I actually do think that the Sony 780 falls between the 640 and 550 – in both hardware and software.
First off CitiBear you can mark the following KB fact in your FAQ Archives as a true fact.
True Fact Start:
“The Sony RDR-HX780 will accept a USB keyboard for titling and editing.
True Fact End:
The KB feature is “NOT” documented in the Canadian RDR-HX780 manual. I had no idea about it until (I think it was you) told me to try it. I love the feature for title input and use it all the time.
Now why I believe the 780 is a unit between the 640 and 550 in both hardware and software. Tell me if anything appears wrong.Hardware differences: AFAIK
The 640 DAC is 10-Bit 54 MHz
The 780 DAC is 10-Bit 108MHz. (double MHz)
The 550 DAC is 12-bit 108MHz (Higher bit)
The 640 No HDMIThe 780 Yes HDMI
The 550 Yes HDMIThe 640 OUTPUT 2 (second audio, S-video, composite out)
The 780 NoThe 550 OUTPUT 2 (second audio, S-video, composite out)The 640 has Control-I/O (Pioneer specific)
The 780 No Control-I/OThe 550 has Control-I/O (Pioneer specific)
The 640 No DV/FireWire inThe 780 Yes DV/FireWire in
The 550 Yes DV/FireWire inSoftware differences: AFAIK
The 640 Max bitrate to HDD 10MbpsThe 780 Max bitrate to HDD 15Mbps
The 550 Max bitrate to HDD 15Mbps
The 640The 780 HDMI Sync for Sony TV (Sony Specific)
The 640The 780 Various Dub Features for Sony Camcorders (Sony Specific)
The 640 Firmware for burning DL –R up to 4xThe 780 Firmware for burning DL –R up to 8x
The 550 Firmware for burning DL –R up to 8x
The 640 No KB titlingThe 780 KB titling
(not documented in manual)The 550 KB titlingThe 640 RAM Read/Write
The 780 RAM Read ( I need to try writing to RAM one day)The 550 RAM Read/Write
Initialize new HDD with service remote
The 640 needs data discThe 780 no data disc
The 550 needs data disc
If you add it up the 780 has many, not all but many of the hardware and software features of the 550. There are a few Pio only and Sony only features between the decks as well
I think there are other differences not mentioned above. Feel free to add to the list.
The 640 No USB to HDD DivX Avi
The 780 No USB to HDD DivX AviThe 550 Yes USB to HDD DivX Avi