A few weeks ago my trusty JVC video recorder stopped showing the on-screen displays. As with most things now-a-days everything is done through menus and cursor movements so if you can’t set the recording times you are a little stuck. But I thought that I could just use the display on the recorder itself. At least you can see the start and end times and the program number. This worked fine for a few weeks. I would check what I had already set-up to record and add any new programs to record at the beginning of the week. Great. Until the clocks changed. I dug out the user manual and tried to set the time using the display on the unit but all the manual said was ‘move the cursor down to the Clock Set option’ not much help if you can’t see the display on the screen. I did try to re-set the times of all the programs using British Summer Time but realised that this kind of messing about wasn’t going to last long.
Time for a small purchase, a Panasonic DMR-EX75EB-S HDD/DVD Recorder.
Having used it for a couple of days I really wish that I had bought one sooner. On long play mode it can record about 170 hours of programmes. In the past I’ve recorded using long play onto a 4 hour tape but the picture quality does suffer. This is only the 160GB model they have one that has a 250GB drive in it. I can’t honestly see why I would need to store 170 hours of TV. I’ll usually watch something and then delete it. If I want to keep it I’ll burn it to a DVD-R and delete it from the drive. Of course this time next year I’ll wish that I’d splashed out the extra £100.
The thing that sold it for me was that the machine has a Freeview tuner built in. At the moment only the TV has a digital tuner so if I wanted to record from one of the other digital channels I could but I would have to have the TV on and set to the right channel. I’ve only ever done this once as you can imagine. With this Panasonic recorder I just have to select the programme from a TV guide on the screen and that’s it. You can even watch a programme while another programme is recording. I know, I’m getting too excited. But this is a joy for someone like me who rarely watches live TV because it stops you doing other things. It even records the full wide-screen picture whereas the video would only record a 4:3 screens worth and I would have to zoom in which made the picture look even worse.
Of course I can’t just ditch the VCR as I do have about 200 videos, some-of-which aren’t available on DVD. So I did have to buy a new SCART lead, to run the video signal into the HDD/DVD, and a fibre optic cable to run the audio signal into the amplifier.
After I had finally plugged everything in what I really wanted to try was transferring from video to HDD, so that I could archive some of my videos. This all worked perfectly except… the on-screen display came back on the video. It may have been a loose connection after all.