Hyper-Sensitive DVD's?

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Old 03-21-11, 11:24 AM
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Hyper-Sensitive DVD's?

Baseline: 7(?) year old DVD unit, plays/records, rather expensive and I'll have to go check out model # and post it. Panasonic, as is the (new) TV and VCR. No problems until recently; big fan of the brand for reliability.

My wife has been bringing home rentals from "Red Box" and about one in three won't play... Get an error message "can't read". OK, I tell myself, the discs look strange, alomst as if Red Box is making their own copies to rent out, and imperfectly. (I do not recal seeing commercial discs with bar codes around the center hole for instance and I presume RB needs these)

Then, a friend makes a copy of a DVD he wants me to see, he checked it out before mailing it, same thing. I stick it in my Mac and it plays fine (duh, should have tried the same thing with the Red Box rentals).

Then, my wife buys some DVD films from a majot retailer, one of the three, same thing. Argh!

OK: generic question... are some machines pickier than others in what they'll play? In other words, Panasonic in the dumpster? If so, are some machines or brands more "free" in what they'll accept and play?
 
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Old 03-21-11, 11:37 AM
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Not a direct answer but computer users some times find a brand of disk that just waon't work in their optical drive. Stand-alone players are usually more forgiving but perhaps some manufacturers currently made disks just aren't compatible with 7 year old technology.
 
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Old 03-21-11, 11:58 AM
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Panasonic, as well as JVC, had a class action lawsuit against them a few years ago for defective DVD players. The issue was not being able to read DVD's. I followed the lawsuit for awhile, as I have one of the affected JVC machines, but I don't recall what the outcome was for the customers (we all know what the outcome was for the LAWYERS). You might want to Google Panasonic DVD class action lawsuit and see if your player is affected. I've purchased four Panasonic DVD recorder/players since then, and the newer Panasonic units seem to be very reliable.
 
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Old 03-21-11, 01:04 PM
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Good info. I'll google the suit, it probably means I get a forty-seven-cent payout.

Seriously, not a super big deal to replace it even though the biggest other problem is the lost/broken battery door on the remote -- I'd probably just buy another Panasonic (and maybe skip the record feature, we really do not use it).

Thanks for the response!
 
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Old 03-21-11, 02:28 PM
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A bit off topic but......

I am curious Beachboy as to why you have had to buy four Panasonic DVD burners?

I am shopping for a DVD player/recorder and looking at reviews see a common thread that many complain about Panasonic failures not too long after the warranty expires.
It is disappointing to read about Panasonic being bad because I have a Panasonic plasma tv and blue ray player and like their ability to work together.

What happens to your recorders?

There really doesn't seem to be much choice in these things nowadays.
I can't even find a standalone PVR anymore.......Seems like the satellite and cable companies have that market sewn up!
 
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Old 03-21-11, 07:57 PM
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I can't answer for Beachboy but I have three Panasonic DVRs so that I can record three different channels at the same time. My first DVR is the Panasonic DMR-HS2 that I bought (IIRC) in the first quarter of 2003. It has a 40G hard drive along with a DVD drive that handles DVD-R and DVD-RAM discs. It has been rock-solid and I have never had a bit of trouble with it.

My second unit had a 125G hard drive and DVD drive. It also had the "TVGUIDE" system for programming but it started having several error messages shortly before the warranty was up. I took it to my local Panasonic Authorized Warranty repair facility one or two days before the warranty was up and they at first said it was a certain module/circuit board that they had to order from Panasonic. Well, they replaced that board and it still had troubles in the shop so they contacted Panasonic and were authorized to either refund the purchase price of the defective unit or give me the current model that most closely fit the defective unit; I opted for the replacement which is a DMR-EH50. It has a 100G hard drive and also the DVD drive which will use DVD-R, DVD+R,DVD-RAM and DVD-RW discs. Even though it has a smaller hard drive than the previous (defective) unit I still have about 100 hours capacity at LP (quality equivalent of VHS SP) and that is fine for me. I use this machine the most because it has the TVGuide feature (although my cable company doesn't always send the info on a timely basis) and it has been working well for several years. It does on occasion "stumble" and not record a specific program but I have been able to remedy that glitch by unplugging the unit for an hour or two and then starting over.

Back in January my sister had her sewer inspected by video camera and the plumber gave her a copy of the resultant DVD. I took this DVD and tried to play it back using my EH50 and it stalled. The display read U99 which a Google search turned up was an often fatal glitch with this machine. Since I couldn't even get it to eject the disc all I could do was to remove it from my entertainment console (a big job considering all the interconnect cables) and take it apart. I had to do quite a bit of "exploratory surgery" to finally get the disc out and then I put it back together and it now works fine except I obviously mis-assembled the DVD drive because now it doesn't open. Since I have nothing programmed for Wednesday I plan on taking it apart again and re-assembling the DVD drive correctly so it will open.

My third unit is a combo DVD/VHS unit without a hard drive. I only use this for copying VHS tapes to DVD or when both of the other units are recording and I want to record a third channel. (I record about 90% of what I watch on television so I can skip through the commercials.) This unit has never had any trouble either.

I have found that some DVD blank discs (generally cheaper or "no name" discs) don't want to work in the recorders and even after "finalizing" some home recorded discs don't play all that well in my Mitsubishi play-only DVD player but they always play flawlessly in the recorder that originally made them.

So, based mostly on my experience with these three units and definitely with the response I received from Panasonic on the last day of warranty coverage on the defective unit I would have no qualms whatsoever about buying more Panasonic equipment.

Added: I read some time back that my recorders are actually worth MORE today than what I originally paid because no one makes a stand-alone recorder with a hard drive anymore. My DMR-E75 combo with only a DVD drive for recording is limited to four hours at LP speed. Between the other two recorders I can record at least 130 hours at LP.
 
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Old 03-21-11, 08:30 PM
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Get Net flix. 7.99 month and all the tv and movies you can watch.....LOL

I turned my cable tv off and only have basic 2-22 and a few up there channels. Hey $14 bucks plus $8 = less then $25 for TV.

I know all you sports guys need all those channels... Im on a tight buget.

But as far as players:

I do have my old Kenwood receiver and 5 disc Kenwood changer (12yrs). That thing will play anything. Scratched, made from computer, copys, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM

It is a slow loading changer, and thats the only down side. If it starts loading and you want to stop it and chage to another DVD it takes a good minute to stop.

I guess its the cheaper players that cant read all formats. It should say in the manual.

I had a sanyo that did that. It was $39 bucks at Walmart.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 03-22-11, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GregH View Post
I am curious Beachboy as to why you have had to buy four Panasonic DVD burners?

I am shopping for a DVD player/recorder and looking at reviews see a common thread that many complain about Panasonic failures not too long after the warranty expires.
It is disappointing to read about Panasonic being bad because I have a Panasonic plasma tv and blue ray player and like their ability to work together.

What happens to your recorders?

There really doesn't seem to be much choice in these things nowadays.
I can't even find a standalone PVR anymore.......Seems like the satellite and cable companies have that market sewn up!

I'm not really sure why I ended up owning 4 Panasonic DVD player/recorders! I am currently actively using only one of the units, and for playback only. The other 3 units work just fine, I just changed my game plan after I bought them (one of the hazards of being single and having too much disposable income). I had great hopes of DVD recorders being as easy to use as VHS recorders, but they're not, so I've given up on the idea of doing any recording on DVD's. I used to have a VCR on every TV and thought I needed to replace the VCR's with DVD burners. But DVD burners are so frustrating to use that I've only burned perhaps three DVD's off the air (all Superbowl games). I have nothing against the Panasonic DVD burners, they seem to be great units and one of the few with a built in ATSC tuner for over the air recording. I just found that there isn't much worth recording from TV nowadays, and with options like Netflix, I don't need to archive a lot of movies anymore.
 
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Old 03-22-11, 03:10 PM
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I had great hopes of DVD recorders being as easy to use as VHS recorders, but they're not, so I've given up on the idea of doing any recording on DVD's.
Really? My EH-50 with the TVGuide system has one touch programming capability and if I am watching something and then decide I want to record all my units have a single button to record the channel to which they are currently tuned. Even the other two machines are as easy to program as any VHS I have ever owned with an on-screen display.

I transferred all my VHS tapes to DVD and I probably have close to five hundred discs that I have recorded either from VHS or off the air (cable). I'll admit that these days little of what I receive warrants more than a single viewing but just the ability to time shift and fast-forward past the commercials is enough for me to record almost all I watch.
 
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Old 04-06-11, 08:09 AM
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Still running into this problem, since then bought 2 commercial discs that won't play. OK, easy way out: buy another player. There are quite a few prots int he back of the TV, so why not?

So, any suggestions? Do we need a high-end unit, or is a cheepie (as long as it's name-brand) OK?

And if we pop for a Blu-Ray, IIRC those play DVD's too, right, and are they likely to me more or less accommodating when it comes to the range of what will play and what won't?

BTW, really don't care about extreme picture clarity, which seems to be the advertising focus (no pun intended) from both equipment and cable/dish suppliers. Sheesh, we're on an antenna, for crying out loud.
 
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Old 04-25-11, 11:32 AM
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Well, I broke down and bought another player, at Costco; a Sony. after almost a week it still won't play DVD's. Oh, that's right, it's because it's still in the box.
 
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