I've recorded over 200 movies on this recorder, and the results are usually excellent, but sometimes there are disasters

This recorder is not for everybody because sometimes it's glitchy, even with Panasonic's disks. If the recording passes the first 111 seconds, it usually will continue, but don't count on it. When it reaches that magic moment, it will sometimes bomb, meaning the laser lens isor the disk quality is not to the recorder's liking, or the power is too spiky, or it's the wrong day of the week. Maybe this touchy behavior is unique to my recorder, but I missed getting a few treasured movies off the cable. Who knows when those will be aired again. Recordings of broadcast t.v. are not nearly as good as those on digital cable, but sometimes the network presentations have good quality broadcasts almost worthy of DVD recording

Sometimes the recorder mistracks, getting the temporal sequencing out of order. That's annoying. However, if the recording is ripped to the PC, then the re-recording can smooth out this problem and a few others such as stuttering and pixelation madness

It's touchy. Sometimes DVD players have trouble playing the finalized disks. Frequent cleaning of the recorder's laser lens is necessary to prevent the problems given above

I suppose this glitchy nature is because of the power in the laser. Lower power increases the lifetime of the burner, but the disks being burned have to have a perfect surface and disk opacity has to be very high so the low burn power of the laser doesn't pass through the disk but gets concentrated. I'm not sure this is best explanation for the recorder's malfunction with other manufacturer's disks, and occasionally with Panasonic's. The 50-cent disks from other manufacturers will work most of the time, but expect a few failures

When it records timed events, most of the time the final product is excellent. However, it would be nice to have a keyboard to type in the titles. Using the telephone-like keypad is inconvenient. What was Panasonic thinking? An infrared keyboard would be a big help

While the DVD-RAM disks can be edited, using the keypad makes editing inconvenient. In order to make RAM recordings watchable on DVD players, I had to purchase Panasonic's inexpensive and versatile player that can read RAM disks. Playing the RAMs on the player makes DVD mastering possible with the DVD recorder

I wish Panasonic had software that would allow editing of recordings prior to finalizing. That would make things more convenient

When I buy my next recorder, I'm going to be looking for greater ease of use and for features that address the problems I've had. I don't want to mislead anyone, because this unit has many good features

Should people buy this machine? Yes, oh yes! Low price, high quality. It is very good most of the time, but you should know the things I and the other reviewers have to say, so you know what to expect, and so you won't be as disappointed and frustrated as I was initially. Keep the laser clean and most of the time it will behave well

While superb recordings can be made with the SP (standard play setting), the LP (long play)setting is perfect for most recordings. The recording quality of LP is very good. That lowers the cost of recordings, so the more expensive Panasonic DVD-R disks are more affordable. The same cannot be said for EP (extended play), but even EP recordings are remarkably good

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