E-80 buyers- We are All Beta testers... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
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There has never been a stand alone DVDR with an 80 gig HD in it, much less 100 or 120 that hooks up to your cable box, satellite or TV. In that regard we are freaking as beta as you can get. The new Sonys , Pioneers etc are even worse Beta types- because they have absolutely no track record. And don't talk about the HS2 with was problematic and what I would call a super beta tester.(no offense, Sony Super Betamax, circa 1985-89) I promise you it will be 12-18 months before we know if this unit is reliable. It will be much longer for the Sony and Pioneer, et al. There are so many things( especially with daily burning) that can go wrong with these units- no matter the brand.

The Lab called: Your Brain is ready.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 03:28 AM
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I have a Panasonic E20 for over 18 months and a Pioneer 77H for
6 months. Both are quite reliable.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by HoustonGuy
There has never been a stand alone DVDR with an 80 gig HD in it, much less 100 or 120 that hooks up to your cable box, satellite or TV.... And don't talk about the HS2 with was problematic and what I would call a super beta tester... There are so many things( especially with daily burning) that can go wrong with these units- no matter the brand.
I have to disagree with this. Panasonic has always had a fairly solid reputation for durable equipment and so far I haven't been disappointed. I have 3 DMR-E20 units which have been in daily operation since January 2002. In addition, I have a DMR-E30, HS2, and E80. All have been solid performers that have yet to need any service. In checking the service codes, all units (except the E-80) have passed the 1000 hour mark.

In theory, these units are nothing more than a function-specific computer, with the weakest point being the burner which has the potential for mechanical or laser failure. HDD-equipped units will be no more or less reliable than any off-the-shelf hard drive you would put in a PC and we already have over 20 years of hard performance history to draw upon.

We know that the software and firmware is integrated to achieve specific performance levels and that it works. Unlike Philips owners, Panasonic has never subjected owners to firmware updates that attempt to solve failures/bugs that never should have left the testing labs. Panasonic is in their fifth generation of manufacturing, and have yet to produce a model that has critical design flaws or known patterns of premature failure. From this standpoint, I don't feel like a beta tester-more like a satisfied user who believes that Panasonic "got it right" in the early days of the technology. While we're at it, Pioneer recorder owners seem to report nothing but positive results as well.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 07:11 AM
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I consider the black level problem that existed in all Panasonic recorders up through the HS2 to be a serious flaw, especially if your discs are going to be played on other machines. Fortunately, it has been corrected beginning with the E50.

A disc recorded on my HS2 does not look good when played on my E80 if the E80 is set at the default output of Lighter. When I change it to Darker, it looks fine, but that control is embedded a few layers deep in the menus.

John
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 07:44 AM
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I have reliability questions mostly due to being a newbie myself and the higher cost vs DVD players/VCRs. In the 'early' days of PC/CD burning on my external CD burner I got coasters, if other programs came on or some kind of interference or burn speed problems.

And yes, I have 2 coasters from my Pannys so far, a Fuji and a Memorex, and I accidentally erased (coastered) a DVD-R when I thought I was erasing the hard drive. But so far the Panny's seem pretty robust and mostly reliable. It was great to read JeffWld's post on his extended experience. He's not a beta, I'd say he's an expert on day to day use of these machines, thanks for the good info!

I love the E80, but I do still wonder when I hit record or dub if it's gonna have a glitch, mostly considering burning to DVD. If I only get a few coasters or errors I will be plenty happy with what these machines can do.
I never had to use VHS, I skipped from SuperBeta to Hi-8mm. DVDR is a great next step, and the hard drive recording is the best format I've ever used. I can see why Tivo lovers like it so much.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gigaguy

I love the E80, but I do still wonder when I hit record or dub if it's gonna have a glitch, mostly considering burning to DVD. If I only get a few coasters or errors I will be plenty happy with what these machines can do.
Yes, the unfortunate reality facing users now is what will happen to the quality control of blank media as name-brand manufacturers are offloading production to Taiwan in an effort offer more competitive pricing.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 09:44 AM
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So Jeffwld, you are saying it's the media and not the machine that is the main cause for issues with burning. That makes sense, I was thinking about the machine and the process more.

I've mainly used Fuji, I bought some BeAll but not used yet, and now I'm focusing on buying TDKs. The Memorex discs I had, came with my E30. I'm a little worried that brand name is not enough for quality, you need to know who really produced them? I'm gonna stick with buying TDK and Fuji and BeAll if they work okay. That's what I've read are most reliable and compatible with DVD players.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-28-2003, 10:30 AM
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I don't consider myself a beta-tester.
My HS2 worked fine and my E80 is working fine. I have no complaints.
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