I'm very new to DVD recorders. I keep getting conflicting answers from sales people and would once and for all like to get some straight answers. For example, at Radio Shack somebody just told me that I must have a hard drive (or a Tivo type unit) with my DVD recorder in order to record programs from the television on to a DVD. He claimed that DVD recorders werent fast enough to keep up with recording live yet. This contradicts everything I have read about them but he seemed pretty convinced. Also, I have not been able to get an answer (including two posts here) on whether recording one channel while watching another is possible if you get your cable through a digital cable box. I really would like a DVD recorder but don't want to spend $400 on one and realize it can't do anything I want it to do. I want a DVD recorder that is able to convert all my VHS to DVD (this I know all of them can do) and also be able to record television programs off the TV, preferably with the option of being able to watch a totally different channel. So I guess my questions are: 1) Do I need a hard drive to record TV programs to DVD? 2) If not, what are the benefits of a hard drive besides being able to store the program before you put to a DVD (if that is what is desired)? 3) How (or is) is possible to record one program while watching another if I get my channels from a cable box? 4) Also can anybody reccommend any good DVD recorders based on what I posted about? I would greatly appreciate any help I can get, as I am very frustrated!