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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    my ES10 burned out and I bought an ES20 from Ebay, New In Box. Now I am regretting it for the following reasons.

    1. FR mode does not allow pause. This is a critical feature for omitting ads in real time without having to do it on the PC later. You can still pause in the other modes XP, SP, LP....

    2. FR mode auto creates chapters about 90 seconds apart!! In XP mode, the chapters are also auto created but the splits are about 4:30 to 5:15 (mineconds) apart which is normal and customary on Pannys I believe.

    3. the worst feature is that on ANY mode, there seems to be copyright protection on any tv show, game etc where you cannot even play the FINALIZED disc on any other dvd player, dvd recorder, or PC drive. THUS I HAD TO extract the vob files using DVD Decrypter and that only in IFO mode (File Mode did not work for extraction). Then I had to reauthor the video then burn it to another disc.

    also, Windows or PowerDVD can only see the beginning files and play only about the first 5% of any total video before jumping back to the root menu as if the movie is over. This really seems like some copyright scheme gone terribly wrong. I was just trying to copy the local news to a blank dvd-r in XP mode , after finalizing, it did the same thing, not play in the pc dvd drive, altough shows 4.3gb of data but opening it does not show but the first vob of about 400mb or something.

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/cant-access-dvd-r-recorded-finalized-panasonic-es20-162605/

    this user in the link is having a similar issue

    anybody have experience with these issues?

    what about the firmware upgrade U3-150, does it solve any of these problems?

    any help is appreciated..
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    I've never had a ES-20, but from you description I don't care if I ever do.
    Not being able to pause in FR mode would kill the deal right away. I do this ALL the time on my ES-15's ES25's ES-30's and EZ-17. Sounds like maybe? the ES-20 is the only Panny like this.
    The chapters would also be a deal breaker. On all my DVDR's they create chapters between 4:30 and 5:15 like you said, even in FR.
    I personally don't believe CP is causing your reading problems. I think maybe your drive is shot, possibly creating a "non-standard" type of disc.
    I'd return it like yesterday.
    Note not sure what you paid for your "new" ES-20, but Sams clubs near me have new ES-15's for $129 and they have stacks of them since they have the analog tuners. I paid $99 at Ultimate Electronics when they were blowing them out last year. I wouldn't waste too much time on the ES-20, sounds like a dud to me.
    Note IMO don't waste your time with the EZ series either. My 4th one died this morning with the usual u99 error. I've tried 3 EZ-17's and 1 EZ-27, they've all died with u99.
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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    thanks for your reply, paid $86 for it on ebay and $20 for shipping. It is definitely new. In the PC, Powerdvd and WMP will only play the first 2 or 3 minutes then goes back to the main menu, however VLC medial player does play the whole thing.

    funny thing is that my cheap Magnavox DVD Player standalone, plays the whole thing.

    the ES10 is a good model, gave me 3 years of great service before burning out. I do remember some U99 errors but was able to recover, don't rememer the details. Also, one time the disc tray would not open, but there is a trick to it, press 2 buttons at same time. (i'll have to remember which ones)

    does the ES15 remote have Open/Close button? some later Panny models don't .

    I'll stay away from the EZones based on your experience.
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  4. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Sorry the es-15 does not have eject on the remote, but I've read somewhere that Panny's even without the eject on the remote, will respond if you have a Panny remote with a dedicated eject button. Not positive if the ES-15 would work this way though. I don't have a Panny remote with eject or I would try it for you.
    I might think that if your ES-10 has a eject button on it's remote, and you still have it, it may??? work on the es-15, just not sure.
    Good luck, I personally have never used the ES-10 or ES-20. My first Panny was a ES-30 w/vhs, that is still working, but has no eject on remote.
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  5. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    well, figured out the problem of not being able to play on the PC (powerdvd/WMP) or the PC not "seeing" the files. It was a "ratings" protection on the Setup, go to Video and Playback and set it to level 8, this will "unlock" the dvd. Howver, this does not unlock the dvd in FR mode!!!, only in XP that I tried. What a terrible unit.

    Still would love to pause in FR mode....but cannot.

    also, an XP recording goes to 4.01 GB, instead of 4.35GB, thus not filling the entire disc. This wasted space implies a loss of quality on a 1 hour recording.
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  6. I had one, was an open box from CC, $69 bucks. Even though it was cheap, I returned it.
    FR mode didn't work, it would record in the 8hr mode. I found it would pixel in the 2hr mode.
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  7. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Texas1-I don't believe Panasonic's use less available space than any other DVDR, I could be wrong, but I have read people being concerned with this before and others noting it's not a problem. They say that a certain amount of space needs to be reserved for disc editing etc. and that all DVDR's do this. I personally don't know since my PC does not read DVD's.
    I have noted that if, on my Panasonics, if I record say a 5 minute segment on a new R disc, then delete the segment, the machine still says I have a virgin disc. That is all the time left. 2hrs SP, 1hr XP etc. I've been told the machine must be giving up some of it's buffer in this case. Made sense to me, since everyone insisted R discs cannot reclaim time by deleting.
    If you can return the ES-20 I sure would
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  8. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    my ES10 always wrote to a 4.35 GB disc.
    the new ES20 does 4.31GB, slightly less, on FR. But 4.01 on XP 1 hr using full disc. Something very wrong with this unit's firmware IMO.

    the ebay seller is not giving me a refund, want me to pursue issue with Panasonic warranty department or get a replacement from Panasonic but they don't even make these anymore. Oh well, looks like I lost some money.

    I did contact Panny Support and they are mailing me the u3-158 firmware fix, which is not available online for download (although that would make life a lot easier). Don't know if that will help.

    thanks for your advice
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  9. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Sorry about your loss, it seems like Panasonic has it's share of lemons among a normally good line.
    It sounds like in your case you would be better off using FR for 1hr instead of XP, but as you noted you cannot pause FR!! Kinda a catch 22 thing.
    Personally I'm very doubtful the firmware update will help matters, but at least it's something to try.
    So from what I've read about Panny's, and personal use, the ones to avoid would be:
    ES-20
    ES-40
    Any current EZ unit, including EZ-17,27,37 and 47.
    I've personally got great use from ES-15, ES-25 and ES-30. All at least 2 year old models.
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