Panasonic introduces backward-compatible DVD recorder

Panasonic just announced its second-generation DVD video recorder, which will be available in stores this October. The recorder allows consumers to digitally record high-quality, MPEG2 video on DVD-RAM or DVD-R discs. DVD-R discs can be played back in most DVD players. The DMR-E20 will have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1499.95.* (The company’s first DVD video recorder, model DMR-E10, introduced last year, carried an MSRP of $3999.95*.)

The DMR-E20 was engineered to take full advantage of the DVD-RAM format’s capabilities, such as simultaneous playback and recording. DVD-RAM provides a single format for computer and video-based applications. With its vast storage capacity, incredible speed, random access memory, exceptional picture and sound quality, and writing/erasing/rewriting capability, DVD-RAM is highly adaptive to the expanding digital media environment.

As the popularity and applications of the DVD format expand, there’s increasing consumer demand for the ability to record high-resolution, digital video and high-quality audio onto DVD discs. The DVD Forum-approved DVD-RAM recording standard
answers this challenge, and provides a recordable format that’s compatible with both PCs and a wide variety of digital entertainment products.

The DMR-E20 can also record video onto a DVD-R disc, which can then be played back in a conventional DVD video player.

As an optical media format, DVD-RAM enjoys huge advantages over tape media, including random access and rewritability. Recording is activated instantaneously because the user doesn’t have to first search for blank space on the disc. Finding and viewing recorded material is fast and easy because there’s no need to search, fast-forward or rewind. The DMR-E20 has a super-fast data transfer rate of 22.16 Mbps, thereby making simultaneous recording and playback possible  a first in the industry.
The DMR-E20’s innovative Time Slip playback function lets users view the recorded portion of an ongoing program from the beginning, while continuing to record the live program in progress. With a VCR, the user would have to wait until the whole program has been recorded in order to view it in its entirety, or else view the ending of the program first and then the beginning.

Of course, users can also record a live program while watching any other program that’s been previously recorded on a disc.

Finding and viewing recorded material is fast and easy with the unit’s Direct Navigator function. Users can instantly access recorded material from an on-screen menu that lists recording dates, times, channels and (user-entered) titles. Moving the cursor and clicking on a listed recording will begin playing a preview of the selection behind the menu. Playback or deletion of the program can begin immediately upon selection. Up to 99 programs can be handled by this system.

The Playlist function lets the user perform simple non-linear video editing such as rearranging the order of scenes, skipping over unwanted scenes, or copying selections and create custom playlists of favorite scenes on a disc.

Users can record up to 12 hours of video on the new, 2-sided, 9.4GB DVD-RAM discs. Discs can be played back on a DVD-RAM compatible DVD player such as Panasonic’s DVD-RP91 or DVD-H2000 or on a PC or laptop computer equipped with DVD-RAM playback capability**. Users can also edit their videos on a multi-media computer with video editing/production software.

In addition to recording new video content, the DMR-E20 also allows consumers to transfer their favorite VHS tape recordings to space-saving discs. Personal movie
libraries and family videos can be archived, preserved, and easily cataloged and accessed. The DVD video recorder offers another important advantage: it actually enhances old videos. Thanks to the DMR-E20’s noise reduction processes, input time-base corrector, 3D Y/C separation and 3D DNR, the transferred video is capable of having better picture quality than the analog original.

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