Recorder works great but cannot play DVDs recorded from television on my computer.
These recordings were made of several films over six hours on DVD-RW discs.
I have Windows 7 and have tried all types...
Recordings made on DVD-RW discs cannot be played in other players, including many PC DVD-ROM drives; incompatible format. If you had recorded your TV/video material onto a DVD-R in the recorder, for example, then finalised the disc, it would work in your PC and any DVD player.
But since you used a re-writable video/data DVD, it won't work outside of the recorder - that's why you can't play it (or if it was written on your PC, your recorder won't read it - incompatible disc).
If you don't wish to finalise the RW disc (I don't recommend it - plus I wouldn't blame you for not wanting to do that), you could copy it from one recorder to another, unless your PC has a capture card - which allows the outputs of your DVD recorder to connect to the PC inputs. Using relevant DVD software (for example, ULead DVD factory), you may be able to 're-author' the contents of your recording, and create a DVD-R copy which WILL work in all players that way - use DVD-R (or DVD+R if your PC and other players allow that format) for 'permanent' video recording - use re-writable discs for backups, test recordings, temporary stuff, and PC data files. There are many inexpensive software programs available. Have a look sometime at your leisure. See what they are like.
Even if you could copy the DVD contents in a Windows program, regardless of the software used, there is no guarantee that the copy you make will work outside of the player and/or original recorder, because it would require a lot of time and effort to achieve, and unless you know what you're doing with the program, you could waste a lot of time (and blank discs) in the process - it only adds to the frustration.
I am glad to hear your recorder has no major faults at present - that's great. No expensive workshop repair cost headaches; just frustration with discs (especially if they become drink coasters).
DVD-RW is ideal for test video recordings and PC data, but is limited when it comes to compatible playback/usage outside of the device it was written/recorded on.
DVD+RW discs on the other hand, when titled/ top menu created, can be played on a PC or player without finalising. You can even direct copy a DVD+RW straight to a DVD-R - it works in most cases.
The upshot of this is you haven't lost anything, and with the exception of perhaps a few dollars for a pack of either DVD+RW, DVD+R, or DVD-R discs (any brand), it didn't cost a fortune. You can also retain any DVD-RW discs you have previously used.
The simplest and cheapest options are often the best ones.