Timer recording of digital channels on Magnavox 533 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello! Apologies if this subject was covered below, but I can't find the appropriate thread. Mr. Wajo - all your posts are wonderful, I've solved a couple of issues using them...

Issue: Magnavox MDR533H/F7 used with a cable box. The recorder can "see" both analog and digital channels. It is on L1 input. I can record analog channels in real-time and on timer recording. However, I can only record the digital channel in real time, not via timer recording. Then it only records static.

Background: when the recorder does the channel auto scan on the Cable/Digital setting, and cycles through the channels, I can see the picture as it scans analog channels. Then, when it goes into digital channels, there's no picture, just black. (and I don't mean DTV, just regular TV)

I only have the economy package, so basic cable plus a few others, like Hallmark, Food Network, USA, TBS etc...
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 12:07 PM
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Your statement that your 533 is "on L1 input" bothers me since you should have the 533 1st on the incoming cable coax.* Then, you should do an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital).

 

That should memorize all your non-scrambled channels, both analog and digital. Analog channels can be seen while scanning,digitals not.

 

Then, you should have composite YWR or S-Video+WR audio going from your cable box back to the 533 for recording any scrambled channels only the box can tune.

 

The Mag should only be on L1 when trying to see or record a scrambled channel thru the box.

 

I also have an "economy" cable pkg and get 59 analogs and 33 digitals, incl. all the Netwrok HD channels, 2 ESPN's, TNT and many others.

 

________________

*The only exception to 1st on the coax is if you have a cable box and you order PPV/VOD thru the cable box. Then, you'll need a bidirectional 2-way splitter with one output to the box and one to the Mag.

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post #3 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, let me double check when I get home... I can only see the Magnavox menus when I am either on AV1 from my TV, or on L1 input on Magnavox... I don't ever do PPV or VOD.

Thank you for clarifying the way scanning works. I do have everything hooked up properly: coax from wall => Mag 533, then both coax +YWR from Mag => cable box, then both coax +YWR to HDTV. Uhm, I think the coax in three places might be a total overkill, but I don't think it hurts anything. Unless I am wrong? The thing is, all the channels I have come through, it's only timer recording for digital channels that have trouble with. Comcast tells me none of the channels in my package are scrambled.

Thank you!
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvivnative View Post

Yeah, let me double check when I get home... I can only see the Magnavox menus when I am either on AV1 from my TV, or on L1 input on Magnavox... I don't ever do PPV or VOD.

Thank you for clarifying the way scanning works. I do have everything hooked up properly: coax from wall => Mag 533, then both coax +YWR from Mag => cable box, then both coax +YWR to HDTV. Uhm, I think the coax in three places might be a total overkill, but I don't think it hurts anything. Unless I am wrong? The thing is, all the channels I have come through, it's only timer recording for digital channels that have trouble with. Comcast tells me none of the channels in my package are scrambled.

Thank you!

 

Then why do you have a cable box? If NO channels are scrambled, remove the box and run incoming coax to Mag then to TV. You also won't need a connection back to the Mag from the box since that was only for scrambled channels.

 

With this setup, make sure you do a "Cable (Analog/Digital)" scan.

 

You also won't need to ever use L1 input on the Mag unless you connect a VCR or DVD players to the Mag to make copies.

 

It may not matter now, but you said you had "both coax +YWR from Mag => cable box." If you really mean "from" being an output, there should no YWR from a Mag output to the box. YWR would only be needed from the box to a Mag input (L1) if you had any scrambled channels.

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Huh... Well, Comcast "assures" me I need the box smile.gif Let me remove it and see If I can still see all the channels. And I will make sure all my connections are the way you suggest. Thank you!
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvivnative View Post

However, I can only record the digital channel in real time, not via timer recording. Then it only records static.

It seems that the 53X series seriously can't record from subchanels using the timer. You need to work the tuner a little more, please follow the Wajo advices.

Here is a good post with more info about it:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/940657/magnavox-537-535-533-515-513-2160a-2160-2080-philips-3576-3575/21660#post_22432185
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-27-2012, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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update:

So, I performed your test and it appears I do need the Comcast box to see all the channels in my package.

That said, when I connect the box back in, I "see" all the channels I have when I am in "TV" input. When I switch to "AV1" input to operate the Mag, I only see the OTA channels. So, I think that's why it can't record them via timer recording. Should I be able to see all the channels when in AV1? Am I doing something wrong? Would having an HDMI connection be better than coax+YWR?
Argh! This AV stuff is def not for women, and I am one of the tech-savvy ones!
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-27-2012, 12:24 PM
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Need some clarification, one step at a time.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by lvivnative View Post

update:

So, I performed your test and it appears I do need the Comcast box to see all the channels in my package.

 

So you did perform an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital) (not the "Antenna" scan) with the Mag connected directly to the incoming cable coax?

 

Quote:

That said, when I connect the box back in, I "see" all the channels I have when I am in "TV" input.

 

So you're seeing all the channels passed through the Mag (because it's 1st on the coax, right?) and the box is connected to the TV via coax, so the box is tuning all the channels for the TV's' "TV" (coax) input?

 

Quote:

When I switch to "AV1" input to operate the Mag, I only see the OTA channels.
So, I think that's why it can't record them via timer recording. Should I be able to see all the channels when in AV1? Am I doing something wrong?

 

So you switch to "AV1" input on the TV where you've got the Mag connected to it via YWR RCA cables?

 

And you only see "the OTA channels" which means something here... don't know why you say those are the "OTA" channels? It could mean you're not switching the Mag's tuner between TV and DTV to see both analog AND digital channels, or something else?

 

Quote:

Would having an HDMI connection be better than coax+YWR?
Argh! This AV stuff is def not for women, and I am one of the tech-savvy ones!

 

The type of connection to your TV should make no diff. in this problem.

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post #9 of 17 Old 10-11-2012, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

Need some clarification, one step at a time.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by lvivnative View Post

update:

So, I performed your test and it appears I do need the Comcast box to see all the channels in my package.

 

So you did perform an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital) (not the "Antenna" scan) with the Mag connected directly to the incoming cable coax?

 

Quote:

That said, when I connect the box back in, I "see" all the channels I have when I am in "TV" input.

 

So you're seeing all the channels passed through the Mag (because it's 1st on the coax, right?) and the box is connected to the TV via coax, so the box is tuning all the channels for the TV's' "TV" (coax) input?

 

Quote:

When I switch to "AV1" input to operate the Mag, I only see the OTA channels.
So, I think that's why it can't record them via timer recording. Should I be able to see all the channels when in AV1? Am I doing something wrong?

 

So you switch to "AV1" input on the TV where you've got the Mag connected to it via YWR RCA cables?

 

And you only see "the OTA channels" which means something here... don't know why you say those are the "OTA" channels? It could mean you're not switching the Mag's tuner between TV and DTV to see both analog AND digital channels, or something else?

 

Quote:

Would having an HDMI connection be better than coax+YWR?
Argh! This AV stuff is def not for women, and I am one of the tech-savvy ones!

 

The type of connection to your TV should make no diff. in this problem.

 

Since no further response, I'm assuming my comment on switching between analog and digital channels with the TV/DTV button *could* have been her problem (her "OTA" meaning analog channels?), AND she's not switching the Timer rec menu to "DTV" channels when setting them up (you do have to know how to make that switch in the menu)?

 

She also said she couldn't "see" the digital channels as she scanned, like with the analogs, like that "meant" something, but it's perfectly NORMAL!

 

More "holes" in the story here than in the Titanic!

 

We may never hear from this lady again, so speculation will run rampant..Some of the usual boo-birds are already excited and touting this as a "bug" in the 53x models! Figures. rolleyes.gif

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post #10 of 17 Old 08-12-2013, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Uhm, I am indeed back. So sorry I disappeared last time - I was frustrated with the equipment and their customer service. Besides, my inability to explain what I mean and ignorance of AV terminology made communications here difficult. On top of that, my life got too busy to deal with this so I just stopped using the Magnavox for recording altogether...

Well, then an interesting thing happened. In April, Comcast removed ALL analog signal, and all of a sudden, I had this red screen telling me I needed a piece of equipment to see digital signal. Well, the thing is, I DID have a Comcast HD box, but Magnavox was first on the line. As soon as I put the Comcast HD box first on the line, I was able to see all my normal channel. BUT, Magnavox could now only see Channel 3 (you know, what Comcast tunes you to so you can watch everything?) Essentially, no matter what mode I scan channels in, it only sees Channel 3. (To clarify, in the initial setup, when I scanned, it would switch from channel to channel, and I saw what each channel was showing. Now, when I hit scan, all channels but 3 are just black)

I am at a loss... My connection now as follows:

Wall cable outlet ==> to cable box via coax (Cable in)
Cable box ==> Magnavox via WYR
Magnavox ==> TV via WYR

All connections are in their appropriate Cable In/Out, Video/Audio in/out slots... I followed the manual instructions to the letter!

So, basically, when I am in AV1 input and Mag is on, I can watch TV. I can switch channels using my Comcast remote. When I try to change channels using the Mag remote, it switches to L1, L2 etc, NOT channels.

I tried timer recording for when I am aways from home, and when Mag switches to target channel, it records only static.

I thought something was awry with the equipment, because the most painstaking troubleshooting with their tech support didn't fix the problem. So they sent me a replacement, and the same thing is happening.

So, Mr. Wajo - any ideas? I am at my wits end... Don't want to give in to Comcast or TiVo and become their renting slave for life...

Thank you in advance!
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-12-2013, 03:02 PM
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Go buy a splitter at Radio Shack. Split the incoming coax and send one side to the STB and the other side to the Magnavox.

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post #12 of 17 Old 08-12-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvivnative View Post

I am at a loss... My connection now as follows:

Wall cable outlet ==> to cable box via coax (Cable in)
Cable box ==> Magnavox via WYR
Magnavox ==> TV via WYR

All connections are in their appropriate Cable In/Out, Video/Audio in/out slots... I followed the manual instructions to the letter!

So, basically, when I am in AV1 input and Mag is on, I can watch TV. I can switch channels using my Comcast remote. When I try to change channels using the Mag remote, it switches to L1, L2 etc, NOT channels.

I tried timer recording for when I am aways from home, and when Mag switches to target channel, it records only static.

I thought something was awry with the equipment, because the most painstaking troubleshooting with their tech support didn't fix the problem. So they sent me a replacement, and the same thing is happening.

So, Mr. Wajo - any ideas? I am at my wits end... Don't want to give in to Comcast or TiVo and become their renting slave for life...

Thank you in advance!

 

You're almost there with your current setup where the cable box is 1st. The Mag can see cable box channels if there's a coax from box to Mag and the Mag is on digital (DTV) ch. 3, and it can record any cable box channel if you set or select ch. 3 in the Mag.

 

All you need to do is move the coax from the wall to the ANT IN of the Mag and add a coax from Mag to your TV for amplified "coax passthrough." That way, you can tune the cable box to any channel and see it on your TV thru the normal ANT IN connection on the TV. The Mag will pass whatever signal the box outputs thru the Mag's coax in/out circuit... slightly amplified so your pic should be good. With this, you won't need the YWR from cable box to the Mag, or a splitter with its inherent and unavoidable signal loss.

 

(Note: Someone else who also had to set up this way said his Mag had to have digital (DTV) ch. 3 scanned in... he rightly assumed all his channels were digital from the box. So, he did an Auto Channel Preset > Antenna with cable box connected 1st, during which he saw whatever channel the box was on when the Mag scanned digital (DTV) ch. 3, while all other channels were black.)

 

You could also add any other output from your cable box to your TV, like HDMI, for quality purposes, and just select that input on your TV.

 

With this setup, required by Comcast scrambling everything, your Mag is a "slave" to the box... it needs the cable box to tune channels for it and sees those channels on its own digital )DTV) ch. 3 only.

 

To timer record when not homw, you'll need to set a RECORD action in the cable box (hopefully your box has a Guide with a REC or RECORD option on programs, or some other REMINDER or TUNING option based on the Guide or on time. Then, you'll need to set a timer program in the Mag for digital (DTV) ch. 3 at the same time period as the program you set in the cable box.

 

Until you figure out how you set the cable box to turn on and set itself to a specific channel at a specific time, you could do a manual setting... set box on channel you want to record, then set the Mag to record DTV ch. 3 at the specific time period during which your show will be on.

 

See if this works for you.

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post #13 of 17 Old 08-12-2013, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I'll try adding the extra coax cables. In fact, this set up allows you to watch TV on TV input, while the Mag is recording another channel via AV1. At least, it worked like this before Comcast scrambled everything.

I am slightly confused by this advice, though :

You'll need to set a RECORD action in the cable box (hopefully your box has a Guide with a REC or RECORD option on programs, or some other REMINDER or TUNING option based on the Guide or on time. Then, you'll need to set a timer program in the Mag for ch. 3 at the same time period as the program you set in the cable box.

You mean the Comcast Guide menu, right? I'll see if I can find something like that... If my cable box doesn't have this feature, does this mean this recorder is useless for multiple recordings when away from home?

I've done manual setups by leaving the TV on the right channel, but i can only record that one channel, which almost makes this DVD recorder useless. Hating Comcast...
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-12-2013, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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But the channels are now scrambled? Not sure how it would help to hook up the Mag directly to the cable?
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-12-2013, 04:51 PM
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You don;t connect the Mag directly to the cable feed. You connect the incoming cable to the box 1st, then on to the Mag.

 

The cable box descrambles the channels and send them to the Mag, one at a time on digital ch; 3 in the Mag, and on to the TV via coax passthrough.

 

The Mag's coax circuit is an amplified splitter which, on one path feeds the signal to the Mag's digital ch. 3, while the other path of the splitter sends the box's signal to the TV, also on ch. 3.

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post #16 of 17 Old 08-12-2013, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvivnative View Post

OK, I'll try adding the extra coax cables. In fact, this set up allows you to watch TV on TV input, while the Mag is recording another channel via AV1. At least, it worked like this before Comcast scrambled everything.

I am slightly confused by this advice, though :

You'll need to set a RECORD action in the cable box (hopefully your box has a Guide with a REC or RECORD option on programs, or some other REMINDER or TUNING option based on the Guide or on time. Then, you'll need to set a timer program in the Mag for ch. 3 at the same time period as the program you set in the cable box.

You mean the Comcast Guide menu, right? I'll see if I can find something like that... If my cable box doesn't have this feature, does this mean this recorder is useless for multiple recordings when away from home?

I've done manual setups by leaving the TV on the right channel, but i can only record that one channel, which almost makes this DVD recorder useless. Hating Comcast...

 

With a "smart" cable box, your Comcast Guide should have the ability for you to click on a program you'd like to watch or record, which should bring up a menu of options, like RECORD THIS SHOW or similar. If you click that option, the box (hopefully) will turn on at the show's start time and turn off at the show's end time.

 

If, on the other hand, you got a "dumb" box from Comcast with no Guide or special viewing or recording options, you are SOL for any sort of automated recording routine... everything would be manual, whatever ch. you tuned the box to is what the Mag can record.

 

???

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post #17 of 17 Old 08-15-2013, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Wajo - I finally had time to set everything up as you suggest. My comcast HD box does have the REC feature and this totally makes sense. I'll know tonight if it worked...

I just wish that both Comcast and Magnavox tech support knew that the box needs to tune the channel, and Mag need to record Ch 3.

Thank you very much for helping!
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