Pros Low price. Great recordings in LP (4Hr) speed
Cons PIP & Commercial Skip wont work on Finalized DVDs.
Summary The Panasonic DMR-ES10 is my second DVD recorder.This DVD Recorder was purchased because my TOSHIBA DR-2 has now become problematic when using blank DVD-RW disks. Also,I have always trusted the PANASONIC quality products.If Panasonic had a DVD recorder with all these features available sooner. Then I would not have purchased the TOSHIBA DVD recorder.
Unlike all previous Panasonic DVD recorders. Besides being able to record on DVD-R and DVD-RAM. This new model will also record on , DVD+R , DVD-RW. This is a much needed and smart move by Panasonic.
But a word of caution. Due to strict new copy protection laws. Some broadcasts now contain Copy Control signals. They may have one of three signal types: Copy-Free, Copy-Once, or Copy-Never. The recorder limits the recording according to the copy protection signal. Copy-Free encoded signals can be recorded at any time with any compatible blank disk type.
Copy-Never encoded signals can not be recorded on this unit. Many of your premium cable stations(HBO,SHO)are Copy-Once programs. This means you may record the program to a disk. But you are not able to take that disk and then make a copy of it. According to the manual copy once programs may only be recorded using DVD-RAM. However I did not have any problems recording HBO using all types of DVD disks.
Being that this is only a $200 unit. It is not made as sturdily as some of the previous models. But the many important new features and low price make up for that.
Panasonic made alot of bold claims about this unit.I was hesitant about them , especially since this is only a $200 unit. While other DVD recorders like the SONY sell for nearly $400.00. But I am happy to report that all the claims are true. The unit works great. Panasonic really backs up all thier claims about this DVD recorder.
All the DVDs I have recorded played back with very high quality. I also found no problems with compatibility when playing those DVDs back on other DVD players. Recordings made in the four (4) hour (LP) speed looked identical to those made using the (2) Hour(SP)speed.
The VCR Plus feature is fairly useless if you have it connected to a CABLE box. But if you have it connected to a standard antenna then VCR Plus is a useful feature.
The remote control also controls your TV. Also If you have another Panasonic DVD player/recorder. The remote can be adjusted so it wont turn on your other Panasonic equipment.
Among the important new features is that all the new Panasonic models for 2005 now have improved horizontal resolution. In the LP (4 Hours) mode, this DVD recorder has images twice as sharp as last year's models. It gives up to 500 lines resolution. This is double the horizontal resolution compared to the 250 lines of conventional LP mode recording. Thanks to this, you now have high quality four hour recordings as sharp as the Two Hour (SP )speed.
Another new feature is what Panasonic calls "VHS Refresh". This feature offers improved quality when Dubbing VHS to DVD. When connecting a VCR and the DVD recorder to record VHS videotape images onto a DVD disk. Something called a "Time Base Corrector", helps reduce jitter and also performs signal conversion to create a stable signal.
At the same time, 3D Digital Noise Reduction, detects and virtually eliminates randomly generated noise and color errors to help minimize flicker. Thanks to these two technologies, the tape input signal is automatically detected and optimum processing is performed to provide an easy way to even more beautiful digital pictures. The 3D Digital Noise Reduction, also helps clear up recordings made in the EP 6(or) 8) hour speed. This unit has an option to allow up to Eight (8) hours of record time.
Also new is the nearly instantaneous response in start-up and recording. It is as quick as five seconds from the DVD-RAM insertion to Play or Record. The unit has nearly as fast times for other blank DVD media.
Disk finalizing is a bit slow. (Four Minutes) But that's a minor trade-off for the lightning quick disk recognition. The Panasonic DMR-ES10 DVD Recorder also has a "One Touch Record" button. Each press gives 30 Minutes recording time up to 4 hours. The unit then powers itself off after the recording time has finished.
All Panasonic DVD recorders offer all the benefits of the DVD-RAM format. Which include " Chasing Playback". -- This feature lets you view a program that you're currently recording from any point that's already been recorded, while continuing to record the live program in progress.
So you no longer have to wait for the entire program to be recorded before watching it from the beginning to the end.
Simultaneous Recording & Playback are also possible using DVD RAM. This way you can record a live TV program while watching any other program that's been previously recorded on the same disk.
Time Slip Button -- Just press the Time Slip button once during recording on a DVD RAM, to start playing back the scene recorded 30 seconds earlier. You can also use the cursor keys to return to any point from 1 to 360 minutes earlier.
The Panasonic DMR-ES10 DVD Recorder offers a PIP(Picture-in-Picture function)during playback. But the (PIP)insert picture is a bit large. Each press of a commercial skip button skips ONE minute ahead. - Please note : These two features will NOT work once the disk is finalized. they also wont work on pre-recorded (store bought) DVD movies.
The unit has a new layout with finalize and disk setup which makes it easier to use. Also new is that it goes into record mode and loaded DVDs so much faster. Both are major improvements over earlier units. I also liked the smaller size, and large easy to read numerical readout. Total ease of use is also improved. But novices will still need to read the manual thoroughly.
I like the new sleek look. This model seems more user friendly and priced low enough. If you havent already purchased a DVD Recorder. Then this is the unit that may make you put away your VCR. For those who like their components to match. This unit also comes in Black.
I have only one minor complaint. There is no disk time remaining display during a DVD movie playback. The time remaining display is viewable during recording. Also in Stop mode to view the recording time left on disk.
Connections - 1 RF(TV) Input/1 RF(TV)Output, 1-Front Panel Audio/Video(S-Video)3-Rear Panel Audio/Video(S-Video),1 Rear Panel component video input. 1- Audio/Video (S-Video)Outputs,1- Digital Audio Optical Output.
Pros Ease of use.
Cons Cannot record 16:9 widescreen on +R or -R media.
Summary I just got this item today and noticed in the owners manual that it will only record in 16:9 aspect widescreen mode if you use DVD-RAM disks. Since I plan to use DVD-R this is a big disappointment. I called Panasonic and after 20 mins on hold they confirmed what I already suspected. No widescreen. The Sony RDR-GX300 does record 16:9 on DVD-R's so it definitely has an advantage. I guess you get what you pay for. Since I have regular DirecTV I probably only receive a 4:3 signal, but when I upgrade to DirecTV HD I will definitely want to replace this Panasonic with a Sony. I researched this purchase for about a month and didn't notice. Hopefully this review will help some of you before it's too late. I look at it this way. In a year when I get HD (when they finally have a variety of programming), any DVD burner I buy now will be obsolete anyway. I'd rather replace this $189 unit than a $350 Sony.Updated
My previous review refered to the lack of 16:9 widescreen recording ability on +R and -R media. I've now recorded almost 100 DVD's (-R format) on this thing and I must say I am more impressed every day. My -R's play on even older DVD players. Picture quality is exceptional! I especially like the flexible record mode which allows you to record a 2hr 15min movie without having to resort to 4hr recording mode (losing quality). You simply set this recorder to 2hr 15min mode and it fills the media perfectly! If you want a great recorder and you don't have HDTV buy this! If you have HDTV you'll want one that can record in 16:9 aspect ratio (like the Sony).
Pros Good Features
Cons Issues playing my DVDs, terrible support
Summary I purchased this unit, and found the feature set to be great. But in playing my existing DVD-Rs -- which had been recorded on a Toshiba PC and played fine on my other DVD player -- problems developed. The Panasonic would play the first half fine, but then in the second half it would start displaying big unpainted blocks on the screen, and then finally hang for a few seconds and return to the menu. It did this on multiple DVDs, all of which played fine all the way through on my other DVD player (a Toshiba).
Just in case there was some unexpected thing they could suggest, I contacted Panasonic support. After traversing a large phone menu, I was told someone would be with me in an estimated 25 minutes. I hung up and exchanged the unit for another just like it. The second one had exactly the same issue. I tried giving Panasonic support one more chance -- this time they estimated 40 minutes to speak to someone.
So I returned the unit and bought a Toshiba D-R4 Multi-Drive DVD Recorder. It is the same price (slightly less in fact), and has almost exactly the same features. As a double-check before buying it, I called Toshiba support to ask them about disk editing, and a technical support agent answered within about 30 seconds and answered my question. So the support is there too.
Most importantly, it plays all my DVDs fine. But also, after trying it, I found several features in the Toshiba that had not been on the Panasonic, to my pleasant surprise. They include:
- A "zoom" feature, which lets you magnify part of the screen to see something you are interested in
- A "replay" button, which backs up an amount you can set to hear again what someone on the show said, see something cool again, etc. This is a feature I had missed in my previous DVD player from my TiVo. Replay is much more useful than rewind, wait, play, try to get the timing right.
- Shows how long a program is, and what % you are through it. The Panasonic showed how far you are into the program, but not how much time is remaining or what % you are through it. In deciding whether to finish a movie now or hold the rest for later, this is pretty helpful information.
- Will record timer programs even if you forget and leave the DVD recorder turned on, so long as there is a disc loaded with space on it.
- It even has free shipping at Amazon, which the Panasonic does not.
In the end, I was quite glad the Panasonic had these problems, so I would find the Toshiba D-R4 instead and get these additional features for free. The only issue I found on the Toshiba is that it is only available in silver (which doesn't match all my black Audio Video components well), but that is a pretty small issue.
Pros easy to use and excelent picture
Cons can't chase using -RW
Summary Great machine for the price, with Panasonic reliability