For those who've got a digital camera or camcorder but don't want to be fussed with a computer, Sony offers its DVDirect VRD MC-3 device that aims to make saving video and images from a camcorder to a DVD much easier.



How does it do this? By offering a box of tricks with a built in DVD drive that allows you to bypass the computer and allow you to plug your camcorder straight into it in order to record to a blank DVD.

The rather large but still desktop friendly Sony DVDirect VRD MC-3 comes with a disc drive for your DVDs, a built-in LCD screen so you can see images or footage you are transferring and multiple interfaces for connecting stuff to it including S-Video and DV in so transfer content with ease.

Also included is a memory card reader for transferring still images and the DVDirect supports Sony's own Memory Stick format (both normal and Duo) as well as SD, xD and Compact Flash.

Failing that you can opt to use the Sony DVDirect VRD MC-3 PictBridge socket so that it can facilitate photo printing from images saved on a DVD, without the need for that computer.

When it comes to moving images, you can connect a plethora of devices up to the DVDirect via the phono, S-Video and DV sockets on the other side you can also transfer images from DVD players (as long as the macrovision doesn't cause issues), your hard disk drive recorder such as Sky+, and even your old VHS video cassette recorder making this ideal for transferring old video footage to DVD at the press of a button.

In our tests everything worked like a dream. We tested the unit with images from an SD Card, footage from a camcorder and a TV show from our Sky+ box. All three were incredibly easy to do with a simple menu system that guides you through whichever task you want to do - that said we found it was normally around one or two button presses and you are away.

Recording times varied depending on what you'll ask it to do. Choosing to have over 200 pictures transferred to DVD took around 5 minutes initially and then some time after we opted to have it turned into a slideshow. However in the units defence, at least it warned us it would.

Verdict

For those not wanting to get a computer, but at the same time not miss out on the benefits of a digital camera the Sony DVDirect VRD MC-3 will certainly fit the bill.



It's simple to use whether to archive current footage, or merely transfer stuff from your older tape based collections.

Top Marks.