Question about the Philips or Magnazvox PVRs - AVS Forum
Digital Recorders (PVRs) General > Question about the Philips or Magnazvox PVRs
Tom White's Avatar Tom White 12:15 PM 09-07-2009
I read through a number of the pages of info on these two machines, but could not find an answer to this question.

I have been using a Tivo HD to combine my OTA reception (for digital & HD OTA) with my basic cable reception (no digital tier). The Tivo actually has inputs for both cable and antenna.

Has anyone tried using a two-to-one coax combiner to feed OTA & cable to either the Philips or Magnavox PVR's with any success?

With both models having only one coax input, and my wanting to use both sources of programming, what would be the best way to accomplish this?

Although I will miss having the TVGOS that the Tivo provides, I want to rid myself of the monthly fees. Thus the idea of buying one of these other units.

Any help is much appreciated.

demonfoo's Avatar demonfoo 07:00 PM 09-07-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom White View Post

Has anyone tried using a two-to-one coax combiner to feed OTA & cable to either the Philips or Magnavox PVR's with any success?

You can't do this, as the OTA broadcast bandspace overlaps with what's used on cable; you'd end up with a jumbled mess, and many (possibly most) channels unwatchable/unrecordable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom White View Post

Although I will miss having the TVGOS that the Tivo provides, I want to rid myself of the monthly fees. Thus the idea of buying one of these other units.

Unfortunately you're going to have to deal with the fact that the units you mention (in this and other respects) lack many of TiVo's features.
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski 01:02 AM 09-08-2009
You want to replace the HD PQ of the TiVo with the Maggie/Philips' SD PQ?

I hope you're at least not watching on an HD display.
Tom White's Avatar Tom White 10:30 AM 09-08-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

You want to replace the HD PQ of the TiVo with the Maggie/Philips' SD PQ?

I hope you're at least not watching on an HD display.

I am watching on a Samsung LCD, which does a good job of upscaling regular broadcasts on its own. The big thing is, I guess, I don't do a lot of recording of programs from my OTA HD stations. Most of my recording comes from stations like SyFy, USA, and other stations on my cable system, which is are not in HD. In fairness, my cable reception is darn good, actually better than what I was getting when I had DirecTV.

Other than the on screen guide, the convenient thing about the Tivo HD is being able to access the cable AND OTA signals without changing the input on the TV.

Thanks for the answers guys.

By the way, have any of you seen this?

http://store.philips.com/store/rpeus...=1252427477244

It shows a Philips unit WITH an on screen guide. I've never seen one.
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski 01:06 PM 09-08-2009
That's a foreign model, and it's "Guide +" feature won't work in the US.

Can't you just pay the lifetime fee for the TiVo? Otherwise, you would really seriously be downgrading.

You might want to also consider a used Sony or LG HD DVR (I have the Sony, and it has separate RF inputs - I'm not sure about the LG, though. You'd have to check it's thread).
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 04:17 PM 09-08-2009
This whole plan doesn't make much sense to me. You can get a lifetime subscription for the TiVo on ebay for $330. A new Magnavox H2160 costs $229.

Here's a table comparison:

   
PRICE          
  Price online
  DVR fees
None
None
$129/year
$330-$399 lifetime
Included
  Total online cost without any future fees
$229
$269
$580 - $650
$799
TUNERS          
  Tuners for off-air antenna
1
2
2
None
  Tuners for analog and digital cable
1
None
2
2x digital cable
1x analog with dongle
  Supports encrypted digital channels on cable    
X
X
BASIC          
  Program guide  
X
X
X
  High-definition output  
X
X
X
  Pause and rewind liveTV on both SD and HD channels
X
X
X
X
  Record one channel while you watch another live  
X
X
X
  Record one HD channel as SD while you watch a previously recorded SD show
X
     
  Record two different HD channels, while you watch a previously recorded HD show  
X
X
X
  Pause, replay, 30sec skip, slow mo, and multiple speeds of FF and RW
X
X
X
X
  Skip-to-tick or comparable function (i.e. skip 15 minutes at a time)    
X
X
  Progress bar (on trickplay) shows current position in video
X
X
X
X
  Dual live buffers (i.e. saves pause position and video on inactive tuner)    
X
(Does not save position)
  Remembers where you left off in every recording
X
X
X
X
  Conflict management (i.e. ability to skip a scheduled recording to record something new)    
X
X
  Closed captions
(Analog only)
X
X
X
RECORD          
  Records HD at 100% original quality
(Only records in SD)
X
X
X
  Records all programs using VCR-like timers (ex: every Monday from 8:00-8:30pm)
X
X
   
  Records and tracks programs by their name    
X
X
  Ability to record only new episodes and ignore repeats    
X
X
  Automatically adjusts record schedule when programs change their days, times, and/or lengths    
X
X
  Series manager to prioritize what two programs are recorded when 3+ programs conflict    
X
X
  Automatic rescheduling so programs missed due to conflicts are recorded the next time they air    
X
X
  Overlap protection to eliminate conflicts when three or more programs overlap by up to five minutes    
X
 
  Automatically deletes oldest recording (not set "keep until I delete") when space needed for new recording    
X
X
  Start recordings early or end late  
X
X
X
  Keep only the last X episodes of a show    
X
X
  Keep recording until I delete or until space is needed  
X
X
X
GUIDE          
  Create recording from program guide selection  
X
X
X
  Guide filters and favorites    
X
X
  Delete individual channels from guide  
X
X
X
  Days of program information
None
8 days on most channels
14 days on all channels
14 days on all channels
  Detailed episode information and original airdate; distinguishes between new and repeat episodes    
X
X
  Program information always available; not dependent on broadcaster to offer TVGOS    
X
X
  Downloads guide data without an Internet connection (wired or wireless) or phone line  
X
(Requires Internet or phone)
(Requires Internet)
  Integrates off-air and cable channels into a single guide  
N/A
X
N/A
  Maximum number of 30min timeslots shown on guide screen  
6 in grid
3 in grid, 8 in TiVo-style
6 in grid, 4 in Moxi-style
SEARCH          
  Search program titles and descriptions  
X
X
X
  Search program titles, descriptions, actors, directors, and categories with boolean operators (AND/OR/NOT)    
X
 
  Record a single program found with search  
X
X
X
  Automatically record all future programs matching a saved search    
X
 
DVR UI          
  Single-click delete    
X
 
  Deleted Items folder with recording undelete    
X
 
  Number of programs shown on recorded list screen
?
6
8
10
  Recorded list shows name of every recording  
X
X
X
  Recorded list shows date of every recording    
X
X
  Recorded list can be sorted by name, date, or grouped  
X
X
 
  Program groups (folders) can be sorted by name or date  
(Name only)
X
(Name only)
  Inside program groups (folders), recordings are sorted by recorded date    
X
X
  Inside program groups (folders), episode names are listed    
X
X
  Record schedule shows names of upcoming programs    
X
X
  Recorded history shows why programs didn't record  
(Limited)
X
 
  Free disk space estimate
X
X
(Recently Deleted)
X
  No advertising of any kind
X
X
X
STORAGE          
  Built-in capacity
160GB
250GB
160GB (1TB on XL)
500 GB
  Supports external drive expansion    
Up to 1TB
Up to 6 TB w/ RAID
  Allows internal hard drive upgrades
X
X
X
?
TRANSFER          
  Allows download/transfer of HD and SD recorded files to a computer    
X
 
  Allows transfer of PC videos to DVR for viewing    
X
 
  Allows streaming of PC videos to DVR for viewing    
(Limited)
X
  Software to automatically download favorite series and convert them for portable players (ex: iPhone)    
X
 
MULTIROOM          
  Access and view recordings on a DVR in another room    
X
X
  Pause a recording in one room and resume it in another    
X
X
ONLINE          
  Connects to Internet time server each night to set clock    
X
X
  Download software updates using ethernet connection  
X
X
X
  Remote scheduling via the web and mobile phone    
X
X
  Real-time conflict management for remote scheduling      
X
  Edit and/or delete scheduled recordings online      
X
  View list of recorded programs and upcoming / scheduled recordings online    
X
X
  Subscribe to specific RSS video feeds and podcasts (i.e. so they automatically download when available)    
X
 
  Support for Amazon's "TV Passes" (i.e. purchase a cable series and new episodes are downloaded in HD)    
X
 
  Support for Netflix SD/HD streaming    
X
Netflix SD Only
(Requires third-party software)
           
OTHER          
  Requires phone line? Requires Internet connection? Requires one or the other?
No/No/No
No/No/No
No/No/Yes
No/Yes
  Native output mode to output all video as is without conversion    
X
X
  Downconverts HD video to SD over s-video and composite connections for non-HDTVs
X
(Composite only)
X
X
  All SD and HD outputs active simultaneously  
X
X
X
  Allows 16:9 anamorphic output through SD connections    
X
 
  Built-in DVD writer
X
     
WARRANTY          
  Parts warranty
One year
90 days
One year
One year
  Cost to replace after warranty expires
?
$269
$150
$?
  Cost to transfer lifetime service to a replacement DVR for three years
N/A
N/A
$0
N/A
  Cost to transfer lifetime service to a replacement DVR after three years
N/A
N/A
$199
N/A

Now, if you are one of those people that suffers from the "loss of analog tuner" bug on the TivoHD (see Known Issues section in the TivoHD FAQ) and have no intention of subscribing to digital channels on cable to get USA-HD, TNT-HD, SyFy-HD, etc, then I can see how one might want an alternative.
Tom White's Avatar Tom White 07:50 AM 09-09-2009
Thanks for your input, guys.

bfdtv - I guess I am one of those people who figure that as soon as I do a lifetime subscription to Tivo, my Tivo HD will have a fatal problem of some sort and then I will have the expense of a new one, which will then have a problem in a couple of years, etc., etc. and I am not knowledgeable enough, or have enough patience to do the drive cloning or whatever to replace a bad hard drive in a Tivo. I've done it in a laptop, but that was simply plug-and-play, for the most part.

That is over-worry, I know. Sometimes I think I was the inspiration behind Murphy's Law.
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 04:19 PM 09-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom White View Post

bfdtv - I guess I am one of those people who figure that as soon as I do a lifetime subscription to Tivo, my Tivo HD will have a fatal problem of some sort and then I will have the expense of a new one, which will then have a problem in a couple of years, etc., etc. and I am not knowledgeable enough, or have enough patience to do the drive cloning or whatever to replace a bad hard drive in a Tivo. I've done it in a laptop, but that was simply plug-and-play, for the most part.

Be aware that TiVo includes a three-year guarantee with every lifetime subscription, so if your DVR dies in the next three years, they'll transfer lifetime to a replacement at no charge.

TiVo charges $149 for refurbished DVR replacements outside of the warranty period, which you can avoid if you replace the drive yourself. If you can replace the drive in your notebook, I really don't think you'd have any trouble replacing the drive in a TiVo. If you're really not comfortable spending the 45 minutes to do a backup/restore, then there are a dozen vendors on ebay who will do it for a $30-$50 premium over the cost of the drive (example). At that point, it takes 3-5 minutes to swap out the drive.

You could give up the high-definition picture, second tuner, and much of the functionality you have now by moving to a DVD recorder, but I can't imagine being satisfied with that on a HDTV. As Rammitinski noted in another post, there's also a good possibility that your basic cable channels (i.e. non-locals) will no longer be available without a CableCard in a year or two. Certainly, that is true for a number of providers, which have firm plans to eliminate their analog cable channels in the next 12-24 months. Digital-only cable is the future, as that frees up bandwidth for new HD channels and faster Internet tiers.
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