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BIRDY

Gremlin seeks DVDR advice

184 posts in this topic

Hi, friends.

We got sidetracked on this topic under "Why do you record" in the General thread so I thought I'd move over. I got all excited and just bought a DVR Recorder off e-bay and now I'm not sure I did the right thing. Am I going to be able to tape my VHS onto DVDs? It's not a combo machine, but it is a recorder. Will I be able to hook a VCT and the DVDR together via the magic of fancy cord or did I just buy the wrong thing in a manic moment?

Thanks, electronically-able-minded friends.

B

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Dear fellow manic,

 

Greetings.

 

I once bought 5 audio recorders at a post office surplus auction for $50.

 

They were cheap, but I didn't need them. I bought them because they were such a bargain. I wound up giving them away and I was out $50.

 

Anyway, isn't a DVR a "hard drive" recorder and not a DVD or tape recorder?

 

Well, now if you buy a DVD machine you can record on your DVR and dub to your DVD.

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Fred -

What do I know?

It says it is a DMR Progressive-Scan Recorder (burner) w/ DVD/VCD/CD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW/DVD-R/R, Disc compatible. In short, "everything you need to archive your old VHS...while taking over any lingering TV-related duties".

 

I'm going to go eat a bowl of alphabet soup and I'll get back to you.

B

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Well, I think you are in luck.

 

If it says DVD-R and DVD+R, then that means it will record on DVDs.

 

If you already have a tape machine, you can get one cable to connect the two of them.

 

The cable will have three wires and three plugs on each end. One plug on each end will be colored red, another white, and another yellow. The red and white are for the stereo sound, and the yellow is for the video. The cables cost from about $6 to about $10, depending on length.

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Thanks - I think I already have a set of those.

Are they called RCA cables?

 

By the way,

the alphabet soup was delic.

B

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> Thanks - I think I already have a set of those.

> Are they called RCA cables?

 

Yes they are, but not many people know that today. It is the plug on the end of the cable that is an RCA plug because RCA invented that type. Back in the 1950s and I guess earlier, plugs were known by the company that made them and by other trade names. There were "DIN" plugs from Europe, also BNC plugs for professional video work. The old simple microphone plug was known as a "phone jack" because the telephone company invented it, and that's the kind you see at switchboards in old movies. The cables are mostly the same, but the plugs are different.

 

>

> By the way,

> the alphabet soup was delic.

> B

 

I had some in Mexico once but I couldn't read it because it was in Spanish.

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BIRDY,

 

Yes, these are called RCA cables because there are RCA plugs on the ends.

 

A DVR means digital video recorder, it's just another name for DVD recorder. It may or may not have a hard drive. Hard drive recorders are still expensive, retailing up around $500.00.

 

Combo recorder is another way of saying VCR/DVD recorder as it will record both videotapes and DVDs, and can record from either format to the other.

 

Combo players usually refers a machine that will play or record videotapes but will only play DVDs.

 

Do you know what model you purchased?

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Talkietime - I hope this doesn't show up twice because this Gremlin keeps getting kicked off. Anyway, the model is Panasonic DMR-ES10S. It will write to DVD-Ram (re-recordable?) and DVDR (write-once?) discs. It also works like a tivo with slip-time. (I'd like to slip-time every once in a while.) It is factory sealed with a Panasonic warranty. I hope I did the right thing because it was an incredible price! Happy Birthday to me!

B

 

Fred - Gracias

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Yes, you did the right thing. The Panasonic DMR-ES10S is a very good entry-level DVD recorder. You will be able to connect your VCR to it and record from the VHS tape to a DVD disc.

 

There are four types of DVD discs. They are called DVDR, DVD-R, DVDRW, DVD-RW. The RW stands for re-writable, which means you can record over something. You can't with the plain Rs. The RWs cost more. Your player will record to any of those except DVDRW. Now, even though it will record to DVDR, Panasonic recorders prefer DVD-R. So those are the ones you should get. (Or the DVD-RW, if you want to re-record). You can usually find the DVD-R on sale for $12.99 per 50 discs.

 

Now your recorder will also record onto a DVD-RAM, as you said. But you can ignore that at least in the beginning. They are even more expensive than the RW ones. I never use them, but you can look into it if you want. Only with them can you do the slip-time thing.

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I second the advice given by WEB. The DMR-ES10 is very much like the DMR-ES15 I use to record from TCM.

 

Some Panasonic owners complain about Panasonic manuals being poorly organized and hard to understand. Part of the problem is that there are many features on Panasonics that require study of the Operating Instructions to implement or understand. For that reason, when your Panasonic arrives I would set aside an hour or two to study the Manual.

 

Sometimes Panasonic refurbished machines come with photocopied versions of the Operating Instructions. These are reduced from their original size and are hard to read. If this becomes a problem the Panasonic.com website (under Support) has PDF versions of the manual that you may find easier to read. You may also save the Operating Instructions to your computer hard drive and read or print it out full size.

 

There is one unusual control feature on all my Panasonics that may be present on yours. When setting up a timer recording switching between AM or PM in the beginning or ending times is accomplished by pressing the Pause button. This may or may not be the procedure on your Panasonic. But who would have ever guessed that this is how it's done?

 

Some Panasonics can only start a scheduled timer recording with the Panasonic turned off. If the Pansaonic is "on" when the time to record a scheduled recording comes up it will not record the program. Your Panasonic may be one of these models.

 

Once you start using your Panasonic there are some tips, or tricks, (some not mentioned in the Manual) that I or other Panasonic owners can give you to enhance the usefulness of your DVD recorder and your enjoyment of this new video adventure.

 

I hope that this Panasonic serves you well.

 

Message was edited by:

talkietime

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I bought the Pioneer DVR-640H-S from a retailer at Amazon.com for $318.00 tax free and free shipping. It has the hard drive which allows me to record up to 10 hours on one timer setting at a time. I can do one touch copy to DVD after I divide all the titles and clean them up. This is the best machine I have ever owned.

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Birdy, sounds like you too are a neophyte.

 

talkietime, can I assume that 'chasing playback' means that the Panasonic DMR-ES35V can

 

--play DVDs, in addition to

 

--record to DVDs from television,

 

and

 

--convert to DVDs from already taped VHS tapes.

 

CNET did not give the ES35V as good a rating as the ES30V, but the ES30V is nowhere to be found.

 

I can't find it in the writeup, but can VHS tapes also be played via this machine?

 

Thank you.

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The DMR-ES30V is a discontinued 2005 model. I prefer this model because it displays both the elapsed and remaining time during dubbing. I have two of these, one purchased new and one purchased refurbished. My daughter also purchased one of these new and one refurbished, so we have four of this model in our home.

 

The DMR-ES35V is a current model introduced in 2006. This model is similar to the DMR-ES30V but adds a few features and omits others. This model has a simpler display and omits the VCR Plus programming feature (that I never use) and may be set to automatically finalize DVDs at the conclusion of recording. I have one DMR-ES35V purchased refurbished.

 

These models can record from cable (cable ready) or a cable box; play and record VHS and DVD.

 

Chasing playback is a feature I have never used.

 

An important feature is Flexible Recording that maximizes recording quality by expanding or squeezing timer recordings or time limit dubbing/copying to fill or fit a blank or partially filled DVD. I had been using my first Panasonic for several months before my daughter demonstrated this feature. Now I consider this to be an essential feature.

 

I also purchased a new DMR-ES15, an entry-level DVD recorder without a VHS section. This is a 2006 model that may have been replaced with a later model. This is the slave to the cable box so it is my dedicated TCM recorder. It works well.

 

I also purchased a new DMR-ES40V, an early 2006 model, full of bugs and lacking essential features. I and other purchasers of this model could go on at length about the grief this model gives. This model was discontinued. Avoid this model at any price!

 

My new DMR-ES30V had the DVD drive replaced under warranty after around eleven months use. All of the refurbished Panasonics have performed well.

 

Panasonic models purchased new have a one year warranty, ninety days for models refurbished by Panasonic.

 

There are at least two eBay sellers offering Panasonic factory refurbished combo recorders in sealed Panasonic boxes with Panasonic ninety day warranties.

 

I hope this advice is helpful.

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Thank you, talkietime, your explanations are quite clear and helpful.

 

The Panasonic DMR-ES35VS is the one I will be getting.

 

A thing I never realized -- DVDs of shows are waaaay expensive! The X-Files is, well, out there!

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks, everyone - I feel more confident about what I purchased and am really excited to get it going. I'll check in then and let you know if you need to send the National Guard to dig me out of the web of wires behind my television.

B

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I had brief experience with one sample of a Funai manufactured combo recorder with the SV 2000 brand-name sold by Wal-Mart.

 

Several sample recordings were made from a variety of cable channels. I found that the two hour per DVD recording speed yielded poorer picture quality than the Panasonic six hour per DVD recording speed.

 

This Funai product could not dub a home-recorded videotaped movie shown by AMC in the early 1990's. The Funai gave a message that the recording was copy-protected. (One of my Panasonics then dubbed the movie without complaint.) I called Funai Customer Service. They said that some of their products are "overly sensitive." That representative then suggested that I return the product to Wal-Mart. I opted for the refund, cheerfully given.

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I've had pretty good results with my Panasonic combo VCR/DVD. It cost me around $278 about 3 years ago.

 

The only problem I've had with it was when it stopped recording +R disks about 2 years ago, but it still records -R disks just fine. Very high quality.

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So what might be the first signs that a DVD recorder is not going to last much longer? (Other than it stopping recording altogether). I occasionally get some recordings that won't play properly (lot of pixilation in spots) but I've always assumed it was just the discs that were defective. What would be some signs that the problem isn't the discs, but the recorder?

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Friends,

Can you believe it? Four months later and I am finally ready to crawl back in the foxhole and rearrange this equipment. The TV went out in the family room and that necessitated action. (Well, I guess it's out. There's sound and a horizontal line.) I hope this will allow me to do some dubbing now. I've just been recording over the summer and decided to put the dubbing on hold for bad weather.

B

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Film Fatale,

 

I have seven Panasonics, six VHS/DVD combo recorders and one DVR. My daughter has two Panasonic combo recorders.

 

Noises stranger than normal are signs of impending failure.

 

The first combo recorder I purchased new in September 2005, a DMR-ES30V, started making loud clunking, grinding and screeching noises in August 2006. I called Panasonic just one week before the one year warranty was to expire. Panasonic replaced the DVD drive free of charge and they even paid for shipping both ways. That Panasonic continues to perform well, one of two Panasonics set to record TCM.

 

One Panasonic model, a DMR-ES40V combo recorder, is bug-laden. The firmware upgrade didn't fix the bugs. We use it as the VHS/DVD player on the family TV.

 

In all other respects our Panasonics continue to perform well.

 

Birdy,

 

Your situation reminds me that back in the 1800's there was no electricity. The folks back in those days had to watch TV by candlelight.

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No strange noises, talkietime, just a few discs that don't record properly (i.e., disc freezes or has a lot of pixilation when played on a different player) but, as I said, it could just be the discs. I don't think Maxwell is a bad brand, maybe it's just bad luck.

 

Oh and I love the idea of watching TV by candlelight ;)

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There are some brands of DVD blanks that perform better than others.

 

I prefer to use DVD-R blanks from TDK, Maxell, or Verbatim. I no longer use Memorex due to frequent failures, one in every six or so.

 

Check your DVDs for dirt or anything greasy. Use a soft cloth wiping from the center toward the edge, not around the disc as one would wipe a record.

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Film Fatale,

 

Perhaps the problems playing back home-recorded DVDs are due to compatibility issues with DVD formats.

 

Do you use DVDR? Some DVD players don't (officially) support DVDR. These DVD players make an attempt to play this format. I had a Toshiba combo player (perhaps just two years old) that exhibited some of the problems you describe when it attempted to play home-recorded DVD+R discs. That Toshiba played DVD-R discs without problem.

 

There may be other brands that do not support the DVD+R format.

 

Toshiba was probably the last manufacturer to incorporate DVDR support. In a recent visit to Costco I saw that Toshiba product boxes now claim DVDR compatibility; for Toshiba a "giant leap into the present." (The last phrase was used in Volkswagen advertising touting their new Automatic Stick Shift, circa. 1968.)

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I don't think compatibility is the issue here, since 96-98% of all the DVD recordings I make play just fine.

 

By the way, you ever use Taiyo Yuden discs?

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