DVD-recorder deals
By Nelson Wang

(MONEY Magazine) – As more consumers upgrade from VCRs to DVD recorders, prices are dropping like box office receipts for Gigli. A decent DVD recorder can now be had for less than $300, and chances are that whatever you've recorded on one player will also now play on other machines--even on your computer.

LOW END The CyberHome CH-DVR 1500 lists for $350 but was selling for less than $300 on Walmart.com in mid-December. This is what to buy if you're simply looking to record shows or home movies that you'll be playing on the same unit, and aren't giving copies of your DVDs to people with players that don't read the machine's +R or +RW recording formats.

MID-RANGE The Pioneer DVR-310-S has a $599 list price, although it can be found for less than $500 at Crutchfield.com and Goodguys.com. It uses the -R and -RW formats, which allow for extensive editing of a disk's contents and offer the broadest compatibility with other DVD players. Use the "chase playback" feature to watch a program from the beginning while the rest is still being recorded.

HIGH END The Panasonic DMR-E100H ($1,200 list, $875 at Amazon.com) is the right fix for the digital media junkie. Its 120-gigabyte hard drive can hold up to 160 hours of video, so you can store and edit plenty of footage before burning it onto a DVD. Input slots for digital camcorders, digital still-camera cards and PC cards let you mix and edit images like the hottest Hollywood auteur. --NELSON WANG