A Review of the Sony BDZ-S77 Recorder | ExtensivelyReviewed

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The first units of the Blu-ray DVD recorder for households were released to the Japanese market by Sony Japan Corp. sometime in 2003. The recommended retail price by the manufacturer was pegged at US $3800. [no_toc]

It is worth analyzing such an important event. Who would need such a gadget considering that recorders then functioned using traditional rewriteable DVDs that cost around $600? Does the cost justify the benefits that one stands to get?

With the various developments in the DVD industry, the DVD format’s limitations became more and more obvious. Because of the limitations in frame size, the use of projectors and plasma panels remained minimal. In turn, the disc’s frame size is limited by the video disc’s capacity and bitrate. While MPEG2 compression allowed for more desirable results, the specifications of NTSC and PAL standards forced developers to come up with different workarounds.

A DVD player typically comes with a dominant video data processing DSP for better image quality. Some of the current ways of retrieving DVD images with as high quality as possible include deinterlacing, digital filtering, image interpolation for a higher number of lines with reduced noise and enhanced precision, compression of color dynamic range, and color correction to adjust specific video devices.

The Blu-ray media-based SONY BDZ-S77 DVD recorder is perhaps intended for the American and Japanese consumers, especially with the digital satellite broadcasting capability they offer that bring HD television to a fast-increasing number of households.

The recorder from Sony comes with a built-in broadcasting satellite (BS) tuner for digital satellite TV. Aside from two hours of quality video recorded at MPEG2 AAC 5.1 sound through satellite broadcast. A single layer, one-sided Blue-ray optical disc can accommodate as much as 23 GB of data.

Unlike the traditional red laser DVD-Video media, the newer generation discs function with a blue laser having a 405 nm wavelength corresponding to the color spectrum’s blue color. At max capacity, a single-sided one-layer Blu-ray disc accounts for 27 GB versus the DVD ROM’s 4.7 GB. Lens aperture is listed at 0.85. The bitrate is at 36 Mbits/s, including service data.

The diameter remains at 120 mm, similar to DVDs and CDs. Thickness is 1.2 mm with a 0.1 mm protective layer. It uses phase of transition as mode of recording, and groove technology to form tracks. The video format is MPEG2, while audio formats include MPEG2 Audio and DolbyDigital AC3.

The standard make provides high capacity, processing and read speed, and increases data rate to as much as 36 Mbits/s even on a single-layer, single-sided disc at a read speed of 1x. Typically, the bitrate for a video image DVD-Video yields 3 to 4 (1 layer) and 8 to 9 (2 layers) Mbits/s. For HDTV standard satellite TV signal recording, you can store around 2 hours of good quality video at 1024i. In the absence multi-channel sound and at a low bitrate, a disc can accommodate 6 hours (in SR mode) and 12 hours (in LR mode) worth of videos.

While the drive is capable of recording only Blu-ray media, it can read Blue-ray, CD-RW, CD-R, CD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-Video. Using Frame and Block Noise Excellent Reduction technology, high quality images can be achieved. Images are analyzed and dynamic adjustments are made. Thus, if the image is acceptable or decent, there is not much left for the system to fix.

You can find the tray and controls smoothly and neatly laid out down the front panel. It is difficult to miss.

Dual Motion Adaptive Interlaced Picture Convertor (DMAIPC) technology incorporated into the recorder detects interlacing automatically in recording as well as from analog BS inputs, and allows for conversion to progressive scanning, whenever necessary.

Blu-ray technology has arrived and enthusiasts have been helping manufacturers recoup their investments, and then some. Slowly but surely, and at regular intervals, mid-range products are being rolled out by various companies at more affordable prices. This provides for a healthy market where consumers have the freedom to choose the best options from among the many competing companies and the solutions the offer.

For our part, we will make sure to keep you up to date with all the developments happening in the DVD industry, so hang on!

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