Advantages Does far more than you might expect
Disadvantages No High Definition support
|Look & Design|
|Value for Money|
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In spite of these drawbacks, I still find it an immensely useful piece of kit.The model has now been superseded, but there seems to be plenty of these available online, and at a substantial discount from the original £500 price tag.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!)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,
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.
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.
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 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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