In an attempt to find the perfect recorder I purchased the DVR-520H so that I could do a head-to-head comparison with the JVC DR-MH30S. A couple notes about my testing: I receive television via a satellite decoder. The decoder is connected to both recorders via s-video. For picture quality comparison, I used the satellites IPG (Interactive Programming Guide) for a static image. Using actual television programming for picture quality testing is difficult since there are compression artefacts introduced by the satellite decoder, so I have only used the IPG for my PQ tests. Also, all PQ comparisons were done on a computer (HS dub) with a 22 monitor. I concentrated on SP mode for PQ comparisons (although I tried higher compression modes) since this is probably the most popular mode and the one that I will probably use most. JVC DR-MH30S Picture Quality: Excellent. Compression artefacts are very subtle and barely noticeable. The colour is brighter than the pioneer. The 6h recorder mode was rather good (for 6h mode). 6h mode produced a more pleasing soft image rather than a blocky image. Recording: During recording, you are actually watching the playback from the HDD instead of the live feed. So if you are watching a program while recording it, you are stuck with watching it at the quality you selected for recording. Not really a problem in my opinion, but I thought I would mention it since most recorders play the live feed while recording. Dubbing: No HS (high speed) dubbing of any edited content or playlists. Also, you cannot watch ANYTHING during the dubbing (HS or realtime) process (not recorded shows, or live TV), just the dubbing progress bar. However, performing an SP->SP realtime dub still seemed to exhibit fewer compression artefacts than an original recording on the Pioneer (must confirm with more testing). Chapter marks seem to be preserved during HS and realtime dubbing. However, I cannot seem to get auto-chaptering to work (good if you are feeling lazy). Editing: Playlists Nuff said. Seriously, it has playlist editing which pretty much supersedes any other editing capabilities. It also has a Title Divide function which is really superfluous given that it supports playlists (I supposed if you wanted to delete half of a recording to free up disk space). Curiously an a-b erase (for originals) is missing. Also, you can place chapter marks during playback with a simple button press. Unfortunately, edits are not frame accurate. They are frame accurate on the HDD, but once dubbed, they are approximate. User Interface: The UI is easy to use but it is intrusive. Virtually everything is accessed by opaque menus which cover the entire screen. During the dubbing process you cannot watch anything else (same with finalizing). Some menus (disc navigation) provide a small inset of the current broadcast in the corner. Also, there is less customization. There are just 4 picture quality presets (normal, cinema, sharp, and soft). Also, you cannot adjust the auto-chaptering interval (I could not get auto chaptering to work at all). Pioneer DVR-520H I have not had the Pioneer as long so I have not had time to fully explore it. Picture Quality: Not as good as the JVC. There are noticeable compression artefacts surrounding the IPG text. The colour seems a little richer than the JVC. Lower quality modes are not as good as their JVC counterparts. Dubbing: HS dubbing of almost anything (including edited content). You can continue to watch TV during HS dubbing, but during realtime dubbing, the content being dubbed is displayed (so you can at least watch what your dubbing). Editing: HDD editing includes a-b erase, title divide and chapter editing. Also, there is more editing that can be done in the copy list (such as combine title). I have not yet tested chapter editing and under what circumstances chapter marks are preserved during dubbing. User Interface: The user interface is very nice. Many of the menus are translucent so that you can continue to view a program while navigating. There is also greater customization available. There are 3 customizable picture quality setting that allow you to change the properties such as white level, black level, and hue. The available title menu themes used for finalizing video discs are much nicer than the JVC title menus. Conclusion JVC has better picture quality (when scrutinized on a PC monitor) and it has a large hard drive. The Pioneer has a superior UI and better editing (considering you can HS dub edited content) Considering that you can get the same recording time on the JVC in XP mode as the Pioneer in SP mode and that real time SP dubs of JVC XP recordings will most certainly be superior to HS dubs of SP content on the Pioneer, the JVC is probably in the lead.