Sony RDR-HX900?? or Panasonic DMR-EH50??

Hello to all of my fellow "A'goners". It's been a minute or so since I last written a post here (but I read others here all the time, so I wasn't gone completely), but now, I have a delimma that has been eating away at me for the last couple of weeks or so.

Okay........ here goes.....

I am now interested in adding a Hard Disk DVD Recorder to my home theater system as I want to prepare for the upcoming football season (both......... NFL and College) as my aging VCR (was a Sony SLV-R5UC) has just "hit the skids" so to speak. So, that leaves a void for needing a recording device in my home theater system, and this where you guys come in.

In my pursuit to adding a DVD Recorder to my system in about a month or so, I have made a list of what I plan to do with the recorder. And they are:

(01). I plan to do a lot of time shifting (of my favorite shows..... going to record all episodes, but may end up archiving JUST a few of them, which means many will go after the first viewing).

(02). When I record sporting events, I want them to be recorded in the highest quality possible, and then I will archive those as well, again, in the highest quality possible.

(03). BUT (!!!), only when I record movies that are designated to broadcast TV only, that's when I will do the money saving option and record those at lower speeds (which means I can expect SOME lost in video quality, but I have a stand alone DVD Player with a large collection of blockbuster DVD movies, so I am not going to care or nitpick about the quality of movies broadcasted on network TV).

So in hindsight then, what I am looking for is a Hard Disk DVD Recorder. And the two models that spark my interest are a Panasonic DMR-EH50 ($450.00) and a Sony RDR-HX900 ($800.00). Both of these machines have a built-in "TV-Guide" on screen interface which should make it easier to program in shows you want to record. But I have read on "c-net" that the "TV-Guide" interface on both of these models are quirky at best, and may be dependent on whether or not your local area supports the service. Whether or not it will work in my area is something I am going to determine after I get the machine.

But what I want you to know is while my intial choice was the Sony RDR-HX900, I am put off by the somewhat high price and I have recently stirred my interests toward the Panasonic DMR-EH50 (better ease of use, followed by a more attractive price...... $450.00 at retail for the Panasonic vs. $800.00 at retail for the Sony). So........ I am thinking about buying either one of the machines online, as opposed to buying them retail. What I want if I buy the machine online, what risks would be involved???? Like for instance, if my machine should ever malfunction and need to be serviced, where in my local area I can take my machine to get it serviced??? Is it possible to get an extended warranty for a machine that is purchased online??? Or should I just go ahead, bite the bullet and buy the machine at retail???

Thanks in advance for your answers. I await all responses.

Hi, I had 2 of those Sony SLV-R5UC vcrs.
They have a couple of nice features,
BUT they DON`T do the job that MOST vcr`s do.
Even though you did NOT say what happened
to your vcr, The R5`s had BAD
POWER SUPPLY`S! Did you replace that yet?
What out for the MAGENTA SMEAR AS WELL!
I don`t care for sony, BUT I THINK the
Sony HX900 is the BEST for the money, and it can do,
DVD-+RW, so there`s your answer.

I think that's what happened to my SLV-R5UC VCR as well...... the power supply went "koput".


Nope..... I didn't replace the power supply. Being that the Sony SLV-R5UC VCR is about 15 years old or so, I felt that it was not feasible to get it repaired, only to find out that affordable DVD Recorders were going to be on the horizon. So instead, a bad power supply turned my once prized Sony SLV-R5UC into P-O-S. So I went ahead and trashed the damned thing.

Well..... at least, I have one vote for the Sony RDR-HX-900. But I am still put off by the price. Though, after shopping around on the "net", I do see that I can get one for about $520.00 or so. But my concern is what do I do if the machine should malfunction during my ownership??? If I buy it locally, then that wouldn't be a problem. But I don't want to pony up $800.00 for one. But at least, service won't be a problem after that.

Thanks for your answer though........