Question Replacing Panasonic DMR-EX83EB & 86EB Units

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by AJW1100, Jun 18, 2015.

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  1. AJW1100

    AJW1100
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    Hi.

    We have 2 Panasonic DMR-EX83EB recorders’ we have these as we have a lot of DVD-RAM discs and find we can easily swop discs between players and we can copy from HDD to DVD. These units started to play up with “There may be a problem with the disc……” and of course U81 and U80 errors. Not enough to stop working but plenty enough to be extremely annoying.

    I decided to buy the new version; DMR-86EB from a nearby dealer, within 2 hours there were as many “Disc, U81 and U81” errors as on my old machines! The dealer agreed to exchange the unit with another, guess what? Correct! The same again!!

    It seems that DVD RECORDERS are going out of favour, probably due to copying. I need this copy from HDD facility so I can record programmes for later viewing by a disabled person who would never be able to set up a recording or understand the instructions.

    On eBay I found Panasonic-Outlet selling ‘refurbished -86EB units’ at £129.00, these being stringently checked and repaired if needed and comes with a manufactures 12 month warranty. Maybe if they have been checked and repaired if necessary then the problem will have been sorted? Err, nope, same problems. I emailed Panosonic who admitted these were common problems and offered a full refund.

    So that made 5 units with the same problems that Panasonic seem unable to correct. Their email also stated these faults could appear at any time; even during transit!!!

    So, now to my questions.
    Are DVD-RAM discs only playable in Pansonic machines or can they be played in other machines, if so whose?
    If I replaced both our units with (non-Panasonic) new machines and wish to record to HDD and DVD and have the facility to copy from HDD to DVD and play on the second machine without having to finalise, what make and maybe model of recorder would be suitable?
    If it means 2 new machines and a whole bunch of DVD-RW's then so be it.... but whose.....?

    The unreliability of Panasonic has put me off buying anything from them in the future.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    It is difficult to advise here.

    Firstly, despite the misfortune of your experiences, the Panasonic machines have been shown by independent research to be the most reliable on the market.
    However I entirely understand why you will be wary.

    But your options are very limited here. RAM Discs are really Panasonic's baby and I don't think there has ever been full support for them in other machines.
    Sony machines and some others had partial support, but it was always only Playback only as far as I'm aware. Plus Sony machines are no longer available.

    I am concerned about possible causes for your U80 / 81 error codes.
    These codes are actually just microprocessor fault codes and as such they are only indicating data corruption which can arise for a myriad of reasons.
    They are not actually indicative of any specific fault.

    In older machines these are usually caused by aging electrolytic capacitors both in the power supply section and throughout the machine but you seem to be suggesting that age of the machine is irrelevant here.

    As you have several machines, do you have any of them stacked one on top of the other? This causes rapid pre-aging of capacitors due to the reduced heat dissipation.
    If you have such an arrangement, use spacers between the machines.

    Another possible problem is the discs themselves.
    How do the machines behave when you just record to hard disc and have no DVD in the drive?

    RAM discs and any type of RW disc typically tend to be more problematic because they are handled much more than burn-once type discs. They suffer from more surface damage / fingerprints and general dirt as a result.

    Given that all your machines, seemingly irrespective of age, appear to suffer from U80/81 faults I would be looking for local reasons to explain it.
    It could be heat build up... RF interference getting into the machine, either directly, via the mains or via a sometimes dodgy aerial signal.
    The discs themselves might be carrying data contamination.
     
  3. AJW1100

    AJW1100
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    Thank you for your reply, indeed this does seem odd to have so many problems with a total of 5 units!
    Okay, to clear up a couple of possibilities there is one unit in our living room, positioned on a fitted unit with about 18" of clear space above, 5" to rear and a couple of inches on each side, another is in an open fronted TV cabinet with around 2" of clear space to side and above, and above this on a separate shelf sits the new unit with around 5" clear above and 2" to sides and rear.
    As said the faults appeared on both new units within hours of set-up.
    I have used virgin DVD-RAM discs with the same problems appearing "There may be a problem with the disc......" screen message. Sometimes taking the disc out and replacing it seems to stop or at least means less messages! I do take care with the discs, keeping them in their cases when not in use and only holding by the edges. DVD+RW discs also return the same error messages.
    About 2 years ago we had an aerial booster fitted and all new (Where possible) cables fitted by a specialist fitter.
    I have spent hours on line trying to find a recorder that does HDD and DVD they seem as rare as hens teeth these days so playing swops would be extremely difficult. I cannot afford 2 of the new DMR-BWT740 at £400 each so it would seem I am stuck with what I have.

    Just had a thought, my brother has an old Panasonic VHS/DVD/HDD connected to the aerial system and that does not have any of the problems I am having, but maybe its age means it is less affected by interference using older parts!
    I assume I would need to have the aerial fitter return and check the signals to eliminate that as a cause.
    If you have any bright ideas I like to hear them....:)

    Regards
    Alan.
     

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