Problems with Panasonic DMR-E85H

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by tamick25, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. tamick25

    tamick25
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    Hi all,

    I've had grief with a Panasonic DMR-E85H DVD Recorder. The machine's only about 18 months old but only 4 months out of warranty I've had problems and wondered if anyone could help.

    I've had it assessed for repairs but the quote is £180 for a replacement DVD-RAM drive and PSU which seems uneconomic.

    Problems started when the machine would reset and go into self-check when dubbing from the hard drive to DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs. It would get to about 99% done and then restart.

    I took it in for repairs with an authorised service centre who said it was likely dust. They cleaned the machine out and said it was working but may need a replacement DVD-RAM drive to be sure, which I didn't go for.

    1 month later the machine was playing up again, restarting into self-check when firing up for a timer recording. Shortly after this the machine locked and has been unresponsive, going into self check and turning off whenever switched on. The service centre advised that it needs a new RAM drive and PSU. However they did tell me they'd the same problem with another customer's DMR-E85H that had to be returned to Panasonic for repairs. I feel that they're not doing the same for me as I'm out of warranty.

    Can anyone advise a remedy or suggest a supplier for parts, and if anyone had anything in the way of a service manual that would be a big help. :lease: £180 is too much to pay for repairs when I could get a newer, higher specced model for slighty more. I figure if I can get the parts I'll have a crack at replacing them myself.

    Nick/tamick25
     
  2. Humph

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    I have a DMR-E100H that seized with a disc inside it and went into perpetual restart-self-check. I left it switched on for days hoping it would clear, but it didn't.
    I rang the agent who told me that, in order to discourage people from sending machines back for repair, they have a blanket charge of £500.
    Fortunately I have a friend who is a BBC engineer. While I watched he dis-assembled the machine, tiny screw by tine screw, and managed to take the disc out.
    When he put everything back together there were a couple of tiny screws over, but it's worked perfectly for several months ever since.
    When this happened I bought a DMR-500 from Richer Sounds (it was a bargain when I bought it and probably still is even though they've put the price up by a hundred quid). In the light of my experience I went against my principles and bought an extended guarantee (to three years) for £100. I reckon Richer's would probably give me a new one if anything awful went wrong rather than send it back to Panasonic.
    But the DMR-500 (huge hard disc) is very irritating with its extended 'Selfg Check' when you switch it on. Takes over a minute, so you're in trouble if you're trying to catch a tv programme in a panic.

    Humph
     
  3. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    The two tiny left over screws are probably from the ends holding in the front section over the clips.

    My Panasonic DMR-E85H had exactly the same problem. Unable eject disc and continuous "self check". So I removed the top casing to gain access to the laser box. The cover of this is held by 4 screws but the forward two are covered by the top of the front casing so it is necessary to remove two small screws and slip over the clips holding in this front section and then pull it slightly forwards. This gives access to the two front screws of the laser box. After all 4 screws are removed it is then easy to remove the top and lift the disc off the spindle. Reassemble in reverse order - not forgetting the two tiny screws for the front section. Takes less than an hour to do this when you know how. I hadn't done anything like this previously but machine has been OK again for last six months or so.
     
  4. tamick25

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    Thanks for your posts guys. I don't think my problem was down to a disc being trapped as I had the same problems with the disc-drive empty while recording to the Hard Drive.

    I've taken a look at the quote from the service centre and it doesn't bode well:

    "As per previous estimate (refused) the unit requires a replacement RAM drive, now also requires replacement power supply regulator, likely to have failed due to RAM drive failing."

    Now I'm no electrical engineer but this sounds like BS to me. They fixed it last time by cleaning it out and said it was in working order, but my feeling is its always been the PSU and it took them sending another customer's machine with the same problem back to Panasonic to realise. I'd like the thing repaired but at £180 I'm having my pants pulled down over the price.

    Shame the DMREH60 is discountinued as otherwise I'd plump for that. Just so damn frustrating as the DMR-E85 was barely out of warranty. First time I've been stung like this so next time I'll go for the extended warranty (against what I used to think was better judgement).

    If I had a clue where to go for replacement parts I'd try replacing the PSU myself but googling for it hasn't helped. Feel sick as a dog for paying £500+ for this machine as an early adopter only to be left high and dry later.

    Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

    Nick
     
  5. Darkstar_surfer

    Darkstar_surfer
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    Before anyone goes out and gets an extended warrenty I think it best to read this article, espically point five.

    Thisismoney

    Sometimes lady luck is looking the other way.
     
  6. C.Ellson

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    I too have exactly the same problem with the DMR-E85H.I took it for repair to the local Panasonic dealer and they charged £54 for repairing. However after 1 hours use the same problems cropped up. I took it back again and they left it on test for two weeks whilst I was on holiday. Their conclusion now is that it needs a new hard drive at £150. I am only 6 months out of warranty and feel the quality of this Panasonic product is not what it should be given the price it cost. I do not feel it warrants paying £150 for repair given that the new technology includes HDMI. Can anyone out there advise or help me to find a cheaper solution. I dont think Panasonic will be interested but I will not be buying any more of their products.:thumbsdow
     
  7. elpeterol

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    I've had EXACTLY the same problem it went back to the local Panasonic repairer & Panasonic paid for the parts - still cost £140 and after taking it back 3 times (!) they finally sent it to Panasonic who repaired it themselves.

    A legal point is that an appliance must be "fit for purpose" as this seems to be a common fault it is worth talking to Panasonic customer care 08705357357
     
  8. maldonian

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  9. Captain

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    I have this problem on the Panasonic DMR-E85H DVD Recorder myself and its getting worse and worse, it started when I put a blank DVD-R into the drive the machine would reset and the front display go blank and then the machine would go into self check mode.

    This would happen about 10 times with the time that the display was blank less and less until the DVD was finally recognised, this was also happening with Panasonic branded DVD RAM disks.

    I could then try and dub to the DVD and this would sometimes start but after a few minutes the machine would reset and self check again. Ive abandoned all DVD writing now. The machine was ok with commercial pressed DVDs but its starting to reset with these now.

    Now its started to reset and go into self check mode when switching the machine on and when its checking the Hard Drive not the DVD drive, same symptoms as the DVD and this is messing up timer recordings.

    In view of previous posts ive read on this problem I think that its a common problem with this machine and its such a pity as the machine is great at what it does when it works properly.

    I bought this machine when it first came out as you did and paid 460 for it, could replace it for a new one from Currys for 280 The machine was eighteen months old when it started this and out of warrenty, I will keep it going until it packs up alltogether and update to a new model, makes you think about the Panasonic brand though doesnt it?
     
  10. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    My problem with the sticking disc was the first disc used out of spindle of Ritek G05 DVD-R. SVP collected these discs and exchanged them for Datawrite Yellow 8x DVD-R. These yellow tops work fine in all three of my Panasonic dvd recorders and also the JVC DRM10S.

    It could just have been one faulty disc but I took no chances and returned the sticking disc with the other 49. No lockups with the Yellows in the last 5 months now and E85 continues working fine. This was my first recorder and its now almost two years old.
     
  11. Tocsin

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    I also have a self check problem with the E85 - doesn't matter about type of disc or even no disc for me - just close the tray and -Wham! self check.

    It does appear to get better for a while if the HD is reformatted, but then back to self check (approx 1 in 4 occasions, occurring in bursts) :(
     
  12. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    tamick25,

    Service manual on CD is available from SEME for about £5.00 (trade price).

    HDD are available from Ebuyer for about £30, Maxtor 80Gb 5400 RPM. But the Samsung drive fitted has a three year warranty so Rexo could probably warranty exchange it.

    However be careful when removing or replacing the drive as the FFC cable (flat white cable with a black covering and earth screw) is very fragile and cost's about £15.00, guess how I found out, although a generic part (without the black covering is available from RS for a lot less, trade.

    However I have replaced all the electrolytic capacitors in the PSU and wired the fan so it runs 24/7 instead of just when the recorder is operational and I am still having self check and DVD drive problems (DVD drive very rarely used so must be a PSU fault). Next step is to start checking the semiconductor devices in the PSU when I have time.
     
  13. Bal2005

    Bal2005
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    Sorry to cut this short but look for a post I done called Panasonic E85 rebooting I think.

    I would suggest you actually write to Panasonic direct and demand they repair it for free as I had exactly the same problem and they were gonna repair it for free, but since I had extended warranty anyway from my credit card, they replaced the drive and also replaced a IC chip I think.

    It seems to me that this is a common fault on these machines now.

    BTW, are these Multi-Region as I wondering if the firmware being modified has resulted in this issue.

    Thanks
     
  14. Captain

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    Yes my Panasonic E85 was Multi-Region from new, would as you say be interesting to know if the machines that fail were modified to Multi-Region.

    Still cant wait for new Panny HD/DVD recorders to arrive in UK :)
     
  15. Bal2005

    Bal2005
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    Me too as I was looking at the Samsung with HDMI but I would like to go for another Panasonic but am a little confused on something.

    I went from a link here to the new batch but I can not see anything saying they play Divx or other formats?

    I really want one with this feature or I may have to go the Samsung route?

    Anyone know where I can get full specs?

    Thanks

    Seems they do play Divx and I think I may have to buy it at little more as I got around £150 of nectar points so will buy Argos or Sainsbury I guess.
     
  16. Bal2005

    Bal2005
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    OK, rather than re-correct my post again.

    It seems Divx is only available on the HD machines???? Why??

    Thanks
     
  17. maldonian

    maldonian
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    If you're referring to the Panasonics, the new UK models don't play DivX.

    Here are the 2006 models for the UK. If you click on each model you can get to the spec.
     
  18. Bal2005

    Bal2005
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    Huh?

    DivX*4 on CD, CD-R / RW, DVD-R

    *4: Official DivX Certified™ product. Plays DivX_5, DivX_4, DivX_3, and DivX_VOD video content (in compliance with DivX Certified™ technical requirements).DivX, DivX Certified, and associated logos are trademarks of DivXNetworks,Inc. and are used under license.
    About DivX : DivX is a popular media technology created by DivX, Inc. DivX media files contain highly compressed video with high visual quality that maintains a relatively small file size.


    On the EX95 85 and 75 as I found before, only Divx is supported on HD machines only.

    Thanks
     
  19. Bal2005

    Bal2005
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    I see what you saying, they have an - next to UK .

    Surely Divx is so common now, it should be supported?

    Thanks
     
  20. maldonian

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    I have no idea why they've excluded it from only the UK models. It does seem very strange. Is there a licensing issue?
     
  21. Bal2005

    Bal2005
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    Can't see why as all major and cheaper brands seem to have Divx?

    If it is the case they deffinetly won't support it, then they have lost a sale as I will go for a Samsung as I only really need a later DVD recorder with DVD-Ram , HDMI, Divx and maybe a built in VCR.

    Will need to look at what is about.

    Thanks
     
  22. maldonian

    maldonian
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    I wouldn't worry about not being able to play DivX on a recorder. Buy a separate player that can play everything you want, or can be hacked to do so, and use it for playing discs as much as possible. Apart from recording, only use the recorder for playing recordings on its HDD, plus any on DVD-RAM if your player won't. This will help to prolong the life of the recorder, and you won't need it to be multiregion so you can put any money you save on this towards the player.
     
  23. Bal2005

    Bal2005
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    Maybe as I have thought about and I already have my Xbox modded to play media files including Divx. Just would make my life simpler having an all in one player recorder, VCR and Divx as well as HDMI and maybe freeview.

    I have an E85 and was only really trying to cut down the amount of hardware.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  24. sleepyone

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    This has started on mine now, re-starts and self-checks during dubbing or finalising disk.

    I can write to hard drive ok, and watch from hard drive ok. Anything to do with disk dubbing makes the fault show it's ugly head :(

    I have had mine 18 months.

    Am i best taking this to a panasonic dealer? :confused:
     
  25. Captain

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    Hi Sleepyone

    Mine started like yours, about the same age aswell, interesting to know the serial number to check if same sort of batch. Mines got so bad now that even when I turn it on it self checks time after time:(

    When it turns itself on when doing a timer record it either fails to record or misses the start of the recording. This happens on HD and DVD now. Not spending anything on it though after reports of what repairmen want to charge, will get a new one now with HDMI, still a Panny fan though - waiting to see what new models are like.

    Is yours covered under extended warrenty? I know my new one will be after this.
     
  26. sleepyone

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    Had it set to start recording Battlestar Galatica tonight, it didn't start, first time it's done that. You jinxed it :D

    I only had the standard 12 month when i bought it, will definitly take out extended next time as well.

    Am also waiting to see the new models now, HDMI will be useful as my Hitachi TV has one that hasn't seen a HDMI cable yet :)
     
  27. Bal2005

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    I always buy things electrical on my Credit Card which has extended warranty but, I was gonna say, even if it didn't I would have issued the supplier with a small claims as if you can prove that a fault was present at time of purchase you can get a repair or replacement.

    Mine developed the fault by chance, but had a fault I posted in another thread where the Ram disc's had problems on my PC with a LG drive.

    Then later the Panny started to reject disc's and the over and over reboots.

    I'm just wondering if you all should get a list of serial numbers and suppliers and send this to Panasonic.

    The only reason I would have done a small claims would have been, that the place I bought it off did not state the modded Panny wouldn't be covered by the normal manufacture warranty.

    Thanks
     
  28. bigsby

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    Oh oh, as an E85 owner who's extended warranty is about to run out I don't like the sound of this. I bet it breaks the week after the warranty expires. :(

    It's a bit crap that my wife's Grandad's top loading VCR still works fine after 20+ years but yet a £500 state of the art HDD DVD recorder can't even make it to two.
     
  29. norfred

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    My machine had a similar problem yesterday. stayed in self check for longer than usual then just hung up not responding to any commands.It would not switch off so I tried disconnecting from the mains several times increasing the off time at each switch off. this did not work. so I left it off overnight. This morning it had recovered to normal. It is disturbing to hear it is a common fault and tends to repeat. Luckily I bought it from Richersounds and I always buy their extended warranty as you can obtain a refund if the warranty is not used.The M/C is about 17 months old. This is the only problem so far. Otherwise it is a very good M/C
    norfred
     
  30. sleepyone

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    I don't know why I didn't take extended warranty out on this machine. I usually take it if i buy from Richers, even my £200 amp has an extra year on it.

    Must have had a bad day and didn't wont to fork out the extra money, good lot of good that's doing me now :(

    Well i tried it again this morning, the timer is definitly not working now, it re-boots/selfchecks every time it tries to record. Manual recording is fine.

    So that's Timer Recording to HDD, Timer recording to DVD-RAM, Dubbing to DVD-R, Dubbing to DVD-RAM, Finalising a DVD-R all not working :suicide:

    Well at least I can still watch a dvd *touches all wood within a 2 mile radius*
     

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