Sony's DV Direct DVD recorder lets you transfer HD video from a Sony hard drive camcorder onto DVDs that can be played back on a Blu-ray player. It looks like Sony got a little pissed when it saw JVC doing something like this with its $400 Everio HD Share Station DVD recorder, but that one can only play back the resulting discs from itself. This Sony VRD-MC5 records on a DVD that can hold 95 minutes of that AVCHD video that's becoming steadily more popular these days, or 2,000 still pics. Hey, this could be useful. Imagine you're on a vacation and you've filled up the disk on your hard disk- or memory stick-based HD camcorder. Instead of transferring all that data onto a PC (and you don't want to take your laptop with you on vacation, do you? Huh?), you can play it right out onto DVDs that are Blu-ray friendly. It's not just for HD, either, it can handle standard definition video and has just about every input except for HDMI (which JVC's Share Station has, to be fair), including S-Video, DV, composite video, USB, and slots for CompactFlash, SD cards, Memory Stick and a USB port for hard drives. We're also digging that little 2.5-inch color LCD that lets you keep an eye on the proceedings.
Another eyebrow raiser: It'll be available next month for $230. Whoa. Convenience item, conveniently priced. [Sony]