Problem recording with Panasonic DMR-E55

Hi…this is my first post. Thanks for listening & here’s hoping I don’t break any rules.
I am trying to archive some hifi vhs music video compilations w/the Panasonic DMR-E55 & seem to have hit a brick wall.
My setup is fairly simple: Sansui hifi vcr into line 1 of Panasonic recorder; Panasonic recorder out to monitor. Basically, the same setup I used to archive some cartoons from laser disc. No problems with that project. Media is Fuji 8x dvd-r blanks.
I start the Panasonic dvd recorder & then i roll the vhs tape. Everything seems ok for about 30 seconds, then the Panasonic displays the “self-checking” message & says “bye” or “replace the disc.”
The source material is a compilation of music videos I compiled from promo music video tapes sent by record labels. Since I’ve already compiled these from vhs to vhs tape w/o problems, I’m assuming copy protection is not an issue here.
Has anyone had a similar problem? Is there something I’m not doing correctly?
Thanks for any help you can give.

According to the diagrams in my E55 manual AV1 is customarily used to output the signal to the TV with AV2 being used as the input channel i.e. connected to the VCR. That’s the way I’ve used it to copy VHS off-air archives without any problems. You could give this configuration a try.

I have been having the same problem with my E55, and the problem seems to be gradually getting worse. It appears to be a probelm relating to the machine’s laser and the DVD-R media. The disk reports as ready, you record, about 30 seconds of recording later the machine shuts down with nothing actually recorded on the disk! I think a memory buffer is perhaps being used during the 30 seconds and the machine gives up when it’s full (because no writing to the disk to empty it could take place). That’s just a guess.

I first got this problem when using 8x media a couple of months after buying the machine (no, I can’t get a product replacement because I violated the guarantee getting a jammed disk out of my machine! Agh!). Try using 4x speed media. In particular, try Mirror Platinum Pro 4x discs if you can get them - my problems disappeared with these DVD-R’s. Datawrite Reds seem to be well recieved by my E55 although not completely faultlessly. The Datawrite Yellows using Ritek G04 dye worked fairly well, as did 4x Ridisk’s but I’ve had almost no luck with the new 8x G05 dye from any disk brand on the E55.

I tried cleaning my laser and this did not correct the problem at all. I’d try teaking up the laser current as on a Playstation if I could, but there is no obvious way to do this - I suspect it’s controlled in software through a secret installation menu.

I’ve had a Philips DVDR70 machine and it also slowly got pickier with disks as I used it. I just don’t think the laser units are any good in these stand-alone recorders. PC DVD writers seem to be made of much better stuff! :slight_smile:

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likewise, i didnt find a G05 8x dye disc that would record well or playback on the E55. i enede up going to Taiyo yuden to get an 8x disc that worked( both record and play).
for all input to the E55 i use the front AV3 , for camcorder,vhs video and input from a portable dvd player , and havent had a problem

Laser life is something I’ve been looking at over the last few years. It seems the best quality machines lasers last around 4 years with average use. after three years they become weak and picky about the disc’s used. The cheap machines only just last the warranty before getting picky and often die at around two years. Obviously this isn’t very scientific, but never the less a careful long term observation from repairing DVD players etc. Computer drives are about the same, the better quality drives last longer.

Upping the current to the laser will sometimes help, but usually spell the death of an old laser.

Some of the better machines (DVD recorder stand alone’s and puter burners) are worth repairing if the parts are available, but unfortunately not viable in a workshop as the time involved to fit a re set up the laser units is more expensive than a new machine!

Some of them are damn near impossible to set up again, because the manufacturers wont release the parameters or manuals.

Overall, expect to replace a decent quality machine around every three years and the cheap ones, well that’s down to luck.

Yup the solid state lasers have a very short life span, too short if you ask me. I hope the new Blueray ones are better.

panasonic recorders dont like cheap disks simple as heres the safe list
panasonic DVD-R , panasonic DVD-RAM

There may be others that work but your warranty may not cover you for any other then panasonic disks

the cheaper the disk the more likely it will fail

you may find infinty samari disk are a cheap option with good results these are usally very reliable in panasonics
but not ones that have been affected by other cheap media
if you have used sevral no make discs that have caused crashing you will find it can cause better media to crash an evently hardware failer so take out the warranty an if this happens
make sure you say your machine has only ever had panasonic DVD-RAM an DVD-R DONT MENTION ANY OTHERS YOU’VE USED
as they can say its your fault for using cheap disks

of course avoiding the wrong disc can save this ever happining
aviod " Datasafe yellow top , red top. grey top, titanium, princo disks, unbranded DVD-R , maplin unbranded DVD-R
thats a few there will be more so be carefull!

I archive a lot of home compilation music tapes to dvd and have only had this problem a couple of times, both caused by the same point of the same video track but at different stages on the dvd ie the first failure near the end, the second near the start .
i put it down to something in the signal the recorder didnt like. I’ve succesfully recorded > 100 other discs all on the same media (maxell -r in library cases).
I would use av2 input as advised in an earlier post. :slight_smile:

That’s bullocks. Price is of no influence here.
I have problems with expensive Maxell DVD+R discs, but never had any problem with a very cheap brandless type of DVDR on the same recorder.

if you purchase a dvd-cd cleaner it will resolve the problem. the only problem is you have clean it evry week. This worked for me.

I have the DMR E55 and have owned it since December of 04. I love the machine.
I recently got a fantastic deal on 200 DVD-R disks. When I went to record on them I had the same issues as have been described in this forum. I called Panasonic and they said that the issue was with the recording speed of the new disks. The DMR E55 is set at 4X speed. The new TDK’s are 8X. There is supposed to be a firmware patch that you can use to upgrade this machine. If you go to and then search for firmware, you will find the patch. You copy it onto a CD-R and then play it in your machine. I couldn’t get mine to work - It would flash “UNSUPPORT” which either means that the disk did not work or that the machine you have does not need the upgrade.
PLEASE let me know if anyone that finds a way to make this work for your DMR E55. I hate to have to take these DVD-R’s back.


This forum has been most helpful in trying to solve/understand the problem with my panasonic e55. I’d echo the comments of previous post about how over time the machine just can’t seem to handle certain brands of DVDs. Mine was getting so bad that even brands of DVDs that previously worked were starting to cause the machine to pack it in 100% of the time.

I bought a machine about the same time as Jpratt so I thought I’d pass on my experience-there’s a good chance our firmware was about the same vintage.

At first I thought the patch that Jpratt spoke of didn’t work as I too got a usupport message. Now please forgive me if what I’m about to say was blatantly obvious to everyone but me. The patch panasonic offers for download is apparently a compressed file. Once you double click on it it extracts the actual file that is suppossed to be copied unto a blank CD-R. They didn’t say that in the directions. When I first tried it it failed because I hadn’t double clicked on the patch and extracted the correct file. Perhaps Panasonic thought this was so obvious they didn’t even put this in the directions. When I go back and read their directions, I maintain they are misleading.

Once I did this the patch worked very well. The machine appears to work alsmost flawlessly. It still chokes on Cicero brands DVDs sometimes (vs. always failing before the patch). Other brands of DVDs (Fuji and Maxell) appear to work flawlessly again. Hope this helps someone out there.

Had the same problem with my machine here in the UK. Didn’t notice that the TDK and Samsung -R’s were x8 whereas my first batch of Sony disks were x4…So I will be trying to get some x4’s though availability doesn’t seem so good. I will also try the patch.

My PC has an LG DVD writer which is supposed to read RAM disks. No luch so far but do I need to finalise the disk before trying to transfer to HDD?..I have Nero software which came with the LG writer

:iagree: I am brand new to the forum and just wanted to say thanks for this thread. My DMR-E55 recorder first started out not wanting to finalize disks and then freaked out anytime I put in any DVD-R, even ones that had worked in the past. I updated the firmware, and now all is well! :bow:


I’m a new member and have just come accross the panasonic dvdr section.
I have a DMR- e55 and have had it for over a year now. It is a superb machine, and in my opinion the best on the market. I use RiDisc Xtreme 8x DVD-R in both my pc dvd writer and my panasonic.These are reliable discs and rarely fail.
My problem with my dmr-e55 is that record from cable on channel A2, however last night I recorded a film from BBC4 and afer approx 5 minutes the picture went off leaving the sound only.I changed channel on my tv remote and the picture was still there, but not on the dvd.The picture returned after about 15 minutes. Has anyone else experienced this.

What do members think on the ideal and correct connections between tv-dvdr and cable.

Comments please



I have a problem recording on the e55, as well. I wanted to put two recordings on 1 disk. It won’t finalize the disk. It will play back fine, unfinalized but I’d like to be able to play it back on other dvr players. The manual doesn’t address this. doesn’t either. In fact, I searched on the model and it doesn’t turn up anything. I also searched for the firmware upgrade mentioned previously and that doesn’t turn up iether. Any suggestions about the 2 on 1 disk problem?




I went on the site and found the link -it’s still there. Try using this
If that doesn’t get you there, go to then click on search, then check the “professional Video” box and type “firmware” in the search box. Hit enter. You will see a list of options. Choose “Panasonic Product Support - DVD Firmware” This will take you to a page of downloadable updates. About half way down the list you will find the DMR E55. It looks like this:

DMR-E55.EXE], 946kb

Version DK-091
Last Updated 9/30/2005
Description Updates RAM / DVD drive and improves compatibility with the most recent 8X and 16X DVD media.

Click the download button. Once it is downloaded be sure you do as rskeeba said in the thread above and extract the instructions, the liscense agreement and the Wordperfect file. The Wordperfect file is the actual update file that you copy to your CD. Then insert the CD into your E55 (following the instructions) and it should work like a champ! I can now record on 4x, 8x, or 16x DVD -R media. Best of luck!

And…thanks to rskeeba for the tip on which file to copy - apparently you were not the only one that missed this step (that is not included in the instructions).


I’ve got the update and I expect that this will solve the problem. Thanks so much for the information!!


The instructions of the DMR-E55 state that they support DVD-R with a recording speed of 1X to 4X.

Such disks are hard to find, so I tried a pack of 25 TDK DVD-R 4.7GB 1-8X disks. Obviously, not the recommended speed. None of them seemed to record - same problem as the others above, it looks like it is recording for a few minutes and then suddenly “please change the disk”.

I tried to run the firmware update as described above but when the disk is inserted, i just get the message “UNSUPPORT”, and obviously no change, - I still cannot record on the TDK DVD-R 4.7GB 1-8X disks…

Actually, I think the software update must be for the North American Market, as there is no firmware update on the European sites.

Since the problems using 8x disks I have stuck to 4x. Currently on my second batch of 50 ritek G04’s purchased form Not one single disk in the first batch failed to record perfectly and they work out at £0.14 each.