Thanks to both of you for the input!
I have used "Real One" player, Windows Movie Player, and Roxio Player to view the recordings all with the same results.
I mulled this situation over several times in my sleep and decided, as have the two of you, that there is a reason for this beyond the camera and card. Had a plan to enable/disable all the different "modes". Did start out reading and setting up the camera as per the manual (line by line) as I being a retired aircraft maintenance engineer on the F/A-18 Hornet know the importance of "following the directions" and have told this to countless military personnel.
Low and behold I stumbled onto a mode that is "Initial Set-up". No mention in the manual of this except in the matrix of operational modes and even then it is obscure. So I selected "Yes" and wa-la! I can't recognize what exactly changed but what ever it was I now have a decent video recorder. I don't know how this was happening on ther other cameras too but as long as this camera works well I'm happy.
I'll have fun today experimenting with the camera (ever mindful of the "Initial Set-up" as a backdrop.
Oh on the card! For what it's worth, I found a site (www.mobiletechreview.com) that gives a technical review of cards. It's way over my head but they showed where the Panasonic produced cards have superior read/write speeds as compared to Toshiba produced cards. Only problem is they didn't list the twin sister cards for Panasonic - only the ones for Toshiba. I'll keep the Transcend brand in mind as well. You guys may find the review worth reading.
Thanks again for your thoughts. What a great help just to have a place to bounce things off of much less the return information. I've said it before and I'll say it again ... The Roxio Community forum is just terrific and, of course, it's you folks that make it that way!