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  1. 100+ DVDs, that's pretty pathetic for what's supposed to be a good recorder.

  2. Well I for one will NEVER buy another Pioneer product after all this....
    10 weeks in the repair shop to replace the burner is rediculous...

    Peace.

  3. Too many people here with Pioneer problems for me, that's for sure.

  4. Member
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    Firstly, a big thank you to this forum for pointing out the specific problems with the Panasonic DMR10EB. After about one and a half years my DVD player went into a continuous self check loop and then completely stopped. I panicked a bit as DVD I loved was stuck in it, but thanks to this forum I have now fixed it and yesterday I got it back up and running. Whhooppee. Panasonic customer services were no help at all and this experience has put me off buying any Panasonic product ever again.

    So how did I fix it well, it was indeed the two capacitors C1270/71 (referred to as C1260/61 in previous posts but I think this may be the difference between US and UK) which had failed evident by the doming and brown staining on top of the capacitors. These capacitors are 16V, 1500 microF, 105 degrees C. It's fairly easy to remove the board but some care is need if this is your first time doing something like this (as it was mine). I needed to loosen off the screws attaching the black DVD box (don't know the technical term) so I was able to slide the board out. Also someone mentions in a previous post about the scary connector at the end of the board. There's a metal retaining clip that holds this in place. I just placed my finger nail in to leaver it slightly (careful as this looks quite delicate) and pulled the connector out, then the board pops out a treat. Got two replacement capacitors from a local electrical supplies shop, I replaced them with 25V 1500 microF, 105 degrees C. These are a bit bigger but just fit, cost 0.85 each. I was going to solder these in myself but in the end a repairman did it and was only going to charge 5, I gave him 10. Refitted the part and BINGO the DVD recorder works again. Hooray!

    Panasonic wanted me to pay postage and an inspection fee, before they decided if they would contribute to the repair cost, as it was no longer covered by their warranty! Well guess what that wasn't tempting.

    Before I knew all of this I bought an LG RH278H, but what the hell now I have two DVD players.

    Repair this yourselves I say and get a little soldering help if you need to, once you've diagnosed the problem yourself it shouldn't be expensive.

    POWER TO THE PEOPLE (AND THIS FORUM) AND BOYCOTT PANASONIC, UNTIL THEY LEARN TO IMPROVE THEIR QUALITY AND IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE. (ok ok step away from the keyboard)

    Thanks again to everyone that has contributed to this forum...you rock!

    Kind regards

    Samuel

    img_2693.jpg

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    The front panel display has become very dark on my DMR-ES10. I had a look at the caps and they seem visibly OK (no doming or leaking etc), does anyone know which caps are responsible for the display? I've already set the brightness to maximum in the menu, but the display is still a bit blotchy especially in the middle. I've also cleaned the filter and plastic that sits over the VFD unit, this improved things only a little. I'm afraid it might be an early symptom of imminent failure.
    I'm thinking of blanket replacement of all the non Elna/ Panasonic caps in the PSU to improve reliability (don't like the look of the RGX branded ones at all tbh). Also I was shocked to see that one of the 1500uf 16V pairs is very close to a heatsink and is very warm to the touch, this seems to be a bit of a design flaw.

    Andy

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    Originally Posted by lcaillo
    A client just brought me a DMR-ES10 for repair that had a bulging C1260 and had a copy of some of these posts with him. It is great that people are willing to provide such useful information. This really did not help repair the unit, as the problem was pretty obvious, but it put me onto this forum, which I had not noticed previously.

    Just a few notes about the above. While it is mostly good and correct advice, there are a few finer points. First, the life rating for caps is for use at the rated temperature. Capacitors are almost never run at that temperature and most last many times the rated life at the lower, typical operating temperatures. In the case of these failures, Panasonic was probably sold a bad batch of caps.

    Also, the info regarding SMPS caps is correct. Impedance, or ESR, can be very important in caps that are used in the PRIMARY of a SMPS, where they may see operation at rather high frequencies. The caps that are failing here are on the secondary, after rectification, and are traditional filters on a d.c. line. These are not very critical in terms of impedance or ESR, but just need to be good quality and rated for a higher voltage than they will operate at. We always use 105 degree caps, but in this case it is not critical.

    These caps can be replaced with a larger capacitance, such as 1000 uF which are more common, and with a higher voltage rating. This should give the PS more headroom and improved reliability, though it is not likely necessary. It should be noted that much higher voltage caps will likely have higher ESR, but again, this is not terribly critical at this stage in the supply. Adding the parallel C1261 is OK and just gives more capacity to the supply. Just pay attention to the polarity when replacing them, if you DIY.
    I registered here today because I want to thank you and everyone in this thread for helping me repair my dead Panasonic DMR-ES10 DVD recorder. After reading the thread (found in a google search) I purchased one 1000uf 16V 105deg cap (for 60-cents!), souldered it in and the recorder powered up and is working fine. I'm one happy camper

    After looking around I can see that this is a great forum and I plan to spend more time here.

    Thanks guys. . .

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    My DMR-ES10 would not power up as well and, after doing the research here, I decided to replace 1260 (820uf 10v) as a DIY project. The power supply board is very easy to remove. Radio Shack did NOT have the 820 HOWEVER they did have the 1000uf 35V. The Radio Shack part number is 272-1032 It's working beautifully now and I wish to thank the intelligent folks here who contribute and make these kinds of simple fixes available to us. The part cost me $1.69 Maybe this will help someone else cut to the chase when hunting for the part and make this repair as easy for them as it was for me. Thank you all. Larry

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    Thanks for the awesome information!

    My DMR-ES10 wouldn't respond to the power button, door open button, or remote, and eventually gave the error message "U30 REMOTED"

    No luck finding what that error code meant, so I found this forum and bought the capacitor at Radio Shack (under $2). Oddly, the capacitor at C1260 was fine but C1415 is bulged. That one says it's 680uF/10v/105deg. I'll exchange the capacitor, try the same procedure to replace it and see what happens....

  9. Member AlanHK's Avatar
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    XXXXX

    I just replied to a 2-year old post.....

  10. And what a good old thread this is - DVD Recorders now and the way they are built have a very limited lifespan, as opposed to burners inside computers or PCs - The electronics itself inside a DVD Recorder can last a very long time, providing it is well vented area and does not overheat - and you can bet that it will outlast your recorder's drive. Usually the first things to fail in a recorder is the optical drive and power supply - and you can NEVER rely on any repair shop to fix your recorder, most are run by idiots and they will screw up your machine even more than it was when you sent it for repair - might not be such a bad thing to invest in a good capture card and burner on your PC, those will outlast most of the shit dvd recorders on the market today and in some cases provide better quality than most of the crap inside the dvd recorders! The optical drives found in most of today's shaddy DVD recorders, lucky if you can even reach 100 discs with them - even the HDD models, if your drive can last 1 year you are lucky - and you are being ripped off with a huge price difference for HDD support !

  11. Member misterbill's Avatar
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    My Zenith DVR413 lasted 3 years, 7 months and 12 days. 900+ burns, 1000s of reads.

  12. Originally Posted by misterbill
    My Zenith DVR413 lasted 3 years, 7 months and 12 days. 900+ burns, 1000s of reads.
    That's the key word - 3 years. A lot has change ever since, shaddy material and poor economy, cost cutting corners. That was the average for those things back then, a thousand burns - sometimes a little less, maybe a little more....and much more if you burn 10 minutes discs Also standalone dvd recorders record video at slower speeds than a burner on your computer, so there is more wear compared to burning the same disc on a PC which can be done faster. ALSO, expensive doesn't necessarily mean will last longer - I've learned this a long time ago. I have a PRO series JVC S-VHS recorder, a silver, with one of those big jog dials, BNC connectors and editing features - it didn't last a year ! and started exhibiting problems within 3 months.

    And about those DVD recorders, people seem to diss the Cirrus Logic chipsets - it's funny but I have a capture device based on a very good CL chipsets and the quality surpasses any of the DVD recorders I've used, including the more expensive ones - I think not ONE company makes a decent recorder nowadays. Look at my consumer level JVC VCRs, I use them for 4 hours daily to record my shows and series, 7 days a week, been doing so for years, and they are running - Wasn't DVD recorders supposed to replace VCRs ? Well try recording that 4 hour long show on your DVD, do you trust your recorder unattended, that it won't STOP all of a sudden or crap out ? You shouldn't....... DVD recorders are not meant to replace VCRs because they are built like crap.
    Even less the HDD models where drives last 1 year tops....more if you are lucky, because of the poor quality drives and because of the poor quality power supply that powers them.

    And since NOBODY is standing up and holding these companies accoutnable for KNOWINGLY releasing junk, this kind of business practice will go on !

  13. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by highvolumeJP
    my consumer level JVC VCRs, I use them for 4 hours daily to record my shows and series, 7 days a week, been doing so for years, and they are running - Wasn't DVD recorders supposed to replace VCRs ? Well try recording that 4 hour long show on your DVD, do you trust your recorder unattended, that it won't STOP all of a sudden or crap out ? You shouldn't....... DVD recorders are not meant to replace VCRs because they are built like crap.
    I hope you stocked up on blank tape and store it well. All I've seen being sold for the past year or more is made in China (or, if you're lucky, Korea), and it seems to be thinner tape stock. Momentarily overlooking the inherently lower res. and mechanical damage issues (crimping, stretching, or just plain being eaten when the deck transport begins to have maintenance problems), how much faith should you have in the tape or cassette shells being sold today ? After all, it is the waning marketing to a market that has been going away for some time now. In a major city you can still probably still find competent VCR repair, but from what I'm noticing this appears to be getting more scarce as time goes on.

    Don't misunderstand: I have plenty of over 20 year-old analog tape recordings -- some audio, but mostly video -- whose longevity has so far been well demonstrated. I just don't have that kind of confidence for anything within today's digital domain. For one thing, those 1s and 0s are pretty unforgiving, if you ever have to attempt to salvage even portions of something.

    You may be right about the few DVDRs still sold in the U.S., but probably incorrect about the Pioneer models that are still available for the time being in Canada. There must be a very large quality difference between the cheapo models we've seen sold by Walmart and the like for the past couple years, and the Pioneers. I'm wondering what the consumers in Europe and Japan are buying. They have really liked the DVD Recorder, which got absolutely wiped out in the U.S. by Tivo and especially by the HDD PVRs supplied inexpensively by the cable and sat. providers. Those foreign consumers have paid high prices and high taxes for their DVD Recorders, so I can't see them being very tolerant of the shoddy manufacturing to which you refer.
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  14. Originally Posted by Seeker47
    I hope you stocked up on blank tape and store it well. All I've seen being sold for the past year or more is made in China (or, if you're lucky, Korea), and it seems to be thinner tape stock. Momentarily overlooking the inherently lower res. and mechanical damage issues (crimping, stretching, or just plain being eaten when the deck transport begins to have maintenance problems), how much faith should you have in the tape or cassette shells being sold today ?
    Yes I store them well and have used the same tapes for years and it works great! And those VHS recordings of mine will outlast even my Taiyo Yudens - there is a major marketing hype on the longevity of DVDs, even the so-called "quality" ones - with RIDICULOUS claims, when inr eality most would last 5 years at most (talking about the newer batches, not discs made pre 2003).

    EVERYTHING being sold now is subpar, including blank media - Even the once top of the line Verbatims are showing signs of quality control issues, Taiyo Yuden bonding problems, so youa re left with utter crap every sides.




    After all, it is the waning marketing to a market that has been going away for some time now. In a major city you can still probably still find competent VCR repair, but from what I'm noticing this appears to be getting more scarce as time goes on.
    Also depending on the repair, will the parts still be available ? I've seen some repair shops for major brands and when you go there you see what appears to be people in their 20s, wearing cups, eating their chips and downing their 2L bottle of coke and working on your VCRs while talking on the phone ! Not uncommon for people to fix VCRs by guess work instead of using the right instruments to test alignment, etc.

    Pathetic indeed.

    You may be right about the few DVDRs still sold in the U.S., but probably incorrect about the Pioneer models that are still available for the time being in Canada. There must be a very large quality difference between the cheapo models we've seen sold by Walmart and the like for the past couple years, and the Pioneers. I'm wondering what the consumers in Europe and Japan are buying. They have really liked the DVD Recorder, which got absolutely wiped out in the U.S. by Tivo and especially by the HDD PVRs supplied inexpensively by the cable and sat. providers. Those foreign consumers have paid high prices and high taxes for their DVD Recorders, so I can't see them being very tolerant of the shoddy manufacturing to which you refer.
    Are the pioneers sold here in Canada still made by pioneer, from what I recall they are outsourced now and from what I've seen a lot of signal pre-filtering is done on the video, and softens it too much - Also seen a high failure rate on the opticals and HDDs in the pioneers.
    So I don't think even Pioneer is immune to problems.

    I am thankful that I have purchased DVD recorders when they were decent, still have my trusty Toshiba DR4 and DR6 and a Samsung R155, most if not all recorders you will find now in Canada use the MAGNUM chipset, a new, very inexpensive, low budget, low value, chipset, except LITEONs and some other brands.

  15. Current Pioneers are not outsourced, they are co-developed and co-produced by Pioneer and Sony. For reasons that remain unclear, the burners in the old 510 and 520 Pioneers have a shorter lifespan than expected and that is indeed unfortunate. However the statistic for those Pioneers is well within range for other similar models from other mfrs in the same 2003-2004 time period: Toshiba and Panasonic burners had a rather brief lifespan as well according to reports here and elsewhere. Overall, recorders made from 2005 on seem to have more durable optical drives- the 2006 and later Panasonics are noticeably better than earlier Pannys and the 2006 and later Pioneers are pretty bulletproof. The Pioneer 640, 543, 540, 450, 550, 650, 460, 560, 660 and the new Sony 780 all use a sturdy Sony-supplied burner which has proved quite durable (3+ years hard use). The hard drives in all these models are generic PC hard drives made by the usual suppliers. The debate regarding "prefiltering" of video in newer recorders cuts both ways: the arguably "sharper" encoders in some older models made life extremely difficult for those with sub-standard cable, satellite or VHS tape sources. The slight, subjective "softening" in newer models is a small price to pay for their much better source compatibility and encoder consistency. (Any sharpness advantage of an older recorder is lost when it forces you to connect a TBC or other device to the signal chain.)

    All consumer electronics products within the last five-ten years have been "built to a price" and are subject to random "bad batches" that fail. Price does not necessarily indicate durability: some dirt-cheap "Wal*Mart specials" can outlast some big name brands: luck plays a part here. Of the DVD/HDD models still marketed in North America, the Canadian Pioneers are somewhat better built and designed than the USA Phillips/Magnavox units, but the difference is relative and subjective. Certainly the Pioneers are more pricey. Of the DVD-only recorders, all are now cheaply made commodity machines churned out by subcontractors for the big names. Only Panasonic still makes its own recorders at a quality (if not feature) level thats comparable to their old models.

    Europeans and Asians are more interested in standalone recorders due to having far less cable and satellite penetration to worry about, and they are more conditioned to paying higher prices for their hardware. This is why the better-grade feature-laden Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony and Pioneer units remain available in those markets after being pulled from the USA and Canada (Pioneer remains in Canada, not sure for how much longer).

  16. Typical life span of current DVD Recorders now is less than 1 year to 2 years max and the causes:

    1) Poor quality power supplies used !
    2) Poor quality electronics and very bad quality capacitors (those too have a VERY limited lifespan).
    3) Poor quality optical drives.
    4) Poor heat dissipation.

  17. Member
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    All for the reason to keep the current DVDRs "cheap"
    For the most part people get what they want. Since so many people want the $99 specials that's what the mgfs. make. Back when DVDRs cost >$400 mfgs. could afford to put some quality into their products, at $99 every penny counts so if they can save 1/2 cent by using a cheaper capacitor that may only last a year or 2 then so be it. That times all the parts used in a DVDR adds up.
    The problem I see is someone that wants a better option really doesn't have much of a choice. Even the better more expensive models within a line usually only add features, probably not better parts
    The expression "They don't make em like they used to" gets overused, but with DVDRs I sure think it fits the bill.
    The best we can do is weed out the total junk from the "better" ones.

  18. The capacitors used on even the more expensive Pioneers are the cheapest kind - along with the power supply - So no, when you are paying more now for something you are getting more features not more quality.

  19. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by highvolumeJP
    The capacitors used on even the more expensive Pioneers are the cheapest kind - along with the power supply - So no, when you are paying more now for something you are getting more features not more quality.
    If I'm remembering this correctly, and Orsetto said that caps in these devices (and perhaps the PS also ?) exceed what he cares to mess with, it may not matter, because I'm sure he is more skilled with such things than many of us. Nevertheless, I'd like to see Hkan's site flagging these components, with photos, and showing what to replace them with and how to do it, just to have the reference. It would at least give owners an option and a head start, even if we decide to have a bench tech do it.
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  20. One of our members has apparently taken a sudden and severe dislike to every standalone recorder in existence, with a special hatred reserved for Pioneers. In an exaggerated sense, he has a point, but his recent posts all over the forum warning us all against the insidious evils of DVD recorders are getting a little much. Standalones are what they are, consumer products, and depending on the year, mfr, and original price, some are better than others. However they do NOT "all suck-every single one". Please. The HTPC is no cure-all, either: depending again on mfr, year made and original cost, the components of an HTPC are subject to the same variables as standalone recorders.

    One can argue the merits of various encoder technologies endlessly, this is a productive topic of discussion and even those who've already settled on a particular recorder or encoder board can learn much from reports posted by users of other choices. But to carry on over burners or power supplies takes things to an extreme. China has been the source of all these "Japanese" products for the last ten years: the mfrs are completely dependent on the Chinese to meet the specs provided and build the products accordingly. Unfortunately some elements of the Chinese subcontracting system occasionally take advantage, and large-scale product defects appear across the board. Power supply parts were the last such notorious scam: *every* consumer electronics item mfr'd from 2003-2005 that used a capacitor was affected. Without exception, every thread on this board that covers power supply meltdowns was triggered by this "counterfeit" capacitor scam, one of the most outrageous ever foisted on the public and on brand-name companies.

    Everything from Apple Macs to radar detectors to blenders to Dell servers to DVD/HDD recorders were doomed by these crap parts, without the knowledge or approval of their designers. One can complain about how each individual brand name *handled* the crisis once its defective products were discovered by consumers, but its unfair to blame the individual company for being swindled into substandard parts: they all got screwed. In the case of Pioneer, the 2005 models were the most contaminated by counterfeit caps which is why Hkan has a repair page on his website for them. The problem is mostly confined to the x3x series (531-533-633 in USA, 530 and 433 in Europe/Asia) which are cursed with other issues as well. A smaller percentage of late-2004 Pio models are affected to a lesser degree (220,225 and 520: mostly the 225 model). To put that in perspective, the Pioneer power supply problems pale in comparison to JVCs and Panasonics of the same period: it was luck of the draw. And lets not even mention the LiteOn fiasco.

    As for burners, they have been a problem in standalones from day one. They are hampered by three key limitations: heavier use compared to burners in a PC, inadequate ventilation compared to burners in a PC, and finally a total lack of upgrade path or firmware options compared to burners housed in a PC. The number one cause of burner "failure" in DVD recorders is the atrocious trend of media mfrs to change dye formulas of DVD-R every couple of months. Other than a few Panasonic models, no DVD recorder accepts firmware upgrades to handle new media formulations. So the burns "fail". We can avoid or postpone such "failures" by sticking to standardized media like Taiyo Yuden 8x, but this is inconvenient at the very least. This is a tremendous advantage of HTPCs over standalones: when blank media hiccups, just buy a new $25 burner to handle the change (impossible with a DVD recorder). Of course, for daily use and some types of long-term project, many of us prefer a dedicated standalone. When all you want to do is time-shift "Lost" or transfer your VHS tapes to DVD, the simplified interface and operation of a standalone usually trumps a PC, if for no other reason because it avoids the threat of Windows or OSX crashes or conflicts with cobbled-together AV cards and software. The burners in 2006 and later Pioneers has proven very robust, so have the Panasonics (aside from the Panasonic sensitivity to dust and skin oils, which is easily maintained with a little effort). The Phillips 3575/76 also seem to have sturdy burners (so far) compared to pre-2006 machines. So *some* aspects of standalones do evolve for the better.

    Choose your poison based on what features you need, your budget and your technical patience.

  21. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    As for burners, they have been a problem in standalones from day one. They are hampered by three key limitations: heavier use compared to burners in a PC, inadequate ventilation compared to burners in a PC, and finally a total lack of upgrade path or firmware options compared to burners housed in a PC.
    Full agreement with nearly everything you said. An interesting comparison might be made between the original 107 burner in my 520, which has seen pretty heavy use for a few years, and the 108 burner in my sff pc (confined space, ventilation seemingly adequate but not great), which has seen even heavier use for the past 2 1/2 years. Both still getting the job done, as I keep fingers crossed. There was an RPC-1 f/w upgrade for the 108, early on, but such update f/w releases tend to cease pretty quickly, as subsequent models come out.
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  22. Member retro junkie's Avatar
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    victoriabears said,The answer to your question is "How long is a piece of string".

    I feel that about sums it up. For my own expereince has given me the impression that it is the luck of the draw.
    I have spent as much as $300.00 to a low sell out price of $59.00 and have found no difference in the quality and durability. I have had them last a good 2 years to only a pitiful 6 months. I have had only one unit where the power supply went out and I compensated with a computer power supply until the unit died of another disease. What I usually have go out is the burner. I presently have my recorder where it can get plenty of air. I have a thick small book under each leg so that air can circulate freely underneath also. I have no idea if this helps, the important thing is that "I think it does" at this time.
    I really wished that they would make the burners interchangable with computer hardware.
    I have gotten to the point that I purchase the cheapest unit that I can find to do my recordings.

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    My JVC DR-M10S is still going strong after tons of VHS to DVD conversions and off the air copies. I got it in less than a year after it came out. It was made in Japan and recommend to me by this Forum. It's a great recorder and I never experienced the loading problem with it.

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    At long last, I have determined the answer to my question. Given a good quality recorder, on average about 2-3 years or about 1000 burned disks, barring bad luck. For a lesser quality recorder with no HDD, cut that in half. HDD models will last perhaps a year longer than non HDD models. Not a great track record for consumer electronics.

    I'm asking the moderator to close this thread. It's served its purpose and it is time to lay it to rest.

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    Since this thread seems to have ran it's course and the OP requested closing it, I will lock it.

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