JVC invented the VHS video format nearly three decades ago. This has given a lot of companies, a lot of time, to come up with fantastic products to make use of the format. It is the most wildly used video source in the world today, and has been for so long tha bottom end video recorders are now being made with astonishing results. So why, you may ask, are top brand names, like Sony, still making so many different models? Is it still worth forking out the extra cas for a top end product? What you are getting extra for the money are features, and this video recorder has a load of them. As anyone from Sony will tell you, "perfect pause, multispeed play back, LP and EP modes, multidirectionel jog and TV control from your VCR remote are a must", bu they aren't. What are 'a must' though are a few lesser known features, such as OPC and Trilogic. These are simply tape management and pictures enhancing tools that sony have created and made almost perfect of many years. Between them you can create a picture quality equal to that of pre-recorded tapes, and keep it - even after repeat viewing. Perhaps more importantly, you get the strongest drive mechanism that I have ever seen - it'll take a proper beating! The 865 also comes with extras such as optionel warning buzzer, a guide lamp to tell you when it is safe to record, and variable output frequency (for people who still use RF). With four different formats of recordable DVD just around the corner (one of them has to get it right) this machine is a waste of time for an upgrade. I would strictly recommend it only for purchase if it were to replace a broken machine. However, that said, VCRs are dropping in price all the time, so don't be afraid to grab a bargain - you could see this model for well under £200!