Review of Sony DVDirect: A standalone DVD burner and video capture device that works flawlessly

Monday, August 07, 2006
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)
Tags: DVD recording, DVD burner, consumer electronics

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
With all the video content consumers are creating today, there is a need for a device that will burn DVDs in real time from a video feed. Ideally it would be stand-alone so it does not require a personal computer for ripping or capturing video and then burning it to DVD. Sony has come out with such a device called the Sony DVDirect Stand-Alone DVD Burner. Priced at a little over $200 retail, this device allows you to feed it a video and audio stream, which is then burned to DVD in real time.

The selectable inputs include "Super-Video," which is the super VHS; composite video, which is an RCA connector; and even the Sony i.Link, which is a 4-pin firewire connector found on video cameras. With all of these options, you can burn a DVD with this device from almost any imaginable source, including a video camera, a VHS player or another DVD player. You can use it to make DVD copies of your home videos directly from your camera or VHS, make DVDs of VHS movies that you may have purchased before DVD, or even to make temporary copies of feature movies that you own for traveling or other personal purposes. There are some anti-piracy issues that I will discuss here, but first let's take a look at whether this DVDirect product really does what it promises to do.

There are a couple of areas to consider here -- Is it easy to use? Do the buttons work? Is the menu easy to figure out? My answer is that the product is very easy to use. The user interface makes sense, the buttons work well, and the LCD status display is easy to read and gives you the information you need in order to operate the device, including whether or not it is picking up a signal.

Outstanding audio / video quality

The second concern is the quality of the DVDs that are created on the device. I was astonished at the quality of the images and sound that were achieved, even when I didn't have it on the highest quality setting.

When you're burning DVDs with this device, you can choose high-quality play, standard play or super long play. These give you either one, two or four hours of video on a DVD. Even on the two-hour setting, which is just medium quality, I found the video to be impressive. On the highest quality setting, it's outstanding. The compression used on this device, MPEG-2, works very well. It's smooth, and the audio stays synchronized with the video. This may seem like an obvious point, but on some devices, especially if you're using software, you can end up with movies in which the audio and video are completely out of sync with each other, and that's no fun. But on the Sony DVDirect device, the audio and video stay in sync exactly the way they should.

The next beneficial feature is that there's no computer required. You just plug in a video and audio source, and you're ready to go. However, there is no video monitor on this device, so unless you have a video splitter and can set up a separate screen to monitor what you're sending, you won't be able to tell where you are in the movie you're recording. This is no problem when you're transferring images from a video camera because most modern video cameras have their own LCD screens, but if you're transferring movies from VHS or DVD, then you do need to set up a video splitter if you want to monitor what you're recording.

I don't consider this to be a design flaw of any kind. The DVDirect product is not a video monitoring device; it's simply a DVD burning device that accepts an inbound video signal. It really should be up to the end user to know what he or she is sending.

Questions about piracy and copying movies

Now let's talk about the big question: Can you use it to make backup copies of movies? And the answer is that, out of the box, the DVDirect recognizes copy protection such as Macrovision and will not burn DVDs that contain this copy protection. The LCD display will tell you right up front that it is protected content, and it will refuse to record it. This is no surprise coming from Sony, which is a company that seems to be more than a bit paranoid about intellectual property, but there are plenty of ways around it for those who want to make personal backup copies of movies they've purchased.

Before I explain this, let me emphasize that I in no way intend to give readers the impression that I support pirating of movies, because I do not. I do support making backup copies of movies for personal use, especially if you're traveling, as long as you continue to own and maintain possession of the original movie. That's just my take on intellectual property based on my personal ethics, which include a respect for intellectual property. The big movie studios would disagree with this viewpoint because they think you shouldn't be able to copy a movie ever, under any circumstances. But I think that if I purchase a movie and happen to be taking a flight on which I want to watch that movie, and I don't want to risk the original movie getting lost or stolen, I should be able to make a copy and watch the copy. As long as I don't give that copy away or sell the original movie, then I believe I am staying within my code of ethics by both owning the movie and having of the flexibility to watch it when I'm traveling.

Making copies of movies that you own is your right as a consumer, as long as you don't turn into a pirate and start selling them or giving them away. The same holds true for transferring old VHS movies to DVD. You may have some good movies on VHS that you purchased years ago, and you'd like to transfer them to DVD. In my view, that's perfectly acceptable because you've already bought the movie, so you're not crossing any ethical boundaries by making a copy onto DVD.

But even though you can technically copy VHS to DVD, you may not like the results you get. The DVD will not be any higher quality than the VHS, and this is no fault of the DVDirect product, it is just an inherent weakness in the VHS medium. There's no error checking and no redundancy of the data bits since it's not digital. A VHS movie simply does not provide a very high-quality image, so don't expect miracles.

Recompression means a slight loss in image quality

There are even some quality issues when you're copying DVD to DVD, because your DVD player is decrypting the DVD video stream and converting it into an analog signal that goes out through the super VHS cable. This cable then pipes the analog signal back into the DVDirect device, where that analog signal is reconverted into a digital signal and then burned to DVD.

During this process, there is a slight loss of quality, so obviously your original DVD is going to have a higher quality playback than a copy DVD. But in my experience, the difference in quality is very subtle. Let's face it: Even original DVDs aren't perfect. It's easy to see defects in the MPEG-2 compression algorithm in scenes that have subtle gradients, such as skin tone, gray background or scenes of the sky. It's not hard to detect pixilation and compression artifacts even in original DVDs.

It's also worth noting that if you're copying a video stream from your video camera onto DVD, there is a loss of some information during the compression and conversion to MPEG-2. There is a loss of quality on any video signal that gets converted to DVD, but again that loss is very minor and these DVDs still look much better than VHS tapes.

Getting around the annoying copy protection

But back to getting around Macrovision: If you really want to make backup copies of movies you already own (see limitations below), you can buy a device that strips out the Macrovision signal or boosts the signal quality so that it removes the copy protection. The one that I recommend is made by Sima, and it's called the SCC-2. It's Sima's pro unit and runs about $150. This device not only cleans video signals and removes Macrovision copy protection, but it also greatly enhances the quality of any video source you might be using, including your own home videos or VHS tapes. It even lets you alter the color balance so you can adjust the reds, greens and blues in your video signal.

Another cool feature in this device is that it has multiple video outs so you can send one signal to the DVDirect burner and another signal to a video monitor so you can see what you're burning. The Sima SCC-2 has so far worked flawlessly in combination with the Sony DVDirect burner, and in my own tests conducted solely for the purpose of this review, I have been able to make personal backup copies of feature movies that I own with no problem and little loss of quality. Ultimately, however, I am not doing this routinely, since the backup copy does not contain any of the DVD features such as subtitles, Spanish voiceovers, scene selection and other "special features." I've found that I prefer to just use the original DVDs.

Another problem is that copied DVDs, which are placed onto DVD+R discs, scratch too easily! Original DVDs, on the other hand, are far more scratch resistant. For these reasons, my use of the Sony DVDirect is now limited solely to making backup copies of video I've filmed on my Sony MiniDV camera.

My bottom line rating on this DVDirect product is that it gets a big thumbs-up. It does what it's supposed to do. It's worked flawlessly so far, and the quality of the video it produces on DVDs is very high.

It's also worth noting that compared to capturing video on your PC and then burning it to DVD using your computer, this Sony DVDirect device is a cinch to use. It saves hours of time waiting for your computer to compress DVD files. With the Sony DVDirect device, the process is simple and quick.


Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.