what is the E85 like at playback??

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

  1. trainspotter

    trainspotter
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    I have been reading with interest all of the postings about the E85, and I am very tempted. I currently have a Philips 880 recorder, and a Wharfedale M5 player, two bits of kit that I am keen to replace, as i have never been happy with either.
    My question is, what is the E85 like for playback of pre-recorded DVDs? I am looking to get a projector also (probably an optomo h30), will the playback be good enough used with this??

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. trainspotter

    trainspotter
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    any opinions, all help appreciated:)
     
  3. nialli

    nialli
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    Had mine just over a week, so it's not a seasoned review, but...

    My previous DVD player was a three year old Toshiba - can't remember the model but it was around the £120 mark and had the best budget reviews at the time. I linked it via component out to my Toshiba 32" pictureframe CRT TV. Thought the quality was excellent on playback, but had a few reservations about the CD playback (I used it for background music in the lounge) - it didn't cope well with acoustic music.

    The E-85 has been every bit as good on DVD playback: great picture, good 5.1 sound reproduction and, surprisingly, superior CD playback too. I've connected it via Scart this time (for the autoswitching with my cable box and VCR) and can't fault the picture. I haven't got plasma so I can't comment on the progressive scan output.

    I went for the E-85 despite some misgivings about the DVD-RAM format. Ideally, I would have prefered RW, but the Pioneer 5100's lack of RGB and the delays with Sony's HDD machines led me to plumb for Panasonic (my manufacturer of choice normally). I'm not a high-end aficionado , but I'm absolutely delighted with it so far.
     
  4. nwgarratt

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    In my opinion all Panasonic have great picture quality (both player and recorder).

    I have played DVD's on an E50 and HS2 recently. I was very impressed and it compared favourably to my Sony NS900.

    They also played a DVD that didn't play properly on a Pioneer.
     
  5. trainspotter

    trainspotter
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    thanks for the info guys, I have got another niggling question, any help, is again very much appreciated.

    I also have a sky+ box, so the E85 will be used for editing, archiving and DVD playback. If I connect the E85 via component leads to a projector, can I feed in an RGB scart signal from the sky+ into the E85, as a "loop through" in order to watch sky on the projector.

    Also If so can i also do this whilst archiving from the E85 hard drive to DVD-R??


    thanks in advance.
     
  6. AV Geeza

    AV Geeza
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    Im on the verge of buying one of these but wanted to know if it has teletext?
    I have a Fujitsu plasma with NTL digital box but no teletext service, and I kinda miss it!

    Cheers
     
  7. nialli

    nialli
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    It accesses terrestrial Teletext services for PDC, automatic clock and programme titles, but only if you have an rf aerial plugged in. Can't see a way of accessing teletext via the box though. Presumably you don't have a terrestrial signal which is why you're looking for teletext. I have the same problem with my NTL digital service, but switch to analogue terrestrial for text services.

    The E85 is a cracking piece of kit though, and works well with the NTL service. If you can live without text (and I don't know of an HDD/DVD recorder that can give you that) then this could be the kit for you.
     
  8. gazzer

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    Can anyone answer the (for me) ultimate question posed by trainspotter...

    "can an RGB scart signal from the sky+ be fed into into the E85, as a "loop through" in order to watch sky on the projector ?"

    Also the obvious follow on question, does it actually improve the picture quality on the projector (Z2) compared to S-video ?

    2 yes answers = :clap: and some internet shopping !!

    Cheers.
     
  9. nialli

    nialli
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    Gazzer

    I haven't got Sky or a projector, so this ain't gospel, but my NTL digital RGB signal goes into the E85 via Scart and can be output through Component to my TV fine. However, this loop through doesn't seem to work if the E85 is set to Timer recording. You can play recorded material or DVDs though when the Timer is set, but not loop through the setbox feed. Odd.

    I suggest you order a machine from a company that has a decent returns policy so that you can play with it for a few days to see if it suits your needs. I think the kit is absolutely amazing for the price, and can't believe the picture quality I'm getting compared with my old S-VHS video. The remote even controls the volume on the TV, which is a feature nobody ever mentions but is very valuable in this household.
     
  10. AV Geeza

    AV Geeza
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    nialli,
    Are you saying that you can't watch programmes from the NTL box if the E85 is set to timer record?
    Also, when you state that it accesses terrestrial Teletext services for PDC, are you saying that you can only get programme times and not a full teletext facility?

    Thanks
     
  11. nialli

    nialli
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    Are you saying that you can't watch programmes from the NTL box if the E85 is set to timer record?

    I can, but I do via a second scart connection direct from my NTL box to my TV. The AV1 output on the E85 doesn't loop through with the Timer set and shows a blank screen with a message about the Timer being set. You can still access the Disk Navigator on AV1 for playback of either HDD or DVD recordings, but you can't do any editing. I may not have set mine up correctly though - I've changed the SCART lead arrangement a couple of times already and still haven't got it perfect!

    Also, when you state that it accesses terrestrial Teletext services for PDC, are you saying that you can only get programme times and not a full teletext facility?

    It accesses teletext for information, but I can't figure out a way of accessing the teletext services direct - certainly the remote doesn't have any 'text' features. If you record off a terrestrial broadcast it labels the recording from Teletext - I've noticed that if you record a programme with Stereo and Widescreen, eg BBC2's London series, it titles the recording "LONDON S W", which is how it's titled on Teletext. When you set the E85 up for terrestrial channels it asks for the teletext page where programme info is stored, eg page 601 on BBC1.

    I think I remember the manual saying something about it being able to record subtitles from teletext, but I can't check that as I'm at work. Sorry.
     
  12. trainspotter

    trainspotter
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    This is good news, this means that my projector will have just one lead into it (component). As the E85 will only be used for recording sky+ and editing, I don't think that the way I wish to use it will cause conflicts.


    Good idea, or alternatively there is a company very local to me that has these, I might pop in and ask for a good demo.


    Thanks for your help, this keeps getting better and better

    BTW, whats the CD playback like??
     
  13. AV Geeza

    AV Geeza
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    Thanks for the info nialli, very helpful. :smashin:
    Can you send an interlaced signal via component output or will the component output only send a progressive scan signal?

    I want to know as I would like to connect it to my DVD player which has an internal scaler (Faroudja) then send the signal on to my plasma. I think this route would give me the best picture.

    I may have to do the same as you and also connect my NTL box via scart to the screen to get round the timer recording problem.
    Would mean that I would have to buy another quality scart though! :mad:

    Thanks
     
  14. nialli

    nialli
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    Thanks for the info nialli, very helpful.
    Can you send an interlaced signal via component output or will the component output only send a progressive scan signal?

    It can send either interlaced or progressive. Panasonic suggest the latter only be used for Plasma screens though.

    I want to know as I would like to connect it to my DVD player which has an internal scaler (Faroudja) then send the signal on to my plasma. I think this route would give me the best picture.

    I may have to do the same as you and also connect my NTL box via scart to the screen to get round the timer recording problem.
    Would mean that I would have to buy another quality scart though!

    Yeah, but if you shop around for the E85 you should be able to get it for around £480 multi-region: £18 for a SCART lead is a small investment at the end of the day.
     
  15. nialli

    nialli
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    Trainspotter:

    I think the CD playback is very good, but I'm really only using it for background music in the lounge - my main hifi is in a different room. If you're not after Linn-quality playback, it will probably meet your requirements, but my set up isn't a great test. What Hi Fi's review will be a better indicator, but I haven't seen any published reviews of the E85 yet - has anyone else?
     
  16. gazzer

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    Thanks nialli,

    Like trainspotter, I don't think the Timer issue will be a problem for me as I would record on Sky+ and use the E85 for archiving.

    Having read through todays posts I realise I should have specifically asked if the E85 takes RGB scart input and outputs progressive scan on the component outputs (for the projector). It seems the answer is yes but confirmation would be extremely helpful. Does this cause any lip sync issues as the sound would go directly to the Amp and the picture thru the E85 ?

    Cheers.
     
  17. nialli

    nialli
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    Having read through todays posts I realise I should have specifically asked if the E85 takes RGB scart input and outputs progressive scan on the component outputs (for the projector). It seems the answer is yes but confirmation would be extremely helpful.

    Sorry mate, but I can't test this for you as I have a CRT TV which doesn't like progresive scan. The manual gives every indication that this will work fine for you, but I can't say for certain - Panasonic recommend RGB Scart in and componet progressive out for Plasma in the manual, so I'm 99% certain it'll work.

    Does this cause any lip sync issues as the sound would go directly to the Amp and the picture thru the E85 ?

    Again, I can't test. I would have thought it would be fine. I've had no lip synch issues whatsoever and I must have watched around 40 hours or so on my E85 so far.
     
  18. gazzer

    gazzer
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    Thanks again nialli, I am going to take your advice and find a company with a good returns policy to try it out. The E85 certainly looks like it will do the job for what I need.
     
  19. trainspotter

    trainspotter
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    I won't be getting mine for at least a few weeks, so if you get yours first, please keep me posted on how you get on (and vice versa)
     
  20. gazzer

    gazzer
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    Certainly will. I want to get something sorted for Euro 2004 and will shop around over the next 2 or 3 weeks.
     
  21. nialli

    nialli
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    I bought mine from Multiregion Magic. Very impressed with the service - they could arrange a Saturday delivery which was great for me. Price was £479 for a multiregion, RCE capable box that is my dream machine.
     
  22. Kaledii

    Kaledii
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    I had a quite long play with a E85 connected to a 42PE30 at a PowerHouse a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, and amazingly, the sales guy had connected the recorder to the plasma using component. I went in and played around with the menues and ended up having a prog scan live feed into the plasma. So the answer is yes you can watch live tv via a scart input and output it to pal prog scan.
     
  23. bobbypunk

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    it performs as a pure playback device to the same standard as the basic panasonic DVD player!
     
  24. HMHB

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    If I get one of these, I will be using it mainly in the bedroom as I already have Sky+. Now and again however, I will have to unplug it and carry it to the lounge and connect it up to the Sky+ system to do copies of stuff recorded from Sky. Does anyone see this as being a problem ? Will unplugging it a lot and carrying it from one room to the other upset it ?
     
  25. nialli

    nialli
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    The only reservation I would have would be that you'd be regularly plugging and unplugging SCART cables, which can be a little delicate.

    If it became a problem, you could look at putting a DVD-RAM compatible player in your room (Panasonic models are around the £80 mark) or one that's DVD-R compatible if that's your prefered archiving method.
     

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