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.
Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker or buy PlayOn (record Netflix) :)
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker or buy PlayOn (record Netflix) :)
+ Reply to Thread
Results 31 to 60 of 65
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.
Last edited by sanlyn; 21st Mar 2014 at 09:45.
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 11:10.
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: https://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 21:24.
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 09:00.
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.
Last edited by sanlyn; 21st Mar 2014 at 09:46.
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 09:00.
I know this is a long shot, since I'm probably the only person still using a VCR - but I just set up this unit last week (purchased a couple of years ago at Costco) and I can't get the recorder power to shut off while the TV is on, so the scheduled timer recording will not work. My previous unit timer recording worked with the recorder on or off, and the TV on or off.
Yes prior to the EZ models with Panasonic the recorder could be on or off and scheduled events would record, the EZ models were a big step backwards IMO.
AFA not shutting off, have you turned off HDMI control, may also be called HDAVI control? You may also be able to turn it off on your TV if your not using it on other devices. HDMI control goes under different names of TVs, sometimes it's called CE link, Fun link or other names. If you said the name of your TV it may help.
I'm just assuming you have your EZ hooked via HDMI, if not I have no idea why you can't turn your EZ off while the TV is on, has to be a HDMI thing. I also always have my DVDRs setup to automatically turn off after 1hr of inactivity but this may not help if your TV is turning your EZ on.
jjeff, you are a genius, sir! I had connected the HDMI cable which was a feature not included on the old model. It isn't necessary to my normal operation though, so it was a case of overkill. An example of more is not better, LOL! When I disconnected it from the TV, the EZ remains off while the TV is on. Thank you so much for your expert advice!
Component is basically as good as HDMI anyway, besides it doesn't have all the "features" of HDMI which one may want or in your case not.
How do I find out the currently-installed firmware version on my DMR-EZ485V? I have downloaded the latest DF-366, but first want to verify what's in there now. I did an upgrade several years ago, but since replaced the DVD unit when it died a year ago. Thanks!
New guy here. It may turn out I registered to this forum for just this one post, but I will probably find some more to interest me here. The primary reason I signed up may be that I have discovered what may be a secret to those still enamored with this particular Panny model.
I originally bought my first one and it lasted but like a year. It had a lot of the problems described here, with perhaps the most irritating problem was the timer recordings flaking out (yes, boys and girls, I do have the solution). It was a different world back then, and somehow I didn't know how good the web was for gathering info, or maybe I just got bad information if I did look. But, shudder, I did buy this model all over gain, because for some strange reason I thought I had no choice. Anyway, This current one I have has been with me at least 3 years, and was built at least 14 months after the first one, and generally seems to behave better, but with many of the same problems, except, for you-know-what.
So let's not play anymore. The solution to fixing the timer recording problem, for me, was to NEVER change the day. IOW, when you go to programming, you select the day, or days, before you pick the time. So suppose you picked Monday the 1st of the next month. Let's also suppose you're doing this at 7AM, but the program will play at 11PM. Now logically since you've already picked the date, you would think it would keep it, but as far as I can tell it don't, or it makes it askew in any case. Even in this, I can't tell you it screws up all the time.
So if it's 7AM, the logical thing to do is to shift the time backwards, to where if the day of the week is operating properly, it should go to the prior day than you set it. IOW, you typed in Monday the 1st, but when you sent the time to the shortest path to 11PM, you went backwards, so that it should switch the day to SUNDAY, say the 31st. But it doesn't do that, but it does screw it up. So in this given example, you have to go in whatever direction DOES NOT change the day normally, so that my 7AM has to be switched to 8AM, 9AM, and so on, until I reach 11PM. You doubt it? Let's just say for the past, at least two plus years, I have been doing this, and I have not had a single screwup with timed recordings that could not be blamed on the disc being damaged. And I am generally recording anywhere between 10-12 times a week with timer recordings. I used to have AT LEAST one timer screwup a week before I started doing it that way.
I hope that all makes sense. BTW, this model damages dvd's like it's nobody's business. I go through anywhere between rotating 10-20 -RW discs, and none of them last over a year. I also play quite a lot of prerecorded dvds to that same player, and I NEVER see scratches on those, yet use the -RWs and I'm getting them all the time, no matter how gentle I am with them. I'm going to give mine the air blower treatment pretty soon and MAYBE that will help with that, as it's something I never really thought about. Naturally, the unit won't use a lot of the -RWs once they get so many scratches. As well, I never have been good at removing any scratches, though I have the kits for them. All I can hope to do is wipe them softly and that might give me a couple more recordings out of them.
It's such a joke that people actually preach that dvd is superior to VHS is durability. I tell you, I have VHS's from back to '82, and they seem to play as well as they ever did. Yes, the VHS is less durable, but a VHS don't have all that herky jerky spinning done on them either. I maybe have lost between 5-10 VHS's in my life and probably triple that loss ratio in dvd's (almost entirely blank ones). Well maybe the commercial dvds will last a really long time? That is if there's players around long enough to play them.
This has to be..... the strangest post I've ever read regarding the Panasonic EZ recorders, no offense intended whatsoever. I've had two DMR-EZ48V models over the past six or seven years, and, the only instances I can recall where the machines screwed up a timer was: A) loss of incoming OTA signal, or B) a scratched-up defective disc. I've always used DVD+RW's on all my recorders with few exceptions. Sorry I don't exactly understand your method of recording timers, but if it works for you, then stay with it. Yes, it's true that rewritable discs do not last all that long and get scratched very easily, but that's the nature of the medium. Plain old DVD-R's are cheap enough to use for every day recording and disposal. DVD-RW's seem more sensitive than +RW's as far as their longevity and playability. While the Panasonics have been much maligned in this forum, I've basically had no problems with mine since I bought them. My method of ensuring timer programs is to 'rotate' the discs I use, i.e., don't use the same disc over and over on the same machine, and I never just 'delete' previous recordings.... I always format the entire disc first before setting a timer. Works for me.....
Yes, I have considered -R's and of course all DVR's won't accept both -RW and +RW. I know at one time I used +RW, and maybe that is what I started using on there, but lately I have been buying -RW, and I cannot recall why. Perhaps my BD/burner only takes -RW, and if the Panny vhs/dvd will take both, that would be a good reason to go -RW, even though, as you at recall, I've barely ever burned anything on it. You buy things sometimes just to accommodate more possibilities anyway. I wish I know exactly why I switched, but the DVR works on -RW at least, and I'm guessing +RW as well.
See? I knew this prior post would be wild to people, as least as far as a solution goes, but it definitely works, and indeed may work for all those who have had the timer problems. I have changed nothing else in my methods and this apparently cleared it up. I don't know why I thought of such a wild thing, other than to know that things don't actually function as you think they would fairly frequently. It was the mother of invention sort of thing, because if you had perfectly good discs abort over and over for no apparent reason, you begin to suspect the timer. It also seems as though the vast majority of aborted recordings were ones in the early morning, IOW, recordings that might had involved somebody going the direction with setting the time, that was closest to the current time it always starts you out with. What loon does what I said here to reach 1AM from doing it at 10PM? That's only 6 times the key being depressed, as opposed to much more.
BTW, my OTA signal does not vary for the most part, as it is VERY strong everywhere, and even if that were so, it certainly stopped varying late nights after I did this timer technique. You're just one of the lucky ones who never had a timer problem I expect. BTW, the reason I know these weren't aborted because of a bad disc, is because this machine is so good at telling you when you allegedly have one. If I had one abort because of that last night, I would naturally try to use it again the next time. Sooner or later it would had told me it was bad, and as quick as this thing is to tell you that, I would think it would had told me that minute I tried to format or finalize it. Naturally, unless you take the disc out and do something with either it or the DVR, it won't change it's outlook towards that disc (that is excepting that rebooting the DVR might clear it's head).
I think cost effectively I get more out of the -RW or +RW than I would out of the -R. Sure it's a pain to lose what industry always claims are basically indestructible discs, but at least I get them to make maybe 10 recordings fully before they go bad. As well, I do rotate them, but after months they all get used plenty. As good as 3M was with VHS, I sure wish they would make recordable dvd and BD.
On another point, I will on occasion delete a program, like I did this morning, after perusing the earlier morning recording, and then reuse that with it now showing a full two hours remaining again, and it works on that deleted portion plenty of times like that. I think your analysis of how you prevent timer recording is in error, because it sounds like you have no timer recording problems to find a correction for. I have at least conquered a very problem I had for a long time, but whether formatting or deleting (for what little you may want to delete) is rougher on the discs, I guess only somebody who uses rewriteable media would be able to see the results over time and draw a conclusion. To me, it just makes sense that a format is much rougher on the disc than a delete, but we both know you have to do formats anyway. In the end, whether you do a delete for the very few opportunities you get, or format instead, I don't think it makes very much difference, because you still have to format a lot whichever method you prefer.
BTW, in my case the main reason I delete is because of convenience. In many cases I don't preview the material on the DVR at all, but some things will get that and therefore will get deleted at times. I don't ever play the disc, beyond a quick preview, on the DVR itself, but rather just record it and take it over to my BD/burner drive on the computer and view it there. So even if deletion puts more wear and tear on the disc, I really don't do it very much and I don't think I've ever had an obvious indicator that it makes a difference. For example, I use the format that gives me 2 hours a disc. Today it was a formatted disc, which only recorded a one hour program with the other hour left blank due to no other program slatted to record yet. I deleted it and left it in the drive. This evening it will record another hour program, using that same first slot again, and not have a problem. If it did have a problem there, then certainly I might suspect something.
I will tell you a story of one odd recent incident I had recently, in fact had several times, and I believe I'm still using that disc. I have a disc which it records to all but the last 2 minutes (it wasn't always that way of course). Then when I turn the machine on again to check on the disc after recordings, it will tell when it couldn't complete the recording because of the disc, and you have only one hour and 57 minutes used, but it still works otherwise. As you may know, it normally uses just 1hr and 59min for timer recordings.
While my loss in RW category is larger than seems plausible to me, at least they far outlast the R categories, and as such are less expensive. BTW, you recommend -R in my case, does that mean that is the ONLY thing you use one yours, disposables? Don't you entirely lose the ability to delete programs with those things, since they won't record back over it (another downfall if true)? I know for your case, non-deleting is a thing for you, but I do have to wonder if you even have a choice. Sure, the DVR may offer to delete it, and do it, but it doesn't mean the disc won't throw that advantage away, considering you can't record over -R again.
The only advantage I can see with -R is that you're always using a new disc, but -R isn't exactly known to not fail out of the box, especially the cheaper ones. I can't swear it's true, but as shoddy as RW seems at times, I think I can safely say all of them have at least worked out of the box. They only seem shoddy to me, or the DVR itself, because I had expectations with all the talk about their super durability as compared to VHS, it's all just a big fat lie, even though getting better resolution is often worth it (I'm definitely not a big VHS fan for that reason).
A VHS story for you, perhaps you wen through it too? When my parents went digital, they did so buy using convertors, which means they stuck to the standard VHS machines they had. So we put the convertor on and everything works, expect for one problem a MAJOR one. The VCR would devour a pre-recorded movie I put in it and shut down. Then I powered it back up and it would just power back down after a slight bit. No way to get the tape out! So I had a spare VCR I hooked up in it's place, thinking the model responsible, and it ate the next pre-recorded movie and behaved the same. So I took both units and took them home. I thought the problem might had been the convertor, and the old VCR not understanding digital stations, therefore throwing it off in other ways, but I hooked it back up in the total analog way again, and nothing in both cases as far as getting those tapes out. I think it seems to operate otherwise as you would expect, if you could just get the bleeding tape out, and of course there was nothing analog on the air at that time to try to record anything with it.
I finally opened up the sucker and found how to eject the VHS manually. To end this saga of VHS doldrums, as you may recall I have this dvd/vhs machine now. I did some vhs to dvd recordings just fine, but despite me having a pool of dvds to record your everyday OTA, I decided one day to record on a VHS blank. Nope, don't work. I don't know if that's true of all dual function DVR's but this one sure won't do it, unless maybe there's some special post-digital VHS tape out there that would do it. Maybe it's just another fault of this model, but it is pretty useless to record on VHS anyway, but for those with a ton of blank VHS (not me) it might be a viable alternative. So as far as I can tell, VHS will not work at all if they're hooked to a convertor, and VHS won't record on dvd/vhs machines. The only thing my dvd/vhs will do is play VHS, plus copy it to dvd.
I am curious of old VHS tapes would work through the current HDTV, but the old analog stations were being used again? My guess is it would not, as I think the having digital stations at all, even with active analog ones, just confuses the VHS machine, that is if the machine were the old VCR type. Current DVRs might be able to do it though. From what I understand, I don't understand it, that is that the talk has been of moving some or all content back to the old analog stations, but my guess is the signal would still be coming out digital. Any idea what I'm talking about?