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help for recording tv please

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I need to find an inexpensive way to record over the air TV via antenna. I was using a Panasonic vcr/dvd recorder combo with digital and analog tuners. It will no longer format a disc. Is there something I can get that would record over the air either to dvd+rw or a dvr that doesnt require monthly fees or internet connection for updates?

Thanks
post #2 of 25
That is a pretty vague description of your problem. Can you be more specific: model number, precise error or problem description, type of disks you are using and manufacturer and anything else? Your old recorder might be very easily fixed just by giving it a cleaning.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Its a panasonic DMR-EZ 485 V. Using either maxel or memeorex DVD+RW discs. Reloaded firmware, did not help. Cleaned drive, did not help. Gets part way through formatting and says problem with the disk and to push power button to correct disc problem. Doesnt help
post #4 of 25
Do you want to archive your recordings to DVD or just basically timeshift?
For a very basic HD recorder you might want to check into a iView 3500 and USB HDD. The iView runs $50 and a 500GB HDD about $50, It has HDMI, component and composite output and you program like a VCR(start/stop times) or with the newest firmware you can program directly off the PSIP guide(generally only 12-24hrs worth of programs). You can read all about it here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465875/iview-3500stb-dvr-tuner-owners-thread
If your OK with SD and really want to burn to DVDs I'd probably suggest one of the Magnavoxes in Wajo's master thread. You should have far less problems with any of those as apposed to your EZ-48v which is quite buggy.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by walino View Post

Its a panasonic DMR-EZ 485 V. Using either maxel or memeorex DVD+RW discs. Reloaded firmware, did not help. Cleaned drive, did not help. Gets part way through formatting and says problem with the disk and to push power button to correct disc problem. Doesnt help

Many times folks think using a lens cleaner is the same as cleaning the DVD Drive. But a lens cleaner does nothing to clean a soiled rubber hub atop the spindle (turntable), the most common problem with Panasonic DVD Drives.

This post has basic diagnostic information and describes and illustrates cleaning procedures for Panasonic DVD Drives:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1055071/panasonic-2006-and-newer-dvd-drive-hub-spindle-cleaning-and-reassembly-complications/0_60#post_14479898

Memorex DVDs are manufactured by China Magnetics Corporation (CMC) generally considered by AVS Forum members to be among the worst quality. Maxell farms out the manufacture of their DVDs among various producers, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. The best DVDs are produced by JVC/Taiyo Yuden. Verbatim "AZO" series DVDs are also good quality. Avoid Verbatim "Life Series" DVDs as they, like Memorex, Imation, TDK, Philips, Magnavox, HP and most of the other retail brands are manufactured by CMC.
Edited by DigaDo - 6/4/13 at 12:24pm
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
I noticed that when the recorder was working, I had to try to format two or three memorex discs to get one to work. Ran out of maxels and local store doesnt cary them nor did walmart. Maybe I should try another brand
post #7 of 25
Does your recorder make a noise that it originally did not, like a grinding type of sound? Maybe it sounds a bit odd. Since it works SOMETIMES, it is very unlikely to be damaged beyond repair. The electronics and laser seem to be functional, and that's the big deal. DigiDo's spindle cleaning will likely make it work again.

Since Panasonic DVD recorders prefer -R rather than +R blanks, does a straight -R work properly?
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
You kind of lost me. Basically I am trying to record ota programs to watch, or occassionally save. I am out of the house a lot so I just need something with a tuner and at least six hours of recording per week. More would be better. But I am not tech savvy past what I had before. So I dont want something complicated or expensive. I want reusable media to save costs , thats why I was using the +rw discs I often got a couple months out of one. I do n oot have good internet where I live so a Tivo is out plus I dont want extra expense past buying the unit itself.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
whats the difference between -r and a +RW?
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by walino View Post

whats the difference between -r and a +RW?
DVD media comes in 5 flavors: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, RAM.

-R and +R are write-once disks
-RW and +RW are re-writable disks (write-erase-write-erase . . .)

Functionally, there is no difference between the "-" format and the "+" format. They are just different disk formats. Most machines will "work" with both formats, but they will "prefer" one format over another and work better with that preferred format.

Panasonic recorders prefers "-" format disks. funai recorders, such as Magnavox, Philips, Toshiba, prefer the "+" format disks.

RAM is a specialty grade mainly used by Panasonic. It is rewritable media but it lasts much longer than -/+RW media. However it is only playable in recorders & players that support RAM and outside of Panasonic those are almost non-existent.
post #11 of 25
DVD recorders are rapidly dying off as a consumer product, almost no new models remain on the market, and the blank disc quality changes like the weather nowadays (so the brand that worked well with your recorder for years suddenly doesn't anymore). Panasonics are prone to the dirty drive problem explained by DigaDo above: the more you use a Panasonic, the dirtier it gets, and the more often you need to clean it. Before anything else, try the spindle cleaning instructions DigaDo linked to: this solves 75% of all "my Panasonic is broken" problems. If you still have trouble after cleaning, it may be the blanks you are using. Most blanks today are crap, Memorex being among the worst and Maxell being a roll of the dice with each package. Try some Verbatim DVD-RW and see if that works more reliably (you may need to order it online from Amazon or SuperMediaStore, retail stores seem fixated on Memorex and Sony). If the problem continues with Verbatim, your Panasonic EZ485v may simply be dying, and you'll need to replace it (they are usually not worth repairing).

walino, if you never keep anything for your library and are ONLY interested in record-watch-erase, you should probably look into buying a Magnavox MDR533 DVD/HDD recorder from WalMart. You can order it from their website, or have them ship it to your local store. The advantage of the Magnavox is it can record to its internal hard drive, like a crude TiVO, storing up to 100+ hours of video at the standard SP recording "speed." Using the HDD means never having to worry about blank disc problems ever again. or having to record at the crummier EP speed to fit all your timer recordings on a DVD. Should you ever want to keep something permanently, you can tell the unit to copy the video from its HDD to a DVD, and of course it functions as a DVD player as well. Timer recording works the same way as your EZ485v: there's no internet connection or program grid involved.

The only drawback you might encounter is that the Magnavox tuner is not as "smart" as the one in your EZ485v. Some broadcasters have an annoying habit of messing with their channel frequencies or parameters, and depending on how they do it the Magnavox may suddenly become unable to record that channel in timer mode. Sometimes you can screw around with various tricks to get the channel back, but it can be difficult for the non-techie, and some channel glitches resist all attempts at Magnavox compatibility. WalMart has a very liberal return policy, at least 30 days and sometimes much longer if you ask them nicely, so if you buy a Magnavox be sure to try timer recording every available channel in your town during the first few weeks (even the ones you don't normally watch). If everything works smoothly, you should be good to go. If you notice any "problem channels," you can try the tips suggested here. If those don't work, you'll need to consider whether or not you can live with difficulty on those channels.

Aside from the Magnavox MDR533, the only new recorders available easily in USA are Toshiba and Magnavox models that are essentially the 533 without a hard drive selling for about half the price. These may seem like a better deal, but you'll again be at the mercy of variable blank DVD quality and eventual DVD drive wear that you face now with your Panasonic. If shopping for a new DVD recorder, the Magnavox 533 is really the only one left worth bothering with (the HDD justifies it). There are no other alternatives unless you opt for one of the PC-related devices mentioned above in other replies. Note, for some strange reason the Panasonic 485v is one of the hottest items on eBay right now: you should be able to sell yours, even "broken", and make enough $ to help pay for a new recorder.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The only drawback you might encounter is that the Magnavox tuner is not as "smart" as the one in your EZ485v.
Don't forget the black crush.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

DVD media comes in 5 flavors: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, RAM.

-R and +R are write-once disks
-RW and +RW are re-writable disks (write-erase-write-erase . . .)

Functionally, there is no difference between the "-" format and the "+" format. They are just different disk formats. Most machines will "work" with both formats, but they will "prefer" one format over another and work better with that preferred format.

Panasonic recorders prefers "-" format disks. funai recorders, such as Magnavox, Philips, Toshiba, prefer the "+" format disks.

RAM is a specialty grade mainly used by Panasonic. It is rewritable media but it lasts much longer than -/+RW media. However it is only playable in recorders & players that support RAM and outside of Panasonic those are almost non-existent.


You lost me why would + or - mean the same thing?
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by walino View Post

You lost me why would + or - mean the same thing?
I never said they were the same thing. I explained that "-" and "+" are two different disk formats for creating a DVD. Manufacturers tend to prefer one format over the other and so their recorders will work better with one of the two formats. If you know that preference and use disks of that type you will run into fewer problems. The resulting finalized disk is functionally the same regardless of the disk format used to create it.

It is unfortunate the DVD world has to deal with multiple formats and the attending confusion, but that is the way it is.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post



RAM is a specialty grade mainly used by Panasonic. It is rewritable media but it lasts much longer than -/+RW media. However it is only playable in recorders & players that support RAM and outside of Panasonic those are almost non-existent.

Most HP (and old Compaq) laptops include DVD-RAM in their specs. I haven't tried it on my machines in years but I'm pretty sure I did at one point.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleedlee View Post

Most HP (and old Compaq) laptops include DVD-RAM in their specs. I haven't tried it on my machines in years but I'm pretty sure I did at one point.
All my PCs(even newer ones) also write to RAM, I think Kelson was talking about standalone DVDRs.......Oh FWIW Pioneer was also a big supporter of RAM discs in their DVDRs but it was mainly Panasonic who pushed them, making several options only available if using RAM discs smile.gif
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

All my PCs(even newer ones) also write to RAM, I think Kelson was talking about standalone DVDRs.......
Yes, thank you. The context was AV equipment -- DVR's and DVD players.
Quote:
Oh FWIW Pioneer was also a big supporter of RAM discs in their DVDRs but it was mainly Panasonic . . .
pre-funai Toshiba recorders also had RAM capability in some of their DVDR's, but as was said it was mainly Panasonic. I don't remember any DVD players other than Panasonic that had RAM playback capability.

All my PC's have BD burners in them now. I should check to see if they are RAM capable. I have a fair number of family VHS tapes that I copied to RAM in my E-85 days that I never bothered to burn to DVD-R. I should do that one of these days.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Yes, thank you. The context was AV equipment -- DVR's and DVD players.
pre-funai Toshiba recorders also had RAM capability in some of their DVDR's, but as was said it was mainly Panasonic. I don't remember any DVD players other than Panasonic that had RAM playback capability.

All my PC's have BD burners in them now. I should check to see if they are RAM capable. I have a fair number of family VHS tapes that I copied to RAM in my E-85 days that I never bothered to burn to DVD-R. I should do that one of these days.

Ah, got it.
Probably more widespread among PCs than I realized, too.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by walino View Post

You lost me why would + or - mean the same thing?

They aren't the same. While they share a lot of characteristics, like physical dimensions, they are quite different "under the hood." Briefly, the DVD spec was worked out by a number of Japanese electronics giants. They came up with the -R formats. For reasons that are still debated, another group of companies, either because they didn't want to pay royalties, or maybe they just didn't like the -R specifications, re-did the whole writable specification, keeping to the physical specifications. When they finished, someone in marketing came up with a brilliant idea, and they advertised their completely incompatible recordable DVD format as +R. Sony and Panasonic, and others had called their recordable disks "dash" R, but the other group referred to those as "minus" R, and their own format as "plus" R, suggesting that plus is better than, and superior to, minus. This created some friction between the two camps, and for a while, a DVD recorder would only support one format, whichever one the manufacturer was attached to. Eventually, they buried the hatchet, sort of, and machines came out supporting both formats, sort of. Companies like Panasonic enthusiastically support the -R formats that they participated in developing, and reluctantly, barely support the +R formats, mostly for universal compatibility. That's pretty much they way it still is today.

If you care, there are lots of articles on the internet about the specific differences between the "-" and "+" formats. They are all rather technical and difficult to understand, like the frequency of the wobble groove, robustness of the error correction, etc. rolleyes.gif

The real lesson here is, find out what format your machine prefers, and use IT, not the other one.

As Kelson has already said, the resulting finalized disks are functionally the same, regardless of the disk's original blank format.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

pre-funai Toshiba recorders also had RAM capability in some of their DVDR's, but as was said it was mainly Panasonic. I don't remember any DVD players other than Panasonic that had RAM playback capability.

Some Crapsung [Samsung] players played quite well RAM discs.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by profhat View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

pre-funai Toshiba recorders also had RAM capability in some of their DVDR's, but as was said it was mainly Panasonic. I don't remember any DVD players other than Panasonic that had RAM playback capability.

Some Crapsung [Samsung] players played quite well RAM discs.

That sounds like a very ephemeral product feature for Samsung. I'm not sure if even the current Panasonic DVD players support -RAM disks anymore. Have ANY BluRay players ever supported -RAM DVD playback?
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I'm not sure if even the current Panasonic DVD players support -RAM disks anymore. Have ANY BluRay players ever supported -RAM DVD playback?
The newest (year 2012) LG RHT599 HDD/DVD recorder will even 'burn' RAM discs.
http://www.lg.com/uk/blu-ray-dvd-players/lg-RHT599H-dvd-player
Someone on eBay is selling refurb/returns with full warrantee for £99. Unfortunately it’s not an international PAL/NTSC model like the Panasonic, the LG is an UK PAL recorder.frown.gif
post #23 of 25
Walino

Mentioned "TV via air antenna"
Recommend Magnavox MDR 535.A really good over the air tuner .I have had this one since 1-17-2013.

DVD +RW
Sony DVD +RW.I have been using those for 3 years. Walgreens even had 'em.
Used them in 3 different recorders have been played on 6 different players.
I was getting 25 spindle packs at Target @ the sub $20 range.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by profhat View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

pre-funai Toshiba recorders also had RAM capability in some of their DVDR's, but as was said it was mainly Panasonic. I don't remember any DVD players other than Panasonic that had RAM playback capability.

Some Crapsung [Samsung] players played quite well RAM discs.

That sounds like a very ephemeral product feature for Samsung. I'm not sure if even the current Panasonic DVD players support -RAM disks anymore. Have ANY BluRay players ever supported -RAM DVD playback?


The early model Panasonic DMP-BD85 played RAM discs. Sadly, for some strange reason, their later models were stripped of this capability. Maddening, that they abandoned the format for their blu ray line. You'd think the company would assume Panasonic dvd recorder owners would desire to stay with the brand, and want a BR player that would fit along side their other Panny equipment.

http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMPBD85-MUL.PDF Page 5, playable discs.

post #25 of 25
Both my Panasonic BD players will play RAM discs, my ''08 BD-30 and '10 BD-65. Not sure about newer ones but it sounds?? like Panasonic may have dropped RAM support which is a shame.
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