I just got a really good deal, $169 after rebates from Circuit City on a Lite On standalone DVD recorder (LVW-5001) & so far it's easy to use and works well. My only problem with it is its instruction book- where do they find these morons who write them? In any case, maybe somebody who has an HD TV and a DVD recorder can help me out on this question: One can record at 16:9 aspect, 4:3 letterbox aspect or 4:3 pan and scan aspect.
For an HD TV broadcast I obviously want to record at 16:9 but for a non HD broadcast what should I record under if I'm playing this back on my HD TV? Same thing with regular video or 8mll camcord recordings?

Can someone also explain to me why DVD+RW recordings on this recorder don't need to be formatted to play on other DVD players but DVD+R recordings do need to be formatted. Thanks any help appreciated.

PS It appears that this does record 5.1 sound contrary to postings saying that stand alone systems don't. I'm still using my computer DVD burner & DVD shrink to copy DVD's from DVD's but will be using this recorder to copy TV shows and make DVD's out of my VHS and 8mm tapes.