I've been using my JVC DVD recorder for a while now, and I've been fairly happy with it.
While set up is straight forward, the user interface can be a little tricky to use. It also is a little picky regarding which disc it can record on and play back can sometimes break up even on commercial DVD's.
The unit is also not region free which can cause problems if you have non region 2 DVD's.
It has built in analogue (defunct now) and digital tuners with a decent array of inputs and outputs for connectivity. The quality of the picture via the digital tuner is good, but not outstanding. There is definitely a loss in quality when viewing digital when compared to my Sony TV with built in freeview. It's not major, but you do notice it.
What is good is inputs for camcorders (DV input, and also standard video / audio connections) along with scart. This means that you can transfer footage straight onto DVD at very high quality. I'd recommend setting your recording quality to the highest for best results. Long play recording isn't great and should only be used for recording soaps and any other 'throw away' TV that you just want to catch up on.
By using LP you can get four hours of video on a recordable DVD. Also use re-writable dvd's - but check the brand you want to buy work on this unit before stocking up.
For example, I've found that Tesco branded DVD RW don't work, nor do several others I've tried. Tuff Disc brands do though and I'm sure many other's also. Just find one that works and stick with it.
Although DVD is now an old format, it's still useful and offers a way to archive your programmes and transfer standard definition video onto disc rather than have it stored on computer, hard drive or camera tape etc.
The unit sometimes resets itself when it encounters problems with a disc and very occasionally, it takes a long while to 'recover' from a problem and eject the disc. Warm up / turn off also takes a while.
The program guide is pretty good when you want to select something to record via the timer or watch a programme. You do need to regularly update the channel list though to ensure new freeview channels appear properly. It doesn't seem to do this automatically.
I know this review sounds quite negative, but if you can put up with these 'faults' and you want a decent unit that should prove reliable, this is a good choice. I believe that many of the issues I've raised are inherent in many other comparable units as well at the end of the day.