74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for transfering old VHS to DVD,
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This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX769EB-K Freeview+ 160GB Hard Disc Drive DVD Recorder 1080p Up Conversion (Electronics)I bought this mainly to transfer some old VHS-C camcorder tapes to the digital realm, and this it does extremely well. The unit features noise reduction which is adjustable to three settings, it is not intrusive and does a fine job to cut out some of the noise inherent on old VHS tapes. I used a decent old Sony VHS deck to play back the tapes and piped the output from that via a SCART block and A/V leads (yellow, red, white) to the AV3 input on the front of the Panasonic. The resulting recordings are first saved to the internal hard drive where they can be edited, cut, chaptered, etc before being recorded onto DVD. Editing can be done very precisely on this unit, something which I found to be quite impressive.
The Panasonic is however quite picky about which DVDs it will record to, I had to go and buy some Panasonic DVD-RW discs online but they're not too expensive. Haven't tried any DVD-R discs yet but I would go and buy some Panasonic branded ones just to be on the safe side.
There doesn't appear to be much choice for DVD menus on DVDs you record yourself - just the same layout of squares with a few different coloured backgrounds. OK for basic stuff, but once on DVD it's not too difficult to rip the DVD contents to a computer and drop the footage into your favourite DVD creation software. Note that the Panasonic will not record from a VHS tape or DVD that has protection on it (which many commercial pre-recorded ones do).
My main criticism of this unit is that it's a pretty poor DVD player, this almost seems like an after thought as it's not a patch on my old Pioneer DVD player, the thing I miss most is the memory - the Pioneer DVD player would remember the precise moment that I last stopped a disc and would resume playback from that point even if the disc was removed and the unit shut down (it had memory for quite a few discs too); the Panasonic doesn't remember anything, if a disc is in the unit it will start playing at chapter one, scene one when the unit is switched on in DVD mode, which is annoying if I am on chapter 4, or episode 4 of a series, as I have to stop it, go through the initial main menu animation (which cannot be skipped), scroll to episode 4 and then finally click on play episode. It makes the unit a poor replacement for my old player, I am considering re-instating my old player and using the Panasonic only for recording.
I've given it four stars because of the excellent recording ability this unit has, one star is knocked off for the poor DVD playback features (or lack thereof). If you just watch films all the way through it won't be a problem, likewise if you just want to record Freeview programmes the unit does an admirable job of this too (the HDD previews and menu system for recorded programmes works very well). Also it integrates well with my Panasonic TV and allows me to use another of my HDMI ports instead of SCART, giving me a slightly crisper image from old VHS recordings and such.
Overall a very good unit, let down only by the DVD playback portion.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Sep 2009 02:33:19 BDT
Mrs. A. Thresher says:
Good review, and what I was looking for.
Apart from the playback ergonomics, what was the DVD playback quality like?
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Dec 2009 16:52:30 GMT
Miss T. Dawson says:
I dont know if you can help me on this but i have just brought this player, and wanted to have the option of putting a programe on a disc to watch else where, however as far as i can tell you have to record onto the hard drive and then copy it on to a disc. and then the user mannuel has conflicting advice. it says if you format the disc before hand you can then reuse the disc again if its a rewritable which is what i brough, however to play on a disc player else where the disc has to be finalised which then makes the disc unuseable to be able to be recorded on again. If you can help id really appreciate it. i have search for this problem and cany find an answer.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2010 19:18:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jun 2010 19:20:24 BDT
Mr. J. Mortimer says:
I think you are getting a little confused with finalising and the DVD RW format. With this device you can record repeatedly to the same DVD RW disc (until it is full), and I assume you can watch anything you have written to the disc in the mean-time, however you must finalise the burn in order to play the disc in any other device. This is now a regular DVD RW video disc. If you want to you can then format (wipe) the disc in this unit to use again, you will not be able to write more programmes to it until you format the disc. Do not get confused with the disc and the hard drive either, formatting a disc means the DVD disc, you have to be in DVD mode in order to access the advanced DVD menu (for the format option). Hope that helps!
Oh, you should also note that a DVD RW disc will only play in other devices that support DVD RW playback, not all do. It usually says on the front of the unit what disc formats it can play back. Computers with a modern DVD RW drive should be able to play all formats.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2010 19:22:41 BDT
Mr. J. Mortimer says:
I'd say the playback was OK, but the clunk sounds of the drive as DVD menus are navigated were kind of annoying and obvious. I suspect that my dedicated Pioneer DVD player gave a slightly better quality picture, but I could just be imagining that.
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