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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Be aware that this is going to be a long rant about Panasonic, a company with which I have been engaged in a battle for the past six months. Whether they are dishonest or just plain incompetent, I'm not yet certain, but I am sure that I will never again purchase a Panasonic product, if I can help it, and I am advising you to do the same. Once you're read what I have to write, maybe you'll understand my frustration.


Some dates, conversations, etc. in the early part of my tale may be shaky; I would have kept better notes if I'd known what hell I was stepping into when I first bought my Panasonic DVD recorder: DMR-EH75V with VHS, an 80GB hard drive and a TV Guide On Screen function for $429.99. I bought this in March 2007 at the local Circuit City and had no problems with it until around last Christmas. I burned literally hundreds of DVD-Rs using it, most of them Taiyo Yudens. But then, late last year, the DVD drive crapped out on it. It wouldn't boot any discs. Wouldn't play or record, because it wouldn't accept any discs. I made my first (of what so far has been dozens) telephone call to the Panasonic Customer Care (PCC, from now on) line, where I soon learned they don't care about their customers. The operator I spoke to said he would send me a disc to update the firmware.


If the machine doesn't boot any discs, how am I going to update the firmware with your disc?


He hemmed and hawed, and suggested I try it anyway. Several days later, the disc comes, and, hey, what do you know, it doesn't work. Why a trained Panasonic Customer Care worker didn't see this coming, and Ia regular Joedid is anyone's guess. So I called back, and they suggested I ship the machine off to the Repair Center (PRC, hereupon) in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. It was still under its original warranty, so they emailed me a shipping label and advised I take it to a UPS store for free shipping.


Super-fast turnaroundthey received it January 22, and I had it back less than two weeks later. According to their official paperwork, they replaced DVD drive, and I could tell, because it made a loud sound when it opened, closed and burned discs. After the first two DVD-Rs I attempted to burn failed, causing the machine to go into disc recovery mode, I called the PCC, who advised me to send the machine back to the PRC. I said, I just got it back yesterday! (you have to let the machine sit with the power off for 24 hours after initial setup for the TV Guide On Screen function). No avail, so they emailed me another shipping label, I disconnected all the cords and wires, put it back in the original box, took it back to the UPS Store, shipped it back to Elk Grove Village.


This happened about three weeks later, because it took me some time to get the label and make the frustrating effort to take everything apart and send the machine in. Around March 11, I get the machine back with a letter from the PRC that tells me, literally, they did nothing to it. According to them, it works perfectly, everything checks out, they found nothing wrong with it, they made zero repairs. So I hook it back up, set it up, wait 24 hours, burn some discssame problem. A couple here and there work fine, but, out of ten attempts, only three burn successfully.


Another call to the PCC. Another request to send the unit back to the PRC. I'm fuming by this time, and ask why I would want to do that. What is the point of me sending the unit in again, if they aren't going to fix it? I eventually move up from the regular operator to someone in charge named Charles. My questions are pretty straightforwardnamely, why should I send the unit back to the PRC, since they didn't fix the problem the first time? I'm really angry, since they just flat out refused to fix the problem that I know perfectly well exists. Charles is no help whatsoever, just repeating his mantra, Send it to the Repair Center. I tell him that I would rather not, I would rather someone came up with an alternate solution that would involve the least amount of work for me, but no one at Panasonic is capable of thinking outside the box. After more than an hour of speaking to the PCC, I decide, okay, hell, I guess I'll have to send the machine back.


This time, I write Panasonic a 1-page letter (on the PCC's advice) outlining exactly what is wrong and what I think the problem is. It's fairly obvious that the replacement DVD drive is defective, considering what has taken place. I enclose the letter, the previous work orders and invoices, a copy of my Circuit City receipt, and a copy of my extended warranty, which I purchased while the unit was at the PRC the first time.


I get it back the third time April 16. According to the work order, all they did was install firmware. I plug the unit in, set it upIT STILL DOESN'T WORK!


I don't even bother to call the PCC this time, I go straight to the PRC, which is difficult, cause they're only open 7am-4pm weekdays, when I'm at work. I speak to someone in their Customer Service department named Antoinette, who seems friendly and interested in helping. While being firm and as polite as possible (I don't shout or call names), I explain the problem and what's going on and ask why they refuse to fix a machine that is clearly in need of repair. Another hour on the phone of her asking me to send the machine back (for a fourth time!), and me asking her why I should, when they clearly have no interest in helping me. She promises to take a personal interest in the case and says that I can call her directly anytime I want, if I'd like to monitor the situation.


I can't believe this is actually happening, butanother shipping label, another disconnection (by this time, my original box has been beaten up by so many trips through the mail, so I'm using the box the PRC sent the unit back in, but I use plenty of padding, because they barely bothered to wrap it at all), another trip to the UPS Store.


This time, the PRC has my unit for six weeks. During that time, I made perhaps 25 calls to them. About two weeks after I shipped it, Antoinette called me at home around 8am. She said that a technician had discovered the problem and that parts were on order. She said she did not know who the technician was or what parts they were, but they were waiting for the parts to arrive, and then the unit would be fixed.


So they did discover that there was a problem? I asked.

Her exact answer: Yes.


That afternoon, I get a call from Victor, a technician, who tells me that they have looked at my machine several times and they can find nothing wrong with it, so they are going to have to send it back to me unrepaired. Obviously, someone has misplaced his or her talking points. I ask, Why did Antoinette just tell me that you were ordering parts for it? He says he will ask her, and when he comes back, he says she is busy and can't come to the phone, but she told him she never told me that. Obviously, somebody is lying. I make it quite clear to him that I want the unit repaired. He claims they ran diagnostics tests, that they had other technicians look at it, and that they burned several discs successfully. How is it possible for it to work perfectly at your place, and not at mine? He has no answer.


I ask him, Are you telling me that you burned ten DVD-Rs and they all worked?

I don't know how many discs, but everything is fine.

He asks me what brands I use, and I told him I have tried different kinds, but primarily Taiyo Yuden. It isn't the discs, because I have the same problem with all brands. I ask him what he used.

We have our own special kind, Panasonic discs.


Over the next couple of weeks, at my demand, they keep the machine and claim to run more tests on it. Honestly, I don't know if they ever take it out of the box. What is an incontrovertible fact is that this DVD recorder is defective and does not work properly, no matter what Panasonic says.


Finally, during the first half of June, I talk more to Antoinette, who, at my request, gives me her supervisor, Estrella, who is a Customer Service supervisor. At this point, nobody from the PRC is returning my calls (and complicating the matter is the fact that I just changed my phone number, because of my impending move). Estrella is also completely uselessjust telling me that the technicians could find no problem, that they would have to return my unit to me, and they could not send me a replacement unit.


Sidebar: in the event Panasonic were unable to repair my unit, they say they will ship me a new unit, free of charge. The problem is Panasonic no longer makes the DMR-EH75. During one conversation with the PCC, a female operator told me they didn't have any new ones.


You mean there isn't one DMR-EH75 anywhere? Not one left over in a warehouse someplace?


She said they were completely sold out of every unit. I asked her why they didn't make it anymore, and she said Panasonic decided there was not enough demand for units with hard drives inside, so they stopped making them. Setting aside the idea that no consumers want hard drives (since everyone I know who owns a DVD recorder has one with a hard drive), I asked her, how can there be no demand for this machine, when you just told me you sold every single one that you made? Unsurprisingly, she had no answer.


Back to the present (and, believe me, there are a lot of conversations I am leaving out in the name of something approaching brevity, including someone at the PCC who flat-out lied to me and made me jump through some hoops that, another operator admitted later, there was no reason). My machine returns from the PRC around June 24. At this point, I'm in a different residence, different electricity, maybe just different vibes, who knows? I really am trying to give Panasonic some benefit of the doubt, that maybe, miraculously, there is some situation in which my DVD recorder would work perfectly in Elk Grove Village and inconsistently at best in Champaign.


I hook the machine up. Forget about the TV Guide To Go (which I don't think works with my new DirecTV HD DVR). I just want to burn DVD-Rs. I start with a new batch of Taiyo Yudens. The first three work, then one doesn't. I open a new batch of Maxells. One works, one doesn't. Then I try a new batch of Sonys. Four in a rowunsuccessful. This DVD recorder does not work.


Today, Sunday, July 06, 2008, I call the PCC, because Estrella told me there was nothing more the Repair Center could do for me (which is also what Customer Care told me months ago). She did give me her superior's extension, but, of course, a message on his/her voicemail resulted in no callback. My plan now is to just keep moving up the chain until I find somebody who can pull the trigger and get something done, whether it's repairing my unit or sending a replacement.


Today, I tell the operator at PCC that I want a supervisor. I get David, who will only say he's a member of management.


What's your job title?

I speak for management.

What does that mean?

I am a member of management.


After more than a half-hour, I get nowhere. David's only advice is to return my unit toyepthe Repair Center. I tell him I've done this four times already. What will happen the fifth time that has not already happened? He says he can't tell me. He says he will send an email to someone there who can follow up.


Who are you emailing?

I can't tell you.

Just give me a name, any name.

I can't give you a phone number, outside of the toll-free general number, or an email address.

I'm not asking you for that. I just want a name I can ask for at the Repair Center, so I can follow up on your email.

I don't have a name. I'm sending an email to a group. You're asking me who will be assigned to your case, and I don't know who that will be.

No, I'm not. I'm asking you for the name of somebody within that group who can tell me who is assigned my case.


We pretty much go around in circles. He's telling me that I'm not giving him a chance to help me, and I tell him that I have already given his co-workers dozens of chances to help me. None of them has, and how can he ensure me that he will do anything different? He cannot.


Finally, I ask to speak to his supervisor, which he does not want to do. He tells me it is Charles (remember him?).


What's his job title?

Member of management.

What does that mean?

He can speak for management.

So can you. Is he above you? You're a member of management.

He is a Lead.

Lead. That's what it says on his business card? Lead?

He is a Lead, and he will tell you what I'm telling you. He will call you back sometime in the next 24 to 48 hours.


I told David that I have been fed that 24-48 hour b.s. before. Someone at PCC once told me they would call me back within 24-48 hours, and I finally called them back nearly two weeks later. They said, We don't have a record here of anyone promising to call you back. Yeah, just like nobody at the Repair Center has any record of a technician ordering parts for my DVD recorder (by the way, when I asked, Estrella told me it was impossible for anyone to delete information from the work notes, which I'm not convinced of).


I asked David today who Charles' supervisor was. He was really steamed at this point. I know what you're trying to do, you're trying to work your way up the chain to find someone who can give you what you want. I had to admit he was right.


You can't speak to his supervisor today.

Fine. Just what is the name?

Lovette (sp?).

What is her job title?

Supervisor.

The first person I spoke to today, I asked her to speak to a supervisor. I thought you were a supervisor.

I am not.

So it goes: Member of Management, Member of ManagementLead, Supervisor, in that order?


So, now, I am waiting for Charles to call me back, which may or may not ever happen. I plan to call Estrella or perhaps her supervisor (I have that extension) tomorrow, if I'm able. Today is July 6, 2008, so you can see how long this has been going on.


I'm not just writing this to vent, but also to seek advice from you. What else should I do? Where else should I turn? Should I go to Small Claims Court? Contact the Elk Grove Village Better Business Bureau? Do I have a legal leg to stand on? Should I post this message somewhere else? Should I call someone? Or should I just say screw it and toss the damn DVD recorder in the trash? Anyone who would like to add their 2 cents or just share a Panasonic (or any other company) customer service story of their own, please leave a comment or email me privately. I really feel I'm at the end of my rope.
 

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All I can say is that your case is atypical of what other users have reported here regarding service at Elk Grove. The one difference, is that almost all the Panny HDD DVD recorder owners here has a recorder that is out of warranty (because, indeed, Panasonic ceased production of and shipment of US borne HDD DVD recorders entirely when the US mandated that all hardware shipped and sold after April 2007 was required to have a digital (ATSC) tuner - so at least they were telling you the truth there), so they are typically paying the flat $130 repair fee to get their EH-75V or similar HDD-based recorders repaired at Elk Grove. In fact, I just had an EH-75V optical drive die (stopped recognizing any discs) and shipped it off for repair at Elk Grove, paid my $130 and was good to go two weeks later.


To be honest, your problem (inability to reliably burn some discs) is really in a gray area vs. outright optical drive failure (inability to recognize, play, or burn ALL discs). Because of the number of variables involved including quality of the content on the HDD (were you using the same source program on the HDD to do your test burns or were you mixing it up), variable quality of discs (even from the same manufacturer/type), and other issues could cause reduced burn reliability, and reduced reliability when attempting to burn at max speed - this is one of the variables that force manufacturers issue firmware updates to improve compatibility with higher speed rated media. One user here reported symptoms similar to yours and concluded that the problem was the with 16X media he was getting unreliable burns at max speed but when he reduced the burn rate to "silent mode" he increased his burn reliability to close to 100%. Perhaps the degradation in burn reliability you noted was related to higher speed rated media (than you were using when you first got the machine) or degrading media quality in the intervening months and you could compensate through dialing down high speed dub speed to silent mode. Bottom line, even with the symptoms you are reporting, the drive may actually really not be defective (as the PRC is claiming). Also, if you have access to DVD-RAMs, I would check to see if you are having similar reliability problems high speed dubbing to those vs. DVD-R's, just as a further check of optical drive high speed burning capability.


WRT your perceived Panasonic runaround - your portrayal definitely does not paint a flattering picture of Panasonic in this particular case, but perhaps the issue is that Panasonic is unable to properly handle your proactive, "hands-on" nature in dealing with people and it has now unfortunately degraded into an unworkable customer service situation with most of the front line people you have to deal with now being alienated. While I cannot determine the root cause of what went south here, it appears to really be a communication problem between the techs, customer service, and the customer, with Panasonic unable to communicate to you what you might be able to do ON YOUR OWN (e.g., invoking silent burn mode), once the techs concluded there was nothing technically wrong with the drive but while you were still having burn reliability issues. Not really sure there is strong motivation on Panasonic's part to be deceptive when it comes to determining the fact as to whether or not the replacement drive was still defective. Personally, I would think it would be in their best interest to just replace the drive at the customer's insistence to eliminate either the drive or the customer as the problem.


Oh, and if you ARE thinking of tossing that EH-75V in the trash, please PM me - I will gladly take it off your hands in said condition - no questions asked (I'll even pay for shipping)?



In any event, good luck. No piece of Consumer Electronics equipment is worth as much grief and anxiety as you are putting yourself through, regardless of what you paid for it in the first place. If I were you I would definitely reduce my stress level by dropping the issue (unless you had hard and fast objective quality evidence of optical drive failure - which you really don't at this point IMO) and moving on. Vote with your wallet the next time you consider a piece of CE gear and decide if you then want to put Panasonic on your S-list.
 

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BTW - Here's the link to the post in the thread that talks about Panasonic HDD recorder high speed dubbing reliability issues and setting the recorder to "Silent" mode as a possible fix. HTH.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post14082823


Oh, and next time you run into a CE problem that requires dealing with customer support, you might want to peruse this or similar applicable sites to mine for useful tidbits of information from others with similar experiences so that you can be fully armed with facts about other experiences when you have do battle with an inept or less than stellar customer support team. It shouldn't be necessary, but unfortunately, with the declining quality of customer service and support by CE manufacturers, it is best to be a well informed consumer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply. I actually have asked various Panasonic personnel several times what I could do to help rectify the situation, and they have said nothing. No one has ever said anything to me about burning speeds. It seems as though someone at the Repair Center, particularly a technician, would have told me, "Well, we burned so-and-so-brand disc at so-and-so speed. Have you tried that?"


Another thread I read mentioned something about a dirty spindle, which no one at Panasonic has told me about (or even done themselves, according to their own notes). I'm hesitant to open the case and try cleaning the spindle myself, because I don't want to void the warranty, but it's something I can ask them about.


I have also considered the idea that they are hesitant to put any labor or parts into fixing my unit, because it is under warranty and they can't charge me a fee. But I have been intentionally misled by Panasonic so much that I can't believe anything about them anymore. I'll try Silent Mode and see what happens, but no matter what, I think my point is still relevant. I shouldn't have to not use High-Speed Dubbing. My machine should do everything it is supposed to do, and if it doesn't, Panasonic should honor their word and their warranty and repair it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIMannix /forum/post/14233000


Thanks for the reply. I actually have asked various Panasonic personnel several times what I could do to help rectify the situation, and they have said nothing. No one has ever said anything to me about burning speeds. It seems as though someone at the Repair Center, particularly a technician, would have told me, "Well, we burned so-and-so-brand disc at so-and-so speed. Have you tried that?"


Another thread I read mentioned something about a dirty spindle, which no one at Panasonic has told me about (or even done themselves, according to their own notes). I'm hesitant to open the case and try cleaning the spindle myself, because I don't want to void the warranty, but it's something I can ask them about.


I have also considered the idea that they are hesitant to put any labor or parts into fixing my unit, because it is under warranty and they can't charge me a fee. But I have been intentionally misled by Panasonic so much that I can't believe anything about them anymore. I'll try Silent Mode and see what happens, but no matter what, I think my point is still relevant. I shouldn't have to not use High-Speed Dubbing. My machine should do everything it is supposed to do, and if it doesn't, Panasonic should honor their word and their warranty and repair it.

Two points. First, regarding getting useful feedback from tech support - I think in the post that I linked to above, the customer actually suggested to Panasonic tech support that they should put the "Silent Mode" recommendation onto their list of troubleshooting suggestions to customers seeking help for unreliable fast speed burns and it, not surprisingly, was met with apathy. So much for making your life easier by being an informed tech support cadre.


Second, with respect to your statements that you should "not have to not use High-Speed Dubbing" and "My machine should do everything its supposed to do" are valid truisms in an ideal world, but if you spend any significant time around DVD recording hardware forums, you would realize that DVD burning is far, far from an exact science. It is a comprised of a combination of tradeoffs. As I discussed above, there are just too many variables involved that are beyond even the manufacturers' control such that it is not surprising that DVD burning is an iffy proposition. In fact, its amazing that DVD burning reliability even has the pathetic success rate that it demonstrates in actuality. Silent mode will still give you a significant high speed burn capability by trading off slightly longer burn times for higher reliability - in this way your recorder is doing everything it is "supposed" to do within the constraints of the variability in media. IOW - when it comes to DVD recording reliability (perhaps an oxymoron) - there is plenty of blame to go around. Good luck - hope silent mode works out for you.
 

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Don't forget about me. I had 5 EZ-x7 DVDRs fail, most within a month. All were exchanged with NIB ones from my local store. I also tried the Panasonic customer support route. I was mainly trying to get the problem with missed timer events fixed. I had a exact set of programs that would fail EVERY time(they should have worked and always work in my ES machines). I had ABSOLUTELY NO luck getting anyone at Panasonic to understand this problem. I spoke with many of the same people the OP spoke to, including: Charles and Antoinette. No one had a clue. Most of the times I didn't get return calls and when I called back it was always like starting from scratch. After several months of trying to get someone at Panasonic to care about my problem I gave up. Some battles aren't worth fighting. I knew a workaround and eventually ended up returning all my EZ x7 machines. Call me a sucker but I gave Panasonic a 2nd chance(or would it be a 6th
) with the EZ-28. After the same timer bug and several missed events due to other "issues" I also returned that one.

Don't get me wrong, I still love my ES Pannys, but I'll probably just stick with them and forgo the EZ series. As someone else on the board says (slightly different though), Life is too short to......burn with EZ's


BTW PIMannix-I also went around and around with what type of media I was using, NAME brand -RWs. The conversation with Panasonic many times came back to "we really suggest Panasonic media" Well I did have one x7 die with a Panny RAM as well as several of my EZ-28 failures were to PANASONIC RAMs. In your case I might have(or still try) sending them a spindle of your media(maybe not your best, but not junk either). My guess is they don't have anything but Panasonic media, although I wonder if their even testing it since I found nothing magical about PANASONIC media. It's probably very good but if I were told a machine would only burn one brand media I guess I'd probably try another brand burner. The worst you'd have to lose would be a spindle of discs. Figuring your frustration it would probably be worth a spindle of discs. Just a thought.

Lastly, if the conversations with Panasonic ever come down to "We could send you a EZ machine for free" Run like hell
You'd have a whole nother battle to fight


When I was deep in the battle of trying to get my DVDR fixed I ran across this thread. It's talking more about DVD media in general but it gave me a chuckle and made me realize, I wasn't the only one. Enjoy
http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/if-car...uggies-221619/
 

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Vic:


Do you use the Top speed mode or the Silent mode?


I have an EH55 and an EH75. Both are set for Top speed mode and have been problem-free. Now I'm wondering if changing to Silent mode increases the chance of getting a better burn or reduces the chance of having problems with the unit.


John
 

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I primarily use DVD-RAM (burn the DVD-R's on my computer) so I may not be representative of the typical user, but I use top speed with 5X DVD-RAM and have noted corruption every so often that requires a reformat of the affected RAM disc. I never ran into such problems with lower speed 3X RAM discs that are, by default, burned at the lower "silent" mode speeds.
 

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I usually use TY 8X DVD-Rs. Does anyone know if they burn at the Top speed or the Silent mode speed by default? I have never used 16x, but I assume they would burn at the Top speed unless the Silent mode speed was selected.


I'm going to switch my setting to Silent mode. I don't mind the burn taking longer if it is more likely to be better.


John
 

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We'd have to time this exactly or find out for sure, but I've always been under the impression that the vast majority of HDD DVD Recorders burn at a maximum speed of 8x, even if you feed them 16x media. I have two Pioneer DVD burners in my computers, an A06, which is 4x, and a 112, which is 18x, but I'm in the habit of always burning a notch below max speed, so I usually select 16x with it, especially since my TYs DVD-Rs are 16x. Anyway, the high-speed burning process on HDD DVD Recorders I've had just seems to feel like they're closer in duration to my 4x burner than my 16x burns.


When I've tried slower speed burns with HDD DVD Recorders that have such an option, like my Toshiba RD-XS35, they feel more like 4x burns. Same for when I use 4x DVD-RWs, of course.
 

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When I first got my EH-55 I did 2 tests(gotta love tests
) Anyway they both were to 16x -R TDK DVDs. I had a 2hr SP program which I tested. One test was using Silent mode and the other was not silent mode.

The silent mode took something like 12 minutes to copy and 1 1/2 minutes to finalize the disc(automatically does this at the end of a HS copy on the EH-55).

The regular mode(higher speed) took like 9 1/2 minutes to copy and a little more than 2 minutes to finalize(don't ask why that took longer
)

From this test I turned silent mode ON and will probably not ever use regular mode. To me the time savings isn't even the remote possibility of a copy failure or worse yet a burn that might not last as long before trouble.

Note I may be a little off on my times(just going off memory
) but the percentages are quite close. Personally I just don't think the regular mode is worth the chance. I also think it may be harder on the drive. It sure sounds like it's working harder in that mode.
 

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jjeff:


That was my thinking when deciding to change to Silent mode. The chance for a better burn and less wear on the unit is worth the extra time.


I don't think the EH55 finalizes automatically. I believe you have to select whether you want it to Copy and Finalize or just Copy.


John
 

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Not that I know. I would wish I could just copy(without finalizing) but the only way I know to HS copy using the copy option from the main FUNCTIONS menu automatically finalizes the disc
I don't like that option since sometimes I'd like to just add a little at a time to a disc. Using the option I do I must have 4+ hours(if using LP) material on the HDD and copy all at once. It's a PIA IMO. Are you able to copy programs little by little using HS on your EH55? Maybe theirs another HS copy option I'm not aware of, I sure wish.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/14247593


Not that I know. I would wish I could just copy(without finalizing) but the only way I know to HS copy using the copy option from the main FUNCTIONS menu automatically finalizes the disc
I don't like that option since sometimes I'd like to just add a little at a time to a disc. Using the option I do I must have 4+ hours(if using LP) material on the HDD and copy all at once. It's a PIA IMO. Are you able to copy programs little by little using HS on your EH55? Maybe theirs another HS copy option I'm not aware of, I sure wish.


If you use advanced copy mode (vice copy mode) from the functions menu (on my EH75V you have to press "other functions" button below the "copy" functions button menu selection to get to the advanced copy function button) you get to choose the option of whether or not to finalize the disc at the end of the HS copy session while setting up the copy options and programs you select to copy from the HDD. See pp. 50-51 of your manual if you have one for further info.
 

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Now I don't have to accumulate 4+ hours of kids programming on my HDD


I still haven't figured out all the ins and outs of this thing. Thanks Vic
 

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As Vic said, with Advanced Copy you get to select whether you want to Copy and Finalize or just Copy.


I did a HS dub using Silent mode and a Verbatim 4x disc today. It seemed to take the same amount of time (about 12 minutes) as using Top speed mode and a TY 8x disc, so maybe you need a 16x disc to really get Top speed. After using an HS2 and then an E80, I'm very happy with 12 minutes using Silent mode.


John
 

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Another advantage of advanced copy is that you can commence a copy operation without interfering with the program timer. In other words, you can start copying a group of programs from the HDD to DVD and if a show is programmed to start recording during your dubbing session, then the timer will proceed recording without interrupting the dubbing process. I don't think that is the case with the normal copy function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
On Wednesday, I finally received a (belated) callback from Charles at Panasonic Customer Care, who indicated he had seen my blog (where I also posted my initial rant) and had an idea of my frustrations. He gave me a new telephone number to call--this one an "executive" number to Panasonic's corporate office, which is in New Jersey, I believe.


"Who should I ask for at this number?"

"Anybody who answers the phone will be able to help you."


He was kind of right. It took me three tries to get someone on the line, because of Panasonic's confusing phone menu that doesn't tell a caller what to do if you don't know the name or extension of whom you're calling. I got a friendly switchboard operator who was confused when I told her why I was calling, but she eventually got me somebody else, who was equally confused. That person, also polite, told me I would get a callback later in the day from a supervisor in the "DVD Recorder Department."


And I did. I received a very nice, comforting call from Karen, who told me, "Looking at these case notes, I can't believe what has been happening" (nor can I). She asked ("if you don't mind") if I would pack up my DVD recorder again, but this time send it to the corporate office, where engineers could look at it. I asked what would happen there that hasn't already happened at the Repair Center, and she replied that these would be engineers looking at the unit, and they will find out what is wrong with it. Which makes me wonder: who do they have repairing units at the Repair Center, and why don't they have engineers there?


I also told her my belief that the DVD drive is defective in it (without getting any "we don't use defective parts," like I did from David at Customer Care), and also that it's possible the spindle is dirty (thanks to another forum poster who pointed that out), but I couldn't clean it myself without voiding the warranty (which she agreed, yes, that would). I told her what brands of DVD-R I've been using, and since the unit has malfunctioned with at least three different brands, the discs can't be the culprit.


Karen (whose last name I'm leaving out, but I appreciate that she's the first Panasonic employee to provide one) offered to e-mail a shipping label, so I can send my unit to her. She also provided me with her e-mail address and telephone extension, and invited me to contact her if I needed to. We also made sure Panasonic had my correct contact info, since I've changed phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses in recent weeks. Oh, and she also promised to send me some Panasonic DVD-Rs, which I didn't ask for, but I appreciate the gesture.


Reason to be optimistic? I think so, though I've been optimistic before and been let down. It's my nature to be hopeful in these situations and assume that professionals will act professionally. I know that doesn't always happen, but I feel I can take Karen at her word. The fact that she probably knew by then that I had filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau probably helped nudge her.


P.S. On Thursday, I received the shipping label, so I'll be sending out my unit via UPS next week. Karen also asked if I would provide a couple of the DVD-Rs that failed to burn, saying they would help the engineers solve the problem.
 

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Hope it works out for you PI. Glad she thought of asking you for your discs. Are you giving her both pristine blanks and blanks that failed to burn? Also curious if you tried SILENT mode with any success. Once again, I don't want to stir the pot, I also sympathize with your plight, but it really sounds like you are suffering from a slightly below average status quo when it comes to standalone DVD burning reiliability. I found it to just not be very reliable when it comes to burning DVD-R's especially at speeds above 4X which is why I typically just record to DVD-RAM and do any DVD-R burning on my PC. I know it doesn't speak well of the state of standalone DVD recorder burning, but it is what it is. Why the repair center didn't just go ahead and change out the second burner at your insistence (even if THEY didn't think it was defective) is beyond me. Good luck, PI.
 
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