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How To Record TV Directly To DVD

Skeptic, cinephile, bookworm, gamer, history buff, armchair scientist, occasional YouTuber, habitual cringe inducer, reluctant realist.


Record your favorite movies and TV shows onto DVD right from your set!

Recording everything that strikes my fancy has been a pastime I've been a part of for years. It first began when my mother taught me the art of recording my favorite movies and TV shows onto VHS tapes from our VCR — in a completely legal way, of course, heh — and just grew from there. But this is a new age. Those old VHS tapes are outdated, primitive, problematic, and bulky. DVD's are the new device of choice. So, suffice it to say, it was time to step it up a notch. And with the advent of the DVD Recorder/VCR combo, the proverbial notch has been stepped.

With the DVD Recorder/VCR combo's, you can easily record whatever is on your television (movies, TV shows, news stories, etc) as they air directly onto a blank DVD... just as you could with your old VCR! And since this is a VCR/DVD combo you can also easily transfer your old VHS tapes directly to the blank DVD's as well -- out with the old, in with the new.

Reasons to get a DVD recorder

  • Easy to hook up! Okay, it's this simple: Plug in the power cord, hook up your composite cables to the TV (the red, yellow, and white cables), and voila! Finished!
  • Record anything from your television set directly onto DVD! Make you're own box sets of your favorite TV shows, record movies from your favorite movie channel, record your favorite sporting events while you watch them. Seriously... the possibilities are limitless.
  • Transfer your old VHS tapes to DVD! Have a bunch of old home movies piled up on bulky VHS tapes? Want to update your old VHS movie collection? With this product you can transfer all of your VHS tapes in the same amount of time as it takes you to watch them. Just stick the tape in the VHS slot, pop the blank DVD in its spot, and press record!
  • Record all your favorite shows in crystal clear clarity! Unlike recording with old VHS clunkers with their bad tracking and uncanny ability to screw up audibly and visually in every way possible, your DVD recording will always turn out just as clear (or at least close to it, depending on how much space you use on the DVD) as it was when you saw it on TV!

My personal DVD Recorder - My recommendation...


This is the DVD Recorder/VCR combo I've been using for the last 2 years. With it I've recorded, literally, over a hundred different movies and TV shows. I've even made my own box sets of LOST, Breaking Bad and other such TV shows with it (usually fitting one season on two or three six-hour disks).

This is a Magnavox brand (zv427mg9) it cost me, at the time, somewhere around 200 dollars. But since then the price has gone down to approximately 100 or so dollars -- which isn't too shabby considering how durable the product is (after two years, and using it religiously, I've not had one problem). This is a top notch product and I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Below are several available models of this product from

What Disks You Need - My recommendation...


Honestly... it really doesn't matter what blank DVD's you get. Some may argue, but some are also overly picky. I choose to get more for less.

With these 50 packs of blank DVD's you get no individual cases, but you can easily get paper cases for a very low price. These are my preferred choice as they're only around 10 to 15 dollars and can last you an extremely long time (especially if you're the type who enjoys using one DVD to its full six hour capacity). They work wonderfully with the DVD-recorders, DVD burners, and even make good Frisbee's, if that's what you're into.

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PoetikalyAnointed on March 28, 2019:

Great Article and thanks for sharing!

I'm a tv buff myself so this information comes in handy. I still have old VHS tapes just collecting dust lol.

Don Hofschulte on March 07, 2019:

Excellent article and very informative - except I have a problem hooking up my Samsung DVD-VCR recording device. I recently asked DirectV to send a technician to my home to straighten out a mess created by an earlier DTV technician. Well they corrected the TV problems, but also

stripped the cables/wires etc which now prevents me from recording DTV satellite feeds. They want me to install their DVR to record from satellite. I have two simple questions: Is it illegal to record DTV satellite or any other satellite stuff? How can I hook up my system so I can record to my Samsung DVD-VCR unit? I'm 87 and can't handle this

hi-tech stuff anymore - need help!


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Don on March 31, 2018:

Ww good ratigs cool hd version i love three film cant wait tilk another

shureman on August 30, 2016:

Many channels utilize copy-protection processes that prohibit recording many shows, particularly movies. You need a device between the recorder and TV that will strip out the copy-protection. One such device is the Isreal-produced Grex...

The Gutter Monkey (author) on January 13, 2015:

@ LMo

Hi! I'm not an expert on the device, but I do own one myself and I can assure you that it works perfectly when recording TV shows and movies from my satellite. I didn't need to make any extra purchases.

I also have tried before to record footage from my Xbox 360 by hooking the DVD recorder up to it and that also worked fine. Note though, I couldn't find a way to make it work for HDMI, so if you're willing to settle for a non-HDMI picture (which I am in many cases), you should be fine as far as I can tell.

LMo on January 12, 2015:

I'm very interested in this, but I've been told this won't work,recording TV show to DVDS, if you don't buy a tuner with for the recorder. Where and what do I buy if I purchase the Magnavox ZV427MG9 recorder.

WriterJanis2 on March 05, 2014:

This is good to know. Thank you.

Takkhis on March 05, 2014:

Thanks for sharing it, it is a very helpful page!

john1581 on April 23, 2013:

Great lens. Lots of info

Dancing Cowgirl Design from Texas on April 11, 2013:

I bought one of these recorders to transfer my vhs to dvd. Just to bad I can't seem to get around to getting it all done now.

RetireAt57 on April 02, 2013:

Thanks for the good information!

anonymous on February 15, 2013:

A couple of years ago I bought a dvd/vhs recorder player. I follow all the instructions but I can't record on the dvd. It keeps telling me something is wrong with the disks even though I bought the type they said and followed directions. It plays store bought movies fine. It is by Go Video. Any suggestions? Thank you!

anonymous on November 23, 2012:

How does this work with the new signal blocking from cable and direct TV?

jazziyarbrough on June 11, 2012:

Thanks, I am not one for wanting to read directions to hook up electronics nowadays. Maybe my mood will change. I would rather be on the computer or riding the harley. Thanks so much for sharing such useful information. Your recommendation for the DVD's is an added plus!

norma-holt on June 10, 2012:

Thank you for this lens. I have a DVD-VHS recorder and have not worked out how to use it properly. Now I know and will be doing my recording now. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on Watch, Make and Use Videos, Hugs

norma-holt on June 10, 2012:

Thank you for this lens. I have a DVD-VHS recorder and have not worked out how to use it properly. Now I know and will be doing my recording now. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on Watch, Make and Use Videos, Hugs

Johanna Eisler on November 24, 2011:

I do this all the time. And on Amazon you can watch for sales that are even better than the 50-pack. Sometimes there are awesome sales on the 100-disk spool. The disks take up so much less room than the VHS tapes! I like to store mine in the "wallets" that are sold by Univenture. You can organize the wallets like books on a shelf, and each one holds many, many disks.

Jethro from Philippines on November 20, 2011:

I guess I need to have this DVD recorder at home. Coz I really like it to record my favorite shows and movies. Thanks for giving me an idea about it. :)

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