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Selecting an external USB hard drive for Panasonic TX-L42D25B TV

johnhwalton

Standard Member
I have a new TV as above. This TV has capability to record programs to an external USB connected hard disk.
Manuals say "see website for list of supported drives". The "list" consists of one drive, a "Buffalo JustStore Desktop HD-EU2-UK" series! This drive seems nothing special, just a standard plug-and-play, with external power supply. It is not an "AV" drive or especially fast drive. But it is rather expensive, probably because it is not very common in UK.

Has anyone tried any other drives for such an application? I am tempted to buy a (e.g.) standard Seagate drive from Amazon.

]ohn
 

chas43

Standard Member
I have the 37" version.

The spec says that the drive must be at least 160 GB. I tried an existing 80GB drive and it did indeed put up a message saying that it was too small. So I'm using a 250 GB Iomega drive that I bought locally. Works just fine.

So, based on that very limited test, it looks like drives other than Buffalo are fine.

I don't have a Freeview PVR yet, so the USB recording is really useful, and the ability to pause TV is great - just like on the Sky + I used to have before moving here.

Chas.
 

Morphic

Established Member
I'm in the same boat - I've just bought at L42D25B and I need a USB HDD for it.

I'm going to play around with a 2.5" external drive later on (once I've finished watching the Footy on BBC HD!). I'll report back how I get on.

If that doesn't work, I'll pop down to Comet on Friday and pick up an external Iomega drive they have there for £60.

Incidentally, you might want to take a look at this thread where the D25 is being discussed:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/lcd-led-lcd-tvs/1216801-panasonic-d25-release-date-9.html

Cheers
 
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YTB

Standard Member
I have this TV and have used a 1TB Western Digital hard drive which works fine. I have also used a 160 GB USB powered freecom hard drive which works ok.
 

Morphic

Established Member
Out of interest, what's the capacity on the 1TB drive once formatted?

My 160GB (which shows up as 149GB in Windows when formatted as FAT32), shows a formatted capacity of 119Gb. Seems a little on the low side....
 

BigBaddad

Established Member
I've just purchased a Panasonic TX-L42D25B and didn't know it had this feature. What a bonus. Can anyone recommend a 1TB HDD that's quick and compatible.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Note that the files created by this method will play on nothing but the TV they recorded from.
 

captainpovey

Standard Member
I've tried 2 disks and neither work

Samsung S2 Portable 500Gb - is recognised but won't register ... no matter what I do.
Toshiba 1TB External - Not recognised and freezes the menu!

If anyone can give model numbers of disks that do work I'd be grateful!
 

Demon Esq.

Standard Member
Hi, I just purchased a TX-PG20B. I hooked my 1TB external Buffalo hard drive to the plasma, went through the register/formatting sequence, and it recognises it as an empty drive waiting to be used.

Problem... I don't want or need to record any tv programs (via FreeSat) to the drive. I merely want to be able to transfer photo's, music, AVCHD movie files (taken on my Panasonic Lumix) from my PC onto the hard drive, re-connect to the PG20B and watch/listen. So far, it appears that you cannot do this! When i re-plug the drive back to my PC, it no longer recognises the device (in the my computer list). Obviously, i now cannot drag and drop files onto this drive anymore. I called Panasonic, and they were confused as to why my PC does not now see the newly formatted drive. They said they would call me back with a solution.... I am still waiting.

Strangely... The Buffalo is showing in DISK MANAGEMENT/DEVICE MANAGER (list), but not MY/COMPUTER. I am using Vista - not that i think that this is a problem. My guess is that the Panasonic PG20B has now formatted the drive to be only reable and writeable by the actual TV set. I hope this is NOT the case, as it would contrary to what the maunal says!

Anybody, had the same problem? Or, offer any solution, please? Thanks :)
 

captainpovey

Standard Member
I ended up buying a Buffalo 1Tb disk (nice and cheaply) and I'm pretty sure that is how it works.

As far as I know, the Hard Disk is only for recording / playback / pausing TV and not for viewing of Pics / Music etc. You have to use an SD card for those.

I studies the manual and I don't think it actually says you can use the HD for photos etc. (at best, it's very ambiguous).

Having said all of that ... I'd love to be proved wrong.



Hi, I just purchased a TX-PG20B. I hooked my 1TB external Buffalo hard drive to the plasma, went through the register/formatting sequence, and it recognises it as an empty drive waiting to be used.

Problem... I don't want or need to record any tv programs (via FreeSat) to the drive. I merely want to be able to transfer photo's, music, AVCHD movie files (taken on my Panasonic Lumix) from my PC onto the hard drive, re-connect to the PG20B and watch/listen. So far, it appears that you cannot do this! When i re-plug the drive back to my PC, it no longer recognises the device (in the my computer list). Obviously, i now cannot drag and drop files onto this drive anymore. I called Panasonic, and they were confused as to why my PC does not now see the newly formatted drive. They said they would call me back with a solution.... I am still waiting.

Strangely... The Buffalo is showing in DISK MANAGEMENT/DEVICE MANAGER (list), but not MY/COMPUTER. I am using Vista - not that i think that this is a problem. My guess is that the Panasonic PG20B has now formatted the drive to be only reable and writeable by the actual TV set. I hope this is NOT the case, as it would contrary to what the maunal says!

Anybody, had the same problem? Or, offer any solution, please? Thanks :)
 

21bm

Standard Member
Thanks for this info - now I don't feel like I have to dif out the manual. Anyone recommend which drive I can pick up at PC World - have a voucher to use!

Also, is there a means of attaching the HDD to the TV - or does it need to get tucked away in a cupboard?

Out of interest, can you take the HDD and plug it into another Panasonic TV, or is it matched to your own TV?

Are there any tips / comments on ease of setting up recording? I have a BT Visio box which I could relocate instead - currently in the play room and used to records kids TV. The HDD seemed like a nifty alternative, providing the set up and operation is good and easy - any feedback would be welcome from those who've already tried it.

Thanks.
 

captainpovey

Standard Member
Hi 21bm

My experiences :

Not sure about which HDD work with the Panasonic. I emailed Panasonic Help Desk about compatible drives and all they will say is that the "Buffalo JustStore Desktop HD-EU2-UK" is the compatible drive. They wouldn't even confirm that the USB Powered Buffalo JustStore Slimline would work or not. Very frustrating.

I'm certain that the HD is 100% tied to your TV. Attaching the drive will require the disk to be initialized (See my previous message about how frustrating this is re: using the drive to store/display photo's and music). Moving the drive to a computer will require it to be reformatted. I assume the same will be true if you move the HD to another TV.

Whilst you are recording a programme you can't watch another channel (or even look at the TV Guide!!) but you can watch a pre-recorded show.
You are limited to 15 recording and/or reminder time slots - yet another frustrating aspect to the Panasonic system.
HD programmes are recorded in HD and the quality still blows me away sometimes!

All in all, it's a worthwhile addition but I couldn't live with the restrictions if it wasn't for the fact that I have a TVOnics Freeview+ box.
 

Procom

Standard Member
Hi, I just purchased a TX-PG20B. I hooked my 1TB external Buffalo hard drive to the plasma, went through the register/formatting sequence, and it recognises it as an empty drive waiting to be used.

Problem... I don't want or need to record any tv programs (via FreeSat) to the drive. I merely want to be able to transfer photo's, music, AVCHD movie files (taken on my Panasonic Lumix) from my PC onto the hard drive, re-connect to the PG20B and watch/listen. So far, it appears that you cannot do this! When i re-plug the drive back to my PC, it no longer recognises the device (in the my computer list). Obviously, i now cannot drag and drop files onto this drive anymore. I called Panasonic, and they were confused as to why my PC does not now see the newly formatted drive. They said they would call me back with a solution.... I am still waiting.

Strangely... The Buffalo is showing in DISK MANAGEMENT/DEVICE MANAGER (list), but not MY/COMPUTER. I am using Vista - not that i think that this is a problem. My guess is that the Panasonic PG20B has now formatted the drive to be only reable and writeable by the actual TV set. I hope this is NOT the case, as it would contrary to what the maunal says!

Anybody, had the same problem? Or, offer any solution, please? Thanks :)

I have exactly the same problem with my TX-P42G20E
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I have exactly the same problem with my TX-P42G20E

The manual states on Page 50 that registering the drive will format it and erase all data.

It also states that if you wish to use it with a PC thereafter, you must reformat it on the PC [ and thus erase all recorded data. ]

This limitation is part of a general protection system.
Recordings can ONLY be played back on the TV that made them.

It is not designed to be a file interchange system between a PC and a TV, and is specifically designed NOT to allow that.
 

ictmanager

Standard Member
I have now tried 3 different USB2 hard drives, and have found that all of them work and record and play live TV. Unfortunately, they do NOT work with High Definition programs....the recording, when played back, stutters. Has anyone else found a way around this?
 

AVanotherGO

Standard Member
I purchased a Western Digital Elements 1TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive, Model WDBAAU0010HBK for around £49, to connect to a TXL37G20B TV. I selected this based on others saying that it worked with the Pani TV fine and mainly because the Panasonic recommended ‘compatible Buffalo Juststore drive was not available locally when I needed the USB recording facility. It registered without issue and formatted in a very short time for the size of the drive. It recorded using quick time record and also timer programming mode via selecting a future broadcast in the EPG. Anyone doing this latter task needs to be aware that once the Timer Programming window appears, you must select the destination of the recording correctly by scrolling the options on the extreme left to ‘USB Drive’ [assuming you did not change the name of you USB Drive from the default name during the registration process]. I made the mistake of not doing this at first as the recorder default is named ‘Ext HDD’ which I initially thought was my USB drive and consequently thought that the drive was not working with Timer Recording. The Ext HDD apparently refers to a scart connected recorder.

The user manual for the TV is quite sketchy on the topic of USB drive recording and made no reference to the step detailed above. I called the Panasonic help line and was pleasantly surprised at how helpful they were in sorting out the issue and stated that their manual was not too good in that area judging from the user questions that they received. What surprised me more was that they also advised that they had now conducted compatibility tests on the WD Elements drive and found it to be fully compatible with no known issues.

Does anyone know if you have any control over the power saving features (drive spin down etc) that would normally be controlled by an attached PC? The WD drive goes to a sleep state on its own accord, but I was wondering if it could be set-up by a user setting in the TV’s set-up. This feature is quite important as most will fit and forget the USB drive and hope that it can preserve its own life and save power.
 

ictmanager

Standard Member
Thanks for your reply....But I bet you a fiver that if you try to record High Def broadcast it won't replay properly! I'd be really grateful if you would try it and let me know! And Yes I do pay up on my bets, though I wouldn't hold YOU to it! :)
 

AVanotherGO

Standard Member
I fear that your research has probably found that high definition will not play back correctly, no-matter which HDD you select to use. I am unfortunately unable to test the WD Elements drive’s ability to be able to play back high definition broadcasts as I purchased the drive for my Father who lives in Colchester where he is unable to receive HD until June/July this year. All I can report is that it is working fine in SD and performs without fault and produces excellent recording without any sign of compression or degradation. I am quite envious as I originally selected a Panasonic G series TV for my own home, but purchased a Sony Bravia late last year and it does not have a USB recording capability. Still, it works very well and the EPG does not get all those annoying adverts that have sprung up recently and the Internet TV is more comprehensive with all video on demand services; so not a bad choice really.
Hopefully, someone will take on your challenge and establish if this is a common failing of the USB HDD interface.
 

Krumtap

Standard Member
To Demon ESQ. (and others)
If you want to watch photos and listen to music without transferring the files to SD-card or USB flash drive you need a media server complying to the DLNA standard. I have a Netgear ReadyNas Duo in my network and my TXP42V20 being wifi-connected to my home network presents the photos on the NAS perfectly with the Vierra Tools/Media Server feature. But it cannot play my home videos, apparantly because only a few formats are supported. I will try to convert them to see if I can make it work. Does anyone have a hint to which format and conversion program to use ?
 

TerryReis

Standard Member
As I have gleaned quite a bit of useful information from this forum helping me to put my new system together, thought it would only be fair to share my experience of attaching an HDD.

Just bought and successfully attached a WD Elements SE 1TB USB 2.0 2.5" Portable Drive.
Recognised and Formatted with no problem and appears to record in HD from FreeSat.
Freeview HD hasn't got to my region yet.

Pleased that this works so there is no need for a seperate power supply, the drive is powered by USB.

When everything finally gets installed properly I intend to velcro it to the back of the set, out of the way.

Cheers,

Terry
 

wizz_r

Standard Member
I just tried a Hitachi 160Gb 2.5" SATA drive which is USB powered in an Akasa enclosure. It seems to work ok.
I have two 3.5in HDD's connected successfully to two of my three Panasonic TV's, but I'm unable to get a 2.5in HDD working with my third TX-L32D28 TV.

Do you have to connect two USB's to the TV to make it work, because the enclosures I have come complete with a twin USB lead, and unfortunately the TX-L32D28 only has one USB connection.

If it's a single USB connection can you give me the model numbers of the enclosure and drive, so I can try and get a 2.5in drive working on my TV.

I need to use a 2.5in drive on this particular TV because it is wall mounted in my kitchen and I would like to try and slip the drive behind the TV in the very restricted space I have between the TV and the wall mount.

I would also appreciate hearing from anyone who has details of a 2.5in HDD installation that is working successfully too :)
 

D3v

Novice Member
I would also appreciate hearing from anyone who has details of a 2.5in HDD installation that is working successfully too :)

I got the TX-L32D28 just a few days ago and bought a Buffalo 500GB MiniStation Portable Hard Drive from ebuyer.com, it was at £38 but it's £41.99 now (here). Just tested it out and it works awesome, registered/formated fine, live pause/rewind/recording/timer working great (with HD channels too). :smashin:
 

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