Magnavox MDR515H/F7 Died???? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 04-14-2011, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I got this recorder a few weeks back and just hooked it up this past weekend. I set it up the timer recorder and last night it recorded. Tonight I went to playback the recording. Using the remote, I turned on power, then hit the HDD button. The unit then totally locked up with the word LOAD displayed. The unit would not respond to any of the remote buttons or any of the buttons on the unit. I unplugged it, waited about 1.5 hours, plugged it in, the correct time was displayed but once again no response to any remote button or any of the buttons on the front panel.

So has anyone had this experience before?? How long do I have to wait till the backup will no longer hold settings and such so I can see if the unit will function? Or is this the symptom of a dead unit?? Might have to take it back to Walmart if no one has a clue. The Magnavox sticky at the top didn't seem to contain any information relating to such a problem. Thanks.
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post #2 of 39 Old 04-14-2011, 09:14 PM
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Since you can't access menus, whereby you could do a Hard Reset, your only recourse is a Soft Reset as described here.

You have to leave the 515 unplugged long enough to drain all residual power before replugging with power button on machine depressed, as described there.

Can you descirbe your system setup and connections, esp. how the unit is plugged in to power... direct into wall socket, in a power strip, etc.
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post #3 of 39 Old 04-14-2011, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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The DVR is plugged directly into the wall. It has a TV cable going into the Antenna In Terminal, the unit is hooked up to a Sony HDTV via the HDMI cable. The unit had been working in that I could change channels both analog and digital but till today I didn't have anything recorded that I could play back. I think I did see the soft reset thing and I'll have to try it in the morning. The backup power seems to be holding for a very long time. Power will be off for about 9 hours by the time I go to plug it back in tomorrow morning. If still nothing happens I think I'll just consider it a piece of junk and return it to Walmart. Ashame really as I had been looking for something like this for a while but I've never been impressed by Magnavox stuff so I was hesitant about buying it. Will see what happens.


TV is a Sony Bravia KDL-40EX500
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post #4 of 39 Old 04-14-2011, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR2 View Post
A shame really as I had been looking for something like this for a while but I've never been impressed by Magnavox stuff so I was hesitant about buying it. Will see what happens.
The Magnavox H2160 had an excellent quality control reputation, the 513 very slightly less, the 515 has been disappointing. They are essentially the same recorder with larger HDDs as the years go by (160, 320, then 500) and minor changes in firmware. The 515 adds the fancier remote control and the ability to pre-enter title names for recordings in timer mode. Odds are strong if you exchange your 515 for another the second will be fine, but if you're worried consider the cheaper 513 instead: its had less teething problems.

DVD/HDD recorders are complex devices made from components not always under full control of the mfr: many a new DVD/HDD (all brands) has been brought down by something as simple as a bad HDD connection or damaged sector. Exchange usually nets a 100% functional unit.
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post #5 of 39 Old 04-15-2011, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR2 View Post
The DVR is plugged directly into the wall. It has a TV cable going into the Antenna In Terminal, the unit is hooked up to a Sony HDTV via the HDMI cable. The unit had been working in that I could change channels both analog and digital but till today I didn't have anything recorded that I could play back. I think I did see the soft reset thing and I'll have to try it in the morning. The backup power seems to be holding for a very long time. Power will be off for about 9 hours by the time I go to plug it back in tomorrow morning. If still nothing happens I think I'll just consider it a piece of junk and return it to Walmart. Ashame really as I had been looking for something like this for a while but I've never been impressed by Magnavox stuff so I was hesitant about buying it. Will see what happens.
Thanks for mentioning your brand of TV since others who have had an initial freeze never mention anything about their setup/system for troubleshooting purposes. This might be a good start.

Your system is so simple, I'm wondering if your brand of TV and HDMI might play a role in your problem.

You might want to try two things in that regard:

1. Turn fun-Link (HDMI CEC) ON in the HDMI menu and check to see if your Sony TV also has some sort of "HDMI Control" or "Link" option in its HDMI menu(?) that must also be turned on (like Panasonic's VieraLink).

2. If still no joy, try Component RGB or even composite YWR to the TV just to eliminate HDMI as the source of the problem.
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post #6 of 39 Old 04-15-2011, 05:12 AM
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I had the same problem on both a 513 and 515 and returned them both.

I had the same freeze problem with my 3575 when I shifted from HDMI to component when I used both outputs. Since I removed component out, the 3575 has worked fine.

I have a harmony remote and wonder if the 513 and 515 react to a input shift when they power up and freeze because of it.

You might want to try turning on the TV, setting the input then turn on the 515 and see if that stabilizes things. Do it many times, obviously, as my 515 would work for a while then freeze up. Usually took a day or two.

If it works, then I will be buying another 515.


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Originally Posted by wajo View Post
Thanks for mentioning your brand of TV since others who have had an initial freeze never mention anything about their setup/system for troubleshooting purposes. This might be a good start.

Your system is so simple, I'm wondering if your brand of TV and HDMI might play a role in your problem.

You might want to try two things in that regard:

1. Turn fun-Link (HDMI CEC) ON in the HDMI menu and check to see if your Sony TV also has some sort of "HDMI Control" or "Link" option in its HDMI menu(?) that must also be turned on (like Panasonic's VieraLink).

2. If still no joy, try Component RGB or even composite YWR to the TV just to eliminate HDMI as the source of the problem.
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post #7 of 39 Old 04-15-2011, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, the soft reset worked. Appeared to just lose the time setting and the timer record settings. Playback of my recorded show also seemed to work OK. So will try another recording tonight.

The thing that puzzles me is why the unit froze in the first place. I don't think I did anything weird. Perhaps the machine was doing its autostart recording thing and my inputs somehow made the microprocessor go catatonic. Personally, I wish they had a setting where the machine would NOT autostart recording when turned on.

If you turn on the machine, it starts to autorecord, can you just press the STOP button and cause the recording function to stop? I've just started going through the sticky at the top of the forum perhaps the answer is buried in there.

Well, I'll just have to try the machine a lot more to see if this problem happens again. Thank you to everyone who posted. At least for the moment it saves me a trip to Walmart.
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post #8 of 39 Old 04-15-2011, 08:02 AM
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post #9 of 39 Old 04-15-2011, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

Your system is so simple, I'm wondering if your brand of TV and HDMI might play a role in your problem.

wajo never ceases to amaze me with his ability zero in on seemingly-irrelevant minor aspects to a problem which often turn out to be crucial, that the rest of us overlook. He is absolutely right about checking the TV, I'm slapping my forehead right now that I didn't think of this myself. I too have a new Sony LCD television (32EX500), and as wajo suggests it does indeed have an annoying tendency to "forget" some inputs as they are switched or powered on/off. I find it won't lock on HDMI inputs about 30% of the time unless the source device is powered on before the TV (it just throws up its pretty "no signal" display and acts all innocent). I've also had to dig into the television function menus and turn off all automated HDMI features, otherwise the TV and recorders fight for control of each other. This could easily result in a recorder CPU freeze if the TV is trying to operate the recorder via HDMI and you simultaneously use the remote control.

This might be related to other issues people are posting with Magnavox and HDMI: unlike other recorders, Magnavox appears to prefer the TV have HDMI Control turned ON: a requirement that is extremely annoying for those of us who don't like the TV to interfere with recorder operation. The only real workaround is to connect Magnavox via composite or S-video. Doesn't bother me, because I don't use my Magnavox as my primary upscaling DVD player, but it does annoy some other users greatly (they want HDD upscaling). I find little difference in HDD playback between HDMI and composite-S, its only significantly noticeable on animated shows like "Family Guy" which are unwatchable without HDMI on the Sony displays (strangely my Panasonic and Samsung TVs are not as picky, analog animation playback is fine on those).
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post #10 of 39 Old 04-15-2011, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I'll have to look at my TV manual regarding HDMI. The 515 is the only thing I have plugged into one of the four HDMI inputs on the TV. So not that familar with HDMI, will have to educate myself!
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post #11 of 39 Old 08-07-2011, 08:00 AM
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For openers, what a very useful and informative site. Thank you for providing such an amazing resource for the new 515 owners.

And second (with thanks for the search feature), the issue described here in Post#1, happened to me just last night, with my new unit only being 3 days out of the box. Thankfully the reset option worked like a charm, but the frustration was still there just the same.

Was there ever any reason behind the 515's doing this, and has anyone experienced this 'lockup' again after performing the reset option?

Thanks.
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post #12 of 39 Old 08-07-2011, 08:14 AM
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All I can tell you is that Funai is aware of the problem and is working on it. If you can, I'd advise keeping your unit for as long as you can w/o missing a return deadline.
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post #13 of 39 Old 10-08-2011, 12:52 PM
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I'm on my second MDR515H/F7. Returned the first in Dec 2010 after the third lockup in two weeks. The replacement has just experienced its first lockup. I'd just like to mention a couple of things that haven't been emphasized in these forums. First, this happens infrequently. Second, it seems to take about 3 hours off power before the soft reset works, based on experience with two units. Third, lockup seems to be related to turning the unit on while it is tuned to an analog channel. It starts up with a grey picture and if you switch to DTV quickly enough (provided it's not already locked up), you can probably avoid the lockup. Leaving it on the grey picture leads to death. With my first unit, the picture from the analog channel would appear briefly, followed by a period of grey, then picture again. This flashing would continue until you changed channels or it locked up.

Just for info, this unit is powered from an APC UPS and connected to a Samsung TV by HDMI, with the fun-link enabled at both ends. I usually turn them on with the DVR remote, letting it start the TV and switch the input, which works fine normally.

Incidentally, after the soft reset, I find that only the setup parameters are preserved. I have to repeat the channel scan and set the time to return to normal.
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post #14 of 39 Old 10-08-2011, 01:07 PM
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My 515 is used only to record analog channel 3, as part of a RF daisy-chain fed from a Comcast Motorola DCX3200 STB. The 515 is always on analog channel 3 at power down and power up. This 515 has been used this way without any freeze-ups since it was first set up on 1/3/2011:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post19757974

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post #15 of 39 Old 10-08-2011, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77alpha View Post

I'm on my second MDR515H/F7. Returned the first in Dec 2010 after the third lockup in two weeks. The replacement has just experienced its first lockup. I'd just like to mention a couple of things that haven't been emphasized in these forums. First, this happens infrequently. Second, it seems to take about 3 hours off power before the soft reset works, based on experience with two units. Third, lockup seems to be related to turning the unit on while it is tuned to an analog channel. It starts up with a grey picture and if you switch to DTV quickly enough (provided it's not already locked up), you can probably avoid the lockup. Leaving it on the grey picture leads to death. With my first unit, the picture from the analog channel would appear briefly, followed by a period of grey, then picture again. This flashing would continue until you changed channels or it locked up.

Just for info, this unit is powered from an APC UPS and connected to a Samsung TV by HDMI, with the fun-link enabled at both ends. I usually turn them on with the DVR remote, letting it start the TV and switch the input, which works fine normally.

If you can do w/o analog channels in the CH+/- button memory for surfing, you might want to try a "modified" Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital): start scan with coax removed until you see 125, then quickly reattach for DTV scan. You can add any low-digitals you miss during the reattach using the Manual Preset option. You just want to make sure there are NO analog channels in CH+/- button memory.

I used a push-on coax for my scan tests... attach to wall coax fitting if accessible or attach an inline connector or even a splitter to normal coax if you can't access wall fitting.

P.S. The analogs *should* still be tunable by direct entry or in a timer rec program if you really need some access to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 77alpha View Post

Incidentally, after the soft reset, I find that only the setup parameters are preserved. I have to repeat the channel scan and set the time to return to normal.

This might be a significant observation. The preceding models tended to retain analog channel memory after a Soft Reset. The fact that at least your 515 did not might be more "evidence" that the freeze problem could be the old "analog interference" issue with these hybrid (switched) tuners.

We did find out that some units that appeared to be "frozen" or wouldn't turn on was attributable to using the crapola OEM batteries. If a 515 has a clock, best to FIRST press the button on the front of the unit before declaring it "dead."
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post #16 of 39 Old 10-12-2011, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR2 View Post

I got this recorder a few weeks back and just hooked it up this past weekend. I set it up the timer recorder and last night it recorded. Tonight I went to playback the recording. Using the remote, I turned on power, then hit the HDD button. The unit then totally locked up with the word LOAD displayed. The unit would not respond to any of the remote buttons or any of the buttons on the unit. I unplugged it, waited about 1.5 hours, plugged it in, the correct time was displayed but once again no response to any remote button or any of the buttons on the front panel.

Uh-oh. And I just purchased one of these this past weekend. Therefore, I'll have to look at the rest of the thread to see what happens.
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post #17 of 39 Old 10-13-2011, 12:45 PM
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Uh-oh. And I just purchased one of these this past weekend. Therefore, I'll have to look at the rest of the thread to see what happens.

If you bought your 515 from Wal*Mart, you're pretty much covered indefinitely by their incredibly generous return/exchange warranty: hold onto your receipt and treat it like gold. If you bought your Magnavox elsewhere, try to use it heavily within the first couple weeks so any defects manifest quickly enough for an exchange/return. The 515 works beautifully with digital ATSC off-air-antenna signals, or with a cable/satellite decoder attached to its line inputs. But cable without a decoder box- not so much. If you want to buy a 515 to record from cable, and don't presently have a decoder box, talk to your cableco about getting some kind of free or low-cost box. Hook the box to your 515 line inputs and you'll avoid 75% of the reported "defects and failures" of the Magnavox. You can use a splitter to continue feeding the cable wire direct to your TV tuner, retaining some viewing flexibility apart from the recorder.

Every DVD recorder of every brand has bugs: most are harmless, some are fatal and some are smack in the middle. The Magnavox has a couple "smack in the middle" bugs which are the source of most (if not all) "it died on me" complaints. The number one with a bullet cause of Magnavox "failure" is attempting to use its built-in tuner to bypass using a cable box: this nets you a 70/30 chance the unit will freeze, sputter or otherwise come unglued at the seams. Whether we like it or not, cable sucks, and we have to work around their little technical traps if we want to use our own recorders instead of their "official" PVRs. Cable service causes recorder problems when the signal coming down the wire is mixed-mode (analog and digital/QAM). Because of their particular tuner design (which has been refined and improved over millions of sets sold), most modern flatscreen televisions handle this mixed-mode direct cable wire signal reasonably well, and don't generally choke. So if you have very basic "boxless" cable it will usually work fine attached to a newish television.

DVD recorders have not sold worth crap since the digital broadcast conversion, so their tuners have not been updated from the initial spec to cope with ever-shifting cable service glitches or mixed-mode simultaneous signals. (Some recorders like Panasonic EZ series handle mixed-mode basic cable OK, but then bite you with a faulty timer system or other gotchas- none of these units is perfect.) The Magnavox DVD/HDD lineup in general, and the 515 in particular, *loathes* mixed-mode analog/digital cable. If you insist on maintaining your "boxless" service and refuse to use a decoder box, you roll the dice each time you turn on your 515. If you "lose" and your 515 hangs on a flakey analog cable channel, you're screwed: it really is that cut and dried.

Times have changed, and cable signal specs are very different from the days of the VCR. In deference to our esteemed wajo, who hates it when I throw a wet blanket on the "Magnavox Cable Party": yes, some cities and regions do still have "solid" boxless cable signals which don't confuse the Magnavox tuner. But not as many as we'd like to believe- if you make assumptions, plug your 515 directly into the cable wire, and it chokes, you'll wish you hadn't bothered. Its worth a try, but only if you're comfortable coming back here to research the hundred different voodoo schemes for resetting the unit if it backfires on your specific cable service. Want to avoid any chance of a headache? Use a decoder box with cable service.
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post #18 of 39 Old 10-13-2011, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

If you bought your 515 from Wal*Mart, you're pretty much covered indefinitely by their incredibly generous return/exchange warranty: hold onto your receipt and treat it like gold.

Okay, thanks.
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post #19 of 39 Old 01-02-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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I know that this is an old post, but I need to know something.

Some of you have talked about this thing hanging up on analog channels. Can you not go into the setup and delete/disable the analog channels like you would do with a TV?

I am thinking about buying one from Wally-World. But after reading the posts here, I am a little hesitant.

Nothing but O.T.A. antenna signals at my home.
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post #20 of 39 Old 01-02-2012, 02:40 PM
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The "analog channel hangup" glitch is almost entirely limited to those connecting the 515 to "boxless" cable service, Country_Boy: you are very unlikely to be affected by it. If by chance you have a couple of stray analog UHF channels broadcasting over the air near you, you should be able to disable those channels one time and then forget about it. The mfr is also working on a firmware patch you can downlaod to correct the issue if it bites you, see details in the opening page of the AVS Magnavox sticky thread.

I would say the odds of an off-air user being affected by the "analog freeze glitch" are very slim. Its a cable-service-specific problem. Grab a 515 now while you still can, they're scheduled for discontinuation in the next few months.
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post #21 of 39 Old 01-02-2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country_Boy View Post

I know that this is an old post, but I need to know something.

Some of you have talked about this thing hanging up on analog channels. Can you not go into the setup and delete/disable the analog channels like you would do with a TV?

I am thinking about buying one from Wally-World. But after reading the posts here, I am a little hesitant.

Nothing but O.T.A. antenna signals at my home.

People on OTA antenna have very few problems, maybe an occasional user who receives two channels assigned to the same channel slot. The "hanging" on analog channels is strictly a problem seen by cable users.

Those problems can be remedied as described in this help file on Tuning Interference.
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post #22 of 39 Old 01-02-2012, 10:58 PM
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My experience with OTA channels on the Magnavox 515 and HD TV is the digital channels come in beautifully but the analog are terrible, grainy, snowy; use the converter box for analog. Anyway, all analog is going away by Sep 1, 2015.
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post #23 of 39 Old 01-04-2012, 10:46 AM
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Just got a refurbished 515 from J&R (through Amazon). Either remote didn't work or unit doesn't respond to remote. You'd think they would have checked it out before declaring it fit for a second sale. I'm sending it back for a replacment. I'll give it one more try.
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post #24 of 39 Old 01-04-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbug View Post

Just got a refurbished 515 from J&R (through Amazon). Either remote didn't work or unit doesn't respond to remote. You'd think they would have checked it out before declaring it fit for a second sale. I'm sending it back for a replacment. I'll give it one more try.

Did you try the power button on front of unit?

If that button does work, replace the crapola OEM batteries.

If not, do a Soft Reset as described here (you prob. won't have to wait any power-drainage time mentioned there?).
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post #25 of 39 Old 01-04-2012, 11:00 AM
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Power button on unit works, unit will play a dvd (using buttons on unit) but no remote commands get through and without remote the unit is useless for accessing menus or programming. Put brand new alkaline's in the remote. I'll try soft reboot as a last resort.
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post #26 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 11:11 AM
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Hey there. Thanks for this information. I have gone through a 513 and a 515 where the picture goes grey, sound cuts out, and then death. Yesterday was the first day I had the 515. I am going to try to soft reset. I suspect the analogue channel issue is the problem. I notice that my machine finds both analogue channels and DTV. My installation is cable straight to the HDD (no box). What kind of decoder are you referencing? Can you help me understand what product would work to avoid this hang up issue? Is there something I can buy directly from a manufacturer or is this something a cable company provides. Finally, what do you think about the trick of disconnecting the cable for the first 125 channels during set up to avoid any Analgoue channels from being found? Until I bought this HDD, I did not even know there were DTV channels!
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post #27 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrNola1414 View Post

Hey there. Thanks for this information. I have gone through a 513 and a 515 where the picture goes grey, sound cuts out, and then death. Yesterday was the first day I had the 515. I am going to try to soft reset. I suspect the analogue channel issue is the problem. I notice that my machine finds both analogue channels and DTV. My installation is cable straight to the HDD (no box). What kind of decoder are you referencing? Can you help me understand what product would work to avoid this hang up issue? Is there something I can buy directly from a manufacturer or is this something a cable company provides. Finally, what do you think about the trick of disconnecting the cable for the first 125 channels during set up to avoid any Analgoue channels from being found? Until I bought this HDD, I did not even know there were DTV channels!

This help file describes the sources and fixes for tuning interference, which often comes from cablecos who send both analog and digital channels. The "Clean Tuner" solution is the one you described.

Just in case your unit has a "brain freeze," use the Soft Reset described here to revive it.
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post #28 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The "analog channel hangup" glitch is almost entirely limited to those connecting the 515 to "boxless" cable service, Country_Boy: you are very unlikely to be affected by it. If by chance you have a couple of stray analog UHF channels broadcasting over the air near you, you should be able to disable those channels one time and then forget about it. The mfr is also working on a firmware patch you can downlaod to correct the issue if it bites you, see details in the opening page of the AVS Magnavox sticky thread.

I would say the odds of an off-air user being affected by the "analog freeze glitch" are very slim. Its a cable-service-specific problem. Grab a 515 now while you still can, they're scheduled for discontinuation in the next few months.

When I pulled the plug while discovering my cable channels the lockup stopped. However this really kinda stinks since I cannot record over the air channels. I cannot recall if my ota he can be recorded in hd, but I would still like to get them as their are some extra channels.
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post #29 of 39 Old 06-25-2012, 05:43 PM
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Have had 2 die with power surge. Second time with an expensive surge-protector. The only thing I have going for me is that had an extended warranty. And there is but one word for Funai - sucks!
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post #30 of 39 Old 07-09-2012, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Harold Wills View Post

Have had 2 die with power surge. Second time with an expensive surge-protector. The only thing I have going for me is that had an extended warranty. And there is but one word for Funai - sucks!

I just had my 515 fail after a power outage. Symptom is that there is no time or any display on the front panel and the unit will not respond, even after leaving it unplugged for an extended period and then holding the front panel power button while plugging back in. Just looks completely dead.

I Googled this problem and found a solution on the Fixya site that said that there is a push button switch on the circuit board inside the 515 (and 513) marked "RESET" and that after pushing it the unit will function normally again. Since my 515 is over 6 months old and labor is no longer covered by warranty, I popped the top cover and looked for the switch. I found it on the main circuit board in between the DVD drive and the HDD, pressed it, plugged it back in, and OMG it is ALIVE again!!!

The push button has a square base and the button is a silver cylinder sticking straight up from the base. At first glance I did not think it was a switch. The word "RESET" is printed on the circuit board to the right of the switch.

If you have nothing to lose and a phillips screw driver this is easy to do and worth a shot before paying for service. Breaking the seal tape on the back of the unit will void your warranty, so that could be a consideration but numerous people said that this worked for them after the unit failed to respond after a power outage and it also worked for me.

-- Mike
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