After much testing I'm pleased to announce that I've finally found another brand of CDR that the older Shinco players can read. They are made in Switzerland by a company called Vivastar and use a Cyanine (type 0) dye. The discs are available in 74min & 80min, jewel cased or spindels of 100 at very reasonable prices. If you live in the U.K. please have a look at my special offer page where you can purchase Vivastar discs for very reasonable prices.
I'm afraid I don't know of any suppliers outside the U.K., but according to Vivastar's website the discs are available worldwide.
A big shortcoming of Shinco players is their inability to read all CDR media (in common with many other mainstream DVD players). They do however seem able to handle some brands of CDR/W media.
This is because they only have one (650nm) laser pickup - excellent for DVDs & mastered CDs, but not so good for other discs. Some more expensive players get around this problem by including dual laser pickups - one for DVDs and the other for CDRs & CDRWs.
The DVD loader in my 2120 is labeled KHL-210AAA 991027c-2692 (hey, someone might want to know!). Players made by Raite, and others seem to use standard ATAPI interfaces on the loaders, and owners have been able to connect them up to their PCs to perform firmware upgrades on the drives (leading to better disc handling and greater CDR compatibility. Don't forget the physical limitations of the single 650nm pickup - while such an upgrade may ). The Shinco loader (Lumiere Loader) was developed with Sony, and is ATAPI, but it doesn't have the standard 40pin connector, and a firmware upgrade does not seem to be available at this time.
CDR media known to be compatible seem to use 'Phthalocyanine (Type 8)' dye, which has the highest reflectivity (closest to pressed CDs hence 'easier' to read). Don't however fall into the trap of thinking that a CDR that looks almost like a pressed CD will work, becuase the laser works in the infra-red range so the colour that it appears to us makes little difference.
CDR-Identifier is a free program capable of reading ATIP information stored on every CDR (this includes Dye type and also disc capacity) which might be helpful to determine if your discs will be Shinco friendly.
[Note: The data below is as accurate as possible, but you must bear in mind that companies often have several different lines of CDR, some made by different manufactures, with different dye & reflective layers, so not necessarily compatible.]
From the data above we can see that Phthalocyanine Type 8 discs are really the only CDR compatible with the Shinco. Princo are the sole manufactures of all discs of this composition (as far as I know), and they manufacture discs for other companies who package them under their own brand. UPDATE: VIVASTAR Cyanine (0) CDRs also seem work!
On the CDRW front, again, some brands work, others don't, although I think that there are more that work than don't. [I would test this more, but my CDRW drive is well and truly dead.]
It should also be noted that manufactures often have several different lines of CDRs discs, some being compatible, others not (Infiniti & BTC are prime examples).
Some manufactures change disc composition with little or no change in packaging, so you might find that older/newer discs form certain companies work. This sometimes happens when there is a high demand for discs that the company can't cope with, so it gets extra CDRs made in other factories that use different compositions. A similar situation happened with Medea Infiniti discs - the company tried a new manufacturer for their white CDRs. The selected manufacturer produced discs that were compatible with Shinco players, but were unable to keep up with the demand from Medea, so they reverted to the previous manufacturer, hence Infiniti discs are no longer compatible with Shinco.
For more information on CDR types goto www.cdmediaworld.com.