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The new range of SONY HDD/DVD recorders opens up new ways of accessing and enjoying not just television but photographs, music and personal video. Hard disk drive (HDD) recording gives you enormous control over your viewing. Live TV can be paused and resumed, even when you are recording, and you can record live TV at the same time as watching a previously stored program. Advances in the compression technology used in this range of HDD/DVD recorders have significantly boosted capacity too, up to a massive 1420 hours for the 500GB models (RDR-HXD1070). Even the 160GB models (RDR-HX650, HX750 and RDR-HXD870) can store up to 455 hours of standard definition TV.
Film fans with large screen televisions can benefit from HQ+, a high bit-rate recording mode which greatly reduces noise distortion especially during fast motion scenes. Even though HQ+ requires more disk space, 73 hours (about 36 feature films) can be recorded on the 500GB models and 23 hours (11 films) on the 160GB models.
Alongside this HQ+ recording mode, range of HDD/DVD recorders offer owners of HD and Full HD capable televisions a chance to experience greatly enhanced picture quality while viewing standard definition (SD) content. Sony Precision Cinema Progressive technology uses proprietary algorithms to upscale the picture resolution from the original 576i to 720p, 1080i or even 1080p. The result is brilliant clarity and realism with greatly reduced flicker.
Sony’s 2007 range of HDD/DVD recorders goes well beyond simply recording TV. In fact each has the potential to become a digital content hub in the living room. The wealth of inputs on offer makes it an easy matter to connect digital cameras, Handycam with a DV output and USB flash drives, so you can build up libraries of photos, personal video and music on the hard drive. Multi-format DVD support means that content can be copied from and written onto DVD±R/±RW and ±R(DL) media. It also plays back DVD-Video, Video CD, Super Video CD, DVD-RAM, CD-DA, CD-ROM (JPEG and MP3 files).
You can view pictures and video directly on the TV screen and listen to music via the TV or other connected audio equipment, or even print your photos directly using a PictBridge-compatible printer.
Music recorded to hard disk drive from audio CDs or USB flash drives can be played jukebox-style via the TV screen, and you can create slideshows of your pictures with a soundtrack of your choice.
Another reason why the new HDD/DVD recorders fit so comfortably at the centre of the digital living room is that they feature the BRAVIA Theatre Sync function. This uses HDMI to let you control a home theatre setup using a single button on a single remote instead of having to switch on and select inputs on several devices one after another. So all you need to do is press Play or Guide for example on the recorder’s remote, and the TV switches on and selects the recorder as the primary input. When you’re done, turning off the TV with its remote will automatically shut down the HDD/DVD recorder itself and any other components of your setup connected to it by HDMI.
Within the range of HDD/DVD recorders, the HX-models feature a standard analogue tuner while the HXD-models also have an integrated DVB-T digital tuner. This means you can watch and record free-to-air digital broadcast TV, and optionally even more channels in countries where they are available using its Common Interface slot which enables access to some PayTV services.
“The new HDD/DVD recorders show what can be done when you think in terms of digital media rather than television alone,” says Hiro Shinohara, Director of Home Video Group, Sony Europe. “Its great strength is that it can do so much, which lets people discover how easy it is to get the most from their digital cameras and music as well as their televisions.”