DVD recorders as players?

Does anybody see any reason to have separate units for recording and normal playback, or is it fine to do the obvious and use one unit for both tasks (as I suspect it should be, just making sure)? In other words, for playback, does a player have any advantage over recorder being used as a player?
Some DVD player/recorders are better than others at DVD playback. So yes, a player may have an advantage over a player/recorder. The British magazine, What Hi Fi, will do these DVD recorder shoot-outs from time to time and they pay close attention to DVD playback quality. Based on one shoot-out about a year ago, where they claimed that SONY trumped Panasonic and Toshiba due to playback quality, I went with a SONY RDR GX315 ($300 list, now available for $150 in most places). It does DVD recording; DVD playback; and CD playback all very well.

Regards, Rich
Rich, I appreciate your feedback, especially because US online sources I have looked at tend to recommend Pioneer and Panasonic, Sony coming out as just ok.

What kind of re-usable media (-RW, +RW, RAM) can your Sony record to? How are the quality of recording and convenience of programming etc?
Hi, do NOT use your RECORDER AS a PLAYER!
It has been proven time and time again,
that recorders have WEAKER lasers than
players. ALSO, the lasers in recorders do NOT last
as long, because they have to BURN the data to the disc.
They are NOT designed as well as lasers that just play.
ALSO, alot of the specs from recorders are not as good
as the players, something else to think about.
Also think what happens when your recorder doesn`t
want to work, then you have to buy another
recorder. BUT during that time, you can still USE
your dvd player, to play IF you have a seperate
player and recorder.
The SONY records to -/+ RW and not RAM. The Panansonics tend to record to RAM.

The quality of the recordings is very good, but is dependent on the recording speed chosen (not unlike VHS recording). Convenience of recording is average ... not the most intuitive, but straightforward enough. You can view the User's Manual here .

Regards, Rich
Rich, thanks again. One more question though: How do -RW and +RW disks compare in terms of recording quality and convenience? Is one superior to the other or does it not matter?
I had read somewhere that +RW and +R were the way to go in both terms of performance and compatibility with more DVD players ... don't remember why though.

Regards, Rich

In my experience, I don't think it is wise to use your DVD Recorder as your main DVD Player. My reason being is when even playing back regular DVD's on a DVD Recorder, to me, the sound quality coming from my DVD Recorder was not as good as it was when it was coming from my dedicated DVD Player. And also, I noticed that my DVD Recorder tends to be pretty picky when it comes to which DVD's it would like to playback and which ones it doesn't. In my machine, I don't know whether the laser in the recorder is not as strong as the one in my dedicated player, or maybe the laser in my recorder is not as precisely aligned as the one in my dedicated player. But I got my Toshiba RD-XS34 on an incredible deal last year, thinking that I was going to have at least a servicable "one player does it all" machine, and not getting nowhere near that. Yes, it does timeshifting very well (if the TV Guide works half the god damn time), but as a serious player for my home theater system, I am going to say that it's a no go. But also, based on the shootouts that I read in a British periodical from time to time (What Hi-Fi/Sound and Vision), maybe I should've also opted for a Sony just like Rich did, but being that I also wanted a hard disk recorder at the time, and the Sony was too expensive, I settled for the Toshiba at the time. The Sony was the champion in those shootouts. The Sonys tend to excel at playback as well as recording (in one machine), and based on that fact alone, at least now, I know what my next recorder is going to be once the Toshiba gives out.

But I'll leave that up to you, but if it were me, I wouldn't be using my DVD Recorder as a DVD Player.

Just my $.02 worth.