Sony RDR-HXD995 review

This DVD recorder ticks all our boxes for spec and performance – and it has a gargantuan 250GB hard disk Tested at £280.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Ticks all our boxes for spec and performance – if you want a huge hard disk, this should be your weapon of choice


  • +

    Stylish, simple to use

  • +

    good specification

  • +

    excellent TV picture and recordings

  • +

    good DVD picture


  • -

    Not much at all

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How much TV content do you really need to keep on your recorder's hard disk? Can you settle for burning those must-see-but-actually-never-got-round-to-watching movies to a disc, or must they remain on your hard disk? And are you really going to watch the rest of Ashes to Ashes or accept it just wasn't the same?

We only ask as the premium for this, the Sony RDR-HXD995, over the cheaper RDR-HXD890, is chiefly accounted for by its monstrous 250GB hard disk.

On-screen menus are easy to navigate
The unassuming, yet stylish 'HXD995 is very easy to navigate. The connection that sets this one apart from the cheaper model is the CI slot for TV cards, should you wish to top up your channels.

Elsewhere, there's an HDMI out with 1080p upscaling, two USB ports, a DV input and a digital audio coaxial output, alongside the Scart, component and S-video selection.

There are analogue and digital tuners (digital supports pause live TV), while disc compatibility is exhaustive, with only dual layer DVD+-R/RW discs off the menu.

The icing on the cake is a clean, detailed and involving DVD picture when using the recorder's on-board scaler. Sonically this recorder is decent too, digital audio making a decent stab at filling our room and delivering detail and dynamics.

So another full thumbs-up for a Sony DVD recorder – you just have to decide how much storage you need.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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