Sony DVD Recorder won't format TDK DVD-R discs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-26-2009, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Sony RDR-VX555 DVD/VHS Recorder and recently bought TDK DVD-R discs. Usually when I put in a blank DVD it will say "loading" on screen and then format the disc. However, with the TDK DVD-R's, it loads and then doesn't format the disc, thus, I cannot record anything on it.

I have also recently had big problems recording anything. Either the disc will format and then give a message "this disc cannot be played nor recorded" or it will record for about 5 minutes and then the entire unit will shut off and the DVD tray opens.

I have only had the Sony RDR-VX555 for about 8 months, I am deciding on whether or not to buy a new recorder but if I could fix these issues it would be great.

Thanks
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-26-2009, 02:20 PM
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AFAIK -R discs do not need to be formatted, at least I've never had to format them. Do you have any other brand or format discs to try? Others have reported that the latest TDK discs are very poor quality, maybe that could part of your problem. Personally I've not had a problem with TDK -R DVDs but mine are maybe a year old, I have the dark grey ones. The -RW discs need to be formatted though, before first use.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-26-2009, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I also have Sony DVD+R's and they usually have the problem with the recorder shutting off and the disc tray opening mid-record.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-26-2009, 06:32 PM
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1. TDK media is now godawful junk that fewer and fewer people are finding success with. The other choices out there aren't much better, because all the media brands now subcontract to the same crummy factory that slaps different brand names on the same awful discs. You could wait for Office Depot or Best Buy to have a sale on Verbatim, but even that is sketchy these days when bought in stores: its the 16x speed rating that throws the recorder off. You could buy some 8x rated media online, such as Taiyo Yuden Premium or Verbatim DataLife- these will burn in almost anything, even a failing recorder. You could also try different disc "flavors" and maybe you'll hit one the recorder likes: try +R, +R/W and -R/W as well as the usual -R.

2. Sony is releasing about the worst DVD recorders on the market in the USA right now: nothing but problem reports on all of them. Either they don't burn properly, or they "imagine" ordinary TV shows are copy-protected and stop recording in the middle of a show. Not the best choice. But as with the media itself, recorder pickings are now slim. Unless you're willing to spend a little more for a Panasonic (or better yet a Phillips/Magnavox with hard drive). The 2007-2009 Sonys and Toshibas made for the USA are pretty lame, and the off-brands are worse. Since the bottom dropped out of the DVD recorder market in North America a few years ago, mfrs don't sell the "good stuff" here anymore- we don't buy it, so they dump junkers on us. The only ones left that are any good are the Panasonics and Phillips units often recommended by members here- if your Sony eventually dies and can't be fixed, opt for one of those two brands.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-27-2009, 06:27 AM
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So a Magnavox with a hard drive is OK but the ones without a hard drive are poor quality?
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-27-2009, 08:20 AM
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Yes, if you can possibly swing it the Phillips or Magnavox with hard drive are better made than the versions without. The P/M DVD-only models are very cheap throwaways and the DVD/VHS combos are about the same. The models with hard drive sell for double the price, and Phillips/Magnavox was desperately trying to attract the USA "power user" video hobbyist with these, so they asked Funai (their mfr) to put a little more effort into them. As a side benefit, the hard drive feature itself is extraordinarily useful: it saves a fortune on wasted discs and guarantees a recording every time, as well as allowing you to cut out commercials before you make your final DVD.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-27-2009, 08:02 PM
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Anybody know if Sony brand -r discs will work in a Sony recorder. If not, I fear we are in some real dire straits if Sony cannot even sell discs that will work in their own machines. I mean, what's the point, at this juncture?

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post #8 of 22 Old 01-27-2009, 11:21 PM
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Sony-branded media quality has slid dramatically in the last six months. I used to recommend them highly as the third choice behind TY and Verbatim, but now I get 50% coasters on all my hardware. The Sony -R discs have become hopelessly incompatible with most recorders, but I think the +R is still passable. No guarantees how long before they get as bad as the -R.

The paradox that Sony could have media that doesn't burn in their own recorders is due to Sony not actually making its own media, and apparently not asking its supplier Daxon to test the discs on Sony-branded hardware.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-28-2009, 02:04 AM
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I've had good luck with 100 packs of Sony -R, and my Pio 640. Only one or two coasters out of about 300-400. But, I still trust Verbs more.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-28-2009, 11:09 AM
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Made in Taiwan Sony discs have done well for me in both my dvd recorders, and pc burner. My problem is the distance I have to travel to get them. Usually my local Sears has an older stock of the 50 pk -/+R spindles-so old, the plastic shrink wrap often is tattered (and dusty), and Walgreen's carries 25 pk spindles. But I live so far away that it means making a special trip to buy them a chore. If I can't get out to them, I wind up getting Verbatims at Office Max, or Sony MIT +Rs at Walmart.

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post #11 of 22 Old 01-28-2009, 12:37 PM
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From time to time supermediastore has price reductions on TY 8X Premium Line DVD-R media, with free shipping. "Free is a very good price" (according to Tom Peterson, a Portland, Oregon retailer).

There is no reason to take a chance with ordinary media for the mass market.

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post #12 of 22 Old 01-28-2009, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

From time to time supermediastore has price reductions on TY 8X Premium Line DVD-R media, with free shipping. "Free is a very good price" (according to Tom Peterson, a Portland, Oregon retailer).

There is no reason to take a chance with ordinary media for the mass market.

To bad none of they and other online stores do not offer free shipping to those of us who live in HI. They want to charge us almost what they charge for a pack of 50 or 100 dvd-r's.
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-28-2009, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

1. TDK media is now godawful junk that fewer and fewer people are finding success with.

I have no problems using TDK media on my 2-4 dvd burners on my 2 computers. I sent out about 200-300 dvd-r/+r every 2-3 months to the people I trade with. And they never have problems making copies of what I send them. Now using these and Sony's on my Panny EH-500 Dvd recorders is another story. These suckers make my Panny dvd recorder grind like hell when finalizing a dvd-r.
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post #14 of 22 Old 01-29-2009, 01:54 AM
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I'm sorry, but the time is long past where we can afford to make excuses for the pathetic incompatibility of 90% of the media sold in stores with DVD recorders. We are now far enough along in the technology that this should be a no-brainer: there is no legitimate reason the idiots at CMC and Daxon cannot mfr a universal blank DVD-R. They did it up until a couple of years ago, what changed? If the real problem is they cannot make compatible media to sell at $20 a spindle, they need to tell Staples and OfficeMax and the insanely cheapskate USA consumer to go screw themselves and go back to paying $28.

I am so frigging over this nonsense. How in the hell can they ever expect to sell DVD recorders if you can't conveniently buy blank media for them to record on? The number one priority right now should be to make DVD recorders as goof-proof as possible. Lousy non-burnable media is helping to crater the entire product category, especially in the USA. I really don't want to hear about the hundreds of you who have "no problem whatsoever" burning TDK or Nexxtech or Memorex in your PC drives: that isn't the point. For whatever reason, thousands of our standalone consumer DVD recorders will not burn this crap, so for our purposes it is in fact crap. All my Pioneers dating from 2003-2008 can burn TY 8x or Sony-Daxon 8x or pre-2007 16x discs even from CMC, but each one chokes on practically any retail media sold after 2007 up to and including consumer grade Verbatim. PCs are not completely immune, either: I've been yanking burners and replacing them at a ridiculous rate just to retain media flexibility. If magnetic tape was marketed with this kind of quality control, the vcr would have been a stillborn product.
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-29-2009, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chingu808 View Post

These suckers make my Panny dvd recorder grind like hell when finalizing a dvd-r.

Not sure if you've ever cleaned the spindle in your Panny but grinding is the classic example of a dirty spindle. It usually takes less than 1/2 hour and many have said it makes their old Pannys act like new, NO more grinding
http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/fixing...t-help-210507/
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-29-2009, 10:59 AM
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The first photo shows the rubber hub being cleaned in a Panasonic 2005 model DVD Drive. The second photo shows the correct far left positioning of the roller/slider mechanism prior to securing the DVD drive lid.
LL
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-29-2009, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I just bought Memorex's and like the TDK's they wouldn't record at all. I really just don't understand why the Sony +R's I've used for months don't work all of a sudden?
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post #18 of 22 Old 01-29-2009, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Not sure if you've ever cleaned the spindle in your Panny but grinding is the classic example of a dirty spindle. It usually takes less than 1/2 hour and many have said it makes their old Pannys act like new, NO more grinding
http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/fixing...t-help-210507/

To bad that beyond my capability. But I am trying why does it grind like hell on Sony and TDK brand and not Verbatim. Although I just ran into another problem.
I opened up a new 50 pack of 16X Verbatim and I put three of them into the EH-500 drive when I wanted to dub some stuff to it. And all of them said they were incompatible. Stick one in from the Verbatim 16X 100 pack and no problems. I still have 6 months left on the extended warranty so may be time to send it in. I still have a new E-75H in the closet. Just sold my old E-80H today.
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post #19 of 22 Old 01-29-2009, 03:48 PM
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When the spindle gets dirty you'll get odd results. Some brand discs may work while others may not. It may have to due with the smoothness of the inner bottom part of the DVD. A rougher surface may provide more grip and not slip. I'm not sure if some discs are slightly thicker in the spindle area than others, but a slightly thicker spindle area may also provide more grip and no slipping.
If you don't want to take your machine apart there is always the unconventional spit cleaning method
What I discovered is if you moisten your finger with saliva and then gently rub your finger around the bottom center clear part of your disc(only the center part, NOT the writing surface) and then immediately put the disc in your machine, the little bit of moisture is able to give the spindle enough grip to hold the disc. I've been doing it for over a year to one DVDR that's very hard to remote from it's stack. I rarely need the spit anymore and only do it on the rare occasion that I hear the grinding noise when I insert the disc.
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post #20 of 22 Old 01-29-2009, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Exchanged the Memorex -r's for +r's. They worked...

For 2 minutes, before i got "DISC ERR" and the same old problem occurred. DVD wont play or record now.

The only discs that work at all are older TDK DVD-R (the dark gray ones). I still don't know if it's the recorder or the discs, though the recorder used to record on any type of DVD-R/+R up until recently.

I've been looking at Panasonics but I don't want to go wrong and buy something that won't even last a year again. What is currently the best Panasonic DVD Recorder w/ VHS?

Thanks
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post #21 of 22 Old 01-30-2009, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasek99 View Post

I've been looking at Panasonics but I don't want to go wrong . . . What is currently the best Panasonic DVD Recorder w/ VHS?

Thanks

If you must have a Panasonic purchase one without a VHS section and connect your VCR to an input. This offers greater flexibility for dubbing/copying than current model Panasonic combo recorders.

The current Panasonic DVD recorder models are the DMR-EA18 (without tuners) and DMR-EZ28 (with tuners).

I provide this advice as a Panasonic power-user owning sixteen functional Panasonic ES/EZ machines including one DMR-EZ28 model and four DMR-EZ17 models. EZ series Panasonics have well-documented bugs and design flaws seldom "fixed" by firmware updates. There are a few workarounds to keep EZ series Panasonics functional. With the EZ series one must expect to have frequent frustrations.

For even more flexibility purchase a Philips 3576 or Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD recorder. I own one Philips 3575, one Magnavox 2160 (and one Magnavox 2080 purchased refurbished), all of which are HDD/DVD recorders. These are proving themselves more flexible/reliable than Panasonic EZ series machines and are a better value for the money.

Purchase Taiyo Yuden 8X Premium Line DVD-R discs and throw away those Memorex discs!

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post #22 of 22 Old 01-30-2009, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chingu808 View Post

To bad that beyond my capability. But I am trying why does it grind like hell . . . I still have 6 months left on the extended warranty so may be time to send it in . . .

Wajo has just addressed the rubber hub cleaning situation for Philips/Magnavox and Panasonic machines. Click the link in this post for a more detailed description of the initial reading process when a disc is inserted in Philips/Magnavox machines:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post15696030

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