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Master Geek
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Topic # 59869 13-Apr-2010 23:13
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It looks quite nice - DMR-XW350GZK DVD Recorder with Twin HD Digital Tuners - and Harvey Norman have it at $899. (An HN actually have a user friendly website too - yay!)

Thoughts?

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  Reply # 318186 14-Apr-2010 08:52
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I'd far prefer a Tivo or Freeview certified device. No EPG is just an admission by Panasonic that they aren't really interested in the product and if you do want to copy anything to DVD it has to be transcoded to MPEG2 which means you get no HD content.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 318251 14-Apr-2010 10:57
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Another note of caution on that particular model - the 250GB hard disk.

On an analogue dvd / hard disk recorder a 250GB disk was considered quite large, but it will hold just under 42 hours of TV3 recordings. It depends on how you use your recorder, but I know that I have periods when I fall behind watching programmes that I've recorded - I would find the disk too small.

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  Reply # 318501 14-Apr-2010 19:45
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I quite like it, makes a lot of sense to me. As it's near the end of Panasonic's product cycle (you'll see others on here are going to Panasonic launches soon) you should be able to shop around for a better deal. I have seen it on sale for $800. Panasonic do make nice products, but be aware, it's not multi-region... but you can get them sorted for free by a certified tech. The store selling it to you will be able to point you in the right direction.

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  Reply # 318551 14-Apr-2010 22:03
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I love Pannys as a rule - I own 2 Panny tvs (1x elderly CRT, 1x new LCD) and 2 Panny dvd recorders already (1 elderly model relegated to the bedroom, and a newer one).

Disk space is always a constraint for me - when I'm busy at work etc I often don't have time to watch much TV for a few weeks, and recordings pile up. I move them to disc (-R or -RW) to keep room on the hard drive.

I looked at upgrading to this model, but the fact that any HD recordings that you move off the hard drive onto DVD get transcoded down to SD MPEG2 was a deal breaker for me. Got a cheap (circa $200) freeview box that could take an external disk instead. Not too happy with this either - PVR software is flaky, and I can't figure out how to transcode/edit the files on my PC.

Will pursue options later in the year - waiting for the blu-ray model (which will move files off to disc) to come down to a more sensible price first.

The feature I wish they would add is an ethernet port where you can connect several units to the network, and play the content of one units hard drive on the other unit directly. I recall that some of the earlier Panny hard drive models could do this, but I couldn't afford them at the time.

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  Reply # 318611 15-Apr-2010 08:14
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In all seriousness nothing beats a PC based PVR for functionality. For what you pay for a very average unit you can have a PC with 8x the storage, a full EPG, dual tuners, and no DRM restrictions on what you can and can't do with your recordings.

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  Reply # 318662 15-Apr-2010 09:58
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When are they going to put HDDs into the TVs?

Most people I set these things up for really cannot handle having an outboard tuning device for recording (remember trying to explain the VCR to your grandparents??)

Dual tuners and storage in the TV - one unit, very easy, why hasn't anyone done it?

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  Reply # 318683 15-Apr-2010 10:40
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They have.  I think LG has a model, not sure if it's here in NZ tho, and I hear the new Panasonic range has a few TV's that can do this.

sbiddle, how much do you reckon a htpc could be made for that uses win 7, receives freeview HD and satellite, outputs hdmi to a TV and has a 1gb internal drive, and that looks like a lounge unit rather than a pc?

I know the hd audio is proving a pain out from htpc's but with the cost of a standalone dedicated bluray/cd/dvd player I think it's better to keep that separate anyway.  Panasonics bd60 unit is around $277 from DSE at the mo with free shipping, and that does internal decoding of all formats, so can output analogue 7.1 or pcm to a receiver that can handle that, but not decode itself.

The PS3 playtv was my initial answer but it takes ages to start up, has no working EPG and can only record one thing at a time, regardless of having twin tuner hardware.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 318698 15-Apr-2010 11:09
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The bad thing about PVR's is that when they fail, say goodbye to all your recorded programmes that you haven't watched. This was the deal breaker for me, I'd rather have a more expensive HTPC and know that unless the hard drive failed, I'd have access to all those recordings.

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  Reply # 325271 30-Apr-2010 14:10
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I'm thinking about buying one too.

Not interested in a HTPC so comes down to this vs Tivo vs MagicTV

Ad-skipping is really important to me, more so than season pass which is why I'm leaning Panasonic way.

What I'd really like to know is when will Sony add a Freeview tuner to their DVD recorders?
All their new TVs 32" and above have them now.
Can't hang on forever!

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 325276 30-Apr-2010 14:29
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Looks like there are some new models available in Japan.
Can't tell the differences, it all Japanese to me.
BW850 superceeded by BW880, also seems to be a BWT range

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  Reply # 325304 30-Apr-2010 15:17
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Gemini: I'm thinking about buying one too.

Not interested in a HTPC so comes down to this vs Tivo vs MagicTV

Ad-skipping is really important to me, more so than season pass which is why I'm leaning Panasonic way.

What I'd really like to know is when will Sony add a Freeview tuner to their DVD recorders?
All their new TVs 32" and above have them now.
Can't hang on forever!


Adding a Freeview tuner to a DVD recorder is totally pointless because a DVD can't do HD. You end up with a device like this Panasonic one that was intended for the Australian market where they use MPEG2 but with provision of the same HD tuner componently that the higher end Blu Ray model had. To copy a file to DVD means transcoding it.

I honestly don't know whether you'll ever see many Blu Ray recorders ever hit the market.

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  Reply # 325306 30-Apr-2010 15:19
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Gemini: Looks like there are some new models available in Japan.
Can't tell the differences, it all Japanese to me.
BW850 superceeded by BW880, also seems to be a BWT range


BW880 has an aust page http://www.panasonic.com.au/products/details.cfm?productID=7691

The thing holding me back from the Panasonic is simply no EPG support, ( besides the now/next in the EIT data). I am not so worried about the season pass, but without any EPG support it simply becomes a upspeced VCR albeit in HD

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  Reply # 325328 30-Apr-2010 15:51
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I was talking to a guy a few days ago who said Panasonic players are currently undergoing testing / certification from Freeview to get the full EPG treatment. So I'd wait, grab a new model when they land and run away laughing :)

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Reply # 325336 30-Apr-2010 16:00
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Freeview certification probably means Panasonic will have to disable the ad-skipping!!!

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  Reply # 325340 30-Apr-2010 16:01
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Dunnersfella: certification from Freeview
Wouldn't expect to see the ability to copy to disk then, well unless freeview do an about turn as was hinted at recently in the news, but don't expect that to happen any time soon...

PS3 with playTV is about the cost of the Panasonic DVD version, and does all and more, only can't copy out to disk.  That said, yeah if the Panasonic ever got the EPG and can write to Bluray then it would definitely be a lot easier to use.

Either way though, buying something that's a DVD player only just means you're selling yourself short.  Get the Bluray version and at least you're moving forward with technology.

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