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on 16 November 2007
Contrary to some posts I found this very easy to set up, perhaps because I bought a Sony TV at the same time. Picture quality is excellent and the whole system is easy to use. The hard drive is enormous and I would estimate that you could store 100 - 120 programmes on it at any one time.

The EPG is a great feature BUT there is an design fault which means the system will often wipe the setting within 24 hours of it being set. There is nothing as frustrating as a DVD recorder which doesn't record what you have set it to record. I have subsequently found out that many other people have had the same problem. There ere numerous internet sites which show that consumers have been having this problem for many months but that Sony have denied that there is a problem. I have had an email from Sony today in which they admit that there IS a problem and they are working to fix it - so there's light at the end of the tunnel. If they fixed this then this machine would be perfect and excellent value for money.
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on 29 January 2008
I spent ages researching all this, a good 2 months. I was going to buy the sony 970 but at the last minute changed my mind and got the Pana EX77, this was a mistake! don't get me wrong the Panasonic is a good machine but the Sony is so much better, BUY THE SONY....I know as I have used both machines, the panasonic from Amazon is a european model and is fitted with the wrong EPG board for uk use(I was told this by panasonic) so the electronic Program guide will never work correctly, this machine was sent back to Amazon & they refunded me 'Thank you' Amazon

In comparision the Sony 'Now and next' feature for freeview is plain and simple the panasonic was very poor bad to navigate and quite honestly usless (even if it had been a uk machine).

The Sony remote is good and works well took a bit longer to learn than the Pana but oh! the buttons on the Pana were so close together I found it awkwared to use.

The Pana when writing DVDs does not create a VOB file on the disk instead its a VOR file if you then want to rip this back to an mpeg on a PC you can't, with the sony there are 2 modes of recording and you can record as a standard DVD VOB files.

Pause live TV only the sony has this.

The sony can be used with a cable or sat reciever

Panosnic very slow to boot up could be as long as 45 seconds, sony very quick.

ALL hard disk DVD writers freeview recorders allow only 1 channel to be recorded, you cannot watch another channel whilst recording, so I use my old freeview box for watching whilst recording on the Sony.
These sony recorders are basically a Pioneer machine.
Be aware that if you buy old stock of the sony you will need to update the firmware to 1.65 to resolve timer problems.

Humax PVR Ideally it would be great if the Humax had a DVD recorder built in to it I would have brought this instead, but the main down side to the ALL PVR's is you can't record from external sources e.g.Video recorder, the sony & Pana are so easy to copy your video down to Hard drive then to DVD, the plus side to the Humax is you can recod 2 chanells whilst watching a prerecorded file of the hard drive, you can also link to a PC and copy the Mpegs to your hard drive on the PC, at the moment there is'nt 1 machine that will do what the Sony and the Humax will do.
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on 25 July 2007
I've had this machine for a month now, as a replacement for an RDRHXD860S that broke down after 2 months.

This machine seems to be far superior to the previous model and is far more intuitive to use. In operation it runs almost silently and performs at a much high speed (the 860 had a noisy fan and always had a slight delay before responding to each command).

All recording has been performed faultlessly and the ability to jump advert breaks at the touch of a single button is great. The 250GB hard disk is very rapid in it's operation and provides huge storage potential.

All in all a true 5 star machine and highly recommended.
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on 25 September 2007
I bought this after a bad experience with a Sony 860 (which went back), so I approached this machine with some trepidation. The previous machine had great facilities, but just didn't work very well (poor sound, switched itself on and off etc!). Happily, this is a wonderful piece of kit and brilliant value for the money. Recordings to the HDD drive are superb (especially in HQ), and the EPG and series link work well. Setting programmes to record is so easy and dubbing to DVD is also simple and fast. Reviewing what has been recorded is a breeze; the recording list has thumbnails which play excerpts to remind you what the programme contains, as well as the programme title, time it was recorded, channel (BBC1..) etc.! Being able to start watching a recording before it has finished and the ease and fuss-free operation actually changes the way you watch TV. Also, it is a great DVD player and the upscaling via the HDMI link makes standard DVDs look near 'HD' quality. What's not to like?
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on 30 December 2007
I discovered the hard way that if you try to record programmes more than about a day ahead, they don't record and the instructions vanish from the list of scheduled recordings.

Sony admit this is a problem with firmware versions before 1.65. So before you buy one make sure it's got 1.65 firmware or newer. If not ask the supplier to update it for you. If he won't or can't don't buy it!

If you already have one with the problem, Sony downloads have the firmware on line and you can do it yourself - but its fiddly and I suspect would invalidate the guarantee.

The star-rating above applies to machines with the firmware upgrade in place. After all it does what it says on the box - but bear in mind the single digital tuner makes it much less flexible than other PVRs with 2.
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on 5 March 2017
Was not working so no good. Roypc.
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on 23 May 2017
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on 4 January 2008
Excellent piece of kit which was simple to set up and is easy to use (especially if you're used to Sony products). Do take your time reading the manual before plugging in as there are a lot of permutations on set up depending what other kit you're attaching.
Well worth getting an HDMI cable for connecting it up - particularly if you're using a Sony Bravia with this.
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on 4 November 2007
It has taken me some time to take the plunge into the world of HDD recording. Finally cheesed off with never having a disc ready to put in my Panasonic DVD recorder, I decided enough was enough! Being a Sony convert, the choice was not difficult albeit some of the reviews here were slightly so so. However, now that it is sat under my Sony LCD TV, I have no regrets. Easy to set up out of the box, It works a treat. Simple to programme recordings. You can watch a previously programme whilst another is being recorded. Picture quality is excellent.
It is an absolute treat to use. Not sure how I have done without this piece of kit until now! The fan can be heard but with the TV on you soon forget it. Some of the programs do not start and finish at the correct time, which is a bit annoying eg schedules programmes recordings starting a minute in. Not sure why (I thought EPG was designed to stop this?) Other than this no moans. £265 from Amazon.... very happy.
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on 23 January 2008
If you are considering buying a DVD recorder with HDD, this is without any shadow of doubt the one to go for....

Ease of use is excellent - even my wife can operate it!!

Also you can record straight off of your SKY etc onto the hard drive, which in turn can be recorded to disk

In terms of picture quality - I watch DVD's through the HDMI cable - the picture quality is absolutely amazing...

It is worth the money!! This is the most sought after DVD recorder in the country at the moment.
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