updated 03:05 pm EDT, Tue July 7, 2009
Sony outs new DVDirect
Sony on Tuesday announced it will soon replace its DVDirect VDR-MC5 DVD recorder with the next-generation model, the VRD-MC6, which also allows users to transfer their HD and SD videos or digital photos from cameras directly onto DVDs without the need for a connected PC. Compared to the current model, the new one is about 60 percent smaller while its 2.7-inch color LCD screen is larger than the outgoing model's 2.5-inch screen. Users can preview videos or as many as six digital photos at the same time.
Connecting the VRD-MC6 to a Sony Handycam camcorder with a hard drive or Memory Stick allows users to transfer videos to DVDs in native 1080i resolution and the AVCHD format. Users can then play these videos back on compatible Blu-ray disc players or Sony's own PlayStation 3 gaming console. Standard definition videos from any other camcorder, a VCR or digital video recorder are also possible thanks to Digital Video (i.LINK/FireWire), composite and USB inputs. The resulting DVDs can then be played on most regular DVD players.
Photos recorded onto the four variations of Memory Stick memory cards, SDHC, xD, or on a connected USB drive or Sony camcorder or digital camera can be written to a DVD either in a slideshow format or just as regular storage. The new DVDirect also lets users import MP3 audio tracks for background music during a slideshow.
Users can choose from one of four preset backgrounds for the menu of a created DVD, or import JPEG images to create their own. Chapters are automatically created every five, 10 or 15 minutes, and there is a stop-timer recording function.
The device can write to 8.5GB DVD+R double layer discs when a source originates from the DV or composite video inputs. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and either 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios from the original recording are maintained when a compatible camcorders is connected to the VRD-MC6.
When the new DVDirect is launched in September, it will cost about $229.