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About me: I'm a miserable old git. I'm ashamed to say it's been a **** very **** long time since I reviewed my "trusts", have sought to rectify this by going through every review I've written in the past couple of years, if you feel hard-done-by, drop me a note.

Member since:31.01.2003

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Quote-start

Excellent, but not high definition

Quote-end
02.01.2008

Advantages:
Does far more than you might expect

Disadvantages:
No High Definition support

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Sound Level

Instructions

Value for Money

Picture QualityExcellent

Look & DesignExcellent

18 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (4%):
  1. fizzytom
very helpful by (96%):
  1. bluejules
  2. Bigbaz
  3. christianfilmcritic
and 21 other members

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Don't let the number confuse you, this is NOT an High Definition recorder (If I'm wrong, then tell me!)

Sony use an alphanumeric convention with their products, RDR-HXD1065 indicates that this is a high-end digital DVD-Hard disk recorder - Having tried for nine months, I've not been able to play or record high definition content on this system.

In spite of these drawbacks, I still find it an immensely useful piece of kit.

The model has now been superseded, but there seems to be plenty of these available online, and at a substantial discount from the original £500 price tag.

The RDR-HXD1065 blurs the distinction between where an 'ordinary' recorder finishes off, and a multimedia PC starts.

It *looks* like a DVD player, and indeed all the control functions present every appearance of this. Buried deep inside is a massive 250Gb hard disk, which SONY claim can hold up to 350 hours of video content (that's fourteen and a half days at 24 hours a day!)

It ALSO acts as a CD/DVD player, offers a bewildering number of connectivity options, as well as providing a means of storing MP3 tracks and JPG pictures.

Other than high definition, the only other formats of any note which are missing are DivX, SACD and support for dual layer DVD+R media. It won't play Sony's own SACD format disks, but that's a bit like saying your VHS video doesn't do Betamax (a technically superior format which the world chose to ignore, in both cases)

If I had to sum up the RDR-HXD1065 - I'd say 'almost sky plus for digital terrestrial'.

You can 'pause' live TV, but only if you happen to be on the channel at the time.

You can 'playback' at 1,3x with sound, so an hour long doccumentary only takes 45 minutes to play back!

The unit sports two UHF connectors, one for analogue, the other for digital. I see virtually no reason for this, other than imagining the analogue tuner could be at the opposite end of the internal circuitry, and a socket is probably cheaper than an internal connection.

There's nothing I can receive on analogue which I can't get on Digital, so I've never tried it - the only benefit of having such a facility is if you can't get digital signals, you can use 'steam' TV, although 2007 saw the first region in the UK switching off the analogue channels.

There's a few SCART and RCA Phono inputs, all of which can be used to link your other kit, S-video, FIREWIRE, and USB,
OUTPUTS include Progressive Scan, HDMI and G-Link (whaterver it is!)

SO much for 'on paper' - what's it like in 'real life'

- Blissfuly easy is the short answer!

The documentation is up to Sony's usual high standards, although most of the features are reasonably intuitive.

It supports up to 40 programmed events, however this includes 'series recording' so Eastenders on BBC1 (for example) is one entry, in spite of several transmissions being broadcast during the week.

The system provides Electronic programme Guide on the digital tuner, so all you have to do is identify the entry on the schedules and select it (either one off, or series).

No such facility exists on Analogue.

The only downside is that you have to find time to watch all the programmes you select!
'Dubbing' allows you to transfer content from the hard drive to DVD or CD (or vice versa) although you wouldn't expect to be able to do this with protected content.

You can download your JPG pictures from digital camera and place the content in galleries, and create 'slide shows' with a number of transition effects and background music, which can either be displayed 'from the box' or dubbed onto DVD.

Were I to be given 'three wishes' on this machine, I'd ask for an Ethernet port to allow this to stream content over a network, but if you're into that then you're well into 'multimedia PC' territory, and strangely enough Sony make precisely those sorts of machines, so don't expect a future model to support this!

All this functionality comes at a small cost, and in this case it's silence.
Compared to a PC, the unit is whisper quiet however there's an internal fan which makes a gentle whirr noise - only detectable if you're in a quiet room and the TV isn't playing.

The 'Firewire' socket allows you to record directly from many digital camcorders to hard disk (and subsequently to DVD) There *are* basic editing features, although the menu structure is pretty basic, and you certainly shouldn't expect 'broadcast quality' editing - if you're heavily into post-production, invest in a 'proper' media editing PC suite!

This is a SERIOUSLY versatile piece of kit, which, given recent price drops, should provide the average home user far more functionality than they'll ever need, and at a decent price.

I happened to acquire one for 'free' when I bought a 46" Sony TV, and so I really shouldn't grumble. Were I aware of the limitations, I might have paid an extra couple of hundred quid for the 'media PC' bundle which was on offer, but that would have been a whole new can of worms!

If someone offers one of these under £350, then bite their hand off!
The other advantage of the unit is that if you already have a pile of SONY kit, the remote controls are compatible.

The unit is pre-programmed to 'region 2' - and in my case that isn't a problem, some retailers offer to 'chip' the unit for an extra £25 HOWEVER consulting GOOGLE this would seem to be a 'soft' upgrade using a proprietary 'universal remote controller' where a 'magic' sequence of keystrokes removes the encoding.

Altogether a hugely versatile machine, and unlikely to disappoint, unless you mistakenly expect High Definition support.
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Comments about this review »

nathaninnit 02.01.2008 17:29

I wouldn't say you're a miserable old git, and your reviews show a lot of promise, but what I would say that it is a shame you don't share your time around Ciao a bit more freely having only given 100 ratings to the near 3000 you've had in return.

mohammadharrisjalil 02.01.2008 10:27

thanks for the information mate --harris :-)

CPTDANIELS 02.01.2008 10:18

Great review. Very interesting

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Sony RDR-HXD1065 is a DVD recorder with 250GB hard disk drive for up to 387 hours of TV recording without the need ...

General

MPN RDRHXD1065S.CEK, RDR-HXD1065
Product Type DVD recorder / HDD recorder with digital TV tuner
Width 43 cm

System

A/V System Recommended Use Home
Parental Lock Yes
Parental Control Type Password

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Review Ratings »

This review of Sony RDR-HXD1065 has been rated:

"exceptional" by (4%):

  1. fizzytom

"very helpful" by (96%):

  1. bluejules
  2. Bigbaz
  3. christianfilmcritic

and 21 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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