Panasonic ES20D v Sony GXD500 - Product Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Rasczak, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    The Sony GXD500 and (new) Panasonic ES20D are currently the only two Freeview equipped DVD recorders available on the market. Accordingly I thought that some members here may appreciate a brief comparison between them. It has greater significance too - the user interface/operting quirks between the two machines are likely to be the same on the HDD/DVDR combis due later this year (the Panasonic EH60D and Sony 710/910/1010 models).


    Recorded Picture Quality
    Sony GXD500: Using the HQ (1hr per DVD), HSP (90mins per DVD) or SP (120mins per DVD) the recorded picture (from Freeview) is outstanding. Compared to equivalent recordings via analogue RGB scart on seperate Digibox/DVD recorder combis the 500 offers a significant leap in PQ - the benefit of avoiding the analogue domain is obvious. Any digital artifacts (not present on the original transmission) were also impossible to find on HQ mode. Likewise HSP was near-perfect. Artifacts were more noticeable at SP mode (especially when viewing via Projector) but the result was noticeably better than recent Pioneer and Toshiba models. At recording lengths over 2hrs though the machine disappoints. Even with an all-digital process the recorded picture quality from the GXD500 was nowhere near as good as analogue recordings on (for example) a Panasonic ES10 when 3hr mode recordings were compared. Whilst this is hardly a surprise, given that the Sony is recording at reduced resolution with modes below SP quality, it was disappointing.

    Panasonic ES20D: I have been unable to determine if the Panasonic uses an 'all digital' process or not - regardless the recorded PQ is stunning. The XP mode (1 hour per DVD) performs equally as well as the HQ mode on the Sony: I compared a dozen clips recorded from BBC1, BBC News 24 and ITV1 - it was impossible to tell any difference between them. Comparing SP modes though showed the Panasonic superior (and, to be fair, newer) encoder: artifacting that was visible on the Sony was non-existant on the ES20D. Only on high action scenes were any artifacts visible. SP mode is equally impressive and is much closer to the Sony's HSP mode in quality as opposed to that machines 2hr mode. LP (4hrs) is acceptable but probably best avoided IMHO. Ep modes (6hrs and 8hrs) are dreadful - avoid! The Panasonic has a Flexible Record function that provides for recording times between 1hr and 6hrs - very useful for preserving quality.


    EPG Recording
    Sony GXD500: Whilst plain to look at the EPG menu is clear and quick to navigate. There are no +/- 24hr buttons and programme information is only available if you select a title - a rather cumbersome approach (especially when compared to the excellent Sony V800 Digibox).

    Panasonic ES20D: Slightly too bright IMHO but also quick and clear. You can toggle between a grid or channel listings (by pressing the 'Guide' button). No programme information seems to be available - but it is suggested in an insert slip that this will update overnight. The grid is shown below:

    [​IMG]


    Setting A Timer Recording Via The EPG:
    Sony GXD500: The process of setting a programme to record via the EPG is simplicity itself - you select the programme, modify your recording mode and set repeat options - it's that quick. However what it doesn't allow is for you to set a buffer period before and after the programme - this effectively means that virtually every programme is either missing a few seconds from the start or end. Thus the only option for programmes you want to archive in their entirety then is to set a manual timer - much like any other DVD recorder!

    Panasonic ES20D: Again the process of setting a programme to record via the EPG is very simple: highlight the programme and press Enter. You will then be taken to a screen which allows you to modify any of the recording parameters including start/stop time (shown below). This means you can easily add a buffer time before/after the recording. A automatic +5mins feature would have been nice - but it's good enough. IMHO this puts it leagues ahead of the Sony in operational terms. However this has a significant subnote - in order for the Timer recording to work you need to put the machine into "Timer Mode". This effectively puts the machine into standby and thus, for Plasma/LCD users wishing to use the ES20 as a tuner, is a significant disadvanatage.

    [​IMG]


    General Points
    DVD Playback: the Sony has the edge - although neither are excellent performers. Build quality on both units is reasonable for budget units.

    Editing: Both machines offer 'VR' editing - the Sony on DVD-RW discs and the Panasonic on DVD-RAM. Without a doubt the Panasonic is the better deck in this regard. Edits are smooth and well managed on the Panasonic, they are much more erratic on the Sony - there is an annoying, intrusive pause on the edit point.

    Subtitles: Both machines allow you to record the Freeview subtitles - if they are on they get burnt on the recording forever - so if subtitles are left on they will be recorded. They also both have a single button on the handset for toggling subtitles on/off. The Panasonic has a slight advantage here as, for Timer Recordings, you have the option to select Subtitles on/off - there is no such system on the Sony so if you have left them on by mistake they will be recorded. Ideally in future Sony machines I would like to see a 'disable subtitles before recording' option in the menu!

    Multi-Format: The Sony supports DVD+RW/+R and DVD-RW/-R. The Panasonic supports DVD-RW/-R, DVD+R and DVD-RAM. Neither support dual layer media of either kind. The major thing to note is that the Sony uses DVD-RW for VR mode whilst the Panasonic uses DVD-RAM. The latter has the advantage of reliability and a long lifespan whilst DVD-RW is, IMHO, less robust. In addition the GXD500 will not work with 4x DVD-RW media so media availability will become much harder to get in the near future.

    Connectivity: Similar on both units in that they have component output, RGB Scart In/Out, S-Video In/Out and no iLink. Nothing major to choose between them in that regard then!

    Handsets: Not much to say on this as what makes a good handset is very subjective. However the Sony model hides it record functions under a (cheap) plastic flap. The Panasonic, on the other, is a more colourful and compact affair - it uses the 'jog' wheel found on the more expensive Panasonic models as well.

    Finalising: Obviously DVD-RW/-R and DVD+R discs need to be finalised. Both models seem to be relatively quick as doing this on DVD-R and DVD+R discs. However for some reason the Panasonic seems very slow at finalising DVD-RW discs. Very slow. The Sony is much quicker.


    Conclusion
    Hopefully that covers the main issues - between the two the Panasonic is the superior machine - hardly a revelation considering it is 10 months newer (a long time in the AV world). However for those who want to use the machine as their tuner don't discount the Sony - the fact it will do Timer recordings without some obsolete 'Timer Mode' is a major bonus.

    If anyone wants to know anything else please ask. Also see the Sony GXD500 Review Thread or Panasonic ES20D thread.

    NB: I was unable to post pics of the Sony GXD500 menu structure due to Copy Protection.
     
  2. kdp99

    kdp99
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2001
    Messages:
    200
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Southampton,Hants,UK
    Ratings:
    +20
    Firstly many thanks for the reviews.

    I am waiting for a Free View HDD/DVD recorder, but would be interested to know with regard to the Panasonic, What does it do with the 16:9 flag for dvd-r /-rw.

    Thanks

    Keith
     
  3. HMHB

    HMHB
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2001
    Messages:
    25,555
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Ratings:
    +3,883
    Thanks for the excellent review mate :thumbsup:
    It's very disappointing to see that the Sony timer from the EPG doesn't allow any padding at all, that would make it unusable for me I'm afraid :( Is it a given that the new upcoming Sony models will have this same problem as well ?
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    Like other Panasonic DVD recorders (and most other brands for that matter) the ES20D does not record the Widescreen Switching Signal onto DVD-RW, DVD-R or DVD+R. Thus you need to manually stretch the picture using your TV.

    It does record the Widescreen Switching Signal onto DVD-RAM.
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    Virtaully certain I'm afraid. The Sony line is that it's upto the broadcasters to get the programme information right - and not upto them to add in guard time. Let's hope they review that soon.
     
  6. TobyW

    TobyW
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    157
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Australia
    Ratings:
    +3
    Thanks for the review Rasczak.

    The guard time would be a serious issue here in Oz. Broadcasters purposely over-run their time-slots by many minutes, so that viewers miss the start of a program on a competing channel and won't switch over.

    Do you think that when the HDD version of the Panasonic arrives, it might be able to record the DVB-T High Definition channels, at least to HDD?
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    To be honest I'm not sure - that will depend upon what Panasonic Australia has developed. Australia is way ahead of UK/Europe in high def and thus this isn't an issue we've really seen here yet.

    From an international perspective I would say it is unlikely - Panasonic (and Sony) both see normal DVD recorders as standard def and BluRay as high def. Thus I would have thought Panasonic would reserve high def for BluRay machines. But I guess we'll have to wait and see.
     
  8. NX3

    NX3
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,488
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +332
    Great review, thanks for the info and helped me to decided to go for the Panny.
     
  9. Nelviticus

    Nelviticus
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    468
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Hitchin
    Ratings:
    +68
    Jeepers, are Panasonic still sticking with that ridiculous timer mode? I thought the 1970s ended in 1979. Obviously not in certain parts of Japan. I really cannot see any advantages in having timer mode - just a lot of annoying disadvantages. Still, at least the 1-second quick start alleviates it a little - timer mode is a royal pain in the nether regions with my 30-second starting E95.

    Thank you Rasczak, that was an excellent review.
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    I entirely agree - why do you need a timer mode? Surely if you set the timer you actually want to record the programme without having to press another button (that effectively disables the machine!). Panasonic models have always done this but now they have added an EPG and the model has effectively become a Digibox it looks misplaced. The one 'major' issue with an otherwise excellent machine.
     
  11. NX3

    NX3
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,488
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +332
    Oh ...timer mode....how friggen useless is that ?! :-(
     
  12. mentsugi

    mentsugi
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Messages:
    386
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +24
    Adding my comments to this thread at the good suggestion of Rasczak.

    After my initial enthusiasm about this machine and delight over the DVB quality I have come across some minor issues that may mean my unit is faulty or that compromises have been made by Panasonic to get a cheaper DVDR and 1 second record function.

    1. DVD-RAM not recognised - I loaded an older DVD-RAM I have used many times on my E20 machine without any problems. The ES20D first of all said it was unerasable even though the display stated it was DVD-RAM? So I tried formatting, machine would not allow it. The disk/drive was also making more noise than it has done before. Finally I noticed the remaining time indicator on the front display showed R2:05 on SP?
    Next I formatted the DVD-RAM using my JVC DVDR and reinserted it into the Panny. This time it showed NO READ on the display and thats all. Not good.
    This was becoming annoying as I would expect this sort of problems with cheaper RAM disks NOT Panny RAM disks
    Then a brainwave. I noticed that the 1 second record function means that every disk inserted must have all data on the disk loaded into the DVDR memory which is why it takes up to 45 seconds to load a new disk but 1 second from then on from power on to record.
    I turned the 1 second record function to OFF and hey presto, the unit reconised the disk and allowed me to format it to give R2:00. I have now recorded onto the disk no problem. The disk was also a lot quieter in the drive unit.
    I can only assume that there is either a problem with my Panny ES20 or this is a standard quirky with the 1 second function when it sees a disk recorded on by another DVD-RAM recorder?
    Anyway it is only a workaround if you have this problem as the 1 second record must be set to ON for the GUIDE to remain loaded with its 7 day program data.

    2. New disk loading time. This is a standard characteristic on any ES10 and ES20 but to get the 1 second record time it seems to take up to 45 seconds to load all newly inserted DVD-RAM data into memory ready for any future 1 second record commands. So if you keep the same DVD-RAM in the DVDR you will enjoy benefits of quick power up etc. However if you are like me and constantly load new DVD-RAM or RW for new programs to watch while away on business trips etc this load time is a bit more of a pain. Switching the 1 second function to OFF takes the unit back to the E20 timings of about 15 seconds to read a disk from insertion but does obviously mean a longer power up from standby time of 45 seconds.
    Again the choice is out of my hands as the 1 second function must be ON for the GUIDE data to be fully available and I do use this handy helper.

    3. Finally I have on a couple of occasions pressed the eject button from standby and removed the disk only for the front panel buttons to freeze. The only way to close the tray is to press the ON/OFF button which closes the tray. Not a big problem or certainly enough to go through the hassle of returning to the internet supplier...yet.
     
  13. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    I think this must some issue between the JVC and Panasonic machines. I using my 2x DVD-RAM in the ES20D which I brought four years ago and have seen countless service in the E20, HS2, E50 and E95 not to mention dozens of other machines I have had on test. Work fine so far.

    I wonder if the lockups you're experiencing are linked with this?
     
  14. mentsugi

    mentsugi
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Messages:
    386
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +24
    Hi Rasczak,
    I dont think the lock up is linked with this as I have only ever used the DVD-RAM disk in question with my previous E20 recorder? I have used other DVD-RAM and -RW in the ES20D this past week and have had no problems so it may just be the odd DVD-RAM that has been recorded on before that the ES20D software does not like.
     
  15. ArtS

    ArtS
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    OK. Regarding Recording Quality of GXD500.
    I would like to know if it is any improvement of Recording quality in new Sonys (eg. HX710/910) compared to old Sonys (eg. HX900). Has anyone compared those machines? Do they use the same MPEG encoder or not?

    Thanks, ArtS ;)
     
  16. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    The new machines have a modified encoder as opposed to a new one - comparing quality of the HQ and SP modes between the GXD500 generation and the new RDR510 for example they look identical - the 510 obviously has the new 2hr 30min mode though which is a dramatic improvement over LP (3hrs).

    Naturally though PQ is subjective and I would urge you to demo the machines if you are considering them.
     
  17. ArtS

    ArtS
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks Rasczak,

    It looks like Sony has modified new encoders only to allow 2.5h and 8h encoding mode. Am I right? What do you think about this theory?

    ArtS :hiya:
     
  18. Duncan Harvey

    Duncan Harvey
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    946
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Lichfield
    Ratings:
    +117
    Just a query about these two machines, and I suspect its of relevance to all freeview on board recorders.

    I've seen reference to the various recording modes, XP, SP etc, but if the machine is recording a bitstream off an internal freeview tuner, then is there not an option to "dump" a playlist made from this bitstream onto a DVD-R?

    In other words, clone what you have recorded onto the hard drive onto a DVD-R wthout going through multiple encodes/re-encodes, which can only lower the quality of the end product.

    The best way to visualise this for example would be to express a playlist in gigabytes rather than time duration. You could then fit 3x 1.5gb onto a single disc without having to record them onto the HD and then FR them onto a DVD-R.

    I suspect that 120 mins off even the highest bitrate channel on Freeview is signicantly lower than 4.7gb, (ie the size of a 120 min SP file) and digital cloning/dumping would seem to be a much better use of the recorder than merely taking up disc space with re-encoding which wont benefit the picture quality - eg, if the average bit rate of a freeview transmission was 3.2mbps, a re-encode at say 5 mbps (ie SP on a standard DVD recorder) wont look as good.
     
  19. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    Both machines re-encode the bitstream into the selected recording mode. This is going to be the case with all DVD recorders as the DVB 'stream' isn't DVD compatible - it may be MPEG2 but it contains extra data to account for the lossy nature of it's transmission!
     
  20. Duncan Harvey

    Duncan Harvey
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    946
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Lichfield
    Ratings:
    +117
    cheers - I didnt know that.
     
  21. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    I have been asked about the tuners in the Panasonic ES20: it has two tuners - one for DVB (Freeview) and a standard PAL-I (analogue) one. No type of simultaneous two channel recording is available - the analogue tuner is included solely for those who don't have Freeview yet.

    As for operation during initial setup you are prompted for 'DVB', 'Analogue' or 'DVB and Analogue' options. The latter is the default option and, when selected, then the analogue channels (BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, C4, C5, Sky etc) are assigned 'channel numbers' 901, 902, 903 etc. The Freeview channels are assigned Channel 1 onwards. The Radio channels (DVB) start at channel 70. When both tuners are enabled channels are labelled with their name and, if applicable, 'DVB' to leave you in no doubt whether it is a digital channel or not.

    If the 'analogue only' option is selected then the analogue channels are assigned from channel 1 onwards. When viewing these (whether dual tuners have been selected or not) you cannot view the EPG (it simply comes up saying 'No Data' - if dual tuners are selected switch back to a digital channel and then you can access it as normal). As you would expect Subtitles and programme information is also unavailable.

    The Sony GXD500 does not have analogue tuner - and this is likely to be the norm. Obviously this lack of an analogue tuner does not prevent recording from external analogue sources though, e.g. Sky!
     
  22. GarryL

    GarryL
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    It is certainly true that the broadcast MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS) differs in some respects from the DVD-compatible MPEG2 Program Stream (PS). However, it is possible in most cases to transcode from TS to PS without having to re-encode the basic MPEG2 information. Two PC programs that do this are PVAStrumento and ProjectX. The advantages of the TS to PS transcoding approach over the full MPEG2 decoding then recoding apparently used in both the Panasonic and Sony DVB DVD recorders are twofold:

    1. The quality of the resultant PS is essentially the same as that of the broadcast TS. Specifically, no additional MPEG2 compression artefacts are introduced.

    2. The resultant PS bitrate is approximately the same as broadcast TS bitrate, which means in practice that you get around 2 to 4 hours of broadcast quality recording on a single layer DVD, as opposed to the top quality setting of most current (digital or analogue) DVD recorders which permits only 1 hour on a single layer DVD.

    The disadvantages of this approach are:

    1. It doesn't seem to be 100% successful, as there are some TS files that PVAStrumento just cannot convert to PS. (For the technically minded, one problem is that some channels seem to broadcast GOPs that are longer than permitted for the DVD standard. Not sure if this is strictly permitted under the DVB standards, but it is done nonetheless.)

    2. Because of the variable broadcast bitrate, it is not possible to predict prior to broadcast how much space a particular program will occupy.

    3. No consumer electronic devices currently use this approach. You need a PC, and it is fiddly.

    I would like to see a hard disk DVD recorder that implemented the transcoding technique. It is certainly possible. The way it should work is that it would record the TS to the hard disk. When archiving to DVD, it would try to transcode. If this failed it would fall back on the decode/recode technique. However, given the tortously slow progress of DVB recording technology, I suspect I will have a long wait for this feature!

    Kind regards

    - GarryL
     
  23. KDH

    KDH
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
  24. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    Hi Garry,

    Welcome to the forums :hiya:

    You'll find PVA Strumento has been talked about at length on both this forum and the HTPC one ;)
     
  25. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    Hopefully that will drive down the cost of the decent brand models. JVC have a model on the verge of release as well (DRM150). Ditto Samsung.
     
  26. phil2415

    phil2415
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks once again for the excellent review, Rasczak. All of you guys seem to know a lot more about this stuff than I do!

    What I want to ask, just to be sure, is with the Panny E20 (is the E20D different?) can I record one programme while watching a programme on a different channel simultaneously?

    Assuming that I can (at least watch an anologue channel while recording any other) then I think I'm going to go for the Panny. It gets good write ups in most places. The only thing putting me off is the stupid Timer Mode. I was planning to give my old Freeview box to my dad when I bought this but maybe I'd better not if I have to effectively turn the recorder off when recording from the EPG.
     
  27. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,210
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,265
    As mentioned in one of the subsequent posts you cannot record one channel and watch another - but if you use DVD-RAM you can record one channel and watch anything else recorded on the disc (including the programme being recorded).

    Given you already have a Freeview box you could connect (via Scart) as follows:

    Panasonic ES20D >>>> Input on the Freeview box and the Output >>>> TV AV1

    ...this would allow you to record on the ES20D and then switch on your Freeview box to view a second channel. Obviously this depends upon your box having 2 scarts (most do).
     
  28. adder

    adder
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Rasczak
    I'm probably going to get the DMRES20D next week and go with your recommendation of keeping my existing freeview box. (The box is only £194 with Costco Passport discount!)

    According to the manual it says configure scarts as
    freeview box out >>> ES20D AV2 and ES20D AV1 >>> TV
    What different functionality will you get from your setup?
    Is it even simpler just to plug the freeview box straight into another scart on the tv?
    I've also got a digital optical connection on the TV and was going to make use of this...
    TIA!
     
  29. phil2415

    phil2415
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    I got the Panny in the end and let me say that I'm really, really pleased with it. It just does everything so easily, the quality of recordings and playback of commercial DVDs are both excellent and the Timeslip feature using RAM disks is far more useful than I had anticipated.

    In response to Adder's question, I've kept my old Freeview box but taken it out of the setup in the end. I've got a really elaborate setup now whereby the DVD recorder is connected in the following way:

    • House aerial into the RF input
    • RF output to my old VHS recorder, with the RF output of the VHS then going into the TV's RF input to allow me to watch an analogue channel on a TV channel tuned into the VHS while recording something else with the DVD recorder from digital.
    • SCART out direct to my TV
    • Component out to my projector
    • Composite audio/video out to the SCART input of my old VHS recorder to allow recordings made to DVD to be transferred to video for my backward family

    As a result, I can record one channel on DVD, another channel (from the analogue channels only) on video and watch a third channel (again only analogue) on the TV all at the same time, if I really want to!

    If anyone's hesitating over getting this DVD recorder, my advice is: Don't. It's superb, and at that price (I got it from Costco too) what are you wating for??
     
  30. DRAMBO

    DRAMBO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    157
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +5
    The Sony RDR-GX500 has now been replaced by the RDR-GXD310. The main difference is the GXD310 can record on dual layer DVD+R discs. In my opinion the Panny still edges the Sony because it's ease of use is 1st class, it has 4hr LP full DVD resolution recording mode on standard cheap DVD discs and it's nearly £80 cheaper than the Sony.
    :thumbsup:
     

Share This Page

Loading...