Do I keep my DRM-E85? first impressions.

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by azzo, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. azzo

    azzo
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    Proud new owner of this panasonic HD recorder.
    So far opinions are mixed
    Pros
    1 - Excellent audio + video quality from prerecorded DVDs
    2 - Recording quality is superb in SP mode
    3 - Very quiet
    4 - Looks great and built well

    Now the cons....
    1 - S.l..o.....w. Is it booting windows when it boots up?
    Boot time is 15 seconds and shutdown about 10. So turning the machine off and on takes almost half a minute!
    And thats when I haven't changed the media. Menus and the like are average speed.
    2 - Can't copy my DVDs to HD, if they were so bothered about copying why didn't they just prevent copyrited DVDs being copied back to DVD-R/DVD-RAM.
    3 - No DVD-RW, a real pain when wanting to use recordings on another player
    4 - Not easy to use. The pause live TV is a joke. My wife will never work this out.
    Why is there no button to record, go into play mode and pause.
    Instead I have to either
    - Press record, time slip, pause, time slip OR
    - Press record, play, pause.
    5 - No DVB tuner, so the recording features are of a 1980's video recorder. when will these machines have them?
    6 - Lipsync when using time-shift (occasionally)

    The alternative for me is to get a Sony RX3 going £300 cheaper as part of a TV package and have an easier upgrade option in a couple of years.

    Any comments, greatly appreciated.
    Azzo.
     
  2. cyber_who

    cyber_who
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    I think the boot up time is probably going to be an issue on most HDD/DVD recorders, my Toshiba is the same.
    The lack of DVD-RW was my reason to go for the Toshiba RD-XS32.

    As for digital receiver, I believe there a number of models due out late this year or early next year with digital receivers built in.

    Personally I'd stick with a HDD/DVD recorder and try to live with the boot up and shut down times. The editing features make it worth while.
    Whether this is with you Panasonic or anoth make is a personal decision I suppose.

    FInally, as for ease of use, I have to admit that I am not looking forward to explaining some of the features to my wife, but will. Anyway it'll probably be me setting it and using it most of the time.
     
  3. azzo

    azzo
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    There should be no reason for these machines to take so long to boot. Fair enough is media has changed, but if it hasn't, it should be able to resume where it left off.

    DVB, this is my big dilema. As it stands using a HD recorder as a PVR is a waste of time and cannot be done practically. The key question is whether the new machines in a years time will be at the same price point as current machines, or will the appear at some ridiculous price like DVB TVs? This is the most usefull feature I am currently missing.

    As for ease of use, why didn't they just think things through a little. A 'pause live TV' button whould be far more sensible t
    han time slip.

    Azzo
     
  4. Rob20

    Rob20
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    I have the 85 also and am well chuffed with it in the main. Personally I can put up with a few grumbles. At least until someone releases a new recorder with a 500Gb HDD or larger, digital tuner, HDMI outputs and inputs. Perhaps with prog scan in and outs. and perhaps with digital in and outs for sound. Either that or wait for blu-ray. Anyway:

    1) Couldn't agree more. It's painfully slow for some of the operations. But maybe this is due to the HDD!? I find using the menus slow, opening and closing thwe draw, and changing between formats seems to take forever. It's especially annoying if you've forgotten about a recording and have remembered with 30 secs to go. Still, I just have to learn to be a bit more patient.

    2) You can't copy pre-recorded dvd's, but you can copy dvd's you've burnt yourself. Though with dvd-r's you have to do this in real time for some reason!?

    3) who cares about -rw when you can get blank dvd-r's for just 35p each, (when you buy 50 at a time, inc p+p). Though it would have been nice to have it included I suppose.

    4) Pausing live tv may be tricky at 1st but it's not really that hard. When you're recording a show press timeslip. Now the show carries on recording in the bottom right corner, timeslipped on the main screen. Press timeslip again to remove the picture from the corner.Press skip back and the main screen goes back to the beginning of the recording. Now you can watch your recording however you want, pause, fast forward, rewind etc...

    5) As I have ntl digital cable it's not really that much of an issue. Still, would be nice to see included. Though 25% of people still have no access/can't receive a digital signal. I'd like the optiopn to have a sky or ntl digital tuner as an optional extra.

    6) Can't say I've noticed that really.

    Personally I'd stick with the Panasonic for now.
     
  5. azzo

    azzo
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    1) The HD should make things quicker, saving and restoring the state of the machine should take less than a second. It
    would be very easy to see if media has changed by detecting if the drawer has opened! They have NO excuse. I will
    probably keep it on all of the time anyway. Is anybody else doing that?

    2) So you can Hi-Speed dub using DVD-RAM and not DVD-R? strange. When you copy a DVD-R does it copy the fancy animated
    menus as well? If so how do they appear on the thumbnails.

    3) I admit this is not much of a problem as I will probably look at an AV-Sender anyway.

    4) I will persevere with this, It could have been made so much easier.

    5) I have telewest cable. No timing options what so ever. Do they honestly think people are always in to watch telly. Now having a cable tuner built in would be perfect. I can't see this ever happening though.

    6) I am definitely not imagining this. I saw it very clearly on C4 yesterday, I guess now I have seen it I will be look
    ing out for it.


    I guess I am a little dissappointed after seeing my mates Sky+ box (which is not perfect by any means). But there is no
    way I am paying an extra 20 quid a month for the same programme shedule.
    Its the incompatibilty between cable and recorders which most annoys me.

    Apart from those gripes and from an AV point of view this is a fine machine. The quality recordings and quietness of th
    e machine are very welcome.

    Kind Regards
    Azzo
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    azzo, sorry to hear your not that happy with the E85. Just to comment on a few of your points:

    HDD/DVDR combos are slow - no doubt about it - but the idea is you keep it on all the time so you start recording as and when desired. Turning it on or off doesn't really achieve anything (not even save energy).

    This is a fair point - although surely you must have known this before you brought it? - if it is a problem exhange it for the Toshiba RDXS32. Or alternatively get a cheap spindle of DVD-Rs and use them. Or a DVD-RAM capable player such as the Panasonic S27. Certainly though if you intended to play your DVD recordings on an 'upstairs' DVD players then you should have got the Toshiba!

    This is always going to be subjective. In this thread for example several people comment on how easy it is. If you want something different maybe try the Toshiba although it isn't THAT different...

    My sympathy on this point is limited - you must have known this before you brought it? There are DVD recorders coming with DVB tuners - the reason is hasn't happened sooner is the integration of such isn't as easy as you might think - but it will be a while before some quality solutions arrive as opposed to models which merely have a DVB 'in the box' and still rely on a DAC/ADC process.

    You'll probably find that was the broadcast as opposed to the recorder.
     
  7. Rob20

    Rob20
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    With NTL cable box it's posible to set a reminder for programmes you want to record. Therefore you can set the box to change to the programme you wish to record.....in theory. In reality the programme guide rarely works properly as it is unable to provide information on programmes more than 6 hours or so ahead. As far as I can see Sky's tv service is far better than cable. Especially if you want the whole package movies and sports. £200 for the sky+ box with 40GB HDD is good value and the ability to record 2 channels at the same time brilliant. Just highlight the show and select rec. How easy is that. Plus you can tell the machine to record every epiisode of a tv series. I had been recording the shield but it moved top a Sat and I missed 2 episodes. plus the guide is for 7 days I think.

    Having had NTL cable for a while now, I can't understand why anyone would have cable over Sky. Unfortuantly for me the owner of the house doesn't want a satellite dish for some reason!? Add to this a digital out, a digital text service. If you're a footy fan you can now watch every game in 50 min highlight form soon after the games finish on a Sat. How goods that. On NTL there is no digital text/interactive service. Plus sky has recently announced a hi-def service for 2006. NTL don't even have seperate phono outputs on their boxes for gods sake. Removed them as they were 'too much trouble'.

    You can dub in hi-speed with dvd-ram by the way. I must admit that I found the operation of the Pan a little daunting at 1st. But gradually bit by bit I've found it's become easier and easier. If you have any queries on operation I'd be happy to help explain them.
     
  8. azzo

    azzo
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    Rasczak, I am not exactly unhappy, I'm just weighing out the options, I was aware of all of the gripes when I bought the machine (apart from the start up/shutdow time) and thought it would be easier to use. (for the wife). Don't get me wrong this is a quality machine with a n
    ice wow factor.

    The real problem is the lack of DVB which is unavailable yet. I have also have a seperate DVB box (7 day EPG compatible, but no 7 day listings), I will experiment with looping this through my cable box somehow. It's a shame that you can only use EXT LINK to trigger recordings
    on AV-2. Ultimately I would like to use my DVB like a PVR and the cable box to pause-live-tv (As it doesn't have a timer). I'm sure I can hook this up.

    The reason that I am having second thoughts is that I am buying a new widescreen Tv too. And I would realy like the same make recorder. The other option was the sony, but I kinda like to panasonic TV's too.

    Azzo
     
  9. azzo

    azzo
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    Rob, the reasons for cable. Cost. I get all the programmes I want for 9.50 a month (Sky one, Living, Sci-Fi, E4)
    The same package with SKY+ would cost 29.50. So I may as well get the movies for an extra 4.50 pounds, that's 24.50 pounds more a month. Ok, you are getting the movie channels and a much better service. I am still tempted though, just for the PVR functions.
    Azzo
     
  10. azzo

    azzo
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    Just for the record. I have sadly taken this machine back to JL. I guess I was expecting too much of it. It is still a superb machine though, and would still recommend it to anyone.
    I will probably look at one of the Pionneers (with a 75 pound trade in) I like the extra features of firewire/wma playback and maybe a nicer interface.

    Azzo.
     

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