Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Jhollister, you're welcome for any help I might have been. I only use DVD-RAM, but I have recorded a few shows onto DVD-R in case I wanted to watch them on any other DVD player or share with someone else. I quit using tapes a long time ago but I still have some that I might want to watch and I have an old JVC camcorder that I use sometimes, as well; and I want to be able to watch tapes in my media room' aka family or living room. I have stuff that I recorded off TV 15-20 years ago - unfortunately in EP mode. I sure regret ever using that mode. SP would hold up longer.
I haven't done anything with the VCR yet. From page 13 in the Operating Instructions, the VCR will only record analog stuff and in whatever format that it is in. I don't see that you can choose the format. RAM will record anything in the native format, including copy-once protected stuff, but not the no-copy protected stuff. I haven't experimented much with the unit, yet.
I just tried to record an HD digital OTA channel with the VCR and got a message that said digital channels cannot be recorded on the VCR. I only have HD channels set for OTA, but I manually entered one strong analog channel and recorded that ok.
The VCR video and audio can pass through the HDMI cable to the TV, simplifying cable connections. I do miss the remote control eject button, though.
I really wanted a DVD/HDD recorder with HD capability, but there's not much available. The only digital DVD/HDD recorders so far are a Polaroid and a Philips. Neither has DVD-RAM capability and I really watched the online threads about them. The Polaroid is terrible and it seems that the Philips is undergoing Beta testing by the first generation buyers. I really watched that before I bought the Panny. The biggest thing holding me back from the Philips was the lack of DVD-RAM support. I wanted one unit to replace several units: one Pan DMR-E50 and a Toshiba upconverting DVD/VCR player(not DVD-RAM capable). I have a Toshiba XS32 that does DVD-RAM and has an 80GB HDD. I've replaced the DVD-RAM drive in it successfully with an LG-4120B drive(an on-hand spare), losing only cartridge capability. I've had no trouble with the two Panny E50's, dating back to November '04.
I record a lot of TV and you wouldn't believe how many VCR's I used to set up with 9 and 10 hr tapes so that I wouldn't miss any TV while away for 2 to 4 weeks!
Sorry. I can really get to yakking.