on April 26, 2011
Even though the description mentions not for North American use, it works just fine here with a few exceptions. #1 is it has no NTSC/North American tuner(digital or the old analog) it ONLY records NTSC from a line output device(VCR, DVD player, STB with line outputs, DVR etc.). It WON'T work from a device that only outputs RF(for example from a cheap DTA converter box you get free from your cable company, they only output RF channel 3/4 which this DVDR won't tune).
Another slight issue has to do with black level. Since this is a INTERNATIONAL DVDR and not really meant for the North American market it is designed for the INTERNATIONAL black level of IRE 0. North American devices output +7.5 IRE from their line outputs. What this means is unless you slightly darken your source video it will be a tad bit washed out(blacks will not be truly black but slightly gray). If you're recording from a device that has a setting for DARKER(most DVD players have this setting) you won't have a problem and your DVDs will come out just fine. If you don't correct the source you can correct this by slightly turning down the brightness on your TV, but note the DVDs will still be recorded with a slightly raised black level.
This unit is 120v/220v 50/60 Hz compatible and even though the plug is the two round style all you need is a $1 adapter that should be provided by the seller and you can plug it into our outlets.
Like all current Panasonics this one has full resolution LP(4hrs/SL DVD), records to DL media(first record to HDD then HS copy to DL media) and the very handy FR recording speed where you can fill up a DVD with anywhere between 1-8 hours of material.
When you set the recorder up you specify if you want it to record in NTSC or PAL, chose NTSC for North American use. As mentioned this recorder will play and record PAL and NTSC but it won't convert from one standard to another. That is if your DVD is PAL you'll need a PAL compatible TV(most flat panel Vizios and lesser names are multi system but NOT TVs like Sony or Panasonic). Of course Tube TVs need to say multi system(quite rare in the US) in order to display PAL.
This recorder is also handy for converting your PAL VHS tapes to PAL DVDs. Simply plug your PAL VCR into the line inputs of this recorder, play your VHS and record the PAL signal to DVD. You can then play that PAL DVD in one of the many players that will play a PAL DVD and output it as NTSC(again not Panasonic or Sony) but I found out my Samsung, cheap Cyberhome and also Pioneer DVD players easily played PAL DVDs recorded by this unit and changed it to NTSC. Note you can also hook up the converting DVD player to this DVDR, record the signal to DVD and now have a NTSC DVD of your original PAL VHS tape. The quality of the dub is actually quite good IMO.
As mentioned because this is a gray market product any warranty is with the seller and not North American Panasonic. I've had mine for over a year with no issues and am very satisfied but because of the above issues it may not be for everybody.
Edited 9/'11 adding more PAL to NTSC information.
on October 25, 2011
Anyone that use to have the Panasonic DMR EH55 will love this machine. It does almost everything the EH55 will do. Smooth running, Lots of hard drive, (73hours XP) DVD works smooth, and Edits really nice.
This units comes set up to Pal, but in about 2 min you can change it into a NTSC system. Should come with a electrical plug adaptor,
This unit will work great if you use a cable box or a sat reciever or even if you have a HI-FI vcr will also work. As your channel changer. This unit does not have a tuner for North America. Use the component (rca) connections works great. Set the eh69 to input AV4)
I've bought 3, 1 for each tv in the house. Have it hooked up to a flat screen panasonic 2 Years old, a 10 year old panasonic, and a 1 year old Haire tv. All works great.
To swith this unit from Pal to NTSC is very simple, On the remote hit function, then to tv connection then where it says Pal, click to NTSC and everything switches over.
You might need a convertor to hold the V-Hold when you first hook it up. The 10 year old Panasonic v-hold was going crazy, but the Haier held the v-hold until I swithed from Pal to NTSC. But once changed everything works great and no need for a convertor.
One more thing is when you first get this unit it will seem like forever for the unit to turn on, this is because it comes shipped in power save mode, Turn this off or it will seem like it takes forever to turn on. If you want to record something fast like the EH55's, then turn this very annoying power save off, and the unit will start up very quickly.
Anyway great machine and works great.
on October 20, 2012
My intent was to purchase this DVR from Amazon initially but frankly found a lower price from another vendor. This is not usually the case but this time it was.
First and foremost, I understand most consumers in North America are not going to be interested in any component that doesn't carry a North American warranty. I decided to purchase this unit w/o a warranty based on the Panasonic name and the fact that I'm a techie. This is my 5th DVR/DMR with all in perfect working condition and each serving its purpose in my technical world of video components. Having said all that, the Panasonic EH69 has a massive hard drive (massive 320GB for any DVR/DMR). I wasn't concerned whatsoever about switching PAL to NTSC or any voltage/cycle issues because this information was clearly defined to me by researching the product manual PDF online long before making any purchase. I knew that the S-Video inputs and outputs were limited by default (1 input on the front, 1 on the rear) 1 output on the rear). This was easily increased by adding two SCART s-Video adapters to the rear panel providing an additional input and output.
The comments by other reviewers mentioning the depth issues of blacks are true but if I were blindfolded and led into a room where two different units were playing, I doubt I could tell the difference. This was a non-issue for me personally. The up-scaling to plasma or LCD is awesome.
The tuner was a non issue because I'm using a cable set top box. This unit has many more positives than negatives. I would have preferred 12 hour time increments rather than 24 but after all, this is a non North American model. My unit also came with the USA male plug adapter and once connected it's a forgotten issue. The editing features perform smoothly and precisely.
This unit is a win win for me personally. Some may ask, what happens if something goes wrong. My answer is simply, I'm confident I can find someone online who will be willing to perform repair service. O yes, one last comment: out of the five machines I own, only one has ever required service. That's not a bad record and lends confidence that well over ten years has produced untold hours of recording enjoyment.
on April 16, 2013
I have been looking for a machine like this for years. In January 2007, I bought a Panasonic DMR-ES15S DVD-RAM Recorder for $169.99. It has many very good features. Then in November 2007 I bought a Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD RAM Recorder for $275.59 so that I could copy DVDs. Both record on DVD-RAM of course, so that commercials can be removed from my recorded from TV programs. The second machine, EZ27K did not have most of the really useful editing options of the cheaper model. Then the cheaper model quit passing the audio in from the input to the disc, so I couldn't record with sound on it. It plays and edits just fine, so I have been recording on the EZ27K and editing on the ES15S. A real pain.
My wife even purchased a very expensive used ES15S for me as a Christmas present which of course did not work at all. It would not even record on a brand new DVD-RAM or read a DVD-RAM created on my Panasonic EZ27K. She bought it a couple months before Christmas, so the seller's warrantee and the Amazon warrantee were no longer in effect by the time I opened and tested it right after Christmas. She got it from TransBiz who would not even talk to us about the problems it had. They are a very bad seller.
Now for this machine - a Panasonic DMR-EH69 DVD Recorder purchased on Amazon and sold by Bombay Electronics. I couldn't be more pleased (unless a couple very minor things were different...see below). Not sure how their customer service is because delivery was swift and everything on the machine works just fine, so I never had to contact them. It came with all the cables, connectors and instructions to make it work in the US. And these were very minimal. It took only about 5 minutes at the most. It converts to NTSC by itself...nothing to worry about there. So, if you're buying it from Bombay Electronics, don't worry that it is not made for the US market. It works just fine here in Iowa.
ES15 Features brought back with the EH69 that are not on my EZ27:
* You do not have to remember to turn the unit off in order to use the timer recording.
* Partial Delete (Shorten Segment) - Without having to cut it up into segments and then go back through the whole thing and delete the segments you don't want (which is very easy to delete a segment you want to keep). This is huge for me.
* Saved Name List
* Moving the cursor backwards through the title does not delete the characters, allowing the insertion, deletion or changing of a character without re-typing the whole title
* Fast Forward and Fast Reverse show the counter numbers instead of just an "I1" or "I2".
* Plus it has the hard drive that allows you to pause live TV, and then rewind to the point you started the pause and fast forward up to the live point in the broadcast. All started with just the pause button. You don't have to start recording and then play the recording - - - Just push the Pause button.
* Can record at high quality at fast speed on the hard drive and then copy at any speed to the DVD with very little lost in quality compared to recording directly on the DVD at that same speed.
* By the way, in EP mode, the hard drive will hold about 24 days of recorded material.
* You can record in the hard drive in high quality and then edit the content - cutting lead time off the front, extra time off the end and removing commercials or other non wanted content from the middle of the recording, divide it up into several programs, and then copy it to a DVD-R or DVD-RW for playback on any DVD player.
* Times are listed in 24 hour military time.
* Dates are in the format of Day.Month.Year
* Will not record a full 8 hours in EP mode. This may be due to the need for higher quality disks and the machine may be finding and skipping more "bad" spots on the 8 hour discs.
* This machine will not read all titles (just the name of the recording on the direct navigator) created on some other Panasonic recorders (my wife's ES45V for example) and some other Panasonic recorders (the ES45V) will not read the titles entered on this machine. The disks play fine. It's just the title names in the direct navigator show as blanks.
Picture quality is fantastic. The upconverting works very well. It makes old DVDs look close to High Def. I like the picture coming out of the EH69 better than the picture coming out of the cable box when I watch the HDMI output of the EH69 being fed by the cable box.
Overall this is a beautiful machine. The good features outweigh the complaints by so much that they become irrelevant. It is well worth the $428.34 I paid for it. I am considering buying another one as a spare for when this one dies in 10 or 20 years. I have given it a lot of use over the last three months and it works flawlessly.
Update one year later: It is still working fine - no issues. In fact, I just bought 2 more. One is here and works just fine and the other hasn't been delivered yet (it's only been a day and a half). I couldn't find this information anywhere else so I thought I'd share it here. I have been using Panasonic 4.7G 2-3X DVD-RAM discs, but they have been discontinued by Panasonic. I tried the Verbatum 4.7G 5x discs and they work just fine.
on July 13, 2012
I must say that this is a very nice recorder. I had in the past a Panasonic EH-55 which lasted about a year. I took the EH-55 in for repair and the shop stated it needed a HDD cable which would not be available for 6 months and the unit was discontinued. Panasonic refunded my money so I was satisfied with the result. I was disappointed because I knew of a couple of other people that had the EH-55 and to this day those are still functioning. Now back to the EH-69. I have looked far and wide for another DVD recorder with hard drive. The Pioneer, Sanyo and Magnavox are some of the makers that have manufactured this type of unit in the past although currently they do not. Panasonic for some reason manufactured a 80gig, 160 and 200 gig versions for release in the USA but that was some time ago. They were all discontinued and to my surprise a bunch of them appeared to be refurbished and sold online at a premium price. This recorder is a PAL multizone version for use in PAL/NTSC areas. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Europe. It has automatic switchable power adapting to both 110v USA and 220 volt Europe. The power cables are the European two prong or a 3 prong. You can probably get a standard cable to use as a power cord and it appears to be a standard figure 8 slot in the back of the EH69. I would like that better than using the European power adapter that was provided in the box. The unit is default set to PAL video signal and must be switched to NTSC by pressing the stop button and the open/close button for more than 5 seconds. I think it is around 7 to 10 seconds before my unit switched over and initially I thought it was not going to work. To my pleasure it did and began looping an NTSC signal through the S-video port. The HDMI initially showed no signal and switched to standby on my plasma until it switched to NTSC. The signal seems to be clean although the blacks are not as deep, possibly due to a different firmware dedicated mainly to PAL. NTSC standard definition signal parameters are set and I would think that if it is intended for use with NTSC/110v that should not create any color burst or setup/black level problems. Although the tuner is not compatible with NTSC or USA signal processing the unit functions well with DVD playback or record (providing that the signal is not copyright encoded.). The hard drive is very nice to use which is why I bought the unit in the first place. Lots of Hard drive space for Standard Definition recording. I never intended on using the tuner function in the first place and I think Panasonic could have eliminated the tuner mode for more simplicity. Longevity? Well hopefully this unit will give me years of use but I am happy as of right now. Since this is a Grey market unit not imported by Panasonic USA it has no warranty. I am wondering if a technician would work on it or be able to get parts? I will give an update in 6 months to a year on this unit.
on July 17, 2013
Blows my Sony RDR-HX900 out of the water.
Because it can do so many things that my Sony can't or won't do.
I highly recommend this unit,i bought mine from 220 Electronics out of Illinois.
This baby is awesome for editing once you get it down.
What i do to edit is:
Step 1 : Press Function Menu on Remote
Step 2 : Playback/Video/Ok
Step 3 : Press Option on Remote
Step 4 : Highlite Edit/Ok
Step 5 : Here is where you can enter the Title Name-very easy to move around and name.
Step 6 : Highlite Partial Delete/Ok-if you record something and put a protection on it,Padlock it won't delete.
You don't have to go through the steps that i do,this is just a general idea of how to do it.
What i like about this DVR is that i can take over an hour program and Edit/Delete the heck out of it if i want to,my Sony wouldn't let me do that.
Another thing when your editing just keep 2 fingers on the Remote buttons which are Pause/Slow Search forward and back.
If you unpause it,it will move frame by frame until you pause again.
Once you delete something while editing it's pretty much gone,so hang on to your master copy to be sure,then you can delete that if you so choose.
Panasonic Rocks for editing purposes!!!!!!
on June 18, 2011
VERY IMPRESSIVE DVD PLAYER, EXCEPT FOR TWO THING U SHOULD BE KNOW ABOUT, THIS DEVICE DOSE NOT RECORD VIDEOS FROM HDD(THE BUILT IN HARD DRIVE) TO USB EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE OR TO SD CARD
on November 3, 2013
Great product! I just got one of these a little over ~1 month ago to replace my daily used for ~10 years without issue DMR-E80H 80gb HD Panny HDD/DVD recorder. The DVD drive finally died in it. This is a good fit because it has the exact same menus, updated with even more functions. NO built in NTSC/ATSC tuner but I rarely used the one my last unit had.
All the inputs you could possibly need! With two easily gotten "RGB Scart" to "Composite(RCA Video) & S-Video/ RCA Audio" AV TV Adapter you will have 4 audio/video inputs, three S-video & one composite RCA.
Great outputs as well! 3 possible S-video/composite Right-Left RCA audio out(1 assigned with 2 SCART that can be used as input or output).
And 1 RGB(RED-GREEN-BLUE)/Right-Left stereo RCA audio out & 1 HDMI out both of which can give upconverted to 480p,720p,& 1080i or 1080p video out.
The 1 USB connection is great for getting recorded elsewhere audio & video into the unit for playback.
One of the reasons to consider buying one of these, This thing is great for hooking up analog video to one of the current HDTVs. All of which today don't have any S-video connections any longer..... Also great for use with one of them that today through the Component video. None of the current offerings today have more than one composite or component video hookups any longer. So a real use for this is for hooking up SD TV to any of the current HDTV offerings!
The DMR-69 does a great job of taking 480i up to 480p,720p or 1080p through either the Component(RGB) or the HDMI in a useable clean upconverted fashion for use with any of the current HDTVs. This thing delivers one of the cleanest upconverted pictures I have ever seen displayed. I use it everyday for connecting to my current Plasma or LED-LCD HDTV.
I use it's upconverted to 1080p HDMI out for hooking up all of my SD definition video to my current LED-LCD tv. That ability alone makes getting one of these worthwhile.
The ability to record in SD on the units HDD or on a DVD is just sugar on top.......
I plan on getting several of these......
on February 16, 2012
I must say this recorder is excellent.. My favorite brand in recorders are Panasonic. Love the FR function. I have tried another brands and the quality is not as good as Panasonic. When I saw this model with HDD I was so excited and decided to buy it. You can change from PAL to NTSC with a simple button. First I was afraid to connect it to the power because is intended for Europe but thanks to the reviews I realize that this model is manipulated to work in North America (Mexico, USA and Canada). (My seller included the adapter in the box)
I start it to used it.. And I was very pleased.
Definitively I recommend this Recorder..
on November 1, 2015
Yes, I love it. I have a Panasonic DMR-T6070 and it has been a reliable workhorse for 12 years until very recently when the DVD record portion began to give problems, so I was into the market of replacing it. This DMR-EH69, while not sold specifically for the US market, is essentially identical to the T6070, with some improvements. First, while Amazon tried very hard to hide the region for which my unit is applicable, with a bit of work I was able to determine it was Region 2...however, I don't really know what that tells me other than Middle East. Second, for those worried about voltage compatibility to the US, don't...I'm in No CA and it detects 120/240 and when plugged into the wall, it powered right up, no problem. Third...I noticed another review mentioned about the "figure 8" power cord input...I just happened to have an old one laying around and it plugged into the back of the EH69 directly, so I don't have to use any kind of plug adaptor. Fourth...since this model is supplied without a US warranty, or support, I added a SquareTrade extended warranty just in case. For info, I am adding a photo of everything in the box.
The remote and operation of the EH69 is nearly identical to my T6070, but with a few changes in terminology and enhancements of the editing features to suit the extra functions on this machine. One feature I like is that as soon as you insert a DVD, it automatically assumes you want to watch it and begins to play, or brings up the menu, even if it had been set to HDD previously. Color reproduction of recorded programs (I only use XP speed) is very good. Other reviews had mentioned about the 7.5 IRE difference in ref black level...US vs. Europe...even when scenes fade to black, I can't really see a difference myself, as other reviews also mentioned.
I have not explored all of its capabilities yet, but I am quite satisfied with all the basic record/playback/editing functions so far. It's a shame Panasonic does not make this model available to the US market. BTW, I bought a couple SCART adaptors so I have add'l input/output options.