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DVD Recorders (Standard Def)

glangford's Avatar glangford
06:09 AM Liked: 58
post #1 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 1,822
Joined: Dec 2008
I have the DMR-E85H, actually now sitting in a box in the garage. I've replaced it with a DMR-EZ27. The E85 froze up one day and whenever I tried to cut it on it just seems to stay in boot up mode and never come on. I tried unplugging, forcing ejection of the disc, but nothing worked. I've searched these forums and haven't found similar errors. I did check the firmware once concerning the dreaded U99 error and found the firmware to be up to date.

I do miss a hard drive, even though I have a DVR through my cable box. I record a lot of movies and always liked being able to edit the beginning and end to get rid of the extra material. (Seems no one starts or ends their movies exactly on time.)

I do like the EZ27 being able to record on DL discs. A nice feature to be able to record a +3 hour movie. On the E85, I always spit anything greater than 3 hours into 2 discs. Panasonic claims the EZ27 four hour mode is the quality of the old 2 hour mode, is this true?

Short of tossing the E85 in the trash, are their other quick fixes I can try? Can the firmware have gotten corrupted, try a firmware update again? If it is in perpetual boot up mode, is the hard drive trashed? Can it be replaced with any desktop hard drive? That seems to be an easy replacement. Any other ideas on how to get it working? If I need to send it in for repair, is it worth fixing? I've kind of gotten used to the EZ27 and the fact that I can't edit.
WhiteWhiskers's Avatar WhiteWhiskers
07:23 AM Liked: 10
post #2 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

The E85 froze up one day and whenever I tried to cut it on it just seems to stay in boot up mode and never come on.

The capacitors on the power supply board are burst. Attaching a picture of how they looked on my E85 when it was behaving exactly as you describe. Replace these caps with 25volt versions and your E85 will come back to life:

C1260 - 10V 680uF
C1261 - 10V 680uF
C1270 - 16v 680uF
C1271 - 16v 680uF
glangford's Avatar glangford
09:45 AM Liked: 58
post #3 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 1,822
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Thanks, if that is it, then its off to the service center I guess. I'm not much at soldering parts on a board. Replace the whole board maybe.

I do seem to get some power though, it sounds as if the hard drive is constantly in boot up mode. Would it do that if the power supply board capacitors were burst?? Are the capacitors preventing something else from continuing the boot up?
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo
10:20 AM Liked: 24
post #4 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 4,684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

Thanks, if that is it, then its off to the service center I guess. I'm not much at soldering parts on a board. Replace the whole board maybe.

I do seem to get some power though, it sounds as if the hard drive is constantly in boot up mode. Would it do that if the power supply board capacitors were burst?? Are the capacitors preventing something else from continuing the boot up?


To answer your questions, yes and yes. See this and the posts that follow it:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post14452857

Here is the similar problem and its solution described in a 2007 post:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/dmr-e8...6/#post1895119

These power supply circuit boards are few and far between and expensive to replace. It is much less expensive to replace capacitors than to replace the entire circuit board.
CitiBear's Avatar CitiBear
10:34 AM Liked: 54
post #5 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 3,073
Joined: Dec 2007
If you're leery of doing the capacitor replacement yourself, ask around before sending the unit off for expensive factory service. You'd be surprised how many friendly geeks, young and old, would consider this job a piece of cake and do it for you gratis or for a small fee. Or, look for a trustworthy local electronics repair shop and explain what needs to be done. Ask them if they can offer you a reasonable rate since you are providing precise details of what needs to be replaced and how, saving them precious diagnostic time.

I'm very geeky myself, but if there's one thing I avoid if at all possible its a soldering iron: I know my limits, and I'm a klutz with solder. With a lot of time and stress, I managed to replace the power supply caps and drive motor in my vintage Thorens TD-145 turntable, but decided after that episode to quit while I was ahead . Good luck!
jjeff's Avatar jjeff
11:02 AM Liked: 105
post #6 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 10,019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

On the E85, I always spit anything greater than 3 hours into 2 discs. Panasonic claims the EZ27 four hour mode is the quality of the old 2 hour mode, is this true?

It's true that the 4hr LP speed retains the full D1 resolution of the SP speed but it's not true that the PQ will be equal for moving images. As soon as fast action such as moving water, flashing strobe lights, confetti etc. start the LP speed will look like a blocky mess.
SP is best but using FR set to 3hrs/disc gives a good compromise between macroblocking and longer storage. For more than 3hrs I'd strongly suggest DL discs. Or if you wanted to trade less macroblocking for reduced resolution then use EP set to 6hrs/standard disc.
BTW I wouldn't toss your E85, either sell it used AS IS or for $130 you can get it working like new by sending it to Panasonic as mentioned.
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo
11:19 AM Liked: 24
post #7 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 4,684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

It's true that the 4hr LP speed retains the full D1 resolution of the SP speed but it's not true that the PQ will be equal for moving images. As soon as fast action such as moving water, flashing strobe lights, confetti etc. start the LP speed will look like a blocky mess.
SP is best but using FR set to 3hrs/disc gives a good compromise between macroblocking and longer storage. For more than 3hrs I'd strongly suggest DL discs. Or if you wanted to trade less macroblocking for reduced resolution then use EP set to 6hrs/standard disc.
BTW I wouldn't toss your E85, either sell it used AS IS or for $130 you can get it working like new by sending it to Panasonic as mentioned.

Panasonic picture quality (claims) did change between the 2004 and 2005 models:

DMR-E75V (2004) Operating Instructions, Specifications, page 73:

Video data:

Horizontal resolution: More than
XP: 500 lines SP: 400 lines
LP: 200 lines EP: 200 lines

**********

DMR-ES30V (2005) Operating Instructions, Specifications, page 75:

Video data:

Horizontal resolution: More than
XP: 500 lines SP: 500 lines
LP: 500 lines EP: 250 lines
glangford's Avatar glangford
12:41 PM Liked: 58
post #8 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 1,822
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Well for kicks, I took the cover off to see how much trouble removing the board was. Not too bad. A handful of screws, undo the connectors to the HD, lift it out, then that one bridge connector to the main board, I'm not familiar with. I have two bulging capacitors. C1270 and C1271. 1260 and 1261 seem fine. I'm off to Radio Shack to buy two and try my hand at soldering. Digado, thanks! I'll let you know how it goes.

jjeff, thanks, yes I always use DL at greater than 3 hours.

I always thought the EZ27 had a better picture in the 2.5 hour range on SL discs than the E85. The E85 doesn't mean that much to me that I'm going to spend 130 on it. I did like editing movies however, and miss that. I have one way around that. The EZ27 uses the S video input from the cable box DVR. I record movies on the cable box, then set up the EZ27 from current time to length of the movie (+1 minute). I start 'copy to vcr' function on the cable box, then wait for the movie rating to come up and press the off button on the EZ27, which starts the recording. That at least edits the extra on the front. The back, well I'm just stuck with it.

If this works, and I get the unit back together correctly, I'll likely sell it in the marketplace.

Thanks
jjeff's Avatar jjeff
02:01 PM Liked: 105
post #9 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 10,019
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I didn't catch the year your E85 was made but if it was pre '05 then your right, the EZ-27 would have more resolution in LP. Also the EZ-27 would have a much better picture recording off of a digital HD channel than the E85 would recording off a analog channel. You just can't beat recording off a HD channel even if it's to a SD DVDR.
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo
02:25 PM Liked: 24
post #10 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 4,684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I didn't catch the year your E85 was made but if it was pre '05 then your right, the EZ-27 would have more resolution in LP. Also the EZ-27 would have a much better picture recording off of a digital HD channel than the E85 would recording off a analog channel. You just can't beat recording off a HD channel even if it's to a SD DVDR.

The DMR-E85H Operating Instructions are (c) 2004. The copyright year usually indicates the model year. New model Panasonics usually arrive in the marketplace in April/May. Sometimes the Operating Insturctions will have a date "as of (date)" on the page that shows what's included in the box (remote, cables, IR blaster, batteries, manual, etc.) indicating the date that the manual was approved for printing.
glangford's Avatar glangford
02:27 PM Liked: 58
post #11 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 1,822
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Yea, I have HBO, MAX, Showtime and Starz HD, as well as my favorite HDNet. I wish TCM would move to HD.

Radio Shack was no joy on the capacitors. Found a local shop that has 1000 uF, so I'm going with those. I may just let the guy do the soldering for his minimum repair charge, if he'll include putting the unit back together again.
glangford's Avatar glangford
04:14 PM Liked: 58
post #12 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 1,822
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C1260 and 1261 replaced!!! Board getting ready to go back in. I found a couple of 1000 uF capacitors to use. Wish me luck!!

It took me forever to replace. Very careful to take off and not overheat surrounding area. Tried some solder braid, didn't seem to work real good, probably my technique. Some gentle pulling from the back side as I heated the solder worked well.
doswonk1's Avatar doswonk1
04:53 PM Liked: 11
post #13 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 660
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

The DMR-E85H Operating Instructions are (c) 2004. The copyright year usually indicates the model year. New model Panasonics usually arrive in the marketplace in April/May.

I bought my 'E85 in June of 2004.

If the capacitor replace doesn't do the trick, you can probably still sell the thing for something on eBay to some gee-- er, "enthusiast" who can use it as a parts donor....or transplanet receipient.
glangford's Avatar glangford
04:58 PM Liked: 58
post #14 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 1,822
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It works. I got it all back together, plugged it in and went oh, no!! The dreaded 'please wait'. But I heard the hard drive spin up and voila, the time came up (must have a good battery backup for time as it has been inactive for almost a year sitting in the garage), the HDD display showed the active HDD, and then the no disc came up. At first the door wouldn't open, I popped the cover off and made sure the front panel connection to the board was good, and put it back on and everything worked fine. Put in a dvd, and it played (Not sure what was displayed as it wasn't hooked up to a tv, but I'm sure that is ok.)

Thanks to all, for your advice today. Total time spent about 3 hours, 1 hr of research, 30 of driving around getting parts (less than 10 bucks), and about an hour and half removing, repairing and replacing the board. Not bad!!

Not sure what I'll do with it now, the DMR-EZ27 has better resolution, does DL discs, but I do like the editing function. For now, I'll box it up and stick it in the closet, maybe use as a DVR for the bedroom TV.

Thanks again.
jjeff's Avatar jjeff
06:07 PM Liked: 105
post #15 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 10,019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

the time came up (must have a good battery backup for time as it has been inactive for almost a year sitting in the garage

Great everything worked out for you. BTW Panasonic must have changed something after '05 model DVDRs. One of my '05 ES-30s was upplugged for several months and kept perfect time. With my '06 ES-15's and newer they will lose the time after being unplugged for only a minute or so. My guess is the '05s and older used a battery backup while the newer ones just use a capacitor for backup.
Mfgs. did the same thing on VCRs. The original ones that cost a lot had battery backups while the newer cheaper ones only had the cap. On VCRs anyway the original rechargeable battery was good for about 5 years and wasn't too hard to replace. I did it several times on my original '82 VCR before retiring it.
plplplpl's Avatar plplplpl
06:27 PM Liked: 24
post #16 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I'm very geeky myself, but if there's one thing I avoid if at all possible its a soldering iron: I know my limits, and I'm a klutz with solder. With a lot of time and stress, I managed to replace the power supply caps and drive motor in my vintage Thorens TD-145 turntable, but decided after that episode to quit while I was ahead . Good luck!

I think the geek in all of us following this thread is cheering the heroic outcome.
glangford's Avatar glangford
09:28 PM Liked: 58
post #17 of 55
12-29-2008 | Posts: 1,822
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Given my soldering technique some cheering for heroics is warranted. I have a nasty burn on my thumb and it took forever, mostly to carefully remove the old parts. Once that happened getting a bit of solder to the new ones was a piece of cake.
Church AV Guy's Avatar Church AV Guy
09:04 AM Liked: 57
post #18 of 55
12-30-2008 | Posts: 4,639
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I'm cheering for you!
vmalhotra's Avatar vmalhotra
09:13 AM Liked: 10
post #19 of 55
01-15-2009 | Posts: 159
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I think I got hit with a major surge in Summer, it stayed on PLEASE WAIT.

Replaced the capacitors, and assembled it all together, to my initial delight, Please WAIT gave way to BARS progessing, and then Unit just froze at TVGUIDE screen, no functional buttons. This is what it does now at every start up.

I will check the hard drive, by hooking to a PC and unless HD is bad, I will have to send it to Panasonic.

Any alternative suggestions?
WhiteWhiskers's Avatar WhiteWhiskers
01:43 PM Liked: 10
post #20 of 55
01-15-2009 | Posts: 190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmalhotra View Post

I think I got hit with a major surge in Summer, it stayed on PLEASE WAIT.

Replaced the capacitors, and assembled it all together, to my initial delight, Please WAIT gave way to BARS progessing, and then Unit just froze at TVGUIDE screen, no functional buttons. This is what it does now at every start up.

I will check the hard drive, by hooking to a PC and unless HD is bad, I will have to send it to Panasonic.

Any alternative suggestions?

Might want to check your work on the capacitor replacement, make sure you got the polarities correct. Other than that, keep trying plugging and unplugging the power. One time my E85 got really messed up. I put in the firmware upgrade CD, the machine took the upgrade, and then the TVGuide was trashed. I'd push the button on the remote and nothing would happen. Or if it did come up it would immediately crash. After several power ups, trying to reset the machine, it suddenly came back to life.
glangford's Avatar glangford
06:35 PM Liked: 58
post #21 of 55
01-15-2009 | Posts: 1,822
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My machine when working properly it always comes up with the tv guide when it powers up even though I never use the ir blaster or the tvguide function. That is normal. It won't do any other function until I push the return button and clear the tv guide and get the normal tv picture.

I read in the pointed out threads on capacitor replacement that putting one in with the wrong polarity can cause a pretty loud pop, so if you didn't get that you are probably ok. Make sure your solder connections are good. Gently pull on the part from the back side to make sure it is snug and in place.

Gary
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski
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post #22 of 55
01-15-2009 | Posts: 17,437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

My machine when working properly it always comes up with the tv guide when it powers up even though I never use the ir blaster or the tvguide function.

You can go into the TVGOS menu and set it so that the TVGOS screen doesn't come up everytime you power the unit on.
RichardT's Avatar RichardT
12:29 AM Liked: 13
post #23 of 55
01-16-2009 | Posts: 928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post

Well for kicks, I took the cover off to see how much trouble removing the board was. Not too bad. A handful of screws, undo the connectors to the HD, lift it out, then that one bridge connector to the main board, I'm not familiar with. I have two bulging capacitors. C1270 and C1271. 1260 and 1261 seem fine. I'm off to Radio Shack to buy two and try my hand at soldering. Digado, thanks! I'll let you know how it goes.

And then you replaced C1260 and 1261?

I'm confused. What am I missing here?
glangford's Avatar glangford
05:54 AM Liked: 58
post #24 of 55
01-16-2009 | Posts: 1,822
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No I just replaced the bulging ones, 1270 and 1271. It was the 16 v 680 uf caps I replaced. I seem to have crossed the numbers up in this thread, sorry. I couldn't find 680 uf and used 1000 uf, 16v.
jmk32's Avatar jmk32
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post #25 of 55
02-14-2009 | Posts: 2
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I need help with my Panasonic DMR E-85. I've had it for 4+ years and my extended warranty just ended a few months ago and it's now hanging on the 'Please Wait' when I turn it on.

I'm hoping it's just the capacitor issue, but when I turn it on I do not hear any noise whatsoever as other posters here have mentioned.

I took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy with a printout of a similar thread about the capacitor problem that might be the culprit (making it look like a hard drive issue), but I don't think the repair place they shipped it too even looked at my note and told me it was a $765 repair!!! (RAM drive replacement needed they said - $548 parts, $189 labor - WTF!!)

Anyways, I of course said no way and the person I talked to at the repair place wasn't the one who looked at my dvd recorder and couldn't answer if they even looked at the capacitors.

So I just took it to another local repair shop and was told it was a 'microprocessor' problem. But they couldn't speak good english and the actual repair guy never called me back after repeated attempts to find out if they checked the capacitors.

I'm not one to tinker with electronics and wouldn't want to open it up myself and risk messing it up further.

Am I completely out of luck if I'm hearing no noise at all when I turn it on? Or is there actually a chance it's that simple capacitor problem and I just need to find a reliable repair shop somewhere near me (in Northern Virginia).

Please let me know what you think so I can try to get this fixed without spending a ton of $$.

I appreciate it!!
doswonk1's Avatar doswonk1
03:53 PM Liked: 11
post #26 of 55
02-14-2009 | Posts: 660
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If it's dead, do you risk much by opening it up & trying to replace the capacitors? Or, if you love the unit, go with the flat-fee repair option from Panasonic. Actually, I'm amazed even that's available--that members of this board have reported that it works. The reality is that consumer electronics, even somewhat pricier gear like the E85 was (I paid $650 for mine in 2004, including tax), is just not meant to be repaired. Some consumers still remember the old days when valuable items were repaired rather than tossed on the trash heap and still want to be reassured such services are available when they purchase the item. So manufacturers pretend they'll repair what they sell.

Bottom line: if you still want to use the Panny and don't want to do some snipping and soldering yourself, pack it off to Elk Grove Village (follow the instructions in other posts on this board).
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo
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02-14-2009 | Posts: 4,684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmk32 View Post

I need help with my Panasonic DMR E-85 . . . it's now hanging on the 'Please Wait' when I turn it on.

I'm hoping it's just the capacitor issue, but when I turn it on I do not hear any noise whatsoever as other posters here have mentioned.

I took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy with a printout of a similar thread about the capacitor problem that might be the culprit (making it look like a hard drive issue), but I don't think the repair place they shipped it too even looked at my note and told me it was a $765 repair!!! (RAM drive replacement needed they said - $548 parts, $189 labor - WTF!!)

Anyways, I of course said no way and the person I talked to at the repair place wasn't the one who looked at my dvd recorder and couldn't answer if they even looked at the capacitors.

So I just took it to another local repair shop and was told it was a 'microprocessor' problem. But they couldn't speak good english and the actual repair guy never called me back after repeated attempts to find out if they checked the capacitors.

I'm not one to tinker with electronics and wouldn't want to open it up myself and risk messing it up further.

Am I completely out of luck if I'm hearing no noise at all when I turn it on? Or is there actually a chance it's that simple capacitor problem and I just need to find a reliable repair shop somewhere near me (in Northern Virginia).

Please let me know what you think so I can try to get this fixed without spending a ton of $$.

I appreciate it!!

The "Please Wait" appears as the hard drive is unable to spin-up because the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply have failed.

See this post for information concerning the $130 flat-rate repair through the corporate Panasonic Digital Service Center in Elk Grove Village:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14451738

Here are two examples of a servicing horror story waiting to happen with a visit to an "authorized" repair shop!

Folks, let's get the word out that "authorized" shops are NOT the place to take a Panasonic!

There is only one place that has the Panasonic experts and all the parts to return a Panasonic to new or better than new functional condition. The $130 flat-rate at Elk Grove Village covers everything, parts, labor and return shipping.
jmk32's Avatar jmk32
01:05 PM Liked: 10
post #28 of 55
02-16-2009 | Posts: 2
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Ok, so I opened up my E85 and here's what it looks like under the HDD. It's the capacitors right? (shouldn't be yellowish and pointing up if they were ok right).

I'm pissed at Geek Squad for trying to rip me off - $765 estimate!

I'm still not comfortable trying to repair this myself (afraid to take everything out to get to the bottom of the circuit board and getting it back the same way (not to mentioned trying to soder it). Hopefully I can find someone who can do this repair cheaply since I can tell them exactly what needs to be done to fix it.
LL
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo
02:42 PM Liked: 24
post #29 of 55
02-16-2009 | Posts: 4,684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmk32 View Post

Ok, so I opened up my E85 and here's what it looks like under the HDD. It's the capacitors right? (shouldn't be yellowish and pointing up if they were ok right).

Those capacitors are "kaput."
jjeff's Avatar jjeff
02:44 PM Liked: 105
post #30 of 55
02-16-2009 | Posts: 10,019
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Yes they look bad, split on the top. It's up to you but for for $130 I'd be tempted to send it in to Panasonic, that way you know it's done right. Otherwise if you trust a small repair shop(if they're are any still left) they should also be able to handle the repair but I don't know how much cheaper it will be.
Another advantage to Panasonic repair is if they find something else wrong with it (like maybe the DVD drive) parts alone for that would be north of $500 but would be included in the $130 from Panasonic.

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