Panasonic DMR-E95 v Pioneer DVR-720H ?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Struan, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Struan

    Struan
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    I am thinking about buying my first DVD/HDD recorder, and am wondering about the pros/cons of the Panasonic DMR-E95 v Pioneer DVR-720H?

    I plan to use it mainly for timeshifting to HDD from a Humax IRCI5400 digital satellite receiver. I would also like, when necessary, to timeshift from analogue terrestrial, although I have read some mention of poor performance in this respect due to the ADC with the Pioneer – is this common to all DVD/HDD? (I do not have DTT at the moment, but I will probably get a multi-tuner/HDD STB for timeshifting Freeview when more options become available). I am also in need of a new TV (My 10 year old Sony died last year), and was thinking of an IDTV (possibly Sony 32DX51?) for DTT viewing – would a DVD/HDD recorder offer good results when recording the output from the IDTV Scart, if occasional recording was necessary?

    I also plan to use the high speed (same bit-rate) HDD > DVD transfer e.g. selecting/identifying segments to archive from a through-the-night recording, and then transfer to DVD-R, so ease/speed of editing/copying is also important. Although I would like to use LP to get a semi-decent capacity on DVD, from what I have read, it seems as though SP is the minimum that should be used for decent AV performance – yes?

    I might also try some VHS > DVD, but timeshifting/transferring, as above, is the main use the recorder will receive.


    TIA.
     
  2. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Both machines would equally do what you require. Pioneer has the advantage of using DVD-RW so you can record from the hard-drive to DVD-RW, watch it elsewhere, then reuse the DVD-RW disc again later. Panasonic uses DVD-RAM which isn't very compatible so you would need to always use DVD-R if you wanted to lend or watch programs elsewhere, then throw the disc if it was just a temporary recording. Panasonic's next models have removed this negative by adding DVD-RW support, but they are not here yet.

    I was one of those criticising the ADC performance of Pioneer recorders, however since comparing the previous models (3100/5100) to the newer models x20, there has been a marked improvement, and comparison to Panasonic recorders doesn't show any marked differences between the two in my opinion.

    The other thing to consider is how you want to connect the recorder to your video device, the Panasonic has component out, whereas the Pioneer 720 doesn't.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Have a look at the 'Which DVD Recorder?' link in my signature - it advises on the basics of DVD recorder buying. Between the two the Panasonic is the better machine: upto 3hrs full resolution recording per DVDR (as opposed to only 2hrs 20mins on the Pioneer), component output, progressive scan and DVD-Audio support over and above the Pioneer.

    If you want DVD-RW support I would look at the Toshiba RDXS32 which is widely regarded as being superior to the Pioneer range. Although recording quality is similar the Toshiba offers component and progressive scan. It's come under abit of flak here lately for media compatibility issues - but on the whole it is a solid performer.
     
  4. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Unfortunately it doesn't look pretty, and while 3 hours at full resolution is a nice marketing gimmick, get any fast moving action and artefacts dog the picture, and you aren't actually getting full resolution of "detail".

    I agree with the original poster that "it seems as though SP is the minimum that should be used for decent AV performance – yes?" SP mode being around 2 hours per single layer disc. Lets face it, even commercial producers with equipment costing thousands of pounds and qualified technicians don't even attempt the sort of recording rates that Panasonic advertises using a $5 encoding chip.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    How would you know - you've never seen it! The 3 hour mode on the Panasonic looks much better than the equivalent low resolution image on the Pioneer. There are artifacts - there always will be at low bitrates - but it is better than the Pioneer.

    Struan, bottomline here is that Philip supports DVD-RW, I (according to Philip) support DVD-RAM. Therefore discount both our advice and go and trial a unit for yourself ;)
     
  6. Mikey45

    Mikey45
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    I bought the Pioneer 720 last summer and a few months later my buddy bought the Tosh xs32. We did the usual stuff of comparing the quality of recorded material viewed on each others systems (both conventional CRT based TVs) and had to admit that we could not see any real difference between the 2. I dare say it will make more of a difference if the TVs were plasma / LCD sets but our wives have both ruled that out of scope for the time being :(

    One criticism I do have is that the quality of the internal TV tuner on the Pioneer deck is poor - especially when compared to that on my 5 year old Sony VCR. I therefore use my NTL STB for important recordings that I might want to keep.

    Have found the RW capability a boon though as the missus lends recordings to her work colleagues and it means I can re-use them once returned.

    The editing and menu system on the Pioneer is a doddle to use and the kids have mastered it as well!
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    No you shouldn't do - recordings between the two look nigh on identical in my experience.
     
  8. Struan

    Struan
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    DVD formats isn't too much of an issue for me as I intend to use the HDD day to day, only using DVD when I wish to archive something I wish to keep, so this will be to DVD-R.

    A reply I received on another forum suggested that the E85 cannot transfer widescreen material at high speed – does anyone know anything about this, and whether the E95 is affected?

    Are there any major differences in the editing features and menu system between these players. Also, does either (both?) record e.g. the date, time, channel etc. with each recording? If so, is this shown just as part of the thumbnails, or can it be included as part of the transfer to disc (I have old Mitsubishi VCRs that have a Date Record facility which records day/date, channel, and start time of recording, which I quite like)?

    @PhilipL
    I will only have a (probably fairly modest – don't like 100Hz, and, overall, I'm not very impressed with the quality of modern TVs in general, therefore I will be spending as little as I can to get something ‘acceptable' ) CRT, so connection will be Scart.

    @ Rasczak
    Thanks for the link – looks like I have some reading to do ;)
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The problem relates to the Widescreen Switching Signal - although recored when in VR mode if you dub to DVD-R it is lost. The material is still anamorphic widescreen - you just need to press the Widescreen button on your TV - and so it isn't really a major issue. Unfortunately this is an issue with most DVD recorders when recording in 'Video' mode.

    Editting is similar between the two.

    Generally these are included in the name of the recording which you can then either keep or rename.
     
  10. Mikey45

    Mikey45
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    "We did the usual stuff of comparing the quality of recorded material viewed on each others systems (both conventional CRT based TVs) and had to admit that we could not see any real difference between the 2

    No you shouldn't do - recordings between the two look nigh on identical in my experience".

    How do the Pioneer and Toshiba measure up on SP mode when compared to Panasonic decks - would we notice much difference?
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The Panasonic are marginally better at SP - although it is, of course, subjective not to mention difficult to make an assessment with the UK's low bitrate channels. However in my experience they tend to handle effects such as smoke, mist and rain slightly better. With the Toshiba you tend to get a general softening of the image followed by very minor blocking. The Panasonic tends to go slightly softer but avoids any blocking whatsoever. So it depends what you prefer as much as anything. And whatever the difference at high bitrates is minimal. Unless you have a large plasma or projector then it shouldn't be a major concern. The real difference comes post the resolution drop.
     
  12. Struan

    Struan
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    Is it possible with either (both?) of these machines, in some way, to specify that a recording made to the HDD, which is of greater length than SP would allow on DVD, say 2.5 hours, is recorded on the HDD at a bitrate which maximises quality but uses no more space than would fit onto a DVD, so that high speed dubbing would be available if I later decided to transfer from HDD to DVD (in other words, an exact copy (same bitrate) rather than using bitrate conversion)?
     
  13. Nelviticus

    Nelviticus
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    Yes - it's called Flexible Record (FR). You use the menus to enter the total recording time and it will record at the optimum rate for fitting that time onto a DVD-R.

    If you want to dub at high speed later on you have set the machine up to record in "high-speed dub compatible" mode beforehand.
     
  14. Struan

    Struan
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    Thanks everyone for your help.

    Much appreciated.
     

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