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What DVD Recorder Sony or Panasonic

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by mjb-av, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. mjb-av

    mjb-av
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    :hiya: This is my first posting so be gentle.

    I am up-dating my AV set-up and was looking at either the Sony RDRHXD710 or 910.

    But now I have seen the Panasonic DMREH60D, it seems to fall in-between the Sony 710/910 but has the added feature of both Digital and Analogue turners.

    The area I live in is not so hot for Freeview and I am having to up-date my aerial, so both turners would be great.

    I am ditching my Panasonic TX-33AK10 and waiting for an NEC 42VM5 Plasma to arrive, so the tuner in the DVD will be important.

    But I do also have a Panasonic NV-FJ760 which I will be keeping for VHS playback.

    All comments and suggests welcome :)
     
  2. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    If you want both Freeview and analogue then you only have the one choice - the Panasonic.
    The Sony's you list ONLY have the freeview tuner. Just why they didn't include an analogue tuner beats me. It must surely be costing them sales.

    For an improvement in freeview reception try one or two TV signal boosters. Something like the Maxview or similar.
     
  3. Rojo Habe

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    I ended up going for the 710 purely because it was the first one of the three to actually hit the shops, and I couldn't wait any more. Overall I'm very impressed.

    Two things amiss compared to my my old Panasonic DMR-E50:

    1) No Flexible Record mode; you just have to pick the mode that fits best onto a disc. The recorder can choose the mode automatically for you when dubbing, and there are more modes than the Panasonic, so it's not really that much of a hardship.

    2) When you edit a recording using A-B Erase (Partial Erase in Panasonic-Speak), to get rid of the adverts for example, there's a noticeable pause at each edit point. This pause disappears once you dub the recording to a disc, so long as you dub in real-time and convert to a lower bitrate. Therefore, this isn't really a problem, so long as you record to the hard drive in higher-than-SP quality if you want to edit and archive your recording.

    What I like:

    No faffing about with a separate Timer mode. Timer recordings will just kick in automatically whether or not you're in Standby, whether or not you're watching a previous recording, whther or not you're watching a DVD (not while dubbing, but it will warn you before you start if it's going to clash with a timer). If you're recording from Freeview and want to watch Sky/Cable, just put the recorder in Standby and it'll pass the STB signal through while recording from its internal tuner. Unfortunately, you CAN'T watch Freeview while recording from an external source, so in that respect it's not a complete replacement for an external Freeview box, as I'd hoped it would be. Having said that, the need to do this hasn't arisen yet, so it's no biggie.

    If you go for the 910 you'll get a bigger hard drive and an HDMI port; worth considering if you have an HD Ready display. Haven't seen the Panasonic yet, but if my old DVD recorder is anything to go by you won't be disappointed there either.

    If you can get to audition all three models, that'll be ideal. If, like me, you can't wait, I'm sure you'll be happy with any of them.

    One last factor in the decision - just my personal preference, but I think the Sony looks nicer.
     
  4. mjb-av

    mjb-av
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    You are right about the looks of the Sony over the Panasonic.

    But I'm just trying to put together a half desent system, but as ever starting to get carried away!

    I keep thinking that I will need the DL recording, larger HD and HDMI of the Sony 910, but at the moment I produce single layer DVD's on a Sony VAIO desktop PC, the plasma I'm getting is not HD ready and HD's will always get bigger and my Freeview signal is not that good.

    But I do like DVD+R/RW over DVD-R/RW.

    Hey maybe I'm answering my questions!
     
  5. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    Three things amiss - the Sony's have no support for DVD-RAM discs.
     
  6. mjb-av

    mjb-av
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    The way it's looking at the moment I'll be going for the Panasonic DREH60D, but, I have seen there is a '80' version of this device.

    I've looked at the spec for both but can see hardly any differents.

    Does anyone know?

    :lease:
     
  7. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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  8. sjw

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    The '80' has a built in VCR.
     
  9. mjb-av

    mjb-av
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    :oops: Sorry, must look at my PC screen more closely,

    So I think I'm going to purchase the Panasonic DMREH60D and the Panasonic SCHT15 Home Theater System.

    Now just have to get a good deal!

    :thumbsup:
     
  10. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    In Sony's favour it has a great Freeview tuner, DL support which when disc prices fall will negate the need for Panasonic's Flexible record mode as more space will be available to dump higher quality recordings onto, HQ+ mode, DVD+/-R compatibility. A nice sized HD and a big leap over the Panny is a solid metal front panel.

    Downside obviously not compatible with ram discs. But is this really a worrying drawback?

    Although also on it's downside no incorporation of an analogue tuner which for most would not be a worry as just about every TV has one! Perhaps not the ideal answer for timed recordings or viewing purposes (if one wants to watch something else) but at least it is not extra expense. As you say if you own a vcr you could use it's tuner instead for a more flexible approach.
     
  11. mjb-av

    mjb-av
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    I am a Sony fan as I have Sony VAIO Desktop n Laptop PC, camcorder and digital camera.

    But I did start to move to Panasonic, first with my TV (TX-33AK10) (which wife hates) and VCR (NV-FJ760) then I get a mini HIFI SA-PM27 5x muilt-disc Great Sound and Power.

    This is all a few years old now so I'm looking to up-grade, Sony was my first thought but it looks like Panasonic here I come.
     
  12. HelenS

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    I've got the Panasonic, which I love, though to be fair I admit I haven't even tried the Sony, not having had the need once I got the Panasonic (which in my area hit the shops well BEFORE the Sonys - on 28 August!).

    I suppose the lack of DVD-RAM compatibility on the Sony machines isn't a huge problem with HDD recorders, though it is nice to have a removable disc with all the facilities of the HDD (except capacity) and I appreciate the backup reassurance of the analogue reception. I also value the Panasonic's ability to easily pad start and end times of recordings set via the EPG. Picture quality is great, the recorder is incredibly quiet, and very fast to start up (how do the Sonys compare in this respect? Just wondering). The notorious "separate timer mode" in Panasonics isn't quite as severe on the EH60D, since they realised it might be your only source of Freeview - so if it's on but not actually playing or recording (i.e. you're watching its tuner, live), the timer issues a one-minute warning on screen with the choice of dropping into timer mode or cancelling it - and if you just ignore it, the timer comes on anyway - after all, you might be out of the room at the time.

    In general, the recorder acts exactly as I would hope it would in any given situation, regarding what happens when I switch on various pieces of equipment, which is surprisingly rare! My setup is not complex though - just the EH60D and a NV-FJ710 VCR linked to a Sony TV.
     
  13. grd2

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    I too am looking at these machines but something I read recently which was worrying is that the Panasonic does not Pause live TV. Not sure if it was referring to HD or RAM disk recording.

    Can any one confirm or refute this?

    Are there any other recommendations out there with similar specs?
     
  14. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    I'm not saying Sony is the way forward just pointing out the obvious (to me).
    They both have their own strengths and clearly the Panny scores on analogue tuner,DVD-RAM and flexible recording which apparently has a multitude of editing facility's for RAM based discs.

    I've recently changed my TV from a Sony to a Panny to which to some respects I'm regretting because it does not perform certain functions correctly or efficiently but the general picture quality on most material is very alluring and down right annoying on others!

    So when choosing be careful. You gain something and lose something else. I've just realised how wonderful my Sony is in certain (hidden) areas.
     
  15. Rojo Habe

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    I've not found the loss of DVD-RAM support a great hardship, since I can do all that stuff on the hard disk (and on -RW in VR mode, albeit with certain restrictions on the record modes you can use). First thing I did was hook up the panny to the Sony and transfer all my RAM discs on the Sony's hard drive. As I've mentioned, the Panasonic had much smoother edit points (something I'm assuming is also true of the EH60), but these can be smoothed out when archiving to DVD. No, with the Panny you can't pause live TV per sé, but you can start recording and then use chasing playback, which amounts to the same thing.

    They're both great machines, I'm sure, and which one to go for depends on the intended application. If you want an excellent DVD/HDD recorder with Freeview built in, go for the Panasonic. If you want a Freeview box that's also an excellent DVD/HDD recorder (the distinction being that it can do that stuff in the background while still being a Freeview box), the Sony is the one.
     
  16. mjb-av

    mjb-av
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    From the information that I am picking up here, the Panasonic is not so easy to use as freeview box where the Sony has this covered.

    Pausing tv is what I would be looking to do, I'm starting to think Sony is the way BUT I wish it had 2 tuners, maybe I need to up-grade my aerial which is v-old and see what freeview is really like in my area.

    Confused!

    I am :confused:
     
  17. Rojo Habe

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    The most important thing is not to rush into it. The longer you spend deliberating, the more options will open up, and the more prices will drop, so you really can't lose anything by taking your time. If your Freeview reception isn't too clever at present then the Panasonic would seem to be the best option for you out of the three that are currently available. Pausing live TV isn't impossible, it just requires more than one buton press (Record, Play, Pause). Don't make your decision until you've had each one demonstrated to you in a shop, or at least had a chance to play with them. If you have a Sony Centre and/or a Shop@Panasonic within reasonable travelling distance, these will be good places for a demo.
     
  18. mjb-av

    mjb-av
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    Very wise words, we all want the best AV kit but it can be too easy to make a quick purchase and regret it.

    Firstly, I'm going to up-grade the TV aerial and check out just how good or bad the freeview signal is, currently my netgem box can only pick-up BBC1 and 3 it did get all the BBC channels.

    Great results from my first post.

    I will return :smashin:
     

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