Last year it was all about DVD recorders, this year the more advanced hard drive combis are winning favour. These units will change the way you watch television -- the hard drives are scratch discs to which live television is recorded, so you can pause or rewind at any time. You can also record everything in high quality and downsample to DVD for keeps -- all handled by the units themselves.
Toshiba's RD-XS34 is the machine of choice for recording fans. Its interface is easy to use, the recording options are plentiful to the point of being extreme, and its AV performance is second to none. And this is all while staying under £300 online. A bargain, we say!
The older kids on the block are the Pioneer DVR-520H and Philips' HDRW720. Of the two, Pioneer's box is better designed -- its editing features are as good as ever and the AV performance is pure gold. The Philips HDRW720 is decent enough, but it's limited by the fact that DVD recording can only be made from hard drive footage, as opposed to on the fly.
Lastly, the JVC DR-MV1 offers DVD and VCR Recording in one, which will be very attractive to the many people out there still with piles of tapes. However, it's let down by some poor implementation from JVC.