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Gremlin seeks DVDR advice

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  • 2 months later...



Your local Craig?s List is the place to offer such a quantity of DVD+R media.


Perhaps it?s time to offer some observations as to the current state of blank recording media.


I used a 100 disc spindle of good quality TDK DVD+R discs with my Panasonics back in late 2005/early 2006. I noticed that my Panasonics were not really very friendly toward this format so I switched back to DVD-R discs, the original and most compatible home-recording format.


Toshiba was a DVD-R holdout. I was surprised to observe, in the summer or fall of 2007, a Toshiba DVD recorder that was promoted as supporting DVDR media. Perhaps that Toshiba was manufactured by Funai after Toshiba stopped making its own DVD recorders. Funai manufactured DVD recorders (Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania, Toshiba, Emerson, Philco, Symphonic, etc.) were somewhat split for a time as to disc formats--some of the machines required ?? media and could not accept ?-? media while other machines required ?-? media and could not accept ?+? media. Some recent Funai manufactured machines accept either format. There are hardware/software design, manufacture, and licensing/royalty factors at work here among these several ?Funai brands.?


It wasn't until 25 January 2008 that the DVD Forum, a consortium of manufacturers, first recognized the ?? format as an "official DVD format." The ?? format first appeared in the marketplace sometime in 2004.


In the last two years most of the retail "name brand" DVD media has suffered quality control problems. This came about as many manufacturers cut costs to meet low price competition. Major brand ?in house? media production has largely ceased as production was farmed out to contractors that produced inferior 16X formulations designed to meet ?price points.?


In reality 16X recording is not used in stand alone DVD recorders as real-time recording is performed at 1X. Even those hard drive machines capable of "high speed" dubbing do not use the 16X speed. The fastest high-speed dubbing in current machines is found in the Magnavox 2160 equipped with an 8X DVD Drive. My 2160 is twice as fast at high speed dubs as my Magnavox 2080 and Philips 3575 and 3576 models that have 4X DVD Drives.


Studies cited at the AVS Forum show that that current 16X media is more stressful for a laser assembly to burn than high quality 8X media.


There are still a few retail brands that have some product lines of good quality. Unfortunately most name brand makers mix their good media with their inferior media so it takes real detective work and some luck to find quality media remaining on retail shelves. These are usually the hard to find older 8X discs and some of the initial production of 16X media from Maxell, Verbatim, TDK and Sony. The uninformed continue to buy Memorex because it's cheap to purchase but much more expensive than other brands when figuring the initial and long-term failure rate of this "landfill" material. At AVS there are detailed discussions of disc identification codes, lot numbers, countries of origin, UPC variations, etc.


For my archival work I use DVD-R media of the best quality. Taiyo Yuden is the last producer of high quality media. It?s easy to go online to purchase Taiyo Yuden Premium Line 8X DVD-R media. Scroll down for larger quantities:




Some months back I switched to near-exclusive use of Taiyo Yuden Premium Line 8X DVD-R media for my Panasonic, Magnavox and Philips DVD recorders. The first box of 600 TY discs has half a dozen discs left. I currently have two full boxes (1,200 discs) of these Taiyo Yuden discs on hand. Some sellers offer Taiyo Yuden ?Value Line? media that save a few pennies per disc. While these are probably superior to brands found in retail stores the ?Value Line? discs are from lots that tested out below Taiyo Yuden?s high performance standards. ?Value Line? discs should be regarded as ?seconds.?


Last year I purchased a 100 disc spindle of Sony 16X DVDR media for specialized use with computer DVD burners. I haven't yet opened that spindle. Perhaps I'll use that DVDR spindle for data storage. Older computer DVD burners, those manufactured before 2006 or so, may not be compatible with DVD+R media. As dubbing speeds increase so do instances of errors/failures. If burning copies of DVDs be sure to select a dubbing speed well below the 16X range.


If using DVDR media when burning a DVD for someone else be sure to check to determine if their DVD player is compatible with DVDR media. If a DVD player exhibits playback problems with DVD+R media it may not have been designed to support that format. Other playback problems arise with greasy or soiled discs or use of discs of inferior quality.

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In several earlier posts in this thread I've mentioned and recommended the Philips 3575/3576 and Magnavox 2080/2160 HDD/DVD recorders. I own and use each of these models.


The Magnavox 2160 is the only one of these models that is currently available in the USA as a 2009 model. The 2160 is sold exclusively at walmart.com. The 2160 is not sold in WalMart retail stores.


The Magnavox 2160 entered the marketplace in the fall of 2008 as a 2009 model. I purchased a 2160 of August 2008 manufacture. This 2160 is an outstanding product. There was great demand for the 2160 with the result that the initial production run sold out. With continuing demand there was another 2160 production run. More recent purchasers report that at least some of these 2160 models are of December 2008 manufacture. Discussions among 2160 owners at the AVS Forum mention some minor changes with this late 2008 production run, including a firmware variation between the earlier and later 2160 models. The late 2008 production run also sold out.


In the last month a new production run of the 2160 model has come back into stock at walmart.com. While that online listing describes no changes to this product, purchasers report that the product being shipped is of 2009 manufacture, has several functional/operational changes and an "A" suffix has been added to the model name. The full model name for this product variation is Magnavox H2160MW9A. In recent AVS Forum posts owners of this "A" model report several functional problems with this product variation. The manufacturer, Funai Corporation, has been contacted concerning these problems. At the time this post is being written there has not yet been a response from Funai.


For those contemplating purchase of a new Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD recorder I would suggest holding off until the problems are resolved.


See this thread at the AVS Forum for more information/updates:



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  • 2 months later...

In another thread GatsbyGirl made this comment:


"In order to get TCM, I had to upgrade to digital and pay for an extra box on three TVs so that I can watch it in different rooms."


A single cable company converter box may be used to feed a signal to one or more TVs or time-shifting devices in more than one room.


What follows is my response summarizing how my bedroom/home office cable setup supports such utilization:


In our household we have one Comcast HD converter box for the family TV and three Motorola DCT700 converter boxes in as many bedrooms.


Almost all my viewing/time-shifting is TCM, a Comcast premium (scrambled) channel that requires a converter box.


The converter box in my bedroom feeds one Philips HDD/DVD recorder through the threaded RF input and two Panasonic DVD recorders through a split composite connection (yellow for video and white and red for audio). These recorders provide component outputs (red, green and blue for video plus white and red for audio) and composite outputs (yellow for video and white and red for audio) connected to one TV in that bedroom. I use the TV's remote to switch between the different inputs.


The bedroom's Philips HDD/DVD recorder has an amplified RF pass through (threaded output) that runs through a coax cable into the next room, my home office, feeding the signal to a Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder that also has an amplified RF pass through feeding one Panasonic DVD recorder, and from that Panasonic recorder?s RF output to the RF input of another Panasonic DVD recorder. I use a switch box to send these and other signals to Dynex TV in the home office.


This set up allows me to watch (and record) TCM in both these rooms *using a single cable converter box.* (Yes, you counted correctly; I have six recorders dedicated to time-shifting from TCM.)


I didn't mention that there are two other Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders and two additional DVD recorders (another Magnavox and another Panasonic) set up in those two rooms. This allows for viewing/recording clear QAM (non-scrambled cable) signals directly from the raw Comcast cable coax feed or ATSC (broadcast) signals from an antenna. To provide more functionality/flexibility the bedroom has two TVs and the home office has three TVs. That's ten recorders and five TVs between my bedroom and home office. *And a single cable converter box.*

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I'm back, talkietime.


I went to the AVS Forum and went through your step-by-step procedure for

cleaning the spindle/lens because my Panasonic EZ47 was giving me grief

constantly. All well and good.


Except I didn't move that roller to the far left position before reassembly and

it did something whacky to my disc tray and now I have to put the darn

thing back in. I have printed the photos showing how it should be aligned

and when I get home I will try to do this. I got so frustrated trying to do

it last night I gave myself a sick, migraine headache.


What I'm worried about is will I have to take the front panel off to do this?

Your instructions regarding removing the panel sounded even more

delicate and I'm afraid of screwing the whole thing up. If I have to I have

to, but I am writing to clarify if it's a must to remove the panel.


The other question is, if I've totally ruined the recorder is it better just

to get another one or to send it in for service? The service costs just

seem so out of this world, especially when you factor in shipping.


I would have replied at the AVS Forum but the thread said only "serious

techies" should do so. That definitely is not me! I'm seriously in over my head. :P



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All manner of folks read and post to the AVS Forum.


Your Panasonic DMR-EZ47 is a 2007 model. More extensive disassembly and reassembly procedures are required for 2005 and older Panasonics. 2006 and newer Panasonics are easier to service.


The Panasonic EZ47 combo recorder does not require removal of the front panel for servicing the DVD Drive unless the DVD Drive disc tray has been extended (or removed) with the DVD Drive lid removed. If the DVD Drive disc tray roller/slider has been dislodged it must be reinstalled and positioned to the far left rear corner of the disc tray before the DVD Drive will function correctly. More detail is found in this post and the post following it:




Current repair or exchange information for Panasonic recorders is found here:



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Thanks, TT. I used the instructions in those AVS threads as guides and managed

to get the tray back in place. I think it's all working fine now, but I am seriously

considering getting a different DVD recorder as I can't handle the stress! :)

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