Got me too... If the buttons on the main unit work normally, then possibly main unit and remote control are using different codes. Main unit shows SET 1; change remote control code to match it: Press and hold [ENTER] and code number  keys for more than two seconds. Fix listed in Operating Instructions troubleshooting guide, Operation section (pg 42). MULTI.PDF">http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMRES15-MULTI.PDF
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According to page 15 of the manual, you should "Press and hold [ENTER] and the indicated number button at the same time for more than 2 seconds" This will work for SET 1, SET 2, etc. If you have lost the manual for the DVR/Remote you can download a copy at http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMRES15-MULTI.pdf
Yea I have the same set up and did the same thing as that your trying to do and what you have to do is run both the cable box and the VCR through your TV using the inputs. As well as a PS2 running through imput 3.
Your DVD recorder can be set up to accept remote contol signals on any one of three channels. DVD 1, DVD 2 or DVD 3. Your remote can be set up to send signals on any of these channels. You need to make sure your recorder and remote are set to the same channel.
Your recorder is telling you that it is set to receive remote control signals on channel DVD 1. This means your remote control is currently set for a different channel.
Assuming that you have a genuine Panasonic remote, do the following, On your remote press the "Enter" button and hold it down. Then press the "1" button at the same time for two seconds, then release both. This will change your remote so it sends signals on DVD 1 which will match your recorder.
Those clever people at Panasonic realise that you will be delighted with their products and will probably have several of their appliances in use. The different channels avoids switching all your Panasonic gadgets at the same time. Clever huh?
I get this message occasionally on my Panasonic DMR-ES15. It's actually a really simple fix. It occurs when there is a corruption in the disc which causes the recording mechanism to malfunction. There is a separate error message for this, however it is usually not detected until it's too late. When the recorder asks you to carry out the recovery process, do it. When the disc ejects, make sure you take the disc out that was in there when it occured and throw it away...it will keep happening because the disc is permanently corrupted. However, do not close the tray without a disc or the self-check will fail. Instead pop in a disc of the same format that the error occured in (if it was DVD+RW then put in a DVD+RW). It resolves the problem every time on the first try. (It only happened two times in a year and a half for me). As the manual says the unit is "NOT BROKEN".