"Very poor firmware - makes too many coasters"1.5 starson by caesarv
Pros: Works well... when it works
Cons: Wastes DVDs, locks up, missing features
Summary: I previously had the ES30V which worked well, but broke. I replaced it with this ES40V when I needed to make copies of VHS tapes.
As others have reported, it has problems finalizing DVDs and will destroy them so that they are unreadable on anything. This wastes the DVD plus the time it took to record it. It also locks up sometimes, requiring one to reboot (hmmm....I didn't think this was a Windows machine!) I will probably end up returning this unit (I love Costco!) I did upgrade the firmware on this to see if that will solve some of the problems, but I have not had time to verify this yet.
My other complaint is that they removed a number of features that were on the older ES30V. The "phrase saver" feature was removed and now, for any timed recordings, the unit must be powered off or it will not record. This was not the case with the previous model and is now a real pain.
When the unit is working, it does work fairly well and makes good quality copies. The ability to create chapters on a DVD-R or +R does not exist and is probably the biggest drawback of this unit. Panasonic support is a joke.