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DVD-RW discs are ideal for temporary video recording and data backup, but they are not recommended for successful finalising, as there is no guarantee that the disc will work in another device.
Have you tried using DVD-R discs? these CAN be recorded in video mode AND finalised for compatible playback in other players. I assume the DMR-ES30V is a DVD/VCR combo unit - if so, the DVD recorder will not recognise RW discs; only DVD-RAM and DVD-R.
DVD-R discs are recommended for video recording and finalising in this model. (later model Panasonic DVD recorders allow RW disc recording).
Did you say you used a DVD-RW disc to transfer a videotape onto? The reason your PC won't recognise that disc is because the data format on it is a different language to what PCs understand - plus an unfinalised DVD-RW won't play in other DVD players - it is usually an incompatible format.
(DVD+RW discs with titles/top menus created in video mode CAN be played on a PC DVD drive or a normal DVD player as can finalised DVD-R discs (DVD-R discs MUST be recorded and finalised in the same recorder for compatible playback). DVD-RW discs can only be viewed on the unit they were written/recorded on.
The other reason for the 'remaining space' on the disc you describe showing less than 120 minutes is due to a title recently being recorded or erased - unless you format it - the 120 minute / 4.7GB DVD-RW will not show full available space. Erasing titles on re-writable DVDs does not increase space. The same rule applies to unfinalised +R / -R discs (you cannot re-format these to get the space back once recorded - they are 'once only' writables)
I recommend you invest in some DVD-R discs and re-copy your VHS tape to that - then if you are satisfied with the result, title etc., finalise the DVD-R - it will play on any DVD player or PC with DVD support (or it should). These discs are relatively inexpensive to buy just about anywhere.
Final note: do NOT finalise the DVD-RW you recorded (I hope you haven't already done this) - simply format/erase it - re-use it for something else or keep it until you need it.
You can use any brand of DVD, just take note of the format before recording/playing.
I had mine for 2 years and within the first 12 months the tray would not always pop out when I wanted it to. Then finally the machine would not recognise the disc type. Its in getting fixed but although the dvd drive and associated pcb have been replaced the guy says it still can't recognise the dvd disc type. Still trying to work it out.
The Alba DVD recorder may not recognise any disc due to one or two of the following reason.
1, the optical pick up (lence) may be dirty or may have gone bad.
2, the cable which connects the optical pick up to the circult panel board may have go borken.
Aquarius0128 there are two things to consider here.. dvd's recorded on a computer need to be closed/finalized after you have recorded onto them in order to be used on a stand alone player.. they will play ok on original recorder because of the design of these machines finalizing prepares the structure of the disc so it can be recognised by other players as a dvd video disc.. you will usually see a 'finalize disc' option in your recording program
Second issue is this.. even if finalized an older (or even some modern) stand alone players will not recognise a recorded disc made on a computer or even if it can there are different formats DVD+R DVD-R and even DVD-RAM and DVD-RW (the two latter ones are rarely recognised outside a computer)
Been checking out my m/c and found that there are many -r & -rw discs the m/c does not recognise which gives rise to this problem. However the m/c does recognise VERBATIM discs and I have been able to record and dub to them with no problems.
i do not have this problem however recently my DVD simply would not turn on, i unplugged it for a few minutes and it now works. my complaint right now is that one of the discs is now coming up as unformatted and when i try to format it, it cannot be done. the other 2 discs are fine (as this one once was also!)