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My first HDD DVD recorder...
on 3 March 2011
I purchased this Panasonic HDD DVD recorder based on the Amazon reviews so knew about the ads on the TV guide - they are a nuisance grabbing approx 50% of the screen - but don't let that put you off an otherwise good unit. I have a full screen TV guide on my LCD TV so just use that and switch viewing to the Panasonic unit to set the recorder. There is one Freeview tuner so you cannot view a channel whilst recording another; however, you can view DVDs whilst recording. I've recorded 8mm and Hi8 video tapes direct to DVD through the AV2 connection with no issues at all. If I wanted to record from a VHS tape or Sky box (or similar) I'd use the same method and cannot foresee any problems whether to HDD or DVD. The HDD 160GB size is more than adequate for my uses as I expect to record from Freeview or Sky and delete when viewed. Any keepers would be re-recorded to DVD if space did become an issue.
The unit looks good; off means off - no standby light is left on. You can leave the unit in a standby mode based on a start and end time in which case it will boot quicker than when off. There is a noticable delay during full power up or switching between HDD and DVD.
I use the HDMI connection to my TV for up-scale of DVDs; that works well.
If you already have a TV with a Freeview tuner then do not think you "must have two" tuners on any HDD unit. You can watch through your TV Freeview and record another channel with your HDD Freeview. Simple!
Simple cannot be applied to the instruction book though; be ready for a good read if you do decide to buy!