"Wait for the next model before even considering this unit!"0.5 starson by steve-h
Pros: Very nice when it's working.
Cons: 1. Not enough connections on the CPU. 2. Windows MCE crashes and locks up alot. 3. Customer service is non-existent. 4. The DVD player's video quality is so-so and stutters. More below!
Summary: Most of this review can be confirmed by going to the Sony Website and looking up this unit. You can bring up the back of the CPU and look at the connections I will speak about…..
First off, this system is only for certain home theater setups. Read carefully; if you intend on using anything but an antenna for an HDTV signal DO NOT BUY THIS! In other words, if you intend on passing through a decoded HDTV signal from any set top box, i.e. cable or satellite, the best video connection you can connect to the CPU portion of this unit is S-Video. S-Video does not pass through an HDTV signal!....
Look at the new HDTV receiver’s DirecTV is coming out with before you buy this also. You will NOT be able to use this with the new MPEG4 HDTV receivers they will be using very soon. These new receivers will have HDMI and DVI out for the best audio and video you can get with current technology and it will make this unit obsolete immediately!....
Inside my shipping box was a letter from Sony stating they had misstated the capabilities of this unit in their advertising. The Component video out does NOT support an HDTV signal. So, if you don't have HDMI or DVI on your TV then you have to connect with component or S-Video and you will NOT receive an HDTV signal. And as noted above, if you are using anything but a rooftop antenna for your HDTV signal it doesn’t matter what your TV has for hookups, you can’t get the signal through the CPU!....
Other problems. The DVD player is stated to be able to run programs, watch TV, edit video, etc. while it is ripping info from CD’s and DVD’s. It cannot do this without either slowing the system to a crawl or crashing. It did both several times while I was attempting to catalog my DVD library. The video from my DVD’s were OK at best from this unit. The DVD’s would occasionally stutter while playing, I think it was due to slow processing of the information…..
Windows MCE 2005 has problems also. I’m not 100% if it was due to the software Sony puts on the system to integrate the DVD player or if it’s Microsoft, but my system would lockup at times and crash several times. My wife gave up trying to use it and all but ordered me to “send this &%$@ back where you got it”. This unit is designed to make your home theater more enjoyable and user friendly, what we got was 5 days of utter frustration and me apologizing for subjecting my family to this torture…..
I gave this a 1 because of the lack of proper connections on the back of the CPU and the locking up and crashing of Windows; it made this unit almost unusable. The customer service from Sony is non-existent at this stage because “we have not been trained on that unit yet”. The best I got out of a level 2 technician was "yes, I agree with you about the connections. I'll bring this up when I go to training and hopefully we'll get this fixed on the next units". Enough said.