View Full Version : Sony VRDMC5 DVD Burner - any experience
03-04-2009, 11:19 AM
Hi, all! I have a notion to buy one of these DVD burners, probably from Amazon. I primarily want to be able to move AVCHD files from my HandyCam onto DVDs without having to use a computer and this is one possibility. There would be limited editing capabilities for sure, but that's not really my objective at this point. This burner will put ~4.7GB of AVCHD files onto DVD+RW disks at up to 6x speed (when transferred directly from the MemoryStick) and those will play in my Sony BD player. I could also make SD disks (via analog connections, 1x speed) for family/friends that don't have BD players.
The reviews on Amazon are mostly positive. Negative ones seem to be based mostly on FW issues or other incompatibilities which should not be an issue with the equipment I own.
Does anyone here have any experience with this particular device, or have recommendations for something similar, i.e., a standalone burner? TIA...
Amazon.com: Sony VRDMC5 DVDirect DVD Recorder: Electronics
03-26-2009, 04:51 PM
I decided to pull the trigger on one of these from Amazon. The price has remained firm at ~$175 for months. (I swear I saw it for ~$140 once in Dec.; shoulda bought one then!) They have been on sale for $30 off at BB, but when tax is added that works out to be a few $$ more. I'm currently paying no tax or shipping from Amazon.
I've read more reviews and am convinced that those reporting negative results either didn't understand the equipment/process or got a dud. This should be a perfect match for my HD Handycam.
My memory capacity in my Handycam is almost full so I have to start offloading some HD files very soon.
I'll report back the results in case anyone is interested...
PS - I also ordered a 50-pack of DVD-RW disks (single layer). What is the difference between those and DVD+RW disks ?? (I never grasped the +/- distinction, but then never had a reason to until now...)
04-10-2009, 12:17 PM
I got the subject burner in operation and so far it has been a blast! I have now burned about a dozen DVDs (mostly +R and only 1 +RW) and have yet to produce a coaster. This includes an eclectic mix of input sources, input choices, and resolution. To start I simply moved all files from my HD/MS Handycam via USB to disks. For the internal memory (8GB, not full) it took 1 disk. For the removable 16BD Memory Stick which is full, it took 4 disks. Once I started recording, the unit finalized disks as they were full and ejected them, which of course was my queue to insert the next disk which it automatically formatted and resumed recording where it left off. These files were all recorded in max. res. HD and the transfers have the exact same PQ and full DD5.1SS as AVCHD files. So once finalized they immediately play in my BD player at the same qualiy as if I was watching directly from the camera over HDMI. The transfers at max. quality are close to real time, with about a 20% speed gain.
I also made DVDs of subsets of the files using the "Playlist" feature in the camera, both in HD and SD (for my family members that have yet to upgrade). I made some of the transfers by inserting the removable memory card directly into the burner, quick and easy. The unit allows you to dub the whole card or just chosen clips. I even did one tape transfer that looks as good as the original VHS-C tape did, and it's 20+ years old. I have not yet transferred any still images, but that should also be a snap.
Some random observations/comments:
1) My Handycam also records onto miniDVDs. I have made only 1 so far and it's in HD/5.1SS, a whopping 11 minutes total as that is the max. capacity of those disks in highest PQ! I can dub this miniDVD onto a DVD in the burner over composite/S-video connections so I get an SD/stereo reproduction of the AVCHD files on the miniDVD. But apparently there is no way to get the AVCHD files transferred as such. (Not a big issue - now that I have the burner I won't need to use that miniDVD anymore.)
2) AVCHD files transfer only over USB, which is expected and OK. But apparently when I want to make an SD version of AVCHD content from the camera's memory I need to resort to composite/S-video connections (??) The manual seems to confirm that but it seems strange to me that I can't continue to use the simpler USB connection and just have the burner do the downconverting as commanded by a menu choice. (Need to pursue this one more as I will be doing a LOT of downconverting!)
3) For SD files you can view what you recorded in the small screen in the burner, but apparently not the AVCHD files (??)
4) And the burner has no outputs that can be used to connect it into my HT which would make it easier to use.
My motive was to have a convenient and affordable means to move HD recordings from the camera to both HD and SD renderings on DVD, and that requirement is being met very well. If your camera records SD and HD (as AVCHD) and has a USB output, you might be able to make great use of this burner as well! It also accommodates 3 removable memory cards for direct transfers.
Best to all!
PS - I returned the 50-pack of DVD-Rs that I ordered with the unit. They were ~$27 from Amazon and Best Buy had +/-Rs in 50-pks for $12.99 lately, so I got 3 of the +R pks instead.
04-13-2009, 07:41 PM
Price has gone up. I'll need to consider this. But since my main home PC is going belly up, I'll need to fix that first, and consider whether to go w/using the new PC for the purpose, or the dedicated (simpler?) unit.