Top critical review
185 people found this helpful
It will be great when its fixed!!!
on 21 January 2010
This is my third Panasonic DVD recorder which I've had now for about three months, I agree with mostly what's been reviewed here about the Panasonic DMRXS350EBK, great HD picture, excellent twin satellite tuners giving Sky Plus type functions in fact everything that Free view promises is given by the Panasonic.
But what's not been said here is the functionality of the unit, the sluggishness of the menus the poor implementation of many of the functions & the poorly thought out way copying to the DVD. I'm staggered that a company such as Panasonic have made such a machine, I could have sworn I received a pre-production or a beta model but no this is the real McCoy, warts and all and my it does have a few warts,
So what's the problem, well when recording you can only record directly to the hard disk in 'DR' mode whatever that may be, you cannot record in SP or LP etc, why.. Once you've recorded the program and want to copy it over to the DVD you cant, the program has to be manually converted from 'DR' to one of the standard modes (SP. LP etc), no problem I hear you think, well to convert a 2 hour film to Standard Play takes err um two hours, and in those two hours you cannot do anything else with the unit, you can't watch a satellite program or another on disc all you can do is watch the movie your converting, handily Panasonic has added a feature that will do this for you automatically once the unit's switched off or in sleep mode. Once converted the file can be copied to DVD, insert a blank disc select copy choose high speed and if all is well the Pani will start copying over onto a blank disc, while its doing this you can watch another program on either the hard drive or one of the two satellite receivers, copying is done quite quickly - around 25 minutes or so for a two hour movie.
If you want to copy a couple of movies or multiple programs with a greater combined file size of 4.6G onto a single DVD the fun really begins. Firstly unlike earlier Panis this machine wont automatically determine how much compression is required to fit to disc, you have to guess for yourself, the choices are XP,SP, LP,EP & FR, XP being the highest quality while FR being the lowest, Once you've managed to work out which recording compression to use usually by trial & error, and given the OK the Pani will now start probably the most infuriating process in it's repertoire, copying a large file(s) using compression or a couple of movies lasting two hours each copied from Standard Play format to Long Play will take about four hours, but while its doing this process the machine cannot be used for anything else, you cannot watch a TV program or another movie on disc, all you can do is watch what is being copied, this is sooo annoying, I now do the copying just before I go to bed, my old Panis never worked like this, all the copying stuff could be done in the background while one could watch TV or a prerecorded movie.
Another rubbish feature is the painfully slow menus, I could waiste a lifetime going from one menu to another, it is so infuriatingly slow. If you want a HD-DVD recorder I wouldn't bother wait for the next generation to come out or check out the competition, as a HD PVR its very good but 250G is a bit limiting for high def content only allowing about 37 hours of high def content. Would I buy another. maybee but only when its been fixed.
Added coment 16-Feb_2010 ---- I've just bought the Humax Foxsat HDR for use in another room and have to say it's in a different league to the Panasonic, just so much better in almost every department, shame it does not have a DVD recorder built in.