- Simple and easy-to-use recording, great inbuilt editing tool
- Some noise and chromatic aberrations when upscaling DVDs, lacks a HD tuner despite HD upscaling
The DMR-EX77 seems to be having a hard time deciding what kind of device it wants to be. Although it upscales DVDs to high definition, it can't decode high-definition TV. Apart from this little contradiction however, it's generally a functional and easy-to-use recording unit.
Price$ 659.00 (AUD)
Panasonic's DMR-EX77 is a DVD/HDD recording combo, with an inbuilt standard-definition digital tuner. It's capable of upscaling DVDs to 1080p, which is a slightly strange inclusion, considering that the digital tuner is only standard definition. Half the unit's features seem to be HD-focused, while the other half are SD only. Still, the recording functionality to its 160GB HDD is top-notch, and an inbuilt card reader adds an extra dimension. Some problems with video upscaling, and the lack of a HD digital tuner are somewhat problematic though.
Recording is simple and effective. One-touch recording and time-shift functionality are both present, and simple enough to use, although time-shift must be manually activated. The lack of dual tuners prevents users from watching one channel whilst recording another; however the EX77 does allow you to watch programs you've recorded earlier, or DVDs, whilst you're recording to the hard drive.
A range of four separate recording modes, as well as an easy-to-use inbuilt editing tool further extend the usefulness of recording on the unit. In our tests, we recorded half an hour of commercial TV at the standard recording quality, and were able to quickly edit out the commercials, create chapters, and copy the file to a DVD within the next 15 minutes. This process was further facilitated by a fairly simple and easily navigable interface.
We did start to notice some problems with DVD upscaling when we came to test it though. Firstly, there was a fairly significant amount of noise, more than we're used to. Secondly, we also noticed some chromatic aberrations in certain areas, although these tended to be quite rare, and not overly overt. Apart from that, however, the upscaling definitely adds an extra dimension of clarity and resolution to the image, and makes DVDs a lot more viewable on high-definition screens.
The unit boasts a slimline design which is quite attractive, with the DVD tray and card reader on the front, along with easily accessible composite and S-Video connections. A full range of connections is available on the rear panel, including HDMI, with coaxial being the only notable exception. This shouldn't be a problem unless your sound system doesn't support optical audio input for some reason, though.
The remote control and inbuilt interface system are both quite simple and intuitive to use, and pleasingly, we didn't find ourselves having to rifle through manuals or guides to find simple options.
The DMR-EX77 isn't a bad unit by any measure, but its problem is that it has one foot on either side of the high definition/standard definition fence. While it offers DVD upscaling to 1080p, which is something that will only really appeal to users with large, high resolution TVs, it only includes a standard-definition tuner, which won't let users with such TVs get the most out of them. It's a bit of a problem, but if you don't mind that, then the EX77 is worth considering.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTMid Level PHP DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- CCBPM DeveloperVIC
- TPICT Contracts Compliance ManagerWA
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- TPSolution Architect - Transport DomainVIC
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- FTInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTOracle Forms PL/SQL Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- FTWintel EngineerSA
- CCNetwork Specialist - IPAM TelcoVIC
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- FTTechnical Team Leader | ArchitectQLD
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Financial ServicesVIC