There are different kinds of DVD recorders and different kinds of recordable DVD disks. Your disk must match the format of your recorder. (eg DVD -rw, dvd -r, dvd +rw, dvd +r). Look on the front panel of the emerson recorder and see what emblems are printed on it. Your dvd must match the kind. Also, if a dvd is of the -r or +r variety and has been finalized you cannot overwrite/rewrite to it. (From a quick web search it appears your dvd uses dvd -r.)
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Have you tried other discs? Are the ones you are trying to use supported by the recorder? If so, see if a DVD burner in a PC will recognize the discs. You may want to try a different brand as well in the recorder.
Did the sales guy use the same DVD-RW that you did? Maybe the brand you are using is not of good quality and can not be recognized by the recorder. If he did not use the same disc did you notice if he used DVD-RW or DVD+RW? Some DVD-Recorders only recognize one or the other but this is kind of rare these days. I recommend verbatim brand discs. They should be available for sale at any shop. If you want the ultimate in quality DVDs then go with Taiyo Yuden. This Japanese brand invented recordable media and in addition to that they are obsessed with quality. www.supermediastore.com is always where I get my discs.