For the most part I agree with Jeff’s views.
I own nineteen Panasonics from the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 model years.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
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.