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DVRs

Sony RDRHXD870

The Sony RDRHXD870 appears to offer an impressive range of features -- including 1080p upscaling and a USB port -- for an attractive price.

Upside
The Sony RDRHXD870 (add a 'B' for the black version) is a 160GB DVD recorder with an on-board tuner. Sony claims the recorder is able to keep up to 455 hours of programs on its hard-disk, though this would be too low quality to watch on a large flatscreen. For added quality, Sony offers an HQ+ Recording mode which, it says, enables you to "relive those special TV moments as if they have just happened".

There is also support for most DVD formats, including dual layer discs, and while it appears that there's no DVD-RAM recording, it will playback pre-recorded DVD-RAM discs. For people with a large library of DVDs, the player will upscale these to 1080p.

The RDRHXD870 is also compatible with HDMI 1.3, which means you should be able to control it via a Sony TV remote. Speaking of ports, the player also comes with a USB port which means JPEGs can viewed from your digital camera and unencrypted MP3s played back from your favourite player.

Downside
The tuner is an SD model only but, to be fair, there are still no DVD-recorders on the market with an HD tuner. And the HQ+ mode is only available for HDD and won't translate to DVD.

Outlook
Coming in at an affordable price point, the RDRHXD870 appears to offer an impressive range of features. Until Blu-ray recorders hit the market, a device like this is one of the few options for archiving TV recordings and home movies.

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