Panasonic to Toshiba - Non finalized DVD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-07-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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My Panasonic DMR-ES20 finally died on me and I was looking for a replacement. I still have a Panasonic DMR-ES15 where I also record shows. I used to take non finalized DVDs from the ES15 and play them back on the ES20 without any issues. This enabled me to record 2 different shows on 2 different machines, but play back on either one.

My question is can I play back non-finalized Panasonic DMR-ES15 DVDs on a Toshiba DR420? Or can I play back non-finalized Toshiba DR420 DVSs on a Panasonic DMR-ES15?

I figure I could buy another Panasonic and it should work. Or, if anyone has other ideas, that would be great.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-07-2012, 02:11 PM
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You cannot playback non-fin discs in the tosh, you can playback in a panasonic recorders only,and possible finalize in them too, if it is the same model.

MickinCT
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-07-2012, 02:26 PM
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No, it won't work: unfinalized discs from your old Panasonic recorders will not play on current Toshibas, which are a product of Funai. You would need another Panasonic, these are available cheap now on Craigs List or eBay as long as you aren't looking for a DVD/HDD model.

Unfinalized discs are usually not playable on anything but the recorder brand that made them, and sometimes only certain models within the same brand are cross compatible (as with Toshiba, who made their own recorders from 2002-2006 but subcontracted with Funai from 2006-today). There are some exceptions: Philips, Magnavox and recent (post-2005) Toshibas can all read each others unfinalized discs, because they share the Funai unfinalized format. All Pioneers and later Sony DVD/HDD models are compatible, and old JVCs used to sometimes be compatible with some Panasonics (todays JVCs are compatible with LGs). Some of the current Sonys are compatible with current Samsungs.

Its hard to keep track of and subject to sudden change. Holding unfinalized discs for more than a couple weeks is a bad idea: you're only one dead machine away from a major headache. So try to finalize DVD-R and DVD+R asap if you want to keep them permanently. For more casual use, all newer recorders share the same DVD+RW format (but your old Panasonics can't record +RW discs, only play them). And any recorder with DVD-RAM capability can play RAM discs made on any other recorder.

Before giving up on your dysfunctional Panasonic, try the disassembly and cleaning instructions posted on several Panasonic threads here on AVS. Many a "dead" Panasonic has been completely revived by opening the burner and cleaning the drive spindle.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-07-2012, 02:47 PM
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Actually the ES-15 was the first model year Panasonic to record to +RW, the previous years ES-20 did not. Note even though your ES-15 can record to +RW it's the least liked format in Panasonics. Personally I'd just look for another Panasonic to continue recording as you have been doing. The newest Panasonic model(EZ-28) would work quite well as well as would another '06 model like your ES-15 or upconverting twin the ES-25. Personally I wouldn't suggest a EZ-x7 model('07) as they were the first year of the EZ models and are somewhat buggy.
If you do get a EZ-28 and use it in conjunction with your ES-15 you'll have the ability to prep your DVDs in the EZ-28 and get an extra 7 minutes SP(14 LP) when recording on your ES-15. I did this for my VHS to DVD project and it was very handy to get 2hrs 7 minutes SP instead of the normal 2hrs and a few seconds per disc. Note the extra recording time will only show up on your ES-15(or non EZ model Panasonics).
If you do get a EZ and want to learn the trick just let me know or search, I've posted it before.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-09-2012, 11:19 PM
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Citibear:

I've been looking for Panasonics (ES-15 or ES-20/25 preferred) for some time. I have looked on eBay and generally only find ones that are no longer working (like most, I'm sure I have enough of those already...), or are clearly on their way out.

If you do have links to locations that sell the non-HDD models, I'd very much appreciate a link or additional info.

Thx.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-10-2012, 02:12 AM
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If you have unfinalized DVDs originally recorded on a Panasonic you will need to finalize them on another Panasonic. Panasonic recorders are often found on Craigs List for bargain prices.

This thread has advice for Craig's List shopping for Panasonic and Funai manufactured DVD Recorders:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1281815

Beginning in 2006 Toshiba is just one of many DVD recorder brands manufactured by Funai. Others include Philips, Magnavox, PYE, Sylvania, Symphonic, TruTech, Emerson, etc.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #7 of 15 Old 05-10-2012, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon Seven View Post

Citibear:

I've been looking for Panasonics (ES-15 or ES-20/25 preferred) for some time. I have looked on eBay and generally only find ones that are no longer working (like most, I'm sure I have enough of those already...), or are clearly on their way out.

If you do have links to locations that sell the non-HDD models, I'd very much appreciate a link or additional info.

Thx.

Personally I'd avoid the somewhat buggy ES-20. While the build quality(weight of components) may be slightly better than the '06 ES-15 or ES-25, the ES-20 was the first Panasonic model to contain LSI silicon and as such is slightly buggy and has a few limitations not found the the non LSI models.
If you post your location we can give you a better idea of what's available, some areas don't seem to have as many used Pannys as others. My area has the occasional non HDD models but I haven't seen a HDD model for several years Personally I avoid ebay and instead scour Craigslist and local pawn shops, of course if you live in a small town or in the sticks such options may not be available to you.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-10-2012, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon Seven View Post

Citibear:

I've been looking for Panasonics (ES-15 or ES-20/25 preferred) for some time. I have looked on eBay and generally only find ones that are no longer working (like most, I'm sure I have enough of those already...), or are clearly on their way out.

If you do have links to locations that sell the non-HDD models, I'd very much appreciate a link or additional info.

Thx.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/ele/3007450372.html ES-25 for $80
http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/ele/3006099572.html tunerless EA-18 for $40(if this were near me I'd probably grab it).
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/ele/2967803488.html ES-20 for $60, the description indicates it may be NTSC and PAL(I'd have to see it to believe it).
http://corvallis.craigslist.org/ele/3004345849.html $75 for a like new EZ-28 isn't bad.
http://cnj.craigslist.org/ele/2887671041.html This ES-25 sold for $65 in Jersey.
http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/ele/2996294466.html $35 NIB is a steal for a ES-25, too bad CA is a world away from me.
Lots of Pannys on Craigslist, just a matter of where you live since very few people will ship.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-13-2012, 06:43 PM
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Thanks, Guys.

JJeff, we have the same issue... none of those deals are anywhere near me (W. Canada) and as you say, Craigslisters tend not to want to ship. That might be ok, since I'm never convinced things are as they are advertised on the list anyway.

I have an ES16 (Panasonic Canada model, basically an ES15 if I understand their nomenclature correctly), an ES25 and an EZ28.

Of the three, the ES16/25 each recorded between 3-4k hours before succumbing to laser failure. I was very happy with both... I don't think they ruined more than five discs between them over the 5-6 years they were in use.

The EZ28 torched the first disk I tried in it, then worked fine for a year or so (under limited use, it must be said), but has shown the same kind of buggy behaviour that DigaDo indicated his has as well. On average, it nuked about 1 in 10 disks, which puts my EZ28 in the same territory as the four 'Centrios' brand recorders I owned before I discovered panasonic. It's firmware is also far inferior to the earlier models.

Today, with less than 500 hours total recording, my EZ28 did the autoreset/disk error/self destruct... I haven't taken it apart yet to see if it's fixable, but it is so unreliable as a recorder I'm not sure I care if it can be fixed or not... Such a shame, Panasonic once built the best consumer DMR on the market. An extra $50-75 for a better laser/optical pickup (and perhaps better cooling overall) and these machines (ES15/16 and ES20/25) would be bulletproof for years IMO. Yet here we are.

Thanks again for the links.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-08-2012, 04:26 PM
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Just for the record. I have a Toshiba DVR670KU (2009) and a D-R560KU (2008) and I can record on them using DVD-RW in Video Mode and
DVD+RW in +VR mode and not finalize the dvd and they will play in my Sony (2007) DVD Player. I had tested them and also after I
played them I went back and added to the DVD (on the Toshiba) and played them again on the Sony and this did work. I remember
someone here telling me years ago that a DVD+RW did not need to be finalized so if that's what you have, I would think you could play them on
a different recorder. I only have Toshiba recorders so I cannot say about using a Sony recorder and playing on Toshiba. I think the
trick is you want the +RW especially..type DVDs.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-01-2012, 02:45 PM
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Russsak:

I've recently purchased a Toshiba DR430KC recorder (basically the same as the KU model, from what I have read).

While the present generation of Toshibas will not allow you to play back unfinalized Panasonic discs, they do give you the option to make your u/f panasonic recorded discs compatible with the newer recorder. You lose the old Panasonic menu structure (including thumbnail previews), but the disc converts to Toshiba menu structure just fine. New titles can then be added, or the disc can simply be finalized.

Not sure what these go for in the US but I paid about $130 for my Toshiba 430.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-04-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
While the present generation of Toshibas will not allow you to play back unfinalized Panasonic discs, they do give you the option to make your u/f panasonic recorded discs compatible with the newer recorder. You lose the old Panasonic menu structure (including thumbnail previews), but the disc converts to Toshiba menu structure just fine. New titles can then be added, or the disc can simply be finalized.
Interesting feature. Does it work with other manufacturer's disks, or only Panasonic?

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-04-2012, 06:16 PM
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Church AV:

I'm not sure. The only working units I have these days are 3 Panasonics and two Toshibas. I haven't used a Sony, Magnavox or JVC machine (they don't sell them in Canada as far as I know). I have some unfinalized discs from old (c 2003/4) Centrios recorders (which were sold through our equivalent of Radio Shack/Tandy at one time) which I have tried in the Toshiba and they work also (and yes, I am glad I didn't throw them away when the recorders failed...).

Thus far I haven't found an unfinalized disc that won't play in the Toshiba. Of course, I haven't tried all possible combinations as I don't have them.

One interesting thing I learned through playing with this machine is that I was not correct when saying in an earlier post that the disc has to be finalized in the Toshiba before it can be viewed/played (just going by the manual on that). The 430 can read unfinalized discs from other manufacturers AND play them. In addition, in fooling around with the thing a little more today, you can record a few titles on a disk in, say, a Panasonic, then put the disk in the Toshiba, record additional titles, then take it back to the Panasonic for additional recording or finalizing. It manages to maintain the Panasonic menu structure on all titles when you do that... which is quite a feat.

I must say, I had no idea the Toshiba would do this when I bought it. It was just a cheap workhorse recorder (on sale) that I planned to use for general recording. It's far more than that, I find. Good chance I'll be buying another one...

Others have commented on the Toshiba picture quality. I would agree that on the LP (4 hour) setting, it doesn't do as good a job as the Panasonic. However, it's far from unwatchable on a 32/40" screen. I suppose if you are watching on a true big screen, it wouldn't look very good. But the Panasonic 4 hr mode isn't great for that either. Add to that, the Toshiba 4 hour mode actually allows about 4:15-4:20 on one disk (depends on number of titles and starts/stops/pauses).

The only drawback I've found so far compared to the Panasonic series is that the Toshiba doesn't have a flex record mode. I use that alot on the Panasonics.

If you want me to check specific disks, PM me and you can send me test disk(s) for that purpose.
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-04-2012, 11:32 PM
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Thanks for the rundown. I was merely curious about how far Toshiba took that feature. Like I said before, an interesting feature.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-05-2012, 07:04 AM
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One thing I didn't like about my Toshiba was the lack of a 2.5 hour recording mode, I use that quite often on my Magnavox units. They also have a 3 hour setting.
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