338 of 344 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Recording of OTA HD Signals, But Not Perfect
My setup: HD antenna directly into the Panasonic's coax input, then connected via HDMI, coax and component cables to the back of my LCD panel (a Sharp LC37D62U, a 1080P panel with HDMI inputs).
The tuner in the Panasonic unit, while capable of receiving HD signals, cannot output a full HD signal, but only 480P. If you are looking for a unit to act as a...
Published on June 7, 2007 by omastuur
150 of 158 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Recorder, Great Copier, Not-so-Great Upconverter
If you are thinking of buying this for its "1080P Up-Conversion", look elsewhere! No big improvements here. Get the Oppo DV-980HD 1080p up-conversion DVD player instead if you are sticking with the DVD format. You'll get everything you are looking for. This Panasonic's Up-Converter gives plenty of ghosts, noise, and dragging. It drove me nuts! We had just purchased...
Published on May 16, 2007 by Talk Story Bookstore
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338 of 344 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Recording of OTA HD Signals, But Not Perfect,
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EZ47V Up-Converting 1080p DVD-Recorder/VCR Combo with Built In Tuner (Electronics)My setup: HD antenna directly into the Panasonic's coax input, then connected via HDMI, coax and component cables to the back of my LCD panel (a Sharp LC37D62U, a 1080P panel with HDMI inputs).
The tuner in the Panasonic unit, while capable of receiving HD signals, cannot output a full HD signal, but only 480P. If you are looking for a unit to act as a full-on HD tuner, this unit is not for you, but if your TV already has an HD tuner, then this unit offers some cool features. Before I start though, I want to point out that the unit does "pass" a full HD signal - that is, when using my TV's own tuner with the Panasonic set to "TV" (on the "TV/VCR" selection), the TV receives a pass-through of the HD signal coming in over the air to the Panasonic. Other descriptions of this unit had me believing that it would pass-through a 480P signal, but this is fortunately not the case.
Cool Feature #1: Recording HD TV shows over the air. This is one of the first of a new generation of DVD recorders that can record an HD signal onto a DVD disc (although only at the lower 480P resolution). Despite the lower resolution, the picture looks great, obviously not full HD but far better than analog TV. I have recorded "Lost" and "House" and both shows look pretty good. While the unit appears to be able to record on every DVD format known, DVD-RAM format provides some advantages. Using a DVD-RAM disc and the HDMI connection to the TV, the TV switches automatically to a full wide screen picture. Setting the unit on its LP recording mode, I can record 4 hours of HD programs on one disc, and the sound is great.
Cool Feature #2: Chase play. After starting a program recording, you can start watching the recorded program before the entire recording is complete - skipping past commercials and so on until you catch up to the "live" point in the recording. This works only with DVD-RAM discs, but is pretty nifty. By the way, the DVD-RAM discs can (according to the Panasonic manual) be re-recorded up to 100,000 times, so they are ALMOST like having a hard drive in the unit.
Cool Feature #3: Disc navigator. This allows you to see all the programs recorded on a DVD disc on a single screen - you can then use this to select which recorded program you want to watch. Nifty! No more hunting through VCR tapes for the program you recorded you can't remember when...
The VCR output is also fine (although obviously much less impressive that the DVD output). I can't comment on its ability to output upscaled 1080P as compared to other DVD units with a similar feature, but the outlook looks pretty darn good to me, no noticable "jaggies".
Complaints: The auto-channel setup missed one of my local HD stations, instead tuning a secondary station being broadcast on the same signal. Annoying! There appears to be no way to manually select which channels are tuned by the unit. I have been meaning to call Panasonic about this, but haven't gotten around to it. Also, long-ish startup time (like 15 seconds). Sometimes the DVD output seems a little washed out, but this can be taken care of by re-adjusting the TV's color settings. Having to turn the unit off in order to have it launch a scheduled recording.
Overall, quite happy with the performance.
FYI, the first unit I bought (from Amazon) arrived DOA, but they were great about returning it and I had a new unit two days later. They even paid for the shipping to return the first unit. Nice!
127 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pricey but delivers the goods,
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EZ47V Up-Converting 1080p DVD-Recorder/VCR Combo with Built In Tuner (Electronics)I bought this model yesterday after a frustrating week: my professional grade (but 4 year old) JVC bit the dust just when I needed to transfer a stack of tapes for a a client. I initially bought a Sony Sony RDR-VX555, which transferred tapes beautifully...but lacked inputs to get any decent quality from a cable box (unless you wanted to have a S-VHS cable sticking out of the front of your device). And even when it was hooked up to the cable box, the picture stuttered when recorded (or wouldn't record at all. Turns out Sony has a chip that 'protects' cable box signals...so it really is false advertising to have "record from cable box" on the item's box)
So I returned it and bought the Panasonic, which was almost $100 more. And I have to say it has been worth it so far. It plays DVDs beautifully and upconverts to my Samsung LCD HDTV like a dream: tested it with "Return of the King" and it looked like the TNT HiDef broadcast. I was able to hook it up to my TV via HDMI with to problems whatsoever (and I've noticed that Samsung is a bit touchy on that regard). And as I was also able to hook it up via Composite out, I was able to test the signal quality HDMI vs. Composite. Personally thought the HDMI was a lot sharper and the colors truer (the Composite signal added a lot of red to the mix).
Had some initial problems hooking it up to my cable box and called Panasonic (who really weren't much help...I figured it out while explaining the problem to them for the fifth time). Basically, I kept getting an error message saying that my TV wasn't accepting the DVI source for some reason. So I didn't get picture, just an error message when I tried to run signal from the Cable box to the Panasonic. I was worried for a moment, as the instructions for the Panasonic want you to run the cable into the DVD/VCR first and then output it to the cable box (which caused a huge breakdown in picture quality and doesn't work for most of the channels). So I was afraid that the Panasonic would also prove to be incompatible with signals coming out of a cable box directly.
Turns out that it was probably the TV not wanting the signal coming from two HDMI inputs or from the cable not wanting to output it essentially to two HDMI inputs (I had the cable box hooked up directly to the TV and the DVD/VCR hooked up to the TV, both through HDMI). When I unplugged the HDMI cable from the cable box, the signal miraculously appeared through the DVD/VCR. So basically, if that happens to you, just unplug the connection between cable box and TV when you are wanting to record a show
(this might be due to the pass-through capabilities of the Panasonic DVD/VCR, and supposedly the signal going to the TV from the Panasonic is going to end up being as good as directly from the Cable box...but I would rather not risk it, since my picture is finally doing great now that Time Warner figured out the problem after a year).
Right now I'm copying a VHS to DVD and the picture quality of the VHS to my TV is incredible: much better than it was with the old JVC. One nice feature I already noticed is that the DVD recorder automatically put in a break when it sensed a change between programs.
Recording off TV last night produced an excellent result and I'm sure that when this tape is over (in 1:30) I'll find the same (if not...I'll be back!)
150 of 158 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Recorder, Great Copier, Not-so-Great Upconverter,
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EZ47V Up-Converting 1080p DVD-Recorder/VCR Combo with Built In Tuner (Electronics)If you are thinking of buying this for its "1080P Up-Conversion", look elsewhere! No big improvements here. Get the Oppo DV-980HD 1080p up-conversion DVD player instead if you are sticking with the DVD format. You'll get everything you are looking for. This Panasonic's Up-Converter gives plenty of ghosts, noise, and dragging. It drove me nuts! We had just purchased a Sony 46" 1080P 46XBR2 LCD television and we were expecting to get the promised HD quality out of this new Panasonic since our [...] Panasonic DMR-ES45VS went only to 720P/1080I. We figured perhaps the visual flaws were due to the lower resolutions. The TV works beautifully, however this Panasonic simply couldn't do the job of effectively bringing out that full HDMI-powered picture. We got better viewing out of our old 1997 standard TV and a 2001 RCA DVD player.
However, other than this, it does a fine job of copying non-commercial VHS onto DVD, even cleans up the quality in the process (just make sure to run a test on this to see if there are any visual flaws in the transfer; this happened with the machine we bought, and the prior Panasonic). As a DVD Recorder, easy to use and excellent quality. The only thing that bugs me is that you have to turn off the machine in order for a programmed recording to activate. The DMR-ES45VS that we bought at [...] allowed for scheduled recordings to happen regardless of whether the machine was on or not; a much better design. Anyway, when the finalization process is complete after either copying or recording, it plays in pretty much any player.
The Digital Tuner is a nice add-on, but it seemed to take a little while to load each channel when switching between stations. Not a big deal to me, but it bugged my wife understandably. Then again, we had analog cable instead of digital or HD-digital. BIG NOTE: No matter how much either a TV or DVD-PLAYER/TUNER claims to clean up analog singals, it will still look like garbage. If your getting an HDTV and/or DVD-Player/Tuner, make sure you get at least Digital Cable or HD-Digital. If you don't, all you'll get is extremely grainy TV. Yuck.
The Remote is just like the prior models, with one exception: when pressing the menu button during a movie, it does not go directly to the menu like the prior models. Instead it brings up a glaring box that offers "Menu" "Top Menu" and "Cancel". Personally, if I hit menu, I've meant to hit menu. A little too bothersome.
We never had any use of the SD card input, so nothing to say there. HDMI connection works great. So do the other connections. Also, it does take longer to load than the before-mentioned prior Panasonic, and it can be noisy sometimes.
Also, an odd side note. We bought the similar Panasonic ES45VS and hooked it up to our old 1997 TV, thinking it would pump better quality through it. Nope. The old 2001 RCA DVD player was much better for that type of TV. The Panasonic's de-interlacer messed with things visually and made horizontal lines appear anytime things moved. Just a note so others can avoid this.
Overall, as with prior Panasonics, this model does everything else well except the up-conversion. If this has everything else in it that you need, then do get it. If not, then get an Oppo or go Blu-ray.
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So Many Problems--Where Do I Start?,
Many calls to Panasonic customer service (after looong waits & painful menu navigation & customer service reps who were not very helpful) resulted in 2 firmware upgrade discs being mailed to me in 8/07 & 11/07. They didn't fix the problems.
My unit is now at the local Panasonic authorized repair center, awaiting new parts, which will leave me without my player for about 3-4 weeks in total, if I get it back when they claim it will be done.
In no particular order, here are the problems:
1 - The unit freezes up frequently. I'll walk by, look at the clock, see that it's way off, press every single button on the unit & the remote to try to turn it on or get it to respond, but nothing happens. I have to unplug it & plug it back in to be able to use it again. It has missed recording so many scheduled TV shows because it froze up. The period of time between freezes ranges from a day to a month--totally random & inconsistent.
2 - While watchng DVDs, the big status window in the top right of my screen pops up occasionally, reminding me that I'm in DVD mode. Duh. This is very annoying. Sometimes it pops up every few minutes. Sometimes I can watch hours of movies with no pop up. Again, random.
3 - The SD card playback is sooooo slow that it's useless. I'm using a 4.0MP camera, with 2MB file size, and the time required to flip from picture to picture on the card makes a slideshow utterly impossible.
4 - The one-touch dubbing from VHS to DVD has given me huge headaches. First, it will abort the dubbing if you have a segment of static snow on your VHS in between the items on your tape. I'm trying to copy tapes of personal videos to DVD for archiving & easy access & sharing, but I have to babysit the machine to keep restarting the dubbing process.
5 - After dubbing a tape to DVD & following the directions carefully, I am unable to make the chapter manipulation menu appear. So, I'm stuck with chapter breaks every 8 minutes and cannot add/remove chapters, so I'm unable to make an easily-navigated DVD menu.
6 - After I figured out that I can manually stop my dubbing after each segment on my VHS tape, I had many hours invested & was on my way to making a DVD that had all the breaks in the correct locations to be able to generate a proper top menu. But then I came across one portion of my VHS tape where the machine refused to dub properly. 3.5 minutes into this section of tape (which is just like all the other sections, recorded on the same VCR), the unit stops recording, tells me that it's dividing the recording, rewinds the tape a bit, then starts recording a new DVD segment. This puts an illogical & unpleasant break in what is supposed to be continuous footage, and it adds an unnecessary chapter to the top menu. I tried this twice, with the same result. The manual shows that this should not happen.
7 - Unfortunately, unlike every other DVD player I've seen, the menu button on the remote pulls up a menu that lets you go to the DVD top menu. Usually the menu button on the remote just sends you to the disc's menu. Silly.
This product has given me so many headaches & made me *very* frustrated. When I get it back from the repair shop, I hope that Panasonic will give me some sort of refund, because I don't see how swapping out a circuit board will be able to fix what appears to be poor design & programming...but that's all the repair shop could recommend as a fix...
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Three Different Models,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not so with the Panasonic DMR-EZ47VK Up-Converting 1080p DVD-Recorder/VCR Combo with Built In Tuner. The user's guide is well written and has an excellent index and table of contents, making it easy to find what you're looking for when you have cables and boxes spread all over your living room floor.
The machine works as advertised and has an easy-to-use onscreen menu. The remote control is like any other. After a few minutes with it, the functions become clear.
The fact that the remote does not operate the open/close tray of the DVD or the eject function of the VCR is not really a problem. If you're changing DVDs or tapes, you've got to be at the box anyway.
The one-touch recording is simple to use. You get an onscreen prompt to press the button for three seconds to start recording. I suppose this is to prevent accidental recording.
I've put twenty hours of use on this box, recording ten DVDs, with no problems at all.
This is a good example of "you get what you pay for". My previous two models were significantly cheaper.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does Everything I Need Well,
1) To dub family movies from VHS & Hi8
2) To recieve and record HD Over-the-Air programming
3) To playback commercial DVDs in near-HD quality
This machine exceeded my expectations in all three areas.
Dubbed home movies were easy to do and looked great.
OTA reception looked as good as my HDTV's and antenna was plugged into the Panasonic's pass thru coaxial. It is great if you don't want cable/Tivo, and want to schedule recordings of OTA programs.
Sure, it has minor issues that I would change, but then, I never had a piece of electronics that was perfect.
Also, it was top rated in the just released issue of a popular consumer reporting mag. Nice to see AFTER a purchase. If you need it for the same reasons I did, I think you will be more than satisfied.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars beware of software defects!,
When we switched from daylight savings time to standard time, instead of the machine moving back one hour, it advanced! I checked the time settings and everything was set up correctly. I reset it to daylight savings time and to switch back to standard time overnight. Next day, I checked it and it again had advanced one hour instead of moving back. I called the service center and was told a dvd patch would be sent. I assume that means they acknowledge there are problems. That was 5 weeks ago and I still haven't received it. I emailed customer service two weeks ago and was given instructions on how to download a patch, but none is given for this model. I emailed again and am waiting for a reply. Getting help or service directly from Panasonic is a problem.
Other than the problems I've listed, recording quality is good. I purchased this product because I could transfer home videos to DVD and it works well for that. One thing I don't like is the fact that the machine must be off for automatic recording to take place. If I ever buy another DVD/VCR combo, I'll look at other brands though none of them as far as I can tell are truly high quality and I've owned Sony, Go Video, and Zenith. Of them all, the Zenith has worked the best. The Go Video is the only other one that I've found that will copy VHS to DVD and DVD to VHS but it will play only a some DVD formats, not all, which is a problem.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Machine,
Like others, I had some kind of pass through problem hooking the cable to the Pansonic first and passing through to the cable box. I used a splitter and have the cable go to each seperately. For channels that cannot be decoded without a cable box, I feed the Pansonic with an S-Video connection from the cable box. Unfortunately, this quality is just a little less than the tuner derived signals, but still good. Ease of use: this machine is way easier to use than so many others I've had. The instruction manual is terrific compared to some manuals that seem like they were written in Chinese. The machine does a lot of nice things automatically. If you put in an unformated RW disk, it asks if you want to format it. Commercialy recorded dvds look great too. There is was some mumbling about the 1080p up convert. For me, this works perfectly. This machine is the next best thing to an actual HD recorder. Infact, I doubt if I will ever buy an HD recorder, this is so good. I haven't even tried any VCR stuff yet. But, I am sure it will be good.
43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this DVR, but it falls short in several critical areas,
Sometimes, when chasing playback is engaged, it mangles the recorded audio so badly, you cannot understand the audio track at all.
If you forget to leave enough space to record the program, on the DVD-RAM disk, it attempts to record without an indication something is amiss. But, on playback, you realize you have recorded video, but no audio.
My $40 DVD player will allow you to stop, remove a DVD, and then replace it (even days later) and pick up where you left off. In fact, it remembers the last location on the most recent 30 disks placed into it. This DVR? It forgets where you were, on the disk, the moment you stop and remove the disk.
Large status messages appear on-screen, in the middle of playback (both commercial and disks it records) for no reason. Sometimes those messages flicker on and off once every 60 seconds or less. Panasonic's customer service cannot assist.
When this DVR records, it records great. The reviewers were right on that point. It makes a nice recording, if it functions correctly. You had just better make sure the program you're recording will be re-aired, because there's a decent chance the recording you're making right now will be botched in some way.
Contact Panasonic's customer service and they'll tell you to reboot the DVR, but that won't solve the problem. They'll tell you to buy new HDMI cables, but that won't solve the problem, either. They're fishing and their DVR isn't yet ready for the real world.
If I were you, I'd wait until someone perfects a DVR with a hard drive that includes a digital tuner and does the thing the Panasonic DMR-EZ47V and DMR-EZ47BK say they do, but actually do not.
Too bad. I really wanted to like this DVR. Now I cannot wait for someone to come along with something better.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If this machine was a person, he/she would be extremely talented.,
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