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on 16 August 2010
I bought this as my Samsung recorder decided to develop a mind of its own and refused to play DVDs by just chucking them out. Having used this for a few days I am very impressed, both by picture and sound quality. The usual features are there such as speed copying from HD to DVD, upscaling for better quality video, USB slot, and a SD slot. A power saving innovation I truly like is that the unit can be timed to switch off completely so power does not even flow via the aerial cable to the TV. The great thing is you can set the time when this should happen. I have set it from midnight to 6 am, a period when I am unlikely to turn on the TV.
The menus are quite straightforward and logical but takes time to get used to. Once you do, it all gels together. The basic functions, such as recording, playing, copying are easy to learn and intuitive. For more complex operations, settle down for a good long read but the manual is well laid out. Some clear thinking has gone into writing this.
For me a real bonus is a feature I found when copying from HD to DVD. Even if the recording on the hard disk is XP quality which would amount to a maximum of an hour on a DVD; if you choose to copy more than an hours worth of XP quality video to a DVD, it calculates the quality EP, LP or whatever, it needs to be to get it all in.
To be honest, it all looks good. Even the remote is very nice, ergonomic and responsive. One thing that puzzled me initially was trying to find a button on the remote to open and shut the DVD tray. It doesn't exist! What a so and so...I thought. Then I realized that to insert a DVD or remove one, you have to go the recorder anyway, so what exactly would a button on the remote to do that actually achieve?
Well done, Panasonic. I just hope this lasts longer than my previous machine.
1313 comments| 235 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 June 2010
I had an older panasonic hard drive that broke down, so when it came to buying a replacement I knew my way around the remote control which made the setup from scratch very easy.

The replacement that I wanted had to have series record function, which this unit has and I am delighted with its performance to date.The way it stacks the series together in one folder makes ir very easy to find the recording that you want.

The unit it replaced also had an anoying tendancy to stop recording a minute or two before the end of the programme when porgerammed via the guide forcing me to manually adjust the timer on each recording. The new one however has so far worked brilliantly.

In conclusion I can recommend this product.
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on 27 May 2010
Upgraded to Sony Bravia tv and bought this as it has the Freeview+ built in. Read the mammoth book of instructions before connecting, set up was very quick, talks happily to the Bravia and the picture quality is brilliant, even connected by scart as it is at present. Recording from the guide is easy, though the quick moving adverts were off-putting at first. Quality and build well up to my previous es10 and works in similar way so not too much of learning curve. Hadn't appreciated the ability to be able to copy from hdd to dvd at high speed, that really is a bonus! All in all am delighted to see that Panasonic has produced another winner.
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on 12 September 2010
It should be really easy to record programmes to the hard drive with this machine: you just select what you want to record from the EPG, and the timer is automatically set. The trouble is that it just doesn't work. You can select the programmes fine, they appear in the timer list just fine, but the machine only records them sometimes. The rest of the time it just "forgets" to record, for no readily apparent reason. I estimate this failure happens for about 20% of programmes I've tried to record, with no pattern I can see: it happens on various channels, at various times.

When it's failed to record, the programme is still in the timer list, with an "!" in the Drive Space column, even though the hard drive is very far from full and has way more free space than is needed, and there are no overlapping recordings. Sometimes I've watched it fail. The machine is in standby, with the red clock showing on the display. The wanted programme begins transmission, but it fails to start recording. If I then turn the recorder on manually from standby during the programme, it "notices" and starts recording.

This is very poor. If it can't be relied upon to record programmes, an HDD recorder is rather a pointless thing to own. Unfortunately, I've had mine for more than 30 days (I'm not a heavy user, so it took me a while to notice the problem) so it's too late to send it back.

UPDATE: I've found this problem only occurs if you use the "Power Save in Standby" feature [it's under the settings menu/others/standby settings]. If I set this to "Off" then timer recording seems to work. Nowhere in the manual (that I can find) does it say that using this feature breaks timer recordings, and indeed timer recordings did still did work sometimes with it on, so I think it's meant to work but is just broken. I have not had a problem since I turned this off, suggesting very strongly that this is a problem with the Panasonic recorder, not something dodgy with the EPG meta-data as one of the comments suggested.
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on 19 April 2011
Having had experience of the Panasonic model DMR-EX75 I was pretty sure that it would meet my needs and expectations. It arrived in rapid order and once installed, which didn't take long at all, I was confirmed in my belief that this was the recorder and player for me. Despite being in my late 70's I find the controls easy and intuitive to use. Performance is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to have a recorder and player in one machine.
How would I rate it? Top of the class.
James McBelk Esq.
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on 20 May 2010
A reliable machine with easy to understand operations, good on screen visual guides and useful features. I particularly like the way it groups like titles into one on screen icon which can then expand to display however many episodes exist of the same programme. Also useful is the way it automatically changes the TV channel to the relevant AV station when play is initiated, negating the need to find the TV remote and change it manually. I would recommend this product against other like priced machines.
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on 27 April 2010
I have to disagree with the previous reviewer regarding this machine. I purchased one after becoming increasingly frustrated with my Samsung SH897 HDD Recorder. A machine which is totally unfit for purpose with design flaws which appear to be beyond rectification. Compared to the Sammy the Panasonic is a joy to use and I have no hesitation in recommending it. The handbook is excellent, well illustrated and comprehensively indexed. The machine is easy to operate performs exactly as described in the manual and has to date displayed none of the design flaws that constantly tripped me up when I was programming and using the Samsung machine.
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on 7 September 2010
The entry of the first HDD DVD piece of equipment into the household saw some 100 VHS tapes transferred to the waste bin. To my amazement the Panasonic euipment jumped into life with extreme simplicity and we have been totally sold by it. It cantains the Freeview tuner and so we were able to receive digital quality pictures on our old analog TV. The next challenge is to transfer some important VHS tapes which have been retained onto DVD's. This means connecting up my old Sony VHS recorder to the Panasonic and then try to the transfer recording. This I ma sure is going to be a challenge.

The instuction book is awesome all 99 pages of it! It is diffucult to read and there seem to be many aspects which are totally beyond my comprehension. However this piece of equipment has totally changed our ability to record any progamme with ease. A truly magic pice of gear.
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on 9 August 2010
It works as expected from the independant professional reviews - ie, another great piece of Panasonic kit. So why only 4 stars? - quite simply the intrusive, unnecesary and space grabbing adverts that appear on the TV/Radio Guide pages, limiting space available for their prime purpose - silly Panasonic!
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on 3 April 2011
MY DMR-EX83EB-K UNIT FEEDBACK

Ordered this unit on Thursday 31st march 2011 it arrive next morning @ 08.45A.M.
1st of April (LOL) via carrier on Express Del.
The main point of buying this Panasonic unit was simply to replace an older unit because the laser had packed in for the DVD the cost of repair was too much..

The Panasonic DMR-EX83EB-K 250GB HDD DIGA DVD Recorder with Freeview+ allows you to record programmes directly to either a DVD disc or the hard drive.
Its easy to record programmes to the HDD - Select the FREEVIEW channel programme which you wish to record from the EPG, Timer will automatically be confimed as set. The adverts that appear on the EPG Programmer list are a pain in the A**E ! (Why Panasonic agreed on using this format is beyond me it takes up too much of EPG screen it would have been better without adverts & just show the FULL EPG LIST)
Its better to adjust the time settings a couple of minutes before and after programme starts.The good thing about the timer list is that if ANY programmes conflict with each other through the same time settings you get "!" under Drive Space message to make you aware of that and if its fine for recording there is a display of an "OK" message.

Regarding playing DVD's I found it NO PROBLEM as I have an HDTV ( You have to purchase a HDMI cable because it DOES NOT come with the boxed unit ) and the unit can Up Scale to convert ANY DVD to 1080p for HD viewing.
Remote Control has NOT got the option for to OPEN and CLOSE the DVD tray.
You have to manually OPEN & CLOSE the DVD tray on the unit body.

I WOULD NOT hesitate to recommend this unit to anyone who is a First time buyer of a DVD RECORDER or who wants to replace an old run down unit which i had so hence the reason why I kept with Panasonic they are reliable units.

CONS
* IF you purchase this unit THEN the instruction manual can be a head whacker too much info that could easily be downsized into a more straight forward basic instructions.
* NO OPEN/CLOSE key added to remote control for DVD tray.
* POOR EPG Implementation & Slow start up / shutdown on unit.
* Frustrating techie Instruction manual.

PROS
* A reliable unit which has straight forward operations, On Screen Display messages and great performance.
* Easy to use, Compact, Exceeded Expectations.
* First time buyers of a DVD Recorder this ones for you !

*****************************************************************
TIP FOR ALL READERS !
====================
Like my previous unit I found it easier using the remote control and exploring the unit rather than sitting reading through the frustrating techie Instruction manual. Everything comes on the (O.S.D.) On Screen Display anyway to let you know whats happening.
You will get used to all its features, and find it easy to get around the unit better doing this.Great DVD Recorder over ALL spoiled by a greatly over techie Instruction Manual.

*****************************************************************

OVERVIEW :-D
DIGA DVD Recorder with 250GB HDD & Freeview+

By interpolating video data using proprietary algorithms, SD format data is up-converted to 1080 x 1920p HD format video data. This conversion to HD format increases the richness of the original data by approximately six fold, and produces the highest possible image quality when viewing content on a large-screen HDTV.

Enjoy watching crisper and sharper video enabled by detailed reproduction of content on DVD and Hard disk drive. Colour reproduction that is faithful to the original picture, produces colourful in details

Auto Preset Down Load Connect a DIGA DVD recorder to your VIERA TV via an HDMI cable, and the TV channel setting information is automatically downloaded to the DIGA recorder. Direct TV Rec. If you want to record the program you're watching, you can start immediately by pressing the VIERA Link button on the VIERA remote control and selecting "Direct TV Rec." on the VIERA Link menu screen. Pause Live TV Pause Live TV lets you freeze TV programmes just like pausing a DVD, by selecting "Pause Live TV" on the VIERA Link Menu.

Data from music CDs and USB devices can be easily transferred to DIGA's hard disk drive. It supports gracenote®, so titles and artist names are automatically saved together with the music CD data. It also supports the ID3Tag and WMA-Tag title information that is embedded in music data. The DIGA is like a jukebox filled with your favourite music.

Enjoy watching memorable photos (JPEG 1080x1920 pixels) recorded on to various medias (SD memory card, HDD, CD-R/-RW, DVD-R/-RW, USB) in a slideshow with your favourite music.

I only gave this unit 4 STARS simply because of the above CONS.
I hope my feedback on the Panasonic DMR-EX83EB-K makes it easier for people to make up their minds about purchasing this unit ;-).

Thanks for your time in reading my feedback !
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