Product Type: Panasonic DVD recorders
Newest Review: ... inputs and outputs such as an HDMI output which allows the user to upscale video to the TV. But for people who still use the scart ca... more
Panasonic DMR-EX79: After a year
Member Name: dogpatch
Advantages: Easy recording and plenty of space (250GB) and superb picture quality
Disadvantages: Some small niggles - but easily overcome
I purchased this HDD/DVD Freeview recorder a little over a year ago now so I thought it would be a good time to review it as it shows how it performs over time.
As a Freeview box it was excellent at first but now I'd call it very good.
My reasoning for this change is it isn't a Freeview HD box and that is significant because if you have the auto check for new channels feature on, it will constantly find that there are new channels available but be unable to show them. Therefore I suggest turning that feature off (as I have) because it will want retuning over and over again.
3 times over this past year it has lost all channels. A simple retune fixes this (signal permitting). However this is annoying when you have setup a programme to record only to find that blank. Also when retuning all timer recorded programmes that are set to record are wiped and have to be reset.
Recording from Freeview is very easy. You simply have to select the programme from the guide and choose the single or series option. Series record doesn't always work as sometimes it will also record the repeats so you could get 2 or 3 copies.
However if 2 or more programmes overlaps it sometimes is able to suggest an alternative time/date.
Editing recording is simple. It is possible to very easily cut out advert break for example.
This recorder also adds in chapters as it records which makes it easy to skip ad breaks during playback. It is not 100% accurate but it is very close.
Pausing of live TV broadcasts is simply a case of pressing the pause button.
On the guide there is an advert section on the left that is annoying because it takes up space that could be better used by the guide. It is also annoying because having paid for this equipment why should I be subjected to advertisements. However I can easily ignore this part of the guide.
As for playback the quality is fantastic and the 1080p up-scaling works wonders on my older DVDs in my collection. Although on some the menu does not function correctly - it will not allow navigation. So playing the movie is fine but getting to the special features is impossible. This has only happened on 2 movies in a year so not really a big issue.
DIVX playback also works well. I have only tried it from a USB memory stick and after a brief search it played without any problems.
I have it in power save mode which means it uses less electricity than normal standby, but it takes longer to boot up (about 30 seconds), and is a little slow to respond to commands for about 10 seconds after that.
The Viera Link feature I haven't used even though I have a Panasonic TV.
Overall, I recommend this product to anyone that doesn't have Freeview HD in their area and is uninterested in receiving HD in the future.
I am planning to upgrade to a Freeview HD+ box with HHD and will be looking to Panasonic again.
Summary: This product does what it does very well and is very easy to use
|Ease of use:|