Magnavox Vs. Panasonic vs. Other DVD recorders - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joed32 View Post

I have a lot of upscaling players (6) that do a lot better job of playback than any recorder that I have used. That's another reason for a separate player.

I will keep that in mind, certainly, thanks. However, I haven't even gotten to first base with this unit yet, since it turns out I need a stepup converter before I can even start. I feel I need to be sure that this unit is going to work out first before I start thinking about the next item.
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post #62 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 09:44 AM
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Your Panasonic ES18 should be so called an 'international' model which can accomodate 110 or 220 voltage automatically. Check it in the back where the power supply is, it should state one way or the other. It is possible also that it is only 220V.
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post #63 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tonypeter View Post

Your Panasonic ES18 should be so called an 'international' model which can accomodate 110 or 220 voltage automatically. Check it in the back where the power supply is, it should state one way or the other. It is possible also that it is only 220V.

Academic, in a way, since it didn't include a cord for US AC. So I just got a step-up converter --

-- and it appears to be working fine so far. Just turned on the unit, let it do its auto-setup, got the expected message of NO STATIONS! which I care about precisely nil, of course.

I succeeded in setting the clock, succeeded in setting the playback configuration to 16:9.

Still was only getting a grey screen. Next step was to figure out the Input Select, which took me all of 90 seconds --

and found the Component feed from the Cable Box through the Component to S/C converter in a jiffy, --

and, to my considerable surprise, there was NO black level mismatch!

Huh?

If it looks good through the DVD then it should look bright direct to my HDTV. If it looks dark through the DVD it should look right to my HDTV.

But, in fact, it looks good both places. How can that be? Might this be a unit version Panasonic made for US use? But if that was the case, why was there no AC plug included?

Anyway, one doesn't look a gift-horse in the mouth, I guess!

I'm going to try a recording shortly.
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post #64 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Dear fellow members of the AVS Forum,

I am happy to say that my test 16x9 recording came out fine (although I can certainly tell it's SD, but I suppose that's an inevitable limitation of this technology).

Accordingly, as I write, I'm dubbing off from my soon-to-be-removed Time Warner STB Barack Obama signing the historic health reform bill, and plan to get those three operas (Armida, Contes d'Hoffmann and Hamlet) plus the Renee Fleming/Dmitri Hvorostovsky special off the box over the next two days.

I'd like to thank everyone who gave me advice and invaluable information over the past 10 days or so.

As developments warrant, I may post a few follow-ups, if there are folks here who would find that interesting. But, for the most part, I consider this process complete.

In particular, I would like to thank Jjeff, Tulpa and DigaDo. They never hesitated to answer my questions and stay with the discussion, no matter how neverending or dumb some of my questions seemed to be.

Best of luck to all of you. And I'm sure I'll be back with more questions!

Cheers,

Charles
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post #65 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

Best of luck to all of you. And I'm sure I'll be back with more questions!

Um, like I said! Here goes.

B & H advertised the Panasonic DMR-ES18 as multi-region. However, in fact, it will only play Region 2.

I see that to make the unit region-free I have an option of purchasing chipped remotes, or installing firmware and then making the change with my regular remote, or purchasing an outboard device, like a One 4 All Kameleon remote.

Which of those three options would you recommend, or is there an easier fourth alternative that you would recommend instead? Thanks.

This is not that much of a big deal, since I have a DVD player in my computer that handles Region 1 DVDs fine.

In addition, the recordings I've been making on the unit are clean, and play back fine on my laptop's DVD player, so the basic purpose for which I bought this unit has not been jeopardized.

Still, it would increase convenience if I didn't have to run to my laptop every time I needed to look at a commercial Region DVD for a second.

As always, thanks!
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post #66 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

Um, like I said! Here goes.

B & H advertised the Panasonic DMR-ES18 as multi-region. However, in fact, it will only play Region 2.

I see that to make the unit region-free I have an option of purchasing chipped remotes, or installing firmware and then making the change with my regular remote, or purchasing an outboard device, like a One 4 All Kameleon remote.

Which of those three options would you recommend, or is there an easier fourth alternative that you would recommend instead? Thanks.

This is not that much of a big deal, since I have a DVD player in my computer that handles Region 1 DVDs fine.

In addition, the recordings I've been making on the unit are clean, and play back fine on my laptop's DVD player, so the basic purpose for which I bought this unit has not been jeopardized.

Still, it would increase convenience if I didn't have to run to my laptop every time I needed to look at a commercial Region DVD for a second.

As always, thanks!

If B&H advertise it as multi-region, and it won't play region 1 DVDs, then you should call them and have them either mod yours to be multi-region, or have them send you another one that *IS* region free. It should not be your problem, it should be theirs.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #67 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 04:42 PM
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The ad states it should be 110-220vac so should it shouldn't need any converter, other that probably a European two round pin plug to US plug which I've always heard was included with international units.
Upon re-reading the B&H ad it does say:
"Region
2 - 6 (Region 1 with signal converter) "
I sure didn't notice that before and other ES-18's (like the WI new one for $199) does say region free, 1-6 http://www.world-import.com/Panasoni...D_Recorder.htm so I don't know what's up with the B&H unit excluding region 1(the US).

AFA the black level, the easiest way to check is with a calibration DVD(I like to use the THX optimizer setup option on my copy of Monsters Inc. and I believe some other Pixar titles). You can also test with white on black titles, again generally the background should be true black, not grey. Like I said, +7.5 isn't really noticeable, so it's possible too that you just might not notice it. I couldn't explain why it would have the US IRE black level, especially since it won't play region 1 DVDs, but if it's OK then all the better.
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post #68 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

The ad states it should be 110-220vac so should it shouldn't need any converter, other that probably a European two round pin plug to US plug which I've always heard was included with international units.

Nope, wasn't included. So I plunked down $40 at Radio Shack for one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Upon re-reading the B&H ad it does say:
"Region
2 - 6 (Region 1 with signal converter) "
I sure didn't notice that before and other ES-18's (like the WI new one for $199) does say region free, 1-6 http://www.world-import.com/Panasoni...D_Recorder.htm so I don't know what's up with the B&H unit excluding region 1(the US).

So I now have my pick of going with a chipped remote or installing firmware which will enable me to change it using my native Panasonic remore or getting a One 4 All Kameleon. Anyone here have an opinion as to which of those is the easiest quickest way to do it? Is there a fourth alternative I haven't mentioned? As always, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

AFA the black level, the easiest way to check is with a calibration DVD(I like to use the THX optimizer setup option on my copy of Monsters Inc. and I believe some other Pixar titles). You can also test with white on black titles, again generally the background should be true black, not grey. Like I said, +7.5 isn't really noticeable, so it's possible too that you just might not notice it. I couldn't explain why it would have the US IRE black level, especially since it won't play region 1 DVDs, but if it's OK then all the better.

I figure if I'm not seeing any difference then, even if it's there, it's not an issue for me, so I'm not going to worry about it.
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post #69 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 08:39 PM
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Have you checked video hacks at www.videohelp.com, to see if there is another way to make it region free?
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post #70 of 96 Old 10-04-2010, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Have you checked video hacks at www.videohelp.com, to see if there is another way to make it region free?

Well, I searched around for about 15 minutes.

I did find one thing sorta interesting. One of the things which I discovered in my reading was that the way one can get a remote to release the region-lock is to enter service mode, which is supposedly impossible for ordinary mortals.

Well, I found one mortal who did figure it out, at http://www.dxcc.com/dmr-e85h.htm .

However, the only info he gives is how to enter service mode. He does not indicate what the codes are to make the device region-free once one enters that mode.
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post #71 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

plan to get those three operas (Armida, Contes d'Hoffmann and Hamlet) plus the Renee Fleming/Dmitri Hvorostovsky special off the box over the next two days.

Drat. I whiffed on Hoffmann and forgot to record it. House full of DVDRs doesn't do any good if you forget to set the timer!!

It'll probably come out on DVD or Blu-Ray, but there's still a special satisfaction from snagging a MET telecoast OTA.....
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post #72 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by criggs View Post

So I now have my pick of going with a chipped remote or installing firmware which will enable me to change it using my native Panasonic remore or getting a One 4 All Kameleon. Anyone here have an opinion as to which of those is the easiest quickest way to do it? Is there a fourth alternative I haven't mentioned? As always, thanks.

I've done the panasonic region free hack many times over the years with one-for-all (UEI) remotes. HERE's a list of about 100 models (past and present) that will work. The cheapest is a 15-100, 133, 134 or 135 on clearance at your local radio shack for $5 or so. Walgreens and Best Buy have the RCA RCRP05B for $20 that will work (was recently on clearance for $4 but back to regular price now). Sears has the URC-8820 or 10820 that will work. If you've ever had cable, you may already own a remote that will work. Your toshiba, vizio or slingbox remote may also work, depending on the model. If you're buying a remote to keep, the Kameleon would be my last choice.

Alternately, I can send you a remote pre-programmed with the hack for $15 (assuming you're in the US). For that price, I can give you an RCA or radio shack 15-133 listed above. PM me if you are interested.
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post #73 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I've done the panasonic region free hack many times over the years with one-for-all (UEI) remotes. HERE's a list of about 100 models (past and present) that will work.

Well, my local Radio Shack didn't have any of those.

So I got the cheapest Radio Shack universal remote they had, which was the 15-302 for 8.99. For good measure, I also got the Sony RM-VZ220 for 9.99 from B & H.

Let's assume one of these is a JP-1 remote. For example, let's assume the Radio Shack is JP-1. What do I do now? Thanks!
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post #74 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 05:02 PM
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Sorry. That radio shack isn't JP1, and neither is the sony. If they aren't on the list, they won't work. I guess I didn't stress that enough.

HERE's what you do when you get the right remote. You program DVD setup code 0490 (or 20490 depending on the model of remote), then press the setup button and each code on that page. Press setup briefly before each 3 (or 5) digit code. The command is sent when the last digit is pressed. On newer model remotes, prepend 00 to each 3 digit code. The kameleon works a little differently. I'll have to look that up if you get one of those.
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post #75 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by doswonk1 View Post

Drat. I whiffed on Hoffmann and forgot to record it. House full of DVDRs doesn't do any good if you forget to set the timer!! It'll probably come out on DVD or Blu-Ray, but there's still a special satisfaction from snagging a MET telecoast OTA.....

By coincidence, that happens to be the next item up to be dubbed off from the box.

I'm using a Verbatim +R DL that I bought for about $1 a disc at B & H, which is surprisingly less than J & R or Best Buy or any of the other big stores in the town charge for them.

I'm using FR mode. The first layer will have the Prologue in the tavern and the Olympia doll act, plus the intermission material, which add up to one hour and 23 minutes.

The second layer will start with Deborah Voigt's intro to the Antonia Munich act (they do that second, like it should be, in this production) and will continue to the end of the opera, and my FR will be set for one hour and 38 minutes.

Wish me luck!
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post #76 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry. That radio shack isn't JP1, and neither is the sony. If they aren't on the list, they won't work. I guess I didn't stress that enough. HERE's what you do when you get the right remote.

I'll confess that, after looking both through that page and an auxiliary linked page, http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/vi...?p=46729#46729 , I'm completely lost. How do I enter these codes on the remote in the first instance? And which are the right codes? the hex versions? the 3-digit ones? Both? Either depending on what kind of remote I get? etc. etc. I just seem to be making myself more and more puzzled instead of more and more clear.

That's even assuming that I eventually find the right universal remote, which now seems increasingly unlikely.

I'm beginning to think this may be one bridge too far for me. I might just give it up and play back Region 1s through my laptop (my budget won't permit an extra DVD player at this point).
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post #77 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

I'm using FR mode. The first layer will have the Prologue in the tavern and the Olympia doll act, plus the intermission material, which add up to one hour and 23 minutes.
The second layer will start with Deborah Voigt's intro to the Antonia Munich act (they do that second, like it should be, in this production) and will continue to the end of the opera, and my FR will be set for one hour and 38 minutes.

So I've bumped into a little problem. I finished the recording of the Prologue and the first act fine, stopped the recording, closed the first layer, and, supposedly, I'm now ready to start recording on the second layer.

But even though I have no trouble going into the FR dialogue, and dialing in the desired one hour and 38 minutes, I'm getting no response from the Start button. The unit REFUSES to go into FR.

I finally gave up and am doing a plain vanilla SP recording on the second layer of the remainder of the opera, but why wouldn't it let me use the FR for the second layer?

Thanks again for the help!
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post #78 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

I'll confess that, after looking both through that page and an auxiliary linked page, http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/vi...?p=46729#46729 , I'm completely lost. How do I enter these codes on the remote in the first instance? And which are the right codes? the hex versions? the 3-digit ones? Both? Either depending on what kind of remote I get? etc. etc. I just seem to be making myself more and more puzzled instead of more and more clear.

That's even assuming that I eventually find the right universal remote, which now seems increasingly unlikely.

I'm beginning to think this may be one bridge too far for me. I might just give it up and play back Region 1s through my laptop (my budget won't permit an extra DVD player at this point).

It's not as bad as it looks. Forget everything but the first post in that thread (the rest is related to European remotes). You have 10 codes to enter. I'll give the first few as an example, using the Walgreens RCA remote I mentioned before:

- First program the remote to control a Panasonic DVD player/recorder: Press DVD, hold setup for 2 blinks, enter 0490 (2 blinks for success).

- Send the first command: Tap setup, then 00191 (when you press the last digit, the OK command is sent)
- Send the second command: Tap setup, then 00120 (the 6 command is sent)
- etc.

After you send the last command, your unit will be region free.

Alternately, you could send all the commands from your panasonic remote except for the "Service" command. Use the JP1 remote to send just that one command since the rest are on the panasonic remote.

I listed all the readily available remotes and where to get them in my earlier post. To recap, since you struck out at radio shack, you can get the RCA at best buy or walgreens or the URC at sears. You can also get them just about anywhere online, like amazon, tiger, ebay, or me (I've got a big box full). Mine would be pre-programmed so you don't have to enter any codes, you'd just press one button.
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post #79 of 96 Old 10-05-2010, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I'll give the first few as an example, using the Walgreens RCA remote I mentioned before:

- First program the remote to control a Panasonic DVD player/recorder: Press DVD, hold setup for 2 blinks, enter 0490 (2 blinks for success).

- Send the first command: Tap setup, then 00191 (when you press the last digit, the OK command is sent)
- Send the second command: Tap setup, then 00120 (the 6 command is sent)
- etc.

After you send the last command, your unit will be region free.

Okay, let me see if I got this straight.

When I have that RCA Remote in my hand, there will be a DVD button on it. I should push it.

Then do I gather correctly that there is a button on the RCA Universal labeled Setup? If I'm right, that's the button I should hold down while watching some light or display either on the DVD recorder or on the remote blink twice.

After the second blink, I should type in not a five-digit, but a four-digit number, namely 0490.

I will then see some light or display, either on the DVD recorder or the remote, blink again and do that twice.

At that point, if I gather correctly, the remote and the DVD recorder is then ready for me to start sending five-digit coded commands. The final fifth digit, in each case, doubles as both information and the equivalent of an Enter key for that function.

The final command, which is 00123, will automatically complete the process, take one out of this mode on the remote, and my Panasonic DVD Recorder will then be region-free.

Should I be sending these commands from the remote while the DVD recorder is off or on? I seem to remember reading references somewhere to the fact that something like this needs to be performed with the DVD recorder turned off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Alternately, you could send all the commands from your panasonic remote except for the "Service" command. Use the JP1 remote to send just that one command since the rest are on the panasonic remote.

You refer to the "Service" command. Which is that? Is that what you're calling the DVD/0490 command?

You know, I have a Verizon universal remote that has a DVD option. If I hit DVD and then 0490, will my Panasonic remote then be ready to take all the other commands? If so, does the Panasonic remote take 3-digit or 5-digit versions? If that's all it takes, I could take care of this right now if my Verizon Universal is JP1!

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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

since you struck out at radio shack, you can get the RCA at best buy or walgreens or the URC at sears.

That would be the RCRP05B, correct? I'll take a look!

As always, thanks so much for putting up with my questions.
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post #80 of 96 Old 10-06-2010, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

So I've bumped into a little problem. I finished the recording of the Prologue and the first act fine, stopped the recording, closed the first layer, and, supposedly, I'm now ready to start recording on the second layer.

But even though I have no trouble going into the FR dialogue, and dialing in the desired one hour and 38 minutes, I'm getting no response from the Start button. The unit REFUSES to go into FR.

I finally gave up and am doing a plain vanilla SP recording on the second layer of the remainder of the opera, but why wouldn't it let me use the FR for the second layer?

Thanks again for the help!

I believe FR only functions for single layer disks. Or in the case of a DL disk, for only the first layer.

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post #81 of 96 Old 10-06-2010, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe FR only functions for single layer disks. Or in the case of a DL disk, for only the first layer.

Well, believe it or not, at the moment, it's working for BOTH layers.

I'm currently doing the Keenlyside Hamlet. The start of the second half (the Met only did one intermission between the second and third acts) begins at one hour and 34 minutes into the 3-hour telecast, so I set my FR for the first layer at that time period. Just before the second half I stopped the recording and closed the first layer.

Then I cued up my box to the start of the third act, and paused it.

I then engaged FR mode on the ES18 and dialed in the remainder plus a minute to be on the safe side, one hour and 27 minutes --

-- AND IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have absolutely no idea why it's working fine with this one but wouldn't allow me to FR it for the second layer on the Contes d'Hoffmann.
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post #82 of 96 Old 10-06-2010, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by criggs View Post

Okay, let me see if I got this straight....

Yes, you've got it.
Quote:


Should I be sending these commands from the remote while the DVD recorder is off or on? I seem to remember reading references somewhere to the fact that something like this needs to be performed with the DVD recorder turned off.

I'm pretty sure it has to be on, but it's been a while since I've done it and I currently have no way to test it myself. Just check the posts you've found and try it both ways if necessary.



Quote:


You refer to the "Service" command. Which is that? Is that what you're calling the DVD/0490 command?

No. 0490 is not a command . It's the code that tells your universal remote that you want to control a Panasonic DVD player. "Service" is the 5th command in the list, the only one for which there is no button on you panasonic remote.

Quote:


You know, I have a Verizon universal remote that has a DVD option. If I hit DVD and then 0490, will my Panasonic remote then be ready to take all the other commands? If so, does the Panasonic remote take 3-digit or 5-digit versions? If that's all it takes, I could take care of this right now if my Verizon Universal is JP1!

If you have the manual for your verizon remote and 0490 or 20490 is listed under DVD codes, then it really is a JP1 remote and would work. But I've never heard of any verizon remotes being JP1. I'd be interested to find out for sure so I can add it to the list.

You don't use codes with the panasonic remote (they wouldn't work anyway), you just press the buttons. The post says to send Enter/OK, Dash, Search Back, Service, Audio, 8, 1, Subtitle, 4. AFAIK, the panasonic remote has all those buttons except Service. That's the one you need the RCA remote and the codes for.

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That would be the RCRP05B, correct? I'll take a look!

That's the one. And it has to be that one exactly. No other RCA remote will work.
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post #83 of 96 Old 10-06-2010, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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No. 0490 is not a command . It's the code that tells your universal remote that you want to control a Panasonic DVD player. "Service" is the 5th command in the list, the only one for which there is no button on you panasonic remote.

AHH! Thank you for clarifying that; I was totally confused.

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If you have the manual for your verizon remote and 0490 or 20490 is listed under DVD codes, then it really is a JP1 remote and would work. But I've never heard of any verizon remotes being JP1. I'd be interested to find out for sure so I can add it to the list.

I have, I looked, and those are NOT the DVD codes, so it definitely is NOT JP1. By the way, however did this particular flavor of universal remote get the moniker JP1?

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The post says to send Enter/OK, Dash, Search Back, Service, Audio, 8, 1, Subtitle, 4. AFAIK, the panasonic remote has all those buttons except Service. That's the one you need the RCA remote and the codes for.

Okay, in that case, I won't try for a mix-and-match; too klugy.

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it has to be that one exactly. No other RCA remote will work.

I'll be checking out Best Buy tomorrow. As always, many thanks for the information and education; really appreciate it!
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post #84 of 96 Old 10-07-2010, 06:33 AM
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...By the way, however did this particular flavor of universal remote get the moniker JP1?

The Info link in my sig will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.
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The Info link in my sig will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

That's quite a collection! Thanks. I'll start exploring.
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I'll be checking out Best Buy tomorrow. As always, many thanks for the information and education; really appreciate it!

The Superstore didn't have it, wouldn't order it for me, and said it didn't know when, if at all, they might be getting some more in.

So I called them today, hoping to find someone at Best Buy who might be willing to be more helpful than this guy. The woman too told me that she couldn't order it for me. However she told me to check Best Buy availability on line, reminding me that Best Buy has smaller stores scattered throughout Manhattan (I hadn't known that). She warned me the Superstore normally has the largest selection.

Not feeling very hopeful, I went to the web site. Sure enough, none in stock at the Superstore, so I put in my zip code, confident that the nearest store with this in stock would probably be on the West Coast.

UNION SQUARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I called them up. Yes! They have it! They're holding it in my name!! Whoo-hoo! Picking it up today.
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If I were you I'd have just gone to the nearest walgreens (there are about a dozen around Manhattan alone). But at least you found one. Best of luck to you.
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If I were you I'd have just gone to the nearest walgreens (there are about a dozen around Manhattan alone). But at least you found one. Best of luck to you.

Unfortunately it looks like Walgren's has stopped carrying them. I went to thre of them and they were all carrying a different RCA model, I believe it was RCRN034B.
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Unfortunately it looks like Walgren's has stopped carrying them. I went to thre of them and they were all carrying a different RCA model, I believe it was RCRN034B.

I hate to hear that. Sorry I gave you bad advice. Best buy it is then.
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I hate to hear that. Sorry I gave you bad advice. Best buy it is then.

On the contrary, without you I wouldn't have been able to get to first base.

I had pretty much decided not to touch the Panasonic's region configuration until after I successfully dubbed off everything from the Time Warner Cable Box DVR. That way, in case I screwed something up afterwards with my fumbling around on the universal remote, at least I could still stop paying for Time Warner.

And tonight I dubbed off the last item, the Fleming/Hvorostovsky special.

I disconnected the whole box, and (as soon as I make sure I'm getting the deal Verizon promised me) I'll be telling Time Warner to haul it out of here.

Now that the dubs are complete, I shall --

-- VERY VERY CAREFULLY AND GINGERLY --

-- go through the command instructions and fix the region config on the Panasonic. Wish me luck!
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