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£500 to spend on DVD Ram recorder. Which One ?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Ekko Star, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
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    Having had a Panasonic before I would like to stay with them but have heard good things about Toshiba.

    Should haves, Pal PS, DV in, Q-Link (must have to talk to Viera), decent HDD, media compatibility.

    Short list includes E85 and XS32. Are these both Pal PS out of the box ?

    Is it worthwhile going up to E95 territory ?
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes - both offer Progressive Scan (PAL and NTSC). Note though the E85 does not have iLink which may make the Toshiba a better choice for you. If you want to stay with Panasonic push the budget and get an E95 to benefit from iLink.

    You will find the Toshiba quite different from what you've had before - there are more features to get to grips with but accordingly you get more control over your recordings as well. Obviously the Panasonic's have longer recording times as high resolutions but the Toshiba's counter this with DVD-RW support, more authoring options and iLink.

    So the bottom line is they are both great machines. ;)
     
  3. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
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    Thanks Rasczak.

    Does the Toshiba support Q-Link ? I want it to talk seamlessly with my Viera as my E20 does. iLink is fairly important.

    Also on playback, considering their pedigree, I guess Toshiba is superior ?
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Apologies - didn't see that in your original post - AFAIK no it doesn't. I would say the Toshiba offers slightly better PQ on commercial disks than the Panasonics.
     
  5. mray

    mray
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    I have a Toshiba 220E, which is about 2 years old and a Panasonic DMRE50.
    The playback PQ through the Toshiba is better than the DVDR, even though it's a run of the mill, quite old machine.
    I would imagine that the spec for playback on the various Panasonic DVDR's is similar.
     
  6. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
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    Ok if it has Q-Link then Toshiba it's looking like. Without it, then is it worth looking at the E95 ?

    The PAL progressive, is it enabled on both machines in the menu's straight out the box ?
     
  7. davet010

    davet010
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    Dunno bout the Panasonic, but for the Toshiba you just press the 'progressive scan' button on the remote.
     
  8. Ekko Star

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    What's the remote look like on the Toshiba ? Don't overly like the ones that come with the Panasonics.
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Ekko Star - as I stated above I don't think the Toshiba has Q-Link.
     
  10. Ekko Star

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    Oh dear :cool: once again it's betwix and between, not quite a model out there that does what you actually want.

    I wanted to buy it tomorrow, thought it would be a no brainer straightforward job.

    Are the new Sony's any good ? Or will it have to be the E95 then ?
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Difficult one to answer that. The 2hr max at full resolution is awful and the lack of Flexible Record very disappointing but the HQ+ HDD recording mode, good build quality, wide format compatibility and 2pass re-encoding make them a viable option. Not very helpful I know - but the jury is still out on the Sony HDD/DVDRs.
     
  12. Ekko Star

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    OK lets go back to the beginning, I've got a E20, time to upgrade.

    Best use of plasma, so PAL PS is a must, DV In handy and RAM good idea.

    Lack of DV on E85 precludes it from being the ideal machine. Tosh seems good but lack of Q-Link (if so) would be sore dissapointment.

    Also is it me or has the build quality of these new breeds gone dramatically down hill. Sure they must work ok, but they don't seem half as bombproof as my E20 does. Mine has done about 1500hrs recording time and same again playing and still looks/works as good and as new as it did when it came out the box.

    Will spend more if needed but thought £500 buys a decent enough machine nowadays.
     
  13. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    It has - you'll be disappointed after your E20 I'm afraid. The only current exception to this is the E500 (I haven't seen Pioneers 920 offering yet) - but at £1200 it's isn't cheap.

    Your looking at the right machines. It's a choice between:
    - Panasonic E95
    - Panasonic E500
    - Toshiba RDXS32
    - Sony RX900
    - Sony RX1000

    The Panasonic E95 is an all-round good machine. You have clearly lived without DVD-RW to date so the lack of that shouldn't be too disappointing. Your also used to the Panasonic way of doing things and so this machine will be an easy transition for you.

    The Toshiba RDXS32 lacks Q-Link. Only you can decide if that is a show-stopper. If not ask yourself if the features it brings over and above the Panasonic are more important.

    The difference between the Sony models is HDD size (160GB or 250GB). Advantages and limitations as already discussed.
     
  14. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
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    Is the E500 out now ? Did see it on the cover of a mag somewhere.

    The E20 cost a grand when it came out but can't justify those levels of spend in today's day and age.

    RW not important. Q-Link is a show stopper as I have seen what it can do with the Viera and am not prepared to go without. E95 is it available from JL's as I have to get from there ?
     
  15. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Not sure to be honest - why can't you buy online? It'll be much cheaper!
     
  16. Ekko Star

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    I've got a credit with them, one that I wasn't expecting tbh ;) plus they'll price match anyway.

    Come on Rasczak, you're the man ! Make my mind up for me, what would you go for ?!?!
     
  17. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Well I went for the E95. I choose this over the Toshiba as I do all my authoring on the PC and thus the better recording PQ was more important to me than authoring options. In addition I have quite a good DVD player so never use my recorder for playback.
     
  18. Ekko Star

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    Ok went in today and plumped for the E85. Was pushed for time so guessed having had a Panasoinc before it was best and the Qlink is a good feature. Lack of DV does bug me though.

    However, (as is the way) just as I was leaving I noticed they had E100, being discontinued. Dearer than the E85 but it looked far nicer and better built. Shop was shutting anyway but it didn't stop me thinking on the way home maybe should have gone for the E100 instead as that was the 'top of range' model ? What do you reckon Rasczak ? :confused:
     
  19. Rasczak

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    The E100 is a generation behind the E85 but more than makes up for it in features: iLink (clearly of benefit to you), MPEG4 recording and LPCM audio recording. On the minus side it lacks progressive scan. So only you can decide whether it is worth however much extra the E100 is!
     
  20. Ekko Star

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    Have set it up and don't like it Rasczak. It's already back in it's box and will be on it's way back tomorrow I'm afraid.

    Cheap build, takes ages to start up, no eject on the remote & looked bloody ugly under the Viera :eek: Couldn't wait to put the E20 back in it's place TBH. The difference between PS and RGB was not that great and component out will only handle PS. Strangely, Plasma doesn't allow me to change aspect via PS component.

    Only good thing was it does convert all inputs and outputs them as Progressive. Does the Toshiba 32 do this as well ?

    Otherwise I think I can live without the Progressive Scan (RGB is almost just as good) and will go for the feature laden & miles better looking (which isn't hard against the E85) E100 instead.
     
  21. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    That's fair enough - I did say you would be disappointed after your E20. To be honest all the current batch of DVD recorders have cheap build and all HDD/DVDRs take ages to start up (they have to spin up both HDD and DVD). Have you thought about pushing the budget and going for a Panasonic E500?

    Certainly does.
     
  22. Ekko Star

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    Well the Tosh may still be in the running. The machine looked quite nice, bigger, but the remote looked a bit cumbersome. Still looked a bit cheap in the appearance stakes with a very plastic look about it. Though it certainly did have what appeared extensive functionality.

    I originally went for PS thinking it would be just what I need on my Plasma. Difference hasn't really bowled me over and TBH I think I will use a better dedicated PS DVD player for playback only purposes. So RGB only on recorder is not a problem and the ability to record MPEG4 onto SD card without PC sounds cool and would be handy on my PDA for the train journeys ;)

    In that regard the E100 comes into my equation. Are the Mpeg converters on board equivalent to the E85 or about the same as the Tosh ? ie can I get 3hrs full resolution onto 1 DVD-R from the E100 ?
     
  23. nunew33

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    Ekko, my views on the tosh remote:
    Too small (hurts my thumb when entering text)
    Setup button and numerics hidden under flap (although setup accessed easily through easynav menu).
    Screen keyboard + cursor for text, would have been better using mobile txt style charcater entry (not a remote problem per se)

    Saying that I only use numerics for changing sat channel. If you use video plus I would imagine the flap would weaken pretty quickly

    Quick menu makes up for poor remote design
     
  24. Rasczak

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    The MPEG encoding in the E100 is a similar version to the E85 and offers just shy of 3hrs full resolution video per DVD-R. This is superior to the Toshiba which offers 2hrs 20mins.
     
  25. Ekko Star

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    Why can't these decisions be easy ?

    I really thought that by these generations of recorders that everything would be much of a muchness....the E500 pushes the boat out too far really.

    Tosh is looking a pretty strong contender at the moment. Could be the one :confused:

    I am actually quite disappointed at Panasonic as they were the pioneers of these models yet their machines do not have the look and feel of £500 equipment.
     
  26. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Ekko Star - buy the Panasonic E500 - you'll only be disappointed with the build quality otherwise! The Toshiba RDXS32 is a great machine but it is hardly far apart from the Panasonic's in build quality.
     
  27. Ekko Star

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    Was wanting to get something this week and I don't think JL's have it in just yet. They didn't even have the E95.

    Also I just don't fancy paying over £1k nowadays for a DVD recorder. Had a look in the Panasonic shop and TBH the whole range looked very, very cheap in the style and quality stakes. Not endearing stuff really.

    The Tosh looks a bit bland, but it is bigger and more substantial over the Panasonic's. It doesn't exactly float my boat in all depts but then I'm running out of choice :confused:
     
  28. Ekko Star

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    OK E85 went back today and in it's place came the Toshiba XS32.

    First impressions are machine is quite well built, bigger and heavier than the Panasonic. It certainly looks the more impressive bit of kit out of the two.

    Hooked it all up, very nice menu's and very, very comprehensive features. I would say the Panasonic menu's though are far simpler and intuitive to use. The playback on the Tosh is also mighty impressive for a recorder and it has a host of enhancement settings as well.

    Overall this is an impressive bit of kit and the Panasonic rates behind this thing. The menu's appear complex but they are simply in accordance with all the machine has to offer. It is definately the enthusiasts choice of machine out of the two. It's cheaper, has more to offer and is not lacking in any obvious departments.

    Panasonic need to get their thinking caps on again because Tosh seems to have produced a winner :thumbsup:
     
  29. Rasczak

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    Glad you found a recorder that you like :clap: Q-Link wasn't that important after all I assume?

    I am surpirsed you find the build quality on the Toshiba better than the Panasonic's though - in many ways the Toshiba is actually the cheaper of the two machines (no AV HDD for example) - but that's not to say it's not a great machine.
     
  30. Ekko Star

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    Q-Link was a nice to have, but DV more important. I had to make a compromise and the lack of Q-link can be worked around I suppose.

    What do you mean AV HDD ?

    Yes Tosh is cheaper & made in China whereas the Panny's are Japan. However of the two the Tosh appears the far more solid machine.

    It also looks more the part as well. Without sounding too derogatory, the Panasonic's are styled very much like £30 players from Asda, and feel like it as well. Very disappointing on external build.

    I can say though, that the Tosh is far more the enthusiasts choice for all the tweaking options it gives you. Playback is stonking as well and the Panny's cannot keep up in this regard.

    However, I do prefer Panasonic gear, so when the E500 comes out and it's remotely sanely priced I may get one of them anyway. In the meantime, I have to say the Toshiba appears a very competent machine, that you can really dig your teeth into. Got to give it credit for that.
     

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