Summary: We got this a couple years ago. I started out buying a DVD recorder. I messed around with it for about a day. I learned that it recorded in dvd- format and couldn't be played on some of the dvd players in my house. I returned that dvd recorder. I bought another dvd recorder that used dvd+ format. Worked great on my dvd players, but I realized that I would be constantly changing dvds, labeling them, trying to find them etc. so, I returned that one.
Summary: Very pleased with the Recorder. Easy to set up and use, really convenient recording to hard drive rather than tapes. Only negatives are (a) menus are hard to read because they're in grey font, and (b) the instruction book isn't easy to follow. Still, after a little effort, the menus are intuitive.
Summary: I was looking for a quality DVR and came across this one. I've had it for a couple of months now. The quality is excellent! It works great. As some others have mentioned - the remote and menus can be somewhat confusing. But once you've used it a few times, it is fairly easy to master. If you're looking for a quality DVR (I haven't burned any DVDs yet), you can't go wrong with the Poineer DVR-640H-S. High quality and good price.
Summary: I'm pleased with the Pioneer DVR-640H-S so far (after one month). I use it more as a VCR replacement/DVD player combination than a DVD recorder. Regarding recording to hard drive it's a great improvement over a VCR: no more making sure the tape has enough room, or that it doesn't have something you want to keep, or where the recording will begin on the tape, etc. The option to burn cable movies to DVD is there, but that's not for me.
Summary: This is my first DVR/HDD, so I don't have any comparative knowledge. I did price shop this pretty thoroughly, and I don't think the price can be beat. I don't use Tivo or any other subscription service. Programming is easy with 3 different ways to program. The complaints I have, I have already seen in other reviews: There seems to be a software error. When you program the name of a show, it does not retain it in the programs list.
Summary: I've had my Pioneer DVR-640H-S for a few weeks now, and since it's the first DVR I've ever owned, it's hard to compare. I will say this: it's fairly easy to operate and does a pretty good job recording off the air. (I recorded from VHS tape once and that went well also.) The primary reason I bought mine was to record off Hi Def channels.