Hello there. Firstly im no geek in anything technical, so please try to explain things in simple terms.
After many years of collecting fights on VHS tapes i have decided to try to attempt to rip them from the tapes and put the best of fights onto dvd.
So enter a Panasonic DMR-EZ48v.
right from the start im having issues!
Ok, ive turned the machine on and it at least works. I pop in a VHS tape and press play, again no worries on that score. (I have tried to read the instruction manual btw) so I stop the tape and rewind, then pop in a blank DVD+R and according to the instructions I have to press the round VHS dvd button for 3 seconds.
I then get a message on my tv screen 'Cannot copy the disc is not formatted'
So im not sure if we are still working or not.
I then press the record button on the remote and then the play button to begin the VHS playback. So the VHS then begins and displays the contents onto my tv screen however there is no indication that the DVD is recording so im stumted to even know if what ive done is correct.
I cannot find and simple tutorials on Youtube so in hope I get a good teacher ive come to this forum.
Thanks a lot.
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Check to see if the Panasonic accepts only DVD-R discs first.
are the tapes home recorded shows or are they store bought tapes??
A DVD recorder would likely give you that message if it thinks your disc is "RW". And maybe the Panny doesn't like DVD+R, or thinks your disc isn't a format it likes. We suggest you try a Verbatim AZO DVD-R. Or it could be that your Panny has problems. The newer Panasonic recorders aren't the most reliable.- My sister Ann's brother
From what I've seen that recorder doesn't record on DVD+R. Only DVD-R/RW/RAM.
Many "non-geek" people mistakenly believe a combo VHS/DVD recorder will be an easy path to digitizing their tapes, and that it will operate much like a VCR as far as creating compilation and "best of" dvds from multiple clips on multiple VHS tapes. Hours or days after unboxing such a combo recorder, they realize this couldn't be further from the truth. Recordable DVD is not remotely as intuitive or simple to use as VHS tape: it is a computer-based format with all the headaches and eccentricities that come with that territory. So if you have no "geek" instinct and are not comfortable following the counter-intuitive logic of computer formats, your Panasonic EZ unit will be anything but EZ to use.
Recordable DVD, like the recordable CD that came before it, is a sort of kluge format. You can record directly onto the disc, but with many limitations. These digital disc formats were intended for a more complicated, two-step process: you record your material to a hard drive (HDD) file first, where you can use software to make edits and move scenes or clips around until you get them in exactly the order you want. Then, you have the computer burn the entire DVD in one shot from your customized HDD layout. This "record to a HDD first" advantage is why the more expensive DVD/HDD combo recorders were popular (at least in Europe) for several years: once you got the hang of them they were much more versatile and easier to use than DVD/VHS models without HDD.
Combos with VHS+DVD (but no HDD) like your Panasonic EZ48v are one-trick-pony devices: they can make a straight-across, uninterrupted copy of a VHS tape to a DVD fairly easily. If you can be happy with unedited DVD copies of your existing tapes, the EZ48v will work well for you. But if you want to make "best of" compilations, the EZ48v will fight you every step of the way. Recordable DVD is not amenable to constant starts and stops, editing and trimming directly on the DVD is difficult, and if you make a mistake you can't just rewind and erase over it ala VHS. There are workarounds, I'm not saying the task is impossible with a DVD/VHS unit, but it will be way, WAY more tricky than you might be expecting. You may want to consider tackling your "best of" project in another way. Perhaps you can zip thru each tape, and write down the time counter numbers for each clip you want to digitize. Hand off the tapes and your list of clips to a shop that offers VHS transfer services. Or, have a more geek-minded friend sit with you and help you get the hang of EZ48v operation.
Re the various blank disc types: your EZ48v is optimized for DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM blanks. DVD-R is the most compatible with ordinary DVD and BluRay players, and the most durable, so the best choice overall. But also the most limited features when recording directly on the disc: almost no editing is possible, and they can't be erased. DVD-RW is a bit more flexible as far as editing, and can be erased/re-used, but isn't as durable or "archival" for the long term. DVD-RAM is the easiest disc to use, because it functions the most like a VCR. Editing and compiling clips directly onto RAM disc is much easier, you can erase individual clips if you make a mistake and re-record over them. Unfortunately DVD-RAM never quite caught on as a mass-market format, Panasonic was the only recorder brand to promote it heavily, so it is much less widely compatible with standard everyday DVD or BluRay players. Blank DVD-RAM discs have also become scarcer and much more expensive recently.
A Panasonic like your EZ-48v can record to any disc format, including the + format, but they are more friendlier to the - format, or less common RAM discs.
All + media must be first formatted for use in a Panasonic, it's quite simple, insert disc while the machine is selected to the DVD side and you should be told the disc is unformatted and to push OK if you want to format it. Push OK and several seconds later your disc will be formatted for use. If you happen to be on the VHS side switching to the DVD side should give you the option to format the disc, if not you may need to push REC at what point you will be told the disc is unformatted and needs to be formatted, select YES and several seconds later you will have a formatted disc that you can record to. You only need to do this formatting one time per disc and after your done with all your recordings for that particular disc you'll need to FINALIZE the disc, that takes about 1 minute depending on how full the disc is. Once finalized you cannot add any more to that disc but it will be playable in any standard DVD player. Formatting is NOT required for - media but like + media, to play in a standard DVD player you'll need to finalize the disc which makes recording to it further impossible.
As Citibear said above, you'd think combos like your EZ-48v would be easier to use than a separate DVDR and VCR but this is just not the case unless maybe you are recording just one tape(and the whole tape) to a DVD. When you get into compilations or wanting to selectively copy things off the tape, the combo quickly becomes a pain to use. If you want to do the later I really suggest getting a separate VCR to feed the EZ-48v's line input and only using the DVDR portion of your EZ-48v. On the + side the EZ-48v is capable of making some great looking recordings but as with all DVDRs SP is best, you might be able to get up to ~2 1/2 hrs of pretty decent video tape/single layer DVD but when you get much over 2hrs 40 minutes and particularly 3hrs macroblocking becomes a big issue, especially noticeable when recording from video tape. You can get pretty decent results over 2 1/2 hrs/DVD if your recording from another good quality DVD or clean digital broadcasts but again going over 3hrs is a recipe for poor picture quality. When you use speeds slower than 4hrs/DVD the machine switches to 1/2 D1 resolution or half full D1, it gives you better bitrate to help with macroblocking but then every frame is half resolution, something I really don't like.
Ive sorted this issue I have to format the blank media to start with. however that is now done so im up and running copying my vhs to dvd. Thanks for all the imput folks.