Panasonic DMR-XS380 apparent firmware instability or is it the LNB?


Standard Member
Hello All

I'd be grateful for any advice please as I'd like to try and get to the bottom of this before the gurantees run on on my box and install.

In return I am happy to help with any PC problems you have, have been in software technical support for the past 9 years and hold the MCDST certification.

I am happy to try anything provided it will not void the warranty or involve going up a ladder.

A bit of background
With the digital switchover loooming I decided to go with Freesat as people I worked with had mixed fortunes with freeview and some had to spend a packet on amplifiers to get it to work.

I wanted a solution that would provide three dual feeds to three rooms thus supporting PVRs.

I knew there was such a thing as an octo-LNB which sounded like it fitted the bill and would leave room for expansion.

I rang a couple of local firms with a view to booking an appointment for a survey and quotation, neither wanted to come out and just asked for the post code and address to allow them to look on Google Earth, they advised me where the dish would need to be pointing and said it looked straightforward, I advised that I knew octo-LNBs existed and asked whether they used them.

Both said they didn't as they were too heavy for the arm and what they would recommend using would be a multiswitch.

One quoted £650 to do the job asd the other £700, adding that their engineers 'were very good', I should hope so for that price!

I had my doubts so I rang Freesat customer services, they said they could only book simple installations but gave me the direct number of the installer they use in Harrogate.

I telephoned the company and explained what I had been told and that I had my doubts and could they quote me.

The chap I spoke to explained they would use two dishes, one with a quad LNB and the other the normal twin LNB and the price would be £375, I said I would go ahead as the price was far more reasonsble.

The date was booked but then slipped due to the appalling weather which was fair enough.

13 January arrived and the guy turned up, drilled the holes for the coax, mounted the dishes and installed the lounge box (a Humax Foxsat HDR which has had to be changed but thats a story for another thread)

At the time I bought it the Panasonic was the only machine with a DVD burner in it (or indeed any kind of DVD drive in it) on the market.

I ordred the machine from a Panasonic dealer in London via the Internet, the machine arrived at the end of January, plugged it into the waiting coax in my room, tuned it in, no problem so I thought.

The guy had mounted one of the dishes on the side of the extension (feeding my room) and one of the upper part of the house, I did think it was supposed to be as high as possible but I thought that he must know what he was doing.

When leaves started to grow on the trees at the back of the house and were moved by the breeze I would get blockiness as if watching a DVD with dirt on the surface where the error correction couldn't compensate, lounge TV seemed to be fine, in bad weather all signal on the slightly weaker channels such as Horror would go, other one seemed ok,

Rang the company and explained what was happening, he took one look at the install and said 'there's only one thing I can say, this is the most lazy and sloppy install I've seen.'

He moved the dish from the side of the extension and colocated it next to the other one and then put some kind of join in place to extend the coax.

He also said the coax was too taut and he'd not let it form a drain loop so that the rainwater drips off.

That night after he'd gone we had severe rain again and the problem reappeared.

I looked on the Internet for updated Panasonic firmware and found some (version 1.41) although it didn't address the specific issues.

I downloaded it onto my PC and burnt it to a CDR to and flashed the machine.

Next few months seemed to be ok, though I did notice that ITV would drop out late at night, until one Saturday evening I started the machine that was partly booted up (power save on timer) as I noted the rec1 indicator was flashing even though I knew the start time for something I was recording on BBC 1 had passed.

turned on the TV and got no signal indication from the unit.

Stopped the recording, activated the powersave and closed it down and let it finish its cooling process.

Started it again, no signal.

Ran the freesat tuning and it would not even lock onto the satellite.

Reset to factory condition and it started working again.

Couple of nights ago it refused to record when I hit record, this seemed to sort itself out after a complete shutdown.

Tonight again though I was reording a film on channel 5 and flicking around and we had a bit of rain, I noticed the rec light was flashing, when I switched to channel 5 it went steady but when I went off it would flash.

Wondered if it was related to the polarisation, so cancelled the recording, checked the channels and the problem was occurring even on those that use horizontal polarisation as C5 does.
Now it is refusing to actually record either on timer or OTR recording after pressing record.

Signal quality is 8 out of 10 and strength is 10 out of 10.

There is no updated firmware for the UK machine, any ideas anyone, I suspect a factory reset will cure it but its a bit naff to pay over £400 for a machine and have to keep doing factory resets because the software screws up or is it something to so with the LNB?

Apologies for the long post, thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any assistance.


Standard Member
Thanks for the helpful replies.

This was sent to Panasonic's local authorised repair agent and the tuner component was replaced.

So far, so good.


Unfortunately this was in the wrong forum section.

I will move to the correct section.

There have been a few cases of problematic sat tuners.
It remains to be seen where the actual problem lies.

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