Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: West Central Gulf coast of Florida
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I have received my Panasonic DMR-EZ475VK (virtually identical to the DMR-EZ47VK). It was easy to set up. 40-minutes to unpack, disconnect my old VCR and connect up the DMR-EZ475VK. Another hour was then spent tailoring the menu preferences and scanning in the local analog and digital signals. Over the last 18-hours, I have run a number of unscientific and very subjective tests.
My overall impression is that the unit has strong ATSC (digital) and NTSC (analog) tuners. I pulled in all of the channels that my 18-month old Panasonic 52-in HD LCD pulls in plus a few that it couldn't.
The DVD section does an excellent good job of up-scaling both pre-recorded movies and locally made DVD recordings of OTA programs IF THEY WERE RECORDED FROM AN ATSC signal.
DVD recordings of NTSC signals (I used NTSC OTA, NTSC from C-band/4dtv via line input, NTSC from DISH Network via line input, and NTSC from MPEG2-DVB satellite), were the same as a good VHS recording and usually not quite as good as the original signal. The unit does NOT seem to line double and up-convert an NTSC signal, at least there is no apparent improvement in the picture from what I normally get with each of the above program sources. I had hoped that the line doubling would improve my non-digital signals to near HD quality.
The VHS recordings can only be made from NTSC signals. I had hoped that it would down-convert ATSC signals to 480i record the signal and up-convert and line double that recording to near 1080I or 720p quality. VHS OTA recordings that I had made on other VCRs played well, in fact were improved a bit.
I anticipate that I will be doing most of my time shift recording on the DVB section and use the VHS as a playback device for the countless hours of VHS tape that I have accumulated over the last 28-years.
Conclusion: It is an excellent way to ease into the DT- HD time-shifting world, while waiting for HD/Blue Ray, RECORDABLE DVDs and D-VHS VCRs with ATSC tuners to be introduced and reach reasonable price points. If you have a good working VCR and the space for another blinking black box you might want to consider the ATSC DVD only recorder (without the VCR). But in my case my VCR was on its last legs and I couldn't squeeze another receiver under the HDTV.