I got a Panasonic E95 a couple of days ago, and thought it would be useful to post some initial impressions/problems I have of/with the machine. Partly, this is because I am still getting used to it's operation and features, so I may have missed something that forum members may be able to clarify/help with, and also to get impressions of how the E95 compares with competing machines in respect of these impressions/problems. I have a Humax IRCI5400 digital satellite receiver connected to AV1 (RGB Scart), and due to temporary connection deficiencies, AV2 is set to video and connected with the supplied 3 phono lead. – I tried DVD playback in case this was the problem, but AV quality seemed fine. 1. AV Recording quality is disappointing. I imagine that most people will think I'm mad, but I actually prefer LP VHS to SP on the E95! I think this is because I seem to find VHS deficiencies more tolerable than those of mpeg II recording (it may be a coincidence, but I also don't like 100Hz CRTs, much preferring 50Hz, as well as (perfect reception) ‘analogue' broadcasts to digital broadcasts etc. – I seem to have a problem with digital processing!). I have only once tried, very briefly, XP recording, and my impression was that it came close to, maybe achieved, a recording that was identical to the original source. If bitrates are the problem, then it means I would have to wait until, at the very least, double layer recorders, and preferably, HD DVD, so that I could get even acceptable DVD capacity, to be happy. These trials refer to recordings from the Humax – trials with analogue terrestrial were much less ‘successful' – my reception is good, but not perfect, and any imperfections, such as slight grain in the pictures, really show up the shortcomings of digital recording processing, so I have decided to stick with my VCRs for analogue (that are, BTW, old Mitsubishi models (the youngest is 11 years old), which seem vastly superior to any of the crap that masquerades as VCRs these days!). 2. There are slight delays when displaying or changing menus – although very slight, the overall effect is of slightly clunky operation. 3. Although the FR record mode is useful, given my problems with AV recording quality, it would be handy to have a manually selectable in-between bit rate e.g. rather than use FR to record 3hr at an in-between rate to fit onto a single disc, I might decide to split the recording on to two DVDs, and therefore select a manual bit rate to fit each half of the divided title (1h30m) on a disc. 4. DVD playback seems lacking in features/controllability/ease of use – My only, ever, DVD player is the relatively modest Wharfedale M3, which seems to have added features, or better ease of use than the E95 e.g. The E95 does not seem to have an angle button, which means you have to access different angles through a menu. The M3 can display an angle mark that indicates the presence of other angle options – can the E95 do this? The M3 allows you to specify a time on a disc, then Fast Forwards to that point – depending on the disc, this can be near instantaneous – Can the E95 do this? The M3 has an intro scan that can be used to avoid FBI warnings and such like – does the E95? The M3 has a button to cycle between PAL/NTSC/Multi (auto) – as far as I can see, to get true NTSC output with the E95, you have to go through menus and select this, then the same again, to return back to PAL – yes? The M3 can temporarily bookmark points on a disc (they are lost when the disc is removed) – can the E95 do this? With my receiver, should I set AV1 to normal or decoder – what is the difference (it is currently set to ‘normal' as recommended, but ‘decoder' doesn't seem to make any difference, so I wondered what the difference was)? With my receiver, should I select Ext Link1 or 2 – what difference does it make? What should I set Comb Filter to for best AV quality? What effect would changing the Hybrid VBR Resolution have on AV recording quality (I have ‘DVD-R Rec for high speed mode' on, so it is currently fixed (transferring in real time is unacceptable) - Just curious)? How does the AV record quality of the E95 compare to competing machines – is it just insufficient bitrates and DVD capacity that I am having a problem with, which will, ultimately, affect all other (currently available) machines as well? The manual states that using 4x DVD-R, 1 hour at XP takes 15mins, and SP 7.5 mins, to high speed transfer – is there any advantage in using 8x DVD-R, and how do these transfer speeds compare to competing machines? Finally, have I missed somethings which may account for the impressions/problems, and how do competing machines compare (are better?) with regard to points above? TIA. PS - Finally, do the Distance Selling Regulations require that a returned item is unused/still in it's sealed box, or that all items are present and correct, and in pristine/as new condition (everything has been handled while wearing cotton gloves, and the remote is used sealed in it's bag)?