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Panasonic DMR-E85H  

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I just purchased a Panasonic DMR-E85H. The price was $529. The service contract was $75. I could have ordered online for much cheaper but I figured if I wanted to take it back within 15-30 days or it was incompatible with the TV GUIDE features that I would return.

So far the unit looks good. There was a working demo in Circuit City that I could play around with. I went to walmart and bought a 30-Pack spidle of DVD-R's for ~$21 which is very cheap considering how prices have come down.

So far I am impressed with the playback ability however there are some very annoying things which I can probably live with but I will mention them as there may be workarounds.

1) There is an Infared Glink device which you have to put in front of your cable box. I am using Charter with a General Instruments box. Even through their Charter cable changing channels is soooooo sluggish. When you change channel it has to change channels on the DVD recorder then change the channel on the cable box.....vvvvveerrrry slow if you are channel surfing. Is there a way to improve this?

2) What I find annoying is how when I switch into the TV Guide mode it changes to the 04 or the first channel in the lineup. So if I wanted to see what was on the next channel I have to go all the way through the TV Guide back to that channel which takes forever going from one channel to another since it insists on switching to that channel despite the fact I am simply seeing what's on it. There are apparently no options to change with regards to this. It is faster if you are navigating ahead on one channel which is good because sometimes it's necessary to go ahead to the evening time slots to program a show.

3) I attempted to burn a DVD-R from a CSPAN show and the EP 6HR did have better sound quality but does occasionally have some pixelation. The LR speed seemed to have excellent quality on another channel. I had to finalize the DVD but after doing so I was able to watch on my computer with very good results. I would like to take all of my 6HR tapes and convert them over to DVD. However buying an additional unit that has a one touch feature might be a better option for this due to the time involved. With the editing features one can split a clip into separate parts.

4) Overall it seems like I will push a button and think nothing is going on and in fact I was not patient enough. In some cases I have to move up close to the unit to see what is being displayed as the on screen options are not shown such as recording speed. These are rather minor issues.

I really wanted a unit that did not incorporate CRPM or whatever it was that the broadcasters can use to block you from recording. I really do not think this will be a large problem until the High Definition recorders come out next year. If anyone know of a unit which does not follow any copy protection (tv recording not necessarily DVD copying/dubbing) whatsoever please let me know. I still did not find one mentioned on this website and so Panasonic was really my only option right now. That is the only thing that scares me about this unit.
post #2 of 22
Quote:
2) What I find annoying is how when I switch into the TV Guide mode it changes to the 04 or the first channel in the lineup. So if I wanted to see what was on the next channel I have to go all the way through the TV Guide back to that channel which takes forever going from one channel to another since it insists on switching to that channel despite the fact I am simply seeing what's on it. There are apparently no options to change with regards to this. It is faster if you are navigating ahead on one channel which is good because sometimes it's necessary to go ahead to the evening time slots to program a show.
I don't use a cable box, so I don't know how the guide works with one, but when I press the TVG button, the listings display the channel that it was on when I press the guide button first, then all other channels afterwards.

Quote:
4) Overall it seems like I will push a button and think nothing is going on and in fact I was not patient enough. In some cases I have to move up close to the unit to see what is being displayed as the on screen options are not shown such as recording speed. These are rather minor issue
You'll have to press the Status button to call up the box that shows you what's going on, and check what rec speed you last used before doing a one touch recording...
post #3 of 22
Quote:
2) What I find annoying is how when I switch into the TV Guide mode it changes to the 04 or the first channel in the lineup. So if I wanted to see what was on the next channel I have to go all the way through the TV Guide back to that channel which takes forever going from one channel to another since it insists on switching to that channel despite the fact I am simply seeing what's on it.
One way around this is to start a recording on the channel you wish to stay on, that will lock the guide so it won't change channels while you surf the guide. That is the only way around it that I know of.
post #4 of 22
read this first about the E85

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=452453


New Member

Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 7
Panny E-85 not Erasing

Found a situation where I was failing to burn off DVD-R and was failing. Decided to go back through the show and find why it was failing. The program was recorded in High Speed Mode.

Found going back through the show that there was about 1 sec where the program appeared to glitch and what was recorded previously (had been wiped) appeared in the show for a brief second. That second was causing the burn to fail.

The drive had been formatted after that show (the glitch segment) had been recorded. Its like the drive has not been formatted correctly and was causing odd little sectors to re-appear during newly recorded shows.

Anyone had this before. I am starting to suspect that this is a problem with the drive. Certainly I have on the machine 2 shows like this. I can record them off to DVD-RAM ok. Its just DVD-R that is causing the problem. I have tried different media (its not that) it appears to be a sector on the drive itself and any subsequent formats are not helping the matter.

Has anyone seen this before?

Please let me know. I am considering replacing the drive but the system is still under warranty as well. But at this stage I cant do without having the unit for a few days and I am sure panny are going to take their time replacing the drive.

Warren
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Marissadad
One way around this is to start a recording on the channel you wish to stay on, that will lock the guide so it won't change channels while you surf the guide. That is the only way around it that I know of.
I just found this out tonight and I was going to give a follow up post about it. I was very excited to discover this. However, the show I was recording tonight while doing this was recording but did not show up inside of the menu after it finished. Has anyone had this happen? I would hate to think that I could record something only to loose it!

It was the show about overweight people. Maybe they blocked me from recording it since it was the premier episode? I cannot explain this.
post #6 of 22
I've never had a recording disappear like that, but I did have 2 shows that failed to dub like spiderman2k1 did and I was able to record those to a RAM disc.
post #7 of 22
The only way to fix these types of glitches is to go to the glitch point, shorten the segment and then recopy to DVD-R.

The hard part is finding the glitch point, the easy part is shortening the segment.

When done, delete the show and rerecord a scratch show onto it, find the glitch again and then keep this few seconds and LOCK the segment. That is permanently bad until the HDD is reformated.
post #8 of 22
2) What I find annoying is how when I switch into the TV Guide mode it changes to the 04 or the first channel in the lineup. So if I wanted to see what was on the next channel I have to go all the way through the TV Guide back to that channel which takes forever going from one channel to another since it insists on switching to that channel despite the fact I am simply seeing what's on it. There are apparently no options to change with regards to this. It is faster if you are navigating ahead on one channel which is good because sometimes it's necessary to go ahead to the evening time slots to program a show.


If you notice that the preview box has a lock icon in it you need to lock that icon and once that is done it will stay on the program you had it on before you entered the guide. I'm sorry I dont remember how to relock the window I just lost all my programming due to a power failure overnight and I am trying to wait the time it takes for the darn box to download the guides and for me to then for me to choose the one for my system.

I can't play with my e85 until it does the download!! thank god I have my e80 to still play with!
:D
post #9 of 22
Quote:
If you notice that the preview box has a lock icon in it you need to lock that icon and once that is done it will stay on the program you had it on before you entered the guide. I'm sorry I dont remember how to relock the window
I just browsed the manual and can't find any info on the lock. As I stated earlier, the only way I know how to lock it is to start a recording. You can always delete the recording after browsing the listings. This is a real shortcoming in this unit and should be addressed.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have been setting shows while recording other shows. A locking feature would be very nice. Probably an oversite on their part.

I have a problem that I encountered tonight.....

In the TVGUIDE part everything was great. I was able to tape shows by simply selecting the program and record. HOWEVER, today everything is OFF by ONE HOUR. This is reflected throughout the rest of the TVGUIDE listings. Which means if I had set the tape to recorder a show for instance the News @ 7AM it shows up at coming up at 6AM. The cable box reflects the correct times.......
post #11 of 22
I had that time issue last night, my unit was behind by 53 minutes. I missed recording The Real Cancun, dammit. I corrected it in time for Bikini Destinations, and today it was back to normal.
post #12 of 22
I tried turning off the TV Guide feature as per the instructions on page 43 (reset pushing channel up and down simultaneously) but it won't go away... Tried changing the settings for auto channel and auto clock but it won't acknowledge the remote. Reset the recorder and unplugged it for an hour - still no luck. Any thoughts?

Marc
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Update:

Manually set some shows for today that I knew were coming on by going to tvguide.com since my regular show listings were not working. I came back tonight and tried to turn on the unit. It would show the current channel but not respond to any of my commands. I switched to DVD and tried to go back to HDD but no response in fact seemed to be locked up. I had to unplug the unit to get it to do anything at all. In the process I lost my channel guide listings and obviously no shows had taped today. I have reset the cable information and will redownload everything tonight. Hopefully this will fix my time problems.

Also one thing....do NOT tape sports events using EP (6HR) mode. The reason for this is that in using compressed video it looks really bad for things with a lot of motion/activity and therefore I would recommend using LP minimum and at least SP (or XP) for highest quailty especially if you do not plan on saving permanently.

The AUDIO quality in the EP 6HR mode is awesome and in fact makes up for a lot of the video quality loss. This is definitely worth the trade of from using the 8 HR EP mode.

One bad thing that happened was I was archiving a tape on the HDD to burn to DVD. This took two steps instead of one which is fine because I was able to edit the titles and create a menu. I recordering in SP mode and it retained all of the quality of the original tapes both of which I was able to fit in the 2 HR SP DVD. However when dubbing to CD I had to replay everything again because it had refused to burn using the HIGH SPEED MODE despite having enabled this before recording the show. I did not mind but this really screws you over if you have something coming on TV and you start the DUBBING process as it will not record the show at the same time.

One really good point about this player is that it will allow you to watch another show while recording another. That is a really great feature because with standard VCR's (with the exception of GO VIDEO) you have to wait until the tape deck is not being used.

My question is that if I record say a sporting event in XP mode to watch can I render it to DVD in a lower mode say SP/LP/EP later on so that I can fit it on a disk and does it HIGH SPEED RENDER or must it be replayed through the entire process?
post #14 of 22
You cannot high speed dub at recorded at XP mode, down to any other mode. You can only HSpeed dub to disc in the same mode. It will play in real time while it doing this.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Westly-C
You cannot high speed dub at recorded at XP mode, down to any other mode. You can only HSpeed dub to disc in the same mode. It will play in real time while it doing this.
That was not the case.....
Let me clarify....I had two separate questions/issues...

1) When recording a show in SP mode I was unable to burn to DVD in SP mode without disabling the HIGH SPEED DUB (after seeing a warning that this wasn't possible). I then had to play through the entire show. HIGH SPEED DUBBING was enabled before the show was recorded.

2) My question was with regards to if i recordered a show in SP/XP mode (something high enough quality for replay). Could I then archive to a disk in a lower mode (LP/EP), especially so that I could fit it on one instead of cutting it up. If this is possible would it have to play through the dubbing process?
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by clemzonguy
My question is that if I record say a sporting event in XP mode to watch can I render it to DVD in a lower mode say SP/LP/EP later on so that I can fit it on a disk and does it HIGH SPEED RENDER or must it be replayed through the entire process?
Yes you can dub it in realtime to a lower mode (FR/SP/LP/EP) which will re-encode it. When it does this, it cannot high speed dub (because HS dubbing is simply copying the video "file" across unchanged).

If you dub it to SP then the maximum running time must be 2 hours, or LP (4 hours), or EP (6/8 hours). FR (=Flexible Recording mode) is usually the best choice since it will use the optimum bit rate to fill the disc (ie. best quality if you're dubbing in realtime).

Having said all this, High Speed dubbing (if possible) is generally the best option overall since it involves only one encode process. If you want to do this then you must pick a suitable mode to record it to HDD so that it will fit on to a DVD. (Remember, HS dubbing copies the video file unchanged). If you only have a small amount (or no) editing to do, then the best thing might be to record to HDD in FR, then edit, then HS dub to DVD.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Marissadad
I just browsed the manual and can't find any info on the lock. As I stated earlier, the only way I know how to lock it is to start a recording. You can always delete the recording after browsing the listings. This is a real shortcoming in this unit and should be addressed.

Here is how to lock in the channel on the guide: Highlight the channel to be locked on the guide. Then press the left arrow on your remote. Lastly, press the blue button (dubbing) to lock
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by tbill1
Her is how to lock in the channel on the guide: Highlight the channel to be locked on the guide. Then press the left arrow on your remote. Lastly, press the blue button (dubbing) to lock
AWESOME! That will save me a lot of pain.
I actually had seen this one other time but overlooked it.

I think what happened with the HIGH SPEED DUBBING was that I disabled it after intially being warned originally although this doesn't explain the initial warning when dupping from SP to SP. It is such a pain to have to play everything through again and wait 6HRS. I probably will leave it on while I am asleep as there are a few shows which will allow me and others which will not that I would like to put on the same disk.

Hopefully this will not degrade the quality even more?
post #19 of 22
Thanks for the Lock channel tip!
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Marissadad
I just browsed the manual and can't find any info on the lock. As I stated earlier, the only way I know how to lock it is to start a recording. You can always delete the recording after browsing the listings. This is a real shortcoming in this unit and should be addressed.
Marissadad,

Yes you can lock the window. When you are scanning the list and while you are on the top touch the remote to go to the left and you will get a option to lock the window, follow the instructions and you are set!

PS. you are still lucky your unit works mine took a dump (u99 service error) and it is now sitting on a shelve at the Chicago service depot waiting to get repaired and I know when I get it back all 25 of the shows will be erased!!!

Boo hoo....I should have bought a extended warranty this unit needs it!!!

:mad:
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
My unit is working fabulous thus far. I taped the presidential election results on tv and was able to divide sections up from 6 HR blocks and you can edit out commercials very easily......however the MAJOR problem of this unit is that it screws up about 5-10% of the time when programming shows. Sometimes it will say "recording" when the show isn't recording. This usually happens with taping back to back programs. Once it's screwed up you have to go manually in and press "STOP" in the TVGUIDE part. It does not appear anywhere else on the screen. I did buy the extended 3 yr warranty simply b/c I am sure there will be some problems with it down the road. In the meantime it gets 4 out of 5 stars.
post #22 of 22
I love the divide title feature. Voom had a Howling marathon Halloween weekend and I just recorded the entire block instead of setting individual timers. I like to go in and divide off the movie trailers and insert them before movies I burn.

I need to reformat my HD, I've now had 2 shows that have caused me to create coasters, it's getting to the point where I am not going to trust it much longer.
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