Your opinion of Panasonic DVD Recorders

vbimport

#1

What is you opinion of Panasonic DVD recoders? What features do you like or dislike and what features do you wish they would add? Please tell us what models you are using.


#2

Older pre '07 (non EZ) models I’d rate excellent for PQ, features and reliability. ‘07 EZ-x7 models I’d rate excellent for PQ but their flakey as all get out. I had a total of 6 EZ-17/27s die within a 6 month period. I finally ended up getting all my money back and wouldn’t touch one with a 10’ pole.
The '08 EZ-x8 models are “less” flakey but I still had numerous lockups and crashes in the 3 months I had one before finally returning it. If I didn’t already have many great ES machines I may have kept it.

Currently I have:
(3) ES-15s ('06 model)
(4) ES-30s ('05 model combo)
(1) ES-25 ('06 model)
(1) EH-55 ('07 Canadian HDD model)

My favorite features would be: Excellent PQ, up to 4hrs/disc if not a lot of motion and FR mode, which allows user to enter exactly how much time will fill on the disc(from 1-8hrs). I love my Pannys:bigsmile: and basically they’re all hooked up to OTA CECBs, mostly the CM-7000 for best PQ via S-video.
The EH-55 automatically changes the channels using TVGOS and a IR blaster.


#3

For the most part I agree with Jeff’s views.

I own nineteen Panasonics from the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 model years.

2005 models:

(2) DMR-ES30V One has more than 4,300 recording hours; the other almost 3,000 recording hours. Both are fully functional but have been set aside for standby service. Our daughter (living downstairs) also has two DMR-ES30V models in daily use.

(1) DMR-ES40V This model is seldom used due to its bugs and design flaws. It has less than 400 recording hours since new. This ES40 is the VHS/DVD [I]player[/I] on the family TV.

2006 models:

(5) DMR-ES35V Three of these have more than 3,000 recording hours per machine, all are still fully functional but they have been set aside for standby service. Of the other two one is new in the box; the other has around 800 recording hours. That ES35 is scheduled to be rotated into standby service and the “new” ES35 will be swapped into its place within the next few days.

(3) DMR-ES15 One has more than 3,000 recording hours; the other two have have somewhat more than 1,000 recording hours per machine. All three are functional but have been set aside for standby service, two in the last week.

2007 models:

(4) DMR-EZ17 All four have fewer than 1,000 recording hours but have been little used due to bugs and design flaws inherent in this model. Only two have seen limited service in the last year. Three are now set up in regular daily use on a “trial” basis. The fourth EZ17 is set up but is seldom used as it regularly “loses” all the cable-ready digital channels. The analog channels continue to be received. This EZ17 seems more retentive with digital channels when set up OTA. Running channel scans may or may not restore the digital channels, so this EZ17 has been designated for “line-in” recording use.

2008 model:

(1) DMR-EZ28 has been in daily use for about one month. So far this is a much more reliable product than my 2007 model year Panasonics.

Parts Machines:

(2) DMR-ES35V
(1) DMR-ES15

Certain EZ series workarounds are utilized to give EZ series machines a chance to perform like some of the outstanding ES series Panasonics:

1-No daily or weekly recordings are scheduled (only actual dates are used).

2-Scheduled dummy recordings that bridge midnight (11:59 p.m. to 12:01 a.m.) are utilized ahead of scheduled early a.m. recordings.

The DMR-EZ17 models are prone to exhibit the occasional scheduled recording pause/record/freeze bug/design flaw. My workaround:

[B]Whenever important material is scheduled for recording on an EZ series Panasonic, a Philips DVDR3575H/37B Hard Drive DVD recorder is scheduled to make hard drive back up recordings in the event the Panasonic EZ series machines fail to record.[/B] Currently, I own only one Philips Hard Drive/DVD recorder.


#4

For about one month now, I have owned the DMR-EZ28 and it is working fine so far. I have never owned any home DVD recorder (only computer DVD/CD recorders) until now. It did freeze a few times but resetting the unit cleared the problem and for the past 2 weeks or so, no further freezes. It IS a bit new to judge its reliability so I’ll probably post a follow-up in about 6 months time or so…

So far, to be honest, I love the unit. It is so much easier to manage recordings and better quality than my old VHS VCR, the difference is very pleasing!

John
Montreal, Canada


#5

I’m from Australia & I have a DMR -XW300 the twin recorder, sadly it doesn’t ply DivX & I’m now having trouble with it recording SBS. Panasonic tells me that although it recorded this station for 6 months it couldn’t possible be the machine that’s not working but rather it’s the signal relayed from that station. This regardless of the fact that the signal to the TV is excellent & that my LG DVD recorder has no problems with the signal! Now what sort of support is that & is it just me or does anyone else think that they’re talking “poppy cock”.


#6

I bought at WalMart,in store “Clearance”,A DMREZ37V(now with "K"on end of model number(designates:Black)! I opened the box in May 08,and It didn’t work from the “START”!Sent to Factory service& they put “New” sofware upgrade since it is a 2007 model.WalMart had Magnavox Only ,so I couldn’t get a replacement!Worked for few months then I called Customer Support.“They” daid it must be my blanks! Where I stored them.How I stored them ,etc.NOT!Sent back to factory service and NEW DVD Drive installed! Had more recording “Errors” ,called Panasonic,24 hours,before warranty expired! Waited for Return Authorization ,but “played” with it,doing multiple resets,unplugging,“Tweasks” they recommended before ,AND just yesterday ,A New Phenomena! Had blank display screen for first time! Tried numerous ,previous resets,etc.Called Panasonic.Tried Download of “New” firmware(1)although there’s 3!Couldn’t seem to download&"burn 2nd&3rd Firm Disks! Called Panasonic AGAIN! TThey will send out the 3 firmware discs,out of warranty and FREE! So that part I like! But,since I live to “Burn” and “Burn” to live!,I couldn’t be without this “LEMON”!Got it after retrying the ONE firmware disc again(3Rd attempt)I have been recording since ,non-stop.When I shut the box off the clock didn’t show! So ,Ill still play with it till I get those Discs&Can’t afford to buy a new one and of ALL the ads in Sundays paper:“Wheres DVD Recorders”?


#7

PS I’m not new at this! I’m on my FOURTH DVD standalone recorder! First a Cyberhome(fewr problems,cheap ,but finally “Bit It”! Got refund from Circuit City because Cyberhome got raided by FBI for unpaid license agreement with Philips!So,even if out of warranty,it couldn’t be repaired or just pain old GOOD service! I got TWO Funai:SV2000s ,and they had little or NO problems.One for $80&$70 for the second one(WalMart online)!They “Fried” after Lightning had caused a power outage,and AR10S Surge protector ,protected EVERYTHING,but the two SV2000s!Funai says “Act Of God” and Acoustic Research said it protected my TV,GoVideo VCR/DVDr,Sony SDG500 receiver,So I sent to Engineers at AR ,said it was OK(Surge Suppressor!)But they did send me a “Higher End” model ,and Never mentioned: “Why” my DVDs "Fried"Personally,I don’t think “There Is” A DVD recorder that is “Bullet Proof”!My brother still has his SV2000 ,got about same time,but doesn’t record EVERYDAY!Any Company want me to be their Test Tech.?


#8

I suggest avoiding EZ series combo recorders (DMR-EZ37V, DMR-EZ47V, DMR-EZ475V, DMR-EZ48V, DMR-EZ485V) due to the serious design flaws and bugs. In the last two years thousands of these EZ series combo recorders have shown up on eBay or Craig’s List after being abandoned by their original owners. Last summer the opening bid for customer returned DMR-EZ48V and DMR-EZ485V models (in “good working order”) was $20.98 (including shipping) through one of the DealTree identities.

I still have one 2008 DMR-EZ28V and three 2007 DMR-EZ17 models in daily use. Using the EZ series workarounds these usually meet my minimum performance expectations. The 2007 models continue to have random freeze-ups and other operational/functional problems. The DMR-EZ28V is not so problematic.

One of my four DMR-EZ17 models has been removed from service and replaced with a Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD recorder. In the near future I expect to remove all the 2007 models from service. These will also be replaced by the more flexible and reliable Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders. (I currently own six Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders, one 3575, one 3576, one 2080 and three 2160 models.)

I own several ES series Panasonics, six that have accumulated more than 3,000 recording hours per machine. In particular my favorite ES series Panasonics are the two DMR-ES30V (2005 models), the six DMR-ES35V and the two DMR-ES15 (all 2006 models). One ES35 is in regular use and the rest are reserved for standby service. My daughter still has her two DMR-ES30V models in daily use. In the last week I cleaned the lens, rubber hub and spindle on her first ES30 model as reported here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=16929570#post16929570

By swapping around some good parts I was recently able to elevate one of my DMR-ES35V “parts machines” to fully functional status as reported in this and the following posts:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=16484860#post16484860


#9

For the people in the US/Canada don’t forget about the [I]international[/I] DVDR’s. If you can do without the tuner they’re excellent machines more like the older DVDRs than the newer buggy ones.
They are more expensive, with HDD models starting ~$350 US but as the saying goes, [I]you get what you pay for[/I].
The EH-57, EH-67 and EH-68 has quite positive reviews on AVS. Here’s a link to a thread which has links to threads about the various Panasonic international DVDRs.
The [I]international[/I] DVDRs work just fine in the US(again with the exception of no US tuner) and they have the advantage of being able to play PAL and any region DVDs along with our NTSC format DVDs.


#10

My Panasonic DMR-EZ47v is awful. I have had it only two years and have had to take it apart so many times to remove stuck discs, clean the lens, etc. and now it’s finally kaput (it won’t read any discs, and
thinks there is a disc in the tray when there is none…I opened it up yet again and cleaned it but it still flashes “no/read”).

I need to get a recorder ASAP that I can use to record AND play my dvds. I still have a few vhs tapes, so I also need a combo unit. I feel reluctant to get another Panasonic, but for those of you that have success with them, it still seems to be the most consistent brand. There are not a lot of choices.

Just stay away from this model, is my opinion.


#11

I agree, the '07 x7 series of Panasonic recorders were the worst, I can’t really say a good thing about them other than [B]when[/B] they [I]did[/I] work, they made some good recordings.
Do you need the digital tuner? if not I’d probably suggest your try and find a tunerless EA-38v. It’s compatible with your EZ-47v’s unfinalized DVDs(as would be any Panasonic DVDR) and is probably the least quirky current combo. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted by the more common EZ-48v, while better than the EZ-47v it’s still got plenty of problems.
Older analog tunered Panasonic Combos like the ES-30v('05), ES-35v('06) and ES-45/6v('06) were great machines it’s just the newer ones that have many quirks/problems.
Most people on the forums really suggest you stay away from current combos from any brand, NONE are much good. A better option is to get something like a Panasonic EZ-28(no VHS) or a Magnavox 2160(no VHS but has a HDD) and hook a VCR up to it’s line input.
You could even use your EZ-47v’s VHS part for the player and just ignore the DVD side.
Good luck on your quest and like I said Panasonic is noted for their fine picture quality but the newer models(like most every other DVDR) suffer from quirks/design flaws and quality control:(
If you have many unfinalized discs or just don’t like to learn the operation of a different machine I’d say get the EA-38v or EZ-28(and add a external tuner). If you wanted the handiest probably most reliable current DVD recording experience I’d get the Magnavox 2160 and record to the HDD. Then to make DVDs you just high speed copy from HDD to DVD. Unfinalized DVDs will not swap between a Panasonic and Magnavox. The Maggy records to all formats other than DL or RAM discs but works best with the + format, unlike your Panasonic which is more native to the - format discs.


#12

MissGoddess,

I’m assuming that you’ve also cleaned the rubber hub and spindle whenever you’ve cleaned the laser lens. A dirty rubber hub and spindle may cause read, write or finalizing errors and “grinding” or “scrubbing” noises from the DVD Drive. That cleaning advice and information is found in this thread:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/fixing-your-panny-when-theres-fault-lens-cleaning-doesnt-help-210507/

If your DMR-EZ47 is making “clunking” “chugging” or “errrp” noises the most likely problem is a dirty or failed laser assembly. Since you’ve already cleaned the lens the problem is most likely a failed laser assembly. Panasonic still offers the $130 flat-rate repair through the corporate Service Centers in Elk Grove Village and Elgin Illinois. See this post for current information:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=14451738#post14451738

While four of my Panasonic EZ series DVD recorders (DMR-EZ28 and DMR-EZ17 models) are still in daily service, my Magnavox and Philips HDD/DVD recorders (Magnavox 2080 and 2160, Philips 3575 and 3576) are utilized for essential recordings. Just recently one of my EZ series recorders (a 2007 DMR-EZ17) had a laser assembly failure and required a DVD Drive swap from another EZ17 that was earlier removed from service due to an unsatisfactory tuner.

I agree with Jeff that the current DMR-EZ28 is a better choice if a tuner is required. I own one DMR-EZ28, the best of my EZ series Panasonics. Since you probably do not receive TCM in the clear but through a cable box, a tunerless model, say the DMR-EA18, might serve you just as well. If you found the built-in VHS section in your DMR-EZ47 satisfactory for copying videotaped material to DVD you might want to consider the tunerless DMR-EA38 combo recorder as a replacement or connect your EZ47 to another DVD recorder’s input and record from the input. The problem is finding a tunerless Panasonic anywhere at a reasonable price.

I no longer purchase EZ series Panasonics, finding the Philips and Magnavox hard drive models to be more flexible and reliable. My three Magnavox 2160 models are the original versions manufactured in May, August and December 2008. These are the most sought-after versions. The Magnavox 2160 “A” versions manufactured in May and June 2009 are the current versions that may be purchased at walmart.com, under $240, plus a nominal shipping charge. See the first post in the linked thread as the gateway to a wealth of information concerning the Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders, as well as discussion of some problems and workarounds for use with the Magnavox 2160 “A” versions:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940657

Earlier today I responded to another poster with questions about purchasing a Magnavox combo recorder or a 2160 HDD/DVD recorder:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=17214499#post17214499

I’m only an occasional poster at TCM and SSO these days. I’m a frequent poster in the AVS Forum Panasonic and Philips/Magnavox threads; and only an occasional poster here at CD Freaks.

Best Wishes,

DigaDo/TalkieTime


#13

I like the Panasonics very much. What I appreciate most is the ability to actually delete stuff (i.e. commercials). The Phillips I got when my Panny went south only seems to let you “hide” the commericals, which does not reclaim the disc space.