Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD recorder
The Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD recorder has a reasonable price, but the lack of a high-definition digital TV tuner lets it down.
- Good DVD upscaling, 250GB hard drive, stylish design
- No built-in HD tuner, remote control could be better
The Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD recorder looks good and has an excellent DVD upscaler, but its remote control is not suited to watching DVDs and the lack of a high-definition tuner means it can't display or record HD content.
Price$ 659.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD recorder has a 250GB hard drive and an HDMI 1.3 port for upscaling DVDs to 1080p. Despite its inability to decode high-definition signals, it offers a reasonable feature set given its $659 price.
The Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD recorder is a good-looking device with a piano-black fascia and a black aluminium body. The top-left of the face-plate is the drive tray flap while the lower section flips down to reveal composite out ports, a USB port, a FireWire port and an S-Video output.
On the back, the Panasonic DMR-EX79 has an aerial connection for the built-in standard-definition digital TV tuner, the HDMI 1.3 connection (useful for modern televisions), a digital optical audio connection, a component connection and two SCART connections.
Once an aerial and a television have been connected to the Panasonic DMR-EX79, it's a simple matter of letting the auto-tuner find the stations. A 7-day electronic program guide is accessed by pressing the green Guide button. You can use the EPG to schedule recordings. Changing channels takes three to four seconds.
Although the Panasonic DMR-EX79 recognises high-definition digital TV channels, trying to access them results in a black screen. This is a definite negative given that the 250GB hard drive is large enough to store HD video. It will be especially annoying for owners of Full HD TVs, because artefacts and motion blurring will be visible on large HD screens.
Panasonic marketing material states that the DMR-EX79 can start recording live TV with a one second delay, and we found this to be accurate. The quality of the recordings was quite good, but limited by the SD source. You'll be able to record 55 hours of video at the best quality settings and 441 hours at the lowest.
The Panasonic DMR-EX79 can record to both the hard drive and writable DVDs, but it's unable to transfer data to USB drives.
The Panasonic DMR-EX79 has a very good DVD upscaler. The quality of the upscaling is comparable to what you can find from similarly priced Blu-ray players, but if you're looking for the same level of quality as the Toshiba XD-E500-K-TY DVD upscaler you'll be disappointed. If you play a music CD, the Panasonic DMR-EX79 uses a copy of the Gracenote database to try to identify the track and provide information such as track names.
One negative point is the remote control, which lacks both a simple menu button for when watching DVDs and an eject button. They're odd oversights by Panasonic.
While the Panasonic DMR-EX79 is a capable DVD recorder with a decent-sized hard drive and excellent DVD upscaling, it is let down by the lack of an HD tuner. Even so, it's worth considering because of its price.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTHR Business Analyst / Performance Management SMENSW
- FTAgile CoachVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistSA
- FTField Services EngineerWA
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperQLD
- FTSOE EngineerQLD
- FTJunior Applications SupportQLD
- CCFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTCitrix ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior Commercial AnalystNSW
- FTData Storage Support Consultant (EMC)QLD
- FTTechnical Project Manager ( IT Infrastructure)ACT
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- TPProcess Business Analyst - Digital InnovationNSW
- TPIteration ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst Digitalisation projectsQLD
- FTDevops / Technical Support AnalystVIC
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- FTApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- FTAssociate Consultant - IT Project ServicesVIC
- TPAnalyst Programmer (.Net)SA
- FTNBN Sales Consultant / Account ManagersSA
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD