"Unit becomes unusable if a DVD is inserted that it does not like"1.5 starson by rustycampbell
Pros: Recording setup is straightforward
Cons: Lacks intelligence to eject a DVD it cannot write to
Summary: I received the Panasonic DMRES20 DVD Recorder as a Christmas gift because I am trying to transition from VHS to DVD. Initially, it was a little difficult to set up when using a digital cable box, but I was able to complete the setup after about an hour and a trip to the electronics store to purchase an RF Modulator and associated cables. According to the instructions, this was required as my "older" television set did not have the necessary ports for the audio/video cable hookups.
Once I completed the setup, the unit worked well for about 3 days. I set the unit to record a program from cable and went to bed. The next morning, I noticed the display on the front of the unit said "U99" and I was unable to get the unit to respond, it would not even open the door to eject the DVD. I scoured the manual for help with this issue, but it only stated that the "U99" meant the unit was not functioning properly. I powered it off and back on and followed all the instructions, but the unit still would not respond, and would only say "U99".
At this point, I decided I had a defective unit, so I returned it to the retailer and exchanged it for another (same) unit. At least this time, the setup was fast since I had already gone through this headache with the first unit. Again, this unit worked well for 2 or 3 days, and the same thing happened...U99 on the display! Again, this unit also would not respond, nor open the door to eject the DVD.
This time I called Panasonic, and after a LONG wait, they walked me through several steps to revive this unit. After nothing worked, the Panasonic representative told me that there was nothing wrong with the unit, the problem was with the DVD. Never mind that the DVD was the one that was included with the recorder. I explained to them that just because there was a DVD inserted that the recorder did not "like", that it should have the intelligence to, at least, eject the DVD....not completely "lock up". They advised me to take the unit to a certified Panasonic repair shop (about 40 miles away) to have them remove the DVD for me.
I'm sorry, but this is unacceptable, and it absolutely constitutes a "defective" unit. Especially since I had two different ones experience the exact same problem.
I returned it to the retailer (again), and this time the retailer gave me a very hard time, but that is a story for another time. I eventually got my money refunded, and I am now searching for another DVD recorder, and I can promise it will not be a Panasonic!