Top positive review
97 people found this helpful
Backing Up Recordings is Possible
on 8 October 2012
We searched through many reviews before finally deciding on this model to replace our old Panasonic DVD/PVR. We had been backing up our recordings onto DVD and converting those to MKV files so we thought we'd be able to do the same with this model.
Firstly, the picture and sound quality from all sources is excellent.
As the other reviews mention it may take a bit of time to find your way around the remote and menus. However, for us there was very little difference from the old PVR so it was all very easy. Contrary to a previous review, you can watch a program from the beginning while it is being recorded. You just go to the menu and start playing it. The controls (pause / play) are slower to respond but it's not too painful.
The final recordings may be edited to remove adverts etc. using the partial delete function. It's nice that it simply marks the file in the places you want deleted and then does the actual delete all in one go at the end. Our previous model did the deleting as you went along which was time consuming and easy to delete the wrong bit. So well done Panasonic for the software upgrade.
We do not use a dedicated external hard drive to backup the recordings. This feature effectively extends the size of the internal hard disk but requires that you 'register' the external drive. This will format the drive and make the drive dedicated to the unit. So what happens when you replace the unit? Doubtless you will be unable to retrieve the files from the external drive so we wanted to avoid this issue.
However, we have been able to copy off the recordings by setting the unit up as a DNLA server. This is quite easy to do by following the instructions in the manual. Obviously the unit has to be networked in some way; we have an ethernet power adaptor but you could use the plug-in WiFi dongle (DY-WL10). Then we use MediaMonkey software to browse the server. It can take a while for the server function to wake up but the files can then be copied onto your local PC. The files should be renamed and given a .mpg extension to be recognized as video files. From there, you can use Handbrake to reformat the files as MKV files or whatever. You can see and copy files of HD recordings from the unit but they're encrypted and can't be viewed so we stick to standard quality for programs we want to keep. Nevertheless, we now have exactly what we wanted - a recorder that can easily be backed up over the network, that's very high quality and plays Blu-ray discs too!