Panasonic DMR-EA18K - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 04-21-2008, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Specs: Progressive Scan DVD Recorder with 1080p Up-Conversion, HDMI Simple Connection, VIERALink, SD Memory Card Slot, USB Terminal and Super Multi-Format Recording & Playback, IEEE488 Input

Can anyone comment on this new recorder from Panasonic?

I am ignorant to the DVD recorders world and would like to know if this unit is ok. I am attaching to a 42" Sony HDTV, want up-conversion, and an IEEE488 slot. I don't need a tuner. Low price, but decent quality is a must.

Thanks
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post #2 of 50 Old 04-21-2008, 11:22 AM
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I don't have the EA-18 but do have a EZ-28 which is basically the same thing with the digital tuner. I'm quite happy with the PQ of my EZ-28. You might want to check out that thread. Quite a few people have posted to it.
Looks like this might be the first EA-18 thread, at lease I haven't seen any threads on it here at AVS. If you get one please post your thought on it.
I would think this would be a nice option for people who just want to off load their DVR or enslave to a STB or SAT box, and it saves $50 by omitting the tuner.
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post #3 of 50 Old 05-05-2008, 04:59 PM
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Saw one of these today at Target. It was $179 which is $50 less than the tuner model EZ-28. One feature that really caught my eye on the EA-18 was the jack called "cable box control" I'm going to assume this is a IR blaster port. The demo model didn't have anything plugged into this port, but if indeed came with a IR blaster that would really be a plus for STB people. My EZ-28 does not have this port. Maybe they figured since it already had a tuner their would be no need for the blaster. I guess this is one of those cases when you pay less but actually get more
Can anyone who owns(or knows) if a the blaster is indeed included comment on this? This would be a big plus for STB people, which their seems to be many. I wonder if the EA-38 w/VHS and no tuner also has the blaster? Haven't seen that one yet.
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post #4 of 50 Old 05-06-2008, 05:34 AM
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Tried to find the manual for the EA-18, but failed. However, I did find this in the parts list on the Panasonic site.

K2ZZ02C00008 SET TOP BOX CONTROL 15.46

So it appears that it can use a STB control, even if it is not included in the box.

RG
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post #5 of 50 Old 12-03-2008, 01:18 PM
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According to CNET's review, it does have an IR blaster and it has the highest rating of any DVD Recorder they have reviewed. I'd post the URL, but since this is my first post on this forum, it won't let me. Just go to the review section on CNET.com and look it up if you would like.

I'm using a STB with my cable subscription, so the tuner is probably superfluous anyway. At under $170, I think I'm going to get one.

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post #6 of 50 Old 12-03-2008, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I wonder if the EA-38 w/VHS and no tuner also has the blaster? Haven't seen that one yet.

Kind of forgot about this thread but bucksnort is correct, the EA-18 and I've found out since my last post, the EA-38 also has a IR blaster along with a VHS recorder.
Not the easiest to find but both seem like a decent option for STB users, although with pricing sometimes people can find the EZ-28 or EZ-48 for almost the same price as the EA models. But then again the EZ's don't support a IR blaster.
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post #7 of 50 Old 01-15-2009, 07:31 PM
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After reading the CNET review for the Toshiba DR410 (boxes of which I see stacked to the ceiling at every electronics store I've been to), I was convinced I should go for the Panasonic DMR-EA18K instead.

Why is this unit so hard to come by? Did Panasonic discontinue it?
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post #8 of 50 Old 01-15-2009, 10:17 PM
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Yes. If you can't find it in a store (such as Target), try Amazon.
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post #9 of 50 Old 01-16-2009, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vttom View Post

Why is this unit so hard to come by? Did Panasonic discontinue it?

Yes

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #10 of 50 Old 01-16-2009, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Yes. If you can't find it in a store (such as Target), try Amazon.

Amazon currently says "Ships in 1 to 2 months".

The best I've been able to find online are a handful of people on Amazon Market Place or eBay re-selling used or open-box units.
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post #11 of 50 Old 01-16-2009, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vttom View Post

Amazon currently says "Ships in 1 to 2 months".

The best I've been able to find online are a handful of people on Amazon Market Place or eBay re-selling used or open-box units.

Yep. It's been saying "Usually ships in 1 to 2 months" for at least a month now. This was my backup plan if I was not able to obtain a HDD / DVDR like the H2160 based on the sparkling CNET review. I guess I won't be getting either of these now, though.

The only complaint I read from one owner was that it would only record in widescreen to DVD-RAM (not DVD-R).
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post #12 of 50 Old 01-17-2009, 01:11 PM
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Last I looked Targets in my area still had the EA-18 and the EZ-48. The EA-18 was $179.
AFA the widescreen recording, the EA-18 will record in widescreen to any disc type, the only thing it won't do is set the widescreen flag. This flag tells your DVD player to letterbox the material if playing on a 4:3 TV(otherwise the picture will be vertically stretched). If you only have WS TVs and don't borrow your discs to people with 4:3 TVs it's a non issue. Most all other DVDRs are also this way, Panasonics set the flag but only on RAM discs.
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post #13 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 11:45 AM
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I just don't get it. I called Panasonic and they tell me widescreen recording is only possible on this unit with DVD-RAM discs. It also indicates this in the manual. You and user Metaspherz ("Easy to use, great widescreen video quality")on January 26 on CNET say you can do it on any DVD type. Several posts from several sources say it cannot be done. If it can be done why would Panasonic say it can't? The CNET post tries to say how to do it but I don't understand the explanation. Do you agree with his method?
I have a new Samsung model 630, a Dish model VIP722 HD DVR, connected via HDMI. I have purchased this EA18K and S-Video and anither HDMI (all of which I can return to Target if need be. Can you tell me how to connect the EA18K to get widescreen recordings on DVDs other than RAM type.
I just don't get it. Why would Panasonic make a DVD recorder that will not record widescreen to DVDs other than RAM? My initial use will be to copy old tapes (not copy protected) to DVD. Then I would like to record some TV broadcasts to DVD in widescreen but Panasonic says it can only be done in 4:3 format. What gives? At this time who would want a DVD recorder that will not record in widescreen?
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post #14 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieG13 View Post

I just don't get it. I called Panasonic and they tell me widescreen recording is only possible on this unit with DVD-RAM discs. It also indicates this in the manual. You and user Metaspherz ("Easy to use, great widescreen video quality")on January 26 on CNET say you can do it on any DVD type. Several posts from several sources say it cannot be done. If it can be done why would Panasonic say it can't? The CNET post tries to say how to do it but I don't understand the explanation. Do you agree with his method?
I have a new Samsung model 630, a Dish model VIP722 HD DVR, connected via HDMI. I have purchased this EA18K and S-Video and anither HDMI (all of which I can return to Target if need be. Can you tell me how to connect the EA18K to get widescreen recordings on DVDs other than RAM type.
I just don't get it. Why would Panasonic make a DVD recorder that will not record widescreen to DVDs other than RAM? My initial use will be to copy old tapes (not copy protected) to DVD. Then I would like to record some TV broadcasts to DVD in widescreen but Panasonic says it can only be done in 4:3 format. What gives? At this time who would want a DVD recorder that will not record in widescreen?

I'm not 100% certain but, here goes....My understanding is that whether you will see a widescren picture depends on the tv you're watching the Panny on. If you watching the Panny recording on a regular 4:8 tv, and record a local digital channel oon a dvd-r or rw, you will see the slightly squished like this..

If you watch that same dvd-r/rw on a 16:9 display, the tv will strech the image to widescreen like this..


The first image is how a recording looks on my 4:8 tv, while the second is how it looks on a widescreen tv. So you can record a widescreen image, but if you lend the disc to a friend with regular tv, the video with appear squished in a box.
These 2 screencaps are from Smallville, recorded to a dvd-rw on a Pan EZ48. I used a dvd authoring software program to capture the first in 4:8, then reset to output 16:9, which is what I do to preserve WS format when making a dvd.

You may need to go into the Setup menu to set the EA to display 16:9, under TV Screen>TV Type" 16:8.

Dazed and confused over high tech.

Sigh...Concrap. The Internet Overlord Cometh
They're not com-tastic!
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post #15 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 12:49 PM
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I agree it's quite miss leading. What Panasonic should say is "the wide screen bit is only set on RAM discs, if you record wide screen material to non RAM discs they will not play back correctly on 4:3 TVs". You can indeed record wide screen on any disc type it's just when you play those discs back on a regular 4:3 TV the image will be vertically stretched. The DVD does not have the bit set that tells the player to letter box the output when displaying on a 4:3 or standard TV.
Why the heck most DVDRs don't set the bit is a mystery to me. Toshibas of a few years ago did this correctly, I don't know what the downside of this is or why Panasonic would want to restrict the bit to RAM discs, other than maybe selling more Panasonic RAM discs?
If the bit is important to you others have posted a simple PC program to change it, I would think before you finalize the disc.

AFA you recording from your STB you also have one other consideration. That is if your STB is capable of outputting wide screen over S-video(or composite). Many STBs only output WS over the HD outputs(component or DVI/HDMI). If yours doesn't you will only get a letter box recording no matter what disc type you use.
To check for WS output you can just hook your S-video(or composite) cable directly to your WS TV. If it's letter boxed you're out of luck, if it's WS you're in luck.
To hook up your DVR to your DVDR just run your S-video out(or composite) and audio to your EA-18s line inputs. That's it other than HDMI out of your DVDR to your TV.
For normal TV watching select your DVR HDMI output, for DVD watching or to setup your DVDR select the DVDR HDMI output.
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post #16 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 02:09 PM
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Pardon my ignorance. Can I get widescreen by connecting my EA18 to my HD DVR via HDMI and my HD DVR to my HDTV via HDMI at the same time or do I need to use S-Video from EA-18 to HD DVR and HDMI from HDTV to HD DVI at the same time? Or am I missing the point altogether? If I don't get IT please treat me like an infant and be very specific (step 1, step2, etc, etc). Is STB standard television broadcast? Duh! Thanks for your detailed help. ArnieG
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post #17 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieG13 View Post

Pardon my ignorance. Can I get widescreen by connecting my EA18 to my HD DVR via HDMI and my HD DVR to my HDTV via HDMI at the same time or do I need to use S-Video from EA-18 to HD DVR and HDMI from HDTV to HD DVI at the same time? Or am I missing the point altogether? If I don't get IT please treat me like an infant and be very specific (step 1, step2, etc, etc). Is STB standard television broadcast? Duh! Thanks for your detailed help. ArnieG

I know you addressed your post to Jeff, but I can answer this as well. STB means set top box (in your case that would be your HD DVR). Your HD DVR's S Video Output should be connected to your EA-18's S Video Input....then connect your EA18's Output to your HDTV's Input (you can use S Video or whatever other Video output the EA has that is compatible with your tv).

For recording purposes on your EA18, what matters the most is its Input, because that is what will be receiving the signal from your HD DVR. Since the EA18 and basically all other DVD Recorders are only capable of receiving video input through either the Composite or S Video connections, you will have to use one of those 2.....S Video is always better than Composite (not to be confused with Component.

For your whole setup, think of the HD DVR and the tv shows you watch/record on it as your source.....and your HDTV is your destination. The dvd recorder (EA18 in your case) is like the middleman between the two - it bridges the gap and brings the source to the destination.

Hope this helps.
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post #18 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 03:13 PM
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Thanks to everyone who responded to someone who is still living in the 20th century. Eventually, I'm pretty sure I'll be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Thanks again.
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post #19 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 03:52 PM
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FYI - I have a Dish ViP622, and it definitely outputs widescreen over S-Video (I know this because I run the HDMI output to the WS HDTV in the same room as the receiver, and S-Video to a 2nd WS HDTV in a different room). You just have to make sure to setup the ViP to tell it that TV1 is widescreen.

I would imagine the ViP722 behaves the same way.
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post #20 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 04:30 PM
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Do I have to use an S-Video cable? Can I use an HDMI cable instead if I have enough connections?
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post #21 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieG13 View Post

Do I have to use an S-Video cable? Can I use an HDMI cable instead if I have enough connections?

The HDMI connection on this DVD recorder is an OUTPUT. You can only record from the Composite Video or S-Video INPUTS.
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post #22 of 50 Old 01-28-2009, 04:49 PM
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Nice explanation ShowbizPizza, and yes ArnieG13 the HDMI is only a one way connection. It goes from the DVDR or your DVR to your TV (OK HDMI control can go backwards from your TV to the device but this is only for things like input control and automatically turning things off, no actual video/audio signal goes backward in the HDMI connection).
Sounds like you have a good chance of getting real WS through your S-video output according to vttom, so you should be good to go.
AFA cabling if you don't already have a good selection I'd recommend Monoprice.com
They have decent S-video cables for only a few dollars and decent HDMI cables for under $5. I've always had good luck with there cables, don't be fooled by the low price.
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post #23 of 50 Old 02-26-2009, 11:22 AM
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FYI - I happened to stop by a Target in North Attleboro, Massachusetts and they had several on the shelf so I picked one up. Hope I like it because it'll be a pain to return.
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post #24 of 50 Old 04-10-2009, 05:25 PM
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So I finally got my DMR-EA18K hooked up. I'm going HDMI into my InFocus SP4805 projector. I was very disappointed to discover that when I played a DVD (Star Wars Episode IV), is played it in 480p. Try as I might, I could not get it to upconvert to 720p. What gives?
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post #25 of 50 Old 04-11-2009, 05:41 AM
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I take it you're using HDMI and you know your TV is capable of 720p?
Does the same thing happen when playing say a non commercial non finalized burned DVD?
With the EZ-28 it will not upconvert commercial(or any finalized) DVDs over component, only HDMI. It's a DRM thing and I would think the EA-18 would be similar.
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post #26 of 50 Old 04-11-2009, 07:03 AM
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I did a google on the specs of the sp4805 and the native resolution/output of the display is 854x480 which is 480p. While the projector might accept an 1080i or 720p resolution signal, it will just like all other fixed panel technologies (dlp/lcd/plasma) output whatever the native resolution is of the display. So, I would assume the problem lies with the projector and not the Panasonic recorder. hth
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post #27 of 50 Old 04-11-2009, 05:00 PM
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Well, let me put it this way.... The Oppo player I'm replacing with the Panny upconverted to the PJ just fine over HDMI. I tried 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i with the Oppo and concluded that 720p gave me the best picture. So, naturally, I was expecting to go 720p out of the Panny. But it doesn't seem to let me pick the resolution. It just does what it does.

Another place where the Panny gave me trouble was the 2:1 HDMI switcher I'm using. The Dish Network HD-DVR and the Oppo both work through the switcher just fine. The Panny does not work at all when I try to go through the switcher. I can only to get it to work if I bypass the switcher and plug it directly into the projector.
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post #28 of 50 Old 04-11-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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Why upconvert a 480i signal to 720P which then has to be downconverted to 480p by your projector?

For that matter, why replace an Oppo with a DVD recorder?

Not trying to be smart ass, but I just don't get it.
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post #29 of 50 Old 04-12-2009, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvernon View Post

Why upconvert a 480i signal to 720P which then has to be downconverted to 480p by your projector?

Like I said, I experimented with 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i and preferred the look of 720p. My best guess is that 480i and 480p are technically 4:3 formats, so I'm not really getting the full horizontal resolution from my wide-screen projector because it's interpolating pixels in the horizontal direction.

Quote:


For that matter, why replace an Oppo with a DVD recorder?

Well, I bought the Panny for its recording ability, and because of the glowing review it got on CNET. I figured since it can record AND play DVDs, then I could replace my Oppo DVD-player in the component rack rather than add yet another component. Furthermore, the Oppo is quirky, and I was expecting the Panny to be a more polished product. But the Panny is proving to have plenty of its own quirks.
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post #30 of 50 Old 08-21-2009, 02:36 PM
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Old thread warning
When I tried to post to this thread I was warned it was a rather old thread and I had to check a box stating I wanted to post to it anyway New feature at AVS?
Anyway for anybody interested in this model, I was at my local Target and I noticed (2) new EA-18's with a red clearance sticker. Normally $179(retail) for $125 Not sure if this is at all Targets but I'd think any that stocked the EA-18. Not a bad deal, to bad I've already got 11 DVDRs(or was it 12) It's getting to be a chore to count them all

edit: looks like AVS is warning me this thread is more than 132 days old and is asking me again to verify.....well here's a cut and paste of what is says:

"This Thread is more than 132 days old. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.

If you still feel it is necessary to make a new reply, you can still do so though by checking the box to verify the intent to post to an old thread.
I am aware that this Thread is rather old but I still want to make a reply."
In front of the last line is a check box that didn't cut and paste, and I needed to check it in order to submit this post.
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