Sharp DV-HR300 HDD/DVD Recorder Reviewed

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Whether it's peanut butter and jelly, apple pie and ice cream or "Hello" and "Newman," some things just belong together. In the consumer electronics world, we have a prime example of this theory in the Hard Disk Drive (HDD)/DVD recorder. With the ability to record content on either an internal hard drive or blank DVD media and the ability to copy content between the two, HDD/DVD recorders such as Sharp's DV-HR300 are extremely utilitarian. The number of things this machine can do for you is limited only by your patience for reading its hefty owner's manual.

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Thanks to its use of hard disk recording, the DV-HR300 is more than just a recorder. It's also a DVR, similar to the likes of TiVo and ReplayTV. With this machine, you can pause and rewind live television, so receiving phone calls during the bottom of the ninth inning become less (but only slightly less) of a nuisance. I feel compelled to add that, although these features are great and there is no monthly fee associated with using them, the interface is not nearly as well-executed as what you'll find on a TiVo-powered device. The DV-HR300 (and similar recorders) represents a serious threat to the TiVo business model, but there is definitely a compromise when it comes to ease of use.

Unique Features - The DV-HR300 will allow you to record on both DVD-R and DVD-RW media at varying levels of picture quality. Depending on the selected quality, you can record up to six hours of content on a single DVD-R/RW disc. It should be noted that, although the DV-HR300 will play DVD+R/RW media, it cannot record on these discs, nor can it record using DVD-RAM. So, be sure to look at those labels carefully when buying blank discs.

Owners of DV camcorders will be pleased to know that they can connect their camcorders to the front panel of DV-HR300 via i.Link (IEEE 1394). This i.Link terminal is input-only, but it's extremely handy for making permanent copies of home movies. The i.Link cable is sold separately, however some camcorders may supply one. Unfortunately, date and time data cannot be recorded from the DV tape when using this configuration.

Using a DVD-RW disc, content editing, user-defined chapter stops and custom playlists are all just a few button clicks away. If you want to create a "mix tape" of your favorite Seinfeld episodes, free of commercials and in a custom play order, that's no problem for the DV-HR300. This ability to rearrange and rename titles and playlists is only available using DVD-RW media because of the need to write and rewrite the same disc sectors. It would be nice if this unit also recorded on DVD+R/RW media, but I suppose beggars can't be choosers.

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HTR Product Rating for Sharp DV-HR300 HDD/DVD Recorder

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