I've probably spent about 5 hours trying various and sundry options. Unless I'm not getting it, the booklet doesn't help at all. The only place they mention hdmi (pg 16, I believe), they don't tell you anything else. Online, they have every conceivable hookup, except dvd recorder, tv and CABLE BOX. I've tried to do it intuitively, but I just don't understand the process or the terminology well enough to do this, I guess.
I called Panasonic,twice. The first time they gave me specific instructions and I connected things while the guy was on the phone. I didn't want to take up all his time, so I let him go and then tried it out, unsuccessfully. I called again, they basically ran me through the same setup, then paused and said 'oh, wait, you have a hdmi cable? Then rip out all the other connections, that is all you need.' Although I wasn't buying this, at that time I had been on the phone with her for 45 minutes, so again I let her go only to find out that virtually nothing worked.
At the last configuration I tried, the only functions I could get were the sd card slot and PLAYING dvd's, NO RECORDING AT ALL.
I was up at 4:30 this morning trying out other possibilities, and I made some changes but I haven't been able to check them out yet, as far as recording goes. I did try the tv however, and there are two problems there that i have to address.
The hd stations are so blocked up with black and grey bars that the picture is only about 8 x 15, not the 30" screen I thought I bought. The bars aren't even consistent, I think Discovery has nothing on bottom if I remember correctly, but everything else has grey and black all around.
Also, the # button on my remote is supposed to, and did, change the screen from stretch to wide to whatever, and that function seems to be completely gone! When I changed channels before from standard to hd, the 480 on the box would go to 1080. Now it remains on 1080 constantly, whether I'm on hd or not. Not that the picture is any worse, just that I don't understand what I did to make these changes occur.
At any rate, the new way I set it up this morning is:
CABLE FROM WALL TO 'CABLE IN' ON SA 8300 BOX
'CABLE OUT' ON SA 8300 BOX TO 'RF IN' ON ES 45
'RF OUT' ON ES45 TO 'ANT' ON HDTV
'HDMI OUT' ON ES 45 TO 'HDMI' ON HDTV
, PB Y ' CABLES FROM SA 8300 TO TV
'AUDIO OUT' ON SA 8300 TO 'AUDIO IN' ON TV (RED AND WHITE CABLES)
NOW, IF ALL OF THIS IS CORRECT,( AND THE WAY THIS HAS BEEN GOING, I DOUBT IT!) I STILL HAVE TO USE 'ANALOG CABLES' (IS THAT THE RED AND WHITE SETUP?) FROM ONE OF THE 'OUT' POSITIONS ON THE ES 45 (WHICH ONE???) TO THE INPUT ON THE SA 8300 BOX, AND THEN SOME KIND OF VIDEO CABLES (RCA, IS THAT THE YELLOW ONE??) OR A S-VIDEO PLUG FROM THE 'OUT' ON THE ES 45 TO AN INPUT ON THE SA 8300 BOX TO BE ABLE TO RECORD PROGRAMS STORED ON THE DVR IN THE 8300 BOX, IS THAT RIGHT? WHICH SHOULD BE BETTER, THE S-VIDEO OR THE 'RCA VIDEO CABLE'?
I THINK AT LEAST HALF OF MY PROBLEM HERE IS THAT DIFFERENT PEOPLE USE DIFFERENT TERMS TO DESCRIBE CERTAIN CABLES, ETC AND I DON'T KNOW THE TERMINOLOGY. FOR INSTANCE, DV, ILINK IEEE11394, AND MAYBE TOSLINK? ARE ALL THE SAME THING! WHO KNEW?
I feel like I've written a book here, but I thought it might help you to understand why this is all so confusing to me. I do electrical work, plumbing, woodwork etc, but this just escapes me somehow!
It seems to me the manual should say: if you have this possibility, do this for the best connection. If not, do this etc., but it really doesn't. I see people here on the forum with a pretty good grasp of at least the terminology and they seem totally confused! What hope is there for someone who doesn't know this stuff?