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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by Video Buff View Post
    Still cannot figure out how to copy VHS to DVD in XP using the built in videodeck and dvd burner... It will only record in SP..

    Can anyone tell me how adjusting the white-black balance improves the picture? If the video is dark, I assume I adjust it up, if too light I adjust it down, right? Doesn't this machine do it automatically?

    Thanks again for any help you can give.

    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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  2. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2010
    Location: United States
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    Black level - that is correct
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  3. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Chicago, IL.
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    Originally Posted by Video Buff View Post

    Also, the RAM discs are rather expensive and very hard to find. After I record and edit chapters on a RAM disc, is there some way to copy this onto a more available and cheaper DVD-R and then reuse the RAM disc? Or does copying denegrate the signal?


    The RAM disc does not have a finalization function. I ejected the RAM disc and put it into my other DVD player but it does not recognize it. What's the trick on this? My computer will play it but not the DVD stand alone player. Is there a way to copy the RAM disc -- without losing quality -- onto a DVD-R or DVD-RW and finalize it so most DVD players will recognize it?

    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!
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2011
    Location: Phoenixville, PA
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    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.

    Please advise...

    Thank you.

    -Paul
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United States
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    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.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2011
    Location: Phoenixville, PA
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    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?
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  7. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: New York, US
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    -30-
    Last edited by sanlyn; 21st Mar 2014 at 09:45.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by Fergy1098 View Post
    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?
    2 1/2 years sounds about the right amount of time for a breakdown. My Panasonic 48VK lasted about 18 months before it broke, however I purchased a three year Panasonic warranty which at the time only cost $109, to me well worth it.
    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.
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2013
    Location: Manteca,CA
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    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?
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by JimP819 View Post
    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?
    Unless I'm mistaken, DVD+R discs are write-once only, don't understand how you could "record over" the first show. Adding new material
    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.
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  11. 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?
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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....
    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. You won't be able to finalize them using another brand of DVD recorder. You may also be able to recover the data on unfinalized DVDs using software like ISOBuster on a PC.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    Yes

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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)
    You can buy Pansonic 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

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    I read somewhere that DVRs are no longer available here??? Is this true? Even the Magnavox 2160?
    No, Magnavox still makes DVD recorders. Check B&H Photo's website and Walmart's website. They are not sold in stores. Other online retailers may sell them too.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    Buy here if you can. Gray market means a retailer is selling a product that the manufacturer does not export to the country where it is being sold. The product was shipped to a wholesaler in a different country, and purchased from them by the retailer. ...and yes there is no warranty.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 18th Sep 2013 at 11:10.
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  13. [QUOTE=usually_quiet;2267985]
    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    I have a EZ485V that failed about 2 years ago..... Thank you very much for your prompt reply--it enabled me to contact my friend before she left for Japan...
    ***I think I recall now that the recorder would give me an unreadable 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? If this is the message I received, would any of your replies be any different?


    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!
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  14. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    You do have other options.... such as sending in your EZ485V for repair. I emailed Panasonic USA earlier this year, they still repair and refurbish these machines; you can also buy a used Panasonic recorder on EBay. The prices are high since the U.S. models are no longer made. There is another company in the US that sells overseas market Panasonic recorders which are fairly expensive
    http://www.world-import.com/panasonic-dvd-r.htm
    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.
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  15. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
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    [QUOTE=aztecwolverine;2268081]
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    I have a EZ485V that failed about 2 years ago..... Thank you very much for your prompt reply--it enabled me to contact my friend before she left for Japan...
    ***I think I recall now that the recorder would give me an unreadable 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? If this is the message I received, would any of your replies be any different?


    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!
    As far as I know, the warranty only applies to the country you buy it in, if your friend buys you the recorder in Japan, you'd have to send it back to Japan for repair. NTSC is the television system for the U.S. & Canada. ATSC is the designation for the type of tuner in a recorder, in this case it's a digital tuner designed for Over The Air free digital broadcasting here in the U.S. The overseas EH69 model tuner is made for another type of digital broadcast, not compatible with our system. These machines have Line In (or Video In) inputs jacks on the back that would allow you to record from a cable box Video Out. Whether or not you can record Premium cable channels depends on
    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.
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
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    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    (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?***
    I only have experience using the free version of 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

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    (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?
    The specs for the international DVD recorder models from B&H say they have only have a PAL tuner which is useless here. The specs do not mention an NTSC tuner, which might be used for analog cable, nor do the specs say they have an ATSC tuner for over-the-air TV, or a clear QAM tuner for non-encrypted digital cable. I think the Magnavox DVD recorders with hard drives made for N. America are the only models sold here that have ATSC/clear QAM tuners.
    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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....
    Without a digital tuner, you won't be able to record over-the-air TV either, which many people still want to do. The Magnavox DVD recorders with a hard drive have a digital tuner.
    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    **What advantages do the Panasonic DVRs have over the Magnavox ones? Are their input and output options different?
    The Panasonic recorders can read and write to DVD-RAM and DVD+R DL discs and have a flexible recording mode. Panasonic LP mode recordings are made at 720x480 not 352x480, This may or may not be an advantage. Some people prefer 352x480 for fewer macroblocks in fast motion scenes.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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).
    Lifespan is a matter of luck. Most will last at least 2 years with normal use.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    Panasonic DVD Recorders and Magnavox DVD recorders obey analog copy protection flags when recording via a cable box's analog connections. You may need a video stabilizer/video clarifier to remove copy protection flags to be able to record protected cable channels and premium cable channels onto a DVD that would play on any machine but the one that recorded it.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    Your ability to record cable channels will depend on what copy protection flags were applied.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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 Magnavox and Panasonic recorders include a timed recording function, but they can't control a cable box. To record the correct channel, the cable box has to be tuned to the channel you want to record, either manually or with the cable box's automatic channel changing feature, if there is one.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    The remark means that the unit can play PAL DVDs but does not convert the signal to NTSC for output to a N. American TV. Since few TVs made for N. America are compatible with PAL input, you will not be able to watch the DVD.


    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    What is the consequence of this unit being NTSC rather than ATSC?
    You cannot watch or record over-the-air TV in the US with the international Panasonic recorders. There is no NTSC analog tuner either,according to the specs, only the ability to record NTSC video from composite and S-video connections.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    I have no idea.

    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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?
    Are you willing to go to the trouble and expense of mailing the recorder back to Japan if you find you don't like it, or for service under the warranty? I would guess not.

    You will need to do your own research regarding store warranties.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 18th Sep 2013 at 21:24.
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    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 09:00.
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  18. 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...
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    Last edited by sanlyn; 21st Mar 2014 at 09:46.
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    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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...
    Everything is pretty subjective when it comes to DVD recorders, quality of picture, and features. I had my original Panasonic EZ48VK repaired back in November of 2010, and it still works. The Texas repair facility doesn't actually 'repair" your machine, they just send you a refurbished unit. As for picture quality, the Panasonics win hands down, IMO, when compared to Philips/Toshiba/Magnavox recorders. But, I'm referring to how it looks on a modern LCD LED large flat screen TV, the difference would probably be negligible on an older CRT TV. It also depends on the subject material being recorded. If all you're going to do is transfer VHS tapes to DVD, I don't think it will matter much which brand of recorder you use.

    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....
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    Originally Posted by aztecwolverine View Post
    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...
    The Magnavox DVD recorder I own has very good picture quality overall. My Panasonic recorder over-sharpens. I see less ringing and mosquito noise with my Magnavox DVD recorder, although it produces a darker picture than my Panasonic. I have read that the darker picture has been corrected in the current Magnavox models, but I cannot confirm it from personal experience since I don't own one of them.

    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 09:00.
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