Solved: Panasonic DVD Recorder in black & white on AV1 - Help!


Standard Member
I have a knotty problem and hope some kind person can help. Being a retired engineer, I am fairly logical but I'm scratching my head over this one.

I have a Panasonic DVD Recorder (DMR-EX86EB) and a Panasonic TV (TX49DS500B). I also use a satellite box (STB) for Sky Freesat known as an Open Box. Earlier this week I was using the DVD remote Direct Navigator button to bring up the contents of the HDD and a sign said "Please Wait" - which was unusual at that time. When I went back to watching TV (on AV1), it had changed into black & white. I can't find a way to get it back into colour.

Here's the strange thing: I can play stuff I've previously recorded on the HDD in colour via a Scart cable; the TV plays in colour from the satellite box via HDMI. But it will now only play in black & white via AV1 (from the DVD Recorder) - and therefore will only record in B&W.

To try to pinpoint the cause, I bypassed the DVD Recorder and connected the AV1 Scart cable direct from the STB to the TV. It played in colour! This seemed to eliminate any problem with the STB. Problem solved, I thought.

They don't make this model of DVD Recorder any more and the later ones have NO way of connecting inputs from any other device, so are of no use to me. So I found an identical one on eBay to my own one and ordered it. It seems in excellent condition.

I connected it all up tonight - and it did precisely the same as my own one did! Is it possible that BOTH machines could suffer from the same fault? I'd have thought that most unlikely. I have chopped and changed all the cables around and substituted some and now I've run out of ideas.


Distinguished Member
Go into the DVDR settings menu and check what video format the AV2 input (I'm presuming your Sat box is connected to the DVDR's AV2 input?) is set to.


Standard Member
Thanks for your reply JayCee.

AV2 input is set to "Video" (NOT "S Video", which is the only alternative)
AV1 output is set to "RGB1"

I've been through all the menus pretty thoroughly, checking everything, several times.

I'm wondering if the cause could possibly be in the STB (OpenBox)? But I haven't got another working STB to substitute with it. I will mention this: after I got this STB, about a year ago, it took me a day then to get it working in colour - it stubbornly kept to B&W. What seemed to cure it then was just unplugging ALL the cables and re-connecting them all again. But that didn't work this time.

Maybe I should purchase another STB and try that - although, sure as hell, I cannot see why it would produce colour when I bypass the DVD machine, and plug the AV1 Scart cable direct into the TV!

With BOTH the DVD machines exhibiting the same problem now, the only common factor is the STB. But how, or why??


Distinguished Member
With a B&W picture showing from the DVDR try pressing the red coloured button on your TV remote a few times and see if it changes to colour.
Is there an NTSC or PAL option under record or playback settings in the DVDR?


Standard Member
I'll check that later JayCee. I'm off to bed momentarily and the machine is copying to DVD while I'm asleep, so I can't check it at the moment. I'll be back.


Standard Member
I tried pressing the red button (and the green one as well) - several times- but nothing happened.

It is set to PAL, which is the correct option as I'm in the UK.

But one thing, which I think is of interest, is this: when I press the "Ext Link" button on the remote, the picture changes to colour - on AV1 (on TV). But then none of the other buttons on the DVD remote works, so I can't record! And then when I press "Ext Link" again, it returns to B&W, but all the buttons again work. Surely this proves that the input to AV2, from the STB, is working as it should?

it doesn't make sense to me - especially since the second DVD recorder displays the same fault.


Standard Member
I thought I would add a pic of my TV screen in case it might give anyone any more clues. It shows the lower quarter of my screen is black with two lines of white dashes. I chose to have an almost blank screen when I took the pic because the lines show up more clearly.


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Well-known Member
This looks to me like your DVD recorders are set to receive a PAL input and give a PAL output, but the STB is actually set to NTSC. The fact that the picture is squashed up towards the top of the screen also suggests this - the DVD recorder's frame buffer is expecting 625 lines but is only getting 525 from the STB.

Just looked at the manual and I suspect that your culprit (and saviour) will be the 'V Format' key under the cursor keys. This toggles the video format to produce various flavours of PAL and NTSC in both SD and HD. Press it repeatedly until it comes good. Page 15 of the manual here: Prog/V8-V8S User Manual.pdf Not sure if it's your model but I suspect there will be a similar button.
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Standard Member
Thank you very much, Steve, for your suggestion. I'm hoping you've cracked it. Unfortunately I am, again, copying HDD content to DVD disc so can't prove it for a few hours. But you're quite correct: that is exactly the model of STB that I have, V8S.

I did try pushing the "V Format" button on the STB remote and I did get the notices on screen informing me of the change in format, or resolution.

I can't wait to try this out when the copying is finished. Fingers crossed! I shall be back early this evening and report.


Standard Member
Brilliant, Steve, you did crack it! It's now back to colour again. Thank you so much for your help. Now I can sleep easy again. It's been bugging me for days.

Not that it matters now but one thing I still don't know is why it suddenly did this - after a year of working. I wasn't even holding the STB remote when it went wrong; I was using the DVD recorder remote to bring up the HDD contents page. Oh well, never mind. Its now working properly again.

Thank you again for your inspired advice.

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