Problem converting VHS tapes to DVD with Samsung Recorder/Player

I have a Samsung DVD-VR375 VHS or DVD player/recorder. I can successfully convert an old VHS tape to DVD and play it on the machine itself. However, if I try to play it on another DVD player, even another Samsung, it doesn't play. In fact, if I try to play it on my PC, it won't work, and in Windows Explorer it looks like a bland disc. I was using DVD-R discs, and the company told me to use DVD+R discs, and that that would solve the problem. I tried it, and the same thing happened.

2 Questions: How can I get my VHS tape converted to DVD, in a format that will play on my PC? I have Windows 8.

Also, what is the difference between a DVD-R and a DVD+R? Note: The Samsung formats the +R when I insert it in the machine, but doesn't do that with the -R. Please help. Thanks in advance.
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This is what you need to do:

DVD-VR375 How To Finalize A DVD
Note: DVD+R, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM can't be finalized. To finalize a DVD disc, follow these steps:
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1. Turn on your DVD recorder and TV set, and then set the source on the TV to the DVD recorder so the recorder displays on the TV.
2. Put the disk you want to finalize into the recorder.
3. With the DVD recorder in Stop mode, press [MENU] on the DVD recorder's remote control.
4. Press the up or down arrow button on the remote until Disc Setting is highlighted, and then press [ENTER].
5. Press the up or down arrow button until Disc Finalize is highlighted, and then press [ENTER].
6. The following message appears: "Do you want to finalize this disc?". Press the left or right
arrow button to highlight Finalize, and then press [ENTER].
7. The following message appears: "Disc will be finalized. Do you want to continue?" Press the
left or right arrow button to highlight OK, and then press [ENTER].
Note: Once a disc is finalized, you can not record anything else to the disc.
EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
Not exactly what you asked for, but these type of devices will give you more flexibility ....
It will allow you transfer your videos from VHS to your PC ..... then edit them ..... then burn to DVD.
sheana11Author Commented:
I tried what you recommended John-Charles, and finalized both the +R and -R DVD's. My computer recognized the +R DVD and saw the following files:Video RM and Video TS. I don't know what the difference is between them. Normally I can play a video with Windows Media Player, but this one can only be played by CyberLink Power DVD.

At least I got ONE of the DVD's to play on my PC, however, both of them still will not play on my other Samsung Blu-Ray DVD player, only on the DVD/VHS machine(by Samsung).

Eirman, I can see that your method will provide a better solution long-term, however, what format should the file be saved in for compatibility with most DVD players, and which DVD(+/-) should be used?

Thanks in advance.
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EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
I had a look at this review ... it's a useful piece of kit.
If you look at the comments you will see that someone else had the exact same problem as you have.

You'll have to dig in the DVD menu and look for the FINALISE option.
I have a Sony hd recorder/dvd burner and the content of burned dvds are not visible on any other devices until the dvd is finalised. That seems to be universal.

-R dvds are far more common than +R (unless you want Dual Layer).
I'd stick with -Rs myself.
EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
I did a search for "finalize" and I found it on pages 38 & 58 of the manual.
This should solve your problem.
sheana11 you should DVD-r it simpler and supports older machines and newer.
DVD+R discs must be formatted before being recorded by a compatible DVD video recorder. DVD-R do not have to be formatted before being recorded by a compatible DVD video recorder, because the two variants of the discs are written in different formats.
Use verbatim or Sony good quality and burn speed of x4 or x8 written on them
Normally I can play a video with Windows Media Player, but this one can only be played by CyberLink Power DVD.
Which windows do you use?
In order to get WMP to play DVD make it default for DVD then when you insert a DVD it will auto open in WMP in WMC or any player that is Default.. if you don't want to make it your default player just open WMP then choose file Play from the top menu and select DVD.
Dont try and play a DVD from the Video_TS folder.
When you look inside this folder you'll see files called IFO and Bup files backup files and vobs.
The IFO and bup files are the cue points for the laser, the vobs are the main movie parts, in order to play a DVD from this Video_TS folder you'd need to point WMP to these specific files that were intended for the laser to pickup.
Back in XP and Probably Vista we needed dedicated DVD decoder like Cyberlink Power DVD in order to play DVD but these days we can use open source players like Media player classic BE my personal choice
and SMplayer
Just use the file open DVD on any of them or set your autoplay
What settings do you have for auto play? As I have many players, all those we have mentioned I prefer it when I pop in a DVD it asks me which player I want to use, if you go to Control Panel /all and look for Auto play
Control Panel-Auto playAuto play optionsAnd yes they must be closed ( finalised), were you burning just a data disc there would be no need as your just burning files, but a DVD Video must closed in order for the lasor to play ( Movie)
Also make sure that the VHS don't exceed the capacity of the DVD-R, remember a blank DVD-r holds 4.7 gig s you should try and burn to 4.5 gigs to allow the lead in and lead out to be written, This is the cue points for the laser.
If you exceed the 4.7 gigs that is called an over burn and may render the DVD useless.

Regards Merete
sheana11Author Commented:
Merete, when I File-->Open the DVD I get the usual dialog box with an assortment of files to choose from. Please see attached file. I have Windows 8.1. If I try to open any of the files in Windows Media Player, nothing happens. Please help.A-SAMPLE-OF-VIDEO-MENU.jpg
Hi sheana11
Instead of using File open please use the Play tab,
 then click on DVD VCD or CD Audio,
please let me know if it plays
Did you say you have Cyberlink power DVD you could also use it.
Play Tab WMP Windows 8.1Here's how it looks when I insert a DVD I made and open the play tab
Play DVD
Alternatively you can use MPC-BE or VLC as suggested http:#a40425972
these open source players are great to solve all video playback on any windows.
How to watch DVDs in Windows 8,
Ping for sheana11  Did you get it working?
sheana11Author Commented:
Hi Merete,

For some reason, the video doesn't load(like "unknown video" in your graphic. I only get the dialogue box that is in my attached image. I can, however, R-click on the individual .vob files, and then my options are Cyberlink DVD player. That is the only way I can play it for now. I will try your open source video players and give you feedback on them.
Hi sheana11
You see two folders on the DVD
Video RM and Video TS. in the DVD structure. The Video_TS is the actual video, normally we would only see VIDEO_TS,
Sometimes Audio_TS folder is there but empty.
This what you should see
Video_ts folder on DVD
Video_ts folder on DVDbut as you have burnt these on your Samsung DVD-VR375 VHS  DVD player/recorder. it has added the VIDEO_RM Folder. And here is your problem and why WMP doesn't see the DVD directory VIDEO_TS folder.
VIDEO_RM is nothing.
If you could get rid of that folder as it is preventing WMP from seeing the VIDEO_TS folder which has your DVD Video.
In WMP click on Play then DVD and click on the video_ts folder does it play then?

To keep this DVD video playable on your computer you can either copy out the 3 or 4 main video_TS files to a new folder on your desktop and rename them name.mpeg
DVD VTS_01_1vob files DVD VTS_02_2 vob files DVD VTS_03_3 vob files
DVD VTS_01 vob filesthen you can combine them in Moviemaker if you want
open windows moviemaker drag and drop these on and then go to save movie for, either computer or DVD etc, this will merge them back to one single video and save to computer or continue on and burn to DVD using windows 7 DVD maker.
Or you could simply drag and drop the copied vobs to windows 7 DVD maker
How to burn a dvd video-disc with windows dvd-maker from Microsoft
Create and Author DVDs in Windows 7, Hw to Geek

The unknown video title you see below liek in mine is normal and doesn't imply a problem, when we burn video to DVD using a DVR and not a DVD authoring tool such as Nero, where can name the actual disc . All that means is the actual disc has no name. I burnt mine on a Panasonic DVR

To explain, and save me typing it> Source
Folders found in a DVD file structure can often contain a legacy folder called VIDEO_RM. Essentially, this folder is rather useless to most set-top DVD players as it is a folder referenced on Philips/ or Samsung brand DVD recorders as well as Philips/Samsung clones.
For reasons unknown, Philips/Samsung decided not to abide by standards of DVD file structures and used this VIDEO_RM folder to hold information about the recording device a DVD was created on.

The folder, when viewed through several DVD re-authoring tools will show that it is useless much in the same way an AUDIO_TS folder is.

There have been cases where DVDs created with the VIDEO_RM folder have caused several other brands of set-top players, DVD re-authoring programs and other devices to not read the DVD information correctly.
Often an error similar to "unrecognized file structure" will be given as whatever device is reading the disk does not understand what to do with the Video_RM folder.
Simple fixes include loading the DVD in File mode on certain DVD re-authoring programs and deleting anything associated with the Video_RM folder, then compiling a new, clean ISO.

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sheana11Author Commented:
Thank you to everyone who answered my question! Merete, your answers provided the solution, and I was able to play the video by following your instructions, getting rid of the VIDEO_RM folder. Thank you for the unbelievable effort you took to help me with this. You are the greatest! Also, you provided such an educational foundation for me, which is what was needed to keep me from getting stumped by this type of problem! Thanks again.
Your smiles of success makes it worth while
Thank you and happy it helped.
You have done well to follow it all :)
All the Best
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