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Sony RDR-VXD655

DVD recorder/VCR combo with built-in digital tuner and video upconversion

5 Reviews

Item # 158RDRV655

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Our take on the Sony RDR-VXD655

Enjoy easy, flexible recording with the Sony RDR-VXD655. This versatile combo recorder lets you capture your favorite shows on VHS tapes or durable, space-saving DVDs. And you can record both analog TV shows and crystal-clear digital broadcasts. (The 'VXD655 displays and records programs in standard definition only). Simply connect an antenna to receive free digital TV over the air, or use the built-in tuner to watch and record unscrambled digital cable channels.

Enjoy easy, flexible recording with the Sony RDR-VXD655. This versatile combo recorder lets you capture your favorite shows on VHS tapes or durable, space-saving DVDs. And you can record both analog TV shows and crystal-clear digital broadcasts. (The 'VXD655 displays and records programs in standard definition only). Simply connect an antenna to receive free digital TV over the air, or use the built-in tuner to watch and record unscrambled digital cable channels.

A front-panel digital camcorder input lets you transfer your home movies to DVD for sharing with friends and family. Two-way, one-touch dubbing makes it a cinch to copy home videos and other non-copy-protected material from VHS to DVD, and vice versa. And the 'VXD655 can upconvert both DVD and VHS images to better match your HDTV's high-resolution display, so all your recordings will look their best.

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Product Highlights:

  • built-in digital (ATSC) and analog (NTSC) tuners for over-the-air TV broadcasts (antenna required)
  • built-in QAM cable TV tuner receives unscrambled programs without a set-top box (cable service required)
  • receives all HDTV/SDTV broadcast formats — records and displays TV broadcasts in standard definition only
  • upconverts and displays DVD and VHS video at 720p or 1080i via HDMI digital interface
  • separate adapter available for TVs with DVI input
  • selectable progressive-scan playback for smoother video with HD-compatible TVs (via the component video output)
  • 8 recording quality settings
  • optical and coaxial digital audio outputs for Dolby® Digital/DTS®/PCM
  • front-panel digital camcorder input (IEEE 1394)
  • 2 sets of audio/video inputs (composite) including 1 front-panel (composite, S-video)
  • 1 set audio/video outputs (composite, S-video, component, HDMI)
  • records to the following types of discs:
    • write-once DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs, for making permanent recordings
    • rewritable DVD-RWs and DVD+RWs, for making recordings you can watch and then erase
  • plays DVD-Video, DVD-R & DVD-RW, DVD+R & DVD+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-RAM, and Video CD
  • plays audio CD, CD-R & CD-RW, and MP3 CDs
  • plays digital picture CDs (JPEG)
  • one-touch dubbing from DVD to VHS and VHS to DVD
  • remote control
  • 16-15/16"W x 3-3/16"H x 14-1/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • designed for use with "Region 1" coded DVDs
  • Note: Internal dubbing of copy-protected sources is not possible.

This Is An Awesome Product For The Price, And The Quality Of The Picture Is Awesome!! The Built-In Tuner Gives You The Best Picture In High-Definition.

Steven, Houston, Tx.

What's in the Box:

  • DVD recorder/VCR combo with built-in HD tuner
  • Wireless Remote Control (RMT-D241A)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 4' A/V cable (with stereo RCA audio and composite video plugs on each end)
  • 47" Antenna cable (has slip-on male "F"-type connectors on each end)
  • Operating Instructions (English/Spanish)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Registration
  • Warranty sheet

Sony RDR-VXD655 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(5 Reviews)

Excellent Product

lacoppari from Kingsport, TN on 9/25/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is an excellent product that is quite easy to use. What I like about it most is that I can record on one medium while watching playback from the other. I particularly like the fact that it has the ability to choose the highest rate of speed to record on DVD based on what you have stacked up in memory to record. That way one always gets the best picture given the amount of time needed to record the program(s).



Wonderful Picture In HD

Steven from Houston, Tx. on 9/1/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This Is An Awesome Product For The Price, And The Quality Of The Picture Is Awesome!! The Built-In Tuner Gives You The Best Picture In High-Definition.




Ronald from Brooklyn, NY on 7/13/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Although I reside, somewhat "far away," I have been happily ordering from CRUTCHFIELD.COM for over a score. There really IS a difference; That is why I keep returning! There IS more to an electronics item than (solely) its price and warranty. Admittedly, I, as well as most, I guess, wish to get the best products for the LOWEST price: Who, HONESTLY, doesn't?!~? Moreover, most people, upon deciding on a e-tailer, do NOT bother to consider if // how // whether the e-merchant will "stand behind" their product(s). The issue is, therefore, 10-1+% solved by always purchasing top name products, directly at This is my FOURTH Sony RDR-VXDD 655 combo DVD // VHS recorder // plauyer // tuner: NONE were purchased, or exchanged, for product // service mal-functiuon: Rather; with four HDTVs, also all e-purchased at, I would NEVER think of e-purchasing at any other e-tailer. You may, indeed, blame ME, for this product currently being listed as: "Out of Stock;" as I gobbled 'em up' as soon as CRUTCHFIELD received them from SONY! I recommend both this PRODUCT, and, of more paramount, the CRUTCHFIELD *service*. After 20 years, they REMAIN un-beatable. RON



Sony RDR-VXD655

Chuck from Dothan, AL. on 1/19/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I believe that Sony produces are outstanding but I'm having some difficulty getting a good picture using the tuner only. The picture performance playing a movie disc is outstanding in my opinion, but as mentioned previously, I'm disappointed with the tuner performance. Crutchfield service technicians are extremely helpful and they are replacing this unit when it becomes available.



Great way to go digital

Robert from Columbia, SC on 10/1/2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

With the conversion from analog to digital TV signals to be completed by 2009, I wanted to extend the life of my 5-year old analog set. I had read that some of the newer digital recorders have tuners in them, enabling them to function as the converter box that will eventually be required when the signal switch is complete. Moreover, the recorder will still be useful when the analog TV is replaced with a HDTV. Since I did not have a digital recorder, that would be another benefit. The VXD655 turned up during my search. Since my TV is a Sony, I thought it would be a good match. This DVD/VCR recorder combo also would enable me to get rid of my old tape player and save space. The recorder has exceeded my expectations. I had been receiving a very good quality picture with a modest roof-top antenna, but going digital really kicked the quality up a notch or two it terms of more accurate colors and picture sharpness. I am fortunate in that all of the local over-the-air signals come from the same direction, the transmission towers all being clustered on a high spot about 15 miles from my home. I do have an antenna rotator but do not have to touch it. I am receiving all the local stations with great quality plus some secondary channels the stations operate. With the resulting high quality of my TV picture, there is no reason to hurry into getting a high def. DVD and VCR recording and playback are accomplished easily, and there are several recording quality or duration choices. The unit handles Rewrite DVDs and I am using them much as one would use a hard drive. The recorder also provides for easy dubbing back and forth between tapes and disks. Setup was painless. A quick start guide is included. I do recommend spending a few bucks extra for an s-video hookup cable if your TV provides an outlet. If there is a downside, it is the remote control. The buttons seem to require much more pressure to activate them than the two older Sony remotes that I have. Consequently, I find it frequently necessary to give the remote control a second squeeze. In sum, this was a great find for me. You can always count on the Crutchfield folks for prompt, helpful advice.




Hands-on research

Product Research

General Features
DVD Features
VCR Features
Input and Output Notes

General Features

Product Overview: The versatile Sony RDR-VXD655 DVD-recorder and VHS-combo player with built-in HD tuner features an intuitive graphical interface making programming your recordings easy. The unit features seven VHS recording speeds letting you record up to 8 hours per tape while allowing you to record on a wide variety of DVD formats, including DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW; for up to 8 hours on a single-layer disc. Plus, the DVD/VHS recorder allows you to enjoy the convenience of one-touch recording from disc to tape or vice-versa. The DVD/VHS recorders lets you experience high picture-quality playback from a wide variety of formats, including DVD, VCD, VHS, SVHS, music CD and more. The unit also features progressive scan playback, HDMI output and 720p/1080i upscaling from DVD/VCR to deliver optimal picture quality to your television set. You can even control your DV and Digital8 camcorder for editing via the unit's front-panel i.LINK interface.

Built-In HDTV TV Tuner: The RDR-VXD655 features built-in ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuners which allow recording of standard definition or high definition programming. High Definition signal through this recorder is converted to Standard Definition signal during recording. Television broadcasts can be recorded to blank DVDs or VHS tapes. Once the recorder has been connected to the antenna or cable, the "Easy Setup" guides you through the steps of setting the time, date, and searching for receivable channels.

HDMI Output With 1080i Upscaling: The RDR-VXD655 reads the data on a standard DVD disc or VHS tape and upscales the video resolution to 720p or 1080i resolution to match your compatible HDTV.  This allows for you to enjoy the best in video performance while delivering digital video and audio over one simple HDMI cable.

One-Touch Copy: You can record from the unit's built-in VCR to the unit's built-in DVD-recorder or vice-versa with single press of a button.

  • VHS to DVD: You can easily record a VHS tape to a DVD disc. The recorder takes each recording on the VHS tape and automatically divides them into titles as they are dubbed to a DVD disc. These titles are then further divided into chapters at either 5 or 15-minute intervals according the DVD/VHS recorder's settings.
  • DVD to VHS: You can record a DVD title to a VHS tape. When you record copy-protected software to a tape, the picture may appear disrupted when you play back the tape. You can also select titles or scenes and dub them all at once from a DVD to a VHS tape.

On-Screen Display: The following three On-Screen Display Menus are mainly used to operate this DVD/VHS recorder.

  • System Menu: The System Menu provides entries to all of the recorder's main functions such as Title List, Timer, Edit, Dubbing, Disc Setting and Setup.
  • Sub-Menu: The Sub-Menu displays options applicable only to the selected item from the main System Menu. The displayed options differ depending on the situation and disc type.
  • Options: The Options Menu allows you to search for a Title/Chapter/Track, check the playing and remaining time of a disc, or change settings for Audio/Angle/Subtitle. The displayed options differ depending on the media type.

TV Type: This feature allows you to select the aspect ratio of the unit's video output to match your television. You can select from 16:9 Wide, 4:3 Letter Box, or 4:3 Pan Scan.

Digital Wide Control: Digital Wide Control is effective for wide signals on digital broadcasts. When recording a digital channel, select a setting depending on the media type to be recorded. You can choose from  16:9 Wide or 4:3 Letter Box.

Black Level: This feature allows you to raise the standard black level when the TV's picture appears too dark.

Picture Control: This feature allows you to adjust the video signal from the DVD/VHS recorder to obtain the picture quality you want. You can choose from the following settings.

  • Dynamic 1: produces a bold dynamic picture by increasing the picture contrast and the color
  • Dynamic 2: produces a more dynamic picture than the Dynamic 1 setting by further increasing the picture contrast and the color
  • Standard: displays a standard pictures
  • Cinema 1: white colors become brighter and black colors become richer and the color contrast is increased
  • Cinema 2: enhances details in dark areas by increasing the black level
  • Personal: allows you to adjust the Contrast, Brightness, Color and Hue independently and manually

Virtual Surround: When you connect the unit to a TV or a stereo receiver with two speakers, virtual surround lets you enjoy surround sound effects by using sound imaging to create virtual rear speakers from two speakers. There are three levels of virtual surround - Surround 1, Surround 2, and Surround 3, creating progressively more surround effect. The surround effect is only output from the analog RCA audio jacks, not digital.

Closed Caption: You can select a service from several closed captions services for programs that are broadcast with Closed Caption. Digital Closed Captions allow you to adjust the following - Character size, Character style, Character color, Character opacity, Edge color, Edge type, Background color, and Background opacity.

Note: Digital Closed Captions cannot be recorded.

Child Lock: You can lock all of the buttons on the recorder so that the settings are not canceled by mistake.

Parental Control: You can restrict playback according to a predetermined level. You can select a parental control rating from 1-8, which is protected by a 4-digit password. There is also a child lock which disables all the recorder's buttons.

Display Dimmer: You can set the display to Bright, Dim, Auto (dims when power is off) or Off (turns off the lighting when power is off and maintains the lighting when power is on.

Remote Control: The supplied remote control (RMT-D241A) can control the DVD/VHS recorder, as well multiple brands of TVs (basic functions). If you own a Sony DVD, player or another recorder, you can change the Command Mode of the recorder to one that doesn't interfere with the other player or recorder.

DVD Features

Multi-Disc Compatibility: The unit features a built-in, multi-format DVD recorder. The Sony RDR-VXD655 DVD/VHS recorder is compatible with the following discs formats.

  • Recordable And Playable Discs: The unit will record and playback the following 12cm DVD-video discs.
    • DVD+R (up to 16x speed), DVD+RW (up to 8x speed), DVD+R DL (up to 8x speed), DVD-R (up to 16x speed), and DVD-RW (up to 6x speed),
  • Playable Only Discs: The unit can playback the following discs but cannot record to them.
    • DVD-video, DVD-RAM, Video CD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, Data CD, Data DVD, and 8cm DVD-R/W and DVD+RW

MP3 Playback: This unit will play MP3 files recorded onto CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs using the ISO 9660 level 1/level 2 and Joliet formats. The recorder will recognize a maximum of 499 audio tracks within an album. Only one session of a multi-session MP3 recording on DVD can be played. The DVD/VHS recorder is not compatible with the MP3PRO and will not display ID3 tags.

JPEG: The DVD/VHS recorder will play JPEG image files recorded onto CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs using the ISO 9660 level 1/level 2 and Joliet formats. The recorder will recognize a maximum of 999 audio tracks within a folder. Only one session of a multi-session recording on DVD can be played. JPEG images can be enlarged, rotated and played in a slide show manner. When a disc contains both MP3 audio tracks and JPEG image files, you can enjoy a slide show with sound

Recording Speeds: You can select from eight variable bit-rate speeds when recording a DVD. The picture quality generally improves as the recording time decreases. The recording speeds and approximate recording times on a 4.7GB blank disc are:

Recording Mode Recording Time
HQ (High quality) 60 minutes
HSP 90 minutes
SP (Standard mode) 120 minutes
LSP 150 minutes
ESP 180 minutes
LP 240 minutes
EP 360 minutes
SLP (Super long play) 480 minutes

Recording: The RDR-VXD655 offers several ways to record:

  • Manual Recording: Record the currently tuned channel or line input until you stop the recorder or the disc is full
  • Quick Timer (One Touch Recording): Each press of a button records the currently tuned channel in 30-minute increments, up to 8 hours (14 hours, 30 minutes if using a dual layer disc)
  • Timer Recording: Set the timer for a total of 12 programs up to one month in advance, set the date, time, channel, and recording mode (speed) of the program manually
  • Synchronized Recording: Set the DVD/VHS recorder to automatically record from a connected component that has a timer function (cable box or satellite receiver), when the other component turns on, the recording starts automatically
  • One Touch Dubbing Via DV Input: The unit features a DV Input and an "One Touch Dubbing" button on the front panel which allows for the easy copying of your personal content from a DV/Digital 8 camcorder to a DVD disc in order to preserve your recordings for a long time, or to share it with your relatives and friends.

Copy Protection: Pictures with copy protection, including most commercially-recorded DVDs, cannot be recorded on this DVD/VHS recorder. The recorder stops when it detects a copy guarded signal. Some broadcasts that contain Copy Control signals may have one of three signal types: Copy-Free, Copy-Once, or Copy-Never. The recorder limits the recording according to the copy protection signal. Copy-Free encoded signals can be recorded at any time with any compatible blank disc type. Copy-Never encoded signals can not be recorded on this unit. Copy-Once programs can be recorded on a DVD-R/RW disc formatted in the VR mode, and can be played only on CPRM-compatible equipment.

Basic Editing: Basic editing is possible on DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW VR Mode and DVD-RW Video Mode:

  • Rename Title: Enter a title name up to 32 characters
  • Erase Title: Erase the entire title
  • Protect Title (DVD+RW and DVD-RW VR mode only): Protects title from accidental erasure
  • Divide Title (DVD+RW and DVD-RW VR mode only): Choose a point to divide a title

Advanced Editing: In addition to basic editing, video recorded on DVD-RW in VR mode can be edited further:

  • Erase Chapter: Erase individual chapters within a title
  • Playlist Edit: Create a playlist on the same disc as the original recordings without disturbing the original recording, the playlist allows you to play the recorded scenes in any order, since a playlist doesn't require much disc space, you can create numerous playlists on one disc
  • Combine Titles: Allows you to combine two titles into one
  • A-B Erase: You can erase an unwanted portion of an original recording by selecting a starting point (A) and an ending point (B) of the portion you want deleted

DVD Auto Chapter: This feature automatically divides a recording (title) into chapters by inserting chapter markings at specified intervals. The markings are inserted while the recording is being made. You can insert chapter marks every 5 or 15 minutes or turn this feature completely off.

Dynamic Range Control: This feature makes the sound clear when the volume is turned down when playing a DVD that conforms to "Audio DRC". You can choose from the following settings.

  • Standard: normal position
  • TV Mode: makes low sounds clear even if you turn the volume down
  • Wide Range: gives you the feeling of being at a live performance

VCR Features

VHS Recording: The unit features a built-in Hi-Fi stereo, 4-head VCR. The RDR-VXD655 can record and playback in the VHS format. It cannot record in the Super VHS (S-VHS) format but will play back S-VHS.

Recording Modes: The DVD/VHS recorder can record in two modes (speed): SP or EP. The maximum recording time is as follows:

Tape Length SP EP
T-120 2 hours 6 hours
T-160 2 hours 40 minutes 8 hours
T-180 3 hours 9 hours

Recording Methods: You can record to the DVD/VHS recorder using any of four methods:

  • Timer Recordings: You can set the timer for a total of 12 programs up to a month in advance. The maximum length of recording depends upon the tape being used (Maximum recording on a T-120 tape is 6 hours). Note: The total number of programs includes both DVD and VCR timer recordings.
  • One-Touch Timer Recording: You can set the recorder to record in 30-minute increments up to 6 hours.
  • Non-Timer Recording: After selecting the recording mode (SP or EP), you can press the record button and the unit will record the presently tuned channel until the tape is full or the recorder is stopped.
  • Synchro Recording: You can set the recorder to automatically record programs from connected equipment that has a timer function (such as a satellite tuner). The equipment should be connected to the Line 1 Input jacks. The recorder starts only when a video signal is detected at the Line 1 Input.

SQPB: The DVD/VHS recorder will play tapes recorded in VHS or S-VHS formats. The unit has SQPB (S-VHS Quasi Playback), and tapes recorded in S-VHS are played back at VHS quality.

Tracking: You can manually adjust tracking if the recording quality is too poor to be remedied by the DVD/VHS recorder's automatic tracking (a tracking meter appears during the automatic tracking).

Indexing: The DVD/VHS recorder automatically marks the tape with an index signal at the point where each recording begins. This allows you to easily find the beginnings of your recordings.

Auto Play: This feature allows the unit to start playback of a VHS tape as soon as it is inserted into the RDR-VXD-655.

Auto Repeat: This feature allows you to play back a VHS tape repeatedly. The unit rewinds the tape to the beginning and restarts playback automatically.

Advance: This feature advances one frame during pause mode and fast forwards the current scene for 30 seconds during playback.

Replay: This feature replays the previous scene during playback.

Input and Output Notes

Front Panel A/V Input: The DVD/VHS recorder features a composite video and S-video input along with a pair of left and right RCA audio inputs on the front panel behind a manual fold-down door.

DV Input: The DVD/VHS recorder also features a DV IN jack on the front panel of the unit behind the same fold-down door. The unit's DV input conforms to the iLINK standard. This input allows you to connect a digital video camera to the DVD/VHS recorder via an i.LINK cable so you can record or edit from a DV/Digital8 format tape to a DVD disc.

Rear Panel A/V Input: The unit features a rear panel composite video input along with a set of stereo audio RCA jacks.

HDMI Output: The RDR-VXD655 features an HDMI output for transfer of digital video and audio via a single cable to your HDTV for DVD and VHS playback.

Video Outputs: The RDR-VXD655 has a composite video, S-video, and component video output. Either interlaced or progressive video can be output through the component video jacks.

Analog Audio Outputs: There are 2 sets of analog RCA audio outputs on the rear panel.

Digital Audio Outputs: This unit features an optical and coaxial digital output to connect to your Dolby Digital/DTS receiver. The HDMI Out jack cannot output Dolby Digital/DTS signals, so either the optical or coaxial digital output must be connected to your home theater receiver to enjoy Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound.

UHF/VHF Out: This output will pass RF signals input through the UHF/VHF In connection, but the unit will not output DVD or VHS video or audio signals through the VHF/UHF (antenna) output.

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