Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575 - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 10:42 AM
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My 3575 is on its way from CC. Thanks for all the info here, just awesome.

I have SD cable that I found when I moved in my house last year (free!). It's only the basics, but does include the Disc. Ch. I plan to use the 3575 as the tuner on a 24" HD LCD computer screen. But, as I live in a metro area and should get all the networks via OTA digital broadcast, I definitely want to use the antenna. I only would use the cable for the DC, UPN and WGN. Will I be able to use both the antenna and the cable (without switching the input cable and rescanning)?

Also, will the ATSC tuner recieve all the additional digital broadcasts for a given station?

Thanks!
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post #32 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Funai History

Forget everything you've been told or thought you knew about Philips and Magnavox standard-definition (SD) DVD recorders (DVDR). In 2007, Philips (designer) and Funai (manufacturer) introduced the first of EIGHT generations of nearly identical HDD/DVD recorders that represent a new and better breed: the DVDR3575H/37.

THE 3575 WAS THE ONLY RECORDER INTRODUCED IN N.A. IN 2007 WITH BOTH HARD DISK DRIVE (HDD) AND DIGITAL TUNERS TO COMPLY WITH U.S. RULES FOR THE DIGITAL TRANSITION. This "feat" didn't seem too big a deal until it won a CES 2008 Innovation Award!

Imagine that, Philips/Funai gaining notoriety (and envy) for being on the leading edge for once... and all by itself!

In Sep 2012, Funai introduced its 8th generation of HDD/DVD recorders: the MDR53x Series (533, 535, 537). Each gen gets better with each update... instead of being "swept into the trashbin of history by Panasonic" as predicted by a desperate and envious Panny super-fanboy in 2007! He's now rootin' around in that trashbin to see if he can find a rusty old Panasonic HDD recorder... you know, the ones they introduced in 2008 that swept the Philips away... right into the history book of Dynasties! He finally had to settle for a dusty-old Mag 515, a 7th Generation Funai HDD/DVD model introduced "way back" in 2010!

Philips owns the Magnavox brand name everywhere except Australia and licensed its use to Funai until 2017. As noted at the bottom of the Magnavox website, "MAGNAVOX is a registered trademark of Philips Electronics North America Corporation and is used by Funai Electric Co. Ltd. and Funai Corporation, Inc. under license from Philips Electronics North America Corporation."

Funai manufactures all of these HDD/DVD recorders in China. It has its own factory and supervisory personnel in China, where it currently produces the VAST majority of ALL DVDRs sold in North America under various brand names, including, but not limited to, Funai, Philips, Magnavox, and Toshiba.

A short profile of Funai here explains how it became one of Walmart's "Strategic Vendors" in 1999 after it delivered 1 million Emerson VCRs for a Walmart "Early Bird" promotion, and how Funai is "one of the few fully integrated operations capable of producing nearly all of the parts and components of its products in-house," which enhances its price advantage over competitors.

Another price advantage is Funai's Strategic Vendor status with Walmart and possibly others. Funai builds a bunch of units and the sellers buy them in shipping containers "on dock" in China, where Funai's factory is, so Funai has virtually no shipping, marketing or advertising cost. (I believe they think "marketing" has something to do with groceries?)

A Wiki profile:
Funai Electric is a Japanese consumer electronics company headquartered in Daitō, Osaka, Japan. The company was founded in 1961. It owns the subsidiary Funai Corporation, Inc., established in the United States since 1991, to market and maintain Funai-licensed brands such as Sylvania, Emerson Radio, Magnavox, Philips, Pye, and Symphonic. Funai is also the main OEM manufacturer providing assembled televisions and video players/recorders to major corporations such as Sharp, Toshiba, Denon, etc. Funai also manufactures printers for Dell and Lexmark, as well as digital cameras for Kodak.

 
The Walmart Influence
 
Walmart (WM) is a huge influence on what Funai does since, in FY2012, WM represented ~49% of Funai's GLOBAL sales and ~74% of N.A. sales!

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post #33 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 12:28 PM
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Thanks, that's what I'll do. I'm sure I will also try the antenna just because I'm curious if there will be a difference in PQ. I was thinking the OTA would be better due to digital broadcast, but after reading some of this thread, that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case. I know the clarity on my SD TV is outstanding with the cable...

Unfortunately, my LCD doesn't ship until 12/12, so I won't be able to utilize the Phillips for a week or so. I guess I could hook it up to my SD TV just to learn the controls/settings etc.
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post #34 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Major Difference Between the PhilMag DVDR Models... Basic Features

Jump To:
Major Difference Between DVDR Models
Special Notes on the Mag 2080
Pictures
Tuning and Viewing Channels
Recording
Playback
Dubbing
Editing

Major Differences Between DVDR Models

These are SIMPLE DVDRs for reliable daily RECORDING by normal people. They're not for Gearheads (too simple), single-discers (no discs reqd), TVGOS lovers (no love here), HDTV elitists (SDTV only)... but they ARE perfect for Joe the Plumber and me!

Following is a comparison of the "noteworthy" features of the different models:

 

 

Item Philips 3575/3576 Mag 2160, 2160A, MDR513 515
Color 3575 Black/Silver, 3576 Black Black Black
HDD 160GB PATA 160GB PATA (2160), 160GB SATA (2160A), 320GB SATA 500GB SATA
Rec Hours 33-198 33-198 (2160/A), 66-398 (513) 103-620
Menus Black on light grey Rev. white on dark bkgnd Same as 513
Remote 47 buttons, key ones diff. sizes for "feelability" 47 buttons all same size, see DigaDo's pic here (L-R=3576/2080/2160) Best yet, larger buttons, better layout and use of space
FP Buttons On/Off, Tray Open/Close, Play, Stop, Rec, HDD Active LED Adds ch. up/dn & HDD/DVD buttons but no HDD LED Same as 513
Back Inputs Coax, YWR Composite, S-Vid Coax, YWR Composite, S-Vid Same
Front Inputs YWR Composite, USB, DV YWR Composite, DV, 2nd S-Vid (no USB) Same as 513
Dig. Audio Coax and optical Coax (no optical) Same as 513
Dig. SS Meter No Yes Yes
Dig. CC Display but no record Display only or display and record (embedded in video) Same as 513
PLTV Pause/play from pause point on but no save to HDD 6-hour constant bkgrd buffer for fwd play/rew w/save to HDD Same as 513
AutoClock Searches only analog channels Searches analog and digital channels Same as 513
STOP Button Double-press can accidentally Stop rec Hold Stop 2 sec + Yes/No dialog in 2160A/513 Same as 513
MP3 Play Yes on CD-R/RW Yes on CD-R/RW, but 2160A/513 add MP3 on DVD Same as 513
DivX/WMA Play Yes No No
Editing Divide, Delete, Chapter, Index Pic (DVD), Title Naming Same, adds chapter bar to time counter for graphic positional awarness Same as 513
Dubbing 4X burner, HSD ~34 min. for 2-hr-SP 8X burner, HSD ~17 min for 2-hr-SP Same as 513
Dubbing Can add 18 titles to dub list w/no visual clues as to which titles have been added Same 18 titles, but 2160A/513 add checkmark to index pics of titles already added Same as 513
HDMI Control No No (2160), Yes (2160A/513) Yes
Empty Title on DVDs Yes Yes Changed to "Empty Space"
Auto-Preview on End-Cut Yes Yes No
Double "Are you sure?" dialogs Yes Yes No
Titling of timer rec programs that transfers to HDD title No No Yes
Skip timer program No No Yes
1-hour power backup No No Yes

 

 

 

*HDD and DVD drives can be easily replaced, and HDD can be upgraded to 500GB capacity and externalized in a "dock-and-play" HDD farm, as shown here. SATA can be sub'd for 2080/357x PATA HDD using an IDE-SATA adapter. DVD drive is available from Funai for $68.

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Special Notes on the Mag 2080

The Magnavox H2080MW8, released in 2007, is the predecessor to the 2160. Virtually same manual and ops as the 3576 but sucky remote. Better-designed 2160 remote can be used. One original HDD installed is ST380215ACE, same Seagate HDD model series as 3576, and it can be replaced or upgraded in the same way as the 3576/2160.

The following features are missing on the 2080:

1. No HDMI out.
2. No DV input.
3. No digital clock set (assuming, since it pre-dates 3576)?
4. No digital CC recording.
5. No Autorecord buffering.
6. Not sure on STOP button requiring 2-sec press to stop a timer rec?

The 80GB HDD in the 2080 can be easily upgraded to a max. 500GB, as described here. The 2080 has the same power supply as the 3575/3576 and the 2160.

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Pictures

Philips DVDR3575H/37 (2007)


Philips DVDR3576H/37 (2008)


Magnavox H2160MW9 (2008), H2160MW9A (2009), MDR513H (2010)


Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Tuning and Viewing TV Channels

 

  • Standard-definition (SDTV) Analog NTSC and Digital ATSC/QAM Tuners: The tuner in this DVDR (three virtually identical units) can pick up any unscrambled channels you can receive via antenna (OTA) or a cable feed and present it on your TV in standard definition (SD). The analog NTSC tuner has the standard CATV channels 1-125. The digital ATSC/QAM tuner has channels 1-135 for both OTA (ATSC) and cable clear-QAM* (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) signals. The digital/analog tuners are selected via a DTV/TV button. (Satellite subscribers need a proprietary receiver to tune their sat-delivered signals, so the standard DVDR or TV can't tune those signals independently.) See this help file for more info on tuning channels with this DVDR and their relationship to OTA and QAM channel numbers.
  • Coax and Line Input Amplification: This DVDR has an active coax passthru that serves as a built-in signal splitter and slightly "boosts" (amplifies) the raw incoming signal. Passes SDTV AND HDTV thru to STB and TV (downconverts to 480i thru tuner). It can provide a ~20% improvement in your TV pic with this DVDR on or off, doesn't matter. It also amplifies its line inputs, like from a VCR or STB, when on.

    *QAM is not listed or promoted in the literature on DVDRs prob. cuz the cablecos really don't want people to know they can receive unscrambled digital channels in their basic analog cable subscriptions. Also, cablecos are fond of MOVING their QAM channels around regularly and using other tricks to force you to rent their STBs on a monthly basis. DVDR mfgrs are prob. senstitive to this and may not want users complaining to THEM every time cablecos play "hide-the-channel" games. See this post for a test of the 3576 for potential use in a Los Angeles city emergency response system, where it had to tune all 135 digital channels in its QAM tuner from a "mixed-bag" of sources.

 

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.


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post #35 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post

FWIW, I like mine as much as wabjxo likes all of his.

Thanks! I'm definitely looking into this unit. A real surprise. Another good example of why it never hurts to hang on the forums.
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post #36 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Some Notes on Erroneous or Misleading National Reviews

I've seen some erroneous or misleading info lately in some national reviews. Here are a few I've run across so far.

2. The 3575 can't record HDTV or pass HDTV thru it's tuner. No sh**, Sherlock!? The 3575 is and always has been an SDTV recorder...says so right on the box. Wherever did you get the idea that it could tune or record in native HDTV!? One reviewer spent several paragraphs demoaning its non-HDTV capabilities! Oh, so sorry for being designed and built as an SDTV recorder, like ALL THE OTHERS IN NORTH AMERICA! You want to tune and record in HDTV to a standalone unit you don't have to rent? MOVE TO JAPAN... and change your name to Sherlockanaka! A double !

Yeah, re: #2, some of these guys don't seem to know the difference between a HD DVR and a SD DVD recorder - most especially when it's a SD DVD recorder with a HDD. I wonder if they criticize the HD DVR's for not recording HD to DVD?
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post #37 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

The "Pause Live TV" feature is pretty neat.

Yes, it is, but as someone with 5 ReplayTV units, 1 of which is the old 3060 from *so* many years back, that's old news to me. [One of my RTV units can "pause" live TV for a week!]

I love my HDD DVD recorders, but they can't hold a candle to a ReplayTV unit for convenience, ease of use, and over-all functionality as far as TV viewing and recording. In fact, I have two of my DVD recorders paired with RTV units for just that reason. The RTV is much more reliable when it comes to recording TV shows. For example. If a show runs at 6 PM for 1 hour and you set it to record and the show runs at 7 instead, it will still record it. Another example, you can say "Record the TV show "The UNIT" whenever it airs on any channel at any time. Or any show starring Jessica Alba. Or any show with the word 'Zombie' in the title or description. With my networked replay tv's if there is a recording conflict (i.e. 2 shows overlap, for example), it will record one on the other unit. And so on and so on.

My dream machine would be a solid HDD DVD recorder with the RTV software and guide service. Well, and maybe high def recording since I'm dreaming.
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post #38 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hardware Replacement & Upgrade

 

The 53x Series (and 557?) HDDs have a different allocation unit (cluster) size in the FW so PeterTheGeek says it doesn't appear possible to swap HDDs between the previous 7 generations of these recorders without Initializing the 53x formatted HDD. The certainty of this has not been tested as of May 2014.

 

DO NOT TELL CUSTOMER SUPPORT THAT YOU DID ANY OF THE SKIP CODES. TELL THEM YOU NEVER HEARD OF "SKIP CODES" OR "RESETS." IT COULD GIVE THEM A REASON (IN THEIR MINDS) TO DENY YOU ANY ASSISTANCE!

 

Jump To:

THE SKIP CODES
Using the SKIP Codes (INSTRUCTIONS)
SKIP 079 - HDD/DVD Self-Check & Initialize/Format (plus Power-On Hours)
SKIP 013 - HDD Factory Check... Warning: Wipes Recorded Titles!

UPFRONT ADVICE ON HDD UPGRADE
READ THIS FIRST! Things Some New Users Might Need To Know
Special Note on Hitachi/Western Digital Deskstar HDDs
Low-Power WD SATA HDDs

HDD PIONEERS & PROCEDURES
Internal HDD Upgrades
External DOCK-AND-PLAY Systems
Plug-and-Play with Single External HDD
2.5-inch Laptop Systems

HDD REF. TABLES
Researching and Selecting HDD Model
Solid State Drives (SSD)
FW-Usable HDD Capacities (~Hours)
Table I. OEM HDD for 357x/2080
Table II. OEM HDD for 2160 (OK for 357x/2080, But NOT 2160A/513/515)
Table III. OEM HDD for 2160A (OK for 513/515) (OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)
Table IV. OEM HDD for 513 (OK for 2160A/515) (OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)
Table V. OEM HDD for 515 (OK for 2160A/513) (OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)
Table VI. OEM HDD for 53x Series
Table A-1. Alternate Hitachi "HCS-GLA" HDD for 2160A/513/515 (OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)
Table A-2. Alternate Hitachi "HDS-CLA" HDD for 2160A/513/515 (OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)
Table A-3. Alternate Seagate "ST-AS" HDD for 2160A/513/515 (OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)

REMOVING AND REPLACING PARTS


PRECAUTIONS... MUST READ!
Remove Cover To Work Inside

Order Parts & Service Manual

 

Open Stuck DVD Tray

Clean DVD Spindle
Replace DVD Burner
Replace Main Fuse
Replace Fan
Replace SATA Adapter
Replace Ribbon Cable

OTHER INTERESTING STUFF
Power Supply
Expected Component Life & Actual Usage Stats

Using the SKIP Codes (INSTRUCTIONS)

 

DO NOT TELL CUSTOMER SUPPORT THAT YOU DID ANY OF THE SKIP CODES. TELL THEM YOU NEVER HEARD OF "SKIP CODES" OR "RESETS." IT COULD GIVE THEM A REASON (IN THEIR MINDS) TO DENY YOU ANY ASSISTANCE!

 

Following are the SKIP/V.SKIP codes and instructions for troubleshooting the HDD/DVD, formatting an existing or new HDD, and providing system info.

With DVDR on live TV and on either HDD or DVD drive, point remote at unit and sequentially press the designated SKIP ### or V.SKIP ### buttons on the remote all within 3 sec. Press normally and don't hold any down... fast but not so fast you hit a wrong key. There are no other characters required, like dashes (in case someone posts the code with such characters).

 

 

Nitpickers: The 357x and 515/53x/557 units have a SKIP button but the 2080, 2160 and 513 have a V.SKIP button... same thing. I may have used "SKIP" here inadvertently... or on purpose just to piss you off!

 

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

SKIP 079 - HDD/DVD Self-Check and Initialize/Format

 

DO NOT TELL CUSTOMER SUPPORT THAT YOU DID ANY OF THE SKIP CODES. TELL THEM YOU NEVER HEARD OF "SKIP CODES" OR "RESETS." IT COULD GIVE THEM A REASON (IN THEIR MINDS) TO DENY YOU ANY ASSISTANCE!

 

The SKIP 079 procedure operates in two sequential steps: (1) an automated HDD/DVD Self-Check, then (2) an HDD/DVD Initialize/Format IF you click OK. Step (2) will also wipe the HDD!

*****************************
STEP 1 - HDD/DVD SELF-CHECK & POWER-ON HOURS
*****************************
This is a simple automated check of HDD and DVD cables and communication, to check for a loose or disconnected cable, which can be one cause for HDD errors or stuttering, a tray that won't open, a "Loading" message that never ends, "playback error" messages, etc. Here's one user's tale of annoying playback errors for 5 months. He finally opened his case and found the DVD cable almost disconnected (it fell off when he turned DVD drive over).

Self-Check Procedure: With DVDR on live TV and on either HDD or DVD drive, point remote at unit and sequentially press the SKIP 079 buttons, all within 3 sec. This brings up the SELF-CHECK screen shown below and starts an automated self-check, filling in the status of the items it checks.

The "OK" results and HDD POWER ON HOURS should be "immediate"... no delays. For laser diode usage, use SKIP 321.

To exit the Self-Check, simply turn the unit OFF by pressing the Standby/On (power) button... DO NOT PRESS OK unless you intend to format the HDD and "wipe it clean."



Following are the Items checked and their status Indications, Descriptions, and possible Remedies:

 

ITEM                          INDICATION          DESCRIPTION  REMEDY
DVD CONNECT STATUS: OK Connection of DVD is normal N/A
NOT FOUND DVD drive dead or not securely connected Open case & check ribbon/FFC cable (see disassy instructions here). Also see one user's DVD experience here.
CABLE ERROR Ribbon/FFC cable from underside of DVD drive to DVD/HDD PCB is loose or not connected Open case & check ribbon/FFC cable (see disassy instructions here). Also see one user's DVD experience here.
HDD CONNECT STATUS: OK Connection of HDD is normal N/A
NOT FOUND HDD dead or not securely connected Open case & check ribbon/FFC cable (see disassy instructions here)
CABLE ERROR Ribbon/FFC cable between HDD drive and PCB is loose or not connected Open case & check ribbon/FFC cable (see disassy instructions here)
HDD POWER ON HOURS: #### Total hours machine ON time. (For laser diode usage, use SKIP 321.) N/A
HDD FORMAT START: ENTER Actually "OK" but DON'T PRESS OK UNLESS YOU INTEND TO FORMAT THE HDD AND "WIPE IT CLEAN." N/A
POWER OFF: POWER Press Standby/On button to exit Self-Check N/A


*******************************
STEP 2 - HDD/DVD INITIALIZE/FORMAT
*******************************
After a Self-Check has been completed, press the OK button instead of Standby/On if you want to Initialize (make-ready, or "format") an old or new HDD.

 

PRESSING OK ON THE SELF-CHECK SCREEN INITIALIZES THE HDD AND, IF IT HAS RECORDED TITLES, THOSE WILL BE LOST, AS WELL AS CLOCK AND TIMER REC PROGRAMS!

 

A NEW (BLANK) HDD will display a message on the screen something like "This system is unconstruction of the file system." This just means the HDD has never had any recorded titles and no menu system. The menu system is activated by RECORDING something (anything) to the new HDD... select HDD drive and press REC, then STOP after ~10 sec of recording (wait till red REC dot disappears from screen). You MAY also need to start setup from scratch, but the machine will let you know that after powering up.

 

Time to Initialize/format a NEW drive is just a sec or so, maybe slightly longer for an existing drive with files on it.

After HDD/DVD formatting, another SELF-CHECK screen appears and the DVDR automatically turns off within 2 sec.


"Formatting" is used extensively here even tho the actual operation is "Initializing," which deletes any file info (addressing info) from an existing drive so it appears empty. A brand new, never recorded HDD doesn't have any addressing info to delete, so it's an almost instantaneous process.


The HDD FW is contained in a non-volatile memory chip on the HDD/DVD PCB (CBA), providing operating instructions to any attached HDD, which makes each HDD portable from machine to machine, whether Philips or Magnavox, regardless of machine SN, i.e., they are not tied to a specific machine, as some are in the HDTV DVR world.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

SKIP 013 - HDD Factory Check... Warning: Wipes Recorded Titles!
 

DO NOT TELL CUSTOMER SUPPORT THAT YOU DID ANY OF THE SKIP CODES. TELL THEM YOU NEVER HEARD OF "SKIP CODES" OR "RESETS." IT COULD GIVE THEM A REASON (IN THEIR MINDS) TO DENY YOU ANY ASSISTANCE!

 

WARNINGS:
  1. This procedure is not for initializing a new replacement HDD. Use SKIP 079 Steps 1 and 2 instead. This test clears all data on a used and problematic HDD, including all titles! Clock, settings and timer rec programs remain intact (cuz they're not on the HDD).
     
  2. Pressing SKIP 013 IMMEDIATELY activates the HDD Factory Check, with front panel counting elapsed time and wild display at end and TV pic/sound skipping at regular interval, maybe designed as a visual/audible indicator that the test is done?
     
  3. Read the description below first and make sure you want/need to do this procedure. Allow at least 1-hour w/no timer programs due to start. Pull power plug to exit.

 


Operational symptoms of an HDD that might benefit from the SKIP/V.SKIP 013 procedure include skipping/freezing on HDD playback, inability to initialize the HDD with SKIP/V.SKIP 079, inability to Pause manual recording and change channels while paused, etc.

This is really just a check to verify whether or not you have a bad HDD and might need a replacement or upgrade. It can be useful, for example, after you've had a lightning strike nearby or power-loss while recording that you suspect may have damaged the HDD.

To troubleshoot suspected HDD problems, use the SKIP/V.SKIP 079 Self-Check first to make sure there aren't any loose or disconnected cables or the HDD isn't stone-dead.

Then, for a more in-depth HDD check, use SKIP/V.SKIP 013, which checks the HDD's internal components that we can't fix, like disc media, system and heads. The items it checks will show either OK or NG (No Good).

If anything checks NG, then the RESULT will be NG and you may need a HDD replacement. Things can still work with a NG result... my 3575 refurb does... but the HDD might freeze during playback at certain spots on the HDD (like mine) or exhibit other "odd" bahavior (like twice as long to spin up and show opening menu).

Items checked are the following:

 

HDD MEDIA READ VERIFY CHECK: OK/NG   If OK, takes ~39 min. on 2160's or ~44 min. on 357x 160GB HDD. If NG, scan stops at bad spot and moves on to next test. THIS OP DELETES ALL RECORDED TITLES!
SYSTEM AREA CHECK: OK/NG Quick!
HDD FORMAT: OK/NG Quick!
HDD HEAD CHECK: OK/NG Takes 1-2 min.
HDD HEAD ESCAPE: OK/NG Quick!
RESULT: OK/NG 41-46 min. to final result on 160GB HDD (longer on larger drives). If any item NG, this will be NG. Pull power plug to exit.

 

  • Note 1: Unknown if any differences or special precautions with non-OEM PATA or alternate SATA HDDs. Theoretically, should be none? Still need someone to test a 2160A's SATA HDD and report "MEDIA READ" time.
  • Note 2: Unknown effect of timer rec program scheduled to start during this process. Probably doesn't start since HDD is busy with a system test? Best to have 1 hour or more before next timer program start for a 160GB HDD, longer for larger drives.

 

Go back to list. ...... Go to main list of help files.

READ THIS FIRST! Things Some New Users Might Need To Know
 

  1. DVDR Warranty: Opening your unit and mucking around inside will void any warranty you might have.
     
  2. PATA/SATA and "Jumpers": The 3575/3576/2080/2160 are PATA-based units and came with IDE/PATA HDDs (Parallel ATA, or Advanced Technology Attachment). IDE and ATA are technically the same, just tradenames of diff. mfgrs. These DVDRs are plug-and-play if installing another PATA HDD. They can also use the newer Serial ATA (SATA) HDDs by adding an IDE/SATA Adapter to connect the smaller SATA drive connector to the 40-pin PATA PCB connector in those DVDR's. Formal nomenclature for SATA versions are I, II, III etc. but often referred to by common versions 1, 2, 3, etc. The Adapter used by many 3575/6 users is here.

    The 2160A/513/515/53x/557 are SATA-based, a newer Serial ATA standard. They already have a SATA HDD and SATA Adapter, so it's just plug-and-play if using another SATA drive... no other adapter needed.

    One user confirms (this post and 2nd one down) that his old 3576 takes both SATA 3 and SATA 6 drives without jumpers. He advises removing the jumper of a SATA/IDE adapter if used. 2160A and newer units are already SATA-based. Ask for help on jumpers since it IS an "exotic" subject.

    If you get an HDD made specifically for DVRs and other video applications, it should need no jumpers. "Enterprise" or server/computer use jumpers that are typically set for those apps... which happen to be not right for our app. If you install and format an HDD and it appears not to work, only then should you need to check for a jumper and its setting. One important jumper position is for startup from Standby, which we need. Here's WD's info on jumper settings, and here's Seagate's info. (Hitachi HDD division was bought by WD in March 2011.)
     
  3. SATA Adapter: The 2160A/513/515/53x/557 have SATA HDDs so they already have a SATA Adapter to connect the HDD to the PCB op. data cable. They also have a SATA-type connector for the HDD power cable. The other models all have IDE-PATA HDDs and a diff. type of power cable/connector. Our Pioneers have been using 3rd-party IDE-SATA Adapters, primarily this one (~$14), to convert their old PATA units to SATA HDDs. One "handyman" bought the OEM SATA Adapter from Funai (~$12) and added a connector for the SATA power cables as described and pictured here.
     
  4. SATA Cables: SATA drives have a data cable and a power cable, as shown here.
     
  5. Ribbon Cables and Clamshell Retaining Clips: For an internal PATA>PATA or SATA>SATA HDD replacement or upgrade, you don't need to remove any of the thin ribbon cables from the green HDD adapter board or from the PCBs. Just remove the green adapter board with its cable still attached from the end of the HDD. Dartman's adapter was in so tight he needed a small screwdriver to carefully pry on each end, in very small increments, to work the adapter loose, then it was easily removable by hand... no "rocking" side to side (to prevent smearing of the thin conductors and creating an electrical contact path between them.)

    For external upgrades where you have to remove and reinstall the ribbon cable, like a PATA>SATA conversion, you need to carefully unlock any clamshell retaining clip on the ends of the cable or on the mating PCBs/adapters, then remove the ribbon cable(s) by pulling straight out WITHOUT rocking side-to-side. Reinstall the ribbon cable straight in, also WITHOUT rocking, and snap the clamshell clip back in place to hold the ribbon cable securely. CLAMSHELL CLIPS ARE EASILY BROKEN... USE CARE!

    See this story by a user who delved into his 515 w/o help from the experienced members here and learned many lessons he was kind enough to share with you.

    See this post and pics by DigaDo for views of a PATA adapter w/ribbon cable and black clamshell lock installed in a PATA drive. A SATA adapter in a SATA drive should look about the same.

    See this short post on ribbon cable tips, esp. if you end up with a HDD the machine can't find.
     
  6. Formatting: The SKIP 079 procedure described above will Self-Check and Initialize (make-ready) an existing or new HDD. On an existing HDD, this "deletes" timer programs and recorded titles (removes "pointers" to those files). ON A NEW (BLANK) HDD, SKIP 079 will result in a message on the screen "This system is unconstruction of the file system." This just means the HDD has never had any recorded titles and no menu system. The menu system is activated by RECORDING something (anything) to the new HDD... select HDD drive and press REC, then STOP after ~10 sec of recording (wait till red REC dot disappears from screen). You MAY also need to start setup from scratch, but the machine will let you know that after powering up.
     
  7. Orientation: There is no rightside up or upside down with HDDs. They have heads on top and bottom of platters, so some are always upside down. To facilitate fit, esp. with a SATA adapter, install either way, as appropriate. See Seagate note on this.

    While a HDD can be sideways or upside down, THE DVD DRIVE CAN'T! Please don't operate your DVDR in a vertical (sideways) position. Horizontal and top up only! ... And you thought this was obvious, didn't you? Think again!
     
  8. Rotational speed: You can use any of the normal HDD speeds (5200-7200) since it makes no diff. in our simple DVDRs. In fact, the original 3575 came with a 7200rpm Seagate, but the 515 comes with a 5700rpm Hitachi CinemaStar. Typically, slower-rpm drives have lower OpW power specs, which is a good thing.
     
  9. Power Specs: When looking for a replacement or upgraded drive, try to stay as close as possible to the power specs (W) of the original OEM DRIVE (160/320/500GB or 1TB), as listed in the HDD Tables below. The new 53x Series require special attention to power specs: Funai discovered that their new power supply was "uder-powered" for 3-1/2" drives so, in October 2012 or earlier, they started installing 2-1/2" laptop drives (and possibly even 6X DVD burners) since they draw less op. power... and the 53x Series are always recording to a buffer when on.
     
  10. Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

 

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Special Note on Hitachi/Western Digital Deskstar HDDs

Info on all Hitachi/WD Internal HDDs.

Some boo-birds might deride Deskstars by mentioning they used to be called "Deathstars" but that was in the days that IBM made them (1994-2003). Hitachi bought IBM's HDD division in 2003, and Western Digital (WD) bought Hitachi's HGST (HDD) division in Mar 2012, so IBM "Deathstars" might have been sold for a time after 2003 as sellers cleaned out existing stock. If you get a Deskstar with mfg date between 1994 and 2003, you prob. have one of the IBM "Deathstars" and should return it?

An interesting section of a Wiki article on HDD "Disk Failures and their metrics" caught my attention as it relates to the OEM Hitachi/WD HDDs used in many of these DVDRs:

"A 2007 study published by Google suggested very little correlation between failure rates and either high temperature or activity level; however, the correlation between manufacturer/model and failure rate was relatively strong. Statistics in this matter is (sic) kept highly secret by most entities. Google did not publish the manufacturer's names along with their respective failure rates, though they have since revealed that they use Hitachi Deskstar drives in some of their servers."

Google has mfgr-related statistics they won't reveal on HDD failure rates, but they DID choose to reveal that they use Hitachi Deskstars in their servers... hmmmmm!?

Backblaze, a company that mfgrs storage pods, also favors Hitachi drives. As they say here:

"We are constantly looking at new hard drives, evaluating them for reliability and power consumption. The Hitachi 3TB drive (Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3030ALA630) is our current favorite for both its low power demand and astounding reliability. The Western Digital and Seagate equivalents we tested saw much higher rates of popping out of RAID arrays and drive failure. Even the Western Digital Enterprise Hard Drives had the same high failure rates. The Hitachi drives, on the other hand, perform wonderfully."

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Low-Power WD SATA HDDs

See this post for info on some Western Digital (WD) drives that are low-power alternatives to the original OEM drives or Alternates listed in the tables below.

Please note that, in your analysis of HDD power reqmts, IdleW (power used during idle) is essentially irrelevant to the 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557 since they are seldom in an idle state... they're almost always auto-recording in the background. Thus, OpW or read/writeW (power during typical user ops) is the only power stat of real interest or consequence for them. However, IdleW is very important for the 3575/3576 since they're idling a lot.

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Internal HDD Upgrades

 

The 53x Series (and 557?) HDDs have a different allocation unit (cluster) size in the FW so PeterTheGeek says it doesn't appear possible to swap HDDs between the previous 7 generations of these recorders without Initializing the 53x formatted HDD. The certainty of this has not been tested as of May 2014.


Following are A FEW of the Pioneers who upgraded their internal HDD... I stopped adding people since the concept of "Pioneers" has long since been made irrelevant. External upgrades are in next subject.

Click on a Pioneer's name to bring up the Private Message (PM) menu for asking questions directly and privately. Just be aware that some Members are not always available/online and may not respond. If so, just click the "Post Reply" button at top or bottom of this page, ask question or make comment, and other currently active members will be happy to help.

The Pioneers in RED have written STEP-BY-STEP procedures.
The other Pioneers didn't write step-by-step procedures but they still provide info on HDD used and other tips.

1. DARTMAN... 1/18/09... 3575... 250GB WD Caviar Blue PATA.
He used a drive he had used externally on a different DVDR. It's the same basic "type" of drive with power specs close to the Seagate 250GB PATA drive. His post on his successful upgrade is here. He's been running it to check for any long-term operating effects and has found none so far, just an increased HDD capacity at 2-hr-SP rec mode from 66 to 105 hours.

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2. DIGADO... 3/21/09... 2080... 160GB Seagate ST3160215 ACE PATA (Table I below).
This doubled his 2-hr-SP rec mode capacity from 33 to 66 hrs, as described here. A ton of pics here. No long-term operating effects expected here since a Seagate 80GB drive is an alternative found in the 2080 and it has same op specs as the larger Seagate 160GB he used.

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3. AUSKCK (R.I.P)... 3/25/09... 3575... 500GB WD Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKB PATA.
This drive increased his 2-hr-SP rec mode capacity from 66 to 211 hrs, as described here. No long-term adverse effects to date.

This WD drive uses 8.77W Op, 8.40W Standby. If concerned about power but really like WD drives, see this list of lower-power WD SATA drives, which would require the IDE/SATA adapter others have used for the 3575/3576/2080/2160, but not needed for the 2160A/513/515/53x/557.

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4. AUSKCK (R.I.P)... 3/27/09... 3575... 500GB Hitachi 3.5" Deskstar P7K500 HDP725050GLA360 (0A35415) SATA and 500GB Hitachi 2.5" Travelstar 5K500.B HTS545050B9A300 (0A57915) SATA.
He sequentially upgraded to 3.5" 500GB SATA, 3.5" 1TB SATA (which formatted to 500GB so he removed), and 2.5" 500GB SATA, all using a SATAIDE-2 Adapter. SATA drives are the newest technology, quickly replacing the older PATA technology so they're widely available. Raunch had previously installed a 750GB PATA drive and the FW only allowed 500GB capacity. Auskck found the same with his 1TB SATA, so he now has the 500GB SATA installed for long-term testing. He describes his 500GB SATA replacement procedure here, plus his use of a Hitachi Travelstar 2.5" Notebook Drive 5K500.B HTS545050B9A300, and his preliminary work on an external "Dock-and-Play" system, which is fully described in the "dock-and-play" section below.

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5. MREEDELP... 2009... 4 ea. 3576 and 3 ea. 2160... 500GB PATA.
He has 12 units: 7 Philips 3576's and 5 Mag 2160's. He upgraded to 3.5" 500GB HDDs in 4 Philips and 3 Mags. He describes how he uses all 12 units here.

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6. TI-TRIODES... 6/4/09... 3575... 500GB Seagate ST3500830ACE PATA.
Besides dramatically increased capacity, he says he now gets a "markedly sharper" picture than before. He describes his installation here, and he updates his experience here.

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7. BORDERSHY... 7/28/09... 2080... 250GB Maxtor DiamondMax 10 PATA.
He replaced orig. 80GB PATA with a 4.5-year-old 3.5" Maxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB 16MB/7200RPM PATA. This tripled his HDD storage capacity, as described here

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8. ALITIN... 8/9/09... 2160A... 500GB Hitachi Deskstar HDP725050GLA360 SATA.
This is the alternate drive listed in Table A-1 below. (Direct replacement HDDs for 2160A are listed in Table III.) His procedure is described here.

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9. BODHI78... 10/11/09... 2160... 500GB Hitachi Deskstar HDP725050GLAT380 PATA.
He describes this upgrade here.

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10. SAM ONTARIO... 11/8/09... 2160A... 640GB WD Caviar Green WD6400AACS SATA.
See series of posts with not a lot of details, starting here... and ending here. He originally thought it didn't "take" but learned from some early Pioneers that you have to REC something to a new HDD after a SKIP 079 initializing to activate the HDD and add the menu structure, etc. This upgrade also finally determined that the 2160A's FW DOES limit a HDD upgrade to 500GB, since he got 413 EP hours for his new 640GB drive, which is the expected EP capacity for a 500GB drive.

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11. BUSEY... 11/12/09... 2160A... 500GB Hitachi Deskstar HDP725050GLA360 SATA.
This is the alternate drive listed in Table A-1 below. (Direct replacement HDDs for the 2160A are listed in Table III.) Click here for excellent, step-by-step instructions.

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12. PAINTMODEL... 1/3/10... 3575... 500GB Seagate ST3500418AS.
This is the drive listed in Table A-3 below. He reports a noticeably better pic with the unpgraded HDD. He has some notes and recommendations here.

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13. JOEKUSTRA... 2/5/10... 2160A... 500GB Hitachi DeskStar HDP725050GLA360 SATA.
This is the alternate drive listed in Table A-1 below. (Direct replacement HDDs for the 2160A are listed in Table III.) Click here for his upgrade procedure, INCLUDING SOME IMPORTANT NOTES ON HDD REMOVAL. Note his workarounds for some things YOU may also run into during HDD removal.

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14. NOEND7... 2/12/10... 3575... 500GB WD Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKB PATA.
This is the same drive used by Auskck in his first upgrade. He has some SPECIAL NOTES on things he ran into that should help others with their upgrades here.

This WD drive uses 8.77W Op, 8.40W Standby. If concerned about power but like WD drives, see this list of lower-power WD SATA drives, which would require the IDE/SATA adapter others have used for the 3575/3576/2080/2160, but not needed for the 2160A.

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15. MICKINCT... 5/16/10... 2160A... 500GB Hitachi 7K1000.C Series SATA 2 DeskStar HDS721050CLA362.
He bought this drive from NewEgg.com for $39.95.

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16. GMACTED... June 2010... 2160A... 500GB Hitachi 7K1000.C Series SATA 2 DeskStar HDS721050CLA362.
He replaced orig. 160GB SATA with a Hitachi 7K1000.C SATA 2. He states that it has performed "flawlessly" so far.

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17. BODHI78... 6/25/10... 2160A... 500GB Hitachi 7K1000.C Series SATA 2 DeskStar HDS721050CLA362.
After upgrading his original 2160 to a 500GB DeskStar PATA on 10/11/09, he upgraded again to a 500GB DeskStar SATA, same as MICKINCT above. His step-by-step procedure is described here.

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18. TI-TRIODES... 7/5/10... 2080... 3.5" 500GB PATA AND 2.5" 500GB Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B HTS545050B9A300 (0A57915) SATA.
Upgraded two units. He was able to secure the smaller 2.5" drive with one screw in the 3.5" mounting bracket, which served as a good ground, and some double-sided tape, as he describes here.

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19. PETERTHEGEEK... 8/28/10... 2160A... 500GB 2.5" WD AV-25 WD5000BUDT SATA.
This WD drive is optimized for 24/7 ops, HD video and low power. He was able to secure the smaller drive with TWO screws in the 3.5" mounting bracket, as he describes here.

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20. ABULA... 8/29/10... 2160A... 500GB Samsung HD502HI SATA.
These appear to be phasing out, he got his for $38. He describes his upgrade here.

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External Dock-and-Play Systems

 

The 53x Series (and 557?) HDDs have a different allocation unit (cluster) size in the FW so PeterTheGeek says it doesn't appear possible to swap HDDs between the previous 7 generations of these recorders without Initializing the 53x formatted HDD. The certainty of this has not been tested as of May 2014.

 

The king of "HDD Farmers" (externalizing HDDs) so far might be PeteMI with EIGHT external HDDs on a 513 but he hasn't offered any details of his setup, procedures, parts used, etc.

 

Another user, dfw515, has THREE DVDRs externalized: two 3575's and one 515. He uses more than a dozen SATA 2 HDDs and Importer420 SATA adapters for the 3575's in Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U docks. His 515 doesn't need a SATA Adapter since its already a SATA-based system.

 

Here's a post on setting up a new 537 with a dock-and-play system. This poster apparently missed the instruction in the SKIP 079 procedure and in "Formatting" above: after a SKIP 079, A NEW (BLANK) HDD will display a message on the screen something like "This system is unconstruction of the file system." This just means the HDD has never had any recorded titles and no menu system. The menu system is activated by RECORDING something (anything) to the new HDD... select HDD drive and press REC, then STOP after ~10 sec of recording (wait till red REC dot disappears from screen). You MAY also need to start setup from scratch, but the machine will let you know that after powering up.


AUSKCK (R.I.P)... 4/27/09... 3575 and 3576... FIRST HDD FARMER, Dual-Unit Dock-and-Play System, with 5 HDDs Requiring PATA>SATA Conversion
 

Auskck's initial post on dock-and-play system. ... Pics of his system in test and finished
First external dock-and-play system with "Toaster" (external docking station) for his PATA-based Philips 3575 and 3576, replacing the internal HDDs with 5 external, portable, swappable SATA HDDs.

 

If you have a SATA-based model (2160A/513/515/53x/557), you don't need the "IDE/SATA adapter" mentioned there... Auskck was working with the old 3575/6 PATA-based models. You just need a longer SATA/eSATA cable to reach a docking station outside the case.

Auskck's update on his dock-and-play system. He links back to his initial post so, again, if you have a SATA-based model (2160A/513/515/53x/557), you don't need the "IDE/SATA adapter" mentioned there.

Pic of Auskck's Setup 8/3/09 - 1st External Dock-and-Play System, PATA>SATA Conversion of 3575 and 3576

 

Stacked only for pic purposes. YOUR enclosure and dock can be anywhere that's cable-length from DVDR. Enclosure provides power to dock, which connects to an eSATA cable coming from the DVDR. Cables never need to be disconnected or reconnected for daily ops or switching HDDs!

 

Some docking stations for both 2.5" and 3.5" drives are shown here ... and here. Walmart online also sells many types of docking stations and SATA cables (free ship-to-store and 15-day return to store on "computer hardware").

 

So far, these DVDRs don't seem to be "fussy" about which kind and brand of dock is used. Two people, dfw515 and PeterTheGeek, use this Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U dock.

Auskck's writeups don't give a detailed step-by-step procedure all in one place, but Scottypa wrote a VERY detailed procedure for his 2160A externalization described in next section below... same basic procedure for the inside work but diff. connectors and cables, single enclosure, and NO docking station. Scottypa "nibbled" a piece out of the top edge of case on back to run the external cable.


gm2040 used Scottypa's procedural steps as a guide but cut 3 louvers in the intake air vent on the side and bent them back for his external cable. He added a rubber grommet to protect the cable. Pics of his single-enclosure no-dock mod is here.

Better yet: PeterTheGeek found and tested a SATA Male 22-pin to eSATA 7-pin PANEL MOUNT that fits perfectly on the SATA connector already on the HDD in the 2160A/513/515/53x/557. A similar connector might be found for the PATA models? His post is here, and below is a pic of the connector he used:
 

Panel End (mount on back panel)
PCB End (plug into SATA PCB)


General Info

These DVDRs allow recording, storage, and playback with multiple external "dock-and-play" HDDs, making these DVDRs more versatile than any other SDTV recorder in N.A., and even some HDTV DVRs.

This is the way to go for a "HDD farm" if a user has multiple HDDs he/she wants to swap out on a "regular" basis since you don't have to fool with a plug-and-play cables at all... it's a simple dock-and-play.

Auskck replaced his 3575 and 3576 internal 160GB Seagate PATA drives with an external enclosure and "Toaster" (docking station or hard drive dock) for swapping FIVE SATA drives on and between the DVDRs... a "dock-and-play HDD farm." Others have even more HDDs in their "farms" and swap between Philips and Mag HDD DVDRs.

A multi-bay enclosure like that shown in Auskck's pic above protects inactive drives and provides the 5V/12V power reqd for the active 2.5" or 3.5" HDD in the dock, reducing the recorder's internal heat and the HDD's stress on the recorder's power supply and circuits.

Drive swaps take Auskck less than 1 min. cuz he turns his 3575 and 3576 off to make the drive swap. That method apparently allows the machine to boot up in a normal manner, check for a good HDD and make it immediately recordable or playable with no further user action. gm2040's single-enclosure approach mentioned above shuts the external drive down when he turns off the DVDR and turns it back on again when he powers back up.

Drive FW is NOT installed on the HDD, and previously used HDDs are NOT auto-formatted when connected (like in some other recorders), so each machine immediately recognizes the new drive, with all titles, user settings and timer rec programs intact on each machine! There's no reqmt to be mated (and limited) to a specific machine SN, as some HDTV DVRs are reqd to do. Also, unlike HDTV DVRs, external drives can be disconnected w/o losing everything (e.g., Tivo). All this makes the HDDs portable between PhilMag DVDRs that have at least the external SATA cable (move the dock between machines) or that have another docking station (move just the HDDs)..

Even tho SATA drives are hot-swappable in computers, our Pioneers say it's not possible since the machine has to "recognize" the drive on machine startup. In fact, for now, drive swaps should only be done AFTER you see the blue or grey screen on your TV, indicating the drive and all ops have fully stopped, which is 10-20 sec AFTER you power the DVDR off.

For 3575/3576/2080/2160, which have a PATA drive, you'll have to ADD an IDE/SATA Adapter like this one to connect to the existing 40-pin IDE cabling and allow SATA/eSATA cabling to the exterior. You can also order a SATA Adapter from Funai (~$12) butthen you'll need a "simple" mod. to add the PATA power connector, as described and pictured here. The recommended IDE/SATA Adapter has the proper connections without modification.

If you have a SATA-based model (2160A/513/515/53x/557), you don't need the "IDE/SATA adapter." You just need a longer SATA/eSATA cable to reach a docking station outside the case.

In deciding on your approach to a HDD farm, you might read some descriptions that mention "eSATA" when they're using std internal SATA drives. Just be aware that there are SATA AND eSATA HDDs, but their cable interfaces are not compatible with each other, as described in this Wiki article. An eSATA interface is deeper and ruggedized for repetitive connection/disconnection... which is NOT needed when using a HDD docking station (cables stay connected at all times).

You don't need to use eSATA HDDs, just normal SATA drives. Many people say "eSATA" when they mean they "externalized" their std SATA drives thru an eSATA drive enclosure. That's the simplest approach and least costly cuz SATA drives are widely available and reasonably priced, as are single and multiple eSATA drive enclosures.

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Plug-and-Play with Single External HDD

SCOTTYPA... 12/08/09... 2160A... Externalized 500GB Samsung 500GB Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ SATA in Rosewill RX35-AT-SC eSATA External Enclosure
He replaced orig. 160GB SATA with an externalized 3.5" HDD in a single Rosewill enclosure (not multi-bay like Auskck) and with NO docking station. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Some single-drive eSATA enclosures are shown here.


JAM-H... 1/25/13... 515... Externalized 500GB WD AV Series with Silicone ProtectaDrive Sleeve

Didn't need a dock-and-play system since he didn't plan to connect multiple drives and switch often, so he installed the HDD in a silicone sleeve, as described in his excellent post here.

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2.5-inch Laptop Systems

For an INTERNAL or EXTERNAL setup, you could also use Hitachi 2-1/2" 5400rpm Travelstar 5ZK320, 5ZK500 or 5K1000 drives or Western Digital Scorpio Blue 3Gbps models, both of which are made for laptops and which use MUCH less power than 3-1/2" drives. If you go this route, make sure you get a Dock that fits both 2.5" and 3.5" drives. You only need 5400rpm drives in any Philips or Mag unit.

 

Walmart online sells 2.5" HDDs, including the WD Scorpio Blue models (free ship-to-store and 15-day return to store on "computer hardware").


For internal installation, Auskck and Sydyen used alternate mounting methods for their 2.5" laptop drives like the Travelstar. They must be securely mounted to prevent vibration and movement while operating, but they don't fit in the same 3.5" screw holes, so Auskck mounted his 2.5" with Velcro.

Sydyen mounted 2.5" 5400 rpm drives on wood blocks in two of his DVDRs and has been running them for more than FOUR YEARS, with heavy editing and fragmentation. He reports no problems at all. In fact, he says he no longer worries about the Divide/Delete editing bug that can occur sometimes... he does it all the time with his 2.5" drive units.

Ti-Triodes mounted his 2.5" drive with one screw in the 3.5" bracket and double-sided tape, as described here.

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Researching and Selecting HDD Model


For researching mfgr's specs and availability of various HDDs, I've found no better website than newegg.com. Enter a HDD model # in the Search box at top. Below the pic of the drive will be mfgr's info and a product page with the specs you need to know or a link to download the mfgr's spec sheet.

 

Walmart online also sells many internal 2-1/2" and 3-1/2" SATA and solid-state HDDs (free ship-to-store and 15-day retur to store on "computer hardware").


Use the tables below to see which HDD series and model # was one of the original OEM drives found in these DVDRs or Alternates used by some upgraders. As drive technology advances and those listed drives become harder to find, use the info in the tables to find either the newer models of same series or other drives with same specs... esp. the 512 bytes/sector format. Personally, if choices and budget permit, I'd look for drives that specify they're for "AV" or "DVR" operation, esp. for the 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557, which are *always* auto-recording.

Funai does not stock or sell HDDs.

 

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Solid State Drives (SSD)

 

You might read some older posts that say flash-based SSDs are not good for multiple rewrites. However, the technology has been changing rapidly so deciding on using a SSD will take some extra research to make sure you get the most current info on the technology.

 

To cut to the chase, here's a summary page on a SSD Endurance Test showing (beneath the pics) more than 600TB of writes to a variety of SSDs, plus short- and long-term unplugged data-retention tests. A TLC-based Samsung 840 Series is clearly not as good as the other MLC-based dirves. As the article says, "The Intel 335 Series continues to report only one bad block, and the Corsair Neutron GTX remains fully intact. So does the HyperX drive we're testing with compressible data." The full article describes the test setup and methods in more detail.

 

The take-away in 2014 is: there's a big diff, between iffy single-level cell (SLC) or triple-level cell (TLC) SSDs and the much-better multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs.

 

Older Info Archived In Place:

 

Here's a post by a user who has had 7-9+ years of use from SSDs. He mentions that SLC NAND SSDs do not last as long as MLC NAND drives. 

 

Here's a comparison of SSDs and HDDs.

 

Many HDD sellers have SSDs, including Walmart online (free ship-to-store and 15-day return to store on "computer hardware"). Most people seem to recommend my favorite, NewEgg, for info and deals on SSD drives.

 

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

FW-Usable HDD Capacities (~Hours)

 

Rec Mode      80G   160G   250G     320G'   500G²    1TB²    
1-hr-HQ 15 33 51 61 103 206
2-hr-SP 30 66 103 126 206 412
2.5-hr-SPP 38 82 129 158 258 516
3-hr-LP 45 99 155 190 310 620
4-hr-EP 60 132 206 253 413 826
6-hr-SLP 90 199 310 384 620 1240

 

'Some replacement 300 and 320GB drives may be seen by FW as "non-std" and MAY format to ~250GB capacity, as reported by TimeLine62 and dfw515 here (3 posts).
²500GB is largest usable capacity allowed by our FW in all models except 53x Series, which all have the same FW and a 1TB limit, as found by Nostradimwit here.


Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Table I. OEM HDD for 357x/2080

Much has changed since the original IDE/PATA HDDs for the 357x/2080 were procured and installed in 2006-2007, so finding the latest SATA drives (and IDE/SATA adapters) with much lower Idle power reqmts should be pretty easy.

Seagate DB35 Series PATA, One Confirmed OEM HDD in 357x/2080
Special Note on Hitachi Deskstar HDDs
 

GB    PATA Model #       OpW  IdleW   H x W x D in.                    H x W x D mm             
80 ST380215ACE 5.0 4.8 0.787 x 4.010 x 5.787 19.99 x 101.6 x 146.6
160 ST3160215ACE 5.0 4.8 0.787 x 4.010 x 5.787 19.99 x 101.6 x 146.6
250 ST3250820ACE 8.2 9.3* 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 146.99
320 ST3320820ACE 8.2 9.3* 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 146.99
400 ST3400820ACE 8.2 9.3* 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 146.99
500 ST3500830ACE 8.2 9.3* 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 146.99


*For 250-500GB upgrades, there are better options than this 5-yr-old drive series. The higher-capacity drives use a significantly higher IdleW power draw (+94%) compared to the OEM 80/160GB drive for which the 2080/357x were designed... and 2080/357x are at Idle a LOT compared to a 2160/513/515/53x/557. See Table II for a lower-power PATA HDD for the 2080/357x as a direct replacement. Also see Tables III-V or Tables A-1-A-3 for better OEM or Alternate lower-power SATA HDDs you can use in a 2080/357x by adding an IDE/SATA Adapter like this.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Table II. OEM HDD for 2160 (OK for 357x/2080, But NOT 2160A/513/515/53x/557)

Hitachi 7K500 Series "GLAT" PATA, One Confirmed OEM HDD in 2160
Special Note on Hitachi Deskstar HDDs

 

GB    PATA Model #               OpW   IdleW   H x W x D in.                H x W x D mm         
160 HDP725016GLAT80 6.1 3.3 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.79 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
250 HDP725025GLAT80 6.1 3.3 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.79 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
320 HDP725032GLAT80 7.9 4.5 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.79 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
400 HDP725040GLAT80 7.9 4.5 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.79 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
500 HDP725050GLAT80 7.9 4.5 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.79 26.1 x 101.6 x 147


HD=Hitachi DeskStar
AT80: AT=PATA, 6=16MB cache, 8=8MB cache, 0=Reserved
Cache size makes NO noticeable difference in our DVDRs.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Table III. OEM HDD for 2160A (OK for 513/515)
(OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)


Hitachi 7K1000.B Series "SLA" SATA, One Confirmed OEM HDD in 2160A
Special Note on Hitachi Deskstar HDDs

 

GB    SATA Model #                     OpW   IdleW   H x W x D in.                H x W x D mm          
160 HDT721016SLA380 6.4 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
250 HDT721025SLA380 6.4 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
320 HDT721032SLA360/380 8.2 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
500 HDT721050SLA360/380 8.2 4.4 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147

 

Sep 2013: Many AVS members are currently using Western Digital AV-GP drives in their HD DVRs, here's a 500GB WD5000AUDX drive in that series that should work well in the 2160A?


IdleW (power used during idle) is essentially irrelevant to the 2160 and MDR series of DVDRs since they are seldom in an idle state... they're almost always auto-recording in the background. Thus, OpW (power during typical user ops) is the only power stat of real interest or consequence to a 2160A/MDR user.

HD=Hitachi DeskStar
A360/A380: A3=SATA, 6=16MB cache, 8=8MB cache, 0=Reserved
Cache size makes NO noticeable difference in our DVDRs.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Table IV. OEM HDD for 513 & 515 (OK for 2160A)
(OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)


WD AV-GP AVVS, One Confirmed OEM HDD in 513 & 515

Other AV GP drives OK -- "AVVS" model has 8MB cache, "AVCS" has 16MB cache, and "AVDS" has 32MB cache. (Cache size is not important in our DVDRs.)
 

GB    SATA Model #      OpW   IdleW   H x W x D in.                H x W x D mm         
160 WD1600AVVS 4.7 2.3 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 25.4 x 101.6 x 147
250 WD2500AVVS 4.7 2.3 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 25.4 x 101.6 x 147
320 WD3200AVVS 4.7 2.3 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 25.4 x 101.6 x 147
500 WD5000AVVS 4.1 3.7 1.028 x 4.00 x 5.787 25.4 x 101.6 x 147


This WD AV-GP series is an OEM drive in the 513 and 515 (320GB and 500GB).

 

Sep 2013: Many AVS members are currently using Western Digital AV-GP drives in their HD DVRs, here's a 500GB WD5000AUDX drive in that series that should work well in the 513?

Another HDD that can be used in the 513 is an OEM drive found in the 515: the Hitachi CinemaStar 5K1000 CE Series listed in Table V below.

Notes:
1. The WD-AV series HDDs have a feature called Preemptive Wear Leveling (PWL) that sweeps the heads over the platter(s) when the machine is idle to even out wear. However, according to Stapler1234, it also makes clicking/clacking noises, so they had to modify the FW to reduce that noise. Also, the Mags are hardly ever in idle, so this WD AV-GP series *might* not be a good upgrade choice?

2. One user, dfw515, tried to make use of these in a dock-and-play external drive but he claimed it wouldn't start up in time to catch the beginning of a timer recording. (Never heard from him again for resolution/confirmation.) It's a "green" drive and other people with Moxi's etc. seem to also have problems with their green WD's?


IdleW (power used during idle) is essentially irrelevant to the 2160 and MDR series of DVDRs since they are seldom in an idle state... they're almost always auto-recording in the background. Thus, OpW (power during typical user ops) is the only power stat of real interest or consequence to a 2160A/MDR user.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Table V. OEM HDD for 515 (OK for 2160A/513)
(OK for 357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)


Hitachi CinemaStar 5K1000 CE Series, One Confirmed HDD in 515
Special Note on Hitachi Deskstar HDDs

One confirmed HDD in the 515 is a Hitachi CinemaStar 5K1000 CE Series "HCS-CLA" drive, one of Hitachi's latest 3.5" drives "designed to support on-demand digital video solutions." These are 1-platter drives, 5700 rpm, fast startup/shutdown... in the 515, times are trimmed to 10/7 sec.

 

GB    SATA Model #               OpW  IdleW  H x W x D in.                H x W x D mm          
160 HCS5C1016CLA382 6.4 2.9 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
250 HCS5C1025CLA382 6.4 2.9 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
320 HCS5C1032CLA382 6.4 2.9 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
500 HCS5C1050CLA382 6.4 2.9 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147


Another OEM HDD found in the 515 is a WD AV-GP 5000 series listed in Table IV above...see the Notes for that series in Table IV. The WD "AVVS" model has 8MB cache, "AVCS" has 16MB cache, and "AVDS" has 32MB cache. (Cache size is not important in our DVDRs.)

 

Sep 2013: Many AVS members are currently using Western Digital AV-GP drives in their HD DVRs, here's a 500GB WD5000AUDX drive in that series that should work well in the 515?

 

Nov 2012 - Profhat replaced his 515 HDD with a Hitachi Deskstar SATA Series III HDS721050CLA662, as described in sequential posts here. His successful install post is here.

IdleW (power used during idle) is essentially irrelevant to the 2160 and MDR series of DVDRs since they are seldom in an idle state... they're almost always auto-recording in the background. Thus, OpW (power during typical user ops) is the only power stat of real interest or consequence to a 2160A/MDR user.

HC=Hitachi CinemaStar

HD=Hitachi Deskstar
A360/A380: A3=SATA, 6=16MB cache, 8=8MB cache, 2=Reserved
Cache size makes NO noticeable difference in our DVDRs.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

 

Table VI. OEM HDD for 53x Series

 

The 53x Series (and 557?) HDDs have a different allocation unit (cluster) size in the FW so PeterTheGeek says it doesn't appear possible to swap HDDs between the previous 7 generations of these recorders without Initializing the 53x formatted HDD. The certainty of this has not been tested as of May 2014.


Can't include a table of confirmed HDD models. In Sep-Oct 2012, Funai started having problems they traced to their redesigned OEM power supply (PS). That required a change in the 533 and 535 models to 2-1/2" HDDs, which draw much less power (+5V vs +12V peak), so it would be wise to use a similar 2-1/2" HDD as a replacement or upgrade in a 533 or 535 model (or a 537 for that matter).

 

ONE opened 537 so far still had a 3-1/2" HDD, but we don't have any definitive info on that yet. It could have been an early 2012 model that got distributed before Funai found the problem?

 

You only need a 5400rpm drive in the 53x Series (or any other Mag recorder for that matter).

 

2-1/2" HDDs: First 2-1/2" HDD was found by Videobruce. His refurb'd 533 had a 2-1/2" Hitachi Travelstar HDD, Z5K320 (320GB, 5400rpm) SATA-II (3Gbps). The 533 was originally mfgd in Aug 2012. Info and specs: 320GB (Z5K320) ... 500 GB (Z5K500) ... 1TB (5K1000). He asked Funai what was up, and they told him about the PS problem and downsizing of the HDD. MarkB49 found the 500GB version of the same 2-1/2" drive in his new 535, mfgd in Sep 2012 and purchased on 1/14/13. If you prefer Western Digital drives, a good choice for the 533 or 535 is their 2-1/2" 5400rpm 3Gbs (SATA-II) models is the Scorpio Blue Series described in this WD data sheet.

 

HDD Capacity: Since all 53x Series models have the exact same FW, a 2-1/2" 1000GB (1TB) HDD should also be usable in the 533 or 535 and give full 1TB capacity.


Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). 

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.


Table A-1. Alternate Hitachi "HDP-GLA" HDD for 2160A/513/515
(+357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)


Hitachi 7K500 Series "GLA" SATA
Special Note on Hitachi Deskstar HDDs


These "HDP-GLA" models are the ones used by our Pioneers Alitin, Busey and JoeKustra. See Table III for the OEM model used in the 2160A.

 

GB    SATA Model #                     OpW  IdleW  H x W x D in.                H x W x D mm          
160 HDP725016GLA380 6.4 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
250 HDP725025GLA380 6.4 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
320 HDP725032GLA360/380 8.2 4.8 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
400 HDP725040GLA360/380 8.2 4.8 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
500 HDP725050GLA360/380 8.2 4.8 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147


IdleW (power used during idle) is essentially irrelevant to the 2160 and MDR series of DVDRs since they are seldom in an idle state... they're almost always auto-recording in the background. Thus, OpW (power during typical user ops) is the only power stat of real interest or consequence to a 2160A/MDR user.

HD=Hitachi DeskStar
A360/A380: A3=SATA, 6=16MB cache, 8=8MB cache, 0=Reserved
Cache size makes NO noticeable difference in our DVDRs.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Table A-2. Alternate Hitachi "HDS-CLA" HDD for 2160A/513/515
(+357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)


Note: These drives have a high rate of failure or DOA in NewEgg reviews... all in computer usage AFAICT. However, I included this table anyway cuz three of our Pioneers installed the 500GB drive (mickinct in May 2010, bodhi78 in June 2010, and gmacted on unknown date) and have not reported any problems so far. YMMV!?

These are Hitachi 7K1000.C DeskStar Series "HDS-CLA" drives built to SATA 2 specs (rev. 2.6). Here's an article on SATA 2... and here's a post by Dartman on the I/F transfer rate diff. of SATA 2 vs SATA 1 drives (300MB/s vs 150MB/s) and the possibility of a jumper it might have to "slow" the rate down if it doesn't like the host's controller and chipset.

Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000.C SATA II (SATA 2)
See Special Note on Hitachi Deskstar HDDs

 

GB    SATA Model #               OpW  IdleW  H x W x D in.             H x W x D mm          
160 HDS721016CLA382 6.6 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
250 HDS721025CLA382 6.6 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
320 HDS721032CLA362 6.6 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147
500 HDS721050CLA362 6.6 3.6 1.03 x 4.00 x 5.787 26.1 x 101.6 x 147


IdleW (power used during idle) is essentially irrelevant to the 2160 and MDR series of DVDRs since they are seldom in an idle state... they're almost always auto-recording in the background. Thus, OpW (power during typical user ops) is the only power stat of real interest or consequence to a 2160A/MDR user.

HD=Hitachi DeskStar
A360/A380: A3=SATA, 6=16MB cache, 8=8MB cache, 2=Reserved
Cache size makes NO noticeable difference in our DVDRs.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Table A-3. Alternate Seagate "ST-AS" HDD for 2160A/513/515
(+357x/2080/2160 w/Adapter)


Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 Series SATA
See Special Note on Hitachi Deskstar HDDs

 

GB    SATA Model #      OpW  IdleW  H x W x D in.              H x W x D mm               
160 ST3160318AS 6.19 4.6 0.78 x 4.00 x 5.787 20.0 x 101.6 x 146.99
250 ST3250318AS 6.19 4.6 0.78 x 4.00 x 5.787 20.0 x 101.6 x 146.99
320 ST3320418AS 6.57 5.0 0.78 x 4.00 x 5.787 20.0 x 101.6 x 146.99
500 ST3500418AS 6.57 5.0 0.78 x 4.00 x 5.787 20.0 x 101.6 x 146.99


IdleW (power used during idle) is essentially irrelevant to the 2160 and MDR series of DVDRs since they are seldom in an idle state... they're almost always auto-recording in the background. Thus, OpW (power during typical user ops) is the only power stat of real interest or consequence to a 2160A/MDR user.

Do not cover the small breather hole in HDDs, and don't put your finger on it (or it'll ingest your greasy boogers on next startup). Hitachi's breather hole is in back-top area.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

 

Removing and Replacing Parts

PRECAUTIONS!

 

DO NOT TELL CUSTOMER SUPPORT THAT YOU DID ANY OF THE SKIP CODES. TELL THEM YOU NEVER HEARD OF "SKIP CODES" OR "RESETS." IT COULD GIVE THEM A REASON (IN THEIR MINDS) TO DENY YOU ANY ASSISTANCE!

 

These machines have Standy power, an amplified coax circuit when plugged in, an active HDMI comm. link with your TV, and backup power even when unplugged! If you don't remove all power and dissipate/drain residual electricity, you could easily zap the unit or a connected component like your HDTV.

 

Here are some tips that might help you avoid a bad experience:

  1. PLEASE... UNPLUG this DVDR from all power source(s) AND from any connected components (video and audio cables, esp. HDMI)!

    This guy zapped his Philips 3455 when he left it plugged in then touched a circuit board with the burner he was reinstalling!

    This guy delved into his 515 w/o help from the experienced members here and learned many lessons he wants you to know about.

  2. Let unit sit for X minutes to drain any residual electricity... at least 10 min. for 357x/2080/2160/2160A/513, and at least 2.5 hours for 515/53x/557.
  3. Remove jewelry from hands, wrists, ears, nose, lips, neck, nipples, etc. and stuff from shirt pockets that could fall in case while working inside or leaning over it.
  4. Keep all drinks and other liquids away from your working area.
  5. Touch the case to get rid of any static electricity in your bod.
  6. Don't touch exposed connector pins or flat copper strips on HDD/ribbon cable connectors (in case static rebuilds in you while working), and don't let any components you remove or install touch them either!
  7. Look for and lift up any "pinch" or "clamshell" clips (locks) on ends of ribbon cables or on mating PCBs/adapters before trying to remove the cables. Those clips must be carefully lifted to allow easy disconnect and pinched back in place when reconnecting. They can be broken if not unclipped before pulling the cable end-fitting loose (straight out, don't wiggle too much). If you break a clip/lock, cable will prob. not stay in place.
  8. Remove and/or install ribbon-cable end-fittings STRAIGHT in or out, as shown in the sketch below titled "Instructions for Connectors." These cables have thin copper on their mating surfaces which can be "smeared" by wiggling sideways back-and-forth while pulling off or pressing on. Also, the ground pins inside the connector are diff. sizes, with ground pins LONGER so they all make contact first to prevent short circuits. Rocking the ribbon cable sideways to remove or install circumvents that "ground-pin-first" design feature.
  9. If you use a file, drill or dremel to make or expand an opening in the back for the external cable, protect the inside PCBs from metal particles. Use a cloth or other non-conductive shield near the work area and check for particles before closing up. Cleanest and safest way to create an opening might be to make two cuts at top edge of the case with "tin snips" or "nibbler" and fold the cut section down and inward (with pliers?) to protect the cable at the exit point. For other type of holes/slots, use a rubber grommet or equivalent around the hole or slot.

 

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Remove Cover To Work Inside

 

See PRECAUTIONS above.

 

  1. Gather tools:
    1. Posidrive #2 screwdriver OR Philips with non-sharp tip and flatter angles. You can file sharp point down slightly until you get good biting surfaces for the small screws.
    2. Single-edge razor blade, safety pin or similar tape/ribbon releaser/scraper... for HDD only.
    3. Drill for removing stuck screw heads.... maybe?
    4. Dremel or "Nibbler" for cutting opening in back of case... only if going "external."
  2. Follow illustrations below and detailed procedures written by our HDD Prioneers above (those in red).

 

  Pull/push straight in, no rocking side-to-side. Ground pins inside connectors are longer to assure they ALL make contact fist.
  Replace ground "Plate" shown below on new HDD.


Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Order Parts & Service Manual

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In contacting suppliers, always include the DVDR model name (2160, etc.) & model number (E2Sxxxx, E2Mxxxx, etc.) from back tag, along with the requested part so the parts supplier can make SURE you get the correct part for your machine. All info here is on a "best-efforts" basis from various sources and could be WRONG!


For MAGNAVOX parts: Email parts@funaiservice.com (Columbus OH).

For PHILLIPS parts: An unsolved problem. Funaiservice.com doesn't stock parts for Philips DVDRs. On diff. occasions, Funai has pointed to its subsidiaary, P&F USA, or Encompass Parts, 1-800-432-8542. P&F seems to only have a few accessories. Encompass seems to be a wholesaler and hasn't responded to emails I sent!?

For Magnavox, Funai might send you a Service Manual (SM) along with your part(s) if you request it for your "repair project." Otherwise, the SM costs $25.00. Don't know about P&F or Encompass policies.

See specific subjects below for repairing/replacing common parts.

Make sure you keep your old or broken machines around for parts!

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

 

Open Stuck DVD Tray

See PRECAUTIONS above.

Sketch below shows rotating gear fwd but that's only if the tray is STUCK IN THE MACHINE. Obviously, rotate the gear the other way, or both ways, if it's stuck halfway or anywhere outside... you're just trying to get it to engage in full-out or full-in position!


CAUTION: DigaDo also took some pics of a critical white-plastic slider part you should not touch cuz it breaks easily.

Also thanks to DigaDo, a picture of the white DVD drive gear is below:



Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Clean DVD Spindle

 

See PRECAUTIONS above.

 

The need for spindle cleaning is directly proportional to how often you load/unload discs with a finger in the center hole and how many greasy boogers you deposit there while doing so.

 

Mag HDD/DVD Recorders (very rare need): Click here.

 

Emerson DVD Recorders (very rare need): Click here.

 

Panasonic DVD Recorders (routine cleaning needed): Click here.

 

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.


Replace DVD Burner

 

See PRECAUTIONS above.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In contacting suppliers, always include the DVDR model name (2160, etc.) & model number (E2Sxxxx, E2Mxxxx, etc.) from back tag, along with the requested part so the parts supplier can make SURE you get the correct part for your machine. All info here is on a "best-efforts" basis from various sources and could be WRONG!


All MAGNAVOX DVD burners with mated/calibrated Main PCB (Funai's "Main CBA") cost $67.99.

ALL DVDR FW IS LOCATED ON THE DVD MAIN CBA (PCB). That's why they sell the burners WITH the mated CBA. This means you'll get the OEM FW Versions for the machine the burner was designed for, altho if updated/later FW is still available for download, you can update it yourself to the FW specifically for your machine. (One reason it's so important that you DOWNLOAD ALL FW ZIP FILES AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE on the Funai website and store them away for possible future use, even if they're not for a machine you currently have.)

 

Special Note on 53x models: NO USER-INSTALLABLE FW IS AVAILABLE YET FOR THE 53X SERIES. This means that, if you use a burner for a previous model (e.g., the 513 burner), you SHOULD NOT replace the 53x Main PCB that comes with each new burner, or you'll get a 53x that operates like a 513, with no way to get the original 53x FW back except by re-installing the 53x's Main PCB. You could update the FW to SuperFW 727V, but it doesn't seem worth the trouble and potential (unknown) problems... no one has done this yet on a 53x unit.


PN's are as follows:
See Special Note above
Ordering info is here.
 

Brand| Model| Spd| Burner PN| Notes
Mag 53x 8X N78F4FUN Not in stock yet. Check w/Funai. Can use 513 burner, but DO NOT use 513 PCB (513 FW is on PCB & we have no 53x FW yet).
Mag 515 8X N78F3FUN No longer available. Can use 513 burner, but don't use the 513 PCB (513 FW is on PCB).
Mag 513 8X N78F0FUN Also works in 515. *Should* work in 53x, 2160/A, and 357x if you use just the burner, not the 513 PCB.³
Mag 2160A 8X N78F0FUN Ditto
Mag 2160 8X N78F8EUN Ditto
Mag 2080 4X N78F4DUN Ditto
Philips 3576 4X Use 3575?¹³ Ditto
Philips 3575 4X N78P3DUN²³ Ditto

 

¹Philips PN is 996510003027. Not available from Funai.
²Confirmed by one user. Not available from Funai.

³rkg22 proved that a Mag burner will work in a Philips 357x if you don't try to use the Mag PCB. Main PCB's for PHILIPS will NOT work in Mag DVDRs and vice versa, not just electromechanically, but because all FW is on that Main PCB. Later, he verified that the Mag Main PCB cannot be used in the 357x, even tho the Mag burners can. Do this yourself AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Procedure for Replacing DVD Burner

See PRECAUTIONS above.

 

  1. Gather tools:
    1. Posidrive #2 screwdriver OR Philips with non-sharp tip and flatter angles. You can file sharp point down slightly until you get good biting surfaces for the small screws.
    2. Flathead screwdriver, small and/or medium... maybe?
  2. Remove screws from cover, then slide top cover back, as shown in the illustration above and pics below.

 

DigaDo ordered a replacement DVD drive for his 2160 from Funai and has taken pics located here (2 posts).
As shown in DigaDo's pics, the replacement drive comes with the small attached CBA/PCB boards underneath with the mini-ribbon cables attached and ready to install on the separate, adjacent PCB that comes with the replacement drive, identified in the right-hand sketch above as the "DVD/HDD Main CBA Assembly."

Here's a post by dfw515 and, 6 posts down, some further discussion of specific instructions on working with the ribbon cables, etc.

CAUTION: DigaDo also took some pics of a critical white-plastic slider part you should not touch cuz it breaks easily.

Below are pics I took to see how difficult it was to remove the DVD drive (but not the mated PCB) from a 3575... it was pretty easy.
 

↓Front Insides - Mounting Screws Removed
from Edges of Drive w/Philips Scrwdrv
       ↓Right-Front Retaining Clip (Pry Up Slightly To
Release Tang on Drive)
 
     
↓Left-Front Retaining Clip (Pry Up Slightly To
Release Tang on Drive)
  ↓Flipped - Gear Side - These ribbon cables are the
ones that could be loose
 
     
↓Flipped - Gear Side Closeup - Note One
Ribbon IN Slotted Bracket and One NOT
  ↓Flipped - View from Back - These are ribbon cable
that could be loose & cause op problems
 
     
↓Flipped - Closeup of Ribbons Showing
Attachment To Drive, One Up Inside and One 
on Accessible "Outside" Board. You don't
remove these. See ribbon instructions
 starting here and continuing 6 posts down.
  ↓Flipped - Bar Code on Side with Serial
Number(?) "L4681007417"
 
     
↓Reinstall - Ribbon on Right in Tight Fit with
PCB, Can Prevent Fully Seating Drive So Hold
Up and Make Sure it Is In Slotted Metal Bracket
(NOT In Here)... not a problem if replacing PCB
also... install drive first, then PCB and ribbons?
 

↓Reinstall - Make sure ribbons are in slotted brackets. 
With cables in place, jiggle drive while pressing down
on sides. Pegs in bottom of drive will "snap" in 
place in holes in mounting plate. It tries to stick
up in back with front clips in place, but jiggling and
pressing firmly on edges should get it to "snap" down.

 


Go back to list. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Replace Main Fuse

 

See PRECAUTIONS above. If you install the "wrong" glass fuse, you could damage components in the power supply. Also, Funai recommends NOT even plugging in power if you suspect the glass Main Fuse is blown cuz that could also damage the power supply.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In contacting suppliers, always include the DVDR model name (2160, etc.) & model number (E2Sxxxx, E2Mxxxx, etc.) from back tag, along with the requested part so the parts supplier can make SURE you get the correct part for your machine. All info here is on a "best-efforts" basis from various sources and could be WRONG!
 

700  700

 

Fuse (circled) in all units except 53x Series is glass and is called the "Main Fuse." It's in the bottom corner right where power cord enters. Removing the top cover is shown in the 1st pic here. Fusing in 53x units appears to be different... details TBD until someone wants to void their warranty, take a look, and share with others.

 

Note: The 53x Series units do NOT have a glass fuse. They have a soldered-in component fuse.

 

Symbol above might help identify the correct glass Main Fuse as a replacement. "F2001" is a Funai number in list of materials on their wiring diagrams. No one else will know what it means.

 

For MAGNAVOX only: If you have to replace the glass Main Fuse, like after a lightning strike, try ordering it from funaiservice.com, which may or may not have it in stock.. Ordering info is here.

That Main Fuse is a 2A 250V "Fast Operating" glass fuse, 5x20mm (5mm dia. x 20mm length). "Fast Operating" may be Funai's term for the more-common "Fast Acting"?

 

There are many other glass fuses that look alike and have same Amp and Voltage specs but different lengths and diameters, different names, etc.

 

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

 

Replace Fan

 

See PRECAUTIONS above.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In contacting suppliers, always include the DVDR model name (2160, etc.) & model number (E2Sxxxx, E2Mxxxx, etc.) from back tag, along with the requested part so the parts supplier can make SURE you get the correct part for your machine. All info here is on a "best-efforts" basis from various sources and could be WRONG!


For MAGNAVOX only: PN for all Magnavox fans except 2080 is MMEZR12XNR05 and costs $4.35.

Ordering info here.

 

One user's detailed instructions here.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Replace SATA Adapter

 

See PRECAUTIONS above.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In contacting suppliers, always include the DVDR model name (2160, etc.) & model number (E2Sxxxx, E2Mxxxx, etc.) from back tag, along with the requested part so the parts supplier can make SURE you get the correct part for your machine. All info here is on a "best-efforts" basis from various sources and could be WRONG!


For MAGNAVOX only: SATA Adapter for the 2160A, 513 and 515 is PN 1VSA20684, ordered from parts@funaiservice.com

You should never need replacing this unless it breaks?

Ordering info is here.

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

 

Replace Ribbon Cable

 

See PRECAUTIONS above.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In contacting suppliers, always include the DVDR model name (2160, etc.) & model number (E2Sxxxx, E2Mxxxx, etc.) from back tag, along with the requested part so the parts supplier can make SURE you get the correct part for your machine. All info here is on a "best-efforts" basis from various sources and could be WRONG!
 

Here's some tech. info on replacing ribbon cables in a MDR series unit (might apply to others as well).

 

See this story by a user who delved into his 515 w/o help from the experienced members here and learned many lessons he was kind enough to share with you here.

 

Here's one source for ribbon cable for the SATA Adapter in the MDR series.

 

Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.


Power Supply

These DVDRs use several different power supplies (PS). DigaDo and Auskck verified that their Mag 2080 and Philips 3575 used the same PS based on this pic posted by DigaDo. DigaDo also posted this pic of the PS in his original Mag 2160 (mfg Dec 2008), which matches the PS in one of my Philips 3575's (mfg Jan 2008). The only noticeable difference our Upgrade Pioneers have found so far from their 250 and 500GB drives after a year or more, besides the obvious HDD capacity increase, are a much better pic, e.g., Ti-Triodes (#6) and PaintModel (#12).

 

HOWEVER, all this changed with the 53x Series. Funai redesigned the PS for that series, then ran into problems with its lower power capacity, so they had to switch to 2-1/2" HDDs, which use less power. This means it's "pot-luck" for not only the PS but also the HDD in OEM and refurb'd 53x units!


Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

Expected Component Life & Actual Usage Stats

A Funai rep. has provided some stats on expected life of the DVD and HDD drives, as follows:

"We cannot guarantee but our design life is more than 1,000 hr.
In our lab test, the unit usually works more than 2,000 hr.
Maybe, motor life is a key point of DVD drive life.

"Regarding HDD, nobody knows the life as you know.
I met HDD sudden death few times in my PC.
But in my experience, my job PC worked (10 hrs per day) x (250 days per year) x (3 years no trouble) = 7,500 hr.
I think we can expect more than 10,000 hrs."

While those stats can be considered only "educated guesses" of life expectancy, a more important measure is actual usage by our Members.

Computerman3 recently reported that he had 9,631 hours of DVD use on his 3576 using crappy TDK discs, prob. also 16X!

The table below contains more, but older, data reported by our PhilMag machines as of the dates noted in the table. The data is only from people who've taken the tme to report their usage stats and includes only their highest-mileage "Phil" (3575/3576) or "Mag" (2080/2160) model.

To check your mileage, use SKIP 321 for DVD-WR/-RD times (hrs:min) FIRST cuz that menu can be exited with Back/Return, then use SKIP 079 for HDD POWER ON time (hrs), which requires a machine power-off to exit. Please post the numbers so I can add them to these tables and link your name to your post.

Some Accumulated Usage Since:
1st Philips 3575 purchased by an AVS Member: TimSH on 5/27/07.
1st Mag 2080 purchased by an AVS Member: ksjs02 on 10/15/07.
1st Philips 3576 purchased by an AVS Member: MMikeM on 4/19/08.
1st Mag 2160 purchased by an AVS Member: hugemoth ~8/5/08 (AVS lost 1 week of posts).

DVD-WR time is at full laser power; it's the disc-record/erase time, which depend on disc speed (e.g., 16X takes more power than 8X, 8X more than 4X).

DVD-RD time is Standby (just plugged-in) laser power, called "bias" power. It's the power the machine maintains on the laser while it's "off "so it's "ready to read" from the get-go, AND it's the disc reading/playback power level.
 

User              HDD hrs      DVD-WR h:m DVD-RD h:m As of         
Name
Phil   
Mag   
Phil
Mag
Phil
Mag
Date
Chuck44
1695
 
9:31
 
37:07
  7/29/09
DigaDo
920
1118
105:11  
81:49  
341:59  
253:30  
3/30/10
Jjeff's Dad
3086
 
22:37
 
183:00
  9/5/09
Kansas_Tom
709
800
0:00
0:29
2:50
1:26
7/29/09
Stump69
4162
1265
49:45
12:10
289:51
131:54
8/2/09
sydyen
3256
4335
0:00
1:32
0:00
30:27
8/4/09
tfj2u
4380
2694
48:32
37:01
844:46
466:32
7/30/09
wajo
5696
3184 18:45 2:11 123:43 16:00 7/8/12


Go back to list.... Go to main list of help files.

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post #39 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 07:28 PM
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Thanks Wabjxo,

Lots of features to learn to use. I am psyched to never have reach for a VCR tape again. I usually record 2-3 shows/wk, and the VCR PQ sucks! No flipping through tapes trying to find the right one. And I can watch a recorded show while recording a show for my wife. This is the only electronics purchase in recent memory that is happening with no flak from the boss

I didn't see any commercial skip feature. Oh well, it can't be any worse the FW-ing a videotape!
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post #40 of 25743 Old 11-29-2007, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darynd View Post

Thanks Wabjxo,

Lots of features to learn to use. I am psyched to never have reach for a VCR tape again. I usually record 2-3 shows/wk, and the VCR PQ sucks! No flipping through tapes trying to find the right one. And I can watch a recorded show while recording a show for my wife. This is the only electronics purchase in recent memory that is happening with no flak from the boss

I didn't see any commercial skip feature. Oh well, it can't be any worse the FW-ing a videotape!

You don't ever have to see a commercial again. Toggle button on left has SKIP on top and REPLAY on bottom. Each is settable from 5 sec per push to 5 minutes... we use 1 minute SKIP and 30 sec REPLAY, work well. Setting is made in the Setup > General Setting > Playback menu.
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post #41 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 12:00 AM
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You guys are funny, thanks for the laughs!

I notice that WalMart is out of these things.

Are these likely to be phased out, and if I want one should I try to get one ASAP?

Just noticed some discussion about the paucity of this type of device and conjecture as to the reasons. (or maybe more than conjecture?)

Please advise!
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post #42 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 04:01 AM
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Ordered mine yesterday from Amazon (JR Music World) Thanks Wabjxo for all the research and help you supply.

Home Theater on a Budget!
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post #43 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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AUDIO LEVEL PROBLEMS

Jump To:
Excellent Notes on Digital Audio and DD5.1
DD5.1 and Our DVDRs
Low Audio on Analog/Digital Channels

Excellent Notes on Digital Audio and DD5.1

Click here for an excellent series of short notes on all things related to digital audio and DD5.1 (updated 5/10/10).

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

DD5.1 on Our DVDRs

 

  1. DD5.1 will be compressed by this DVDR thru the tuner or line inputs to DD2.0, its default audio compression scheme. You will see all your recordings indicate Stereo in your HDTV display. (One of many articles for ref.)
     
  2. People with cable or sat STBs may be able to increase the audio output from their STBs to this DVDR by changing Audio Compression to Heavy. Play w/those settings to find the bext combo for recording.
     
  3. DD5.1 can be played from a commercial DVD thru the optical or digital coax output to a DD5.1-capable AV receiver if you select that input on your receiver.
     
  4. DD5.1 may be sent by OTA broadcast stations and received as DD5.1 thru an OTA antenna and passed thru the coax circuit to DD5.1-capable downstream components. Only SOME OTA programs actually carry DD5.1, so check the program bugs/info since this is something they might advertise in advance or as it's shown. Here's a thread on OTA stations that carry DD5.1.
     
  5. DD5.1 is carried by some cable companies in those programs that have it, as confirmed by Bodhi78 here.
     
  6. The HDTV is the final control over the HDMI circuit and the best place to start in troubleshooting DD5.1 problems. *Most* HDTVs won't process DD5.1 over HDMI but will over optical or coax digital. So, look to your TV first if you get no DD5.1 over HDMI on an OTA program that you KNOW carries DD5.1 audio.

    Here's an AVS Forum thread on a Monoprice HDMI switch that wasn't processing DD5.1. In that thread, "Weirdo" posted (03-08-10) that he knew of only one HDTV at that time that can process DD5.1 over HDMI:

    "The only time this switch will ever work as advertised is either:

    "(1) Your TV can accept DD or DTS 5.1 via HDMI and can send EDID info [see our EDID help file] to your HDMI source device like that. Your chance to get such TV is about 0% because I only heard about one such TV that is promised to come in the future.
    "Or
    "(2) Your HDMI source device can overwrite TV's EDID handshake info and send out DD or DTS 5.1 regardless. I know PS3 allows you to do that and some cable HD box (SA8300HD running SARA software) can do that as well.

    "Otherwise, you will only gettting PCM 2.0 from the switch's digital out.

    "For what it's worth, my relatively old LG 37LC2D will pass through 5.1 audio untouched from the HDMI input to the SPDIF output. It worked great, even with my older Monoprice 4x1 switch. I used it that way with both TiVo S3 and PS3. (which properly detected support for DD 5.1).
    "

    This was followed in the next post by RoboRay with this:

    "Exactly. There are TVs that will do this, although it's certainly not a common feature.

    "The last device in the HDMI audio chain (the TV, in this case) is in charge. It's a little silly to blame the switch for not passing audio formats that your TV specifically told the source device not to send out."

 

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Low Audio on Analog/Digital Channels

 

  • Update 9/9/10 - I noticed my 3575 has had louder audio on digital channels than my Vizio LCD. Before, digital audio was ALWAYs lower in volume. Inexplicable, but nice!
     
  • Update 11/13/11 - For viewing live TV thru this DVDR's tuner, you may get higher audio volume thru HDMI connection compared to the analog connections (W/R RCA). Recorded audio is a diff. story, as explained below.
     
  • Update 1/20/12 - I noticed the audio level thru my 3575 and 2160 attached to the same 47" LCD on the same network's analog and digital duplicates in my analog cable feed is lower on the digital channels and EVEN LOWER on the analog channels.

 

Lots of people in various threads and other forums have commented on "low sound" from digital channels compared to analog (except see Update 1/20/12 above).

With these DVDRs, you might experience lower audio from your TV's normal volume setting when VIEWING digital channels thru this DVDR's tuner. There should be NO difference when VIEWING analog channels.

You might also notice the same difference in your RECORDINGS... noticeably lower volume in RECORDINGS from digital channels, but no difference in RECORDINGS from analog channels.

The link given in the 1st section above has this note:

"3. DD5.1 channels are often 10-20 dB lower in sound level than DD2.0 channels. In general, all DD broadcasts vary a lot more than analogue broadcasts regarding sound levels."

And it's not just the "channels" that cause this but the program's audio production std... if DD5.1 is embedded in the program, that's prob. what gets broadcast, so audio volume will be lower no matter what channel the program appears on.

This is apparently a known condition since the ATSC has recently issued guidelines for maximizing the audio experience with digital broadcast and reception:
 

ATSC Sets DTV Audio Loudness Guidelines

By Greg Tarr -- TWICE, 11/6/2009

Washington - The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) said Thursday it has approved a recommended practice for establishing and maintaining audio loudness for digital television.


I've tried all sorts of settings that I thought might be "wrong" but there is NO setting in this DVDR to help the audio on HDD titles that were produced with sucky sound and broadcast on digital channels.

Tips:

1. Check Channel > TV Audio Select and make sure it's set for STEREO and NOT for SAP.

2. Change Playback > Disc Audio > Dynamic Range Control from its default ON to OFF but don't count on it being the answer.

People with cable or sat STBs may be able to increase the audio output from their STBs by changing Audio Compression to Heavy. Diff. boxes have other options so try all their audio output/compression options.

From a recent RECORDING of mine, I found that, sometimes, the audio difference can be embedded in the program PRODUCTION or BROADCAST itself!

Our TV's "normal" audio setting is ~1/4 way up, but for many recordings from digital channels, we have to increase this to ~1/2 way or higher.

We just watched back-to-back shows on our digital CBS-HD channel, recorded with our 3575: first was "CSI" folllowed by "Eleventh Hour," same night.

We had our TV audio at its usual "beefed-up" 1/2-way point for playback of the 1st show, CSI, then when Eleventh Hour started with a car-truck chase, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE... woke me from my CSI slumber! Had to turn TV audio DOWN to slightly less-than-normal TV-watching level (below 1/4-point) for the entire 2nd show... it wasn't just the opening car-truck chase!

Another example in a RECORDING on 5/6/09: American Idol on Fox-HD followed by Fringe, both in one timer recording. Idol played back on TV's normal audio setting, but Fringe audio immediately after Idol was low, as described above.

This may have something to do with the DD5.1 programs being 10-20dB lower in volume than stereo, as mentioned above. Another possibility is from "Pixelated" on an Australian forum who said, "... it's an ac3 [HD] versus mpeg [SD] audio problem.... This has long been an issue with ac3 being soft, gateway even released an 'ac3volup' patch for the solo laptop I had, to boost the audio level when playing a dvd movie on the laptop."

AVS Member TomCat gives an opposing or "clarifying" view here.

Here's an excellent post by TVOD on TV audio from analog to digital that explains some of the background and technical details of what's going on in the area of broadcast TV audio... sort of long, but very interesting.

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post #44 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 09:07 AM
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Since you're going to all this effort wabjxo, how are you coming on stepping through all 999 possible Skip-1-2-3 codes to see what they do?
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post #45 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amesdp View Post

Since you're going to all this effort wabjxo, how are you coming on stepping through all 999 possible Skip-1-2-3 codes to see what they do?

Trouble? What trouble! It's been a pure pleasure up to this point.
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post #46 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 01:22 PM
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Great job on this thread, wabjxo!

You're really going through all the skip codes? Any interesting findings so far?
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post #47 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rex king View Post

Great job on this thread, wabjxo!

You're really going through all the skip codes? Any interesting findings so far?

Nope and Nope.
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post #48 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

You know in Electronic gadgetry that, soon after the Consumer Electronics Show in Jan, there'll be some new and exciting stuff become available.

If there are any new HDD recorders, they'll have 2nd gen. tuners and who knows what other goodies. I don't think the MPAA and Hollywood will allow removeable/swappable HDDs in consumer recorders in the U.S., but Panasonic will be introducing a 32 GB Memory Card (flash drive), currently marketed for camcorders but this would be ideal for recorders some day... maybe!?

Anyway, you can wait for the announcements soon and then decide. I don't think the HDD market will go completely dead and you may find something you like better. If you need/want something now, Circuit City online seems to always have a supply, and Parisis just ordered from Amazon/J&R Music World, a good online dealer.

I am not too tech savvy and I basically just want an optimal combination of ease of use and reasonable quality. In reading the various threads I am amazed at how complicated it can be and the scary part is the problems people post about -- stuff going haywire when they plug two devices together! !

So far my new Panny Plasma is working fine (knock on wood) and I will order Hi Def DVR from Cox Cable, sure it would be nice if I could drop a few hundred more bucks and easily plug in a machine that could save the stuff I really like. That's about the extent of my aspirations!

Thanks again for your input!
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post #49 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzdocxx View Post

I am not too tech savvy and I basically just want an optimal combination of ease of use and reasonable quality. In reading the various threads I am amazed at how complicated it can be and the scary part is the problems people post about -- stuff going haywire when they plug two devices together! !

So far my new Panny Plasma is working fine (knock on wood) and I will order Hi Def DVR from Cox Cable, sure it would be nice if I could drop a few hundred more bucks and easily plug in a machine that could save the stuff I really like. That's about the extent of my aspirations!

Thanks again for your input!

With your needs and desires, the 3575 would be ideal. The only problem might come from getting stuff off a cableco DVR. Some copy-protect everything, others not so much, maybe only HBO and PPV stuff? Only way to know for you is to ask someone else with same service, or buy 3575 and see what you can tune with it... anything in the clear that the 3575 can tune it can record. And anything they don't copy-protect you can record from the DVR. As a very minimum, that should be your local channels (SD and HD) and other std, non-premium stuff.
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post #50 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Whoa, nelly! I don't think you're a good candidate for joining the ranks of the SDTV 3575 peons, after all! The 3575 is far away from your current equipment. I hope you aren't "disappointed" like the HD seekers! Do you even remember what a recorded show title looked like on your old VCR? If you do, welcome back!

Ha ha. Sure I do. It looked great! Until I saw a DVD recording.

Now I wonder how I tolerated all the smearing and bad color. Actually, I still have a couple of VCR's, but not much used these days. My HDTV is only a 32" model - and I watch mostly SD stuff (ReplayTV is all SD) and DVD's and such, almost no real HD (well, I got one of those $99 Toshiba A2 HD-DVD players on sale, so maybe that will change soon.). Luckily, my TV upscales things pretty well so I get a pretty good picture even with SD stuff.

But I am not one of those who inspects the screen with a magnifying glass looking for macro blocks. I'm OK with SD. I sit 10-12 feet away so it wouldn't matter much anyway. (OK, I do watch some HD content and it is a step up, it's just that SD DVD quality is more than good enough for me.)

So, please, let me back in. It's cold out here.
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post #51 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 09:30 PM
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Well the recorder does a good job capturing whatever HD detail it is fed and preserving it to disc. Right now, I've got this unit connected to a sony xbr970 which IMO is what every plasma and lcd is attempting to reach someday in terms of PQ (I also have a Sammie 50" plasma). Playback from HDD is nearly indistinguishable from live HD feed.

Fortunately, I hit the pause button just after halftime of the Bears/Broncos game on Sunday, since I had to make dinner for the kids. Wow, what a treat! Playback from HDD is just a bit "softer" than live NBC HD feed of the game. I chase played the remainder of the game and flipped back and forth just a couple of times (without spoiling the outcome) to compare. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the quality of the scaler in the Sony (using component so letting the TV uprez). But at least the recorder is giving the TV something to work with.
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post #52 of 25743 Old 11-30-2007, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

With your needs and desires, the 3575 would be ideal. The only problem might come from getting stuff off a cableco DVR. Some copy-protect everything, others not so much, maybe only HBO and PPV stuff? Only way to know for you is to ask someone else with same service, or buy 3575 and see what you can tune with it... anything in the clear that the 3575 can tune it can record. And anything they don't copy-protect you can record from the DVR. As a very minimum, that should be your local channels (SD and HD) and other std, non-premium stuff.

Once again Waxjob, thanks for your advice.

Yes that copy protection thing is an example of the type of unexpected complications I am reading about. Somebody mentioned a $100 thingy you can put on there to overcome that, maybe that doesn't work all the time either. I bought one of those MacroVision filters on ebay a couple of years ago with the idea of burning DVDs of some old VHS tapes. Then I never did get around to it, but I still have that thing.

There is one great video store in San Diego, that has thousands and thousands of old classic and foreign movies, many of which are on VHS. I hear the Netflix selection is pretty good but I am going to keep my VHS player just in case! ! !

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post #53 of 25743 Old 12-01-2007, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bron View Post

Ha ha. Sure I do. It looked great! Until I saw a DVD recording.

Now I wonder how I tolerated all the smearing and bad color. Actually, I still have a couple of VCR's, but not much used these days. My HDTV is only a 32" model - and I watch mostly SD stuff (ReplayTV is all SD) and DVD's and such, almost no real HD (well, I got one of those $99 Toshiba A2 HD-DVD players on sale, so maybe that will change soon.). Luckily, my TV upscales things pretty well so I get a pretty good picture even with SD stuff.

But I am not one of those who inspects the screen with a magnifying glass looking for macro blocks. I'm OK with SD. I sit 10-12 feet away so it wouldn't matter much anyway. (OK, I do watch some HD content and it is a step up, it's just that SD DVD quality is more than good enough for me.)

So, please, let me back in. It's cold out here.

Well, OK! Sounds like you're peon material after all!

With goldenear's report on the live HD comparison, which is as expected, you'll probably be as happy as us SDTV peons can be even IF you do decide to become a HD snob with a pixel microscope!?
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post #54 of 25743 Old 12-01-2007, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by goldenear View Post

Well the recorder does a good job capturing whatever HD detail it is fed and preserving it to disc. Right now, I've got this unit connected to a sony xbr970 which IMO is what every plasma and lcd is attempting to reach someday in terms of PQ (I also have a Sammie 50" plasma). Playback from HDD is nearly indistinguishable from live HD feed.

Fortunately, I hit the pause button just after halftime of the Bears/Broncos game on Sunday, since I had to make dinner for the kids. Wow, what a treat! Playback from HDD is just a bit "softer" than live NBC HD feed of the game. I chase played the remainder of the game and flipped back and forth just a couple of times (without spoiling the outcome) to compare. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the quality of the scaler in the Sony (using component so letting the TV uprez). But at least the recorder is giving the TV something to work with.

Thanks much for your report and comparison to live HD. I'm glad you're not "disappointed" in the difference like some poeple in this forum and some national reviewers. What you report sounds dead on for a HDTV/SDTV comparison.

Two questions:

1. Does the ANT/RF passthru pass your HDTV signal thru without downrezzing?

2. Do you have PPV or other service that requires 2-way communication to your service provider? I'm looking for a report on whether the RF passthru is bi-directional or not.
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post #55 of 25743 Old 12-01-2007, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzdocxx View Post

Once again Waxjob, thanks for your advice.

Yes that copy protection thing is an example of the type of unexpected complications I am reading about. Somebody mentioned a $100 thingy you can put on there to overcome that, maybe that doesn't work all the time either. I bought one of those MacroVision filters on ebay a couple of years ago with the idea of burning DVDs of some old VHS tapes. Then I never did get around to it, but I still have that thing.

There is one great video store in San Diego, that has thousands and thousands of old classic and foreign movies, many of which are on VHS. I hear the Netflix selection is pretty good but I am going to keep my VHS player just in case! ! !


If you've got a "thingy" that might be what you need for assurance. Even if your old thingy doesn't work, there are others, as you noted. With the recent spate of filings with the International Trade Commission (ITC), NOW might be the time to get a 3575?
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post #56 of 25743 Old 12-01-2007, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by zzdocxx View Post

Once again Waxjob, thanks for your advice.

...

There is one great video store in San Diego, that has thousands and thousands of old classic and foreign movies, many of which are on VHS. I hear the Netflix selection is pretty good but I am going to keep my VHS player just in case! ! !


Yes, Netflix has a great selection and great (very fast) service. My DVD's are usually here in 2 days after I return one (i.e. 3-4 days total turnaround, pretty amazing). When I was "pressing" to see how many I could get in a month I was able to get 2/week (i.e. 8 per month). But after that, I relaxed and settled down to 2 per month (and cut my plan back). I use it mostly for hard to find stuff you don't see OTA or on cable. Their web site is superb and it's very hard to browse and not find your queue a mile long afterwards.

P.S. (Thanks, Wabjxo! Nice and warm now.)
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post #57 of 25743 Old 12-01-2007, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Two questions:

1. Does the ANT/RF passthru pass your HDTV signal thru without downrezzing?

2. Do you have PPV or other service that requires 2-way communication to your service provider? I'm looking for a report on whether the RF passthru is bi-directional or not.

1. yes, just as you said it would, lol.
2. sorry, no I don't use PPV or VOD.
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post #58 of 25743 Old 12-01-2007, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

DVDR3575 BASIC FEATURES

The manual is here. The Philips Support site is here. [Comments in brackets added by wabjxo.]



Even if you choose DVD-RW/-R, these discs will automatically be recorded in the DVD+VR mode. [Compatible with std DVD-Video for universal playback.]




What does this mean? I have lots of blank DVD-R's.Is it exactly like using a DVD-R recorder? Thanks in advance.
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Originally Posted by Heavy Mettle View Post

What does this mean? I have lots of blank DVD-R's.Is it exactly like using a DVD-R recorder? Thanks in advance.

Yes, you can record on any DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW blank disc w/o any special intitializing or formatting, and the recording will be univerally playable like any other DVD. The Philips recording mode is based on +VR standard, which Wiki describes as "...a logical format for DVD-Video compliant recording on optical discs."

Any discs you currently have will be recordable in the 3575 except -RAM and dual layer (DL).
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post #60 of 25743 Old 12-01-2007, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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HDTV Passthru and Aspect Ratio... Converters/CP Strippers

Jump To:
HDTV Passthru
Widescreen Rant and Answer to "4:3" Recording Half-Truth in Manual
16:9 Widescreen - A New World of "Aspect Ratios"
How To Set Your DVDR for 16:9 Widescreen Recording
For Users of Cable/Sat Set-Top Box (STB)
Converters to Preserve 16:9 WS from STB/DVR Component/HDMI Out & Strip CP

HDTV Passthru

This DVDR has an active (amplified) RF/coax passthru that is, internally, separate from the tuner. The coax in/out loop delivers and slightly amplifies whatever signal is fed in, including hi-def TV (HDTV) in its native,full-screen form, directly to your TV and other downstream components, even when this DVDR is off.

NOTHING internal from this DVDR (menus, channels, HDD titles, DVDs) is sent thru the coax.

On a separate internal path, the incoming RF/coax signal is slightly amplified and fed to this DVDR's std def. (SDTV) tuner. This allows you to watch your normal HD on your TV AND record on this DVDR at the same time.

However, this DVDR... and ALL SDTV DVD recorders in North America... downrezzes the HDTV signal path that goes thru its tuner or line inputs so it can record in 480i as required by the SDTV DVD-Video standard. For watching DVDR channels or recordings on your TV, the downrezzed signal can be converted to 480p thru Component and HDMI, or converted and uprezzed to 720p, 1080i or 1080p thru HDMI, if desired.

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Widescreen Rant and Answer to "4:3" Recording Half-Truth in Manual

[Begin Rant ... Skip Rant] You'll hear all sorts of opinions on WS but, just remember, EVERYBODY HAS ONE!

I've read LOTS of stuff on widescreen and aspects and I've yet to read anything that's SIMPLE. I've also read LOTS of posts in AVS trying to explain this crap. Some of them argue that our std def resolutions of 352x480 and 720x480 define the dimensions of our recorded pics. Others try to correlate the pixel ratio to 4:3 or 16:9 Display Aspect. It's neither and it's not that simple!

For our DVDR purposes, this Wiki article on Aspect Ratio explains the distinctions and even formulas () between Display Aspect Ratio (DAR, 4:3 or 16:9), Stored Aspect Ratio (SAR, 720x480 & others), and Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR, square/non-square), which have to fit within the 4:3 frame required by the DVD Standard. Repeat: the 4:3 frame REQUIRED by the DVD Std.

This Wiki article on "anamorphic" WS helps explain: (1) why our DVDRs must record all content "as 4:3" (DVD std is based on VHS std which is 4:3), and (2) how a combination of square/non-square pixels, variable horiz. rez, compression and decompression allowed by the DVD std are the "keys to enlightenment" since they explain how our DVDRs can fill a 4:3 frame with non-square (rectangular) pixels, allowing our HDTV's aspect control to stretch the 4:3 frame to glorious 16:9 WS.

And what is "anamorphic" you say? More technical crap but, in the simplest of terms, it means "squeezing and stretching." This is how our std def recorders fit a WS show into their 4:3 aspect frame. Based on anamorphic data in the video stream, our HDTV's have the OPTION to stretch that recording into a natural 16:9 image with true 16:9 pixel aspect. Another OPTION is to letterbox the recording when played back for proper aspect on a 4:3 TV. However, these DVDRs, and many others in N.A., DO NOT GIVE US THE ANAMORPHIC DISPLAY OPTION!

So, once you record digital 16:9 WS shows with these DVDRs, at any rec mode, they will always be sent to your TV in 16:9 full-screen Display Aspect, and you can only MIS-shape them by playing them to a 4:3 TV (squeezing the pic horizontally) or changing the TV's aspect from its required "Wide" 16:9 format to any of its other formats or "viewing modes" like "Normal" or 4:3... which, by the way, should NOT be anything with the word "native" in it since "native" for DVD is a 4:3 frame as explained above!

If you've stuck with me thus far, you need to know that the discussion below is just about RESULTS that I personally see in my daily recordings and specific WS tests. I don't care if this DVDR sets an American, Chinese or Kyrgyzstanian flag in WS recordings! I'll leave the technical details to others cuz IDGAS!

As long as this DVDR records both digital WS and analog 4:3 shows in a way that preserves their natural shapes on the HDD and in DVDs and displays them NICELY on 16:9 and 4:3 TVs FROM DIFFERENT PLAYERS, IRDGAS!!

Also, there are MANY set-top boxes (STB) that will NOT send a WS signal thru their Composite or S-Video outputs, so there's no way to get that signal to this DVDR in WS format w/o an intermediary filter/converter... and it's NOT cuz this DVDR can't record WS!

And, did I mention, IRRDGAS!!! [End Rant]

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

16:9 Widescreen - A New World of "Aspect Ratios"

 

Bottom Line: Set this DVDR's "TV Aspect" for 16:9 Wide for ALL your recordings, no matter which type of TV you have now. Prevents that "pissed-off" feeling if you don't have a 16:9 HDTV now but get one later!!!
 

To all old VCR users and analog cable TV subscribers like me: Welcome to the brave, but wild, new world of WS TV! You're in for a treat... a trick, cuz your TV-watching-recording life just got more complicated!

There are many signal and aspect-ratio combinations this DVDR can display and record with its NTSC and ATSC/QAM tuners: the old std 4:3 we're all familiar with, but now, with your new HDTV, you'll also see 4:3 pillarboxed (PB, black bar on each side), 4:3 letterboxed (LB, black bar top and bottom), 4:3 PB+LB ("postage-stamp"), and natural full-screen 16:9 WS. However, it all depends on the original production aspect used, your signal source (analog or digital), channel, station, service provider, type of TV you have for display, your Video > TV Aspect setting in this DVDR, AND finally the aspect (TV format) you've selected in your HDTV viewing settings... just a few things like that!

All ANALOG channels show only 4:3 formatted programs (with rare exceptions of simulcast analog/digital HD-produced news programs). ANALOG channels will be full-screen (FS) 4:3 on a 4:3 TV. A 16:9 TV will add PB bars if the TV is set for "Normal" but Wide, Pan or Zoom TV settings will spread the 4:3 pic to fill the screen (with some loss of PQ because the pixels are square!).

This DVDR's aspect setting has NO EFFECT whatsoever on ANALOG channels or your VHS tapes. They will ALWAYS record in 4:3 aspect... only a 16:9 TV can change the appearance/aspect of ANALOG channels and recordings from them.

On the other hand, DIGITAL channels can show programs produced in 4:3 AR AND 16:9 AR, but luckily, when a 4:3 program is broadcast on a DIGITAL channel, it comes prepackaged with PB sidebars necessary to display in its natural 4:3 aspect. Some combinations of DVDR and TV setting can produce a "postage stamp" in the center of the screen, with bars all around.

 

See this interesting and understandable post by a Fox TV engineer who describes how today's broadcast servers handle the aspect we see on our 4:3 and 16:9 TVs.This means, you can set your 16:9 TV for WIDE or STRETCHED, and the actual pic for both 4:3 and 16:9 WS programs ON DIGITAL CHANNELS will show in their natural AR, either full-screen 16:9 or as a 4:3 pic, nicely packaged with bars. (With this TV setting, shows on ANALOG channels will be stretched slightly.
 

With DIGITAL channels, this DVDR's TV Aspect setting DOES affect the AR of the pic. To avoid any AR problems with recordings from my DIGITAL channels, I record everything on 16:9 Wide and set my LCD HDTV for Wide, which stretches the pic on ANALOG recordings but displays WS DIGITAL recordings in their normal AR as they're broadcast. I almost NEVER record 4:3 programs, so occasional stretching is easily tolerated to assure seeing digital 16:9 WS in all its glory!

 

One extreme example of today's changing AR on a modern 16:9 HDTV set is "Idol" on Fox digital channel. On my 16:9 LCD TV set for Wide and DVDR set for 16:9 Wide, I just watched and recorded a local news break and lead-ins to the show in 4:3 PB, which led to several commercials alternating between PB and PB+LB, which led to the Idol show broadcast in 16:9 WS "Digital High Definition"... and back and forth for the next hour! It was a fascinating display of aspect ratio variations and, to a vidiot like me, almost a show in itself!

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

How To Set Your DVDR for 16:9 Widescreen Recording

 

Bottom Line: Set this DVDR's "TV Aspect" for 16:9 Wide for ALL your recordings, no matter which type of TV you have now, to prevent that "pissed-off" feeling when you are forced to get a 16:9 WS TV.

Note: Because WS TVs also have an Aspect setting, I'll use "DVDR Aspect" when ref. to the 3575/3576/2160's "TV Aspect" setting, and "TV Aspect" when ref. to the TV's setting.
 

This DVDR WILL record WS programs on digital channels thru the tuner, line inputs (E1/L1, E2/L2), and DV input (E3/L3) if you set the DVDR Aspect to 16:9 Wide AND the source sends a WS signal. (See this report on recording WS from the E3 (DV) input on a 3575.)

The DEFAULT setting is 4:3 Letter Box. if you leave it there and later get a 16:9 TV, your current WS recordings will all be squished by LB bars so people will look wider than normal and circles will be flattened ovals... and you'll be royally pissed-off!?

Significantly, this DVDR's Aspect setting is in the Video menu, NOT the Playback menu like it is in some other DVDRs, incl. the Pio 53x/63x/640. This setting determines the pic format you VIEW AND RECORD from a digital channel or other WS source... i.e., YOU can control the recorded aspect! It also allows you to change a commercial WS movie's aspect to 4:3 Letter Box on playback if it has "Enhanced for Widescreen," "Anamorphic Widescreen" or similar notation on the case.

This DVDR's Aspect setting is extremely valuable for recording cuz it makes this DVDR a WYSIWYG machine: What You See Is What You Get. That is, you can SEE what pic format this DVDR will record FROM ANY SOURCE (TV, camera, STB, etc.) in advance by setting or changing its DVDR Aspect and viewing the pic being fed thru the DVDR to your WS TV.

I've noticed that sometimes a change in my 3575's Aspect setting doesn't "take"... the pic hangs on its last aspect and takes a 2nd or even 3rd try at toggling the checkmark to a new aspect setting. If working correctly, once you press the SETUP button to exit the aspect setting menu, the pic should "pop" into its new shape, i.e., you should see a change in aspect almost immediately, but again, only on a digital channel.

You can set your DVDR Aspect for 16:9 Wide for ALL your recordings, as I do, no matter which type of TV you have now.

Note: Some HDTV's won't properly upscale a 16:9 WS pic sent by this DVDR using HDMI set for 480p. If you can't seem to see or record WS pics thru this DVDR using HDMI, change the format with the HDMI button to all those available and see if your HDTV needs one or mote specific HDMI settings to show a true WS pic.

This DVDR doesn't set the "WS flag," which means its DVDs won't be "anamorphic WS" like commercial DVDs, which play perfectly on 16:9 TVs and can be changed to 4:3 LB when played to a 4:3 TV. HOWEVER, I've done many tests and regular daily recordings with my 3575 Aspect set for 16:9 Wide and played them to 16:9 and 4:3 TVs on DIFFERENT brands of players/recorders and, so far, ALL my recordings play back nicely and full-screen from my 3575, Pio 640 and Panny combo... WITHOUT THE "WS FLAG"!

More importantly, this DVDR's WS recordings dubbed to DVD discs will show true WS on virtually any other brand of player/recorder, unlike some -RAM machines that produce DVD±R discs that only play as WS in the same brand of machine.

Also, I simply cannot get the "tall & skinny" people that others report with their DVDRs when recording a natural 16:9 WS program on a digital channel. With the natural 16:9 WS programs I've recorded with DVDR Aspect set for 16:9 Wide, I can only detect a VERY SLIGHT squeeze when played back on a 3575, Pio 640 and Panny combo to a 4:3 TV... and that's only noticeable cuz I'm recording a WS channel with a circle logo (TNT)... people look OK.

I did see one odd-aspect program that produced a taller/skinnier image than I was used to, but it was NOT a natural 16:9 WS program... this might be what others are recording when they say they get grossly tall and skinny people on 4:3 TVs? A program on a WS digital channel with side bars (pillar bars), a "postage-stamp" pic with bars all around, or 2:35 movie could produce an odd-aspect WS recording that shows "funny" on any TV type.

 

One GOOD thing in the 4:3 vs 16:9 aspect area is that, since this DVDR can be set to RECORD a WS program with 4:3 LB bars, you can purposely record a WS program for someone else who really needs a 4:3 LB DVD, like Granny or Gramps! This is a unique capability cuz you can PRODUCE a recording with LB bars in place so it shows as LB on any TV. The only drawback is that the pic will be VERTICALLY squished on a 16:9 TV so everything will be wider/fatter... so, when you give the LB disc to a friend or relative, tell them you DON'T want it back!
 

The 16:9 Wide aspect setting doesn't affect analog 4:3 channels, so those record normally. However, if you have a 16:9 TV, you might be like me and run your TV always on its Wide setting. This gives me a slightly stretched pic from analog channels, WHICH LOWERS THE PQ SLIGHTLY (remember that when you or someone else is making PQ comparisons), but I fix that by putting my magnifying glass back in the drawer!

Obviously, you should do similar tests and determine for yourself what's right for your current system, future plans and "pixel sensitivity."

Just remember, to make natural 16:9 WS recordings from a digital channel thru the tuner or an external input, you have to set the DVDR Aspect for 16:9 Wide, and those programs will ONLY be on digital channels, never on analog channels. Also, some STBs won't send a WS signal thru Composite or S-Video outputs (which are the only input types North American DVDRs have today) without an external aspect-controlling device. (More on STBs in the next subject.)

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

For Users of Cable/Sat Set-Top Box (STB)

 

Be aware of typical difference between "TV1" and "TV2" outputs on STBs: TV1 is for the unmodulated (raw) signal that a TV or DVDR can tune with its own tuner, and TV2 is a modulated signal that a TV/DVDR can receive and diplay/record only when set on ch. 3 or 4.


Many cable/sat STB/DVRs have HDMI, Component RGB, and Composite Yellow or S-Vid video outputs, with L/R audio out. All these boxes will output a true WS pic thru their HDMI and RGB connections, but many will letterbox the WS output from their Composite/S-Vid connections (i.e., add bars to reshape the pic for a 4:3 TV).. A "true WS" pic is one that's produced in WS and transmitted that way, not a 4:3 image stretched by your TV, some of which can look "pretty good"... except for the long noses!

In addition, your DVDR can only record signals it receives thru a line input (L1/E1, L2/E2) if those signals are in 480i (interlaced) format. Some devices auto-convert a signal to 480i if sent thru a Composite/S-Vid output, and some have to be SET to do that.

You can check your STB/DVR by connecting it directly to your TV with Composite Yellow or S-Video video cable and seeing what it delivers to the TV when the TV is set to its "Wide" setting (name depends on TV). If your STB/DVR has settings for output format, try it with and without changing that setting to 480i.

IF your STB/DVR outputs true WS thru Composite Yellow or S-Video, with or without a 480i setting, you're good to go! You can set it to deliver that pic to your DVDR and the recorded image will be in true 16:9 WS aspect ratio, assuming you also set your DVDR for "16:9 Wide" in the Video > TV Aspect menu and your TV on its "Wide" setting.

IF your STB/DVR does NOT output true WS thru Composite Yellow or S-Vid, you'll need either a diff. STB/DVR or a HDMI-to-Composite/S-Video or Component-to-Composite/S-Video Converter... some are listed here.

Here's a table of some STB/DVRs that either WILL or WON'T send a recordable WS signal thru their Composite or S-Video outputs:

(although I've asked for help many times and places in populating this chart, I can count the help I got on two fingers)
 

WILL WON'T
SA8300HD SARA (see instructions here) SA3250HD/HDC Nav, SA8300HDC Nav/PP
DirecTV H/HR¹ 20/21/22/23/24 various mfgrs    DirecTV HR10²
ATT U-verse VIP-1220/1225 (Motorola) All other Motorolas
Dish VIP622/722/922³ mfg by Echostar Dish VIP211
FIOS 7232*  

¹H is STB-only, HR is STB/DVR, all with settable aspects.
²Discontinued, but one user noted WS anamorphic output over comp./S-vid.
³All outputs active and usable on 722 (others?). See this post.
*One FIOS user reports intermittent op.


Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Converters to Preserve 16:9 WS from STB/DVR Component/HDMI Out & Strip CP

IF YOUR STB/DVR WON'T send 16:9 WS thru its Composite or S-Video output to your DVDR, and you can't get a diff. STB/DVR that does, you may be able to use one of the converters listed below. These will also remove copy protection. They're not for VHS-to-DVD copying since they don't have Composite YWR or S-Video inputs; See this help file for two units made for VCR/VHS copying (DP-X7000 and MCM).

 

  1. $46 HDMI-to-Composite/S-Video Converter ... More info here.
    I have one of these and it does an even nicer job copying comm. DVDs compared to the Monoprice Component converter, #2 below. I see only a very slight fuzzy edge on the opening credit text, as reported here. It also has an NTSC/PAL switch, preserves WS, and strips CP and CC. This converter can also future-proof you for the "analog sunset" when new devices will be all-digital with only HDMI outputs, no analog (Composite YWR, S-Video, Component RGB). In the future, your old recorders with analog-only inputs won't work anymore for copying/recording from an all-digital DVD/BRD player or cable/sat box. This has always been the end-game: to allow you to VIEW but prevent you from RECORDING... "fair use" was an old, 20th Century idea!

    Beware of COUNTERFEIT converters for the HDMI and Component converters (#1 & 2), which are NOT the original Lenkeng product. Here's a news release by Lenkeng discussing such counterfeiting. Since there are SO MANY sellers of these converters, I linked only to Monoprice, which is one of AVS's most respected sponsors of our AV cables and accessories.
     
  2. $43 Component-to-Composite/S-Video Converter ... More info here.
    I also have one of these and it does a nice job copying comm. DVDs, with only a slight PQ degradation in the copy, as reported here. Garyjo used it in copying Bluray discs, as reported here. It has an NTSC/PAL switch, preserves WS, and strips CP and CC.
     
  3. $119 Apple TV Converter.
    Nextoo tested this device that can take your STB's WS Component (RGB) output and convert it to a WS S-Video output for recording in this DVDR. As a bonus, it also strips CP (see posts 3,4,5 here) and it costs much less than single-purpose "video filters." HOWEVER, read Nextoo's comment here about having to switch your STB to 480i output for the Apple TV Converter but NOT for the Ambery, mentioned next.
     
  4. $198 Ambery Converter.
    Sorry, don't know anything useful about this converter, except the sale page mentions that it allows HD bypass as well as simultaneous downconversion of the HD signal to SD 480i for the recorder. One AVS member may have provided a theoretical argument for this more expensive Ambery (he didn't have the unit yet): not having to set his STB for 480i output just to send it to his DVDR! This is important for timer recording while away from home. Just be sure you test for this before purchasing a converter by connecting directly to your TV and sending a WS program to it thru Composite or S-Video with the STB set for 480i output.
     
  5. ~$80 Polaroid DRM-2001G HDD-DVDR.
    This 2003 model DVDR has Component input, a rarity, and it outputs WS via Comp./S-Vid, plus it strips copy-protection. Some people use this as a passthru converter to their more capable recorders. See Nextoo's latest update post with some key info on specific Polaroid models and how some pass thru WS even when off and don't require a 480i source.

 

Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

 

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