A few DMR-EX75EB-S Question

carcher

Novice Member
Hi,

I'm about ready to get a DVD/HDD recorder next week and have been considering the Pioneer 540 and the Sony 860 (Mainly as they both play DivX).

However as they both have good / bad points, I am considering the Panasonic EX75 (and getting a cheap DivX player), but can't seam to get answers to the following questions, so if you can help I'd be VERY grateful.

1) Does the EX75 have a 'Pause Live TV' function like the sony?

2) Can you auto pad an EPG set timer recording?

3) If recording from Sky via the scart, can you watch a freeview channel.

5) Does it add chapters to HDD recordings automatically, or do you have to add them yourself.

6) If copying to DVD using FR mode, does it basically set the quality to SP / LP / EP etc., or will it set it to a quality in-between (i.e. best possible for space in DVD.

7) Are there any issues with this player that I should know about?

Also if anyone has any recommendations for which is the best between the Sony 860, Pioneer 540 and Panasonic EX75 I'd be grateful too.

:lease:
 

NickAJ

Standard Member
Hi
Posted some similar questions earlier.

Added them here:

Have got to get a new machine and need to know the best one to get. Narrowed it down to two, the Panasonic EX75 and the Sony HXD860.

Our area is not too good for receiving Freeview so the EX75 has the advantage with digital and analogue tuners.

What I do need to know are the options for watching one program whilst taping another. I will assume that the Sky box is connected to the DVD recorder and the DVD to the TV by scart cables.

1) Can I watch Sky and record from the internal tuner.

2) Can I record Sky and watch a program on the Freeview tuner in the recorder. TV is analogue.

Timeslip.

1) How quickly does the timeslip start recording on both machines and is a one button process?

2) Is there a maximum timeslip or is it regulated by the hard disk?
Nick
 

KMO

Novice Member
Some good questions coming up - I like the way you think.
1) Does the EX75 have a 'Pause Live TV' function like the sony?
Not explicitly. But it's simple to do. Just hit record, and it will start recording. The currently recording title becomes the "current" title, so then when you press play, it will start playback from the start of this ongoing recording. And at that point, it plays just like any other title, with fast forward, rewind, pause etc, except of course the end of the title is ever-advancing.

Press stop once, and it will stop playback, and go back to live. Press stop again, and it will stop the recording. Works on HDD or DVD-RAM.

2) Can you auto pad an EPG set timer recording?
You have to pad it manually. When you select a programme from the EPG, it transfers the info into the normal "Prog/Check" screen, where you can adjust all the parameters. The start and end time are initialised to the nominal values, and you can nudge them up or down. There's no way to give it a "default" padding.

Note - be very careful if you're nudging from a midnight recording. I managed to lose a recording by nudging it a few minutes earlier. It decided I wanted to record at 23:57 the next night...

3) If recording from Sky via the scart, can you watch a freeview channel.
You can't watch any other input, including the tuner, while recording. You can only watch what's recording, or other titles -you can play any title from HDD or DVD-RAM while recording. Can't remember if you can play from DVD while recording to HDD. (And if you have the EX95V, you can play from VHS while recording to HDD/DVD and vice versa).

5) Does it add chapters to HDD recordings automatically, or do you have to add them yourself.
No. Although it might do if you put it in "record for high-speed copy mode" (ie record in DVD-V format), I'm not sure.

It does if you're recording to a DVD other than DVD-RAM. It appears to put them in every 5-7 minutes or so, at a vision cut. It actually hits real scene changes surprisingly often. Or it's lucky. When you do a normal speed copy to DVD, it does the same thing.
6) If copying to DVD using FR mode, does it basically set the quality to SP / LP / EP etc., or will it set it to a quality in-between (i.e. best possible for space in DVD.
It selects a setting in-between, to totally fill the disc. At some threshold below the LP point it will switch sharply from 720 to 352 horizontal resolution. (LP is 720, EP is 352). I'm not sure if it will record PCM audio in FR mode (if you've got it enabled for XP, and the rate is that high).

7) Are there any issues with this player that I should know about?
My main niggle is that it doesn't do any widescreen signalling at all except on HDD and DVD-RAM (with "record for high-speed copy" disabled, ie DVD-VR format). In DVD-VR format, it records real-time WSS switches accurately, including signals for 16:9 letterbox. But that's lost as soon as you copy to DVD-R/RW/+R/+RW, where everything is marked as 4:3. Bleurgh.

I'm going to stick with DVD-RAM (double-sided cartridges) for the bulk of my recordings, for this reason. Maybe that was there plan, what with DVD-RAM being Panasonic's pet format...
 

KMO

Novice Member
I'm answering this about the Panasonic...
Hi
1) Can I watch Sky and record from the internal tuner.
With the SCART connected as you describe? No, unless the recording is a timer recording, in which case the recorder can be turned off to pass through the Sky.

2) Can I record Sky and watch a program on the Freeview tuner in the recorder. TV is analogue.
No. You can't view the tuner while recording an external input.

I think you'd need to reconsider your wiring here. The traditional way of doing it would be to put the Sky box above the recorder, which would allow normal "watch TV while recording" behaviour. But obviously the catch is that presumably the Sky only outputs composite downstream.

Do you have an A/V receiver? Maybe you could use that to switch around the recorder:

TV SCART<->AV1 Sky AV2<->AV1 DVD

TV SVideo<->Receiver<->SVideo Sky
<->SVideo DVD

I've got something similar on my set-up - RGB SCART chains for the TV with S-Video via the receiver as a backup (mainly because my TV won't do 4:3 RGB). It gives more flexibility.

Alternatively, does the Sky box have a S-Video output? You could route that to the recorder:

TV SCART<->AV1 Sky AV2<->AV1 DVD

Sky SVideo<->AV4 DVD

I guess the catch with that is that you couldn't rely on AV.Link/Ext Link signalling. Or could you? Hmmm.
1) How quickly does the timeslip start recording on both machines and is a one button process?
Timeslip isn't a special function on the Panasonic - see above. Recording to HDD starts almost instantaneously (1 sec or less?).

2) Is there a maximum timeslip or is it regulated by the hard disk?
No limit, because it's just another recording. Recording is limited by hard disc, but I think it will break the title every 8 hours.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Can't remember if you can play from DVD while recording to HDD.
Despite a note in the manual on Page 15 that says:


R A M - R - R D L - R W ( V ) + R + R D L + R W

Disc playback stops when a Timer Recording starts.

... it has been found that this is not true.... and like previous models , Disk play IS possible, up to and during timer recordings.
 

carcher

Novice Member
My main niggle is that it doesn't do any widescreen signalling at all except on HDD and DVD-RAM (with "record for high-speed copy" disabled, ie DVD-VR format). In DVD-VR format, it records real-time WSS switches accurately, including signals for 16:9 letterbox. But that's lost as soon as you copy to DVD-R/RW/+R/+RW, where everything is marked as 4:3. Bleurgh.

I'm going to stick with DVD-RAM (double-sided cartridges) for the bulk of my recordings, for this reason. Maybe that was there plan, what with DVD-RAM being Panasonic's pet format...
Thanks for all the info! One further question with the widescreen flag, I presume it does accurately record in widescreen, but you have to manually change your TV to widescreen when you play a recorded DVD?
 

KMO

Novice Member
Yes, it records anamorphic (if you're set up for a 16:9 TV), but doesn't flag it on DVD-R etc, so you have to change the TV manually.
 

carcher

Novice Member
Yes, it records anamorphic (if you're set up for a 16:9 TV), but doesn't flag it on DVD-R etc, so you have to change the TV manually.
Thanks, a bit of a pain, but not a huge problem.

Sounds like a great player, just got to decide how bothered I am that it does not play DivX now.
 

jase the space

Standard Member
I have just bought an DMREX85 and have a few usage questions:

1) What is the advantage of high speed copy? It seems to mean you can subsequently copy to DVD at a higher speed later but it loses WS signal. Does it degrade quality? What do most people do with this option - on or off? Why on earth does this option mean WS is lost and why can't you copy to DVD at high rates from a non-high speed recording?

2) I've noticed that if a programme's timed start has already passed (but the programme hasn't necessarily started yet!) it is not possible to set a timer recording on it. Is there any way of starting a timed recording after the programme's scheduled start so that recording finishes at the end? Bit annoying this if you are late arriving into the room and have forgot to set the program.

3) Why on earth can't we watch another input when recording from one - e.g. recording from external but wanting to watch Freeview. We can record and watch a previous recording at the same time. Seems a bit of an omission. Obviously with only 1 digital tuner we could only ever watch/record one channel but can't see why there is a restriction on other inputs. Am I missing something.

4) Why does the sound cut out when you display a menu/guide - it means you miss the dialogue from the programme you were watching.

Minor niggles, but this product could have been oh so great.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I have just bought an DMREX85 and have a few usage questions:

1) What is the advantage of high speed copy? It seems to mean you can subsequently copy to DVD at a higher speed later but it loses WS signal. Does it degrade quality? What do most people do with this option - on or off? Why on earth does this option mean WS is lost and why can't you copy to DVD at high rates from a non-high speed recording?
The advantage of high speed copy is that it is the only loss free method of copying. All other modes involve loss.
So - No - it does not degrade quality - being digital cloning.
All other modes involve re-encoding and thus loss.

The other obvious advantage is it is much quicker than real-time copying.

Whether you have it on of off by default depends on your usage. I have it enabled permanently because it suits my use is very convenient and the losslessness matters to me.

Another user on this forum uses RAM disks all the time and so has no need for it as it is possible to bounce losslessly at high speed with RAM's irrespective of this setting.

This issue is less an issue of this machine and more to do with DVD disk standards which have a complex and convoluted history. The WSS flag problem occurs because of an attempt to comply with standards.

You cannot do it with a 'non-prepared' recording because it would not comply with the standards.

The loss of the WSS flag is easily circumvented by manually switching your TV to widescreen... That is the only thing the flag does - Switch it for you.

2) I've noticed that if a programme's timed start has already passed (but the programme hasn't necessarily started yet!) it is not possible to set a timer recording on it. Is there any way of starting a timed recording after the programme's scheduled start so that recording finishes at the end? Bit annoying this if you are late arriving into the room and have forgot to set the program.
Yes I agree - It is annoying. You could use the countdown timer on the unit itself... or I believe it is possible to input videoplus codes - which you could retrain for the channels you want. Also I think manually input timers work - Just not from the EPG.
3) Why on earth can't we watch another input when recording from one - e.g. recording from external but wanting to watch Freeview. We can record and watch a previous recording at the same time. Seems a bit of an omission. Obviously with only 1 digital tuner we could only ever watch/record one channel but can't see why there is a restriction on other inputs. Am I missing something.
Theoretically it could be done but it would involve a phenomenal amount of electronic switching to achieve.
It appears to be a limitation that results from these machines requiring an encoder to render the material suitable for DVD storage.
4) Why does the sound cut out when you display a menu/guide - it means you miss the dialogue from the programme you were watching.
These things are personal.
We get regular complaints here of people who hate sound from the titles when in the navigator.
But I take your point.
I think the one thing that would radically improve customer satisfaction with this machine is if a few parameters [ such as this one ] were optional and could be set up as a group of 'preferences'

[Are you listening Panasonic??]
Minor niggles, but this product could have been oh so great.
Enjoy the good points :D
 

carcher

Novice Member
Well, I've just managed to get myself a cheap DivX player, so it's no longer important to me if I get HDD/DVD recorder with DivX, so I 99% sure I'm going to get the Panasonic EX75 now after weeks of deliberation!
 

Bobalong

Standard Member
Like many people I am choosing between the EX75 and the D860S. I had almost made my mind up to get the Sony but other posts have made me wonder.

I have no aerial and get my TV through NTL.
I assumed that both Sony and Panny would record off the NTL box, am I right?
I have the NTL signal split so I can watch analogue in one part of the house and digital in another. I assume that the Sony could only record the digital signal being scarted into it, and not the analogue.

How noisy is the EX75 because the Sony seems to be borderline acceptable for that?
 
H

Hovebiker

Guest
My EX75 does not autochapter when recording on HDD. This is very irritating. My cheapy Thomson PVR does autochapter....and what an awful manual ! I purchased the Panasonic following an ecstatic review in What Video mag., but now I can feel eBay coming on! I'll go for a Philips machine shortly.
 

aekostas

Active Member
Mind the digital tuners. Those on the DTR320 are poor and the new Daewoo PVR, which has Philips tuners, also suffers.

What is autochapter?
 

zappo

Novice Member
My EX75 does not autochapter when recording on HDD. This is very irritating. My cheapy Thomson PVR does autochapter....and what an awful manual ! I purchased the Panasonic following an ecstatic review in What Video mag., but now I can feel eBay coming on! I'll go for a Philips machine shortly.
I felt the same way when I first got this Panasonic but I would advise you grasp the nettle as it is a great machine despite the odd issues raised above.

The manual and user interface is awful and I have said before a lesson on how not to do things. Thank goodness for these forums or I would never have found that you can jump forward in a title by x minutes among other things.

All DVD recorders involve compromise, it is what happens when you have multiple standards. For example the LG models do not allow you to fast dub if you edit a recording. For me that meant the item was not fit for purpose as I wanted to record from Sky overnight, divide the different programmes and then partial delete the advertisements.

I recently bought some DVD-RAM disks for this because I wanted to archive some footage that I was not ready to edit. That in itself is a great feature as titles can be copied back and forth from hard disk to DVD-RAM as files in high speed mode.

The only downside is that DVD-RAM disks cost £1.70 each and are only about 3x speed rather than 16x speed.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I felt the same way when I first got this Panasonic but I would advise you grasp the nettle as it is a great machine despite the odd issues raised above.

The manual and user interface is awful and I have said before a lesson on how not to do things. Thank goodness for these forums or I would never have found that you can jump forward in a title by x minutes among other things.

All DVD recorders involve compromise...
Well said Zappo
 

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