Although it almost goes without saying, most of the coverage and how-tos on this site cover digital video recorders and not DVD recorders. Over the last few years I've received questions as to why DVD recorders are no longer covered here even though they're considered a part of the coverage.
Simply, DVD recorders have all but disappeared. While you can still find several models available on the internet and possibly in local stores, the use of the device has given way to digital video recorders for TV and movies and to phones and online or hard drive storage for home videos. Gone are the days of connecting your camcorder to a DVD recorder and making copies of your memories for family and friends. Now, people either manually or automatically send videos to their PCs, do a little editing and then store them locally or in the cloud.
If you do want to share your home videos with your friends and family what are your options? Of course you can still use your PC and burn DVDs all day. Most if not all laptops and desktops come with a DVD burner and that will most likely always be an option, at least until we have 100% broadband penetration and everyone in the country and quickly send videos to others. You'll of course have to spend the money on buying writable DVDs and typically once you burn a video to a DVD you'll finalize the disk and be unable to use it for anything else.
If you've decided that DVDs are no longer for you, you're in luck. There are a lot of options for not only storing your memories but for sharing them as well. From social networks to online cloud storage, the options today are almost limitless. Here we'll take a look at a few of the options you have when it comes to preserving your home videos.
If you're like millions of others, you probably have a Facebook account. While most people know that you can upload and share videos with your friends and others, you may not be aware that Facebook is also storing these videos for you. As long as you maintain your account they'll be safe and sound on Facebook's servers, ready to view at any time.
Google Plus offers similar services and adds the ability to easily NOT share you videos. Unless you post them to your timeline, no one else will ever see them. I currently use Google Plus to automatically save pictures that I take on my phone. Every shot I snap is automatically uploaded to the service. I've set my defaults to not share these pictures so that I can pick and choose which ones others see but you have the option to share them automatically.
If you're not interested in social networks and only want to store your content, a cloud storage service might be a better option for you. From full backup solutions to individual file uploads, there's something for everyone. A service such as Drop Box allows you not only to upload pictures and videos to different folders but will provide you with direct download links that you can share with those that you want to show you content to. No one else can view these files and they're secure on the service's servers until you're ready to view them again.
Most cloud solutions will provide you with these links. Gone are the days of trying to attach a video file to an email and hoping that it makes it through. Now you simply email the link to your friends or family and they can view or download the file when it works for them.
One thing to keep in mind when using any of these services is that the storage is out of your control. While backing your files up to an online service is a great idea, you should ideally keep local copies as well. While I doubt that Facebook will disappear anytime soon, you never know when a company will go out of business, shutting down servers and losing your content at the same time. Many legitimate users of Megaupload learned that lesson earlier this year when the US government shut the site down for illegal file sharing issues.
As well, be sure and read the terms of service for any online service you use. You want to make sure that by uploading your content they don't suddenly own it and that you're not granting them the ability to use your content for their own marketing or other reasons. Always protect your data.