Originally Posted by muffyn
I LOVE this thing
I am constantly using it. everyday I record several tv shows (off of a cable connection),, I will usually shorten the segments on the programs to save & then burn on a dvd. (mostly cooking /Dr. Oz ( very good info on that) / news blurbs etc. [...] I **seriously** will be distraught if this dies..
Originally Posted by muffyn
but I don't want to spend $400
The problem here is you do not have the option of "I don't want to spend $400." Panasonic DVD/HDD recorders are almost completely gone from the North American market aside from the import EH-59 and EH-69, and those cost approx. $300-400 depending on model and whether you can snag a "refurb" deal. Complicating matters is the fact you still own an E80H, which is so old it has mold on it: this means you have the Panasonic operating details memorized and would have a very difficult time changing over to the Magnavox, which is the only other DVD/HDD option and also costs in the vicinity of $300. You have to balance your comfort with Panasonic against the high cost, and decide if enjoying a familiar recorder for another 3-5 years is worth $400. If so, buy an EH-59 from B&H Photo Video
while they still have some stock. Panasonic has already begun winding down production of all BluRay/HDD and DVD/HDD recorders, once the EH-59 is officially discontinued prices will skyrocket to $600 on the last few units as people buy them up to flip for profit on eBay.
You could explore the alternative of having your E80H repaired by AVS member mckinct, who by all accounts does an excellent job and is pretty much the only practical repair option in the USA. Send him a private message to inquire about costs, depending on what he says it may make more sense to invest in a completely new EH-59 with new HDD and new burner + HDMI output and other upgraded convenience features.
Originally Posted by gerrytwo
IAll around, the Magnavox was the best HDD DVD recorder for the price, although it does a pretty dismal job of editing video recorded on its hard drive. Your best chance is if Funai re-opens a manufacturing line and ships out some more Magnavox 515s with bigger hard drives and a new model number. I wouldn't hold my breath, though, for that to happen, whatever the optimists here say..
The Magnavox is a compromise alternative that works for some people, while others just can't make the transition to it. There's no denying it can seem incredibly clumsy to use if you've had a Panasonic for five years, and the editing can indeed be tricky to get accurate results from. On the plus side, they tend to be incredibly reliable (other than the fragile remotes), the burners are very solid, and the HDD is user-replaceable. They also were once incredible bargains at $229 new from WalMart or $169 like-new refurb from J&R
. Unfortunately they were recently discontinued after a dramatic 50% price increase. The mfr has announced replacements will be available this fall, but pricing is TBD
. I suspect at least one model will retreat to the original popular $229 price, while the two with much larger HDDs will go closer to $300.
In muffyn's particular circumstances, spending a little extra to stick with the familiar Panasonic operating feel may be a wiser long-term choice. The Magnavox really shines when its off-air widescreen digital tuner can be exploited, when connected to a cable box it isn't as versatile as the Panasonic EH-59.