"Finally, a do it all player that really does it all"4.5 starson by BoloYeung
Pros: LP recording is astounding, Sound Quality is well above average, ease of use, upscales better than expected
Cons: Remote doesn't have eject button, sometimes hard to tell if you've switched modes correctly
Summary: I normally don't bother writing opinions, since most people just write something like, "Wow, this is awesome" or "Man, this stunk", but this player has performed WELL above my expectations for an all-in-one unit. I have DVD/VHS Recorder deck already from Panasonic, so I know about the LP recording being MILES ahead of any other recorder. However, this player does so much more that is really is a significant upgrade from the features of last year's models.
I disagree with the CNet review regarding the upscaling of this unit - perhaps it is because my HP MD6580 displays everything well, but I actually sold my Oppo DVD player after viewing the picture on this at 1080i. I was very hard pressed to tell the difference, and the sound on this was far superior than from the Oppo. I was really surprised, since most technogeeks love the Oppo (as most would characterize me), but especially with DTS output it wasn't even close. Even my wife could tell, and she is NOT someone who notices anything to do with my theater setup. The only really issue is with the "handshake" between the player and the TV using the HDMI. It works, but when I first set it up it was a little quirky and wouldn't recognize the signal. I had to turn the TV on first, THEN the player. The TV couldn't be already on, and the player couldn't either. But once that was done, it worked fine.
I have Tivo through Directv, and have owned a regular Tivo DVD recorder, and this really does a pretty nice job of replacing the features on it without giving up TOO much. Granted, it is not as easy, but thanks to Tivo's new pricing structure, I would take this over a standalone Tivo, especially since at LP you can record over 70 hours on the hard drive, and LP on the new Tivo's is TERRIBLE if you have it hooked into an HD set. LP is really that good on here, and you can fit 4 hours of a show like "24" on a DVD and not give up picture quality - a BIG plus. Also, transferring tapes to DVD's is a snap. I have been moving home movies onto the hard drive and DVD's directly and boy is it a breeze. Again, the manual is a tough read, but worth the trouble as it does cover every question you probably have.
While a little pricey, it really does replace a lot of components on your audio rack, especially with HD DVD and Blu-Ray (PS3) right around the corner, this will still keep a prominent place on my shelf. By doing everything so well in one unit, Panasonic has set the bar VERY high for their players, and consider me a big fan. Highly recommended.