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I have found that the DVD recorder in this unit will not recognize a DVR+R disc greater than 8X speed. Therfore 16X discs are not an option. Like you already know, it likes DVD+RW 45X speed discs but it is selective. I have been using Maxell DVD+RW 4x and have found that Verbatim DVD+RW 4X and Sony DVD+RW 4X work just as well.
I mainly use my DVR to record TV shows on DVD-RAM discs (Panasonic brand or Maxell). I've had no problems with the DVD-RAM discs. However, today when I put a DVD-R disc in the recorder, I got an "Incompatible Disc" error message. I tried a second disc from the same set, and got the same message. I tried out some of the DVD-Rs that I recorded last year and I could read them. Tried a DVD-RAM. That was OK. So, I tried another DVD-R disc. That one is OK. I don't know if the problem is that these DVD-Rs are getting a little old (2 years??) or if the recorder is developing its own problems reading discs.
Unfortunately without a firmware upgrade the only disks you can use are DVD-R or DVD-RW. The tricky part is that you can ONLY USE 2X speed. Per my conversation with Sylvania there is a firmware update that will allow you to use up to 8x disks, but they are charging $17.00 for it.
I kept formatting DVD's until I got the unit to work. Mainly, it was some DVD's I had earlier problems formatting. I tried two new DVD's (Maxell DVD-RW) and they worked thus far. I truly think the unit needs to be taken to authorized service center for evaluation or minor maintenance. My suggestion is to verify the DVD's will work with unit. Try to use better quality ones like TDK or Maxell. Thanks for responding to my problem. If I have others, I will contact you.
I have three Panasonic DVD recorder/Vhs combos and I get the same problem from time to time...it may be the disks you are using. Mine absolutely hate Sony disks. I have the best luck with TDK or Maxell. You also must clean your unit frequently, if you do alot of recording. I use my units daily.