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311 of 314 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good results, but a few irritations
I bought this to replace a Sony recorder which had no Freeview, and because a recently bought Panasonic TV seemed to have much better reception in our marginal area than the (very expensive) Sony set-top box.

It's grindingly slow in pretty much everything it does, but it produces much better pictures than the (5+ years old) Sony. If you record in highest...
Published on 9 July 2010 by S. J. Ware

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110 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My first HDD DVD recorder...
I purchased this Panasonic HDD DVD recorder based on the Amazon reviews so knew about the ads on the TV guide - they are a nuisance grabbing approx 50% of the screen - but don't let that put you off an otherwise good unit. I have a full screen TV guide on my LCD TV so just use that and switch viewing to the Panasonic unit to set the recorder. There is one Freeview tuner...
Published on 3 Mar 2011 by Deej


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311 of 314 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good results, but a few irritations, 9 July 2010
By 
S. J. Ware "Stephen" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
I bought this to replace a Sony recorder which had no Freeview, and because a recently bought Panasonic TV seemed to have much better reception in our marginal area than the (very expensive) Sony set-top box.

It's grindingly slow in pretty much everything it does, but it produces much better pictures than the (5+ years old) Sony. If you record in highest quality to the hard drive, when you copy to your DVD, if it doesn't fit, instead of choosing an arbtirary recording mode (SP 2 hours, LP 3 hours etc) it compresses your files just enough to fit exactly onto the disc ("flexible recording") so you always get the best possible pictures. The algorithms are much improved too: I squeezed the whole of "Reds", a film lasting well over 3 hours, on to a single DVD-R and there wasn't a trace of mpeg2 artifact.

Reception a definite improvement on the old STB.

Pause live TV excellent.

There are a few personal irritations most of which are pretty trivial and relate to the software.

Slow reaction to every button press I have already mentioned, advertising panel on program guide noted by others.

No intelligent chaptering! Hasn't this been standard for ages?

Be careful with weekly timer recordings - it can't cope with these unless they start at the same time each week.

Listing recordings on the hard drive: poor selection of information. Tells you to the nearest minute when each recording was made, and even the day of the week, but no duration or size of the file. (Actually, I don't think the word "Gigbytes" apprears in any menu or display).
Every time you make the list or return to the listing screen after doing something, it insists on playing the currently selected recording in a little window, including sound, from the beginning. In an unedited recording this is usually a bit of banal dialogue from a BBC employee and becomes excruciatingly irritating when heard for the 20th time. (If it won't let you switch this off, at least put a TV mute button on the remote!)

Editing: I spend quite a lot of time removing adverts and think I will grow to like the available buttons (which include chapter +/-5mins; buttons for +1min and -10 secs; "joystick" for frame-by-frame) but remote design could be improved: the buttons are all different sizes and arbitrarily placed. When doing a repetitive job like this you don't want to have to keep looking at your fingers.

Can't do anything else when copying. I don't know if it would be possible to release the freeview tuner just by revising the software.

If you set the machine to switch itself off after copying, it will crash, and you will have to disconnect the power and reboot. As a matter of fact it has minor crashes from time to time which together with the slow response times (and a few other trivial irritations and malfunctions which I can't remember) suggests that the software is pretty ropey, possibly because it's new. No software updates yet, but when these arrive they should make this fine machine even better.

(March 2011) 9 months on and no sign that the creaky software has been updated. It has now several times failed to produce a proper DVD - the disk has no chapters and is not and cannot be finalised so can't be used in any other machine and is to all intents useless. (If this happens to you, you must switch the machine on and off at the mains or it will just do it again.)

I suspect the Sony equivalent might be better.
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110 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My first HDD DVD recorder..., 3 Mar 2011
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
I purchased this Panasonic HDD DVD recorder based on the Amazon reviews so knew about the ads on the TV guide - they are a nuisance grabbing approx 50% of the screen - but don't let that put you off an otherwise good unit. I have a full screen TV guide on my LCD TV so just use that and switch viewing to the Panasonic unit to set the recorder. There is one Freeview tuner so you cannot view a channel whilst recording another; however, you can view DVDs whilst recording. I've recorded 8mm and Hi8 video tapes direct to DVD through the AV2 connection with no issues at all. If I wanted to record from a VHS tape or Sky box (or similar) I'd use the same method and cannot foresee any problems whether to HDD or DVD. The HDD 160GB size is more than adequate for my uses as I expect to record from Freeview or Sky and delete when viewed. Any keepers would be re-recorded to DVD if space did become an issue.
The unit looks good; off means off - no standby light is left on. You can leave the unit in a standby mode based on a start and end time in which case it will boot quicker than when off. There is a noticable delay during full power up or switching between HDD and DVD.
I use the HDMI connection to my TV for up-scale of DVDs; that works well.
If you already have a TV with a Freeview tuner then do not think you "must have two" tuners on any HDD unit. You can watch through your TV Freeview and record another channel with your HDD Freeview. Simple!
Simple cannot be applied to the instruction book though; be ready for a good read if you do decide to buy!
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic is much improved, 1 Nov 2010
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
I purchased this as a replacement to my LG DVD HDD recorder and find it such a pleasure to use. It is quick and easy to set up and the recording menues are very easy to use. I especially love the one touch recording from the TV guide section. The picture quality is excellent.

It is a very quiet machine while running, which is quite different to the LG it has replaced. It is a nice looking piece of kit that will look good with any other equipment.

I can't recommend this highly enough. It was also voted the number one DVD HDD recorder by Stuff magazine this month.
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115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic DVD HD Recorder, 11 Jun 2010
By 
Derek Collins (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
Having previously owned a Panasonic DVD Recorder I found the product was easy to set up and run. Sometimes when you press some of the keys on the remote control there is a slight pause before it activates but you soon get used to this. I have now tried recording to the Hard Drive, Timer recording and transfering to DVD and finalising and it all seem to work well. Previous reviews have critised the advert window in the program guide but I personally did not find this is a problem. I can therefore recommend this productPanasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+, 1 Oct 2010
By 
J. C. Brook - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
I am very pleased indeed with this Panasonic DVD recorder, bought after reading reviews on Amazon. I had it up and running very quickly and it is just so easy to use. I am not a technophobe, but neither am I a wizard! The instruction book is comprehensive but the onscreen directions are easy to work out. I am not using all the functions and probably never will, but for recording and playback it is brilliant. The guide that lets you record from the list of programmes up to a week in advance is so easy to use and the series recording a great boon. Other products do the same, this is just easy to use! I did have a slight problem with lip synch at first but that seems to be OK now. I have also just tried to use a commercially recorded DVD and at first could not work it out as it seemed to be incompatible with my system, but with 10 minutes perseverance I found that I had to change the TV system over - I just have to remember to change it back after use each time. Would highly recommend. And my worries about the on-screen advertising came to nothing, it is not intrusive and I didn't even notice it at first I had to look for it!
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74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How did I ever cope without one!, 29 Mar 2011
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
I purchased this product 3 months ago now and I have to say it is one of the best technology purchases that I have ever made. You can watch DVD's whilst you are recording a show which I was not expecting and you can also watch something that you have previously recorded whilst recording something else as well. I have used mine to record a lot of films from the TV onto the hard drive, then edit out the adverts and transfer onto DVD which I think is going to save me a lot of money in the long term!

The TV guide does have adverts on the left hand side, but to be honest I never even notice them and do not find them to be overly intrusive. The Series Link appears to work well but now that I have this DVD recorder I have found that I hardly ever watch normal TV any more, but just record everything and watch it when I want, which also means I can fast forward the adverts. On most TV shows when you press the skip forward button it skips straight to the end of the adverts but on some shows you end up having to do it manually with the fastforward button, but it's not really that much of a big problem.

Overall I have found it to be a very good product which does what it says on the tin!
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93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Machine, 26 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
This is the third panasonic DVD recorder we've bought. The first two were so good especially when compared to a friend's SONY that when another was needed in the family we bought this one. I was originally apprehensive about the advert portion of the guide screen mentioned in the other reviews but I have to admit in no time at all, I was ignoring it. Can't see that the advertisers are making anything out of it but it will put some people off. The machine is so good that I'd suggest you ignore this small point. The instructions could be better but if you persevere you'll really enjoy the many features such as recording live TV (unless you're already recording) & using the skip to skip adverts on recordings on the hard-drive or a DVD RAM disc.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says, but...., 13 Aug 2011
By 
J. Mathers - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
After forgetting the baffling instructions on how to get started (which didn't work) I just poked a few buttons and found out for myself. Everything on this unit functions well and has been is satisfactory, until today. I've discovered a possible snag no one else has mentioned with regard to transferring series recordings to DVD. Whilst I can copy single programs to DVD-R without a hitch, when I try to copy series recorded programs, the disc refuses to finalise. Even more annoying is that when you try to take the disc out, you get an error trapping message reminding you that you must finalise the disc. Press the red "Rec" button it helpfully tells you, but of course it doesn't work. Each attempt ends up with the same message "Finalising unsuccessful". Nothing in the manual mentions this, as far as I know.

Otherwise, after from the frequently mentioned annoying loss of space on the EPG, I'm happy enough with this unit.

I'd be grateful for any advice or fixes anyone knows about.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder, 20 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
The above unit was purchased from Amazon three months ago and since new has quite regularly gone to "blue screen" and giving a message "There may be a problem with the disc.Press OK. Then the unit turns to standby, and starts disc recovery after restart." This is annoying when it occurs in the middle of a recording.
After restart the PVR appears to work okay. This sometimes will happen several time per week. I am therefore concerned that it is a sign of a more serious fault developing. I have two other similar Panasonic PVRs , neither of which have exhibited this particular problem but they have not been fault free either.
The first one that I purchased on 01/01/2007 is a DMR-EX85EB and, as it will now no longer receive digital Freeview broadcasts, I gave it away to a family member who uses in conjunction with a satellite receiver.
The second unit purchased, 16/01/2009, is a DMR-EX768EB which now does not recognise that a disc is present when it is put into the DVD player/recorder. I contacted the local Panasonic dealership regarding this PVR and they would not even discuss the problem without having it in their workshop when would then charge 40 for their opinion. This seemed to me a rather open ended situation, as the DVD writer is a non standard and expensive component. I therefore decided to buy the present recorder. On the plus side, all three of these units will still record to their hard drives and so are still useful. With the above experience I am concerned that these PVR's do not appear to be at all reliable. The above unit is at present therefore in the process of being returned to Amazon for full refund. Amazon have been most helpful in this matter and given me the opportunity to replace it with a different make of PVR. I really liked the Panasonic PVR. When it works it is quiet, easy to use and gives excellent results. I contacted Panasonic three weeks ago and today received an email saying that they are looking into the problem.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 2 Aug 2010
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX773EBK 160GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
I've had this recorder for 10 days and am pretty pleased with it. It is unlikely we will use the DVD side for more than
playback which seems to have all the essential features for photos, music (CDs) and prerecorded DVD films.
Main useage is the PVR side, largely TV guide recording (EPG). The ease of use for this is good, and I just ignore
the ads on the guide which seem to exercise other people - so they aren't achieving much, are they?!!!
One worry, however, is the ocurrance (twice) of the U80 error message. Turning off / on does correct this, but why does a brand
new unit throw errors? I have googled this and see that it is quite common, but without satifactory explanation.
One other irritation when recording from the TV guide yesterday it missed the first 10 minutes of Sherlock before starting up.
I don't know why.
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