Question re: Panasonic DMR-EZ48V - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-29-2012, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently purchased a Panasonic DMR-EZ48V off of Ebay. It is only a year old and sealed in the original box.

I'm not very tech-savvy, so I hired someone to install it. Even the installer had problems installing it, and that's what he does for a living. Anyway, the VCR/DVD recorder records and plays GREAT. I had a Panasonic not long ago, so I decided to go with Panny again.

When my old Panny died, the only replacement DVD/VHS combo I could find new was a Toshiba 620 from Best Buy. It cost me $170, but within 2 months the playback was so atrocious that it was ready for the dumpster.

I'm scared to realize that manufacturers no longer make quality VCR's anymore. I guess I'm kind of "old school"---I got my first VCR around 1980 when I was a little kid and I've used VCR's ever since, to both record and view recorded programs.

I'm trying to get used to the DVR in the Panny combo, but DVR's tend to have problems that VCR's don't. Sometimes DVR's won't record certain programs because the cable company blocks it (I have Comcast Cable). I know that one option is to rent monthy a DVR from Comcast, but I hate to think of the added monthly cost. I also like to keep the physical VHS tapes or DVD's to play back years from now.

In fact, I have a LARGE library of VHS cassettes that I've recorded over the years. They all still play. About 50% are recorded TV shows or recorded movies off of TV. The other 50% are copyrighted movies or documentaries, which I understand are very difficult to try to transfer to DVD due to the encoding.

I don't even know HOW to transfer a VHS tape onto a DVD, so that's another problem. I usually record on EP, so my tapes are 6 hours long. All of the blank DVD's I've come across only seem to hold 2 hours of programming (unless I'm doing something wrong).

Will there come a day when we won't even be able to get VCR's to PLAY our tapes? This would be quite problematic for me. All those store-bought VHS tapes down the drain? I spent a LOT of money on those. Also, I have some favorite TV shows and documentaries on VHS. If I ever learn how to transfer VHS to DVD, I'd at least have those. HOW would I learn how to transfer, though? I don't have any friends that know how to show me. I tried asking the person whom I hired to install my VCR, but I've learned that most people who install VCR's/DVD's are NOT going to take any extra time to demonstrate how the model works, even IF you are paying them good money.

Maybe sometime in the near future I'll break down and go ahead and rent the DVR from Comcast, so at least I'll be able to record shows. (I have no idea HOW MANY HOURS of shows those DVR's hold, though.) I DO like to save certain shows for years.

To those who know far more about technology than I, will there soon come a day when we won't even be able to get a VCR that PLAYS tapes? Or will there always be a place on Ebay or somewhere else that sells refurbished VCR's? (I was pretty nervous about buying an $800 ONE-YEAR-OLD VCR on Ebay, but that's the only option I had.) At least this Panny is only ONE YEAR OLD and it was still sealed in the box when I got it. I'm a little more doubtful about "refurbished" VCR's, especially if the return policy is not clear. I suppose SOME people would buy another identical Panny just for the parts or for the future, but $800 is a LOT of money. Plus, I had to pay the installation fees.

For the future, can anyone advise me the best course of action to take? I just like to record shows, and sometimes save them to watch later. I also have a LOT of VHS tapes.

Also, the guy who installed my new Panny told me to NEVER turn it off, otherwise the inputs would get messed up. I did not understand that, but now I'm scared to ever turn it off. (I'm also scared of what will happen if/when there is a blackout). He also told me that IF I don't turn it off, it will wear out much more quickly, so I really don't know what to do. I hate to think I spent $800 on a machine that may not last too long.

Thanks for any advice anyone can give me; I have a LOT to learn!

Eva
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-29-2012, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Eva14 View Post

For the future, can anyone advise me the best course of action to take? I just like to record shows, and sometimes save them to watch later. I also have a LOT of VHS tapes.
Also, the guy who installed my new Panny told me to NEVER turn it off, otherwise the inputs would get messed up. I did not understand that, but now I'm scared to ever turn it off. (I'm also scared of what will happen if/when there is a blackout). He also told me that IF I don't turn it off, it will wear out much more quickly, so I really don't know what to do. I hate to think I spent $800 on a machine that may not last too long.
Thanks for any advice anyone can give me; I have a LOT to learn!
Eva
Please understand I am not trying to be offensive when I say that given your state of technical expertise, I strongly suggest you go rent the cable co DVR from Comcast. If you paid $800 for a used EZ48, I'm sorry to say you got severely ripped off -- that $800 could have paid for almost 5yr of Comcast DVR service. If the guy you paid to install it "had trouble" then told you never to turn if off -- he was seriously incompetent and probably had no idea how it worked to instruct you further -- you can of course turn it off without anything bad happening.

Since you already paid the price, use what you have now but be aware that Comcast has announced they will be converting completely to digital and will be encrypting all their channels which will essentially make your EZ48 useless to you as a primary recorder. Get the Comcast DVR; let them come in and set it up and instruct you on its use; when you have problems you call them.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #3 of 27 Old 11-29-2012, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

If you paid $800 for a used EZ48, I'm sorry to say you got severely ripped off ...

I am totally shocked at what these EZ48's are going for on eBay. There are quite a few sold for $300 up to $900 !!

As for the Comcast DVR, they work fine if you record, watch, and then delete the programs. But, if you wish to archive the programs onto other media (like VHS or DVD), the OP will be faced with the same technical situation.

That which may be known of God is evident within man, for God has shown it to them, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
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post #4 of 27 Old 11-29-2012, 10:54 AM
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Yes, I think many replies you receive must be prefaced with "please don't be offended, but..."

The most unfortunate issue is that you vastly, vastly overpaid for your Panasonic EZ48v. I have heard of people being scammed by inflated eBay prices, but that particular seller really made a windfall on you. These guys prey on nervous consumers who panic that they can't adapt to new technology, and will pay anything to get their hands on something familiar once word gets out it has been discontinued. I'm not criticizing you, a lot of people fall victim to this behavior pattern, but the fact is you spent $800 (near triple the retail price!) on what is considered the most trouble-prone DVD/VHS combo model ever made by Panasonic. There are more complaint threads about this model on forums than nearly any other recorder. If it does what you want it to, and you eventually figure out how to use all the features, and you are financially OK enough that the $800 didn't kill your budget, things will probably work out in the end. But going forward, to avoid expensive mistakes you will need to do more research before investing in video tech (and if at all possible make a new personal friend who can help you: go hang out at a university coffee shop or something). The "installer" was an idiot to leave you hanging with major questions, and to scare you with "don't turn it off" stories: he must have thought turning it off would reset the input selection, and maybe it does, but instead of trying to avoid followup phone calls he could have showed you what setting to make.

Before we go any further with recording from cable or using the DVD section, we need to find out two things: exactly how many VHS tapes do you have, and what is your overall financial status? If you have less than 300 Hollywood tapes, and enough discretionary money that you can comfortably afford to spend approx $1600 over the next couple years, your best bet is to slowly replace the tapes with new studio DVD versions. If you carefully shop Target, eBay and Amazon, you will be amazed how many movies older than 3 years sell for $6 or less on DVD, brand new. These are much better quality than what you could get making copies in a recorder, and much less effort. TV series are more expensive, sometimes much more, but even here you can find bargains: used DVDs sell for half-off or less. Making DVD copies of tapes is very time consuming, the results not always great, and if the tapes are commercial Hollywood material there are added technical issues and hardware that can make your head spin if you are not technically inclined. (No combo unit like the EZ48V can make DVD copies of studio tapes: the tapes have an anti-copy signal, so you need an external VCR, an anti-copy filtering device, and ability to frequently change settings on the recorder as well as switch wires around.)

The tapes you recorded yourself from TV should copy to DVD just fine using the EZ48V, but there is a learning curve: if you couldn't understand how to do it with the Toshiba you will have the same confusion with the EZ48V. DVD recorders operate very strangely compared to VCRs- once you get the hang of it, they make sense, but if you're nervous you'll instinctively resist learning the process. This is why its REALLY helpful to have a personal acquaintance sit with you and help you figure it out. You told us most of your personal tapes were recorded in EP/6-hour mode: this complicates the DVD copy process even more. One, because EP tapes are much poorer quality and prone to more signal errors, and two, because the DVD 6-hour mode is so bad its almost unwatchable, so you can't make a simple straight across 6-hour DVD from a 6-hour tape. You need to set the DVD to two-hour speed, and manual stop and start the copy process so you can make three 2-hour DVDs from a 6-hour tape. Frequently, the DVD dubs from EP VHS are so terrible it actually isn't worth the trouble: you're better off stockpiling a couple of spare VCRs and just view the tapes for as long as they last. Casual VCR users never really understood that EP/6-hour mode was meant as a temporary recording speed, not to be used for library storage, so a LOT of people are now sitting on hundreds of EP tapes that they can't do a damn thing with. They are what they are: preserving them to DVD usually results in worse quality. Tapes stored in a good environment (i.e. not Florida or New Orleans) usually last up to 30 years: if you expect to live longer than that, try to slowly replace those recordings with commercial studio DVD versions.

The VCR section of the EZ48V is decent, as is the DVD, but the unit has a very buggy tuner/timer circuit that everyone complains about. Given that you previously owned a Toshiba 620, which has no tuner, you probably have a decoder box from ComCast that you use to tune the channels, so shouldn't have to deal with the Panasonic tuner. Your "installer" probably connected the decoder box to the Line 1 input in back of the EZ48V, unless he was really stupid and hooked it up to Line 2 on the front panel. If you turn the Panasonic off, and lose the picture after turning it back on, you just need to make sure the cable box is turned on and then press the Input button on the Panasonic remote to cycle thru Tuner, DV, Line 1 and Line 2 until you see the picture come back. Recording to the VCR works as usual, you seem to be OK with that, but I'd suggest using 2-hour SP mode for anything you might want to copy to DVD later.

Recording to the DVD can be extremely confusing and is not as simple or intuitive as a VCR. The closest you can get to VCR simplicity is DVD-RAM discs, but these special discs are now hard to find, expensive, and won't play on anything but another Panasonic. DVD-RW is a little harder to use, but still erasable like a tape. DVD-R is permanent, the best quality for library storage and sharing with friends, but recordings can't be changed and if you make a mistake or want to cut something out you can't roll back and erase over it like a VHS tape or erasable disc. Recording direct to DVD is so difficult that Panasonic (and other brands) began offering DVD recorders with HDD, which were similar to the ComCast PVR in that you recorded to an internal hard drive which was as easy to use as VHS (you only used the DVD to make copies of things on the HDD you wanted to keep). These DVD/HDD recorders were expensive and unpopular in USA, so they were discontinued in 2006 in favor of the EZ48v (because VHS was still popular despite being obsolete for ten years).

So, my advice would be the same as Kelson's- for you, and every other "casual" user with cable. Sign up for the ComCast PVR. Like it or not, cable or satellite subscription PVRs long ago replaced VHS and DVD recorders in the hearts and minds of the American public: hardly anyone buys a non-subscription recorder today unless they get good antenna reception. If you have cable, the subscription PVR is the only truly integrated, convenient method of recording: choose a show or movie from the program guide screen, press the "record for me" button, and you're done. Later, when you want to watch what you recorded, you choose from a list that tells you the exact name of each show or movie. Very easy, once you learn how to push a couple of buttons and understand the menu of choices (record show once, record show every week, record show every day, watch the recording, keep the recording, delete the recording). The PVR holds approx 40 hours of video: enough to catch up on any number of timer recordings. When you want a permanent copy, you can play the ComCast PVR into the Line Inputs of the EZ48V to make a DVD, but here again you must be willing to put aside your nerves and let yourself learn a bit of technical skill (or have a friend help you).

VCRs are totally obsolete. They were to easy to use, and many people still use them: the trouble is they don't work so great with todays scrambled cable systems and good quality new blank tapes are becoming harder and harder to get. There are many many people like yourself who are sitting on lots of VHS recorded at the EP 6-hour speed: those people are better off just using a VCR to play those tapes than trying to make digital copies, unless they are willing to get very technical and spend a lot of time at the task. The good news is, you DON'T have to spend a fortune buying "new" VCRs built into pricey DVD/VHS combos. Instead, take advantage of the fact that the general public has no interest in VCRs anymore and everyone is getting rid of them. A nice used Panasonic 4-head HiFi VCR can be had for $25 or less from Craigs List or eBay, if in mint condition when you get it these can last for ten more years, if not twenty. Panasonic VCRs made between 1995 and 2001 basically don't break unless a child uses them: with occasional adult use they can go on forever. Buy two or three, store the spares in a closet, and you should be set for life. Look for models like 7451, 8453, 8661, 9661: anything "full sized" 17" wide. The smaller 14" wide Panasonics are good before 2001, but lousy after, and its difficult to tell them apart because Panasonic recycled old model numbers for the new junk. Older "compacts" like the 4551 and 4661 can be very nice if in good condition, but check the date on the back panel for 1995, 1996 or 1997. Those were the last "good" years for compact Panasonics.
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-29-2012, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tomwil View Post

As for the Comcast DVR, they work fine if you record, watch, and then delete the programs. But, if you wish to archive the programs onto other media (like VHS or DVD), the OP will be faced with the same technical situation.
True, but from what I read I considered my suggestion to be the best advice for her.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #6 of 27 Old 11-30-2012, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies; I appreciate it. I know I have a lot to learn about technology.

Just for the record, the Panasonic EZ48V that I got off of Ebay for $800 wasn't USED, it was BRAND NEW SEALED IN BOX. I'm sure I probably overpaid for even a brand new (never used) one, though. I personally was pretty shocked at the high price, but basically ALL BRAND NEW SEALED IN BOX Panasonic EZ48V's on Ebay or Amazon are going for at least $699---I did do a fair amount of Internet research before buying. The one I bought on Ebay was $779 + $15 postage.

The reason I bought a Panasonic EZ48V was because I previously owned a Panasonic that was almost identical to this one. It lasted for about 3-4 years and the playback was excellent quality on both VHS and DVD.

I AM really pleased with the quality of the playback on both VHS and DVD on my new Panasonic. It really is a great picture (unlike the Toshiba 620).

I've recorded TV shows on VHS with my new Panny and they look really good. I'm also able to record TV shows onto DVD and they look really good.

I'm currently using the blank DVD-RW's to record. Is that a good decision? I figured it best to get something that I could record over in case I messed it up. What is the best DVD format to record on for archival footage? I'm still a bit confused about the different kinds of blank DVD's for sale. I guess it's kind of worrying to think that my recorded DVD's will ONLY play on a Panasonic
that's something I didn't know.

Thanks for letting me know about how to fix the inputs if I ever turn my VCR/DVD recorder off.

I was SO DISAPPOINTED with the "installer" that I hired. He has his own TV/VCR/DVD store and is listed in the phone book, so it's not like I just hired someone off the street. But my God, it took him over AN HOUR to connect that VCR/DVD player! By then he was tired and in a bad mood, so I wasn't able to get any of my questions answered. Thank goodness I previously owned a very similar Panasonic model---even the remote was identical. So I was able to figure out how to use it on my own, even with my admitted lack of technical knowledge. It was VERY DISAPPOINTING to realize that I probably knew as much or even more about how to operate the VCR/DVD than this "installer"! I've had terrible luck trying to find a qualified "installer" who can teach me anything.

As for my financial situation, it's not great. That's why I was asking if there will always be a way to watch old VHS tapes. I really couldn't afford to buy all those movies and documentaries on DVD. I WAS aware that I would NOT be able to make any copies of COPYRIGHTED material, so I do know a few things.

I may go ahead and get the Comcast DVR, but that still doesn't solve my problem of needing a VCR to PLAY my tapes.

It's interesting to know that there is a way to copy from the Comcast DVR onto a disc, but it sounds like it would be a complicated process to learn. And 40 hours isn't a whole lot of hours when we're talking about wanting to archive material for the future.

I'm actually a very intelligent person. Technology is not my forte, though. If I could ever find someone who could teach me a thing or two about archiving material onto a DVD, I'm sure I could learn it. Many people are not technologically-inclined, so they need to be taught by someone who is. I can play classical piano and I can speak several languages, but none of that will help me with this VCR/DVD situation. We all need teachers in life (at least most of us do).

So yes, I'm just trying to learn here. I guess maybe I should try to find someone who TRULY knows technology? It sure hasn't been easy! I hired "Geek Squad" to install my TOSHIBA VCR/DVD player, and they were as bad or worse than the guy who installed my Panasonic. They do not merit the label of "Geek" if they can't even divide 480 by 60! I'm serious. I'm a college graduate with a high I.Q., so I know I could LEARN if only I could find a decent teacher.

Thanks,
Eva
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-30-2012, 04:35 AM
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Hi, I think there will always be VCR's on the market in used/refurbished conditions so i dont think you have nothing to worry about there, but new ones are certainly almost gone now. Its sad i know but the times are moving on. DVD's you make on the EZ48 should be able to play on other equipment if you follow the manual and read about finalising the discs

One big tip i could give you to prolong the life of your VCR/DVD combo is to not use it to PLAY DVD's. If you want to watch DVD's you can pick up very good brand new ones for under $100. If you play a lot of DVD's on a DVD recorder, It will wear out the laser a lot quicker and generally new lasers are hard to get as spare parts from panasonic and if you can get one they can be quite scary in price.

I have a EZ48 too ( Australian model without the tuner problems the USA ones had) and its a nice unit but you need to remember that these will probably not last as long as a VCR/DVD recorder made in the 90's up to about the early 2000's. Back then Panasonics were made in Japan and mostly good quality, they used good components and had good quality controls etc etc and generally buil to last and were serviceble. These days most gear is disposable, not built to last etc as they moved manufacturing outside of Japan and used cheaper parts etc. So dont epect any brand new VCR you can buy to day to last as long as some you may have previously had in the 80's or 90's.

VHS tapes seem to still be around but are getting a bit scarce and sought after. I had been watching some on ebay and they get snapped up quick, By all means if you think you can get enough to last you for many years to come then thats good, but if you really want to go a lot of recording and cant get the supply of blank tapes you think you will need then seriously think of limiting your recording to tape and move to DVD's. But then again DVD recording is kinda dying a bit too now. Getting DVD's wont be a problem but DVD recorders are almost as rare as VCR's now.
Quote:
I WAS aware that I would NOT be able to make any copies of COPYRIGHTED material, so I do know a few things.

That is not entirely true. you CAN make DVD copies of copyrighted material but it usually works best with a separate VCR and DVD recorder or PC PLUS a another 'box' that connects between the two that removes the copyright proctection 'macrovision' I have not tried this myself but i am 99% sure that you can copy protected VHS tapes on the EZ48 to the DVD recorder in the EZ48 if you dont do it internally. You loop the VHS output out the player, through a copy protection removal box asnd then connect the cables back to the input of the DVD/VCR combo. I have read on this forum that it is possible to do this on the EZ48 but its not an ideal or perfect solution.

Anyway take in all the advice from the other guys above and really have a think about what you really want to do and what you can afford to do. Once you have decided which way to go people will be able to help you more and if you are keen enough you should be able to learn all the things you need to.
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-30-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by citibear 
...Making DVD copies of tapes is very time consuming, the results not always great, and if the tapes are commercial Hollywood material there are added technical issues and hardware that can make your head spin if you are not technically inclined.

EEK! eek.gif

Oh, CitiBear! Was THAT an opening for a BAD PUN or what? Making DVD copies of VHS tapes makes your head(s) spin. REALLY?!? Of course the heads have to spin or else you cannot read the tape! The DVD disk has to spin too.biggrin.gif

Um, sorry...

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 #9 of 27 Old 11-30-2012, 12:40 PM
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Eva, you certainly aren't alone in being "not terribly technical" - if you were, the subscription PVR wouldn't be the most popular tech toy since the VCR!smile.gif

People in general can have unexpected reactions to video gear: I am constantly amazed by the accountants, photographers, doctors, etc who work every day with high technology or complex software, yet are completely flummoxed by DVD recorders and how to use them with cable/satellite. Its almost like there's a genetic predisposition in humans for subscription PVRs, and once they were invented and offered, that was the end of the line for every other type of mass-market video recorder.

I do understand why you felt compelled to overpay for your EZ48V: you had a Panasonic before that you liked, you were disappointed with the Toshiba that replaced it, and when you tried to buy a newer Panasonic DVD/VHS you found they'd been discontinued and all that were left available were from scammers charging $699 and up for a new one. But the price was way too much: they were giving them away on eBay for under $200 two years ago when they were still in production and had a terrible reputation. Like everything else on eBay, the moment an item is discontinued, it sells out even if it was previously considered a bit of a flop, and then the remaining stock gets listed endlessly at 300% over retail in hopes some desperate soul will actually pay that amount.

This is where its really unfortunate that you don't have someone local to help you with this stuff. The EZ48V was roughly worth its original retail of $299, but for the additional $400 you overpaid you could have put together a much more flexible system with better, more convenient features. Having all your eggs in one recorder basket is limiting and risky, but at least the EZ48V should last a few years (being the best of the final big-name DVD/VHS machines).

Given your justification for the purchase price was to get a "new" Panasonic VCR, its clear you need ongoing VHS support for your EP tapes. The last brand-new Panasonic VHS VCRs sold for about $69 back in 2006, and that is the VCR design built into the EZ48V. I'm not denigrating the EZ48V, but trying to make the point that its current price isn't due to some magical VCR section: sellers are asking $800 for it because there is a small but fanatical pool of buyers who would literally go out of their minds if they could not have a Panasonic DVD/VHS combo deck. You are not one of that group, you had other reasons, but you got sucked into the inflated price nonetheless. The same thing happened with various other makes and models of recorder, esp in 2007 when nearly every DVD/HDD recorder was discontinued. I had my own bout of insanity then, when I snapped up SIX Pioneer recorders from eBay dealers in Canada. A lot of us here stockpiled or overpaid for our preferred recorders when we heard there would be no more.

Anyway, you can kind of make up for your overpayment on the EZ48V if you keep a sharp eye on Craigs List and eBay for one of the good used Panasonic VCRs I mentioned: these are dirt cheap, and even better than the VCR in the EZ48V. Between the EZ48V and a couple of spare Panasonic VCRs, you should be covered to play your EP tapes for many years to come. But the time to buy a good used spare VCRs is now: don't wait. While its true used VCRs will be around forever, because millions were sold, good ones will become increasingly harder to find as people are now beginning to throw them in the trash rather than make the effort of selling them for $20.

As far as future recording goes, you have several options. All are a compromise one way or another, either in money or convenience. All will require you to put on your study cap and try to learn some tech tricks (or find someone cool to help you that isn't the useless "Geek Squad"). The first option would be to stop where you are, with the EZ48V, a couple of spare VCRs to play your old tapes, and your existing non-PVR ComCast box. New TV shows or movies you want to keep permanently should be recorded on DVD-R (non-erasable) discs. This is the preferred media for the EZ48V. When each disc is full, you would tell the EZ48V to "finalize" it, which creates a menu and makes the DVD compatible with all other DVD players, computers, etc. DVD-R cannot be erased or edited, so you would need to be careful how you set up your timer recordings to fit the shows nicely. You could use DVD+RW instead, this gives more editing/erasing flexibility and is compatible with other players with no need to "finalize." But +RW is more expensive, and not as archival for long-term library storage. DVD-RW is similar, but needs to be "finalized" for compatibility which can cause some glitches with other players. DVD-RAM is the easiest, most VCR-like disc to use, but also the most expensive, and RAM discs will only play in Panasonic recorders or other players that are compatible with RAM (a lot less now than there used to be: BluRay players have taken over the living room, and they don't do RAM).

To get around the "can't record" restrictions you've been getting when trying to make DVDs from ComCast, you will need a protection filter or TBC connected between the decoder box video output and the EZ48V video input. The two most commonly used by members here are the Grex and the AVT-8710. Yes, it is another expense, but there is no other way to get around the stupid record restrict signal some cable systems are embedding. These filter boxes don't require you to do anything but connect them: they just stay on all the time.

Not going beyond the EZ48V would be the cheapest option, but also the most limiting and inconvenient. Recording directly onto DVDs is a hassle, because they really only have good quality in the SP (2-hour) recording mode. Sometimes you can get away with LP (4-hour), but it isn't recommended for anything but sports events. This limits your ability to record multiple shows in one night, or when away from home. It also makes it much more difficult to have separate DVDs devoted to separate TV shows, etc. For this reason, you may want to consider "Option 2," getting the ComCast PVR. With the cable PVR, you are freed from the confines of the EZ48V DVD capacity: the cable PVR can hold at least 40 hours of highest-quality recordings, and it can easily record several shows per night on different channels, even shows that run at the same time on opposing channels. You never have to worry about having blanks discs handy, or if you have space left on a disc. The shows that you like to watch but not keep can just be erased from the PVR by pushing the delete button. The only time you would use the EZ48V to make a DVD is when you want a DVD, and collecting shows on dedicaated DVDs is much easier using the cable PVR and EZ48V as a team. For example, since the ComCast PVR can store many shows on its hard drive, you can just wait until you have 4 half-hour or 2 one-hour episodes on the PVR, then copy them all at once to a DVD with the EZ48v.

"Option 3" is a compromise between the previous two systems. Instead of signing up for the ComCast PVR, which admittedly becomes an ongoing expense, buy the Magnavox MDR533 DVD/HDD recorder from WalMart web store for $228. This recorder has been the default recommendation for TV recording since 2007: for the price, there is nothing else comparable. If we could have read your mind, most of us would have told you to buy the Magnavox plus a nice used Panasonic VCR, totaling less than $300, instead of the EZ48V. But you can wait awhile, save your pennies, and still buy the Magnavox to give yourself the additional benefits. The Magnavox would become your primary recorder, connected to your existing ComCast decoder box. Instead of making DVDs or tapes, you would record everything to the Magnavox hard drive, much like a ComCast PVR works. The Magnavox gives you the convenience of discless recording with 50-100 hours storage capacity, but without the monthly charge. The drawback compared to ComCast PVR is lack of integration: you would need to set timers on both the ComCast box and the Magnavox, just as you do with the EZ48V, and the Magnavox cannot record two channels at the same time. You do gain one very nice advantage with the Magnavox: speed of making DVDs. Since the Magnavox has built-in DVD burner, anything you recorded on its PVR can be copied internally, at high speed (16 mins to burn a DVD-R). So you don't have to sit thru shows twice, like you'd sometimes need to when recording from ComCast PVR to the EZ48V. If you eventually buy a Magnavox, you can dedicate the EZ48V to playing VHS or making DVD copies of VHS.

I'm sure all this is very confusing for you to process, but I figured laying it all out in one post would make a good reference point when you're ready to plunge ahead. If you print it out, you can show it to any new geek friends you make, and they will have a starting point to help you set things up. Best of luck to you, Eva: take things slow and you'll be surprised how much of this stuff you'll be able to learn. It was hard for me, too, in the beginning: it took a long time for me to understand why I was frustrated with DVD recording until I discovered the DVD/HDD machines (then took me awhile longer to comprehend the DVD/HDD functions). One of the ironies of our digital era is that it isn't necessarily easier than analog: many things are much more complicated. There are incredible benefits to digital video once you figure it out, but it definitely yanks us 'non-GenX-ers' out of our comfort zone until we catch up.
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post #10 of 27 Old 11-30-2012, 05:32 PM
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The EZ48, for me, was a bit of a diva. I love the picture quality of dvd recordings, but there are quirks that force you to pay close attention to it, to make sure timer recordings get recorded....You'll find many vets here more than willing to provide you with advice on navigating it's usage.

 

If you use a splitter (cable from wall to splitter, splitter to ez48, and cable box, cable box to tv, yellow video cable+red/while audio cables from ez48 to tv's line inputs), you can use the built in digital tuner to record the local tv stations that (hopefully) are still being transmitted over your Comcrap cable system. The QAM tuner should pick up your CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, WB, My Network TV, and Ion affiliates and their sub channels. WGN is usually unscrambled as well as a few other minor local broadcast stations (Spanish, religious, shopping)  CC is working hard to rid themselves of carrying them unscrambled, but for now, they remain on most systems. It helps in time shifting when not at home, or if you'd like to watch a cable channel while recording a network show.

 

And note should you connect things as listed above-you cannot not record from any of the digital channels to the vcr side. Only to dvd. A MADDENING decision made by Panasonic. With the cable box connected to the line input, you can record to a vhs tape. Again, good for time shifting multiple programs that you'll just want to watch once, while you're not home

 

And to chime in on the pricing at ebay, I just glanced through some listings, and saw some with the asking prices  between $699-$1,000. I hate that you had to spend so much, but as suggested earlier, perhaps you could keep an eye out for a good used vcr at a pawn shop or consignment store. Then try selling the 48 to recoup some of that back...

But if it suits your needs and you're happy, then, I guess, that's all that matters in the end.


Dazed and confused over high tech.

Sigh...Concrap. The Internet Overlord Cometh
They're not com-tastic!
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 02:19 AM
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Wow, you had a lot of things to discuss about your situation. But things that I am knowlegeable about I feel comfortable telling you as good advice.
The DVD recorder you chose is (by the way) one of the VERY best. And once you know how to use it, navigate and record, the easier it will be for you.
First and foremost, you should ONLY use quality yet affordable blank DVD's . Verbatim 8X discs are the best for the machine and for any DVD recorders. 8X or less work the best. 16X discs are for computer burning NOT home recorders. 16X discs are sold at most stores and the failure rate and disc errors are very high. So stay away from store bought discs. Panasonic accepts most types of discs . The best place to buy Verbatim 8X discs are with a company out of NY, at the BEST price on the market. Called BandH.com then once on their site, search line , type in Verbatim 8X DVD and find discs that are either -R or +R and the very best have the product code 95052 or 94812. You may be able to also type on the search line Verbatim 95052 or Verbatim 94812.
Verbatim has the best AZO dyes for recording shows in the business. All others are inferior. Trust me.
I have been recording onto DVD's since the first DVD recorders came out 10 yrs ago . (live and learn).
These discs are affordable and will never fail you.
Panasonic also makes DVD-RAM discs, which allow you to watch live TV yet rewind live records if you want to go back and view something you just recorded. Very unique.

As far as someone telling you NEVER turn off your recorder is outrageous. Simply crazy. And , this will only shorten your life span of the machine when it burns up. Now, if he told you not to turn off the recorder while TV is on for watching during the day and evening, that makes sense if you have everything connected to the recorder then to the TV. Because if you turn off the Panasonic you will not have a signal then to the TV. But when you are not watching TV and when you go to bed, simply turn off the Panasonic . then in the AM , turn on the recorder then the TV and you should be good to go. If you are using a cable box , that too can be turned off at night and when not in use. Just turn on all devices to once again watch and record your shows.

Now another tip if you are frustrated or confused on how to finalize discs (so that they can be played back on other machines, friends DVD players) is simply purchase +RW discs and there is no finalizing needed. Good +RW discs are many ...but make sure (once again ) that you use 8X (or less) discs. otherwise , 16 X discs may confuse your recorder and have disc errors.

Other things to consider for best quality recording is use either co-ax cable direclty to the recorder or S-Video in . If you use the yellow, red and white cords , they are the least quality for playback and clearity. Good luck !!!!! Mike
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 11:20 AM
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Mike, I agree with your post for the most part but in addition to AZO Verbatims I'd add 8x Tys. In fact because they have a slightly tactile bottom I think your chances of a failed burn due to a dirty or weak spindle is even less. Also while I'd probably agree 8x might be the way to go since it's closer to the 1x that our machines burn at, I've also had excellent results with 16x AZO Verbs. IMO almost as important as the speed is to stick with the - format. The few times I've tried +R discs I haven't had the best luck. Lastly in regards to +RW, while it may be true that in order to play them in a player you don't have to finalize them you do need to preform a task that takes almost as long as finalizing if you want them to display a top menu. If you don't do this task your discs will only autoplay and you won't be able to chose between the various titles on the disc. Because of this I really like to stick with -RWs if I want to be able to reuse the discs in yet have them compatible with 99% of DVD players.
Sounds like you've been around DVD Recorders for some time, may I ask what model recorders you currently have? I don't have a EZ-48v but have used one and do have it's VHS-less twin, the EZ-28.
Lastly, I've personally ordered several things from B&H(international Panasonics for one) but have never used them for blank media. I like Supermedia.com who not only sells 8x but also lots of other things like CD wallets and memory chips(SD, USB). If your order is over $50(basically two spindles) shipping is free.
Welcome to the forum smile.gif
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

...I've personally ordered several things from B&H(international Panasonics for one) but have never used them for blank media. I like Supermedia ... who not only sells 8x but also lots of other things like CD wallets and memory chips(SD, USB). If your order is over $50(basically two spindles) shipping is free.
Welcome to the forum smile.gif

Here's the SuperMediaStore link to the 8x JVC/Taiyo Yuden Premium Line DVD-R media that I use in all my Panasonic, Magnavox, Philips and Toshiba recorders:

http://www.supermediastore.com/product/u/jvc-taiyo-yuden-jdmr-zz-sk8-silver-lacquer-8x-dvd-r-media-premium-line-tape-wrap-100pk

I prefer to purchase the tape-wrapped stacks as the cake box packaging just adds to the cost.

I try to keep at least 2,000 blank TY Premium Line DVDs on hand at all times.

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post #14 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 03:50 PM
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Hi GmanCA welcome to the forum. Can you elaborate on some of your statements please?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GmanCA View Post

16 X discs may confuse your recorder and have disc errors.

1) In what way will a Verbatim 1x to 16x azo disc confuse the DMR-EZ48V?

2) Did Panasonic neglect to write a firmware strategy for popular store bought discs (Verb and others) that 95 percent of buyers of the DMR-EZ48V would/are most likely using?

3) Is there a warning, a caution, a note (or even just a tip) in the DMR-EZ48V owner’s manual against using 1x to 16x discs? Is there a section in the manual advising what disc(s) are OK to use? Surely if what you say is accurate Panasonic must of stated something like :

(fake quote only for illustration purposes)
Note about burning 1x to 16x discs.
“1x to 16x branded discs do not meet the technical specifications of this burner.”
OR
(fake quote only for illustration purposes)
This unit may get confused if trying to burn high speed recording compatible discs.
Do they issue such warning or do they state something like:
This unit also records high speed recording compatible discs branded 1x to 16x.

By the time the DMR-EZ48V came out the only discs widely available were 1x to 16x branded DVD-R write once discs. One would think that Panasonic would mention something.
I mean if the manufactures know that 95 percent of folks will buy and use what's widely available - you would think the manufacture would at least give a caution, a warning, or a tip? Just a simple note cautioning people and pointing them to 8x media.

Do Panasonic and other DVDr manufactures claim the statement in the quote below?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GmanCA View Post

16X discs are for computer burning NOT home recorders.

Or is that just something that some blogers claim?
I know my stand-alone has a section on discs that are recommended for burning
(Including 1x to 16x branded discs.)
And a section for discs to avoid.
(No mention of 1x to 16x AZO discs to avoid)

What about using DVD-R DL discs? Maybe the Ver3 Verbatim discs?
Will that also confuse the DMR-EZ48V recorder?

Finally isn’t the DMR-EZ48V a real time 1x burner? So with your logic shouldn’t 1x burners use 1x discs? Wait, 1x to 16x rates discs CAN be used in 1x burners – note the 1x to 16x branding.

I gotta say that your quote below is a very broad statement and does not represent my world at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GmanCA View Post

16X discs are sold at most stores and the failure rate and disc errors are very high. So stay away from store bought discs.

Very strange because I have bought hundreds of Verb azo discs in stores and something like one was bad. Maybe your local store is very careless with the incoming shipping of discs. Maybe they are clueless in regard of proper storage and handling?

Do you by chance work for a certain online vendor in New York?

Welcome to the forum.
I’m not posting to argue – just posting for the folks googling info to have balanced views or opinions when researching.
Maybe some can search for the DMR-EZ48V owner's manual and post what it says about using 1x to 16x branded discs?wink.gif
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 04:29 PM
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GmanCA, welcome to AVS (and immediate baptism by fire courtesy Super Eye). smile.gifrolleyes.gif

You needn't formulate a reply answering every single one of his questions: he doesn't really want an answer, because he already knows the answer. He has never in his life, not once, ever, had a problem burning 16x media in his recorder. Anyone reporting different results is to be challenged mercilessly, because AVS is obviously an adjunct of Stanford Labs, not a consumer A/V forum.

Based on his incredibly fortunate personal experience, and the fact recorder mfrs rarely bothered to warn against 16x media issues, and the fact all media mfrs swear on all that's holy that their 16x media is utterly, completely, irrefutably compatible with every burner ever sold, and the fact that they published myriad technical papers quoting Stephen Hawking as backing up these claims, Super Eye has decided "case closed" on the question of whether other people might have problems burning 16x media in their recorders. As far as he's concerned, people who report difficulties with 16x media must be loading the discs upside down or making other colossal user errors, because no other explanation is scientifically possible. There is no discussion or compromising with him on this point: take it from one who's wasted a lot of time in the attempt.

As to your particular 16x media comments in the specific case of the Panasonic EZ48v, Super Eye is more on the mark than usual in his obstinacy. His opinion that the EZ48v was engineered in the16x era, and should therefore work fine with decent 16x media like Verbatim AZO, is accurate. Panasonics in general were more forgiving of media variety than other recorders, and fourth-generation models like the EZ48v were definitely gifted with proper burning strategy for run-of-the-mill 16x discs. That agreed, it would still be sensible to stick with top-quality 16x media, of which Verbatim AZO is last man standing. Alternately, one might choose to use 8x Verbatim DataLifePlus AZO, or 8x TY/JVC, simply because they are "known-good" disc types. But use of 8x in the Panasonic EZ48v is not a necessary failsafe crutch, as it is with many older recorders that persisted in using the "ancient" Japanese TY 8x burning standard as their sole strategy as late as 2006 (despite vague claims of 16x compatibility in their instruction manuals).

Everyone who doesn't own a 2008 or newer Panasonic or Funai should just go with whatever media works reliably for them, and ignore forum pundits, mfr claims, or abstract science. Recorders do whatever the hell they want regardless of how they're "supposed to behave" based on the science. Mfrs fudge their specs and cut corners: whatever works, works, whatever doesn't, doesn't.

Happy New Year To All!smile.gif
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 06:41 PM
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All these years and you still haven’t figured me out CitiBear.eek.gif

I never have a problem with people who prefer 1x to 8x branded Verb azo or TY discs.
I never ever challenge anyone for that kind of preference.

I never ever have a problem with anyone who prefers certain brands of machines IE a Panasonic VCR or a Toshiba VCR etc.
I never ever challenge anyone for that kind of preference.

Here is what rubs me the wrong way prompting me to response.

Statement such as:
Don’t use 1x to 16x branded discs – they won’t work, they are nothing but trouble- they confuse and burn out lasers. WTF???
Or
Don’t buy a brand X VCR – they are crap they won’t work they are nothing but trouble.

As long as the mods are OK with it I will always challenge (in a respectable and factual way) the folks that say “don’t – it won’t work” to something that works for 98 percent of the general population. Especially statements coming from a new member with a count of 1 post. That always make me suspicious.wink.gif

Preferences or opinions are OK. Slamming a product and saying it won’t work for you or your machine wasn’t designed for it will bait me. Again if you say that your Panasonic VHS deck is great – good for you. Saying that my brand x VHS deck is a piece of crap will get me to response. If you say that your 1x to 8x branded discs work great for you - good. Stating that 1x to 16 branded discs will confuse "my" machine and burn out my laser rolleyes.gif will get me to response.

Would you stay quit if a new member come on here and stated that 1x-8x TY discs are meant for burning in PCs only and will only confuse a real-time burner thus you should only use 1x discs in your deck.?

If you state that something works for you or doesn’t work for you – fine. But please don’t come on here saying that it won’t work for me either - even though the product indeed works BEST for me and 98 percent of the population.rolleyes.gif

PS I would indeed like answers to the questions I asked in a prior post.
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 07:53 PM
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Again just for a reference I use 16x media almost exclusively in my Panasonics('05-'08), mostly AZO Verbatims but I've been known to use the cheaper Life series and previously have used quite a bit of Sony 16x, Maxell, Philips and even TDK discs. Knock on wood with 1000s of burns I've never had a laser failure and only the rare failed burns, most of the failed burns can be attributed to a dirty spindle which after cleaning I'm good to go.
I have proven several times that a machine thats having issues with a particular DVD may not have issues with another. Case in point, I was having issues with one machine making grinding noises with the Sony pearl top DVDs and occasionally with the Life series Verbs but quieted right down with AZO Verbs(all 16x). The same machine was silent with the 8x Tys which I attribute more to the tactile bottom of the Tys than the 8x speed(actually I've never used or even seen 16x Tys but I assume they have the same tactile bottom as the 8x Tys).
I'm not doubting Citibear or anyone who has had failed burns with 16x and then has great results with 8x but in the same vein others like myself and even SuperEye seem to be having great results with 16x. I wouldn't say that all 16x media is good just as all 8x is not good(although anyone left making 8x media is probably specialized and therefor probably higher quality). So until I start having problems I'll continue to use 16x AZO Verbatims, occasionally Verbatim Life series and 8x Tys and for non critical PC use I'll use whatever name brand(probably not Windata) I can get cheap. For those whos machines seem to only work well with 8x then for all means purchase 8x media, on sale they aren't that much more expensive than quality 16x Verbatims, it's just nice we have all the options we do smile.gif
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

... The same machine was silent with the 8x Tys which I attribute more to the tactile bottom of the Tys than the 8x speed(actually I've never used or even seen 16x Tys but I assume they have the same tactile bottom as the 8x Tys). smile.gif

Yes the 16x TY is just as "tactile" as the 8x TY.

The lot numbers of TY 8x DVD-Rs begin with "GG" whereas the lot numbers of 16x TY DVD-Rs begin with "GH."

I've recently begun seeing 16x TYs with clear plastic hubs whereas they used to have silver hubs. An 8x TY is seen at the upper left and a 16X TY is seen at the lower left in this photo:


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post #19 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 10:55 PM
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Hi JJeff, I own the Panasonic EZ48V and have been impressed with it's over all features and most importantly, the quality of the recordings. I use only S- video input for this recorder as well as my Toshiba VR 610. Both machines have S-Video input for recordings which allows just a wee bit more signal and clarity rather than composite inputs (which are less clear for recordings). I do order as well from supermediastore.com but they do not have the selection of verbatims when I do check with them. But Ive orderded with them for many years past. B&H photo video (BandH.com) are really good with prices, shipping and stock. They have the older product numbers for verbatim 95052 or 94812 etc. Im surprised that you prefer the -R discs over the +R discs. I use mostly +R and have due to the many friends , family who also get my DVD's over the years and way back learned that their machines do not like the -R discs . So after research , read (10 yrs ago) that the +R will play on most DVD players out there., vs. some -R discs will not. things change however, and maybe this is no longer an issue. The Very first DVD recorder that came out 10 yrs ago was from Philips 1000A ( If I recall) and it was the bomb ! Well built, well thought out, but back then there were so many disc error issues, that the disc industry actually buried the first DVD recorder made available to the public. it cost over $1000 back then and I still have disc from then which play well on all other players. I sure miss that machine. the only one since then that is impressive is the Panasonic EZ48V . but now they are expensive to find or replace . I would love to get a back up of this model in the event this one were to die. When you discussed having the toshiba VR620 , that is also a great recorder and I have the earlier model. But you pointed out one reason I do keep it dusted and not in use much. It has far worse recording quality. Well, good luck and happy recordings !!! MIke
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 11:33 PM
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I hear ya Bear ! I know from past anger (with myself) and waisted time and recordings, not to buy anything but Verbatim. I have not tried the JVC TY's but hear they are just as good.. I never use 16 X discs.. infact, someone recently gave me a 16X blank and it was aweful. So I just stick to what is good. BandH.com have the best selection and prices overall. They have free shipping on a regular basis as well. Well, you cracked me up when you described JJeff and his thinking that the newer the machine , the newer the discs it can handle. But as you know, that is not true. 16X discs are a waist of time and probably have more errors than I can imagine.
Have a great day !! Mike
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post #21 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 11:40 PM
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hey, calm down dude.... first of all I have been recording with a variety of DVD recorders and discs for over 10 yrs now. i have learned the hard way. I have bought 16 discs and they fail. I have bought brand name good discs 16 X and they are terrible. I have two machines now, and both machines do not perform well with 16X discs. Im trying to spare others from that experience. And no , I do not work for any company in NY who sells discs. i work for the public in Child protective services . I know that lower recording speed discs ARE better , have no failures or disc errors and when given to the public, friends, used on public machines they work . 16X discs simply dont.
but lets not argue my experiences or yours. We are here to enlighten the users of DVD recorders. lets get over our own issues and move forward and try to make honest and unbiased opinions . Hang in there dude ! Mike
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post #22 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 11:45 PM
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Are you aware that Verbatim NEW discs are no longer from Taiwan? that now they come from Sinapore, India, China ? There is no longer a good NEW verbatim out there when they lost control measures for quality (which they once had) . 8X discs are from the generation of Taiwan only and product numbers that started with 948 or 950 which are tried and true GOOD reliable discs. Once verbatim started outsourcing their new discs, I will not be buying any of the new stuff. Mike
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post #23 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 11:47 PM
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I hear that these are very good, just never used them yet. sound like they are similar to the good Verbatims of yester year. Now of course , Verbatim sold out on the world of quality and if you check their manufacturing country now, its singapore, china, india. and ? but the old Verbatims were good. Still are available and I will stick with them and consider your suggestion of the TY JVC's thanks ! Mike
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post #24 of 27 Old 01-04-2013, 11:55 PM
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These guys have me panicked. Stock up on DVD blanks before they go the way of Audio Cassette blanks!

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post #25 of 27 Old 01-05-2013, 12:27 AM
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Blank DVDs will go away as less folks use optical media but I wouldn’t be panicked. Do some research = there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 1x to 8x 1x to 16x Verb AZO no matter were they come from, Singapore, Taiwan, India, United Arab Emirates. They still get the same high ratings. Don’t listen to anonymous bloggers pushing nothing but their own interest. Anyone could start a new blog along with a new forum membership and state that TY has gone to absolute crap since JVC took over but hopefully most of us are above using such BS scare tactics and most have no intention of falsely misleading folks like some ‘dudes' do. Shameful indeed!!!
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post #26 of 27 Old 01-05-2013, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by GmanCA View Post

Hi JJeff, I own the Panasonic EZ48V and have been impressed with it's over all features and most importantly, the quality of the recordings. I use only S- video input for this recorder as well as my Toshiba VR 610. Both machines have S-Video input for recordings which allows just a wee bit more signal and clarity rather than composite inputs (which are less clear for recordings). I do order as well from supermediastore.com but they do not have the selection of verbatims when I do check with them. But Ive orderded with them for many years past. B&H photo video (BandH.com) are really good with prices, shipping and stock. They have the older product numbers for verbatim 95052 or 94812 etc. Im surprised that you prefer the -R discs over the +R discs. I use mostly +R and have due to the many friends , family who also get my DVD's over the years and way back learned that their machines do not like the -R discs . So after research , read (10 yrs ago) that the +R will play on most DVD players out there., vs. some -R discs will not. things change however, and maybe this is no longer an issue. The Very first DVD recorder that came out 10 yrs ago was from Philips 1000A ( If I recall) and it was the bomb ! Well built, well thought out, but back then there were so many disc error issues, that the disc industry actually buried the first DVD recorder made available to the public. it cost over $1000 back then and I still have disc from then which play well on all other players. I sure miss that machine. the only one since then that is impressive is the Panasonic EZ48V . but now they are expensive to find or replace . I would love to get a back up of this model in the event this one were to die. When you discussed having the toshiba VR620 , that is also a great recorder and I have the earlier model. But you pointed out one reason I do keep it dusted and not in use much. It has far worse recording quality. Well, good luck and happy recordings !!! MIke
Totally agree with your S-video statement, it's all I use with the exception if I'm coming from a device with only composite like a standard VHS player or even a camcorder with only composite output.
I totally don't understand your + vs - statement. Panasonic has always been designed for the - format, they only included the option for + in '05(5 years after making DVDRs) and it's been my experience that when newer Panasonics burn to the + format it's in a odd format that will not search with full search speeds on select DVD players(Sony for sure and also a few other brands I've tried). It's mainly for that reason and also my experience with a spindle of + discs that didn't go so well(8x Philips brand 6+ years ago) that I stay away from + on Panasonics. I also question your statement about - discs not working in older DVD players. It's been my experience and that of others I've read that - discs play on about every player made but + would not play on the very first players. I had a older Apex that played - discs just fine but would not recognize + or even RW discs, I've read this from other users as well.
In this day and age all players will play all types of discs so I wouldn't make my choice based on a few ancient players but when burning on a Panasonic I see no advantage to use +, now your Funai made Toshiba is different, Funai is + dominant and I'd have no qualms using + on a Funai, others use - on their Funai and no problems either. I guess if your having good or even better luck burning + on your Panasonic then by all means stick to that, can't get better than a good burn, but I just want to point out your experience may not be typical.
And for your last statement, I agree, picture quality(especially on speeds between 2 and 4hrs) is the main reason I record on Panasonics. I've tried most all other brands but keep coming back to Panasonic. Well I did find one machine that actually looked slightly better than my Panasonics in SP or better speed but like most other brands speeds slower than SP took a big hit in picture quality. The machine was a Toshiba XS(made by Toshiba not Funai) and it made SP recordings that basically looked like the source but while I appreciate great SP recordings I want to be able to fit more than ~2hrs onto a SL DVD and for that reason I only have 1 Toshiba but many Panasonics(that and I'm worried about how reliable the burner is in my Toshiba for heavy use, I never worry about that with my Panasonics).
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post #27 of 27 Old 01-05-2013, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

Blank DVDs will go away as less folks use optical media but I wouldn’t be panicked. Do some research = there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 1x to 8x 1x to 16x Verb AZO no matter were they come from, Singapore, Taiwan, India, United Arab Emirates. They still get the same high ratings. Don’t listen to anonymous bloggers pushing nothing but their own interest. Anyone could start a new blog along with a new forum membership and state that TY has gone to absolute crap since JVC took over but hopefully most of us are above using such BS scare tactics and most have no intention of falsely misleading folks like some ‘dudes' do.
I think optical media will continue to have a place in the market -- at least during my lifetime. One could have made the case that the iPod inspired glut of cheap digital music players would have eliminated the market for CD-R. Not at all. CD-R are as readily available at retail and on the Internet as DVD-R. What we will probably see is a few less stacks of DVD-R on the retail shelves as they make room for the emerging market of BD-R.

As to the rest of your post -- yup +1.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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