Panasonic DMR-EX88 DVD/HDD Recorder - Panasonic DMR-EX88 DVD/HDD Recorder

By Danny Phillips



  • Editors choice
Panasonic DMR-EX88 DVD/HDD Recorder


Our Score:


In action the EX88 really delivers the goods. Live TV pictures are bursting with colour and possess plenty of detail, both of which contribute to a very enjoyable viewing experience. The on-board noise reducing technology goes a good job of keeping that pesky blocking effect out of the image, and when upscaled to 1080p the quality is as good as terrestrial digital TV gets.

For recording, there are four modes that allow you to reduce picture quality in order to increase the recording time, and in the top-quality XP mode the recorded picture looks exactly the same as the live broadcast. There's a virtually imperceptible drop in quality from XP to SP, but the available recording time on DVD increases from one hour to two, which is great news for archiving.

LP mode recordings are still watchable, with its 500-line resolution retaining a healthy dose of detail, but there's a clear increase in noise and edges look soft. EP mode recordings look even more hazy, making it unsuitable for tricky material like sport or action movies, but stick to sedate programmes like chat shows and you won't be too disappointed with the results.

Overall, recorded sound quality is impressive. Despite the level of compression used, the stereo Dolby Digital encoder makes the audio output sound clear and energetic though TV speakers, and even better when hooked up to a Pro Logic II amplifier.

The EX88 also makes a fine DVD player, delivering clean and detailed picture quality and keeping artefacts to a minimum. Colour reproduction is powerful but not garish, plus skin tones look natural and movement is remarkably smooth. All of the supported media formats play with no problems and CD tracks ripped to the hard disk sound remarkably crisp.


If you're looking for a recorder that combines the versatility of an HDD/DVD combi with the simplicity of Sky+ then you won't go far wrong with the DMR-EX88. It's packed with features, delivers superb picture quality and although it's more expensive than some of its rivals you can rest assured that you're getting a lot for your money.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 10
  • Value 9
  • Features 10


August 3, 2008, 2:15 am

Question: Planning on buying Panasonic plasma and HDD/DVD - do I need to keep screen on constant standby in order to record?


October 26, 2008, 12:34 pm

Can you please clarify whether the EX88 will record Freesat images obtained from the tuner in a Panasonic TH-46PZ81B at the higher Freesat HD resolution (obviously the programme being recorded will need to be broadcast in HD). The recorder connects to the plasma TV via SCART and Viera link and will record direct from the TV's freesat tuner.

Kevin OLeary

February 17, 2009, 4:15 pm

I own a Panasonic DMR-EH50 DVD recorder. On the basis of this, which was fairly good, I purchased a DMR-EX88 recorder. I found out (after the fact) that I cannot save titles (which I regularly record) to a playlist. I have to therefore laboriously type in the name of the program every time I record it. I contacted Panasonic and their answer was "This feature is not available on this model" Why not?

It is an "okay" recorder, but I would think twice before you but it.


March 8, 2009, 1:31 pm

Panasonic can issue software updates and have done so for their LCDs... Strange that they cannot issue an update for this device... Seems like someone simply forgot to carry over that bit of code from the previous model to the new models.

I recently bought a Panasonic LCD and Cinema system thinking that Viera link would mean I could work the two devices with one controller! How naive was that of me! It is not much better than my old Sony set up which was user vicious needing separate controllers to work the system. Switch on the TV on one controller and use the other to make any changes on the cinema system / dvd player. Pain in the neck. Wouldn't be awesome if they invested in offering a touch screen universal device for the entire system? Doing that they would certainly get one up on their competitors.

Dewi Lewis

September 5, 2009, 3:32 am

1. The DMR EX88 cannot fast dub/copy a DVD to HDD, one has to watch the video and any fast forward or other actions will not be recorded.

2. It cannot play unfinalised camcorder or other DVD's.

3. It cannot unfinalise a DVD+-R so video cannot be added. Have to format & start again.

4. Auto finalises DVD at end of copy from HDD.

5. Not all digital terrestrial channels picked up..very fussy or what.

Why are none of these cons are mentioned in the review. This recorder is not a patch on my Sony RDR-HXD910 which is easy to use and does all of the above.

The Panasonic does not deserve to be in the sam class as the Sony.

Kevin Allen

January 5, 2010, 8:56 pm

It might make a fine DVD player but only if you want to play Region 2 discs.

I did see another site claiming this was a multi-region player. It isn't.


December 18, 2010, 3:39 am

Poor value for money. This is not a user friendly device.

No mpeg2, mp4, avi files.

{1} As usual, Panasonic formats do not match other popular formats. For example, you will not be able to copy a video file to the USB (from any standard market device: nokia, casio etc) and watch it. If you wanted to do so you would have to file convert into the Viera format... so no mpeg2, AVI, and mp4 files !!!

{2} The menu system is slow and cumbersome (although this appears to be industry standard).

{3} Adverts take up 30% of screen in the channels view.

{4} Viera link works, but with reduced features. If the user requires anything more than play & stop, they will need the second controller which is dissapointing.

Unless you are getting a significant discount, don't buy it...

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