Sanyo HV-DX300A

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Sanyo HV-DX300A
  • Sanyo HV-DX300A
  • Sanyo HV-DX300A
  • Sanyo HV-DX300A

Pros

  • Good manual, easy to use

Cons

  • Image quality not great

Bottom Line

The Sanyo could have been quite a decent combination device, but it gets too many little things wrong.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 1 store)

We had some trouble coming to a conclusion on the Sanyo HV-DX300A. It gets some things annoyingly wrong, but then has some very good features to make up for it. It has no S-Video output, for instance, but does have excellent progressive scan support. You can record from DVD to video, but then it supports Macrovision, which will often make such an operation pointless. It has a nice, usable remote, but doesn't put an eject button on it. The manual is very easy to follow, but doesn't cover everything the Sanyo can do. You get the gist.

Bizarrely, the integral DVD player and VHS player seem to exist in different worlds. The interface for the VHS player is a throwback to the early '80s. It's extremely raw, with just a blue screen and text during setup. Switch over to the DVD player, however, and press setup and you get something totally different: a graphical GUI that's easy to use and allows you to get things changed very quickly. On the upside, the two work almost completely independently, allowing you to watch a DVD video while recording a TV show, for instance.

We weren't impressed by either the tuning, playback or recording capacity of the VHS component. It did not come near matching the Toshiba SD-34VLSY in terms of image quality, in spite of both players having six heads. Switching over to DVD, the playback was competent, although we detected a slight flicker in the DVD playback using composite video. It disappeared when we switch to component video and progressive scan (but you need to have a progressive scan screen to do this).

To connect the Sanyo to your TV, you can use the RF loop-through, composite RCA cables, or component video. You can also hook it up to a Dolby Digital amp via the coaxial or optical digital output cables.

MP3 fans would appreciate the Sanyo. Like most other devices in this category, it can play CDs full of MP3s file and present slide shows of images stored on disc. In spite of the specifications saying that it only supports MP3 CD-R and CD-RWs, we tested a DVD-R with images and audio and it worked perfectly.

The MP3 playback dialogue has two advantages over most of the competitors: it shows the full filename (others often truncate the name), and you can set up playlists of songs (although you cannot save the playlists). The quality of the audio was very good, but navigating through the directories was painfully slow.

The flicker present in interlaced display of DVD video was also in evidence in the JPG viewer, which was otherwise very good, offering an image preview and a slideshow. Again, however, it proved painfully slow to navigate through the images--another case of the Sanyo HV-DX300A delivering, but not quite getting it right.

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