Panasonic DMR-E30 vs. Phillips DVDR985

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ClintG, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. ClintG

    ClintG Auditioning

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    From what I have read, sounds like the Philips is a better recorder than the Panasonic, even though it is about $200 more. One thing though: is a firewire input, as on the DVDR985, that big of a deal? If it is just a matter of speed, I would just as save the $200 and get the DMR-E30. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. William Laughner

    William Laughner Stunt Coordinator

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    I am also ready to buy a DVD recorder and can't decide which recorder to buy. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
     
  3. ClintG

    ClintG Auditioning

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    Here is a response I received from an owner of both the Panasonic DMR-E30 and the Philips DVDR985. He seems to know his stuff. I posted a question about these two units and here is what he had to say:
    "Yes, the upgrade completely fixed the overscan issue.
    The firewire is important if you are going to dub from Mini-DV. Using the Philips, you can't tell a difference from the source.
    I think the picture quality is the same with both units, except that the 6 hour speed in the Panasonic is pretty bad, especially during any motion scenes. It would probably only be OK to time shift soaps or something.
    As I said, both are good, but I think the Philips wins due to the firewire, ease of use, sturdiness, and the ability to make erasale dics that will play on other units. The Philips even plays DVD-R and DVD-RW!
    Overall the Philips rates an 8 and Panasonic rates 6 IMO. Hope theis helps."
    Sounds to me like the Philips is the winner. There are new units coming out in a few months from Philips and Toshiba that have built in hard drives (good for time-shift recording, I think) but the expected MSRP's on these are about $1200 for the Philips and $1500 for the Toshiba, both out of my price range. Pricegrabber.com listed a store that had the Philips DVDR985 for about $730, $200 more than the DMR-E30. I hope that by this October the DVDR985 will be cheaper. I hope this helps. For some really interesting advice in addition to www.hometheaterforum.com, also check out www.avsforum.com.
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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    If I currently used a DV camcorder, I'd certainly be looking closely at units with firewire. I don't use DV right now, though. And DV->DVD does always have additional compression, the MJPEG of DV is not compatible and must be re-encoded to MPEG.
    Panasonic keeps cutting prices on DVD recorders, if Philips cuts theirs I expect Panasonic will follow suit, though maybe not by as many dollars.
    Based on various comments, it appears that the E20/E30 has a much better comb filter than the 985. This is important for getting the best quality from VHS (not SVHS) and Laserdisc (and other sources that store video natively as composite).
    The E20/E30 can also do timeslip to watch shows while they are still recording (-RAM only).
    Every objective third party comparison I've seen (like DV magazine) has shown -R to be more compatible than +R/W. And -R is an official format of the DVD Forum (and part of the official DVD Multi spec), +R/W is not.
    All that said, I'm still unsure about what recorder I will buy, and they all do have their pros and cons.
     
  5. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    What I've read on the net (mainly about the E20 though, since the E30 is so new).
    E20/E30 and 985 video quality similar overall. Some say in some areas slightly better with E20 and the reverse with other areas.
    E30 does not have Firewire, so must use analogue input for MiniDV. Quality is excellent, but slightly worse than 985's Firewire transfer in some situations.
    Editing capabilities of E20/30 vastly superior on DVD-RAM vs. 985 on DVD+RW. However, DVD+RW has much higher compatibility than DVD-RAM. Editing is minimal for both DVD+R and DVD-R, but both are much more compatible than DVD+RW (and of course DVD-RAM).
    985 is more buggy than E20, although some of the concerns have been addressed with the new firmware update. Dunno about E30 yet.
    E20 not happy with some cheap DVD-R media. DVD-RAM works consistently however. Not much out there on 985 and cheap media, because up until recently cheap DVD+R media did not exist. The E30 is similar or slightly better with cheap media.
    I'm probably just going to get the E30 although my needs may be different than others. My reasons:
    1) Cost. I can get it for under $650 at the local shop, so I don't have to deal with mail order.
    2) Right now I don't have a miniDV camera so the Firewire thing is not a major issue (and I'd probably do the capture on my PC anyway even if I did get a miniDV camera).
    3) I already have a DVD-RAM and DVD-R burner on my PC/Mac, and my RP91 supports DVD-RAM.
    4) Time Slip seems very cool. [​IMG] (I always hated on SVHS having to wait until the end of the recording.)
    By the way, there are good posts on the subject at:
    1) www.avsforum.com (supporters of both)
    2) www.dvdplusrw.org (biased towards the 985)
    3) www.dv-info.net (biased towards the E30)
     
  6. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    So I ordered the E30 from my local store. $635. I'll review it once I get it, but that won't be for a few weeks probably.
     
  7. Jon W (NoVA)

    Jon W (NoVA) Stunt Coordinator

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    So does everyone own TIVOs already or something?

    I just ordered a DMR-E30, and the main determining factor (besides $250) was the time slip ability with DVD-RAM.

    Best I can tell we just won't see this sort of thing with DVD+RW or DVD-RW recorders because they don't have the near HD performance like DVD-RAM has.

    I would had loved to have the firewire input, DVD+RW compatibility, DCDi, component video connections, etc, etc of the 985 but the DMR-E30 seems to be like buying a DVR and getting a DVD-Recorder free.

    Any drawbacks with the timeslip feature? Or why is this never mentioned?
     
  8. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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  9. Jon W (NoVA)

    Jon W (NoVA) Stunt Coordinator

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    Right, I'm not really interested in the subscription features or cost of Tivo. Merely the ability to pause the television set to go flip the steak outside, or give the baby her bath, or whatever, come back later and start watching again and of course being able to skip over commercials.

    And I need a fairly high quality recording since we have a 57" RPTV, so I'll probably be using the 2hr mode the most I suspect.

    Seems like a reasonable stop gap solution at least until HD and DD5.1 recorders become available and affordable.
     
  10. Chuck Paskovics

    Chuck Paskovics Stunt Coordinator

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    First time i've seen this (Panasonic DMR-HS2) offered, and actually lower than expected. Granted, this is a presale. He had this up once already and got no bids. He was asking $1099. Now he has dropped it to $950 and states that Panasonic has dropped the price.
    I will be waiting for it's full release to see the actual street prices. But, this is what I want. I'm also curious to see if the hard drive can be upgraded like it can on the tivo. It would be nice to stick an 80 or 120GB drive in and recorded everything in high quality mode.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=1376864653
     
  11. Michael St. Clair

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    Based on the trend, I expect to see the HS2 selling online for $750 (the new MSRP is $999) within a few weeks of US release.

    Unless demand is way higher than supply...
     
  12. Tim Sly

    Tim Sly Stunt Coordinator

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    Any new updates, let us know.
     
  13. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    Need I remind anyone about my experience with the HS2. I posted everything about this machine.

    I'll never buy a Panasonic recorder again. Bought and returned in less than a week.
     
  14. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    The Philips, Panasonic, Pioneer and Samsung DVD recorders all record with excellent results based on the source material. It now comes down to features. The Samsung / Panasonic players both incorporate Flexible Recording that is vital for recording material over two hours long.

    The Philips player, I don't know about Pioneer, has fixed recording times similar to the old VCR sytle of recording. 1, 2, 3, 4 hour time periods. With Flexible recording you program in the recording time and the player records at the highest bit rate for that particular time perioid.

    You don't want to record a movie 2:15 minutes long at the three hour time period. That is to much wasted space and a lower bit rate than if the recording was set for 2:15 minutes. The key to receiving excellent results in DVD recording is recording at the highest bit rate. You want the recorded material to cover the DVD from one end to the other.
     
  15. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    Excellent results...according to you. I have those serious issues with the Panasonic.

    And the flexible recording times are going to be a feature in the upcoming Phillips and Pioneer...if i'm remembering correctly.

    It's all changing.
     
  16. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    CraigL all we can compare is what is available today, not what maybe introduced to the market in the future. Only the Samsung and Panasonic recorders feature Flexible Recording and that feature is a must have.

    I have recorded over 150 movies from VHS, SVHS, Laserdisc and DirecTV using a Samsung DVD R3000 recorder and have only experienced washed out picture quality once. That was a recording of the African Queen from AMC. I adjusted the video output on the JVC and Panasonic pro scan players I use for playback and this corrected the problem and also improved playback for all my DVD's. It was an adjustment I should have made when I first installed the players.

    I just recorded The Lion in Winter and The Naked and the Dead in letterbox from TCM and they both turned out excellent. The DVD recording will only be as good as the element the transfer is made from. You can't compare a VHS transfer to Laserdisc or DirecTV.

    I understand your frustration with the Panasonic hard drive recorder your experienced nothing but problems with. From what you described that is a bad product. The Panasonic E30 and Samsung DVD R3000 a very good recorders. Panasonic makes good products their RP91 and RP82 are two of the best pro scan players on the market.
     
  17. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    It's not a problem with just the Panasonic hard drive. It is a well documented problem with ALL panasonic recorders to this point. The 10, 20, 30 and now...the HS2.
     

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