The default mode on the Panasonic is SP - 2hr speed. To use XP, first insert the blank DVD into the machine, then on the remote, hit the button that says "Rec Mode" and toggle it to XP. Then insert the VHS you want to copy, and on the front right panel of the recorder, hit the "Copy" button. Hold the button for a few seceonds, a screen should appear asking if you want to copy VHS>DVD. Hit the enter button on the remote and it shoud begin copying. Make sure the VHS tape is cued up to the part you want to start copying from. The machine will keep recording until the disc is full, or you hit the "stop" button on the remote.
In my experience, when copying VHS to DVD, there's no major improvement in quality using XP speed.
As far as black levels are concerned, this effect is not applicable to the VHS>DVD function. It's used to lighten
or darken an input signal, like from the TV tuner, or on using the recorder's Video Input.
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Black level - that is correct
I playback RAM discs on all other Panasonic players & recorders, as well as my Panasonic Blu-Ray player DMP-BD35. I have also played back RAM on an older LG DVDR. The latest Panasonic Blu-Ray players still have the RAM logo on the box.
I will quite often record programs from Comcast HD DVR to RAM disc on Panasonic DVDR (composite cables) then edit out commercials, etc.
Then I playback the edited RAM on another Panasonic player to record to DVD-R.
You can then erase and reuse your RAM disc(s).
This is a bit time consuming. I wish I would have started with a Panasonic HDD DVDR back in the day, but they were too pricey for me at that time. The RAM discs work well for me. I'm old school dealing in "real time" recording. One of these days I'll learn to capture, edit & burn on the computer!
Hello - I am having problems with my Panasonic DVD Recorder (model DMR-EZ485V). It now displays an error message of C4545. The operating instruction, of course, does not list this. I try to record onto a DVD-R, and it says REC, but nothing happens. The system then jams up and I have to RESET. C4545 reappears.
Depending on how long you've owned this machine, chances are the DVD drive is defective or in need of repair. The best way to find out what the error code means is to call or email
Panasonic Support. The EZ485V has a bad track record as far as reliability goes. If you want to attempt to fix whatever problem it is yourself, you can try a DVD lens cleaner, and use it several times. Also known fixes for Panasonic recorders include taking apart the DVD drive and cleaning the disc spindle with rubbing alcohol. You can also try using a different brand disc. Last solution would be to download the latest firmware update for this machine, just checked Panasonic support site, there is a new 2011 update available. If all else fails, your choices are limited to sending it to Panasonic for repair or buying a new machine.
Thank you, joecass. We have the machine for 2 1/2 years. The last year or so, it has been put to working converted many old VHS tape to DVD. However, we also had a Panasonic 5-disc DVD player/home theatre system. That lasted three years and died. Conversely, we still have a top-load VCR from Panasonic, purchased in 1983! Still works...how the mighty have fallen.
The strange this is that the DVD player still plays without issue. I used Verbatim DVD-Rs and usually record on XP or SP. I have been recording nightly for the past two weeks, and hour a night. Then it flashed C4545 everytime I turned the unit on.
I will give Panasonic a ring.
For the future (and I think I have seen this posted before), we usually check Consumer Reports for good electronics. What would be a reliable VCR/DVD recorder?
If your PC can read the DVD+R, you can copy VOB files to your 'puter (most of the time you can just change .vob to .mpg and it will work). But you'll need an MPEG editor and DVD authoring tool to remake the DVD. Or, actually, many DVD authoring programs will let you join MPG's. There is plenty of free stuff around, but I use TMPGEnc to edit and author. Good stuff, very reliable, but not free and requires internet access for occasional license validation. If you buy one TMPGenc product, they discount additional buys and have free upgrades and good support.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
Although the video experts here think this to be a "junk" machine, I treasure it for its picture quality and versatility.
It's common for DVD recorders to still play DVD's but not be able to record anything.... I know, I have 3 other broken machines of various manufacture which do just that.
Sorry, I would never rely on Consumer Reports for accurate information on electronics. It's far too easy just to Google
a model number and see actual reliability issues as provided by owners.
As far as new machines go, besides Panasonic and Toshiba, the consensus here seems to point to the latest DVD/hard drive recorders made by Magnavox, sold at stores like Walmart, assuming you don't need the VHS function. I believe Magnavox also makes a DVD/VHS model. The machines with hard drives seem to last longer than the ones with VHS, but
you have to understand no electronic product made today (China, Malaysia, etc.) is going to last very long compared with
the machines of the 1980's and 1990's.
I have a Panasonic DMR-EZ48V. I recorded a TV show to a Verbatim DVD+R but did not finalize the disc. I tried to record another show later with a different disc from the same stack as the previous one and the recorder shows it as an incompatible disc. The same was true for the next 4 discs I tried. I went back to the original disc and recorded over the first show just fine. Did this one more time. What is the issue that the other discs will not be recognized by the unit?
before finalization seems more plausible. I switched to DVD-R many years ago, I found them more compatible with all my different brands
of recorders. For everyday non-critical recordings, I use DVD+RW on all my machines. The Panasonic EZ series seem a bit finnicky as to what type of discs are acceptable. Try +RW, -RW and -R if possible, if you still have the same problems, then I would suspect the DVD drive is at fault. If not, maybe the stack of Verbatims are just not right for your machine.
I have a EZ485V that failed about 2 years ago. I cleaned the disc spindle, to no avail, and gave up. I never downloaded any firmware update (was the latest the 2011 update?). I have about 100 discs that I never finalized, and would like to do that now. The recorder would give me the "incompatible disc" or damaged disc message (I can't recall for sure) on all my discs that used to work... Would the firmware update do any good in this circumstance?
What would you suggest I do? Didn't Panasonic stop refurbishing these things (and it was expensive, in any case)? ... Also, I read many bad reports, that even the refurbished ones didn't work well....
I still would like to have the capability of transferring VHS tapes to DVD, but if I understand it right, many posters suggest that we use another VHS player to transfer the tapes to a DVD recorder. Correct?
I have a friend traveling to Japan today. Would she be able to purchase a Panasonic recorder there that would allow me to finalize the discs? Are there any still available in the US for purchase? Would any other brand allow me to finalize the discs, or would it have to be a Panasonic? (this was my previous understanding--that it would have to be a Panasonic)
I read somewhere that DVRs are no longer available here??? Is this true? Even the Magnavox 2160?
Should I take advantage of my friend's trip to Japan and have her buy something there? Is it difficult to find a Region 1 (US) or Region 0 (any area) unit there? Are there any grey market ones available here in the US? What exactly does grey market mean? My recollection was that it means you wouldn't get the original factory warranty.... is this correct?
Last edited by usually_quiet; 18th Sep 2013 at 12:10.
Didn't Panasonic stop refurbishing these things (and it was expensive, in any case)? ... Also, I read many bad reports, that even the refurbished ones didn't work well.... You didn't answer this question -- is the Texas facility still doing expensive (and bad?) repairs? Should I drop the idea of having it repaired? (not having a HDD is quite a disadvantage over the newer ones!)
(It is unlikely that a firmware update will help. Your machine's optical drive seems to have failed. You may be able to finalize the EZ485V recorder's discs using another Panasonic DVD recorder, but there is no guarantee.)
***Does anyone have any experience in finalizing older discs on the newer international EH69 recorder?*** I'd hate to buy it and have it not work for this vital function (in my case)!
(You may also be able to recover the data on unfinalized DVDs using software like ISOBuster on a PC. )
*** Does anyone have any specific experience with using ISOBuster on unfinalized Panasonic DVD discs? I didn't see any specific info on this on their web site. Also, would I need to buy the newest 3.x version, or would I be able to transfer these discs to the hard drive with the older free version?***
(You can buy Panasonic DVD recorders here from specialty retailers selling international models. Their digital tuner will be useless in N. America but line-in recording works. B&H is one source for them but not the only one. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Recording_Player%2fRecorder&ci=16051&N=4289...orders_BI10389 )
The commenters on the B&H site seemed to imply that they might be able to use the tuner? Could that be a new thing, or do you think they just were using their cable co.'s box?
What is the consequence of not having a digital tuner work? Wouldn't it only come into play if you did not have a cable box? Do any of the Magnavox models have tuners? I saw one in a Walmart, and it did not....
**What advantages do the Panasonic DVRs have over the Magnavox ones? Are their input and output options different?
Do the current Panasonics or Magnavox models have longer life spans than they used to? (I've known many to last only a year or two).
Why do some professionals use the Panasonic DVR's, rather than cable co. DVRs and TIVOs? Is it because they have copyright restrictions that the Panasonics do not have? With the EH-69 would you be able to record premium channels, too (like HBO?
***B&H is closed until the end of the month, so I couldn't ask them any questions. I read their customer comments on the EH-69, and got conflicting reports (perhaps due to the wide range in dates they were posted?). It seems that they now include an adapter plug, but didn't previously. It also seems that one can convert it from PAL to NTSC rather easily, within five minutes. But some people said they couldn't record off cable, and some said they could. I am assuming that you would be OK if you already have a cable box provided by your cable company, that serves as the tuner. Would you then be able to record programs?
Would you be able to set up a timer recording (perhaps only if you left the TV on the channel you will be recording)? Or would you be able to sync the recorder with the cable box recording feature (we have COX cable)?
The B&H site included the following, in regard to the EH-69:
Please Note: This is a multi-system device, and it may be configured with a European AC plug. If necessary, please use the included adapter and adjust the zone for use in the USA. This unit may require a multi-system TV or system converter to view PAL DVDs in the US
Does the last remark about PAL DVDs refer to European DVDs? What does the remark mean?
What is the consequence of this unit being NTSC rather than ATSC?
Is the "IRE or black level problems with a PAL/NTSC international DVDR" issue still a problem, or does the newer EH-69 model allow for compensation?
I would also be transferring SDHC photos and videos to discs. Would I experience the problem with the lightness when transferring SDHC to discs?
Finally, would you discourage me from buying in Japan because I wouldn't have a factory warranty (or would I?)
At least with B&H they give a 90 day warranty. Do any other retailers do better on these Panasonic DVRs?
Thanks for your time this morning in answering my questions!
There's no guarantee that you'll be able to finalize those discs with another Panasonic machine, and most other brands will probably give an "incompatible disc" error message. One question, though, did you ever try one of those lens cleaning discs ? I have an old Radio Shack lens cleaner that I've used many times for recorders and DVD players that were giving me problems.
your cable company's system. The PAL DVD does refer to the European TV system, which is not compatible with USA NTSC. There's some type of setting on the EH69 to play either PAL or NTSC DVD's, however to play PAL DVD's you'd need a TV compatible with European PAL.
The only advantage to using a Panasonic recorder over other brands is the quality of the picture. Philips, Magnavox and Toshiba machines are all manufactured by one company called Funai. They are much more reliable than Panasonics, but in a word, the recorded picture is inferior. I have a friend who bought an early-model overseas Panasonic EH67 about four years ago, he still uses it without problems, but it's hard to estimate the current state of durability.
The Input/Output options on most recorders are basically the same, on Funai-based machines, there is no Black Level control, nor is there a Flexible Record option like with Panasonic.
Cable Co DVR's and Tivos are a completely different animal. You can't archive recorded material unless you hook the outputs to a DVD recorder.
Some people just want to view TV shows, others want to archive stuff to DVD for permanency. Or transfer old VHS tapes to DVD.
I tried using IsoBuster many years ago on an unfinalized disc, for me it was unnecessarily complicated, confusing and too time consuming.
Maybe the latest version is easier, I can't really comment on that.
ISOBuster, but the I suspect the paid version will produce VOB files or another type of MPEG-2 container more quickly and with less effort on your part. This is what I do: http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/357242-dvd-r-did-not-finalize-properly-now-cannot-a...=1#post2252626
You will need to do your own research regarding store warranties.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 18th Sep 2013 at 22:24.
To add a few things to usually_quiet's excellent post, yes the IRE issue is still there, international black level is 0 IRE, N. America uses +7.5 IRE. If you feed a international Panasonic a +7.5 IRE signal(for example from a NTSC VCR or cable box) your recordings will be a tad light(+7.5 IRE). Some people do not notice this, I do but mostly in back or near black scenes. If recording from another DVD player most have a DARKER setting to output 0 IRE, I've never seen a VCR or STB with this option.
Your SD cards should work fine, as long as they were recorded on something other than a international Panasonic, only recordings will be light(if they aren't fed a 0 IRE signal).
I finalize discs all the time on my EH-59 that were recorded on other Panasonics, those will not have a black level issue, again only things RECORDED on a international Panasonic will be light if not fed the proper black level.
AFA finalizing discs made on a failing Panasonic, there is always the chance that your discs were damaged by your bad Panasonic and may not be able to be finalized, this is rare but does occasionally happen. If this is the case your only option would be to play them realtime on a Panasonic DVDR and record them on another DVDR, that or use the ISO PC program already mentioned.
I've found the international Panasonics to be very reliable, never had a issue with mine in several years of heavy use. The EZ-48v is about the worst DVDR Panasonic made, VERY unreliable and buggy. The only EZ model Panasonic I'd consider owning is the EZ-28 and tunerless EA-18.
Last edited by jjeff; 19th Sep 2013 at 10:00.
Joe, Jeff,and usually quiet,Thank you so very much for your thorough and thoughtful replies to my questions. It has certainly been a complex set of factors to consider. I would like to hear a bit more about the difference in picture quality between the Magnavox and Panasonic DVRs -- to help me decide whether getting my Panasonic fixed would be worthwhile... Do you notice the difference in recorded quality even on an older TV, or just with newer flat panel HD TVs? How substantial is the difference? Where do you notice it the most?... i.e. what types of recordings or shows or scenes?
Has anyone sent in a Panasonic to the Texas repair facility in recent times? How much did it cost & were they happy with the repair? I had read several posts a ways back expressing much skepticism about the quality of work done there....
Thanks again for all your helpful advice...
IMO you're not likely to see a quantum difference between the Magnavox (also sold as "Toshiba", both made by Funai) and the Panny "EZ". Neither machine is up to par with the better DVDR's made between 2000 and 2005. By 2005 manufacturers had caught on that the average consumer, who couldn't set up a VCR to begin with, were clueless when it came to working a DVDR. Add developments in other areas such as Netflix and Hollywood's reluctance to allow consumers to record anything, and OEM's were downgrading everything they made. Generally speaking the Pannies used Panasonic's own encoder/decoder which had a cleaner image with less noise and better motion handling than the cheaper circuitry found with remaining competitors.
Panasonic would have the edge over the Magnavox in quality -- but you're dealing with an input source (VHS) that is basically an antithesis to digital processing. A fairly pristine VHS source would fare fairly well with digital recoding to a lossy format like MPEG, as long as you're willing to accept that even a pristine VHS source has the kind of noise that looks a bit worse to digital encoders than it does to the analog input and processing circuits of a decent HDTV. A poor VHS source will look just plain bad when recorded directly to DVD, and there's not much you can do about bad tape with any kind of DVDR.
Trying to compare the image of a CRT with that of a newer flat panel is a waste of time. Obviously the CRT will not accentuate noise and tape defects to the same extent that an LCD would, and obviously a CRT isn't hampered by the necessity of upsampling that an HDTV performs; but as with most electronics, some CRT's were obviously better than others and the same goes for HDTV's. The idea that anything digital always looks better than anything that was analog is inaccurate. There are so-so-and-worse LCD's on the market today that are just as horrible as so-so-and-worse CRT's in many respects. The fact that many pro mastering and archival shops still use pro CRT's in their work ought to tell you something, even if those studio units are far and away not the same thing that John Q. Public would have had in his home. To compare the "average" LCD with a top-line properly calibrated LCD or CRT is not a fair comparison; the calibrated unit will always win.
Many members here would not archive VHS directly to DVD in the first place. Rather, they would use a high-quality player with a tbc and perhaps a proc amp of some kind (or a similar combination of hardware and software), and record VHS to lossless media on a computer, clean it up, and use a high-quality encoder and authoring program to burn a DVD. That's a considerably more laborious process that VHS->DVD. Of course the average consumer comes nowhere near that level of recording, intermediate processing, and encoding.
Whether the "EZ" is worth shipping off for repair is up to you. I haven't seen any horror stories concerning regional repair centers. I had an old Panny DMR-ES20 whose optical drive died after 2 years and was repaired at reasonable cost by a shop 2 hours' drive from here. It still works, 6 years later. But I did some shopping to find that tech. Today, he no longer services old DVDR's and is reluctant to service a new one. I had a 2004 high-end Toshiba whose optical drive also died (after it had burned more than 2000 discs, which I still have). It was repaired at what I call a reasonable price by a regional Toshiba repair center, and it took about 2 weeks. It still works.
Again, I'd give the edge to the "EZ" as a recorder for VHS. But if you aren't one to notice subtle but very visible differences in imaging quality, the comparison is moot. Think of the millions of VHS owners who recorded their tapes to the cheapest DVDR they could get their hands on and who say the transfers look "great". They wouldn't look so great to a trained or critical eye. I recorded many retail VHS tapes to my Panasonic ES-15 and ES-20, and I find them more than acceptable, considering that the tapes were in good shape to begin with -- I also found them much better than I would have achieved on a friend's cheap DVDR from another maker, which doesn't record anything very well, period. When it comes to home-recorded tapes, especially those recorded at 6-hour speed or with consumer cameras, the results are horrible in my estimation. But you might feel otherwise. It all depends on what you expect. In any case, a VHS won't look like DVD just because it's been recorded to DVD disc. The best you can get is that the DVD will look just like the tape, if not worse. It would defy the laws of physics to think that the tapes would look "better".
Whatever you do, save your most valued tapes. In the future you just might get the urge to go into restoration of a few memories that you treasure. If the tapes are gone, that won't be possible.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
I use all my recorders the same way.... to record high definition broadcasts using either Over The Air (OTA) or cable QAM transmissions. All brands of recorders have multiple recording speeds, i.e., one hour XP down to 6 or 8 hour EP.
There is where the picture quality is most noticeable between Panasonic and the other Funai-based machines. I've done many side-by-side comparisons of PQ on all my machines. For a 3 or 4 hour recording, to my eyes, the Panasonic always wins. So it comes down to a choice of longevity versus picture quality. The Phillips/Toshiba/Magnavox machines seem to be more reliable than Panasonics, but I prefer having a better picture to watch....
Panasonic DVD recorders have a flexible recording mode and Magnavox DVD recorders don't. My Panasonic recorder could only record to DVD and the flexible recording mode came in handy to maintain the best picture quality for the number of minutes recorded. ...but since my Magnavox DVD recorder has a hard drive, I find I do not have much use for a flexible recording mode. I record in SP mode and can split recordings at a commercial break before dubbing to DVD and use 2 DVDs if necessary.
Panasonic LP mode recordings are made at 720x480. The LP mode for the Magnavox DVD recorders uses 352x480. Some people prefer 352x480 for fewer macroblocks in fast motion scenes, others prefer 720x480 to see more detail in relatively static scenes. I only use SP mode for the Magnavox because of the hard drive, so the resolution used for LP mode recordings does not matter to me.
There is one thing that annoys me about my Magnavox. Panasonic recorders don't loose their timer settings if the power goes out for an extended period of time, but the Magnavox recorders do loose theirs if the power goes out for a couple of minutes.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 8th Oct 2013 at 10:00.