Panasonic DMR-E60 Review

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Panasonic DMR-E60
From 4 reviews
50.0% of users recommend this
  • Image Quality

  • Sound Quality

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Value For Money

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alderny's review of Panasonic DMR-E60

“The Panasonic DMR-E60 machine is basically the same as...”


written by alderny on 03/06/2005

Good Points
. Excellent picture quality
. Reliable
. Good on-screen menus
. Feature rich - especially 'chasing play'

Bad Points
. Advanced functions can be fiddly (e.g. adding titles)

General Comments
The Panasonic DMR-E60 machine is basically the same as the DMR-E50 but with the addition of an SD/PC card slot for storing or viewing digital photos, and a DV input for direct transfer of movies from a digital camcorder.

I use this DVD recorder most days and have found it most excellent. Although DVD-RAM discs are rather expensive (£1.50 each on the internet) they are very reliable. After all, they were originally developed for data storage where the loss of a single bit could be disastrous. When I want to keep a programme long term I simply transfer it to a DVD-R disc. Of course you need a PC and some software to do this, and for the latter I recommend the excellent 'TMPGEnc DVD Author' package from which enables you to edit programmes and add menus.

RAM discs are so long lasting that I use the same one everyday to record the news. It has been recorded over about 100 times now and is still perfect. It should be possible to re-record on the same disc up to 10,000 times, but even using it once a day, everyday of every year it would take over 27 years to exceed that! Nevertheless, such longevity assumes careful physical handling. These discs are available in a cartridge for total protection and the Panasonic can accept these, but I don't know of a PC that can.

As for using the built in functions for adding menus and playlists, well, it's much easier on a PC. For example, it can be particularly tedious entering a long title using a virtual on-screen QWERTY keyboard! Using more familiar functions like setting up the timer, with or without videoplus, is quite straightforward.

DVD-RAM has one great advantage over other formats. It enables you to record one programme whilst watching another - so long as they are both on the same disc. Alternatively, by using 'chasing play' it is possible to watch the programme currently being recorded. At first I thought this was just a gimmick, but to the contrary have found it very useful. It enables me to sit down and watch the news about 15 minutes after the broadcast started, fast forward through repeated sections or items I am not interested in, pause to make a cup of tea, and still finish watching it just after the broadcast has ended.

The E60 offers several recording modes, which vary the amount of video compression applied to fit either 1, 2, 4 or 6 hours onto a disc. These modes are called XP, SP, LP or EP respectively. There is also a flexible recording mode (FR) that sets the compression to give the best picture quality in the space available. Picture quality in the XP mode is better than broadcast standard, SP is close to broadcast standard, LP is about the same as VHS and EP is quite poor.

If I was buying a new DVD recorder now I would go for one with a built in hard drive as it would enable longer recording times, even when using a high quality mode. It would also be convenient not having to find and insert blank discs.

The ability to display digital photos is okay, but the E60 is slow to read them and the resolution of a TV screen is not really sufficient. I have not used the DV capture either, preferring instead to use the PC.

  • Value For Money

  • Image Quality

  • Sound Quality

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Over 1 Year

    Time DVD Recorder Owned

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