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Panasonic E95

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by ovenglove, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. ovenglove

    ovenglove
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    I have now had an E95 for over a week and hate it. As part of an insurance claim I regrettably upgraded from my burnt out JVC HDHMS1 to the E95 rather than the newer JVC.
    My first shock was no pause live TV feature. The JVC has a 3 hour buffer running all the time. I thought such a feature was synonymous with HDD recorders. On the E95 you must press record and remember to delete it later. A bit backward to say the least.
    My main gripe however is timer record mode. What the hell is all that about? After setting say a weekly timer you have to put it into timer record mode. But then the whole family must remember to take it out of timer record mode to record other things and most important of all remember to put it back into timer record mode. Why? My alarm clock goes off every day and all I do is set it, there is no extra mode to put it into. On the JVC you set a timer and that’s it, you didn’t even need to turn it off.
    Another “feature” I have just discovered is that you cannot put pictures and video on the same disk. I thought that if it had a memory card slot I would be able to copy my holiday videos and accompanying photos onto the same disk but sadly not.
    It will at least allow me to watch one title whilst recording another but watch is all you can do. Try selecting anything and you get “Not in record” you cannot even get the properties of a title you want to watch to find out how long it is. You can’t even set the damn name of the title being recorded.
    Whilst watching a title you cannot find the remaining time of it.
    The remote is tacky.
    The manual is as good as any other manual from the main stream manufactures, very poor. Typical example is dubbing. There is a button marked dubbing and a function called dubbing but in the index it comes under “Transfer (dubbing)”. In the manual it refers to “Dubbing (Transfer)”.
    The processor seams to struggle also as I am quite often waiting for it.
    If I want to continue watching something from say 3 hours in I cannot type a time or at least I have not found a way of doing it yet. I have to fast forward and I suspect it fast forwards at VHS speed
    The E95 is basically only barely 1 up on a video recorder with a library system and a DVD writer thrown in. I may seem like a bit of a moaner but I bought it to replace a unit nearly 2 years old, have gained very little but lost plenty.
    Anyone else out there have similar thoughts?
    Iain
     
  2. Rasczak

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    Maybe you'd be happier with Sky+?
     
  3. hornydragon

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    sell it and buy the new JVC, i think they have one due with 160GB HDD
     
  4. mike72

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    I think this may be the first negative post I´ve seen about this recorder.

    I have recently returned a JVC DR-MH30 (because of lack of editing possibilities on the hdd). The live memory is clever in theory, but if you have turned it on and use the recorder to change channels, each change take 3-5 seconds - so I turned it off immediately.

    As replacement of the JVC I am considering Panasonic E85/E95 among others, and the timer mode also strikes me as old-fashioned - and is one of the main reasons I have not allready decided on Panasonic...I also read somewhere that US-models do not have the same hopeless timer.

    As I am considering my first recorder I have problems judging how some of the pros and cons of the different models will actually come through in real life, so I always read criticism as yours with great interest...

    Regards,
    Mike72
     
  5. ovenglove

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    Sky+ is nice in theory but it means giving Sky more money, I don't think so.

    I would like to sell it and get the 160GB JVC unit but I would be out of pocket by too much.

    Sadly most reviews seem to be based mostly on quality which is obviously relavent but they forget people have to use the things. I doubt many magazine reviewers will ever rate it poorly, they probably won't have it long enough. Or be more concerned over the THD or chrome noise or something else that 95% of the user base will not either care about or more likely notice.

    The JVCs live memory delay was a bit irritating at times but I always watched directly from the source. Then when I needed to pause I would pause and swap to the video channel. A learning macro remote makes this a doddle.

    I am also glad to see someone else thinks the timer is old fashioned. Many VHS owners (especially panasonic) have lived with it so long they just seem to except it. I always had Mitsubishi videos and you just turned them off after setting the timer, still not ideal but closer.
     
  6. zoolap

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    It's all very well saying you need sky+ to people, but they may be on freeview or cable and ok with the channels they get or not want/be able to have a dish on their house.

    I'm been thinking about getting a hard disk recorder for a while and now think the best thing is a hdd recorder with dvd recorder. The main thing is though that I'm the sort of person that gets annoyed by niggly features (I guess that's our curse and technology buffs that many of us are :D ), whereas my friends may take a "that's good enough" approach. Main thing is that ovenglove has given a level of detail that is not shown in many reviews and it's exactly the sort of thing I love about forums like this. I often find that magazines especially don't go into enough detail in their reviews.
     
  7. apreading

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    Yeah, but not too difficult. The 3 hour buffer you refer to has nothing to do with pause live TV - it is rewind live TV, and is obviously limited in only being able to rewind to somthing the box was switched to at the time so is not perfect either, it also slows everything down quite alot. I really dont understand why they didnt program the pause button to automatically start recording, put you in play mode and pause the playback - this would have made life simpler and I would be happy to decide manually whether to delete the recording later (in case the wife wants to watch the remaining programme later rather than resume with you for example).

    Agree here, this is a pointless PIA.

    Not so on clock radios though. If you want to listen to the radio it has 3 modes - on/off/auto (timer). Fairly commonplace so not a total surprise here either but yes, unnecessary.

    I am fairly sure that this will be a limitation of the way the DVD media format works and will probably be the same on any device if compatibility with other players is to be retained. Unfortunate but not panasonic's fault.

    Agree here. What annoys me is that I can do a high speed dub and then start a new recording, but I cannot start a high speed dub if I started recording first. Very frustrating... Not being able to view the properties is just silly, but not a major problem.

    Yeah this is REALLY poor - even their most budget DVD players can do this. Lack of zoom on DVD is inexcusable too.

    I quite like mine.

    Much better than the Tosh manual though...

    Press time slip and a yellow box appears with '0min' - use the up/down arrows to change the number of mins (Hold up button to go in steps of 10 mins) or I think you can type the number of mins too, then hit enter and there you go. You need to press timeslip again to get rid of the PIP though.

    Alternatively if you are part way through watching a recording and want to stop to come back later press the Chapter button on the remote before stopping. Then when you playback, press the next chapter (>>|) button to go to this point immediately. Once you get used to it you will use this method alot (except you cannot set a chapter point in playback while you are recording something else!).

    Not entirely fair - it is a long way up on a VCR, but yes the market still needs to develop quite a bit and Panny made some silly mistakes. Still the best compromise for usability though I believe.
     
  8. ovenglove

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    It is Panasonics fault or should I say short sightednes. The DVD format caters for still images, they are stored in a single frame and the DVD player goes into pause after each frame.
    It is now even worse than I thought though as it is only possible to copy pictures onto DVD RAM. Obviously all my friends and relations have a DVD player that supports DVD RAM.

    It may not be a a 100% dictionary definition of pause live TV but it was about 99% and way better than nothing which is what Mr Pana and Mrs Sonic deemed we all needed. But thhinkning about it it was pause live tv, you watched, you paused.

    Don't agree I'm afraid, for an RRP of £800 I expected it to blow away my near 2 year old JVC HDD video and it does not, quite the reverse in fact. I have to say that I am still quite stunned at how appaulingly unbelievably lacking and basically crap it is.
    I can except the odd quirk or missing feature but every time I sit down and go I wonder if, or I will just try and, or will it... It turns into a of course it bloody won't its crap. I really find it difficult to put into words how I feel about this without being censored. All that potential and nothing came of it.
    For £800 I should have bought a small PC . A few weeks of software and I would soon have a better system and after all thats basically all TiVo is. Compare that to how much they spent developing any of the DIGA range.
    Its my own fault though as I normally got to the far end of a fart researching equipment but in this case I took a gamble plus the Panasonic website is very lacking in info. I requested a brochure from them 2 weeks ago and it came today, no supprises it does not list the E95.

    :thumbsdow
     
  9. Rasczak

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    Ovenglove, the Panasonic E95 is clearly not the unit for you. It is not meant to be a replacement for Sky+ or for a DVB Twin which is what I get the impression you were expecting. The Panasonic E95 (as with other models before it and other units such as the Toshiba RDXS32 and Pioneer range) are all editting decks than anything else.

    If your not willing to invest in Sky+ why not consider the Philips HDRW720 HDD/DVDR combo - that machine may suit your personnel needs better although it does have some stunning limitations. Alternatively why not wait until the New Year when we will have the first of the 'proper' DVDR/HDD PVRs such as the Sony RX10, Panasonic E500 or Toshiba RDXS34. All will be aimed at the Freeview market first and foremost though....

    Just a note on the mixed media formats. The E95 does allow you to copy different media formats (JPEG, MPEG4, MPEG2) onto a single DVD-RAM (or the HDD). How are you trying to do it at the moment because the unit should just create a new folder on the drive, e.g. JPEG, DVD_RTAV etc.
     
  10. ovenglove

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    I wanted to put them onto -R in order for friends/relations to view. DVD-RAM is obviously very flexible but not really needed when there is a HDD. And not many people can read it. You are right that this is not for me and many thousands of other people I suspect.
    I want to be able to edit and have a PVR but in one box.
    Not too much to ask for I thought especially in the digital age. Yes you can chop video up but I certainly would not call this an edit deck, noooo way. It is certainly not a PVR either its more a middle of the road not fantastic at anything unit.
    Sorry.
     
  11. Rasczak

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    Well if you can find us a set-top recorder that does it better let us know and we'll all buy that! As things stand it is an excellent way to make editted, recordings onto DVD-R media that play on anything.

    Ultimately HDD/DVDRs will truly come of age when the 'PVR' models get released: the Panasonoc E500, Toshiba RDXS34 and Sony RX10. Until then the Panasonic E95 is probably the best there is....

    As I say you should get Sky+.

    Panasonic spent a fortune developing the 'DIGA' range: development that has formed the basis of the JVC and Toshiba machines as well as those from Panasonic! Accordingly the DIGA range are currently the best selling DVD recorders in the world!

    Until it crashed in the middle of your recording. I have been there and tried it and attempting to get good results could be a very frustrating experience.
     
  12. sicce

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    I just received my E95 yesterday, its the first one I have got and I am using it to replace my trusty old VHS. So far It doesnt look too bad.

    Two things surprise me:
    - It does take a while to start-up - so you cant do a quick record - you have to wait for it to finish its initialisation sequence.

    - Seems to be quite happy to copy DVD movies to HDD, I thought these would be protected to prevent it.

    - It is also very quite (ie the HDD and fan).
     
  13. Rasczak

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    The work around for this is to leave it ON all the time. Putting it into standby doesn't save power or achieve anything very much so leave it on then you do have the option of instant record and subsequent timeslip.

    The E95 is an excellent machine - the best there is at the moment.
     
  14. ovenglove

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    Just because its better than the rest at editing doesn't make it brilliant. All the political parties are a joke it's just that some of them are less of a joke. If it is an editing deck then I would have expected some sort of titling facility. Now I may be wrong here but you don't appear to be able to even name chapters. It strips time and date info off the IEEE1394 stream, a change of date would be a good way of creating chapters and naming them. When creating/editing a playlist you get one menu but when you go to edit a playlist you get a different menu and cannot add another title in. I believe there are many edit VCRs that would blow it away and they would be several years old.
    Yes it may be better than the rest but skodas were always better than Ladas and 10 years ago would you have bought a skoda? Sadly it appears I have!
     
  15. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    If you can show me a old VCR that can record an RGB signal, conduct an ADC and do frame accurate edits I'd agree. But as no such machine exists I don't ;)

    You can give titles to programmes - but not chapters. Obviously if you expect to conduct extensive titling/authoring you need to use a PC DVD burner - see my Guide on the subject for example.
     
  16. ovenglove

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    What and have it crash all the time as stated earlier?
    I don't want to do extensive titling but the odd The End or Freds birthday 1932 is not extensive. Even my camcorder will do that.
    I have a DVD burner on my PC and have had one since early 2001. I had hoped the E95 would be more convienient.
     
  17. ovenglove

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    So you do agree though that an old edit VCR has more edit features. OK so its not quite as accurate but so what. Most mortals cannot easily tell the difference between rgb and s signals so thats no great benefit. It still does not change the fact that it is very poor.
     
  18. ovenglove

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    I have had very little problems with creating DVDs for several years now on my PC.
    But as far as PVR bit was concerned I meant I would write the software myself.
     
  19. ovenglove

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    I am beginning to think you work for Panasonic as an E95 rep Rascaz!!
     
  20. Steve_P

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    It is meant to be protected for obvious copyright reasons. I am surprised your machine allows ripping of commercial DVD movies. Are you sure it hasn't been modded in any way?


    To go back to topic...

    Ovenglove,

    Have you considered the Humax PVR8000T and a separate DVD recorder?
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143815
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145103
    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/1952


    Would this suit your needs better despite it being a two box solution as opposed to the single box of the DMR-E95? Just a thought.

    S.
     
  21. rscott4563

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    If you look back over many previous threads and posts it does sometimes seem to look that way.... :rolleyes: :laugh:
     
  22. steve36

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    I've followed quite a few of his threads and found Rascaz to be impartial as far as I can tell. In a recent thread he was recommending the Toshiba over the panasonic due to flexibility. He has also pointed out repeatedly the Panasonic flaw in only supporting RAM, so reducing the possibility of passing recordings to friends as you would with tape, unless of course you copy it to DVD-R.
    I was going to purchase a JVC DRMH30 but as usual there's something missing, if it's not component out (ie Pioneer), it's RGB input in the case of the JVC. It appears that toshiba/panasonic machines have more features.
    The main thing that would persuade me towards Panasonic are the threads mentioning the toshiba fan noise.

    Steve
     
  23. Rasczak

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    ...and...
    :rotfl: Which is perhaps why I have recommended Pioneer DVD recorders to people (here for example), or Toshiba DVD recorders (here for example) or Sony DVD Recorders (here for example). And in this thread I criticise Panasonic VCRs which surely is not the actions of a "Panasonic Rep"!

    But I do not deny I recommend Panasonic DVD recorders - I make no apology for this considering they have some of the best DVD recorders currently available I won't shy away from recommending them either. Panasonic currently have the best all-round budget DVD recorder (the Panasonic E55) and a very strong contender in the HDD/DVDR combo market (Panasonic E85)! I will recommend these machines because they are good. You'll also find my general opinions regarding the quality/nature of the kit is mirrored in magazines such as What Video & Widescreen Entertainment and Home Cinema Choice. If you think all that makes me a 'Panasonic rep' than, frankly, I do not care. I call it providing advice!

    The E95 is more convienant. But for power authoring you should use the E95 in conjunction with your PC to get the best results. Hence the reason I wrote the PC Guide for the forum.

    Then what is the problem? Go forth and use a PC!

    Rubbish! There are loads of add-ons that make HCPCs fulfill TivO like functions. Have a look at some of the add-ons you can get for Digiguide (www.digiguide.co.uk):
    http://ratings.digiguide.com/default.asp?th=addins
    ...which of course can be used in conjunction with Showshifter:
    http://www.showshifter.com/

    Of course having provided two links you'll now accuse me of being of getting some sort of commission from them...

    You have to be joking. Depending upon the equipment the difference can be stunning.
     
  24. ovenglove

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    Errr it was a joke.

    As for S and RGB as I said most mortals could not tell the difference. What I should have also said was that the vast majority of people are not fussed and don't have the right equipment. If they were bothered then no one would subscribe to Sky. It is generally only people who read forums like this who would either care or notice.
     
  25. carlton

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    £800 is a lot of money to invest obviously but u said u bought it thinking
    2 years of improvment would give u what u need.Why why why didnt u test
    the unit,do some research or wait 6-8 mths before buying a unit more suited
    to your needs.Sorry but the blame falls right on your shoulders here ovenglove.I have a E85 at present and think it is superb especially coming from a vcr but i did some shop and net searching before buying which is clearly more then what u did :rolleyes:
     
  26. ovenglove

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    Yes I agree it is my fault, it is the first time I have ever bought something with out researching it fully but it was part of an insurance claim as we were hit by lightning and I was pushed for time. My first thought was the JVC xx30 or something like that but I wanted multi region and could find nowhere listing the JVC as such. As an insurance replacement you have to live with what you pick as if it were bought conventionally then it would have spent less than 24 hours under my roof. Also I had to pick a unit easily available.
    As for research the Panasonic catalogue does not list it and the website has less info on the E95 than for just about any other product and there were no reviews anywhere at the time. Plus no shop had it in stock.
    Regardless of me buying it or not it would still have the same problems and its only fair others should know.
    I have now been living with it for a couple of weeks and have got used a couple of its "features" however there are still many things that I will never understand. The user interface is I suspect the same as has been on previous models as it has the appearance of software that has had bits tadged in without much thought and absolutely no field testing. Several perfect examples are:
    The functions and sub menu buttons, you press one for the functions then the other for sub menus. Why not just use the same button as their use is mutually exclusive.
    In direct navigator you can scroll up but if you want the previous page you have scroll all the way down to next or previous. Next and previous are superfluous and even if you must have them why can't the thing just loop round or use left and right keys as a +- page.
    The timer, if you own Panasonic videos you know what to expect. If you don't, then imagine something from a top loader of 1970 and its worse.
    If it has a memory card slot for digital photos you would think that it might just manage to copy them to DVD-R wouldn't you?
    No indication of time remaining without resorting to a ruler to measure silly bar graphs.
    When creating a play list you can add recordings/titles to get what you want. If you then at a later date record some extra footage and wish to add it to your fantastically edited play list, tough. You have to start again as selecting edit does not allow you to add.
    It spends ages doing power up checks then starts the hard drive. Why not do the checks whilst the drive is spinning up.
    After 30 mins the HDD spins down to apparently save the drive. Years ago manufacturers said starting a drive up was what always used to wear them out and I have seen nothing recently to contradict this.

    There are loads of other bits some I have mentioned previously and to list them again will only serve to remind me of them. Loads of products have idiosyncrasies its just that this has more than I have ever encountered, ever ever ever.

    It has extremely good picture quality though and if that is all you care about fine, buy it. If you want to be able to enjoy using a slick interface that makes good use of all attached peripherals then DO NOT BUY ONE.

    Don't forget though that lots of people read these forums for a review of some sort and from what I have seen recently there has been nothing to suggest that the E95 would have been for me, a bad buy. People generally don’t like to admit making mistakes so go out of their way to highlight all the good points. Me I admit it, I made a monumental cock-up.
    Manufacturers hopefully read these columns and if we are lucky a better product will result. I doubt it though.

    Well that’s me off my soap box, I’m off to watch something now but it will probably result in me bashing my head repeatedly with the remote again repeating why oh why oh why.

    One mans Porsche is another’s Lada.
     
  27. ovenglove

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    I have not had a great deal of time to look at anything due to work but I am still a bit shell shocked to be honest.
     
  28. Rasczak

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    Which is quite unlikely because, after three years of DVD recorders having all these features, the Panasonic range has had nothing but rave reviews from users, magazines and the internet population as a whole.

    Have to admit I agree with Carlton, I have limited sympathy given that this forum is available 24/7 and surely a Digital Recorder is never THAT urgent. Given the amount of time that I and other knowledgeable chaps spend on this forum you can normally get a comprehensive reply to any question within a couple of hours. In which case I think we could have quickly bowled out that the E95 was not for you.

    Why not try to sell it on EBay and then buy something like Sky+, a Humax or the Philips RW720? Or maybe even try to get a TivO with network extension....
     
  29. ovenglove

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    I had been without any means of recording video for over 6 weeks and needed something, plus as I said was being hassled by the insurance (& wife & 8 year old) to select something, this item was only one of many I had to sort out and there is only so much time in a day. Fortunately all the other items have proved to do what I expected. Plus no amount of questions on here would ever have uncovered the timer. I didn't see that one coming, its a bit like asking if shoes come with laces and are they the easy to tie sort. Plus there are certain things no amount of questions will uncover until you use it. I supose really if it were me and another person you would call it a personality clash. The problem is I am an electronics and software engineer and I really hate it when I buy something such as this with such obvious flaws that I know I could better but cannot influence.
    You muct agree though that pause live tv aside, with just a little bit more thought and tweaking the E95 would be twice the machine. It would only have taken a few hours not days, all of the stuff is there it just needs structuring.


    I am going to put up with it for the time being but I think it will ultimately end up on Ebay but at least I can now search or wait for a better unit in my own time.
     

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