"Excellent unit with minor flaws."4.0 starson by final4illini
Pros: HDD allows excellent editing, Excellent conversion from VHS to HDD to DVD, Reliable TV Program Guide and Excellent picture quality.
Cons: Time-consuming editing, poor remote and poor manual and disapointed that it doesn't automatically create thumbnail chapters as other units do.
Summary: I am new to DVD recording, but I did a LOT of homework. I went to the Panasonic units because of their superior recording quality. I originally bought an ES40V and was generally happy with it, but I read it had a lot of problems and a new generation was coming out. So, I returned it and waited and waited for the EH75V.
My reason for buying a DVD recorder was to convert VHS and Mini DV home movies. This unit does this well with a little extra work.
The Good- I am very happy with this unit. It does everything it says it will do. Some people have had problems with disk compatability, TV Program Guide, Finalizing, however I have not had one problem with this unit!! It works and it works great. I would like to mention that I bought it right when it came out since April.
All formats work great, but the key to this unit is the hard drive. Once you record to HDD you can do so much. Even though I am happy with my results I will mention here that the editing is very time-consuming. A lot of it is trial and error as the manual is complicated. But with persistance and time you can pick up how to do a lot. For example, I converted a sports tape recorded from TV from VHS to HDD. I know I had to record it in SP for the quality and time factor. I then create chapters to delete commercials and also divide titles when there is a transition. I can then choose my thumbnail if I don't like the one given and I name the thumbnails for all titles. Once I have all the titles named all I have to do is tell the unit to "Advance Copy", select from HDD to DVD, and NOT finalize it. Once the high speed copying is done I switch drives to DVD (with a blank DVD in the drive) and I name the DVD, choose the color and type of menu, then I finalize it. It's easy, but again very time-consuming.
I don't find the function display or menus hard to navigate at all, it takes a little practice, though.
Reording from the DV input is a little tricky. If there is a break on your tape the unit will stop recording. I was very frustrated by this until I realized I can continue from that spot and it creates another title. You can't just walk away after you press record. Because of it stopping frequently (depending on your DV tape)you have to keep recording from each stopped part.
The Bad- Time-consuming editing as stated above. The remote could be more functional as in opening and closing the DVD tray, ejecting the VHS tape etc....Poor location of the remote sensor, too. The manual is pretty bad, but playing around with the remote and menus as well as reading the manual eventually gets the job done. I will say I did make a few coasters while I learned. Last but not least...a lot of units automatically create chpters with thumbnails at certain intervals. Not this unit. The only thing it does is create marks every 5 mins for manuevering around the DVD and only after it is finalized. No thumbnails, just moving the scene along 5 mins at a time.*** I will note that HDD and DVD-Ram you can create chapters with thumbnails only as you watch it.
I would give it a 10, except for the little annoyances, which are big for me. I hope this has been helpful before you purchase.