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Customer Review

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic BWT735EB Blu-Ray Recorder, 30 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-BWT735EB Smart Blu-ray Disc Recorder with 1TB HDD and Twin Freeview+ HD Tuners (Electronics)
Firstly, I'm not out to write a review longer than Brian Lee's, and before you read this I do urge you to read his review as he covers most things about this machine, and as others have said his review is like the manual should have been.
Anyway assuming you've read it but still haven't decided to buy this first rate machine then lets hope I can convince you.....

Most of my review will be about the recording capabilities as this is what I got these machines for.

I can't, and won't, comment on things I've not tried as obviously it wouldn't be accurate and will give a misleading perception of this box. One thing I won't be commenting on is the app for remote recording as I seem to be part of the 0.0001% of the global population that doesn't have a smart phone.

Well like Brian Lee I have more than one HDD/DVD recorder and like Brian I always use all of them, but unlike Brian who has
obviously and sensibly gradually changed his machines bit by bit over the years I decided to go the expensive route and replace all of my 3 at once! The original machines were only ever a stop gap, were refurbished and only designed to last 12 -18 Months or so before being replaced by more modern kit. So right on time and only 8 years later I finally get round to it. As the price had dropped to £310 I couldn't resist the chance of having 3 of these machines, although I was slightly worried as some customers have ordered these and obviously had been sent previously returned kit I thought these might be too as the price had dropped so much. I needn't have worried though as all came in the original Panasonic boxes.

Anyway as several have commented the 120 page manual isn't the world's best as it takes a bit of following but, once you start
to understand the writer's logic, is useful in parts. An example of the writing is the recordable media part as one thing they
don't mention, but by reading between the lines, is that they don't support or particularly like DVD+Rs. All comments regarding this media are in the format of DVD-R, DVD-RW, then +R and +RW, as if adding DVD in front of this would somehow sully this type of media. (They do work OK but will only write at normal speed, so a 2 hour movie will take 2 hours to copy regardless of the DVD+R speed, also when copying you cannot do anything else on the machine, and that includes timed recordings)
On DVD-Rs it does write faster (about 6 to 8x) and also faster than 1x with DVD-RWs - about 4x with these.
Because of this if you are writing to DVD+Rs then converting from the default DR recording to a suitable DVD type first is a a
waste of time as a DR file will auto convert to the best possible option for DVDs anyway, and this happens in real time.

Therefore if you were to convert it first then a 2 hour film will take 2 hours to record (Wow! Really?), 2 hours to convert then 2 hours to copy to DVD, 6 hours in total, when it could be done in 4.
For DVD-Rs or Blu-ray it may be worth converting first as this stops if the machine has something to record whereas when you're burning to DVDs that will take priority.

On Blu-Ray disks the write speed is even faster, a 2 hour programme copied in about 8 minutes, and I've tried most of the higher level settings available for these although I haven't copied a DR recording to any disks as yet. Also when burning to Blu-Rays you can watch an HD channel or record something else to the HDD.
Update:- I have just copied 3 films to a blu-ray 25Gb disk, very nearly filling it (5 hours 45 minutes of HX quality), and it
copied in just 22 minutes. I have also copied a DR recording and finalised the disk however it won't play that file on my Sony
Blu-Ray home cinema system. That isn't that old so a word of warning a DR file copied to a blu-ray disc, and the finalised does not guarantee it playing on any Blu-ray machine. Just to note the disk also had HX standard blu-ray films on it and they played on the Sony fine, and all films played on the Panasonic, so its not a faulty disk or recording.

One reviewer commented that their machine must have a fault as when it copied to DVD it only used half the disk. Well the good
news for them is that the machine doesn't have a fault. I suspect that they have probably mis-understood the copy limitations
when the machine auto converts. There are several recording options - both for blu ray and DVD - On the DVD side the options are XP 1 hour, SP 2 hour, LP 4 hour or EP which is either 6 or 8 hours depending on how the machine has been set. if there is a 1hr 55 min film to convert the machine will change it to SP mode therefore apparently nearly filling up the disk as nearly all of the 2 hour availability would have been used. However if the recording is say 2hrs 5 mins long then it won't fit in SP mode, so the recording will be changed to LP or 4 hours. The disk afterwards will look mostly empty as there is a fair part of it unused. <<< Because it simply isn't clever enough to convert it so all of the disk of a given recording is used. As the machine is obviously geared up for blu-ray use rather than DVD its a fair guess to say there will never be an upgrade that will enable this.>>>>>
**Update 24th March**
Ignore the bit in the << >> as I've made an error here. ---I've kept it in in case anyone who has read this review decides to re-read it and also proves I am not afraid to admit it when I get it wrong-----. Anyway, the machine is indeed clever enough to use all of a DVD for a non-standard time. You first need to format the DVD, then select copy and from the available recording options select FR. (Flexible recording - what it does is obvious by the name but very clever none the less!) The machine will then fill the disk with the recording(s) to be copied. I've used this twice so far, once 2hrs 55 minutes the other 2 hours 58 minutes. Both times it said the DVD would be 99% used. OK in this case the size of the recordings were pretty similar but I bet it could be used from any length from 1 hour 1 minute up to 4 hours. At the moment I'm not sure about recordings over 4hours as this is going into EP mode anyway and anything under 1 hour would almost certainly be in the highest XP setting so FR mode would be pointless. However now I've used it (and impressed as this means that as all of the DVD is used there is less of a quality drop) I will be trying out various options to find out the longest and shortest times FR can reasonably be used.
I am fairly confident though that it can't be used indefinitely so 8 hours recording time is still the maximum.
**End update**
**Follow up**
I've had a look and anything that's under 1 hour will record in the highest XP mode so a 30 minute program can't be saved in "Super High" DVD quality mode as it simply doesn't exist. At the other end though FR mode can be used right up to 8 hours, so you can store 2 or more films of various lengths on a DVD and get the best quality possible out of the disk. However as blu-ray disks themselves are fairly inexpensive compared to DVDs, using a DVD to copy extreme length files would be a waste of this machine's capabilities. I wouldn't record anything over 4 hours on a DVD, and even if it was only original SD quality material I was burning to this media and it was greater than this length I'd simply use an additional disk.
**End**

When recording a program you cannot record direct to a DVD or Blu-Ray disk, you record to the HDD then burn to optical media
afterwards. My older machines did have this facility but I never used it anyway as when you record to the hard drive you can
edit all the unwanted bits out, so a film that's 2 1/2 hours on Channel4 can fit in the 2 hour SP mode on a DVD. Although you
can edit out adverts on a DVD/blu-ray direct the space used is not freed up. And of course if you could record to Blu-Ray and
used both tuners to do this the poor laser would have a dicky fit in trying to record the programs!

The upscaling of SD material is pretty impressive and even a recording in 8 hour EP mode isn't that bad. Of course there is
quite a drop in quality but a conversion mode that can give 1/3rd of a day of video on a DVD, or half a week of recorded
material on a DL blu-ray isn't going to show every individual hair on Angelina Jolie's head.
As the 1TB HDD disk gives oodles of HD recording time I can't think of an occasion where EP mode would ever need to be used as
it would give over 10 weeks(!!) of recorded material on the HDD. For radio broadcasts the quality would be OK but I'm sure there are cheaper machines just for radio recording.

The machine itself it was relatively easy to set up and then once the HDMI port was chosen and a HD TV channel was selected
there was a slight thud. This wasn't a fault but was caused indirectly by the machine as the following events will clarify.
1) Channel selected,
2) Picture displayed on the TV
3) Image hits the eyes
4) Image processed by brain
5) Jaw gives up the struggle against gravity and starts to hurtle towards the Earth's core, only being stopped on its long
journey by gently hitting the living room carpet and so causing the aforementioned thud.

The picture is simply stunning!! Anyone who says it isn't either
a) Hasn't selected an HD channel,
b) Has a rubbish ariel,
c) Hasn't connected it up properly (or possibly at all!),
d) Has used a T*sco value £0.99 HDMI cable to connect up to their TV
e) Hasn't got an HD TV but is unaware of it, or
f) Any or all of the above.

Many others have commented the HD channels are of a higher quality than those broadcast by Sky, and I've done a more thorough
test than the initial 'auto jaw-drop' one mentioned above.
I've been able to test this the same way I did when I had my first blu-ray player, that is comparing a film I had to one being
broadcast on satellite Channel4 HD at the time. Then there was a slight but noticable drop in quality. Now I've been able to try this again with another film being compared to terrestrial TV, again it was Channel4 HD, and yes the quality is higher and
although not quite true 1080p blu-ray it comes pretty damn close!

The editing software for getting rid of the annoying adverts or whatever is excellent as you can adjust it to the nearest frame so editing to the point just before the station id comes up. Also on the ITV channels they put chapter markers in on the advert start and stop points so when doing a partial divide selecting forward skip takes you to the relevant edit point, Film 4 does this too (shame there's no HD version on terrestrial TV yet) but strangely enough Channel4 doesn't.

The EPG, as Brian has commented gives quite a range of view - 2 1/2 hours - on the screen so less scrolling is required, a small touch but a nice one. To record something is just select the item on the EPG and press the red button. If it is a series it will prompt you to series link if required. So far using this method I've missed the start of only one film that was on late on Film 4. As they repeat them a few times anyway I'll catch it next time. BBC, ITV and Channel4 seem to be better at the start/stop broadcast signal as I've not lost anything from these channels, yet.

As for connecting up to the router wirelessly, one machine did it first time, the second took a couple of attempts before it
located it - surprising as the machines are located rignt next to each other, - but possibly because I originally had it wired before reconnecting the cat 5 back to the TV.
The signal strength is only 3 bars but BBC i-player stuff seems fine, not tried Netflix so can't comment.
Some have said that connecting wirelessly has been a pain, and I don't know why one took 1 minute the other nearer 10 so perhaps they are a bit flaky on the wireless side.

The lack of output from the scart socket is only slightly irritating but has forced me to finally replace the old tv in the
bedroom for the third machine. As this was the only place the scart output was used in my original setup to any extent, the fact that this isn't an option any more isn't a show stopper for me.
Some have said that not having a second SCART socket for input/output is penny pinching by Panasonic and yes it is, but SCART
was only mainly a European convention and as it is analogue is starting to die out anyway.
As for no direct RGB sockets, again not an issue for me but I agree with many others that Panasonic may have dropped the ball
here.

The remote not having a mute button is a strange oversight as there are volume control buttons so I don't understand why there
isn't one, and I think it would have been more useful than the Netflix button, but each to their own. Some other buttons aren't naturally easily accessible either, but may become so in time as I get more used to it. Also it can be a bit slow in responding to commands from the remote, its only about a 2 second or so delay but seems ages when you're trying to select something. Again possibly something you just get used to.
The machine can be set to receive only commands from one remote so if you have 2 together as I do then this is a godsend as then you can't be using one and accidentally deleting stuff off the other. In fact they have set it so you can have up to 6 machines in one room and they will all only work on their own remote. Although a tv recorder's dream even I can't see a situation where I would have 6 of these (cost among others) and be using all the tuners to record 12 channels at one time.

All in all the Panasonic BWT-735 is an excellent machine with only very minor niggles, and as far as I can tell the only one on the UK market that offers HD recording and burning to blu-ray. All other manufacturers are loosing out because of this, I only hope the others follow Panasonic's lead rather then Panasonic joining the rest of the herd.
If you've read all of this review and got this far then well done. As I said at the start I replaced rather elderly kit with
this model, and unlike others I'll keep these not until next years' model comes out but when these too become elderly and start to go wrong or become totally obsolete.
So expect my next review on digital recording media sometime next decade when hopefully it'll be the Panasonic model with a 1
petabyte (1000 Tb for those who don't know) solid state drive, recording in 8HK 3D from any of its quad or hex range of tuners
and giving the option to record on uv-ray-v5 10 Tb disks, complete with 6 Month catch up i-player on BBC channels 1 -10, and all variants of ITV, Channel4 and Channel5 as well as the other 100 or so channels available by then.
OK, this is a fantasy today but in 10 years time............?
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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Jan 2014 07:12:37 GMT
9 out of ten for your review, BUT can the Blu-Ray discs that it creates be played on other manufacturers players ? Now here you have the biggest stumbling block in this excellent machine s repertoire. See my reviews on this subject.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2014 09:33:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 31 Jan 2014 09:47:46 GMT
Isaac Asimov says:
Hi there, thanks for the comment. The answer is a typical politician's in it depends..... I'll now answer it properly :-)
The machine records in DR mode by default, which I think means Direct Recording. In this mode if copied to a blu-ray for some reason it won't play on my Sony Blu-Ray home cinema system, but when converted to what I think is one of the blu-ray standard formats of HX (Still new to blu-ray burning so not 100% sure here) it plays with no problem. I watched 300 recently broadcast by ITV and the picture and sound were superb, even better with no adverts! Also just to confirm I have literally just (09:10 AM 31st Jan) put in a blu-ray recorded disc from the Panasonic into the Sony that has yet to be finalised and that plays OK. Hope this helps

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2014 11:44:05 GMT
Thank you for the reply Isaac, You can play the Blu-Ray discs as they come off the recorder on a Panasonic Cinema system ( Model No SA-BTT290 bought in 2013 from J/Lewis and still available on the Amazon Site ) if you are interested see my reviews, to get into them look in the reviews for this product, mine is on the first page, I have been through a further 6 top of the range D V D players some of them at £200 plus and non of them will play the discs including the Panasonic models, with two of these recorders (735) and the cinema system I have some redundancy built in. I have decided not to go into the HX format.

Posted on 14 Mar 2014 12:33:00 GMT
Scooter says:
Great review.

I have a few questions, if you could answer them, then that would be great.

1) Can you delete or rearrange all the boring and unwanted channels from the EPG you so don't have to scroll through a mass on boring channels like :- BBC4, QVC, Ideal World, Bid, The Big Deal, Create & Craft, Price Drop, Rocks & Co, Gems TV, QVC Beauty, Food Network, and all other shopping channels, cooking channels and all kids channels.

2) How well is the stored recordings organised ? and can you create your own folders or move recordings into a different Category ?

3) How noisy or quiet is the box while in use while only watching TV, and how quiet is it in standby, and how quiet is it while recording while in standby ? Would it be enough to wake a light sleeper if i was to keep it in my bedroom only 6 feet from my head at the bottom of my bed ?

4) Has 4oD and 5oD apps been added to catch up TV yet ?

Thank you for taking the time to help me.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2014 20:46:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Mar 2014 21:09:36 GMT
Isaac Asimov says:
Hi S.Richardson, thanks for the glowing comment.
I saw your comment almost the moment it came in but didn't answer before as to be honest on question 1 I simply didn't know. Also on this 1 I'd have to disagree about BBC4, however it is a minority interest channel so will be of interest only for the errm minority(!) but as for the rest, OH GOD YES!
Anyway I've now found out about this so read on.......
Here are the answers to your queries as listed
1) Yes you can. You don't delete channels but can either have a list of 4 different types of favourites or can select a type. I suspect though from your question that you mean can you remove channels from the EPG. Again the answer is yes, you simply mark as hide and they vanish from the list. (So they are not deleted just hidden) Also when channel updates come in - as one has tonight by chance - and so adds new channels it does not un-hide any existing ones.
I've just noticed too that you can't hide channels while recording something. Fairly obvious when you think about it but could be confusing if you weren't aware of it (Channel hiding is in setup which is greyed out while recording)
2) They are stored as groups and you can do as requested. If you record a series of programs - Like Death In Paradise, or Jeremy Paxman's excellent 4 part series regarding the First World War - it automatically "lumps" the same programs together into a group. I initially found this a bit annoying but after de-selecting this option I realised it really is very useful so re-selected it again.
The list of programs on the HDD is always stored as
"Channel Name" "Date" "Title Name" "Titles" -
Channel Name is fairly obvious (yes the name not the number) - and is the Channel of the first recording - a few lines down this will become more relevant
The Date is the date of the first recording in the series, or just the date of the recording if there is only one.
Title Name, again obvious and is shown in full form. I don't know how many characters it can show but by looking at the list I would hazard a guess at about 40, so for instance one series I recorded, Have I Got Old News For You, was displayed exactly like that
Titles is simply the number of programs in that folder or group.
You can also add other programs to any folder or list. For example although its a very clever machine, the Horizon recordings I have are on BBC2 and BBC4 and so it didn't automatically put them together. If you do group them together though, as in this case, all subsequent recordings then go in the one folder (refer back to Channel Name here)
You can create folders but you don't create an empty one and put the program in there, what you do is select 2 or more programs (or folders) then select create group. It then creates it with the earliest recording being shown in the list by Channel name/date/title etc..
If you want to add one or more programs to a group you select them and the group then select create group (This sounds confusing but when you do it, it isn't) What happens then is a larger group is created, again the earliest recording dictates its name / Channel etc.
an FYI for you here. When you divide the first and last unwanted bits of a recording this will automatically create a group of the now three recordings. Once the two at either end are deleted the group will then go as it is only one recording again.
Also you can't have groups/folders within a group, so in the above case there would be extra files created within the group when the start and end are divided off. Hope the last 3 sentences make sense.
3) Noise is a bit subjective but in standby it is silent. When recording from standby in the living room with the TV on you won't hear it, unless of course you are listening out for it. In a quiet room while sleeping there is a slight noise of it waking up and accessing the disk to start recording. I too am a very light sleeper and it has woken me up on occasion. However I am a very very light sleeper, which is why I know that my next door neighbour goes to the bathroom at 2:00AM, 3:30AM and 4:30AM every night!! (But don't get me started :-) ) I also have the box about 3 feet away from me. At twice the distance it may be far enough away to be inaudible.
4) This response will be short, but regrettably not sweet as unfortunately no they haven't.

Apologies if I've waffled on a bit but hopefully what you want to know will be somewhere in this response.

Posted on 30 Apr 2014 20:54:02 BDT
Maid Marian says:
Dear Mr Asimov (your real name?!!)
Having read your review and answers to other people's questions, can I ask if you could write a manual for this machine please?! I have one of these player/recorders and love everything about it, BUT there are sections of the manual I can't fathom. I'm not particularly stupid around today's technology, neither am I a 'nerd' - I can claim to have taught myself to use a Mac computer after years of 'suffering' a Windows PC - but I really don't understand what some sections are telling me. For example, I've tried to edit adverts from recordings, but it seems such a long-winded and fiddly process, that I've given up. I'm sure you could make it all so very clear!

I'm with you on the BBC4 thing - can't do without a bit of Nordic noir.

Thanks for an entertaining and erudite review

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2014 22:34:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2014 22:36:34 BDT
Isaac Asimov says:
Hi Maid Marian, so sorry to hear about Robin. But for a Nottingham man I was surprised to find out that he had an American accent then years later heard that it had changed into an Australian one :-)
Anyway onto editing out annoying ads out films/favourite programs or whatever.
This sort of thing is my forte as I am a bit OCD about adverts and station ids flashing up when I'm watching anything I've recorded.
Some channels do have chapter breaks where you can skip to them bit I'll mention that at the end.
To take out the adverts you simply
1) Select the program from the Navigator - not to watch just highlighted
2) Select option from the remote
3) Select edit from the Menu that will appear
4) Select Partial delete from the new menu
This will then show the the film in a window and underneath it will be a scroll bar with the arrow at the far left
5) Simply press play or better still press the forward slow/search button 2 or 3 times
The film will start to run faster and the triangle beneath the scroll bar will run along it.
To the right of this bar the time of the film at that point will also be shown
6) When you get to near the advert break press play or pause
7) While paused again use the slow/search buttons to slowly search for the start point of the film you want to edit out
7.5) What I do here is when I've found the edit point I then pause playback and move it a long a few frames either forward or backwards before deciding on the best point (Well I did say I was OCD about it) before pausing again
8) When you find the desired point press OK.
9) This will
a) Un highlight the Start button
b) Highlight the End Button
c) Show what he last frame before the edit will be in the bottom left window as well as the start time
d) Place a mark on the scroll bar
10) Press Play
11) Press Slow/Search button to speed up the film again
12) When you are at the end of the ad break again press play, then pause
13) Then again scroll backwards and forwards using the slow/search buttons
14) At the ideal point press OK again
15) This will
a) Un highlight the End button
b) Highlight the Next Button
c) Show what the first frame after the edit will be in the bottom right window as well as the end time
d) Place another mark on the scroll bar
16 If you are happy with the start and end results press OK again
17) This will
a) Reset all the buttons on the right hand side
b) Mark on the scroll bar the part of the film to be deleted
c) Blank out the start and end frames as well as the times on the bottom windows
d) Start the film off again

Then repeat the above for the next break
The above seems like a lot of hard work but if you notice most of it is what's happening when you select something, and it is nowhere near as arduous as the above makes it seems.

When you have reached the end of the film there should be several grey blocks on the scroll bar underneath the main screen. These are the bits that are going to be deleted

18) Press the down arrow on the remote to highlight the Continue button
19) Press OK
20) A new window will be displayed asking you to either delete or cancel the bits of the film marked in grey, and also how much free space there will be after these bits have gone
If you press cancel if you've made an error somewhere in the editing and then nothing is deleted
21) Press delete then it goes back to the original window where you started from
22) Press Back/Return
That's it!

If you've recorded something off Film4 , Movie Mix or ITV2 to mention a few then they put chapter breaks in.
This means that instead of searching for the ads you simply press skip and it takes you to very nearly the advert break point.
Then you can simply fine tune to the exact frame you want to edit in and out from.
ITV used to do this but this year stopped for some annoying reason and Channel4 I don't think have ever done this.

If like me you also like the picture on the navigator to show the start of the program or the title of the film rather than some random frame 6 minutes in to the program then
1) Highlight the film in the Navigator
2) Press Option
3) Select edit from the menu
4) Select Change Thumbnail from the new menu
This will then show the frame as the current thumbnail
5) Press play
6) Then slow/search until you find the frame you want to be the thumbnail
7) Select Change
8) This will show the new thumbnail in the bottom window, as well as the time it is in the film (I must admit even I'm not bothered about the time thing)
9) Select Finish
Job Done

Hope all of the above helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2014 23:06:19 BDT
Maid Marian says:
Wow! Thank you for taking all that time and effort. I'm going to have a go tomorrow and I'll let you know. I do understand about the chapter breaks as we skip through them during playback. I still think the whole process would be easier on a computer, I'm going to try it that way as well, by transferring a TV programme to a DVD (adverts included) and then to the Mac and then edit it. Mind you, now I've written that, perhaps that would be fiddly as well! Isn't technology a wonderful thing!

I'll get back to you on my success, or otherwise. Just off to rob a few rich people .......

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2014 18:52:22 BDT
Maid Marian says:
Thank you Isaac.
I followed your directions and successfully managed to edit 3 lots of adverts from a programme.

Now I've done it, it seems so easy (but still fiddly) but for some reason I got lost with the instructions in the manual.

Now then (or 'ey up youth, as we say down here in Notts - yes, I really DO live near Sherwood Forest) can I bother you again when I try to transfer stuff to a DVD? I haven't collected enough material yet, so it may be a while.

Once again, thanks for your help - invaluable. Your talents are priceless!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2014 23:29:09 BDT
Isaac Asimov says:
Hi Marion, did you have a successful time robbing off the landed gentry?

I'm glad the instructions helped. as for the Mac I've never used one although they are known to be far superior to Windows PCs when editing digital media, so it may well be easier on there.

The task of burning a DVD from the HDD sounds simple, and on my old machines it was. However on this machine there are loads of different ways to do lots of various types of recordings. In Panasonic's defence though it could be argued that you are being given lots of options and/or choices
Anyway assuming its a DVD, - as opposed to a Blu-Ray or DVD-RAM
Firstly you have slightly more flexibility with DVD-Rs than DVD+Rs on this machine so more complications, or choice if you're being charitable.
On DVD+Rs no matter what speed they are rated at, it will only copy at normal speed.
On the slightly older DVD-R format it will copy up to the speed of the DVD so 16x will copy twice (ish) faster than 8x
The above is useful as it can make a difference when deciding to convert a film or not.
When copying to a DVD the film is converted into a suitable format as the default DR mode will not copy to DVD.
This is fine however it happens at normal speed so if you've got a 2 hour film to copy it will take 2 hours to convert it, which again is OK.
However when copying DVDs your machine cannot do anything else and that includes timed recordings.
To get round this what you can do is convert the film and then copy the converted file to the DVD at 8x or 16x so the time the machine is frozen out of other tasks is reduced.

When mentioning maximum recording times I mean to a standard DVD. A double layer DVD gives about 1.75 times the recording capacity

To convert the film
1) Highlight the film in the Navigator
2) Press Option on the remote
3) From the menu select Edit
4) from the sub menu select File Conversion
This will show a new screen with recording Options highlighted
5) Press the right arrow and then select one of the options
On DVDs the H* options won't work as they are for Blu-Rays only
6) Select the desired choice from the rest
They are
XP To record highest quality DVD image but this will only give 1 hours recording on a standard DVD
SP Normal quality - 2 hours
LP Long Play - 4 hours
EP Extended play - again yet another option as the machine can be set for either 6 or 8 hours.
7) From the above work out which one will give the highest quality possible for the time of the recording (So for a 2 hour film XP won't work, LP and EP would give a poorer copy so SP is the only sensible choice)
8) Ignore subtitles and Audio description unless you want these copied too
9) On Timing leave it as "During Standby" - this means that you can watch something else and when you switch the machine off it will then convert it
Also this stops if a timed recording kicks in and will then start from the beginning again once the recording has finished
10) You then have the option to select Convert only or Convert and Delete (the original)
I never select the latter as the original is always broadcast quality and I might want to convert it again to another format
You then get a confirmation message
11) Select OK
You will then notice that the film type will have something like (DR-> SP) next to its time
12) Switch off the machine, the file converts and when switched back on again, at a time greater than the film length, there will be 2 titles the same, one a DR type the other an SP type.
Make sure a blank DVD is in, yes I have put in a finalised one in before now, so always check!
13) Highlight the SP film
14) Select Copy - Blue Button on the remote
15) Select Yes to copy the film
16) In the new window you then have a couple of further options for the machine to go into standby when its finishes and also to finalise so making it playable on any other DVD player
17) Select OK on the remote and off it copies

OK a tad long winded and also I haven't mentioned that you can convert several files, and select them using the yellow button to copy them all in one go.
Also as I said earlier DVD+Rs will only copy at normal speed so if that's what you have then the conversion is a waste of time as you don't gain anything from it
And the copy Window for DVD+Rs is different too as you get an extra information window stating it will only copy in normal speed before the copy window and the copy window itself has a the extra options of Subtitles and Audio description

Another way, yes there's more!!!!
1) Press Drive Select on the Remote
2) select BD from the menu
3) If its blank disc select Format on the next menu, otherwise select Copy to disc
4) Select yes to the information Window about formatting
5) Select Start on the warning/information window if formatting
It will then finally get round to formatting it!
6) Press OK
7) Press Function Menu on the remote
8) Select Copy
9) select Copy Video
You may get the warning message "Insert a suitable disc"
If so
A) press OK
The source option may be in blue and say BD/DVD
B) Right arrow on the remote to highlight source
C) Press OK
D) Select HDD

You now have another new window to get your head round!

10) step 1 Copy direction is or should be set to ->BD / DVD if not repeat step 9
11) Select 2 Copy Mode
12) Right arrow on remote
13) Select recording Mode
It will then highlight all of the recording modes, again the HG,HX, etc are greyed out as they are for Blu-Rays
However you may notice an extra option of FR mode - more later **
14) Select any of the DVD Modes, XP, SP etc.
15) left arrow on the remote
16) Select 3 Create list
17) Right arrow the remote
18) Select New item
You will then have a window similar to the navigation one with all of your recorded programs shown
19) Select the film using the yellow remote button. You can select additional programs here too if desired.
If you select too many for the DVD to record you get a warning window.
20) Press OK
21) Left arrow the remote
22) Select 4 Other Settings
Again the subtitles, finalise and audio description options are available
23) Select start copying
24) Press OK
You then get the obligatory information window
25) Select Yes
Copying starts

**FR mode is very good as if this is selected then the DVD will automatically adjust the quality of its recording to match the length of the film. So if you have a 2 hour 5 minute film then select this instead of LP as it will give a higher quality recording as it will use all of the disc. It is pointless for less than 1 hour though.

It may come as no surprise that for Blu-Rays it is slightly different again, although the above broadly covers most of it.
The main difference is when finalising one as
1) Press Function Menu
2) Select others
3) Select BlueRay Disc Management - yes the English not the American way of spelling "Disc" - This is also known as the correct way :-)
4) select finalise to enable the disc to be played back on all Blu-Ray players

Note be careful here NOT to go into BD-Video Data Management as in there you have the option to completely delete everything off the HDD

As for DVD-RAMs I have no idea as I've never used them although I've heard they are incredibly flexible in data storage, but as I use my machine to copy films and programs I don't really have a need for these.

Finally a word of warning
When you're next out with your merry band, beware the evil Sheriff!
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