Panasonic DMR ES40V Start UP?

[qanda]This thread is about the Panasonic DMR-ES35V - DVD recorder / VCR combo. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]As you can see, I have a DMR ES40V, not a ES35V, it was the closest product number I could find.

I am at ground ZERO. I can’t even get a picture to show on my TV from a video playing in the VCR portion of the unit. I’ve been connecting devices up for years, and this one has me totally stumped.

I have connect per instructions: I am NOT worried about connecting to cable, all I want to do is some dubbing, which only requires a TV and the DMR unit.

I have connected the TV and DRM via RCA plugs with the video/audio male plugs going into the RCA female jacks for OUT on the back side of the DMR and into the TV female RCA jacks. The TV has a blue screen and I’ve tried setting it at VIDEO, Ch 3 and CH4. I can not see the picture from video, which seems to be playing in the DRM, to show on the TV. I also tried using the coaxial cable connection between the DRM out to the TV IN, but nothing.

I know the TV works, I use it all the time. The DRM belongs to a friend and I’m trying to help her dub from her videos to DVDs. Ha, I can’t even get the simplest step to work. No copyrighted material here!

There is a VCR/TV button on the remote, but it is apparently for use when one codes in the TV in order to use the remote for TV/DRM, as the buttons do not work at this point.

The DRM’s display lights up, shows the video playing etc. This is not rocket science, where am I messing up, PLEASE? When I tried to play a DVD, all I got from three different DVDs, is error:sad:


Hum, lots of viewers, no replies. Guess that means I must be hooking up correctly, but no guesses as to why I’m not getting any connection between the TV and the DRM. Guess I’ll try to connect it to the cable and see if this works.

Don’t give up on me, I know there’s an answer out there.


I don’t have a ES-40v but do have the ES-30v, same year slightly different design. On the ES-30v when playing a DVD or VHS make sure to select the correct side with the remote, or if you are watching through the other side (for example playing a VHS and recording to DVDR, and monitoring DVDR side) make sure you’ve set the DVDR side to get it’s signal from TP (VHS side).
The EH-30v has the possibility to be playing a VHS tape but actually watching the DVD side, it’s really like 2 separate machines in a common case. This is very handy at times, but can also be confusing at times.

Thanks for the remarks, JJeff.

Well, problem solved, this unit needs to go to the repair shop. I finally found a help number for Panasonic, the help person walked me though all the steps I had already tried, doubled checked everything he could imagine, and the verdict was, send it in, it needs to be repaired.

[B]Good[/B] for me, at least I know it wasn’t due to my inability to connect a VCR to a TV, [B]bad[/B] for my friend, she’ll have to pay some bucks.

Thanks everyone for reading and replying.


If you’re sending it in make sure to read the last few posts in This CD freaks thread. It’s almost always better to request the $130 flat rate repair. Parts are very expensive for Panasonic DVDRs and the flat rate includes parts and labor.
The ES-40v is not noted as being one of the best Panasonic combos but of the ones available new at this time it’s well worth fixing. The current EZ line does have the new digital tuner (and lots of bugs and quirks). If you don’t need the digital tuner I’d stick with the ES-40v.

Wow, thanks jjeff, that was quite a read on the link you offered. And, what terrific writers we have on this forum.:bow:

I will certainly share these links with my friend, and take heed myself should I ever decide to purchase a VCR/DVD recorder. I had wondered how the info was being transferred from a tape to the DVD, of course, a hard drive, makes sense. But if the ES40V model isn’t using a hard drive, what replaced the hard drive? Unless, I misunderstood…

Thanks so much for taking the time to inform me.


A HDD less recorder like the ES-40v records only realtime to DVD. Only one current US DVDR has a HDD, it’s the Magnavox 2160A only sold online at, it doesn’t have a VHS section but you can easily add a external one and feed it’s line input.
The advantage of a HDD is you can record to the HDD(which is a very reliable media unlike DVD which at times is problematic). Then after you have a good copy on the HDD you can burn a lossless high speed copy to DVD in a matter of minutes. If the burn fails for whatever it’s just a matter of burning another lossless copy to DVD. Editing is also easily done on a HDD(such as removing commercials, adding chapter marks etc.) then when you burn it to DVD your DVD has all the edits and chapter marks you did on the HDD.
The only combos available with a HDD were a older JVC and the Panasonic ES-75v, both of which are hard to find and expensive if you do.

I could understand the HDD holding the footage from the VHS and then onto the burning of the DVD, but REAL TIME. How is the analog handled so quickly as to turn it into a digital format. You don’t have to explain, I’m sure that’s a very long answer.

When I was checking out the Magnavox 2160A that you mentioned, I ran across this topic “Home audio & video: What Happened to DVD/HDD Recording?” on using Google.

Very interesting stuff, especially the part where the person states “The main reason for digital tv is to control that pesky record button!! They could not do that with analog, now with digital…THEY ARE DOING IT!!”

I’m sure it will also stop the video pirates too. I still video tape my soaps, but I have no desire to keep them forever or any other show I watched, just want to watch at my convenience. So, it looks like the home owner, who wants to copy from VHS some old footage, possible of the kids etc., had better get going before his tapes are truly lost, if they haven’t already dried and cracked.

Thanks JJeff for the tip.