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Panasonic Viera TV USB HDD PVR: Supported drives & PC access to recordings?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by John-W, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. John-W

    John-W Member

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    Current Panasonic Viera TVs support USB HDDs. I've just purchased a TX-L37V20B. However, I'm finding that some types of drive do not work. Panasonic provide no guarantee that all HDDs will work, referring to
    TV | Digital AV | Consumer Products | Support | Panasonic Global for USB HDDs that have been tested. To date, only one type of drive is listed!

    I use external HDD enclosures and docking stations. I tried a USB SATA dock with an integral USB hub – this would not work. The TV reported that the device is not directly connected to the TV. The Operating Instructions inform: 'Please do not connect the device via a USB HUB'. A standard IDE HDD enclosure with 80GB drive would not register. Fair enough: the Operating Instruction say drives must be between 160GB and 2TB. So I substituted a 320GB IDE drive in the enclosure. This registered successfully, but Rewind Live TV didn't seem to work. One touch recording and timer recording did appear to record because the orange timer LED on the TV flashed and also the HDD activity light – but on trying to playback, no recording was listed in the Media Player!

    Can anyone confirm types of external USB HDD that do work?

    Only a USB HDD that has been ‘registered' for use with the same TV may be accessed, ie. only video files recorded by the same TV may be played by Media Player. Using some form of protection/encryption, Panasonic has prevented interchange of USB HDDs between other Viera TVs and also PCs. (See also http://www.avforums.com/forums/lcd-led-lcd-tvs/1303746-panasonic-viera-tv-media-player-usb-hdd-restriction.html ). Even worse, Panasonic declare that if the TV is repaired the registered USB HDD may not work with the repaired TV!

    Has anyone successfully managed to access files via a PC on a USB HDD that has been registered for use by a Viera TV?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  2. Captain Wilko

    Captain Wilko Member

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    I've just connected a 1TB Buffalo Just Store External Hard Drive to my Panny G20. The TV then formats and puts some kind of protection/encryption onto the drive which then allows you to record off the TV's tuners, it works well.
    However, after discovering I cannot record from external sources e.g. SKY, I decided to remove the drive.

    But, I now have a problem, my PC will now not let me reformat the drive with all options 'greyed out', protection/encryption?

    Wish I'd known this before letting the Panny have it's way with my new Hard Drive.
  3. trampas

    trampas Member

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    I have a D25B Viera LCD TV and use a 2.5" USB powered drive Seagate drive for recordings. It works well although I have yet to try 'rewind live'. The disk is repartitioned and formatted to an unusual filing system - in the PC world anyway. I found this on another site - try Google - but no references so far to reading the data on a PC.

    @Captain Wilko you will need to repartition the drive to NTFS or FAT32 and then format.
  4. Demon Esq.

    Demon Esq. Member

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    Hi, I just purchased a TX-PG20B. I hooked my 1TB external Buffalo hard drive to the plasma, went through the register/formatting sequence, and it recognises an empty drive waiting to be used.
    One problem... I don't want or need to record any tv programs (via FreeSat) to the drive. I merely want to be able to transfer photo's, music, AVCHD movie files (taken on my Panasonic Lumix) from my PC onto the hard drive, re-connect to the PG20B and watch/listen. It appears that you cannot do this! When i re-plug the drive back to my PC, it no longer recognises it (in the my computer list). So, obviously, i cannot drag and drop files onto this drive anymore. I called Panasonic, and they were confused as to why my PC does not now see the newly formatted drive. They said they would call me back with a solution.... I am still waiting.

    Strangely... The Buffalo is showing in DISK MANAGEMENT/DEVICE MANAGER, but not MY/COMPUTER. I am using Vista - not that i think that this is a problem. My guess is that the Panasonic PG20B has now formatted the drive to be only reable and writeable by the actual TV set. I hope this is NOT the case, as it would contrary to what the maunal says!

    Anybody, had the same problem? Or, offer any solution, please? Thanks :)
  5. trampas

    trampas Member

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    As above, I have a D25B and so there may be some differences between our TVs. However I assume, like mine, the disk registered for recording has been reformatted (to a format not recognized by Vista) and is dedicated to recording. You cannot put photos etc. on it from your PC.

    You can of course (with my D25B at least) put photos/videos on an SD card or a smallish USB device, plug that in and view. This is entirely separate to the recording disk function.
  6. Ikki

    Ikki Member

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    I am not surprised your Windows PC doesn't recognise the file system on the USB HDD. It is typical MS arrogance that they don't recognise anything else than their own file systems.

    The TV uses a Unix operating system called FreeBSD 5.0 and FreeBSD 5.0 uses the UFS2 file system. So you will never be able to read it on your PC. You would need to install FreeBSD or PC-BSD on a system to access the info on the drives and even then, who knows if it is in a standard format.
  7. lJoublanc

    lJoublanc Member

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    @Ikki: Would you be kind enough to share where you got this info from? There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of information on this on the web :smashin:
  8. Ikki

    Ikki Member

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    Well, mostly through observation and some knowledge of UNIX type operating systems.

    1. If you go into system/settings/software license you will find the BSD license for FreeBSD which has to be available for viewing on any system that uses this OS (part of the license terms).

    2. I checked the external HDD that I have connected to my TV and it shows it as having a partition that is formatted for FreeBSD 5.0 in the UFS format. Windows definitely cannot read this type of partition.

    3. The Wikipedia page for FreeBSD shows that Panasonics 2010 models run FreeBSD.

    You may have come across FreeBSD before as Apple OS X borrows parts of it including the kernel.
  9. KayCS

    KayCS Member

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    I have / had a WD Elements 1Tb HDD working with a Pani D25B with no problems at all.

    However already having 2 HD PVRs I decided to now use this drive with my soon to be added to my system, WDTV Live unit.

    To reformat the drive to FAT32 or NTFS you have to first de-register the drive from the TV using the TV. The drive will still not be recognised by Windows so I had to use GParted via Ubunto. Formatted to FAT32 then formatted to NTFS using Windows.

    A palaver to use the drive for something else but it works well with the Panasonic if it’s your only means of recording HDTV.

    Chris
  10. Ikki

    Ikki Member

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    It may come as a shock but it's only on the desktop that MS holds sway and they don't make it easy if you dabble in anything outside their sphere of influence.

    p.s. Gparted is a great application. :thumbsup:
  11. ariesangel324

    ariesangel324 Member

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    Hi Ikki, have just bought 1TB WD HDD and let Panasonic format it, thinking that I didn't want to record so it didn't matter about playpack on other tv's, now I find out it isn't recognised on PC!!( shouldn't trust a salesperson!) Can I install the Freebsd on pc? I want to watch my movies from usb on Panasonic...not hard I thought! thks:confused:
  12. alsina

    alsina Active Member

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    You can use the USB sockets on the tv to play back movies from a HDD from your computer or to record tv programs from the tv tuners onto a HDD. You cannot use the same HDD to do both though.
  13. Ikki

    Ikki Member

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    It's not really as easy as that. I mounted the USB HDD in Ubuntu Linux and pulled the files off. Each recording is made up of a set of four files. To take the first recording (Gardeners World in HD) as an example:

    0.dat 452 bytes
    0_00.aid 15.3 kb
    0_00.tts 865.5 MB
    0_00.vid 15.3 kb

    the 0_00.tts file is the actual recording and is in a format called timestamp transport stream (tts). It could be in mpeg-2 or H264. Here I have come to a halt for the moment as I have not found anything that can play or transcode this format. It's a start though. :)
  14. ariesangel324

    ariesangel324 Member

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    Hi Alsina, That isn't the case. I had movies on hdd to watch and when I plug into the usb port on tv is wants to format, if I say no it won't read, if I say yes it wipes content...then the pc won't recognise hdd for me to reload movies of pc?! :mad:
  15. alsina

    alsina Active Member

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    Are you saying that simply plugging the cable into the USB socket brings up a 'format' message without pressing any buttons at all on the remote control?
  16. ariesangel324

    ariesangel324 Member

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    Yep, spoke with Panasonic just now and they said it's a Digital copyright thing. "you cannot playback movies on your usb hdd plugged in via usb port" I asked if I could playback connecting with a media player and he said no. Apparently this copyright will be "across the board on all tv's" ????? I'm about to ring store manager ..as I specifically asked the question about being able to play back my hdd. Not happy.....:(
  17. alsina

    alsina Active Member

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    I see that you're in Australia, that may be where the difference lies. Certainly the UK models allow you to play back movies from a USB HDD.
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  18. ariesangel324

    ariesangel324 Member

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    Finally got it sorted. Panasonic will NOT play usb HDD via usb port on tv ( ridiculous ) however I can do it via a media player. Defeats the purpose of my buying a new tv with a usb port but you can only record to the external usb hdd and playback on the tv you register it too. Wont be recommending panasonic anytime soon! (BTW tech guys managed to reformat my 1TB hdd , it took nearly an hour to crack!! ):thumbsdow
  19. Ikki

    Ikki Member

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    They must have gone for lunch as there is nothing unusual about the way it is formatted. Perhaps they only know Windoze. :)
  20. ariesangel324

    ariesangel324 Member

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    :confused: gone to lunch?...I was there with them the whole time, Panasonic erased any trace of WD files, when they plugged in hdd to reformat, the harddrive was not recognised . They downloaded different programs and eventually one worked. Not sure how they did it in the end , just glad they did and jacked off that a major manufacturer won't provide the same connectivity that other companies do and fail to advertise the fact. Then again "buyer be ware" hey? :)
  21. alsina

    alsina Active Member

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    Once again, this is a UK forum and UK sets are not affected in this way.
  22. ariesangel324

    ariesangel324 Member

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    Thks Aslina, just replying to a post.. and I'm sure not everyone on the forum is from UK.
    So for those who are from the UK... this problem relates to a Panasonic in Australia but maybe one day it will affect all Panasonic sets without warning as it did here!
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  23. cristica

    cristica Member

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    HY
    I am from Romania. I have TX-P50G20E and the same problems: cannot play from USB HDD (Platinium 2.5" 750GB)
    In UK it works???
    If I reset my TV and then set the location to UK, do you think it will work?
    Now, my TV is ser to Finland and Helsinki because I use DVBC (if I set Romanian location, the DVBC option do not appear)
    Is there any way to fool the TV in such way, that it see the HDD as a large USB memory stick?
    all the best :)
  24. Cadeyrn

    Cadeyrn Member

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    guys... was having exact same problem with format as mentioned a few times. I have a WD My Book and followed the instructions from the WD website on how to change the partitions through disk management. Back to NTFS in less than 5 min. I assume it would work on other brands the same way. Hope this helps because I know this was doing my head in a bit. hereHow to partition, and format a WD drive on Windows (7, Vista, XP, 2000) and Mac OSX
  25. Pineapples

    Pineapples Member

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    Hi, I've just bought a Panasonic TXL37G20 having been assured by the dealer that it would play files from my iMac either by network link via a dongle or through a portable flash drive via usb. None of the xVid.avi files will play and it looks like this great TV, crippled by copy-write protection software, will have to go back to the shop. If anyone has any suggestions that will be great.
  26. alsina

    alsina Active Member

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    If you are unable to play your files via a USB flash drive, then the files need to be converted to a type that the tv can play (MKV/DivXHD). Copy protection isn't a factor in this instance. Ask the shop where you bought the tv for more specific help on your setup.
  27. Pineapples

    Pineapples Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    The media player for SD card or USB flash memory is limited to AVCHD, MPEG2 and DivX file formats(quoted from the booklet) however it doesn't seem to like most .avi files (eg. XviD.avi which are surely a DivX format). There is also something about only allowing HDD recordings that originate from this specific TV tuner.

    I will get in touch with their tech dept tomorrow but the guy in the shop admitted to knowing a lot more about TV issues than compatibility ones.
  28. Ikki

    Ikki Member

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    File formats are quite specific and though they sound similar, they could be quite different and will not play. Use something like the free converter WinFF (just google it) to convert your files into one of the acceptable formats.
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  29. Pineapples

    Pineapples Member

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    I have tried converting files without success, tedious after an hour and a half's converting time. I think that WinFF is a Windows program so no good on my old Mac.
    I've been told by the guys in the shop and on-line that the WD media player will work so I've ordered one from Amazon. It sounds like a lot less hassle and should play .mkv files in full HD.
    I will post back here when I've tried it as Panasonic owners do seem to have more problems with play back of video files than people with other TVs and these media players look like a good solution. Fingers crossed!
  30. okehtoday

    okehtoday Member

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    I have a panny Tx-p42G20B & a Panny DMP-Bd65 blu-ray player. I have a Seagate 1tb ext drive. The tv formatted the drive & it records perfectly. Cos it wouldn't record sky as well decided to reformat it & use to play divx & AVC HD Files thru the tv. Which it does perfectly if you put the files onto a dvd. Of course the panny formatted drive wont show up in my computer, but if u right click on my computer & go into manage - disc management u can format it there so that u can use on your pc again as an ext drive. But u still cant use it to play anything as the panny wont let you! its a copyright thing! (If u put them on a pendrive it will play them, funny eh!) but at least u can use the ext drive again!
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