My Review of JVC’s SR-HD1500 Blu-ray Recorder

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I just got a hands-on look at the JVC SR-HD1500, which is a practical and easy-to-use AV component designed for authoring Blu-ray discs without a PC.

With the SR-HD1500, HD recordings from a camcorder or any pro or “prosumer” digital camera can be transferred to a Blu-ray disc, or down-converted and recorded onto a standard DVD.
With the SR-HD1500, HD recordings from a camcorder or any pro or “prosumer” digital camera can be transferred to a Blu-ray disc, or down-converted and recorded onto a standard DVD. USB 2.0 and i.Link connectors, combined with an SD memory card slot, provide an interface to most SD and HD digital camcorders.

The SR-HD1500 allows anyone to create professional-quality BDMV (with menu) or BDAV format discs. It stores up to 24 hours of HD video (in AE mode, using dual-layer 50GB disc) and supports BD-R or BD-RE (erasable) Blu-ray discs. And it authors discs with auto-start or repeat playback, as well.

Introduced in the fall of 2009, the unit allows for digital and analog inputs for wide compatibility. You can input video into the SR-HD1500 via FireWire (i.Link), composite/S-Video, USB, and SD cards. And, you can output to HDMI, component, or via an RS-232C terminal for external control. This allows for flexible monitoring via HDMI or component.

A note for Hollywood Blu-ray movie release buffs: this unit is NOT a Hollywood-mastered Blu-ray movie-dubbing unit. The obvious missing input is HDMI, which, of course, this is no oversight. Hollywood studios don’t want you duping Blu-ray discs for your pals, or for distribution. So there is no Blu-ray to Blu-ray “dubbing” unit available in this country. (Note, however, that copying “unprotected” DVD or Blu-ray discs is a simple process with a built-in duplication function.)

I shot a variety of full 1080p HD video at the InfoComm show in early June 2010, using a Canon 5D Mark II camera and filling up a 32GB Compact Flash card with an hour’s worth of full 1080p footage.The SR-HD1500 features a 500 GB hard drive, plus an RS-232C terminal and support for .MOV files (from the camera directly, or from files output by Apple Final Cut Pro, other editing applications–even iMovie). The internal 500 GB hard drive is a big asset.

I shot a variety of full 1080p HD video at the InfoComm show in early June 2010, using a Canon 5D Mark II camera and filling up a 32GB Compact Flash card with an hour’s worth of full 1080p footage. Unfortunately, the SR-HD1500 does not have a Compact Flash card reader, but it only took me about three minutes to import the footage, via Firewire, onto a Blu-ray disc inserted into the SR-HD1500.

You really don’t want to use this unit for sophisticated editing, but it does have a simple, menu-driven interface that enables edited clips to be assembled into a completed project and recorded to Blu-ray discs. Discs also can be authored for auto-start or repeat playback, which provide ideal options for presentations, kiosks, and point-of-sale displays.

With its $2,550 MSRP, the SR-HD1500 is ideal for the amateur video producer (weddings, parties, home movies) or home theater enthusiast who wants to dub DVDs or VHS tapes onto Blu-ray. In fact, the unit has the professional features preferred by pro video production companies that are dubbing HD video from events onto Blu-ray discs for distribution to their clients.

With its $2,550 MSRP, the SR-HD1500 is ideal for the amateur video producer (weddings, parties, home movies) or home theater enthusiast.

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