Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA
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Well, I decided to run over to Wally World today and see if they had any of these on the shelf (they didn't on Thursday).
Low and behold, there were 2 of them on top of the stack of the older model. Grabbed one and took it home.
The digital tuner is as good as the Magnavox combo DVDR/VCR I picked up in the beginning of April. Analog tuner is better than the old one was. This really only matters for the one station for me. All of the major networks come in fine here digital.
Questions I had that are now answered:
16:9 recording: If the display type is set to 16:9, it will record the full 16:9 signal and play it back properly on a 16:9 set. It does not set the flag, so if played back on a 4:3 set, it will be horizontally compressed. Not a problem for me.
Playback of a timer recording from the beginning of the program while still recording works fine.
Playback of a previously recorded program while another is recording (to the HDD) works fine.
Playback of a DVD while a recording to the HDD is in progress works fine.
Having to explicitly place the unit into "Pause Live TV" mode to buffer the live TV stream so that pause, rewind, etc. works is a little strange, but I think I can get used to it. Don't watch much live TV anyway. From what I can tell so far, there is no way to "save" the live TV buffer to the hard drive, but I need to dig through the manual a little more. Not a big deal for me if it can't be done, but it might be nice from time to time.
The unit seems light. Not the sturdiest component I've seen, but I think it will stand up to living in my entertainment center. It does seem nice and quiet. There is a fan on the back, but I haven't noticed any noise from it at all (yet).
There are only 12 program slots, but I think I can work with that. It does arrange them in order from top to bottom based on the order of recording.
Recording quality is pretty decent. Pretty much what I would expect based on the quality I was getting recording to DVD with the Magnavox. Not a big surprise. I believe they're both made by Funai and use pretty much the same components and software, with the obvious differences.
Took the Magnavox back for a refund. I'll stick with this one. I was hoping for something to replace my dead ReplayTV unit as far as hard disk recording with the added bonus of an ATSC tuner and preservation of proper aspect ratio for 16:9 content. I'm strictly OTA. No cable, no satellite. This fits the bill for now. I could hope for true HD recording, but not at this price. Maybe in a few years.
"The two most abundant substances in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity. Not necessarily in that order"