What are my non-subscription HDD recording options these days? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-07-2010, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Over a year ago I bought the Philips DVDR3576H and have no real complaints about it. It's nothing to jump up and down about, but it gets the job done. I only watch broadcast TV, and am one of those people who absolutely refuse to pay for a subscription to use a Tivo or similar device. Because the 3576H is a single tuner I was going to buy another one, and possibly get a couple to give as gifts. What I found was not only has the 3576H been discontinued, the used ones are selling for $750--more than twice what I paid. So now I have a few questions:

* Why did Philips discontinue a product that was obviously popular and was the perfect post-digital switch solutionfor people who only watch broadcast television?

* What are my options if I want to buy a similar product?

* Why are there so few, if any products from any manufacturer that allow recording digital TV signals to HDD?

* Can I build a small frame, low profile/footprint PVR that completely powers up and down for recordings like a VCR or Philips style unit, or do I have to use a PC or laptop as the foundation?

I'm not a conspiracy person, but it seems strange that the only options that seem to be available are the fee-based subscription HDD recorders. This country went from extremely easy timer recordings (VCR) to virtually nothing since the digital switch went down.

Thanks
Greasemonkey
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-07-2010, 04:37 PM
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The perfect solution for you is a Magnavox 2160A or new 320GB MDR513H. Both operate almost exactly like your 3576, same manual, etc., BUT their remotes don't operate each other, so you can stack them in same ent. center.

J&R is currently selling excellent 2160A refurbs for $159, and new ones from Walmart online are $198. The MDR also at Walmart is $298 and coming in July to Amazon for $269.

Here's the main page for these units, with a list of help files that give easy access to kernels of info as needed.


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-07-2010, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

The perfect solution for you is a Magnavox 2160A or new 320GB MDR513H. Both operate almost exactly like your 3576, same manual, etc., BUT their remotes don't operate each other, so you can stack them in same ent. center.

Thanks. I'd seen the older Magnavox unit, but was turned off by the reviews claiming that you couldn't watch one HDD recording while it was in the process of recording another timer program, and couldn't finalize a DVD if there were *any* timer programs pending. The Philips unit allows for watching one HDD program while recording another, and I have no problem finalizing a DVD if the next timer recording isn't coming up for several hours. Hopefully, the new Magnavox unit will be different. Any idea why Philips discontinued their unit? If you look at the Magnavox web site the information at the bottom of the page states that they are owned by Philips. A year ago I would have bet big money that most electronics manufacturers, with the exception of Sony would have had DVDR/HDD units with all kinds of bells and whistles by now.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-07-2010, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post

Thanks. I'd seen the older Magnavox unit, but was turned off by the reviews claiming that you couldn't watch one HDD recording while it was in the process of recording another timer program, and couldn't finalize a DVD if there were *any* timer programs pending. The Philips unit allows for watching one HDD program while recording another, and I have no problem finalizing a DVD if the next timer recording isn't coming up for several hours. Hopefully, the new Magnavox unit will be different. Any idea why Philips discontinued their unit? If you look at the Magnavox web site the information at the bottom of the page states that they are owned by Philips. A year ago I would have bet big money that most electronics manufacturers, with the exception of Sony would have had DVDR/HDD units with all kinds of bells and whistles by now.

Philips exited the consumer electronics market in Sep 2008, handing over their LCD TV and recorder business to their mfg. partner, Funai, a Japanese company.

Funai built Philips 3575 and 3576. Funai is now licensing the Philips "Magnavox" brand name for its own recorders. ONE reason others "exited" the HDD recorder market was the U.S. digital transition, where we use ATSC rather than the more world-wide DVB-T system, so the U.S. market essentially stands alone in the digital TV world and requires a "special" design. We're so special!

Anyway, the Mag 2160A does record one channel while watching another on your TV (only one tuner, like all others), or you can play a prev. recorded HDD title or a DVD while recording. You can also Chase Play a recording in progress.

Virtually all things the 3576 does the 2160 can do, and it does it in the same familiar way as the 3576 using the same operating system... PLUS the 2160 has a much better/cooler Pause Live TV (PLTV)... it buffers in the background up to 6-hours of the channels you tune, so when you press PAUSE, you really are pausing live TV, and you can then press PLAY to take up where you left off OR go back up to 6 hours and watch the PREVIOUS buffered live TV, and save the buffer to the HDD if desired. It's really cool!

The 2160A does have a FW bug that prevents Disc Edit ops (Finalizing, Formattting, Erasing, etc.) if timer rec programs are set. HOWEVER, there's a simple workaround as a temp. fix or a Funai FW Update as a permanent fix. These are described in this help file.

PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-08-2010, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

Philips exited the consumer electronics market in Sep 2008, handing over their LCD TV and recorder business to their mfg. partner, Funai, a Japanese company.

Funai built Philips 3575 and 3576. Funai is now licensing the Philips "Magnavox" brand name for its own recorders. ONE reason others "exited" the HDD recorder market was the U.S. digital transition, where we use ATSC rather than the more world-wide DVB-T system, so the U.S. market essentially stands alone in the digital TV world and requires a "special" design. We're so special!

Interesting. I would think that a potential market of hundreds of millions of people would make it worth a few small changes, especially in globally tight economic times. Maybe this is an opportunity for a U.S. company to fill the void. I have a friend who believes Linux is the technological messiah. Maybe this is his chance!

Quote:


Anyway, the Mag 2160A does record one channel while watching another on your TV (only one tuner, like all others), or you can play a prev. recorded HDD title or a DVD while recording. You can also Chase Play a recording in progress.

If Chase Play is playback of a recording in progress, I do this all the time. In fact, I've gotten to the point where I usually hit record, then play when watching a movie or program that is not set as a timer recording. I prefer it to pausing live TV because I have the option to keep or delete it. I think I've used the pause live TV option once, and that was just to test it.

Quote:


The 2160A does have a FW bug that prevents Disc Edit ops (Finalizing, Formattting, Erasing, etc.) if timer rec programs are set. HOWEVER, there's a simple workaround as a temp. fix or a Funai FW Update as a permanent fix.

Thanks. This is great information. Between the two choices I would opt for the MDR513H. I checked Amazon and they say it "will be released on July 26, 2010". I also had no idea that the firmware could be upgraded on recorders like this. Excellent information all the way around, but too bad there aren't more options out there. I know a lot of people who are left high and dry, having to record to VCR from their digital converter. It works fine if they remember to turn the converter on. But they are out of luck if they go on vacation and want to record several programs that are on different channels.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-07-2010, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post

I'm not a conspiracy person, but it seems strange that the only options that seem to be available are the fee-based subscription HDD recorders.

Is not strange, it's called business. Do you remember the last Hollywood writers' strike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post

Interesting. I would think that a potential market of hundreds of millions of people would make it worth a few small changes, especially in globally tight economic times. Maybe this is an opportunity for a U.S. company to fill the void. I have a friend who believes Linux is the technological messiah. Maybe this is his chance!

The Funai HDD uses Linux format (like the old Phillips), the bad news are you can't extract the RAW files to a fresh HD on a Linux PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post

I know a lot of people who are left high and dry, having to record to VCR from their digital converter. It works fine if they remember to turn the converter on. But they are out of luck if they go on vacation and want to record several programs that are on different channels.

There's no device to avoid this. You need to built one with a dedicate PC recorder (with or withou linux) and the right video capture card(s). That's not cheap and the results may vary.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-10-2010, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post

Over a year ago I bought the Philips DVDR3576H and have no real complaints about it. It's nothing to jump up and down about, but it gets the job done. I only watch broadcast TV, and am one of those people who absolutely refuse to pay for a subscription to use a Tivo or similar device. Because the 3576H is a single tuner I was going to buy another one, and possibly get a couple to give as gifts. What I found was not only has the 3576H been discontinued, the used ones are selling for $750--more than twice what I paid. So now I have a few questions:

* Why did Philips discontinue a product that was obviously popular and was the perfect post-digital switch solutionfor people who only watch broadcast television?

* What are my options if I want to buy a similar product?

* Why are there so few, if any products from any manufacturer that allow recording digital TV signals to HDD?

* Can I build a small frame, low profile/footprint PVR that completely powers up and down for recordings like a VCR or Philips style unit, or do I have to use a PC or laptop as the foundation?

I'm not a conspiracy person, but it seems strange that the only options that seem to be available are the fee-based subscription HDD recorders. This country went from extremely easy timer recordings (VCR) to virtually nothing since the digital switch went down.

Thanks
Greasemonkey

This might be for you

https://www3.tivo.com/store/clearanc...29_savenow_lnk

It seems you can buy a rebuilt one for $30, and use it as the 2nd recorder? Hard to go wrong for $30 if it meets your needs.
Or, the 2 tuner recorder for more, no fees to use it over the air recording.
I am looking at the 2 tuner one but not over the air recording. In a turmoil which might be cheaper, monthly service or cable company recorder.

Found out that you do need a subscription for a Tivo to work
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-12-2010, 06:47 PM
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It seems there are a couple other options available for this same scenario:

MAGNAVOX MDR513H/F7 HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner

Channel Master CM-7000PAL Antenna HD DVR

From my briefly analysis, the negative aspect about the Magnavox is that it isn't an HD DVR.

I didn't think trying to get a HD DVR with a Tuner and a setup to watch Netflix and Hulu would be this difficult without a computer but it appears as if the media giants just don't want me watching free everything
-Kevin
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-12-2010, 10:08 PM
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Channel Master CM-7000PAL Antenna HD DVR

This - or the DTVPal HD DVR (which is the same unit under a different brand name).

Might as well future-proof yourself for if/when you get an HD display. You'll get better PQ out of it on a standard definition display, too.

There are threads on both in the "HDTV Recorders" forum here.
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