Yesterday I ordered--online--a Panasonic DVD recorder, as my
5-year-old VCR was giving me too much trouble & reviews of new ones all seemed to say "This is junk--they don't build 'em like they used to."
To make sure the new DVD recorder would be compatible with my Samsung TV, I called Samsung. The rep advised me to (when
hooking up the DVD recorder) use the TV's red & white (input 1) red & white audio jacks, but skip the yellow jack and instead purchase separately an S-video cable & plug it into the TV's S-video jack.
Question: Which S-video cable to buy? At amazon.com I see several. There's a 4-ft. Monster Cable THX for $14.83, but I don't have a home-theatre setup so I'm thinking Why pay for anything fancy? There's an RCA 6-ft. S-video cable for only $2.37+shipping. Would that be fine for my purpose?
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The DMR-ES35V only has an analog tuner (NTSC). Most TV channels now transmit in digital format (ATSC). Since the remaining analog stations are associated with low-power tuners, the tuner may not have picked up the signal. If you have an aerial antenna directly connected to the DMR-ES35V, it probably didn't find a signal. In that case, you need an OTA ATSC to NTSC converter or a stronger signal for a station giving an NTSC signal.
However, if you tried to record from a set-top box (cable/ OTA ATSC to NTSC converter), then check your connections. Several cable boxes will not transmit the analog signal if it is also sending a HDCP signal (high definition copy protection) to another monitor. (Thus if the TV is connected to a set-top box by an HDMI cable, no analog signal is available on composite video or RF outputs.)
Please add a comment to indicate what your TV source is and whether the source is connected to the DVD/VCR and TV separately or in a daisy-chain fashion.
I hope this helps you identify your recording problem.
My remote is not working. When I press a button, I get the following message on my unit: U12, U30, SET #, CHK REMOTE #, or RC #. What can I do to fix this?
The message displayed means that the remote control and unit are not communicating and the remote needs to be programmed. To program the remote, press and hold the same number that is displaying on the unit and the [ENTER] or [OK] button for more than 2 seconds. For example, if the unit displays “SET 2”, press and hold  and [ENTER] or [OK] for more than 2 seconds.
Pretty common situation. You can either just use one connector (audio) and record it as the left or right. If they are home video - they are most likely mono anyway. If they are stereo takes (purchased movies) - you might consider borrrowing a stereo VCR to provide two channel output. Since everyone is going to Digital - many people are giving away older TVs with built in VCR function. I use Dazzel for this alot - it's handy to have a VCR with a good remote for play, stop, pause and FF and RW.
No VCR required - A VCR is a video cassette recorder, which requires a video cassette in order to record source material. A DVD recorder, requires DVD discs and this model in particular has a built in hard drive so you don't even need discs either, unless you plan to share recordings with others. All you need is a 'feed' / 'source' from an external aerial like Cable or Sky etc.
Does that help?
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.
You need to select the appropriate video input on the television. If you have done this, you need to check your connections. Most likely you connected it via the red white and yellow cables. Therefore, find the remote for your TV (the one that actually shipped with your TV - not the one you use for cable or satellite) and look for a button labelled something like:
TV Video, Video Select, A/V, AV Select, Input, Input Select, Device, Source, Auxiliary, Line, etc. When you press this - your television should change to what's called an input mode. One of these input modes will likely give you a picture from the recorder. If not, call Panasonic.