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Prior to having our Virgin V plus box, we were in desperate need for a PVR (Personal video recorder) for our main TV in the lounge. We've always had Panasonic products and wanted to stick with this particular brand. The DMR-EX79 sounded like a great buy, albeit a tad over what we wanted to pay, but the one thing that we wanted was a recordable DVD player too, which this model had. The unit looks good in black much or a much-ness when comparing to others of a similar standard. It has the usual inputs and outputs such as an HDMI output which allows the user to upscale video to the TV. But for people who still use the scart cables, it still retains this feature. Not only did this PVR have the ability to watch and record to DVD, it also has a built in Free view tuner. The hard drive capacity was 250gb which was more than adequate for what we need. I believe that you can record up to 50 hours worth of programmes on this drive. When this model writes to a DVD it uses DVD-RAM that is similar to DVD-RW but apparently it's a better way of processing the data. One feature that did impress us was the fact that you can still watch a DVD when the machine is writing a DVD. Even if your original DVDs are in standard definition because of the 1080p up scaling it essentially means that you will be viewing a better quality picture on your TV. THE EPG - electronic programme guide uses the Guide Plus System, which is ok, but it's really annoying at times when the adverts pop up on it. We used to use the guide to set up our recordings, it was so simple, chose your desired programme and hit "OK" it will ask you to confirm whether or not you want to set up a record option or set a reminder etc. It will also ask you whether or not you wish to record the chosen programme to either DVD or the hard disk. Needless to say the EPG lets you also search for your favourite programmes quite easily I'd recommend this model to everyone, but as with most things it's a bit heavy on the wallet. I'd say it was more of a 3 in 1 gadget as it's a Free view tuner, DVD player/recorder. But gets the thumbs up from me. Wish we'd bought one years ago would have saved a lot of hassle. Purchased from Amazon for £275 including delivery.
I recently purchased this HDD/DVD recorder and player from John Lewis. I have always wanted to experiment with one of these devices and decided to actually go and buy one for our Panasonic television. The player and the TV are both 'Viera Link' compatible, meaning they link up together extremely easily and makes the user experience much more pleasurable and simplistic. So if you're going to buy this device, I highly recommend using it with a Panasonic television. I love the fact this recorder/player also comes with a USB port and even an SD card reader. So not only can you watch DVDs on the player, you can also listen to music and stream pictures and video files from the SD card and a compatible USB storage device (pen drive). Using a HDMI cable is also a great idea if you're considering on purchasing this. It really improves the picture and gives a much better experience than just using an ordinary scart cable. The only negative opinion I have on this particular device is the fact that you have to record to the HDD before you can copy the programme/film onto external media (DVD/CD). Overall, I would recommend this product to both family and friends. Especially if you want to record and pause live TV without having a satellite/cable subscription service.
We bought this with our new TV and so far have not been too impressed with the recording features of the device. So this DVD recorder should be ideal to record your programs either via FreeView using the built-in tuner or via FreeSat through our Panasonic TV. Well alas we still have not managed to get anything to automatically record any TV program. It will record programs via FreeSat or FreeView if you press record and then stop it manually after the program has finished which is a big pain in the arse. I'm sure there must be something we haven't set up properly but we followed everything in the supplied manual. Off the negative points, let's talk about the good points of this DVD recorder. First off it does HDMI up-scaling showing DVDs in better quality and better colour. It also features Divx support, which I have yet to try out because of the precise way you have to burn the disc; my mate has a Sony Divx compatible DVD recorder and the current Divx DVDs I had worked fine in his. But for its main purpose of being able to play DVDs it does it very well. The Viera Link feature that means you can use one remote to control TV and DVD player is a bit rubbish, most importantly half of the buttons do not work for the DVD player and because we also have a Bluray player it turns that on and controls it as well. Overall as a DVD player it's great. It does have a big hard drive and it would be a good recorder if it worked properly. I have to say given the annoying little things and the fact we can't record things automatically I can't recommend this product very highly, however chance are we are doing something wrong and you may not have any problems at all.