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If a FORMAT ERROR message is displayed,
then the inserted disc is not formatted or it is recorded in a
different format not useable by the camcorder. If using a DVD-RW or
DVD+RW, format the disc prior to use. Otherwise, use a different disc.
It turned out to be a simple case of a defective disc, which, for some reason failed to work satisfactorily. I replaced it with a fresh disc (JVC 30 min DVD-RW) from he same batch and it formatted ok and worked well too. I checked that it had recorded and I was pleased to say that it had. So let's hope that that was the cause of my problem, because the camcorder is now just out of warranty.
Many thanks for your halp in this matter.
Yes, the mini DVD-RW will work on this camera. When you insert the disk and power on the camcorder (with the mode on DISC), the camcorder will try to read the disk, and if it isn't formatted yet, the LCD display will offer you the option to format it (in VR or Video mode). Simply select and click to format the disk
RE; smasung DC 161(i) pal and possibly other models The reason why there is no disc message when there is definitely a disc is installed is because the disc programming has malfunctioned, Its because of Samsungs poor design, after powering up the camcorder and inserting a disc, the disc will load and a green flashing light appears for a minute or two while loading if the Samsung camcorder is switched off while loading the camcorder will essentailly self destruct and their is no remedy, however that does not mean the Samsung is completely useless,the camcorder can record on a 4 GB SDHC(max 4GB) card using the switch from disc to memory card
Most DVD players can't play DVD-R or DVD-RW unless it's finalized (if you record to DVD+RW, it may work ok, but fewer DVD players work right with RW format discs).
Obviously, you need to ensure you are actually writing to the DVD (eg, will they play back on the camcorder). You should see if there's a menu for finalizing the DVDs, that might do it. There are occasionally problems with finalizing discs on some of these DVD camcorders... these discs may not be readable on any DVD player, but might still work in a PC.
The other problem is that some camcoders record in DVD-VR format, which is a special "easily edited" format for DVD camcorders only... regular DVD players don't usually support this (well, some new ones might... this is one of those "evolving standard" issues). You'll probably need a PC to read the disc, edit, convert to a conventional DVD, etc. if you're using this format.
You need to do formatting on the disc when using it for the first time. Remember, formatting needs to be done by camcorder. If you used the disc before and formatted it on different machine - it won't work.