Panasonic DMR-EX78 DVD/HDD Recorder - Panasonic DMR-EX78

By Danny Phillips



  • Editors choice
Panasonic DMR-EX78 DVD/HDD Recorder


Our Score:


The DMR-EX78's picture quality is similarly impressive. The unit features DVB-T Adaptive Noise Reduction, which aims to reduce the block noise that plagues Freeview broadcasts, and during live TV viewing it does a marvellous job. It's backed up by a mode that detects and corrects jagged diagonal lines, and when combined with the unit's slick 1080p upscaling, it results in some of the cleanest and most dazzling digital TV pictures we've seen.

This translates into flawless recording quality. XP mode captures powerful colours and intense detail without breaking a sweat, making it impossible to tell the difference between live and recorded TV. SP mode only reveals a slight drop in quality, with a touch of extra dot noise. LP mode looks softer, demonstrated by the hazy text of news captions and gently shimmering moving images, but it remains more detailed than LP mode recordings on some rival machines. The jitter and softness intensify in EP mode but again, the quality is still above what we'd normally expect from a low-quality mode.

The deck's pre-recorded DVD picture quality is solid, turning in a very assured performance with the beautiful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon disc. The gorgeous scenery, with its intricate detail and earthy colour palette looks superb on a large screen TV and uncovers no flaws in the deck's 1080p upscaling.

And on the audio side, movie and CD playback are fine but it's the quality of internally ripped LPCM tracks that really takes the cake. The extensive Gracenote database found the info for most of the CDs we loaded, with only a couple of Japanese imports tripping it up, while MP3, JPEG and DivX playback posed no problems at all.


As you might have guessed, we quite like the DMR-EX78. It offers a comprehensive feature list, top-class pictures and a user interface that gives its rivals a masterclass in how to make a technically complex machine feel like something you'd find in the Early Learning Centre - and we mean that in a good way. It's quite simply the most accomplished DVD/HDD combi we've seen, which means the competition will have to come up with something pretty special to beat it.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 10
  • Value 9
  • Features 10


August 28, 2008, 9:00 pm

Can't transfer from the internal HDD to USB drive, that's quite a shame given that the USB protocol is bi-directional, and therefore it must really be easy to implement.

Iain Marshall

October 14, 2008, 5:40 pm

Love it, however when i turn on my television, a 37PX80, the recorder seems to do an "internal startup" (it does not turn on) and makes an annoying hum. Anybody else found this? If I turn on power save it does not "hum" but you lose the clock. Did you find this on your test?


March 14, 2009, 8:46 pm

A fine picture - even on a good CRT via scart (its much better over better connections), but of course can't comment on hdmi with upscaling (will soon when I get that HDTV). All the required features are present, HHD to DVD etc. But the best for me is the series link with Freeview - now Dr. Who is all queued up automatically - this is truely the killer feature. Alas, there is one agrevating downer - the startup time from cold is very slooooooooow. 20+ seconds doesn't sound too long, but in real life, its an eternity - I am tending to leave it on if I think I will need it later - there goes planet earth. I assume that they are booting the OS from the HDD instead of ROM - cheapskates. Would I recomend? - yes I think I would.


July 28, 2009, 12:04 am

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t buy this awful machine. It’s the worst piece of hardware I’ve ever owned. It doesn’t read anything but commercial DVD’s. If you make your own, or back any up, it won’t read them. The remote is just terrible (buttons which cancel everything you’ve just entered are right next to “OK” buttons etc) and the menus are user-hostile at best; the Freeview guide is full of irritating adverts; many IMPORTANT functions are only available on the machine, ie not on the remote!!! Back to the 80’s or what… And it’s far from cheap…

Bob Manning

June 24, 2010, 2:24 pm

Not a comment, more a question. I am interested in putting my recordings from my Sky+ box onto DVD. Would I also be able to transfer any recordings from the Sky+ hard drive to the Panasonic hardrive for later disc transfer?

Thanks, Bob


January 11, 2011, 7:34 am

It may be the one (and mostlikely only) one f these models that actually works was given to Danny Murphy to review but the remainder inferior units were then offloaded to the public. DO NOT bother with this machine. It selects when it will work; it DOES NOT copy from HD to disc and even freezes if you try. It cant even pick up signals for some of the HD particlular ONEHD and Channel 12 (which ONE HD). It even chooses when to allow you to record from any particular channel..if it feels like it. AND dont expect Panasonic to help you...they have a number but all you will get is a person on the other end telling you to find a repairer to fix it....easily another $80 of worthless info that lets you know that its a Panasonic and they have no idea how to fix it. Pay the extra and get a reliable brand for these recorders....Sony at least you will know that they will help over the phone and without charging for it


June 21, 2013, 3:25 pm

please who can resolve this problem - my dvd player can play some of the .avi files, but not all of them, i dont know why, can somebody help me how to fix this? thank you very much


March 18, 2014, 8:28 am

Can anyone help my DVD recorder DMR EX78 has been working fine until last week then the TV guide is all the place mostly 1 hour out I have checked and the date and time are correct what else can I do

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