I have a few very specific questions about the 557 - I have read quite a bit of this massive thread, so I apologize if this has been covered...
I downloaded the 557 manual, and it appears now that it only uses DVD-R media? Great for me; I use -R media at my transfer business.
I am curious if the 557 offers a formatting choice - VR mode or Video Mode. I have a few Toshiba DR430 units that format +R media in VR mode, and -R media in Video Mode. Video mode, of course, results in an absence of the stupid "empty title" on a finalized DVD. I know I could send out +R media to my customers, and do the workaround to get rid of the empty title, but it seems like a pain in the arse. And, I also like to stay consistent, as I currently use -R media in all my Panasonic/Toshiba/Sony recorders.
As far as my Toshiba units (made by Funai, of course), I have done some recording tests using +R and -R media on SP mode. Does anyone have any insight as to why I can consistently fit a 123 minute (or so) tape onto a DVD+R, with room to spare, but -R media seems to fill up at about 121 to 122 minutes? I know this seems trivial, but in the video transfer business, it is very common to have tapes that are 123 +124 minutes long. Again, I could just use +R media, but I'd rather not deal with the Empty Title issue on +VR-formatted discs.
So, that all being said, does anyone know if the Mag units - the 557, specifically, can easily fit 123-124 minutes on SP mode, on a DVD-R, formatted in Video Mode?