On the Panasonic EZ models, "digital" over the air programming cannot be recorded to the VHS part. It's in the manual. Any VHS VCR or DVD/VHS machine can record to VHS using the Line Inputs, of, let's say a Digital Converter box, or typical Cable or Satellite receiver. AFAIK, digital stations use the same analog frequencies as VHF/UHF did, except the incoming signal is converted to digital via the TV or DVD machine's tuner. Not sure what you mean by "old tapes would work through the current HDTV"..... any TV with a common Video Input, a Yellow-White-Red RCA 3 plug wire will play a VHS tape on an HDTV. It has nothing to do with the tuner.
As far as the other discussion regarding discs and how they relate to timer recording, I can only guess the brand of disc you're using must have something to do with it. I've been using Maxell DVD+RWs for many years now, and before that, 4X Verbatims, which I still have for older recorders, and they seem to work fine on a variety of machines. My collection includes Sony, LG, Philips, Toshiba and Panasonic brands. The reason I mentioned DVD-R's, is that over the years they have become pretty cheap compared to rewritable discs. If you're using brands like Memorex or any retail store brand, that may explain only getting 10 recordings out of a DVD-RW. The only -RW discs I've ever used were made by Sony, and I never had any problems with them, even on my Panasonics.
As far as 'deleting' recordings, I've done this recently for about a month on my DMR-EZ 485, but I still format the entire (DVD+RW) disc before recording new timers.
A friend of mine with the exact sane two Panasonic machines I have, always reported timer problems with Sony DVD+RW discs, that recordings would be interrupted or let's say on a four hour LP timer, after recording one two hour segment, the next day another two hour LP timer would fail. He would report to me that he just "deleted" recordings like you do, without formatting. Deleting a recording is the same as with a computer file, the header is deleted but the information is still there until it's rewritten over the old material. I've been using DVD recorders since my first Sony in 2003, and never experienced anything like what you've posted.
Plus, during the regular TV season, I normally set timers in the early morning hours rather than waiting to just before programming starts. And, I don't check the timer recordings until the next day. Somehow something must be amiss for you to go through all this trouble to record simple timers. Unless you're doing extensive editing on DVD-RW, there's no reason to use them. They are slower than +RWs and have to be finalized before playing on another machine.
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joecass: Yes I now have seen that the manual does state that it won't copy to VHS, at least twice, but I'm afraid I don't go to a manual to see how incapable it is, as I was operating more on just possibilities. Not much use for it, but wanted to try it nonetheless. As far as "old tapes would work through the current HDTV" you didn't put enough context in your quote and had you done so I still would had been confused. I had a typo, before what you quoted I typed "of", when I should had typed "if". Now you see what I meant.
I think another problem I may have had trying to get that VHS to copy, even though I wouldn't expect it would considering the manual says it won't, is that I didn't change any cables, which is greek to me. I still did it with my HDMI cable hookup to the tv.
I'm not understanding you somewhere. You state the unit won't do it because the manual says so, yet you say with the right cabling ANY HDTV can do it and the tuner don't matter. It doesn't matter, but I am just trying to pick your brain here. I will mention that when I did the tests with the old VCR's and hooked them to the analog TV, that the tape still wouldn't eject and I used the then right cables. I know you said HDTV with the right cables, not analog, but if I were to hook the DVR to the analog set, and used composite cabling, the DVR which says it would not copy signals for VHS, would do so for the analog, assuming there were analog channels to record? I know this must be annoying, but I'm trying to sort through this line of thinking. I just don't understand the contradiction that cabling will eliminate what the manual claims is not possible in the VHS tapes recording on the DVR. I don't think the manual meant to give off the impression that it was stating such only on the condition that you were using HDMI cable. Perhaps this DVR just wasn't placed with a recording head on the VHS side?
I enjoy my talk with you, as you don't mind kicking around a few things. On that note, my dvds I have used, which I have with me now (I think an entire other brand I used before were thrown out after too much wear) are Memorex's and Sony's, which as you know, in my case, are all -RW's. I have looked into this matter some, and on my se-406ab burner, it does accept all RW formats, as well as my DVR, so it's really odd I got started on -RW. Perhaps my internal dvd drive was just -RW? It just don't make sense. I didn't jump to -RW from +RW for no reason. I have looked up the RW specs on my burner (not sure about the DVR), but it actually burns at 8X with +RW, while -RW is only 6X. Now if only I would burn more than the one dvd I have burned, it might make sense. I guess I'll buy +RW from now on, and in fact I was thinking of getting some more blanks, so if I ever burn again, thanks for the info. I was thinking from a reliability standpoint, as well as cost, I would get a +RW 30 disc spindle of Verbatim (but what I saw at the time was actually -RW). Odd to see RW media in a sizeable spindle.
Also, I'm guessing the batch that got thrown out, and may had been part of my +RW days, was a Maxell one. If I had, I was very unimpressed with them, but then I'm not exactly impressed with any of them. They just don't have the durability that they claim (or my DVR is responsible, compared to other DVR's). I guess I had false expectations in any case.
I'm very aware of the R compared to the RW pricing, and of course I still have the outlook I do. The RW is much cheaper in the long haul, because I don't think even my worst ones failed out of the box, and I think all of them last at least through 5 full recordings (usually 15 plus or more), which even at just 5 full recordings (IOW, the full two hours used is what I'm calling a full recording, though it may had been recorded to multiple times before finalized) makes it much more cost effective than R media. I do see another advantage to R though, is that you really don't need a case for it, if, in many cases you were to do what I often do, that is snapshot the portions I like. Because if you send it straight from DVR to burner, and you throw the disc away, there's no need for cases, however, I do understand it's not that way with most people, as they DO save the media they recorded on R and put it in a case (here is where not being able to record again with it is something of an advantage, though I do wonder if after years of storage, if RW treated the same way would not last longer than R). In my case, I have so many empty cases from shot RW, anything up to 30 blanks without a case is no problem for me.
I really don't think the media has the slightest thing to do with the timer dilemma, though if I had kept track of all of that, we may had found that my first brand, say Maxell, was the one I was using in the timer problem days. I don't know what the issue is of course, but the timer having problems has been a very distinct problem with the model, and I just assume my problems have been theirs, seeing as how it screws up in so many other ways, such as losing the sound at times, etc.
If I were to be fair about this, and I cannot remember the failure ratio on the original brand, I could probably tell you the Memorex's have been just as bad if not worse than the perhaps-Maxell's. Funny, I thought Sony was pretty pitiful, and that my new Memorex's would save the day. Now they seem to fall just as quickly. I'm pretty sure I haven't tried verbatim yet, so that may be by next plunge, the +RW variety. Oddly enough, amazon has them $4 cheaper than the same -RW 30 pack. Man, you can't beat $14 for 30 RW discs. That's approaching reliable R prices. At least if I have 30 at a time, it will SEEM they last longer. I currently have 4-5 of the dying Memorex's 10 pack I'm abusing. I do have 10 more brand new ones, but I've kept them aside, not only because I had the notion of putting computer data on them (photos probably) but also because I didn't want to get them mixed up with the current disappointing 4-5 left over. I might use half the verbatims to fortify my DVR use, and the other half for computer temp storage. (yeah, yeah, I know I can get a portable 1TB HDD for $50 at amazon, but you have to balance things at times, and using RW both ways can help at times from having to spend another $50 for a HDD. It's just a matter of how much blank HDD do you need and how you divide it up. I currently am managing with a total of HDD space at 2.75TB).
You do introduce another factor. At one time I did do the DVR four hour mode, now I'm strictly two hour, so maybe that plays into this timer business, and I was using +RW as your friend was. I will say that I certainly never had such a high failure rate as with your friend and the timer. I'm not even sure I deleted any of my recordings back then. I do think +RW has to be finalized too, but in the scheme of things, if it didn't might reduce some wear and tear on them.
What you say about what time you type in your recordings doesn't completely matter in my case. Because, ultimately, no matter what time I do it, if I didn't know what I do now, I could still trip over the day changing (or being confused in any case), though not reflecting it, by going to the quickest way to the time I want. If I type at 8am, I still type in 11pm for the next program, and still end up backspacing to get there, and therefore cross over the day. Do it at the end of the day and you could select a 3 Am program at 11PM, and rtip over the date as well. There's just no universal way around it, unless you have a different DVR. It's not much hassle, but exceptionally unusual, that's why I added it here, because I thought it might make the night and day difference for somebody else, especially considering what a major pain this unit is already. I love Panny's but this one leaves a lot to be desired, but I manage.
BTW, currently it's easy not to have timer problems, assuming what I tell you about mine is correct in how to get around it's unreasonableness, because once you set a timer, and it works, you're home free. And that is the case when you are with a batch schedule. Currently I do almost no one shot recordings, say a movie, and instead am using batchs that have worked for a while, and by that I mean the mon-fri type of batch, or tue-sat, recording the same program over those periods every week.
In fairly recent times, I have programmed to THE LIMIT in sessions it will allow. This was back when Decades was running their binges. I would see what episodes were running in advance, and program in one here, and one there, for up to 2 weeks. When some would get recorded, I'd pile in some more, and using my method not a single one of them aborted. Unfortunately in a number of cases, I found out that Decades didn't run the episodes they claimed they would at the specific time they said it would. I think quite often within the last day or two, they would run different episodes than they claimed, and here I was programming all of them in 2 weeks in advance! The picture was pretty shoddy anyway and I ended up reprograming a lot of them late because of their inconsistency.
Ok, a lot of this discussion is somewhat redundant...... IF you have ANY HDTV with a common "Video" Input on the back, ANY VHS tape can be played on the HDTV using an RCA three wire cable, from the VIDEO OUTPUT on the back of the VCR or DVD/VHS machine. On the Pan 485v, you'll see outputs labelled
"DVD/VHS Common Out". Connect the three wire cable from the back of the Panasonic to the Input on the HDTV labelled "Video In" (assuming there is one on whatever type HDTV you're using). Then you should be able to play ANY VHS tape from the Panasonic onto the HDTV for viewing.
The ONLY way I can think of to record a digital signal to the Panasonic VHS is using an outside source, such as a Digital Converter Box (that converts it's tuner output to RF CH3 or 4, normally used for an analog tube TV), or a cable or satellite box with the same type RF CH3 output. The Panasonic tuner is a combination digital/analog, tune the Panasonic to Analog Channel 3, and the incoming signal should be able to be recorded on the VHS part.
In the same way as above, most DTV converter boxes/cable/satellite units have a three wire RCA Video Output. Connect that output to the rear or front INPUT on the Pansonic, hit the button the on the remote that says "Input Select" and "Drive Select" and you should see a recordable picture.
I can't account for the problems you've described with your machine.....
So, I have two suggestions.... go to http://www.avsforum.com and pose your questions there, rather than on Videohelp.com., as people here are basically not interested in the Panasonic EZ series machines.
Second, there is a software update for your machine on the Panasonic website.....maybe this will help.
Thirdly, there have been reports that Verbatim discs have gone down in quality, I suggest you investigate this here and on Avsforum before plunking down any money to buy new discs. Even the Maxell +RW discs I've been using for years are very easily scratched, one simple scratch can ruin a timer recording.
The last advice I would give is.....buy another brand of recorder that will do what you want without problems. I've found Philips machines to be very reliable.
On Ebay there are many older used models for sale, such as the DVDR-3505 and DVDR-3575H at fairly reasonable prices. The later models numbered 3506 and 3576 have a few hiccups that I don't care for, so I would avoid them. There are also DVD/VHS and DVD/HDD models made by Magnavox, which is about the only other brand available in the U.S. other than Toshiba. Toshiba no longer makes recorders with tuners, and their DVD/VHS combos are prone to early failure.
Sorry, I just see a thread named for my DVR through an internet search (never knew this site existed before that), and I expect people might want to know what I learned, for what few remaining owners perusing this forum there may be. Thanks HUGELY for the driver link, as I hope I can actually get it to work. Probably a dead link by now. Ah, the joys of very late maintenance. Just watch it make the unit explode (it's been too long factory you know)
Just did it. Machine was made 1/2010. Firmware was made 1/28/11. It's unsupported. I guess they just copied the firmware from 2010.