Problem with lines in tv picture on Magnavox MDR533H/F7 - Help? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-07-2014, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Problem with lines in tv picture on Magnavox MDR533H/F7 - Help?

My apologies in advance if this question has been answered elsewhere and I've not been able to find it.

I just bought a Magnavox MDR533H/F7 at Walmart and I'm not sure if it's defective or not. I'm also not great with all the technical terms so I'll do my best to describe my set-up and the odd little problem I'm having.

I have standard 'cable' through a small local company, but it's the type where I plug the black cable cord directly into 'antenna in', and another one 'out to tv', on the back of my dvd recorder. (My tv is a standard definition flat screen CRT, if that is necessary to know.)

I've noticed that when my tv is connected to the aforementioned Magnavox, if the cable is wiggled it can cause random lines to show up on the tv - even if the Magnavox is shut off. I have to wiggle the cable again to get rid of the lines. The HDD records these lines, and they also record on dvd through this machine. (Please note: If I play a commercial dvd or my dvds made on other machines, there are *no* lines even if the cable is wiggled.)

Despite all this, I don't think it's a loose wire or connection with my cable itself. I say this because I also have a Panasonic DMR-EZ47VK...and the Panasonic does *not* get random lines in the picture no matter what. The Panasonic tuner may not be quite as smooth as the Magnavox tuner, but I can wiggle the cable all I want with the Panasonic and nothing at all happens to the picture. No unwanted 'lines' happen.

So I am wondering if this sounds like a defect in the Magnavox that I bought..? Can anyone shed any light on this? Is this a problem anyone else has noticed before?

I'm of course not pleased with the lines in the picture, especially since I plan to use it for recording things off tv that I would like to put on dvd. I don't know whether or not to return this as defective and get another.

Thanks in advance for any help on this.

Last edited by Joyx; 07-07-2014 at 03:38 PM. Reason: forgot a word :)
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-07-2014, 05:17 PM
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Lines in the pic are almost always a sign of a bad or loose cable connection. Even if your Panasonic doesn't show lines, you can't possibly be using the same cables attached the same way since you'd have to disconnect and reconnect them, negating any direct comparison of cables and installation.

Please just get another set of cables and try again, making sure the threaded connectors are snugged in place and not loose at all.

Of course, the Mag needs another "line connection" to the TV to see anything internal (menus, channels, recorded titles, DVDs), so make that connection also... HDMI, Component RGB, S-Video + W/R RCA audio, or Composite YWR RCA, whichever your CRT has on back.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-07-2014, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post
Lines in the pic are almost always a sign of a bad or loose cable connection. Even if your Panasonic doesn't show lines, you can't possibly be using the same cables attached the same way since you'd have to disconnect and reconnect them, negating any direct comparison of cables and installation.

Please just get another set of cables and try again, making sure the threaded connectors are snugged in place and not loose at all.

Of course, the Mag needs another "line connection" to the TV to see anything internal (menus, channels, recorded titles, DVDs), so make that connection also... HDMI, Component RGB, S-Video + W/R RCA audio, or Composite YWR RCA, whichever your CRT has on back.
Hi, thanks for your reply.

I guess I left out a little bit of info that would've been helpful in my first post! I use a splitter so the original cable comes into the house, goes into the coax splitter, then another cable is hooked into that and goes into the back of the dvd recorder either the Magnavox or the Panasonic, depending on which I am using. (basically I am extending the length of the cable to my living room tv) Whichever machine that I plug the cable into (via in-antenna), I also have that machine connected via S-video + W/R RCA audio cables. All cables/wires fit perfectly snug.

I have tested both the machines and only the Magnavox has lines when the original cable is jiggled. The Panasonic does not have any lines when original cable is jiggled. I have a keen eye and am very picky so I noticed the difference in the two machines right away.

I'm sorry if I've misunderstood you, but I did realise that I left out some possibly key information. I can try a new cable but the cable I am plugging into the actual machine fits perfectly snug on both ends. It's the original cable that runs into the house that would be the problem (that's the cable that when jiggled will cause lines in the Magnavox), which requires the cable company to come and fix it. But then, I still don't understand why - if it's the original cable that runs into the house - that the Panasonic doesn't have any connection problems.

Edit to add: I just did a separate test by plugging the cable directly into the tv (without having dvd recorder connected), and the picture is perfectly fine - no lines at all. It's perfect - as perfect as standard definition can be, haha. This is what is confusing me so much about the lines when the cable is plugged into the Magnavox. If there was a loose connection in the cable, my tv would show that when connected solely to the cable, would it not? It did in the past when there was a loose connection (many, many years ago).

Thanks again in advance

Last edited by Joyx; 07-07-2014 at 06:01 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-07-2014, 08:18 PM
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Why don't you take advantage of the built-in, amplified splitter in the Mag?

Connect the original cable to the ANT IN on Mag, then coax out to Panasonic, then coax out of Panasonic to TV (I assume the Pan also has coax passthrough).

Edit added: It makes no sense to install a splitter in front of the built-in amplified splitter in the Mag if you have cable without a box or antenna. The splitter reduces signal strength 50% before it gets to the Mag's tuner and downstream components like your TV. The only time a splitter is required is if you have a cable box that must communicate back to the head end for PPV ordering thru the box, etc.. the splitter in the Mag is not bi-directional so it will block any signals back to the cableco.

Also, it's not a good idea to be constantly disconnecting and connecting coax cable since there is some danger of breaking off the small copper wire inside the coax connectors on devices like the Mag..

Last edited by wajo; 07-08-2014 at 07:09 AM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-07-2014, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I can do that, but the main reason I bought the Magnavox was to have another reliable dvd recorder on hand, should the Panasonic kick the bucket.

I suppose I will just return this for a different one and see if the same problem arises again.

Thank you for your replies, I do appreciate your time
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 07:23 AM
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I have a feeling your Magnavox is not "defective" but just "different" from your Panasonic and TV. You might as well take advantage of WalMart's easy exchange policy to be sure, but if I'm correct and the same problem reappears, you'll need to make some changes to either your cabling or the way you use recorders (or both).

Modern DVD recorders and TVs don't particularly like having their cable/antenna feed disrupted as a way to switch back and forth between different units, and often don't react well to having a cheap splitter ahead of their cable/antenna inputs. Some are more sensitive to this than others: your old CRT TV could care less (nothing bothers CRT TVs), and your Panasonic EZ47v has a somewhat less complicated tuner than the Magnavox that may allow it to ignore any movement in this cabling setup.

Along with having a notably different tuner than your TV or Panasonic, the Magnavox may simply have coax connectors that don't hold the cable tip as tightly when screwed in (so when you move the cable, the tip moves in the socket, causing signal issues even tho the collar is screwed in tight). If that is the source of the problem, an exchange will not help you: all Magnavox 533s will have the same connectors.

If you're unlucky, and the same problem happens with a replacement Magnavox, you'll need to improve the way you handle the cable extension and find a way to secure the cable so there's no chance it will move (admittedly difficult if you have pets or small children who snoop around behind the TV). The most important thing is to streamline the incoming cable as much as possible: don't use a splitter, go to an electronics store and get a "coupler" instead (looks like two coax connectors welded together). This lets you add an extension cable to the original cable without the interference drawbacks of a splitter. OR, buy a RF terminator or null cap for the unused connection on the splitter (to reduce chances of signal issues and interference).

While you're at the store, ask for a push-on adapter that screws into the cable end and then push-fits to the Magnavox coax input. This might help isolate the Magnavox from any cable movement (by changing the physical connection and moving the tip of the cable from the Magnavox connector to the push-on adapter).

Plug the extn cable to the Magnavox input, connect a short cable from the Magnavox output to the TV antenna input, and the line connections from Magnavox to TV. This will let you watch one channel while recording another (and keeps you aware of any cabling issues). DON'T swap out the Magnavox for your Panasonic unless you absolutely need to hook up the Panasonic to record something: each time you yank the coax input from the Magnavox you risk scrambling its tuner.

If you expect you'll want to record on the Panasonic more than once or twice a year, you should rewire everything so both Magnavox and Panasonic are permanently hooked up to the incoming cable. Original incoming cable attaches to splitter, one cable from splitter goes to Magnavox input, one cable from splitter goes to Panasonic input. Short cable goes from Magnavox to TV coax input. Line connections go from Magnavox to TV. Get a second set of line A/V wires to connect the Panasonic to a second line input of your TV. Switch between the two recorders by switching the TV line input with your remote. (If the TV has only one line input, you'll need to physically unplug the Magnavox from the TV to plug in the Panasonic whenever you want to use it, unless you buy an accessory line input switchbox for the TV).

Last edited by CitiBear; 07-08-2014 at 07:37 AM.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi CitiBear , and wajo, I have a small update.

Firstly, thanks very much for your reply and your suggestions. I am very grateful for the time you've both taken to try and help me.

I just played around with the cables once again because I do have a 'Feed through' adapter (I guess that is what it's called? I'm sorry, all these terms are a bit confusing to me!) on hand - basically it's the thing to extend the cable with another cable. I removed the splitter and plugged the original cable and the extension cable into this 'Feed through'. What I discovered by doing this is that I started to get lines if I jiggled the cables once connected (not near the back of the machine - I mean where the cables connect to each other) - I noticed it not only on the Magnavox , but also on the Panasonic. So now I believe that wajo was initially correct that it is likely a loose connection. I don't know why it didn't do that last night when I played around with the cables (?!) - but it didn't. Last night it was perfect. Today it is not. (Very sorry for my confusion last night, wajo! )

So I will ring the cable company and see if I can get someone here by next week to replace the cable wire - and preferably directly behind where the tv is. In the mean time, I only have until Monday to return the Magnavox to Walmart if I'm going to and I don't believe I can get the cable co here before that (storms expected), so I shall return it and re-order. By the time I get the replacement, my cable woes should be resolved and I should hopefully have a much better connection! That should indeed help me to know what the 'lines' problem really was.

Thank you both for all of your suggestions for me to try. I appreciate your help!
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Joyx View Post
Hi, thanks for your reply.

I guess I left out a little bit of info that would've been helpful in my first post! I use a splitter so the original cable comes into the house, goes into the coax splitter, then another cable is hooked into that and goes into the back of the dvd recorder either the Magnavox or the Panasonic, depending on which I am using...
All splitters (and coax cable varieties) are not created equal. See this post:

Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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All splitters (and coax cable varieties) are not created equal. See this post:

Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575
Hi DigaDo, thank you for the link!

I'm a bit confused, though... would that apply to cable which is only standard definition? I don't have HD at all. Mine is the old 'in from antenna' / 'out to tv' connection (once I extend the cable through the splitter). What is STB? Is that set top box? If so, I don't have one of those as it's not needed with the type of cable I have through my cable company.

Sorry if I'm making this more complicated than necessary.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 05:12 PM
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...
So I will ring the cable company and see if I can get someone here by next week to replace the cable wire - and preferably directly behind where the tv is. In the mean time, I only have until Monday to return the Magnavox to Walmart if I'm going to and I don't believe I can get the cable co here before that (storms expected), so I shall return it and re-order. By the time I get the replacement, my cable woes should be resolved and I should hopefully have a much better connection! That should indeed help me to know what the 'lines' problem really was.
You said you "just bought" the Mag from Walmart? I hope you know you have 90 days to return it to a store? I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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You said you "just bought" the Mag from Walmart? I hope you know you have 90 days to return it to a store? I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
Hi wajo,
I rang the store and they said I only had 15 days.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 05:35 PM
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Hi wajo,
I rang the store and they said I only had 15 days.
Well, you can do what you want, but here's Walmart's written 90-day return policy... only the listed items have a 15-day return window, none of which are recorders.

MANY people, including me, have returned recorders, etc. within the 90-day window.

Talk to a store manager.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-08-2014, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, you can do what you want, but here's Walmart's written 90-day return policy... only the listed items have a 15-day return window, none of which are recorders.

MANY people, including me, have returned recorders, etc. within the 90-day window.

Talk to a store manager.
Hi again wajo,

You are absolutely correct. Sorry I didn't get back here sooner (been offline) , but I did ring 2 different Walmarts and had them confirm the 90 day return policy. Oddly, it was before I'd ordered the Magnavox near the end of June that I'd rang them and asked the Service Desk about the return policy, and whoever was working there that day said 15 days for all electronics. So that was the information I was going on previously. (I don't know why they didn't know their own policy. )

Thanks for the link and also for the reassurance of the return policy. I'll have the cable company come and run a new cable next week, then try the Magnavox I currently have to see if it resolves my problem since I have much longer than I'd previously thought to try it. Thanks for all your help!
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I thought I would add the latest update - had the cable company here yesterday and installed a brand new cable. Of course, wouldn't you know it, yesterday the cable was not causing lines on the tv. Anyway, we plugged the new cable directly into the back of Magnavox, and all looked as perfect as you get with standard definition! I thought all my problems were solved.

Then, this morning, I switched on the tv and about 30 minutes later, the lines were back.

The cable was plenty secure in the Magnavox - in fact I could barely unscrew the bloody thing to check it on the Panasonic! My fingers are still sore from that! Anyway - no lines at all on the Panasonic. I plugged the cable back into the Magnavox and it cleared up for a short time, and then the lines came back with a vengeance. I had the tv on all day because I wanted to see if I was losing my mind regarding the lines randomly appearing and disappearing, only to reappear. The length of time that the lines were there was far greater than the length of time they went away.

So on the up-side, I am not losing my mind. On the down-side, the lines do randomly appear/disappear/reappear, without any movement of the cable whatsoever.

With it being all new cable (I mean, the guy ran a new cable outside, secured it, ran it inside, tested it, blah blah blah - I don't know what else we could've done) and the problem still occurring, I have decided to return the machine and order another. The cable guy said that this particular Magnavox model works really well with their cable - he likes it for himself. So I am back to thinking there may be something awry within the machine itself.

I will update again once I have a replacement and report whether or not the problem is resolved.
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