The DHR8203U manages superb picture quality. Hi-def channels such as BBC HD and ITV 1 HD are stunning in their depth and detail, though that's hardly a surprise.
More of a shock is the excellent quality of most SD channels, which are solid, colourful and almost completely free of artefacts and noise. The DHR8203U doesn't shout about its upscaling abilities, but it's pretty clear that it's doing something special since pictures even from low bittrate channels are always watchable on a big telly.
Hit the 'Media' button and a list of recordings is presented. The DHR8203U's MPEG4 recorder churns out TRP files, though they're only visible in the Media list and can't be transferred to an external USB drive.
The quality of recordings made on the DHR8203U is also excellent. Colours are vibrant, detail is high; they're identical to the original broadcasts. All good, but an option to reduce the quality (and, therefore, size) of recordings would be useful.