Panasonic DMR-E85H Question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-02-2006, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I have had a Panasonic E85H for almost 3 years. Is that unit still made? Is there are a replacement product from Panasonic or did it get out of the DVR market?

What are comparable products?

What DVRs can record HD?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-03-2006, 11:53 AM
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If you wanted to replace that model with a comparable Panasonic product, I'd recommend the new E55. It only has an analog tuner, as digital ones won't be included for probably a couple of years. The TV Guide on Screen feature has been upgraded in that model to now be compatible with satellite.

The only standalone DVR's that can record HD and SD digital (and analog) OTA or cable (no satellite - although I've rigged my Sony to record SD satellite using the TVGOS feature) are the LG 3410a, and the Sony DHG-HDD500 or HDD250. The LG's are pretty hard to find. The Sony's can still be found (Best Buy still sells the 500 new), even though they're out of production. The Sony's have a CableCARD slot too, which is needed for more than just the digital local channels from cable.

The HD DVR's do not include a built-in DVD recorder, and the material can only be transferred out in 480i SD.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-04-2006, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Rammitinski.

I will keep my eye on the DMR-EH55S. It is running around $458 (no tax, free shipping) as of July 4, 2006 on pricegrabber. I like the roomier 200GB harddrive, and I am glad Panasonic has not abandoned the market. The DVD burner now accomodates more DVD formats.

I have looked hard at the LG 3410A. It has a 120GB harddrive. But, and this butt is huge, you cannot (a) playback a show while it is recording or (b) play another recorded show while it is recording. Can you believe that? I have confirmed from several posters on avsforum and then separately from a seller of an LG3410A on eBay.

I will keep my eye out for Sonys. They seem spendy.

That leaves possibly the Motorola 3412 or 6412 as other HDTV HD DVRs. I don't know whether those boxes can only transfer out in 480i SD.

Those two Motorola boxes have an advantage from Comcast in that they cost $6.50/month to rent, and then Comcast bears the technology and malfunction risk. Unfortunately, Comcast will not turn on the DVR service unless you are a digital cable customer. The total cost per month is ~$16/mo. for digitial cable plus a different $9.99/mo. rental charge for the box (that replaces the $6.50/mo. charge). At $26/mo. plus tax, I will keep my Panasonic boxes. Even the DMR-EH55S at current would pay for itself in 19 months.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-04-2006, 01:09 PM
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You might find the Sony HDD500 cheaper on e-bay. But I don't know how much you'd be willing to chance it. When Tweeter had a gigantic closeout on them a few months ago for only $249.99, people snatched them all up in a flash, and many ended up there. They are probably still pricey there (I assume you've probably already checked), but remember - you're getting 500GB of storage space. The tuners themselves, along with the DVR are excellent. I love mine. If you check out the big thread on them in the HD Recorders threads, you'll find that most people are satisfied with them, although it seems that the people posting just recently are the ones having some kind of problem, usually centering around the guide data. But if you're getting it OK with your Panny, it should be okay with the Sony, especially if you just have extended basic and no outboard tuner. You will still get the digital HD & SD locals with it, of course. Even if your display is only SD (or ED), the downscaled HD still looks fabulous, and the material looks great transferred to a 480i DVD recorder. In fact, that's the setup I've got myself right now.

As far as the Motorola boxes dubbing in HD, there might be some that do (I think) to D-VHS decks like the LG DVR, but if I recall just from reading around here, if anyone's actually done it, it's not the norm. The ports aren't usually activated, or something like that. There are varied threads you can ask around on, the best probably being your local area cable company's HD thread.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-04-2006, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski
You might find the Sony HDD500 cheaper on e-bay. But I don't know how much you'd be willing to chance it.

That is precisely where I buy electronics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski
. . . you'll find that most people are satisfied with them, although it seems that the people posting just recently are the ones having some kind of problem, usually centering around the guide data. But if you're getting it OK with your Panny, it should be okay with the Sony, especially if you just have extended basic and no outboard tuner. You will still get the digital HD & SD locals with it, of course.
.

I have a QAM Tuner box from Comcast (the 6412 rented w/o the . I split the cable signal and an unmodulated signal goes to the Pany box. The other part of the split to the QAM tuner. Then, both boxes feed to the TV.


I think both the Sony and Panasonic boxes each beat the LG DVR. I still cannot believe that LG bothered to make a box where you cannot record shows while watching and cannot watch a recorded show while recording.
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