make firmware updates available via their website. Running a firmware update is very easy and many updates improve performance and compatibility.
If you're looking for a good DVD recorder that offers a good range of playback options then you can't do much better than get a LVW-5115GHC+.