ChurchAVGuy, thanks for clearing up that Panasonics actually DO require formatting of +R blanks before use. That is rather bizarre: none of my Magnavox or Pioneer recorders require +R to be formatted (they work the same -R: load and burn).
Originally Posted by akramnajjar
It is only because in the past the -R copies gave me problems. I could not copy them on my PC and some could not be read on other equipment.
You could have a defective EH59: unlikely, but possible. Did you buy it new, or as a "demo" with previously-used discount?
More likely you have simply been buying the typical blank DVDs sold in stores. Retail DVDs are optimized for PC burning, they have unpredictable burning quality when used in DVD/HDD recorders. DVD recorders are all but dead as a consumer product and few blank media companies have cared about reliable recorder compatibility since years ago. It is pure luck that the +Rs you've been buying in stores worked better than the -Rs, but that luck could change at any moment. To avoid future problems, buy your blanks online from a media specialist like supermedia, rima, avedirect or amazon. The two most reliable and popular DVD-R types used by recorder owners here are Verbatim DataLifePlus 8x DVD-R (Product Number 94852) and JVC/TY Premium Silver 8x DVD-R. Both also come in other finishes like white top instead of silver. They are more expensive than the stuff you find on sale at stores, at approx $34 per 100 including shipping. But the guarantee of reliable burns that play well in computers and other DVD or BD players is worth the extra money. How much is it worth to you to not have to worry about burn quality or disc compatibility ever again?
They (-R) are also not as commonly available as +R.
This may be true in your specific neighborhood stores, but generally major chain stores always carry both. The reason you see more +R on the shelves might also be that -R sells faster and they don't restock right away. In any case, you should listen to what ChurchAVGuy confirmed: Panasonics don't much like +R, to the point they require special formatting, so why use them at all? The +Rs may seem to play better in your computer and DVD player, but that could change the second you get a different PC or DVD player. DVD recorders are just goofy machines that play by their own set of rules: half of this forum is always arguing with the other half about media. One faction insists that "a blank DVD is a blank DVD, the spec is the spec, so all DVDs should always burn well in all hardware.." The other faction says "the heck with that: it may be true for PCs, or you lucky people with easygoing recorders, but my
DVD recorders choke on the DVDs I buy in discount stores yet work perfectly with the specialty DVDs bought online- why should I keep wasting time and money on blanks my recorder clearly does not like?'
Its understandable that you would be really angry that store-bought DVDs would cause trouble in your recorder but not in your PC, and of course it really is inconvenient to have to order specialty blanks online instead of just running to the store whenever there's a sale. But such is life: we can't always get what we want. If you just cannot force yourself to buy blanks online, at least try to buy only Verbatim brand -R or +R blanks at the store, and then ONLY the Verbatims that have an "AZO" mark on the wrapper. Verbatim sells a cheaper discount "Life Series" blank (without the "AZO" symbol) in stores that is actually the exact same blank sold under the TDK, Staples, Philips and countless other brand names. They all come from the same factory, no matter what the name, and most can have problems in a recorder. Your odds are much better with the "genuine" Verbatim AZO 16x DVD-R, but if that doesn't work for you just give up and buy the 8x -R blanks from a web dealer. The 8x -R blanks work well in every recorder, every time.