New HDD DVD Recorders, what is available? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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My Toshiba RD-XS35 dvd recorder has finally crapped out. I am trying to decide/find what to buy next, but seems more difficult that it was when I bought my Toshiba. What is available here in the US, most of the reviews that I find seem to have been written during the mid-2000s.

My main reason for having one is copying old home movie VHS-tapes.

Here is what is important to me:
-Hard drive
-Editing Ease

Doesn't need to have a tuner.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breckcard View Post

My Toshiba RD-XS35 dvd recorder has finally crapped out. I am trying to decide/find what to buy next, but seems more difficult that it was when I bought my Toshiba. What is available here in the US, most of the reviews that I find seem to have been written during the mid-2000s.

My main reason for having one is copying old home movie VHS-tapes.

Here is what is important to me:
-Hard drive
-Editing Ease

Doesn't need to have a tuner.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

The first post in Wajo's sticky thread is the gateway to a wealth of information concerning recent and current Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post12244086

The question is not whether to purchase a Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder, but how many?

At last count I had around a dozen Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders (and the similar Philips HDD/DVD recorders).

I also have one Panasonic HDD/DVD/VHS recorder and two Panasonic HDD/DVD recorders of the EH series (from 2005 and 2006).
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post #3 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply. I had been looking at the Magnavox 513 at Wal-Mart, before finding this site. Just a little unsure of buying anything electronic from Wal-Mart.
My first dvd-recorder was a Panasonic, and then I had the Toshiba. Didn't have a problem with either one, until they finally went bad.
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post #4 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by breckcard View Post

Thanks for the quick reply. I had been looking at the Magnavox 513 at Wal-Mart, before finding this site. Just a little unsure of buying anything electronic from Wal-Mart.
My first dvd-recorder was a Panasonic, and then I had the Toshiba. Didn't have a problem with either one, until they finally went bad.

Two of my Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders were purchased at walmart.com, one was purchased at an online seller in Markham Ontario and the rest were purchased at jr.com in NYC.

I also have several standard Magnavox DVD recorders (from 2006-2008) and around thirty standard Panasonic DVD recorders of the ES, EA and EZ series (from 2005-2009). I also have two Funai-manufactured standard Toshiba DVD recorders (from 2006 and 2008).
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post #5 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by breckcard View Post

What is available here in the US, most of the reviews that I find seem to have been written during the mid-2000s. !

Yeah, most of them were discontinued around that time. You can thank the cable DVR for that.

While the Magnavox is great, an alternative that is still available is the few International series Panasonics. Since you don't need the tuner, they can work for you, too, and might have some additional editing features.

But the Maggy is a little more readily available, and the big advantage to buying from WalMart is if something happens, a return is a WalMart store away. But they're reliable enough. And they're not like the bargain basement junk WalMart's stores usually stock.

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post #6 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 06:23 PM
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Your choice is between the Magnavox 515, and nothing. Non-subscription video recorders are all but vanished from the US/Canada market, and DVD/HDD recorders are stone cold dead. The Magnavox itself is slated for extinction in the next few months: buy one now from WalMart or Target brand new with warranty at reasonable cost, or pay double for a used one on eBay next spring.

But coming from a Toshiba XS, be forewarned you will absolutely be underwhelmed by the Magnavox feature set: compared to an XS35 it has no features to speak of. Authoring options are prehistoric: you get just one generic DVD menu design (and can't even select the thumbnail pics until actually burning the disc). There is no menu access to chapters on finalized DVDs. You cannot join segments or recombine/reorder longer segments after splitting them. The copy list function is a rudimentary one-shot system (no memory, no undo, you edit the actual recordings). DVDs do not include a letterbox flag for 4:3 display, all recordings are either 16:9 anamorphic or 4:3 letterbox depending on your initial setup of the Magnavox.

At XP or SP speeds the recording quality is comparable, but no FR in-between speeds are offered and the Magnavox has none of the input filtering options of the XS35. The Mag 515 makes excellent dubs from VHS, I'm very happy with what I get out of it, but the Toshiba XS has a "cult" following in love with the way it filters noise from VHS input. If you are one of the "cult" you will be nonplussed by the Magnavox. The 515 is more transparent- the digitized VHS will look no better or worse than the tape: if you prefer the "sweetened" look of the vintage Toshiba XS or JVC recorders, understand you can't get that "look" from any other recorders ever sold.

If you can accept the Magnavox 515 for what it is, and not expect a full replacement for your XS35, you'll be happier. The 515 is a DVD/HDD recorder with only the most important basic features of an XS35. In exchange for sacrificing some esoteric features, you get ten times the burner durability of the typical Toshiba XS at less than half the retail price. As a bonus, the Magnavox HDD is easily user-replaceable and its 16:9 DTV tuner will certainly come in handy at some point.

The only alternative to the Magnavox 515 in North America is the grey-market import Panasonic EH59 and EH69 models. These run approx $400 from online dealers like B&H. The Panasonics do not have tuners usable in North America, but they do have FR recording speeds and a far more sophisticated editing system than the Magnavox (segments can be joined, multiple copy list memory, text phrase save feature, preselect custom thumbnails on HDD recordings that later carry over to the burned DVD). However you still don't get the DVD chapter submenu, custom menu background image option, or letterbox flag option you had in the Toshiba. And note the Panasonics are notorious for balky burners: they are much more durable than the Toshiba XS drives, but require periodic disassembly for cleaning when they malfunction. If you are at the limit of your patience with Toshiba XS burner quirks, the Panasonic will also grate on your nerves unless you really feel you need its more extensive editing options. If you can live with simple cuts-only editing, the Magnavox is the least headache-inducing machine you can buy for line-input or off-air recording.
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post #7 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 07:56 PM
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Try the Magnavox, if you aren't satisfied with it try a international Panasonic, available at places like this.
I own a XS-35 as well as a Panasonic EH-59. I haven't used the XS for more than a year, basically since I got the EH-59.
As Citibear said the Panasonic has no chapter thumbnails(AFAIK only the Toshibas had those) and the Toshiba used a MN system different than Panasonics FR but both do a similar thing. The one thing that made me shelf my XS was you could only fit 2hrs 20 minutes of full resolution recordings on a single layer DVD. The Panasonic can fit 4hrs 14 min on a single layer and over 7 1/2hrs on a dual layer disc. Both DVDRs produce excellent resolution recordings, in fact until I had bought the XS the Panasonics were as good as I had seen, I still believe this for longer length recordings but for things under 2:20 they are quite equal with a very slight nod going towards the XS.
BTW one of these days Citibear will remember this, but you can set the WS bit on the EH-59/69 models, just not the older models
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post #8 of 34 Old 01-02-2012, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breckcard View Post

My main reason for having one is copying old home movie VHS-tapes.

Here is what is important to me:
-Hard drive
-Editing Ease

Doesn't need to have a tuner.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

You have only one choice: the Panasonic import EH69 (or the slightly less featured EH59). The Magnavox has essentailly no edit capability except for deletion (of titles or segments).

Trying to find used on eBay now isn't very promising, with EH55 recently going for around $600, used, though a year or so ago I found an eh55 just across the river for just over $400. I picked it up at the pawn shop, so no shipping costs.

I have the EH55 which has most of the features of the later imports, and do ALL my editting on the dvdr (I have 4 eh55, + eh85 and 2 e100h, also a Magnavox 515, a nice machine but editting is as primitive as Panasonic is great).

Use the Panasonic PLAYLIST feature, which allows pulling in titles or chapters from anywhere on the hdd. The playlist makes no changes to the source titles on the hdd, so you can use segments (Panasonic calls them "chapters") multiple times, and if "oops", you can correct or start over. The playlist stores only the chapter pointers, so takes up very little space on the hdd. Just don't delete the source till you've done your copying; deleting a source title also deletes the Playlist references to that source.

Reread Citibears excellent comments, since he has a Toshiba perspective I don't have.

Maybe should mention that editting on the dvd recorder (dvdr) does not give the smooth frame-accurate editting you get with tape editting. You get a half-second freeze at each edit deletion, or for seamless playback, there usually is a drop of perhaps a half second of the video. May not be a deal breaker, but be aware.
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post #9 of 34 Old 01-03-2012, 01:13 PM
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The Magnavox recorders do allow splitting of titles and deleting of portions of a title without splitting them. Not quite right to say they have essentially no editing features.
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post #10 of 34 Old 01-03-2012, 06:57 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, as I've never owned a Panasonic HDD recorder, but I believe no Panasonic HDD recorder could ever edit while recording, correct??? No matter what flagship model or whatever the price. The Panasonics just couldn't perform this fundamental multitasking function. If so, this is a HUGE difference between a Toshiba RD-XS and any of the Panasonic offerings.
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post #11 of 34 Old 01-03-2012, 08:18 PM
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^^^correct, also no editing while HS burning to DVD. The only thing you can do while recording is playing another title.
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post #12 of 34 Old 01-03-2012, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clevor View Post

The Panasonics just couldn't perform this fundamental multitasking function. If so, this is a HUGE difference between a Toshiba RD-XS and any of the Panasonic offerings.

The ability to edit a previous recording while making a new one is not a "fundamental" recorder feature for most owners. If you are recording so much that you actually do need to edit previous stuff while in the process of recording new stuff (because you don't have enough spare time), you're more obsessive than the typical recorder user. I perform this multitask trick sometimes, but then I admit to being OCD with my video hobby. My Pioneer DVD/HDD units allow edit-while-recording, so I use the feature, but my world would not end if the feature wasn't there. If anything, I might improve my time management skills if I didn't have the crutch of edit-while-recording. My Magnavox 2160 and 513 don't have half the features of my Pioneer 550 and 460, but I cope. They offer some welcome advantages of their own (like burners that don't aggravate the life out of you).

Toshiba XS owners tend to live in a bubble, refusing to accept the reality of a mass market that flatly rejected their beloved feature-rich recorders. When their machines inevitably self-destruct, XS owners are stunned to discover nothing remotely comparable was or is available at any price. They pull their hair and rend their clothes in grief. Then they usually embark on a futile quest to repair their XS, or buy a second-hand replacement. They're convinced that only an ignorant fool would ever consider using anything but a Toshiba XS, the grand high exalted mystic magical super machine. (Despite the fact they typically shoot flames out their vent holes, randomly make DVDs that won't work in normal playback hardware, and have burners that embarrassed the entire consumer electronics industry- such is love).

Yes, the XS was unmatched in many features. If you like those features, and were blessed with the incredibly rare luck to buy an XS that didn't blow itself to pieces within the first year, wonderful. But Toshiba fans need to understand when their beloved XS tanks, the party is over: no other recorder had comparable features, and buying someone elses' used XS is a bad, BAD idea. Give it up and move on: DVD/HDD was a consumer flop in North America, and the XS in particular was a fiasco that drove Toshiba to drop out of the DVD/HDD business altogether. The Magnavoxes (and Panasonic imports) are all thats left of a dying breed, and they can't do all the crazy stuff your XS could do. If you're that hooked on the XS feature set, don't even bother with them. Use the death of your XS as motivation to migrate to a PC-based solution. Magnavox is dropping out this coming spring, and Panasonic will not be replacing the EH59/69, so the rest of us will surely follow you to the PC (kicking and screaming) by 2014.
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post #13 of 34 Old 01-04-2012, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Magnavox is dropping out this coming spring,

Is this confirmed or speculation. Did I miss something definitive from "234".

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post #14 of 34 Old 01-04-2012, 02:22 PM
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Is this confirmed or speculation. Did I miss something definitive from "234".

I believe the latest word on the subject from 234 was that Funai had plans to produce the 513 and 515 through at least the first quarter 2012. I don't remember seeing anything about them continuing or stopping production after that.
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post #15 of 34 Old 01-04-2012, 02:42 PM
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I believe the latest word on the subject from 234 was that Funai had plans to produce the 513 and 515 through at least the first quarter 2012. I don't remember seeing anything about them continuing or stopping production after that.

Thanks. That looks pretty straight forward.

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post #16 of 34 Old 01-05-2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breckcard View Post

My Toshiba RD-XS35 dvd recorder has finally crapped out. I am trying to decide/find what to buy next, but seems more difficult that it was when I bought my Toshiba. What is available here in the US, most of the reviews that I find seem to have been written during the mid-2000s.

My main reason for having one is copying old home movie VHS-tapes.

Here is what is important to me:
-Hard drive
-Editing Ease

Doesn't need to have a tuner.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

I have a Panasonic E80H in perfect condition that I no longer use. PM me if interested.

"The truth is out there!"
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post #17 of 34 Old 01-08-2012, 08:24 AM
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The used market is alive and well up here in Canada. I was able to buy a great shape (barely used) Pioneer DVR-640H-s from a friend who no longer wanted it for $70. I got a call from a friend who bought a nice condition Pioneer DVR-650H-s in town as well for $100. Those units are way better than the Magnavox units (other than the no ATSC tuner on the 640). Your results may be better or worse but time to get looking. I'd opt out for some recorder or system that records to High Def these days but there are few options for the US/Canada market. Nothing inexpensive that is...
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post #18 of 34 Old 01-16-2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The ability...

Toshiba XS owners tend to live in a bubble, refusing to accept the reality of a mass market that flatly rejected their beloved feature-rich recorders. When their machines inevitably self-destruct, XS owners are stunned to discover nothing remotely comparable was or is available at any price. They pull their hair and rend their clothes in grief. Then they usually embark on a futile quest to repair their XS, or buy a second-hand replacement. They're convinced that only an ignorant fool would ever consider using anything but a Toshiba XS, the grand high exalted mystic magical super machine. ...
But Toshiba fans need to understand when their beloved XS tanks, the party is over: no other recorder had comparable features, and buying someone elses' used XS is a bad, BAD idea. Give it up and move on: DVD/HDD was a consumer flop in North America, and the XS in partic... replacing the EH59/69, so the rest of us will surely follow you to the PC (kicking and screaming) by 2014.

Great post. Though my XS-35 and 55 are both still fully functional, I have already moved on, for the most part driven by the new streaming options and other things. I cut the cord on cable (thank god) and now get all my content via the net and OTA. So now I reserve my beloved Toshiba's for "special" duty as I nurse and pamper them to extend their lives as long as possible. (My Sony HX-900 I don't worry about - it will probably work longer than I will .)

The Toshiba's are a treat, if you can accept their quirkiness and spend the time to figure out the baffling interface. After that, it's tons of fun. They are truly unique. But as you point out, their day has come and gone. But what a fine day it was.
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post #19 of 34 Old 01-16-2012, 01:32 PM
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Great post. Though my XS-35 and 55 are both still fully functional, I have already moved on, for the most part driven by the new streaming options and other things. I cut the cord on cable (thank god) and now get all my content via the net and OTA.

I don't get all of my content from those two sources, although I do get a lot of it that way now. Heck, when a Roku only costs 50 bucks now, I don't understand why a lot of the "cord-cutters" in this area of the forum don't consider supplementing their viewing with something like that. There are tons of channels available with it, both official and private (into the hundreds - and they're constantly adding new ones). And probably the majority of them are free.

If you just want to hook your computer up to your TV, check out something like connect.kylo.tv/.

I still keep a cheap, basic satellite package, but for how long, I don't know.

On the subject of our old HDD/DVD recorders, I have found that they can still be useful with streamers, if you know what I mean.
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post #20 of 34 Old 01-16-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I don't get all of my content from those two sources, although I do get a lot of it that way. I still keep a cheap, basic satellite package, but for how long, I don't know.

I have found that our old HDD/DVD recorders can still be useful with streamers, if you know what I mean.

Yes, I kept basic cable for a long time, but after a recent move decided not to hassle with getting it installed. If I were a die hard sports fan, I would still keep it, but watching less these days, so, saved a few bucks. I don't get everything I'd like this way, but I get enough -- more than I have time for.

Yes, indeed I do! Our old HDD/DVD units are still quite useful.

Regards, my friend, as I have profited much from your posts over the years!
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post #21 of 34 Old 01-23-2012, 07:00 PM
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For the record you can "edit" (sort of) while recording on a Panasonic, at least on my EH55. All you have to do while recording is hit the "pause" button and recording will pause until you release pause. Getting a clean "edit" this way requires a quick finger is tricky to say the least, but I have done it many times with pretty good results. This may not be what the poster had in mind, but I just wanted to make a point that some editing is possible.

I still have an excellent used E80H for sale is anyone is interested. Just send a PM.

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post #22 of 34 Old 01-24-2012, 06:02 AM
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Well i am looking for a HDD/DVD recorder too. Would someone be able to tell me, with a HDD/DVD recorder like this
http://www.panasonic.com.au/Products...XW385/Overview
am i able to copy files onto the hard drive through USB such as Video and Audio TS folders from a DVD and then burn them to disc and am i able to transfer files that such as a recorded TV show onto the hardrive and then transfer them out to a PC via the USB port? I am just not sure, these are pretty new to me. Thanks
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post #23 of 34 Old 01-24-2012, 08:35 AM
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Sigh...drools...
http://www.panasonic.com.au/Products...XW385/Overview

320 GB Hard drive
heavy sigh....even more drool...

Twin HD tuners

heavier sigh...extreme droolage...

DLNA Server capability.

Damn, I live in the wrong country...

Dazed and confused over high tech.

Sigh...Concrap. The Internet Overlord Cometh
They're not com-tastic!
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post #24 of 34 Old 01-24-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclone82 View Post

Well i am looking for a HDD/DVD recorder too. Would someone be able to tell me, with a HDD/DVD recorder like this
http://www.panasonic.com.au/Products...XW385/Overview
am i able to copy files onto the hard drive through USB such as Video and Audio TS folders from a DVD and then burn them to disc and am i able to transfer files that such as a recorded TV show onto the hardrive and then transfer them out to a PC via the USB port? I am just not sure, these are pretty new to me. Thanks

Sorry, No.
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post #25 of 34 Old 01-24-2012, 11:51 PM
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Ok so the only way to get recorded stuff out of the HDD is via disc and i would not be able to put DVD files on the disc via USB. I though i did read that you can transfer MPEG 2 files through USB to HDD though. I am not sure if MPEG 2 are DVD files (audio & video TS folders) though? I am just concerned about buying one of these and excessivly using the DVD recorder. How long do recorders last? Do the lasers pack up after a certain time?

There does not seem like many other good choices in Australia, although i am still looking around. I have not sussed out the LG's yet. Sony may do a HDD/recorder but i have had this long time thing against Sony, which is a little silly i guess but i never buy Sony products. It all started because of the many people i knew that had Sony X-plode car stereo head units that packed up when my Pioneer from 2001 out peformed others and has been good, although i did get a small repair done on it last year.
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post #26 of 34 Old 01-25-2012, 02:04 AM
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You needn't worry too much about wearing out the disc drive: Panasonic recorder burners are very durable if cleaned occasionally (as discussed in several threads here on AVS). But the DMR-XW385 is not without faults: like many of Panasonics latest recorders, it has been simplified and some features compromised compared to earlier models. One very big issue is the limitation on FTA recording which can only be done in DV mode on the HDD (cannot choose other speeds or FR). Any disc copies must be downconverted in real time: no HS copy function. It does not accept incoming files over DLNA, can only be used as a source.The USB and SD card slots are intended primarily to transfer JPEGs and MP3s, although some DiVX files will also play and/or transfer.

There's almost always a ton of fine-print restrictions on what exactly you can and can't do with files moved from USB, SD and DNLA (such as no burning them to standard DVDs (only to DVD-RAM), or having the files "quarantined" to a separate jukebox section of the HDD). I don't know what the MPEG2 file transfer allows: you should download the instruction manual to get the full details on file transfer functionality before buying:

http://www.panasonic.com.au/Products...W385/Downloads

If you can still find one, the older Sonys from two years ago (RDR-HX series) were actually re-branded Pioneer recorders and really excellent. Current Sonys are sourced from Samsung and are absolutely dreadful.

The Philips models you asked about in the other thread were discontinued in Europe/Australia a couple years ago. You might find a leftover or closeout at some dealers. They were nice lower-cost units.
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post #27 of 34 Old 01-25-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

You needn't worry too much about wearing out the disc drive: Panasonic recorder burners are very durable if cleaned occasionally (as discussed in several threads here on AVS)...

That DVD Drive cleaning procedure is described and illustrated here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14479898

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post #28 of 34 Old 01-25-2012, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclone82 View Post

There does not seem like many other good choices in Australia, although i am still looking around.

Maybe is not exactly what you are looking for, but have you thought about importing from HK a Pixel Magic unit? In any case, you have a lot of more options than us:

>>>Link
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post #29 of 34 Old 07-18-2012, 06:39 PM
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You have a Panasonic dvdr with 80gb for sale? I am interested. How much are you asking and how much use has it seen? Thanks,
john
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post #30 of 34 Old 07-18-2012, 08:52 PM
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I have 3 Panasonic E80H DVD recorders available. All have a fair amount of use, but they were not used daily. They were taken out of service when I replaced them with EH55s. I would sell them for $200 each, plus $25 for shipping and insurance. Guaranteed in working order.

John
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