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Fix for the "Green Guide+ Screen Lock-up" on the Panasonic DMR-E95H

Discussion in 'DVD recorders' started by VideoBob, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    By now everyone should be familiar with Roger W. Amidon (K2SMN)'s excellent page on upgrading the firmware in the Panasonic DMR-E85H. It fixes a lot of problems, including the infamous Green Guide+ Screen Lock-up and the equally ubiquitous "error U99" problems. Roger also documents a few of those "Secret Codes."

    If you are not familiar with it, you should read it first:

    http://www.dxcc.com/dmr-e85h.htm

    I just bought a Panasonic DMR-E95H to add to my collection. The first week, I started getting the horrible "Green Guide+ Screen Lock-up" error. Since I *knew* (from this forum) that contacting Panasonic US was wasted time, I went straight to their Japan site and hacked around until I found the correct link to update the firmware in my DMR-E95H (with the hilarious help of Google's translation services--see * below):

    http://panasonic.jp/support/dvd/download/e95h/step1.html

    Just ignore the Japanese and hit the download button or, get it directly here, instead:

    http://cnc.asp.hi-ho.ne.jp/cnc/dvd/UPDATE.exe

    The following page gives you serial number effectivity (note that you need this upgrade if your serial number doesn't have a big black dot after it. That's to simplify things for Panasonic's US technicians ;):

    http://translate.google.com/transla...ttp://panasonic.jp/support/dvd/faq/e85h/info/

    or, in the original Japanese:

    http://panasonic.jp/support/dvd/faq/e85h/info/


    * I was referring to such wonderful phrases as:

    and
    Both the knitting machine and the sea urchin are really your PVR. ;)




     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2005
  2. kalantan

    kalantan Member

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    Hi - Thanks for the instructions and comments. I am currently getting a "Green Guide" and then an instance when the unit doesn't seem to recognize the cable channel configuration that is available - and the unit saw a day before! - It shows all the channels misalligned in the Guide Setup screens. I reset it sevral times in a row. Seems OK. But I am just waiting to turn it on and find that it simply didn't record a program I had set to regularly record. In my dreams, I have this unit's editing and burning capabilities, but with TiVo's "smart" guides and recording lists.

    Thanks for the info. I will try the firmware update.....
     
  3. kalantan

    kalantan Member

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    Hi - I downloaded the upgrade - Pana_dvd.frm. Burned a CD-R with that as the only file on the ROM. I've tried a mess of different CD formats on two different burners and each time I insert the CD, the display flashes "UNSUPPORT." Any additional help is appreciated.... And in the instance, begged for...
     
  4. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    The disk must be a CD-T and should be recorded "Disk at a time" and not "Track at a time." It must be Finalized.

    That said, it doesn't always work. :(

    My E85H upgraded just fine with its upgrade file, but the E95H would read for a while and then just stop and be bormal. Systen check shows the old firmware--but for some reason my problems went away.

    As for "Unsupported format" the directions say you should have the HDD selected when you do your upgrade. I'm not sure that you can actually read the CDs in DVD mode--but the program can and does--automatically. . .sometimes.

    I sent an e-mail to Panasonic and got the following reply:

    Either they are clueless, in denial, or perhaps the upgrades only work in Japanese or European units. I saw on another thread theat the E85H upgrade for for US only and not Europe.

    bob
     
  5. kalantan

    kalantan Member

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    I too got an e-mail from Panasonic Customer support saying there is no firmware upgrade for the E95H. Furthermore when I got a so-called "tech" on the phone, she said that I should not use the firmware file I found for a US unit. I now have the file - Pana_dvd.frm - burned to a DVD. Was going to try that, but now I'm a bit nervous about what that file may do to my US unit. Any thoughts....?

    Thanks.
     
  6. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    If the upgrade is inapprpriate, it simply won't load. No harm, no foul.

    That appears to be the situation with mine. However, since I attempted to load it, I have had no further problems, although it never went through the documented load cycle, nor changed firmware levels.

    However, I have discussed on other forums the probability of heat causing many of these problems. At the same time I tried this upgrade, I also applied my "ventilatin fix": I placed Vienna Sausage cans under my unit, lifting it a couple of inches farther off of the table and allowing cooling air to circulate better. This has fixed problems in other PVRs as well.

    If yours is in a cabinet, I *highly* recommend adding ventilation holes to the back and rear of the cabinet--and an exhaust fan to move the air.

    These PVRs seem to be *extremely* sensitive to heat.

    bob faw
     
  7. Lagonda

    Lagonda Member

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    VideoBob,

    Read your information on the DMR E95 upgrade and the problems you were having. VERY HELPFUL. Thank you.

    I just bought a DMR E95 a week ago and am also getting the same green guide+ screen hang-up. The unit stays unresponsive until I hold the pwr for 10 seconds after which it does it's self test and work okay. This seems to happen only after I power up the unit after a night of recording on the HDD.

    Regarding the firmware upgrade from Panasonic JAPAN that you recommended:

    Will it change the unit's menus, etc. to Japanese? This is the only concern I have about trying it.

    Also, (and this may be a "duh" question) I'm assuming we are only to use the E85 upgrade for the E85, and E95 upgrade for the E95, ie. can the E85 upgrade by Roger W. Amidon (K2SMN) be used for the E95?

    This unit is wonderful, but just wish this “hang-up bug” would go away.

    I eagerly await your response.

    Regards,

    Harry
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2005
  8. kalantan

    kalantan Member

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    Hi - I have been having the go-round with Panasonic tech support on this one with my DMR-E95H. They tell me there is no firmware upgrade for US E95H units. They insist that the firmware update on their Japanese site is for Asia units only.

    They had me go through the "set unit back to factory" procedure: Hold down Channel UP and Channel DOWN buttons with unit ON. Hold the two buttons until display starts flashing 12:00. Don't release them before, or after the display reads "BYE." You won't have a full reset. That helped.... A bit. I still got the "Green Screen" lock a time or two. Panasonic Tech. then did research and called me back. Turns out, it's a problem on TV Guide's end. A TV Guide tech called a day later and told me that they are aware of the problem and will be pushing a fix to all units in a week or two. Their number is 800.386.7380. Maybe if enough people call and bug them, they will push the fix sooner.
     
  9. Lagonda

    Lagonda Member

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    Kalantan,

    Thanks for the interesting update. You know it kinda makes sense. The only times I feel my E95 does the hang-up _seems_ to be after the tv guide downloads. ie. morning or around noon - if the unit has been off.

    I have not been able to purposely reproduce the green-screen hang-up.

    Any info how the TV-guide techs are planning to "fix" the problem. Can they update automatically it via the cable?

    I'll give a call on the number you provided tomorrow and see if I can get more info.

    Please everyone, post any new info you may get on this topic. I love my DMR-E95 and the TV-Guide function and want them to work perfectly ALL the time!

    Regards,

    Harry
     
  10. kalantan

    kalantan Member

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    >>Any info how the TV-guide techs are planning to "fix" the problem. Can they update automatically it via the cable? <<

    The TV Guide tech said that the fix would come via overnight download - when the unit is off.
     
  11. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    Lagonda and Kalantan,

    1. There is *definitely* a firmware fix for the E85. I downloaded it, installed it, it worked as described, and the unit has worked flawlessly since early December.

    2. The symptoms on the E95 were *exactly* the same as with the E85.

    3. Panasonic, Japan acknowledges the probelem with *both* the E85 and E95 and provides a download from their website for each.

    4. Panasonic, USA still denies (for the most part) the existance of a fix for the E85, as well.

    5. I have recieved confirmation from both a Panasonic USA tech and their engineer that the problem *is* fixed by a patch; the patch is available on a CD; the patch will *soon* be available on their website; and they are sending me a copy (it has yet to arrive).

    6. I downloaded and tried the Japan fix for the E95 and it was not recognized at all. Neither was the E85 fix on the E95 (but it works fine on the E85). This is as expected: A patch should only be allowed to run it it meets *all* of the crteria for a given unit (i.e. make, model, revision, and native language).

    7. I have been told be several people that the problem is and always has been with Gemstar (TV Guide+)--but that the patch was a work-around due to thie inability (or refusal) to fix it. The fact they finally acknowledge it *and* expect to fix it in the near future is good news, indeed.

    8. Anyting you can load from a CD can be downloaded and executed from Gemstar *if* the unit was designed that way. In fact, I hear that TiVo has performed a *mandatory* (and involuntary) patch on newer systems that have users screaming. I don't know the details.

    I, too will harass Gemstar/TVGuide+ until the fix is done. I'm also going back to Panasonic if my disk doesn't arrive bt Friday.

    Bob Faw
     
  12. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    Update on the Panny DMR-E95HS Firmware Upgrade:

    As promised, I just got off the phone with Panasonic (after a 20-minute wait in the queue).

    [Thank heaven for wireless headsets! Mine lets me forget I'm on hold and continue with my other buisness until the tech finally comes on the line. ;)]

    The bottom line:

    1. The firmware update for the DMR-E95 *does* exist--as I've said all along.

    2. There has been such a high demand for it that they have had problems producing it for delivery. They are three weeks behind in shipments.

    3. That bottleneck has finally been resolved and *all* previously ordered upgrades should ship via US Mail today.

    4. If your Panasonic rep keeps claiming that there is no update, they are either ignorant or LYING! I still get the *EXACT SAME* generic e-mail from them anytime I try to contact them on-line. It starts off:

    Folks, trust me. This is merely company bullshit to stall the faint-hearted off until all of the agressive assholes (like myself) are placated. Once they have serviced all of the "squeaky wheels" then they will eventually post the fix to the website for download by those who tend to be more permissive, respectful, and/or polite.

    On the other hand, if you are tired of being brushed aside, call their hotline at (800) 211-7262 and hit "0" to get out of "Automated Menu Hell." Tell the operator that you need to order a firmware upgrade CD for your DMR-E95HS, and be *persistant*. Less than half of their support "experts" know (or at least acknowledge knowing) about it.

    If you get a "No such thing" answer, ask to speak to a supervisor. Keep doing so, moving up the food chain, until you get results.

    One of the secrets to getting results from *any* tech support pogue is to ask them to repeat their name, the first time they flash it by you--and then ask them to *SPELL* it. You have just put them on notice that they, personally, will be held accountable for this particular customer's satisfaction (you). Since Panasonic automatically sends out feedback forms to anyone who gives an e-mail address, this is doubly important.

    Also, *NEVER* hang up before getting--and verifying--a case number. When you call in, you can save a *shitload* of time by hitting "0" and simply saying, "I'm doing a follow-up on case number 12345678."

    A tip for waiting on hold:

    A headset is a very handy item for long service-call wait queues. If you don't have one, look along the sides and top of your phone's handset for either a jack or a little rubber plug covering a jack. Most modern handsets have headset capability. Cellphones usually use a single 2.5mm jack, while home cordless phones seem to use either the 2.5 or the 3.5mm style. I buy these at the local 99-cent store or Big Lots (or equivalent) for anywhere from 99 cents to about five bucks--depending upon style and current stock. You can get them at Radio shack for a little more--or go to a retail phone store and pay fifty bucks or more. I like the 99-cent option myself and have stocked up, so there's one lying by every phone in the house.


    [bold] Remember, persistance and determination are the key to getting anything you want from this world. ;)[/bold]

    bob faw
     
  13. franklinW

    franklinW Member

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    I called Panasonic this morning after getting the Green TV Guide and
    Screen lock-up problem three days in a row on my Panasonic dmr-e95hs.
    I also got the problem several times a week ago. I had to only wait 7 minutes for a support person, and he was very helpful.

    Here is what I found out:

    - The automated phone system has a menu item for the green TV
    Guide issue.

    - It mentions that there will be a TV Guide update on Monday,
    May 16th for most of the US. Parts of the Northeast got it
    on May 5 or 6 as a test run.

    - If the download is unsuccessful on May 16th, the download will be
    attempted again on Tuesday, May 17th.

    - The phone message also mentioned that the problem was a result of
    a TV Guide update during the Daylight Savings Time change.

    - I talked to a tech support person, and he mentioned that there is
    a firmware update CD, but that the download is the way to go
    since it is better than the CD.

    - He mentioned that there will be a screen that mentions that you
    have received a TV Guide update, and then indicates the steps
    to follow. I am not sure, but I think he mentioned that you
    may have to either power the Panasonic off or unplug it.

    - He told me to call back 2 days after the download if there are
    still issues.

    - The Panasonic support people have been getting lots of calls on
    the problem, and they are aware that there are online sellers
    selling the dmr-e95hs for the mid 300's.

    I hope that this information is helpful.

    Franklin
     
  14. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    OK, I got my upgrade CD from Panasonic today. It was mailed Monday. I popped it into my DMR-E95HS and it did its thing, just like the instructions said it would. It took about five minutes, with no help from me.

    When it was done, the Drive door opened and ejected the disk. I removed the disk and left the bay open--as instructed. (They said you couldn't close it if you tried, so I didn't). I then hit the power switch on th unit. I powered down and then finished the installation. When it came back up (by itself), I still had all of my prgramming in place for the coming week, and all of my channel line-up was safe (which is good, because it takes me over an hour to set it up).

    I have uploaded the 8MB disk image (ISO format) so that the first 25 peole who click on the link below will be able to download it and blow a CD (not a DVD) to upgrade their own E95.

    I reccommend using "Disk at a Time" on the burner--it finalizes automatically that way. You may have to, come to think of it, with an ISO image...

    Here's the link (which self-destructs after 25 downloads or 7 days--whichever comes first):

    This will upgrade the U.S. model Panasonic DMR-E95HS. There is a different file for the 85HS. I left that link a few weeks ago in a previous thread.

    Regular link (for all web browsers):

    http://s19.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2SY796V5SJTD52TJOA61F115HV

    If you want instructions, I scanned them into a PDF file:

    http://s12.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1ONBAJ4O5LVZ32ZNNYLSMGCV3B

    Bob Faw
     
  15. timmerr

    timmerr Member

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    Thanks Bob for posting the update. Could you please check to see what firmware version this is. I updated my machine, but at the end of the update it reads UPDATENG, so I am not sure if the update took.
     
  16. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    It took a long* time--5 t 10 minutes. If it didn't take, it should have returned to stock and a re-try should work. If it did take, the unit should ignore the upgrade.

    Here is my post-upgrade Firmware:

    In Service mode, hit:

    02 = Display Firmware Versions. The display showed the following for 3 seconds each:

    1. DVD Region Code: 1

    2. Main Firmware Version: 0530DR

    3. Timer firmware Version: 0020DJ

    4. DVD Drive firmware version: J131

    5. ROM checksum (I think): 000

    61 = Date the unit was manufactured. PD20040526 (i.e. 5/26/2004)

    bob
     
  17. gdoggy

    gdoggy Member

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    VideoBob - I am a little confused on what you were actually sent from Panasonic. The letter you scanned in PDF says it is in response to your calls about an E85 but you claim the iso image is for an E95. Please explain.








    @
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2005
  18. VideoBob

    VideoBob Regular member

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    [bold]VideoBob - I am a little confused on what you were actually sent from Panasonic. The letter you scanned in PDF says it is in response to your calls about an E85 but you claim the iso image is for an E95. Please explain.[/bold]

    It was confusing to me, too, since the call and our entire discussion was about the DMR-E95HS. After much discussion, checking, and confirmation the Panny tech agreed to send the upgrade for the E95HS. It was only *then*, just before hanging up, that I asked hi to send one for my E85HS as well.

    Thus, for some reason (probably the higher demand for a longer period) the *letter* menions the 85HS--but the CD label and contents were solely for the E95HS. . .and they worked admirably.

    I probaly shouldn't have included the confusing cover letter--and would have taken it down, except the file server has such a limited time on it, that it will take itself down. ;)

    So, in spite of a typo on their part, everything I got was for the E95HS.

    bob
     
  19. kalantan

    kalantan Member

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    Another thanks to Bob for posting the update. I used it on my E95H and everything seems to be peachy. To be fair the Panasonic tech told me that TV Guide would be pushing a fix on May 16, so whether the frimware upgrade supplied by Bob, or the TV Guide push (which I cannot verify occurance of) fixed my woes is unknown. If only TV Guide would add a "smart list" feature like TiVo, and all would be heavenly....
     
  20. gdoggy

    gdoggy Member

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    Panasonic has posted the firmware update files on their US website. I downloaded the E95 upgrade yesterday, but today I'm getting errors on the page. I wonder if they decided to pull them because too many people were having problems?






    @
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2005

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