SUBJECT: Just Like "Measure Twice, Cut Once", I Always Suggest "Do Your Homework *BEFORE* You Purchase, Not After..."
Originally Posted by bevsgold I just bought a Magnavox MDR533H. Does it have a feature, similar to TIVO
, where it lists the channels/names of the TV programs (sort of like a TV guide)?...
Personally, I've been *VERY* pleased with the research / purchase choices / reviews posted by Kelson
I view him as my own "Consumer Reports" on AVS topics.
I started out with a 14hr TiVo Series 1 back in the late 90s, upgraded it to "Lifetime" and 200hrs (~$800-900, IIRC
) before ever plugging it in and loved it until ~Dec2005/Jan2006. At that time, RadioShack was clearing out Lifetime ReplayTV 5040s (40hrs) with "Automatic Commercial Advance
" for $150 (i.e. they were throwing in Lifetime for *FREE*!!!). I bought the 2 my local store had, intending to keep one and give the other to my Dad. Needless-to-say, Dad never saw it and within the next couple of years I bought a refurb Lifetime 5516 (160hrs) and a refurb Monthly 5504 (40hrs - strictly for parts). Sometime in 2009/2010, when the USA went digital, I stocked up on converter boxes (asked everyone I knew who wasn't going to use their $40 Coupon if I could use it) and also bought a Panasonic DMR EZ-17 "Open Box" @ Target for ~$100 to 'Experiment
' with ATSC and ClearQAM. That brought me to this wonderful forum where I not only learned about my new EZ-17, I learned about the Magnavox DVDRs w/HDDs.
Since I'm an "Old Fart" with 'Not-So-Great
' eyesight anymore, I use Magnavox DVDRs as TUNERS feeding UNSCRAMBLED FiOS channels to my ReplayTVs.
IMHO, the ReplayTV User Interface with Commercial Advance was the 'Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread
', in its time. I have a 12-Day Channel Guide, the ability to SEARCH by several parameters, NETWORKING - (i.e. a show recorded on any ReplayTV 5XXX can be viewed on any other ReplayTV 5XXX *OR* downloaded to a PC and STILL be viewed on any other ReplayTV 5XXX!), the ability to download a missed show from the 'Last Remaining ReplayTV Stragglers
' via BUILT-IN software, yada, yada, yada.
But, it wasn't until I bought my FIRST 32" LCD HDTV in August 2011 that I finally caught the "16:9A HDTV Bug".
Wishing to duplicate my existing ReplayTV setup, I started out buying Media Streamers:
- 1 Seagate FAT+ based on Kelson
- 2 Patriot PBOs based my homework
- 1 WDTV Live Plus based on Kelson
To record 16:9A HDTV material, I bought:
- 3 SiliconDust HDHR3-US Dual Tuners for OTA / ClearQAM Channels (aka Direct Cable from splitter) based on Kelson
- These feed a HP Pavilion Desktop running Vista 32-bit creating dvr-ms files that can ONLY be viewed on a Vista or Win7 WMC *OR* the WDTV Live Plus. I can setup a program to automatically convert dvr-ms (Vista WMC) or wtv (Win7 WMC) to MP4, but since my 97yo Dad recently (Sept) took ill, my time has been diverted to taking care of him.
- 1 Hauppauge PVR-1212 Programmable Component-to-USB Converter for Scrambled Channels (aka FiOS STB) - (I'm pretty sure this was recommended by Kelson, although I don't believe that he actually owns one)
- This feeds a HP Laptop running Win7 64-bit creating TS files that can be viewed on *EVERYTHING*!
Although up to maybe ~6 months ago, I was in the process of writing custom code for the ReplayTV IR Blaster to control the Magnavox DVDR, once I bought the HDHR3s and PVR-1212, WMC was just *SO EASY* to get up-and-running. To feed the ReplayTVs, I have the Magnavox DVDRs scheduled to record (@ SLP):
- 18:29-19:01 DAILY for CBS, NBC, ABC World News
- 19:59-23:36 DAILY for CBS, NBC, ABC Prime Time and 11PM News
I use the PVR-1212 for FOX, CW, and SCRAMBLED (USA, TNT, SyFy. etc...)BOTTOM LINE (IMHO):
- Magnavox DVDRs w/HDDs are already "Old School" - they're fancy, relatively inexpensive VCRs that record in SD and can burn DVDs.
- Current HDTV TiVos with CableCards are *IDEAL* replacements for renting a DVR. And if you SEARCH the AVS Archives for old Kelson posts, you will find a LOT of TiVo info!
- HTPCs are the "Cat's Meow". Until I have the time to look into (and spend ~$30) for a WMC "Commercial Skip" program, I have to MANUALLY Fast Forward, like the days with my original TiVo Series 1. But, thanks to Kelson, I can EASILY switch from ClearQAM to OTA with 6 available tuners. And, *IF* I need to switch from FiOS-to-Comcast-to-DirecTV to get a "New Subscriber Discount", I have the PVR-1212 feeding the HP laptop from 'whatever' STB that has COMPONENT OUT.
I'm happy where I ended up and I thank Kelson
for doing all of the "Heavy Lifting"! *BLUNT* BOTTOM LINE (IMHO):
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
It sounds like you didn't do your homework and purchased the WRONG AV Component for your needs. Only YOU can decide if the Magnavox DVDR w/HDD satisfies your (SD) requirements. IMO, the picture quality that I'm feeding to my ReplayTVs is GREAT! I was also satisfied when I was recording shows @ SP for transfer to DVD (i.e. Downton Abby) and viewing them on my 32" Panasonic LCD HDTV. But, you've basically bought a "Fancy VCR" that uses a HDD instead of multiple tapes. On the other hand, I totally enjoy the new show "Last Resort" and I *ONLY* view it @ HD from the HDHR3 via Vista WMC on the 32" Panasonic LCD, with my Altec Lansing 4.1 Speakers at HIGH volume!
Good Luck on whatever path YOU choose...
P.S. to CitiBear
: The HOURS spent composing / proofreading / editing sure go by *FAST*!