VideoHelp Forum
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 30 of 30
Thread
  1. Member lacywest's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: California
    Search Comp PM
    I'm currently cleaning a spindle on a Panasonic E85H ... it was definitely dirty.

    Webpage >>> http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/fixing-your-panny-when-theres-fault-lens-cleaning-doesnt-help-210507/

    Fixing your Panny: When there's a fault and lens cleaning doesn't help....

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Before you sling your problematic Panasonic in the bin, you may want to try cleaning the spindle. This has worked wonders for me on my current recorders: I have a 3 year old DMR-E55 recorder (a fantastic old machine which gets used to play & record EVERY day) and an LG GSA-4082B multidrive in the computer, but this method has also fixed many malfunctioning Playstation 2's, and DVD-ROMs, RAMs, CD drives, you name it.

    The symptons of your Panasonic requiring a spindle clean are as follows. The machine may start to feel sluggish, particularly when formatting a DVD-RAM, performing erase functions, and may take longer to recognize discs. Then, you will start to get errors during recording and erasing, failed formatting, and the machine will not recognize some discs. Eventually it will be totally unpredictable and unreliable, and you may find that even after dismantling your machine and cleaning the lens most thoroughly, the problems persist. It may still play CDs and shop bought DVDs, those functions are the last to go. I will almost guarantee that this means a spindle clean is needed, although many would incorrectly blame these symptoms on a dirty lens, or even a defective laser, but the reality is, if the machine worked perfectly once, the laser is almost certainly fine. Panasonic use trusted circuitry to ensure a stable laser output.

    The spindle is the little round platter inside your machine that your disc sits on. Discs go into the machine and there they are placed on the spindle, after which a circular magnetic grip clamps the disc into its final position, the disc being sandwiched firmly between the spindle and the grip. "Yeah, I know all this already" I can hear you shouting.

    But the correct functioning of a spindle is absolutely CRITICAL in such a precise piece of technology as a DVD-RAM recorder, there is no room for error here as a dirty spindle will not spin the disc perfectly evenly - it can introduce wobble and jitter into the disc which even the cleanest lens will not cope with.

    You do need to open up your machine to clean the spindle but it is well worth it if your machine is out of warranty. Take off the outer lid and locate the screws that hold the lid on the drive unit. There are usually four screws, two at either side. Remove those screws and that lid should now be loose, but don't use brute force - on my unit you have to jiggle the drive lid around a little towards the back of the unit. It will lift off.

    You should now see the spindle. Notice the black rubber on the outer part of the spindle. With isopropyl alcohol and cotton buds, gently but thoroughly clean this rubber. It can sometimes look surprisingly dirty - carpet fibre, dust and tar from heavy smoking are the usual suspects in my experience. Clean the whole spindle too, then go back and clean that rubber again until it doesn't leave a mark on a fresh cotton bud dipped in alcohol. You may as well clean the lens while you are here. If you haven't cleaned a lens before, dip a fresh cotton bud in alcohol and brush the lens very gently with it, the lens will move slightly as it is spring mounted so don't be alarmed. Just be gentle. At this stage it's a good idea to clean the grip which is set into the lid of the drive unit. Now put your machine back together.

    You should have a Panasonic that's as good as when you bought it. The first thing I would do is insert a DVD-RAM disc and format it. You should notice the speed difference, and of course, a successful format is a good sign in itself. My E55 first packed up 5 months after I bought it, and it didn't occur to me to clean the spindle even though I'd been fixing PS2's that way for a while. Well, it did, but it was under warranty and I got a replacement. That was nearly 3 years ago, and I have cleaned the spindle twice in that time, most recently yesterday, after a bit of erratic behaviour showed itself. But we are heavy smokers in this house - most people wouldn't need to clean it that often

    Of course there are preventative measures you can take, like not putting in dusty or fingerprinted discs, cleaning the innermost part of discs you put in, and NOT handling a disc with its hole, just use the outside edge.

    Anyway, I hope this helps somebody. The posts on CDFREAKS have been helpful to me for many years, so I hope I can put something back. It would be good if you could let me know if you fix your recorder using this method, and if you have any questions just let me know.
    Quote Quote  
  2. Member lacywest's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: California
    Search Comp PM
    Panasonic DMR E85H .... got it last year on Ebay ... Summer of 2008 ... very low price compared to the price the EH50 was going for.

    Seller said it would not record to blank DVDs or recognize burnt DVDs. Store bought DVDs yes ... but not home made ones.

    Well I cleaned the spindle ... I actually removed front panel ... held on with clips ... actually came off by surprise. But nothing got broke. I then removed the 4 screws holding the lid onto the DVD Burner .... uh uh ... carriage ... and there was everything there to look at ... laser ... spindle ... the works.

    Was not hard to see the rubber spindle ... definitely dirty ... peach fuzz ... around the edges ... stuff embedded into the top rubber surface. Took about 10 Q-Tips to get it clean. In one area ... it had a glazed look in one spot ... took a few Q-Tips to get it to look clean. I'm near sighted ... so when I take my glasses off ... I can see very up close.

    Inside ... [with the lid removed] the black plastic DVD Burner enclosure ... lint ... peach fuzz ... furr balls ... was easily visible. Blew them out with air can.

    And it now ... WORKS

    It reads my DVD-RAM disks ... I even took a DVD-R with a XXX movie on it and dubbed it to the Hard Drive and played it back to test it out ... it worked.

    What do I do with these DVD Recorders .... I hook them up to my Directv HR10-250 ... and record the shows I've recorded on the HR10-250 DVR drive for archive purposes.

    There are still a few stations broadcasting on Analog stations ... nothing great ... HSN is there ... advertising Halloween decorations for your front yard. Saw some cool stuff ... but I'm not going to pay 80 bucks for an inflatable black cat.

    Works for me. I got it working ... COOL COOL
    Quote Quote  
  3. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    I assume this will also work on a Pioneer 531?

    I have another thread going about it not burning anymore DVDs, but maybe I need to do this heavy-duty cleaning?

    Thanks.
    Quote Quote  
  4. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
    Search Comp PM
    I've cleaned my old Philips DVDR-985 several times. It's not brain surgery....just common sense. It's already broke...can't break it any more than it already is.
    Quote Quote  
  5. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM


    That was my thinking as well....
    Quote Quote  
  6. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Good luck, although it has been reported by Orsetto that the Pioneer DVD drive doesn't lend itself to being taken apart for the cleaning.
    You could try a trick I use on my Panasonics, that is eject the tray, unplug the DVDR. Then gently slide the tray in and out to gain visual access to the spindle, finally take a long wooden handled q-tip (commonly used in the medial industry) soaked with cleaner to try and clean the spindle.
    While you can't clean it as good as taking apart the drive it's worked on my Panasonics.
    Quote Quote  
  7. Member lacywest's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: California
    Search Comp PM
    I've got a Panasonic EH50 with the 100 GB Harddrive inside ... works okay but the eject button process is frustating ... the tray keeps going back in.

    I've got two Panasonic E50 machines ... no hard drive in them and they still work just fine. And the remote control for them is handy ... they have a eject button on them and they can control the EH50 ... so after a few clicks more then I want to do the EH50 Tray stays open ... or I grab the disk inside really quickly ... and put one in really quickly.

    But ... this EH50 is picky on what DVD-Rs I can use ... wont behave right with any of the new DVD-Rs being made. Finalize usually wont happen.

    But the one DVD-R brand that works every time ... is the TY ... value pack DVDs ... so I really hope that our advertisers here that sell that brand of DVD-R ... keeps selling them ... they work with no problems with my Panasonic EH50.
    Quote Quote  
  8. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Even though the E50 and EH-50 sound similar, the E-50 is a '03 model year DVDR(last year for the eject on remote) and the EH-50 is a '05 model year(first year of increased resolution up to 4hrs/disc). If you were ever thinking about swapping DVD drives I doubt it would work. I've read DVD drives are pretty much only compatible for same year models.

    I find it odd that your EH-50 has problems with newer DVDs and yet your older E-50 doesn't? FWIW my EH-50 has no problems with even the cheapest of 16x media. I don't use Memorex but I tested some of my newer TDK 16x discs and they were the same mfg. as Memorex but they still burn fine.
    Quote Quote  
  9. Member lacywest's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: California
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by jjeff
    Even though the E50 and EH-50 sound similar, the E-50 is a '03 model year DVDR(last year for the eject on remote) and the EH-50 is a '05 model year(first year of increased resolution up to 4hrs/disc). If you were ever thinking about swapping DVD drives I doubt it would work. I've read DVD drives are pretty much only compatible for same year models.

    I find it odd that your EH-50 has problems with newer DVDs and yet your older E-50 doesn't? FWIW my EH-50 has no problems with even the cheapest of 16x media. I don't use Memorex but I tested some of my newer TDK 16x discs and they were the same mfg. as Memorex but they still burn fine.
    I have not opened up the EH50 machine and cleaned it ... it is on the bottom of 3 high of devices on my entertainment shelf ... but I really should clean it too ... as for what DVDs can be burned on the Panasonic E85H ... don't really know. Before I cleaned it ... it would not read any DVD-R or DVD-RAM disk ... I guess I could try some MAXELL DVD-R disks and see if they burn correctly and finalize correctly. It is the finalize portion that messes up on the EH50.

    I dont use my E50 machines ... anymore ... I haven't used them since I got my EH50 units ... I was using those cheap CompUSA DVD-Rs disks ... in the E50 machines.

    But CompUSA is no longer in Fresno and I don't drive to Fresno no more ... I had in a job in Fresno until ... June 30 2008 ... for 4 years and 2 months ... and now I'm on Unemployment ... ... my job depended on California State contracts being renewed.
    Quote Quote  
  10. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2011
    Location: Melbourne
    Search PM
    I just wanted to say a very big thank you to lacywest and the other members on this forum for the 100% correct advice on the spindle cleaning threads, my machine DMR-XW350 , it was driving me mad with dvd-r's about 80% failures, after taking your advice, which I must admit didn't fill me with confidence at first thinking this couldn't be causing all of this trouble , but now has my machine is working as new, no groaning noises no failures just perfect.
    I never would have believed it without trying it, also how easy the burner is get to on the Panasonic , compared to my old Pioneer it is far easier, infact really easy, at first I was worried about having a go but worried for nothing, who could imagine such a small amount of dirt could have such a huge effect in it's performance.
    Once again, thanks for your help, I never would have worked this out for myself, regards Paul.
    Quote Quote  
  11. Member lacywest's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: California
    Search Comp PM
    To astro500 ...

    Glad to hear you got in there and cleaned the spindle area ... yep it makes alot of difference ... I'm using Panasonic EZ17 and EZ27s now ... my EH85 ... it wont turn on ... but a search on the Internet told me the power supply has a few capacitors that like to bulge up and leak ... so I need to clear an area on my workbence and open it up again and replace some capacitors ... no biggy ... I've done this sort of thing before ... Laters ... Mach10 ... aka ... Lacywest
    Quote Quote  
  12. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2013
    Location: canada
    Search Comp PM
    I would never have thought of cleaning the spindle! I have 3 DVD-RAMs that would not read in my (~2007) Panasonic ES-35V recorder even after cleaning them as well as cleaning the laser. I tried the "quick" method of reaching through the front with a long Q-tip. After that, all 3 discs read properly! But one of them did not read the second time I tried it, so I will have to go the whole 9 yards & remove the cover to do a thorough cleaning. I am putting a copy of this thread in the user manual for the recorder.
    Quote Quote  
  13. You can get pure alcohol from ACE or other stores for about $4 qt.
    Quote Quote  
  14. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
    Search Comp PM
    Great. Another one post wonder who joins us to grave rob an old thread and say "Thanks". Maybe the moderators should consider putting something in the official forum policy statement warning them that if their only reason for joining us is to dig up an old thread and thank us for helping them that we'd prefer that not bother.
    Quote Quote  
  15. I used the procedure a few times on my Panasonic DMR-ES10 and it worked just like new afterward. However the most recent time I tried I was not so lucky.

    I recently have been burning some DVD-R's for a couple of people and decided to randomly check of one of the burns by playing it on my Panasonic recorder. In going through the chapters I noticed at one point there was freeze ups and a lot of pixilization. Thinking that it was a bad burn and that my burner may be on the way out, I still checked the burn on other machines. On my Blu-ray the disc played perfectly fine in that part. The saw the same result with my computer also. Then I tried the same disc on another Panasonic (DMR-E85H) and it showed absolutely no problem with that part of the disc. Therefore it had to be my Panasonic.

    I first tried a dry cleaning with a lens cleaning disc as Panasonic doesn't advice using isopropyl alcohol on the lens. I tried that three times and the disc still played back the part of the disc the same way most of the time. I played that part of the disc several times and for some of the time it actually played it fine.

    Then I decided to do another spindle cleaning, the same way I did it previously. The spindle wasn't very dirty which really wasn't surprising as the last time I cleaned it was a few months ago. I removed what little was on it anyhow. I also very gently cleaned the lens with the alcohol and another clean Q-tip and barely touched it when doing so.

    With the machine put back together I played the same disc that I burned on my computer. I first heard a somewhat loud rumbling sound when playing the disc that I was trying earlier. This happened the very first time I cleaned the spindle but only lasted for a moment so I figured like before that the alcohol still needed to dry. Then I tried the disc again and the sound would not go away. Then I tried the cleaning disc and the same sound was there. I tried another dry cleaning with that disc and then two wet cleanings with it but the same noise remains.

    I called Panasonic and upon the reps instruction tried to get the machine back to factory settings by pressing play and record and the same time after having ejected the tray and then turning it off. This worked a few months ago when I saw some minor pixilization on a recording that was made by this machine. That disc had played fine on the other Panasonic I mentioned above so I knew it was the DMR-ES10. After the reset the machine played that disc without the minor and momentary pixilation. This time however the reset did not get rid of that rumbling sound.

    The rep said I will now need to have it serviced. Before I even consider that I thought I would check to see if anyone had any suggestions. I tried posting this on the myce.com forum but after I registered I never received an e-mail to activate my membership. That was a few days ago. When I use the contact link I am not able to enter any text on the fields to submit any information. Finally, the help link posted on that page doesn't work for me.
    Quote Quote  
  16. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    The DMR-ES10 was first released in 2004 or 2005. I think manufacturing was discontinued in 2006. 8 years is a long life for a DVD recorder, and it is likely failing. After much use, DVD drives wear out, and after 8 years, electrolytic capacitors can start to degrade.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 31st Dec 2013 at 10:35. Reason: punctuation
    Quote Quote  
  17. Thanks for your response and for confirming my suspicion.

    I purchased the unit in April of 2005 and it has seen a lot of usage over the years. It was regularly being used for first time recordings. However it was also used to transfer what I previously recorded on more than a couple of hundred of VHS tapes onto DVD-R's.

    I decided to see if anyone else experienced a similar situation and if so would there be an easy fix to the problem. I guess I also wanted some type of confirmation from someone else that it is just wearing out before it is finally retired. I do have to say that I did get my money's worth out if it.

    I actually have a brand new DMR-ES15 and I just began using it today. Hopefully it will last at least as long as the DMR-ES10. Particularly where I don't plan on using it nearly as often with my VHS to DVD-R transferring now completed.
    Quote Quote  
  18. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Yes I'd also guess your ES-10 may have capacitor failure due to it's age. The '06 ES-15 is a decent little cheap recorder and does a very good job recording but it's build quality(as you can probably tell from it's weight) isn't quite up to your ES-10s standard. '06 was a pivotal year for Panasonic, their DVDRs were quite a bit lighter and cheaper built than '05 and older. Not that '06 model year DVDRs were junk, IMO it was kind of a pinnacle in reguards to picture quality but build quality wasn't as good. By '07 and the introduction of the EZ and EA Panasonics they had started a downward spiral as far as bugs and '08 was essentially Panasonics last new model year.
    I have several ES-15s with quite a few hours of use, one quit rather early on with a laser failure, laser failure(due to the fact the ES-15 had no cooling fan(to cut costs) like previous Panasonics) is the most common problem with the ES-15.
    Try and keep it as cool as possible and it should reward you with many years of use.
    Quote Quote  
  19. I have an update.

    I have recently located some more VHS tapes which I wanted to transfer onto DVD-Rs with my DMR-ES15 which means more wear on the machine. I have now nearly completed transferring those additional tapes and in the process on some days ran the machine for several hours a day in order to finally complete this massive project as soon as possible.

    On one of these days day I noticed a pinging sound coming from the unit and I figured it is likely due to the unit possibly getting too warm. Then I remembered you post on keeping the unit cool to extend its lifespan. I have since obtained a small fan and have it running in the back while the ES10 is on and running.

    Concerned that this unit is not built as well as my ES10 I then decided to look for a backup.

    I ordered on eBay and received today a Panasonic DMR-E85H. It is a used model but the seller said it is in "good working condition". Nonetheless I had the seller test it before it was shipped. I asked that he record onto a disc, make sure the recording doesn't have any issues and make sure that the disc can be finalized as that is how I will be using the unit the most. Also I asked that they check to make sure that the fan is running.

    They said the unit passed the tests and it was shipped.

    I received it today and performed the same tests myself to insure that it was not damaged during shipment. It passed the tests for me as well and I am reasonably satisfied with it. I say reasonably and not completely satisfied because of one issue which I could not see a thread for on this particular forum.

    The only thing that has me a little concerned is the LED display light on the front for the clock/counter and mode indicator. It is somewhat dim. It is still visible but definitely not as bright when comparing it to my brother's Panasonic DMR E85H which is of course the identical model. It is also definitely not as bright as my former Panasonic DMR-ES10 and my current Panasonic DMR-ES15.

    Perhaps this is common for these units due to their age as these were manufactured 10 years ago. I had seen a previous listing for this identical model on eBay and that seller had indicated that the LED display was dim on that item so perhaps I should just keep this E85H I just received.

    I asked the seller if the LED light was dim when they still had it before it was shipped? Is not then then perhaps something became slightly misaligned during shipment. I am waiting to hear back from them on this.

    Is this something I should be concerned about where the unit is working fine otherwise? Is this a sign that a capacitor needs to be changed? This is what I have read when Googling this online. If so then perhaps someone experienced in electrical repair could do so with relative ease. I guess for now the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" may apply but I am a little curious nonetheless.

    For the record, I did try changing the display setting. It was already set to "bright" and as I mentioned the LED display is fairly dim in that setting. For comparison I then set it to "dim" and the LED display then became very dim.
    Quote Quote  
  20. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    I have also read that aging capacitors are the most likely cause when a clock display on a DVD recorder dims. The E85H came out in 2005, so I think that is certainly possible in this case. The display on my DMR-ES10 (purchased in 2005) is pretty dim too. Even if someone can fix this problem, something else will fail eventually. It is not worth obsessing about. Just enjoy it while you can and accept that all consumer electronics eventually die.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 9th Jun 2014 at 22:55.
    Quote Quote  
  21. When you say that all consumer electronic die that sounds so final, like there will be no chance to conduct a repair such as in replacing aged capacitors. That is what I am counting on if it goes but now I wonder if I should just send this E85H back. If I do then I will probably lose the amount it will cost for me to send it back and possibly a 10% restocking fee depending on what the seller would have to say on this matter.

    Should I be concerned enough to send the machine back? Particularly where it appears to be working perfectly fine otherwise?

    Perhaps this is now common amongst these units due to their age whereby if I get another one, perhaps an even more expensive one, and the display is not dim on it then sooner or later this may eventually happen to it also.

    Perhaps the reason my brother's E85H doesn't have a dim display is because after all of these years when the unit is not in use it is unplugged.

    If that is the case then for most of these used units, you can't expect other people to treat them the same way.
    Quote Quote  
  22. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
    When you say that all consumer electronic die that sounds so final, like there will be no chance to conduct a repair such as in replacing aged capacitors. That is what I am counting on if it goes but now I wonder if I should just send this E85H back. If I do then I will probably lose the amount it will cost for me to send it back and possibly a 10% restocking fee depending on what the seller would have to say on this matter.

    Should I be concerned enough to send the machine back? Particularly where it appears to be working perfectly fine otherwise?

    Perhaps this is now common amongst these units due to their age whereby if I get another one, perhaps an even more expensive one, and the display is not dim on it then sooner or later this may eventually happen to it also.

    Perhaps the reason my brother's E85H doesn't have a dim display is because after all of these years when the unit is not in use it is unplugged.

    If that is the case then for most of these used units, you can't expect other people to treat them the same way.
    Yes, it is unreasonable to expect that most owners will unplug their DVD recorder when it isn't in use.

    Did you not realize before you bought it that your "new" machine was at least ten years old and that its remaining useful life is likely to be short account of it being so damned old?
    Quote Quote  
  23. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    While I used to thing aging capacitors were to blame for a dim display it's not my belief it's caused by air getting in the vacuum tube type of display the Panasonic DVDRs use. Many if not all my early Panasonics have a dim to almost unreadable display, they work fine otherwise but the display is just hard to read. Personally I'd just enjoy the machine as long as you can, as they saying goes, they don't make 'em like that anymore and it's true. DVDRs are a dead breed and I doubt we'll see them around anymore.
    Quote Quote  
  24. Yes, it is unreasonable to expect that most owners will unplug their DVD recorder when it isn't in use.

    Did you not realize before you bought it that your "new" machine was at least ten years old and that its remaining useful life is likely to be short account of it being so damned old?
    The reason I bought this machine is because the E85H is clearly a better built model than the ES15. My consideration for purchasing this machine was based on seeing and using my brother's E85H which he has owned since 2005. I also used that machine quite a bit up until around last year in my massive tape transferring project. Before I knew how to clean the spindle on my ES10 that was the only recorder I used for quite sometime and for many days it was used for several hours a day. Yet the LED screen display still remains bright as it did several years ago.

    Being aware that it is an old machine, I didn't want to run it into the ground which would be unfair to him. That is when I made a decision to either get the ES10 fixed or else start using the ES15 which my father originally bought for himself and had it put away still unopened.

    I realize these machines have a limited lifespan but due to how the ES15 clearly looks and feels much more cheaply made than the ES10 (and especially compared to the E85H) I felt I needed a back up. Going from being built in Japan, to then Taiwan, to then China is not a very comforting trend to consider for these machines. Also, over time if I wait long enough, the E85H's will be harder and harder to obtain and therefore the prices for them will only go up. I plan on using these machines only for occasional recording. For playback of all of my DVDs, both commercial and non-commercial I will use a Blu-ray player.

    I could be wrong about this but after using my brother's E85H, I suspect that my own E85H may last longer then the ES15 I only began using in December.

    The only bit of doubt I have been having is due to the dim display, which at least from an esthetic point of view makes the machine look to be in worse shape than it may actually be in. Like you said, I should stop obsessing about it as otherwise it's working completely as it should. I am still somewhat surprised and grateful that the machine even works as well as it does for its age as who knows what kind of wear and treatment it has received over the years. Again however, given how I used my brother's E85H fairly extensively for a period of a few years that was a major factor in my decision to finally get one of my own.

    The fact that it didn't come with a remote is a sign that at some point after it became missing, this unit was possibly used at least somewhat less if not a lot less than before the remote was with it.

    This issue with the dim LED display was something which until yesterday I was not even aware of. I only saw the older listing for another E85H with the item's description mentioning it after doing a Google search for "Panasonic recorder dim LED display". Then I began to learn for the very first time that this is apparently a common issue. That is when I asked myself why has this not happened with any of the many machines from different manufactures that both my brother and I own? It was only then that I considered the possibly that it is due to the habit we have of unplugging these machines when they are not in use. The fact that these machines have a clock unfortunately must encourage many people to leave these units plugged in as long as they plan on using them fairly regularly.

    Based on everything that has to be considered, I will very likely just keep the machine, use it only occasionally and yes continue to keep it unplugged when not in use.


    While I used to thing aging capacitors were to blame for a dim display it's not my belief it's caused by air getting in the vacuum tube type of display the Panasonic DVDRs use. Many if not all my early Panasonics have a dim to almost unreadable display, they work fine otherwise but the display is just hard to read. Personally I'd just enjoy the machine as long as you can, as they saying goes, they don't make 'em like that anymore and it's true. DVDRs are a dead breed and I doubt we'll see them around anymore.
    Interesting to read that there may be another reason why this seems to be so common. After reading you response, I am now a little more comfortable with my purchase and am glad I have a DVR that is working while they are still obtainable for a reasonable price.

    For the record, I paid $200 for this unit. I wasn't checking prices for these until just last week when I noticed someone selling another used E85H for $400 on Amazon. That appears to have been sold. Yesterday I saw a used E85H from a different seller and just like the one I bought it also has no remote and has some some scuff marks. It was being offered for $250 and as of today that has been sold for a "best offer". There is currently a new one on Amazon for $984 and another new one currently on eBay for over $1000. Of course depending on how these were stored their lifespan will already have been somewhat reduced after sitting around for almost a decade.
    Quote Quote  
  25. Here is another update.

    My DMR-E85H suddenly stopped working.

    In the middle of recording onto the HDD I got a "Self Check" error and then the "U99" error code. After following the instruction in the manual and then unplugging the machine the U99 code was all that I was getting when turning the machine on.

    I contacted someone who repairs these machines. This person gave me instructions on how to possibly remove the U99 error but they did not work. Then this person said that the digital board needs to be replaced.

    The DMR-E85H was then sent back for a refund.


    Also, my DMR-ES10 may not be dead yet. I had someone look at it and the rumbling noise it was making appears to have stopped.

    The machine was turned on and a disc was inserted with the top off of the ES10 removed. The disc was playing and once again making that loud rumbling sound. Then all of the sudden there was a loud and quick snapping sound. Then after that the disc played very quietly, like it is supposed to. It appears that despite what I had thought, I didn't have the plastic cover for the lens completely aligned when putting it back in place after cleaning the spindle.



    Even if the ES10 ends up still working, I am still interested in getting another Panasonic with a built in HDD.

    What models were manufactured and would the DMR-E85H be considered the best of them?

    How does it compare with the DMR-E95H or other Panasonic recorders with a built in HDD?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Quote Quote  
  26. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
    What models were manufactured and would the DMR-E85H be considered the best of them?

    How does it compare with the DMR-E95H or other Panasonic recorders with a built in HDD?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/106-dvd-recorders-standard-def/1134909-panasonic-dvd-rec...-features.html
    Personally I like the '05 and '06 models due to the fact that they have full D1 resolution all the way through LP but if you don't care or mainly use SP then any of the models '03 and newer should be OK. My chart shows the differences between the various Panasonics including the E85H and E95H.
    Quote Quote  
  27. Thanks for that information.

    Is D1 resolution 704 x 480? So the resolution is same using SP or XP recording mode on the 2003 and 2004 models as it is for the 2005 and 2006 models?

    So if someone only records on SP (or occasionally XP) as I do then is the recording quality of the picture and sound with a model like the DMR-E80H exactly identical when compared to the E85H or E95H?

    How about when comparing high speed dubbing quality from HDD to DVD-R?
    Quote Quote  
  28. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    D1 is 704x480 on the '05 and older Panasonics and 720x480(basically the same) on the '06 and newer Panasonics.
    Yes if you use SP or XP all the Panasonics would look equal, you just get more bitrate using XP which helps to reduce macroblocking in areas of fast movement.
    High speed dubbing would all be equal, it's a bit for bit copy of whats on the HDD, of course the '02 model Panasonics(HS2/3040) lacked the HS dub so it's copy to -R would be realtime and lose quality as it would be a re-encode of whats on the HDD.
    Note some people here on VH like the '06 and newer Panasonics with LSI silicon vs Panasonic silicon, they say the LSI silicon reduces macroblocking, personally I don't notice this and prefer the older Panasonic silicon which has far less bugs than the way Panasonic implemented the LSI.
    Quote Quote  
  29. Thanks again.

    Here is another question. You mentioned that realtime dubbing to -R loses quality. Is that only when a machine such as the Panasonic dubs content realtime from the HDD onto -R?

    The reason why I ask is that a couple of times I did real time dubs from one Panasonic to another Panasonic of a recording I made onto a DVD-R. Once was because a disc didn't finalize due the dirty spindle on the ES10. The other time was to add additional content on a disc that was already finalized. I dubbed the content onto another -R via an S-Video cable.

    Comparing the original transfer to the dub, I didn't see any difference in quality and I was looking close at the screen each time. I am usually good at detecting any degradation. Perhaps in doing this there is some loss in quality but it is hard to detect by the naked eye.

    Is the loss in quality for Panasonic real time dubbing from HDD to -R fairly noticeable?
    Quote Quote  
  30. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Truthfully I rarely do such a realtime dub, probably only in a test when I first got my Panasonics but no the loss is actually quite minimal, assuming you use a good recording speed to start with. Now if you use something like EP on your original then a realtime dub(RTD) is more likely to amplify any imperfections of the original. The main reason I don't use RTD has to do more with wear and tear on my precious aging Panasonics as well as the fact that any chapter marks added on the HDD would not be carried forward to DVD(and no way to add chapters to a DVD) that and the fact that realtime DVD burning is more likely to fail vs a HS burn. Lastly DVDs aren't ever really meant to be burnt at 1x, most DVDs prefer 16x, 8x or maybe down to 4x, they may work at 1x but it's not optimal.

    I've also done what you've done, for the reasons you stated, S-video out of one Panasonic to S-video in of another and have had very good luck. Note with '04 and newer Panasonics it's possible to realtime copy from a -R DVD(of course not a CP'd DVD) directly to the HDD and then from the HDD you could HS copy back to another DVD. IMO doing it this way provides a marginally better looking DVD than the S-video external copy but when doing a internal copy you can't use the FR speed(something I use basically all the time) I also believe you can't pause the HDD recording when FF'ing the DVD, because of these limitations I always use the external S-video copy method when I need to copy a DVD with my Panasonics.
    Quote Quote  



Similar Threads