I want a DVD recorder with a tuner. A few months ago some members of this forum recommended the Magnavox models: MDR-515h/F7 or MDR513/F7 HDD. I waited for one to become available through jr.com. Now they say they will not be getting any more. The only place I see either model available is at amazon.com, through ecomelectronics.com They have the MDR513 for $300.
Is that my only option?
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Thread: Want find a DVD recorder to buy
No. Magnavox retired the MDR-515h/F7 and MDR513/F7 ...but in spite of the rumors that this was the end (which I for one believed at the time), Magnavox came out with three new models, the MDR533H/F7, thr MDR535H/f7, and MDR537H/f7. They are available from Walmart, but only online.
We had a really long post about Magnavox and DVD recorders a few months ago in a thread. Basically Magnavox and WalMart seem to be in cahoots to fan the flames of rumors that (gasp!) the Magnavox recorders are going to disappear forever, which leads to huge unjustified price increases and much panic buying. Then somehow Magnavox shrugs their shoulders and basically says that since there is just so much overwhelming demand, they guess they can continue to make recorders for a little while longer. Buy from WalMart, as suggested, if you want the best price.
Great! I don't know if I would have found out about these models if you hadn't told me. So, any of the three models is fine?
From my reading the three are all the same with the exception of the hard drive size.
Second point is that they have new tuners that and are supposed to handle dark scenes better than the older model.
Points to remember:
They tune OTA and clear QAM
They record in DVD resolution, not in HD.
Manual Timers only.
I have one of the older models and it has been reliable. The picture is very watchable. You can name the show when setting up the timer.
It has a rocker switch to skip forward and reverse that is adjustable for the skip. I keep mine set at 30 seconds forward and 5 seconds reverse. That works for commercials for me. Others use a 1 minute forward skip and 30 second reverse skip
I've been happy with my purchase and use it to capture a 3rd network show if there are three at the same time as overflow from my DVR. or If wanted to make a DVD of a show.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
You can also use your computer.
Very True handyguy, However a Computer running 24 hours a day will use a lot more electricity. Than a Stand Alone DVD Recorder with Hard drive.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
In the summer, it's a battle of which can suck out more juice:
- the computer (aka heater)
- vs the air conditioner (to keep the computer-heated home cool enough to not sweat into dehydration)
Of course, in winter time, it saves on heating bills.
I would imagine the summer cost of adding the computer is about $100/monthly, minimum.
Well I guess it is all relative. Anybody that knows me, knows that I am not interested in being green. My view is that running a computer 24 - 7 just wastes electricity, throws heat into the room, Not a bad thing in the winter of course.
However I am antiwaste. My computers never run 24 hours a day for several reasons. One Is it saves wear and tear, and when I turn mine off I also remove the AC power. I also shut down when I hear a thunderstorm. Reduces the chance of a voltage surge damaging parts. I also turn off the Power strip that my external drives plug into when they are not being used. I have standardized for now on USB3 2Tb for externals FWIW.
Mine is on a Decent sized UPS so the next one doesn't apply.
I have seen many computers with damaged Power supplies or Windows installations that happened to their owner when the power blipped on and off several times rapidly. I do my encodes while I am doing other things on the Computer. Other programs perform fine while I am doing an encode. It is starting to get old to the point where I am thinking upgrade from the I7 930 6Gb & 300Gb SSD to a I7 2700k with 4 to 8Gb and SSD boot drive. The benchmarks are enticing.
However now that I'll have 7 days a week to do things rather than just Sundays why bother. My Big bottleneck is the realtime capture via the HD PVR and not the rest of the process.
The Magnavox I currently own is for overflow DVR'ing.
Electricity is just a portion of the cost of using a computer as a DVR, Capture card, UPS for reliable recording. The fact that it has to be connected to the TV. I tried using the computer as a DVR and it wasn't worth the aggravation to me.
A DVD recorder like the Magnavox can also be used as a ATSC or Clear QAM tuner for an older TV. My brother does that for example.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
A laptop would not use $100 a month in power. But you also can use it on battery if the power is out.
Comcast is changing to all digital in my area in a couple of months & won't be serving up analog no more. There isn't much on TV worth watching these days & your PC can connect to websites where you can watch stuff for free.
OTA = Over The Air also know as using an Antenna
Clear QAM only applies if you are using cable
A manual timer means you enter the start and stop times and what channel to record from.
Also the picture quality recording from a High Definition (HD) channel will look like DVD quality rather the a lower Quality VHS recording.
TBIf I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
Clear QAM means digital cable channels which are not encrypted. The new Magnavox DVD recorders with hard drives can tune analog cable channels as well, if you still have any.
...but from what I just read, there seems to be a bug in the firmware that causes problems with timer recordings if the new model recorders are set up to use digital channels (cable or over-the-air). Manual recordings still work fine, but timer recordings are just static if one attempts to record something other than the primary channel. For example recording channel 7.1 using a timer works, but recording 7.2, 7.3, or 7.4 does not. See http://www.avsforum.com/t/1431212/timer-recording-of-digital-channels-on-magnavox-533
Interesting, I have the previous model and I have used it to record subchannels off of cable. It seems strange that Funai would make a mistake in what is basically the same firmware.
The problem would have to be related to the firmware section dealing with the different tuner the new models are using.
TBIf I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 11th Oct 2012 at 14:13. Reason: words typed out of order
I have a digital converter box, I don’t have cable. Regarding the problem with recording sub-channels, I can, for example, record the primary ABC channel with the timer; but not its sub-channels? I can record the sub-channels without the timer?
So it may have some problems, but there is not any better option other than the Magnavox DVD recorder is there?
How does it's Program Guide work?
If you mean to show upcoming programs and descriptions, then there is none. That is why you have to do manual Timers. Since I use it for overflow from my Satellite DVR I use that guide to set the timers. If you mean the guide to recorded programs they show up with date and time unless titled at the time of the timers creation or their title was edited later.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
On page 23 of it's manual they talk about this guide but don't mention how it gets it's feed.
The PC idea isn't necessarily a bad one. I have a DVD recorder (two actually), but am contemplating moving to a PC-based solution, or using a PC in parallel, for a number of reasons:
- tuner number - the DVD recorder has 1 (or two for newer models) tuners. The PC can have more.
- tuner types - a PC can have both satellite and terrestrial tuners, and a mix of both
- resolution - DVD recorders record in SD only, PC's can be set up to record in HD (incl over HDMI with an HDCP stripper)
- networkability - a PC can be networked, so recorder content can be streamed around the house
- expandability - it's easy to add more storage to a PC or a network
- archiving - it's less fiddly than burning a disc and ripping/compressing it to get content onto a network archive
$100 a month for power seems very steep. A capable HTPC can be built with quite a low power draw, and drives etc can be set to spin-down when not in use. At 15 cents a KWh, $100 is something like a 500+ watt draw 24/7 for the whole month - which seems unlikely.
The Magnavox recorders don't have multiple-channel listings like that. All the Magnavox recorders can do is display channel information and program information for the channel you are watching at the time. The program and channel information comes from PSIP data included in the ATSC signal. Digital cable probably won't provide any program information to display.
For the non-technically inclined, a DVD recorder with a hard drive is certainly easier to set up than PVR software.
I have replaced 3 dead TV tuner cards between February 2010 and August 2012 (2 from ATI and 1 from AverMedia).My original Panasonic DVD recorder (DVD only no hard drive) has issues after 7 years, but technically still works. The Magnavox may not last that long but will probably outlast any of my TV tuner cards.
When I record something that my parents want to watch, it has to be made into a playable DVD. They have and can use a DVD player. They don't have a computer or a media player. Converting recordings from my PC to be DVD compatible is time-consuming, especially high-defintion recordings. I'm thinking of buying them a LG Blu-Ray player for Christmas so they can play MPEG-2 HDTV recordings from my PC as well as rent Blu-Ray movies.
Recording from satellite usually takes a device that can capture in HD from the Satellite Box. Due to the laws here in the U.S. a HDCP stripper is an illegal device to sell. I have not seen any DVD recorders with Dual Tuners. There are Tivo DVRs that can take a cable card and allow access to most of the cable channels. They come with a subscription fee.
Archiving to a hard drive means that when the drive dies the content is gone. Yes you can do RAID to protect against that. However based on what I see at work and on the technical forums most people do not even have a single backup of important data.
I did see a unlucky couple. They did the right thing, more or less. They set up a external drive for their data in a drive enclosure that had mirrored drives. When they saw a warning of a drive failure it was too late. Both drives were bad and they had to go to data recovery anyway.
You sound like someone that cares about quality. Way to many people do not seem to care about quality. Just look at the posts on this forum that ask how to shrink a movie and mention that they do not card about quality.
The OP is located in the USA, that makes it tougher. The Magnavox is easiest way to record from a HD local channel and watch or archive with. More or less like using a Videotape recorder except that you each show can accessed easier.
DVD resolution is not of course HD but it doesn't look that bad when recorded from a HD source from my experience.
I can capture in 1080i and end up with a BluRay disk. I don't bother with the BluRay disk, I just put the raw edited capture on a USB drive for use with my media player.
It doesn't even take that long. VideoReDo to edit, and save to a USB3 drive. then the content is on the computer and a external drive.
I'm still struggling to get a Capture to my BluRay authoring program without re-converting it. I'll lick that yet then anything I want to keep will be in the computer, and external drive and on BluRay. Then it is archived.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
The Magnavox has its flaws, to be sure, and its really aggravating that the mfr has made no attempt to fix them since the basic design was created in 2007. But it is what it is, it mostly works OK, its dirt cheap, its mostly reliable, and its supported by WalMart. Nearly all the problems reported involve the tuner, which is *still* the same damn prototype design they started with years ago. Unlike every other DTV tuner on the planet, the Magnavox tuner is not integrated: the digital and analog bands are discrete, and they conflict with each other constantly depending how you have the machine hooked up.
Using an off-air antenna, the Magnavox is usually peachy and works very well. Earlier models had a bug that could result in recordings being a bit too dark, but that has been corrected in the current updated 533, 535 and 537 models. The OTA subchannel issue with timer recording varies from city to city and depends on your particular reception quality. Some owners never have a problem with subchannels, some have a few problem channels, some encounter frequent problems. It is possible to fix the timer issue (in some cases) by making sure DTV is selected as the tuning band in the timer window and being very careful with the initial channel scan/setup. There's usually no problem timer recording the first subchannel, like 4.1 in my area, but then my reception jumps from 4.1 to 4.4 and the gap makes timer recording of 4.4 difficult. Luckily there's rarely anything interesting on channels beyond x.2 in most broadcast markets. If there is, you can connect your existing accessory converter box to one of the Magnavox line inputs and use it to tune the tricky subchannels. Leave it turned on and tuned to the problem channel, and set that particular Magnavox timer recording to use that line input instead of the channel number. A little inconvenient, but manageable: those with satellite service record this way with any DVD recorder they use, since they need the satellite tuner for every channel.
85% of the reported issues involve "bare wire" cable setups, where people insist on using the Magnavox tuner instead of the cable box that most cable companies now absolutely require for stable service. There are no workarounds for the cable tuning issues: the Magnavox tuner simply can't cope with the crap many cable franchises pull with their signals now. The only way to keep your sanity is to bypass the Magnavox tuner and use the cable decoder box to feed the Magnavox line inputs instead. Unfortunately people just don't wanna hear this unpleasant truth, so they waste thousands of hours on hundreds of threads on various forums discussing ideas to "fix" the problem. They discuss in vain, because there has never been and never will be a "fix" that lasts more than a couple weeks before it fails again. There is no grey area: either you're lucky, and your local cable system is compatible with the schizoid Magnavox tuner, or you're unlucky, and your cable system is Magnavox-hostile.
There is NO program guide in the Magnavox at all: the North American PSIP guide signal system is buggy as all hell and few recorders have been able to make it work reliably for timer recording. Rather than deal with potential issues, recorders sold in USA/Canada after 2006 dropped the guide feature altogether. The Magnavox has a manual timer screen that you set much like an old VCR. If your current converter box is one of the few that provided a program guide several days into the future, you can use that to get info and then set the Magnavox accordingly. Or use newspaper or internet listings.
Be careful using the AVS Magnavox threads for advice. The moderator of that thread has personal issues that get in the way of his ability to assist, and many current hangers-on are also a wee bit "off" in the head. The bipolar focus seems to be on either numbingly simple questions like "how do I put a DVD in this thing" or useless esoteric technical minutiae of interest to only a half-dozen geeks (do you really care what rectifier chips changed between the 513 and 533 motherboards?). Until recently, there was a helpful topic index that bypassed a lot of the circle-jerk nonsense, but that system was blown to hell when AVS moved to new underlying forum software. The index is still there, but it now responds erratically: if your browser locks up with it, don't use the index.
Last edited by orsetto; 13th Oct 2012 at 13:28.