It looks like my Panasonic DMR-EZ28 DVD drive is shot. It would have been two years old next month. That would have been its born-again birthday. The Panasonic repair facility in Elk Grove Village, IL revived it from its "HELLO" coma in February of 2009. I bought it new January 21, 2009.
When I try to play a disk I hear, "eeeeet...eeeeet...eeeeet...eeeeet....oooooot" where the "oot" is lower pitched than the "eets". The display says "UNSUP" then "POrT" (with the disk icon). On my TV I see the message, "This disk is incompatible." That same Panasonic DVD-RAM disk was working fine in the days and months prior. Tried another Panasonic DVD-RAM that was previously working and it fails in the same way. Ditto a new DVD-RW disk. It tried the spit-based spindle cleaning mentioned in this forum and it produced a couple of "No Disk" messages before the "UNSUPOrT" message came back. I also tried a laser cleaning disk from Wal-Mart and that did nothing. The unit always got its own shelf and when it was in a cabinet the back of the cabinet was open--this thing did not die a heat-related death!
Is there a home-brew fix? Some drive that can be swapped in for less than the $130 + shipping to the Panasonic Texas repair facility? I can't see throwing more than $75 away on a DVD-based system. I just need an OTA DVR. I have a Panasonic DMR-ES25 that's at least three years old and still works fine. But it only has an analog turner so it's hooked up to a converter box. And now it appears I have another tuner (the EZ28) that I can hook into the ES25. The ES25 has had tons of use converting my sister's VHS tapes to DVDs plus recording OTA broadcasts. That's why the EZ28 has been such a disappointment--the ES25 is a champ, the EZ28 is a chump!
Since the ES25 can handle my DVD burning needs, any ideas on a DVR? Tivo looks good but I only need OTA recording so the monthly fee is a non-starter. The only other non-DVD option appears to be a Channel Master CM-7000PAL DVR. Any opinions on the CM-7000PAL?