They’ve been telling us for years now how DVD’s are going to totally replace VHS. Although we never disbelieved the rumours, we never thought the day would come so soon when DVD recording would be brought into the ease and comfort of our own living rooms. ADAM MEGENS pilots the new Panasonic DMR-E60 to discover if there is any truth to the rumour.
Unfortunately my DVD recorder arrived with one of those rather odd-looking foreign plugs which you will either need to cut off and fit a local one, or make sure to pick up an adapter with your recorder. Other than that, no big surprises, just plug in the aerial and/or RCA cables, pop the batteries into the remote and you’re ready to rock ‚n roll.
If you have ever played a DVD before you are not going to find anything unexpected, just put in the disc and press play. Moving to the next or previous scene is as simple as touching the forward or back buttons. You can browse through the menu options on your disc (if available) by simply using the directional buttons on the remote control. Recording is also not too much of a hassle either. I managed to successfully record a program, use the time slip function and erase what I had recorded all without flipping furiously through an instruction manual. Although the setup menu is neatly laid out and attractive, I would be lying if I said it was fairly simply and the most user-friendly interface I have come across. After all, I did manage to render my beautiful stainless steel remote useless while trying to tune it into my TV’s frequency (and now I’m not even sure if you can do that!). When using the rest of the buttons on the remote (all fifty five of them) it is advisable to consult the instruction manual before-hand. Changing settings on your start up menu can be a little tricky. There is a great deal of features to peruse and patience will prove to be a virtue, especially when it comes to security settings and access codes!
Pretty much, it definitely does record DVD’s. It was definitely a pleasure not having to line up a tape to the right point just to record the wrestling that you forgot about until the last minute. The time slip function does definitely come in handy when that ‚before-the-game-BBQ‚ runs well into half time. Just hit record and start watching from the beginning when you are ready, even while the game is still recording. I should mention that Panasonic’s selling point should not be ease of use though. However, although fairly complicated at times, I imagine that after a fair amount of time and careful studying of an operator’s manual one could quite easily be able to operate the machine to its full potential.
I really believe that this product is innovative in bringing together various multimedia and simplifying it into a single format, one that you do not have to have a computer diploma to operate and master. All the components on their own, like a DVD writer/recorder and PC cards and memory sticks etc are nothing new on the market. I think the designers at Panasonic have done well to combine these different aspects into a very attractive package.
Because it is yet to be launched in South Africa, even Panasonic themselves were unable to give me a firm idea of the cost. However, if you consider that the model below the DMR-E60, the DMR-E50 has a recommended retail price of R7999, and that the DMR-E50 does not boast a PC card slot or memory stick slot and one or two other features, I would estimate that the DMR-E60 will hit the shelves at around R9 999, and that seems a little high to me. But, if you are looking for something new and impressive and have in the region of ten big ones to throw about, there are worse things to blow your cash on.
For any more information on the DMR-E60, contact Panasonic on (011) 313-1400.
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