Excerpt: Three years ago, I got the Panasonic DMR-ES46V DVD recorder/VCR at Costco because I wanted a combination DVD player/recorder and VCR. Believe it or not, I still play an occasional videotape, and a combo unit saved me space and cable complexity. I bought the unit for $270, which seemed a little pricy at the time. However, it's been a good product.
probably the best dvd/vcr recorder combo for the money
9 September 2012
Excerpt: I bought one for myself and have used it for months without problem. I plan to buy the same model as a gift. At this price point this is an amazing machine. The VCR unit is fine, but I hardly ever use it. The extra-fast rewind feature is a real plus. Copying VHS to DVD (legal, noncopyright protected material) is very simple. It is also easy to input both analog and digital sources.
Fantastic! But not technically savvy may find it a challenge...
9 September 2012
Excerpt: I love this Panasonic. Great combo. Fantastic piece though I must say a technology newbie may find it difficult to operate. Having a large library of vhs tapes collected over several years proves to be a problem is the new technology does not produce campatible equipment. I appreciate the fact that Panasonic have not failed me. Ever. And I have been buying their electronics for decades.
Summary: No one in his right mind would pay over $100 for a used Panasonic recorder based on the horror stories in the forums. I myself have had 5 Panasonic DMR Combo recorders in the last year.( 1 new and 1 refurb DMR-EZ48, 1 new and 1 used DMR-ES46V, and 1 DMR-ES40V). Four out of the 5 have failed with the NO READ error and the common lens/hub cleaning process did nothing.
Summary: I have been using this madchine for several years now and I haven't had a minutes trouble. It gives an excellent recording on DVD or VHS. Transfer from VHS to DVD is fast and simple for non-protected media. I had hoped to record all of my VHS tapes to DVD and that just isn't going to happen. I have quite a collection of VHS tapes and was hoping to have them on a more stable media. Maybe some of you gurus know how to do this but I don't.
If you're converting VHS to DVD, you better work fast
Curtis G, Amazon
6 June 2010
Summary: ...because the lifespan of this unit is amazingly short. Plays DVDs and VHS tapes fine and recording (and copying) is fairly easy. Still, it was less than a year before I got an error code on the front panel. I had to send the unit to Panasonic for a $130 flat-rate repair (they replaced the DVD drive, which I found was a pretty common issue with this model). It worked fine for another few months, and now I have an F03 code.
Summary: Paid big bucks for this thinking I'd get a quality machine. In the 1st place the manual is NINETY SIX PAGES LONG!!!!! Worked ok transferring from VHS to dvd and recording on DVD but there is a real learning curve. Should be simpler than it is. After two years of modest use the audio stopped working when playing VHS and regular channel TV. I would not buy a Panasonic and certainly will not spend as much money again.
Summary: You can Google any of these Panasonic DVD players and it appears they will all do the same as mine did with this model. Work at most 18 months and then give you a NoRead signal which you can't fix. I only played about 18 DVDs on this!
Summary: I've had this machine for at least a couple years and it has performed extremely well and it is used every day. I would advise that it does seem to prefer Sony DVD's however, I had some problems with Memorex (they would stop mid-recording) which likely has more to do with the DVD's themselves. The recording feature on both VHS and DVD is simple, recording looks terrific and dubbing from one to the other is as easy as I've ever seen.