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Once you've experienced the simplicity of hard drive video recording and editing, it's hard to go back to recording on capacity-challenged removable media.


If you're wondering why they'd include a digital ATSC tuner on a standard definition recorder, well it can be summed up in two words: Oh, you'll still be able to record from a cable box or external set-top box, but you will no longer be able to tune in your shows and record them directly onto a hard drive, DVD or tape without the help of an external tuner. Not so with this new Panasonic. Its built-in ATSC tuner will access any of your locally broadcast digital channels standard def or high defover the air or on cable, now and into the foreseeable future. After recording and finalizingdiscs recorded on this player can then be played back on the unit itself or on virtually any other DVD player. As to how it manages to do that, read on Features and Ergonomics As with just about any product that includes a tuner, the first step is to plug in your antenna or cable TV cable and allow the recorder to find local channels.

When the search is finished, you can manually delete any channels you don't watch or which aren't coming in well. This process on the Panasonic was remarkably quick. The unit found the clock signal embedded on the local PBS channel less than 5 minutes after being Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder in and before I had even powered it on.

I set the HDMI output to i to match the input resolution of our Panasonic plasma, set the screen shape to The EZ's remote lacks backlighting, but its button layout is intuitive and easy to get used to. Although the recorder does support Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder output resolutions up to p, the internal digital tuner is actually limited to p so it's not technically an HDTV tuner.

It is a standard definition ATSC digital tuner, which means it can tune in Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder digitally and even supports widescreen The p signal of the tuner is then upconverted to p, i or p for output to an HDTV-enabled display device. If you're using this on a standard definition analog television, then you can use the component video, composite or S-video outputs to send a i 4: Of course, like a VCR, you also have to make sure you have a blank DVD in the drive with adequate space to handle your scheduled recordings, otherwise timer recordings will fail. For those of us spoiled by living with Tivos and other hard-drive-based DVRs digital video recordersthis is probably the hardest hurdle to jump.

When you schedule a recording, you can name the timer program something yourself like, for example, "Timer Program 1".

Panasonic DMR-EZ27K Up-Converting 1080p DVD-Recorder with ATSC Tuner

But if you do not specify a name, then the program will be named according to Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder digital "meta data" embedded in the broadcast stream. This is just a fancy way of saying that the recorded program will be named the same name as the recorded show, without you having to specify a name manually. I was somewhat surprised to find that the recorder must be powered off in order for programmed scheduled recordings to take place.

In terms of inputs and outputs, the EZ27's jack-pack is pretty comprehensive. For inputs you have S-video and composite video and audio inputs, plus a DV input for direct digital transfer from a digital camcorder.

Panasonic DMR-EZ27K - DVD recorder with TV tuner

Digital and analog audio outputs are included as well. So the signal remained in the digital domain all the way from reception to display on the plasma flat panel. So if you're interested in reusing the discs after recording, select one of these media types. And speaking of that "finalize" step, most of the DVD recorders we have tested in the past including Panasonic models allow you to select from a menu of different DVD menu templates, which are written to the disc as the DVD menu when you Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder the disc. The EZ27 lives up to Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder "EZ" name by offering no choice. You can have any menu you want as log as it's blue with 8 items per page.

This menu style is perfectly fine for most purposes, including both a thumbnail image selectable and up to 44 characters of text for each recorded program, but it would be nice to have the option of changing it. After the DVD media is full, you can still add a "Disc Title" and select whether you want the disc menu to come up when the disc loads, or for playback of the first title to begin automatically. Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder

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The finalized disc then played back fine on the Panasonic and other players, but with a blank disc title as seen above. This seems to have been an isolated incident as it only occured once during our testing. This is the same way that widescreen DVDs work.


Plus recording on a DVD-RAM makes it very easy to transfer the program in high speed onto an earlier generation Panasonic recorder that includes a hard drive. This mode records up to 4 hours of Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder on a single layer 4. In earlier models, video resolution was limited to about lines due to the lower bandwidth. The improvement is quite noticeable and makes the 4-hour LP speed a viable option for archiving shows on a minimal number of DVDs.

Of course, if Panasonic DMR-EZ27K DVD Recorder really aiming for high video quality. As with earlier Panasonic models, the "FR" mode Flexible Recording allows you to optimize recording rate for the specific time of the program being recorded. So, for example, if you want to record a 2 hour 10 minute long movie, you can use FR mode to optimize the recording rate to use every last bit of the DVD storage available. Overall video quality was at least as good if not better than earlier generation Panasonic DVD recorders we have tested, with the considerable improvement in picture quality in LP mode. That is to say, XP mode is significantly superior in resolution and detail to any S-VHS recorder we have used or tested. SP mode is also quite acceptable, nearly indistinguishable from the original analog or digital broadcasts.

In EP mode in the 8-hour default settingthe picture suffers pretty noticeable digital artifacts, such as macro-blocking, muted colors and false contouring.

Panasonic DMR-EZ27K - DVD recorder with TV tuner Overview - CNET

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