Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recorder with a few caveats for N. American use.
The good:
Excellent picture quality up to 4hrs/SL DVD, great HDMI upconverting.
Quick to burn and finalize DVDs.
Records to DL media.
FR, a flexable speed where you can fit anywhere between 1-8 hrs/DVD. I just love FR to match any length movie to the disc.
Nice size HDD for many hours of good quality SP or LP.
Phrase save and shorten title...
Published on April 16, 2011 by jjeff

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Tech support in US
Recorder began dropping saved titles then began randomly writing portions of new titles over saved titles. Went to authorized Panasonic repair. They determined the unit wasn't made by Panasonic best they could determine it was a middle eastern unit. Said there was a HDD & Controller problem, trouble is the DVD is paired to them so all would have to be replaced; however,...
Published 6 months ago by Joeofsh


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recorder with a few caveats for N. American use., April 16, 2011
By 
jjeff (Midwest USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
The good:
Excellent picture quality up to 4hrs/SL DVD, great HDMI upconverting.
Quick to burn and finalize DVDs.
Records to DL media.
FR, a flexable speed where you can fit anywhere between 1-8 hrs/DVD. I just love FR to match any length movie to the disc.
Nice size HDD for many hours of good quality SP or LP.
Phrase save and shorten title features.
Multi voltage/frequency power supply, auto switching.
Region free playback, but doesn't convert systems.

The Bad:
No US tuner, use line inputs to record NTSC from a VCR, STB, DVR, DVD player, etc.
Slightly elevated black level when feeding line outputs from a US standard +7.5 IRE device. This device is looking for a IRE of 0 but N. American devices output +7.5 for SD, most DVD players have a DARKER setting that will correct this. It's very slight but I notice it.
Warranty only 30 days and only from seller, but truthfully it's a very reliable recorder and I haven't had any issues and I've had mine for ~1 year.

This DVDR is almost identical to the EH-69 which has a larger HDD and USB and SD card READER(not for recording).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does everything I want and does it well, February 13, 2014
By 
jks "jks" (Fort Collins, Colorado) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
My apologies for the length and technicality of this review, but I had many questions before I purchased the unit and wanted to answer them for anyone who had similar questions. For background, I purchased the unit for use in the U.S. I bought it from an Amazon marketplace vendor, not from Amazon directly. It works just fine for my purposes, with standard U.S. 110v/60z power, a 60-inch (American-signal NTSC) HDTV for display, and a DirecTV satellite box as one of the main source inputs.

-------------------------------------------

To cut to the chase, you should NOT purchase this unit:

(a) ... if you want to use the unit to play blu-ray DVDs. The unit plays ONLY standard DVDs.

(b) ... if you plan to record over-the-air broadcast signals using an antenna in most of North and South America. The tuner tunes in to PAL signals only. North and South American broadcasters use NTSC.

(c) ... if you plan to record unencoded TV programs from an analog cable source. These are very few and far between nowadays, as most cable providers have switched to digital signals that older "cable ready" televisions cannot interpret anyway. If your cable connects from the wall directly into the coax input of your TV, this unit will not record programs for you. However, if you have a cable or satellite tuner or converter box that that is between the source and your TV, this unit will record from your cable/satellite box just fine (using the box's composite outputs). That will let you archive favorite shows to DVD in standard definition.

(d) ... if you want to record HDTV (720 or 1080), from any source, or if you want to burn blu-ray disks. The unit will only record in standard definition (480 resolution), and it will only burn to standard DVDs. However, it does "upconvert" when playing through the component or HDMI outputs to an HD TV. If, for instance, you have a hi-def camcorder for shooting home movies and want to put them on a blu-ray in high resolution, you'll need to edit and burn using a computer.

(e) ... if you want to burn audio material to a CD. The unit will play audio CDs, but will not make them. You can burn audio material to a DVD, but not to a CD.

--------------------------------------------

You SHOULD consider this unit if:

(a) ... you wish to add a hard drive recorder to your A/V system that will also play standard definition Region 1 (U.S. and Canada) commercial DVDs, with an "upconvert" to pseudo-HD if you use the HDMI output jack. Though the manual does not specify that it will play Region 1, my unit plays DVDs from my library just fine.

(b) ... you are in the military or have an international job that requires you to switch back-and-forth between living in the U.S./Canada and Europe or Asia. The unit is compatible both both 110v/60hz power for the Americas and with 220v/50hz power used elsewhere. The unit comes with a European-style "round prong" plug, but the Amazon marketplace dealer included an adapter so it can be plugged into an American-style outlet using a "blade-style" plug.

(c) ... you want to burn to standard definition DVDs with VERY flexible non-destructive editing options. The DVDs the unit produces are "region-free" and should play successfully on a wide variety of players.

(d) ... you want to be able to play mini-DVDs recorded in your camcorder. The unit plays standard definition mini-DVDs recorded in 16:9 format by my Sony DCR-DVD305 camcorder. It plays them finalized or unfinalized, and will copy them directly from the DVD drive to the hard disk. It's very handy to be able to get home movies into the unit for editing without hooking up the camcorder to cables.

(e) ... you want or need very flexible setup and play options -- 16:9, 4:3 pan/scan, and 4:3 letterbox display options, PAL or NTSC signal ouput, and a variety of output jacks (HDMI, component, and SCART jacks for HD output plus composite outputs for standard definition). However, due to American legalities, the unit does NOT have HD inputs. It has only component and DV inputs.

----------------------------------------------------

I purchased the unit for reasons C, D, and E. I got into editing and DVD recording several years ago. I had many "home movies" on VHS going back decades that I digitized to DVD using a 2004 Pioneer DVR that finally bit the dust but is no longer made. I needed a replacement, and the choice came down between this one and a Magnavox as the only two DVR/DVD recorders I could find. Though the Magnavox comes in three capacities (250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB), has an NTSC tuner, and is a little less expensive, I chose this one. I downloaded and studied the owner's manuals, and found that this one has the non-destructive editing I wanted while the Magnavox does not.

To clarify, let's say you recorded the final episode of your favorite TV show, and wanted to put it on DVD without the commercials. With the Magnavox, you can delete the commercials and burn the program to the DVD without them. However, once deleted, the deleted sections are gone forever - hence "destructive editing." You can do the same thing with this unit if you wish - you can edit directly on the hard drive before copying the program to DVD, and the commercials are gone forever from the hard drive.

However, with this Panasonic unit, you can also do "non-destructive" editing. You can set up a "play list," edit out the commercials, and copy the edited playlist to your DVD. However, the original program remains intact on the hard drive. Editing the playlist doesn't erase the commercials; it simply tells the unit not to play them when it comes to them. The resulting DVD looks the same. You can also rearrange the order of scenes on the playlist - if your home movie had scenes 1, 2, 3, and 4 that you shot in chronological order, but you want to put the scene of your children riding the merry-go-round before the scene of your children in the motel swimming pool, you can reorder the scenes 2, 3, 1, 4 very easily before burning the DVD.

Consider the following scenario - you're the designated family videographer (as I often am) at a major family reunion, and you shoot 3 hours of video with your camcorder. Many family members want some of the video, but no one wants it all.

You must transfer material from your source (in this case, your video camera) to the Panasonic's hard drive in real time, so it takes 3 hours to get it onto the hard drive and ready for editing. Then, you set up a playlist, and for your brother edit out all of the "non-brother" scenes and burn him a DVD with the 20 minutes of his family. You do the same thing for your aunt, and for your sisters, and for your cousins, and for your parents, and so on. Each one gets a newly edited playlist from the original source.

However, it's not so easy with destructive editing. With the Magnavox, you'd spend three hours playing the material from the source into the DVR. Then you'd edit out all of the "non-brother" material and burn him a DVD. The deleted material is gone forever. For the next family member, you'd have to re-record the 3 hours of the reunion, then edit out all of the "non-sister" scenes and burn a DVD for her. Then, re-record the original reunion footage and do the same for every family member who wanted a portion of the reunion. You might spend 30 hours over the course of a week simply re-recording the reunion over and over again to edit a DVD for each of 10 family members. I've been there and done that, and non-destructive editing is much easier! For instance, suppose you like the Super Bowl and your spouse likes the commercials - so by recording the Super Bowl just once you can do one edit getting rid of the commercials and keeping the game, then just start a new playlist that edits out the game and keeps only the commercials. Much more flexibility. And - if you set the machine up the right way, you can do a high-speed copy from hard drive to a DVD. Burning and finalizing a DVD with two hours of material takes less than 15 minutes once the editing is done.

(One picky note about editing and copy speeds: copying edited material from directly from the hard drive or from an edited playlist is "frame-precise" in both normal-speed copying -- your edits begin and end on the exact frame you choose, but you lose the chapter marks. However, when copying DVD in high-speed mode, the chapter marks are preserved but the edit points may move by a few frames. This is normally not a problem, since most source material has a short "black space" between program and commercials, and you can easily provide the same black space between scenes with your home movies. However, if you put edit points in source material that changes scenes abruptly, you may find a stray frame or two on either side of the edit point on your finished DVD if you copy in high-speed mode. Copying in normal speed keeps the precision, but you need to remember that you lost the chapter divisions.)

Once your editing is done, you simply put a descriptive name with each segment ("title"), and choose a top menu style. All top menus have the same layout with 8 titles and thumbnail scenes (two columns of four); the only difference is in background color. Then burn and finalize the DVD. If you use +R DVDs, it will play on most recent machines; -R DVDs should play on almost all if finalized. I use -Rs, and they have played successfully on every DVD and blu-ray player I've tried them on.

So, apologies again for the length of the review. I'm hopeful it may help you decide whether or not this is the machine for you. It does exactly what I wanted it to do, and does it very well. Some of the functions (such as adding names to titles) are a little tedious, but very easy. The limitations are no bother, since I didn't buy the machine to do any of those functions.

The biggest issue I have is with the manual - it's very cryptic and somewhat disorganized, and every set of instructions refers you to several other pages. The info is there, but even when I knew what I wanted to do and knew the unit would do it, it took some hunting to found out how. The index and contents leave out some key terms and processes. For instance, "one-touch specified time recording" is there, but VERY hard to find (I finally found that you have to do it from the main panel on the unit, not from the remote. Took a lot of searching, since the concept is in neither the table of contents nor the index).

Please let me know of questions - I would be happy to respond.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it is intended to do, July 12, 2013
By 
Omer G. Wilson (ORLANDO, FLORIDA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
I live in Kissimmee,Fl. and this unit works perfect for me here. I don't use the off-the-air tuner as it isn't intended to work in the USA. I record and play back using the composite (RCA-yellow white red connections)for input AV3 front panel or AV4 rear panel and HDMI output connection (I also use the RCA outputs)for playback. If you follow the instructions concerning the switching between PAL and NTSC by holding down the stop button on the front panel and the open-close button on the front top right location at the same time for five consecutive seconds, you can place the unit in the NTSC mode which is the mode we use here in the USA. I have owned Panasonic DVD recorders for almost a decade now and they have always performed flawlessly. I wish they also still made a model intended for use in the USA. All that being said, this unit will work here in the USA and provide outstanding DVD's in both single layer and dual layer DVD blank media. Anything 2 hours or less is good enough quality for me to use a single layer disc and the FR (Flex-record mode)for best quality. 2 hours and over I use the dual layer discs to maintain writing quality and great playback. I record everything first to the HDD (Hard Disc Drive) in the XP mode (best quality recording mode) and copy from the HDD to the blank disc using FR (Flex-Record) mode as this will render the best quality DVD video disc to play back. Yes it's slower than high speed copying but quality is most important to me. Some things I've discovered that might help: 1. My DVD+R DL blank media must be formatted on the DMR-EH59 before you can record to it. I haven't tried DVD-R DL blank media yet but I believe it won't require formatting after reading the manual. I have some DVD-R DL blank media on order and when it arrives I'll know the answer to that question. My DVD-R single layer blank media works without requiring formatting on the machine. 2. The best DVD blank media I feel is the Verbatim single layer or dual layer discs. I've never had trouble with them as I have with other brands. No I don't work for Verbatim, I'm a retired Federal Communications engineer. 3. After some investigating I've discovered the SCART connectors on the back of the unit (AV1 and AV2) can be used for both input or output using an adapter sold on Amazon. I ordered two of the SCART to RCA/S-video input/output adapters (note-there's a switch on the adapter to switch between input or output)and when they arrive I'll know the answer to this also. They also sell SCART to HDMI and SCART to component adapters. 4. When copying/recording using dual layer discs the unit must first copy the video to the HDD again temporarily to copy to the dual layer disc. This means there must be enough room on the HDD to accommodate the temporary copy as well as the first HDD copy. This is never a problem for me as I erase everything between copying videos on my unit (I never leave a video on the HDD after I've copied it to a disc). I believe this procedure they use for the dual layer discs is required to accommodate switching between layers when copying on the disc itself. As I've already stated, this unit works perfectly here in the USA using the video/audio inputs and outputs. The only limitation is the off the air tuner itself and if that's very important to you, you can go to Amazon or Best Buy and buy an ATSC tuner box and feed the DMR-EH59 with video and audio cables from your newly purchased ATSC tuner box after you hook up the outside TV antenna to the new tuner box. Some of the info I've uncovered I've had to find out for myself. I've tried to share this info so others won't have to re-invent the wheel so to speak. I know this unit performs in an outstanding manner here in the USA through experience. You just have to know how to use it properly. It also plays region code 1 (USA) commercial DVD's without a problem (at least mine does and I haven't modified it). The biggest reason I bought this unit is because it records/copies to dual layer discs which cuts down on the amount of DVD's necessary to get a decent DVD copy. All my previous Panasonic DVD recorders didn't offer dual layer recording/copying. I've owned a Philips and a Magnavox DVD recorder and I still feel Panasonic offers the best DVD recorders. Hope this helps everyone in deciding what to purchase and use. I know it can be very confusing to someone who hasn't had any experience in DVD recorders prior to purchasing equipment. I'm very happy with my purchase of this equipment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product! Why Others Can't Duplicate is Beyond Me!, October 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
Greetings,

I have been using the unit for the past couple of weeks now. I previously had a Panasonic recorder that I used heavily over a 5-yr period. The panasonic units are the only recorders that allow you to create DVDs that auto-play. How parents can manage with anything other than DVDs that auto-play when inserted, I have no idea (especially in car situations).

Panasonic doesn't make these recorders for the U.S. market any longer, so it is great that Amazon offers this one offered normal to the European market. It's a little more expensive than the those sold here by other manufacturers, but it is worth the extra cost, IMHO.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised, December 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
Our old DVD recorder died and my wife wanted to get another one to replace it. I thought we should go for one of the HDD units as long as we were going to spend the money.

Some things about the interface could be better -- hence 4 stars. It's annoying that it always starts up with its menu screen. The procedure for deleting portions of a video is quite clunky. On our old Pioneer unit adding chapters splits and deleting chapters could be done all from the same interface. On this one, to delete portions of the video you have to go to "delete partial", and that requires you to specify both a start and end time, which is annoying since one of the most common things to do is trim the beginning of the video off. When you go to the "delete partial" screen it starts playing immediately (why would you want it to play if you're trying to delete things?) So if you want to delete the first bit you have to press pause, skip back, then press "ok" to select that as the start. They could have just automatically selected the beginning of the video as the default start. But no. Typical idiot design decision that you seem to get out of every electronics manufacturer besides Apple. It's like they hire interns to design the on-screen interface.

But the box works. And I'm very happy we paid the extra money to get the HDD. I never really used our old box to do recording, because it's quite a mental drain to make sure you have the right DVD-RW inserted at the right time so that your recording works. But with the HDD, I've already added a few weekly recordings, and they just work -- no hassles!

We use this with DVDs from Japan and the US. I also tried a PAL DVD of Mary Poppins I have that's from France. It played fine too. All that is using the HDMI output. That's the only output I've used.

Having just a single composite input on the back is also a bit disappointing, but not the end of the world. There is a composite input on the front to plug something extra into.

Oh, and I was so delighted to find that it works with our Toshiba flat-screen TV through some HDMI AV.link thing (see [...]). So that when we turn on the Panasonic and do something like pressing the main menu button, it automatically switches our TV to the right input.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic did it Again!, January 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
Received it last week, and hooked it up today. Only took Hubby about 15 minutes. I have had so many DVDs, VHS, and the last one was a Panasonic too. It still works great, after about 7 years, but I need the recorder. This DVD recorder works so smoothly,
and so easily and we both love it. It is sharp looking, no noise, and records wonderfully too. Please check this out, and you also
will be pleasantly surprised how wonderfully, and easily it works.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value. Works great., November 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
Great product. Does so much that its tough to remember procedures. Keep instructions handy. Be aware of limitations due to the fact that targeted audience is Europe. Not cheap but a good value for the money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Tech support in US, July 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
Recorder began dropping saved titles then began randomly writing portions of new titles over saved titles. Went to authorized Panasonic repair. They determined the unit wasn't made by Panasonic best they could determine it was a middle eastern unit. Said there was a HDD & Controller problem, trouble is the DVD is paired to them so all would have to be replaced; however, as far as they could determine parts were not available in the US and there was no Tech support available. Unless I can find another source for repair I now own a rather expensive door stop.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worked great after changing it to nstc, March 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
There were at lot of postings as to how this worked in the us. I did have to change it from pal to nstc as per the instructions in the manual and after that it worked fine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for USA use, February 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMREH59GCK 250GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder (Black) (Electronics)
This is probably a good piece of equipment; but, unfortunately, I couldn't use it. I bought it under the impression it was one of the units that had been altered with a switchable power supply to make them usable in the US. It was not - and I saw nothing in Amazon's product discription to indicate that. Amazon did designate the unit as PAL capable - possibly to indicate it WAS for foreign use only. Since I have a TV that accepts PAL, and another player that plays it, I saw no reason not to purchase the unit. A "Not for use in USA" banner would have saved me some aggravation. Amazon did handle the return with no problems or questions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.