Philips 985 DVD Recorder +R type, on closeout at Circuit City, 380$-415$ or less - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 04:34 PM
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OK, here is how you check if you have a new engine or not:

copy the latest firmware on CD-R

place the CD-R on the tray

close the tray

wait until SYS VERSION appears on the display

right after that you should see one of the following numbers:

11319106
11319107
11319109
11319101
11319102

if the number ends in 06, 07, or 09 you have an old engine
if the number ends in 01 or 02 you have a new one.

My A03 manufatured December 2002 - with red sticker on the back - has the old engine. The A41 manufactured February 2003 has the new engine.

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post #92 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 04:53 PM
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My A21 made in Hungrey in Aaug 2002 had 1138107, so is a A21 with an old engine? IS that good or bad? It seems to work fine.
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post #93 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 05:03 PM
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"My A21 made in Hungrey in Aaug 2002 had 1138107, so is a A21 with an old engine? IS that good or bad? It seems to work fine."

From what I have read, the new engines are more reliable. How long have you had your 985?

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post #94 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 05:29 PM
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Here's an easier way to check what engine you have:

Go to the firmware info screen: if y in "BE xx.y.zz" is '1' or '2' you have a new engine. For example on the info screen of my A41 is BE20.1.21.

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post #95 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 05:52 PM
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These numbers are also on the box.
Small white or silver bar code tag.
This tag contains this info:
120V 60Hz 33W
DVDR985/172
VN09033xxxxxxxx X's = Serial number
Jerry
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post #96 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 05:58 PM
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Not on my boxes! I mean, the stickers are there but the numbers on them don't tell me anything.

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post #97 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 06:04 PM
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I had 7 sealed boxes and each had this tag.
The A03 units had a silver tag.
The A41 units had the white.
These would be from both countries.
Also some of the open box units I had also had this info available on the red tag if it had one.
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post #98 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 06:40 PM
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How do you get to the firmware screen i.e. what symbol is it under on the vertical system menu?

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post #99 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 08:52 PM
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I have an A03 made in March 2003 with a red/orange sticker on the back and an A41 made in January 2003 with no stickers. They are both around 12 lbs. I've never seen a lighter one as others have discussed. For that amount of weight it would have to be a different transformer.

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post #100 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 10:24 PM
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"I had 7 sealed boxes and each had this tag.
The A03 units had a silver tag.
The A41 units had the white.
These would be from both countries.
Also some of the open box units I had also had this info available on the red tag if it had one"

Yes, but there is no way you can tell from the numbers on the tags if your unit has a new engine or not.

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post #101 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 10:26 PM
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"How do you get to the firmware screen i.e. what symbol is it under on the vertical system menu?"

It's under the remote symbol. Enter the remote settings and keep on pushing the down button till you see it.

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post #102 of 175 Old 06-18-2003, 10:31 PM
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"I have an A03 made in March 2003 with a red/orange sticker on the back and an A41 made in January 2003 with no stickers. They are both around 12 lbs. I've never seen a lighter one as others have discussed. For that amount of weight it would have to be a different transformer"

My December 2002 A03 unit is definitely heavier than my A41 February 2003 unit. It's possible that the older models had a different transformer, no? Maybe Philips used cheaper components on the more recent units, look at the drop in price, from $899 to $349.

Can you check what engines you have in your units?

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post #103 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 12:24 AM
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razvanel- the two CC's I went to said and confirmed in front of my wavering eyes on their computer that their COST from wholesalers for this weeks units was $461 for the 985's. I believe that this has always been not that far away from a year ago cost. Maybe 10-15%. They were making great profit margins in the beginning and outgoing models always drop in retail. Just my theory and speculation subject to change and condemnation of course! I am a Leatherback. BTW thanks for your erudite comments on this topic for we first time DVDR buyers.

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post #104 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 04:28 AM
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I was at the CC in Newington, CT last night. They have two new, sealed 985s on the floor. One is an A03 and the other is an A41. They've lowered their posted price to $419 - down from the $599 posted last week.
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post #105 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 05:27 AM
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All I can say is of those that have been opened from the sealed boxes so far (The 985 units that went to other family members) they had the DVDR985/172 or DVDR985/171 & all have the new engines.
I can not say for-sure that the 172/172 have anything to relate to this.
But that is the way it has panned out so far.
A few members have purchased the remaining units I had, those are now in transit at this time, Those also had the 171 or 172 numbers.
The "VN" does this mean Version Number? also all had VN09033 or there about.
Only time will tell to show if this possibly relates at all.
The 985's that I purchased all came from four different locations with different BB P.O. order numbers & countries of origin. These all are A03 & A41 units.
This is just speculation on my behalf.
I feel to many people just may mis this great deal with an over concern about the engines, numbers this & numbers that. When they are gone & you don't have one, you may wish you purchased anyone of them.
If you purchase the CC service plan, I'm sure if you run into problems
you will get the new engine installed if it's the culprit.
If it's not the culprit and it's works fine then what's the problem?
-Jerry
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post #106 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 05:57 AM
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Or just purchase it with a major credit card that doubles the manufactures limited warranty for up to one additional year.
It won't give you the same benefits of the CC service plan, but it won't cost you any extra either.
-Jerry
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post #107 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 08:39 AM
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"the two CC's I went to said and confirmed in front of my wavering eyes on their computer that their COST from wholesalers for this weeks units was $461 for the 985's"

Wow, so CC is losing money on these units. Sears is selling the 985 for $499 and Good Guys for $599.

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post #108 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 08:56 AM
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"I feel to many people just may mis this great deal with an over concern about the engines, numbers this & numbers that"

But the numbers are important, the units that have first generation laser engines do have serious problems. Here is a post from dvdplusrw:

"I bought my 985 around September of 2002.
It worked great for about 6 months, I burned about 60 or 70 discs with almost no problems.
Then the dreaded disc errors started.
I had it repaired (they replaced the laser), and then it worked
fine for another 2-3 months, disc errors started again.
Upgraded the firmware to the latest version thinking that might help, nope, only made it worse.

So they replaced the laser a 2nd time.
I got it back, and was unable to record pretty much right after I plugged it back in (this was right after the repair mind you). More disc errors and disc warnings.

Called Philips for a refund or exchange, nope they don't do that. So I sent it in for repair a 3rd time (note: this is all in less than 1 year of owning the #### thing).
The techie replaced the laser, and both boards in the box essentially giving me a new machine.

I just got it back yesterday. So far it's working, but I basically don't expect it to do so for too long. I had to buy an extended warranty because each repair costs like $400 without it, and I can't afford that.

So to all the users who claim to not have any problems with your 985, all I can say is give it time... or maybe I just got stuck with a lemon ? Given the number of posts in this forum though I seriously doubt it."


Back to me: so far my A41 twice messed up the time and date so timer recording is an issue. The One Touch Recording is a disaster on both my A41 and A03 and, apparently, on the new Philips 75 and 80 recorders too. Here's another post from dvdplusrw:

"My problem is this: Whenever I use the OTR function of the recorder, if I set it to anything over an hour, it stops at the hour mark plus a few seconds (up to 30 or 40 seconds.) I am getting frustrated because I am trying to tell it to record something for 2 hours, so that I can come back after it is done, and tell it to record something else for 2 hours (I am busy all day, so I tell it to do that in the morning, and would like to come home and tell it to finish the disk with another movie or whatever from my DVR.) Problem is, when I get home, I have half a movie (1 hour's worth) and 3 hours of disk space left in EP mode. So, I have to delete the 1 hour recording, and try to fit my recordings into the remaining space.

I too have found my OTR to be unuseable, and just ignore it right now, but would like to be able to use this function. Has anyone else had this issue?? Has anyone else tried to hit OTR till it says anything over 1 hour, and had it actually continue past the hour mark? Is this something that is repaired in a firmware upgrade? I mean, I know firmware upgrades fix lots of things, but has anyone seen this issue specifically, and had it resolved with an upgrade?"

The Philips 985 is cheap but it is not a reliable machine.


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post #109 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 09:21 AM
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Razvanel,
I don't disagree with the possibilities of problems.
What I said still stands, If you wait to long to purchase, you won't have anything to buy from a B&M store that offers a full warranty.
Buy the CC and have three problems, Get a new replacement model.
There is no guarantee that the new engine will solve all possible problems.
I also read darn near every post that was in conjunction to the 985.
These same few loud people that made the posts are a small drop in the bucket when compared to total sales of the Philips DVDR-985.
You aways hear from those that run into problems, What about that 99.9 % that we never hear from? They must have computers since they are techies with the cutting edge product as a standalone DVD recorder.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe that the early models may have had issues as most products today do, We are the beta testers, but that's still not a reason to mis out on this deal if you want one, just protect yourself in the event that problems do arise.
I have checked many online sites looking for 985 bad press, Not much to be found anywhere, not even at http://www.complaints.com/
If you have a CC service plan, You don't even pay repair shipping.
No one likes problems, but life's tough.
-Jerry
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post #110 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 09:38 AM
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"You aways hear from those that run into problems, What about that 99.9 % that we never hear from"

Come on, if you don't hear from them it doesn't automatically mean that they don't have problems.

Me, I have 2 units and both have problems. That's 100%

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post #111 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 09:54 AM
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Can you say that the B&M stores always had a huge supply of returned open box units?
Not here in Minnesota, Very few in the past year ever made it on the discount table.
Most buyers would be returning these in huge numbers.

"Come on, if you don't hear from them it doesn't automatically mean that they don't have problems."

Again, if stuck with a bad 985 repair bill, don't you think the buyers
of these cutting edge products would be more vocal on-line?
The internet today is the media & venue of choice.
Maybe I assume to much, I personally would be.

"Me, I have 2 units and both have problems. That's 100%"
I understand you have had problems, Look how LOUD you have been. ;)

Life is to short for that, If it was me with 100% failure,
I would be looking at a different brand.
-Jerry
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post #112 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 02:03 PM
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I bought my DVDr985 back in April 2002 and within the first month , i started the first thread reporting DVDr 985 error message both here and www.dvdrwplus.org forum.
I had 4 machines exchanged from the Good Guys, and i was about to give up.
Magnavox came up with a stripped down version of DVDr75 and it worked perfect.
And when i got the last repair back, when Carson Repair Center changed both the logic board and optic unit, the DVDr985 finally performed it should be.
Since i have been following the saga both here in u.s. and back in Europe, I felt Philips has figured out what to do for DVDr985, and it is reincarnated as DVDr75, 85 etc.
As for the manufactured DVDr985, it could be fixed , if the repair center wants to.The only problem is , usually, the machine is kept for 2 months, came back and still no good.
I feel sorry for people who took grain of salt from ZZtop and Diode1,DVDr985 is an untouchable. unless you are ready to have lots of heartache or if you are incredibly lucky(like myself finally?)
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post #113 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 02:25 PM
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strpyw,
I stumbled & entered into this thread nearly TWO weeks after the start.
ZZtop & myself have been very vocal to protect yourself & interest.
Buy the extra warranty! from Philips or the CC would be best as it's cheaper & after two problems you get a replacement rather than a repair or maybe even your cash back, CC replacements come from store stock, current product inventory.
Now I would love to see a panny or new model Philips in my rack a year or two down the road for the price I paid for the 985.
Heck it may even record 5.1 & HD by then at the same price point.
Yes, I hope to get some trouble free work done with my 985.
But if problems do arise, I will be looking at those new units.
What do you think the guys at CC will say to a customer that purchased 9 Philips DVDR-985's? ;)
Regards,
-Jerry
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post #114 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 03:15 PM
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By the tone & nature of my previous posts in this thread, they should reflect that I'm a gambling man, I'm betting that some of those other CC Service contract fee's may just be buying me a new updated DVD recorder model sometimes over the next three years. :D
-Jerry
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post #115 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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If you look at the title of this thread it was a post about the LAST mfg version being sold being a bargain, on closeout and my advice was to buy the current version units and also to still buy a warranty for protection.

If anyone asked about other versions, that means they knew it obviously was not the last version made, and in many cases as it turns out the only differences in versions was a downloadable firmware update to this last current version of firmware.

Please don't needlessly scare people by posting problems about the original production runs units, I had a bad one too as I stated in the opening post when I started the thread.


You posted Philips repaired your unit , and that it works, by replacing the inside with current version parts so you have no reason to tear down other purchases of same or later version units.

owner of several Samsung LCD Panels
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post #116 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 04:17 PM
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Hi,ZZtop,
I had been reading your thread ever since it started, and kept my silence until now because
1) at the time of your posting, there was no report of problem from
the Hungarian model, i.e. the A41, and the Magnavox MDR 630 sold at Target stores is the stripped down DVDr75 Hungarian made.I thought the difference between lemon and passion (fruit) could be accounted for by the laser unit.
2) Now, here, as well as at www.dvdplusrw.org there are reports of problems from A41 unit.There is a recent poll at www.dvdplusrw.org about success of Philips Repair, 30% are problem free, and >10% still has problems,plus what i know about what it took to fix mine:new logic board and optic laser unit, led me to believe one cannot totally use the production
crop A41 to be the holy grail
3)Let the buyer beaware, that is all i am saying here.
4)I am absolutely happy about my repaired DVDr985, and has no plan to trade DOWN to Dvdr85 with dubious useful features.
5)As a member of AVS, we should look out for interest of other members,
i would not want to have what happened to me to happen to any of my fellow AVS readers.
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post #117 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
30% are problem free, and >10% still has problems
It should be noted that the percentages listed above are based on a total of 11 people who participated in the portion of the poll referring to the 985.
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post #118 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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strpyw:

I guess you just want to argue and scare people needlessly.

I don't know how many times I need to repeat you are posting all kinds of stuff about OTHER earlier, mfg versions of this machine.

The thread/post is about a CLOSEOUT SALE at a particular B &M of the recent version of the machine specifically the A41 and a few other versions a few people have determined are the same thing through calls to Philips except for the firmware update.

People can't buy those earlier versions of the machines you refer to and include numbers and links to, period.

I don't know how many times I have to repeat to you read the top of the thread and what I started it about.

And you cite numbers from a board that has heated internal arguments about those same numbers due to duplicate posts constantly, even to this day, and using those inflated numbers and that has been the case with day one from that board.

If you feel so strongly about this why don't you go start your own thread about ALL versions of the 985 has had and whatever you want to discuss with fellow AVS members.

owner of several Samsung LCD Panels
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post #119 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Go to the firmware info screen: if y in "BE xx.y.zz" is '1' or '2' you have a new engine. For example on the info screen of my A41 is BE20.1.21.

My A03 says BE 15.7.18 and the firmware is FF12J. Does this mean mine was carved in the stone age?
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post #120 of 175 Old 06-19-2003, 07:21 PM
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quote:
30% are problem free, and >10% still has problems

Quote:
Originally posted by PJO1966
It should be noted that the percentages listed above are based on a total of 11 people who participated in the portion of the poll referring to the 985.
I guess since I purchased 9 of these I could go and tilt those percentages :D
Since I have valid sale receipt's & serial numbers.
It would contain the same value as it now offers, ZERO :D
-Jerry
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