I just bought the Magnavox MDR-537, and, though I’ve been using two Pioneer DVR-520s for the past eight years or so and haven’t been back to the forum in that time, I’ve recently tried to catch up on pertinent information regarding the Magnavox units in the Massive Thread. The information in that thread has been helpful, particularly regarding differences between the Magnavox and Pioneer units, but I’ve encountered an issue now that I haven’t found addressed in the thread or in the 537 manual.
I’ve experienced no problems with recording, dubbing or finalizing, yet the finalized discs (TY Premium/GG000338/-R, x8/Supermedia) are recognized only in the Magnavox unit. The Magnavox identifies the discs as DVD-R and as Finalized. When I place the same finalized discs in one of my DVD players, they initially seem to be loading, and, then… nothing. There are no problem disc messages; it’s just as if the discs are not there at all… no response to any command. My computer drive recognizes the discs as blank and asks how to proceed. Also, as a test, I dubbed some titles onto a DVD–RW and finalized it; the result was exactly the same as with the DVD-R finalized discs.
I really don’t want to return the unit, as I’ve already placed a lot of material on the HDD, so any help or insight on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
What method or menu did you Finalize the discs with, and same for how you identified them as "DVD-R and Finalized"?
When you load a -R disc, there will be "nothing" until you physically select the DVD drive and press a "Disc Menu" button.
I finalized the discs from the Menu, choosing Disc Edit, then Finalize, then Yes, then waiting for the Finalization to finish. I’ve checked the discs via the Disc Menu, pressing the arrow up from the first Title; the box appears giving the disc name, disc type, total titles, disc space used, disc protect on or off, and the finalization status. Also, after the disc is finalized, the disc edit and dubbing options are grayed out on the Menu.
You did everything right so there's no good reason the discs shouldn't play in other machines. Only other "far-out" reason I've read of a Mag disc not being playable is one recorded in HQ rec mode and that was too-high a bit rate for a particular playing machine. If the disc IS in HQ rec mode, you can try another disc rec at SP rec mode.
Otherwise, if the disc is clean and still playable in the Mag, I don't know of any "remedies" right now that might be worth trying, but it's such a "curious" event that I know I'll be thinking about it for awhile still.
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If the above doesn't shed some light, you can try a long-shot disc alignment procedure SKIP 987 as described here (however, you need a blank -R and +R disc before you start):