Sony's RDR-GX7 goes much further than the other two recorders in DV-dubbing control. You can actually do all your editing before burning a DVD by using the Program Edit function to select scenes on the DV tape. Using onscreen menus and the remote control, you can then change the order of the scenes and adjust their start and stop locations. Once you're satisfied with the edit, you can burn a DVD - at which time the Sony recorder takes control of the process as it copies the selected scenes in the desired order onto disc. Both Sony's Program Edit and One Touch Dub feature for copying a whole DV tape work with all the flavors of recordable DVD that the recorder handles.
Sony's Advanced Program Edit function is an even greater leap toward computer-like editing. After it copies the entire contents of a DV tape onto a DVD-RW (in the editable VR mode), the recorder's editing features come into play, enabling much more rapid cueing than is possible with DV tape. The editing commands are memorized in a playlist on the DVD-RW, together with the complete original footage, permitting self-contained playback of the edited program in VR format from the disc on any DVD-RW player.
But the tape-cueing and editing commands can also be memorized as a "DV/ DV8 edit list" that - and this is the important part - is stored in the DVD recorder. Up to 20 edit lists, each containing up to 50 scenes, can be saved at a time. In-recorder storage allows you to make multiple copies of an edited program without having to repeatedly "bounce" the signal between the DVD recorder and the camcorder.
DIMENSIONS 17 inches wide, 3 1/2 inches high, 15 inches deep
WEIGHT 12 5/8 pounds
MANUFACTURER Sony Electronics, Dept. S&V, One Sony Dr., Park Ridge, NJ 07656; www.sonystyle.com; 800-222-7669
To make copies of the edited footage, you insert the tape containing the original footage into the camcorder and select the matching edit list stored in the Sony recorder, which again takes control of the dub. With the other two machines, you can only copy an edited DVD by playing it back into the recorder from a separate DVD player, which can degrade the quality of the copy. With Sony's approach, you can conveniently make as many copies as you want directly from the original tape without having to worry about signal degradation.
Sony's Advanced Program Editing function is about as far as a DVD recorder without an internal hard-disk drive can go in approaching the quality and flexibility of computer-based video editing. Being restricted to using DVD-RW discs when making an edit list is significant, since it shows that DVD+RW, although erasable, isn't quite as versatile as DVD-RW's VR mode. Indeed, the editing abilities of the Philips recorder, which takes only DVD+R/ RW discs, and of the Sony recorder when using DVD+RWs, are pretty basic by comparison. But they're more than sufficient for doing what's likely to be the most popular editing job - cutting out commercials.
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