Panasonic DMR-E55 Review

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★★★☆☆
2.9 / 5
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  • Image Quality

  • Sound Quality

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Value For Money

rdcoupland's review of Panasonic DMR-E55

★★★★★

“Personally, I cannot believe how long I waited before...”

Written on: 14/12/2004 by rdcoupland (2 reviews written)

Good Points
Ease of use - on screen displays very useful
Picture in Picture facility for review
Chasing Playback

Bad Points
Self - Check function - slow to 'start-up'

General Comments
Personally, I cannot believe how long I waited before taking the plunge on 'home' dvd recording!

I've long been a fan of Panasonic products, owning (fortunately perhaps) a Panasonic 32" WS TV and Digi-Box, both entirely complementary to the DMR-E55. I also have the very fine RV62 DVD player which has an excellent playback performance, and the superb '780 S-VHS VCR.

If you have not witnessed the difference progressive scan makes to movies, then you are in for a treat. I've yet to see a plasma tv that has impressed me, that's about 5 years away from being a serious alternative to CRT, therefore have no concern regarding component video output.

If there's a picture quality improvment, beleive me it's slight.

Connecting and setting up could not be easier with tuning download also available, (with Sony and many other brands of TV ), the work of moments. I was initially attracted to a DVD-RAM and Hard Drive model, but frankly I can't see the need for such vast storage of programmes, you might never actually get round to watching!

Hard drives belong in computers, let's leave them there!

If there's one caveat, then perhaps it's the cost of the DVD-RAM discs, however naturally Panasonic recommend their own discs for ensured compatability. I believe that's good advice given that you might never use more than a pack of 3, 10 at the very most!!

In conclusion, a fabulous machine worthy of any plaudit that comes its' way, buy one and I'll guarantee after a couple of weeks you will wonder how you managed without it! Sky+ I guess is a serious alternative however that bland white box lacks the cache of the Panasonic, it's the additional subscription that should be abolished!

Should you require any help on using this machine, I would be only too pleased to hear from you. So leave a comment below.

  • Value For Money

  • Image Quality

  • Sound Quality

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Between 1 - 4 Weeks

    Time DVD Recorder Owned

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Gmorton's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 19/12/2004

rdcoupland, totally agree with your comments regarding the DMR-E55. Have had mine for four weeks now and I am basically recording everything. The instructions seemed a tad intimidating to begin with but hands-on useage of the machine has proved simple. I have 15 DVD-RAM discs and have realised that I will probably never fill them. I am using the excellent Panasonic DVD-S35 DVD player with is DVD-RAM compatible but I cannot seem to play recorded RAM discs. Do you need to finalize them? Also can you copy from RAM to -R discs via DVD player to recorder?
<br>
<br>I was also considering buying Sky+ as it's only £99 at present. However, the advantage of having a physical copy of films, TV programs etc in your hand outweighed it for me.

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425268_B8Wjb's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 15/12/2008

I cannot seem to finalise dvd to play on another dvd player. Anybody has step by step approach. Maybe im just stupid.

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Marrea's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 23/09/2008

Richard.<br/><br/>Many thanks for this. Since posting, my DMR-E55 stopped halfway through recording an hour long programme and went into Self-Check mode. I had to unplug from the mains to stop it. I am pretty convinced the machine has a fault and I have therefore now bought a replacement recorder - a Panasonic DMR-EZ28B. I am hoping for better things from this latest model.

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 21/09/2008

Marrea - this is not something I have come across, so regrettably I cannot comment for you only suggest you either call a specialist or perhaps search the web for a solution, perhaps other contributors here may be able to help you now you have brought this to our attention. I regret the delay in replying I have been on vacation.
<br/>Richard

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Marrea's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 10/09/2008

My DMR-E55EB has suddenly started refusing to finalize DVD-Rs, which is rather annoying. Could this be connected to the same component fault which causes the self-check problem?
<br/>
<br/>I am using Sony DVD-Rs which I have always used in the DMR and which up to now have always finalized perfectly OK so I don't think they can be faulty. I have also tried a different make, PC Line (which I bought in PC World some time ago), and they won't finalize either. So I am beginning to suspect there may be something wrong with the machine.

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 01/08/2008

Lady sunrise - unfortunately this is nowadays a known fault of the DM55 and will require replacement of an integrated circuit in the power supply, by a professional. Mine did this some time ago now and since the repair has worked flawlessly.There are various web forums that discuss this and even mention the part number your will require from Panasonic. I believe the part to be somewhere in the region of &pound;15-20, labour varies of course.
<br/>As to removing the disc, there's a procedure described in the manual that refers to a 'shipping condition reset' that will allow you to remove this disc. Failing that a repair engineer could do that while replacing the faulty circuit part. Type the model number and 'faults' into your web browser, I am fairly certain they are still there to be found.

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Ladysunrise111's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 27/07/2008

Hi my dvd recorder is stuck in self check mode and cant get my disk out is their any way of fixing this?
<br/>Have a great day

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Doug C's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 14/12/2007

MARK; As long as you read the manual and finalized all your burned discs, you can see your vids on other machines! Granted they are compatible to the disc medium used!!<br/>I finalize all my burns and then send them to a friend. The only complaint since using my e55 vs vhs tape. Was my first couple sent were without padding they bounced all over inside the case = multi-scratches = non-readable! doug c

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 13/12/2007

Steve - if these recordings are on 'regular' dvd-r or +r then they should be ok on other machines if finalised. If they are on DVD-RAM then you will have to use another RAM compatable playback machine. As regards PC use, there are many drives these days that will play (and record) on DVD-RAM, the Pioneer 111 or latest drive will do this. Cyberlinks Power DVD should also allow you to view the discs - you may have to add the format to the programmes 'default' list of types of media first. Windows Media Player (to the best of my current knowledge) will not play-back RAM discs.
<br/>rdcoupland

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Markrw's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 10/12/2007

Hi I have a broken DMR 55 and was wondering if it is possible to playback my recorded footage on another dvd payer or via pc? I have tried and looked everywhere. Any help would be great. Thanks.

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Stevedes's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 12/04/2006

One last comment. The solution, courtesy of another forum, appears to be to connect Sky TV scart to AV1 on TV, and Sky VCR scart to AV2 on DVD, leaving the AV2 on TV to connect to the terrestrial digibox. Simple (just like me)!!! Everything seems to work as it should, including the Sky EPG switching on the DVD recorder. Thanks for your help.

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Gmorton's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 12/04/2006

I too have used a scart switching box with some success. Indeed for example I can attach another DVD player to the TV via the switching box and watch a DVD movie whilst the 55 is recording a program from sky/analogue TV/freeview.

I have now had the 55 for 17 months with absolutely no operating problems whatsoever and despite the temptation of a hard drive DVD recorder I cannot see me changing it for some time to come (touch wood).

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Stevedes's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 12/04/2006

Thanks, rdcoupland. I thought of that but if you then switch from DVD to freeview, doesn't that disconnect the DVD from the TV, so that you can't then record Sky?

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 11/04/2006

to stevedes
There is an alternative - that is to use a three-way scart switching box, where the output of the dvd goes to one socket, freeview to the other and then the connection to the TV. I used that set-up prevously and it worked ok, just a bit of a chore rembering to switch to the output of the device you want to view. It's simple to set up and might be the answer for you, unless you insist on sticking to the 'manufacturers reccomendations' which are of course meant to enable the devices to produce (or reproduce) the best images!

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Stevedes's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 11/04/2006

Thanks for your comments. Manufacturers recommend Sky tv scart to AV1 on TV, Sky VCR scart to DVD, DVD to AV2 on TV, and it all works perfectly but uses up both scart connections on the TV. It was the addition of a terrestrial digibox requiring a scart connection to the TV that created the problem. There is an AV3 on the TV but this is to the Audio/Video sockets on the front of the TV, but I don't want wires to the front of the TV. I have come to the conclusion that what I want to do, ie. watch freeview terrestrial whilst recording Sky using their EPG, is just not possible. So I am going back to the manufacturers recommendations and if I want to watch a different program to that being recorded, I will watch terrestrial analogue until they switch that off . Thanks again.

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 07/04/2006

to stevedes - this thread is alive and well and thank you for your comments. I have to ask, if you have Sky connected to AV2 and Freeview connected to AV1, how is the picture going to reach your TV set? AVI is to be used as the 'main' connection to the TV, this scart must be used to retain the full switching functionality of the device.
<br>Previously I can only assume everything was ok as that was how you had things connected. The problem you are experiencing is because 'Sky' is viewed by bypassing the 55 and regrettably this is unavoidable. There is an alternative I can suggest and that is as follows:-
<br>Assuming the TV has 2 scart sockets, you need to ensure SKY is connected to AV2 on the 55 and that the second scart on SKY is connected to your AV2 on the TV.
<br>To view Freeview, and record SKY the Freeview box must be connected to AV1 on the TV and manually choose AV1 to view. Alternatively, if you wish to record for Freeview to the 55, you will need scart to phono leads and use AV4 input on the rear of the 55. It's not as complicated as it might seem, additionally however you need to ensure that the SKY box outputs RGB signals from its scart socket and the 55 is set up to match for the best quality recordings. That choice rules out the use of the 'external link' feature, however as the SKY box does not actually have a timer that switches on and off, merely switching to the channel you want to view/record, this should not be a problem. Just as a matter of interest, depending on your Freeview picture quality, you might find the recordings of 'normal' (non subscription channels) to be better than SKY, it's certainly true of my own installation of both services.
<br>I hope this helps, feel free to comment again!

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Stevedes's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 06/04/2006

Hi there. I don't know if this thread is still alive but here goes. I have a TX-28PM11 Panasonic TV , a DMR-E55 and a Sky digibox. They all worked fine together until I installed a freeview Aerial and box so that I can watch digital channels whilst recording Sky channels. I have the Sky box and E55 connected to AV2 and the freeview box connected to AV1. Now, whenever I switch on the E55 I loose the Sky picture. This happens even when I only switch on the "Ext link". I am unable to record any programs, just blank screens. I've obviously done something stupid but don't know what. Any ideas.

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Adrian111111's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 15/11/2005

Thanks for taking the time to reply, it is very strange, when finalising the chapter display flashes up where I would be expecting it to create the chapters but it only ever displays 1. I may have to do like you say and stop and start the recording. Just means I will have to watch the wedding video about 6 times, Blimey!

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 15/11/2005

to adrian - thanks for the comment. I have to say I have not come across this problem before and my finalised DVD-R's do have chapters in them. There are two ways around this situation. One would be to record the wedding video in sections, the action of stopping the donating signal would create a chapter, you should then see a message saying something like 'writing to disc.' The other would whilst a little more expensive, would be record the whole footage to DVD-RAM and then edit on the machine itself, by using the create chapter facility. Once you were happy with the finished disc you can the finalise the DVD-RAM to enable playback on most DVD players. If you have a DVD re-writer on your pc and suitable software (like Clone DVD Clone CD for that matter) then if the device is DVD-RAM compatable ( most modern Pioneers are ) then you can duplicate to DVD-R.
<br>This aspect is where the machines with the hard-drive recorders really excel as the virtually unlimited editing abilities allow you to create your 'masterpiece' then write it to cheaper DVD-R formats. Note however that only DVD-RAM discs will produce true 16:9 playback on other machines, DVD-R's are recorded in 4:3, but of course TV sets can adjust this playback appearance.
<br>Hope this helps you!

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Adrian111111's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 14/11/2005

I have a one of these recorders and love it as it works really well, most of the time. I do however have a problem with it and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same thing?
<br>
<br>I am recording a wedding video for some friends onto DVD-R and I cannot get it to create chapters at all. It makes one chapter for the whole thing and that is it. Anyone else seen this? Or am I doing something wrong (most likely!)? Looking at the manual it states they are supposed to be created at regular intervals when finalising but this doesn't seem to happen. Odd.

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Briesmith's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 22/09/2005

rdcoupland. Thanks enormously for all the info here. Tempted to go for the DVD-RAM/-R capabilities of the Panasonic but should I buy the EBS or the plain version? They are the same price.
<br>On connectivity issues I have a Pioneer iDTV telly - which gives "Freeview" capability - together with Sky. The TV has 3 scart sockets ETV1 - ETV3 but the Sky connection is realised as a screw-on co-ax cable as the receiver is in the loft. I'm not clear how I could connect the TV's output and that of the Sky box to the DVD recorder so that I could record from both satellite and off-air digital sources. Any thoughts?

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 13/09/2005

Tony - don't apologise, we all start somewhere! The Panasonic 55 is a DVD-RAM and DVD-R capable recorder. DVD-RAM is, if you like a far superior 're-writable DVD format' which allows a number of editing possiblilities providing the discs are not finalised. The machine will work very well with your SONY HDTV but it's not a HD-Recorder. It does provide composite output, which is how HDTV should be fed video playback for the best qulaity picture.
<br>Frankly Tony you will be that impressed with the DVD recorders ability you wont yet need to worry about the industry deciding on which 'better' dvd format of the future to go with. That's a whole different debate!
<br>Given the equipment you have, might I suggest you consider the Panasonic DMR EH50 (reviewed elsewhere on this site by others). It offers the same DVD-RAM, DVD + and - format recording along with an 80 gig hard-drive.
<br>It's around £400 in the shops but shop around. It's a fantastic machine that's for sure.

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206324_Mrairstream's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 15/08/2005

SORRY IF I SOUND DUMB BUT THIS IS ALL NEW TO ME. I HAVE A SONY HD TV. DOES THIS RECORDER RECORD ON STANDARD DVD DISCS OR JUST THE HARD DRIVE? DOES IT RECORD AND PLAY BACK IN HD?
<br> THANKS
<br> TONY

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Richardbees's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 10/08/2005

Done, and it still doesn't work. I've checked my TV on the philips website, which doesn't say it has got 'easy start', so presumably that's the problem. As you, I can't think when I'd want to use it, but needed to thoroughly check the recorder before leaving my Ebay feedback!
<br>
Thank you very much for your help!

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Richardbees's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 08/08/2005

thanks rd, I'll post when I've done what you suggest
<br>
<br>rich

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 04/08/2005

to richardbees
<br>It should work, but you might need to check a couple of things. Did you 'tune' the '55 by connecting the unit to the tv with the scart and letting the automatic setup/etc work? If not, first suggestion is to return the unit to 'shipping condition' pages 38/9 in the manual tell you how. Check that you have the scart connected to AV1, AV2 is for a Sky or similar device and can 'upset' this feature. It did on mine but then I would rarely use the Direct TV function, myself. Check also that you have not chosen 'External Link 1' (none should be set) which can confuse matters. If none of this helps comment again, richard.
<br>Regards, Richard

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Richardbees's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 04/08/2005

Just bought a DMR E55 from eBay. It seems to do what it says on the box but won't record using the 'direct TV rec' button. My TV is a recent Philips connected by scart lead - there's no mention of Q link or Easy Link etc in the instruction book but it used to record direct to my old video recorder. Is there a fault in the recorder or is it just one of those things?
<br>
<br>Thanks, Richard.

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 15/06/2005

To Joe - the 55 does not permit commercially produced (and copyrighted) VHS movies to be copied to DVD. Home movies i.e. camcorder footage, are not a problem. There's reference in the comments on this site to a 'smart-scart' lead which will may do the job for you, albeit in breach of copyright laws. That said, if you have Sky, chances are they will be shown somewhere, sometime!! Check out TCM for example - thus allowing you to update your old movies!!

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Mostrow12345's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 15/06/2005

To rdcoupland. Many thanks for your reply.

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Joe1979's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 14/06/2005

hi just bought one of these machines and i am wondering can you record old home movies on vhs format to dvd? and if so how? cheers
<br>
<br>joe

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 02/06/2005

to mostow12345 - yes you will be able to record from Sky and watch other channels! You will need to connect the Sky Box to AV2 on the '55 and select AV2 to record. From there, just switch your TV's AV inputs back to 'normal' TV to watch other channels. If you have not yest taken the plunge and bought a DVD recorder, if your funds will allow, might I suggest you consider the Panasonic DMREH 50 which is Dual Compatible DVD recorder with 80 gb Hard-Drive. I've just added this to my set-up and my first impressions are that it is another winner from Panasonic! It uses almost all the usual DVD formats but has the advantage of using DVD-RAM, offering ultimate flexibility, chasing play, post-recording editing, etc. I will be submitting a full review of this machine in the next few days and would seriously suggest you look at these 'next-generation' machines. The long play facility offers a recorded picture superior to Super VHS, the high quality XP setting will blow you away!

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 02/06/2005

To robert godfrey - regrettably this is a quirk of IDTV units. Good idea in principle but a little problem for video recorders, be they VHS or DVD. The '55 will only download the analogue channels in any situation. I would suggest you either a) re-start the tuning process from the menu, you may need to choose 'restore shipping condition first' or b) if this fails the I would suggest you put the aerial 'in' lead direct to the '55, then out direct to the TV and select re-tune. That should sort things for you. Recording the 'Digital Channels' then becomes the same as having a Sky box, the recorder sees it as a line input. Not being familiar with your model of SONY IDTV (note the model number in your comment if you wish and I will research it) I am not sure how it outputs the channels, but would imagine it is like any other TV, output available through the AV1 scart socket. To watch the other channels you may have to mess about with your AV settings. Try this, see if this cures things for you. Incidentally, the '55 hand-book indicates that Sony TV's are compatible in the auto-tuning stakes so it should work! I believe this is why we are seeing more DVD recorders with 'Freeview' to alleviate this problem. Like the old VHS they are virtually useless without twin tuners! All the best, Richard

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Mostrow12345's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 01/06/2005

Hiya,
have been considering sky+ but am a bit resistant to have extra channels (that I don't want) or the alternative which is to pay an extra subscription. Have been considering the idea of buying a dvd recorder as I like to keep copies of fav. progs, but wondered whether I can record something on sky and watch something else at the same time if I buy this recorder?

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Robert Godfrey's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 01/06/2005

Thanks for your offer to help out.
<br>I have a sony idtv and bought a panasonic dvd recorder.
<br>
<br>When trying to tune in the recorder to the tv channels I get a message to say this will not work. Do you have any suggestions about what I should do?

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 23/05/2005

to cantabile. Hi, a dilemna I faced myself. I have a Panasonic 830, Super VHS machine that was less than a year old and little used when I got the 55. So I know how you feel! I'm fortunate enough to have a digital distribution system in the house so hence had a spare UHF point to feed the VCR and free scart on Sky Digibox to allow it to be used as a second recorder, hence keeping it useful. It's a very good VCR, but the DVD recorder just blows it away, unfortunately!
<br>Before purchasing the 830 (which was a rarity in my part of the UK) I dabbled with a few combis, admittedly VCR and DVD playback units and frankly I have to say I am pleased I opted for seperates. Like hi-fi, this is the way to go. The short answer to your query is, no don't buy a combi as in time you will find next to no use for your VCR, believe me. Some of these combis, do of course allow you to dub from VHS to DVD, a nice idea for footage of your own, but many have copy protection circuitry preventing you from copying comercial VHS. Why bother with many of the worlds best movies coming in at budget prices these days! If I had the time over, I think I would seriosuly consider a DVD recorder with an inbuilt Hard Drive Recorder. These have matured somewhat, cured their noise problems and perhaps most noticeably, come down in price. Check out Panasonics '510 it's around £350 tops and is getting outstanding reviews. Having said that, the '55 we are speaking of here was voted best in class 2004 and is still regarded as one of the best DVD recorders produced, so shop around you'll probably get a bargain. As to wiring it up, well if you have 3 scarts on your Samsung TV, then you have no worries, if you have only 2 then it can be sorted quite simply with an external switching scart block, available almost everywhere. Hope this is helpful, and if I can be of any further assistance please check back to the review centre!

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Cantabile's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 21/05/2005

Hi, this is a very useful thread and I am tempted to jump. Have relatively new Sony VHS recorder, Sky digibox and Samsung telly. Is it better do you think to get DVD recorder/VCR combi or just DVD recorder and link up? I just quail at thought of all that cable and connecting, had enough trouble linking the 3 I have. Also I would like to view picture/photos on CD (JPEG) and listen to audio CD - will this machine do either/both? Many thanks...

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 10/05/2005

To cantona - thanks for the comment. Have you got the '55 connected to your Sky box using the TV scart, rather than the 'video' scart? This is neccessary to ensure the 55 records the RGB outputs from Sky. (Refer to the manual 'recording from a digital satellite receiver'). (Ensure the SKY box is outputting RGB from the picture menu) Then you need to check the playback settings in either 'Functions' from the remote, or by pressing the 'status' button on the remote and accessing the picture menus. Don't forget to select DNR (Digital noise reduction) ON while you are in that menu, it makes a lot of difference to long-play recording standards.
<br>If all of this makes no difference, then I suspect the TV is where you need the adjustment. Additionally, if your TV is 'progressive scan' compatable then setting the 55 to that makes a further quality improvement. If all this fails, let us know!

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Cantona43's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 09/05/2005

Hi I have an Hitachi 32" widescreen TV and have it set to 16.9 and when I record a film from sky usinng my DMR-55 the recording always ends up in letterbox mode can you help me please.
<br>Regards Neil.

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191370_Hkphooey's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 29/04/2005

Can the machine play JPEG files stored on a CDR?

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 25/04/2005

Doug C - transfer of analogue camcorder tape to the '55 Panansonic is first rate, with noticeable gain in picture quality. The recorder has digital noise reduction which works impressively well. Gone are 'shimmering' unstable backgounds (you know the kind-one-colour solid areas) and sharpness returns. As to hook up, could not be easier either scart at rear, but far easier with front inputs (tagged AV3). If you use RAM discs for this purpose, you can benefit from the fairly advanced (but very simple to operate) editing facilities. They use a 'story board' type approach that with a little practise is easy to use, with the ability to review your efforts before making 'permanent'
<br>Add to this the fact that you can choose 'long play', effectively doubling to 4 hours at a quality that is as good at least as the camcorder original. If you camcorder footage is special to you, choose the XP recording setting and whilst it limits you to 1 hour per disc, the quality will knock you out. Some would say the machines that feature RAM and Hard-Drive recording might be better suited for your aims. I would support that view, if you can afford the premium. That said, the price of the '55 really makes it an irresistable bargain, to say nothing of using it for its' main purpose, video recording!

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Doug C's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 16/04/2005

I'm still happy with VCR tech' but have been considering a DVD-recorder for transferring my (analog Sony-'328) camcorder material (primarily modelrailway+railfanning)to the DVD medium. when sharing material cheaper to ship I would think and storage, also VHS selection is starting to thin out albeit slowly on the rental racks ....
<br>
<br>They say in specs AV inputs but not much else in the manuals for actual process instructions !
<br>
<br>Anybody tried this option 'use' out yet ??
<br>
<br>So far locally, we've seen the E55 as low as $350cdn similiar $ to the Tosh'DR2 recorder.
<br>
<br>Thanks for any info,
<br>Doug C

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188173_Zharko's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 07/04/2005

Hello rdcoupland, I hope you're still reading this thread. I plan to buy this model of DVD recorder, but since you're very knowlegeable I wanted to query this problem with you:
<br>
<br>My 10 year old Sony 21" TV goes B&W at random when watching terrestrial TV, sometimes stays B&W, sometimes goes back to colour. When I video the signal the colour or lack of it transfers. However when I watch satellite TV it's always colour. Is this just a bad aeriel connection from up in my attic and will the new DVD recorder also just record whatever state the colour happens to be in on terrestrial TV? Thanks for any advice.
<br>
<br>Ben

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Armpit's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 22/03/2005

Katiel all you need to do is go into functions on your remote, select setup, select tuning, select manual, highlight the channel you want to move press the letter c at the bottom of your remote move it with your cursor press select and its done continue that until all your channels are where you want them.

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Gmorton's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 18/03/2005

What TV are you using Katiel? Let me know and I shall try to answer your query.
<br>
<br>When you mention X to Y do you mean a programme on a certain channel (ie BBC1) and the recorder records on another (ie ITV)?
<br>
<br>I have not bothered to tune in the RF channels as I record direct from my Sky digibox.

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Katiel's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 15/03/2005

Hi there - I hope you can help... I got a DMR-E55 for Christmas and love it! The only problem I have relates to recording manually. The DVD has designated positions and numbering for the channels that are different to those on my TV. So, if I ask the DVD to record from X to Y on the channel numbered 4 on my tv, I end up with something from a different channel. Is there anyway to synchronise the channel designations? Thanks!

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 03/03/2005

To puretoon - thanks for your comment, appreciated. Yes, frankly it is! RAM on the DVD side refers to the disc format used. The machine has two lasers, which is how you are able to actually watch a programme you are still recording, i.e. 'chasing play' Some might consider the discs expensive at roughly £3 each, however Panasonic claim the discs can be reused up to 10,000 times without a loss of quality. Just imagine they are high quality re-writable discs and you can't go wrong. Some feel the machine is limited being only able to use DVD-RAM and DVD-R (record once only)however given the longevity of the RAM discs, I see no problem and would imagine having a stock of say 10 discs should be sufficient! Use DVD-R for perhaps movies you want to keep or archive camcorder footage, etc. The machine is quite happy using budget priced DVD-R, such as Arita/Mirror, etc and gives excellent results. How good is it was your original question? Well put simply, on the 'terrestrial' side, provided you have good signal quality 'Standard' recording mode will give you absolutely identical reproduction. From Sky Digital you will be knocked out by the clarity of the recordings, move up to XP setting and you have almost 'broadcast' quality pictures.
<br>The machine is truly accomplished and using it and its' many facilities a real joy.

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Puretoon's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 28/02/2005

You definetly seem to like this machine! Is it really as good as you're saying? I'm tempted I must say. I'm into computers but not sure what the RAM is on the DVD recorder side? Plus it only takes one format-is that good?
<br>We've got a plasma and Sky+ and fancy a DVD recorder to keep the digital side going. To be honest there's nothing worse than to store, then copy a decent program onto VHS after watching it on Sky+.
<br>Can I ask what made you choose this model in particular?

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Gmorton's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 26/02/2005

rdcoupland - here is the info you need. Go to multi-region.co.uk and search for:
<br>
<br>SmartLead Gold SD Macrovision & CGMS filtering SCART lead @ £36.99
<br>
<br>It will take 3-5 days for delivery.

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Armpit's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 25/02/2005

rdcoupland Thanks for your advise I have sorted it now on the back of your sky box you have 2 scarts one for decoder and one for TV, only the TV scart outputs in rgb. I have changed my DVD settings to rgb on the DVD and the pics are spot on it even auto switches my wide and super live widescreen settings on sky and my dvd on recorded programmes. My TV has 3 scart sockets and component video but the component video is not progressive scan, I think that's why this DVD doesn't work with component on my TV.

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 23/02/2005

to GMorton - thanks again for your comments. Smart scart lead? Where from please? Yes XP quality is knockout, especially on camcorder footage. RAM discs compatability with other machines can be an issue, especially as you probably dont want to finalise them. Did you know that these discs can be read by some DVD-Burners? I have a Pioneer 107D, which reads them perfectly and once full ( but not neccessarily finalised ) you are able to copy contents to DVD-R using Nero software. I have Cyberlink PowerDVD XP wnich allows me to view recordings on my pc, with chapter details all retained. Quite a versatile machine, this 55!

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Gmorton's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 23/02/2005

To rdcoupland - hello once again - excellent advice concerning the partial erase. I've accidently erased a whole film myself once before I was proficient with the feature.
<br>
<br>My recent purchase has been a "smart" scart lead which eliminates Macrovision and CPMG copyright protection on commercial DVDs. Not cheap at £37 but it has proved highly useful when copying DVD-Videos and also copying the kid's videos onto DVD-R. It also un-encrypts Sky Box Office broadcasts to allow recording.
<br>
<br>My most recent discovery is that using the XP recording mode on the 55 actually improves the original broadcast!
<br>
<br>One problem that I've found is that sometimes recorded DVD-Ram discs don't work on my DVD player (Panasonic DVD S35) even though it's RAM compatible.

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 21/02/2005

To armpit - thanks also for your comments, they are appreciated. I overlooked stevebowyers question about HDD or RAM - pesonally I felt there was sufficient capability with RAM but I do agree there are advantages to both HDD would of course give you the option to retain or delete more items before committing them to disc. I just feel the price difference is quite substantial.
<br>Turning to armpits query - page 23 of the manual covers this issue. To record RGB from SKY you must connect to the TV scart socket and not the VCR socket. Depending on your other equipment you then (perhaps) have a quality compromise to make! Recordings from Sky Digital and well-adjusted 'terrrestrial' signals should be adequate as the '55 improves these singals by the mpeg decoding that goes on. I've had some truly amazing returns from terrestrial and frankly 'glass-like' clarity from SKY.
<br>I can't see any reason why the component picture should not be similar to your other machine however if your TV is compatible, select 'progressive' output on the 55 and use SCART for simplicity. Hopefully these comments will help you, I would be pleased to read if this is the case!
<br>rdcoupland

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 21/02/2005

To stevebowyer - sorry for the delay I have just read your comment (21/2) which I appreciate. I would expect you have probably figured out how to remove adverts from films, etc. I was working with the 'partial' erase facility which is really quite easy with it's 'filmstrip' display, however I feel if you are not totally confident with that it's easy to lose a piece of the film! I know this because I have done it! To overcome this issue I would suggest you use the 'insert chapter' facility by creating a chapter during playback ( or search ) for the start and the end of the adverts. Then go to chapter view - edit - erase chapter and remove all the offending items. After that use 'combine chapter' or leave well alone to view the movie as is. Remember that this is only possible on RAM discs. DVD-R discs are permanent and I would suggest that if you enjoy a film enough to record it then I would be pausing/stopping the recording during the commercials resuming and hence creating sufficient chapters for later viewing. DVD-R recordings without commercials automatically have chapters created for later navigation - a very useful tool. This also applies to any camcorder footage or non-commercial video you may wish to transfer to dvd. Incidentally, finalised discs (DVD-R) can be copied without problem using any of the familiar pc systems such as Nero. Hope this helps - best regards
<br>rdcoupland

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Gmorton's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 21/02/2005

Armpit - not 100% sure what you mean.
<br>
<br>I connect my E55 to the Sky via scart and then use a scart to connect the E55 to the TV's AV2 scart socket. Thus the Sky pic comes through on the E55's A2 channel. Perfect picture.
<br>
<br>I don't bother with the ariel from terrestrial TV as the picture is garbage anyway compared to Sky digital.
<br>
<br>Do you only have one scart socket on the TV.
<br>
<br>Try Panasonic.co.uk. They're quite good at helping with technical problems.

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Armpit's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 19/02/2005

I have just bought the ebs65 model I'm very happy with it but I have one problem. I have scarted my Sky to my dvd recorder from my dvd to tv I get rgb from my dvd but it doesn't loop rgb signals from Sky. I have component video on my tv 32" toshiba but the picture is not any better. My old dvd player was connected via component and it was spot on, I've tried all the settings on my recorder but it does not seem to work.

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182175_Steve Bowyer's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 21/01/2005

My first time into the DVD player market: torn between just play back; RAM disks; or hard disk. One person has said that if you're going for 'recording' DVD players, you might just as well go for hard disk as the 'editing' features are so much better.
<br>What is the DMR-E55 like for editing? The notion of getting rid of adverts from favourite films does sound appealing, but at the same time, we're not big techno-freaks. Any comments?

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 23/12/2004

Thanks again for your reply, I think we may have to both compromise on what we want to do with these machines. Panasonic have opted for RAM discs for the simple beauty of chasing play, pausing TV and (perhaps) for sure better quality, which is what this should be about and not whether the latest 'beast' can play all put before it which seems to be the 'penchant' of many cheap far eastern players. Trouble is of course that one sacrifices quality for facilities and I know which wins in my book. Another factor is that some of these 'cheap' recorders ( I can't say for sure of the Matsui ) dont actually have Nicam decoders and merely record two channel sound again defeating the object. I believe that the process of finalising a dvd format makes it 'read-only' hence in theory they should play on the Panasonic, unless they have done something quite deliberate to prevent this, I'm not sure. I use ARITA DVD-R for archiving similar to yourself and have not yeat had a failure. Recording VHS to DVD may bring you a problem or two if the tapes you wish to transer have some form of copy protection you need to try the RAM discs first-allowing you to delete if not succesful! We shall see!

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Gmorton's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 22/12/2004

rdcoupland - thanks for your comment. I recently purchased 25 Fuji DVD-R discs as I plan to copy my childrens videos onto disc instead of replacing them on DVD. They have tons and would probably waste original DVDs. This I feel is a very advantageous feature of the 55 as I also have transferred all my home videos onto a RAM disc. My main worry at present is the compatibility of my recorded DVD-R discs on other DVD players. I maybe wrong but I am under the impression that most PLAYERS can play all types of disc (DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW but not -RAM) but the 55 cannot play DVD+R or +RW. My friend has bought a cheap Matsui recorder and it can only record on DVD+R/+RW thus I cannot watch discs he records on my 55 and vice versa.

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Rdcoupland's Response to rdcoupland's Review

Written on: 21/12/2004

GMorton - thanks for the comment. I've yet to fill a RAM disc with material I want to keep, so can't fully answer your query. I am of the belief that all RAM discs have to be finalised to play on ANY other DVD player, including Panasonic. Of course if you have a friend who also has a 55 then they would play on their machine! For material you wish to keep, I would suggest you use 'ordinary' -R discs, which can be bought relatively cheaply. I've had success with 'Mirror' discs, roughyl 50p each from Poundland of all places! The 55 is not as brand-fussy as Panasonic would have you believe, I feel! In theory, you should be able to copy finalised discs to other dvd-r media, but I've read there is some problem with the VIDEO_TS files that some machines depend on. I will look into this in due course but like yourself will take an age to fill a RAM disc to copy!!!
<br>I think the format is so versatile, why worry!!!
<br>Sky+ at £99 is a bargain my friend, go for it and imagine how much versatility you will then have.
<br>All the best!

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