We've long been fans of Sony's DVD/hard-disk recorders, and they've picked up quite a few What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Awards along the way.

New for 2008 are four models, the RDR-HXD790, RDR-HXD890, RDR-HXD995 and RDR-HXD1095 (above). Prices are to be confirmed.

The flagship '1095 has a 500GB hard drive, enough for up to 1400 hours of TV, with the lower models featuring 120, 160 and 250GB hard drives respectively. All HXD series models have analogue and digital TV tuners.

Key features throughout the range include HQ+ recording and 1080p video upscaling, HDD camcorder connection for direct digital dubbing and the X-Pict Story function for creating slideshows with music.

The high bit-rate HQ+ recording mode is designed to reduce on-screen image noise and improve handling of fast-moving scenes, while Sony's Bravia Sync system enable you to control any of the recorders connected to a Sony Bravia TV via HDMI with the TV's remote.

And if you fancy creating your own slideshows, you can use images and music stored on the HDD, with a choice of transition effects.

Music recorded to the HDD from audio CDs or USB flash drives can also be played jukebox-style via the TV screen.

Tech specs

  • HDD size (GB): 120, 160, 250, 500
  • Maximum record time (hours): 340, 455, 710, 1420
  • HQ+ high bit-rate recording time (hours): 17, 23, 36, 73
  • HDMI output for 1080p HD upscaling and BRAVIA Sync
  • Digital Music Jukebox and Digital Photo Album
  • Electronic Programme Guide
  • Time-shifting features
  • X-Pict Story
  • USB, PictBridge(tm) ports
  • BRAVIA Sync
  • SD HDD Handycam connection
  • DVB-T digital tuner

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