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Customer Review

265 of 277 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Timer recording often doesn't work, 12 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-EX83EB-K 250GB HDD DVD Recorder with Freeview+ (Electronics)
It should be really easy to record programmes to the hard drive with this machine: you just select what you want to record from the EPG, and the timer is automatically set. The trouble is that it just doesn't work. You can select the programmes fine, they appear in the timer list just fine, but the machine only records them sometimes. The rest of the time it just "forgets" to record, for no readily apparent reason. I estimate this failure happens for about 20% of programmes I've tried to record, with no pattern I can see: it happens on various channels, at various times.

When it's failed to record, the programme is still in the timer list, with an "!" in the Drive Space column, even though the hard drive is very far from full and has way more free space than is needed, and there are no overlapping recordings. Sometimes I've watched it fail. The machine is in standby, with the red clock showing on the display. The wanted programme begins transmission, but it fails to start recording. If I then turn the recorder on manually from standby during the programme, it "notices" and starts recording.

This is very poor. If it can't be relied upon to record programmes, an HDD recorder is rather a pointless thing to own. Unfortunately, I've had mine for more than 30 days (I'm not a heavy user, so it took me a while to notice the problem) so it's too late to send it back.

UPDATE: I've found this problem only occurs if you use the "Power Save in Standby" feature [it's under the settings menu/others/standby settings]. If I set this to "Off" then timer recording seems to work. Nowhere in the manual (that I can find) does it say that using this feature breaks timer recordings, and indeed timer recordings did still did work sometimes with it on, so I think it's meant to work but is just broken. I have not had a problem since I turned this off, suggesting very strongly that this is a problem with the Panasonic recorder, not something dodgy with the EPG meta-data as one of the comments suggested.
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Tracked by 15 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Sep 2010 20:50:12 BDT
M. S. Robins says:
If it only records sometimes then it is faulty - you have at least a 12 month warranty....

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Sep 2010 20:55:29 BDT
Er, it's more likely that the EPG isn't sending the programme start signal, that being the case it's freeview's fault not Panasonic's.

Posted on 16 Oct 2010 11:37:14 BDT
D. Leaton says:
Exactly the same problem as A. Morgan. My aerial is correctly aligned and programmes tuned. After selecting a programme to record I can see that the recorder is activating on time but when trying to view later I either have 'no signal' warning and no programme recorded whatsoever or I start to watch a programme that 'has' recorded and then get a 'no signal' in the middle or beginning. Very frustrating. Didn't expect this. Perhaps the programmes are not being transmitted correctly........I shall never know!

Posted on 8 Nov 2010 14:55:01 GMT
M. Lang says:
This is a problem with the Panasonic DMREX773 and DMREX83 . You can fix the problem by unpluging the recorder , then switch the recorder on and carry out a reset through the menu and setup and then shipping condition . This will reset the recorder and then auto retune . This is the best recorder on the market but sometimes a drop in the digi signal wiil confuse it . Try the reset and all should be ok

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2010 15:42:53 GMT
D. Leaton says:
Many thanks for this information. I will give it a try tonight and fingers crossed as I am still getting 'no signal' especially for movies and was thinking they were deliberately blocked for 'copy protection' ?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2010 14:37:54 GMT
Lottie says:
Thank you for this information. We have had our EMREX83 about 10 days now. We had the same problem as A Morgan from the start and about 4 days ago I reset the machine as you described. All was well until today when it again failed to record two programmes I had set up for this morning. I am wondering how often this reset is going to be needed, and of course it's very annoying to discover that a reset is needed only when you've missed your programmes. Does anybody have any experience of this? Also I am intrigued by what you say about this being a feault with the two Panasonic models. Are Panasonic proposing anything to fix this problem, I wonder? When I called them they said they had no idea what was causing the problem and simply suggested a reset. All in all I am inclined to ship this back to Amazon on the basis that it is faulty, but I wonder if a replacement machine would be any better. Presumably not, so I suppose we need to look at another make.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2010 14:06:04 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Dec 2010 14:08:22 GMT
jennypinkcat says:
We are having the same problem. We took the first machine back but the second machine does the same. The problem seems to occur more for programmes that have been set at least 3 days before they are due to be on. If the machine happens to be turned on at the time of the programme it will record, but if the machine is in standby it ignores the programme. In all other respects we love the machine and don't know what to buy as an alternative. Any suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2010 15:57:54 GMT
M. Lang says:
Check your standby settings in the Function Menu and then setup , also check your auto clock settings .

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2010 16:26:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2011 16:38:13 GMT
jennypinkcat says:
On setting up, I went through the whole setup menu. I have not changed the settings since. Most of the time the recordings take place correctly, suggesting standby and auto clock settings are okay. The problem seems to be when a recording is set more than 3 days before the programme is due to be on AND the machine is in 'standby' at the time the programme is on. I am a chartered electronics engineer and I'm used to setting up complex electronic equipment. I suspect a software or firmware fault is the cause of this problem but it won't get addressed unless a number of other people experience the same problem. It has started cropping up on other online forums but this model is still relatively new. If people have their machines on at the time of the set programmes or set their timers only a day or so before the programme is due to be on, they won't know if they have the same problem. The first they will know is when they set the machine to record before going away on holiday for a few days and coming back to find it hasn't recorded. Even then, many might put this down to a one-off failure of the Guide+ signal.

UPDATE: We have solved the problem. We had set 'Power Save in Standby' to [On Timer] so that the quick start function would be available during the evenings. The failed recordings all occurred during these 'quick start' evening hours. We also found that during the 'quick start' hours the machine did not always come out of standby on the first press of the standby button. Whenever the machine was in 'Power Save in Standby' mode (ie 'quick start' disabled), it recorded every programme set and it always came out of standby on the first press of the standby button. We have set our 'Power Save in Standby' to [On] and the machine hasn't failed to record since. I agree that this is a fault with the machine, but we really like it in all other respects and are happy to keep it and not use the 'Power Save in Standby' [On Timer] mode.

Posted on 7 Jan 2011 20:31:59 GMT
This is not just a Panasonic problem. I have had exactly the same issues the Humax Freesat HDD Recorder working with my Bravia TV. I also find that when I select a channel to watch which as been on for 10 minutes it asks if I want to record or watch. I have to select the prior programme to get it to connect. It's all very frustrating. I would advise anyone to hold back until these machines are reliable. If they cannot get their act together and recall the exiting machines for replacement, Skye will win the recording and playback market. It's another example of Rip-off Britain, where products go to market before they are properly tested.
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