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  1. Member
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    I want to get a DVD recorder to record TV programs. I don't have cable TV. I have only been able to find a couple of models available. One is the Toshiba DR570 (has a tuner). I would like to be able to record a program on on channel while watching a different channel at the same time, just like in the good old days with my VCR.

    I called Toshiba. They said the DVD recorder needs to have tuner just to be able to record TV programs. They also told me that I cannot record on one channel while watching another. Are they correct?

    Is there a DVD recorder that will do this? Are there VCR player still for sale somewhere?
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  2. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    As long as the dvd recorder has a built in channel convertor you can record one channel while watching another channel from your tv,the guy from toshiba doesn't know much about recording.

    Long as you have an antenna on the main tv coax and antenna on the dvd recorder and set your dvd recorder as avi1/hdmi 1 and switch to the tv to watch something else while you are recording.

    As for a vcr you might want to look on ebay or amazon.

    The same thing can be done with cablevision.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  3. Member
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    If your TV has a digital tuner, then you should be able to watch one over-the-air channel while recording another with the Toshiba DR570 DVD recorder. All you need to do is connect the coax out from the DVD recorder to the TV's coax in.

    If your TV is an old analog model connected to an over-the-air DTA converter box, connect the DVD recorder's coax out to the DTA converter box's antenna in port. That will allow you to watch one channel with the DTA converter box and TV while the DVD recorder records a different channel.

    Unlike a VCR, DVD recorders can't provide playback on channel 3 or channel 4. The coax-out on a DVD recorder is strictly a pass-through for the signal from your antenna. You will need an unused set of composite, component or S-Video A/V connections to connect the DVD recorder to the TV (or HDMI if the recorder has HDMI-out).
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 22nd Jun 2012 at 00:29.
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  4. Member
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    You are referring to the set up for an old analog TV (see quote below)?

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Unlike a VCR, DVD recorders can't provide playback on channel 3 or channel 4. The coax-out on a DVD recorder is strictly a pass-through for the signal from your antenna. You will need an unused set of composite, component or S-Video A/V connections to connect the DVD recorder to the TV (or HDMI if the recorder has HDMI-out).
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  5. Member
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    I would appreciate it if anyone has any recommendations for a DVD recorder to buy. There don't seem to be many models available. I usually don't save any programs I record, but it would be nice to have the option to record to a DVD disk. I would prefer not to spend a lot on a recorder. I live in the U.S.
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  6. Member
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    Originally Posted by dr.technical View Post
    You are referring to the set up for an old analog TV (see quote below)?

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Unlike a VCR, DVD recorders can't provide playback on channel 3 or channel 4. The coax-out on a DVD recorder is strictly a pass-through for the signal from your antenna. You will need an unused set of composite, component or S-Video A/V connections to connect the DVD recorder to the TV (or HDMI if the recorder has HDMI-out).
    The quote refers to how you would connect a DVD recorder to any TV to watch recordings or DVDs. No analog TV will offer HDMI connections. HDMI is only going to be present on a digital TV.

    What you need to understand is that a DVD recorder won't play back a recording on on channel 3 or channel 4 like a VCR, so you can't just connect it to your TV's coax connection and expect to watch what you have recorded. You must also connect the DVD recorder to one of the TV's other A/V (audio and video) connections.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by dr.technical View Post
    I would appreciate it if anyone has any recommendations for a DVD recorder to buy. There don't seem to be many models available. I usually don't save any programs I record, but it would be nice to have the option to record to a DVD disk. I would prefer not to spend a lot on a recorder. I live in the U.S.
    I have a Magnavox MDR-513H/F7 that I purchased online from Walmart's website for $200 in February. It has been great, but those are no longer available from Walmart's website. They are are selling for considerably more refurbished, if you can find one. Until recently the Magnavox MDR-515H/F7 was also available from Walmart for about $300, but the online store is sold out. Refurbs and new machines are selling for inflated prices elsewhere. Rumor has it that Walmart is going to get three new and improved Magnavox models (with tuners) but until they actually appear, it is only a rumor. It is hard to say if Walmart will or won't get more Magnavox MDR-515H/F7 recorders in the meantime. Magnavox has supposedly stopped making them.

    For the past few years, DVD recorders can only be purchased online in the US. If you find a N. American model DVD recorder with a digital tuner available for sale new anywhere, consider yourself lucky. At present, DVD recorders with a digital tuner are not being made by anyone for N. America. ...and because you use an antenna you can't easily use one of the "international" or "multi-system" DVD recorder available from some specialty retailers. The tuner they have won't work here in the US.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 22nd Jun 2012 at 11:06.
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  8. Use your computer with a usb tv tuner.

    Build your own PVR

    byopvr.com
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  9. Member
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    I use a PC for recording over-the-air TV, but not everyone is happy with that solution. It isn't hard once the software and hardware are set up, but that may be too much work for some people, and it isn't particularly cheap. You need to have a newish PC with a big hard drive, as well as a PC TV tuner, and PVR software. It doesn't take long to fill up a 1.5 TB drive if you let unwatched TV shows and saved TV shows pile up.Windows 7's Media Center is the easiest PVR software to set up, in my opinion. If you want to save recorded shows from Windows Media Center to play with other software or stand-alone players, you will need additional software.

    If your goal is a DVD that is playable with any DVD player, a DVD recorder is far more convenient. DVD authoring with a PC is not an automated process. You have to be involved, and it takes a long time using an HDTV channel as the source. It is more convenient to save recorded TV shows as files and play them with a PC, media player, or some Blu-Ray players.
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    I want to be perfectly clear that I am not in any way disputing what unusually_quiet said about Magnavox DVD recorders.

    We've had discussions on this subject and basically it was stated that it seems likely that Magnavox and Walmart are both manipulating consumers here. For years now the rumor mills have been filled with rumors that "any day now" Magnavox will stop making DVD recorders. So Walmart jacks up the price of what they have (they have an exclusive deal with Magnavox on the recorders) and everybody profits big time. While past performance is no guarantee of future actions, in the past this cycle of "The recorders are almost gone!" followed by price increases and panic buying followed by both parties saying "OK. Sigh. I guess since so many people seem to want a recorder I guess we can make a few more" has been repeated several times. But yes, until new models actually appear that too is just a rumor.
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  11. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    ^^What jman98 said.^^

    The latest "Magnavox Manipulation", which is primarily played out thru cooperation of a self-aggrandizing "guru" on another forum, has been the most obnoxious yet. The "guru" has spent the last three months whipping people into an absolute frenzy, terrified the (then-discontinued) Magnavox would definitely not be replaced this time. It seemed plausible, considering what a money-loser they are for both WalMart and the manufacturer. But here we are several months later, and the picture finally becomes clear:

    There was a warehouse glut of the older 513 model caused by premature introduction of the improved 515. To clear stock, the 515 was "discontinued" and the price of the 513 raised until they all sold out following the "Magnavox Frenzy" stirred up on the other forum. A few remaining 515s were suddenly "found" by WalMart, and offered for sale with a $100 price increase from two months earlier. These are again now sold out.

    This week it was "leaked" that there will be three new Magnavox models available this coming fall. They appear to be exactly the same as the 515, but with model numbers at 533, 535, and 537. Specs have not been released aside from the fact each will have a different HDD capacity: 320GB, 500GB, or 1000GB (1 TB). Prices have not been announced either, but given the recent $100 bump on the 515 from $229 to $329, one should not expect any lower than $279. If WalMart follows its usual marketing pattern for these recorders, prices will drop significantly within weeks once they realize no one is willing to pay the higher price.

    ******

    Leaving aside the cheesey marketing BS, the Magnavox is the best deal going for someone who needs a new DVD recorder with digital tuner. The hard drive is much MUCH easier to use for daily timeshift record-watch-erase than trying to manage individual DVDs on cheaper recorders. Unless you do very little recording, it is well worth the jump from $150 to approx $300 for a Magnavox with HDD +DVD. Those who are unfamiliar with how a DVD-only recorder actually works cannot imagine how annoying they are to use: the HDD makes a night and day difference in convenience and speed.

    For off-air antenna use the Magnavox is very convenient and will record in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. But note no DVD recorder is fully compatible to tune cable TV channels directly anymore: they all have bugs which cause big or small problems. The best way to avoid cable issues is to get a decoder box and connect its line outputs to the DVD recorder, using the decoder box to tune channels as if you had satellite.
    Last edited by orsetto; 22nd Jun 2012 at 15:30.
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    Yes, a Magnavox DVD recorder with a hard drive was a big step up from my previous DVD-only recorder. Before I had the Magnavox, I used lots of DVD-RW discs for time-shifting stuff I didn't want to keep forever, and recording an extra-long movie in good quality was more difficult. Life is much easier now.
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    Only refurbished Magnavox recorders are available? If so, are they worth it? Would people recommend that over a new Toshiba? I've never had a DVD recorder.
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    Time shift means you can playback and pause a program while it's recording? If so, I think I can live without that feature. If I don't need time shifting, is the Magnavox still preferable? I do record a lot of TV shows.
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  15. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Channel Master makes an HD DVR that can record ATSC / Clear QAM in high definition (DVD Recorders downconvert HD programs to standard definition.) It's a bit pricey, but it has a dual tuner that can record two channels simultaneously.

    brite-View also makes an HD DVR. It is less expensive with a single tuner.
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  16. Member
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    If you need the digital tuner then the Magnavoxes are really the only DVDR worth considering. Not that the Toshiba is a bad recorder but for day in day out recording I think you'd have the least amount of issues with a Magnavox. If you have a DVR(like Tivo) and only want to offload(burn programs to DVD) and cost is a major consideration then a HDD less DVDR might be worth considering, otherwise I'd look for a refurbished 513/515 or if you can wait until the fall when the new Magnavoxes are supposed to be released. It's also possible than new Magnavoxes have been hinted at that the wild speculation and price hikes on the older Magnavoxes will subside and once again you'll be able to find a refurb under $200.

    If you can do without the ability to burn to DVD then as davideck said, a HD DVR is also a good choice. If you got a DVR and you wanted to burn something to DVD then a ~$100 line input DVDR would be a good fit.
    If looking at DVRs check out the newly introduced ePVision PHD-VRX(I think ~$200 but requires a external HDD(~$100)).
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  17. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dr.technical View Post
    Time shift means you can playback and pause a program while it's recording? If so, I think I can live without that feature. If I don't need time shifting, is the Magnavox still preferable? I do record a lot of TV shows.
    The meaning of "timeshifting" seems to have been oddly forgotten over the last few years: it was a term popularized in the VCR era. Its a shorthand one-word term for the common task of recording a show when you are not home or otherwise occupied, for viewing at a later time (hence "timeshifting" - you're shifting the viewing time to one thats more convenient for your own schedule). Or to make it even simpler, "timeshifting" is a fancier word for "timer recording." (The features you mentioned, playback and pause while recording, is called "timeslip" by Panasonic and "Chase Play" by everyone else. Most modern recorders can do this on either HDD or DVD-RW, its actually very useful when you get the hang of it.)

    Recordable DVD discs do not work like VHS tapes. Sometimes they have to be formatted before use, sometimes they need to be erased, sometimes they just stop working (usually during the last episode of your favorite series while you're out visiting friends). Blank DVDs cannot hold much more than about two hours of video without really bad quality degradation (unlike VHS, where we got away with passable 8 hours on a T160). Between the fussiness and the capacity limitations, recording direct to DVD is unpleasant.

    The HDD in the Magnavox, by contrast, is instantly available at all times. You never have to worry about running out of blank discs. The HDD can record over 100 hours of video at the standard-quality SP speed (equivalent to 50 vhs tapes or blank DVDs). This is more than enough space to store accumulated recordings for several weeks until you can get to them, while still being able to add new recordings. After you watch each recording, you just delete it with a click of the remote and the space it took becomes immediately available for recording over. Managing the blank space is completely automatic: the recorder does that all by itself (you can even watch a show you recorded two months ago while simultaneously recording a new show). About all you need to be aware of is not to get below about 5 hours of available blank space, easy enough for any normal person who doesn't leave shows on the unit for more than a couple months before watching and deleting. If you decide you do want to keep a particular recording, the Magnavox can transfer it from HDD to a DVD in about 18 minutes, much like you would do on PC.

    Considering what the Toshiba sells for today, it is no bargain compared to the Magnavvox (no hard drive but the same price). Both are made by the same company, Toshiba charges more because people seem willing to pay for their name, but the Magnavox is the better value by far. The refurbs have been sold by the thousands: don't be afraid of these. J&R is a very reputable dealer and the refurbs are like new.

    ******

    daviddeck made a good point about the ChannelMaster: if you don't really think you'll ever want to make DVDs, it might be a better choice. It has dual tuners, which adds convenience, and it can record in true HDTV 1080p quality, which is great if you have a huge TV (the Magnavox is limited to standard 480i DVD quality: nice, but not quite HDTV). The drawback to the ChannelMaster is it can be double the price of a refurb Magnavox, and of course it cannot play or record DVDs. Which type of recorder to buy depends on your own priorities.
    Last edited by orsetto; 22nd Jun 2012 at 18:40.
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  18. Member
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    I agree chasing playback or timeslip can be handy if you are often interrupted while watching a program. Just pause and resume watching when you are ready.

    If you are simply watching a TV show via the Magnavox HDD DVD recorder's tuner instead of with the TV's own tuner, the DVD recorder automatically creates a temporary recording "buffer" containing a portion of the show that you have already watched for use with its chasing playback or timeslip feature. It is possible to record a show from the beginning of the buffer onward by going back to the start of the buffer using the reverse button and then pressing the record button. I have used the feature a few times after deciding a program is something I wanted to record only after I had already started watching it.
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    So the advantage of the Channel Master is that you can record two programs at the same time (other than HD quality)?

    It looks like J&R is out of the Magnavox. I see a refurbished model available on Amazon.com from eComElectronics. Know anything about them? I guess since it's sold through Amazon, it's probably OK.
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    Originally Posted by dr.technical View Post
    It looks like J&R is out of the Magnavox. I see a refurbished model available on Amazon.com from eComElectronics. Know anything about them? I guess since it's sold through Amazon, it's probably OK.
    I don't know anything about them. Best to look at their ratings, and perhaps something like resellerratings.com

    People seem to think getting a refererral from Amazon or listing on Amazon's website means something, but it doesn't. Amazon's policies don't apply and they won't help you if there is a problem. It's like buying advertising space in a newspaper. If the advertisement is misleading, or the advertiser treats customers badly, it isn't the newspaper's problem. Amazon probably doesn't do much screening.
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  21. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    Wait for J&R to restock on the refurbs. They get a batch every 2-4 weeks, last week they got a couple dozen and they sold out within days. Just keep checking their site every morning until it says "in stock", then jump on it. Unless of course you opt for the ChannelMaster instead.

    J&R is the primary official clearance dealer affiliated with the mfr to sell the refurbs, they come with the Magnavox/J&R refurb warranty. Sellers on Amazon could be getting them from anywhere (tho J&R has been known to list them on their own Amazon channel occasionally: in that case its just like buying direct from J&R).
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  22. Member
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    I see two Magnavox models: MDR-515h/F7 and MDR513/F7 HDD. Is either one fine?

    Is the store jr.com, 23 Park Row New York, NY 10038?
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  23. Member
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    Originally Posted by dr.technical View Post
    I see two Magnavox models: MDR-515h/F7 and MDR513/F7 HDD. Is either one fine?

    Is the store jr.com, 23 Park Row New York, NY 10038?
    Both are fine. I have the MDR-513h/F7 and have only one complaint. If there is more than a momentary power outage, it looses its timer settings. On the other hand, if I ever needed to reset my recorder (the procedure requires unplugging the machine until it "forgets" its settings), I only have to wait 10 minutes.

    The MDR-515h/F7 has a larger hard drive and the firmware includes the ability to title recordings when you set up the timer to record. It will also remember its timer settings for up to 2 hours without power. However, if this recorder ever requires resetting, you will need to wait 2 hours.

    That's the right J&R
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  24. Magnavox has digital tuner but records stuff in SD.
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  25. Member
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    Thanks to everybody. You've been a big help. I appreciate the warning about the recorders without a hard drive. Internet forums, a great invention!
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  26. Ok, I have a dad who needs to record his shows as he works weird hours and can't afford to stay up late to watch some of his shows. He has an old analog TV and has purchased a digital converter so that he can watch OTA shows. He does not and can not afford cable at this time, so I would like to purchase a DVR for him so he doesn't have to stay up and can watch the shows at his convenience. I am pretty tech savvy with everything in my house as I have set up my whole network, however I have cable and my wireless network. I however, am dumbfounded at what I need to get for my dad so he can record his shows.

    Again, my dad has an analog TV and the digital converter attached. He has an old VCR which he could not get to work to record his shows, therefore he gave up on trying. Would someone please help me figure out what I could/should buy for him so that he can record what he wants. I don't mind buying him a DVR or VCR with digital tuner, I just need help on what I need to get and how to install of the item (if any special hook ups need to be done).

    What do you suggest for me to purchase and how do I set it up?
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    Originally Posted by danihoffman406 View Post
    Ok, I have a dad who needs to record his shows as he works weird hours and can't afford to stay up late to watch some of his shows. He has an old analog TV and has purchased a digital converter so that he can watch OTA shows. He does not and can not afford cable at this time, so I would like to purchase a DVR for him so he doesn't have to stay up and can watch the shows at his convenience. I am pretty tech savvy with everything in my house as I have set up my whole network, however I have cable and my wireless network. I however, am dumbfounded at what I need to get for my dad so he can record his shows.

    Again, my dad has an analog TV and the digital converter attached. He has an old VCR which he could not get to work to record his shows, therefore he gave up on trying. Would someone please help me figure out what I could/should buy for him so that he can record what he wants. I don't mind buying him a DVR or VCR with digital tuner, I just need help on what I need to get and how to install of the item (if any special hook ups need to be done).

    What do you suggest for me to purchase and how do I set it up?
    The Magnavox MDR533H/F7 which can only be purchased on line (Walmart's website is one source), is a good option for someone with ony an old analog TV. It records high definition broadcasts in standard definition on the hard drive for watch and erase recording, or recorded programming can be dubbed to DVD.

    Set up is simple. Connect the coax cable from the antenna to the Magnavox coax in. Connect a red-white-yellow composite cable to the Magnavox's composite video and stereo audio out and the TV's composite in. After that, turn on the TV and the Magnavox and scan for channels.

    Your dad can continue to use the converter box so he can watch one channel while recording another. The coax out on the Magnavox is a pass-through for the antenna. Attach another short coax cable between the Magnavox coax out the converter box's coax in. If the TV has two composite inputs, use a second composite video and stereo audio cable to connect the converter box to the TV. Otherwise, connect the coax out from the converter box to the coax in on the TV instead.

    Recording to the hard drive works much like setting the timers on a VCR.
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