Panasonic DMR-BS850EB - Freesat issues

Marmite47

Novice Member
Hi All, I am new to AVforums, so apologise if this question as been asked in the past !

I have been given the above Freesat recorder, all works fine except for the satellite tuner! yes thats very important but on the + side the blue ray etc works!

Anyway I have tried to tune the Freesat but it's saying no satellite found, a friend has checked all the connections, dish, wiring etc.. and all is good. I would really like to get the Freesat side working any advice? I have seen offers on EBay to repair (but don't really want to send it away) or even repair kits - I have someone competent to do that.

Thanks for any advice received.

Marmite 47
 

mikej

Well-known Member
How long ago was the dish known to be working and correctly aligned and did you have Sky HD or Sky Q ?
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Hi Mikej,

I haven't had freesat before so needed to make sure the Panasonic was all ok before having my own dish installed. I tried the machine on a neighbours dish (not Sky), and got the 'no satellite found' message. Also tried on another dish same result - hence I think it's the Panasonic tuner which is not working. The Panasonic say's Astra 2(?) satellite. Unfortunately I am not able to ask the person who gave me the Panasonic when it was last all working ok.

Apologies to all if my replies are not instant, I don't have a smart phone so only pick up replies when I am on my pc.

Thanks
 

mikej

Well-known Member
I'm not an expert on satellite TV, but I do know that if a dish is correctly aligned for Sky, then it'll also be suitable for receiving Freesat. The only possible complication to this is if Sky Q has been previously installed, in which case the LNB may need to be swapped.

Were any of the dishes you've tried so far known to work with Sky HD ? That's the easiest way to know for sure if the satellite tuner on your Freesat PVR is faulty. Do an automatic scan - don't search manually unless you know what you're doing.

I have to say that paying for a satellite dish to be installed for a secondhand Panasonic Freesat PVR might not be a smart move. While I'm a big fan of their TV's, I've got experience of their Blu-ray/PVR combo units and found them to be fairly frustrating, clunky and sluggish to use. A 12 year-old PVR will be right at the end of its service life and it'll (presumably) be a long time since the box was supported with updates.

Freesat PVRs have been in decline for a while and one of the better manufacturers (Humax) stopped making them a while ago, leaving just the one official manufacturer left, AFAIK.

Freeview PVRs have also been on the decline, but there are two decent manufacturers still making new models (Humax and Manhattan), plus Panasonic still have some of their older models knocking around.

If you have a working TV aerial for Freeview, then putting the cost of a satellite dish installation towards a Manhattan T3-R or a Humax Aura Freeview PVR would make much more sense, IMO.
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Thanks for your reply. The dishes I have tried are all for Freesat not Sky. I think it's the unit not the dish etc.. hence trying to find a solution. I am not able to go and get anything else at the moment.
 

digidol

Novice Member
Just to add that this model is from around 2009. There is a known issue with this model in that the Freesat tuners fail for some reason. Although it may be possible to fix and replace the tuners, the cost probably wouldn't be economical.
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Thanks for the reply. I was wondering if there is/ has been any repair kit? available? (I have seen little kits on EBay for other tuners) - I have someone who is very competent to do the job
 

mikej

Well-known Member
As this is the Panasonic TV forum, you might be better off posting here...


Do you have a working TV aerial at your home ? If so, then you can buy a brand new Manhattan T2-R Freeview PVR for £120 from John Lewis which will almost certainly be less than the cost of getting a satellite dish installed and repairing an old Freesat box. Delivery to your home would be free if you're unable to get to the shops at the moment.
 
Last edited:

Marmite47

Novice Member
As this is the Panasonic TV forum, you might be better off posting here...


Do you have a working TV aerial at your home ? If so, then can buy a brand new Manhattan T2-R Freeview PVR for £120 from John Lewis which will almost certainly be less than the cost of getting a satellite dish installed and repairing an old Freesat box. Delivery to your home would be free if you're unable to get to the shops at the moment.
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Thanks for the suggestion, however my first goal is to try to get it to work. I can get a dish installed free and the blu ray etc.. works. I see there is another section within AV forums that might be able to suggest something so I might post there!
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Thanks for the suggestion, however my first goal is to try to get it to work. I can get a dish installed free and the blu ray etc.. works. I see there is another section within AV forums that might be able to suggest something so I might post there!

OK - fair enough :) A quick Google search of 'Panasonic DMR-BS850EB tuner failure' gives quite a few results, including many AV Forums users who experienced tuner problems on a similar model as far back as 2011/2012 and some who have experienced tuner issues on your particular model, with a Panasonic-quoted price of over £200 to replace the tuners. There is also a more technical discussion on your model's tuners and Freesat problems here.

As it sounds like you've already discovered, repair services like this are available via eBay. Component repair kits are also often available from places like eBay for common board problems (with products like TVs at least) if you're lucky enough to know someone with the soldering skills and be able to find such a kit for your particular issue. You'd need to correctly diagnose the problem first though. A quick search on eBay doesn't give any results for repair kits for your model, which isn't a good sign as far as a DIY repair goes.
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
OK - fair enough :) A quick Google search of 'Panasonic DMR-BS850EB tuner failure' gives quite a few results, including many AV Forums users who experienced tuner problems on a similar model as far back as 2011/2012 and some who have experienced tuner issues on your particular model, with a Panasonic-quoted price of over £200 to replace the tuners. There is also a more technical discussion on your model's tuners and Freesat problems here.

As it sounds like you've already discovered, repair services like this are available via eBay. Component repair kits are also often available from places like eBay for common board problems (with products like TVs at least) if you're lucky enough to know someone with the soldering skills and be able to find such a kit for your particular issue. You'd need to correctly diagnose the problem first though. A quick search on eBay doesn't give any results for repair kits for your model, which isn't a good sign as far as a DIY repair goes.
Thanks for all your help and links, I'll look through them over the next few days and digest! :)
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
As this is the Panasonic TV forum, you might be better off posting here...


Do you have a working TV aerial at your home ? If so, then you can buy a brand new Manhattan T2-R Freeview PVR for £120 from John Lewis which will almost certainly be less than the cost of getting a satellite dish installed and repairing an old Freesat box. Delivery to your home would be free if you're unable to get to the shops at the moment.
Hi, just thought I would let you know that my brother fixed the tuner issue, he took the top off the unit, found a blown capacitor so replaced that and all is good - cost 40p!
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Hi, just thought I would let you know that my brother fixed the tuner issue, he took the top off the unit, found a blown capacitor so replaced that and all is good - cost 40p!
Wow, that's lucky - what a great result !
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Yes really pleased just got to sort the satellite dish position out, we have some big trees opposite.

Thanks again.
 

segovia

Novice Member
Hi Marmite
I've been having exactly the same problem as you which why I've signed up to this forum today. Mine is the BS750EB but they must be similar.
By swapping the satellite cables behind the TV and the recorder one at a time and after a long conversation with a Panasonic support person, I've reached the conclusion that the problem lies inside the recorder itself. He agreed with me.
Even before registering here, I was tempted to open up the recorder to look what's behind the aerial inputs. But, although I can replace light bulbs in the car, this might be slightly harder!
Any advice, and/or photos (of what a capacitor looks like!) would be much appreciated!
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Hi see this link that I posted to another user, if you cant get on it I have copied and pasted some info.

"
Hi,

I got a pack of 5 from EBay if you search for : 5 X Panasonic Ultra Low ESR 105 Degrees FR Range Radial Electrolytic Capacitors. They were Value : 330uf and 6.3v. This was the EBay item number 351313817882 but you then need to chose the correct value & v as above.

Check the ratings on the capacitor first.

My brothers capacitor was definitely 'blown', it may just have been luck he got it fixed, ie it was just the capacitor rather than anything else. Removing the capacitor and replacing it was not too difficult as long as you have a fine soldering iron and 2 pairs of steady hands!

Oh and use a good magnifying glass to look, don't rely just on eyesight."

Good luck
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Ps, this is a 2nd part of the thread/ link that I sent you. again if you cant read it here is my post:

"Hi, glad I can help, as I said the capacitors were got from EBay so easily available, I think the ones I had were genuine Panasonic. Also you really need 2 people to do the 'work' I held the machine vertically (this stops any solder from falling on the board below) while my brother de-soldered' the part to pull it out then he put in the new capacitor - I think he may have shortened the 'legs' not sure. Oh and a solder sucker helps too! Good luck again."
 

segovia

Novice Member
Thanks. I couldn't see the link but copied the 2 posts. I'm not going to attempt what you and your brother did. My son might know someone with the skills & knowledge required. Or if someone on this forum fancies a challenge (haha!) & lives in the North West!!
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Thats understandable, for us it was 'nothing to loose' as we couldn't get the satellite part to work so the box was almost 'useless'. Ask around, all you need is some one who can solder - as long as you have the same attitude as we did. There is a company on EBay offering a fixing service, but it's £109 and no guarantee that they can fix it.....
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Thanks. I couldn't see the link but copied the 2 posts. I'm not going to attempt what you and your brother did. My son might know someone with the skills & knowledge required. Or if someone on this forum fancies a challenge (haha!) & lives in the North West!!
Hi, thought you might like to see this message I received from someone else who has/ had the same problems as yours! - it's good news... it might give you courage to try..

"Success! I spent some time watching a few YouTube videos showing how to replace capacitors and how to solder. Then the whole operation only took about 10 minutes. I made the replacement on my own, with the board in-situ and the machine on its feet, but disconnected one cable temporarily for better access to the capacitor. All functions are now working perfectly.

Thank you again for your help. Please feel free to link here from the original thread, or copy my messages there, in the hope that it might help somebody else."
 

segovia

Novice Member
Thanks for passing on this post. I've not attempted the job yet; I've got to be in the mood. But I will need to buy a soldering iron & kit which I've seen on ebay. I may, however, phone a local electronic repair shop just to get an idea how much they would charge.
 

Marmite47

Novice Member
Couple of 'tips' if you are buying a soldering iron make sure it is a fine tipped one, too 'chunky' and it makes the job more 'difficult'. Get a solder sucker if you can as well. Try a local electronic shop but they are likely to be 'expensive'. However even before you buy or contact anyone I suggest that you take the lid off the box and with a magnifying glass or jewellers eye piece you look at the capacitors etc.. to see if any are 'blown' ie bulged, you'll have an idea if that might be the problem. Then as the other AV forum member did above watch a few youtube videos and perhaps have a go yourself?? PS there is a company in Norfolk who say then can fix these but it's £110 and no guarantee that it will still work....
 

segovia

Novice Member
Thank you again. I've not replied sooner because we've been away camping for a week. Also, I was giving my brain a rest from this. But I will get back to it when I'm in the right frame of mind. And when I do, I will bear in mind all your advice and tips.
 

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