Panasonic DMR-EH55 : First Impressions - AVS Forum
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Picked up a Panasonic DMR-EH55 last night to replace the Pioneer DVR-550k that's hard drive failed.
It is more expensive than the Pioneer but has a bigger hard drive.
I have the Panasonic hooked up to my Panasonic TH42PX75 Plasma via HDMI running 1080i upconverted and toslink to my AVR. So now I get digital sound, something I could not get with the coaxial out on the Pioneer, even with coaxial to toslink convertors.
The GUI and menus are much nices and have a higher quality look. The TV guide looks like a neat feature, but with Bell Expressvu (Canadian) Satellite I doubt this will be used.
Setup was nice, with easy to walk thru menus.
The remote is okay in its setup, but the I am used to the Pioneer's.
I have only had it for one night, so a brief comparision so far...

Pros
. Nicer menu system
. Easier setup
. Plays Divx movies in PAL format (30fps)
. 200GB hard drive
. TV guide

Cons
. only does 1080i max
. more expensive
. larger
. does not have usb ports (Pioneer has them, but I found them very slow)
. no media jukebox
. no skip backward (none found yet)
. image quality is not as nice as Pioneer at 1080 out of the box.
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Old 08-01-2007, 02:27 PM
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no skip backward (none found yet)

All of my older Panasonics have a skip backward function so I would expect this one to have it to. They only skip to chapter points so if you haven't entered chapter points yet, maybe that is the reason?

Dave
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:27 PM
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I own two of the DMR-EH55 and wish to buy another for a friend. Cannot find one. Amazon has a DMR-EH55S but price is $2500 (shocking) and I paid less than $400 for mine. Called Panasonic and tried to get an explanation. One guy cited inflation (extortion might better describe the situation). I got cut off and had to call again. Another man told me the S version is the same as the other although I think it might have slightly more disk space. Where is the best place to acquire one of these machines at a reasonable cost and if not available what would be another choice.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:17 PM
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The "S" just means it has a silver case. The other option is "K" and that stands for a black case. Anytime something is in short supply and the demand is high, you will have ridiculous prices like this. Since all major companies quit making hard drive models over a year ago, there probably isn't any place to buy a new hard drive model for normal list price? You just came too late to the party. Keep looking. You might find a used model for sale by someone that don't know what it is worth today.

Dave
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hehlers View Post

I own two of the DMR-EH55 and wish to buy another for a friend. Cannot find one. Amazon has a DMR-EH55S but price is $2500 (shocking) and I paid less than $400 for mine. Called Panasonic and tried to get an explanation. One guy cited inflation (extortion might better describe the situation). I got cut off and had to call again. Another man told me the S version is the same as the other although I think it might have slightly more disk space. Where is the best place to acquire one of these machines at a reasonable cost and if not available what would be another choice.

Welcome aboard!......

Finding someone at Panasonic who either: A) Has a functioning brain - or -
B) Is willing to reveal company secrets......is like finding a needle in a haystack
(or perhaps an entire farm!).

The matter of availability of hard drive based recorders from major manufacturers such as Panasonic or Pioneer (hands down the two best in the business) has been covered 1000+ times, but that was months ago when it was a fresh topic. Briefly, the manufacturers were forced (by the FCC) to upgrade all recorders so that they incorporate ATSC (digital) tuners by March, 2007. They were slow in making the transition (whether intentionally or unintentionally).
There are numerous theories as to why they chose to drop hard drive based units for 2007 (and possibly in the future). The two primary possibilities is the limited market that they claim these type of units have in the US and the lack of profit they can generate. The other is supposed pressure from the motion picture and TV industries, in an effort to limit just how convenient it should be for the home video enthusiast. All of these theories and opinions are merely conjecture and have no basis in fact. We do know that, as a general rule, the US consumer never has the choices that the Asian markets have and what are supposed to be "new" models are actually 3-4 years old relative to other markets who receive preferential treatment (I digress).
Normally "discontinued" models lose their value. The year 2007 will probably go down in history as being the complete opposite (insofar as these HDD units go).
Units such as the Panasonic DMR-EH55S and the Pioneer DVR-640-H-S (hands down the two hottest units with hard drives for 2006-07) have gone way, way, way up in value at this point.
BTW, the DMR-EH55 (without the "S") is a non-US model with a 160 GB hard drive.
Funny how the majority of subscribers to this forum were adamant about not spending $700.00 or $800.00 for these units several months ago. By today's standards, that was a bargain!
The crazy price tag on Amazon.com is no joke! You will not find one of these units anywhere else......and the seller on Amazon knows this!......hence the wild price!
Don't waste your time trying to find one elsewhere. It's not worth the time and aggravation!
BTW, the seller on Amazon.com has been raising their price continuously. Obviously, they've been selling. Now there appears to be only one left but you might need to win the lottery first!

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaveC E100 View Post

The "S" just means it has a silver case. The other option is "K" and that stands for a black case. Anytime something is in short supply and the demand is high, you will have ridiculous prices like this. Since all major companies quit making hard drive models over a year ago, there probably isn't any place to buy a new hard drive model for normal list price? You just came too late to the party. Keep looking. You might find a used model for sale by someone that don't know what it is worth today.

Dave

With all due respect, Dave......
In this case, the "S" actually indicates that it's a US model (with a 200 GB hard drive) The non "S" model was also silver but was not intended for the US market and had a 160 GB hard drive.
There was no "K" version for this model, although there have been in the past and the new 2007 (poor excuse for) Panasonics are supposedly available in both silver and black. A stupid move on their part, since the vast majority of stores will carry only one color (in this case, black).
Speaking of stupid moves......They release a 200 GB version of the -EH55 in the US but yet the DMR-EH75VS has a tiny 80 GB drive! Think of how much more success they would have had if it had a larger hard drive!
Then they make the - EH55 disappear well before the March deadline when they could've sold hundreds more!
......who's piloting the plane at Panasonic!

I think it's time these companies stopped relying on their own nerds and started surveying the actual users of these units. Maybe then we might finally have our "dream machines"!...... (I digress)
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:42 AM
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A store in my town just got 2 EH55's in. They always get the silver models for whatever reason. I was going to pick them up and sell them on ebay but the last few I seen on there. They were not going for as much as they were earlier.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:10 AM
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FYI, there is an outlet store on the internet listing the DMR-EH55S for sale for less than $500. I know nothing about this store, and I am not recommending it.

So, to see it click here.

Maybe someone else has experience with this site.

Caveat emptor!!

RG
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

FYI, there is an outlet store on the internet listing the DMR-EH55S for sale for less than $500. I know nothing about this store, and I am not recommending it.

So, to see it click here.

Maybe someone else has experience with this site.

Caveat emptor!!

I also saw this site the other day. Placed an order for one EH55 and am keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 08-03-2007, 03:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Breyean View Post

I also saw this site the other day. Placed an order for one EH55 and am keeping my fingers crossed.

Sent them an e-mail and also left a voice message (prior to you placing your order).

Got not one but two replies stating that they had no inventory.
You should immediately contact them and follow up on this......
so they don't conveniently allocate you funds elsewhere!

Unfortunately, according to my information, you will not receive it!

Panasonic made these dissapear many months ago!

It seems as if the only source for a new one is Amazon.com, at
a ridiculous price!

E-bay has dried up and the risk factor there is major!
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Old 08-03-2007, 03:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ripper64 View Post

A store in my town just got 2 EH55's in. They always get the silver models for whatever reason. I was going to pick them up and sell them on ebay but the last few I seen on there. They were not going for as much as they were earlier.

A) This model was made only in silver.

B) Is it safe to assume that you're in Canada?
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Sent them an e-mail and also left a voice message (prior to you placing your order).

Got not one but two replies stating that they had no inventory.
You should immediately contact them and follow up on this......
so they don't conveniently allocate you funds elsewhere!

Unfortunately, according to my information, you will not receive it!

Panasonic made these dissapear many months ago!

It seems as if the only source for a new one is Amazon.com, at
a ridiculous price!

E-bay has dried up and the risk factor there is major!

Thanks. Didn't really expect much, but it was worth a shot.

They DO occasionally pop up on J&R. I actually missed them the last two times they had them - one time my cc got messed up; then like 3 weeks ago I was out of town, and when I got home I saw they had them on the site but were already OOS. They get returns and/refurbs but I've had goo success with J&R and they have a 30 day return policy so the risk is minimal.
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Old 08-03-2007, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Then they make the - EH55 disappear well before the March deadline when they could've sold hundreds more!
......who's piloting the plane at Panasonic!

I think it's time these companies stopped relying on their own nerds and started surveying the actual users of these units. Maybe then we might finally have our "dream machines"!...... (I digress)

I'm really not trying to flame or attack you when I say it does not sound like you work in a manufacturing business. I do. It doesn't matter if you can sell hundreds or thousands, if the volume you sell is not enough to offset the fixed costs of manufacture and there is no evidence of an increasing market -- you stop, and you stop fast -- sell off remaining inventory and move on. Moreover, even if the business is making a profit, most companies have an internal hurdle rate for businesses -- if the profitability of the business is not meeting of exceeding the internal hurdle rate and it doesn't look good for the future -- you stop and deploy those financial resources elsewhere.

I understand the frustration when you see a product you like and want then watch it disappear from the market -- I share it. It's only human nature to try and identify some evil force to vent upon. But when all is said and done, it just looks like the market is drying up for these things in the US.

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Old 08-03-2007, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Then they make the - EH55 disappear well before the March deadline when they could've sold hundreds more!

Panasonic made these dissapear many months ago!

You sound as if you believe that Panasonic deliberately ceased production to spite us. I think it is far more likely that they had an established production run of these units and when they finished it, they went on to the next thing. Panasonic was fully expecting to have the next year's model, the what, EH56, or EI55 or whatever they were going to call it, in release not long after the EH55s ran out. What surprised them and us, is that a decision by the accounting people put an end to that by terminating the entire product line. They really didn't "make it go away," they simply discontinued it. They didn't kill it, they just allowed it to die. And, they weren't alone.

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Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:27 AM
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You guys have this all wrong!

It's the "Coke Strategy"...change the formula, create a big storm of disappointment and publicity, then bring back the original "formula"... wait 'till next year...by then, we won't blink at the "reformulated" price!

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*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Funny how the majority of subscribers to this forum were adamant about not spending $700.00 or $800.00 for these units several months ago. By today's standards, that was a bargain!

I would have a really hard time spending that kind of money for one of these units given the anticipated lifetime. The last Sony VCR I bought was 8 yrs ago for $120. I used it weekly until I bought an E-85 and have continued to use it reliably since then for weekly conflict recording -- it has worked without problem for 8yrs. In contrast, I bought my E-85 for around $300, as they were being discontinued for the next model, and it died in 2.5 yrs (I was able to replace the HDD myself but that is besides the point). I'm willing to pay a premium for advanced features, but if I'm going to pay it I also expect the thing to last at least 5 years.

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Old 08-03-2007, 11:53 AM
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For those that can remember back that far (vferrari comes to mind), did the first DVDR's that Panasonic released have a HDD in them? I still maintain that the clock reset to zero with the advent of digital tuners and the current Panasonic models should be considered gen-1 all over again.

- kelson h

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Old 08-03-2007, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

For those that can remember back that far (vferrari comes to mind), did the first DVDR's that Panasonic released have a HDD in them? I still maintain that the clock reset to zero with the advent of digital tuners and the current Panasonic models should be considered gen-1 all over again.

I checked the user manuals on the Panasonic site, and it appears that the earliest DVD recorder was the DMR-E10 produced in 2000, with no HDD. In 2000 Panasonic did produce a HDD PVR for use with the ReplayTv.

The first HDD DVD recorder appears to be the DMR-HS2 with a 40 GB HDD, produced in 2002.

I hear what you are saying about digital tuners and a HDD, but how do you account for the Panasonic HDD DVD recorders with digital tuners that have been available in the UK for over a year?

RG
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

I hear what you are saying about digital tuners and a HDD, but how do you account for the Panasonic HDD DVD recorders with digital tuners that have been available in the UK for over a year?

I don't. . .

But given that they have introduced 4 gen-1 digital tuner models in 1 shot tells me they are in the market to play for real. Give them a year or so and I'm sure something with HDD will be released -- either internal or external.

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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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Old 08-27-2007, 03:54 PM
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I got a new Pio 640H and a Panny EH55. I will sell to the highest bidder :-) Oops I sold the Panny now.
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