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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Search Comp PM
    I have a Magnavox MDR533H DVD recorder which I use with a TV antenna, as I don't have cable. It is less than a year old and has been working fine until last week. Our public television station, channel 9 also has "minor" channels (a Spanish channel 9.2 and a "Create!" channel 9.3). Suddenly, when I set it up to record 9.1, the main channel, it records 9.2. Instead of getting "Masterpiece Theatre" I get something in Spanish! I have tried everything in the manual, have tried calling the Magnavox help line (no help at all), have tried unplugging and reconnecting. Any ideas for a fix? Will I need to take it to a repair shop, or would it be cheaper to replace the machine? Thanks for any advice.
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    I take it that you re-scanned for channels?
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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Yes, twice.
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  4. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    There is a long thread at avsforums.com about the various Magnavox DVD recorders and fixes for various bugs and hiccoughs.

    Maybe something in the "Manual Channel Mapping" section will help. http://www.avsforum.com/forum/106-dvd-recorders-standard-def/940657-magnavox-557-537-5...l#post21142278
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  5. The Magnavox units all employ a tuner design that is "quirky" (to put it nicely). Sooner or later, nearly every owner runs into a problem similar to yours. With off-air channels the problem is typically triggered by two causes: either a glitch develops in the tuner circuit, or one of your local broadcasters decides to get cute and mess with their signal (usually happens when they add, drop, or change subchannels).

    The Magnavox tuner is extremely sensitive to the slightest disturbance in electrical power, and it "ages" poorly. So as time passes, variations in your AC can make the tuner lose its mind. In some cases, proper function can be restored by trying the laundry list of tips, tricks and workarounds posted in the gigantic AVS thread usually_quiet mentioned. Re-scanning channels, manual mapping, pressing the hidden internal reset button, dousing it with holy water, hiring a voodoo priestess to dance in front of it, throwing it against a brick wall, whatever: the Magnavox tuner will respond to one of these ploys approx 65% of the time.

    If yours does not respond, odds are good the problem is being caused by the broadcaster, in which case you can pretty much forget about ever timer recording that channel again. The Magnavox recorders, unfortunately, use a uniquely brain-dead tuner incapable of handling non-standard signals (it gets confused by common broadcast tricks like misaligned "virtual" channels/frequencies). This results in either no channel or the wrong channel being recorded in timer mode. There is no "fix" or "firmware update" that will solve this problem if you encounter it, and exchanging for another Magnavox won't help: its an inherent design flaw they've all had since 2008.

    The simplest workaround is to hook up an external tuner to the Magnavox line input, and use that tuner for the problematic channel. (Most of the cheap converter boxes that sold for $40 during the digital transition have no difficulty locking on channels that the Magnavox can't cope with). In your case, set the external tuner to channel 9.1 and just leave it there. Whenever you need to timer record that channel, set the Magnavox to "Line 1" instead of "9.1" and all should go well. You can find old digital converter boxes cheap on eBay or at Goodwill.
    Last edited by orsetto; 22nd Dec 2014 at 15:05.
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  6. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Another trick is to find out what channel number you have to enter in direct entry to tune the channel you want to record and use that in your timer setting. In my market, because the way my local broadcasters send out PSIP to timer record say 2.2 I need to enter 2.3, if the tuner is on say 4.1 and directly type in 2.2 it goes to 2.2 for a second but then jumps to 2.3 and if I setup a timer for 2.2 I get a recording of 2.3 but if I enter 2.3 the tuner briefly goes to 2.3 and then jumps to 2.2. So if I setup a recording for 2.3 I actually get a recording of 2.2. Your market is sure to be different but as citibear said it has to do with virtual channel mapping and the way the Magnavoxes and Philips tune them with their separate hybrid analog/digital tuners.
    More than likely if you find out what channel number you need to enter to get your desired channel, entering that in your timer list should give you a recording of the channel you want. And again as CB said, if all else fails you could use a external tuner tied to the line input for any channels you can't directly tune.
    Oh another trick, if you leave your DVDR on the channel you want to record and turn if off, it just may record the correct channel for the next event, assuming you don't have a scheduled event on another channel before the one on your problem channel.
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  7. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks to all for this excellent information. Happy Holidays to everyone.
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  8. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Search Comp PM
    It is solved! Thanks to your excellent help, I can now set up to record channel 9.4 when I actually want 9.1. Works like a charm! The broadcast station must have been tinkering with the signal. Thanks again to all, for saving me mucho $$$$, and Happy New Year!
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  9. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Great, as Orsetto said, these tuners are "quirky" (to put it nicely)" and he was spot on
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