Panasonic DMR EX95V - VHS-HDD-DVD recorder. VHS tapes not ejecting, playing and machine turns off after starting

frav

Novice Member
I bought one of these on ebay to digitise old VHS tapes and it had a known tuner problem but this did not matter as I did not need that feature.

However, after a couple of tapes, the VHS player started to play up. It intermittently refused the eject tapes. Sometimes waiting a few hours or overnight, it would start working again. Then, after a few days, the whole machine refused to turn on at all.

I opened it up and replaced quite a few capacitors and the machine is alive again - possibly even fixed the original tuner issue but not check that.

Unfortunately, the VHS tape eject issue has returned. On turning the machine on, it will whir and spin but then will close down saying "Bye" without any error. The whirring sounds like motor spinning and not engaging. Since this seems to be intermittent, I am not sure if it is an electronics and mechanical issue. I have invested (wasted) a lot of time on this machine and am wondering if there is value in persisting in fixing this or buy another machine which carries its own risks. Would be grateful for any advice on the issue.

As a side question, I bought this machine thinking I will put the video from VHS onto the HDD thinking that I will then transfer that directly to my computer. However, I read (afterwards) that this is not easily possible so the option left is to convert to DVD and then put onto the computer which seems time consuming. Is it better to use a standard video converter to use on a standard VHS player straight to your PC? Are there any video quality benefits in using a machine like this for the purpose?
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
In my experience, hardware encoders found in machines such as this do make a better (or at least, more reliable) job of encoding analog video than do USB devices. Maybe it's because they don't alow you to do anything else whilst recording (nor try to do anything for themselves "in the background); they dedicate themselves to the task. Whereas computers can get up to all sorts of stuff when they think fit.

I'd have to guess that you have some worn mechanical components in the tape handling mechanism.

Unless the box you have has a network capability (typically signed DNLA) then, yes, the only way to extract contents from the onboard HDD is to burn to a DVD (I'd use a RW so it can be reused) and then extract contents from the DVD onto a PC.

Here I have used that technique on a very old Sony DVD/HDD for capture, with a separate VHS machine for playback. I also have a (newer, but still old) Panasonic HDD recorder with analog inputs and that one is DNLA compliant; in that case, (for SD content) it is simply a matter of finding it in Windows Explorer and copying contents to the PC drive.

Finding such a machine won't be easy; newer models did away with analog inputs which renders them useless for this purpose. If you can find one (plus a decent VHS player) - Panasonic DMR-BW780 and DMR-BW880 both are DNLA. There are probably others.....
 

frav

Novice Member
Thank you Nigel for your guidance on this. I have little idea on how to fix the VHS issue so would need some explicit instructions from anyone who has fixed such an issue.

Otherwise, I may well have look into the approach you suggested (finding a DNLA recorder and a good VHS player). Not so familiar on the DNLA aspect of this - how will these machines connect to a PC? Are recordings not encrypted/protected rendering them not accessible (or usuable) from a PC?
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
A DNLA HDD recorder will have a network connection to connect to your router. In the case of the old Panasonics (with analog inputs) they are wired (Ethernet) only; they don't have Wi-Fi. I can't speak for others - but to reiterate: if looking, do make sure the box you choose has analog (AV) inputs; more recent ones did away with these, and that would render them useless for this purpose.

A PC connected to the same network (router) can see the HDD contents over the network, and you can simply drag and drop using Explorer.

Standard definition content on your recorder's HDD is not encrypted, so anything dragged and dropped will play on the PC (given a suitable player app - such as VLC) and can be edited using suitable apps.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Unfortunately, the VHS tape eject issue has returned. On turning the machine on, it will whir and spin but then will close down saying "Bye" without any error. The whirring sounds like motor spinning and not engaging. Since this seems to be intermittent, I am not sure if it is an electronics and mechanical issue. I have invested (wasted) a lot of time on this machine and am wondering if there is value in persisting in fixing this or buy another machine which carries its own risks. Would be grateful for any advice on the issue.
I believe this model uses the Panasonic R4 VHS mechanism.

I've no hands on experience of this mechanism, but what you describe sounds like the loading mechanism is attempting to load/ unload the tape and is failing to do so.

I'm surprised there is no error indicated however.

In previous Panasonic mechanisms this was often caused by the nylon worm gear developing a split in its side. It is just a push fit on the loading motor. It would then slip on the motor shaft.

Replacement of that gear is obviously best but it was possible to effect a repair by gluing it onto the shaft.

The loading motor is on the underside of the mechanism on the right hand side and it probably can only be accessed by removal of the complete mechanism.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Best Home Cinema Sources and B&W 805 D4 Speaker Review and more...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom