Pros Worked for 2 weeks.
Cons No override to remove blank DVD.
Summary Worked for 2 weeks. Software issue makes unit think that a blank DVD isn't blank and the load cycle never ends. Cannot remove DVD. Sony will not ship new unit and requires user to pack and ship to Laredo, TX. Terrible design does not include manual eject. The LAST Sony product I'll ever buy.
"Dubbing quality is not that bad. - Unit is not as bad as some of the more negative reviews"on by ubalis
Pros +R DL support and chapter title features; built-in undocumented switch (via menus) to permanently filter out VHS and DVD Macrovision suring dubbing
Cons No S-VHS input on rear
Summary The particularly negative reviews previouly logged on this model with C|NET are really quite unfair. Unless you have particlarly degraded VHS tapes, the dubbing quality is quite acceptable. As for compatibility with other bands of drives and PC's, fear not, there is no autoboot zerosector "root-kit" on this DVD recorder as one note implies. I suspect the reason that this individual was unable to externally read DVD's made with this recorder was that he/she forgot to finalize them (a required additional step) after completing one or more writing sessions. If you don't finalize the disc, then only this unit will be able to read the intermediate disc format. After finalizing, I found that 9 of nine separate devices (PC's and other brands of DVD players) had no problem reading the discs recorded with this unit. The chapter title and elegant title chapter selection screens (auto-inserted by the finalization process) are particularly elegant.
"Get ready for some serious venting! Harrumph! I was hoodwinked by the Sony name brand!"on by frankofthenorth
Pros Instant transfer button, multi-disc, IEEE 1394 port
Cons Price, "4-head Hi-Fi stereo VHS" doesn't act Hi-Fi, no on-screen "complete" report, no auto finalize
Summary I have had a Toshiba standalone DVD-R recorder, and figured a Sony would be just that much better. Boy was I surprised and disappointed. I used the Toshiba at my last job, and found it to be as good or sometimes better than creating a DVD in the computer. So now that I am at a new job, I want to impress my superiors. So far, the Sony RDR-VX511 has made me look bad. If only this unit had a feature where an on-screen report was able to display when the finalize cycle was complete. If you don't wait for this Sony to stop making noise, I think it interrupts the finalization process. I used both memorex DVD-R 16X discs and Verbatim White Inkjet Printable DVD-R 16x discs. Both discs had a hard time playing in a Dell running Win XP - SP2, Cyberlink PowerDVD DX 5.5.1423. All that would come up was the menu, and the choices proved non-clickable. I also noticed that discs would display as "SONATA_VOLUME" rather than the name I painstakingly inputted using the Sony's remote. There are also blank menu spots, making the disc look stupid and unprofessional.
I also played a disc made from VHS-DVD on a PowerBook G4 laptop, 17" model- I was able to play it beyond the menu, but was horrified at the color replication - solid colors flicker, as though its a low light recording. The image is fuzzy. Also, I can't find a mode where you skip the menu and just have a straight run DVD either - which would be preferable to a non-functional menu. All in all this unit is thouroughly unsatisfying. My advice? Get a standalone DVD-R burner and a separate VCR. I'd say a Toshiba, since I'd used one before, but I can't recall the model number. It was also cheesy, but I was able to make a disc with no menu, upping the class factor. The Sony RDR-VX511 does make a <swell> DVD player, but so does a $40 Acer.
Pros It is not as tall as the Panasonic
Cons Poor JPEG picture quality
Summary I bought the RDR-VX515 today to view JPEG pictures off CDs in my living room to show family and friends. I am very dissapointed in the blocky low resolution images (most are about 2/3'rd megabyte). Images are much better from the camera or recorded on the hard disk of our Replay (TiVo equivalent) when viewed on the HDTV, so it can display them, but this unit does a poor job. It is not satisfactory for this purpose so I am taking it back tomorrow.
It will magnify images, but it cuts off our heads when it does, and does not have the ability to scroll up, but I think the image quality was better. I will have to stick with viewing them on the Computer Monitor where the same images are sharp and detailed, but not as convienent, or printing them.
The Remote had a poor projection angle width; if tipped up a little it did not work, I had to point it down right at the unit or the floor, which is not intuitive.
Roger Deal, Clovis CA
Pros Mostly does what you want if you don't want to use it on computer
Cons Can't burn or import dvds on your computer
Summary Sony is obsessed with DRM (digital rights/restrictions management). When you burn a dvd with this thing, it hides the folders so that you can't see it on your computer. Even when you're doing your own home videos, good luck trying to make more copies on your computer.
It does most of the stuff you want it to, but I had to return mine since I need to be able to back up disks on my computer.