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The Panasonic DMR series are the cream of the crop when it comes to combination VCR and DVD Recorders. Most people will fancy one of the EZ48V as a way of space saving. Offering the ability to play and record on both VCR and DVD. You can copy from tapes to DVD quickly and conveniently, bringing your analogue archives right into the digital age.
The machine is a chunky machine, but a necessary evil given the thickness of the VHS tapes. A stylish unit, Panasonic have always led in their ability to be front of the pack on aesthetics. The DMR-EZ48V are available in both a smart black or high-quality silver finish with a flap to conceal the front sockets and buttons.
As per the rest of the Panasonic Combination Recorder range, the EZ48V can record onto any type of blank DVDs, including dual layer DVD-R and +R.
The inclusion of a single tuner digital receiver means you can receive all the latest digital channels available to you in your area. The EZ48V offers the latest guide link, which automatically adjusts timer recordings to account for changes to schedule. The seven-day EPG makes it easy to look for programmes, as laid out in the neat, logical grid that show seven channels at a time (although you can switch to a single channel programme list) and instructions are listed at the bottom.
The rear connections are comprehensive and on the front you’ll find DV, S-Video, composite and stereo audio inputs.
You get four recording modes – XP, SP, LP and EP – which offer between one and eight hours of recording time on a single layer DVD.
VHS recording offers SP, LP and EP recording speeds, while S-VHS Quasi playback (SQPB) plays S-VHS tapes in VHS quality.
As ever, Panasonic Operating system is exemplary. Simple and effective design, the main functions menu list is clear, and the main menu is straight forward.
There are dedicated buttons to switch between VHS and DVD drives or selecting the various inputs. The unit flicks through the digital channels with ease, the onscreen programme information is great and includes the current and next programme for each channel.
Using the XP mode to capture the Freeview programmes, the EZ48V does a great job of preserving the strong colours and fine detail. The edges are crisp and fine patterns are stable. The output includes HDMI allowing crisp and clean 1080p smooth edge, stable picture and solid blacks.
Freeview and DVD recordings are accompanied by clear, sharp sound and the VHS also sounds fine despite the very fain hiss from technology gone by. As a CD player it performs well, making CD and mp3s sound balanced and balanced when channelled through a good quality receiver.
VHS to DVD dubbing
When making VHS to DVD dubs, the results are brilliant. The final quality of the DVD largely depends on the state of the original recording. It can’t work miracles and remove slight jitters that are inherent on the old VHS recordings, but it does well to keep them to acceptable levels. The detail is soft, but the colours are strong and operating the VCR is fine process. The dubbing process can be operated from the remote control or the front panel, it is as simple as pressing a button. As you will be aware, VHS was a real to real system so if you have 4 hours of tape it is inherently going to take 4 hours to record to DVD.
The DMR-EZ48V like all the other Panasonic DMR range is just brilliant and carries out the basic and more complex tasks with ease. Thanks to Panasonic’s typically slick and easy to use operating system, its picture quality on both Freeview, VHS and DVD and overall look this makes a great addition to any home setup.
As for price; the DMR ranges all fall into the more expensive side of VHS and DVD combination unit but don’t let this put you off, compared to some of the cheaper models the DMR offers far more features and with the ease of use this more than makes up for the price tag.