I haven't posted on this forum for quite a while, forgot my user name etc but now I'm off and running again! I've got a Toppy 5000, have had a good run with it to date (probaly had it 3 years or so) but have found like a lot of users that the 160 GB hard drive fills up all too quickly...
To cut to the chase, a friendly chap at Clive Peeters sugested that I could use a LG DVD recorder ...
A lot of questions I know but it has been a while
As others have indicated, playing back your files while recording them to DVD is a good option rather than transferring, demuxing, editing and burning; you can do a rough edit on the Toppy if you have to have the advert's out. Again, definitely look at the DVD-R having an S-video input so that you can use this - it will give you a better picture. The picture quality will be around SD broadcast standard on a DVD if you don't try putting too much information onto one disk.
Another thing to look for in your DVD-R device is whether it plays DivX files (handy) and, more importantly, if it can do Average Bit Rate recordings. Without getting too technical about how it does it, this feature allows you to specify the amount of time you record to your DVD. For Top Gear, eg, at about 45 mins in length, I would forgo a little quality and get three episodes onto one disc rather than two by specifying a recording time of 136 mins and letting the unit calculate the required bit rate. The quality difference is barely noticeable but the reduction in library space and time taken to record things is well worth it (you can set it to record three programmes while you are out at work or sleeping or something and finalise the disc when you return.) I got a Panasonic DVD-R/VHS machine and it does all this and more for around $350 or so; I am a little leery of LG equipment - it is ok, but not up to Panasonic standards. Personal choice. ;-)
Switching the disk in your Toppy is easily done and afterwards you can, as one of the Ps mentioned, copy the files from the old disk to your PC if you wish and/or keep it as a backup for a short time. You will need a PATA disk (Parallel ATA) or a SATA (Serial) with a converter and put the converter in the unit as well. If you have a straight 5000 there may not be enough room for the latter so look for a PATA disk (but these are no longer very common.) If you have a 5000MP (like I have) there should be enough room for a converter as well as the disk. I upgraded my Toppy's disk to a WD 500GB (more than enough!) earlier this year, hence the info. You won't be able to connect an external 1TB drive to the 5000, though, alas - that would be too easy
It is an easy job to just switch the disk but it is worth looking at upgrading the power supply components at the same time - it may enhance the life of the unit with a slightly bigger, potentially more thirsty disk inside it. As mentioned, there is a thread dedicated to these upgrades and how to do them - it is a few capacitors and other motherboard components. If you are good with a soldering iron, you can do the whole lot yourself; alternatively, do the disk yourself and find a friend who can do the soldering. The PSU component upgrades are not essential and there are no guarantees with or without them, but you may want to do them as well.
Good luck with the whole thing.