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Rusty
Rusty, Engineer
Category: Recorders and Players
Satisfied Customers: 5888
Experience:  Karaoke Systems Manager, signal specialist, all recorders and players expert
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I have a Panasonic blue ray disc recorder DMR-BWT800 and it

Customer Question

I have a Panasonic blue ray disc recorder DMR-BWT800 and it has recently been playing up. Periodically it flickers a bit then the display stops, the on unit display seems to stutter, then reads HDMI then starts again. Whole process takes say 4 seconds but is happening more often recently. Any ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Recorders and Players
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is Rusty. Other than a bad HDMI port on your player, a bad cable is the first thing to check. There are 18 little wires that can get bent in an HDMI connection. Connect a High Speed HDMI cable, and tell me if the problem clears up.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've looked at the HDMI cables and can't see any bent pins but have tweaked them, will see if that helps otherwise will get another HDMI cable - it has 2 HDMI cables - one from blu ray to TV and one from blu ray to sound system - i'm guessing the TV one would be the issue?
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that would be the one. Switch the two cables, and see if the same problem occurs. It's nearly impossible to tweak all 18 pins, they are very close together.

Another thing I want you to do is unplug the power cable to your Blu-ray for 15 minutes to allow the power to drain. This will reset your processors. Tell me how it reacts, and we'll come up with a permanent solution.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll turn off the power, I don't have a new/spare HDMI cable so will need to get one later if the power thing doesn't work
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Well you say you have one that runs to the TV, and one that runs to the sound system. Switch them, and see if the problem changes. That should identify a good or bad cable. If it fixes the problem, you know which cable has the problem.

Using two HDMI cables isn't the normal hookup, so don't disconnect either of the cables from the player. Just unplug the one from your TV, and plug it in where the one connects to the sound system, and connect the one that was in the sound system to the same spot on your TV. That will tell us a lot about the problem. Not only will it test both cables at once, it will also test each output on your player.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rusty, not sorted yet , power off didn't fix it. For your other option could you please clarify if you want me to swap both cables or just the output ends? The interruptions were continuing so I just watched tv through the tv with the blue ray off and still happens, does that change my actions?
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Yes it does, what is the model number of your sound system? I need to know which components you have connected so I can diagnose the problem. If the cable/sat flickers, then the problem is NOT with the Blu-ray.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My sound system is a Bose Lifestyle 535 but for what it's worth I get no interuptions when i'm streaming music, seems to be something with the tv or antenna if it's not the blue ray.... frustrating! appreciate your help
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Well, streaming and HDMI are two completely different technologies. Does the audio flicker as well, or just the video? Swap the output of each cable, meaning the one that's plugged into your TV, plug it into Bose, and vice versa. Leave them in the same spots on the Blu-ray, and tell me what happens.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tried swapping them and don't seem able to get a TV signal or get blue ray to work....
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Ok, swap the entire cables. Be sure you have the correct input selected on your TV.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put the same HDMI cables in the same spots (retrace my steps) and now I can't get a audio or video signal now from my blue ray.... i'm not sure I can fix this without a technician on site...?
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Is your TV on the correct input to be watching a Blu-ray?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think so, certainly worked yesterday and earlier (aside from the intermittent disruptions i'm trying to fix)
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Which HDMI input did you connect to on your TV?

Press the input/source button repeatedly until that input is selected. That should bring up the Blu-ray home screen.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put everything back to the original (I think) and no i'm getting no blu ray screen. I don't knw what I could possibly have changed from yesterday
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
TV still works as does music streaming
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

It's possible that you used a different HDMI input by mistake. Take a look at where it's plugged in, and use the input button to go to that source.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
apparently wasn't quite plugged in properly so I have blue ray back again. I have to go out now so will try to tweak again later, it didn't flicker in the 5 minutes then so who knows perhaps it's better (he says optimistically)
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

It's usually a bad, or non-sufficient cable. There's a lot of information coming from a Blu-ray, a good, high-speed HDMI cable is very important for the video signal.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
flickered again last night, I will need to buy a new HDMI cable then iterate on which cable to replace I guess....
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Since it's your display that's flickering, you'll want to replace the one that goes to the TV.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've replaced the HDMI cable to the TV, will see how it goes when I watch tv tonight for a longer period and then let you know if it has resolved my problem (albeit my credit card has already been charged anyway....)
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

How did it go? By the way, the charge is a deposit, your money is safe. I'll stick with you until we get this resolved.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
last night the flickers were only those recorded on the blue ray (hopefully) albeit "recorded flickers" makes me less convinced it is the cable in hindsight, hope that's wrong - will continue to monitor.
Also thanks for your help but I was charged both the deposit and balance but if you're in for the long haul all good (hopefully we're almost there anyway)
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

I'm in for the long haul, don't worry. On the parts that flicker, rewind it and see if it flickers in the same spot. That way we can tell if it's the recording on the disc or something else.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is the same spot, I was hoping it was recording the flicker as opposed to being a fault or defect on the hard drive and therefore the new cable a better chance of being the solution
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Yeah, if it is flickering in the same spot, then it is the disc. It could have had a speck of dust on it when it was recorded, your recording laser may need cleaning, or it is just a defective discs. About 1 in 10-20 discs has some sort of defect right out of the package. If it were the machine, or an HDMI flicker, it would appear in random places on the movie, not in the same spot.

Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Thoughts?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That was my thoughts yes but the flickers were numerous and increasing in number somewhat randomly. At worse checking the HDMI cable is a fast fix but if the next few days doesn't sort it then the blue ray needs repair (or replacement given how electronic repairs and replacements sometimes are similar costs!). That would be a bugger as the blue ray is only 2-3 years old and otherwise we're very happy with it. No doubt the replacement will be better / do more I guess
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Keep an eye on it for a few days and get back to me. Remember, if it flickers, rewind it and see if it happens again.

If it flickers at random, it means your processor is going out, and it's not worth repairing. It's cheaper to buy a new one. This is because they buy processors in bulk, and get a big discount, and a machine puts it together. Repairing means ordering one, and manually replacing it, which costs more than a new unit.

If you find that it is the disc, use higher quality discs. If you find that you need a new unit, Toshiba is making some of the best recorders on the market these days. They are very reliable.

Also check to see if it flickers on HDD recordings. That will rule out the discs, but there is still the possibility that it flickered on the HDD, so be sure to rewind it and see if the flicker happens in the same spot.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
flickers have only been from recordings on the hard drive from tv, DVD's no problems thus far. Flickers also seem once found to stay in that spot which also makes me think is either recorded flicker (sounding unlikely) or bad segment on hard drive (perhaps more likely)
Maybe if the blue ray is broken I can salvage it as a digital storage for home videos or something, the Bose unit facilitates multiple inputs so might be possible (and I have a spare HDMI cable now!). We've been pretty loyal to Panasonic as a brand but can open it up for Toshiba etc as well - given the expense of the sound system probably need a high quality unit
Anyway will see what happens and let you know, thanks for your advice
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

You can format the hard drive, and it will hide the bad sectors from the system so they aren't recorded to again. We can also replace the hard drive if needed. Go into your HDD menu, and go to HDD management. Choose to format the HDD. Keep in mind this will erase your recordings, so be sure to copy them to disc before formatting.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks that might work, just make the hard drive a bit smaller for the sectors lost but it's 150 hours so probably not the end of the world. Again cheaper than a new unit so worth a punt
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

We're talking only seconds of recording, not minutes... Sectors are very small.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
even better, we'll see how the next few days go
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

I'll talk to you soon, enjoy your weekend!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
would formatting identify otherwise undiscovered sectors and hide them?
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Yep, that's exactly what it does. It conditions the file system for optimal performance. That's why it erases everything, it writes new addresses. Think of it as a city, with a bunch of street names and addresses. It wipes out everything it knew, and re-scans the city, leaving out the houses that have burned down and businesses that have closed, leaving only the sectors that can be used.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sounds promising - I think we're getting closer (albeit some quick research on new systems is tempting!)
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

You guys have different gear in AU, but the brands tend to be reliable-same across continents. As an expert, Toshiba is my favorite recorder, but Panasonic is nothing to shake a stick at... I rarely see them go bad. I'm fairly confident that formatting the hard drive will get rid of the problem for future recordings.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Having trouble on backing up the blue ray hard drive. I've plugged a external hard drive to the usb but doesn't seem to recognise it and favours copying to dvd only which given I have 60+ hours on HD and each dvd takes only 2-3 hours isn't practical. Similar when i connected my laptop.
Any advice how I can back up all content easily before I format?
Expert:  Rusty replied 1 year ago.

Well they definitely don't make it that easy... You'll have to take the unit apart, remove the hard drive, and copy it to your computer, which is the fastest way. Click here. This sleeve will allow you to connect the hard drive to your USB port on your computer, and you can copy your content quickly. It should only take about an hour to complete. Other than this method, you're limited to copying to discs.