Originally Posted by kdm302
Incidentally, does anyone who has a Pioneer have any luck with re-writeable DVD's? If so, what works for you? A lot of these shows I record and send to my nephew in college, they are not anything that I am trying to preserve.
The Pioneer DVR-510 dates from 2003, which in recorder lifespan terms means its already been dead and buried for two years. Basically, its a ghost that still functions. But it doesn't really like most newer blank DVDs: it works best with the JVC-TY 8x DVD-Rs, and thats about it. Anything else you've been trying will have a variable success rate. For rewritable, I stick to Verbatim -RW on my 510, but even that is unpredictable. The 510 is simply past its prime: when these recorders were designed, the idea that blank media would be adulterated every six months to meet ever lower price points and faster burn speeds hadn't yet occurred to anyone in Japan.
If you'd prefer the freedom to use whatever random blank DVDs are on sale each week, pick up a Magnavox MDR533 DVD/HDD recorder from WalMart for $229. This is essentially similar to your 510, but with a 320GB hard drive, a modern DTV tuner, and a much newer and more rugged burner that can withstand the junk blanks being sold in chain stores today. Unlike the Pio 510, it can accept +R and +RW blanks as well as -R and -RW, doubling your media choices.
Otherwise, just buy TY-JVC 8x Premium DVD-R blanks in bulk from Supermediastore.com when they go on sale periodically for $28/100 incl. shipping. These have a 95% successful burn rate in the aging Pioneer 510. Twenty-eight cents per disc, and you won't have to worry about your nephew returning them to you to recycle. He can just pass them on to his friends.