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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed
Having done a lot of research on DVD recorders I decided to go for this one. Other family members had got a previous model of this DVD recorder and had been really pleased with it but I decided to upgrade and go for this model - a big mistake!!

The main issue that I am disappointed with is the recording capacity. I chose a model that I thought would allow me to...
Published on 30 Jan 2010 by 100yoga

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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing, returned for refund
This would be a superb product but for one simple fault! When replaying HDD recordings and time delayed recordings they freeze, skip and jump sometimes as much as 5 to 6 times an hour. Tried retuning, reset, the works live TV is a beautiful upscaled picture and so is playing back DVD's, but all the recordings we have are unwatchable. Returned the first device for a...
Published on 13 Feb 2010 by JackyB


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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing, returned for refund, 13 Feb 2010
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
This would be a superb product but for one simple fault! When replaying HDD recordings and time delayed recordings they freeze, skip and jump sometimes as much as 5 to 6 times an hour. Tried retuning, reset, the works live TV is a beautiful upscaled picture and so is playing back DVD's, but all the recordings we have are unwatchable. Returned the first device for a replacement, but that had the same problem from the outset, returning that for a refund. Contacted Sony support, only got an automated reply, no further response. The Sony website wants you to download new fimware to your PC, burn a CD and reflash the product. But the disclaimer agreement you have to agree to prior to doing this absolves them of any responsibility if an additional fault develops. In a product less than a week old this is simply not acceptable. We expected better of Sony.
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206 of 209 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very, very disappointing..., 7 Mar 2010
By 
G. Anderson "Glen" (Canterbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
I bought this to replace a Sony RDR-HXD560 which had decided to stop playing DVDs. Whilst I wasn't too pleased that the RDR-HXD560 had failed within 3 years of purchase, I was generally pleased with it as a HDD recorder, and hoped that the newer model would share it's user-friendly interface and features, as well as maybe bringing some new ones along to make life easier.

How wrong could I be.

I wish the more recent reviews had been available prior to my purchase - I wouldn't have bought it if they had! I'll try and list all the things I'm not happy with on the machine...

1). Only possible to record direct to the HDD. If you want a copy on DVD you have to then transfer it from the HDD to a DVD afterwards. On the face of it, not too much of a problem as most people would want to edit out the adverts etc, but the real problem is that dubbing is done in real-time and, whilst it's being done, you can't use the recorder for anything else. So, realistically, it has to be set to do it as you leave for work in the morning, or overnight (provided you have nothing to record whilst it's doing so).

2). The electronic programme guide defaults to "guideplus" which is half taken up with adverts. You can choose "freeview+" in the setup, but those less familiar with such things would take an age to find it.

3). As most people are aware, the channel order on freeview is pretty random. I, like I imagine most others, choose to rearrange them into a more convenient order - and to block out the rubbish like QVC, shopping etc. With this unit, as soon as you turn it off, it re-arranges the channels back into their original order! How pointless!

4). When playing DVDs, if you stop part way through a film (to see to the baby, make a cup of tea or whatever) it doesn't remember the place and "resume". You have to start again from the beginning, trawl all the way through the trailers and copyright guff, and remember where you were to start again. Rubbish. Even the 14.99 dvd player I bought from the local supermarket has a "resume" feature!

5). I have had problems with the HDD recordings skipping and freezing. A 2 hour film was reduced to an unwatchable 1hr 50mins. The same problem occured when trying to dub onto a dvd - 1 hour of cartoons filled a dvd without finishing due to the freezing and skipping.

6). Fast-forward and rewind functions are hard to control - the rewind particularly, as it has no 1x function (at least it says 1x, but it jumps back 10 or more seconds at a time. This is particularly annoying when editing a recording prior to copying it to a dvd.

7). It's very slow to power up, and to turn itself off. This is particulary annoying if you turn it off in error - or the baby does - as it takes a lifetime to get going again. Particularly if you're watching a dvd and have to start again from the beginning.

8). When viewing the recorded titles in the title list it plays a clip of both video and sound of whatever title you have highlighted - what's wrong with that? I hear you say... Well, as each title has it's name written down in front of you to read, it seems a bit superfluous. Add to that, most recordings start with a handful of adverts or the tail end of the previous programme, so you just get a snatch of the "go compare" advert or whatever. Highly distracting and, after a while, probably the most annoying feature of the machine. It appears to be impossible to pause or mute this playback and it drove me to distraction.

9). The fan is much noisier than on my earlier sony model.

On the "Plus" side, it gave a good picture - noticeably better with the HDMI cable making use of the 1080p upscaling - but that's about all I can say that was good about it.

I hope this helps anyone considering purchasing one of these machines. I have now returned mine and will be buying an alternative manufacturer's product.

Glen.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok BUT....., 2 Feb 2010
By 
Aremess "AremessUK" (Littlehampton, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
As an HDD recorder:
Pros - Excellent quality copy even at standard level (unless you are after something really special, don't bother with HQ it just uses up disk space)
Cons - Recording using a satellite box or similar is very time consuming - Why? On most other machines, one can use the internal programme guide to set up the advanced recording requirements then simply review what has been set up and change the source to the satellite box or other source, leaving the programme name etc intact. Using this machine, that is not an option. If using the built in digital/analogue TV as the source, one can use the programme guide. However, if one is using a satellite box it is necessary to set everything up by hand, including naming the programme, day, time etc. which makes it very time consuming. (I live in an area where digital TV signals are poor, so recording is always via a FreeSat box meaning that I spend ages on a Saturday morning, setting up for recording for the week)

As a DVD recorder
Pros - Good quality recordings
Cons - 1. It is only possible to record directly to the HDD. If one wishes to record to a DVD, that has to be done afterwards by recopying (oh, why do they insist on calling it 'Dubbing'?): in other words, you have to record it twice!!! Copying to a DVD can only be done at standard speed (no high-speed copying) so it's very time consuming
2. All the re-write DVD's I had were useless. This machine only allows DVD's formatted itself (I don't know if that applies to DVD's formatted on other Sony products) - Even more stupidly, DVD's formatted elsewhere cannot be re-formatted as the machine simply will not recognise them.
3. Once a re-write DVD is formatted on this machine, other manufacture's systems can read them (great) but cannot delete the programmes (very poor) so recording for someone else becomes a chore rather than a pleasure
4. Even poorer than that, even YOU cannot delete the recording (on the re-write DVD) using this machine, you can only reformat the disk which, again, is time consuming but worse still, reduces the life of the disk.
5. The default setting is to finalise the disk whether it be a record once or a re-write DVD. I only found this out after loosing a handful of expensive DVD+RW's

I am highly disappointed in this machine. I previously had 2 Panasonic HDD/DVD recorders (and still have one in use) and NONE of the above cons apply to those machines. Sony, you need to do much better than this, because I certainly will not buy an HDD/DVD recorder from you again
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Best avoided until Sony sort themselves out.... UPDATE 13JUL, 1 May 2010
By 
Steve Oliver - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
First, I should say that I didn't buy this from Amazon (I normally buy all my kit via them) but I wish I had as it would be going straight back. But, as I'm so incensed by mine I thought I should warn others off.

This was bought to replace a solid and very well performing Sony HXD-690 which just worked and I only sold it whilst replacing all my AV kit at once. The RDR-DC205 apparently uses Sony innards unlike the HXD-690 which I believe used Pioneer components (my firmware update for that started with the word 'Pioneer'). This randomly freezes up and only a reset or removal of the mains plug will unlock it. Imagine that happening just as you go on holiday!

I now physically check the clock before I leave the house if I'm expecting it to record just to make sure it hasn't frozen.

Could I recommend it? Well it doesn't do what it says it should and Sony don't seem to 'know of any problems' so that would be a resounding no!

Avoid until Sony fix their firmware (or better, buy Pioneer).

Update: Locked up one last time - took 3 hours of constant resets before I could 'factory initialise' and now won't recognise the remote control (nor the Sony TV one which can also control it) so I can't go beyond 'system menu'. Complete rubbish. There should be a 'no star' option on this rating system.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed, 30 Jan 2010
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
Having done a lot of research on DVD recorders I decided to go for this one. Other family members had got a previous model of this DVD recorder and had been really pleased with it but I decided to upgrade and go for this model - a big mistake!!

The main issue that I am disappointed with is the recording capacity. I chose a model that I thought would allow me to store lots of programmes and films on and was planning to use a lower recording quality in order to boost the storage capacity. Information about the DVD recorded stated that it had a capcity of up to 425 hours. However, this is only possible when recording from analogue channels (useless as they are soon to be redundant within my region and I could not work out how to do this anyway!).

I am now left with a DVD recorder that will only record in high quality and has a maximum recording capcaity of about 87 hours. I contacted Sony to check that this was the case and they confirmed that the DVD recorder will only record in high quality and that this is a feature to make the recorded easier for people to use! (surely it is not that hard to press a button to select your recoring quality!!). The Sony DVD recorder that my other family members have cost less than this model and wil allow them to choose from about 4 different recording qulaity levels, thereby allowing them to maximise their recording capacity to over 800 hours. My advice would be to go for another Sony DVD recorder that still has this feature.

The recorded itself looks really nice and it easy to install and use. Shame about the recording capacity though.

Delivery was a nightmare. I paid extra for express delivery so that I could guarentee that the item would arrive on my day off from work. This was not the case and the item was not delivered. It was not actually even in the county on the day that it should have arrived! It arrived the next day when I was at work which led to a number of problems. Not the service I was expeting from Amazon having paid nearly 10 for express delivery.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good, not good at all!, 10 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
I read all the reviews but decided to buy this item anyway because I'd just bought a new Sony TV and Blu-Ray, so I wanted a matching HDD DVD recorder. I hoped that after updating the firmware, I would be happy with my purchase....sadly I was wrong.

Firstly, the delivery was terrible! It's not Amazon's fault but they really shouldn't entrust the 'Home Delivery Network' courier with their business. I took the day off from work to take delivery of my eagerly awaited new machine and waited, and waited, and waited some more. I'd given up when at 20.45hrs a van pulled up and I watched the delivery driver throw a box out of the side of the van. It bounced across the road as he shut the van door. He then picked it up and threw it over my front gate. Once the driver was through the gate himself, he picked it up and threw it again into my front door. Obviously the driver prefers this method of attracting the homeowners attention rather than use the usual means of the door bell. He didn't speak but was very intimidating nevertheless. After I'd shut the door and opened the box, I was just glad that either myself or the DVD recorder hadn't been injured in the process.

The first thing I did was to check that it still actually worked (which, miraculously it did) then I updated the firmware and set it up. I have to confess that after that initial experience, I have never looked at the machine in quite the same way.

I agree with most of the other reviewers comments but in short, here are my pro's and con's:

Con's:
1. If you use the program guide to record a program, it defaults to DR mode (digital record) which means you only have 87 hours of recording space on the HDD. If you want the advertised 425 hours of space, you have set the recording up manually using the analogue channels (and who's going to do that?).
2. There is a long pause between pressing a button on the remote and the machine responding. After a while, you press the button again, and again....then it all catches up and the you have to figure out what's going on. This drives me nuts!!
3. When you turn it off, it flashes 'Power Off' on the display for 3 or 4 minutes. It may be longer but I haven't timed it. Either way it's very annoying and distracting when you're now watching the TV.
4. Because the machine is not actually made by Sony, it doesn't seem to fully integrate with the Bravia Sync system (which was the reason I wanted a Sony)
5. You can't record straight to DVD and it doesn't do high speed dubbing either. So for example, if you wanted to record a 2 hour film to DVD disc for a friend, it will take another 2 hours after the intial recording to move the film from the HDD to DVD.
6. The manual doesn't fully explain all of the features or on screen symbols.
7. It turns itself on and off at times, this may be an intended function but again it's quite distracting.
8. The fan is very noisey.
9. The menus feel clunky and basic.

Pro's:
1. It looks nice and matches the look of my other new Sony TV and Blu-Ray.
2. The quality of the recordings are generally very good with just the odd skip and jump.

In summary, I wouldn't recommend buying one of these. My sister has the equivalent Panasonic which is a couple of years old, and that is a joy to use so I would buy one of those instead, especially when you consider that the newer models do Freesat as well.

I hope Sony can issue another firmware update that will address some of the issues that we've all highlighted. I'm very pleased with my other Sony purchases (not bought from Amazon) but this one is a huge let down.

Lastly, I'll never buy anything from Amazon that uses the 'Home Delivery Network' again. I've read other reviews that complain about their service and I've now experienced it for myself. I don't expect to pay 200 to get my purchase physically thrown at my house or be intimidated by the driver.
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112 of 120 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far from "Easy" and dissapointing first impressions, 7 Dec 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
I selected this after months of research, and dissapointing in that a/ it only records from one tuner, b/ set up is far from "Easy", and b/ with horror - the set up encourages you to install GuidePlus instead of Freeview, Guideplus being an awful facility which I would warn people off. The set looks great, an OK/basic remote, and picture quality good, but the handbook is typically confusing and not at all easy to understand. The automatic set up has several options which give you 3 options, 1, 2 or 'Dont know' - I used 'dont know' on two... If I had my time again I would definately not buy a recorder with just one Tuner, Two is vital with cross over prog. timings, and i'd avoid anything with Guideplus. So Mr Sony, please drop Guideplus, please make Remote more substantial, please put 2 Tuners in, please get Instruction book re written in user friendly speak, eg how on earth do you set the auto timing to come on a few minutes before programme starts, as most of my progs are starting after opening credits. P.S. I dont mind paying more, if I get these things.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Product, 5 Feb 2010
By 
R. A. Peel "Robert Peel" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
This device never worked properly. It kept turning itself off just a few seconds after being turned on. Functions were disabled for no good reason. Programmes were not recorded and just disappeared from the timer list. Responses to commands were very sluggish. There were often large gaps in the electronic programme guide. This was intended as a replacement for an early Sony hard disk recorder (the first they produced) and proved to be a backward step. So after ringing Sony who confirmed a faulty machine we sent it back for a refund.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 205 user none friendly, 26 Dec 2010
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
I have always had sony equipment because of its reliability .Having purchased the 205 dvd recorder, as mentioned by others the basic specifications of other manifactures are missing.Apart from that I have found when dubbing to a dvd the sound is out of time with the vision.The result resembles an old dubbed kung fu movie,these recorders have been around since the 80s so no excuses.Sony once a leader have let there standards drop to run of the mill.I will not purchase another sony and if loyal buyers realise this, then they will not trust them again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Piece of Kit I've Ever Bought - Anywhere, 19 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony RDRDC205B 250GB Digital HDD DVD Recorder with Integrated Digital Tuner (Electronics)
I bought this a few months ago. The controls are very slow. It takes ages to come alive when you switch it on. DVDs take ages to load. What's even worse, though, is that it can't dub programmes from the HDD to DVDs at all. It just locks up and I can't even turn it off when it's clear that the thing isn't going to complete the task. I've trashed several discs trying to dub, all to no avail. I've sent an email to Sony customer service and await their suggestions. I hope it's me doing something wrong, because otherwise this has been a total waste of money for me.

1 star? I'd rather give it none.

How I wish I'd never bought it...
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