The Case of the Disappearing DVD Recorder: Why DVD Recorders are Getting So Hard to Find
In the case of the United States, dvd recorders are disappearing from store shelves. Why is this? The Motion Picture Association and cable providers are notoriously zealous in protecting its intellectual property rights. So HBO and other networks have deployed a copy-protection tool called “record once” which makes it impossible to copy their movies and shows to DVD disks. Instead you can copy them to HDD hard drives. So you cannot offload these content on DVD disks to build up a library of movies and shows. This is not an issue in other countries as cable providers there do not use this technology. People who have bought DVD recorders and are complaining about this have been losing in the courts when they try to litigate this issue.
Time Warner cable uses this technology which HBO uses it on a rotating, random basis. This is not an issue for Blue-ray disk recorders since those are only available in Japan and a few other countries.
Another obvious reasons for this decline in availability is who wants to watch DVD when Blue-ray is available? Walk into Amazon today and practically all the disks are Blue-ray and as we just said above Blue-ray recorders are not available in the USA except for some JVC models. Manufacturers in Asian are said to be convinced that there is no market for Blue-ray recorders in the USA because of the aforementioned copy-protection schemes and the availability of HD movies over the Internet using Amazon Prime, Apple iTunes, and, of course, Netflix, the market leader in streaming video.
This same line of reasoning would suggest that on-line streaming is another reason why DVD recorders are not popular anymore. Why record a DVD when you can play it at-will if you purchase it at Amazon
Another argument for the decline in availability is complexity. Recording onto VCR tape used to be simply but who understand PAL versus NTSC and all the complexities of the multi-faceted options of the new HDD recorder devices?
The pinnacle of DVD recorder engineering and availability was from 2005 to 2006. After that some manufacturers pulled out of the market altogether. So some consumers have resorted to buyer used machines especially since some of the newer ones are not living up to the older expectations with features some call “clunky” because of the lack of investment and innovation in the market.