JVC DVD Recorder DR-MH50S 

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Having recently reviewed another such unit I immediately knew the difference between entry level and deluxe models, you do pay extra but you get so much more.

You notice the things you did not have immediately, then you realise other goodies that your did not even think about. Basically this is a DVD and Hard Disc recorder and player. On the DVD side it can record to DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD RAM discs. However I am sure most people will record in the first place to hard disc. This means that you can view and should you wish to keep it you can then dub it to DVD. With care you can even remove the adverts. It will of course play these and lots of other formats as well as various types of CD's. Full specs at

There are four recording modes 'XP', 'SP', 'LP' and 'EP', should you own a video recorder you are probably used to 'SP' and 'LP' modes. In round terms a DVD disc can record between 1 and 6 hours dependant on mode with 'XP' being 1 hour. There is a difference in quality but all but 'EP' gave perfectly acceptable results and I would say that 'SP' was as good as most bought pre recorded DVD's.

The 250GB hard disc can store between 53 and 328 hours or programs dependant on the mode chosen. There is a 96 page instruction book and while basic recording and playback are extremely easy should you wish to do some of the units more exotic functions a read will be required.

There are two basic ways to setup the unit to record a program unattended. First you could set the day, time, length and channel much like other DVD or videos and second a method that has been around for a while on better video recorders called Video Plus where you enter in a numeric string. You can then check this was correct as it will then show the program time etc.

As the unit has two SCART sockets both in/out there is no reason why you cannot record all your old videos to DVD/HD this is especially useful for those unrepeatable moments. While I have no doubt that DVD will be replaced by another recording method sometime, DVD's certainly have - properly stored - a far longer life than a video tape.

This is a very slim unit at 43x35x5.5cm with cables inserted so no further space behind is required. The unit comes with a recording on the hard disc this is about 12 minutes and covers an awful lot of what the unit can do certainly worth viewing at least once.

Setup is simple and straightforward plug it in, attach an aerial and a SCART lead between it and the TV. It will autotune and even place channels in the expected order. Should you wish it is then possible to fine tune manually but the 'auto' did an excellent job for me.

While there are units out there that have video/DVD/hard disc they are naturally somewhat larger and any recorded videos always play better on the unit they were recorded on, as this has SCART input as well as output you can rerecord to the DR-MH50S from your video recorder.

Finding the exact model is not easy

seems very similar at £399 and I found the DR-MH20 same but with a 80GB hard disc for £239.88 and the DR-MH30 with 160GB hard disc for £306.88 both at digital direct

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Comment by Troubo6408, Oct 21, 2009 7:36

I think I have described my satisfaction with this type of video in my previous reaction. But once again - I have been satisfied with this video type but now I have a big problem (video broken down) and I need help as described below. Is somebody able to help me?   

Comment by Troubo6408, Oct 20, 2009 8:15

I was very satisfied with my recorder - type DR-MH50S (2 years operation without serious problems). But last month it broke down - no response from hard drive after "loading". Only the DVD disc drive works. What should I do? Exists some "boot disc" for this type of video-recorder? Or should I visit a service?

Comment by abby, Dec 4, 2006 11:55

Having been given a JVC DR-MH50S for my birthday in August. I found this to be a fantastic machine to operate for an old lady. However, on 2nd December 2006 in exploded with a loud band and a nasty smell. My son had one and his did the same after five months. Has anyone else had the same problem

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