DVD Recorder with HDD EPG


Standard Member
Hi All,

Looking for a DVD/Hard disk recorder with EPG. Any suggestions? Don't want to pay more than £200. Have a seen an ex-display Panasonic DMR-EX85 for £199 - is that a good buy?



Active Member
if you want/need an analogue tuner, then it would be ok, but i bet you could get that model for a lot cheaper, considering it's replacement models are under £200 too. the newer Panasonic don't have an analogue tuner though, but this might not be important to you if the analogue reception is poor in your area.

consider the EX77 (160Gb hard drive) and EX87 (250GB hard drive) in the Panasonic range the (EX77 is under £200, the EX87 is about £270), or from the Sony range the HXD 870 (160Gb hard drive, under £200) or 970 (250GB hard drive, around £230).

there are many threads here comparing the products from both manufacturers, so just have a look lower down inth ethread list and over the next few pages.

they're both the best products at that price point you can buy today.


Standard Member
Thanks - I like the look of the Sony HXD 870 - who sells for under £200, because, according to a Sony dealer I spoke to earlier, the trade price is £227 for a UK model. Maybe the sub-£200 models are European grey imports, but does it matter?


Active Member
no, if you live in the UK, you will be sold a UK model. you wil only get a Euro import if you import it yourself somehow, or if you go overseas and buy it and bring it back.

all it is is that the big shops (Curry's, Comet etc.) like to rip customers off and make big profits (understandably maybe, as they have large stores and many staff to pay, plus overheads and running costs) whereas internet retailers only have a small office with a computer and a warehouse on a industrial estate to hold their stock.

have a look at this internet seller, for which i've narrowed down the search to Sony models: Click

the 160GB hard drive 870 is available in black or silver, indicated as 870B or 870S, respectively.

but look at the 250GB hard drive 970B, that's amazing value at only £229 (add £9.99 for delivery).

consider that Curry's sell the 870 for £280 (Click), and have only just brought down the price of the 970 also to £280 (from £350) for the January sales, and you can see how much they are ripping us off, and what savings you can get from shopping online.

so although you say you like the 870 with it's sub-£200 price, look at how amazing the price of £229 for the 970 is. but it's only available in black so that may have some bearing on your choice; if you need a silver one then you can only consider the 870.

so for only an extra £34 over the price of the 870 from that site, you'd get an extra 90GB worth of hard drive space, well worth it in my opinion.

if i already didn't own a recorder (the Panasonic EX87, 250GB model, same as the Sony 970), i'd buy one.


Standard Member
Thanks for the links.

I'm still tempted by the EX-85 though, as I have some DVD Rams I could use with it. What's the point of having an analogue tuner? Do the newer models have twin digital - can you watch one prog, whilst taping another?


Distinguished Member
There aren't any models with twin digital tuners, but of course if you have a freeview/sky/etc box you can watch one digital channel on that whilst your DVD recorder (using it's digital tuner) can record another. The Sony models have an analogue tuner as well as a digital one.


the sony have 1 analogue tuner and 1 digital tuner ( old and new )

when the tuner is busy , its busy , so no you cannot watch one channel on it whilst its recording another , you use your tv tuner or tv av channels from freeview/sky/virgin for that

it will let you play previous recordings or dvd,s etc when its busy recording for you as they dont use the tuner


Active Member
Thanks for the links.

I'm still tempted by the EX-85 though, as I have some DVD Rams I could use with it.

you could use them on the new Panasonic machines too (EX77 or EX87) as they write to and read RAM discs.

i don't know why you're still considering an older, ex-display model when you can get a brand new, current model EX77 for the same price: Click (available in black (2nd one down) or silver (2nd from bottom))

while recording to the hard drive, you can either watch the same programme on a delay, so you can pause or rewind it, while it continues to record, or you can watch something already recorded, or you can watch a DVD.


Active Member
What's the point of having an analogue tuner?
you need to see this thread..

Do the newer models have twin digital - can you watch one prog, whilst taping another?
none at all - only PVRs have that, but you cannot record from an input...

and note that the SKYBOX is a PVR(you cannot record from external stuff) - but you can record 2 progs while watching a recording..


Standard Member
I bought a DMREX77 from Richer Sounds for £179.99. Unfortunately, I've had to return it because I found the constant whirring noise caused by the DVD to be unacceptable. I also considered the build quality to be very poor, especially the DVD tray, which was so delicate.

Now back to square one. Is the Sony RDRHXD870 better built - is it quiet in operation?

I may instead go for a PVR and separate DVD player/recorder, but a one box solution would be better.


Active Member
that's strange, you must have just got a dodgy unit. i've owned the EX77 and it was totally silent, and i do own the EX87 which is also silent.

yes the DVD tray is a bit cheap though, just means you have to be careful with it, that's all.

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