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Where to start? Well let me begin as saying this is the best, most used machine in my house. I have this hard disk recorder by Sony around three years now and it get used very single day without fail, if the TV is on this machine is on too. The reason it gets used so much is the fact that it can be used for so many things. This simple yet robust black monsters main use is as a recorder, it has an impressive 500GB of storage, but the best thing about that is that it stretches far further than that.
I know there are media drives that you can buy that have a lot more space than that and even Sky HD have a 1TB box that is double the space of this recorder yet I would rather have this machine hands down. Why? Well the fact that the quality of recording can be adjusted at the touch of a button means I can record at three settings down from their top video quality setting (HQ+) and the resulting picture is amazing, that's three down from the best and the picture is DVD quality. The picture on HQ is just brilliant, it's sharp, vivid, and not at all pixelated.
The fact that this machine can also burn my TV recording directly to a DVD at the touch of a button makes this much better than a 1TB Sky box (which I have by the way) the recordings can be edited, adverts removed (one of the most annoying things about Sky) you can rewind and pause "live TV" set thumbnails, individually title recordings, combine recordings and so much more. This machine also let's me view my photographs on the big screen by connecting my camera to it via the USB slot. The photos can then be saved to the machine and placed into named and dated albums.
Another function that I love and use all the time is the jukebox, this allows the user to burn Cd's on to the drive and listen to them any time they like. There of course is the DVD player, this up scales the already high quality DVDs to 1080p this is said to be full HD but when compared to a blue ray disc you can see the difference (blue ray being the better of the two) however the quality is improved as if you view the same disc on a standard DVD player you can notice the difference.
When it comes to the digital free view tuner the up scaling makes the picture look great as sky broadcasts in 1080i one step down from this in quality. I love the fact that I can hook up my sky HD box to this and view what should be in 1080i in 1080p also the fact that I can transfer recordings from my sky box on to this and then delete them from the sky box means I have more space to spare. Then if I wish I can burn the recording on to a disc and keep that show or movie for ever. This machine also show divx recordings and you can transfer old VHS tapes to DVD or just on to the hard disk. We did this for my christening video and the up scaling made the picture look one hundred times better, plus my mother can now stop worrying that the tape will snap every time it's viewed (which unfortunately is quite often). Now for the bad news, this cost me Euro860 in Dublin over three years ago, but I'm sure if it's still available it won't cost anywhere near that much now.
I can not recommend this Hard Disk Drive Recorder highly enough. But let me put it this way, if it was human, I'd marry it.
Thanks for reading :0) 2night.
I have to say that this is one of my favourite gadget purchases ever. When people ask what's that?
And I tell them what it is, the reply is always the same. "do you not have sky?"
Yes I do have sky but if I had to pick between the two, the Sony would win hands down every time.
Well first of all and most importantly, the memory size is so much bigger than the standard sky hd box
And before anyone points out the obvious that sky now have a 1TB box double the size of this boxes memory this is still the better choice of the two.
Even with the 1TBHD box from sky you can not change the recording quality. With the Sony I find recording at one down from the highest quality on the simple setting HSP makes absolutely NO difference to the picture quality, yet increases the memory space significantly. Far more than can be stored on the 1TB box
One step down again SP and even the next one LSP and it still looks amazing.This of course depends on the quality of the reception you are recording from in the first place. The rule of thumb is : if the picture is crisp when you are watching it then it will not be anything but perfect for the four highest settings, go below that and it will become slightly pixelated but only slightly. Then as you'd expect the quality declines with each descending setting. The lowest setting SEP would only really be of use for recording a digital radio station broadcast, as the picture will be very poor.
That brings me nicely to my favourite thing about the Sony RDR-HXD1095
That because of the SCART connections on the back you could do what I do. I have a sky 1TB box and I transfer anything I would like to keep on to my Sony so to make room for more recording on sky. The if I really like the show, movie , or whatever I can burn it on to a DVD at the touch of a button to keep forever, then I can free up that space on the Sony for future recordings. High speed dubbing makes a huge difference when trying to save time. + if you watch sky through your Sony HDR it upscales it for you, as long as you watch it through the HDMI and why wouldn't you?
Another great thing to use it for is the "other channels" option on sky. At the moment you can not record anything from these channels but with this you can.
The jukebox feature is nice too. With this you can burn your CDs on to the machine and play them whenever you want without having to look for the cd itself. You can watch and store your photos, watch divix movies and much more.
So in my opinion this is well worth the money, it's more than a bog standard DVD recorder and when it's paired up with a quality satellite system it really comes into it's own. And if you manually set it to the HQ+ setting it makes your HD recordings look even better than they did when they where broadcast.
A great buy.