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Panasonic DMR-EZ17K DVD Player/Recorder - Page 12

post #331 of 440
But the EZ17 sure records a nice picture.
post #332 of 440
Doing some further investigation on this bobo'd disc, I discover the ez17 shows some menu screens I had never seen before. If I drop the disc into the tray, it will attempt to read it and fail, and then declare the disc is "incompatible". However, if I start the machine with disc left in, it will take a slightly different route. It will boot-up, and then try to read the disc, as usual. It will fail reading it, but instead of pronouncing it deceased, it will first go to a screen that describes that if I press the Enter key, it will perform a self-test, power-off, power back on, and attempt to make the disc usable again. That's right...the ancient Vulcan ritual where Katra is reunited with the physical shell. So I press Enter to see where this leads. It does all sorts of flashy stuff on the front display, shuts off, and then powers itself back on. I hear all kinds of disc access sounds, and then it shows another screen saying to wait for it to power-off and then manually power it on. After I do this, it attempts to read the disc...and fails. It then loops back to the earlier screen about doing a self-test and such.

Oh well, I guess this disc is officially dead. It's a damn shame.
post #333 of 440
Actually I have had that routine save a disc or 2. I think it's something new to the EZ line. I'd say of 5? discs I got the self check on 2? were saved by that routine. Prior to that on my ES machines Self Check meant either a coaster or a R disc that would play, but could not be finalized. Destine to be playable only on Panny DVDR's.
So far........almost a month and my EZ-28 has been working fine. No self checks etc. I'm hoping they got the major bugs worked out of the EZ-x7 line. Here's hoping anyway
post #334 of 440
Well, looks like I am now 0-2 for successfully recorded dl discs on this thing. This time, it cited a problem with the disc at about the 2.5 hrs in (about 30 mins short of the first layer change). I did go through the disc recovery process this time, which appears to have saved the disc, but a disc that is now nearly 50% full. The 2nd program I attempted is nowhere in site in the directory, of course.

This is pretty lame! So does anyone think it is worth it for me to try another disc brand (in the event the ones I currently have plus my particular player are simply a bad match) or should I just give up on dl discs, altogether?
post #335 of 440
What a bummer! What speed were you using, was it a FR speed?
I also suspected my Windata DL discs when they would not record in my ES-25 but didn't want to spend more money on more of a name brand disc, only to have that maybe also not work.
I haven't had a occasion to actually use them in my EZ-28 but the next time I want to record something longer than 3hrs to a permanent disc I'm going to give them a try. I suppose it shouldn't be a "once in a lifetime" event though, considering it may not work. Probably best to use on a copy of a long DVD, that way I'd have the option to copy it again should it fail.
I too am thinking DL's are best for computer users and not standalone devices.
post #336 of 440
Yes, I was using FR speed in both cases. On the 1st attempt it was on a fresh disc, set for 6 hr 40 min, and only made it just around 2 hr before aborting the record mode. The 2nd attempt was on a different disc, with 1 completed recording already present (2 hr 10 min), and FR set for 4 hr 30 min. That recording only made it to about 30 min before getting aborted.
post #337 of 440
I have always read that the Verbatim +DL were the only ones worth buying. But, they are rarely under $2/disk in bulk. DL just has not caught on despite the obvious, obvious advantage they would have for the non-HDD DVDR's which seem to be the future of the name players. The prices haven't moved downward for the Verbatims in over a year. I have equipment that will burn +DL also and I would love to give them a whirl, but not at that price.
post #338 of 440
I'm tempted to try some TDK dl dvd+r and dvd-r, I saw at Fry's this weekend. The price for a small starter pack wasn't great, but not exactly prohibitive for experimenting, either. I'm still just trying to decide if it is still a worthwhile experiment, or is using dl discs just a waste of time/money, altogether.
post #339 of 440
Originally Posted by hokiewolf View Post

I deleted a test recording the display of the EZ17 read NV(or at least that's what it looked like). I tried pushing every button to get rid of it and the unit appeared frozen until powered down and back up.

Usually when I go to the Navigator Screen to see the list of recordings on my DVD-RAM discs, I will see the letters NV appear momentarily on the unit's display. Six blocks appear with each block containing the first frame, if any, of each show I have recorded and below each block the date/time/or title of the recording. I was expecting to see two blocks with images since I only had two recordings stored on the disc. The NV appeared on the unit's display but none of the six blocks contained an image or text/date beneath them. Pressing the remote's power button didn't help...neither did pressing the navigator or schedule keys. I finally got the unit to shut off by pulling the plug. When I plugged it back in, it seemed the zeros scrolled across the unit's display for four to five cycles(usually it's two cycles at most) and then cut off...no friendly BYE at all. I turned the unit back on with the remote and got the friendly HELLO and everything seems back to normal.

Has anyone had their unit hang on the Navigator screen before? I'm wondering if this is a warning sign that a U99 error is in my future.

There was a firmware update dated 2/20/08 that I read about but have yet to install. Has anyone successfully installed the update? I read where one person tried and got a message he wasn't expecting and he wasn't sure if the firmware update took or not.

I'm reluctant to make any changes since the recorder has recorded over 150 shows for me without the first missed recording.

Danny in Yorktown, VA
post #340 of 440
I finally got a complete burn on a dl disc...by switching to a different brand (and using dvd-r dl, which is the type I originally wanted for my project, but was not available at the CC I was at, at the time). I picked up a jvc brand dvd-r dl at Fry's for a single pack @ $4, and it was utterly troublefree! (Although I mentioned tdk, in my previous post, I should have typed jvc- my mistake) I got to give props to the jvc brand, they have been my go-to for my regular dvd-r supply, and have never given me problems (I have no idea how they do on burn quality or longevity, though). The trend continues as I try out dvd-r dl. Beyond that, they had every other imaginable dvd style media on the shelf, if I wanted it (except dvd-ram, but Panasonic brand seems quite available in my area, so it's no big deal)). Pricing is pretty much down the middle- not sky high premium and not bargain floor (to suggest I am buying the worst quality media). So it seems to jive with my "dvd-sense" as a reasonable choice in media.

Anyways, I have to reveal that the media I originally bought that gave me problems was Memorex. Yeah, I know- no one trusts that brand, and I was foolhardy to even try it and except a good result. It was either that or a strange brand I had never even heard of, so I took it on as an experiment. I figure for $7/disc, even Memorex has got to be able to offer a decent disc media. CC graciously processed a full refund, so I dodged the cost penalty for my little experiment.

I was very curious how the ez17 would handle the disc layer transition, and it turned out to be an utter non-issue. I was watching it right around the time, and there was no indication whatsoever that a layer change occurred other than the time indicator rolling over back to 0:00. No layer finalization screen, no hiccup. Upon playback, maybe it lost a split second of material? It was really not noticeable, unless a very specific moment you are looking for happens to occur right at that transition. So I was pleased with that result. A program that crosses a layer change will be split into 2 separate titles, of course.

After finalization, I wanted to try it in a few different machines to see how the compatibility goes for a dvd-r dl. The answer, surprisingly, seems to be hit'n'miss. I had thought the dvd-r'ness of the disc should make for optimal compatibility, but it might as well be just another disc style, altogether. My older Toshiba hdd/dvd recorder would not even mount the disc, while my ps3 was able to read the entire disc just like as if it was a regular dvd-r. I didn't get a chance to test it on any of my computers.

The ez17 pq wasn't as good as I thought it would be for 6.5 hrs on a dl disc, though. I wasn't expecting it to be great, but it did seem to break up into macroblocks more readily than my original capture at 2.8 Mb/s. This wasn't particularly demanding material, either. It was considerably gimped movie content from SpikeTV over dig satellite.

So that's my wrap-up for my dvd-r dl adventure!
post #341 of 440
Originally Posted by hokiewolf View Post

Has anyone had their unit hang on the Navigator screen before? I'm wondering if this is a warning sign that a U99 error is in my future.

I see the NV message on the display (regular behavior, afaik), when I go to the Navigator screen, but I never got a freeze in that screen like you describe. If the content is disposable, perhaps it is time to fresh format that dvd-ram disc? I had to fresh-format a dvd-ram disc, myself this weekend, because it was acting-up. Basically, the disc was stuck in some strange read-only mode.
post #342 of 440
I picked up an EZ17 back on Jan 25 for its ATSC & QAM tuners. I've had a ES15 for about a year and my satisfaction with it was key in my choice of the EZ17. I wanted a 2nd recorder to pick up the local OTA HD channels as, unlike the analog OTA signals, reception on all the major channels is perfect. The ES15 has always used cable source, but the PQ on a few of local channels is sub par. Using the EZ17, I quickly confirmed the observations of others that the QAM versions of the HD local channels carried on Cox does not match the quality of the OTA ATSC signals. Because of that, my EZ17 has spent most of its life connected to a UHF antenna mounted up in my attic.

Like the ES15, the purpose for the EZ17 was for time-shifting and recording some of my favorite serialized shows. For time-shifting I primarily use RAM disks and for saved shows -RW disks. Except for 2 failed scheduled recordings, it has worked beautifully. And, the PQ in LP mode is impressive.

All was good until this last Sunday (4/27). I scheduled the EZ17 to record a 2 hour show on PBS. When I came home, I noticed the DVR was running. Before that show ended, I selected the input for the EZ17 on my TV, it was on the correct channel and recording. On Monday evening I was going to watch the show, but when I selected the input for the EZ17, I had no video or audio and the EZ17 had U99 on its display. None of the troubleshooting steps in the manual did any good. The unit was locked up and the disk couldn't be ejected.

So, I pulled the EZ17 from the rack and powered it up. Nothing changed. U99 was still displayed and none of the steps to eject the disk worked. I also noticed the fan wasn't running. That got me thinking about the possibility of some type of power supply failure. I found this thread and became a bit disappointed. Called Panasonic the next morning and was told they would have to send me a replacement unit.

So, it sat on my desk until last night. I was looking at the bottom of the chassis and noticed a small slot under the drive that appeared to be there for a reason. With a help of small flashlight, I could see white plastic part on the drive what appeared to be a component tray release. With a thin bladed screwdriver I carefully pushed the part towards the outside of the chassis. The drive unlocked and the tray slightly opened. I had to pull the cover, but it was then easy to fully extend the tray and remove the disk. I put the disk in my ES15 which recognized it, but the recorded show wasn't there. Put the cover back on the EZ17 and connected power. It started the normal walking oooo's thing then started flashing 12:00AM. I hit the power switch and it came alive with the "no disk" message. The U99 error had cleared!

Tossed it back in the equipment rack, and powered it up. It still had all the OTA channel settings, so I let it automatically set the time. Put in a pre-recorded DVD and it played fine. I then tried the same -RW disk in use when the U99 error occured. The EZ17 was able to read the disk name and it indicated 4 hours of LP record time. So I started it recording and left it run for about 15 minutes. When I hit Stop, the normal finishing session percentage display appeared, and then, the screen went black. I looked over at the EZ17 and the U99 error had returned!

Now that I knew the drill, I had the disk out in less than 15 minutes. Once again, the U99 error cleared when powered up. Back in the equipment rack, I loaded a known good RAM disk and performed several recordings without experiencing a single problem. To test a theory, I put back the -RW disk involved with the U99 errors. But, this time I formatted the disk before I tried any recording sessions. I did several short recordings and all was good. I kept that disk in and scheduled a 2 hour recording of the 2AM rebroadcast of Carrier. Checked this morning and the unit powered up correctly and the session had been recorded.

Additional info:
I had used that particular -RW disk more like I typically use DVD-RAMs. It was used for well over a hundred recording sessions in the ES15. It was recently formatted in the ES15 when I noticed the remaining record time indication was about 15 minutes longer than it should have been. Formatting it cleared up that discrepancy.
The EZ17 was a Aug 2007 build.
The cooling fan started running again once the U99 error was cleared
post #343 of 440

Thanks for the detailed information. Hopefully I'll never need it, but if I do I'm thanking you in advance.
post #344 of 440
Nice post, I sure wish I had known about the slot on the bottom of the unit. The store I had bought my EZ-17's sure didn't know about the slot. They usually had to spend 15-20 min. tearing apart the unit and drive to get my stuck -RW disc out.
I too was able to reformat my -RW disc and use it in my ES machines, although the store always kept the guilty EZ machine and gave me a new one. Keep us posted if the U99 comes back. So far on my EZ-28 NO U99 errors
Let us know if you ever get a U99 error with a RAM disc. I read once from someone who just used RAM's on his EZ-37(I think) and he said he was on something like his 3rd or 4th unit. That was the last I heard from him though so I couldn't narrow down his exact problem, that is if it was because of U99's or not.
post #345 of 440
My EZ 17 finally decided to miss a recording this past Sunday evening. It has since recorded almost a dozen shows flawlessly. As a precaution, I did reformat the RAMdisc in case that had been part of the problem.

One oddity I did notice about the missed recording was that when I turned the EZ17 on, it was tuned to the channel I had been trying to record. Previously it had been on another channel so I know the EZ17 came on and at least tried to start recording.

I think I may have done something different in the programming of the EZ17 for that particular evening. I'm thinking maybe I programmed it on Saturday evening to record on Sunday evening and Monday morning. Generally I program the recorder the day of the show and I think I may have varied from that routine this time. I also don't usually, if ever, program more than one day at a time.

I still haven't built up the nerve to try installing the firmware dated 2/20/08(if memory serves) after reading about other peoples' problems getting it to install. If this problem with not recording and/or the hanging NV Navigator icon occurs again, I may have to give it a try.
post #346 of 440
Originally Posted by hokiewolf View Post

My EZ 17 finally decided to miss a recording this past Sunday evening.

I think I may have done something different in the programming of the EZ17 for that particular evening. I'm thinking maybe I programmed it on Saturday evening to record on Sunday evening and Monday morning. Generally I program the recorder the day of the show and I think I may have varied from that routine this time. I also don't usually, if ever, program more than one day at a time.

In my experience with the EZ-17 if you program the timer the actual day of the event it will record very reliably. Actually you don't have to program it the day of the event, just turning it on and then back off will also enable the days event to record.
post #347 of 440
My DMR-EZ17 models have continued in daily use. One DMR-EZ17 is connected "cable ready" to the Comcast coax; the other is enslaved to the RF output of a Philips DVDR3575H/37B that may be switched between the Comcast coax or a pass through RF feed from a DMR-ES15 enslaved to the Comcast converter box in the next room.

Avoid scheduling recordings with the daily or weekly method. Scheduling events with actual dates on a DMR-EZ17 is usually effective. For reliable recording of early a.m. programming use a brief dummy recording, 11:59 p.m. to 12:01 a.m. ahead of the early a.m. recording to break the midnight bug. Be sure to have a recordable disc in the tray whenever there is a scheduled recording programmed, especially if the scheduled recording is set for the next day or several days into the future. I usually program a week or two in advance and verify/modify scheduling a day or two in advance.

There are still a few random lockups requiring opening the DVD tray or pressing the reset button (behind the fold down door) to regain control of the machine.

These DMR-EZ17 models continue to provide great picture quality.
post #348 of 440
Have the DMR-EZ17 models been relegated to antiquity? I still have two of this model in use.

I'm attaching two photos, front and rear views. The rear view shows how simple it is to connect a DVD recorder:
post #349 of 440
I think I finally "wore-out" a dvd+rw disc early this week on my ez17. I hope that is the case, and not the recorder itself on its first step to the great beyond. I've been using 3 discs in continuous rotation for 5 hrs/day, 5 days/week for just about a year, now. This one disc seemed to cause the recorder to abort the recording at right about the 1 hr mark. The 2nd time it happened right about that time, I suspected that maybe this disc was just down for the count. The recorder seemed to work fine, so far, when I swapped in the other 2 discs (and also worked fine on dvd-ram). It's possible they will go out soon, as well, if this is to be a trend. So I will replace the set, I guess, and start anew.

So I guess that works out to about 86 rewriting cycles for each disc, over about 1 yr. Does that sound about right for dvd+rw?
post #350 of 440
Supposed to be over 1000 rewrite cycles...guess not.
post #351 of 440
If you're using Format to clear the discs, try just deleting titles. People on other forums have complained about RWs going "bad" in short time and have taken to deleting titles instead with better longevity. ???
post #352 of 440
I do full disk burns on DVD-RW to make temporary copies of movies. I generally get no more than 20 burns before the verify cycle starts to report an error. Once that happens I have learned the disk is a gonner and now I just toss it to the trash.
post #353 of 440
Oh, I do delete all titles (there's only 1 on there, at any time, anyway), before reuse. It's my standard practice. I don't do regular reformats (because I don't have all day to wait on it, if I had to do this for 3 discs/week).

Maybe I should try an actual reformat, but I am leery of risking further scheduled recordings, if the disk continues to misbehave (the ez17 was not kind, once calamity was introduced into its world). My original thought was more along the line of Kelson's suggestion- if it's acting up, don't waste time on it, toss it.

Maybe I will subject it to some "less critical" scenarios for testing...
post #354 of 440
Also, I should note the disc surface does look pretty beat over the course of 86 use cycles (can't imagine what 1000 would look like). It's not so much abused, but it definitely has its share of surface marks. I try to take good care of my discs in use, but I would say that maintaining a nearly flawless mirror finish is really not going to be possible over 50 cycles, I would imagine. I don't know if this contributes, at all, to disc misbehavior, but it sure seems like an anti-scratch coat would be useful just on appearance's sake.

My Pana dvd-ram's still look sparkling new, but they have undergone far less use, as well.
post #355 of 440
Some of my more well used -RWs (yellow Maxells from ~'05-'06) even seem to have small pin holes in the shiny layer. If I shin a bright flashlight on one side it seems I can see pin holes of light through the other side. Not all the discs with pin holes act up, but one that has larger holes always skips at certain points. I'd guess I've used them 30? times and some have minor surface scuffs but no deep gouges. I also try and keep them in a paper sleeve when not in the recorder although since getting my DVDR w/hdd my RW usage has basically come to a stop
I suppose if the HDD gets near full this winter I may be forced to use RWs again. It sure will be nice to get something like the TR-50 that will have the option for USB HDDs, especially since 1TB USB drives are now below $200.
post #356 of 440
Man, don't let your hdd get near full! Offload and archive! If it gets close to full to the point where "something" happens, it will not be pretty.

I think I have some of those yellow Maxwell, too! Are you sure they aren't Memorex, though? That's what I thought I had until you mentioned the yellow.
post #357 of 440
Nope never used Memorexs, even before I read the warnings here on AVS. For RWs I've used Maxells, Verbs, Office Depot and a few Philips +RWs.
Ya I'll try and keep at least 10% open on my HDD and most of that is just timeshifing stuff that I will just watch once, then delete. It's just so easy to record and so hard to find the time to actually watch what's been recorded
I don't archive nearly as much to DVD as I once did to VHS. I've probably got VHS tapes I haven't watched in 20 years The Armageddon never came
post #358 of 440
Well, 10% left is pretty darn full. I'd suggest shooting closer to no less than 30% left.
post #359 of 440
Here are three interior views of a DMR-EZ17 of January 2007 manufacture:
post #360 of 440

Thanks for the photos.
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