Sony DVDirect MC5

Sony DVDirect MC5
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Supports HD video, very easy to use

Cons

  • Can't connect to a PC

Bottom Line

Though the MC5 is easy to use, we had to search for a format function hidden in the setup menu to reuse Nero-burned +RW and -RW media. The MC5 does nothing you can't do with a PC and a DVD burner, but for videographers on the go, it's both quicker and more convenient.

Would you buy this?

Video-transfer device is a quick, convenient way to get content onto DVD without firing up a PC.

The $299 MC5 is the latest in Sony's DVDirect series of stand-alone video transfer devices, and for quick, easy burning of photos and video to DVD without using a PC, you can't beat it. The big news is that the MC5 is the first DVDirect model to support HD video.

However, it doesn't create Blu-ray or HD DVD discs, but rather the AVCHD format, which is basically h.264/MPEG-4 video burned to DVD (still high definition, but the discs won't hold much). Nonetheless, it looks good. Other new features include the ability to import a JPEG file from a memory card to serve as the DVD menu background, or an MP3 file to provide background music for photo slideshows.

Unlike past versions, though, the MC5 won't talk to a computer -- despite having both USB and FireWire ports. You can pick up a DVD burner from $65, so this is not a huge consideration. It immediately recognised the Sony HDR-SR7 camcorder we attached and started the AVCHD disc creation wizard.

We burned two test DVDs with the MC5: one was a slideshow created from files on an SD flash memory card (the MC5 also reads Compact Flash, xD-Picture Card, and all Memory Stick media); the other contained HD footage from the camcorder. (To view the AVCHD discs that the MC5 creates, you need software like Cyberlink's PowerDVD, a Blu-ray player, or a DVD player that supports the format.) Both projects required virtually no intervention on our part, burned quickly, and looked great -- especially the AVCHD disc.

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