"Does a good job with VHS and TiVo transfers to DVD"3.5 starson by j37634
Pros: Easy VHS transfers, Easy TiVo transfers, simple to use
Cons: Occasionally "hangs" when finalizing disc; extra step required to "see" what you are transferring from VHS; only 1, 2 or 6 hour recording times on a single layer DVD
Summary: I bought this to do 3 things: transfer VHS to DVD, transfer TiVo recordings to DVD, and burn DVD's from a computer (as a regular computer drive). Though I've not yet burned from the computer, the drive is very good at transferring VHS tapes and TiVo recordings. Depending on the "quality" you select, the end result can look pretty good. I will say that the 6 hour SLP mode is pretty poor quality, and if you're transferring from VHS (which is pretty bad quality to begin) you are going to be left with something that you'd think twice before watching again. 5 hour long tennis matches transferred from VHS on the 6 hour mode look pretty bad. Certainly I could have used the high quality (1 hour) mode, but I didn't want to go through 5 DVD's for 1 tennis match. One complaint I have about the drive is the lack of video outputs. The reason this creates a problem is that once you've hooked up your VCR or TiVo to the drive, there is no way to monitor what you are recording unless you use a second "output" on the VCR or TiVo to the TV. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but if the drive had outputs, it would be so easy to connect a cable from the output of the drive to the TV and be done with it. With the VCR and TiVo, I used 2 outputs. One going into the drive and then the co-axial output going to the co-axial input on the TV. This allows you to view what you're recording which is pretty much essential if you're wanting to edit out commercials. The downside is that in my case you have to dismantle your cable setup to accomodate doing this. If only it had an output on the drive! As far as performance goes, I've only made a couple of coasters. Not sure what the problem was but one disk wouldn't finalize (after a 4 hour VHS transfer) and I had to start all over. This is pretty annoying in "real time" after waiting 4 hours for the burn to be complete. The other coaster was a very old DVD-R that probably was incompatible with the drive. I bought Fuji DVD-R's from Best Buy and they work very well. The TiVo transfers look very good if the TiVo recording is at the "high" or "best" setting and the drive is set to it's best burn quality setting (1 hour mode). I thought it looked just like I was watching the show on TV for the first time. I know TiVo has a method of transferring shows from the TiVo box to the computer, and burning DVD's from there, but I haven't experimented with that yet. I don't see why that would be easier than doing it straight from the TiVo to the drive itself. The only thing I haven't done yet is connected it to the computer to use as a typical burning drive. I plan to do that tonight. I will say that from what I've read, this is the weakest part of the unit. I hope that isn't the case but we shall see. If it does a poor job of burning from a computer, it will be returned to the store. If it does a good job, then the drive will do everything I asked of it. Hopefully this review helped somebody. A remote would also be very helpful. It would be great when you are transferring a program to sit in your favorite chair and pause the record using the remote during commercials, fast forward the VHS or TiVo until the program starts again, and unpause the record on the drive. Without the remote, you cannot be too far from the drive as you manually have to push pause on the front of the unit to do this.