Panasonic DMR-EX77

Panasonic DMR-EX77
  • Panasonic DMR-EX77
  • Panasonic DMR-EX77
  • Panasonic DMR-EX77
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Simple and easy-to-use recording, great inbuilt editing tool

Cons

  • Some noise and chromatic aberrations when upscaling DVDs, lacks a HD tuner despite HD upscaling

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

  • 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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?