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There is a problem with the switchmode power supply, in particular IC1 (its type number varies between DVD recorder models but begins with STR). This may have gone partially or totally short-circuit. A good idea to check ALL the electrolytic capacitors in the PSU, as some may be swollen/leaking. Visually inspect each one and replace any that look bad. Also check the board for burn marks corrosion/dry solder joints etc.
If you are not tech. savvy, submit the unit to an authorised Panasonic service centre for a quote on the likely cost(s) involved, and get a second opinion as to whether it is economical to repair or not (they may also be able to tell you more; for example if a new power board is required or not) - you can make a firm decision afterwards as to what to do - up to you.
It depends on what you are trying to play it in. DVD? Xbox360? PS3? If it is an xbox360 i know it only reads discs that have a certain logo ont he disc other than that it could of be internally scrached that you cant see with the naked eye
change the recording level. On the meny screen go to the options and set the recording level to a lower level. You get more space per disk but at a lower quality. I know this is almost 1 year late, but knowing RCA, you probably have more issues with this unit by now
Try cleanning the lens in the unit with dvd cd cleanner which can be bought in any office surplus store make sure its for dvd there are two types cd and combo dvd?cd i recomond staples office supplies it is only 10 dollars cad