Sony RDR-HDC100 DVD/HDD recorder
A Sony DVD recorder/PVR with a 120GB hard drive
- User-friendly interface, reliable recording/playback performance
- Lacks twin TV tuners, no fast dubbing options, there are cheaper options on the market
The Sony RDR-HDC100 is a decent PVR/DVD recorder if you don't mind having basic functionality. That said, there are plenty of more accomplished options on the market that cost around the same price.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Sony RDR-HDC100 is a high-definition HDD/DVD recorder that doubles as a personal video recorder (PVR). It comes with an inbuilt digital TV tuner and a 160GB hard drive that can store up to 270 hours of video content. The Sony RDR-HDC100 is a reasonable choice for multimedia enthusiasts who want a fuss-free video recorder. It boasts a user-friendly interface and plenty of codec support, including DivX. However, the lack of twin TV tuners or fast DVD dubbing reduces the appeal significantly, especially given the asking price.
[Compre the Sony RDR-HDC100 to other PVRs and DVD recorders on PC World.]
In most respects, the Sony RDR-HDC100 is identical to the Sony RDR-HDC 300 and Sony RDR-HDC500; the only difference is its hard drive capacity. The Sony RDR-HDC 300 comes with a 320GB hard drive, while the Sony RDR-HDC 500 offers 500GB (for $599 and $699 respectively.) If you're not a prolific collector of TV shows, it makes sense to go for the cheaper Sony RDR-HDC100.
The Sony RDR-HDC100 comes with all the typical PVR modes and features. Highlights include 1080p upscaling via HDMI (cable sold separately), a USB port for media playback, a DTS Digital output, DivX support, an MP3 jukebox mode and the ability to pause or rewind live TV. We found the user interface to be straightforward and attractive. A beginner-friendly wizard takes you through the TV tuning process -- within a few minutes, we had all our TV channels stored and were scheduling recordings with the One Touch Timer.
Despite being the 'baby' of the group, the Sony RDR-HDC100 shares the same dimensions of its PVR stablemates. At 430x72x258mm it's a pretty hefty device that will take up the bulk of your home entertainment shelf. The glossy black finish and simple LED display are elegant, if a little on the basic side. All in all, the design is perfectly adequate. A fold-out face plate reveals a handful of playback buttons: handy for when your remote control goes bye-bye.
In addition to the afore-mentioned playback buttons, the Sony RDR-HDC300’s front panel features S-Video, a MiniDV input, composite video and a USB port. This saves you the trouble of fiddling around at the back when you want to connect camcorders and the like. For audio/video connectivity, the Sony RDR-HDC100 comes with HDMI, component (RGB), coaxial digital audio and composite AV. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi and Ethernet are both absent, which means you can't stream content from your home network.
To test the Sony RDR-HDC100's playback performance, we connected it to a Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV via HDMI. We found that it recorded television broadcasts reliably, with excellent picture quality in both SD and high-definition. The DVD player also produced attractive looking video, with decent HD upscaling. (Bear in mind that the RDR-HDC100 is not compatible with Blu-ray discs.)
When its $499 price tag is taken into account, the Sony RDR-HDC100 left us wanting more. The absence of twin TV tuners is especially regrettable. Instead, Sony provides a single DVB-T tuner which also doubles as an analog terrestrial tuner. As you can imagine, this severely limits your choices when it comes to recording TV shows. Most rival PVRs — such as the Panasonic DMR-XW450 and Foxtel iQ2 — boast two or more HD digital tuners, allowing you to record multiple TV stations simultaneously.
DVD recording options are also limited. We couldn’t get the RDR-HDC100 to record external content to disc — instead, it needs to be recorded onto the hard drive first and then transferred to DVD. To make matters worse, this can only be done in real time, which means a two hour video file will take two hours to transfer to DVD.
In conclusion, the Sony RDR-HDC300 is a user-friendly option that suffers from limited functionality. The Kogan PVR 500GB HDD personal video recorder comes with twin HD tuners and a removable 500GB hard drive; all for just $329. (Admittedly, it lacks a DVD player/recorder, but we still reckon it works out to be a better bargain.) For brand loyalists only.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony returns to profit, cuts full-year loss forecast
PCW Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCTest Automation EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer with Strong SQL DevNSW
- TPInstructional Designer | DETQLD
- CCProject Manager - Security/Cyber SecurityVIC
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTSystem EngineerVIC
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- CCProject Manager - Security/Cyber SecurityNSW
- TPTechnical WriterVIC
- TPInsights ManagerWA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)WA
- FTApplication Support SpecialistNSW
- CCCyber Security ArchitectNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)ACT
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPSAP Helpdesk SupportACT
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)WA
- CCApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW