Originally Posted by trp2525
I never owned one but from what I have read they were very well-made/high-quality units. One thing that I believe lead to their demise was the MSRP which ranged from $800 for the 250GB unit to $1,000 for the 500GB unit. I don't believe the majority of OTA viewers who wanted to record HD were willing to spend that amount of money. A lot of people buying electronics look for the cheapest price and unfortunately don't give much thought to the quality of the build or components inside. IMHO the Sony units had a limited market based on their MSRPs at the time.
I've got two of these. They are somewhat buggy in that you have to nurse them sometimes, much of which is due to the total dependence on TV Guide On Screen for schedules and clock setting. They were way ahead of their time...there was little ATSC when they first came out. The prices were also early adopter. I got them when Sony was blowing them out for $250. I bought two of the HDD 250s, and bought the extended warranty, based on the forums I'd read. Sure enough, I went through four of them to get two that worked well, and one of those went back a year later (under warranty) but Sony's service center did a good job taking care of me.
I want to know why they never learned from these mistakes and came out with a new one. I've got one sitting next to my Dish box, set up for all OTA shows (one bonus is that it will record/playback native OTA). I'm quite happy with the Sony box. The second is feeding a flatscreen Trintron which while 480i looks darn good with the downscaled HD picture fed by RGB inputs. The Tuner in the sony is first generation so it does not work as well as the built in tuner in the Panasonic or even the one in the Dish box.
On the worldwide market, there are other boxes like this sold in Japan and elsewhere. Even a blu ray burner, too. But, we Americans can't have that-or maybe I'm just annoyed that Hulu is blocked at my PS 3.
I go with the conspiracy theory....If they can already sell every DVR they can make to cable companies or Satellite folks, why go retail....also, the big content providers still have a handle on this, which is probably why the Sony is dependant upon the time signal from TVGOS.
It is better made than the Dish DVR (VIP 612) that locks up consistently while watching OTA, and the whole box resets.