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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A cousin had a Sony DVD/VHS combination unit and recorded many DVDs, and then it broke. He has replaced it with a Magnavox combo unit and is unable to finalize the Sony created DVDs (mostly +R). He called Magnavox service and was told that he can't finalize the Sony created disks on the Magnavox. He was also told that DVD+R discs don't work well, nor Memorex DVD-R discs.


Since he has some mental health issues, I'm never quite clear on what he was actually told but figured that I'd check with you folks about whether this is actually true. Assuming he can't finalize the Sony created discs on the Magnavox, can they be finalized in any other way, like on a computer burner?
 

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He is not the first to face this issue and certainly won't be the last. Many people like to delay the finalizing of their disks, for whatever reasons. There is not standard for this process. Every unit does it their own way. Probably the only way to finalize them would be on another in-kind Sony unit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk /forum/post/20801697


A cousin had a Sony DVD/VHS combination unit and recorded many DVDs, and then it broke. He has replaced it with a Magnavox combo unit and is unable to finalize the Sony created DVDs (mostly +R). He called Magnavox service and was told that he can't finalize the Sony created disks on the Magnavox... Assuming he can't finalize the Sony created discs on the Magnavox, can they be finalized in any other way...?

Yes, that's true.


The discs need to be finalized on another Sony.


If you mention the general area where your cousin resides perhaps a nearby Sony owner will come forward offering to finalize the DVDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the answers. NYC, and I do know someone with a similar model so I can probably even borrow it since it's used rarely. As I said, my cousin has mental issues and his great joy in life is his music and video collection, so he uses these machines very heavily and they really don't seem designed for it.


Does it make sense that the Magnavox doesn't work with DVR+ ? I looked at the specs and thought that it supported both formats. Wow, now I can't even find it at any stores in NYC! There things are going extinct very quickly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk /forum/post/20802882


Does it make sense that the Magnavox doesn't work with DVD+R ? I looked at the specs and thought that it supported both formats. Wow, now I can't even find it at any stores in NYC! There things are going extinct very quickly.

Recordable DVD technology is very confusing, with the same names being used to mean two or three different things. The Magnavox is indeed compatible with DVD+R, the parent company invented the DVD+R format in the first place. But "DVD+R compatibility" only means that a given recorder can record on blank DVD+R discs, and will play discs from other brands of recorder if they were finalized first on the recorder that made them: each recorder brand has its own secret way of burning unfinalized video files, so each recorder brand can only finalize DVD+R discs that were recorded on that brand of machine.


In other words, your cousins' new Magnavox can record onto new blank DVD+R discs, and if those discs are finalized on the Magnavox they will then be compatible to play on any other DVD player or recorder or PC drive. But a Magnavox (or Panasonic or JVC or Samsung etc) cannot play DVD+R discs made on a Sony unless or until those discs are finalized by another Sony. You will need to borrow your friend's Sony recorder to finalize all your cousin's leftover unfinalized Sony-made DVD+Rs.


"Finalizing" basically means "make this DVD compatible with all other hardware in the world, not just the recorder that made it". Its a crucial step many people forget to do, then they get in trouble when their recorder breaks if they can't find another similar unit. Finalizing a recorder-made DVD on a PC is possible, but very tedious and time consuming: the recorder will do it in 2 minutes automatically.


Going forward, if you think your cousin's mental state makes him unable to grasp the finalizing concept, switch him over to DVD+RW discs. They are more expensive than DVD+R, because they are eraseable. But they have a key advantage in being the only recordable DVD that does not require finalizing at all: DVD+RW was the only format for which every hardware mfr agreed to use exactly the same file burning system. So an un-finalized DVD+RW made on a Magnavox should play fine on a Sony or Panasonic recorder or a PC or a car DVD player, and vice versa. I hope thats clear, I confused myself just now trying to explain it.
 

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A side benefit of a DVD recorder with a hard drive: since you typically burn a disc all at once, it's easy to make finalizing the.....well,....final part of the process. Easier to forget to finalize when you're filling up the disc over the course of multiple sessions, like a VCR tape (I had tapes that literally took me years to finally fill up).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson /forum/post/20802001


He is not the first to face this issue and certainly won't be the last. Many people like to delay the finalizing of their disks, for whatever reasons. There is not standard for this process. Every unit does it their own way. Probably the only way to finalize them would be on another in-kind Sony unit.

That would be my thought as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/20804436


Recordable DVD technology is very confusing, with the same names being used to mean two or three different things. The Magnavox is indeed compatible with DVD+R, the parent company invented the DVD+R format in the first place. But "DVD+R compatibility" only means that a given recorder can record on blank DVD+R discs, and will play discs from other brands of recorder if they were finalized first on the recorder that made them: each recorder brand has its own secret way of burning unfinalized video files, so each recorder brand can only finalize DVD+R discs that were recorded on that brand of machine.


In other words, your cousins' new Magnavox can record onto new blank DVD+R discs, and if those discs are finalized on the Magnavox they will then be compatible to play on any other DVD player or recorder or PC drive. But a Magnavox (or Panasonic or JVC or Samsung etc) cannot play DVD+R discs made on a Sony unless or until those discs are finalized by another Sony. You will need to borrow your friend's Sony recorder to finalize all your cousin's leftover unfinalized Sony-made DVD+Rs.


"Finalizing" basically means "make this DVD compatible with all other hardware in the world, not just the recorder that made it". Its a crucial step many people forget to do, then they get in trouble when their recorder breaks if they can't find another similar unit. Finalizing a recorder-made DVD on a PC is possible, but very tedious and time consuming: the recorder will do it in 2 minutes automatically.


Going forward, if you think your cousin's mental state makes him unable to grasp the finalizing concept, switch him over to DVD+RW discs. They are more expensive than DVD+R, because they are eraseable. But they have a key advantage in being the only recordable DVD that does not require finalizing at all: DVD+RW was the only format for which every hardware mfr agreed to use exactly the same file burning system. So an un-finalized DVD+RW made on a Magnavox should play fine on a Sony or Panasonic recorder or a PC or a car DVD player, and vice versa. I hope thats clear, I confused myself just now trying to explain it.

That makes sense, but he told me that he can play back the discs that were recorded but not finalized on the Sony. Does that make sense? He can't play them back on a DVD player (I explained that to him a while back) but he says they do play on the Magnavox. He could be confused about that though, playing back finalized discs.


Whatever his mental problem is, he doesn't understand how things really work, I have to painstakingly give him numbered directions from a common starting point, like Turn On The Machine. Weird and not a happy way to live a life.
 

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The discs could be played back on the Sony, but if they played back on the Magnavox, you wouldn't have asked your question to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardT /forum/post/20807372


The discs could be played back on the Sony, but if they played back on the Magnavox, you wouldn't have asked your question to start with.

Ah, but the question was finalizing - he says they can be played but not finalized. I'll get over there one day soon and find out just what is going on with the thing. But if he had already finalized the disc, then the same scenario should be encountered - he can play them but not finalize.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgk /forum/post/20806298


That makes sense, but he told me that he can play back the discs that were recorded but not finalized on the Sony. Does that make sense? He can't play them back on a DVD player (I explained that to him a while back) but he says they do play on the Magnavox. He could be confused about that though, playing back finalized discs.

We should probably take a "time out" here, then, until you can visit with him and determine exactly what discs cause what problem and what condition they're in. The advice members have given so far all hews to the common problem of "unfinalized discs from my old broken brand x recorder won't play or finalize on my new brand y deck". But your latest post indicates it may be something else- perhaps a misunderstanding, perhaps media quality issues. For better advice, we'd need to know: the model number of the old Sony recorder, disc brand, disc type (are we sure they're all +R?), and whether they show the standard Sony-style disc menu when loaded in the Magnavox. Here's why:


1. Recorders vary widely in performance and known issues, plus the older they are the more likely to be incompatible with blanks bought recently. Sony has a completely random model history: some older models are great, some are terrible, the pricey ones with HDD from 2005 on are nice, the recent DVD-only or DVD/VHS units post 2006 are 90% nasty. It sounds like your cousin has one of the cheaper recent Sonys which tend toward gruesome disc mangling as they age: if so, and if the discs in question were already finalized on it, they may have been finalized improperly and are now off-spec: no guarantees of what they'll play on. Salvaging them would require a lot of computer jockeying. OTOH, if the discs are definitely NOT finalized, odds are you just need to load them in another Sony and finalize 'em to solve this.


2. Most brands of media sold in stores today, even the big famous names, are not particularly compatible with recorders and some are outright hostile, causing symptoms such as you describe (inconsistent function between different hardware). If we rule everything else out, the "problem" discs could be a batch of media that burned and/or finalized poorly. Here again, they can be salvaged but only with a lot of computer geeking.


3. Ask your cousin for the oldest discs he made with the Sony, back when it was a new recorder, specifically ones he knows do play OK in a DVD player (not another recorder). Load one of these discs into the Magnavox, and note what the typical Sony-created onscreen menu looks like (a finalized Sony disc will auto-load some type of menu upon insertion). Then, load one of the newer "problem" discs in the Magnavox, and see if it shows the same menu. If it does, the disc has already been finalized and cannot be changed further or finalized again- its a done deal, make your cousin understand it must remain as-is. BUT, if the "problem" discs do not load the Sony menu, they are most likely unfinalized, and thats the underlying issue.


In general, unfinalized discs from one brand of recorder do not even load, much less play, in another brand- but exceptions do occur. You may have an oddball special case here where the Magnavox CAN read and play unfinalized discs from the Sony, their +R file systems may be compatible enough for that yet not enough for the Magnavox to finalize the Sony discs. You will need to borrow another Sony to finalize them and make them "generic" for playback anywhere on anything. Once you visit your cousin and assess the specifics, you should easily be able to figure out how to proceed. Based on the many previous similar questions here, odds are you have a simple case of unfinalized discs that need to be run through the original brand of recorder. If not, come back and we'll try to figure it out.
 
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