Interesting thread. Not used to being talked about:) Glad you folks decided that we were basically on the up and up.
Fact is, I wish I had the knowledge of the machine you folks have. My effort has been strictly to present what the machine was and about my only clue was the $1400 bid price a used one had received on eBay during the week we were sitting on the shipment we got. Until then, we only thought we had a nice, jog/shuttle VCR and what's this digital thing and why won't it play the digital tape.
Relatively adept at searching net, I went to work searching google - Why this site didn't show up is a question of mine.
All I really understood is that the machine, which I could tell from my research, had a street price of about $690 when it was still available, was selling for double its value on eBay used. Cool.
I do want to opine about a couple of things.
First, as stated in the auction, I did contact Panasonic via telephone. On my first contact, I chose simply to order the service manual because the only information we had was the coded connection on the VCR's main circuit board. FYI, The units we got came with the cases removed on all of them. Probably four or five suffered internal damage because of the way they were handled by the service department of the retailer and we plan to part these out over time.
Anyway, we assumed that some of the units were demo units as one or two had the remote control connected to the case. Still the sheer volume suggested to us that the source was more than demo pulls. Rather we believe that new inventory units may have even been pulled and the part removed as that was, we think, the way that Panasonic chose to avoid having to re-inventory the units.
Regardless, in working the inventory, we didn't notice any variation in the grill pattern of the case. Which way the wind blows from the power supply, unless you're looking for it, is waay too subtle a distinction to even notice.
Given our experience with the vast majority of electronics is there is no difference between the shelf and display models, I am at this moment curious about this entire issue. This is not to doubt you folks, just to acknowledge that we weren't aware of the variation and didn't think to look for it. Fact is, I found this forum after a reader here mentioned this issue and cited the forum as his source.
There are a couple of other points that I would like to answer.
First, we identified the part as VEPS5017A from the service manual. We called after receiving the service manual and the order rep at first denied the existence of the part. "Look, I'm looking at it in black and white in the service manual, I know the part is your part and for this unit," I said.
At that point, apparently she looked at at different screen (the part is not on the web site) and told me that the item was to be available and was on backorder. It was to have been delivered on Oct. 8th, she said.
She indicated that I could place an order at that point -- asking if I had a service account with them -- and they would bill my credit card etc. when the item was received. As I was really concerned about availability, I questioned her on that point and she assured me that the item would be stocked.
I then asked, "What if I wanted 20 of them?" She said she couldn't take that order and that it would have to be run by some special group 'upstairs' somewhere.
Given the nature and sensitive issues surrounding this D=VHS recorder, I have a gut feeling that a larger order would not be filled.
That is the primary reason we don't order the parts from Panasonic direct.
As to whether the part will be made available at all, I have a real feeling that it will. The reason is that the service manual makes it pretty clear that this is not an outrageously complex printed circuit board. It also points out that it is, like the PCB for the Hi-Fi section, a part that is not stocked for a limited time.
I also have a feeling that if this part were totally disco'd, someone might drop a couple of thousand to reengineer it and have a thousand or so made. I can only speculate but I suspect that if they went to that much trouble, they just might make a change in the design that enables a direct firewire connection from DV camera to recorder or even recorder to recorder firewire connection, eliminating the firewire to Panasonic set-top box necessity. What about a computer to VCR firewire connection. All those possible functions were engineered out of the PV-HD1000 in order for it to tacitly comply with the 5'C's agreement that wasn't signed until this past summer, in part because content providers felt units like the PV-HD1000 went too far and gave the consumer too much copying capability.
Oh well, just thought I'd jump in and provide the seller's perspective of a few of these points and certainly ask those here for advise on positively identifying if these are demo machines or not.