I have had my first DMR-EZ17 for a few months now. By and large it has performed well.
Four days ago a second DMR-EZ17 arrived, this one purchased used as a gift for a relative. As this machine did not come with a Panasonic remote I used one from a DMR-ES15 to set up the machine. This machine seems to be performing normally.
As both DMR-EZ17 models are set to control code "1" they may be operated with the original DMR-EZ17 remote or the DMR-ES15 remote.
Yesterday I purchased a Philips Digital DVD Learning Remote PMDVD6. I had found several positive reviews on Amazon and then went to our local Fred Meyer (Kroger) where I purchased this remote for $9.74. After setting the 0340 code for a Panasonic DVD Recorder I found that this Phillips remote controls just the most basic functions after the initial code setup. Then, using the original Panasonic DMR-EZ17 remote, I taught the Philips remote the missing commands. I also reassigned various buttons to be closer to the standard Panasonic arrangement. Here is a rundown of added commands or reassignments:
The Philips forward and back "scan" buttons operated the Panasonic "skip" functions. There were no buttons that operated the Panasonic fast forward or rewind (search) buttons so I assigned the two buttons just above the scan buttons to operate the "search" commands. The next three buttons up the left side were assigned to "Direct Navigator, Schedule, and Enter" (as the last named button is already labeled "enter"). The next three buttons up the right side were assigned to "Return, Functions and Status." Just above the Philips numbered buttons there is a row of five buttons labeled "clear, audio, zoom, resume, input/setup." I kept/reassigned these as "cancel, audio, rec mode, AM/PM (actually an extra pause button) and input select." That leaves one more Phillips button that I may program for another Panasonic feature. The Philips remote has an "open/close" button that does exactly that even though Panasonic remotes don't have this feature. The Philips remote and the DMR-EZ17 function well together.