The old ‘you get what you pay for’ mantra doesn’t always hold true in gadget-ville. For every Samsung LCD bargain, there’s an overpriced Bose radio. But the old Sony RDR-HXD860 DVD recorder got it spot on – it was expensive, but it was also the best.
So, how will Sony’s new generation play the price game? Well, the RDR-HXD970 is slightly cheaper than its illustrious predecessors, but offers better performance and features, along with a hard-drive that can archive no less than 150 hours of telly. Sounds fair to us.
Worth the premium
There’s no question the HXD970 is a little more expensive than rivals from Panasonic et al, but it’s as fine a fusion of style and performance you can buy in a recorder.
Under the bonnet, it’s got dual analogue and Freeview tuners (so you can watch one programme while recording another), full upscaling all the way to the heights of 1080p, HDMI output for your hi-def telly, and a comprehensive array of sockets including both DV and USB inputs.
And once you start taking advantage of all those lovely features you’re going to be even more pleased because performance-wise the RDR-HXD970 moves even further ahead of its competitors.
Off-air pictures are rich, detailed and have real depth, with the kind of contrast and black detail that makes others look slightly foggy by comparison.
Review continues after the break...
When it comes to recordings the Sony is even better. With HQ level recordings – the highest quality – the picture is utterly pristine and even the lower quality settings are passable.