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HDD/DVD recorders & Giga Juke Hi-Fi

HX and HXD HDD/DVD recorders.

For a long time I’ve been a fan of the media PCs and the versatility they provide. I can record TV, watch DVDs, play music and view photos all using one device and from the comfort of my sofa. However, with products like these new HDD/DVD recorders now becoming more and more feature rich, I may just be tempted to leave behind the hassle of Windows Media Center and go with a dedicated device.

As well as being able to record/pause/rewind live TV the HX/HXD range enables you to copy your recorded content to DVD. Playback options include DVD-Video/Video CD/Super Video CD/DVD-RAM/CD-DA/CD-ROM (JPEG and MP3 files) - so still no DivX/mkv/Xvid or DVD-Audio. However, the big ace for these latest devices is they upscale all your standard definition content to 720p, 1080i, or even 1080p.

The HX range only feature an Analogue tuner so if you have any sense you will avoid those and instead go for an HXD model that has a digital tuner. They’re available in 160GB(HXD870), 250GB(HXD970), and 500GB(HXD1070) versions that are capable of recording 455, 710, and 1420 hours of TV, respectively. Availability and pricing are not yet listed so we’ll just have to wait and see.

GIGA JUKE Hard Drive Hi Fi

With the GIGA DUKE range of hard drive based hi-fi devices Sony is looking to make the humble hard disk not just the music storage choice of the portable device but also your main hi-fi at home.

The NAS-50HDE and NAC-HD1E use hard disk drives to store all your ripped music completely independently of your PC. After transferring all your existing music collection from your PC, you can rip new music to them with inbuilt CD drives at up to 16x speed. You can record analogue audio as well as radio with the Radio Music Channel feature separating out talking from the music in your recordings. Once fully loaded the devices become much like any MP3 player with options for creating play lists and the ability to search and filter your music in a multitude of ways.

The NAS-50HDE is a complete system including amplifier and speakers and has a capacity of 80GB. For the true audiophiles out there, the NAC-HD1E is just the HDD recorder and AM/FM tuner component that is meant to fit into your existing hi-fi solution. It comes with a capacity of 250GB and uses higher quality DACs, separate power circuitry for audio, and has the ability to store uncompressed PCM audio (i.e. a whole uncompressed CD) for superb sound quality.

The NAC-50HDE will be available from mid May and the NAS-HD1E will be out in June. I’ve yet to hear any hints about the prices.

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