DMR-ES25 working fine, but need some advice

I have been using my new DMR-ES25 for a month or more, and it works very well. I’m having no problems at all copying from live television, or copying from VHS. It is a very slick machine which I am so happy to own.

But I am wondering if any of you have solved a little inconvenience I have discovered when making flexible recording copies of VHS tapes whose length is not known.

It is my understanding that you must enter the length of time for the flex-recording in advance – let’s say it’s a 2 hr 18 minute movie that you have recorded decades ago from your cable tv: specifically “Cyrano de Bergerac”.

What I did was watch the film with my wife playing it on the VCR. At the end of the titles, I noted the time. The following morning, I rewound the tape, set up the Pannasonic to record in Flex at 2h 20m (extra 2 minute margin of error), and started the tape playing. I walked away from the TV-VCR-DVR, checking my watch, and making a mental note to return a couple of minutes before the end so I could manually stop the recording – I did not want the Cinemax ads/announcements to pop up at the end of the titles.

Everything happened as per schedule. I returned on time, and stopped the recording at the correct moment. I labeled the title and finalized the disc – all went well.

My “problem” is that, before I can record, I must run the VCR (fast forward and/or play) to reach the end of the movie, or athletic event, so I can enter the flex-recording time, since I don’t know how long the item runs on the tape, or, in some cases, even where it begins.

Of course, I could set the DVR to, say, 4 hours, run the thing, and forget about the clean beginning/ending or the improved flexible recording quality.

Do any of you have a solution to this, other than what I am doing already?

As I said, it yields good results, although a bit tedious. Eventually, I’ll have copied all my old VHS tapes and will no longer have the problem. You see, I now record tv & sports direct to DVD-R or DVD-RW. One day the VHS will be put in a box for that just in case moment.

Look up the running time on www.imbd.com first but remember that is for the movie not all the previews.
At speeds 2 to 4 hours I don’t think Flex record will make all that much of a difference from your source.

I know about the IMDB, but some of what I’m recording is hockey and baseball games VHS to CD-R.

I guess it would be a good idea to record the same tape using flex @ 2h 10min for one disc, and 4 hr recording on another, just to see the quality difference, if any.

But when you are trying to start a recording after the pre-feature stuff and before the post-feature stuff, the IMDB times only give you a rough idea.

So, are you saying there is no trick or short cut to what I’m trying to do?

No, you must enter the correct time before-hand. You can always transfer the DVD to PC for further editing.

[I]transfer to pc for more editing[/I] . . . please, enough is enough! I’m trying to do [I]less[/I] work, not more. [joking]