"I really enjoy this recorder"4.0 starson by lmjj83
Pros: Easy to record; press "Schedule" button and fill-in the blanks. RAM discs allow chasing playback. Plays DIVX & XviD files, even directly from SD card, or even a flashdrive. Play & burn videos directly from digital video camera via the "DV IN" port
Cons: Remote has no Mute button. Channel surfing is slow (use "Favorites" button instead). Slow turn-on (there's an option for faster start-up, but setting this feels like leaving a laptop computer running all the time).
Summary: When I started receiving broadcast digital TV programs, I tried to find a DVR that could receive digital broadcasts and record them in digital quality, without monthly fees (sorry Tivo). Based on reviews, the only ones on the market seemed problematic. When my VCR started to fail, I decided to go with the Panasonic VCR / DVD Recorder.
The unit accepts various types of discs. I've used DVD-R / -RW / +R / RAM, and haven't experienced any compatability problems. Using RAM discs allows you to watch a program anytime after it starts recording (chasing playback); very handy when your favorite program starts, but you need a few minutes to get the whole family together. The bad thing about recording to RAM discs is that you can't "Finalize" them to view on your computer.
I also love the fact that the Panasonic can play DIVX & XviD files. It can even play them directly from an SD card, or a flashdrive (using the USB port). I can also play movies (& burn to DVD) directly from my digital video camera via the "DV IN" port conveniently located on the front of the unit.
This unit has a few bugs, but they rarely show-up: A few times I've turned the unit on and the TV images have been in pastel colors! Turning the unit off and on (reboot) resolves this. Also, once in awhile when pressing PLAY after fast-forwarding through a program, the video plays too fast. Pressing STOP then PLAY brings it back to it's senses.
Overall, I really enjoy the Panasonic DVD recorder, and would recommend it to my friends.