Panasonic DMR-EZ17K DVD Player/Recorder - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 440 Old 12-29-2007, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Actually I know I have experimented with the quick on feature, and it did not effect the outcome. I personally leave it off, since I do not use RAM discs, and it doesn't really effect startup time with -RW's that much. I do hate the long startups though
In my area the autoclock set will work in about 1 minute, and does work for keeping the clock right on time, but maybe it is screwing up something else....
If this is the fix, I can certainly live without it. Note, at my cabin on another Panny, the autoclock set takes 15min.+ to work. I think it's using another signal to set the time there.
Oh and about having to turn off the EZ to get it to record, this is something new, and for the worse on Panny's. ON all my older Panny DVDR's, you did not have to turn off the DVDR to get it to record, unlike all my previous VCR's. I'd say, one step forward, one back with the EZ series.
As far as the back to back programs, that's one occasion when it's nice to have more than one DVDR, since you noted it takes 30 seconds to finalize the first recording before it can start the 2nd. Not to mention certain shows like "Desperate Housewives" and "Womans Murder Club" than chronically run 1-2 min over.
Although I've only got the one EZ machine, and now that I've gotten used to HD lite, and WS, it's hard to go back to the old analog tuner Panny's.


Is the 30 second delay in recording back to back programs due to the Instant On feature being turned off or due to finalizing your -RW discs? I typically use RAM discs and there is only a few seconds lost. However I used to have the Instant On feature turned on when I did this. Currently I have it turned off so I will have to experiment in this mode.

I share your thoughts about having a program run 1-2 mins over. I also have an ES20, but of course does not record WS, etc. So I use it for recording the program that will least likely suffer from recording in 4:3.

FWIW, the ES20 is more responsive than the EZ17. For example when using commercial skip, I can push the button on the ES20 several times in rapid succession and the picture almost instantly jumps ahead. With the EZ17 there seems to me a slight a lag for each skip. Not a deal breaker, but definitely slower. The ES20 also has an Open/Close button on the remote. I always thought this was silly because you have to go to the machine anyway. But I miss this on the EZ17. It is just nice having the disc drawer open when you get there.
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post #182 of 440 Old 12-29-2007, 04:10 PM
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Maybe the missing 30 second thing does not happen to RAM discs, R's & RW discs have to do a little finalizing after each recording which takes up to 30 seconds. I bet that's another advantage of RAM's. It defiantly has nothing to do with the instant on feature, that's just for startup.
I agree if it werent for the HD lite, and WS on the EZ's, I'd be using my ES series Panny's much more.
On the 4x3 recording thing, I think(but don't have a separate tuner to try this) if a person was to feed a 16X9 downconverted HD signal into the S-input of our ES series Panny's, they would also record it, and have similar PQ to the EZ series.
I know copying a DVD, there is no PQ difference between the 2 units.
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post #183 of 440 Old 12-29-2007, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by hpwong View Post

I just started test #3:
Sun-Sat, 2:30-3PM, SP, Ch 4-1 (NBC), blank DVD-RAM
The disc should hold 4 days of recording... and did show 12/31 in the Check column (which would be the 4th day)

So both Fri and Sat recorded at the right time, but... when I checked the recordings, both recorded KCOP channel 13-1 instead of NBC channel 4-1. Really weird. The Schedule still shows NBC-4LA. In the DVD Navigator, in the black area under the thumbnail, it also says NBC-4LA, but the picture and title below the thumbnail are not of the NBC shows:

Friday shows video of Judge David Young and a title of Judge David Young (NBC should have been Martha Stewart)

Sat shows video of Married w/ Children, but title of Pleasantville (NBC should have been Golf). Pleasantville was on right before M w/ C on KCOP ch. 13, so looks like a timing thing between the title data and video being sent by the broadcaster, still wrong channel.

I tried to see if another weekly event would record the wrong channel: Weekly Sun-Sat, NBC 4-1, SP and tuned to Ch 5-1 before turning off. It came on and correctly recorded Ch 4-1 and the video and titles are correct. So I don't know how Test #3 recorded the wrong channel twice.

The other test was to see the delay in back to back recording on DVD-RAM. It was about 10-15 seconds gap, so not too bad, I guess. Both of these also recorded the right channels.
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post #184 of 440 Old 12-30-2007, 03:06 PM
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Yesterday I set the clock automatically (and turned Quick Start OFF). It took 20-30 minutes to find the time. By the time I checked back on it, it asked if it was 8:15PM... but it was actually 8:30 by then. I said yes anyways and the clock stayed about 15 minutes too slow. This morning it was still 15 min behind. But somewhere between 10AM and 12:40PM it fixed itself and showed the right time.

Continuing Test #3, I did not turn on or touch the DVDR today (just saw that the LCD showed the wrong then right time) and it still started to record at 2:30. It stopped at 2:45 because the disc filled up. But it did record the right channel (4-1, Golf) today.

Anyways, I'm going to leave the auto clock on for now until it starts to act up.

Experimenting with the Quick Start... seems if the DVDR is on and then I turn off then on again, the DVDR starts up quick the 2nd time regardless of Quick Start setting. But it seems that if the DVDR has been off for a while, that's when the Quick Start reduces startup from 30 to 1 sec. By start up I just mean for the TV video and sound to appear... not anything on the disc. Need to try it a few more times... after cooling the machine overnight I think.
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post #185 of 440 Old 12-30-2007, 11:05 PM
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I did several back to back timer recordings using both DVD-RAM and DVD-R media to see what kind of delay was experienced. I had Quick Start turned off which didn’t seem to affect anything. I say this because the recorder never turned off between recordings.

It did not seem to matter which media was used, but the 1st program ended anywhere from 0 to 3 seconds early according to the status display. And there was about 1 to 4 seconds total delay before the 2nd program came up. Seemed to be completely random. Didn't seem to make any difference if it was switching between HD QAM channels or analog.

The DVD-R did "writing to disc..." after the first program, which caused about 15 seconds of the 2nd program to be missed. Strangely the DVD-RAM missed about 10 seconds of the 2nd program. I tried this several times. Since the RAM seems so much more responsive I was not expecting this. If I push the Record button on the remote the RAM seems to respond in about a second, so I was expecting to miss only about a second of the 2nd program.

What I used to do for a work around with VHS machines was to manually set the clock about 15 seconds fast. I might lose a preview for the following week, but at least I caught the beginning of the 2nd program, presuming both programs changed on the hour.

I tried turning off Auto Clock when playing with DST, even though I never had a problem. But the clock always reset automatically anyway. So I don't know how I'd ever set the clock fast by 15 seconds. Perhaps a complete reset of the EZ17 would wipe out any trace of a time signal being present.
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post #186 of 440 Old 12-31-2007, 09:01 AM
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This is another story to go under "strange things I've noticed whilst running my ez-17":

It's not really a sign of something "broke"- just strange (and technically, it wasn't really the unit, itself, that was "strange", rather something the unit was connected to when it happened). Anyways, I usually keep my ez-17 set so that it outputs anamorphically squeezed material from the tuner (so that it records same). The unit feeds into an input of my Toshiba recorder (which is there to act as my main video switcher, in addition to "vcr" duties). The normal thing to expect when I am watching this feed through my Toshiba on an sdtv is to see the same anamorphically squeezed format. However, when I activated the Timeslip function on the Toshiba (because I needed to make a bathroom break), I later found that somehow it was receiving the anamorphic flag from the ez-17 and was automatically playing back the content transformed to letterbox format! Weird, eh? I thought the flag only really comes into play when the file has been written/being read from a disc in the form of a file header or some such, rather than from a live feed.

The pq was a bit "off", however, so I suspect it isn't an intended behavior. I was just surprised that it was doing it. Maybe something in those data bits in the topmost lines of the image transmission was triggering this?

I've never seen it behave like this before, as when I playback the same recording from disc (as opposed to watching the live broadcast) on the ez-17 into the Toshiba, it displays it exactly like it should (anamorphically squeezed). The widescreen flag is not "communicated" in that scenario (which is what you would normally expect). (...but possibly it would do it again if I recorded the ez-17 output of the disc playback- I should go back and try it out)

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post #187 of 440 Old 12-31-2007, 02:16 PM
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I have a DMR-EZ17 of February 2007 manufacture. I also have extensive experience with my other Panasonics: DMR-ES30V and DMR-ES40V (2005 models); and DMR-ES35V and DMR-ES15 (2006 models).

My DMR-ES30V, DMR-ES35V and DMR-ES15 models are very reliable and perform well. The DMR-ES40V has design flaws and bugs that were not corrected by firmware updates. It also lacks important features found on my other older and newer Panasonics.

We have Comcast digital cable service where other Panasonic analog tuner models are connected to digital or HD cable boxes or set cable-ready.

The DMR-EZ17 is connected directly to the Comcast coaxial cable. We receive and record analog, digital, and HD channels (in SD) up to the 135 channel range as provided through Comcast.

One of these days I expect to experiment with an antenna. We are located line of sight within five miles of 18 analog, digital, or HD station towers. We are located line of sight within 50 miles of 13 additional analog, digital, or HD station towers, some of which channels are repeaters of the closer 18 channels.

The DMR-EZ17 initially demonstrated a lock-up problem, but only once. I unplugged it from the power strip to regain control. Later I noticed that it had a manual reset button at the far right behind the fold-down door. I have not had to use this button yet.

I have noticed a few scheduling menu quirks. So far I have not experienced DMR-EZ17 scheduling problems that always plagued the DMR-ES40V. Some of those same problems have been mentioned in this thread as DMR-EZ17 problems.

I found or devised some workarounds for the DMR-ES40V design flaws/bugs and posted that information on another forum. In the event that these DMR-ES40V workarounds may work with a DMR-EZ17, here is the substance of that post:

EARLY A.M. SCHEDULED RECORDING WORKAROUND. Schedule a brief recording beginning shortly before midnight, say 11:59 p.m., and ending shortly after midnight, say 12:01 a.m., AHEAD of any timer scheduled recording in the wee hours.

DAILY OR WEEKLY SCHEDULED RECORDING WORKAROUND. Timer scheduling of weekly or daily programs (say Monday-Friday programs, every Tuesday programs, & etc.) is unreliable. USE ACTUAL DATES WHEN SCHEDULING ALL PROGRAMS.

RATINGS AND PASSWORD WORKAROUND. Once my DMR-ES40V changed it's viewer ratings on its own, locking up the machine so that it would not play any DVD. It gave an error message. The DMR-ES40V had reset the "rating" by itself to a low number (1 or 2) that is very restrictive. When I attempted to change the "rating" back to the "8" default (in the FUNCTIONS, OTHER FUNCTIONS, SETUP, DISC, SETTINGS FOR PLAYBACK, RATINGS) I was asked for my password. I was the only user of this machine and I had never set a password. Nothing I tried would allow me to use the machine. Here is the DMR-ES40V workaround Panasonic gave me: Power unit on. Open DVD tray. Press and hold REC and PLAY on the machine for over 5 seconds. If done correctly the DVD tray will remain open. The ratings password setting will return to the default (no password). The rating will return to the "8" default.

CRASHING. My DMR-ES40V crashed often, especially when attempting to finalize its own discs (ruining them). I soon learned that it was always better to finalize its discs on my other Panasonic models. The machine regularly needed to be unplugged from the power strip in order to regain its control.

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post #188 of 440 Old 12-31-2007, 03:26 PM
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Interesting post. What forum did you report your es-40 findings on?
I have a es-30, what is the differences between the 30 and 40 function wise?
I have never had a issue with weekly scheduled events on my es-30, but have had NUMEROUS problems with my ez Panny's.
I also had issues with my es-30 finalizing discs, but it was after maybe 1000? hrs of use, so I chalked it up to the laser being worn out/out of spec. I also never finalize on the es-30 anymore, but it's gotten so bad now, that 20?% of the time it also crashes doing the post recording mini finalizing thing, so I basically use it as a player only.
It almost sounds like the es-40 was a premonition of what was to come from Panasonic....And not a good one at that....
I agree, if it is a recording you really want, don't use the weekly/daily events. It's not worth the crap shoot that it will work.

P.S. I also have a es-15 and es-25, which does not seem to have the timer bug, and so far anyway, doesn't crash while finalizing....
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post #189 of 440 Old 12-31-2007, 03:46 PM
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I noticed that when Auto Off feature is on and when the DVDR turns itself off after 2 or 6 hrs of inactivity, the DVDR does not show the Red Timer clock on the LCD indicating it is ready to perform a scheduled recording. If you power cycle it, the clock will then come on.

This morning I left it on and it turned itself off after 6 hrs. Coincidentally, the 6 hrs was up at 2:50PM. So since the DVDR was on at 2:30PM, Test #3 scheduled recording did not go off (as designed w/ power on). But at 2:50, the machine powered down by itself, said BYE, was off w/o the red clock for 1 minute, then the DVDR woke up and started recording NBC-4LA Martha Stewart til the end of the schedule recording (2:30-3PM).

So kinda of good news here that if you forget to power down the machine and you use the Auto Off, you have a chance to still get your recording. The one wrinkle here is that I did turn on the machine this morning... so I don't know if that helped it or not (ie power cycle after midnight).
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post #190 of 440 Old 12-31-2007, 04:15 PM
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Jjeff,

I have participated in the CD Freaks Forum where there is a Panasonic DVD Recorder and Player Forum.

The main differences between the (early 2005) DMR-ES30V and the (late 2005) DMR-ES40V:

The DMR-ES30V (and DMR-ES35V and DMR-ES15 models) can initiate a scheduled recording when powered on or off. The DMR-ES40V (and 2007 models) must be powered off.

The DMR-ES30V (and DMR-ES35V and other 2006 model combo recorders) may dub (copy) with Time Limited and/or Flexible Record when the dubbing (copying) is set up from the FUNCTIONS menu. The DMR-ES40V (and 2007 combo recorders) are limited to the front panel controlled dubbing (copying) where these essential features are not available. The workaround is to attach and external VCR to an input and command recordings of standard lengths when the recording being copied has the same remaining time to run, or set up a scheduled recording on an input and play the external VCR during the scheduled recording period.

The DMR-ES30V front panel display may be set to show the elapsed time of recording and the remaining time for a dubbed recording (when the real-time counter is set to zero at the end of the videotaped recording and rewinding to the beginning of the recording before starting to dub). The DMR-ES40V front panel display shows that the recorder is in the "dub" mode, well duh!

Perhaps your DMR-ES30V needs its DVD spindle cleaned. I will quote one of my posts entitled "What Goes Wrong On Panasonic DVD Recorders." The below text is slightly edited. (My post in that Forum has links to the other posts. I don't have enough posts on this Forum so I am not permitted to post links.)

(Poster) gave some very helpful advice concerning cleaning the DVD drive spindle and related parts. . .

Recently I've been following this advice for several of my DMR-ES15 and DMR-ES35V models. To open the case there are two or four large head Phillips screws on the sides and three Phillips screws securing the upper cover at the rear, found at the left, right and top center. This gives enough access to the DVD (and VHS drives) for cleaning.

After removing the four small Phillips screws and lifting the DVD drive top cover notice the guide rail on the underside of the cover. When viewing the DVD drive from the front (where the tray rolls out) notice the roller assembly at the rear of the tray. This mechanism must be positioned to the left corner before reassembly so these parts will be correctly aligned.

I have found two problems related to front panel buttons. If the combo recorder has suffered some trauma to the top cover or front panel there may be a misalignment of the contacts between the front panel circuit board(s) and the chassis mother board(s). Misalignment of these contacts may cause left and/or right buttons not to respond. The second type of button failure occurs due to the malfunctioning of the small switches on the front panel circuit boards behind the front panel buttons. When pressing a front panel button if no click is heard there is a good chance that the switch on the circuit board may have failed.

If circuit board contact misalignment is suspected it is necessary to remove the front panel. After removing the top cover observe that there is one Phillips screw securing the front panel at top center. Once that screw is removed release the snap-clips; usually two at the top left and center; two on the left and right case sides; and two more are on the case bottom at the left and right.

Observe and correct front panel circuit board fit to the front panel and correctly seat circuit board screws. Notice that the front panel circuit board contacts have pointed guides to facilitate alignment with chassis mother board contact assemblies.

When reassembling a combo recorder be sure to hold the VHS door open as the front panel is being fit back into place. This will assure correct alignment with the VHS door lifting mechanism.

Reassemble the front panel back to the case. If the snap-clips fit without forcing this should correctly realign the circuit board contacts. If not, realign the front panel and attempt to fit it into place without forcing the snap-clips. If the front panel snap-clips do not easily fit use a straight edge along the case bottom to determine if the case is bowed due to some trauma to the top of the machine. A bowed case may cause circuit board contact misalignment. If the case is bowed it may be gently straightened.

In combo recorders the conductive bridges and connectors between the left and right chassis motherboards are sturdier than they appear. Nevertheless observe caution when working near these bridges.

(Poster) has mentioned capacitor failures on Panasonic hard drive recorders.

(That poster) wrote I fixed my DVD Recorder, it turned out to be a power supply issue. There are two capacitors that fail in the power supply (the power supply is located under the hard drive holding bracket). I easily observed the failed capacitors because they appeared slightly bloated, with a slight leakage of substance on the top.

On several machines I have opened for cleaning I have observed the leaking of a beige substance from the same motherboard component on several machines. This component is identified as C11108 on a DMR-ES35V motherboard. It is a dark brown-covered canister with a shiny silver top, 1 3/16 inch tall by 11/16 inch wide. The dark brown cover has a wide grey stripe running down one side and the cannister has these markings, H0630, 220uF250V CS(M), 105 (degrees) C, nichicon. There is severe leaking on a non-functional DMR-ES35V parts machine. There is minor leaking on two other machines, one a still-functional DMR-ES15 (that experienced a couple of recording failures a couple of days following a power outage); and on one non-functional DMR-ES35V parts machine.

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post #191 of 440 Old 12-31-2007, 05:15 PM
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I'll try the cleaning thing on my es-30, when I have some time. Thanks for the info.
The more you talk about the es-40, the more it sounds like the EZ series, with all it's bugs. Has anybody on CD freaks noted this?
One question I have for you, since you seem to know quite a bit about Panny's is this. On my es-25 I have the option to skip a weekly(or daily) event which is programmed into the schedule. All I have to do is hit S while the event is highlighted. The es-25 is the only Panny that I have with this feature. Do any of the EZ series Panny's have this nice feature? I find it really handy on the es-25 to be able to skip a weekly event, in the cast that I know a show is just going to be a repeat that week. I just suspend the event for that week. Otherwise on my EZ-17, I have to change the day to say a few days ahead and then remember to change the day back, or delete the weekly event, then add it back after the said event. I sure wish a EZ Panny had this feature.
P.S. Does the es-40 have 2 front panel displays, one for VHS the other for DVD's? When did Panny drop this nice feature from it's combo units?

HPWONG-I haven't forgot about you. I'm currently trying various options to have the DVDR fail it's scheduled events. My test at 5pm tonight failed, with auto clock on. I trying to nail it down though, and save you all the gruesome details. And yes if you power up the machine, like you did, it will correct the midnight thing(but ruin the test). I know it's hard to do, and I'm sure thats why it doesn't effect everybody. Me it effects all the time, since I only use the EZ-17 to record, I always use my Sony DVD player to play.
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post #192 of 440 Old 12-31-2007, 09:35 PM
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Jjeff,

The skip feature for the timer schedule on your DMR-ES25 is a nifty feature. I was unaware of that feature. I just tried it out on a DMR-ES15 and a DMR-ES35V. It works on both models. That will really save the mental anguish of trying to remember what needs to be put back into the schedule.

At the moment the DMR-EZ17 is the only one of my Panasonics set to record regularly scheduled programs. Of course the DMR-EZ17 lacks this schedule skip feature.

The DMR-ES40V is a stripped-down model with a simple (almost useless) front panel display. The DMR-ES35V has a better, more detailed display. The DMR-ES30V has the most comprehensive display of all my Panasonics.

Within a few months after purchasing the DMR-ES40V I gave up using it as a recorder. I wrote to Panasonic at their main office in New Jersey. I described the scheduling bugs and finalizing problems. A month and a half later a Panasonic engineer (not just a tech) called me. He said that he had been on the DMR-ES40V design team and that model was somewhat of a hybrid model based upon older VCR technology so it was not really able to do what I wanted to do with it(???) When I mentioned that I also had a DMR-ES30V that recorded scheduled programs and finalized its own DVDs flawlessly he said that the DMR-ES30V model was a very different machine. He suggested that my next Panasonic purchase should be one of their hard drive models.

Since that time the DMR-ES40V has been used mainly as the family TV VHS/DVD player (at $269.99 a very expensive player).

It seems that Panasonic has cut costs by using older obsolete technology for some parts used in the current EZ line.

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post #193 of 440 Old 01-01-2008, 03:10 AM
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I also have es-15, but was not aware that it had the "skip" feature. I have it at my cabin, and rarely use it for weekly events. Just a one shot thing. I will check mine next weekend to verify, because I didn't think it had this feature.
What I was hoping was since the es-25 was a upgraded es-15, that maybe another model other than the "base" EZ-17 might have this feature. I did have a EZ-27 for a short period of time, before it died a U99 death, but never got around testing it for this feature. and now only have the EZ-17.

What bugged me the most about Panasonic customer support was there total lack insight as to what was going on with this timer bug. I spoke with supervisors and managers, and even got a call back from someone claiming to be in tech. support. When I tried to explain the bug, he just couldn't get it. He kept saying maybe with the next firmware update the bug would be fixed. When I said, how are they going to fix it, if they claim to know nothing about the bug, he was speechless
I must have spent 10? hrs. with there help line and tech support. All to no avail I'll I was trying to do is have them fix this bug. so others don't miss valuable recordings like I had done many times in the past.
When I finally gave up, and started spreading the word here on AVS, I just couldn't imagine how a company the size of Panasonic could be so inept and still produce a product with the PQ of there units. I guess they must have got lucky on that point, and haven't bothered to make the PQ better....
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post #194 of 440 Old 01-01-2008, 11:32 AM
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Jjeff,

Due to "ghosting" on local analog channels tuned cable-ready, I record our local digital channels and some other cable channels with the DMR-EZ17. My digital cable box is usually tuned to TCM, and now and then to RetroPlex. One DMR-ES35V and one DMR-ES30V are utilized for that purpose.

As to Customer Service woes, it is common business practice in many industries that representatives are instructed to fein ignorance of bugs and design flaws, especially where the manufacturer has not, or will not, correct the problem in existing products. If representatives were instructed to be truthful they would admit that they have heard the same complaints over and over from many customers. Instead, when a customer calls with a problem the representative treats the situation as if it is "something new" or "the first I've heard of the problem." That's not the way to retain a customer.

I purchased the DMR-ES40V new at Costco on December 14, 2005. (As I had purchased the DMR-ES30V new at Wal-Mart on September 1, 2005 I knew how a good Panasonic model was supposed to work.) The DMR-ES40V exhibited the scheduling problems right away. I relied on the DMR-ES30V and used the DMR-ES40V very little. The password "ratings" problem appeared with the DMR-ES40V after a power outage on February 21, 2006. I wrote to Panasonic in early March 2006 concerning both problems. Panasonic responded with the password and "ratings" workaround but ignored the scheduling problems. By late March 2006 the finalizing problems had appeared. Then, on April 15, 2006 I wrote to Panasonic giving a very detailed description of the scheduling and finalizing problems. It was actually a month and a half later, on May 31, 2006, that I was called by the Panasonic Engineer.

In defense of the DMR-ES40V I will say that its recorded picture quality is equal to that of other Panasonics, very good to excellent.

The scheduling problems are not present in my 2006 Panasonic models. And now I read that the problem has reappeared in the 2007 Panasonic models. Not good! How many times is it necessary to (re)invent the wheel?

In defense of Panasonic Customer Service I will say that they were very helpful when my original DMR-ES30V had a DVD drive failure in August 2006 after eleven months' use. Panasonic replaced that drive under warranty and paid for shipping both ways to their Illinois Service Center.

I purchased a new DMR-ES15 in August 2006 while the DMR-ES30V was being repaired, and following that, two Panasonic factory refurbished DMR-ES30V and a DMR-ES35V models. These were purchased for use in my extensive project dubbing to DVD selected portions of my home-recorded videotape collection (going back to 1986). The refurbished Panasonics have been very reliable.

My dubbing project was begun in November 2006. Realizing that this project would take a very long time with the Panasonics on hand I purchased three used DMR-ES35V models and later, two more of that model for parts. When I encountered some Sony T-160 tapes that only one DMR-ES35V could satisfactorily track I incorporated two Toshiba VCRs (of 1996 vintage) into the dubbing arrangement. As the dubbing project progressed I learned to swap out parts, make adjustments, service and make minor repairs as needed with some of the used Panasonics. With some of my help the used Panasonics have been very reliable.

At times my dubbing project had up to seven Panasonic DVD recorders running up to eighteen hours per day. My project came to its conclusion in September 2007.

With heavy use of the main Panasonics, and to maximize efficiency with several Panasonics set aside for standby use, and to make more complete utilization of the parts machines, I purchased three used DMR-ES15 models, two with bad DVD drives. I swapped in the two good DVD drives from the DMR-ES35V parts machines. (The DMR-ES15 model uses the same DVD drives and drive controller circuit boards as do DMR-ES35V models.)

At the moment I have ten Panasonic DVD recorders or combo recorders fully functional for continuing or standby use; not counting the bug-laden DMR-ES40V and one used DMR-ES15 that was found to have a bad tuner (so its use is restricted to "line-in" recording). One of the parts DMR-ES35V machines has a good tuner. As tuners have more than twenty soldered pins in tight arrangement on a chassis mother board, this complex soldering repair is beyond my skill level. Simple soldering, such as a bad front panel circuit board switch, is within my ability.

My Panasonic DVD recorders and the dubbing project have been quite a learning experience.

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post #195 of 440 Old 01-01-2008, 03:03 PM
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Digado,
Wow, and I thought I was over the edge with all my Panny's. I currently have:
2 es-30's Both purchased at Sams-one I spoke of earlier, tends to lockup during finalizing.
1 es-25 that I bought when I was having problems with one of my es-30's
2 es-15's that I got such a super deal at UE, I couldnt pass them up. $99/each new
1 ez-17 that I also bought at UE, for the digital tuner thing.

Note before this last ez-17 that I have had for a month and a half, I had 2 others that died a quick u99 death less than a month old, and a ez-27 that did the same death.

One final note, due to all the problems with my EZ Panny's, and lack of support or belief that they would actually correct the bugs, at the suggestion of Wabjxo, I bought a Philips 3575.
I never had a HDD Panny, due to the cost, but really love the HDD on the Philips. And the digital tuner on the Phiips is much faster, and scheduled events much more reliable. As I've noted, but some others do not see, the PQ on the Panny's are much better, on speeds above 2hrs up to about 4hrs.
But when I really want to make sure a event records, and the program is on a HD channel, I will use both EZ-17 and 3575, to make sure it gets recorded.

Hpwong-My weekly scheduled event today FAILED! I was using RAM discs, and had the autoclock and dst set to off.
I think this whole timer bug has got me stumped, I think I'm gonna give up for now trying to figure it out, and just do the power cycle every morning, which always makes my weekly events record. If you want to continue the testing please do. If you want me to try something, that you think will make my unit record w/o the power cycle thing, let me know. Otherwise I'm getting burned out on the testing. I've done probably 30? hrs of test recordings on this unit, and only 25? of real recordings. I gotta lay off it for a while. I hope you understand. I had hoped this last autoclock off thing would have worked, but alas not for me.
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post #196 of 440 Old 01-01-2008, 05:35 PM
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Jeff, found this page with your comments re the timers and failure of them to work consistently.
What are they - Panasonic doing about this long time problem - what's the point of selling equipment that does not meet spec.
I work in the aero space engine supplier market - no way could we release something that "might work" 60% of the time.
Should I contact them since we thought it was something we had not programmed correctly, but that looks not to be the case.
Again looks like you have spent a lot of time trying to fix the un-fixable.
Thanks
Ken p.
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post #197 of 440 Old 01-02-2008, 05:38 AM
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kenpreno, While I certainly would not say to NOT contact Panasonic about this problem, truthfully I cant say that I think anything will be done about it.
If you contact them I would think you will get the same runaround that both myself and Digado got. The person who you talk to may plead that they "have never heard of this problem". They will have you power cycle the machine, they will have you download, or send you out a firmware update disc, etc. etc.
If you do as I did, and probably Digado did, spend 10's of hours trying to figure it out, and in my case I found a workaround which, for me, works 100% of the time. Granted powering up/down the machine at least once every morning is going to sound ridiculous to some, it does work.
I even have 2 events that if you program them, and they should work(worked on all my other Panny's)they will fail every time. For the life of me, I could not get Panasonic to try my test At that point I kind of gave up on trying to get it corrected by Panasonic, and tried spreading the word on forums like this one. I figured if Panasonic was not going to fix it, at least people in the know would have workarounds.
What really put me over the edge with the whole timer bug thing was what Digado said. He said apparently Panasonic has had a similar timer bug on a previous generation DVDR. Two before the EZ series. Apparently they never even fixed that generations bugs!
Like I said, I don't really know what personally you should do. To me, the PQ of the Panny's make the bug (which I have found a workaround for) ok to live with. Would I like it fixed, FOR SURE, but I guess the WS and PQ make it worth keeping the EZ-17.
P.S. not sure if there's still time to return your Panny, but if you like the PQ of the Philips 3575, $299 Walmart. It has no bugs I've found. It has a HDD which is very handy, but as noted it's probably ~$100 more than the Panny. I hate to turn you away from Panny's, I have liked mine of the past, but if you don't like screwing around, and want to be able to program in something and actually have it work, I guess I might look to other brands.
Note as Digado noted, and I have as well, if you just don't use DAILY or WEEKLY events, I don't think you will experience this bug. Again I don't know everything about this bug, but that's what I have found. Maybe that's an acceptable workaround for you?
Good luck.
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post #198 of 440 Old 01-02-2008, 07:00 AM
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OK. Now sounds like the perfect time to chime in and really confuse things

Sunday night, after my 6:30pm-7:00pm WEEKLY timer scheduled recording that completed my recordings for the week but did not fill the disc, I returned home to change out that disc with a new one for this week. Upon changing discs, first time in a while immediately after a WEEKLY recording, I noticed my timer showing the previous recording still listing it as scheduled to record on 12/30 and moved to the bottom of the list. Since my Monday night shows were reruns and I was really testing my new 16x9 anamorphic WS setting, I left it alone to see what happened. Just like I thought I noticed was happening, it recorded Monday night just fine, no power cycle after midnight or anything. I have AutoClockSet and DST to off, set my own time and have VSS to off.

While I did miss a couple of settings in October, it has recorded w/o a miss 4-5 times a week for the last couple of months even with this reported timer anomoly. I wish I could have isolated it so I could have worked around it and prevented any future problems, but for now it seems pretty reliable.

I have also noted lately that my other reported problem of it telling me in the timer that it was out of space on the disc to record any further timer settings despite showing more free time in the finalize menu seems to have been my stupidity. Upon further inspection, it would seem that it is accurately notifying me of insufficient time to record any further settings at their set record speeds. I was just not factoring in my buffer time before and after recordings. It was right that it could not fit in a 1hr 5min timer setting in 42min of remaining disc space in LP mode.

At any rate, my findings seem to indicate that this is a more random problem than perhaps a true bug effecting everyone.

What me? HTPC!
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post #199 of 440 Old 01-02-2008, 07:32 PM
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I think I am going to have to live with having spent my $$$'s and never go back to Panasonic machines again - my choice as a consumer me thinks.
Yours or one member of this forum's work around of just using the daily date input to record is ok for simple one or two things per week, but if one has say three thinks per day M-F and then some weekend recording to do it sucks - in fact my wife who is the wiz has refused to program this machine.
We sent an e-mail to Pan just to register our discussed with marketing equipment that does not meet a minimum standard and in fact might be conceived as fraudulent advertising something that it will not do.
Jeff you have gone the extra mile on this one and don't wish to use any more of your time.
The Phillips machine does not have the VHS tape aspect, our tape library is now up to approx 1200 tapes all approx 6hrs and going back 20+ years, that was one reason we purchased the EZ47 machine for $380-00 at Circuit City (they have reduced in price now)
Again thanks. 73's
ken p.
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post #200 of 440 Old 01-02-2008, 10:43 PM
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Kenpreno,

My recently concluded dubbing project included something more than 1,800 home-recorded videotapes that I recorded over a twenty-year period. I was selective in what I chose to preserve to DVD, mostly early talkies through the film noir era. During the ten month project I usually had four Panasonic combo recorders running sixteen hours per day. Sometimes as many as seven Panasonic combo recorders were running up to eighteen hours per day.

One combo recorder is not sufficient for such a project.

Should you decide to purchase additional combo recorders consider several 2006 Panasonic models (DMR-ES35V, DMR-ES45V, or DMR-ES46V). I have four DMR-ES35V models and two similar DMR-ES30V models from 2005 in current or standby use. (I purchased some of these new, some refurbished and some used.) These older Panasonics have the Time Limited and Flexible Recording copying/dubbing features that allow customized settings for selective dubbing. These features are set up through the FUNCTIONS menu so that the Panasonics may be left alone to do their work with very little supervision. The 2006 Panasonic models may sometimes be found on eBay or other online sources factory refurbished by Panasonic, with a 90-day Panasonic warranty, at very reasonable prices. The refurbished models I have purchased have been very reliable with little or no attention. Used models do not have a Panasonic warranty and are sold as-is. Some used Panasonics I purchased needed some swapping of parts (including one chassis mother board, several VHS and DVD drives, and a couple of circuit boards) from two other Panasonics I purchased for parts. I also performed various adjustments, some small part replacements requiring soldering, routine cleaning of VHS drives, DVD drive lens, spindles and related parts. I have managed to keep the used models performing well with a little TLC.

Avoid the DMR-ES40V, a bug-laden 2005 model that lacks important features. The firmware update did not correct the design flaws with this model.

Current model Panasonic combo recorders (DMR-EZ37V, DMR-EZ47V, DMR-EZ475) are not user-friendly for selective dubbing as they do not have the Time Limited and Flexible Recording features for copying/dubbing as found on 2006 and some earlier models. Front panel copying/dubbing controls are satisfactory for directly copying an entire videotape without supervison, but the controls do not allow customized settings that streamline selective dubbing. (There are workarounds that emulate these missing combo recorder features but these require the use of an external VCR. In this instance there is very little advantage to a current model combo recorder. A DVD recorder with an external VCR will perform the same function.)

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post #201 of 440 Old 01-03-2008, 11:14 AM
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Digado,
At the risk of getting OT on this thread, do you think we should start another thread here at AVS. Titled something like "Panasonic talk", or if you have the ability to post links, maybe we could meet up at your cdfreaks? forum.
I have a few questions for you. For the last few weeks one of my es-10's is starting to act up, and I would also like to talk about some other Panny's, which really don't belong in this EZ-17 thread. What do you think? Videohelp also has a sticky titled " Panasonic Tips and Tricks" which seems to be kind of dead. It least it hasn't been posted to in over 3 months.
Jeff
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post #202 of 440 Old 01-03-2008, 12:26 PM
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Jjeff,

Certainly there is merit for a thread where concerns common to a variety of Panasonic owners might be discussed. Why don't you "build it and they will come." I hope that I may now have permission to post two important links.

Here is the link concerning cleaning of the DVD drive spindle and lens:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=210507

This is good advice for those with DVD drives that seem to be failing but really just need a spindle cleaning. Recent Panasonic DVD drives are easy to service as it's just a matter of removing the top cover to get access. I have an older (2003) Panasonic DVD-S35 player where the DVD drive itself is of a more "open" design, but cleaning access to the rubber spindle is more difficult.

Here is the link concerning capacitor failure and replacement:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=204006

Since I'm not trained in electronics I can't always identify what component is what, but I may observe obvious signs of failure and make minor repairs. I'm stumped when it comes to a bad tuner where it requires unsoldering more than twenty tightly grouped pins at once on a motherboard. Is it necessary to find ten folks with soldering guns each working on two pins and then an eleventh person to pull the tuner off when it's loose, and to reverse the process to install the tuner? On one DMR-ES35V I swapped out the left chassis motherboard because of a bad tuner. My problem is that I have a good tuner on another DMR-ES35V motherboard but the tuner is needed for a DMR-ES15 that uses a different motherboard. Of course the DMR-ES15 still functions as a "line-in" recorder, as are most low-end DVRs currently found in the marketplace.

The other forum already has dedicated Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips and Lite-On areas. Sometimes there are frequent postings with lively discussion and other times very little activity and questions go unanswered. I suppose that is to be expected in any forum.

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post #203 of 440 Old 01-03-2008, 06:28 PM
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DigaDo, While the idea of a General Panasonic DVDR thread might be good but I can foresee a few problems.
Firstly I do like the general format of forums like this one. Keeping specific threads for particular models of DVDR's. It gives a more specific area for users of that model machine to go. The problem is when something effects all models of a particular manufacture. Such as the program bug on the Panny EZ series. If it gets discussed in one thread, and someone with a different model, but same bug, looks on another thread, they may never see the information.
The problem with a general Panasonic type thread is, it may become to cumbersome for people to find specific information about there particular model. And information in it, may become lost in the pages, due to it's size. I'm new to all forums in general, so I'm sure the whole idea has been talked about in nausiaum in the past, and if there's not such a general or sticky thread, maybe there's a reason.
For now I'll try to keep things specific to a particular model, and when I find a thread on a es-15, I'll ask my questions about my problem there, or maybe start a new thread titled something like "grinding noise in Panasonic DVDR"?

On another note, actually related to the OP, I cant resist tinkering with this timer bug. So far the second of both weekly events on my EZ-17 have failed for the last 2 days, without the power up/down. I'm trying to find other ways to enable the second event w/o the power up/down. The events are all just test recordings, nothing I care about.
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post #204 of 440 Old 01-03-2008, 09:54 PM
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Jjeff,

It's a bit difficult to address broad and narrow topics at the same time.

Yesterday a "good working order" used DMR-EZ17 of January 2007 manufacture arrived. I purchased this as a gift for a family member who has some type of apartment house (free) basic cable of ten or so channels with dreadful picture quality on local analog stations. (That location is on the valley floor but within 2.5 miles of 18 analog, digital, and HD broadcast station towers mainly on three hilltops, two of which are more or less line of sight with one hilltop possibly obstructing line of sight signals from the third hilltop. She does have an older Radio Shack amplified indoor antenna available for use.)

While the DMR-EZ17 was listed as including the remote control, it actually came with a (broken) Philips universal remote. I am familiar with this model Philips remote. Even if it were to accept the appropriate Panasonic code (and after inserting fresh batteries it was still dead) it would not be able to access the SCHEDULE and FUNCTIONS menus or control a variety of other operations. I emailed the seller concerning the problem. They are offering a price adjustment but I would prefer to have an appropriate Panasonic remote. That's where it stands at the moment. With one of my DMR-ES15 remotes I have been checking this Panasonic's operation. With special attention to scheduled recordings (Monday-Friday, every Wednesday, every Thursday, and "dated" recordings) so far it's initiating scheduled recordings without a problem.

If you're hearing grinding noises from a DMR-ES15 it may be the beginning stage of a DVD drive failure. The DVD drive in my original DMR-ES30V started to make some grinding noises during recording, finalizing, and playback just before it failed. "Grinding noises" are not good!

My original DMR-ES15 has had very heavy use as a slave to my digital cable box. Within days after an October power outage it had a couple of recording failures. I swapped a DMR-ES35V into its place. After I serviced its DVD drive I set the DMR-ES15 aside for standby use.

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post #205 of 440 Old 01-04-2008, 05:55 AM
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Bummer no the remote, I hope you got it cheap. I actually had picked up a second '"NEW" EZ-17 at Best Buy, 3? months ago. They were clearancing them out for $114! They had 3 new ones on the shelf. It took all I could do(or rather the wife) to stop me from buying them all. They were discontinuing the EZ-17 and going to sell only the EZ-27. Anyway that one died a little over a month after purchase, with dreaded U99 error. When I went back to BB, since they did not sell the EZ-17 anymore, all they could do was give me a $114 credit, or send mine in for repair. Not liking the idea of repair, I begrudgingly took the $114. Oh well, I thought I had a good deal.

I too don't like the grinding of my es-15, it's how my es-30 sounded before it basically was reverted to a player only status. I was hoping maybe your cleaning? technique might work. This grinding mostly happens during finalizing, and can render a disc unfinalizable, DVDR play only! I've got a half a dozen of these type discs over the years. At least thats a better option than totally wiping out the disc during finalizing. I've had that happen 1/2 dozen times over the past too.
P.S. when I'm more sure of my timer bug test, I'll give you a quick "test program" that you can use to see what I'm talking about. On the 4? EZ's I have used, they all were unable to record the test, at least the 2nd event of the test. I can't believe it's just my EZ's that don't record the test.
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post #206 of 440 Old 01-04-2008, 08:54 AM
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It's me- I've been coming over every time in the wee hours, just to press stop-cancel on your recorder as soon as the 2nd program triggers! You can't stop me- no one can...

I need your sweet love, Rosetta Stone girl!
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post #207 of 440 Old 01-04-2008, 01:45 PM
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If anybody in the house could actually even work half the stuff I have hooked up, I might suspect them
Otherwise it must be the ghost in the machine.... Keep your "handies" off my machine
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post #208 of 440 Old 01-06-2008, 02:13 PM
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For anybody just interested in the timer bug, which which effects this DMR-EZ17, and actually I believe all EZ panasonic's, please search on the thread titled (panasonic dvd recorder "fails to record scheduled event" ) I'll try and keep a thread dedicated to just this problem, updated. Instead of trying to update all the various EZ threads.
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post #209 of 440 Old 01-06-2008, 02:57 PM
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I have had my first DMR-EZ17 for a few months now. By and large it has performed well.

Four days ago a second DMR-EZ17 arrived, this one purchased used as a gift for a relative. As this machine did not come with a Panasonic remote I used one from a DMR-ES15 to set up the machine. This machine seems to be performing normally.

As both DMR-EZ17 models are set to control code "1" they may be operated with the original DMR-EZ17 remote or the DMR-ES15 remote.

Yesterday I purchased a Philips Digital DVD Learning Remote PMDVD6. I had found several positive reviews on Amazon and then went to our local Fred Meyer (Kroger) where I purchased this remote for $9.74. After setting the 0340 code for a Panasonic DVD Recorder I found that this Phillips remote controls just the most basic functions after the initial code setup. Then, using the original Panasonic DMR-EZ17 remote, I taught the Philips remote the missing commands. I also reassigned various buttons to be closer to the standard Panasonic arrangement. Here is a rundown of added commands or reassignments:

The Philips forward and back "scan" buttons operated the Panasonic "skip" functions. There were no buttons that operated the Panasonic fast forward or rewind (search) buttons so I assigned the two buttons just above the scan buttons to operate the "search" commands. The next three buttons up the left side were assigned to "Direct Navigator, Schedule, and Enter" (as the last named button is already labeled "enter"). The next three buttons up the right side were assigned to "Return, Functions and (the sub-channel tuning) Dash." Just above the Philips numbered buttons there is a row of five buttons labeled "clear, audio, zoom, resume, input/setup." I kept/reassigned these as "cancel, audio, rec mode, AM/PM (actually an extra pause button) and input select." There was another button above the left button in that row that I assigned as the "Status" button. The Philips remote has an "open/close" button that does exactly that even though Panasonic remotes don't have this feature. The Philips remote and the DMR-EZ17 function well together.

Today neither Panasonic remote nor the Philips remote would power on the two DMR-EZ17s. This is unlikely to be related to the remotes as the Panasonics wouldn't power on by pressing the power button on the machines themselves. When I pressed the open/close buttons on the machines the Panasonics did power on and open their trays. Since then both machines have been functioning normally and are entirely responsive to the three remotes.

Is this a previously reported bug and fix?

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post #210 of 440 Old 01-06-2008, 03:23 PM
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Boy, that's a odd one. I'm gonna throw something out that may be way off base, but here goes. The machines aren't under any bright florescent lights are they? I have seen IR's be thrown of by the light garbage that a florescent light can emit. Barring that, and since both units exhibited the same problem....could you have had some kind of weird power related problem?
I don't believe I've ever personally had this problem with my EZ-17, although sometimes my Panny LCD will be unresponsive to the remote, or even power button. The only thing that will make it come on, is to disconnect the power, then reconnect it. Then everything is good for several months. Note when I called Panasonic about this, they suggested I put the TV on a UPS. When I told them I had it on a UPS, they said "try taking it off the UPS"

Gotta love Panasonic tech support.
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