I got this DVD/HDD recorder a few years ago and at the time it was one of the best solutions on the market. The main attraction was the hard disk drive where all the video recordings could be stored until you watched them or burned them to a DVD. This was hugely appealing as it negated the need to buy DVDs to use for mainstream recording.
As a DVD player the machine provides very good quality and equally when recording to the hard drive. However, your storage capacity is affected by the recording quallity you choose. If using fine or SP mode then you won't be storing masses of video on the drive but still more than enough for normal recording situations. I prefer to use the lesser quality LP mode which enables you to store a heck of a lot of recordings!
The menu systems can be confusing at some times but by using the manual you can get the machine to do dam near anything you want it to. One gripe is the time it takes to copy from HDD to a DVD using fine mode, it records at real time speed!
Once you record TV shows or home movies to this unit's big 80GB hard drive, you've got great editing and playback options: Store programs and keep them indefinitely. Delete them after viewing to free up disc space. Edit your home movies and set up menus, wallpaper, and playlists. Or, you can burn content to DVD at high speed. Disc Backup even lets you make a direct file transfer of a home-movie DVD to the unit's hard drive, and from that make perfect copies of your original DVD for all of your family and friends - at blazing speed. The amazing Chase Play feature lets you watch your favorite TV show from the beginning after you've already begun recording it. The DVR-520-S also features full-motion thumbnails with sound and a built-in TV tuner, and plays DVDs, CDs, MP3s, and WMAs.