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Panasonic DMR-EZ48V DVD / VHS Recorder review

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Summary

Our Score

7/10

User Score

Review Price free/subscription

Incredibly, the VHS format refuses to die despite being usurped by DVD, hard-disk and now Blu-ray recording. It's a bit like Mickey Rourke's character in The Wrestler - hugely popular in the 1980s, started to fade as rivals came to prominence but hanging in there despite its age. While you might not be able to buy new films on VHS, most people have old tapes lying around - many of which contain precious memories or much-loved programmes not yet released on DVD - and products like Panasonic's combined DVD recorder/VCR provide a convenient way of archiving them for prosperity.

The DMR-EZ48V comes equipped with a multi-format DVD drive, which means you can bung any type of blank DVD into the tray (including dual-layer DVD-R and DVD+R) and internally copy VHS tapes onto disc. But of course VHS archiving isn't this unit's only purpose. There's a built-in Freeview tuner too, which means you can record digital TV programmes directly onto DVD (or onto VHS if you prefer) as well as upscale DVD movies to 1080p.

The unit's chunkiness is explained by the built-in VHS drive, but the black or silver styling is smart and snazzy enough to carry it off and the silver circle of buttons on the right provides an attractive embellishment. The front panel includes a row of AV inputs, including S-video, composite, stereo audio and DV, but unlike Panasonic's latest DVD/HDD recorders there's no USB port, which is a tad disappointing.

Around the back is an excellent array of sockets, including two SCART sockets - one input for making copies from external devices, and one output for sending RGB, S-video or composite signals to your TV - as well as component, HDMI and S-video outputs. They're joined by analogue stereo and optical digital audio outputs.

Setting up the recorder is a piece of cake. Hook it up to your TV, plug your aerial into the RF input on the rear and let the Auto Setup mode do its thing. It finds all the Freeview channels fairly quickly, and runs through a few other settings to save you doing it later. General operation is also easy - to switch between the VHS and DVD drives, hit the dedicated Drive Select button on the remote, plus another button labelled Input Select lets you toggle through the external inputs.

The operating system revolves around the Functions menu, which boasts a blissfully simple layout. From here you can access the Setup menu, which covers every conceivable option, as well as the Timer recording schedule and the Copy menu. The latter runs through a step-by-step process for dubbing recordings - first select the source and destination, set the recording mode and then compile a list of recordings to copy (when dubbing from VHS to DVD). Everything is clearly signposted along the way; making it an easy procedure even for digital recording novices, and the intelligently laid out remote doesn't complicate matters.

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Tony Walker

July 15, 2009, 8:16 am

Can the VHS deck do stereo?

HisEnormity

July 15, 2009, 12:28 pm

Way too expensive.

iain coghill

July 15, 2009, 1:30 pm

Seriously this is a pointless piece of kit. If you have a large VHS collection you almost certainly still have a VHS player. Just plug the VHS machine into any DVD or hard disk recorder and you're all set. When you are done you can toss out the VHS machine at the same time as all those tapes.

Mike Creed

October 15, 2009, 3:34 pm

Can I ask if anyone knows why this model Panasonic DMR-EZ48V has a poorer rating and score than the earlier model Panasonic DMR-EZ47V reviewed on 10th Jan 2008? The earlier model seems better, is cheaper and still available through many outlets.

Maurice Emery

November 2, 2009, 9:47 pm

Mine is 15 months old, works perfect, can't see why the ratings are less than the earlier DMR-EZ47V. I agree it's a bit pricey. It is NOT a pointless set of kit, I bought it to RECORD on DVD, to PLAY DVDs and VHS cassettes; I bought it to save space,1 box takes up half the space of 2; I don't need all the extra clutter of more scart and electric leads, my previous recorder did not have Freeview, my previous VHS player (not Panasonic) did not work. If I wanted to convert my 50 VHS to DVD, it's 10 times easier than trying to play 2 boxes at once; that is just one of many features that make the


DMR-EZ48V brilliant!

Fergie

January 18, 2010, 7:23 pm

Can it play back tapes that were recorded in the S-VHS format.

Celestina

April 1, 2010, 9:27 pm

I just wanted to say that one of the MAJOR reasons for obtaining this "kit" is that it is increasing difficult to find a VCR to purchase anywhere. I still have an extensive VHS library to be transferred to DVD. When VCR machines recently quit on me, I tried to find a replacement - and discovered that finding a new VCR for sale was sort of like climbing Mount Everest. The machines which transfer VHS to DVD plus can record on either VHS tape or to DVD using a TIMED recorder are a about the only machines left which you can find which still have both VCR and DVD capabilities. I was astonished to learn that your could find VCR/DVD combos which could PLAYBACK VHS tape or DVD - but could NOT record onto VHS tape or the DVD. Also - the new high definition format in the United States makes it increasingly difficult to record anything which needs to have a timer set. In 2005, Direct TV introduced a new satellite dish receiver which can NOT be set up for a timed recording. The ONLY solution for people who want to record programs, movies, etc., which are coming on at 2 a.m. when you do not feel like being up to record the program manually is to subscribe to an even more expensive service from Direct TV which will sort of do the recording for you - but it is not something which you can OWN! You can only LEASE it. Over the past five years, LEASING the latest satellite dish receiver for high definition television from Direct TV has cost me an extra $600! By contrast, I purchased my FIRST Direct TV receiver from Direct TV in 2000 for $50! I consider high definition to be nothing more than a very expensive boondoggle. My original satellite receiver from Direct TV still picks up the majority of programs - it just does not pick up high definition programs. But there are very few programs which are available ONLY in high definition which anybody wants to see. We have had extremely good luck with ALL of the Panasonic VCR/DVD combos which we have been using - mainly because we find that the home made DVDs are compatible with with every DVD player we have used them in - and that includes the DVD player on my computer as well as DVD machines available in motel rooms when we travel. I checked out this page because I was disappointed when I discovered that the DMREZ48V was the ONLY Panasonic model left which was capable of transferring VHS to DVD, as well as recording and playing back in both the VCR and DVD modes. We found all of these comments very helpful.

ozbecool

April 21, 2011, 2:58 pm

I had a PANASONIC VHS player/recorder - it broke down after ~ 18 months or so.
Friend of mine has DMR-EZ48V DVDF-VHS recorder and it broke down after ~ 2 years.
MY ADVICE: stay away from ANY PANASONIC electronics gear - they manufacture JUNK; they use cheap parts and they do NOT care that your item will break down. The days that Panasonic stand for top quality are gone for good.
I personally will never ever buy Panasonic or Mitsushita item !!!

Geoff Harrison

August 13, 2013, 11:21 pm

I have a dmr-ez48v works like a charm its 3 years old , I clean the heads and drum etc ..has never missed a beat , have copied maybe 200 vhs to dvd all perfect ...

TomDegan

September 14, 2013, 8:14 pm

this is an excellent product. In fact I've never had a problem with it up until this morning. When I attempt to use the remote control nothing works and a digital sign come across the front of the recorder that says, "RC2"

Can anyone out there explain to me what this means and how it can possibly be corrected? Contact me by e-mail if need be:

tomdegan@frontiernet.net

Sincerely,

Tom Degan

Angus

January 5, 2014, 12:27 pm

can this unit record HD channels

goatstaog

November 10, 2015, 9:07 pm

NO

goatstaog

November 10, 2015, 9:08 pm

VHS does not die because it's so simple to use.

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