With the built-in Freeview tuner comes a 7-day EPG, which makes it easy to select programmes to record. The EZ48V lacks the Guide Plus EPG found on the EX79 and EX89 and therefore isn’t blighted by the clumsy, space-hogging advert. The layout is a lot less cluttered and is organised into a grid structure showing seven channels at a time (or you can switch to a portrait single channel view) and all the functions are listed at the bottom. You can also search by category, which highlights all the relevant programmes in the grid and shades the rest grey.
However, unlike Panasonic’s more recent DVD/HDD models, this recorder does not come equipped with Series Recording, which means you’ll have to manually set every episode of your favourite shows. It’s a shame, but the lack of a hard-disk makes series recording less of a necessity – plus it features Guide Link, which keeps track of any changes to the schedules so you don’t miss any timer recordings.
Because the EPG isn’t superimposed over live TV, you might prefer to use the straightforward onscreen now/next programme banners, as they show the programme synopsis and other key details without having to leave the programme you’re watching.
The EZ48V offers a range of modes for DVD recording: XP, SP, LP and EP. These allow you to fit between one hour and eight hours on a regular single-layer DVD, or over 14 hours on a dual-layer disc. There are also three recording modes for VHS recording: SP, LP and EP.
Elsewhere on the features front, you’ll find Viera Link and Deep Colour support from the HDMI v1.3 output; MP3 and JPEG playback from CD and DVD; and a range of non-linear editing modes for DVD-RW (VR) and DVD-RAM discs (including playlist creation, chapter editing and partial delete).
On the VHS side, it features S-VHS Quasi Playback (SQPB), which plays S-VHS tapes in VHS quality; the VHS Index Search System (VISS), which adds index signals during tape recording to help you find specific points; and Jet Search high-speed forward/reverse.