Customer Review

235 of 240 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very impressive machine + UPDATE, 29 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: Panasonic DMR-BS850EBK Twin Freesat Tuners 500GB HDD Blu-ray Recorder (Electronics)
These are first impressions - the 850 only arrived this morning! (See below for an update...)

First, compared with the Humax it's replacing, quality of picture and recording is as good or better; and - a vital difference! - unlike the Humax it's possible to edit HD (and other) recordings. Controls are an improved version of older Panasonic DVD recorders, which makes for easy operation. The two tuners work seamlessly, and Viera link turns on the TV when you start up the 850...

Second, downsides - apart from the cost! There doesn't seem to be any search option for the programme guide, something I'd found really useful on the Humax (although even then it wasn't as good as Tivo!) There also seems to be a subjectively lengthy gap between channel changes, meaning too much black screen. Otherwise, this appears to be a really fine piece of kit.

AFTER 10 DAYS of using the 850, a few more comments...

It's still a great machine - but - controls are far less responsive than they should be; there's always a noticeable delay before pretty well any action is carried out, which is not only annoying but, for example, can lead to leaving a second or two of frozen screen when editing out commercials. Recording works well, but grouping of recordings is arbitrary... basically, the Humax is undoubtedly far better for recording HD - AND it allows searching of the Guide!

Yes, you can pause live TV, but it's far from easy; and (infuriatingly) there's no buffer, so it isn't possible to rewind. Again, the Humax feels more responsive, and its controls are better.

Moving recordings to DVD - I haven't collected sufficent material for blu-ray yet! - was sadly inferior to my old Panasonic; not only slower, but, after spending two hours burning a DVD (and while this is going on you can do nothing else) it told me the disk 'might' not have recorded the last part...

(Incidentally, if you do plan to transfer a HD recording, remember ITV will NOT allow you to do so, while the Beeb will only allow a single recording)

Conclusions: sadly, unless you MUST transfer HD to blu-ray, currently I feel you'd be better off with a Humax.


After less than 3 months, it stopped working - timer recording failed.

Two weeks after it had been returned, the dealer - Let's GO digital - told me these machines must be returned to Panasonic for repair; they didn't tell me when they'd returned it, or when I'd get it back...

So, be cautious; and if timer recording gets flaky, don't wait and hope it'll get better - send it back!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Jul 2009 18:04:46 BDT
R. fox says:
Great review.. thanks for the effort. I too have Tivo series 1.. funny how a 10 year old UI can beat anything out there in todays market.. companies should learn from that..

Posted on 28 Apr 2010 21:15:56 BDT
Writing a review on the day you receive the goods is totally pointless. You gave this five stars when clearly it deserves no more than two at best. Overall the review is well written and very helpful - I won't be buying one - but the star rating gives a false impression. Pity that Amazon don't allow the reviewer to amend in the light of experience.

Posted on 10 Jul 2010 15:34:22 BDT
Thanks for confirming that the 850 is no better than my EX88 for editting which was itself 'disappointing' after the features of my old Toshiba analogue HDD/DVD recorders.

Posted on 29 Aug 2010 16:16:38 BDT
Thanks for the review, I WAS seriously considering this machine...

Posted on 8 Aug 2011 13:30:02 BDT
Thank you for the reviews, albeit, most being negative, perhaps i will on this occasion choose something other than Panasonic, at least until i can see some evidence of Panasonic customer service.
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