I use a variety, generally picking the minimum-length tape necessary to record the program. I've used all of the following:
- Fuji ST-120 (123 minutes) for the vast majority of programs that run in under 120 minutes
- Maxell ST-126BQ (129 minutes) for a few programs
- JVC DF-300 and Maxell DF-300 (153 minutes)
- Maxell ST-160 (163 minutes)
- Maxell ST-182BQ (183 minutes)
- JVC DF-420 (213 minutes)
- JVC DF-480 (242 minutes)
I've had no consistent problems with any of these brands (none that seemed to be related to the tape itself). But the credible reports herein about problems with Maxell are scaring me. I've used the Maxell "BQ" tapes for analog S-VHS recording for a decade and haven't had many problems with them. I especially like the little bit of extra running time the ST-126s provide, which makes it much easier to archive two one-hour programs on a single tape given the before-and-after slop you have to allow for nowadays with most network broadcasts.
I wonder if the complaints that others have about Maxell (especially Roger's avoid-unless-threatened sentiments) extend to the BQ series as well as to their regular consumer line.
I've used a few Maxell DF-300s and haven't seen any problems with them either, but you people are frightening me. I have way too many problems already with these recorders.