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PANASONIC DMR-E50 - Should I wait or buy now ?!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by RecordablDVDfan, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    I've made up my mind to buy this model but should I wait until after xmas or buy now at £229 from richer sounds ?

    I have a feeling in the new year they will be very hard to get hold of and I don't think the price can go much lower or can't it ?
    I was hoping for a £199 price, will it or can it realistically go ths low ?
     
  2. sceptic

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    I'm also agonising over the same thing but with an extra question.
    Should I wait for the next generation of recorders like the EMR60?
    This is currently about £80 more than the EMR50 but I'm sure that the price of this will drop too.
    I keep reminding myself that the first DVD player I bought was £230 and I can now get a better one for a third of the price. I feel that, as DVD recorders are new to the market, prices will continue to fall as the specifications improve.
    I know you can wait for ever with this logic so I'm not much help in answering your question am I? :confused:
     
  3. Rasczak

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    Don't think you'll regret it - it is a top machine. As far buying now - well it's your call. The price WILL continue to drop further, that's life, but as things stand £230 odd is a bargain for the features.

    Panasonic will start to release their "new range" (slightly re-designed models which are virtually identical features wise but add DVD-Audio support) from March next year so the E50 will be readily available until then.

    The E60 isn't the next generation - it's the same generation but with a few extra features that not everybody would use (iLink, PC Card Slot) and so means that unit will always cost a bit more.
     
  4. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    I've just had a look in my local Comet at the E50, as I've never seen one in the flesh, lovely looking machine, next to it was the Philips R70 horrid ugly thing, it looks so cheap
     
  5. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    Btw I take it the E50 will not play back +DVD RW's as I've a few of these people have sent me
     
  6. sceptic

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    They are features that I won't need.
    What usefull features do you think the next generation will have?
    I guess 5.1 recording will be one, although this means having Sky+ unless they record DVD to DVD.
     
  7. Rasczak

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    Digital tuners, PC connections (for use with online TV Guides, Menu template uploading/downloading, editting) and 5:1 recording are all things being added in the near future. These are things most likely to be seen on top end machines initially before filtering down to the cheap ones. The core functionality won't change though.

    No - I've never got a DVD+RW to work although there are a number of drive types that have been used in the E50. I would guess though that playback of such disks might have been disabled in the firmware due to 'political' reasons.
     
  8. Easy2BCheesy

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    I'd be very surprised to see an optical input because DVD recording is heavily protected any way. Certainly on my Philips 890 it seems to have two layers of protection - dubbing from my macrovision-disabled Pioneer 444 player doesn't work.

    Other than DVD players very few pieces of kit use 5.1 that I can't see what the manufacturers would have to gain by adding it.
     
  9. Rasczak

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    Sky+ uses it (obviously) and although it isn't that big now I think it will soon become so - especially as they have dropped the £10 monthly fee. Infact it is even possible Sky+ might become the 'norm' in the medium term.

    Personally I can see very little use for 5:1 input on a DVDR though - but then I tend to buy commercial DVDs rather than watch and record movies off Sky. Yet some people buy DVDRs for this purpose and they would want 5:1 in.

    The "option" of 5:1 input is certainly being considered. When one major company does it, they all will follow very quickly.
     
  10. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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  11. fozzybear

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    It's all going to depend on how susceptable to artifacting you are - if you are very critical then anything less than XP mode (or even XP mode) could be bad for you, but if you are less attuned to seeing the artifacting then you may be happy with lower quality modes. To me: XP mode looks pretty much identical to the original, SP or up to 2 hours is only slightly reduced quality, 3 hours is acceptable but visible artifacting occurs, 4 hours is slightly soft and artifacty and EP (6 hours) is about VHS quality (at least it's similar to recordings I've made on VHS, but without the colour noise).

    Depending on the source material I've found that the 6 hour mode is acceptable for some recordings - old stuff like The Sweeney or Ever Decreasing Circles. While the quality is not fantastic I've found that I only notice it for a few minutes - after that I don't even think about it.

    If you're unsure you really need to look at sample recordings - only you will know if the picture quality is ok as it's a fairly subjective thing, and the size of your tv will have a direct influence (I use a 28" Sony). With my setup I'm more than happy with the quality though - it's miles better than VHS and at it's best is near broadcast quality!
     
  12. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    So you can only get 2hrs of near DVD quality then on a DVD disk ? How come over 4hrs is possible on a commercial / brought DVD ?
     
  13. sub

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    Thats fair enough. Remember, nothing plays DVD-RAM...;)
     
  14. mattym

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    My question on this would be this:

    I want a replacement for my video and dvd players, this product could fill the gap, but is it going to turn into a betamax?
     
  15. drphibes

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    4hrs is on a dual layer dvd with a capacity of around 9.4gb so the times and qualities quoted in the thread are for using a disc with half of that space.


    Drphibes
     
  16. HMHB

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    Is there anywhere to look at sample recordings on the net ?
     
  17. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    Ahh yes so are blank dual layer DVD's available ? What is the best price ? What a shame the E50 can't be hacked / modded to rec in DVD+/-R given the great looks compared with the 80's Amstrad look of the philips. Hidious looking machine..
     
  18. fozzybear

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    Well it can record in -r, what advantage would +r bring? I thought that compatibility was similar for each format?

    Dual layer recording is supposed to be on the way (I haven't done any research on this other than hearing of the announcements by Philips and Pioneer), although it's anyones guess how much and when.
     
  19. drphibes

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    As far as I Know no dual layer dvd discs are available.
    The 9.4 ram discs are double sided splitting the 9.4 between the 2 sides of the disc similar to old style audio cassettes.

    One thing that I would liek is for the e50 to be able to automatically "flip" the disc like some laserdiscs players did so this way you could have the full 9.4 gig ready to record your stuff but as it is you need to manually turn the disc to use the other side.
    I am sure this feature will come onto future players to make them even better than they are at present.

    Drphibes
     
  20. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    But commercial DVD's are dual layer on one side only ?
    I'm sure I've seen some dual layer 9.4GB DVD-R's on ebay but the E50 is not capable of recoding with them then ?

    All this is making my head spin btw! Anyone else ?!
     
  21. mattym

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    yup, lol

    my question still stands, if i buy one of these, is there going to be the support for it in say 6 months? Or is it another betamax/VHS thing
     
  22. fozzybear

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    You are unlikely to have trouble finding discs in 6 months - even if dual layer appears tomorrow it probably won't replace single layer recorders for quite some time, especially in the dvd video recorder sector. Even if PC burners switch entirely the dvd video recorders probably won't for maybe a year (depending on the stink kicked up by the movie industry), and then you've got the lifetime of recorders in use, so probably there will be major demand for at least the next 2 years or more*.

    However if you are really concerned about this then the answer is simple - don't buy a recorder for a year or two and see how the market stabilises, although by then we may be looking at bluray recorders or whatever is the next step. If you play the waiting game you are likely to wait forever as just when you think things have stabilised a new, better standard appears.


    *I'm no expert - this is just my opinion.
     
  23. fozzybear

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    Commercial DVDs can be single layer single sided, single layer double sided, dual layer single sided, dual layer double sided. Most are single sided and single or dual layered. Current dvd recorders are single layer discs.

    The 9.4 gig discs you've seen on ebay are going to be single layer dual sided - you cannot buy dual layer recordable discs yet. Dual-layer recorders will come, but they are not out yet.

    The E50 will record onto double sided discs (both -R and RAM) as you just flip them over to record on the other side, but I think it is unlikely to be modifiable to be able to record onto dual layer discs.
     
  24. mattym

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    I think its a hard choice this, if you wait for the price to drop, something invariably comes along that is better but more expensive, you then wait for that to come down in price, and invariably something better comes along....

    What are the advantages of DVDram over HDD recorders?
     
  25. Rasczak

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    If I can just point out one or two points:

    1) None of the current DVD recorders, either PC based or set-top based, will be able to be converted into dual-layer recorders. You'll need a new drive/machine guaranteed.

    2) There is currently no dual layer DVDRs available. They will become available (in both DVD+R and DVD-R flavours from next year). HOWEVER Single layer media will remain the defacto standard due to compatibility. Even with dual layer disks being specifically designed to be compatible they WILL be considerably less compatible than the single layer counterparts - numerous drives till have problems with commercially released disks let alone DVDRs! According to reports from Sony etc they will also be considerably more expensive - so single layer media will remain the standard for the foreseeable future.

    3) ALL current DVDR formats (DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD+R) will be readily available for the next few years without ANY doubt. All have achieved significant market share in at least one part of the world meaning media will be available for long into the future. If you doubt this look at DVHS tapes - they are still available now even though DVHS has failed here quite dramatically. Especially in the set-top world NONE of the producers have any plans to back down on their formats - and why should they? - it's features rather than the format that is what matters (although the two concepts are obviously closely linked). By the time ANY format dissappears it will be because it has been superceeded by high capacity solutions, e.g. BluRay.
     
  26. mattym

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    cool, thanks for that. Really not sure if i want to buy one or not yet though...decisions decisions!
     
  27. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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