Update 21/06/2017 – Please see post 196 which highlights a successful claim against Panasonic. The claimant has kindly left his information and details should you wish also to make a claim.
It has been brought to our attention by a joinfreesat reader that, following changes to the Forward Error Correction (FEC) used by ITV on it’s HD satellite transponders, Panasonic 2009 – 2012 televisions and their range of DMR XS350/BS750/BS780/BS850/BS880 DVD and BD PVR’s can no longer receive the channel properly
and exhibits severe break-up.
The issue has been taken up with Freesat, ITV and Panasonic who all seem to have been blaming one another. One reader who contacted us and has been in liaison with Panasonic about the issue has said they put the blame on ITV for “using a non-standard set of broadcast parameters not in use at the time the units were manufactured”, however in ITV’s defence they claim that this issue is “isolated only to Panasonic Freesat devices” and reports from other affected users confirm this.
Freesat’s call centre are also well aware of this problem and have said that they have no justification over what mode of transmission a broadcaster wishes to use on it’s platform but is somewhat disappointed at how ITV and Panasonic have handled this with affected consumers.
Legally, and in ITV’s defence, the Panasonic equipment affected should conform to the DVB-S/S2 specification and whilst 8PSK modulation was not in use when the sets were designed, they should be able to handle and receive this mode of transmission meaning this issue has been inherent since original manufacture. Our reader who’s escalated this high up within Panasonic reports after a conversation yesterday that they don’t plan on doing anything to resolve the issue although legally and under the Sale of Goods Act it does give grounds for claim as such under consumer law a product with an inherent issue “within a reasonable timeframe” should be dealt with by the manufacturer.
Pressure from affected users will in turn put pressure on Panasonic to find and rollout a software fix for the issue. Affected users should in the first instance log a ticket with Panasonic for the problem on their customer support line – 0344 844 3899. People who are affected with 2011 and 2012 model TV’s covered under a 5yr extended warranty are especially urged to get in touch with Panasonic as they’ll have a direct liability to resolve for these users and hopefully the others at the same time via an over-air or downloaded software/firmware update.
As no other freesat and non-freesat branded satellite receivers are affected by this issue, and indeed the problem is isolated to Panasonic only, it does show a design or software limitation which they should address to affected users who otherwise see no reason for having to swap/replace otherwise perfectly good affected equipment.