I was looking to buy a HDD recorder for a while. After reading some reviews and visiting my local shop, I decided to hand my money over and buy the Sony D970B. I have been blown away by how easy this is to use, and paired with my 32 Sony Bravia LCD gives superb quality. It also plays Avi/DivX files; I simply use Nero, and create a Data DVD. Pop it in and away you go, and I haven't had any that won't play! I have not used the Dvd Recorder, as I have been able to store so much on the HD even in HQ mode. I would expect it to be just as good. Overall fantastic machine, highly recommended. Not cheap but worth every penny.
This was a replacement for a Panasonic DHR95H.
I chose this over the new Panasonic machines as it has a bigger HDD (250Gb) and plays DivX titles from a DVD-Rom. Other than that, it's come top in a couple of recent surveys. It has the flexi-record feature the Panny had (records to a DVD at the optimum bit rate) though initially the user interface is not as pleasant. It is pretty easy to pick up. One thing to note, it has a digital coaxial connection for an amp, so if you have an optical digital cable, you'll need a to get a coaxial one.
Picture quality is excellent, and it's very quiet.
I have just purchased this product, one day ive had it, and when i went to record something, you have to watch what you are recording, i know it sounds silly so i contacted sony and they said you can switch over to anologue tv whilst recording your digital channel,do these people know that analogue is getting switched off soon,and the USB will not let you watch avi films from it using a flash drive neither.