Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: No Man's Land Bet. Des Moines & Iowa City
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You can use the ES-15 remote for almost all of the functions of the original E85 remote... When you're in the timer setup screen, the ES-15 remote's chapter mark key fills in for the E85's green key. But the ES-15 doesn't have an exact analog for the blue key on the E85 remote - the one that lets you change the input and recording speed when you're in the timer setting screen. The short work-around is to set the machine to the input and record "speed" (i.e., SP, LP, FR, etc.) you want to record from before you enter the timer-set screen. Then when you hit the setup screen, they'll be the defaults. IIRC, the chap mark key will let you set the actual start and stop times.....
I actually use spare ES-15 and EZ-17remote most of the time with my E85, just to preserve the original. I do still grab the original when I'm setting the timer, though. It's just easier. The remote for any HDD-equipped Panasonic recorder will work with the E85, so if you can find a used one at a modest price, it might be worth the investment just for the convenience.
Still, almost 9 - nine! - years after the machine hit the streets, the E85 is still a pretty sweet piece of gear. I mostly use mind for FM radio time-shifting, but when I fire it up for OTA TV recording, I feed it from a Zenith DTT-901 box, too. The image is slightly softer than from my Philips/Magnavox series DVDRs, but in some ways I prefer that.
Make sure you explore the FR function, if you haven't already!