I am looking into buying my first computer. I was intrigued to see that various DVD recording drives are now widely available. I have a novice's question: could I record a movie DVD on one of these DVD recorders and play it back on a regular domestic DVD player wired up to a TV?
Yes, you can copy legally. You are allowed to make a back-up copy but of course you are not allowed to say rent a movie and copy it. That would be illegal. You just need the right software to copy movies.
Not wishing to start yet another interminable discussion on the merits or otherwise of copying, Macrovision is present to prevent people copying the item. If it was intended that the disk could or should be copied, Macrovision or any other copy protection would not be there. By over-riding copy protection you are going on the wrong side of legality.
Any method of over-riding copy protection, easy as it may be, is not legal.
On a general point of whether or not copying of any type of disk is concerned. This depends on the wording of the license agreement made between you and the originator of the disk. This varies between manufacturers and even between products of the same manufacturer. Some licenses say yes you can make a copy, others say no you can't. You have to read the EULA to find out the details and how many people do that? Reading just the first and only one and extending that agreement to all others is not the correct way to do it.