Customer Review

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Puzzled and disappointed, 23 May 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EZ49vEBK Super Multi Format Combi Recorder with Freeview (Electronics)
I usually love Panasonic products, and my purchase of this recorder had a lot to do with the Panasonic reputation, but I'm not a happy bunny. Following the instructions in the book doesn't give the desired results, but whether this is due to a poorly written manual, a faulty product, or technical limitations common to all such products, I can't tell.

For example: the recorder only works with the television on. It can't even rewind a video on its own. If you switch off the TV, even to standby, the recorder's display window says "Bye" (I kid you not) and switches itself off.

It took me a while to work out that the recorder uses the television like a computer monitor - the options in a menu are displayed on the TV screen, and you select them with up/down buttons the way you would on a computer.

I still can't start a video by following the instructions. It says in one place that inserting a video will automatically turn on the machine, but it doesn't, you have to turn it on first - as it says on another page. I still can't get it to change from video to DVD without problems, but it could be just that I'm not giving it enough time - everything takes far longer than with my simple old video recorder.

When I press `play' the video doesn't start - instead, the television display says it's found a new channel, do I want to store this channel, and a warning that doing so will wipe all timed recording. I have to `ok' this dialogue, press `play' again... and at last the video starts.

On rewinding a video, it will automatically begin to replay it, an annoying nuisance which means you have to supervise every rewind.

I was disappointed to find that I can't pause & rewind live TV. I was aware this machine didn't have a hard drive for doing this (it was more important to me to have the double function of VHS and DVD for the price), but I thought I would be able to leave a DVD in place and start recording if necessary during a programme, say if the phone rang, by using the one-touch record button. But you can't do this - if a disc is in place, it wants to use it, and won't show the TV channel you want to watch and leave the DVD dormant. Besides, everything takes so long to respond that you would have lost some of your programme - and probably your phone call too!

One thing I want to do is record all my many old videos of television programmes on to DVDs. I can't find any quick way to do this - it seems you have to do it while showing the whole video, so each one is going to take a couple of hours and the television has to be on the whole time. I find it incredible in this age of technological wizardry that there isn't a faster, unsupervised way to do this.

So my conclusion is that this product doesn't do what I expected it to do, but perhaps that's due to limitations of the type of recorder rather than just this model.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Dec 2012 19:19:33 GMT
Lyn says:
Very interesting. I also want VHS/DVD to transfer things onto DVD. My present HD Panasonic (which is about 8 years old and not digital) has gone wrong twice recently. The DVD drive packed up and now it's at the repair shop again as it appears 'dead' (no lights showing) so it's probably the power supply. When I transferred from VHS to DVD I did have to play the VHS programme live so I used to go away and do something else, but the TV didn't need to be on. I want to get a new HD DVD recorder, preferably with most of the bells and whistles but there seems to be a bewildering assortment of models and it's difficult to know where to start! John Lewis seem to have the best after sales service.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 22:52:09 GMT
Bagpuss says:
Hi Lyn, that's interesting that your old recorder didn't need to have the TV on - something you could watch out for when choosing a new one. Having got to know this model better, I'm still just as frustrated with it.
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