Question Panasonic DVD Recorder Audio Playback Problem

Jun 17, 2019
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Device: Panasonic DMR-EZ47 (built-in tuner)

I use this primarily for time-shifting purposes - record TV programs on DVD-RW discs to play back later. Been using good quality DVD-RW discs for years. But I've starting having problems with the AUDIO playback of programs I record from TV. Mediacom cable goes directly into DVR. No problems involving pre-recorded DVD's. Video is always OK, but audio varies from OK but not as loud as it should be, to almost unintelligible, depending on what channel I'm recording. No audio problem listening to the same channels "live." I'd like to replace it before DVD recorders become impossible to find any more, but I'd like to get a handle on what may be causing a problem. Everything used to record and play back just fine. Are the record heads out of alignment and/or worn out?
Thanks for any input you can give me.
 
There is no record head. There is a recording laser.
Try playing back the disc on another player or your computer. That will tell you if the problem is in the record or playback. The record laser will usually go before the playback laser.
Since you are using the recorder for time shifting you could use a box that records to a USB drive rather than DVD-RWs.
You would want one with the same type of tuner built in that your recorder has.
 
Jun 17, 2019
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There is no record head. There is a recording laser.
Try playing back the disc on another player or your computer. That will tell you if the problem is in the record or playback. The record laser will usually go before the playback laser.
Since you are using the recorder for time shifting you could use a box that records to a USB drive rather than DVD-RWs.
You would want one with the same type of tuner built in that your recorder has.
Thanks for the correction to my terminology! I'll try playing in my PC tonight and see what happens. I'm also going to take a disc with the bad audio to a local Best Buy to try in one of their machines since I don't have another machine here I can try it in. Will I have to "finalize" a disc before it will play in a different machine?

I'm extremely puzzled, though, by the fact that some TV channels I record play back better than others, on a consistent basis as far as I can tell. For example, the local CBS outlet is almost OK, but not quite as much volume as when I watch live, but the PBS outlet is almost consistently poor to almost unintelligible. Does that offer any clues as to where the problem is? Can the lasers be replaced, realigned, etc or do I have a big, black brick?
 
Not sure if you need to finalize the disc. It would depend on the particular DVD you try it on. Might as well do that.
A change from channel to channel leads me toward the tuner of the recorder but it's odd that you don't notice the same problem live when you watch using the recorder tuner.
If the laser were bad it would most likely affect the video first or both audio and video. I suspect cost of repair would be prohibitively high and a replacement record laser may not even be available.
Replacing the recorder with a USB based recorder may be a lot more convenient plus you would get HD.
 
Jun 17, 2019
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Thanks. I tried a disc in my PC, but I did have to finalize it first for it to play on my PC. I had two programs on it I had recorded via my Mediacom hookup, one from local PBS outlet, and one from The Learning Channel. On both the PC and the recorder playing back through the TV, the PBS program was still almost unintelligible, and the TLC program was just fine.

Hadn't thought about the possibility of the tuner going bad, but assuming that's the case, does it make sense that only audio would be affected and not video, and to various degrees (consistently) on different channels I'm trying to record? Are there separate audio and video "components" in a standard NTSC tuner? Can the tuner be replaced?

Also, the only time I have both the TV and recorder on at the same time is if I'm recording one program while watching another (one of the main reasons I have a recorder with a built-in tuner). It doesn't seem to matter whether the TV is on or off when the recording is happening.

The hookup is as simple as it could be. Mediacom cable comes into the house, into the back of the recorder, and from the recorder to the TV.

In the end, it looks like I'll have to replace it, anyway. I like the ability to record to discs, though, and I can get a similar model (with the tuner) on ebay for around $200 currently. Any suggestions for models which would include the ability to record to a flash drive as well as discs? Not cozy with the idea of having to have a machine to watch DVD's on in addition to trying to figure out what flash drive the last episode of Masterpiece Theater is on, on a separate machine.

Thanks for your patience in helping me try to sort out this puzzle!
 
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