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My favourite electronics manufacturer

Iíve bought an awful lot of consumer electronics over the years, and for a long time my most-favoured brand has been Panasonic.

The most notable exceptions are Canon for cameras, both analogue and digital, and Humax for a FreeSat+ box.

Way back when the first camcorders you could actually carry around appeared, I decided to go for VHS-C, the compact version of the familiar VHS format for VCRs. The choice was between Panasonic and JVC, and after an awful lot of research I went for the former. Since then I?ve had two much smaller digital Panasonics (the first was nicked by some very well-behaved burglars who also got me the insurance money to buy my EOS 300D digital SLR).

I?ve bought three Panasonic microwaves (two for me and one as a wedding present for my daughter) and they?ve been brilliant. The first was called the Genius, and had amazing intelligentt cooking modes based on sesnsing the first burst of steam from the food as it started to cook. When I replaced that, they?d given up on this feature, which is a real shame.

Our latest (and now quite elderly) TV is a 32-inch Viera LCD unit with built-in FreeView. It has performed flawlessly for over five years.

With that, we got a Panasonic DVD recorder thrown in. That, too, is very good (though almost entirely redundant since we got the non-Panasonic FreeSat+ box). We actually did have a pretty major failure with that, and mysteriously the five-year extended warranty which I thought was for the whole package turned out to be only for the TV. The air in Curry?s is probably still blue from my language when I was told that. However, an excellent local supplier handled the repair, and here?s the really good bit...

They told me the machine was out of warranty but suggested that I speak to Panasonic?s sustomer services. I did, and to my amazemnent they offered to replace the ?digital board? (the bit that had failed) free of charge, so I only had to pay for the labour!

A couple of years ago I bought a B-graded Panasonic mini-stereo (one with DAB radio and clever enough to play MP3 tunes from CD, yet still with a cassette deck) from an Ebay dealer. That has performed flawlessly ever since.

Most recently, after getting cheesed off with several BT cordless phones, I bought a four-handset Panasonic. The difference is amazing. BT seem to have done the absolute minimum of development on their DECT systems, but the Panasonic behaves much more like a mobile, with intuitive menus and big, bright, colour-LCD displays. My only complaint it that it doesn?t beep when there are new messages on the answering machine.

I?ll be surprised if there aren?t a few other Panasonic products lurking around the house, but these are all I can remember at the moment.

Personal site for Paul Marsden: frustrated writer; experimental cook and all-round foodie; amateur wine-importer; former copywriter and press-officer; former teacher, teacher-trainer, educational software developer and documenter; still a professional web-developer but mostly retired.

This site was transferred in June 2005 to the Sites4Doctors Site Management System, and has been developed and maintained there ever since.