This DVD recorder has lasted over 7 years so far, and still works fine. I find Panasonic gear pretty dependable on the whole and this is no exception. The build quality is such that it feels like it will continue to last.
The inbuilt on screen menus when burning discs are intuitive and simple to use, and as a player, it seems to even play scratched discs that won't work on my laptop or Sony PVR downstairs.
For connecting camcorders, the connectors are hidden behind the front flap - it's ideal for this use and that's primarily why I bought it - to record from camcorders onto DVD. I also bought it as a replacement for my VHS video recorder - I burned my videos onto DVD and thus uncluttered the lounge cupboard from tapes.
It also has a neat, concisely laid out remote control, with enough buttons for quick access while not appearing too cluttered. No HDMI as it is too old, but otherwise, a smashing bit of kit.
Last year, in December to be precise, I resolved to purchase yet another piece of technological wizardry with which I intended to baffle myself - A DVD Recorder!
I trundled off to my local branch of Comet, located in Shrewsbury to be exact, and had a meander around the aisles, attempting to look as if I knew what I was looking for. I had noticed an item labelled as if to infer some sort of pecuniary advantage if I were to undertake the purchase of the aforementioned item (I think the exact words were 'special offer'), which in fact was a Panasonic DVD Recorder.
As I had long been a fan of Panasonic products, ranging from a radio cassette player that lasted 17 years to a vacuum player that gave out after 15 years dutiful sucking (to my carpets, I might add).
I approached a functionary in the store to ask about it - he answered my questions without laughing, which was very kind of him, and I purchased the contraption for the very reasonable price of £125.00!
I had better get sensible now!
Had I known then what I know now I may have splashed out a little more. Currys were selling it for about £175, and apparently those ones were multi-region, whereas mine is resolutely Region 2! I do really know a bit about home appliances (electronic, not trusses), and I scoured the internet to seek a code to crack my machine and make it accept discs from around the world. Alas it would appear that Panasonic machines are impossible to change!
Well, the machine is about 15 inches wide, and has a display on the right hand side which, when on standby, displays the time (handy for people who are always late, like me!)
On the bottom left there is the on/off button, and other buttons on the other side are open/close, stop, play and a big red button to indicate recording!
The one really good thing about the machine when it is switched on and connected to the aerial is that it will tune itself in and set the time!
What discs will it accept, Nolly?
Well, this machine is very good. It will record on to DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM. Strange that it will not record onto DVD+RW, but so long as you know beforehand that should not be a problem.
Apparently DVD-RAM allows you to do time slip recording (you know, recording something in real time when some awkward sod telephones you).
The standard DVD disc will record normally 2 hours on a disc. This machine has 4 modes. There is a 1 hour mode, which I assume gives you the ultimate in picture and sound quality (being a penny pincher I don't use that mode), standard mode (2 hours), long play (4 hours) and extended play (8 hours). I tend to use extended play all the time, with minimal degredation in picture (well, it can get a little fuzzy but I am not too fussy). The one thing that that means, though, is that once a disc has been finalised (finished off so it can be played on another player), it cannot be played on another machine unless it is a Panasonic DVD Recorder - somethign to bear in mind!
The Most Important Tool!
The remote, that is. Very complex at first. It can be programmed to operate the channel hopping and volume controls on your television. You get used to the different buttons, although I believe there is one big thing missing - and that is a button to stop you having to get off your backside to open or close the drawer! That is, of course a minor quibble.
This is a very good machine. You pays your money and that's the way the cookie crumbles. It is a machine that says it can record and play discs of various formats, and that is what it can do, and very well in my view.
Of course you can buy machines with built-in hard drive recorders and freeview receivers and microwaves and trouser presses, but if you want one of those you will buy one. If you want a simple to use basic DVD Recorder this is probably a very good bet. It is probably just a gnat's crotchet over £100 now, and it has one thing that most 'budget' machines do not have, a display!
If you want a good machine - this will do you good!
Of course this comes with the usual 'not worth the paper it's written on' warranty!