I don’t know anyone that uses a VCR anymore to tape television programming or other content for later viewing anymore. There are a plethora of personal video recorder (PVR) solutions out there for you to choose from, including those that store the content onto blank DVDs, onto an on-board hard drive, or — in the case of the Sandisk V-Mate video recorder — onto your choice of memory card. This handy little unit, reviewed by Reg Hardware, looks like a garden variety card reader (which is also how it can function as when connected to a PC via USB), but where it shines is when you connect it to an AV device and let it record vids directly onto your choice of SD, MMC, and Memory Stick PRO cards. It does not play nice with CompactFlash cards, unfortunately.
You can either record “on the spot” or set up a timer for recording at a later time. Video bitrate and dimension can be set to best fit your preferences, the latter of which ranges from 640 x 480 VGA on the high end, right down to 176 x 144 on the low end. The smaller vids (all are encoded in MPEG-4) work great on compatible cell phones, and they’ve got pre-defined templates for the PSP and Nintendo Wii.
In the end, Reg Hardware says that the Sandisk V-Mate memory card video recorder is not without its quirks, but it’s got plenty going for it, making the device that easily “allows the average user to take control and create their own content to watch on mobile phones.” Rated 90%, it retails for £60 (US$120).