Setting channels with Panasonic DMR-EX85

L

lumos

Guest
Hi there,

I just bought a Panasonic DMR-EX85 250GB DVD HDD recorder. I bought it in the UK, but I'm living in Ireland.

Unfortunately, I cannot record anything, because the machine doesn't seem to find the tv channels. I connected the tv cable to the recorder, and then the recorder with the tv set. The tv continues to receive all the channels - so the recorder should have access to the channels as well. I can also watch DVDs - so it seems that there's no problem with the connections.

I only found one setting with regards to tuning - it allows manual and automatic setting. I tried both, but it only finds 2 channels - E4 and Discovery. I couldn't find anything about this problem in the manual.

Can anybody here give me advice on how to solve this problem?

Thanks a lot!
 
L

lumos

Guest
Thanks, but I'm not using a scart cable.

I connected everything as described in the manual;

the coaxial lead runs from the box to the recorder into the "in" plug. Another coaxial lead runs from the "out" plug of the recorder to the "in" plug of the tv set. The tv still gets all the channels, that's why I said that the recorder should have access to all the programs.

Additionally to the coaxial lead, I connected the audio/video cables (white, yellow, red) to the tv. Only after doing that, I got the recorder's picture to the tv set.

I didn't get any other cables (apart from the power cord) with the recorder - so I guess that it should work with these.

I also did a check by removing the coaxial cable - in this case, the recorder doesn't receive any channel. With the cable, however, it only receives 2 channels.

What I noticed when manually trying to find the channels is, that the recorder only searches about 70 "channels". There's no possibility to fine tune (e.g. Discovery is a very bad, snowy picture).

So what else can I do?

Thanks!
 

ROYOLD

Well-known Member
The red, white, yellow RCA connections you have from the EX85 to the TV is a composite connection and is the worst quality you can have.

You really need a fully wired scart plug from AV1 on the recorder to the AV1 scart on the TV.

When the aerial is connected (and you appear to have it correctly fitted), you need to go into FUNCTIONS - SETUP - and select the auto search for channels.

I don't have the EX85 but I have the EH60D, ES20D and the EZ45V and the way auto tune works is firstly to search for the digital freeview channels and then it says to wait whilst it searches for the analogue channels. The EX85 should work the same way.

The BBC channels should be the strongest which puzzles me as to why you are picking up E4 and Discovery. The latter is NOT a free to view channel on Freeview!

If the TV is picking up all the channels
then so should the recorder, and these should show on the AV1 connection on the TV or with the composite connection you have taken from either A3 or A4 on the recorder.

It is possible that the tuner on the recorder is faulty but you need to try the auto tuning procedure first.

I am surprised that your EX85 did not come with a scart lead. All mine had at least one lead in the box.

Try and connect up as per the diagrams on this website.

http://***********/ysq2sn

As you have been messing around with both Auto and Manual tuning it may be best to go back to the start and do a factory initialise. This should also be listed in the SETUP menu.
 
L

lumos

Guest
OK, that's good to know. I'll see that I buy a SCART lead then. I was surprised as well, that there was none in the box - but I think it even said on the box that there wouldn't be any.

And yes - the auto tuning was the first thing I tried. It only found the E4 and Discovery channel. Only then did I try to manually tune it.

I think we don't have free view, but NTL (basic package).

Maybe the tuner is faulty; I guess I'm going to have to call up Panasonic then. I was hoping that I might have simply overlooked a setting. And I couldn't find anything about it in the manual.

Thanks a lot for your help.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
There is nothing wrong with the tuner.

The NTL box that you have feeing this is not an aerial.
... it is a cable box.

You either need an aerial ... or the only way you will get the NTL feed into the EX85 is via AV2 fed by a scart.

Without an aerial feed you will have no channel discrimination on the EX85 ... You would only be able to select AV2 as the input and make the channel selection with the NTL box.
 
L

lumos

Guest
Could you please explain that to a layman?

Why can the tv decode the NTL signal, but the dvd recorder cannot?

If I need a SCART cable, why isn't one included? I just checked again, but the only cables that were included (also according to the manual) were the RF coaxial lead and the audio/video cable.

Another question: if I need the SCART cable to get the channels to the recorder, will it be possible to record one channel, while watching another one?

(I hope these questions are not too stupid; I don't have much knowledge...)

Thanks!
 

aekostas

Active Member
Not sure what you mean about the "decode" question.

You don't need a Scart cable for the expected, basic use of the recorder, which is to take an aerial feed and display picture to a TV. However, assuming that your TV has an RGB Scart available, you will get significantly better picture off the recorder if you use a Scart connection.

If your only input to the TV and the recorder is the cable box, then you won't be able to record one and record another. But you will be able to do a timer recording and watch something off the HDD or DVD drive.

I stromgly recommend a good read through the manual.
 
L

lumos

Guest
OK, I'll try to explain.

Up to now, I used to have a VHS recorder. What I did was, I connected the NTL cable to the video recorder ("in"). Then I connected another coaxial lead to the "out" of the video recorder and to the "in" of the tv.

[NTL]---(in[VHS recorder]out)---(in[TV]

The next thing I did was, I set the channels for the video recorder. I had to manually find them.

When finished, I had two choices of watching any channel - I either used the tv channels (1, 2, 3, ...), or put the tv on "AV" and then used the video recorder's channels (1, 2, 3, ...). So both the tv and the video recorder had their own set of channels. I could record one channel, while watching another one.

The situation is the same now. Only I have a dvd hdd recorder. So I connected the NTL cable (coming out of the box from the wall) to the recorder ("in") and then another coaxial lead from "out" of the recorder to "in" of the tv.

[NTL]---(in[DVD HDD recorder]out)---(in[TV]

The tv continues to get the channels (18 all in all) - and the recorder actually receives 2 channels just as well. Only why does the recorder only find 2 of 18 channels? I don't understand this.

I know that if you have satellite, you have the cable, which goes to a box (the decoder?), and you connect the cable from the box to the tv or recorder. But you will have to switch channels on the box/decoder, which is why you can only record/watch one channel.

[satellite]---[decoder/box]---(in[DVD HDD recorder]out)---(in[TV]

What am I missing?

Thanks a lot for your patience.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I cannot make sense of this NTL input you mention.


Where is this NTL feed coming from ?.... if you do not have a NTL decoding box on which you would select channels?

Are you sure it is NTL?

Do you have an aerial or not?

I would ask what frequencies these channels are on because it may be outside the tuning range of the recorder... but I guess you are unlikely to know that.

Did the freeview scan on the EX85 produce any channels at all?
Probably not... If you can receive 2 channels and they are fuzzy that says you are receiving analogue not digital.

The UK version of the EX85 tunes across bands 1V and V of UHF waveband from Channel 21 to channel 68 [ Are these the 70 or so channels you referred to ? ]

That is the normal range for the UK - but being in Ireland might be the complication here. You may be being fed VHF channels not UHF.

Can you find the manual for the VCR and look in the specification to find out what its tuning range was... That may give us a clue to what you are being fed.... by whatever is coming from the wall box.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
One additional point - aekostas is obviously not aware that this unit does not have a modulator and therefore does not provide any output [ of it's own ] on RF...

Scart is the recommended form of connection.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
This is the channel list: http://www.iolfree.ie/~icdg/tuning_ntl_dublin.htm

They used to have it on the ntl.ie site, but they took it down.

I'll check the other information.
If the frequencies given here for the channels are correct... then this is entirely the problem.

The EX85 tunes in the UHF waveband from 474 to 850 Mhz.

The channels you are being fed are outside this tuning range on the VHF waveband.

To be picking up E4 and Discovery , you must be picking up overtones of the fundamental frequency ... because they are WAY outside the receivable band.

This is a serious problem... and unless there is a UHF service in your area which you can pick up in your area using an aerial... or you can get a decoder box via NTL's premium services ... [ and that will only provide a feed via scart - so all your channel selection would be done on the box ] ...you will not be able to get any recordable channel signals into the EX85.
 
L

lumos

Guest
Thanks all for your help. I just called Panasonic, which was pretty unhelpful - they just said that UK devices would never work in Ireland. Basically: tough luck. I wasn't aware that this is such a big issue - other devices I brought from other countries work just fine, and I simply assumed that UK and Ireland have the same standards. Very disappointing. Not sure if I even can return the machine. Anybody need a recorder? :-/

Thanks again for your help!
 

ROYOLD

Well-known Member
There is some information on DTT testing in Eire around the Dublin area on the Wikipedia website :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_terrestrial_television_in_Ireland

It specifically mentions that people have purchased freeview boxes from Northern Ireland to unofficially avail themselves with these tests.

As the Tuner in your EX85 is pretty much the same as a freeview STB you may be able to receive these transmissions but you would need a separate outside aerial with its own co-ax downlead. The NTL cable lead would be no good for this purpose.

Checking with Google on DTT services in Ireland also reveals that at least one person in Dublin is receiving transmissions from the Welsh Moel-y-Parc transmitter near Rhyl.

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054986157&page=11

Here in Oldham I am also receiving excellent freeview pickup from this Welsh transmitter at almost 57 miles distance with a clear line of sight (which is better than I get from Winter Hill).

http://www.tellyaerial.34sp.com/ta.php/transmitters
 

aekostas

Active Member
One additional point - aekostas is obviously not aware that this unit does not have a modulator and therefore does not provide any output [ of it's own ] on RF...

Scart is the recommended form of connection.

I was not counting on a modulator, but rather on the composite cables the Pannys come with (and which the OP is aware of).

Scart is indeed the recommended form of connection, but Panasonic is providing all that's necessary so you can watch straight off the box (unlike for example my recent HP printer).
 

aekostas

Active Member
Not sure if I even can return the machine. Anybody need a recorder? :-/

The "For sale" forums or ebay are a good bet. This is a good piece of equipment you have there, so you should be able to sell it well. Though you may want to follow the suggestions about getting Freeview through an aerial (if you are interested in the UK programmes).

Good luck!
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I was not counting on a modulator, but rather on the composite cables the Pannys come with (and which the OP is aware of).

Scart is indeed the recommended form of connection, but Panasonic is providing all that's necessary so you can watch straight off the box

OK- Understood.
Apologies for the misunderstanding.
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
No worries. You contribute a lot here and your signal to noise ratio is extremely high. Thanks.


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

just found a quote to replace my system signature for a week or two :clap:
 

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