A Buying Guide for Used Hard Drive (HDD) Recorders

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A Buying Guide for Used Hard Drive (HDD) Recorders

Hard Drive (HDD) recorders are useful pieces of audio-visual equipment onto which TV programmes and other data can be recorded and stored. HDD recorders are usually sold as part of combination units and are integrated into set-top boxes or DVD players. These products need to be connected to a display screen in order to play back recorded programmes. An HDD recorder is capable of storing more data than a standard VHS or DVD recorder so may be a suitable option for people who record a lot of television programmes to watch at a later date or to keep so that they can re-watch them. It is possible to buy used Hard Drive (HDD) Recorders, which are often cheaper than new models.

Choosing Used Hard Drive (HDD) Recorders

There are two main types of Hard Drive (HDD) recorder available, but different models of Hard Drive (HDD) recorder also have different features, so it's essential to work out exactly what type would be most appropriate and what features will be required before shopping. Used Hard Drive recorders can be found at a wide range of prices and in various conditions, so compare different offers in order to get a good deal.

Types of Hard Drive (HDD) Recorder

Hard Drive (HDD) recorders are usually integrated into one of two types of audio-visual products - set-top boxes and DVD recorders. The table below provides information about each of these combination units.

Set-Top Boxes with HDD Recorders

Set-top boxes are used to receive digital television signals for free-to-view and paid television stations. Some set-top boxes have integrated hard drives so that programmes can be recorded and stored on the box itself rather than on a connected DVD recorder or video recorder.

DVD Recorders with HDD Recorders

DVD recorders are designed to play DVDs and record information onto blank DVDs. Some DVD recorders also have in-built hard drives so that TV programmes can be recorded onto and stored on hard drive rather than onto a blank DVD.

Hard Drive Capacity

Different models of HDD recorder have hard drives with different capacities, so it's important to check the capacity of each model being considered before making a decision about which product to buy. It's possible to buy Hard Drive recorders that can store everything from 80GB to 1000GB of data.

Maximum Resolution

The quality of the image played back by an HDD recorder depends upon the resolution of the images recorded. The higher the resolution in which the image is played, the sharper and clearer the image will be. Different models can record and play back images in different resolutions. Screen resolutions are usually shown as a number followed by a 'p' or an 'i'. The number refers to the vertical resolution. The letter 'p' stands for progressive scan, or non-interlaced video, whereas the letter 'i' refers to interlaced video. Progressive scan images are of a higher quality than interlaced video images and can be supported by HDTVs. It is possible to find used HDD recorders capable of playing images in progressive scan resolutions from 480p up to 1080p, with higher numbers indicating better quality images. Check the details of any used HDD recorder being considered carefully to ensure that it is capable of playing recorded videos in the resolution required.

Hard Drive (HDD) Recorder Features

When buying a used Hard Drive (HDD) recorder, it's important to research the different features available and decide which will be necessary, as the features included vary from model to model. The table that follows details some of the main features that can be found on HDD recorders.

USB Input

Some models of Hard Drive (HDD) recorder have USB ports. It is possible to play MP3 files or view pictures stored on a USB memory stick on a model with a USB port when the HDD recorder is connected to a display screen.


Many models of HDD recorder have a timeshift function, which means that it is possible to rewind and watch a programme from the beginning while it is still recording.

Progressive Scan

Some models of HDD recorder can play back images using progressive scan technology, giving the user a high quality digital image.

Memory Card Reader

It is possible to buy used HDD recorders which have memory card readers, enabling images stored on memory cards to be viewed simply by slotting the memory card into the recorder.

Multi-Language Menu

Some models of HDD recorder can display on-screen menus in a variety of different languages.


When looking for a used Hard Drive (HDD) recorder, it's worth checking each product description to see whether or not the HDD recorder being described comes with any accessories. The table below provides details of some of the main accessories available.


A used Hard Drive (HDD) recorder may come with an instruction manual, detailing how to set the recorder up and operate it. If any HDD recorder being considered does not come with an instruction manual, check to see if a manual for that model is easily available from the manufacturer or online.

Power Cable

An HDD recorder needs to be connected to the mains by a power cable. When buying a used model, check the product description to see whether or not a power cable is included. If it is not included, it will be necessary to buy one separately.

Remote Control

Some Hard Drive recorders can be operated from a short distance away using a remote control. When searching for a used HDD recorder, check the product description of any model being considered to see whether a remote control is included.


When looking for a suitable used Hard Drive recorder, it's important to remember that people sell used products that are in different conditions. Some HDD recorders are advertised as being 'as new' while others may have some minor cosmetic damage, or have damage from general wear and tear. Some people also sell non-functioning HDD recorders enabling buyers to either restore them to working order or use them for parts. Before buying a used HDD recorder, check the product details to see what condition it is in.

Find Used Hard Drive (HDD) Recorders on eBay

In order to find used Hard Drive (HDD) recorders on eBay, visit the eBay homepage. Select Shop by Category and then click on See all categories,, followed by Sound & Vision.. Choose DVD, Blu-ray and Home Cinema from the categories listed on the left-hand side of the page and then select Hard Drive (HDD) recorders. Scroll down the page to find the Condition category on the left-hand side and check the box marked Used.. Then, either scroll through the products shown to find suitable options or narrow down the search further by using the check-boxes on the left-hand side of the page. It is also possible to use the search box at the top of the page to perform searches based on appropriate keywords, such as 'Used HDD recorder progressive scan'.


Used Hard Drive (HDD) recorders are available at a wide range of price points, so it is possible to get a good deal. Different models have different features and levels of functionality, and it is also important to check product descriptions to ensure that any used HDD recorder being in considered is in a suitable condition. However, by carrying out careful research into the products available and sellers providing them, finding a used Hard Drive recorder with the right features, in the condition required, and within budget should be easy.

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