Hitachi DV-RX7000A review: Hitachi DV-RX7000A

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The Good Can read Hitachi DVD-camera discs natively.

The Bad Expensive compared to the entry-level competition. Slow to initialise playback. Poor OSD.

The Bottom Line Hitachi's DV-RX7000A would have been a more compelling recorder twelve months ago, but up against the current crop of recorders, even in the entry level space, it ends up just being an average player.

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Design
The DV-RX7000A employs a relatively unobtrusive front design, with very minimalist buttons and a central tray and LED display. A drop down panel reveals a set of front AV ports, while at the back you'll find all the other ports the DV-RX7000A supports. Physically it's an average sized player at 430 x 272 x 69mm and 3.7kg. The same minimalist design ethic carries through to the bundled remote, which is solidly large and initially a bit intimidating. Of particular note, however, is that somebody at Hitachi must have a sense of humour, as the remote features a button labelled as 'Any Key". Aside from the regular controls you'd expect on a normal DVD player, the recording functions are plunked at the bottom of the remote. If you're an incurable button twiddler, this can be a bit dangerous, as we discovered by accidentally recording some daytime TV in the middle of testing.

Features
The DV-RX7000A sits in the DVD minus camp, meaning it's a player that will record to DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM only, in a very familiar fashion to players like the Panasonic DMR-E55. That's a particularly apt player to compare the DV-RX7000A to, actually, as the feature set between the two is essentially identical -- but the DMR-E55 will set you back around AU$150 less than the DV-RX7000A.

With DVD-RAM support you do get the benefits of many thousands of rewrite cycles, along with a potential for twelve hours of recording time, if you're using double sided 9.4GB DVD-RAM discs. On more standard (and much more easily obtained) DVD-R/RW media, you can select from four recording quality modes. At its highest setting, XP, you'll get the standard 1 hour to a single sided disc, while SP, LP and EP will give you two, four and six hours respectively, albeit with a solid loss of quality as you increase the recording time.

The DV-RX7000A will allow you to perform chase play -- that's replaying earlier sections of a recording while continuing to record "live" TV. Of note if you're a user with a Hitachi DVD Camera is the manufacturer's claim that it'll read from 8cm DVD-R discs, even unfinalised ones, which could make it a useful companion tool for some quick and dirty video editing on the fly. Lacking in a suitable Hitachi DVD camera, we were unable to test this functionality, however.

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Where to Buy

Hitachi DV-RX7000A

Part Number: CNETHitachi DV-RX7000A

Typical Price: $799.00

See manufacturer website for availability.