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JAJT 09-15-2021 12:05 PM

Panasonic DMR-ES15 same as DMR-ES16?
Looking to convert some cherished home movies for the family and I see a common method is to use something like the Panasonic ES10/15 as a TBC in pass-through mode along with an SVHS player (which I also have thanks to a thrift store score).

I'm in Canada and see a number of ES16's readily available on the used market but the internet has almost nothing on this model other than a few hints that it's the "Canadian version of the ES15".

The manual for each seem eerily similar with only a very few minor differences, none to do with the specs or look or features as best I can tell.

Just curious if it's a waste of time/money to pick up the 16 or if I should just keep my eyes out for a 10/15 to pop up?

msgohan 09-15-2021 04:09 PM

I don't think anyone here can say for sure. I say it probably is equivalent to DMR-ES15 for passthrough.

If you buy one, make sure it includes the remote. To disable the Line-In NR, you need the "Display" button which could be difficult with a universal remote.

According to these AVS Forum posts, the only Canadian-exclusive models are DMR-ES16 and DMR-ES36 from 2007. That same year, the US models incorporated digital tuners and moved to the "EZ" model number prefix. These two CA models had analog-only tuners like the 2006 models, but they included DivX playback, which was limited to the HDD models in the 2006 lineup.

hodgey 09-15-2021 05:47 PM

The forum post also doesn't note LSI/Magnum silicon for the ES16/ES36 which is what the models with questionable performance seems to have, it also looks very much like the ES15 and not like the other 07 and later models. (Seems they didn't use the LSI chips as often on PAL models which may be why there seems to be a bit of confusion about the performance of later variants)

lordsmurf 09-15-2021 06:02 PM

Probably. Maybe. I tried to get one several times in past years, in order to confirm it, but it never get low enough to meet my gear gambling limit. For whatever reason, costs were always higher on these (at least when I looked, and it's been several years now).

In related new:

I did recently acquire another ES25, since msgohan/Brad kept insisting it was comparable to the ES15. My first test several years back showed performance was pitiful. So we shall see this time around. There's always potential that it was infamous mid-production changes, and is another variable item.

At least everybody agrees that the ES20 is crap.

I was able to confirm the EH75V is at least partially viable, need to still test it with nth gen. But it's a really heavy HDD unit (I mean REALLY heavy, too!) and has faults that make it a problem unit unrelated to the passthrough. And if you buy this thing from eBay, knowing how horribly typical sellers piss-poor pack gear, it won't even arrive to you in piece. The weight of this thing makes it unattractive. But if you can find one in person, and don't have nth gen (performance not yet confirmed), for cheap, then probably worth it, if you want an anti-tearing and minimalist TBC(ish). Noting that it should still be paired with a weak frame TBC like the DVK, don't entirely rely on the line TBC with non-TBC frame sync (same goes for any of the DVD recorders).

Note that NR is always on. "off" is essentially low, while "on" is aggressively high. It's never untouched, always some % of NR going on. I would assume it's meant to aid MPEG encoding to DVD.

hodgey 09-15-2021 06:27 PM

Going a little off topic but anyway. What it looks like is that the 07 and later US models (+ the earlier ES20 and ES40) are based on LSI(later aquired by magnum) chips rather than panasonic's own, while with the europe/international ones they used their own chips in later models too (no idea if they did in all of them or only some.) E.g my 07? EH57 has a panasonic IC. So, maybe there are a few more US models from the 05 and 06 lineups that would work, and as noted this may explain why europeans and americans have different experiences with the later panasonic models.

I recently saw someone documenting the chips in the EZ485V and it seems to be using a TVP5150AM (can't see any other video decoders in there at least), aka the chip used in the ATI600 for video decoding paired with a Magnum main IC, which doesn't have any line tbc stuff (TI made a TVP5160 with line-TBC in the specs that's not what's in this one). Idk if this was used in all the LSI based ones though, or if some has a panasonic video adc, as panasonic never included schematics of the digital pcb in the service manuals so it's not possible to tell based on them.

JAJT 09-16-2021 11:30 AM

Ha, so "definitively maybe", gotcha :P

I see a few ES16's around locally for like $20 so I'll probably pick it up and give it a try. Hardly breaking the bank if it doesn't work.

Appreciate the insights.

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