Conclusion: While most of us still use a tape-based VCRs for time-shifting our favorite programs, others have opted for hard drive-based products such as TIVO and Replay. These products work well, but limit the portability offered by the DVD format. Sony's new RDR-GX7 DVD recorder supports several DVD formats (DVD±RW and DVD-R) and can capture all of the old video footage you've been waiting to archive on digital media.
Excerpt: If you're like me, you're sick and tired of format wars. When will these companies learn that having to choose between formats only leads to consumer frustration and, sometimes, outright rebellion? Perhaps this is why DVD-Audio and SACD have not taken off like their proponents might have wished. And perhaps this is why several companies have introduced universal players that will play both formats in addition to DVD-Video and good ol' CD.
Summary: I've been holding off on buying a DVD Recorder this year, as they're still in that "early adopter" stage and have a few bugs to work out. However, when I saw that Future Shop dropped the price of this unit from $1299 CDN to $999, I had to pick it up for an evaluation. (Thank goodness for their 30-day no-questions-asked return policy!) Before buying, I asked the salesperson if the unit played MP3 discs, since that capability wasn't shown on the display.
Pros: - Records on 3 out of the 4 popular consumer formats (-R/RW, +RW; I don't consider DVD-RAM to be a "popular" consumer format), - The first Sony progressive DVD player that does NOT have the chroma upsampling error!!, - Excellent de-interlacer; able to handle the bad-edit problems in TV series that are shot on film.
Cons: - No +R recording support., - No +VR support on +RW discs. (ie. You can't perform advanced editing features such as adding chapters), - No MP3 playback., - Resume feature is very limited (once the disc is ejected, the resume memory is lost), - "Play" on-screen-display is shown whenever a layer-change happens - very annoying!, - Sync-Record doesn't seem to work with Bell ExpressVu receivers.
Summary: This is my short term solution until I buy my CoCoon in Japan where the DVD Recorder, Harddrive and network capabilities are intertwined into one system. It is worth the value if you want to make all of your VCR tapes into DVDs (watch out for copy protected VCR tapes) and make your family DV tapes in to DVDs as well.
Pros: Multifacet DVD Writer (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW) capacity no DVD+R or DVD-RAM writable functionality. Able to interface with Satellite system flawlessly (Sony DP1) and use the Enhanced Programming Guide to schedule recordings. Erases DVD-R programs prior to finalization, which is great since you could use a DVD-R like a DVD-RW - just do not finalize the disk.
Cons: i-Link is great for DV recorders (works well with my Sony DV) but will not interface with Sony VAIO system to record a DVD off of the hard drive or the DVD drive.