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Customer Review

135 of 138 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DMR-BS850. Some downsides, 21 July 2009
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-BS850EBK Twin Freesat Tuners 500GB HDD Blu-ray Recorder (Electronics)
This is my third Panasonic recorder and undoubtedly another big step forward, but I've found a couple of drawbacks. The first is maybe not Panasonic's fault. Freesat HD gives the broadcasters the option not to allow writing of Bluray discs from HD programmes and they are certainly making plenty of use of that option!
Another major gripe is support for HD camcorders. Panasonic models are the only ones definitely supported. It has a firewire socket to record from a camera, but if you switch to HDV mode the screen goes blank. That is something carefully avoided in the manual and advertising. It will only read AVCHD format on SD cards from Panasonic HD camcorders. It is uncertain what other brands will work as this a new and unclear standard. I know if you edit the SD card on a computer it will no longer read it.
Being early days for HD and Bluray, these are things that are bound to improve, but it's something to be aware of now.
Update:
Having lived with this machine for about a year now I appreciate it more. I like the way it can record 2 things at once while doing doing almost anything else. It also retains the time and programmed recordings even when unplugged. Timer recordings are much more accurately set on Freesat. You don't usually need to add extra time to get the end of a programme that's running late. Broadcasters are now allowing more of the HD programmes to be copied to disc. I've now found computer programs that can write HD video on SD cards and discs that will play on this machine.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Jul 2009 00:08:35 BDT
G.L. Craig's comments were very comprehensive and informative, especially about the limited compatability with other equipment. I purchased the first DVD recorder by Panasonic (DMR-E20) for £1,000, years ago to make wedding DVD's and was disappointed. After a year the Sony GX7 DVD recorder (£800) was released which proved to be a much more versatile and reliable machine. I suspect blu-ray recording may go the same way. I currently make multi-camera wedding video's in 1080 line HD quality and record onto blu-ray discs with all Sony equipment (SR12 cameras and RM2 HD edit workstation with built-in blu-ray writer/rewriter). It is an expensive system but my preferred way, at present, to make really good, reliable blu-ray discs until Sony bring out cheaper stand-alone blu-ray recorders. For further information e-mail paul.holdstock@ntlworld.com
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