I have had the Insignia 10012 for a couple of years and have recorded no problems. However, it recently decided to have wacky recordings. If I set the timer to record a show for an hour I get a 15 or 5 minute recording. I have tried EVERYTHING. Time for a Sony!
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my Insignia is a different model (NS-drVCR) but I always use the "DUBBING" button on the remote (which is basically the tech-term for a Recording-Transfer). The screen-dialog then shows VHS Dubbing to DVD with quality options to choose. I'm not as familiar with going the other way (from DVD to VHS) but I know that mine can since I've done it once with a similar method, starting with the DUB-button.
Well I think that the the machines mechanical piece that allows you to record is broken then and needs to be fixed so we perfer DVD players and dvd disc;s instead they are better at recording and have less problems too.
This is probably caused by an irregular magnetic encoding pattern being generated by the tape itself. If the DVD recorder does not fully recognise the code, it may incorrectly interpret it as copy protected. If there is any tape flutter or there are tape edits, these can contribute to the problem. In addition to this magnetic imprinting can occur on old tapes that have been stored for a number of years without being spooled. basically wrong bits of the tape get magnetised. You can sometimes hear an echo on old tape recordings caused by imprinting.
You could try the following:
1) If available, try using a different video machine to play back and record from.
2) Whatever video machine you use, put your tape in, fully fast forward and rewind a couple of times, then try your recording again. This is particularly important if you haven't used the tape for some time.
3) If it fails again, check to see if it always fails at the same point.
4) If it does, try winding forward a little and then try to resume recording.
5) If you can record it means that a short section of tape is giving a spurious code to your dvd recorder and confusing it.
6) Use a re-recordable dvdrw to make a master. You won't keep wasting discs if the recording stops. You will also be able to produce another dvd from your master and edit it if your recording ends up in a number of segments.
7) Always use the highest quality setting possible when producing a master.
8) If all else fails, if you have a friend with another dvd recorder, maybe try that.
I'd be pretty certain that every VCR made these days (and of the last 10-15+ years) can be set to do a timed recording. They can be set for a one time recording, weekly or daily record.
Whether used with a cable/satellite box, or outside antenna, you must ensure proper hookup. I'm not real familiar with recent cable/sat receiver boxes, but older ones had to be set to the channel you wanted to record, as the VCR will only see that channel. On older cable (no cable box) & outdoor antenna systems, a VCR could tune in and record any channel, while you watched another one.
Anyway, check the capability of the cable/sat box, and follow suggested hookup. You will likely need to set the box to the channel you want to record before you retire for the night.