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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can the new DVD recorders with HDs such as the Panasonic E80/E100 act as a PVR to record, pause, ff/rew live TV shows?


Where can I find a review of its PVR features?


Also, how good are these as DVD players?


I've moved to a country without my beloved Tivo and would like to find a replacement.


Thanks,

Bryan
 

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Bryan,


If you don't need one asap, the new Pioneer DVD Reorder/HDD models will offer basic Tivo functionality with the option to upgrade to full Tivo capabilities. There's posts outlining the features, links and release dates for these.


I also understand that Toshiba has the HD-H400 that is a DVD player and HDD with Tivo capabilities.


Other than that, others can post their opinions on how these units function for Tivo like recording as I don't have one yet. :(


Troy
 

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The Panasonic is more like a VCR with a hard drive, but it does have a few Tivo-like capabilities. You can begin watching a program that you are already recording, fast forward through the commercials, pause the program, and catch up with the program before it ends. However, there is no program guide, only VCR Plus for programming (which is really not much easier than using the normal timer setting).


Not being a Tivo customer, the additional capabilities of the E80 over a VCR is more than enough to satisfy me for the few programs I end up timeshifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Scott,


Thanks for the info. I moved to Singapore which does not have Tivo so the TV guide will not do me any good.


What I need is to be able to pause, ff, rew shows.


With the Panny E80 or E100, can I watch TV through it (via a cable box connected to the video input of the Panny), and use the PVR functions at any time?


Thanks,

Bryan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Scott M
The Panasonic is more like a VCR with a hard drive, but it does have a few Tivo-like capabilities. You can begin watching a program that you are already recording, ....
You can also watch any previously recorded program, right?


i.e. I don't have to just watch what's currently recording?


I think the answer is yes, I'm just making sure..
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bryan_chow
Hi Scott,


Thanks for the info. I moved to Singapore which does not have Tivo so the TV guide will not do me any good.


What I need is to be able to pause, ff, rew shows.


With the Panny E80 or E100, can I watch TV through it (via a cable box connected to the video input of the Panny), and use the PVR functions at any time?


Thanks,

Bryan
Bryan,


Get the Panasonic DMR E51, E60 or E100H. They all come with TIVO-like features and then some without the EPG of course. The models I mentioned are available at all major retailers now. I got the E100H (comes with a 80GB HDD) a couple of days ago to replace the E51.


BTW don't use the video out with the SCV cable box. The sound is mono.


And if you are wondering, yes I'm residing in Singapore. :)


Xtrahot
finally has video on demand
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bryan_chow
Hi Scott,


Thanks for the info. I moved to Singapore which does not have Tivo so the TV guide will not do me any good.


What I need is to be able to pause, ff, rew shows.


With the Panny E80 or E100, can I watch TV through it (via a cable box connected to the video input of the Panny), and use the PVR functions at any time?


Thanks,

Bryan
Basically you can pause, ff, rew shows that you have recorded or am recording onto the hdd or DVD-RAM. Unfortunately the set-top box that we get from the only cable provider in Singapore is a "prehistoric" model that only outputs mono audio signals and composite video if you were to use the RCA jacks. Moreover, since all the cable signals are tuned to one specific channel on your E100 tuner, you practically can't change channels while you are recording that channel unless you subscribe for some messy multi-cabling switching solution provided by the cable operator.


As for me, since I mostly only record those free-to-air stuff, I connected a two-way splitter at the junction box and run one feed to the set-top box and the other feed to the E100. That way, I can independently record one channel while watching another one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Jeff and xtrahot,


Wow, nice to see some fellow members from Singapore!


Yes the SCV cable box is unbelievably lame. Composite and RF video out only! Argh.


If I use the RF out from the cable box, will the E100 be able to change channels? I hope it has an IR emitter that can control the SCV box.


Thanks,

Bryan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bryan_chow
Hi Jeff and xtrahot,


Wow, nice to see some fellow members from Singapore!


Yes the SCV cable box is unbelievably lame. Composite and RF video out only! Argh.


If I use the RF out from the cable box, will the E100 be able to change channels? I hope it has an IR emitter that can control the SCV box.


Thanks,

Bryan
Unfortunately the decoded signal from the set-top box is tuned to only 1 channel on your E100. Hence, to do timer recordings for different channels will require you to mess around with the timer functions on the set-top box to get it to change to the appropriate channel at the right timing. Starhub is planning to launch their digital TV services towards the end of the year with EPG functionality. Not too sure how it will work then but you can forget about getting HD feed though as they feel that there isn't a large enough market for such high-quality entertainment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I heard that Singapore will introduce 480P HDTV (or Enhanced Def TV if you want to be picky) next year. Is that true?

Quote:
Originally posted by jeffong
Unfortunately the decoded signal from the set-top box is tuned to only 1 channel on your E100.
Can the E100 control a cable box? ie. does it have an IR emitter?


I have set up my computer to control the SCV cable box using Girder so that I can schedule programs to record via my computer. I've also set scripts to grab schedules from Starhub, TCS and MediaWorks' websites. I might have to continue developing my own tools if the E100 can't change channels. Oh well.


Bryan
 

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I attended their recent roadshow about a month back and thoroughly interrogated one of their technical personnel on the topic of Digital TV and HD and basically their reply was that there is no market for HD feed in Singapore. Even the new digital TV feed will still be 4:3 and not 16:9. The few digital set-top boxes that they have on display does not even have componet output at all. Alas, this is the sad state of entertainment options available in Singapore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It really is sad. I was quite astounded to find that the only output options for cable TV are RF with stereo, or composite with mono (I guess you can use RF for audio and composite for video if it helps...). That is unbelievable for a country that is otherwise so advanced technology-wise (broadband is widespread).


It's also surprising because HD-capable TVs are all over the place. How can people stand watching bad RF video on their HDTVs and plasma TVs?


Oh well.
 

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Well the lack of any real competition in the market is one of the key factor. With only one cable provider in the market, why should they bother to upgrade their systems to offer the best since it will cost them more in initial capital expediture.


Moreover, most Singaporeans are ignorant to the advantages of widescreen viewing which has resulted in very few models of 16:9 TV's landing on our shores at astronomical prices. Even the Panasonic 42" Plasma which can be obtained from Plasma Exteme for $2899 is being sold locally for over US$5K and this is the earlier 5 series we are talking about.
 
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