Panasonic dmr-es30v tape-to-DVD dubbing

i just bought one of these machines the other week. it works fine - except when i tried dubbing one of my vhs tapes to DVD(these are tapes that were blanks and that i recorded shows on). the tracking is screwed up. i’ll fix it by pressing the tracking button but then when the picture is looking fine, the audio has “noise” - a buzzing/static sound. it goes away when i press the tracking button to the point where the picture is screwed up again. so if i have a good picture, the sound is screwed up. when i adjust it so the noise goes away, the picture is screwed up. i called panasonic and they told me there’s nothing i can do about it!! it’s a problem with the tape not fitting with the heads on the es30v. and the VCR i had recorded these tapes on was a panasonic, an omnivision!!! has anybody else experienced this??? tape to DVD dubbing is one of the reasons why i bought this machine!!!

Hi psychSG,

I assume the tapes play OK when your not dubbing? I have this problem if I try to play tapes from my wife’s Cheapo VCR on my Sony SLV SF90. The auto tracking goes mad trying to balance the video with the audio. The cheapo machine also has auto tracking, but it seems the thing is set differently to other machines.

I can play the Sony recordings on any VHS machine without problems, except on the wife’s one and dub to DVD, no hassle!

All I can suggest is the dreaded Macrovision is annoying the link between the VCR and the DVD recorder, even though the recordings aren’t Macro protected. Perhaps a stabilizer box might help.

Most of these aren’t too expensive and it does help to improve the signal from the VCR. Apart from that, I can’t think what the hell is happening if the tapes play OK when you are not dubbing?

thanks for replying. actually, even when i’m not dubbing - when i’m just playing the tapes - the video is still screwed up. pre-recorded VHS tapes play fine, it’s just the ones i have that were blanks and have programs i recorded that have the problem. i’m considering just returning the machine. where would i get this stabilizer, at some electronic parts store? how would i hook it up, since this is one of those models where the VCR and DVD are all in the same machine.

Any time you play a tape that was recorded on a different VCR, this can happen. Your only option is to fine-tune the tracking so that you can get good audio and video at the same time. Sometimes, using slow-mo to adjust the tracking will work best.

The cause of this is that the recording VCR has a slightly different head-to-tape speed than the playing VCR. (which is what tracking is). Nothing you can do about it.

On solution would be to play the tape on a different VCR and input that signal to the recorder’s line-in.

I was about to say that! It’s not hard to know what machine is out of standard, I would guess it’s your old one, as you can play prerecorded tapes OK on the new one. Can you try a tape in another machine and see if it works. Is your old machine FUBAR?, if not use that. :slight_smile:

No 2 VCR’s will ever have the same tracking. That’s why they have tracking adjustment. The ratio between the tape speed and the drum speed is what gives you the tracking, and no 2 sets of motors will ever match up exactly. How far off it is is a matter of chance. Many VCR makers even state in their manuals that tapes recorded on another machine may not play back. It’s not considered a flaw.

The signal is laid down in a diagonal stripe on the tape, and the angle of the stripe is determined by the ratio between tape speed and drum speed. When you adjust tracking, you are simply adjusting the drum speed to try to match the tape. But an exact match is never possible. For example, if one machine has the drum set at a slightly different angle, the audio and video tracks will never match up on a different machine. These things are adjustable, but it’s usually better to leave them alone. I’ve had “qualified” techs try to adjust a machine before, and the results were worse than the problem. There’s just too many variables in the mix.

Good grief I must be lucky, all 6 of my past VCR’s have played all the previous tapes and this Sony one also plays them all. The only one that doesn’t is the pile of crap the wife uses! But it was extremely cheap.

thanks for all of the replies. yes, my old VCR is broken(it won’t load). it’s 12 years old so i figured i should get a VHS/DVD recorder to record with and also convert my tapes to DVD. i don’t remember right now if the es30v has slo-mo but i’ll check and try that if it’s there. if that doesn’t work i’ll see if i can borrow somebody’s VCR to dub onto DVD.

in an interesting development, my sister came over and played one of her VHS tapes with stuff that she’d recorded on her VCR - and it played fine!! her VCR is a magnavox. she recorded a tv show on the es30v, and it came out okay. funny how her magnavox VCR-recorded tapes play okay and my panasonic VCR-recorded tapes look like crap - on another panasonic VCR!!! :rolleyes: :Z

No disrespect to rdgrimes obvious knowledge, but there is a standard for the tracking of VHS machines, with a tolerance due to manufacturing differences. The makers are supposed to try for the middle ground on this, but it doesn’t always happen, hence a tracking control. The odd machine will just scrape through near one of the limits.

No big deal really, unless you happen to have a machine that’s on the other limit, then you’re screwed. I used to repair VHS recorders and, well most things A/V.

If we had this problem we used to give the customer another machine to try and it always cured it except in the odd case of the original machine being old and badly worn.

Even then we asked the customer for a tape they had recorded and by selecting a couple of machines and some deft careful, not by the book adjustments, we could usually give them a recorder that worked with their old tapes.

This company was a family run business and the customers always came first. It only closed due to the owner retiring.

Not many places like that anymore, more’s the pity!

well, i tried using the slo-mo to adjust the tracking but it didn’t work. the picture and sound are still screwed up. i don’t know how i would “fine-tune” it, since there’s only one tracking switch that i press one way or another. i suppose i could try hooking up another VCR to the recorder to see if that works. either that or take the thing back.

psychSG, I would have a go at returning it, it may be just covered by the sale of goods act. (not fit for the purpose etc) Before you do that though, try your old tapes in as many machines as possible and if they work OK you have a machine that’s way out of standard.

With that ammo, you have a much better chance of getting it changed. Also some of the button and auto tracking systems can be out of whack, by not quite going far enough with the adjustments to produce a decent stable picture.

Best of luck M8, I hope you get it sorted. :slight_smile:

thanks for your suggestion. i did try several of my video tapes on three other VCRs and i’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is with…the tapes. on two of them, they were even more screwed up then when i played them on the es30v. no adjusting of the tracking helped. i have a sister who has a panasonic omnivision VCR almost like the one i have and that i recorded these tapes on(but a different model - mine is a pv-4361). when i played my tapes on her VCR, they all looked fine(but on one tape the sound was screwed up). i wonder if the tapes looking okay has something to do with the fact that it’s an omnivision VCR like mine. i suppose i can try them on my other sister’s magnavox VCR and see if they look worse there too.

another thing i did was to play on the es30v a video tape containing a movie i taped off cable about twenty or so years ago with a panasonic omnivision pv-1535 VCR that i had at that time. it also played fine - no problems whatsoever with the tracking or the sound.

well, i guess since these tapes played okay on the pv-4361 i taped them on, my one option is to have the loader on the pv-4361 repaired and then see if i can somehow connect it to the es30v and see if i can dub these tapes to DVD from there. thank you to all for your replies.

Hi psychSG, If you can find a small dealer with their own workshop, or a small repairer, you may get our old VCR fixed.

Sometimes the loader stops working because a micro switch is out of alignment or knackered. Several small problems can occur with loaders and if you can find an experienced repairer, with a bit of luck he can get it going again. Well worth a try! :slight_smile:

The Panasonic DMR-ES30V seems to have the best reviews of any machine that dubs VCR tapes to DVD. Before getting one I have one question however. The main thing I want to dub is not home movies but Hollywood movies, i.e. commercial VHS tapes of movie which I bought in the VHS days but would now like to put on CD. Is there some kind of copy protection built in to those tapes that would prevent doing this?

Macrovision was used on many tapes. It can be defeated by running the video through a “black box”. This would require a second VCR and the “video stablizer”.

Thanks. But what’s a video stabilizer? (I’m really ignorant about this stuff.)

That’s a black box, sold almost everywhere. They call it a “stablizer” so as to avoid pissing off Macrovision. Macrovision encoded VHS will have wildly fluctuating color and brightness when viewed or recorded on a second VHS machine. Some TV’s will faintly show it too. Later versions of Macrovision were less likely to be seen on a TV, but the effect is the same on a VCR. The black boxes simply stablize the levels again.

So–how do you rig the system up? Do you play the tape in the first VCR and run the signal through the stabilizer into the DVD recorder? Or do you re-record the film through the stabilizer onto a second tape, and play that tape into the DVD recorder? Or what?

I really appreciate your help.