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on 24 May 2008
As a DVD player and Recorder it is excellent, if we stopped here it may be a 5/5. I feel a real opportunity has been missed to make this device a superb media centre, the way it manages music files and connects to alternative devices really limits what it can achieve.

The USB connector is a let down - it won't recognise an external hard-drive which is a shame because I had hoped to plug mine in and benefit from the music and movies/TV shows I have on my computer without either burning to disk or copying to a USB pen drive. Flash-pen drives work fine, my product even came with a 1gb pen drive in the box including some sample files.

The option to save .jpg and .mp3 file to the HD is good but again the device isn't perfect - when listening to your saved .mp3s or a CD the screen displays the song name/album info, it does not have an option to turn the screen black or to display clouds or a swirly image or something. Attention to this rather than the gracenote database (which seems alright) would have been a benefit. Also as you navigate around menus the music stops.

The above may well be unfair as I don't think other products by alternative manufacturers offer these functions.

The size of the hard disk is good and the quality of the recordings I have made so far (on the highest setting) are better than expected. You have options for changing the quality of the recoring you want to make - so you could extend the hours of programmes you can fit to the Harddrive if you don't mind lower quality for certain programmes.

Recording to a DVD from the hard disk is straight forward, not lightning quick though - I couldn't say how it compares to other devices in this respect. The upscaling picture quality of DVDs, so that they look better on an HDTV is also better than I expected.

The next thing to say is that this device can ONLY deal with digital signals, if you are in an area where the only signal you can currently get is analogue - this product may not be for you...

If you can't get freeview and don't have a satellite dish this product will only really be any good for upscaling your current DVDs to look better on your HDTV while you wait for the digital switchover.

Having said that I can't receive a digital signal - no freeview at all - but I do have freesat (the sky one not the new BBC/ITV HD one). My Sky box plugs into this device which plugs into the telly. This machine records the signal from my Sky box and I don't have any problems.

Without digital reception the pause live TV function doesn't work and neither do the TV guide functions (now and next, etc), I can see what's on next from the sky box anyway.

Because my analogue reception is so poor anyway none of this is really a concern to me - whatever product I bought I was going to have to rely on my satellite reception.

Amazon chose City link to deliver my item, they left it with a neighbour I don't even know and didn't even ask him for a signature. Unless you know and trust your neighbours you should pay for delivery that will arrive on a specified day and will require a signature.
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on 2 May 2017
This was a replacement for our LG dvr recorder (which was beyond bad). The Panasonic is easy to use and operates far better then the LG.
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on 20 December 2008
Panasonic DMR-EX78EB-K Freeview+ 250GB HDD DVD Recorder - Black

I purchased this Recorder off AMAZON and I have been very impressed with it. To get the best recording quality use the highest setting (XP), which equates to about 55 hours of capacity. Whilst you can play most DIVX's films from USB stick certain sticks / films are not supported. You can not transfer files from the HDD to the USB, just play them.

Again to benefit from the best quality I would suggest using a HDMI lead (not included) rather than the standard AV cable included in the box.

Please bear in mind this player only has a Digital Tuner, so you need a good digital signal to use the player. I do not see this as a problem, as Analogue TV is being switched off over the next 2 / 3 years in most areas.

I have not experienced a noisy fan, although there is a cooling fan attached to the back of the unit (i.e. it is not flush with the case).

Set-up is very easy and I like the Menu's, it takes a while to get used to the functions from the remote, so I would suggest keeping the manual to hand - which is generally very informative.

I also ordered some panasonic DVD RAM discs, as they are re-writable, but if you just want to back up programmes recorded to the Hard Drive cheaper DVD R discs will suffice.

To benefit from the upscalling of DVD's you will need (ideally) a 1080p TV or a HD ready set if you do not have a 1080p TV.

Only minor negatives are:
Takes sometime to switch on after pressing the "on" button
Only a single digital tuner, but if you have digital TV not a problem

Hope this review helps!
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on 29 October 2008
First of all top marks for amazon for being the cheapest price around by far for this machine,No one else can get anywhere near amazons price.
As for the machine well top marks again go to Panasonic for turning out a top spec machine and does mostley what you would expect a higher end dvd recorder to do,looks good as well.
Only had recorder for a few days but so far very impressed with what it does and what it can do.Basic setup was very easy, but have a good read of the manual for other functions.Was impressed with editing and copying functions,does alot more than my jvc machine used to do.
Cant see where previous reviewer said machine was very noisy,mine is very quiet, only time it is slightley noisey is when you do a top speed dubbing,
but then again you would expect that from most machines,if that annoys you that much you can change the copy speed to run slower and quieter but then you would defeat the object of high speed dubbing wouldnt you ?
Records onto all discs that i have tried in it,only discs i found not quite as good was r+ and rw+ as they will not do high speed copy,but not the end of the world.
Copied a two hour recording in standard play on the hard drive onto a dvd-r disc in eleven minutes,Pretty good i thought and the picture and sound quality was superb.
As i said only just got machine so still playing,but so far only good reports coming from me.
Hopefully i wont find any bad points,so once again well done Amazon and Panasonic.
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on 13 September 2008
I bought the Panasonic DMR-EX78EB-K on Friday afternoon and received it by 08:30 the following morning - excellent service.

I've had it for two weeks now and when I opened the package I took the manual out and started reading it - a little confusing for someone who `doesn't do manuals' but I persevered, and then gave up, but for techies who like to have all this information it is a very comprehensive manual.

Following that, I installed the machine and like magic, it started finding and loading all the channels etc.

The machine was ready to go within a few minutes - very impressive.

I started recording onto the HDD within minutes of the installation and then played back what I recorded - the picture quality is of a very high quality, even in extended play. I've recorded on all the formats and have been happy with the results.

I've copied from DVD to HDD, from HDD to DVD and it was a `piece of cake'. The two downsides that I have discovered so far is that when you copy it is in `real time', so if you have a one hour programme, it will take you one hour to copy it. I thought that there might have been a `quick record' mode, but maybe I just haven't found it yet! The other downside is that when you are programming it to record, everything goes silent so you cannot follow verbally whatever is on the television whilst you are doing this - so it is best to do this when you are not following a programme.

The TV guide is excellent and you can series link with the touch of one button, very handy.

Overall I am very pleased with this product and hoping to learn more about what it can do as time goes on.

I deliberated a long time before buying this product and I regret it - I could have had this machine weeks ago and my life would have been easier for it. Better late than never though.

If you are considering buying such a machine, I would say do it. It is a worthwhile purchase.

10.10.2008

I didn't realise, but this machine also pauses live tv. I thought that this was only something available to SKY, but I have used this facility a couple of times and it is a really worthwhile 'extra' to have. However, the downside is, if you are going to watch another programme straight after the one you paused, then you will fall behind on the programme following the 'paused' programme by the same amount in minutes as the pause was - I hope that makes sense!

Great machine.

[ASIN:B0015M0MXM Panasonic DMR-EX78EB-K - 250GB HDD - DVD Recorder with Freeview Black]]
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on 9 December 2008
I ordered this product after reading several 5 star 'press' reviews and I have to say they were absolutely right. If your digital signal is good you will get superb results - picture reproduction is stunning with no noticable picture noise anywhere when recording via XP mode. Setting the record function is a doddle via the in-built Guide+ system and the usual Panasonic edit function allows you to delete the adverts etc from your recordings. I have this linked to a Panasonic Viera LCD TV which makes life even easier.

If you are in the market for a 250GB DVD Recorder, then this model will not disappoint.

First class service from Amazon, yet again. I orderd it on Sat 29th November and it arrived via their free post service on the following Wednesday.
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on 4 January 2013
Pricey at the time of purchase and prices have come down since we bought this. The system is so easy to use. The only function I miss from older cheaper machine is there is no picture in picture function. But I suppose that would have cost even more. Great now that four channels are in HD as you can record 2 shows at same time and still watch whatever you like as the channel streaming is different.
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on 16 July 2009
Panasonic DMR-EX78EB-K Freeview+ 250GB HDD DVD Recorder - Black

PROS: Simple to use Freeview programme guide allows you to set up timer recordings of single programmes or a complete series. The Guide Link feature ensures the programme is recorded even if the schedule is changed (but not if it's moved to another channel). You can record live TV and pause live TV as long as it is already recording the channel you are viewing. You can watch one programme while the unit is recording another, or watch a DVD while it is recording a programme. You can also watch a timer recording from the beginning while the rest of the programme is still being recorded (time-slip viewing).

A button selects the record medium: either the generous 250GB hard disc or a blank DVD. The hard disc stores more than 100 hours of TV at standard quality. It is possible to edit a recording made to the hard disc (remove all the annoying adverts!) and then copy it onto a DVD. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to edit a 2 hour movie - you can then fast copy onto a DVD in a few minutes (or copy at normal speed if you prefer). Further programmes may be added to the DVD if you use the Advanced Copy feature.

All the recordings on the respective drive are listed with time, date and title, and programme length shown next to a thumbnail. A green flag marks programmes that have not yet been viewed - this disappears as soon as you view the first few seconds.

Picture quality is good at SP (standard quality), especially if the HDMI connection is used. XP (extra quality) can be selected for a further improvement, but I find it is rarely worth using this.

Power Saving is an eco-friendly feature, but if this feature is enabled, be prepared for the unit to take a couple of minutes to 'boot-up' when you switch on. In this mode the clock display goes off when in stand-by if no timer recordings are set - the power consumption is reduced to only 2 watts.

Other useful features: Camcorder, video, digital video and USB connections on the front of the unit, discretely hidden behind a fold-down panel.

CONS: The unit makes a slight noise from its cooling fan, although we never notice this when viewing with the machine across the room from us.

The unit does not have an analogue tuner - not a problem if transmissions have been phased out in your area.

If you only use the HDMI connection to a widescreen TV, you have to fiddle with the menu settings to view 4:3 programmes with the correct aspect ratio.
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on 22 April 2009
Panasonic DMR-EX78EB-K Freeview+ 250GB HDD DVD Recorder - Black
I purchased this recorder quite recently after researching the market from both a technical and commercial point of view. I have found the item to be well made and, despite some reports of difficulties in installing this item, I found the installation instructions to be clear though not always concise.
To date I have found that it works very well, recording both TV and a range of CDs and DVDs of different formats without difficulty and of highly satisfactory quality, while copying recorded data gave excellent results. One report which I had read, did complain about problems with editing recordings and at this time I am unable to comment on this problem as Ihave not done a great deal of editing, so did not find the process "annoying" though if one was to do a lot of editing perhaps this could be a slight "niggle".
My main reason for not classing this product as five-star is that the instruction manual is not the easiest to read and use. All the necessary information is there, but one has to hop from one page to another to get all of the relevant information when one wants to do something for the first time. In practice,( rather than always trying to follow the manual),once I had grasped the basics of the handset, I found that it was relatively easy to carry out the various operations....even as a 74-years old, though a reasonably technical one, and the logic of the system I found quick to learn.
If you monitor the selling price you can get a good bargain and I can recommend the quality of performance of this item from all technical aspects, but you may have to persevere with the manual if you are not too good technically!
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on 13 November 2008
Already owning a couple of Panasonic DVD Recorders I didn't hesitate in purchasing this model.

Alas there was a minor fault on the one I bought, but it was replaced by Amazon within 3 days.

I am very pleased with it and like most will not use all facilities on the recorder, but I do like being able to record a complete series by selecting the first episode and then just clicking a button.

HDMI upgrading of picture quality is superb

Very Pleased
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