When we moved into our condo in Kona we wanted a small TV to put in the bedroom. We went shopping for a combination TV and VHS tape recorder/player. What we found was the Panasonic PV-M1359W and it was more than we were expecting.
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Description Of Unit
The unit is a 13 inch color TV with a VHS tape recorder combination. In addition it has a FM radio and alarm clock built in. A full function remote is included that will control the TV, the VCR and the FM radio. All settings required can be made using the remote. Even the batteries are supplied for the remote.
There is a power cord of course that needs to be plugged into an electrical wall socket. LOL. Next you need hook up the cable or TV antenna. There are line input connections on the front of the unit for connecting a camcorder, video game or another VCR for dubbing tapes.
When you first turn the unit on, it is necessary to make some initial settings. These are the Language, Channels and Clock. The Language can be set to English, Spanish or French. Next the channels can be automatically scanned and finally the clock is set to the current Date and Time of Day. Sometimes channels that are not viewable, such as scrambled channels, will be allowed by the automatic channel setup. If you wish to delete these from your setup, you can do this manually, so that the channel up/down buttons will skip these channels.
The TV is a cable ready 125 channel unit that has a very sharp and clear picture. From the remote you have the control of the color, tint, brightness, Picture and Sharpness. If you get these all balled up, there is a Normal selection that will put the TV back to the factory settings. Also on the remote there is a NITE/GAME button that when pushed will vary the picture each time it is pushed. The TV starts out in the normal position and when the NITE/GAME button is pushed the picture will go into the NITE setting. This lowers the brightness quite a lot and is very nice if you like to leave your TV on while you sleep. The next push will set the GAME setting, whereupon the brightness is between the NITE and normal settings. This setting is for video games that may be attached to the TV.
When a channel is selected on the TV there will be an On Screen Display (OSD) will display the channel number and the channel caption for a second or so.
There are several closed caption modes that can be set and the TV will automatically go into the closed caption mode when the MUTE button is pressed on the remote.
The built in VCR is a full size VHS tape transport. It is integrated into the overall operation of the unit in a seamless manner. To view a prerecorded tape just insert the tape and the unit will automatically play it. If you wish to return to the TV, just push STOP. If a tape is in the unit, pressing the PLAY button will start it again. There is a PAUSE button to freeze the tape and REW (Rewind), FF (Fast Forward) buttons for control of the VCR. There is a slow motion playback mode and even a frame by frame advance capability.
Programming the VCR to record is quite easy and fast. Up to 8 programs can be set for up to 31 days in advance. A nice feature normally only found in the more high end VCRs is the record index feature. Each time the VCR starts a recording there is an index mark put on the VHS tape for quick location later with the index search feature. You can record any channel the TV has selected, but unlike a separate VCR and TV you can not watch a different channel than the one being recorded. One nice thing that is possible is that you can turn the picture off while the recorder is recording a program. If you select the line input you can alternately record that signal.
The unit has a sleep timer that will allow you to leave the unit on while you fall to sleep and it will automatically turn the unit off for you. The times allowed for the sleep timer is 30, 60 and 90 minutes. There also is what they call an On-Timer with Alarm Feature, in other words an alarm clock function. Basically when you set this feature you set the time the unit will come on and the channel or FM radio station you want playing to wake you up in the morning. The unit is not limited to mornings though; you can set this feature for any time during the day.
You can set up to 9 FM stations into the units memory. While in the FM radio mode, you can change the station by using the CH up/down buttons on the remote to tune the radio manually. If you hold a CH button down for about a second, the unit will scan to the next station. Alternately you can select one of the 9 memorized stations. One note about the FM radio is that it doesnít use the TV antenna connection for its antenna. It has a separate antenna that is inside the lower rear of the case. I mention this because the unit may have some difficulty in tuning in FM stations inside of buildings. In our condo we have FM radio as part of our cable, about 20 stations. To allow the FM radio to pickup the cable channels, I found that I could make this work by putting a TV cable splitter in the antenna cable. Next I plugged in a wire into the splitter and attached the antenna to the rear of the unit near the bottom. Worked pretty well, although not as well as a separate FM antenna connection would be.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the features provided by Panasonic in this small inexpensive unit. The features were a lot more than what I expected. You canít watch features though and the picture quality did not disappoint either.
Amount Paid (US$): 259