Hints and Tips

I know the forum has a search function but having good things in one spot would be nice. The forum is getting big and there are many good tips and hints from many users scattered through out. Why don’t we use this post to list the hint/tip with a little blurb and the number of the post with a link to the topic it is in. If the hint or tip is not in the forum yet list it here.

Let’s not use this post to discuss the Hints and Tips but just list and how to use them.

[B]Defaults and Options:[/B]

[U][B]FL DISPLAY:[/B][/U] [B]AUTO[/B] (no display when in standby) [B]DIM[/B] and [B]BRITE [/B] (time display in standby).

[U][B]OFF TIMER:[/B][/U] [B]2[/B] hour, [B]6[/B] hour, [B]off [/B] (you may want to set this to off, so it does not do an auto off at an unexpected time)

[U][B]REMOTE CONTROL CODE:[/B][/U] Set Code 1, Set Code 2, Set Code 3 (change to 2 or 3 if your remote effects other Panasonic units)

[U][B]QTR Record:[/B][/U] When recording pressing the REC button a second time will set the record time for 30 mins pass the time you pressed it. Press once more 60 mins pass the time you pressed and so on till max time is reached then QTR returns to manual REC mode.

[B]Defaults and Options:[/B]

[U][B]Clock Settings:[/B] [/U] Set Clock Manually, Set Clock Automatically (tune to a local PBS station and the clock will set in a few minites)

The clock has no battery backup and will lose time quickly if the unit is unpluged or you lose power.

[U][B]QUICK START: [/B] [/U] OFF, ON (will use slightly more power in standby, but unit responds quicker)

[U][B]FLEX RECORD:[/B][/U] F REC overrides REC MODE settings (example if you want to record a 3 hour movie with F REC you need not change REC MODE to LP as any setting will not matter F REC will auto set the best speed)

[U][B]Recording with the Timer:[/B] [/U] Remember after you SCHEDULE and make your settings and press RETURN, the timer only functions when you press DVD Power and turn the unit OFF; then you should see the Red Clock icon on the display which will go to REC when the time is correct. All the Unit’s functions are then disabled and you see nothing on the TV untill REC is finished and recorder turns itselt OFF. When you turn the recorder ON once more, all normal functions return.
The timer’s function is to record when you will not be around for the start or finish (not to monitor the recording). If you plan to be around for the start and not the finish, press REC to start and use QTR to set the end time to the nearest 30 mins past the end time. Another option is use Flex Record and set the total length of time to record.

[B]Some opionions on the DMR ES15:[/B]

Press Here

"OK- Here is the first result- I tested the Pio 2006 640 vs the Panny ES15 2006 at LP- 4 hour record mode for both. [U]This was very close, but the Panny ES15 just seemed a little better on clarity[/U]- I watched both discs 3 times for certainty- it is not that the Pio is bad - it is super, but [U]the 2006 panny ES15 at LP wins- it is the best.[/U] Panny does have something at 4 hour LP record mode that beats everyone else- I am convinced- however, 2006 Pio 640 at LP record mode(not 2005 Pio 531) is a very, very close second(others looking might say they equal)---- [U]BUT every other brand is far behind at 4 hour LP record.[/U]

PS- For this test I used DVD+RWs as the recorded disc and playback. But these discs should not differ from any other disc and they did not in record or playback. The only reason that I used them was because this is the first year(2006) that Pio and Panny would record these type of discs.

[U]I would like anyone to show me a NON Panny DVDR that records better quality at LP 4 hour mode for $149 which is what these panny ES15s sells for[/U]. A lot of people say that they do not need LP mode- I say why not? Your DVR does not record DVDS. People need it it for many reasons including chase play of multiple recordings that have great clarity. And many other reasons including watching various things and keeping only what you want on DVD-RAM with chase play( watch when you want)and flex record." :smiley: (source: HoustonGuy)

[B]Media use for the ES15/25/45:[/B]

[B]# ? DVD-RAM [/B] :flower: quick to format no finalization many record/edit options compatability problems higher cost per disc can erase and rerecord highest cost per disc
[B]# 1 DVD-RWs[/B] :slight_smile: quick to format finalization needed High Speed FF can erase and rerecord
[B]# 2 DVD-Rs [/B] :slight_smile: VERY quick to format finalization needed High Speed FF low cost per disc
[B]# 3 DVD+Rs [/B] :wink: needs time to format finalization needed low cost per disc
[B]# 4 DVD+RWs [/B] :stuck_out_tongue: see note

Using DVD+RW with the ES15/25/45:

Yes you can Record and play DVD+RWs on the Panasonic ES15/25/45, but there are some things to remember:

Discs format but do not finalize but you need to follow the steps to create a top menu (up to 4 mins) in order to play on other players. Top menu does appear on other players but not on the ES15/25/45

When you play back the disk on the ES15/25/45 (even after writting a title menu) it will play with the first title and no menu (use chapter skip or FF to play other titles).

When you try to play a DVD+RW recorded on another DVD recorder the ES15/15/45 will no play them, rather it will ask to format them (and if you do you will lose all data) :doh:

[B]Answers from Panasonic:[/B]




[B]Region Countries[/B]

0 No Region Coding
1 United States of America, Canada
2 Europe, including France, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia, Japan and South Africa
3 Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Borneo and Indonesia
4 Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America
5 India, Africa, Russia and former USSR countries
6 Peoples Republic of China
7 Unused
8 Airlines/Cruise Ships
9 Expansion (often used as region free)

[B]The ES15/25 is not Region Free[/B]

[B]Why does my unit display ‘U99,’ and why has it stopped working?[/B]

From Panasonic

Why does my unit display ‘U99,’ and why has it stopped working?

The “U99” error code signifies a “general communications failure”.
It is not associated with one specific problem.
It can be related to the version of firmware your DVD recorder is currently using and it has been associated with the TV Guide On Screenâ„¢ guide.

If your unit displays U99, turn the power off, unplug the
unit for 5 minutes, and reconnect the power.

If U99 reoccurs, please contact the Global Service Center Network for assistance."

[B]How to keep your DVDs Safe[/B]


  1. Handle discs by the outer edge or the center hole.
  2. Use a non solvent-based felt-tip permanent marker to mark the label side of the disc.
  3. Keep dirt or other foreign matter from the disc.
  4. Store discs upright (book style) in plastic cases specified for CDs and DVDs.
  5. Return discs to storage cases immediately after use.
  6. Leave discs in their packaging (or cases) to minimize the effects of environmental changes.
  7. Open a recordable disc package only when you are ready to record data on that disc.
  8. Store in a cool, dry, dark environment in which the air is clean.
  9. Remove dirt, foreign material, fingerprints, smudges, and liquids by wiping with a clean cotton fabric in a straight line from the center of the disc toward the outer edge.
  10. Use CD/DVD cleaning detergent, isopropyl alcohol or methanol to remove stubborn dirt or material.
  11. Check the disc surface before recording.

Do not:

  1. Touch the surface of the disc.
  2. Bend the disc
  3. Use adhesive labels.
  4. Store discs horizontally for a long time (years).
  5. Open a recordable optical disc package if you are not ready to record.
  6. Expose discs to extreme heat or high humidity.
  7. Expose discs to extreme rapid temperature or humidity changes.
  8. Expose recordable discs to prolonged sunlight or other sources of UV light.
  9. Write or mark in the data area of the disc (area where the laser “reads”).
  10. Clean in a circular direction around the disc."

many great tips here:


Panasonic DVD recorders seem to behave differently from Panasonic dvd players. CM-Skip only works on unfinalized media (DVD-R, DVD+R (slow jumps), DVD-RW(V) and DVD-RAM). Once a DVD is finalized (or with store-bought DVDs) CM-Skip does not work.

Panasonic DVD player (S52) can CM-Skip on finalized -R/-RW and -RAM and store-bought DVDs, but not on finalized DVD+R.

CCRomeo said: “Remember after you SCHEDULE and make your settings and press RETURN, the timer only functions when you press DVD Power and turn the unit OFF”.

I don’t think this is true on my DMR-ES15. It will do a scheduled recording whether the unit is on or off. If the unit is off when scheduled recording begins, it remains “off” and will not output a signal for monitoring or respond to remote control key presses, except Power On/Off. But, you can turn the unit on during scheduled recording, it will then output a signal and respond to other remote control key presses.

Thanks so much for all your helpful info.

[B]Ten things I don’t like about the DMR ES15:[/B]

  1. Lack of Open/Close button on the remote.
  2. Lack of Standby light on the Power button.
  3. Lack of pause button on front panel.
  4. Lack of the ability to change or adjust display themes.
  5. Lack of the ability to adjust or insert chapter marks.
  6. Lack of Zoom playback.
  7. Lack of the ability to record CDs or Video CDs
  8. Lack of the ability to play DivX.
  9. Inconvient use of DVD+RW media: both recocord and playback.
  10. Playback default: with a recorded Disc in the drive you can not select another input.

[B]After 6 months of use I think the best media to use is DVD-R.[/B]
Very quick to format, faster FF, low cost per disk, plays on nearly any DVD player, most any DVD-Rs will work fine.
Four hour record mode is fine, 2 hour or flex record even better, avoid 6 or 8 hour modes (too much quality loss).
With the low cost of DVD-Rs no reason to record at 6-8 hours as nearly all movies will fit in 4 hours.
Keep a few DVD-RWs and DVD-RAMs to use like a DVR, for time shifting or for temporary storage.
DVD+Rs can be used in a pinch but must be formated.
DVD+RWs should only be used if you are out of other media.

Hints: Lable your recordings as soon as you finalize, make LP your default record mode, keep your recorder in an area with good air flow, keep a blank DVD-R in the recorder so you can record something on the fly.

[B]If the tray is locked:[/B] Try simultaeneously pressing the “POWER” button on the remote and the STOP button on the deck. (locks and unlocks the tray)

Pressing “PLAY” on the deck and then “POWER” on the remote locks EVERYTHING, including disk skip. (Menu selections still work, which is good)

Try unpluging then plugin and press and hold down the Open button as you press Power.

[B]Record time for 8cm “pocket DVDs”[/B]
Yes you can record to them, and the recorder will display the adjusted times:
[B]XP = 0:19
SP = 0:38
LP = 1:17
EP(6) = 1:55
EP(8) = 2:33[/B]

Originally Posted by SaintBaz
Before you sling your problematic Panasonic in the bin, you may want to try cleaning the spindle. This has worked wonders for me on my current recorders: I have a 3 year old DMR-E55 recorder (a fantastic old machine which gets used to play & record EVERY day) and an LG GSA-4082B multidrive in the computer, but this method has also fixed many malfunctioning Playstation 2’s, and DVD-ROMs, RAMs, CD drives, you name it.

The symptons of your Panasonic requiring a spindle clean are as follows. The machine may start to feel sluggish, particularly when formatting a DVD-RAM, performing erase functions, and may take longer to recognize discs. Then, you will start to get errors during recording and erasing, failed formatting, and the machine will not recognize some discs. Eventually it will be totally unpredictable and unreliable, and you may find that even after dismantling your machine and cleaning the lens most thoroughly, the problems persist. It may still play CDs and shop bought DVDs, those functions are the last to go. I will almost guarantee that this means a spindle clean is needed, although many would incorrectly blame these symptoms on a dirty lens, or even a defective laser, but the reality is, if the machine worked perfectly once, the laser is almost certainly fine. Panasonic use trusted circuitry to ensure a stable laser output.

The spindle is the little round platter inside your machine that your disc sits on. Discs go into the machine and there they are placed on the spindle, after which a circular magnetic grip clamps the disc into its final position, the disc being sandwiched firmly between the spindle and the grip. “Yeah, I know all this already” I can hear you shouting.

But the correct functioning of a spindle is absolutely CRITICAL in such a precise piece of technology as a DVD-RAM recorder, there is no room for error here as a dirty spindle will not spin the disc perfectly evenly - it can introduce wobble and jitter into the disc which even the cleanest lens will not cope with.

You do need to open up your machine to clean the spindle but it is well worth it if your machine is out of warranty. Take off the outer lid and locate the screws that hold the lid on the drive unit. There are usually four screws, two at either side. Remove those screws and that lid should now be loose, but don’t use brute force - on my unit you have to jiggle the drive lid around a little towards the back of the unit. It will lift off.

You should now see the spindle. Notice the black rubber on the outer part of the spindle. With isopropyl alcohol and cotton buds, gently but thoroughly clean this rubber. It can sometimes look surprisingly dirty - carpet fibre, dust and tar from heavy smoking are the usual suspects in my experience. Clean the whole spindle too, then go back and clean that rubber again until it doesn’t leave a mark on a fresh cotton bud dipped in alcohol. You may as well clean the lens while you are here. If you haven’t cleaned a lens before, dip a fresh cotton bud in alcohol and brush the lens very gently with it, the lens will move slightly as it is spring mounted so don’t be alarmed. Just be gentle. At this stage it’s a good idea to clean the grip which is set into the lid of the drive unit. Now put your machine back together.

You should have a Panasonic that’s as good as when you bought it. The first thing I would do is insert a DVD-RAM disc and format it. You should notice the speed difference, and of course, a successful format is a good sign in itself. My E55 first packed up 5 months after I bought it, and it didn’t occur to me to clean the spindle even though I’d been fixing PS2’s that way for a while. Well, it did, but it was under warranty and I got a replacement. That was nearly 3 years ago, and I have cleaned the spindle twice in that time, most recently yesterday, after a bit of erratic behaviour showed itself. But we are heavy smokers in this house - most people wouldn’t need to clean it that often

Of course there are preventative measures you can take, like not putting in dusty or fingerprinted discs, cleaning the innermost part of discs you put in, and NOT handling a disc with its hole, just use the outside edge.

Anyway, I hope this helps somebody. The posts on CDFREAKS have been helpful to me for many years, so I hope I can put something back. It would be good if you could let me know if you fix your recorder using this method, and if you have any questions just let me know.

[B]Record time for DVD+R DL[/B] [I]for ES15/25[/I]
Yes you can record to them, and the recorder will display the adjusted times for the first layer:
XP = 0:56
SP = 1:52
LP = 3:44
EP(6) = 5:36
EP(8) = 7:25

The first layer must be closed before recording to the second layer, then the new adjusted times will display.
XP ~ 0:50
SP ~ 1:40
LP ~ 3:20
EP(6) ~ 5:15
EP(8) ~ 6:50

drive replacement http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=868779