Panasonic DMR-EX85

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Panasonic DMR-EX85
  • Panasonic DMR-EX85
  • Panasonic DMR-EX85
  • Panasonic DMR-EX85
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent functionality, packed with features, fantastic value

Cons

  • No time shift buffer, single tuner only, no HD reception

Bottom Line

More manufacturers should be following Panasonic's example with the DMR-EX85. A truly outstanding product, the omission of a time shift buffer is the only feature preventing this unit from being a near-perfect purchase.

Would you buy this?

Convergent technology is the way of the future, as more and more features previously performed by multiple devices, are being packed into a single unit. Panasonic's new DMR-EX85 is an excellent example of the power that convergent technology has to produce some truly amazing devices. The EX85 combines a DVD player and recorder, a hard drive recorder, and a digital TV receiver, all in a single unit. Not only does it deliver three-in-one functionality, but it increases it to beyond the sum of its parts.

The recording functionality on the EX85 is incredible. A massive 250GB hard drive headlines the recording capabilities of this unit, complete with one-touch recording, five separate recording quality modes, and flexible recording, which will set the quality of a recording to the exact level to fit it onto a DVD. We found every aspect of the recording process, from recording a programme or setting a timer, to slicing out ads or copying to a DVD, to be simple, quick and intuitive. The entire process is facilitated by a well laid out and responsive interface.

One of the only faults we found with the unit's recording capabilities was the lack of a time shift buffer, which allows users to pause and rewind live TV. While not critical, it is nevertheless a fairly glaring omission, and one which holds the EX85 back from true greatness. Although this is solved to some extent by chasing playback, which allows you to start recording, then start playing again later from the point you started the recording at, the extra levels of interaction really detract from such an otherwise effortless device.

DVD recording follows the trend of ease of use and simplicity. Copying titles recorded on the hard drive to DVDs takes no more than a few seconds to set up, and recording TV broadcasts straight to DVD benefits from the same one-touch recording functionality as hard drive recording does.

In addition to its standout performance as a recording unit, the DMR-EX85 also brings digital television to the user through an inbuilt Standard Definition receiver. While this addition doesn't increase the functionality to a huge extent, it makes the unit an absolutely fantastic option for those considering the upgrade to digital television. Already a bargain at the time of its release, the integrated digital television support is a pure bonus. This helps to forgive the lack of both twin tuners and High Definition support, since the addition of these things would require a much higher RRP.

The combo is rounded out nicely with a full array of connection options, including, but not limited to, HDMI, optical audio, and an SD Card reader.

Overall, the DMR-EX85 is an excellent unit, with fantastic functionality, especially considering the integration of three technologies. Even better, it represents fantastic value. The only faults we could find with Panasonic's offering were omissions, which, had they been included, would have raised the price, compromising the excellent value offered by this product. The EX85 is the perfect option for new comers to home entertainment, who are looking for a simple and easy to use all-in-one package. While advanced users may find that it lacks a few too many features for their tastes, those looking for what it provides won't find many better options.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

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!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?