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Topic # 143800 27-Apr-2014 21:35
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My three-year old Panasonic BluRay player seems to be on the way out.  Lately it's been refusing to play discs - at last count, 1 or 2 DVDs and 2 BluRays.  Just now, the DVD refused to load twice (the disc surface was nearly flawless, and played fine in a laptop), and then when it finally got going it stuck at 1h18m and wouldn't budge.  Trying to open the drive didn't work, turning it off took about 4 times longer than normal, and when I turned it back on again it still wouldn't open the drive.  As I write this, the disc is still inside the drive.  A secondary fault I've noticed, but which I guessed at the time was a cable fault, was some funny lines appearing on both the TV picture and the On-Screen Display.  I pegged it as a cable fault, because I unplugged it and re-plugged it in again, and the lines disappeared.  But both faults make me suspicious that the player is on the way out.

What do you think I should do?  Is there a place in Palmerston North that services BluRay players?  And is it worth it?  It's only three years old (model DMR-BW880) and it wasn't cheap, so I'm loathe to just toss it.  I could always take it back to Harvey Norman, but it's hard to replicate the fault and Murphy's Law suggests that they won't find anything wrong with it.  What do you think?

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  Reply # 1032256 27-Apr-2014 22:17
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If the disc is still stuck and won't play properly then definitely take it back to HN. As it's about 3 yrs old it will be out of warranty but you should still demand repair or replacement under the CGA. It should be expected to last considerably longer than that. I've got a VCR here that still works (although rarely used) quite happily after 22yrs. The grease in the mechanics has gone a bit hard though. Only been using it to transfer old home movies etc to the PC HDD.

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  Reply # 1032384 28-Apr-2014 09:46
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What firmware version are you running? When did you last update it?
Have you swapped the cable?
Are you running through a HDMI amplifier?
Have you updated the firmware at the TV / and or / amplifier?
Have you ever used a cleaning product to clean the laser?

If you've sorted in the above areas, then the optical drive probably needs to be looked at by a service agent.
As with all intermittent faults, you're best to video the unit when it faults to show what occurs / how.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1032963 29-Apr-2014 07:07
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I just checked and its software version 1.43 (HDAVI 5).  It hasn't been connected to ethernet for a long while, so it won't have been updated for as long.  Probably a year or more.

The cable would have been swapped out about a year ago, but has been in place since then (and has been fine until recently).  It's connected to a Pioneer VSX-922 amplifier/receiver, which was replaced under warranty about a year ago (faulty power capacitors I think).  When I got the new Pioneer unit I updated the firmware, but the TV hasn't been updated since I got it over three years ago.  Never used a cleaning product to clean the laser on the Panasonic.

To my thinking, the funny lines on the TV are more likely to be the result of a small fault in the HDMI cable, or possibly a loose connection in the HDMI socket in the Bluray player.  I can't see how the firmware version would affect this, or the discs not playing.  A dirty laser seems more likely for the discs not playing.  What product would you recommend, and is it easy to do?

BTW - got the disc out of the player.  I had to wait for it to switch off (standby mode), then pull the power plug, power it back on, and then it spit the disc out.  

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  Reply # 1033447 29-Apr-2014 20:48
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Well, if the gear was mine...

I'd update the firmware on all the gear (amp / TV / BluRay) - updates can help with units that lock up from time to time.
Then, try swapping out another HDMI cable.
Finally, clean the laser on your BluRay.
While the discs it's struggling with now may look pristine, the first 100 may not have been so nice...!

If you were to send the BluRay in to service, the very first thing they'd do is update the firmware and reset the unit back to factory settings.

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  Reply # 1033454 29-Apr-2014 20:57
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Or you could get a new one at JB HiFi for less than it would probably cost to get it serviced.
http://www.jbhifi.co.nz/tv-lcd-led-plasma/media-players/panasonic/smart-network-blu-ray-disc-player-sku-97623/

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  Reply # 1033501 29-Apr-2014 21:37
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Um... it's a BluRay recorder, not an entry level player.

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  Reply # 1033640 30-Apr-2014 08:50
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Dunnersfella: Um... it's a BluRay recorder, not an entry level player.

No. Read the subject and original post. It's a Player.

OOps. I do see he later says its a BW880.
Might be an idea to change the subject line to "Recorder"?

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  Reply # 1033657 30-Apr-2014 09:01
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For it to be playing up on both DVDs and blu-rays would suggest something is seriously wrong. My own Panasonic player stopped reading blurays a while ago, but would still read DVDs, suggesting that the bluray laser was toast. Not sure if your recorder has different lasers for the 2 disc types like my player did, but could be a sign it's / they're on the way out.

You could try a lens cleaner kit from the warehouse / local DVD store, will cost you about $10 or so. Not a cure all, but may help if its just some dust / grime in the assembly.

Good luck either way



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  Reply # 1033714 30-Apr-2014 09:56
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Are those lens cleaner kits a disc with a small brush embedded on the surface? I used one years ago for a simple CD player. Didn't really do very much, but I always wondered whether it dd more harm than good.

And yes, it's a recorder (twin tuners, HDD, Bluray recording). Used player as a generic shorthand.

It has played up with both DVDs and Blurays, but only intermittently. The last few have been discs with virtually flawless surfaces. I don't rent discs often, and my personal collection is generally kept very clean. If there's a cheap and effective way to clean the lens myself before exploring a professional service (if one exists in Palmerston North) or returning it to Harvey Normans, I'd be happy to give it a go.

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  Reply # 1033925 30-Apr-2014 12:31
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those cleanind cd.brush things are rather brutal in operation - i would avoid.

also it should be noted that flawless looking discs may have production or authoring problems beneath the surface that conspire against good playback.

i'd go back to harvey norman first.

if you want it serviced, leader & watt in pn are the remaining authorised panasonic service agents.

there's still a couple of independents if you want to that route.

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  Reply # 1033939 30-Apr-2014 12:45
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ilovemusic:

i'd go back to harvey norman first.

.

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  Reply # 1037455 6-May-2014 00:40
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Agreed - take it back to the retailer.

I had a panasonic bluray player die a year ago, after about 3 years. It was a dead drive unit, which is the most common reason these players give up the ghost.

If you're feeling a little adventurous, you could do what I did i.e. order a replacement drive unit and hook it up. It's not hard, but a) that might not be the problem and b) you will definitely waive your CGA rights by fiddling yourself :)

My DMP-85GNK is going just swimmingly now.

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  Reply # 1038041 7-May-2014 06:44
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Where did you order a replacement drive unit from?

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  Reply # 1039303 8-May-2014 18:08
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I can't remember if it was Amazon or ebay - it was about a year ago. Given the model of your blu ray player, finding a replacement drive unit shouldn't be too difficult.

Some folks have success by tweaking the laser focus of the drive, but I gave up after a while: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsPUuiaw9Cc

Swapping it out takes about 10 minutes with a phillips screwdriver.

e.g. http://www.ebay.com/itm/PANASONIC-DMP-BDT110-OPTICAL-DRIVE-UNIT-VXY2122T-/111347998573?pt=DVD_Players_Recorders&hash=item19ecdb9f6d




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  Reply # 1039309 8-May-2014 18:30
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Be very careful with anything containing lasers, look down the barrel of a laser and it will probably be the last thing you will ever see.




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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