Which HDD/DVD recorder

  anchor 15:20 15 Dec 2006

Santa may be getting one of these. At the moment I have narrowed it down between the Sony RDR-HXD860, and the Panasonic DMREX75.

I want to be able to play one thing, and record another at the same time; also I want to fast forward through the adverts of a previous recording I am watching, (like I do on my VCR).

Has anyone got any comments on these machines, and/or which do you consider the better?.

  anskyber 15:31 15 Dec 2006

Frankly either look very good but I tend to buy Sony kit.

To disprove that statement my DVD recorder is a Panasonic!

Not wishing to throw the cat amongst the feathery types had you considered waiting a little longer for a High Definition (Blu Ray or HD DVD) recorder?

  anchor 16:18 15 Dec 2006

anskyber: I take your point, but feel that it will be quite a time before HD transmissions become affordable.

I am erring to the Sony having just seen that this model won the "What HiFi" product of the year.

Have a look at their comments; it is in a pdf format, so you will need Acrobat reader.

click here

  anskyber 16:49 15 Dec 2006

Yes, nice kit and if my DVD recorder failed its the machine I would get.

I tend to watch DVDs (rented through Amazon) and the new formats are already appearing hence my thoughts on Blu Ray etc. The line up behind Blu Ray is so extensive it looks like the ultimate winner in the rival format stakes.

Otherwise I agree that for transmitted HD its Sky (no cable in darkest Cumbria) at too much money for me or a very long wait for Freeview once the analogue transmitters are turned off.

  Kate B 17:22 16 Dec 2006

I've got this click here it's great, though it's just a HDD recorder. Reviews suggest that Sony PVRs are noisy.

  Strawballs 21:26 16 Dec 2006

My daughter has just bought a Wharfdale with 80Gig Hdd from Argos for £129.99 and it will record to HDD while whatching from HDD, record to HDD while whatching DVD,record to DVD while whatching HDD, Timeshift, Edit, add chapters etc.

  FatboySlim71 23:09 16 Dec 2006

I own the Panasonic DMR EX85, which is identical to the DMR EX75 apart from the EX75 has a smaller hard disk drive, if you are interested I wrote a review on the EX85 which will apply to the EX75 as I have previously mentioned is identical apart from that it has a smaller hard disk drive in it, you can read my review here.

click here

  anchor 09:46 18 Dec 2006

Thank you all for your replies, especially FatboySlim71 who`s review of the Panasonic was most useful.

  Fatboy415 12:50 20 Dec 2006

I have owned my Panasonic DMR EX75 for three weeks and am still reading the manual to get to grips with all the features.

This is an unbelievable machine and does almost everything I could imagine. The one thing it cannot do, or perhaps I haven't got to that page yet, is to record automatically from Sky. The good people at Panasonic helped me out with an email showing how to record from Sky but it would be great to do it via an EPG. At the moment I can only use the 7 day EPG to record from Freeview which is not a problem as 99% of the programs worth recording are on Freeview.

With regards to what make VCR is Panasonic, Freeview box and TV is Sony. Panasonic won when it came to a PVR as the corresponding Sony didn't have a HDMI socket.

My only grip is since installing the screen "flutters" every now and then but I think this might be my 16 year old Sony TV. It's just annoying as everything was working perfectly before I installed the DMR EX75.

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying when you get one of these PVR's it's like stepping forward 100 years. Being able to record what you are watching really takes some explaining to the wife.

Panasonic DMR EX75 purchased from click here for £309 with a two year warranty!
Scart leads purchased from click here

  anchor 11:05 21 Dec 2006

Fatboy415: from what I understand it is not possible to use EPG for recording from a Sky digibox. The same goes for the Sony model too.

As regards the occasional "fluttering"; do you think the Panasonic has anything to do with it; you say that all was fine before it was installed. Can you try it on another TV to check?.

  FatboySlim71 16:10 21 Dec 2006

Fatboy415. I have Sky and you can set the EX75 to record off of sky by the following method connect a scart lead from AV2 on the EX75 to AV2 on the sky digi box, now put the sky digibox's tv guide on, find the program/s you are wanting to record and press the select button this will then bring up your personal planner and this will list the programs that are in it, highlight the selected program (IT WILL BE IN YELLOW) then press the red button on the sky remote, this will then switch on AUTOVIEW which basically means the sky box will switch itself on even if its on standby.

Next, on the EX75 remote press the FUNCTIONS button, then on the menu that appears select TO OTHERS, next choose SETUP from the next menu, next choose CONNECTION, then push the directional pad that is on the EX75 remote control push it right, when you are on the menu that shows TV ASPECT, PROGRESSIVE, TV SYSTEM, HDMI SETTINGS, AV1 OUTPUT, AV2 SETTINGS, choose AV2 SETTINGS after you have done this you will have the following on screen, AV2 INPUT, EXT LINK, choose EXT LINK and press ENTER/OK button on the EX75 remote control next choose EXT LINK 2 and press the ENTER/OK button. Last thing you need to do WHEN THE SKY DIGIBOX IS SWITCHED OFF is to PUT THE EX75 into standby and press the EXT LINK BUTTON on the EX75 remote or on the EX75, what will happen when the selected programs in your digibox's personal planner start, the sky digibox will switch on, the EX75 detects this and starts to record to whichever method i. e Hard drive or DVD disk, when the program has finished the digibox switches itself off on the EX75 detects this and does the same. JUST REMEMBER ONCE THE EX75 IS ON EXT LINK MODE (EXT L) will be shown on the EX75 display, do not switch the digibox back on as the EX75 will detect this and start to record.

I can confirm that I use the above method and I can record off of Sky with no problems. Just make sure you have a FULLY WIRIED FULLY SCREENED SCART LEAD.

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