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Sony RDRHXD870

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

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury

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.