Circa March 2014 I needed to replace Sony with a worn out DVD Drive, the HDD was fine. My first Panasonic replaced a non Sony and Philips product that had a world wide infamouse fault somtime in 2006 that became known as the - - - loading bug. The replacement still works. I did not want a PVR (no DVD back up function) Just a deck with some connectivity a HDD and DVD back up and if it include high speed copy to DVD it would be nice. My first views at online high street retail outlets that stocked any thing that could record to DVD such as the DMR-EX86EB were not over promising the technical information made deck look poor in connectivity terms not showing image of rear panel after all that's what really shows how useful and well the product is going to integrate with any existing kit. I eventually found a down loadable PDF of the Panasonic user guide which told me all I need to know. Amazon does show rear panel view.
MADE IN EU
1 With 1 HDMI connector and having Phono composite video / Audio - in (behind hinged front panel flap) /out as well as digital fibre audio out and S - RGB & plain Video in/out selectable on the twin skarts via menu system.
2 behind front panel flap find 1 USB socket and a discrete row of basic deck control buttons with moulded in symbols denoting each buttons function rather than a printed legend that wears away with repeated use.
3 High speed copy to DVD in all modes when set to video mode except EP. Real time copy if set to VR mode.
4 DVD's begun in one deck can be completed in another deck even if you begin in a DVDR and compete using a BDR as long as both decks were made by Panasonic
5 Records to most disc types inc cartridge free Ram but not BDR - BDRE - CD or CDRW and not the small disc used in older camcorders. Check manual prior to disc purchase.
6 Well packed
1 Slandered definition tuner.
2 Now few users will find this a problem unless like me you have a number of Panasonic decks. It concerns the remote control action Panasonic foresaw the problems of persons having more than 1 deck by making it possible to set up the remote controls so that if you have three decks each deck responds to only 1 remote rather than 1 remote controlling 3 decks fine and very well it works too. Not so good if the new deck also use's one of the control codes used by decks purchased some years prior. Panasonic did add 3 extra sets of control codes to there range of BD decks making a total of 6 selectable code sets but the code sets 1-2-3 remained the same and the code set used by DMR-EX86EB is within range 1-3.
3 The EPG seems dated and makes poor use of screen space cramping the information up. it resembles aboard the much older DMR-EZ25 as does the rest of menu system with exceptions for necessary added functions not available with the EZ25.
4 No SD card slot.
5 Not fresh of the production line & in some ways the DMR-EX86EB shows its vintage but it was not second hand & the box was sealed.
6 No un-finalise function
Ease of use.
Well it much depends on you really if you had never used a Panasonic DVDR or BDR deck before then you will have a different learning curve to travel around However if you have used even the latest BDR deck then use a DMR-EX86EB the biggest difference you'll find is that the graphical design of the DMR-EX86EB menu system seems older in design. Every manufacture seems to have there own menu lay out.
Setting up. Make all connections (HDMI-Arial in-out - attach mains lead to rear connector but do not apply power yet) Power up Television only and pre-select HDMI to which DMR-EX86EB is connected owners of AV amps should please see your user manual. Now apply power deck asks you to "Please wait" after doing so the system commences to seek free-view tv channels followed by the various other set up options after which a TV channel is presented.
Given a good freeview signal I cannot fault the picture quality into a good sized 1080P display. Does what it says in the book.