Successful repair of Pioneer 533 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-24-2010, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Well the DVD burner on my wife's Pioneer 533 finally bit the dust last month. I'm actually surprised it lasted that long given the number of discs she's burned over the last 4-1/2 years on it. It left me in a real dilemma as to what to do about it.

I've got a fairly large investment in Pioneer recorders (a 533, 633, two 640s and a 560), so a couple of years back I bought a service remote and made a donation to HKan's PioneerFAQ site in order to pick up the ID discs and service manuals needed to deal with repairs. But until now all of the units have worked flawlessly (well almost all - but the one that had a hard drive failure was still under warranty so it wasn't my problem).

My wife really, REALLY loves the TV Guide feature, so I grudgingly bit the bullet and coughed up the Cdn$225 for a new DVD burner. I'm very happy to report that the burner went in with no trouble, I was able to re-enter the CPRM ID with the service remote and reinitialize the unit with the ID disc without any problems. The only small hitch was that CPRM re-entry seems to reinitialize the TVGOS software so I had to re-enter all the settings and wait for the guide to repopulate.

That emboldened me to try something else - cloning the hard drive. The 533/633 are pretty notorious for being difficult to repair because of the TVGOS firmware, but I figured that if I was able to clone the entire hard drive BEFORE it failed then it ought to work OK. So I picked up a 160GB IDE drive and used a Fedora on an old computer system I had to bit-copy all of the blocks from the 80GB drive in the 533. My goal wasn't to make the drive larger, it was simply to get an identical clone so that there wouldn't be any complications.

The HDD replacement went just as smoothly as the burner replacement did. After entering the CPRM ID and using the ID disc, the recorder was operational and had all of the original recordings on it. The TVGOS software had to be re-initialized and the guide had to repopulate, but I already expected this from my experience with the DVD burner replacement.

The machine has been up and running for a few weeks now, and with a brand new burner and HDD it should hopefully last another 4-1/2 years (although whether or not we'll still be getting guide info then is another question).

Now I'm planning to buy a few more spare hard drives and make clones of the HDDs on my other recorders as insurance against eventual inevitable failure...
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-25-2010, 03:01 AM
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What burner did you get?

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post #3 of 25 Old 02-25-2010, 11:58 AM
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Sean, you are a lucky, LUCKY man.

Cloning the HDD almost never works on the 531-533-633, I'm frankly stunned to hear that trick worked for you. Of all the reports I've followed on Pioneer forums over the years, and my own many attempts, cloning has never succeeded. Perhaps it was this "Fedora" you used, I'll have to look into that.

I'm assuming the $225 burner price was for an authentic Pioneer spare part. Even here, you were VERY fortunate to succeed: the 533 and 633 are particularly resistant to burner replacement and usually reject them like a bum kidney shortly after installation. This is one reason I generally recommend avoiding the expensive Pioneer spares and opting instead for a generic DVR-109 or DVR-A09 Pioneer PC burner, available on eBay for $25-50. This is identical to the genuine Pioneer 531-533-633 recorder burner, the only difference is an added CPRM chip on the recorder burners controller board. When the recorder burner fails, its never the board, its always the laser, so you can swap the green controller board from the dead recorder burner into your generic 109 replacement burner to create a "recorder" burner. Recycling the board from the original burner also retains the CPRM data, eliminating the need for the service remote/disc nonsense. If the "new" burner is rejected, at least this way you're only out $50 instead of $200-300 with the Pioneer dedicated spare.

Sean lives in Canada, where TVGOS and analog broadcasting remain viable, so it made sense for him to invest in these repairs. But all this is moot for USA owners of the 531-533-633: the US switched to digital ATSC off-air broadcasts a year ago, with cable here rapidly following suit. The analog TVGOS signal required for these recorders to function conveniently has pretty much dried up, so going to great effort or expense to revive them no longer makes sense in the US. You're far better off buying a new Magnavox H2160 with integrated ATSC tuner for $159-229, or an import global-market Pioneer 560 or 660 for $429.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-25-2010, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hkan View Post

What burner did you get?

I got the official Pioneer replacement part for the 533. The service manual shows the part number as VXX2987, but that has been superceded by VXX3142. The actual number on the burner itself is DVR-R09-XP.

It's an interesting part because it has a tiny ribbon cable connector for the data cable instead of the standard IDE-style connection.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-25-2010, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Cloning the HDD almost never works on the 531-533-633, I'm frankly stunned to hear that trick worked for you.

One thing I was particularly concerned about was getting an 80GB drive that didn't have "quite enough" sectors compared to the original drive. That's why I went to the 160GB size. It's a lot of wasted space, but it's actually getting pretty difficult to find 80GB drives these days and the price difference between them and 160GB is negligible anyway.

I did find the CPRM setting procedure and the ID Disk procedure to be a little finnicky. In both cases (burner and HDD replacement), you of course get the "HDD ERR" in the display and have to re-enter the CPRM ID. When you use the service remote to bring up the CPRM entry screen, it already has the existing number and you have to re-enter it. After re-entering the number, it looks like you can just use that number and carry on with the ID disk. But that didn't work for me - I found that the recorder would ask for the ID disk but it wouldn't actually do anything with it.

What I found to work (and this was an accident because when I did the first replacement I hit the wrong button on the service remote) was to CLEAR the CPRM ID, power-cycle, and then re-enter it. When re-entering the number, the previous number was no longer displayed (because I had cleared it), and once entered, the recorder asked for the ID disk and actually loaded it properly.

So it looks to me, at least on my unit, that it won't actually accept the ID disk unless you CHANGE the CPRM ID - simply re-entering the same ID doesn't seem to work.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-27-2010, 04:52 AM
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This is why you should press STOP after you have entered the 9 digit number becosue that will clear the memory, so you can reenter the number again!

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post #7 of 25 Old 02-27-2010, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post

One thing I was particularly concerned about was getting an 80GB drive that didn't have "quite enough" sectors compared to the original drive. That's why I went to the 160GB size. It's a lot of wasted space,

Although you can't record more than 80GB, is it possible to record right up to that, without getting the message that a HDD crash is eminent? Could it make the drive space more usable, without it having to map bits and pieces so much?
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-28-2010, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Although you can't record more than 80GB, is it possible to record right up to that, without getting the message that a HDD crash is eminent? Could it make the drive space more usable, without it having to map bits and pieces so much?

I haven't tried, but I doubt it. By cloning the disk I cloned the 80GB partition that the firmware uses. It's exactly the same 80GB partition, and I'd expect the firmware to completely ignore anything outside the partition as if it isn't there, just as a PC would do with unpartitioned space.
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-01-2010, 03:06 AM
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Because of the peculiar (to put it mildly) way Pioneer implemented its version of TVGOS on the hard drive of 2005 models like Sean's 533, it is very very difficult to clone them or format a new drive to the required specs. Sean's cloning success story is actually the only one I've ever heard of: most DIY service attempts are based on the tricky process outlined at Hkan's excellent pioneerfaq site, which involves installing the TVGOS to an oddly-defined partition on a fresh hard drive. If you can make those steps work for you, the 2005 Pioneers will accept much larger drives than they shipped with, using them to full capacity.

The problem is, that's a big "if". Quite awhile ago, a couple of dedicated AVS members figured out how to extract the TVGOS software, and generously allowed Hkan to make it available. But the install process to a new drive is really fussy, complicated and unpredictable: there are two versions of Pioneer TVGOS, sometimes the "right" version for your unit doesn't work but the "wrong" one does. The install has to be done under Knoppix or Linux OS, and the precise OS commands for formatting the HDD-setting the partition-installing TVGOS can be inconsistent. You can't tell if you were successful unless you put the drive back in the recorder and go thru the service disc/service remote nonsense: its a huge time sink moving the HDD from PC to recorder and back again, reformatting repeatedly until the damn recorder finally gets off its high horse and accepts the new HDD (if indeed it ever does). The whole ordeal is so stressful it'll send you running to B&H or J&R to buy a new recorder, any new recorder.

So if Sean's cloning success can be duplicated by others, it would be much easier than the traditional piecemeal reformatting option. Of course, you would need to clone a problem-free HDD: cloning won't help you if your drive already crashed, its more of a hedge against the future.
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-02-2010, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
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It's been a while since I downloaded HKan's instructions, so what I have may not be the latest - but what I saw is that there were basically two sets of instructions:

One set was intended for replacing a failed hard drive - in that event you wouldn't have a previous drive to clone, so he has an ISO file which from the look of the instructions is a dump of the first 4MB of a Pioneer disk that you can use to copy to a fresh disk.

The other set was intended for replacing a smaller drive with a larger drive. In this case you used a Linux system to clone your existing drive and then use a cat command to the partition which (I guess) extends it.

Being the paranoid type, I was always a little suspicious of both these procedures. Aside from the version issues, the first one seems to run the risk of missing some critical data that's not in the first 4MB (as an example, NTFS stores the master file table in the middle of the partition). The second procedure runs the risk that there's some knowledge of the expected file system size stored somewhere in the firmware.

I figured if I simply cloned the entire partition and didn't try to alter in in any way, then I'd (a) have the correct firmware, (b) not be missing any data, and (c) not have any inconsistencies arising from a change in partition size.

It seems to have worked just fine. It's hard for me to imagine why it wouldn't work, unless there's some dependency on the physical maximum LBN of the drive - but that would have tied them to a particular drive supplier and it doesn't seem to me like the sort of thing they're likely to have done.
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-02-2010, 06:43 AM
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The multiple pioneerfaq instructions for repairing the 2005 models can be confusing, because there were so many versions sold worldwide. Only the North American models had our particular guide system of TVGOS, the others used the far more standard "Guide+" system, which is near-universal outside the US/Canada. Our NA models 531-53-633 pretty much require the whole rigamarole of Knoppix/Linux formatting, partitioning and installation of the ISO TVGOS files, along with the annoying service remote/service disc two-step. The cloning route is usually more successful with the European and/or Middle Eastern models.

Cloning the American models is often tricky because of the way the TVGOS partition is set up, I don't know why but most cloning software messes this up. Also, its just simple statistics: from the get-go most 531-533-633 buyers understood the units were too weird to mess with so they rarely attempted any work on functional recorders. Most research was aimed at repairing an already-corrupted HDD, a common problem with these models that reared its head early and often (again, the gods smiled on Sean when he bought his 533- most blew up by 2006-2007). Cloning is of no use if your HDD is already shot: it'll just clone the corruption to the new drive. So most of the chatter on forums was/is about how to recreate the crucial TVGOS partition on a new replacement HDD.

The 531-533-633 were so problematical, at one point they were practically hand-built as Pioneer desperately tried to reverse-engineer their own hopelessly misconceived design. The 531 was less affected by this than the 533/633, some of those have significant sample-to-sample variation. It is possible Sean's 533 is a bit more clone-friendly than others, and he happened on just the right cloning software. If anyone else here owns a cleanly functional 531-533-633, its certainly worth a try to clone it now in light of Sean's success. But understand how peculiar these three models are before you tinker with them: the axiom "leave well enough alone" strongly applies. If you remove the HDD to clone it, you may have difficulty getting the recorder to accept it back, and its important to have the service remote and disc available. Make sure all recordings on the HDD are copied to DVD before opening the unit.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-06-2010, 12:34 PM
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A firmware from Pioneer US/Canada for this models would be nice to have!

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post #13 of 25 Old 05-27-2010, 05:42 PM
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I am piggybacking on this thread before starting a new one since there seems to be a lot of useful info provided by you all.

My Pioneer 533HS hard drive recently died. Luckily I had been good about backing everything up but now it's simply a DVD recorder which is still useful, but I really want a hard drive in order to copy other DVDs onto it, edit, and reburn.

I just ordered a MAGNAVOX H2160MW9 HDD and DVD Recorder for $250 but as I'm setting it up, I think I like my old Pioneer better.

Thus is it possible (and easy for a newbie) to replace the hard drive in the 533HS? I'd think it would be cheaper to do that than to spend the $250 on a new recorder.

Help?

Thanks!
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-27-2010, 06:36 PM
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You can also spend a little more to get a foreign Pioneer, Panasonic or Sony HDD/DVD recorder, just in case you're not aware.

As long as you're recording through a line input, they can be used here.
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-30-2010, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lithnights View Post

Thus is it possible (and easy for a newbie) to replace the hard drive in the 533HS?

The first thing you probably want to do is to go to hkan's "PioneerFAQ" web site (Google it). Repair is possible, but it requires a special remote control and without an original HDD to copy it's said to be very problematic for the 533/633 series (apparently it's much easier for the later machines). I made a donation to hkan's site to get the required discs and firmware, and I bought a service remote from our local service centre because I have four Pioneer recorders and I felt it was worth being able to repair them.
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post #16 of 25 Old 06-01-2010, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post

... So I picked up a 160GB IDE drive and used a Fedora on an old computer system I had to bit-copy all of the blocks from the 80GB drive in the 533...
Now I'm planning to buy a few more spare hard drives and make clones of the HDDs on my other recorders as insurance against eventual inevitable failure...

Sean, do you still need the service remote and service disc when you make an exact clone of the original (still working) HDD? - if yes, is it because of the serial numbers being different of the two HDD, or is there another reason?
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post #17 of 25 Old 06-02-2010, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lithnights View Post

I just ordered a MAGNAVOX H2160MW9 HDD and DVD Recorder for $250 but as I'm setting it up, I think I like my old Pioneer better.

A lot of us feel that way at first, the Magnavox is very annoying in operation compared to a Pioneer or Panasonic. But you get used to it after a time, and it rewards you with the ATSC/QAM tuner and very respectable recording quality at SP. Not to mention it is the easiest recorder in the world to repair: accepts nearly any replacement HDD just by using "secret codes" (as explained in wajo's sticky thread) plus the mfr actually does sell inexpensive replacement burners that just pop in.

Quote:


Thus is it possible (and easy for a newbie) to replace the hard drive in the 533HS? I'd think it would be cheaper to do that than to spend the $250 on a new recorder.

No, it isn't really possible for a newbie , and no, it isn't really cheaper to fix a dead 2005 Pio than to buy a whole new recorder. All Pioneers require a hideously expensive and very difficult to find "service remote" to perform any kind of HDD replacement, as well as a model-specific "service DVD". While there are ways to acquire the service discs thru the Pioneer user community, the remote is a royal pain: its very difficult to "roll your own" knockoff of it, the original Pioneer remote is now discontinued but runs $100 if you do manage to find one, and generic clones of the service remote cost $50-60 when you find them still in stock at places like 1800remotes. On top of this, the poorly-designed 531-533-633 also require a near-impossible retrofit of their TVGOS software onto any replacement drive, a difficult task I have covered here on AVS several times.

The best advice at this point for anyone with a dead 531, 533 or 633 is to mourn its passing, bury it, and move on. Because of the TVGOS software issue, they are essentially un-repairable if their HDD tanks. Get a new Magnavox, or if you can afford and find one get a leftover global-market Pioneer 560 or 660 (costs 2-3x as much as the Magnavox). Canadians can opt for the Sony RDR-HX780, which is a re-branded Pioneer.

The information about cloning Sean Nelson discusses here is a great backup/future-proofing option only if your Pioneer 531-533-633 is still working perfectly: the cloning procedure will not help you if your HDD is already dysfunctional. The TVGOS software is both vital and easily corrupted, it needs to be cloned in perfect condition or you're wasting your time.
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post #18 of 25 Old 06-05-2010, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tac7 View Post

Sean, do you still need the service remote and service disc when you make an exact clone of the original (still working) HDD? - if yes, is it because of the serial numbers being different of the two HDD, or is there another reason?

Yes, you need the service remote because whenever you remove the disk drive or the DVD drive you have to re-enter the CPRM number on the back of the machine. I don't know of any way around that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

All Pioneers require a hideously expensive and very difficult to find "service remote" to perform any kind of HDD replacement...

Actually I didn't find it hard to locate or particularly expensive. I just looked on the Pioneer web site for the nearest service center here in Vancouver BC and went and ordered it from them. The part number is GGF 1595 and IIRC it cost about Cdn$65.00. The same remote works for the Pioneer 533/633 as well as the 640 series.

I realize that $65.00 is a lot more than a generic remote that you'd buy at Radio Shack, but it's a lot cheaper than any of the other programmable remotes I could find which would let me download the Pioneer service remote codes from my computer.
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post #19 of 25 Old 06-06-2010, 12:01 AM
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Thats true, Sean, I did remember you mentioning you had picked up a later version of the Pioneer remote from a Pioneer service outlet a couple years back. Pioneer was the most hostile mfr towards the DIY repair community, certainly in the USA one had to jump thru hoops and show valid professional repair credentials before they'd even consider selling you a service remote or disc. Perhaps Pioneer was more casual about this in Canada, but I had a helluva time getting one based in New York until I finally made friends with a repair person who ordered it for me, at a wholesale cost of $85 for the remote and $55 for the disc (I saw the invoice). Others here have reported similar difficulty.

Nowadays, with Pioneer extinct as a home video supplier, the question is near moot. In the USA, the only service remote option is a clone of the Pioneer GGF1381, available from online replacement remote suppliers who hard-code one generic remote as a replacement for many different lost or broken obscure models. These cost about $60. Now and then someone tells me they conned a Pioneer USA authorized parts distributor to sell them the real thing for about $100, but the last time was over a year ago. Your odds of finding the genuine service remote in the US are slim to none. Canadian residents might have a better shot, given Sean was able to pick one up direct from Pioneer Canada and the fact Pioneer sold recorders in Canada for three years after pulling them off the US market. Also the Canadian Sony RDR-HX780 needs the same service tools, those with a "connection" at Sony Canada might be able to get them from Sony instead of Pioneer.
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post #20 of 25 Old 06-06-2010, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

A lot of us feel that way at first, the Magnavox is very annoying in operation compared to a Pioneer or Panasonic. But you get used to it after a time, and it rewards you with the ATSC/QAM tuner and very respectable recording quality at SP. Not to mention it is the easiest recorder in the world to repair: accepts nearly any replacement HDD just by using "secret codes" (as explained in wajo's sticky thread) plus the mfr actually does sell inexpensive replacement burners that just pop in.

OK, so I will move on with my new Magnavox and say farewell to the Pioneer. Actually I still may keep the Pioneer to use as a backup DVD burner.

Now that I've played with the MAGNAVOX H2160MW9 for a couple days, I had a couple concerns/questions.

1. I have the Svideo output from my Verizon DVR (cable box) going into the Svideo input on the Magnavox. Problem..no picture. Using the video input/outputs shows picture but not the Svideo. Audio connections work OK from the cable box to the Magnavox, and the Svideo output from the cable box works fine into my Pioneer Svideo in. So I've concluded that the problem is the Svideo in on the Magnavox. I returned the first one I had and Amazon sent me another one but it's the same problem. WHY WOULD THE SVIDEO NOT WORK FROM MY VERIZON DVR TO THE MAGNAVOX?

2. I know the Magnavox doesn't record in HD. But are there any machines that do record in HD? I guess I'd like this because I record HD shows/movies onto my Verizon DVR and I'd like to transfer them from the DVR to my Magnavox and make quality copies onto DVDs. I can record them but they aren't HD. Do they/will they make machines that will do that?

Thanks all!!
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post #21 of 25 Old 06-06-2010, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by lithnights View Post

OK, so I will move on with my new Magnavox and say farewell to the Pioneer. Actually I still may keep the Pioneer to use as a backup DVD burner.

Now that I've played with the MAGNAVOX H2160MW9 for a couple days, I had a couple concerns/questions.

1. I have the Svideo output from my Verizon DVR (cable box) going into the Svideo input on the Magnavox. Problem..no picture. Using the video input/outputs shows picture but not the Svideo. Audio connections work OK from the cable box to the Magnavox, and the Svideo output from the cable box works fine into my Pioneer Svideo in. So I've concluded that the problem is the Svideo in on the Magnavox. I returned the first one I had and Amazon sent me another one but it's the same problem. WHY WOULD THE SVIDEO NOT WORK FROM MY VERIZON DVR TO THE MAGNAVOX?

You didn't need to return the 1st one, just set teh Video > Video Input to "S-Video" for whichever, or both, line inputs you're using (L1/L2). The deafult is Composite YWR ("Video In").

Click #1 in my sig. for a list of help files and bookmark that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lithnights View Post

2. I know the Magnavox doesn't record in HD. But are there any machines that do record in HD? I guess I'd like this because I record HD shows/movies onto my Verizon DVR and I'd like to transfer them from the DVR to my Magnavox and make quality copies onto DVDs. I can record them but they aren't HD. Do they/will they make machines that will do that?

They make a few standalone HD DVRs but most, if not all, have no line inputs. You can use a Tivo with a computer. See this forum for info on the HDTV units.
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post #22 of 25 Old 06-06-2010, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

A lot of us feel that way at first, the Magnavox is very annoying in operation compared to a Pioneer or Panasonic. But you get used to it after a time, and it rewards you with the ATSC/QAM tuner and very respectable recording quality at SP. Not to mention it is the easiest recorder in the world to repair: accepts nearly any replacement HDD just by using "secret codes" (as explained in wajo's sticky thread) plus the mfr actually does sell inexpensive replacement burners that just pop in.



No, it isn't really possible for a newbie , and no, it isn't really cheaper to fix a dead 2005 Pio than to buy a whole new recorder. All Pioneers require a hideously expensive and very difficult to find "service remote" to perform any kind of HDD replacement, as well as a model-specific "service DVD". While there are ways to acquire the service discs thru the Pioneer user community, the remote is a royal pain: its very difficult to "roll your own" knockoff of it, the original Pioneer remote is now discontinued but runs $100 if you do manage to find one, and generic clones of the service remote cost $50-60 when you find them still in stock at places like 1800remotes. On top of this, the poorly-designed 531-533-633 also require a near-impossible retrofit of their TVGOS software onto any replacement drive, a difficult task I have covered here on AVS several times.

The best advice at this point for anyone with a dead 531, 533 or 633 is to mourn its passing, bury it, and move on. Because of the TVGOS software issue, they are essentially un-repairable if their HDD tanks. Get a new Magnavox, or if you can afford and find one get a leftover global-market Pioneer 560 or 660 (costs 2-3x as much as the Magnavox). Canadians can opt for the Sony RDR-HX780, which is a re-branded Pioneer.

The information about cloning Sean Nelson discusses here is a great backup/future-proofing option only if your Pioneer 531-533-633 is still working perfectly: the cloning procedure will not help you if your HDD is already dysfunctional. The TVGOS software is both vital and easily corrupted, it needs to be cloned in perfect condition or you're wasting your time.

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Originally Posted by wajo View Post

You didn't need to return the 1st one, just set teh Video > Video Input to "S-Video" for whichever, or both, line inputs you're using (L1/L2). The deafult is Composite YWR ("Video In").

Click #1 in my sig. for a list of help files and bookmark that?


They make a few standalone HD DVRs but most, if not all, have no line inputs. You can use a Tivo with a computer. See this forum for info on the HDTV units.

Wajo, thanks so much. I feel a little dumb that it was that easy. I actually did search the site for the solution, and I think I do recall seeing that at one point last week.. but totally forgot to try it. Sorry!

And regarding returns, I just saw that Walmart was selling it for $200 so now I may be returning both units and buying it from Walmart to save $50.
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post #23 of 25 Old 06-07-2010, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Canadian residents might have a better shot, given Sean was able to pick one up direct from Pioneer Canada...

Just to be clear, it's not actually Pioneer Canada that I dealt with, but rather the Pioneer Authorized Service Center. Although they're listed on the Pioneer web site, they're actually just a general service centre that performs warranty service not only for Pioneer but also for a lot of other manufacturers as well. I'm sure the same sort of service centers exist in many cities in both Canada and the U.S.

They were happy to sell me remotes, but when I asked for a Pioneer 533 service disk I wasn't able to coax them into parting with it.
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post #24 of 25 Old 06-08-2010, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

In the USA, the only service remote option is a clone of the Pioneer GGF1381, available from online replacement remote suppliers who hard-code one generic remote as a replacement for many different lost or broken obscure models. These cost about $60. Now and then someone tells me they conned a Pioneer USA authorized parts distributor to sell them the real thing for about $100, but the last time was over a year ago. Your odds of finding the genuine service remote in the US are slim to none. Canadian residents might have a better shot, given Sean was able to pick one up direct from Pioneer Canada and the fact Pioneer sold recorders in Canada for three years after pulling them off the US market. Also the Canadian Sony RDR-HX780 needs the same service tools, those with a "connection" at Sony Canada might be able to get them from Sony instead of Pioneer.

You can order the Sony service remote, part number J-6090-203-A, as a substitute. Not sure if the remote works on the 533, but it's worth a shot. I ordered one from a supplier in the States and had it shipped to Canada for under $40. The service remote looks identical to the recorder remote supplied with the RDR-HX780, except for the relabeled buttons.

I tested the Sony service remote on my Pioneer 560 and I was able to get into service mode.

I found out about this remote from avforums, where they were discussing hard drive upgrades for Sony DVD recorders.
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post #25 of 25 Old 06-09-2010, 12:00 AM
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That was really helpful of you to post here with the actual part number of the Sony version of the service remote, em-t-wallitt: up until now it was sort of an urban legend. Since you confirmed it worked on your Pioneer 560 (as it should, being the 2008 Sonys were based on a modified 560), it should work equally well on the older 533, 520 or 510. All Pioneers since 2003 have used the exact same service modes and service remote buttons/signals, the problems encountered with the 531-533-633 TVGOS feature are all due to HDD and software corruption issues the service remote has no bearing on.

Its amusing to discover the genuine Sony version of the Pioneer service remote is $20 cheaper than the generic knockoffs!
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