I thought I'd write this guide as I have recently been looking into this model of dvd recorder.
I had one of these which I bought a couple of years ago from new after extensive research at the time. I loved the features of the machine and ease of use. I never had any problems with it.
About a year ago my ex ended up with the dvd recorder and I've been looking to get one ever since.
I started looking around but then a friend of mine who knew how much I liked the DMR E55 gave me hers when she upgraded. I'd had it approx 3 weeks before problems started....and they were big ones! The unit would go into a loop of "self checking" which wouldn't end when the machine was turned on, when the direct navigator menu was used, when programmes were deleted.....in most situatiuons, really!
Having found that a high street store would have to send it to Panasonic at a cost of £35 just to look at it, I surfed the Net to find some answers.
I soon discovered that people all over the place are reporting similar problems with this (and some later) models. The problem seems to stem from a faulty voltage regulator inside the machine and seems to occur most frequently in machines that are a couple of years old.
Now, the part is inexpensive (approx £12) but for labour you'd be looking to pay around £45 per hour (shouldn't take that long but you'd probably be charged an hour anyway).
I concluded, therefore, that it's not worth me buying that model now. You can, of course, attempt to repair the faulty part yourself. Information on how to do this is freely available online. I did it - but with no de-soldering or soldering experience I sadly fried the circuit board!!!
Having spent some considerable time finding out this information, I thought that some fellow eBayers might find it helpful. If you have, please rate this guide so that others are more likely to see it.