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You can record from an external component, such as a camcorder or VCR, connected to any of the Recorder's external inputs.
1. Make sure that the component you want to record from is connected properly to the Recorder. See page 14.
2. Press AUX repeatedly to select the external input to record from.
• AV1: Audio/Video Input mounted on back panel.
• AV2: Audio/Video Input mounted on front panel.
• DV: DV Input mounted on front panel.
Before you loaded the hard drive, and USB did you run a "Check File System" through the TV? These devices in order to use the "Time Shift Function", have to have pass with "SUCCESS", displayed on the screen. If not the TV will format a 4GB FAT32 filing system for you. The reason your MP4's might not work might be due to a firmwareupdate that no longer supports MP4. You should have been OK if you recorded the material from the TV. Items you record from the TV will not play on any other device. Using the FAT32 format only allows 4GB but, the TV allow 8GB and a external device can be FAT32 format to 8GB. 8GB is only 2 hours of viewing time. So that should give you some idea how little the amount of files can be handled.
Microphones are input devices; they don't double as speakers. If you mean that a stand-alone set of speakers do not work, but the internal speakers of the tv do let you hear the audio track from the camera. Then I have a couple of different suggestions: 1) make sure the stand-alone speakers work with other input sources, 2) try a different cable (make sure it is connected properly).
Also how are you connecting to the different devices? The video camera has an HDMI port which will send audio and video to the TV on one cable. If you are using the RCA audio in both cases, then I suspect a problem with the external speakers.
If you mean that the audio track is clear on play-back when you use the built-in microphone during the recording and not heard if the external microphone, check the external mic for problems. Try it on another recording device. I can't rule out a jack failure without more information.