Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26027 Old 11-17-2007, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575
N.A. Models: Mag MDR513H/F7,515,533,535,537,557 - H2160MW9,9A - H2080MW8 - Philips DVDR3575H/37,3576


9 Generations of Std Def (SD, 480i) HDD/DVD recorders with single analog/digital tuners for antenna/cable and inputs for recording/copying from external sources like STBs, DVRs, VCRs, cameras, etc. The 9th-gen model, 1TB Mag MDR557, was released in May 2014 and has some important differences, as described here.
Info/help on all models: Quick Answers ... Help File Index.


Important Notes:
  1. To learn all you need to know about these recorders, it's simple: click "post #1" above right and bookmark it, then click links to go DIRECTLY to help files... from this post to answers in one click! If you have questions, send me a PM
  2. Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links herein will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.

In May 2014, Funai, an award-winning Japanese company and Walmart Strategic Vendor, released its 1TB 557 model, the 9th generation of these simple, family-friendly, durable, no-fee, single-tuner, SD 480i analog/digital DVD recorders (DVDR) with hard disk drive (HDD). They're yearly improvements of the same basic design and operating system first introduced in 2007 for the U.S. digital transition, the Philips DVDR3575H/37.

That gen-1 model won a CES award for innovation as the ONLY recorder, SD or HD (720p/1080i/p), available (then and now) with HDD, analog & digital tuners for antenna or cable, on-board disc drive for burning/playing DVDs & playing CDs, and line inputs.

They don't have multiple tuners or a "Guide" like cable/sat DVRs or TiVo, but no extra "fee" either, and they do have some DVR features like record to HDD, auto-record buffer, pause/rewind live TV, skip/replay, chase play, simultaneous play/record, resume-play on all partially viewed HDD titles, and more.

They also have many features DVRs don't have like record/copy to DVD, play DVDs/CDs, customize rec mode/bit rates to maximize HDD and DVD capacity, amplified coax passthru on or off (to watch one channel while recording another), composite/S-Video/DV-firewire inputs for copying stuff from VCRs/DVRs/CDs/cameras, 6-hour buffer (much larger than HD DVRs), editing on HDD/DVD, multiple options for skip/replay times, 0.8X and 1.3X playback with audio, and lots more.

They're the perfect 1st step into the 21st Century of home recording from antenna or unscrambled cable. No media to handle until you want your home movies on DVDs. Just press REC and you're recording or set timers with show names (pre-titling) and watch later. Go on a month's vacation and find all your shows in a title list, with show name, live index pic, date and day of week, ready to play. The HDD will spoil you rotten!

QUICK ANSWERS to Common Questions/Problems

Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links herein will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.

  • Initial Setup - Coax is passthru only. Menus, channels, playback go thru line connection to TV.
  • Auto Clock - Time signals can cause Auto-Clock problems, esp. from PBS. Try 11:57 Procedure or OFF. PBS is worst channel for MANUAL Auto Clock. FOX/CBS/ABC better (in that order)
  • DVD Tray - Won't open until you set unit up, scan channels, THEN press DVD button.
  • Connection - Coax passes antenna/cable signal thru to cable box or TV for separate tuning. You need "line output" to TV to see internal DVDR stuff and watch/record diff. channels by selecting appropriate TV input (ANT or line input).
  • HDMI - PITA! Slow startup, must "chat" w/TV! For 1st time use, press "HDMI" button thru all four formats.
  • Timers - Set clock first. For weekly/daily show, use DOWN arrow in date box of timer menu.
  • Widescreen - Set Video > TV Aspect to "16:9 Wide" even if you don't have 16:9 TV yet... prevents that pissed-off feeling when you do get one and you play back your recorded 16:9 shows.
  • Editing - Making Front- and End-Cuts (Scene Deletes) is not documented in the manual.
  • Dubbing - Two methods for DVD>HDD. Finalized DVD requires Direct Dubbing 1 title at a time.
  • Finalizing - NOT automatic. Use Disc Edit > Finalize. Must have at least 60-min. to next timer program. DO NOT use Auto Finalize since you lose control of when that happens.
  • Outputs - Composite Yellow and S-Video OUT on Mags won't work if Progressive scan is ON.
  • Inputs - Won't work if Video > Video Input is not set to type of cable used.
  • Remote - Has thin plastic film over face that loosens and makes text harder to see. Remove it.
  • Bad Picture - Could be HDMI button not pressed or DVDR unplugged or no power (not in Standby).
  • Dead Unit - Check batt., try power button on unit, do Soft Reset, check for tuning interference.
  • Tuning Problems - Duplicate channels can cause tuning, timer & even power-on problems.
  • Uverse/Satellite/All-Scrambled Cable - All encrypted. Tuner useless unless you add antenna. Simul. record/copy only.
  • Top 12 Things Wrong, Misleading or Omitted in the Manual - Pre-557 manuals are wrong? Ubetcha!

DOUBLE-INDEXED HELP FILES... 2 index (link) levels: 67 major subjects in 11 categories here, leading to 349 detailed discussions.

Disclaimer: Information here is published on a "best-efforts" basis. It can be incomplete or wrong on occasion. Please use due diligence to verify for yourself that names, places, products, parts, etc. are correct for you and your use. IOW, use at your own risk.

Dates: Ignore the original post date on these help file pages. The June 2014 SW change from Huddler HTML to VB SW deleted the "Last edited" dates at bottom of pages, but they were all current as of 6/14/14.

Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links herein will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.

1. IMPORTANT STUFF
  1. 5710 & 5750 High-Def (HD) DVRs... Philips single-tuner HD recorders for antenna & cable, wired & built-in wireless streaming, internal 500/1000GB HDD, external USB-HDDs or flash/thumb drives 32GB-4TB for up to 33TB storage. Copy/move titles back and forth at will.
  2. 9th-Gen 557 Std-Def (SD) DVDR... New 2014 Std Def (SD) HDD/DVD model, follow-on to 53x Series with IMPORTANT changes!
  3. 8th-Gen 53x Series (533/535/537) Std-Def (SD) DVDRs... "Prime-1" Wish granted in 2013.
  4. Dear Walmart: Thank You, and Please Do It Again... Starring role in 53x Series, will they star in sequel? Nope.
  5. Dear Funai: Wish List #1... Our Enduring Dream!... Some wishes granted with 515. "Prime-1" Wish granted with new 53x Series.
  6. Dear Funai: Wish List #2... The Next Generation... Multi-Tuner HDD/BD/DVD Recorder. Not gonna happen. You can stop praying now.
  7. FW Updates... Ver02C Freeze Fix, SuperFW 727V, & 2160A Temp/Perm E19 fix

2. GENERAL NEED-TO-KNOW STUFF
  1. HDTV DVR Comparison - What They Won't Tell You!
  2. Comparisons: Mag vs Mag, Mag vs CM7000PAL & Other HD DVRs
  3. Funai History... A Japanese company, founded in 1961, HQ in Osaka, Japan, Walmart Strategic Vendor.
  4. Record While You're In Jail? You Betcha!
  5. HDTV Passthru... Aspect Ratio... Preserve WS & Strip CP
  6. Picture Quality (PQ)... Master-Baiters... The Craptastic "Full D1" Fallacy
  7. Controlling Multiple Units of Same Brand / Manufacturer
  8. User-Recommended Universal Remotes... My Learning Remote + Others - - (now $6.90 online)
  9. Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) - Do You Need One?

3. SETUP
... "Setup" is "Menu" button on 515/53x/557 remote.
  1. Connections... Cables... Digital Cliff
  2. Initial Settings... HDMI Control (fun-Link/CEC)... Hard-of-Hearing?... 11:57 Procedure for Auto Clock
  3. Scanning for Channels (Auto/Manual)... Frozen Scan... Rotating Antenna... SDV.
  4. Tuning Channels... "Hybrid" Tuner... Cable Channels
  5. "Lie" Gene Found in Cableco DNA
  6. 7/31/10 - My Significant Change in Cable Channel Tuning

4. RECORDING & COPYING... See Section 6, Dubbing, for copying w/internal drives HDD>DVD>HDD.
  1. Rec Stds... Rec Modes... Time Remaining... HDD/DVD Capacities
  2. Record to HDD... TIMER REC & PRE-TITLING... STB/DVR Rec... STB Tips... Copy from Ext. Device... Copy HDD>HDD
  3. Record to DVD... Multi-Session... Multi-Machine... DVD Menu/Status... Region/NTSC/PAL
  4. Record Sports
  5. Record Closed Captions (CC)
  6. Record Music/Audio from Various Sources & Make Audio DVD/CD
  7. Using This DVDR as a Tuner for Other Devices (e.g., Analog DVDRs)
  8. CP Filters/Widescreen Convertors & the "Analog Sunset"
  9. Mohu Antennas for OTA
  10. Recording in an All-Scrambled Cable Nvironment

5. EDITING... With undocumented instructions for Front- and End Cuts.
  1. Edit with This DVDR... Name Title, Delete Title, Delete Scene, Divide Title, Protect Title, Add/Delete Chapter, Index Pic, & Combine Title (557 only on HDD and DVD-VR discs).
  2. Edit with PC/MAC

6. DUBBING... Using internal drives for making copies.
  1. Dub HDD>DVD>HDD... Finalize... Delete Empty Title... Dateless DVDs
  2. Essential Info on RTD, HSD, RTR... Multi-Generational & Mode-Conversion Dubbing/Copying
  3. DVD Info - Buying & Using

7. PLAYBACK & PAUSE LIVE TV (PLTV)
  1. Standard Playback with Remote
  2. Play & Search with Info/Display Menu
  3. Upconvert, Simultaneous Play/Record, Chase Play
  4. Pause Live TV (PLTV) & Autostart Recording (6-Hour Buffer)
  5. Region Code & NTSC/PAL TV Standards
  6. Using This DVDR as a DVD Player

8. HARDWARE (HW), FIRMWARE (FW), UTILITIES, TROUBLESHOOTING
  1. HW Replacement/Upgrade... Skip 079 for HDD/DVD Check, Initialize & Power-on Stat... Dock-and-Play... Ordering OEM Parts
    PM links on Pioneer names don't work, most other links OK.
  2. Skip 123 for FW Versions, DVD Mfgr's ID & Hard Reset... Skip 321 for Laser Stats... Other Utilities
  3. Checking Quality of Blank DVD Media
  4. Cleaning the DVD Spindle
  5. Error Codes
  6. Reset Options... Soft Reset for "Dead" or "Troubled" Unit
  7. Known Problems & Operating Idiosyncracies
  8. Tuning & Power Problems - Missing Channels, Timer Records Black/Wrong Channel, Machine Freezes/"Dead"
  9. Audio Level Problems
  10. HDD Operating & Maintenance Tips
  11. How the DVD Burner Operates... Using as a Player
  12. DVDR HDD-to-PC, DVDR HDD-to-HDD, Title Recovery
  13. Heat/EMI/RF/MW

9. REMOTE OPS
  1. Remote Ops (Outside the Home) - Slingbox... Includes instructions for Philips and Magnavox (all Mags the same).
  2. Slingbox Manual
  3. Slingbox Info
  4. Google List of Slingbox Sellers
  5. Room-to-Room Ops - Wireless IR Range Extender... Make one unit respond to only this remote from anywhere in house, even if hidden.
  6. Room-to-Room Ops - Wireless Video Sender... Send live TV or DVDR audio/video signal to remote TVs.

10. HIGH-TECH STUFF & THE FUTURE
  1. HDD File System Investigation... Delving into file structure to expand access.
  2. Tinkering for Techies... Some Mods for Fearless Techies.
  3. Options for Recording When DVDRs Are Gone... Planning for the inevitable future.

11. SELLERS & SUPPORT

557 (May 2014) - Magnavox MDR557H, 1TB SATA HDD. Video/VR-mode recording, Playlists, Combine Titles, no Empty Titles on DVDs, lots more as described here.

53x Series (Sep 2012) - Magnavox MDR533/535/537H, 320/500/1000GB SATA HDDs. Only difference is HDD size. Same FW Versions. Same Op. Manual.

515 (Nov 2010) - Magnavox MDR515H, 500GB SATA HDD.
  • Operating Manual. 4.4MB pdf.
  • FW Update.
  • Ordering and Replacing Internal Parts & Getting Service Manual (SM).
  • Level 1 Support, Connection/Ops/Troubleshooting, 1-800-605-8610, 7 days/wk, 9:00am-11:00pm EST. Not a knowledgeable source for help... often results in advice to "return it" even tho answer is in one of the help file links above!
  • Level 2 Support, Accessories/Remotes/Repair/Warranty, 1-888-290-0871, M-F, 8:30am-5:30pm EST.
  • OEM Remote, NC003UD except 557, which is NC003UH. They work on all Mag HDD models. Google for online sellers.
  • $18 Universal Learning Remote - - (now $6.90 online), Philips SRP Series. Works well with Mag & Philips HDD DVDRs plus 5 other component types (DVRs, AVRs, players, VCRs, etc.), and it controls TV volume.

513 (Apr 2010) - Magnavox MDR513H, 320GB SATA HDD. Can be made to operate like 515 with SuperFW 727V, as described here.

2160A (Mar 2009) - Magnavox H2160MW9A, 160GB SATA HDD, Can be made to operate like 515 with SuperFW 727V, as described here.
  • Ordering and Replacing Internal Parts & Getting Service Manual (SM).
  • Level 1 Support, Connection/Ops/Troubleshooting, 1-800-605-8610, 7 days/wk, 9:00am-11:00pm EST. Not a knowledgeable source for help... often results in advice to "return it" even tho answer is in one of the help file links above!
  • Level 2 Support, Accessories/Remotes/Repair/Warranty, 1-888-290-0871, M-F, 8:30am-5:30pm EST.
  • Original OEM Remote, NB820UD. $14-20 Amazon. Google for other online sellers.
  • OEM Remote, NC003UD except 557, which is NC003UH. They work on all Mag HDD models. Google for online sellers or call Level 2 Support.
  • $18 Universal Learning Remote - - (now $6.90 online), Philips SRP Series. Works well with Mag & Philips HDD DVDRs plus 5 other component types (DVRs, AVRs, players, VCRs, etc.)., and it controls TV volume.

2160 (May 2008) - Magnavox H2160MW9, 160GB PATA HDD, my "bullet-proof" model.
  • Original OEM Remote, NB820UD. $14-20 Amazon. Google for other online sellers or call Level 2 Support.
  • OEM Remote, NC003UD except 557, which is NC003UH. They work on all Mag HDD models. Google for online sellers.
  • $18 Universal Learning Remote - - (now $6.90 online), Philips SRP Series. Works well with Mag & Philips HDD DVDRs plus 5 other component types (DVRs, AVRs, players, VCRs, etc.), and it controls TV volume.

3576 (Apr 2008) - Philips DVDR3576H, 160GB PATA HDD.

3575 (Jan 2007) - Philips DVDR3575H, 160GB PATA HDD, my workhorse testbed model.

2080 (Jul 2007) - Magnavox H2080MW8, 80GB PATA HDD. MainAVSForum thread here.
  • Amazon Used-Refurb. ?
  • Operating Manual. 25.8MB pdf.
  • Ordering and Replacing Internal Parts & Getting Service Manual (SM).
  • Level 1 Support, Connection/Ops/Troubleshooting, 1-800-605-8610, 7 days/wk, 9:00am-11:00pm EST. Not a knowledgeable source for help... often results in advice to "return it" even tho answer is in one of the help file links above!
  • Level 2 Support, Accessories/Remotes/Repair/Warranty, 1-888-290-0871, M-F, 8:30am-5:30pm EST.
  • OEM Remote, NC003UD except 557, which is NC003UH. They work on all Mag HDD models. Google for online sellers or call Level 2 Support.
  • $18 Universal Learning Remote - - (now $6.90 online), Philips SRP Series. Works well with Mag & Philips HDD DVDRs plus 5 other component types (DVRs, AVRs, players, VCRs, etc.), and it controls TV volume.


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.

Last edited by wajo; 11-20-2014 at 08:27 AM.
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post #2 of 26027 Old 11-18-2007, 10:21 PM
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As someone who is on the verge of abandoning my VCR in favor of a DVD recorder, this post is an outstanding resource for getting to the core of operating and using the Phillips DVDR3735H.

Thank you!!!
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post #3 of 26027 Old 11-19-2007, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Here's a list of subjects that might be of special interest to new users and those just looking for info:


Dude, kudos to you! I don't have one, but it's nice to see someone go to so much trouble and make a really useful post that I am sure will help many.

My hat's off to you, wabjxo!

Bron
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post #4 of 26027 Old 11-19-2007, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post

Dude, kudos to you! I don't have one, but it's nice to see someone go to so much trouble and make a really useful post that I am sure will help many.

My hat's off to you, wabjxo!

Bron

+1
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post #5 of 26027 Old 11-19-2007, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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ERROR CODES

Note: For any machine problem that has no other fix, either stated below or in this thread, try a nondestructive Soft Reset before tearing your hair out

See this help file for info on a common cause of "disc errors": failure of the Power Calibration (PC) test series the DVDR conducts on every blank disc every time it's loaded. As a burner ages and you use a lot of discs, and handle them by the center hole, dust, grease and boogers can accumulate on the burner's rubber gripper pad on the spindle, causing the disc to slip at startup or during a burn while the machine performs its intermittent in-process PC tests.





Melody Williams likes this.

PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.

Last edited by wajo; 11-01-2014 at 08:25 AM.
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post #6 of 26027 Old 11-19-2007, 02:01 PM
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Well, I've bookmarked this thread and I, for one, plan to read through 'em as I have the time.
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post #7 of 26027 Old 11-23-2007, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Record While You're In Jail? You Betcha!


If you just got sentenced to 90 days in the slammer, and you're worried about how you're gonna record your Cops, CSI and other crime-training shows for the next 12 weeks, read Item 1 quickly before they "come fer you." However, if you're a recent parolee or out on bail, congratulations... now, you've got time to read ALL the reasons why you need a DVD recorder with a hard disk drive (HDD)!

1. Record All Your Shows While You're in Jail... Without Jealous Monkeys!
One 3575 user recorded 35 shows in a row while he was on a long trip, 10 titles per week over 3.5 weeks, USING ONLY 6 TIMER PROGRAMS! This means you could record, what... a "gazillion" titles if you used all 36 timer slots!? (Except this DVDR can only keep track of 600-999 titles on its HDD.) With this DVDR, your timer programs can cover multiple days and times, back-to-back, different channels, rec modes, lengths, aspects... doesn't matter... and when you're released on bail or escape, your shows will be there on the HDD, accessible thru an on-screen menu with full-motion thumbnail pics and sound. Once in your lazy chair, watch your shows WHILE THE NEXT GAZILLION SHOWS ARE RECORDING! Skip commercials. Go back instantly and replay, watch in slo-mo, or advance frame-by-frame. Mark spots to return to and see again. FF/REW long distances at "digital" speed. Go to a specific time in a show, or the next show, instantly with a simple menu command. To duplicate this one user's 3.5 weeks of unattended recording at 2-hr-SP rec mode, you'd need 35 single-disc recorders! Oh, wait, you COULD train your cat to load and unload the discs... oops, need an opposing thumb and no claws for that... a monkey's trainable, but he might see his reflection in the shiny disc, think it's a rival and trash your house... you'd have to tell your ins. co. it was all caused by a single-disc recorder and a jealous monkey!

2. Save Yourself a Lotta Grief!
If you buy a single-disc recorder, your life will be filled with grief! You'll discover, like this guy, that you're stuck with handling a buncha discs (smaller but less-durable versions of VHS cassettes), calculating disc space, tracking/identifying disc content, scheduling your watch/record times to the recorder's schedule not yours, failure to record, producing coasters, spending more $$$ on discs, spending even MORE $$$ on another recorder to make a copy, requiring a computer, inadvertently teaching your kids to curse, and no vacations over 2 hours! You won't even REALIZE you've become a SLAVE to a shiny little disc. You'll even go out and buy ANOTHER single-disc recorder or, OMG, a COMPUTER, just to make a copy, and you'll feel OK for awhile, but your non-gearhead family will wonder WTH you're doing... they used to watch TV together... with YOU! You won't KNOW you're stuck in "gearhead" mentality, and you'll consider the $1000's you've spent on blank diiscs a good investment of family resources! By the time you capitulate, you might have 10 single-disc recorders stacked on top of each other cuz disc management tasks keep your mind off your bizarre OCD-like behavior. Imagine... this simple, inexpensive HDD-DVDR could save you from a whole lotta grief: Dr. Phil, divorce, straightjacket, padded cell... who knows how bad it could get!?

3. Eliminate Media Logistics!
Remember videotape cassettes and your media-management headaches? Well, if you buy a single-disc recorder, welcome to your NEW media-management headaches. You'll just be replacing your old tapes with smaller, shinier versions... still "media" you gotta handle EVERY DAY, sometimes every hour or two... and they're EASIER TO DAMAGE! You could take SOME comfort in the fact that your stack of things to watch won't be as HIGH with discs as it was with VHS tapes! BUT, you can be totally stackless and ELIMINATE hourly disc handling altogether with this HDD-DVDR! Don't worry about changing discs and identifying disc content, or having a disc loaded with enough space to record your shows (might require math skills!), or erasing your rewritable -RAM disc before next recording (you HAVE watched the shows already recorded on it, right?), or disc failure due to scratches, fingerprints, snot, dust mites, or a hundred other reasons (like a Memorex special at the drug store). This DVDR's HDD is guaranteed to be impervious to scratches, fingerprints, snot, dust mites, and totally Memorex-proof! You'll only have to handle a DVD if you want a copy off the HDD, then simply high-speed dub a mirror-image, lossless copy to the on-board DVD drive. AND, you'll never have to say, while in bed with other things on your mind, "Hey, did you load a good disc to record our shows on?"

4. Record Virtually Unlimited Hours with Best (Unbeatable) Recorded PQ.
You say you want the best SDTV pic quality (PQ) for your recordings? Just set this DVDR for 1-hr-HQ rec mode FOR VIRTUALLY ANY LENGTH OF TIME (up to 12 hours in one, uninterrupted rec session) and blow any single-disc SDTV recorder outa the water! You'll still be recording when the single-disc recorder has to stop recording after 1-hour at the same rec mode! PQ-obsessors are primarily single-disc-recorder gearheads who HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT PQ ALL THE TIME cuz their little discs can only fit a very limited amount of stuff, and they have to make the best use of that limited space! With a HDD recorder, the physical medium, the HDD, has virtually no physical time or size limits. You could record EVERYTHING at 1-hr-HQ mode and get amazingly beautiful recordings every time! Also no problem with making beautiful DVD copies later, if desired, as described in this post. If you're like me, you'll start using this DVDR by making lots of discs copying home movies, then you'll sit back and enjoy your favorite shows on the HDD, in the HIGHEST SD QUALITY POSSIBLE, and discs will only be an occasional nuisance, not an hourly chore.

5. Record Virtually Unlimited Hours Instantly, the Moment You See Something You Like.
Do you ever see something just coming on you didn't expect and wish you could record instantly? No sweat! With this DVDR, just press REC on that channel, then watch a channel on the TV or one of your shows recorded on the HDD, OR play a commercial DVD while it's recording (an impossible feat for a single-disc recorder!). With a single-disc recorder, you must have a blank disc LOADED AND WITH ENOUGH SPACE LEFT, plus you must set the rec mode correctly for that show so it fits. Your panic episode might go like this: "Wait, how long is that show going to be... grab the TV Guide... hurry... I'm NOT hollering... I hate you too!" OR, if you're already watching a pretty full disc, even a -RAM, no option to record something else on THAT disc, so: "Get me a blank disc... hurry... hurry FASTER... DON'T SAY IT... forget it, I'll get it myself... I told you not to say it!"

6. Record Virtually Unlimited Hours While Simultaneously Playing Stuff on HDD or DVDs.
What's that you say... do both at the same time? Yup! Got a long list of Timer programs recording on the HDD? No problem... again! While it's recording, play the latest commercial movies on DVD or any other already recorded title from this DVDR's HDD... it's multi-tasking! With a single-disc recorder, it's one disc at a time, another reminder of how that crappy little disc is your Master. I hear it talkin to you now: "change me... feed me... I don't like that disc... don't be so rough... w-a-t-c-h your l-a-n-guage!"

7. Eliminate Lost Recordings Due to Media Failure or Copy-Once (CO) Protection.
Want to make sure you get a successful initial recording of your favorite TV programs, some of which might never be aired again? Record to this DVDR's HDD, where failure to record due to media problems is unheard of, compared to many reports of failure due to problems with DVDs. Also, if networks and advertisers continue the recent trend of embedding copy-once (CO) protection flags in the COMMERCIALS to prevent recording or offloading the entire show to std DVDs, you'll at least get a viewable copy of the complete show on the HDD... and you can still edit those commercials out to allow a dubbing to DVD. So, even if you get a wild hair and decide to timer-rec to a std DVD, rather than the HDD, and that DVD is bad or fills up during recording, or you forget to load a DVD, or the program is CO-protected, this DVDR will auto-switch a timer recording to the HDD! In addition, you'll have multiple chances to get your programs on DVD, even if that media happens to fail and you get a "coaster" (unplayable DVD disc)... the master recording is still safely on the HDD. With a single-disc recorder, you could easily be setting your next drink on your favorite show that won't play.

8. Edit Multiple Recordings on ONE Recorder... No 2nd Recorder, No Computer!
Want to slice and dice your daily/weekly recordings or special events, then assemble them for multi-title dubbing to disc for your library? Record a series of shows on this DVDR's HDD, then cut commercials, etc... at your leisure... in your leisure suit... in your leisure chair... take 2 days if you want. When you're ready, put them in order in a dub list and dub a copy to a DVD... the FIRST and ONLY disc you'll have to handle in this process. If a DVD turns out to be a coaster, just make another copy from the HDD. With a single-disc recorder? Well, uh, you DO have a 2nd recorder to copy the edited disc in real time, don't you? Or you could copy the VOB files to a computer and create a masterpiece with your DVD authoring software. OMG, loads of fun for the entire family. Oh, you DO have a computer and DVD authoring software, don't you... and lots of time on your hands... and a quiet place AWAY from your family... and, if you thought that jealous monkey in #1 was bad, your "abandoned" family will make you wish you had a monkey... and good health insurance!

9. Chase Play Instantly... ANY Time... ANY Show Length... NO Special Disc.
Watching a show live and someone rings the doorbell or you get a call from Mom or Mother Nature? Don't worry, your HDD is ALWAYS ready to record. You won't have to panic and make sure there's a specialized RAM disc (unplayable in many machines) in the tray AND that it has enough empty space!!! Just calmly press REC, go to the door or tell Mom you love her but.... When thru, press PLAY and the show you were watching live plays back from where you pressed REC. Or, recording multiple programs with timer program(s) but decide you want to watch it now? Press PLAY and the show being recorded plays back from the beginning, with full-featured playback controls... AND your chase-play won't be interrupted by a disc needing to be changed mid-stream cuz it ran out of recording space.

10. Pause Live TV So You Don't Miss a Thing... Ever.
Have to attend to urgent business while watching your favorite program thru this DVDR? No sweat... just press PAUSE button then, when you return, just press PLAY... you haven't missed a thing! I'd like to see this trick on a single-disc recorder... actually, it'd be a MIRACLE... something like an "immaculate perception"!

11. Resume Play on Up To 999 Titles... ALL Titles, ANY time.
Someone calls while you're watching one of your HDD recordings or you have to suddenly go out? Press STOP, come back later, and start watching from where you left off. This DVDR remembers the last PLAY ("Resume") position of all HDD titles (up to 999). You can leave ALL your recorded shows at various places and come back to watch them later. With a single-disc DVDR, better finish watching an entire show before another show needs to be recorded cuz, if you eject that disc to load a NEW one, you'll lose your place... DVDRs don't remember the "Resume" position on ejected discs!? But then, you might LIKE your TV-recording/watching life controlled by a shiny little disc!?

12. Extend the Life of Your DVD Burner.
Heat is the worst enemy of the laser diode in your DVD burner, and recording uses max. power so it develops the most heat. In a single-disc recorder, you have to heat the diode at max. power for ALL recording! That heat and constant use are the primary causes of burner failure, and without a burner, a single-disc recorder makes a good doorstop. With this DVDR, you won't use your burner at all to record anything or edit those recordings. Playing commercial DVDs will use the burner at Standby power level, and only IF/WHEN you want a DVD copy will you use the burner at full power. Even then, it'll be for a MUCH shorter time cuz the HDD unit can dub at high-speed, whereas the single-disc recorder is ALWAYS running in real-time. This should extend the life of your DVD burner dramatically. Some sad news, tho: our HDDs are designed for a min. of 50,000 start/stop cycles so, if you power this DVDR up/down three times a day, you might get ONLY 45 YEARS out of the HDD! I plan to be buried with my working HDD... with my favorite shows on it, of course! (Typ. HDD warranties are for 3-5 years.)
The next three advantages of a HDD derive from the fact that a single-disc recorder's manual doesn't even mention "dub" and only mentions "copy" when it talks about "copy protection" and "copyright."
13. Make High-Speed LOSSLESS DVD Copies of Your Favorite Shows on ONE Recorder.
Recorded your favorite show, movie or sporting event, maybe even edited it some, then decide to make a copy? Easy to do with a HDD by dubbing from the HDD to the onboard DVD in high-speed, which makes a "mirror-image" copy without any loss of PQ. Let's see, where are the instructions for high-speed, lossless dubbing with a single-disc recorder... maybe even "lossy" dubbing... OK, ANY kind of dubbing? Actually, with a single-disc recorder, EVERYTHING is in REAL-TIME, so you're recording in real-time, then any copies you make... requiring another recorder... will also be in real-time, which can lose some PQ in the process. And EVEN IF you buy a 2nd recorder for copying, still gotta hope the 3 hours it'll take for a 3-hr movie won't end with another useless coaster!

14. Copy, Edit and Assemble Your Old Home Movies, Then Copy to DVDs on ONE Recorder.
Want to transfer precious memories from videotapes to DVDs for the family, edited and in a specific order? Use the HDD as a platform to store your home movies, in random order. Edit them if necessary. Then put them in proper order in a dub list before copying to DVDs for your library... and those family members you're still speaking to. In a single-disc recorder?... well, we know the answer by now!

15. Make More Copies of Your Home DVDs Anytime on ONE Recorder.
Got some home-made DVDs you need more copies of later... much later? Pop a Finalized or Unfinalized DVD in the tray, start it playing, press the DUBBING button and it copies in real-time to the HDD. It copies the entire title playing, from first frame, no matter where in the play cycle you press the DUBBING button. Then just dub as many more copies as you need in LOSSLESS High speed. Have fun figuring a way to do THIS in a single-disc recorder!

16. Save Enough $$$ on Discs to Pay for This DVDR.
Many people in this forum with single-disc recorders claim to have used thousands of discs in the past 2-4 years. Say you had a single-disc recorder and used 2,000 discs over those years at $0.34 each (plus a few more-expensive -RAM discs), it'd cost you ~$700 just for blank discs. But if you had this HDD-DVDR, and timeshifted only, you wouldn't need ANY discs, so you could pay for this DVDR and STILL have ~$400 left for almost 1,200 discs... or food, mortgage, bail, ...!?

17. Be Able to Record Even If DVDs Are No Longer Available or Affordable.
If they ever stop making optical DVD discs, or you just can't afford them anymore (elitists will laugh at THIS!), your single-disc recorder will become a PLAYER... but then only if someone else keeps producing movies on them or you can afford to rent or buy them. If an HDD goes bad after many years, you can easily replace it yourself and get back to recording without discs! If your DVD burner goes out after many years, you can easily replace IT also!

18. Be Able to Record Even If Your DVD Drive Fails.
Can't tell you how many sad stories I've heard here and in other forums about people not being able to record cuz their DVD failed to open, failed to close, failed to spin up, failed to record... just FAILED! There's a long thread in AVS just on Toshiba DVD drive failures and replacement by gearheads, not your average timeshifters. With a HDD, the DVD drive isn't used for daily timeshifting... the much more reliable HDD is. And when you want a DVD copy, the burn is at high speed compared to always in real-time with a single-disc recorder... less laser time = longer DVD burner life.

19. Help Save Our Planet and Prevent Macroeconomic Destruction.
By reducing use of petroleum-based DVD discs, a HDD recorder has a much smaller carbon footprint and, if enough people start using them, could prevent or delay our macroeconomic destruction! Al Gore probably has NOTHING but HDD recorders in his twin-engine jet and 17,000 square-foot home. You can do your part to save the North Pole ice, Polar Bears, and Eskimos who, by the way, have vowed to seek out and live with all single-disc climate-change cynics if they're driven out of their natural habitat by global warming.

If the items above haven't convinced you to get a HDD recorder, only one bullet left, and it's a doozy!20. Don't Worry about Panasonic Warning against Risky Behavior: USING DISCS!
The manual for virtually every HDD unit says essentially that the HDD is "not for permanent storage." One Panasonic stupor-fan posted that people should be "scared" by this and suggested to readers they should consider their HDDs "unreliable"... which, of course, prompted this response.

Not even close to true... a HDD is so much more reliable than DVD discs, they're not even in the same game, much less ballpark! This DVDR's strong suit is its HDD, a best-of-class Seagate, Hitachi or WD model with very high reliability specs. All are easily replaceable by the user, or they can be externalized in a dock-and-play system.

However, what's REALLY scary is THIS in the manuals for virtually ALL Panasonic recorders, even single-discers that have NO HDD and must use DISCS to even BE recorders:

"The manufacturer accepts no responsibility and offers no compensation for loss of recorded or edited material due to a problem with the unit or recordable media, and accepts no responsibility and offers no compensation for any subsequent damage caused by such loss.

"Examples of causes of such losses are
  • A DISC recorded and edited with this unit is played in a DVD Recorder or computer disc drive manufactured by another company.
  • A DISC used as described above and then played again in this unit. [Is this a JOKE!?]
  • A DISC recorded and edited with a DVD Recorder or computer disc drive manufactured by another company is played in this unit."

Even tho the Japanese love a good joke, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM! Oh, wait, maybe it's a Chinese joke, or Malaysian where Pannys are made!?

This disclaimer appears on a different page in each model's manual, and an incredulous reader can verify this by searching for the word "compensation" in the Panasonic PDF manual.

21. Only One Thing Wrong with HDD DVDRs: Slow But Inevitable Loss of Mechanical Skills!
Sadly, among the MANY benefits of a HDD DVDR, as described above, there will also be a point of no return for many:

If and when you go to set up your old VCR to record something, you will most likely forget to insert a tape!

Please try to remember this procedure for when you really want to "tape" something on your VCR or the one in the local museum:

  1. Do all procedures the same as setting a HDD DVDR to record something.
  2. INSERT A TAPE... you know, those big plastic cases with little windows on top so you can make sure that thin, tapey-looking stuff is all on the left side!
  3. Take your heartburn med and prepare yourself for playback hell... you won't like it!

Melody Williams likes this.

PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.

Last edited by wajo; 06-14-2014 at 03:10 PM.
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post #8 of 26027 Old 11-23-2007, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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PICTURE QUALITY (PQ), MASTER-BAITERS & THE CRAPTASTIC "FULL D1" FALLACY!

Notes
  1. This DVDR is std def (SD). It is NOT a high def (HD) recorder.
  2. Remember Rule #1 for Hi-Quality Recording: It all depends on the source! This DVDR can't beautify a "pretty bad" (actually TERRIBLE) signal like SD Dish or some crappy analog channels.
  3. If your HDTV has settings for Overscan and DVI, this info might improve your PQ.
  4. If you see bad PQ on digital cable-QAM channels, it could be from the cableco's excessive "packing" of subchannels, which reduces Mbps and, therefore, degrades your original source, as described here.

PQ Consensus


There have been several users and national reviewers who tested the Philips 3575, the very first unit in this HDD-DVD series, for PQ using display-alignment tools like HQV and THX, i.e., discs with STATIC images originally designed for aligning a display/TV (the only thing that CAN be aligned) with its upstream video components, like a DVDR. (I did that often in my video lab.) The following 11/5/07 ZDNet review of a 3575 by Matthew Moskovciak seems to summarize this best:

"We were pleasantly surprised with the introduction to Star Trek: Insurrection, as it demonstrated that it does have 2:3 pull-down by correctly rendering the curved edges of the bridge railings and boat hulls. We moved onto the difficult opening sequence of Seabiscuit, and again the DVDR3575H handled it much better than the test patterns on HQV. So while it struggled with the difficult video-based tests of the HQV suite, the DVDR3575H performed better with actual film-based program material."

OMG, it just dawned on me... Philips designed this thing for MOVING pictures and forgot that some people like to watch static test patterns (or "fine print")!?

My personal consensus: If you're looking for a DVDR to watch test patterns, and you refuse to realign your display (with your DISPLAY-alignment tool, duh!) to accommodate this DVDR, you should consider another unit. However, if you want a multi-tasking DVDR to reliably record actual moving pictures, this DVDR is an excellent choice... and very simple to use (esp. good for all "technically challenged" members of your family)!

The Philips MPEG-2 CODEC (Coder-Decoder) for RECORDING

Among the hundreds of CODECs developed and used by Philips, the latest MPEG-2 chips and algoritms in these DVDRs are exceptionally good at encoding/recording fast-movement and decoding the recorded MPEG-2 video stream for display.

In my recordings, I've only seen a few instances of "smearing" in the production (commercials were perfect), which can occur even in small areas of scenes with little or no motion. However, I've never seen the recorder-induced macroblocking (MB), tiling, stuttering or jagged lines that some report with other DVDRs, even on fast-action sports. Neither has Mickboy, who says his 2160 shows no blocking and blows away the older, supposedly better Pio and Panny units at the longer rec time bitrates, as described here.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised in watching a House episode on Fox-HD directly on my HDTV and basic analog (480i) cable feed that I was also timer recording with two 3575's, each in a diff. room. The live show had lots of actual blocks and slight freezing, typical of true MB, but when I switched to the 3575 view, it was REMOVING the MB... perfect pic... even in the other room, same live TV MB but none thru that 3575 either... all described here! Chrisb0 also posted on reduced MB thru his 3575 here.

In Nov 2007, I posted about the great PQ I was seeing even at longer rec modes from my downrezzed digital HD channels and wondered if Philips had developed a "different algorithm" for MPEG-2 encoding or something. Shortly thereafter, my question was answered when I read a magazine article about the "big four" codec producers Zoran, ESS, LSI and Philips.

The author noted that LSI and Philips were forging ahead of the others with their newest codecs, noting that "Philips is adding to its new MPEG-2 CODEC optimized hardware blocks for running new picture improvement algorithms such as adaptive picture sharpness detection and deblocking* artifacts removal."

*Deblocking - Digital TV signals are broadcast in small blocks, called "macroblocks," that have to be assembled (deblocked) in your TV or recorder. This is one reason why digital channels take longer to display on your TV. Sometimes you'll see random MB in different parts of the live pic on a digital channel... and on some analog channels too since they now use digital productions... caused by glitches in production, transmission, etc. You can also get DVDR-induced MB in recordings of fast movement at low bit-rates with SOME DVDRs, like the newer Panasonics... but not in my 3575 or 2160 due in part to the advanced "deblocking artifacts removal" capabilities of the Philips CODEC. In fact, you may see MB in a live TV pic that doesn't show up in the recorded title, as I did! Go back to List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Master-Baiters

I refuse to lend Master-Baiters a hand... they're on their own!

You'll recognize master-baiters right away... they'll start by comparing this DVDR's recorded PQ to other DVDRs that don't have a digital tuner. They have to be comparing crappy ANALOG channels, the only thing those machines are good for, and they conveniently forget that this DVDR has a digital tuner. (I'm always tempted to ask them how the PQ compares to their DIGITAL channels!)

In fact, the PhilMag HDD-DVD platform was the first and only one built for the analog transition to an all-DIGITAL age in N.A., so the analog tuner was excess baggage and only for analog cable subscribers.

Most of the master-baiters won't tell you they're comparing "crapalog" channels/sources and/or really simple stuff, like old movies (compare image texture, detail and complexity to modern movies), slow-moving dramas, or just plain STATIC stuff like fine print or HQV/THX display-alignment test patterns. Some don't even seem to know that they might be able to tune digital channels directly for a PQ that can't be matched or surpassed (i.e., usually cable subs who believe the cableco lie that they can't see ANYTHING without a rented box)..

They're just spreading poisoned bait around for unsuspecting newbies, i.e., half-assed stories by master-baiters who want to lend you a hand!

The Craptastic "Full D1" Fallacy

Another master-baiter type is the Crap-Master... one who spreads a load of crap for unsuspecting newbies!

Luckily so far, there's been only one persistent Crap-Master: a Panasonic super-fan who constantly posts that Pannys have the "best PQ at 4-hr LP because they retain full D1 resolution" (720x480 pixels). Yea, great if no one moves or runs the water!

This sounds nice but it's a craptastic, crockashitzu fallacy from the get-go! Video resolution does NOT equate to PQ but rather the pixel ratio of the video frame... how many pixels in each dimension.In our video world, higher "resolution" can lead to LOWER PQ, as described later.

An Aventura DVR Tutorial describes D1 and the various video resolutions as follows: "The problem with these standards is that these resolutions speak nothing of the quality of the video...." and it goes on to describe pixel resolution, such as 720x480 (or full D1), as "empty" pixels that need to be filled with data, which are the "bits."

Only in microscopy does "resolution" mean seeing increasingly finer detail by increasing the "power factor" (100X, 1000X, etc.) of the microscope... there, "resolving" means "seeing."

But, clearly, video PQ is a subjective assessment of the quality of the recorded pic we see, and that PQ depends on the quality of the video source and the recorder's MPEG-2 CODEC. Together, they determine the quality of the bits that fill the video frames as the source for the TV image... and not all CODECs are created equal, as described above.

Sadly, the "4-hr-best-PQ" claim was quickly shown to be a craptastic fallacy (just a misleading marketing gimmick) when users discovered their sports, action and other more "demanding" scenes... like a fast head turn, falling rain or running water ... showed bad macroblocking, smearing and other motion artifacts when recorded in 4-hr rec mode. Anyone for "Dancing with the Macroblocks" or "Lady Gaga's Block Party"?

Apparently, at 4-hr-LP, their CODEC is designed to portray slow-moving dramas, old film noir (B&W) movies, cartoons, talking heads and simple stuff in sharp detail, like STATIC fine print or STATIC HQV/THX test patterns meant for display-alignment, but it has one or a combo of the following deficiencies: (1) poor motion-vector algorithm, (2) poor deblocking algorithm, (3) inadequate bit-rate to define the MOVING video content (i.e., their pixels are "bit-starved").

Here's a good explanation of the bit-starved-macroblocking problem in DVDRs, found in US Patent 7400679 - Adaptive de-blocking filtering apparatus and method for MPEG video decoder, issued on July 15, 2008:

"At low coding bit rates, blocking artifacts are a serious problem for moving picture compression. Since a realtime operation is necessary in coding and decoding a moving picture, it is difficult to reduce the blocking artifact with a small operation capacity [e.g., our DVDRs]. As such, existing video compression algorithms and standards continue to have unwanted visual artifacts appear when the original information is compressed with loss, and these unwanted visual artifacts become more visible when the coding bit rates become lower." [except not so much in these PhilMag DVDRs!]

However, in the end, it's all IRRELEVANT cuz, with this DVDR, you're in a completely different ball game from any other SDTV DVDR user: you can set THIS DVDR to record multiple titles, back-to-back, on any channel, ugly analog or brilliant digital, to the proven-reliable HDD at the highest-quality 1-hr-HQ rec mode that'll produce a PQ that can't be beat by any SDTV DVDR ever made... and you won't even have to get up from your lazy chair to change discs... you know, those shiny little things REQUIRED to make any other digital-tunered DVDR a recorder!

See this post for at least 20 reasons why HDD DVDRs are better than any other alternative for SDTV home recording.

See this post for a comparison of observed PQ between some Panasonic EZ's and a Magnavox 2080, the very first gen. of the Magnavox HDD DVDR line..

PQ for RECORDING thru the Tuner or Line Input


  • These are std def (SD) recorders and everything here and in this thread assumes you know that. If you must have high def (HD), you can find HD DVRs here.
  • These DVDRs have an amplified video circuit (tuner and line inputs) that passes thru the incoming antenna or cable signal slightly amplifed but otherwise untouched. So, if you have an HD signal, that HD will be passed thru the coax in original form for VIEWING on your TV. Only the signal going into this DVDR's tuner or line inputs, which can be recorded, must be downconverted to 480i SD to meet DVD specs, and those signals can only be sent to your TV thru this DVDR's line outputs. That output can be upconverted thru HDMI, but it will have started as 480i.


The quality of any SD recording depends on several factors:
  1. In our compressed video world, quality starts here: original production standard of the show... analog/SDTV or digital/HDTV. As Wiki states: "HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD." IOW, the starting quality difference is gargantuous!
  2. Encoding method used to produce the show (video): lossy MPEG-2 or more-lossy MPEG-4. (See differences here.)
  3. Quality of the broadcast channel: analog or digital/HD (take notice here cuz some analog-produced shows are broadcast on digital/HD channels and vice versa). This includes any additional compression the station adds to the signal to cram more channels in one channel slot.
  4. Whether you can record the original signal direct from coax or if you have to use a cable/sat box for tuning channels, thus requiring a line connection to this DVDR and reducing source PQ.
  5. Type and quality of your TV (analog CRT or one of the many types of fixed-pixel HDTVs).
  6. Coder-Decoder (CODEC) system used in the recorder.
  7. Record mode selected by you.

In essence, SD PQ for recording depends first and foremost on YOUR IMMEDIATE SOURCE... a digital widescreen program produced in digital/HD will view and record light-years better than ANY program on crappy analog channels or dreadful SD Dish!

From my experience with my 3575, 2160, 513, 515 and analog cable coax feed daisy-chained to all of them, the PhilMag tuners are OK for crappy analog (crapalog) channels but keenly optimized for digital ATSC/QAM channels. My results are not as good as someone who use OTA antenna where all signals are digital/HD,

My digital QAM tuners can deliver a pristine pic from digital programs on digital channels sending programs created in HD. HD's higher starting (production) resolution, like 1280x720 or 1920x1080, has more pic info to work with than SD does... up to 5X more pixels... and they're cleaner and sharper than analog bits, making it much easier for our large-screen HDTVs to create a pristine pic.

Note: Some users record shows on crappy analog (crapalog) channels in rec modes beyond HQ and SP, then complain about how bad the quality gets when they try to copy or convert to other uses. PLEASE remember that shows recorded from crapalog channels will "fall apart" light-years faster than digital/HD shows from digital/HD channels!

If you have to use an STB ("box") to decode your TV signal, that impacts the PQ your DVDR will receive due to (1) high source compression (low bit-rate) so they can get more channels in a slot, and (2) the need for an analog line connection between the box and this DVDR.

PQ also depends on the type and size of TV screen you're viewing. For smaller CRTs, most live TV and recordings will look good on analog channels and brilliant on digital channels.

Larger 16:9 HDTVs like my 47" LCD, however, are fixed-pixel, progressive-scan displays, which means they have a fixed number of pixels, in the millions, arranged in columns and rows. Their "native" screen resolution is 1280x720p, 1920x1080p and getting higher, and all those pixels must be filled up by the pixels in the attached recorder/player.

ALL SDTV DVDRs create a DVD-specified 4:3 frame with a rez of 352x480i or 720x480i (interlaced). Even if you upconvert it, it still has to start with 720x480i (or smaller). So, there's always a deinterlacing step (cuz HDTVs use progressive scan) and a "scaling" process to get our video to fill the much larger pixel area of the TV... we either upconvert it in the DVDR or the TV scales it up thru a lot of filters, circuits, etc.

Some low-cost scalers upscale by "pixel replication" and some use other circuitry to help out, but basically they all have to create "new" pixels and/or entire lines which aren't really present in the 720x480i source, so any lack of quality in the source, even if subtle, will be amplified and readily visible on a large-screen HDTV.

RECORDING introduces the machine's CODEC system and Rec Mode as the final elements of PQ. The difference in CODECs is discussed above, and Rec Mode is entirely up to the user. Since Rec Mode is a personal choice, some tips on selecting the best rec modes for various programs are given below.

For 4:3 analog programs/channels, 1-hr-HQ and 2-hr-SP rec modes are best, but some programs like talk shows can still look good at 3-hr-LP or even at 6-hr-SLP. I've recently been testing both LP and SLP for my weekday evening talk shows and I really can't tell the diff. between either of them and 2-hr-SP on my 32" 720p LCD.

With a pristine digital/HD source, I've even been able to use 3-hr-LP to record action movies (like James Bond) and 4-hr-EP and 6-hr-SLP to record dramas with very good results when played to my 47" 1080p LCD!

Recording football games is in another league all by itself, as described here.

However, with a 720p or 1080p widescreen HDTV, recordings from SOME 4:3 analog channels might start to look bad at higher rec modes, esp. when you try to stretch that compressed 4:3 analog crap to fill the LARGE 16:9 screen, it will prob. look "HMM" at a distance, but "EEK" if you sit too close... and, believe me, you WILL be stretching the 4:3 analog pic to fill the 16:9 screen... you won't be able to STAND a small 4:3 analog pic in the center of your beautiful, new HDTV's screen... esp. after you get used to some 16:9 natural WS digital channels!

Also, if you have a VERY LARGE HDTV and 2-hr-SP rec mode doesn't seem to hack it, try 1-hr-HQ where you'll be recording at a bit rate that's closest to the typical HD bit rate seen in today's highly compressed broadcast world.

PQ for PLAYING Commercial DVDs

Everyone should get a better pic with HDMI when playing most commercial movies since they're produced with digital Component video (YCbCr)... a digital source via a digital cable to a digital TV... brilliant, who's idea was that, anyway!?

One example in my system: I was playing "Disturbia" via HDMI, YCbCr Format, 480p. One of the opening scenes is a father and son fishing in a pristine stream in mountain country. I put my face almost on my 1080p LCD screen, couldn't detect any pixels! Like a huge, continuous-tone photo... truly a Kodak moment! I'm actually IN the river... caught a 3-lb rainbow trout!

When you can go nose-to-nose with a 47" 1080p 16:9 LCD and not see the pixels, just a clear, sharp pic, you're in PQ heaven!

Even better: watch a really SCARY movie like "Hitcher" in a dark room, via HDMI, with DD5.1 surround turned up HIGH... one of those movies where you'll start sayin: "Quit talkin and shoot him already!" It could blind you with brilliance, give you a heart attack, and blow you outa your house! PLEASE BE CAREFUL IF YOU HAVE A HEART CONDITION... OR A GLASS HOUSE!

PQ for COPYING VHS or Camera Tapes

For those who want to convert their VHS or camera tapes to DVD, this DVDR does an excellent job on that too! The signal amplification built into this DVDR's coax passthru also amplifies the signal thru its line inputs. See this post for example of boost thru line input (E1).

I've copied lots of VHS tapes, but one special tape made me realize what a good job it did. We had a cruise tape shot on std 8mm, which I had copied to a VHS tape for our home-movie library.

When I went to copy the 2nd-gen VHS tape to my 3575's HDD, I noticed it started with a night scene on the ship and the black sky had many very annoying dropouts, like "sparklies." I copied the tape to the HDD via E1 and E2 (to see if any diff.), then dubbed to a DVD. When I reviewed the HDD and DVD copies, I thought the dropouts were gone! Only on close inspection did I notice the dropouts were reduced in size and quantity so they were no longer "noticeably annoying" (but now, I was really looking for them!).

My 3575's copy quality thru its external inputs appears to be very good... equal to or better than my Pio 640 in that regard. I believe the "new Philips MPEG-2 CODEC with adaptive picture sharpness detection and deblocking artifacts removal" mentioned above could play a role in the improved PQ I saw in my tape transfer project.

One 3575 user also tested its time base corrector (TBC) capabilities and reported this: "I've been testing the 3575 lately, and it exhibits excellent TBC performance on external sources. The Horizontal Jitter reduction is comparable to the internal TBCs in the JVC and Panasonic VCRs, easily outperforming other DVD Recorders as well as the Datavideo external TBCs. Very impressive!" That post is here.

Easy mistake: If you do this yourself and want to truly assess this DVDR's effect on quality, make sure you don't compare the original ("before") pic thru this DVDR since that will be the "cleaned up" version! Play the original tape directly to the TV so you'll have a true before-and-after comparison.

Soap Opera Effect (SOE) with 120/240HZ HDTVs

I read an interesting article on selecting your next HDTV (here), which has a link to an even more interesting article on SOE.

Apparently, the new HDTVs with 120 or 240Hz frame rate can make film-based material, like most all movies on TV and DVD/Bluray discs {?), look crappy.

It occurred to me that anyone who doesn't see the quality these Mag DVDRs can typically produce could be viewing film-based stuff on a 120/240HZ HDTV?

The SOE article offers some suggestions, like use Game mode, and a future solution: new chips being developed and shown at CEDIA in September 2011.

Some Personal Notes on PQ

If you're mostly a watch-and-delete person like me, you could RECORD EVERYTHING in 1-hr-HQ, even sports, and get good PQ from analog channels and GREAT PQ from digital channels. I use 1-hr-HQ and 2-hr-SP for the FEW regular recordings I make from analog channels now, stretch the 4:3 pic to fill my 16:9 1080p screen, and love every minute of it... but you may not since stretching reduces PQ!?

I subscribe to basic analog (480i) cable, which would normally give me only 61 channels thru my analog tuner. However, I also get 15 digital/HD channels: the local networks ABC-HD, CBS-HD, NBC-HD, and FOX-HD... which provide virtually 100% of what I record with my Philips 3575's and Mag 2160 on a daily basis... plus CW, CBS/UntamedSports, My68, DISC-HD, TNT-HD, TBS-HD, THiS-HD, ESPN-HD, and ESPN2-HD.... AND I WOULDN'T TRADE ANY OF MY DIGITAL CHANNELS FOR ANOTHER 47 ANALOG CHANNELS!

I don't have to artificially stretch my digital/HD channels... they always look great! In fact, I've used several of the lower-quality rec modes on my downconverted digital HD channels, which are chock-full-o-bits (up to 5X more than analog channels) and don't need any artificial stretching, so I get outstanding, almost unbelievable results!

For one of my MANY tests, I RECORDED a NFL game on digital ESPN HD in LP mode and the results were excellent except for the stadium-wide long shots, which showed slightly hairy edges on the teeny-weeny men running around. (See this post for the story of "teeny-weeny men.") Fortunately, ESPN zooms quickly when the action starts and the slightly hairy edges disappear. ESPN seems to use true HD equipment more than other networks cuz their pic is "always" outstanding!

To me, LP mode is good for pro sports on digital ESPN HD for games I'm too lazy to do a lot of editing on but still want to high-speed dub, but other networks are very spotty in that regard, so bad that even their so-called "digital HD" feed looks only as good as an analog channel.

The "premiere" way to record football, however, is to use SP mode and edit out the non-game stuff to a size that's high-speed dubbable. I recently rec a 3½-hour Sunday Night NFL game on NBC-HD at SP rec mode, cut the non-game stuff to get down to 2:08:00, and high-speed dubbed to a std DVD... excellent quality throughout! (2:10:00 is the normal max. for SP and HSD, but many (32-36) Scene Deletes adds some "overhead," so 2:08:00 was the max. on that NFL game.)

I also used LP mode on a fast-action James Bond movie on digital TNT HD and, during a chase scene, Bond's in the back seat of a car and, with a lotta shakin n' rollin, I could count the hairs on his face. No smearing, blockiness or even "mosquito noise," just a great pic, even later in a wild car chase with all sorts of auto-acrobatics on ice!

Also on digital TNT HD, I used SLP mode on a drama ("Heartland"), and the PQ was excellent. I had to search hard for evidence of any degradation caused by SLP mode, finally finding a small operating room instrument panel that had a very small, lighted "Power" display on the panel where I finally noticed a slightly hairy edge.

IF YOU'RE "SELECTIVE" IN THE SOURCE AND TYPE OF PROGRAM YOU RECORD AT THE LONGER REC MODES, YOU CAN USE THEM WITH GOOD RESULTS IN THIS DVDR. OBVIOUSLY, NOT EVERYTHING WILL LOOK GOOD AT SLP MODE, EVEN IN THIS DVDR... EVEN WORSE ON SOME OTHERS!!! double-duh!

If you don't want ANY arguments, use HQ mode for unbeatable PQ... it's actually mind-boggling. It's SO GOOD I was able to dub 6 real-time generations from HDD to DVD and back with no visible degradation in PQ! I know there's supposed to be SOME generational loss in PQ as more real-time copies are made, one from another, but I just couldn't see it on my 47" 1080p LCD. Gotta get a pixel microscope... or call CSI!

The only drawback of HQ mode is the possibility that you later want to use lossless high-speed dub (HSD) to a SINGLE DVD... for HSD, anything over 1:04:55 in HQ rec mode will force you to use multiple DVDs or a real-time, mode-conversion dub, which takes longer but will still look as good as or BETTER than if you had originally recorded in SP mode!

Some Personal Notes on Analog vs Digital Channels

I've been a lifelong viewer of standard analog (crapalog) TV channels, so my first look at a digital channel was STARTLING! I quickly learned how to immediately differentiate crapalog and digital channels: crapalog are fuzzy and flat, digital are sharp and brilliant!

The best illustration of this difference occurred just the other day. I walked by my 47" 1080p LCD on my way to the kitchen to get my hourly snack and, from 2 feet away, the channel tuned on my Mag DVDR showed every flaw in the analog pic on screen at that time... you don't want to be too close to a large 1080p display... leads to great dismay!

Anyway, when I returned with my strawberry-caramel sunday, I asked my wife to switch the DVDR to my favorite digital channel, TNT HD, and at the same 2 feet away, the pic was sharp and clean... actually, "brilliant" is the way I like to describe it... and that's thru digital COMPOSITE cables to the TV!

I tried all four types of cable connections on my DVDR and found that MY system works best by preserving my analog cable TV (480i) COMPOSITE feed all the way to the TV with digital Composite/AV cables (mfg to digital stds, better construction & tighter tolerances than typ. analog cable).

If you can afford the $$$ and the time, you should try ALL the TV connection types possible in your system to determine the best cables and settings for your source and TV. I can almost guarantee you that HDMI will NOT be the best connection for viewing live TV or recorded programs from ANALOG CABLE TV, which is 480i. OTA and DIGITAL CABLE TV are different stories... programs are broadcast to your antenna or sent via digital cable in 480p, 720p or 1080i format. See this Wiki article for more info.


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
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DIGITAL CHANNELS - DO YOU HAVE ANY AND ARE THEY REALLY "DIGITAL"?


Digital Channels in Your Basic (Analog) Cable Subscription

I subscribe to "basic" analog cable (not "extended basic"), which would normally give me (and everyone else) only 61 channels thru my analog tuner. However, with my 3575/2160/515 digital tuner, I also receive, as a free bonus, 15 HD QAM channels. The HD channels broadcast in natural 16:9 widescreen.

These digital QAM channels are the ones your cableco doesn't want you to know about in advance, as described in this Wiki entry on QAM tuners.

We had been recording "Bones" and "House" in 2-hr-SP mode on Fox from our basic analog cable service, and the PQ was good with both our 3575 and our Pio 640 before that.

For this week's shows, we changed the DVDR's timer rec. to Fox's digital channel for the first time cuz we noticed the shows looked so much better on that channel. We also had our first chance to watch those timer-recorded shows on our new 47" 1080P LCD TV.

When we sat down to watch the shows, my wife said something dainty like, "WOW, what a beautiful picture!" and I said something like "Holy sh**, will you look at that fr**** picture!" The digital version is like our good, clear, SD-analog-channel on steroids!

Sort of reinforces the obvious: a high-quality recording starts with the source! That's proven true every time I've recorded a pro football game on ESPN-HD, a fast-action movie on TNT-HD, or a nature show on Discovery-HD... even tho I'm receiving a downrezzed SD feed in my basic analog cable subscription. I like to say, it's like comparing pressed beef to a filet... a lot moe real meat in the filet!
Recent experience: our cable wigged out for awhile and gave us a terrible pic on the basic analog channels, but the so-called "digital" channels in my feed are still perfect! Another advantage to having the ATSC/QAM tuner!

Are Your "Digital" Cable Channels Really Analog?

I was playing with some of the TV's controls and noticed that, when on any of my 15 digital channels, I couldn't turn on Digital CC, only Analog CC... WTH... I know some or all of those channels have CC (ESPN HD, TNT, Fox, Discovery, etc.), and they're on "digital" channels!?

Got me to thinking...maybe I'm not really getting true digital channels, just some cableco converted analog version of an original digital broadcast or microwave feed?

In researching a little, I found a possible answer from Lauren Weinstein's Blog (lauren.vortex. com) in an article titled "Are You Being Cheated by Digital Cable?" A telling section hit home, when she said this:

"The TiVo HD has easily accessible diagnostic modes which clearly spill all the beans relating to these issues. Here in the West Valley (Los Angeles) system of Time Warner Cable, I can clearly see that, at the moment, virtually all basic cable channels in the digital tiers that have simulcast analog (under channel 100) equivalents, are actually being delivered as analog channels, at least to my cableCARDs."

Hey, I'm on TW cable and ALL my digital channels have an equivalent analog channel under 100! This might explain why I can't set Digital CC...I'm not getting digital channels, just a digital>analog version delivered in a TW-specified "digital" channel slot?

Anyway, I do know the shows on my digital channels all view and record in 16:9 aspect and in much higher quality than shows on my analog channels, so they must start out as high-quality, HD digital (most have "HD" as part of channel name) and just get repackaged by the cableco as Lauren indicates in her article.

I've never seen ANY of the "artifacts" that some people see and complain about, only some occasional macroblocks (MB) in a live program (i.e., in the signal). Since digital is broadcast in macroblocks, with instructions for reassembly, I figure those short "blips" will be normal for awhile, at least until the cablecos get their digital act together by or after 2009... and maybe stop compressing the macroblocks so much... one can hope, anyway.

However, with the excellent encoder in our DVDRs, you probably don't need to worry about MB, as described here.


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
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CONNECTIONS... CABLES... DIGITAL CLIFF

"HDMI is a PITA!" wajo 3/9/12

HDMI Rule #1: To activate, press the "HDMI" button on the Mag remote... and the Input/HDMI button on your HDTV's remote!

On the Mag 515/53x/557 remote, it's in 2nd row, right under the Open/Close button.

With TV on the HDMI input to which you connected the Mag, press Mag's HDMI button multiple times to cycle thru its four formats: 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p (it'll skip any your HDTV doesn't support). Select best-looking format for your system. If you don't do this, your pic will look like $hit! Then you'll call Magnavox and complain about the pic, they'll say that's the way it's supposed to look, you'll get mad and send it back, and in your fury you'll post here and everywhere what a POS the Mag is (maybe even make a viral video), elitist Tivo users will offer condolences and suggest you spend $600-1000 to set up a computer-Tivo network just to watch TV in your computer/SW/HDD/router-averse home (but they won't tell you this), and you'll end up an angry, confused, hypertensive, blithering blob of blubber, all alone on the face of this earth! Don't say I didn't warn you! Press the damn button!!!

Jump To:
IMPORTANT NOTES, Please Read Before Zapping Your Equipment
CONNECTIONS ON BACK PANEL
SKETCH 1 - ANTENNA... Plus Detailed Explanation
SKETCH 2 - CABLE WITHOUT BOX... Plus Detailed Explanation
SKETCH 3 - CABLE WITH BOX... Plus Detailed Explanation
SKETCH 4 - SATELLITE OR TUNERLESS DVDR... Plus Detailed Explanation... Plus Modulating Signal to Multiple TVs
Notes for ALL ANTENNA and CABLE Subscribers WITHOUT Cable Box (and ex-VCR Users)
Additional Notes for CABLE Subscribers WITH Cable Box... Special Notes for FIOS
Notes for SATELLITE Subscribers or Anyone with Tunerless DVDR... Plus Modulating Signal to Multiple TVs
Connections for a Complex System with Many Components
Connecting to Your TV
Connecting VCR, Camera or Cable/Sat DVR to This DVDR for Copying or Viewing
SNUG YOUR NUTS!
Where to Buy Cables
Important Note on the "Digital Cliff" (Loss of Digital Tuning)

IMPORTANT NOTES, Please Read Before Zapping Your Equipment

 

  1. MAKE SURE ALL EQUIPMENT IS OFF AND UNPLUGGED FROM POWER when making cable connections, esp. if going by FEEL... static electricity! This DVDR has a Standby circuit and an AMPLIFIED COAX PASSTHRU CIRCUIT that always has power when plugged in, even when off.
  2. Be especially careful when connecting HDMI cables since they are in constant comm. with the TV when ON... turn DVDR and TV off, and unplug both from power, before connecting or disconnecting HDMI. You'll have 30 sec or 1 hour w/o power before you lose clock and timers, dep. on DVDR model.
  3. DO NOT turn DVDR on/off with external switch or power strip that cuts power. Plug DVDR power cord into constant source of power (wall socket or unswitchable power connector) to maintain standby power for settings. Use only the Standby/On switch on the DVDR or the remote to turn unit on or off.
  4. DO NOT run the coax thru a power strip with a coax connector for surge suppression... can cause PQ and other signal problems.
  5. For HDMI 1st time use, you must press the "HDMI" button thru all four formats: 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p!
  6. If you have an old TV with ONLY an RF/coax connector (no line inputs), you can use an RF modulator to run cables thru, as shown in the manual (pg 16 or 20) and as described here. You can also use a VCR as the modulator, as described here.
  7. When done connecting, see this post for how to scan for channels with cable or antenna (stationary or rotating)... and this post for info on settings.
  8. DVD tray won't open on new or hard-reset unit until it's set up and channels scanned. More info.
  9. If unit freezes or won't turn on, do a Soft Reset. More info.
  10. Put DVDR 1st on antenna or cable coax (not Satellite) except in certain cases. Don't listen to "splitter freaks" who immediately advise putting this DVDR on a splitter with one output to this DVDR and one to your TV. An external 2-way splitter reduces signal strength at least -3.7dB (~50%), 3- and 4-way 75%, 8-way 87.5%, etc. This DVDR has an internal splitter and it's amplified so the input to your TV and this DVDR's tuner thru coax and line inputs is INCREASED ~1dB (13.5%). Only if you order PPV/VOD thru a cable box should you use a splitter since this DVDR's amp'd splitter is not bidirectional and will block the order process back to the cableco, as well as Guide data in some cable-box interactive systems. Bottom line: it makes no sense to split the signal immediately in front of another splitter (this DVDR).

 

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

CONNECTIONS ON BACK PANEL

Shown for 3575/3576. Identical for all Mags except item 7: no optical audio out, coax out only.


 

 

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

 



BASIC CONNECTIONS:
See pic of connections on back panel, if needed.
  1. Incoming COAX to DVDR's ANTENNA IN (top RF connector).
  2. COAX from DVDR ANTENNA OUT to TV ANT IN. The Mag's coax output will not deliver tuned channels to the TV's ANT/coax input like your 20th century VCR did, it delivers just the raw incoming signal. For watching one channel while recording a diff. channel with the Mag, you need the "line connection" described in #2 below. Select that input on your TV to see internal Mag stuff (menus, channels, recorded titles, DVDs).
  3. Video line connection from DVDR to TV Input (one or all): AV OUT (Yellow RCA), S-VIDEO OUT, COMPONENT OUT (RGB), or HDMI OUT. HDMI must be "activated" for 1st use by pressing the HDMI button on the remote, then you can select any of the HDMI formats your HDTV is capable of. If your TV is as old as your VCR and has only a coax connection, see Important Note #6 above.
  4. Audio line connection from DVDR to TV Input: if you use AV OUT, S-VIDEO OUT or COMPONENT OUT video connections, you'll also need WR (L/R) RCA Audio cables from AV OUT, which supplies audio for those three types of video connection. HDMI carries both video and audio to your TV. If you use an AV receiver (AVR), use W/R (L/R) audio cables for stereo sound or the digital coax out for DD5.1/surround sound from the DVDR to the receiver. With an AVR, you can then turn HDMI Audio OFF if you get an echo from the TV speakers.
  5. Do an Auto Channel Preset > Antenna to scan for available channels.
  6. See "Advanced" Sketch 1A below when you're ready to add some typical, optional equipment.

 

CLICK HERE for lots more info on connecting this way.

 

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

 



BASIC CONNECTIONS:
See pic of connections on back panel, if needed.
  1. Incoming COAX to DVDR's ANTENNA IN (top RF connector).
  2. COAX from DVDR ANTENNA OUT to TV ANT IN.
  3. Video line connection from DVDR to TV Input (one or all): AV OUT (Yellow RCA), S-VIDEO OUT, COMPONENT OUT (RGB), or HDMI OUT. HDMI must be "activated" for 1st use by pressing the HDMI button on the remote, then you can select any of the HDMI formats your HDTV is capable of. If your TV is as old as your VCR and has only a coax connection, see Important Note #6 above.
  4. Audio line connection from DVDR to TV Input: if you use AV OUT, S-VIDEO OUT or COMPONENT OUT video connections, you'll also need WR (L/R) RCA Audio cables from AV OUT, which supplies audio for those three types of video connection. HDMI carries both video and audio to your TV. If you use an AV receiver (AVR), use W/R (L/R) audio cables for stereo sound or the digital coax out for DD5.1/surround sound from the DVDR to the receiver. With an AVR, you can then turn HDMI Audio OFF if you get an echo from the TV speakers.
  5. Do an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital), even if you don't subscribe to a digital pkg, to scan for available channels.
  6. See "Advanced" Sketch 2A below when you're ready to add some typical, optional equipment.

 

CLICK HERE for lots more info on connecting this way.

 

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

 



Note: THIS DVDR HAS A BUILT-IN, AMPLIFIED, UNI-DIRECTIONAL SPLITTER! Therefore, people who don't have a cable box don't need to use a splitter on the incoming coax. People WITH a cable box might need a bidirectional splitter if their cableco requires 2-way communication for guide data, SW maintenance, or ordering extra-cost PPV/VOD thru the box. Only in that case would you need a bi-directional splitter to make sure your box can communicate directly with the cableco without this DVDR's uni-directional splitter blocking that 2-way activity.

BASIC CONNECTIONS:
See pic of connections on back panel, if needed.
  1. Incoming COAX direct to DVDR's ANTENNA IN (top RF connector).
    Don't listen to the "behind the box" or the "split-before-the-splitter" crowd... the Mag has a built-in splitter, so it doesn't need a 2nd splittter with at least 50% reduction in signal strength it brings, and the box won't know the Mag is there if the Mag is 1st on the coax (unless you order PPV/VOD thru the box).
    Only after setup and only IF you notice that you can't order PPV/VOD or get Guide data thru the box, or things just don't work as before, that's cuz the Mag coax circuit/splitter is not bidirectional and your box/Guide needs to comm. with the cableco. Only in those cases, use a 2-way bidirectional splitter like this Antronix CMC2002H (with only -3.5dB signal loss) on incoming cable coax, with one splitter output to STB/box and one to this DVDR. New FIOS cable boxes need a splitter. But, please, FIRST try the DVDR 1st on the coax, no matter what others say... it has a built-in amplified splitter so most people need not reduce their signal strength with an additional splitter.
  2. COAX from DVDR ANTENNA OUT to STB/DVR Antenna In, unless you order PPV/VOD thru the cable box... more info here.
  3. STB/DVR/DTA connection(s) to TV: COAX if available + any other line connection, depending on availability and personal prefs.
  4. Video line connection from DVDR to TV Input (one or all): AV OUT (Yellow RCA), S-VIDEO OUT, COMPONENT OUT (RGB), or HDMI OUT. HDMI must be "activated" for 1st use by pressing the HDMI button on the remote, then you can select any of the HDMI formats your HDTV is capable of. If your TV is as old as your VCR and has only a coax connection, see Important Note #6 above.
  5. Audio line connection from DVDR to TV Input: if you use AV OUT, S-VIDEO OUT or COMPONENT OUT video connections, you'll also need WR (L/R) RCA Audio cables from AV OUT, which supplies audio for those three types of video connection. HDMI carries both video and audio to your TV. If you use an AV receiver (AVR), use W/R (L/R) audio cables for stereo sound or the digital coax out for DD5.1/surround sound from the DVDR to the receiver. With an AVR, you can then turn HDMI Audio OFF if you get an echo from the TV speakers.
  6. Line Connection from STB/DVR/DTA to this DVDR: Yellow RCA to AV IN or S-Video to S-VIDEO IN plus RW (L/R) Audio to AV IN. (STB/DVR/DTA output might be named "Out to VCR," "Out to TV" or similar.)
  7. Set Video > Video Input for L1 (back) or L2 (front), whichever you connected to, to match the type of Line Connection made in the step above: "Video In" if Yellow RCA or "S-Video In" if S-Video. This line connection is what you select with Source button on remote for a manual recording, or enter in timer rec "CH" box for a timer rec, when wanting to record or copy from the STB/DVR.
  8. Do an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital), even if you don't subscribe to a digital pkg, to scan for available channels. You must have the incoming coax directly connected to the ANT IN on back of the DVDR or from a splitter (if needed), as noted in Step 1.
  9. See "Advanced" Sketch 3A below when you're ready to add some typical, optional equipment.

 

CLICK HERE for lots more info on connecting this way.
PLUS
Additional Notes for Cable Subscribers with Cable Box.



 

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

 

CAUTION: Do not connect any satellite cable(s) from the outside dish antenna DIRECTLY to the ANT IN coax connector on this DVDR...some sat cables have voltage that could harm this DVDR's circuits and should only be connected to your sat receiver, as described in the sat manual. Coax (like from an integrated OTA antenna) and other std video/audio connectors FROM your receiver/DVR can be connected to this DVDR, as shown in the sketch.



BASIC CONNECTIONS:
See pic of connections on back panel, if needed.
  1. Make all Sat connections as instructed in the Sat manual, incl. a connection to your TV. This DVDR has a separate connection scheme cuz it can't tune the encrypted Sat signal.
  2. IF your subscription includes "Local Channels" delivered via a small separate OTA antenna on the dish, connect the coax from that antenna to the ANT IN connector on this DVDR.
  3. Video line connection from DVDR to TV Input (one or all): AV OUT (Yellow RCA), S-VIDEO OUT, COMPONENT OUT (RGB), or HDMI OUT. HDMI must be "activated" for 1st use by pressing the HDMI button on the remote, then you can select any of the HDMI formats your HDTV is capable of.
  4. Audio line connection from DVDR to TV Input: if you use AV OUT, S-VIDEO OUT or COMPONENT OUT video connections, you'll also need WR (L/R) RCA Audio cables from AV OUT, which supplies audio for those three types of video connection. HDMI carries both video and audio to your TV. If you use an AV receiver (AVR), use W/R (L/R) audio cables for stereo sound or the digital coax out for DD5.1/surround sound from the DVDR to the receiver. With an AVR, you can then turn HDMI Audio OFF if you get an echo from the TV speakers.
  5. Line Connection from STB/DVR to this DVDR: Yellow RCA to AV IN or S-Video to S-VIDEO IN plus RW (L/R) Audio to AV IN. (STB/DVR output might be named "Out to VCR" or similar.) If you're unlucky and your sat STB has ONLY coax out, you'll have to make the DVDR slave to the box by connecting the STB coax out to the ANT IN connector on back of the DVDR, and coax out of the DVDR to the TV. Set both the TV and the DVDR to ch 3/4 (or as instructed in your STB manual). Do an Auto Channel Preset > Antenna in the DVDR, then select ch.3/4 as the DVDR "Source" for passthru and recording. Skip Step 6.
  6. If your STB has line-out connections, not just coax, set Video > Video Input for L1 (back) or L2 (front), whichever you connected to, to match the type of Line Connection made in the step above: "Video In" if Yellow RCA or "S-Video In" if S-Video. This line connection is what you select with Source button on remote for a manual recording, or enter in timer rec "CH" box for a timer rec, when wanting to record or copy from the STB/DVR. STBs that ONLY have coax output, no line outs, have to feed the Mag via that coax, and the Mag can only view/record the single channel the STB is tuned to at that time... set Mag on CH 3/4 per STB instructions and use that channel as your recording "Source."
  7. See "Advanced" Sketch 4A below for adding an OTA antenna, cable TV, VCR or other optional equipment/sources to your DVDR.

 

CLICK HERE for lots more info on connecting this way.

 

See 2 posts by dondd here on modulating the sat receiver signal for sending to all TVs in your house on a user-set channel not in use, as well as combining an antenna into the setup. Download pdf sketch here.


 

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

Notes for ALL ANTENNA and CABLE Subscribers WITHOUT Cable Box (and ex-VCR Users)

 

Bottom Line: Put DVDR 1st on antenna or cable coax (not Satellite) except in certain cases. Don't listen to "splitter freaks" who immediately advise putting this DVDR on a splitter with one output to this DVDR and one to your TV. An external 2-way splitter reduces signal strength at least -3.7dB (~50%), 3- and 4-way 75%, 8-way 87.5%, etc. This DVDR has an internal splitter and it's amplified so the input to your TV and this DVDR's tuner thru coax and line inputs is INCREASED ~1dB (13.5%). Only if you order PPV/VOD thru a cable box should you use a splitter since this DVDR's amp'd splitter is not bidirectional and will block the order process back to the cableco, as well as Guide data in some cable-box interactive systems. Bottom line: it makes no sense to split the signal immediately in front of another splitter (this DVDR).


The coax IN/OUT circuit on this DVDR is different than the one on your old VCR or even other DVDRs: it's a built-in splitter. It feeds the tuner AND passes the incoming TV signal thru to the next component in the coax path, STB or TV, EVEN IF THAT SIGNAL IS HDTV. It does NOT send any internal DVDR stuff to your TV (menus, channels, HDD, DVD).

For someone new to DVD recorders, this can be best described with an example: if you tune this DVDR to channel 7, the RF/coax output will NOT send channel 7 to your TV... it'll only send channel 7 from one of its "line outputs": Y/W/R Composite, S-Video, RGB Component, or HDMI. The RF/coax output will only send the raw, incoming RF TV signal to downstream components (STB or TV) to tune with their tuners (after scanning for channels in them, of course)... this is called "RF passthru" or "coax passthru."

 

With RF passthru. you can watch one channel thru the tuner in the downstream component (cable box or TV) while this DVDR records a different channel.

Note: The LG LRH-780/790 series and possibly other LG DVDRs DO NOT have pure RF/coax passthru... they operate like a VCR thru a TV/DVD button to select coax passthru (TV), or menu and recordings (DVD) thru the coax to TV ch. 3/4 or thru a line output.


The video input circuit (coax and line inputs) is also "active" (amplified). It consists of a +4dB amp > Low-Pass-Filter (LPF) > +2dB amp designed to assure a clean signal with no loss of strength. Its output has been measured at approx. +1dB... the typ. "passive" circuit loses approx. -1dB. This amp/filter circuit is active as long as this DVDR has power... it doesn't have to be ON for this OR for watching TV normally. However, removing power degrades the passthru TV signal significantly (~30dB).

More info here on active and passive passthru.
Here's olyteddy's measurement of the input-to-output gain with a Sadelco DisplayMax Meter.
And here's videobruce's test of a 2160 amplified passthru circuit with a spectrum analyzer (SA)...
plus an evaluation of videobruce's SA traces by a long-time "Sweep Tech."

Connecting the Coax
If you don't have a cable box, your first connection should be the incoming coax from antenna or cable on the TOP coax connector on the back of this DVDR (ANTENNA IN). Continue the coax from the bottom connector (ANTENNA OUT) to your TV (see sketches above). That gives you an amplified passthru signal that you can tune with your TV if it has the appropriate tuner (after you scan for channels in it), whether this DVDR is on or off.

 

NOTE: This DVDR can accept inputs from multiple devices, like coax and a cable box/VCR/DVD player, NO MATTER WHERE THAT SOURCE IS IN THE COAX CHAIN! This DVDR should NOT be on the coax chain from any other device, incl. cable box, UNLESS you order PPV/VOD thru the box... that requires a bidirectional splitter since the Mag's coax circuit is not bidirectional.

 

"Line Connection" to TV
The Line Connection shown from DVDR to TV is for seeing things internal to this DVDR (menus, channels, or HHD/DVD titles played in the DVDR)... nothing is sent to the TV from the DVDR's coax output, just the raw, incoming antenna or cable signal. You select the approp. "input" on the TV, either the ANT connection to view straight TV, or one of the TV's "Inputs" to view stuff from this DVDR.

S-Video and Component video outputs need L/R (white/red) RCA audio cables also.

On all the Mags, if Progressive Scan is ON, nothing is output from Composite or S-Video connections. The 357x is not affected this way.

For HDMI 1st time use, you must press the "HDMI" button thru all four formats: 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p!

HDMI is best connection with the newer MDR machines and a modern HDTV. Only my 1st-gen 3575's produced a better pic in my analog cable feed to my 47" LCD when I used high-quality (digital) YWR RCA connection..Soon, you won't have to worry about which connection to use since TV mfgrs are eliminating the analog connection, leaving only Component RGB and HDMI... and only HDMI in the not-too-distant future?

 

If you're a cable sub., it might be worthwhile to at least TRY Digital Composite cables (better construction and tolerance than std Y/W/R cables)... I got mine from Walmart. Rayfornario also found composite to be best to his 1080i HDTV, as described in 4 posts here.

 

HDMI is best for playing commercial DVDs cuz they're produced with Digital Component Video, YCbCr (RGB or YPbPr is Analog Component).


Recording One Channel While Watching Another
This is prob. the greatest benefit of coax passthru: any components on the coax chain can tune the raw TV signal independently as long as they have the right kind of tuner (analog and/or digital). For example, you can watch one channel on the TV while simultaneously recording a diff. channel with this DVDR or playing something from this DVDR's HDD or a DVD.

If your STB has a coax passthru connection like these DVDRs, and you connect coax from STB to TV, then you could even watch TWO other channels if your TV has PIP! ... after you scan for channels in the TV, of course.

Simultaneous Output of INTERNAL DVDR Stuff (Menus, DVDR Channels, HDD, DVD)
In a single-TV setup, you'll be able to connect all four outputs to a single TV and see internal DVDR stuff by selecting the appropriate INPUT on that TV.

For sending the same internal pic simultaneously to two TVs, like in different rooms, AFAIK you can use any combo of connections in the 357x with Progresisve scan on or off. With all the Mags. If Progressive Scan is ON, there won't be any output from the Yellow Composite or S-Video connector.

One user long ago reported that Composite and S-Vid connections were not simultaneously active with HDMI or Component, but I'm not sure if he might have had Progressive Scan ON, and I think that was before we knew about this Mag limitation. You'll have to try, just keep Progressive Scan OFF, which only applies to Component anyway, HDMI sets its own formats.

Connecting a Tunerless TV
If you have a tunerless TV, it won't have an antenna connection, so you'll use just the line connection(s) described above.

Combining OTA Antenna & Cable Channels in a Cable TV System
See this help file for how you *could* (but not recommended) add OTA/antenna digital channels 7 thru 13 to this DVDR in a cable TV system.

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

Additional Notes for CABLE Subscribers WITH Cable Box... Special Notes for FIOS

Read Notes for ALL Cable Subscribers and Antenna Users first or you might not gain a complete understanding of what connections are needed and why.
If you have a cable box (STB, with or without a DVR), you may have some or all unscrambled channels, but you won't know for sure until you scan for channels with this DVDR, so it needs to be 1st in line on the coax or at least fed by a 2-way bidirectional splitter so it can search the raw incoming signal. If placed on coax AFTER the STB, this DVDR would be an "STB slave" (i.e., limited to receiving only the channel the STB is tuned to).

This DVDR's coax circuit is NOT bidirectional so any comm. back to the cableco will be BLOCKED (I.D. signals back to cableco, EPG data and VOD orders). On a bidirectional splitter, your cable box will be free to "communicate" with the cableco and work as it was designed in the cableco's op. system.

 

For HDMI 1st time use, you must press the "HDMI" button thru all four formats: 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p!

Recording Scrambled Channels from STB or Recorded DVR Programs
For recording channels only the STB/DVR can tune, connect S-Video+L/R audio cables (recommended) or Composite/RCA Y/W/R RCA cables from a STB "Line Out" (might say AV out or Out to VCR?) to this DVDR's AV IN connectors on the back (E1 or L1) or on the front (E2 or L2). Those line inputs go thru this DVDRs amplified video circuit.

Check your STB's manual for "Timers" or "Reminders" that can turn your STB on and/or set it to a channel you specify at a selected time. If your STB has one of these, you only need to set a timer rec program in this DVDR to record unattended programs from your STB.

Even better, check for a RECORD feature, even if you don't have a DVR, as described in the TIPS here. With a TV Guide system and a RECORD option, people with STBs w/o DVR can set programs to record on the STB, even recurring ones, then set a coordinated timer program in their DVDR.

Special Notes for FIOS Subscribers

Scanning channels in Fios system.
Operating DVDR in  FIOS system.

Connecting the STB/DVR to This DVDR
Only one input, S-Video or Composite, can be active at a time on either front or back connectors in the 3575/3576... both front and back S-Video inputs are active on the 2160/513/515. Composite is the default in the Video > Video Input menu ("Video In") so, if you use S-Video, make sure you select "S-Video In" in that menu for the input you connect to.

If your STB has only one S-Video output and no other outputs (stupid!), you'll have to use a switch (manual or remote-operated) on the single STB output, with one leg going to this DVDR and one to the TV.

Coax Connection between STB/DVR and TV
If your STB has a coax passthru, like this DVDR, and you have an antenna or cable TV connected to this DVDR, connect a coax from the STB to the TV so you can watch a channel on the TV while the STB and this DVDR are tied up recording a channel only the STB can tune. Of course, you have to scan for channels in the TV, and those should be the same as the channels this DVDR can tune by itself... some people find the clear channels they receive w/o the STB aren't worth making these connections.

If your STB does NOT have a coax passthru, and you have an antenna or cable TV connected to this DVDR, and you still want to be able to tune channels on the TV separately, you can use a bidirectional 2-way splitter on the incoming cable, with one leg to this DVDR and one to the STB, then a coax connection from this DVDR to the TV for signal passthru from this DVDR to the TV. All other connections are as shown in Sketch 3/3A above.

Recording Cable PPV or Video On-Demand (VOD) Programs
If you order PPV or VOD programs that cost extra, and you order that service thru the cable TV STB/coax, not a separate tel. line, this DVDR will block the return path to the provider. The same if you have a cable channel guide that allows you to request info for specific programs/dates/times. You'll have to use a high-quality 2-way bidirectional digital splitter on the incoming feed (5-1000MHz bandwidth, 5-42MHz return path, and each output marked -3.7dB loss). Connect one output to the STB and one to this DVDR.

Poor PQ with This DVDR 1st on the Coax?
Some people with certain STBs will get a poorer pic or none at all when putting this DVDR 1st on the coax. The channels this DVDR can tune should be clear and high-quality. If you don't see that, you might have to connect the incoming coax to a high-quality NON-amplified bidirectional splitter, with one output to the STB and one to this DVDR.

Combining OTA/Antenna Channels in a Cable TV System
See this help file for how you can add OTA/antenna digital channels 7 thru 13 to this DVDR in a cable TV system.

Dare2be tried a splitter backwards to combine an OTA antenna with his 2-room DISH STB and it worked for awhile. He subsequently got some "interference." More info here.

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Notes for SATELLITE Subscribers or Anyone with Tunerless DVDR

CAUTION: Do not connect satellite cable(s) to the ANT IN coax connector on this DVDR...sat cables have voltage that could harm this DVDR's circuits.
Satellite broadcasts are proprietary and require a sat receiver (STB, with or without a DVR) for tuning, so NO DVDR can tune a satellite signal with its own tuner. The only DVDR connection a sat-only user will need is an S-Video+L/R audio (recommended) or Composite Y/W/R RCA between the sat STB and the AV IN (E1) on the back of the 3575/76, L1 on back or L2 on the front of the 2160/513/515.

 

See 2 posts by dondd here on modulating the sat receiver signal for sending to all TVs in your house on a user-set channel not in use, as well as combining an antenna into the setup. Download pdf sketch here.


Adding Optional Antenna or Cable TV
With sat service, you can ADD an outside OTA antenna or good indoor antenna for local channels, or even add cable TV service. This optional antenna/cable service is shown in Sketch 4/4A above connected to the normal ANT IN of this DVDR (top coax connector), and requires an Auto Channel Preset to tune OTA or Cable (Analog/Digital) channels this DVDR can receive independently.

With a Tunerless DVDR
A tunerless DVDR will require a digital converter box (govt coupon-type) for the optional connection shown in the sketch.

Connecting the STB/DVR to This DVDR
Only one input, S-Video or Composite, can be active at a time on either front or back connectors in the 3575/3576... both front and back S-Video inputs are active on the 2160/513/515. Composite is the default in the Video > Video Input menu ("Video In") so, if you use S-Video, make sure you select "S-Video In" in that menu for the input you connect to.

"Line Connection" to TV
The Line Connection shown in Sketch 4/4A from DVDR to TV is for seeing things internal to this DVDR (menus, channels, or HHD/DVD titles played in the DVDR). You select the approp. "input" on the TV to view stuff from this DVDR.

S-Video and Component video outputs need L/R (white/red) RCA audio cables also.

On all the Mags, nothing is output from Composite or S-Video when Progressive Scan is ON.

For HDMI 1st time use, you must press the "HDMI" button thru all four formats: 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p!

Simultaneous Output from This DVDR
Be aware that, if you use HDMI and/or Component, the Composite and S-Video outputs will not be active at the same time (simultaneously). This is only important for people who want to output to multiple TVs at the same time using different DVDR outputs.

You WILL be able to use all four outputs in a normal, sequential manner if connected to a single TV, i.e., by selecting the appropriate INPUT on that TV. For simultaneous output to more than one TV, see this note.

Recording Channels from the STB/DVR and Copying Titles from the DVR
For recording channels only the STB/DVR can tune, or copying titles recorded on the satco DVR (if any), connect S-Video+L/R audio cables (recommended) or Composite/RCA Y/W/R RCA cables from a STB output to this DVDR's AV IN connectors on the back (E1 or L1) or on the front of the 2160/513/515 (L2).

Only one input, S-Video or Composite, can be active at a time on either front or back connectors. Composite is the default in the Video > Video Input menu ("Video In") so, if you use S-Video, make sure you select "S-Video In" in that menu for the input you connect to. For another option, see the "More Complex Setup" info/heading below.

When you want to record something thru the Sat receiver, check your Sat manual cuz some STBs require you to set the STB's output to 480i (DirecTV HR10) and some don't (HR20 and 21) cuz they auto-downconvert the signal via analog output. Can't be any more specific, just things I've read.

ALSO, check your STB's manual for "Timers" or "Reminders" that can turn your STB on and set to a channel you specify at a selected time. If your STB has one of these, you only need to set a timer rec program in this DVDR to record unattended programs from your STB.

Here's a help file with more info on using this DVDR with your STB, followed by TIPS on recording even if your STB doesn't have a DVR.

NOTE 1: If you connect an optional cable or OTA antenna, use a separate amplifier only if you KNOW your digital signal is weak cuz this DVDR has a built-in amp in the coax passthru, and another amp may "over-drive" that digital signal. See Important Note on the "Digital Cliff" at bottom of this page for info on weak and strong digital signals.
NOTE 2: There are many different satellite receivers/STBs, so the Sketch 4/4A above may not apply to your equipment. Specifically, some receivers/STBs have only one output (stupid!?), which requires a remote 2-way switch on that output with one leg to the TV and one to this DVDR. Also, some might have an RF antenna for local channels, which requires setup per sat/receiver instructions.

NOTE 3: If you don't use an optional antenna or cable, your DVDR will not be able to get its normal time signal at noon and midnight to maintain an auto-clock setting. This might cause clock and timer scheduling problems. If you have time/timer problems NOT related to a power failure, you might have to set your clock manually (1st option in Clock menu) and turn Auto Clock and DST OFF (2nd and 3rd options).

TIP: After you connect the TV, the STB/DVR and this DVDR, pull the plug on everything and plug back in, IN THIS ORDER: the TV, this DVDR, then the STB/DVR. The unplugging resets each unit's standby circuit, and the replugging allows the STB/DVR to do some "handshaking" (like accessories attached to your computer). Otherwise, you may get false copy protection (CP) flags. If things don't work properly, turn all units off and on again, then reverse the turn-on order: STB/DVR, TV, this DVDR.
 

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Connections for a Complex System with Many Components



For MANY external components, the diagram above shows how Member Charles_I used Switchers to set up his 3576 with a cable STB and six other components: 3 VCRs, 1 DVD player, 1 laser disc, and 1 stereo amplifier. Using a multi-I/O AV Receiver shown just before the TV rather than another switcher would eliminate the separate Stereo Amp Charles_I used in his system.

For multiple inputs to this DVDR, don't forget the front connections (E2/L2) and the 2160's extra S-Video on front, which the 3575/3576 doesn't have.

Someone who just can't stand cables connected in front could connect both Composite video (Yellow RCA) AND S-Video to E1/L1 on the back. For audio, use two RCA Y-cables (available at Wal-Mart etc.) to connect the audio outputs of each device (White/White and Red/Red) to the single audio inputs (W/R) on E1/L1. (Might have to turn only one source on at a time if you get audio interference?) To record from each source, switch between the menu options in Setup > Video > Video Input. If you make one the "default" input, like S-Video for everyday recordings, then switch to Composite only when you want to copy a VHS tape, the odds of having the wrong input set for everyday recording FROM THE EXTERNAL INPUT are reduced... recording thru the tuner isn't affected by this setting.

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Connecting to Your TV

As stated above, you need to connect cable(s) from this DVDR to your TV to see anything internal, like menus, tuner channels, HDD or DVD. You can use Composite (Y/W/R RCA), S-Video+L/R Audio (W/R RCA), Component (R/G/B+L/R Audio) or HDMI. Once connected, you select that TV input to see stuff from this DVDR.

But, which type of cable should you use? That's something only you can ultimately decide, and it's based on both your video source (antenna, cable TV, cable/sat STB) and the type and size of your TV. If you have a good HDMI cable, you could start with that and see if it satisfies all your viewing needs... DVD titles, home-made DVD, and commercial DVDs.

If it does, your done, and it took only one cable!

However, you might find, like I did with my analog cable TV feed (480i), that HDMI is NOT the best for ALL your viewing needs. If so, I recommend that you try viewing live TV with a cable type that best matches the type of signal your DVDR RECEIVES:

  • Analog Cable* = Composite 480i signal so use Digital Composite YWR (mfg to digital stds, better construction & tighter tolerances than analog cable, RCA or Philips from Wal-Mart, $17).
  • Digital Cable* = 480p, 720p or 1080i signal so try HDMI first. However, you might be getting analog instead.**
  • OTA = 720p/1080i Digital/HD signal so try HDMI first.
  • Satellite = Composite or S-Video matching the cable type you must use from your receiver to E1/L1 on this DVDR... S-Video is usually best. However, if you ADD cable TV or an antenna for direct tuning, see above for recommended connection to TV.
    *See this Wiki article on the difference between analog and digital cable TV that can affect the types of cable you use for viewing.
    **See this heads-up for info on cablecos charging more for their "digital tier" but sending analog.

For your tests, you can use the QVC shopping channel for PQ comparisons of live TV since they have static shots, studio lighting, and text always on screen.

Once you establish your best connection type for live TV, that will *probably* be the best connection for your HDD titles and home-made DVDs as well. Check those out next to see if that same connection does good on them.

Then play one of your favorite commerical DVD movies cuz they could be different! Commercial movies are produced with Digital Component Video (YCbCr).... YPbPr is Analog Component Video. Setting HMDI Format on YCbCr allows you to play the commerical DVD's digital source over a digital connection to a digital TV... a pristine video path!

See my HDMI settings and info here.

If using an old std CRT TV that has only Ant/RF and one or two composite/S-Video connections, use your remote to select "Video" or "DVD" or similar button to switch from a TV channel to the TV's input from the 3575/76. AND DON'T PLACE YOUR DVDR TOO CLOSE TO THAT CRT... electromagnetic interference (EMI) from the pic tube could cause lot of "wonky" problems, including playback stuttering, lockups, and false copy protection (CP) messages with failure to record from that.

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Connecting VCR, Camera or Cable/Sat DVR to This DVDR for Copying or Viewing

To copy or watch video from other sources, connect Composite Y/W/R RCA cables or S-Video+L/R audio cables from a source output to AV IN on the back of this DVDR (E1/L1) or on front (E2/L2). Some say S-Video gives a better pic but, personally, I can't see any difference in my system... try both, but make sure you select the approp. type in the Video > Video Input menu.

 

If you need to feed this DVDR from two different sources:

  1. For audio, use TWO RCA Plug-to-Jack connectors (Y-adapters) like this one on L/R audio outs from the sources. Left (white) source cables into one adapter and right (red) into the other adapter. Then insert male jacks into white/red (L/R) connectors on DVDR. Walmart and RS have these adapters.
  2. For video, use your DVDR's Video > Video Input menu as your video "switch." Connect a diff. cable (composite Yellow or S-Video) from each source and select that source with the Video Input menu when each is used as the source. No need for external switches.


The procedure for copying tapes or camera footage to the HDD is here. See also the next subject there on copying comm. movies on tape.

Important: Only one E1/L1 input on the back can be active at a time. Composite is the default ("Video In") so, if you use S-Video, make sure you select "S-Video In" in the Video > Video Input menu.

If E1/L1 on the back is already occupied or you want greater convenience for a "once-in-a-while" usage like mine is, connect composite RCA (Y/W/R) to the Video/Audio inputs on the front of the 3575/76 (E2) or the additional S-Video input on the front of the 2160/513/515 (L2). You can also connect a DV camera with DV/firewire cable to E3/L3 on the front of this DVDR.

Since I do tape transfers only occasionally, I leave composite cables connected to my VCR bundled up next to this DVDR for quick front connection. Also, connecting to E2/L2 or E3/E3 leaves your back connection (E1/L1) open for other, more-permanent components, such as a sat or cable box/DVR. Just make sure you select the proper front or back connection using the Source button on the remote or run the tuner thru channels to the external outputs.

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Snug Your Nuts

I had interference once that was caused by an RF/coax input line that I finger-tightened, but I moved the DVDR several times for tests, etc., and it had come loose only about 1/100 of a turn...just enough to cause interference ("scratchiness") in my picture.

Lestyme lost picture and traced it to a loose connection and his CAT!

On every connection that has a nut to tighten, use a SMALL wrench to add just a LITTLE extra tightening at the end. Especially important on all splitter connections.

I use a small, 7/16" open-end wrench. Don't use a large wrench, pliers or any FORCE at all...just a final snug-up with finger tips on wrench.

Moral of this story: SNUG YOUR NUTS!

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Where to Buy Cables

For online cable purchase, Monoprice.com and BlueJeansCable.com, both sponsors of the AVS Forums, make excellent cable that cost much less than most others... lots of happy customers!

Monoprice is the only good source I've found for HDMI cables with a ferrite core on each end for reducing interference... an added bonus.

In all your cable purchases, make sure they say they're for "digital" use since they should have better construction and tighter tolerances, required for digital systems.

I bought my digital-quality composite cables from Wal-Mart for ~$17, RCA DH9AV or DT9AV (now they carry Philips brand, I believe). These are great in my cable system (a composite source) for connection between my 3575 and my 47" HDTV and, if I didn't like them there, they also make excellent cables for dubbing/copying.

I also bought an expensive ($32) Philips HDMI cable from Wal-Mart but wish I'd bought the std 28AWG HDMI cable from Monoprice (~$3-4 ea.) cuz everyone raves about them AND they have ferrite cores (the large cylinders just behind the end fittings) to reduce interference. Here's a 6-ft HDMI cable but they have other lengths. Someone else used a $0.99 cable with ferrite cores* and said he got the best pic from it, even better than the same $32 Philips cable from Wal-Mart! I looked high and low locally for ANY HDMI cable with ferrite cores and couldn't find any.

*Ferrite cores are great for viewing but might interfere with Fury2-type HDMI>S-Video/Composite converters, as described by one user here.

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Important Note on the "Digital Cliff" (Loss of Digital Tuning)

ONE possible, and "surprising," cause of reception problems with DIGITAL channels is the "Digital Cliff" or "Cliff Effect." Too weak or too strong a signal FROM COAX OR ANY LINE INPUT can make DIGITAL channels freeze, move in slo-mo, stutter, pixelate, disappear (fall off the cliff), etc., and can even cause problems with TVGOS or time signals. Wiki info here... and good discussion here.

Since this DVDR has an AMPLIFIED video circuit, both coax and line inputs, it can be more sensitive to over-amplification, esp. if you have an amp just before this DVDR w/o lots of attenuation in between.

The Cliff Effect is exactly the OPPOSITE of all our previous experience with ANALOG channels, where we were always trying to get the STRONGEST signal... if we saw "snow" with a properly pointed antenna, we'd just "beef up" the signal strength. Not any more, bubba!

For DIGITAL TV, even your DVDR's signal-strength meter might not tell when the signal's too strong! DIGITAL tuners can be "over-driven" with signal strength and "splatter," so the possibility of a Cliff Effect is NOT indicated in the "meters" some of our equipment has... in fact, one expert says a very strong signal can register normally while it's splattering.

To determine if your signal is too weak or too strong, first do a "Hang-by-a-Thread Test" to see if it's too strong (most likely) and, if that doesn't improve things, add a bidirectional Digital Signal Amplifier to see if it's too weak. Only test for a line input is to remove any amps that might be in that line?
 

HANG-BY-A-THREAD TEST

Here's a quick-n-easy prelim. test to determine if your digital signal is too STRONG thru the tuner only:
  1. Unscrew the incoming coax from this DVDR's ANT IN (top) coax connector until it's hanging by only one or two threads. Pull on the cable to make sure the center wire is withdrawn some and not "fully-seated" anymore.
  2. Check channels.
This usually degrades the signal just enough to see if there's any difference... UNLESS you've got coax with the center wire too long, which makes it NEVER lose solid contact. If center wire sticks out beyond threaded nut more than 1/16-1/8" or so, trim it back before doing this test.

If you've got a pic on the problem channel(s) that breaks up, pixelates, freezes, etc... or just plain disappears... this test may clear the pic up. If your channel(s) have been "disappearing" (blue or black screen), they might re-appear with this test.

OR if you never DID get digital channels after a good scan, you might need to do a new Auto Channel Preset with the coax in its attenuated state (still hanging by a thread), then check for presence and stability of your expected digital channel(s)... don't immediately screw the coax in tight cuz if the signal is too strong, it'll splatter again and you won't have proved anything. Once you're convinced that the signal is too strong, then you can use one or more splitters or buy one or more RF attenuators (they're "cheap") for a permanenet installation.

See this post for flamike's successful "coax-on-a-thread" test.

 

If the quick-n-easy prelim. test suggests attenutation is needed on the incoming coax, you can do the following:

  1. Remove any amplifiers leading to this DVDR. This might be the solution... no further action required?
  2. If no amplifier is inline, install a 2-way splitter on the incoming coax with one output to this DVDR and one to your TV. Note how many -dB each output of the splitter has, e.g., if balanced -3.7dB or unbalanced -3.7dB and -7.4dB, and try both outputs to see if a specific dB-weakening thru the splitter helps. You could also go directly to Step 3 with attenuators... they're pretty cheap.
  3. Install one or more signal attenuators of appropriate strength on the incoming coax in front of this DVDR (flamike's attenuator source is here). To help decide which one(s) to buy, here's how flamike used two of the three he bought... however, each system will be diff. and his was a rather complex one that might not apply to anyone else?

 

Below are a couple of other options for attenuation... don't have any experience with these, but they sound very interesting:

  1. Winegard TC-200A Tilt Compensator, $10.95.
    Description: "Coaxial cable attenuates high frequencies greater than low frequencies. This problem is most severe when cascading amplifiers one after another. The signal differences are attenuated to a point where the high frequency signals are so small compared to the low frequency signals that the high frequency signals can no longer be received. The TC-200A Tilt Compensator provides a balanced signal level by compensating for 200 feet of coax cable loss and allowing all signal levels on all channels to be of equal amplitude at distant locations. Therefore, the picture quality on the higher channels will be maintained."
  2. Variable Attenuator, $11.99.
    A 75-Ohm attenuator for continuously variable attenuation up to 20 dB.


Attenuating or reducing the signal in front of this DVDR shouldn't affect downstream components (STBs, TVs, other DVDRs, etc.) cuz this DVDR amplifies whatever signal it receives, so those downstream components *should* be receiving about the same signal strength they used to get.

In addition to the signal-strength problem, a couple of 3576 users and many users of other DVDRs are suddenly (starting in Sep 2008) seeing a CP flag in COMMERCIALS, which allows you to record to the HDD but not offload/dub to a DVD. More info here.

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


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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Initial Settings... "11:57 Procedure" ... HDMI Control (fun-Link/CEC)... Hard-of-Hearing?

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:
1. DVD tray won't open on new or hard-reset unit until it's set up and channels scanned. More info.
2. Front-panel display shows op-specific info when DVDR on but clock-time ONLY when off.

3. "HDMI is a PITA!" wajo 3/9/12

HDMI Rule #1: To activate, press the "HDMI" button!

Press multiple times to cycle thru its four formats: 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. If you don't, your pic will look like $hit! Then you'll call Magnavox and complain about the pic, they'll say that's the way it's supposed to look, you'll get mad and send it back, and in your fury you'll post here and everywhere what a POS the Mag is (maybe even make a viral video), elitist Tivo users will offer condolences and suggest you spend $600-1000 to set up a computer-Tivo network just to watch TV in your computer-averse home (but they won't tell you this), and you'll end up an angry, confused, hypertensive, blithering blob of blubber, all alone on the face of this earth! Don't say I didn't warn you! Press the damn button!!!


Jump To:
"Initial Setup" Menu
DEFAULT SETTINGS YOU SHOULD CHANGE
SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO
Potential Clock Setting Issues
Clock - Initial Setup
Set Clocks in a Stack
THE 11:57 PROCEDURE
Options for Longer Power Backup!
Video Input (S-Video or Composite)
TV Aspect... FOR 16:9 WIDESCREEN VIEWING & RECORDING
Progressive Scan
Auto-Chapter Interval
Disc Audio
HDMI Control (fun-Link/CEC) in 2160A, 513, 515, 53x
Special Settings for HDMI, DVI and Overscan
My HDMI Settings
Hard of Hearing? My Solution
Brightness of Front-Panel (FP) Display
Screen Saver

"Initial Setup" Menu

The "Before You Start" page in all manuals except the MDR53x Series advises you to use your TV tuner to find the Initial Setup menu. That's WRONG!

To see the Initial Setup menu, simply select the TV Input to which you connected this DVDR (a line input, not the coax).

IMPORTANT: A new machine should show the Initial Setup menu upon 1st turning it on. In some cases, like you don't have a line connection to your TV (expecting to see something internal like menus over coax... wrong!), you may "miss" the automated sequence of initial setup menus, so NOTHING will work.

 

In that case, you can manually do the same steps:

 

1. Open General Setting > Display > OSD Language menu and click OK on the "English" default selection already there. Must press OK to CONFIRM that selection or it'll keep coming up and messing with ops. The menu should disappear immediately to indicate that setting has been confirmed by your actual selection.

 

2. Open General Setting > Clock menu and set the clock.

 

3. Open General Setting > Channel menu and select Auto Channel Preset if on antenna or Cable (Analog/Digital) if on cable.

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

Default Settings You Should Change

Some of this DVDR's factory-default settings are not appropriate for your system or this modern, digital, widescreen age. The following table lists the primary General Settings options you need to address FIRST, with my recommended changes. Press Setup button on remote (Menu button on 515 or 53x remote), then OK on General Setting menu option.

 
Menu Option Default Setting Change To (your "starting" point)
Playback Variable Skip 30 seconds    1 minute
Playback Variable Replay 30 seconds    15 seconds
Playback Audio Language Original English (for English speakers, of course)
Display FL Dimmer Bright Bright for main ent. center(s), Auto for Bdrm units?
Video TV Aspect 4:3 Letter Box 16:9 Wide to make sure your 16:9 recordings from digital channels are recorded in 16:9 aspect, even if you currently have ONLY 4:3 TVs... you'll have a 16:9 HDTV someday!. See this help file on aspect and effects of TV Aspect settings.
Video Video Input Video In Only applies if you've got a cable/sat box or other external device like VCR attached to this DVDR on back (E1/L1) or front (E2/L2). OK as is if using Composite YWR, change to "S-Video In" if using S-Vid.
Recording Make Recording Compatible Off On  Note: This setting not available in the 557.
Clock Clock Setting - - - * Set to current time
Clock Auto Clock Setting ON (OFF on late 513 & 515/53x/557) Try "safe" MANUAL setting with 11:57 Procedure. If clock-related problems, like bad time, freeze or "dead," set Auto Clock OFF. Wake "dead" unit with Soft Reset.
Clock Daylight Saving Time ON (Mar-Nov) Leave ON. Does not affect Auto Clock.
Channel Auto Channel Preset Antenna As reqd for your TV source. If you're on cable, and DVDR is 1st on coax or on separate splitter, do Cable (Analog/Digital) scan even if you don't sub. to digital tier.
HDMI HDMI output 480p You MUST press HDMI button on remote to "activate" HDMI circuit for 1st use. Press 4 times, checking each format for best pic in your system on digital channel with 16:9 WS program (if possible). Be aware that 480p may be only way SOME HDTVs can format 4:3 and 16:9 programs normally via TV's stretch/wide aspect options. On some units, using 480p displays ALL channels in 4:3 aspect even tho unit is set for 16:9 Wide..
HDMI Format RGB Try YCbCr which is digital progressive scan, RGB or YPbPr is analog progressive.
HDMI HDMI Control (2160A) or fun-Link (HDMI CEC) (513/515/53x/557) OFF Try ON as described here

*Actual clock time and timer rec programs are the ONLY settings you'll lose after a power outage. The 515/53x/557 has at least a 1-hour power backup, all others 30 sec.-2 min. (depends on Auto Clock setting... ON or MANUAL extends backup time by at least 4X in all units except 2X in 515/53x/557).

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

Some Things You Should NOT Do in Setup!

 

  1. Don't turn this DVDR on and off via a power strip... keep Standby power to this DVDR constant or you'll not only lose all setting and channel memory, but also degrade the passthru signal ~30dB to downstream components, like cable box or TV. This DVDR's built-in, powered amps will become a blocking device. Your pic will look horrible.
     
  2. Don't run incoming coax thru a surge suppressor... can cause degradation of signal and missing channels (maybe all). One person's experience here.
     
  3. Don't set this DVDR on coax behind a cable box... makes this DVDR a "slave" to the box and its tuner useless. This DVDR goes 1st on the coax or on one leg of a splitter, but then ONLY if you order PPV/VOD thru the cable box and not a tel. line.
     
  4. Don't install an amp on the coax in front of this DVDR unless you really need it... it already has a built-in amp (+4dB>LPF>+2dB) that increases signal strength. Too much signal strength can cause digital channels to fall off the "Digital Cliff."
     
  5. Don't try to operate the DVD tray until AFTER you've set this DVDR up... won't work until then.

 

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

Potential Clock Setting Issues

The digital transition has caused some clock issues stemming from the Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP) data/tables all stations must transmit/carry per ATSC std.

The PSIP data includes clock time in a system time table (STT) which is supposed to contain "the current time, transmitted at least once per second, with an accuracy of new time values within 1 second or better." Hah!

It's controlled by each station and supposed to be passed on by cablecos, but neither has been diligent in assuring accuracy, which causes our clocks to go "wonky" when searching for an Auto Clock time signal... lots of time data, all conflicting!

This station PSIP problem is beyond Funai's control, so our DVDRs can suffer the consequences when we set Clock > Auto Clock Setting > ON. The default setting is ON in the 357x/2080/2160/2160A and early-513, and some people still use Auto Clock signals cuz they have a stable time signal. This PSIP problem has been so bad that Funai's late-513, 515, 53x and 2160A/513 with SuperFW 727V Update have changed the default clock setting to OFF.

If you have problems with the clock, timers, freezing. etc., best to just set Clock > Auto Clock Setting > OFF.

The default Daylight Saving Time (DST) setting of ON (Mar-Nov) is OK to use since it just tracks the date/time in the Clock Setting menu so it knows when Mar and Nov DST-change dates occur and sets clock fwd or back 1 hour at exactly 2:00am on those dates... it's not affected by Auto Clock or PSIP.

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

Clock - Initial Setup

The functioning and internal operations of a DVDR depend on a clock signal and timing for SO MANY things, it's rather mind-boggling... incl. "time-stamps" all over the place for recording, editing, etc. Therefore, it's important to have a reliable time-set either by manual means or by the Auto Clock feature.

For initial setup, I recommend you:

  1. Set the clock yourself using the 1st option in the Clock > Clock Setting menu. Set date and time. YOU MUST PRESS OK to activate the clock.
  2. Set Auto Clock > OFF until you can play with auto settings later (lots of problems with station time signals as described above). Only the late-model 513 and the 515 are already set to OFF as default.
  3. Do a Channel > Auto Channel Preset > [the type of TV you receive], as described here.

 

The 357x and 2080 will try to find a time signal from an ANALOG channel only, and the 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557 can also search DIGITAL channels. The manual is WRONG when it says Auto-Clock searches for a PBS channel only. It searches all channels... I found FOX analog is amazingly accurate and stable in my cable system (9 months dead-on). Others have found FOX digital does the same.

With Auto Clock set for ON, they search at noon and midnight thru the coax connection, but only when they're off. The fan (and only the fan, no DVD or HDD) will turn on at 11:59am and 11:59pm and the tuner will search for a time signal (no change in display or power-on indication). The slight fan noise they make has annoyed some light-sleepers with it in their bedroom... if so, might have to turn Auto Clock OFF, check for time drift, and reset when necessary?

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

Set Clocks in a Stack

You can set/change ALL clocks in a stack of Mags or Philips units while viewing just one IF YOU USE THE NUMBER BUTTONS, NOT THE ARROWS. The arrows will just ratchet to the next number(s) even tho the clocks might have started on different times (minutes), so they'll STILL be different.

 

Check each unit afterwards to make sure each one took the commands you intended!

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

The 11:57 Procedure

All units except the late-513 (mfg Jul 11 & later), 515 and 53x have their Auto Clock setting ON as default, and many users of later models set their Auto Clock ON manually. Since the manual specifically mentions PBS as the Auto Clock source, that's most likely the channel it auto-searches for a time signal... and PBS SUCKS!

 

Upon initial setup or at the normal daily search times of noon and midnight with Auto Clock ON (and only with unit OFF), our DVDRs either set the clock correctly OR hours or years ahead or behind. Many PBS stations goes OFF-AIR at 11:00pm or so, esp. on Sundays, just in time for midnight's Auto Clock time search, sending clocks into wonky-world! You won't know you have a bad time signal until you see a bad time/date and fix it, or your timed recordings fail and its too late then! (Your timer menu is a relational database that depends entirely on the clock! That's why a power failure loses clock and timers.)

However, I developed the "11:57 Procedure" as a foolproof way to use Auto Clock, avoid PBS, and CONFIRM whether or not you have any good time signals elsewhere in your TV feed... you'll SEE the results of the time search within 2 minutes or so. Of course, it'll only show whether a good time signal is CURRENTLY accurate, but it won't guarantee that signal will REMAIN accurate... it's up to the station to do that... and PBS SUCKS at that!!!

 

This procedure can be done anytime, day or night. If you happen to find a "rogue" channel that freezes your machine, pull power for 10 sec, then longer if that doesn't work.

 

  1. Your DVDR must: (1) be connected to an antenna or cable feed via coax on ANT IN (top coax connector), and (2) have channels scanned in.
    Antenna and cable subs. w/o a box/STB should be connected as shown in Sketches 1 and 2 here. You must also have done at least one Auto Channel Preset > Antenna or > Cable (Analog/Digital), whichever you receive. If you have a cable or sat box/STB:
    1. With cable STB, this DVDR must be 1st on the coax or on one leg of a bidirectional splitter IF you order PPV/VOD thru the STB. If you connect as shown in the manual, with this DVDR behind the STB on the coax, all bets are off.
    2. With sat STB w/o locals, you must attach an antenna or cable feed, then do an Auto Channel Preset > Antenna or > Cable (Analog/Digital), whichever applies. If you don't have an outdoor antenna, you could try a rabbit ears antenna and see if any OTA/ATSC channel, like FOX digital, provides a good time signal. Leave the antenna or cable connected to receive the time signal and, as a bonus, be able to record extra channels directly with this DVDR.
        
  2. Open the Clock > Auto Clock Setting > Manual menu.
    This is an unfortunate word to describe this setting. It's NOT the same as entering the clock digits "manually," using the 1st option in the Clock menu. A better name for this Auto Clock "Manual" option would be "Designated-Channel" or something similar.
     
  3. Enter a channel for the time search... machine-specific instructions below.

    Click here for a listing of good time-signal channels others have found in their areas. Please post your info for addition to that listing!

    For 3575/3576/2080 w/cable TV and analog channels: Enter your local FOX analog channel in the "Set Channel No." box, then press OK. If no analog channels or if you're using antenna, set Auto Clock to OFF since there are no full-power ("reliable") OTA analog signals and these models can't search digital channels, then set clock to correct time with the 1st Clock menu option.

    For 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557: These units can search either analog or digital channels. Start by arrowing left to "CH." Arrow up/down to change it to "DTV." Enter a major DIGITAL FOX channel # in "Set Channel No." box (no subchannel digits). A Time Zone (TZ) menu pops up. Select your TZ, then press OK.
     
  4. Open the Clock > Clock Setting menu and set your clock for 11:57am (not pm). You must press OK after setting the time, then quickly turn DVDR OFF.
    You can set for 11:58am if you're in a hurry and have experience with this procedure already. However, the clock MUST be on 11:58am or earlier when it shuts down completely or it might not start a search at 11:59am, and complete shutdown takes ~15-20 sec after power-off. If you use pm on purpose or by accident, your timer programs may realign to start next day, so check them and cycle power if nec. to reorient them for today's shows. Make sure you press OK or your time setting won't take.
     
  5. Watch for auto time change within 2-3 minutes after "whirring" sound at 11:59.
    At 11:59am clock time, the TV pic will change to a black screen and the DVDR will make a light "whirring" sound as the fan starts up and the tuner switches to your designated channel. If there's a time signal on that channel, you'll see the time change within ~2 min. or sooner. If no signal, the fan will stop at ~12:01pm and the TV screen will return to its normal "no signal" color, indicating search is over.

    If you find an active time signal, make sure it sets the "correct" time and am/pm compared to some other clock in the house and leave it set that way. DO NOT CHANGE THE AUTO CLOCK SETTING MENU TO OFF AFTER FINDING A GOOD MANUAL CHANNEL... just leave machine set the way it is now!
     
  6. If no active time signal on FOX digital, try other known active channels.
    Go back to Step 2 and try, in this order: 1-Digital CBS, 2-Digital ABC, 3-Digital NBC, 4-Analog FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC if on cable with analog channels. As a last resort, try PBS digital or any other suspects (except no local access channels)... varies by locale. PBS SUCKS IN MY LOCALE!
     
  7. If you do NOT get an auto time change on ANY channel, you have two choices:
    1. Keep Auto Clock on Manual with either FOX or CBS (not PBS) in the channel-entry box to INCREASE your power-backup time by 2-3X. Correct time manually if/when it drifts. Don't use a local community-access or CATV channel cuz they might freeze your unit.
    2. Give up extra power backup time and set clock to correct time and Auto Clock OFF. Correct time manually when it drifts. All clocks seem to run slightly fast. One person who might opt for this is a 513/515 user who has a lot of "freezes" that require him to pull the power cord and replug after full power drain, Soft Reset, in which case he'll have a shorter wait time (~1.5 hr instead of 2.5 hr). 
       
  8. FINAL STEPS: No matter what the results were
    1. Your unit might or might not sync to the exact second. Just to be sure, manually sync your clock to the exact second compared to an atomic or other accurate clock in your house. Go back to the 1st clock setting option and arrow right until you're over the minutes. Arrow up to 1 minute AHEAD of the atomic/accurate clock. Watch only the atomic/accurate clock and, exactly when it changes to that minute, press OK. The clock will start keeping time with the seconds in sync. HOWEVER, if you're very fussy and your clock picks up a few sec between each auto-clock search, you may have to re-sync the seconds?
    2. Check your existing timer programs to make sure changing the clock time didn't MOVE today's timer program to the bottom of the timer list, assuming it was PAST the time or day/date for that program. This can happen when your clock goes to 12:01pm during the time search. If you find today's program NOT back in normal top position, check the clock setting again and make sure it's set for the correct day/date. If it still is not in top position, open its Program Change menu and click OK in the menu, and that program will then appear on top again.

 

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

Options for Longer Power Backup

Power-backup time is important for these DVDRs, but internal backup time is only 30 sec - 2 min. on all units except the 515/563x, which has a 1-2 hour backup. However, if the unit is recording at the time of power failure, even the 515/53x/557 *could* need a Soft Reset to bring back to life after power is restored. The auto-switching power circuit in these DVDRs is prob. not fast-acting like dedicated power-backup devices that operate in the nanosecond range.

So.... here are two ways to get longer power backup on any unit.

1. Enter Channel in Auto Clock > Manual Menu
Enter a channel number in the MANUAL box of the Auto Clock menu. That will increase your power backup time from ~30 sec to 2 minutes or more in all units except the 515/53x/557, which has a default power backup of at least 1 hour. On his 515, Genetides got "nearly 2 hours" with Auto Clock OFF, and rmacdona got 60 hours with Auto Clock set for a MANUAL channel!

You'll get a surprising power backup time even if the MANUAL option described in The 11:57 Procedure above can't confirm a good time signal in your system/area.

To get that additional backup time, just enter a benign "placeholder" channel in the MANUAL menu and the Auto Clock will search ONLY that channel at noon and midnight, quickly find no signal, and stop the search. Just having a channel # in that box increases your power-backup time, even tho it won't provide a time signal.

I advise using ABC or NBC as the placeholder in the MANUAL entry box since they've got a clean, stable signal and are not known to have a time signal, so no chance of messing up the clock. With a "harmless" placeholder channel, you'll have to correct time manually when it drifts.

IF your clock goes wonky even with a placeholder channel, that prob. means that formerly "harmless" channel has turned into a monster and has actually started sending a bad clock or other rogue signal. Just pick a different network channel.

Remember: Don't use a local community-access or local cableco channel, even if they show a "neat" clock in their pic, cuz they might freeze your unit.

2. Buy Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Purchase a UPS at Walmart, Amazon, J&R, Staples, etc., just about anywhere they sell computers. You can get various "sizes" in Volt-Amps (VA), Watts (W), and number of outlets with power-backup and surge protection vs. surge-protected only. I use a 6-outlet (3+3) APC ES 350VA 200W Back-UPS I got at a Walmart store for $39.

Here's a good ref. page from Staples that lists both the VA and W ratings plus their expected run times at "half-load" and "full-load."

This DVDR uses 33W/hr in full operating mode, so divide 33 by the APC's Watt rating, then multiply that number by the APC's full-load run time to get this DVDR's approx. run time.

The one you select depends on your pocketbook and whether you want your TV power backed up or just surge-protected... the key component to back up is the DVDR. In a power outage, you don't have to watch TV or even be able to see the DVDR. Your main concern should be to shut the DVDR off ASAP and preserve backup power for clock and timer programs in Standby mode @5.7W/hr or 0.095W/min.

I don't plug my TV into a backed-up outlet, just a surge-protected one since it uses 340W/hr or 5.66W/min.!

Here's a Mag user who has a "mid-range" 650VA UPS and his description of how much run time it provides for his pretty extensive equipment.

Some people with bigger power problems get large UPS's (1000-2000VA) cuz they plan to run their TV as long as possible, and some even add inverters to power the power backup unit (UPS) to accomplish this! For one user's "all-in" approach, see this post and a follow-up post.

Here's some good info on why you should NOT plug surge protectors/strips into a UPS... besides the obvious: the UPS IS a surge protection device on ALL outlets!

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

Video Input (S-Video or Composite)

If you use Composite Yellow as an input from a STB, VCR, DVD player (the "Source") or other device to E1/L1/E2/L2, make sure > VIDEO > VIDEO INPUT is set to "Video in" for that Source. If using S-Video, set approp. input to "S-Video." Default is Video in (yellow RCA).

You can connect both Composite and S-Video from two sources, like a DVD player and a VCR, and switch between the menu options in the Video > Video Input menu. For two inputs, use audio Y-cables (Wal-Mart) to connect the dual L/R audio outputs (2L+2R) from the two sources to the single L/R audio inputs of this DVDR. Only drawback is remembering to change the setting for each source.

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

TV Aspect... FOR 16:9 WIDESCREEN VIEWING & RECORDING

This DVDR's "TV Aspect" setting controls the format of the pic you'll see AND record on digital channels... it gives you a WYSIWYG view of the pic you'll be recording. The setting does not affect analog 4:3 channels but it can be used to play commercial widescreen movies on a 4:3 TV if the movie has the widescreen flag... they'll have a notation on the case such as "Enhanced for Widescreen" or "Anamorphic Widescreen."

You should set this DVDR for 16:9 Wide in the Video > TV Aspect menu to make sure most of your recordings will play well on all TV types.

I've noticed that sometimes a change in my DVDR 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/MENU 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.

See this post for more info on setting TV Aspect and recording widescreen programs.

Note: Some units/TVs won't properly upscale a 16:9 WS pic sent by this DVDR using HDMI set for 480p, all channels will display as 4:3 aspect. 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 a specific HDMI settings to show a true WS pic.

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

Progressive Scan

Only the Component connection is affected by the Progressive Scan (PS) setting, no matter what PhilMag unit or type of TV you have. (HDMI sets it own formats.)

The default setting for PS is OFF. If you use the Component connection to an OLDER, NON-PROGRESSIVE TV, leave the setting OFF. If you have one of the newer flat panels, which are *all* fixed-pixel and PS, AND only if you use the Component connection, go into the Video > Progressive Scan menu and set it ON. There will be two confirmation dialogs to answer before it lets you switch to ON, just to make sure your TV is compatible.

If you see a B&W double image with PS ON, your TV isn't compatible with PS so turn it off.

On the 3575/3576, if you use Composite (YWR RCA) or S-Video, they can only send 480i and will ignore the Progressive setting.

On the 2080/2160/513/515/53x/557, if you set PS ON, NO VIDEO will be output from the composite or S-Video connection. You'll know PS is ON if you get only AUDIO output since the White/Red AV OUT cables supply audio for all video outputs whether PS is ON or OFF (even HDMI if you turn HDMI Audio OFF).

If you're using Component with PS ON in a Mag 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557, but decide to switch to composite or S-Video for playback, you can set PS from ON to OFF w/o menu by playing something from HDD or DVD, then pressing and holding the SETUP/MENU button for more than 3 sec (ignore the "no-can-do" circle). However, you have to use the menu to set PS back to ON.

If you have PS OFF but turn it On while viewing thru composite or S-Vid in a Mag 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557, then you select Yes to switch to PS, it'll auto-revert to PS OFF in 15 sec or so since it'll sense no signal to the TV. The 357x's composite and S-Vid are not affected by the PS setting (they "ignore" it) and send a signal regardless of that setting (much er!).

Simultaneous Output.
Be aware that, if you use HDMI and/or Component, the Composite and S-Video outputs will not be active at the same time (simultaneously). This is only important for people who want to output to multiple TVs at the same time using different DVDR outputs.

You WILL be able to use all four outputs in a normal manner if connected to a single TV, i.e., by selecting the appropriate INPUT on that TV. (And, for the 2080/2160/513/515/53x/557, you have to leave Progressive Scan OFF so there's a normal signal thru the composite and S-Video outputs.)

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

Auto-Chapter Interval

This DVDR creates numbered chapters only... no separate index pic or other visual clue that you can use in a top menu, like in a Toshiba. The numbered chapter marks are visible and instantly addressable in the INFO menu, and the front-panel display counting playback time also shows the chapter numbers briefly as they are reached. They can be instantly moved to during playback with the NEXT/PREV buttons.

Most OTHER units don't allow auto-chapter marking on the HDD, and ONLY custom-set (edited) chapter marks are transferred during high-speed dubbing. However, THIS DVDR is unlike those other DVDRs: (1) it can set auto-chapter marks on the HDD, as well as DVDs, and (2) both auto- and custom-set (edited) chapter marks transfer to DVDs when dubbed at high-speed. A real-time dub uses only the auto-chapter setting you make in the Recording menu, so it strips any auto- or custom-set chapter marks from the HDD original.

This DVDR has six settings for Auto Chapter marking, from Off to 60-min. intervals. A chapter mark can also be set manually (Add Chapter), and one is automatically set at every Scene Delete. That can add up to a lot of chapter marks w/o you realizing it!

For that reason, and cuz chapter marks can "collide" and cause problems if they get too close from deleting scenes (for example), I advise keeping auto-chapter marking on the HDD set at its default 10-min. interval, or longer... don't use 5-min. interval.

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

Disc Audio

Our SDTV DVDR tuners and line inputs are designed for home viewing or recordings in DD2.0/stereo only, so recording thru the tuner or line input, or playback of home recordings will provide only stereo audio.

The Digital Audio outputs (coax or optical) are for playback of commercial DVDs with DD5.1 audio or any audio beyond DD2.0/stereo.

You can also use a "high-end" AV receiver with HDMI connections that CAN PASS DIGITAL AUDIO (not all do even if they have HDMI connections)... the HDMI on those receivers pass DD5.1 to your TV from live TV or DVDs that have DD5.1 audio... you won't need to use the separate digital audio connections with such a receiver (unless you don't want to turn the receiver on every time). If you use Digital Audio output to a"low-end" AV receiver with HDMI or an HDMI-less AV receiver, make sure your Playback > Disc Audio > Dolby Digital is set for the default "Stream"... this is the only audio source that the Disc Audio setting affects.

While playing a commercial DVD, you can see the types of audio available by pressing the AUDIO button on the remote. Use arrow and OK keys to make a change to a diff. language or audio type, as desired. You can also use the 2nd icon (the speaker) in the INFO menu to view and change audio options.

You might notice low audio on some programs on digital channels or recordings of them. Here's a note with more info on that "phenomenon."

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

HDMI Control (fun-Link/CEC) in 2160A, 513, 515, 53x

The 2160A/513/515/53x/557 have an extra HDMI menu option called HDMI Control (2160A) or fun-Link (HDMI CEC) (513/515/53x/557), both for the same purpose: to allow coordinated control of HDTV and DVDR via the HDMI connection.


CEC stands for Consumer Electronic Control. Here's an article on CEC that explains it very nicely and simply, esp. where it explains how the "conversation" goes between CEC-enabled components.

 

Notes:

  1. *Most* HDTVs, like Vizio, Sony, Panasonic with VieraLink, and others, have an "HDMI control/link" or "CEC" feature, which needs to be turned on, in addition to this DVDRs "HDMI Control" (2160A) or "fun-Link (HDMI CEC)" (513,/515/53x/557) in the HDMI menu. Your TV's HDMI control is most likely off by default, same as this DVDR's control.
  2. Apparently, a few TVs might work in reverse, i.e., turn on TV and this DVDR turns on... not what you might want to happen every time you turn your TV on.
  3. You must be connected to your TV via HDMI.

When you turn CEC ON in this DVDR and in most HDMI-connected HDTVs, here's how it works:

1. One Touch Operation
  • Turn-on order: 
    -With TV on, turning any DVDR on auto-switches TV to that DVDR's HDMI input.
    -With TV off, turning any DVDR ON turns TV on automatically and switches it to that HDMI input. It takes a few sec for some TVs to respond if starting from DVDR and TV both off.
    -With TV off, press any DVDR button to turn TV on. If DVDR is timer recording at that time, press CH+ or any other button that won't interfere with recording.
  • Turn-off order:
    -Turning DVDR off 1st turns just the DVDR off if you press the Standby/ON button quickly (don't hold)... pressing and holding DVDR off button turns both DVDR and TV off.

    -Turning TV off 1st turns both DVDR and TV off IF the DVDR is not recording... recording in any mode, manual, manual-timed or timer rec, will continue.
  • Multiple Units:
    -Turning 1st DVDR off then turning a 2nd DVDR ON anytime switches the TV to that 2nd DVDR's input.
    -Turning 2nd DVDR on with 1st DVDR still on auto-switches the TV to that 
    2nd DVDR's input.
    -With multiple DVDRs on, operating any control one DVDR focuses control on that DVDR.
    -Turning TV off with multiple DVDRs on turns ALL DVDRs off as long as they are not recording, i.e., 
    recording in any mode, manual, manual-timed or timer rec, will continue.
  • Others: There are probably some other "interesting" combos.. I can see why they call this the "fun" link!


2. OSD Language

  • When user switches TV OSD language, DVDR switches to same language automatically (in Display > OSD Language menu).


3. Device Name Transfer

  • If TV sends signal to DVDR to ask for device name, DVDR MIGHT send back the name "MAGNAVOX HDR." TV can show "MANGAVOX HDR" instead of "HDMI 1" dep. on the system.


4. Using with TV's Remote Control

  • TV REMOTE CONTROL UNIT MIGHT OPERATE THIS DVDR.
  • Ability of TV's remote to control this DVDR depends on TV specification. When DVDR receives correct command signal from some TVs thru the HDMI cable, it works many DVDR functions such as PLAY, STOP, CH up/down and others. In this case, TV receives IR signal from TV remote, which also works on DVDR even tho DVDR does not receive signal directly from TV remote.
 

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

Special Settings for HDMI, DVI and Overscan

HDMI - When you first use HDMI, you should press the HDMI button on the remote. This "activates" the HDMI output and sets it at 480p output mode. (See Note on 480p in larger text below.) Sequential presses of that button switch output to 720p, 1080i and 1080p. You can press quickly, or even hold the button down, you don't have to wait till the pic appears for each output. Whatever output you leave the unit in when turning off, that's the output it'll start up on.

Some units/TVs won't properly upscale a 16:9 WS pic is this DVDR is set for 480p, while others will only allow proper aspect setting of 4:3 and 16:9 content with 480p ouput. You'll have to experiment with your HDTV to find the "right" HDMI output setting. Change the format with the HDMI button to all those available and see if your HDTV needs a specific HDMI setting to show a true WS pic and to allow your TV to control aspect properly. Check also for PQ since the HDMI Format makes a diff. depending on your specific HDTV.

The HDMI output mode is displayed briefly on the front panel of this DVDR, till the TV syncs up with that mode. Your TV should also display which mode it's receiving in one of its Display screens. You should go thru all four settings and see which one produces the best PQ in your system. If your TV doesn't support one of the outputs, the manual says this DVDR will skip it; however, my 720p LCD and the front panel of my 3575 both show me sending 1080i or 1080p, even tho the TV can't display anything above 720p!

HDMI cable carries both video and audio, even DD5.1 if a program has it. However, our DVDRs don't have DTS..

This DVDR has a default SETUP/MENU option to use the HDMI cable for audio, but you can turn that off if you use a separate audio connection, like we do to our HDMI-less AV receiver... and you don't mind having to turn your receiver on for audio EVERY TIME you use the HDMI connection. If you leave HDMI audio on, you'll be getting sound from your AV system PLUS the TV, which might cause an "echo" effect. We use HDMI w/audio on cuz we seldom use our HDMI-less AV system, and then only for playing commercial DVDs w/DD5.1 via a digital coax or optical connection (no HDMI on our AV), so we just turn the TV sound to zero.

DVI - If you have to convert your HDMI to DVI, use an adapter, but remember that DVI only carries video, no audio, so you'll have to add L/R audio cables. Look for a DVI setting in your TV and turn it ON. Some TVs don't have a specific DVI "setting" but instruct you to use a specific HDMI input for DVI (mine says use HDMI-2), so just use the HDMI-DVI input the manual specifies. If you've got a 1366x768 (720p) TV that shows a dark pic, it might also produce a brighter pic. In fact, even if you're using pure HDMI, try turning the TV's DVI setting ON or use the TV-manual-specified HDMI-DVI input just to see if PQ is improved.

If using a DVI setting or HDMI-DVI input on your TV, set this DVDR's HDMI Format to RGB and NOT YCbCr, cuz RGB is DVI's native format.

Oversan - If your HDTV also has a setting for "Overscan," try setting it OFF to see if it increases your PQ. Your TV's Overscan function can also affect pic size for JPG/JPEG pics. When using HDMI or Component input on your TV, and you notice poor quality or clipping of JPG/JPEGs (5-10%) from all sides, it could be caused by your TV's Overscan function. You should look for "Overscan" in your TV menus and turn it OFF to see if it helps.

In this post (and thread), edDV explains it this way: "What you are seeing with loss around the edges is overscan. Most analog component and HDMI inputs have overscan. Most "PC/Game" ports (usually VGA) don't overscan and some TV makers allow turning off overscan on the HDMI port (e.g. Samsung's "Just Scan" feature)."

Odd Aspect on Pics - Once, when I view MY jpg pics via Composite or HDMI connection to my Vizio 1080p LCD, my DVDR aspect setting reacts the OPPOSITE of what I expect, i.e., if I set my 3575 for 16:9 Wide, pics show up normal 4:3 (the camera format), but setting the 3575 to 4:3 LB displays a stretched 4:3 pic, full-screen and w/o LB bars... all with my LCD TV set for Wide!? You'll have to play with your DVDR AND TV settings to get the best combo for your system.

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

My HDMI Settings

I have my HDMI connection to my main Vizio LED/LCD HDTV set with the following:

HDMI Output = 1080p
Format = YCbCr
HDMI Audio = ON
RGB Range = Normal


HDMI Output = 1080p (for latest Mag units and HDTVs)
1080p is best all-around setting (with the remote's HDMI button) since your HDTV is either 1080p or "720p" and the "720p" is most likely really 768p (a computer rez, check your specs) so it'll have to convert ANY video HDMI format to its odd native rez... might as well start with a higher rez since you can't send a matching rez anyway.

 

I set my HDMI output to 480p on my old 3575 but 1080p on my newer Mags. Reason: my Vizio 1080p LCD and 1080p LED/LCD do a better job in upscaling than my 3575, so 1080p is best for them in my setup with 1080p HDTVs. ALSO, my HDTV and cheaplikeafox's HDTV won't show full widescreen 16:9 from the newer (SATA) Mags unless we select 1080p, and he also got a much better pic with that setting!?

 

You need to experiment with your HDMI Format settings (with the HDMI button on remote) to find your "sweet spot" for both analog channels (if any) and for digital channels. On my "smart" LED/LCD HDTV, if I set 480p, I get lots of channels with pillarbox on sides. I only like the results with 1080p, even tho it might stretch some 4:3 programs a little.

To find your best HDMI output setting, press HDMI button on remote thru all the outputs. Those outputs shows BRIEFLY in this DVDR's display (till channel tunes fully) and in the display of most TVs. The most common "expert" advice is, if you have to upscale, do it only ONCE cuz every upscale loses some quality. Since today's flat-panel displays are "fixed-pixel," they upscale/downscale EVERYTHING to their native (and "fixed") rez. And some of today's computer/video flat panels have "non-video" computer rez like 768p, so they'll ALWAYS have to upscale or downscale to fit that native rez. So, following their advice, don't upscale in this DVDR AND in your TV, just send it the "native" HDMI rez of your HDTV (esp. with the newest Mags, old 357x units might be better with 480p).

 If using Component for OTA and Sat, which are Component signals themselves, make sure you set Progressive Scan to ON... IT'S NOT NEEDED FOR ANY OTHER CONNECTION TYPE.

Be aware that the 3575/3576 has active Composite and S-Video with Progressive Scan ON (they ignore that setting), BUT all the Mags de-activate the Composite and S-Video outputs with Progressive Scan ON.

Go back to My HDMI List. ...... Go back to Page List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

Format = YCbCr
RGB Range = Normal (DNA to YCbCr but greatly affects RGB setting)
Try both RGB and YCbCr... VERY system-dependent. YCbCr is digital Component video and RGB is YPbPr analog Component video. RGB/Normal are the default settings. This DVDR reverts to the RGB Format setting if you set for YCbCr and your TV is NOT compatible with YCbCr. The Normal/Enhanced RGB Range setting does NOT revert, so check this if you have dark/light pic problems.

Here's a simple and direct explanation of YPbPr and YCbCr from Answers.com.
Here's another simple explanation: alphabetical listing from Vizio manual.
Here's a multi-page technical treatise: Fundamentals of Embedded Video, Part 2. It says this: "YPbPr is used in component analog video, YUV applies to composite NTSC and PAL systems, and YCbCr relates to component digital video."
Here's a Wiki entry on YCbCr. If you're using DVI, this should be set to RGB, which is DVI's native format.

 

 

These settings appear to be VERY important and can be greatly affected by the picture settings in your HDTV, with their most noticeable effect on live digital channels and recordings and on DVD playback. They can only be set properly for YOUR system if you take the time to test the settings with all sources, even commercial DVDs, which are produced with digital YCbCr video so they might look different than live TV. Obviously, the goal is to set this DVDR so it looks as close as possible to the pic your TV produces thru its tuner cuz you like that pic, right!?

Record a dark scene, on a digital channel only, or play a dark scene in a DVD, then PLAY/PAUSE to see the result. Press STOP, change settings, press PLAY/PAUSE thru the same section of the rec. to see the difference.

I've been back-and-forth on these settings with MY system but, after MANY tests, I've decided it looks best with YCbCr Format (where the RGB Range setting doesn't matter). My 47" Vizio 1080p LCD TV is YCbCr compliant, and I get a noticeably sharper (more contrasty) pic with YCbCr.

With RGB Format, if I set RGB Range to Normal, it produces my overall brightest pic but with reduced sharpness. When I set RGB Range to Enhanced, I get a little sharper pic, but it also gets darker. (RGB/Enhanced might be good for someone who has a pic that's a little too bright, or someone who wants max. sharpness and doesn't see or care too much about a few dark scenes.)

The effect of the RGB Range setting can be subtle on the menu pic but can make a BIG diff. when watching digital channels on the TV or DVDs with dark scenes! So, DON'T THINK THE RGB RANGE SETTING DOESN'T MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE JUST CUZ THE MENU DOESN'T CHANGE MUCH! And make sure you're using the HDMI input on your TV when making Range setting changes. Make sure you watch some live digital channels and DVDs with the Range setting both ways.

Here's a post on some tests I did that might provide a little more info on settings for dark pic.

You can tell if your TV is YCbCr compatible by (1) selecting your TV's HDMI input (vital 1st step), (2) setting this DVDR for HDMI Format = YCbCr, then (3) changing the setting for RGB Range between Normal and Enhanced.

If there is a subtle change in menu pic, your TV is NOT YCbCr compatible and this DVDR is auto-converting to RGB. This brings the RGB Range setting into play.

When changing HDMI Format to YCbCr, there *might* be a visible change/blip in TV pic if the TV is YCbCR compatible, but there won't be ANY noticeable change in the darkness/contrast when you do step (3) above: change the RGB Range between Normal and Enhanced. (There ALSO won't be any change if you've selected any TV input other than HDMI!) If no change in menu pic darkness/contrast, and you're seeing the TV's HDMI connection, you're set for YCbCr, if that's what works best in your system.

If your TV also has a setting for YCbCr, try setting that on and off for all sources (DVD, HDD, tuner) cuz leaving that off might get a better overall result... most, if not all, TVs should auto-convert to YCbCr when they receive a YCbCr signal from this DVDR. One Samsung user had a TV setting for YCbCr also but got a darker pic turning that on in addition to his DVDR setting, so he turned his TV's YCbCr setting off cuz he got his brightest pic on a DVD that had some dark scenes, as well as on HDD recordings and live TV using only the DVDR setting.

Go back to My HDMI List. ...... Go back to Page List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

HDMI Audio = ON
The default setting and perfect for everyone, with and without an AV receiver. This allows your HDMI cable to carry audio to your TV or receiver that has HDMI connections and, if your TV and/or receiver is capable, even DD5.1. Only reason I can think of to turn this off is if you want to use HDMI only for the video cuz you're using digital for the audio (maybe cuz your receiver can't handle DD5.1?).

Go back to My HDMI List. ...... Go back to Page List. ...... Go to main list of help files.


RGB Range = Normal
For RGB output only, no effect if on YCbCr Format. The Enhanced option changes contrast (some say black level) and can make pic look better or worse than the Normal option, so you'll have to try both to be sure... but only if you use RGB Format. RGB and Enhanced made my pic on a digital channel a little sharper (added contrast) but made dark scenes a little darker, so best to try all combinations of these settings as described under "Format" above.

Go back to My HDMI List. ...... Go back to Page List. ...... Go to main list of help files.

 

 

Hard-of-Hearing? My Solution

 

For people who don't like turning CC on in this DVDR for digital CC and in your TV for analog CC, here's a simple audio workaround  for anyone with an AV receiver/amplifier with wired or wireless speakers.

 

I used to use the digital audio out to my AV receiver/amo for playing commercial DVDs AND when I needed more audio clarity from straight TV or playing HDD titles or home-made DVDs. This required a 2nd remote (the receiver's) to control audio level, AND it reqd us to turn our HDTV audio all the way off cuz it echoed. HOWEVER,

 

I switched to using my Vizio LCD's stereo audio L/R output to my receiver and selecting the "TV" source so I have only one control to set audio levels... my TV's remote. I kept the digital audio connected so I can still play commercial movies with DD5.1 thru my digital coax connection to the receiver and selecting its "digital" input.

 

I then found a Philips 7-Device SRP-series universal remote that operates all 4 of my Philips/Mag unit in my main stack AND controls TV audio, as described here.

 

I also found a "klugey" way to combat the "deadly-duo," the mumbling-whisper-dialog of today's dramatic shows and the sucky speakers of our modern HDTV's, so my weak ears can hear WTH is going on! I moved my Front (dialog) speakers from front to back where my wife and I sit, and I turned off (disconnected) the surround speakers, which can "muddy-up" the dialogue I was most interested in. I placed the front speaker on my side on a table next to my TV-watching recliner, facing my left ear. I placed the front speaker on my eagle-eared wife's side a few feet in front of her chair, behind a wrought-iron book rack... she really doesn't need extra dialogue clarity.

 

Now I can hear EVERYTHING perfectly, and my eagle-eared wife can turn the TV volume down to a comfortable level for her while I get crystal-clear dialog right next to me... best of both worlds!

 

When I play a commercial DVD with DD5.1, I just select the receiver's "digital" input, as explained above.


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

 

Brightness of Front-Panel (FP) Display

The front panel display light has three brightness settings in the Display > FL Dimmer menu: Auto, Bright and Dark. Auto adjusts for room light. The default setting is Bright. The 357x FP Auto and Bright settings are "muted" and not as bright as Mag units, esp. MDR series (nice & bright).

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

Screen Saver

The Display > Screen Saver is default-set for 10 min., which you can also change to Off, 1, 5, 15 or 30 min. After the set time, it displays a black/blank screen with the "Magnavox" name moving around screen. The frame is black has no video to burn in (white is full video).

It activates ONLY when you leave a menu, message, dialog, etc. on screen beyond your set time. Menus can be particularly hard on plasma and other displays because they often have STATIONARY thin-pixel lines of full-up video that can "burn" pixels, esp. in plasma displays, if kept "on" too long.

The screen saver doesn't need to activate over a Playback or a Paused Live TV (with the AR menu) frame because those fill up the screen with pixels of varying intensity.

There's a separate timed-release for paused video frames: ~20 min. for paused playback, or >1 hr for Pause Live TV. After those times the paused frame releases back to live TV with all moving pixels. You'll know when it releases cuz you'll hear audio if you didn't mute the TV.

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


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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Scanning for Channels (Auto/Manual)... Frozen Channel... Rotating Antenna... SDV

Tuning Interference subjects have been moved to their own help file here.

 

Jump To:
Notes
What Channels Can This DVDR Tune by Itself?
Does This DVDR Need a Cable Box or Cable Card?
IMPORTANT INFO for Understanding the Channel Scan Process
Auto Channel Preset (Auto-Scan for Channels)
Manual Channel Preset (Add/Delete Channels Manually)
Recovering from a Frozen Channel during a Cable (Analog/Digital) Scan
With Rotating Antenna
Combining OTA Antenna and Cable
Combining OTA Antenna and Satellite
Music Channels
"Switched Digital Video" Being Rolled Out by Cablecos

Notes

  1. The manual has two incorrect statements (pp 28-29): only analog channels can be added, and deleted digital channels can't be recovered. BOTH ARE WRONG! The "secret" is you have to FIRST do a complete, successful Analog/Digital Auto Channel Preset. Then you can enter analog AND digital channels with a Manual Channel Preset anytime after that. Also, you can start and cancel any future auto-scans on a digital channel with the 3575/3576 BACK button or 2160/513 RETURN button (even on 1.1 or a frozen channel). You can also delete and recover analog and digital channels.
  2. Approx. 38% of 3575 users subscribed to basic ANALOG cable might have a problem holding the tuning of digital channels due to "analog interference" with cable QAM tuner. People using an OTA antenna, subscribed to DIGITAL cable, or using satellite should not have the same digital tuning problem. See this post for more info on this problem.
  3. Tip for Antenna Users: One way to get the best antenna pointing accuracy is to use closed captions (CC) as the "meter." CC will appear and disappear faster than signal strength alone, so it provides a "finer" indication of on-signal or off-signal.

 

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

What Channels Can This DVDR Tune by Itself?

This DVDR has two tuners: NTSC tuner for analog OTA and cable channels, and ATSC/QAM tuner for digital OTA channels and QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) digital channels from cable TV. Here's a good, short explanation of QAM as used in TVs and DVDRs. This DVDR can't tune satellite channels directly.

Before purchasing this DVDR, there are two pretty sure ways over-the-air (OTA) and cable subscribers can find out what channels this DVDR can receive/tune by itself, without a set-top box (STB): (1) ask a neighbor who has a digital-tunered TV with no STB (direct connection to source), (2) if YOU already have a digital-tunered TV, this DVDR should receive the same digital channels the TV can when it's connected directly to the incoming coax (no box).

Even if you subscribe to "basic" or "extended" cable, you might be surprised at how many digital channels you can receive with this DVDR's digital tuner. Cablecos normally have local digital channels and some others "in-the-clear" (not scrambled) in the channel range this DVDR can tune. They also have higher-numbered channels only their STB can tune but they may be "remapping" or "mirroring" some of those high-numbered channels to lower numbers for their boxless, TV-only subscribers. I get 14 superb digital/HD channels in my "Broadcast Basic" TV subscription, as well as 61 analog channels.

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

Does This DVDR Need a Cable Box or Cable Card?

No, it doesn't need a set-top box (STB) or cable card to work. An STB is a fairly large box you rent from the cableco for ~$15/mo. The STB is self-contained, receiving the RF input, decrypting the scrambled channels, and outputting them thru one or more line outputs on the back of the STB.

A cable card is a small card that fits in a slot on your TV, DVR or DVDR if it has one. It rents for $2 to $9/mo. It decrypts the incoming signal and delivers it to the attached device's tuner for output on one of IT'S line outputs.

This DVDR does NOT have a cable card slot, so anyone on cable who needs or wants to see ALL the scrambled channels their cableco offers in their higher-tier pkgs would need a cable box.

However, if you now subscribe to a cable pkg that satisfies your needs and you don't already need their cable box for that, this DVDR will work fine for you as is... no STB, no card. If you're replacing another digital recorder, ditto.

If you're replacing an analog-only recorder (pre-2007 model), you'll be amazed at how good digital channels look compared to that old analog crap you've been watching and recording.

Many people like me are on a cable system that doesn't scramble ANY channels in their "Broadcast Basic" cable pkg. I get 61 analog channels and 14 digital/HD channels. If I wanted my cableco's "digital" or "HD" pkgs, I'd need a cable box, but their "Broadcast Basic" cable pkg serves me just fine. In fact, virtually ALL my recorded shows are on the HD channels of the 4 national networks, ABC-HD, CBS-HD, Fox-HD and NBC-HD. I get PBS-HD but never record from it.

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

IMPORTANT INFO for Understanding the Channel Scan Process

Upon first setup, an Auto Channel Preset has two purposes:

  1. To find and enter tunable channels in CH+/- button memory so that button is all you need to "surf" thru "viable" channels.
  2. To allow all sorts of subsequent channel addition and deletion possibilities, as described in the sections below.

There's no "video voodoo" involved in tuning channels. A tuner is a "passive" device that can recognize an incoming TV signal and separate it into its different frequencies, or "channels," w/o any help from you or the DVDR menus. You can command it to send one of those channels to your TV by entering a channel number on the remote, OR you can "scan" the tuner first to find only those channels with a live pic and place them in memory so you can "surf" thru them in sequence with the CH+/- button.

You don't NEED the CH+/- button memory to tune channels or timer record... for tuning, it's just a convenience for the user. (Having channels in memory does have other purposes discussed elsewhere.)

This DVDR has a hybrid tuner system... analog and digital channels separately accessible via a DTV/TV button. HDTVs have a "combo" tuner that integrates analog and digital channels in numerical sequence, with no need for a manual switching method like our DVDRs.

Also, HDTVs typically find and display digital channels with dashes, like 33-106, whereas this DVDR uses periods in place of dashes and might find/display that same channel as 33.1.

Analog channels are always tuned on a major or "primary" channel number, like 33, while digital channels can have several "subchannels" in a primary channel group, like 33.1, 33.2, etc.

An Auto Channel Preset searches first for analog channels, then for DTV (digital) channels, 69 each for Antenna or 125 analog and 135 digital for cable. It enters them in CH+/- button memory, but the older units (3575/6) MAY skip entire channel groups if there's a Scrambled channel in the primary channel position, like 33.1.

Of course, the drawback to this is that an Auto Channel Preset with those older units can miss digital channels that ARE tunable in any deeper subchannel slot, like 33.2, 33.7, etc.

However, there are at least two advantages to this:

  1. Adding a primary digital channel number, like 33, in the Manual Channel Preset menu assures that any subchannels in that group that ARE tunable will be included in memory, whether 33.1 is scrambled or not.
  2. Once a digital channel group is successfully memorized, any NEW digital channels in that group (added to a cableco lineup or broadcast OTA) are automatically added to CH+/- button memory without any user action. Most HDTVs require a complete rescan or a menu option to show new channels.

Note: If on antenna or cable, any tunered components downstream on the coax passhtru, like a STB or TV, must also be scanned for channels since they'll be able to independently tune the incoming signal.

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

Auto Channel Preset (Auto-Scan for Channels)

To do an auto-preset, go to the Setup/Menu > General Setting > Channel > Auto Channel Preset menu and select either the Antenna, Cable (Analog) or Cable (Analog/Digital) option, depending on what signal you receive.

For each option, you should see these channel numbers go by on screen:

  • Antenna = 2-69 analog, 2-69 DTV.
  • Cable (Analog) = 1-125 analog. N/A... virtually no one has only analog cable channels.
  • Cable (Analog/Digital) = 1-125 analog, 1-135 DTV.


Cable subscribers should select Analog/Digital even if they only subscribe to analog cable service... there are usually some digital (DTV) channels in the analog feed that this DVDR can tune, and many will be downrezzed SD versions of an HD channel (with brilliant PQ that might hurt your eyes... be careful!).

Let it auto-preset for its analog channels (~2 min.) and any DTV channels (~20 min.). Analog channels will tune quickly and you'll see them on the TV as they scan in, but DTV channels can take up to 10 sec each to scan and they don't appear on the TV during the scan.

Make sure you let an auto preset complete by itself... do no stop it or you'll have to start over! Doing other things with the DVDR while scanning, like opening the DVD tray, can stop the scan.

After a complete, successful auto-scan, you can Add or Delete channel GROUPS at will, i.e., you can't add or delete just one specific subchannel in a group without adding or deleting the entire group. You'll have to accept them all and just go thru them with channel up/dn or enter the tunable channels directly.
 

Multiple Auto Channel Presets can add channels missed on initial scan and eliminate "Scrambled" channels, so there's some "intelligent learning" by our tuner system... multiple auto-scans are a good thing!

One of my 3575's refused to tune two sets of digital cable channels and left some "Scrambled" subchannels in memory.. I did another auto scan and it picked up the next higher group, and a 3rd scan picked up the last group. I also ended up with the "Scrambled" subchannels deleted from memory.

 

Some users have run into cableco-related problems during auto-scanning with this DVDR 1st on the coax, as recommended:

  1. One user couldn't get ANY DTV channels... cuz there were none. He found his extra-cost "digital tier" were being converted to pure ANALOG. (See this post for cabelcos cheating subscribers this way.)
  2. Vickyg's cableco sends channels with hidden channel mapping info (PSIP data) that maps all their channels to PLAIN VANILLA SEQUENTIAL NUMBERS. All her TV equipment, except her Mag 515, shows those channels with the sequential numbering system matching the channel listing from the cableco. Her 515 assigns them to their raw QAM numbers. This makes for a very diff. channel I.D. problem that nothing in the Mag tuning system can fix!
  3. Another user had a 3-sec delay in receiving TVG info for her cable box. She called and the cableco said their signal was "not getting to the box" apparently from this DVDR's amplified passthru blocking the return path? She had to set up with a bidirectional splitter with one output to this DVDR and one to her cable box.

 

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

 

Manual Channel Preset (Add/Delete Channels Manually)

At any time after an Auto Channel Preset, you can Add or Delete analog or digital channels manually.

 

To add or delete channels manually, set DVDR on the desired tuner, TV for analog or DTV for digital, with the TV/DTV button. Go to the Setup/Menu > General Setting > Channel > Manual Channel Preset menu and, for channels already in memory, use CH+/- to go to a specific channel, or for channels not yet in memory, enter channel number directly with keypad. primary number only for DTV/digital channels. Once the channel video stabilizes, check the Add or Delete box and press OK. It might take a few sec for the checkmark to move to your selected box, so wait for that before pressing OK... make sure you see the checkmark move!

 

If an unmemoriced digital channel is on a subchannel above XX.1, you might see only a black screen. You should enter that main channel number anyway, then surf thru the subchannels that might/should be there above XX.1 position. That is, don't assume there are NO digital subchannels in an unmemoriced channel slot only because nothing shows up on entering the channel number.

 

The manual is wrong when it states that you can't add a digital channel back once you delete it... you can add or delete at will!

 

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

 

Recovering from a Frozen Channel during a Cable (Analog/Digital) Scan

Some DVDRs in a cable system might freeze during an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital), usually (bit not always) on a digital (DTV) channel which usually turns out to be a signal-analysis channel of some sort. My DTV ch. 91 freezes my 3575's (but not my 2160). It has a chart with dBnU or dBnV on the left scale and an active oscilloscope trace running between -20 and -30 dBnU... sort of like a super-fast heart monitor trace. Other people who run into a frozen channel might have one of these in their cable lineup... not sure if OTA people would also have one of these channels?

There are TWO different ways to recover from a frozen channel, depending on if the Auto Channel Preset is (1) your INITIAL (out-of-the-box) scan, or (2) a SUBSEQUENT scan after a successful INITIAL scan.

During an INITIAL Scan

You have to complete an INITIAL Auto Channel Preset successfully, all analog and DTV channel, without the process "freezing" or you stopping the scan. Luckily, the coax doesn't have to be connected for this scan, which plays an important role in "fixing" this problem.

Completing a full auto-scan is reqd to allow subsequent Manual channel presets, which can become very important to many users, esp, Comcast cable subs, as described in the "Hidden" channel section below.

If your INITIAL auto-scan freezes on a channel, remember the offending channel number. First try stopping the scan with the SETUP button; screen should eventually go blue or grey. Switch to analog tuner. If that doesn't stop the scan, pull the power cord.

You can either (1) push a threaded-nut coax in fully so the center core seats but leave the nut unthreaded, or (2) use push-on type coax and even connect it to existing wall coax with splitter if necessary. If your incoming coax makes it difficult to use a push-on in your system, use the input and one output of a 2-way splitter (or other RF junction) between the incoming coax and the push-on coax.

Turn this DVDR on and do another Auto Channel Preset. Just before the scan reaches the bad channel, pull the coax and let it scan past the bad channel, reconnect quickly by just pushing the center core in so it fully seats, and let the scan complete. Screw the threaded nut on afterwards.

I used one of those "push-on" coax cables for this procedure, then reconnected the normal screw-on coax after scan is completed.

Turn this DVDR back on and, if you know or suspect that your auto-scan with coax on-off missed one or more DTV channels, go to section below on "Hidden" Channels to manually tune those DTV channels or search for channels "hidden" behind a Scrambled XX.1 channel.

Important: Make sure any "bad" channel you run across is never in CH+/- memory! Delete bad channel(s) with a Manual Channel Preset.

During a SUBSEQUENT Scan

Once you complete an INITIAL auto-scan successfully, SUBSEQUENT auto-scans don't need to complete successfully to allow Manual presets and other scanning tricks.

If a SUBSEQUENT auto-scan freezes on a channel, try the BACK/RETURN button AND/or the SETUP/MENU button. While frozen, you can also set a timer rec program of 10 sec or so starting in the next minute... that should unfreeze the scan. If none of these work for you, pull the power cord.

When you power back up, see what channels are missing... you DO have a list, right?... and ADD them with a Manual Channel Preset.

Important: Make sure any "bad" channel you run across is never in CH+/- memory! Delete bad channel(s) with a Manual Channel Preset.

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

Scanning for Channels in Different Directions with a Rotating OTA Antenna

If you use a rotating OTA antenna, you can tune channels in several directions by first doing an Auto Channel Preset > Antenna in position 1, then one or more Manual Channel Presets in other antenna positions. You need the first auto-scan to allow subsequent manual additions.

To discover which channels are in which direction, here are two resources:

  1. Tvfool.com for mapping OTA channels and their directions.
  2. Rabbitears.info for listings of channels in U.S. markets.

 

Tip: One way to get the most-accurate antenna position is to use closed captions (CC) as the "meter." CC will appear and disappear faster than signal strength alone, so it provides a "finer" indication of on-signal or off-signal.

Here's a post on how one user, Arkyman, accomplished his multi-position channel scan.

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

Combining OTA Antenna and Cable

ONE way to get cable and OTA channels is to use this DVDR for cable channels and another tunered-device for antenna channels (or vice versa, of course).

 

For example, connect an antenna feed directly to your digital-tunered TV and tune those channels with the TV's tuner. If you don't have a digital-tunered TV, you can get one of those digital tuner boxes that used to be part of the govt coupon program, which can tune OTA digital channels for your TV. While recording with this DVDR, you'll then have the option to watch an OTA channel if your TV has a digital tuner. However, since you'll have to scan OTA channels with the TV, you won't be able to watch cable channels with its tuner. In that case, use this DVDR's tuner for the channels your TV can't tune in this "dual-tunered" setup..

You can also combine a very limited number of digital OTA channels to a cable-scanned DVDR with an A-B switch and the Manual Channel Preset menu, but only OTA 7 thru 13 (high-VHF). If you try to Add low-VHF or UHF channels (14+) to this DVDR manually, you'll most likely lose all your cable channels.

 

You can't do an Antenna auto-scan first cuz that deactivates the "Add" option in the Manual Channel Preset menu for ALL cable-QAM channels. Starting with a Cable > Analog auto-scan also doesn't work.

Note: If using cable and antenna separately, be aware that some people lose all timer rec programs if they scan for OTA antenna channels, then do a Cable scan. Before switching between Antenna and Cable scans, write down or take a picture of your timer programming list.

 

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

Combining OTA Antenna and Satellite

Since no DVDR tuner can decrypt a satellite signal, you can use this DVDR's tuner for a separate antenna or cable feed, as shown in the dotted-line Options in Sketch 4A -Advanced here.

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

Music Channels

You'll probably also have some music channels (audio only w/still pics) that you might want to get rid of with the Manual Channel Preset menu. I get 51 of these and I don't care enough to have them in the channel memory cuz I don't want to CH+/- thru them!

You can tune ANY music subchannel and open the Manual Channel Preset menu with that channel auto-entered, switch checkmark to Delete, and ALL music subchannels willl be deleted, another benefit of the all-or-nothing digital tuning of these DVDRs.

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

"Switched Digital Video" Being Rolled Out by Cablecos

In the 2nd half of 2007, Comcast Cable started rolling out Switched Digital Video (SDV) which delivers digital channels only ON DEMAND from a subscriber. You have to have a free cableco box to communicate with the "Optical Node" that delivers the channels in your neighborhood (500-2000 subscribers per node). Some recent good news: according to one user here, TW is using SDV ONLY for low-viewership channels which they deliver only when a subscriber tunes those channels, so it does NOT interfere with the "normal" QAM channels a cableco delivers "in the clear." So far, then, only "low-viewership" channels might be lost to users of this DVDR due to SDV... altho they can still get the SDV box, if desired, and record thru that!

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


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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Record to HDD... Timer Rec & Pre-Titling... STB/DVR Rec... STB Tips... Copy from Ext. Device... Copy HDD>HDD

 

"The difference in recorded PQ from a digital vs. analog channel is like the difference between life and death!" -

wajo 9/13/09

 

Jump To:
Notes
Notes on Recording Advice from People with Other DVDRs
The Philips CODEC (Coder-Decoder) for RECORDING
HDD Recording Basics
Manually Recording a TV Channel
TIMER RECORDING... SET or SKIP ... Change Program or Pre-Title (515/53x/557 or 2160A/513 w/SuperFW 727V Update)
Timer Priority and Overlapping Programs
Timer Recording BACK-TO-BACK (BTB) Programs
Recording One Channel While Watching Another
Recording from Cable or Satellite STB/DVR ... Tips for STB Users ... Tips on Moto DCT/DCH/RNG Boxes
Copying from DVR/VCR/DVD/Camera ... CP Strip & WS Preservation... Direct-To-Disc (DTD)
Notes on Copying Commercial VHS Tapes
Removing Index Marks on VHS Tapes
Copying from DV Camera Using Firewire (IEEE 1394)
The STOP Button
Copying Titles from HDD to HDD

Notes
  1. DON'T let your HDD get beyond ~90% full or operational problems can occur due to file fragmentation and/or lack of space for file management info. See this post for a little more info.
  2. Remember Rule #1 for Hi-Quality Recording: It all depends on the source!
  3. Be careful with the REC MODE button cuz your first press will prob. change the rec mode to the next lower-quality one. Better to use the INFO/DISPLAY button as described here.
  4. A blue LED light will shine while recording on the 3575/3576 front panel (no light on 2080/2160/513/515/53x/557) as long as the HDD drive is selected on the remote. If no light, press the HDD button to be sure you're seeing the HDD drive activity.
  5. The Video > TV Aspect menu controls the format you view and record on digital channels, as described here.
  6. Be careful with the STOP button on the 3575/3576... pressing STOP once with nothing playing will stop a timer rec. The 2160/513/515/53x/557 STOP button is safer since you have to HOLD it for 2 sec to stop a timer rec. More info on STOP here.
  7. DO NOT PULL THE POWER CORD WHILE RECORDING. You can stop a recording immediately by pressing the STOP button on the front of the unit or the 3575/3576 remote. On 2160/513/515/53x/557 hold STOP button on remote for 2 sec. On 2160A/513/515/53x/557, hold STOP button on remote to get Yes/No dialog.

 

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

Notes on Recording Advice from People with Other DVDRs

Be aware that, when people with OTHER DVDRs offer their opinion of recorded PQ and start making comparisons to this DVDR, they might not have digital tuners in their units, so their advice and comparisons are useless and misleading. More importantly, other DVDRs don't have the outstanding Philips encoder-decoder (CODEC) as your unit, which is THE most important part of an MPEG-2 home-recording system.

One "popular" PQ mis-comparison is between ANY U.S./Canadian Pioneer with this DVDR at the same rec modes. First, since the Pio can ONLY record analog channels, the comparisons must be between analog channels, BUT the beauty of this DVDR is it can record from digital channels, to which there is NO POSSIBLE comparison to any analog DVDR... this DVDR is BETTER, IN SPADES!

Second, I have a Pio 640 and, IMO after many tests, my recorded PQ is slightly softer on my Pio 640 compared to my Philips/Mag DVDRs on analog channels... and my Pio is connected to my 47" 1080p LCD.

I've recorded many dramas in 6-hr-SLP with my Philips/Mag DVDRs from digital HD channels in my basic (analog) cable feed and my recorded PQ, even at that extreme rec mode, BLOWS ANY ANALOG RECORDING AWAY!

Even other recorders with digital are at a disadvantage since they don't have the Philips CODEC, described below.

So, don't fret even an instant over comparisons to other DVDRs, esp. claims about "best PQ because of full D1 resolution at 4-hr rec mode," which is a crockashitzu fallacy of the first order, as explained here!

Just set your DVDR for 1-hr-HQ and blow them all away with a 12-hour HQ recording of your digital channels!

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

The Philips CODEC (Coder-Decoder) for RECORDING

When you watch live TV thru this DVDR, the incoming signal goes "directly" from front-end (FE) to back-end (BE) components, i.e., from tuner to output.

When the machine receives a REC command, either manual or timer-activated, the video and audio (User Data) is directed to the MPEG-2 encoder for recording to disc. When it receives a PLAY command, the recorded MPEG-2 User Data is read by the decoder and sent to an output for display on your TV.

In Nov 2007, I posted about the great PQ I was seeing even at longer rec modes from my downrezzed digital HD channels and wondered if Philips had developed a "different algorithm" for MPEG-2 encoding or something. Shortly thereafter, my question was answered when I read a magazine article about the "big four" codec producers [Zoran, ESS, LSI and Philips] and who's doing what with their DVD chips, part of which reads:

"Philips is adding to its new MPEG-2 CODEC optimized hardware blocks for running new picture improvement algorithms such as adaptive picture sharpness detection and deblocking* artifacts removal."

Philips' continuing development might also explain why this DVDR doesn't show "macroblocking" or "stuttering" on fast moving objects or jagged lines on the field, AT ANY REC MODE, like some other DVDRs do. I haven't seen any of that in my 3575's after MANY tests on fast-moving sports programs, as described here.

Neither has Mickboy, who says his 2160 shows no blocking and blows away the older, supposedly better Pio and Panny units at the longer rec time bitrates, as described here.

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

HDD Recording Basics

See Notes 6 & 7 above for info on rec. WS programs and using the STOP button while rec.

You can record direct to the HDD or to a DVD, but not both at once. See this help file for recording or copying to a DVD.

The HDD can hold:
Titles = 600 (999 in 53x Series).
Chapters per Title = 99.
Chapters per HDD = Unlimited (?).
Hours = See table below for approx. HDD capacities in hours.

The max. number of recorded hours the HDD can hold depends on the rec mode(s) used. The following table shows the approx. hours each OEM or upgraded HDD can hold... OEM = 80GB in 2080, 160GB in 357x/2160, 320GB in 513, 500GB in 515. 320GB in 533, 500GB in 535, 1TB in 537:
 

Rec Mode      80G   160G   250G     320G'   500G²    1TB    
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).
²Largest usable capacity allowed by our FW in all models except 533/35/537, which allow 1TB max.

 

For recording, this DVDR uses only the most useful rec modes (1, 2, 2½, 3, 4 and 6 hours)...no 13-hour mode like on my Pio 640, which is totally useless...and very ugly!

This DVDR uses some "different" time lengths for it's longer rec. modes compared to some other DVDRs, so make sure your "conversations" with users of other brands are talking the same language. Many other DVDRs use the same names for LP/EP/SLP, but they are 4/6/8-hr modes compared to this DVDR's 3/4/6-hr modes. Because of this, I always include the full name with hours just to be clear for people with the same rec. mode names but different lengths.

1-hr-HQ is best for VIEWING if you have to have the very best PQ. With your 160GB HDD, you can record up to 33 hours at HQ, which would require 33 DVD discs in a single-disc recorder!

HQ will also retain PQ much better for mode-conversion dubbing (going down in rec mode to next level) and for multi-generational dubbing, like offloading titles from the HDD to disc that you intend to put back on the HDD for editing and compiling later... amazingly well if the original recording is from a digital WS channel, as described here.

HOWEVER, there are two potential drawbacks to using 1-hr-HQ:

  1. Some older players might choke on the relatively high SDTV bit rate these PhilMag DVDRs use, so they may "choke" on that bit density.
  2. It limits your ability to use high-speed dub (HSD) to 1:04:55 run time, so if you decide later that you want a DVD copy of, say a 2-hour movie, you'll have to HSD to 2 discs or do a real-time mode-conversion dub at 2-hr-SP (which can be very good if your source is good, as mentioned above).

 

2-hr-SP is the best all-around rec. mode cuz it produces great quality, esp. from digital channels, and you can HSD most of today's shows and movies up to 2:10:00 if you want them on DVD later.

2½-hr-SPP, 3-hr-LP, 4-hr-EP and 6-hr-SLP modes are also good if your source is a digital/HD channel showing a drama, but they're not so great for most typical analog/SD channels. A field-sport like football is a PITA, as explained here.

Things you rec to the HDD are auto-added to a Title list, accessible with the TITLE button. They appear in rec-date order (oldest to newest) with date/time/channel/mode/length and a full-motion video/audio index pic. The 515/53x/557 and 2160A/513 with SuperFW 727V Update replaces the 1st line of a title with a custom title you enter in the timer rec menu.

You select the default rec. mode for MANUAL (no timer) recording to the HDD with the REC MODE button on the remote. (See Note 3 above.) That mode will be used for all your MANUAL recordings unless you change it. Once you change it with that button, all future MANUAL recordings will use that new mode...make sure you change it back after a special recording with a different mode.

TIMER AND DUBBING REC modes are set separately in their respective menus and only for that specific timer program or dub... they don't change the default rec mode.

Note: The default rec mode can be automatically changed by a real-time dub (RTD) from HDD>DVD at a different rec mode, so always check your default rec mode before starting a manual recording! A high-speed dub (HSD) doesn't change the default rec mode.

 

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

Manually Recording a TV Channel

See Notes 6 & 7 above for info on rec. WS programs and using the STOP button while rec.

Manual Recording - Select HDD drive and set this DVDR's tuner on the channel you want to record, set the rec. mode (if other than your default), and press the REC button on the remote or front of the unit ("RECORD"). If you let it record from there, it will continue recording until you manually stop it or the 12-hour single-title rec limit is reached.

Manual Timed Recording - If you press REC, like above, and at any time during the manual recording, you press the REC button again, a rec time of 30-min. will appear. If you keep pressing REC, the rec time will increase in 30-min. increments, up to 6 hours total. This way, you can leave and the DVDR will stop recording after the set time has run out.

When you press REC for an untimed manual recording, the front-panel (FP) display will show accumulated rec time, from 0:00:00 to whatever time you manually stop the recording. Once you press the REC button again to do a timed manual recording, the FP display changes to a countdown clock indicating rec time remaining from your set time.

You can Pause a manual recording to edit out commercials, if desired. This does NOT set a chapter mark. If recording direct to DVD, there may be a time limit to the Pause before an E10 Error occurs, so don't pause too long.

Unique Feature: This DVDR is unique in that, during a manual recording, you can press PAUSE and CHANGE THE CHANNEL, then press PAUSE again and continue recording a different channel. This has been very useful in my many tests where I'm trying to determine PQ for diff. program content.

 

CAUTION: When you start a manual recording, don't Stop that recording until the HDD Rec icon disappears from screen, about 6 sec. If you Stop a manual rec with the icon on screen, that title can "freeze" so it can't be deleted with the normal Title Delete menu. If that happens, offload to DVD the titles you want to keep and use the SETUP > HDD Menu > Delete All Titles menu.

 

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

Auto-Recording with a Timer Program

See Notes 6 & 7 above for info on rec. WS programs and using the STOP button while rec.

Unattended recording is user-set in a 1-page Timer Recording menu, as described in next subject below.

You can set 36 timer programs for recording to either the HDD or a DVD and from either a tuner channel or a line input (L1/L2)... not both since channels and line inputs are mutually exclusive.

Timers can be either (1) a one time program on a specific date up to 1-month in the future, or (2) as many future programs as the HDD will hold, up to 12 hours each (11:59:59 to be exact), if they're on a regular basis (M-F, Every Sun, weekly, etc.)... the latter are not time limited like a one-time program. (A "12-hour" program will be like 8:00am-7:59pm.)

 

Note: The 1-month "limit" is only for a specific dated timer program, like Jun 3... can't be more than 1-month from now.

This DVDR can be on or off, or you can be watching/playing something else, and a timer rec program will start on schedule based on the Start time you entered in the Timer menu.

A timer program that's recording will be in red at the top of the Timer Programming list. If necessary, you can change a timer rec END time while it's recording, as described here.

At the end of a timer program, several actions can occur depending on whether you're there at the time and watching something or not:

 

  1. If you're not there and no other timer program is sched. to start within 4 minutes, this DVDR shuts itself off within 1 minute after a timer rec program ends. This allows you to go on extended trips and not have to worry about the DVDR remaining on for days on end.
     
  2. If you're there and just watching live TV thru the DVDR's tuner, it will show a Yes/No dialog asking if you want to "Switch power off?" The default selection is "No" and if you don't click OK on that "No," the machine will shut off within 1 minute (thinking you're not there to answer). No other remote buttons will work while the dialog is showing except the OK button and arrow up/down to change the answer to "Yes"... which would only make sense if you can't wait until the 1-min. expires and it shuts off automatically!?
     
  3. If you're PLAYING something on the HDD or DVD or you're in a menu when a timer program ends, there will be no dialog and the DVDR will NOT turn itself off.

NOTES:
  1. The "2-Minute-Warning": - 2-minutes before the start of a timer rec program with this DVDR off, it will go thru the Loading procedure, spin up the HDD, and change to the channel set in the timer program... all while still being visibly "off." This DVDR will only turn "on" 2-sec before timer start time, when "Loading" will show briefly while it checks for a recordable DVD, then recording will start immediately after. This is the reason you can't change channels while watching something from this DVDR from 2-minutes before a timer rec program start time.
     
  2. Power Sags Can Stop/Restart Timer Programs: If you have a timer set for a certain length of time, you might end up with two or more separate titles IF YOUR POWER GOES OUT OR SAGS JUST ENOUGH TO STOP THE TIMER REC. You can then end up with two (or more) titles wherever the power sagged if the power returns fully and the timer has time remaining. Each power outage/sag will start another title covering the remainder of an active timer's rec time.
     
  3. Lost Timer Programs: Ken.F has found that you can lose one or more timer programs if you're set up for Antenna channels, then do an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (but not the other way around, for some reason).

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

SET or SKIP a Timer Rec Program

To SET a timer program, press the TIMER button on the remote, then press OK on the highlighted "New Program." "Timer Programming" is also in the General Settings menu.

This brings up one of the timer rec menus shown below, depending on model. Below each menu is a chart showing how to set recurring events with the down arrow in the first date box.
 
357x, 2080, 2160/A, 513   515/53x/557 (Extra "SKIP" Box, Top Left)    
                         < See the instructions at left to ARROW DOWN in the Date box to set recurring weekly or daily shows... many units have been returned as "defective" cuz people have not been able to figure this one out, either by experiment or by RTFM!

Enter approp. info. in the 6 simple boxes every model has: Date, Start, End, CH, REC To, and Mode. Arrow right/left to move between boxes. Arrow up/dn to change info in any box... can also enter clock times and channel directly with the number buttons (except on 3575/3576, arrow only for subchannels in DTV/digital channel box).

Date box has today's date so, for a one-time program for TODAY, move on... arrow right to set times, etc.

To set a program for a single date up to 30 days in the future, ARROW UP to go to a specific date.

To get a repeating program (daily/weekly) in the box, ARROW DOWN to select one of the options. Emphasized for people who don't RTFM but are lucky enough to come here for help.

Start box has current time. Set hour with arrow up/dn or enter numbers with keypad. Arrow right and set minutes same way. Arrow right and set AM/PM with arrow up/dn.

End box has dashes (- - :- -). Set same way as Start time.

CH box has 2 sections (channel or line input currently tuned will appear in this box):
  1. In 1st section, select Source by arrowing up/down to change between --- (analog tuner), DTV (digital tuner), or E1/L1 or E2/L2 external inputs.
  2. Arrow right to 2nd section. If you selected an external input, the E1/L1 or E2/L2 will auto-move to the center all by itself. If you selected a tuner source (--- or DTV), you can change the channel number with the arrow up/down keys or direct entry, except arrow only with 3575/3576 in DTV (digital) subchannel box.
  3. Channels entered in a timer menu don't have to be in CH+/- memory. You can use numbers w/o the dot for faster digital ch. entry, like 063 for 6.3 or 745 for 74.5.

 

REC To box ALWAYS has HDD as default, so you can leave it (unless you really do want to record directly to a DVD... but WHY!?)

Mode box has whatever you last set as default via the REC MODE button on the remote while viewing TV, so you can leave it or change it with the arrow keys for that timer program. Changing the rec. mode here is just for that timer program and doesn't affect your default setting.

You don't have to arrow thru every box... you can press OK at any time to exit and save this menu with all old and new entries intact.

Skip (515/53x/557 only or 2160A/513 with SuperFW 727V) box is greyed out and defaulted to OFF. Once a program is set up and in the timer list, you can skip it one time if you click that program, select Program Change, then arrow up or down on "OFF" to change it to ON. That puts a checkmark in the 1st column of the timer list for that program. It reverts to a normal active program (Skip OFF or no checkmark) after that program is skipped once. You can set the checkmark again if you want to skip that program again.

WARNING: Some people experience a loss of one or more timer programs associated with this SKIP function... program(s) just disappear. Others see the SKIP checkmark NOT disappear after one-time skip.

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

Change Program or Pre-Title (515/53x/557 and 2160A/513 w/SuperFW 727V Update)

To CHANGE a timer program or PRE-TITLE it,, highlight that timer in the timer list and press OK. Thiat brings up a menu with 2 or 3 options, depending on DVDR model.

All models have Program Change and Delete options, but the 515/53x/557 or 2160A/513 w/SuperFW 727V has a 3rd option, Edit Title Name.

If you select the Program Change option, you can change all info in a timer if the program is not recording at that time. You can only change the End time in a program already recording. You don't have to arrow thru every box... you can press OK at any time to exit and save this menu with all old and new entries intact.

If you select the Delete option, you can delete that timer.

The 3rd option, Edit Title Name, is only available with the 515/53x/557 or 2160A/513 w/SuperFW 727V and allows you to pre-title the shows that timer will record, i.e., change the generic auto-title that will be applied to that timer recording. After you set up a timer rec program, highlight that program in the timer list, press OK, then select the Edit Title Name option.

The 515/53x/557 or 2160A/513 w/SuperFW 727V Edit Title Name menu is shown below. The title cursor will be over the 1st letter in the generic auto-title, so press-and-hold CLEAR to delete the entire generic title and start your custom title. For instructions on titling, start with Step 3 here.



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Timer Priority and Overlapping Programs

A timer recording will start on time even if a manual (press REC) or manual-timed recording (press REC more than once) is in progress. If manual rec in progress, channel will change 2-min. before timer start, and if manual-timed rec, the normal "channel will change" message will appear at the 2-min.-before-start point.

The timer programming menu is like a mini Relational Database. It lists timer programs in the order of soonest to be recorded first, based not only on date and time of the programs, but also on date and time when you view the list. BOTH are factored into the "priority" the machine assigns to the programs at that moment in time.

Programs shown in Red text are currenty recording, White are OK (no problem), and Blue are overlapped (schedule conflict). If you make a time or date change to a Blue overlapped program, it can change to White and cause another program to change to Blue.

If you mix repeating programs with single-dated or day-of-week programs, the ordered listing can sometimes look "odd." It's a complex thing involving related times and dates, but you can be assured that whatever program is at the top in WHITE will START recording first and have no problem completing its scheduled timer recording.

Here are some "scenarios" I've tested that might help explain some "odd" looking arrangements you might run across:

  1. When one program overlaps any time of another program scheduled for the current day/date, the ealier-starting program will have priority, will appear FIRST in the timer list in WHITE, and will start recording first. If the first program ALSO ENDS earlier, the machine will record the earlier-starting one first, then continue recording whatever time is left on the longer, but later-ending program.
     
  2. A totally overlapped program won't rec at all and *might* show an E40 to the left of that program in the timer list to indicate you're an idiot... you'll get nada! However, it will appear only in original viewing of the list and will disappear on next viewing (may be time-limited and gone quicker, but next viewing for sure?).
     
  3. Recurring DAILY, MON-SAT and MON-FRI programs mixed with other programs will usually appear 1st in the list unless one of those other programs starts earlier TODAY, when you're viewing the timer list, or the start time of the recurring program has already passed.
     
  4. Other operating oddity still undiscovered?

 

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Timer Recording BACK-TO-BACK (BTB) Programs

See Notes 6 & 7 above for info on rec. WS programs and using the STOP button while rec.
 

One Reason NOT To Record Back-to-Back: If you're recording a series/marathon, for example, you might want to record one LONG Title (max. single-title is 11:59:59). Thay way, you can create a main Title Name in edit (or PRE-TITLE it in the 515/53x/557 or 2160A/513 with SuperFW 727V Update), like "The Inner Sanctum," ONE TIME for the multi-hour rec, then Divide that into episodes. Each episode would now have the same main title name, to which you could add an episode name, number, date or other distinguishing text. This would be opposed to back-to-back shows, each with a nondescript time/date Title Name to change. Remember, only 30 characters/spaces max., so plan ahead (i.e., don't use all 30 spaces for the main title name?).

Even more "planning ahead": set your Auto Chaptering for 30- or 60-minute interval, as approp., so you can quickly get to each episode during the Edit > Divide process!

You can set timer programs back-to-back (BTB) on the same channel OR on multiple different channels when recording to the HDD. You'll "lose" a few sec at the transition point of subsequent recordings.

I did a test to show the typical transition times between analog and digital channels, using 1-min. back-to-back recordings from diff. channels. I used 1-min. cuz I was just testing the transition points... length of recording won't matter. My results are shown in the table below:

1-min. BTB Timer Rec Test
Different Tuners and Channels, Showing
Loss (sec.) for Ea. Subsequent Title
 
Title#
TunerUsed
RecTime
SecLoss
1
Analog
1:01
--
2
Analog
0:57
3
3
Analog
0:57
3
4
Digital
0:55
5
5
Digital
0:54
6
6
Digital
0:54
6
7
Analog
0:56
4
8
Analog
0:57
3
9
Analog
0:57
3

For successive programs, the HDD has a read-write buffer that it has to write to disk (indicated by the chasing lines in the display) while this DVDR is switching to the other channel. (This buffer is what allows us to Chase Play a recording in progress.) Analog-to-analog transitions are quickest, but when a digital channel is involved, the transition times are a little longer since digitals take longer to tune.

In any case, you'll end up with separate titles. This ALSO means you don't have to record two or more shows appearing on the SAME channel as one continuous program. This way you can have each show as an independent title and you WON'T HAVE TO DIVIDE the shows later for dubbing to DVD. If, however, you're a timeshifter and only record/watch/delete, no problem either way.

So far, the king of BTB recording is FullOnShred with 34 HOURS of continuous BTB recording of 16 separate 2-hr and 2 separate 1-hr timer recordings. His project info is here... and a brief description of results is here. His only "problem" was the shows were played w/o commercial breaks at beginning and end so the normal 3-6 sec lost while changing channels and/or timer programs was actual show time... not a problem with "normal" commercial TV.

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

Recording One Channel While Watching Another

If you've connected as recommended, with this DVDR 1st on the coax or on a splitter if you've got PPV, this is prob. the greatest benefit of coax passthru: any components on the coax chain can tune the raw TV signal independently as long as they have the right kind of tuner (analog and/or digital).

Basically, you can watch one channel on the TV while simultaneously recording a diff. channel with this DVDR or playing something from this DVDR's HDD or a DVD.

If you have an STB and it also has coax passthru like this DVDR, you could even watch TWO other channels if your TV has PIP, one with the TV tuner and one with the STB tuner!

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

Recording from Cable or Satellite STB/DVR

See Notes 6 & 7 above for info on rec. WS programs and using the STOP button while rec.
 
Copy Protection & Widescreen Preservation - For shows with CP, you'll have to record from the STB (or copy from a DVR) with a filter/converter between the source and this DVDR. See this post for two filter/converters that will strip CP and preserve 16:9 aspect ratio from the STB/DVR if it doesn't output 16:9 from its Composite YWR or S-Video outputs (all Motorolas and some others.) Here's another list that adds some others. A list of STBs that will and won't preserve 16:9 aspect thru their Composite/S-Video outputs is above the filter/converters.

 

With satellite, the signal is encrypted so this DVDR's tuner can't tune those channels directly. However, you can attach an indoor or outdoor antenna or sub. to cable and get additional channels you CAN record directly.

With cable, you CAN usually tune some channels, perhaps many, so you should connect this DVDR 1st on the incoming coax and do an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital). You should get some analog and/or digital channels "in-the-clear' (not scrambled, since that's the law). You can record those channels directly with this DVDR. For any scrambled channels only the box can tune, you need a line connection between the STB/DVR and this DVDR. With the DVDR 1st on the coax, you can also watch one channel thru the STB while recording one of the unscrambled channels the DVDR can tune independently. If you order PPV/VOD thru the STB, you need to run the incoming cable coax to a bidirectional splitter with one coax output to the 515/53x/557 and one to the STB.


You can record directly from a cable/sat set-top box (STB) or from a DVR while its tuned to or recording a channel if you connect composite YWR RCA or S-Video + W/R audio cables between the STB/DVR outputs and this DVDR's Inputs (E1/L1 or E2/L2).


To record a scrambled/encrypted cable/sat program that only the STB can tune, you have 3 options:

  1. Attended: Press REC when the show starts. Keep pressing REC to add 30-min increments to cover the expected run time of the show.
  2. Unattended, Direct: Select a program to record in the STB and set a coordinated timer rec program in this DVDR as described above... even if your STB does NOT have a DVR, as explained in "TIPS" next.
  3. Unattended, Indirect: Record to DVR first with the STB's guide, then copy to this DVDR's HDD/DVD later. Instructions for copying are in the DVR/VCR/DVD copying section below.


See Sketch 3 or 4 here for connections, depending on whether you have cable or sat service.

PPV/VOD shows that you order separately might be copyable from the STB/DVR to a DVD or from your DVDR HDD to a DVD. However, one Lite-on user reports he regularly records live, extra-cost PPV shows directly to a DVD while the STB/DVR is also recording the show, i.e., a "direct-to-disc (DTD)-while-DVR-recording" trick.

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

TIPS FOR STB USERS

Jump to:

STB With or Without DVR

Motorola DCT/DCH and Pace RNG

Scientific Atlanta & Samsung

Dish

DirecTV

AT&T Uverse

Verizon FIOS

Widescreen Preservation

IR Blaster Fakeout

480i Output May Be Reqd

HDCP Error

Some Critical Connection Tips

 

STB With or Without DVR

If you have a STB with DVR, you can set the DVR to record, using its program guide, and simultaneously record from the DVR output to this DVDR.

If you DON'T have a DVR to RECORD, i.e., you have a bare cable/sat STB (one w/o a DVR), you STILL might be able to "Record" with that STB. Many people have STB/receivers but NO DVR so virtually all STBs are made to operate independently from the DVR.

Many or most cable/sat STBs have a TIMER, REMINDER, RECORD or RECORD SHOW menu item where you can select one or more programs to record even w/o a DVR, then set a coordinated timer rec program in this DVDR for the same time period(s) and the line input your STB is connected to.

If your STB remote has a REC button, it prob. can be set to record shows from its Guide or from a timer menu.

Also, check your manual and menus for a "RECORD" function like those described in the Tips below and see if you, like many others, can use that to set up "phantom" recordings for unattended copying to the DVDR via a coordinated timer rec program. The STB does the scheduling of viewing or recording so it's possible that virtually *EVERY* STB has a view/record scheduling feature.

If no "Record" features on your STB, you'll have to leave it on the channel you want to record, and you can only do one program this way since there's no way to change channels unattended? If you're there, you can just tune the STB to the desired channel manually, select the source (E1/L1 or E2/L2) with the SOURCE button or by pressing 001 or 002, set the rec mode (if diff. from your default), and press REC on this DVDR at the program start time.

Pressing REC repeatedly increases REC time in 30-min. increments (up to 6 hours) if you want to set a specific rec time so you don't have to be there at the end of the program to stop recording. Recording from the STB will tie up both tuners so you'll only be able to watch the recording or something else from this DVDR's HDD or a DVD... remember, it's a multi-tasking wonder!

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

 

Motorola DCT/DCH and Pace RNG Boxes With or Without Their DVR

General notes on Moto boxes:

 

Reminders may not work for changing channels.

They turn themselves on when you've set a Record (R) action, even if you don't have the cableco's DVR.

Click "View Recording Settings for this program" (a wrench icon) to set frequency, times, etc. If your box displays a "Changing Channels" message X-min. before a scheduled recording, change "start on time" to X-min. to allow that message to clear before "recording" starts. Can't do this if setting back-to-back programs.

You can set multiple Rec actions but limit might be 7 (still untested beyond 7).

Most Moto boxes won't send 16:9 WS via their Composite Yellow RCA or S-Video output. You'll need a WS converter/preserver, some of which are listed here.

 

DCH3200 and RNG110 - dswenson uses both and does this to set them to auto-tune for recording by his 3576 with coordinated timer rec programs: "With the Comcast cable box, while in Guide mode, and with the program highlighted I want to record, press 'Info' and choose 'Set or cancel a VCR recording.' The program guide on screen will show a red dot in the guide description for the program." His first post is here, but he had to amend that later cuz he found he had to leave the box ON or he wouldn't get any audio. His follow-up post here gives more info on his boxes, etc. His final post here gives his experience with no audio and how he gets around it.

DCH3200 - Artwire uses the Guide in his STB-only DCH3200, where he selects the "R" icon ("Set or Cancel a VCR recording") for multiple recordings, except he pads the start and end times to make sure they don't end up with the STB's "about-to-record" message on screen at the start, as described here, with detailed instructions a few posts below that. He posted screen shots here.

DCH3200 - Scott_111 uses the Record icon in the Quick Menu of his Moto DCH3200 to change channels for a specific program, as described at bottom here. Ignore Comcast's "VCR instructions" since he uses the Composite out from the box.

DCH700 - Dartman had a DCH700 before his DCH3200 and says they both record with the Guide and the "R - Set or Cancel a VCR recording" option as described above by Artwire. He is able to watch an HD channel but record in SD, as described here.

DCT2000/2500 Series - DCT2000 boxes had the Record feature removed in updates, but the 2500 does include that feature, as described by Super Eye here, and by Westly-C here (with screen shots).

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

 

Scientific Atlanta (SA) & Samsung

SA8300HD - First, per JimLely, adjust the aspect ratio on the 8300HD and downscale the video by setting it to fixed resolution 480i (rather than its usual "pass" setting). Next, press your SA8300's RECORD button on the show in the program guide you want to record to your DVDR... even if you don't have a DVR. This brings up three options: Record This Show, Record This Series, or Create a Manual Recording. Select Record This Show, then set a timer on the DVDR for the same time period.

Another SA8300 user schedules multiple shows, sets the number of days before deletion and confirms, all on one screen.

See these instructions for setting a SA8300HD with SARA SW for outputting 16:9 WS via S-Video to this DVDR.

SA4250HDC - MKoven gives some info and tips on recording to a DVR/DVDR with the 4250's "VCR Commander" feature. You can set up a max. of 7 recordings to this DVDR with coordinated timer programs, even if you don't have a DVR attached.

Brighthouse SA & Samsung - MrMazda says Samsung and Scientific Atlanta Brighthouse cable boxes cut off other outputs when they're connected to TV via HDMI.

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

Dish With or Without Their DVR
 

All Dish STBs?: Check your Dish STB for a menu option to send a 480i signal thru its composite/S-Video outputs called Enable Recording to External Device (ERD). Without that setting, you'll get a blank screen on this DVDR. Depending on your STB model, successfully recording to this DVDR depends on whether you're using TVa or TV2 output and running it in single or dual mode. Dual- vs Single-Mode effect can be as follows:
Dual-Mode: TV1 is WS, TV2 has bars.
Single-Mode: TV1 and TV2 are WS.

 

Hopper: One Mag user got a new Dish Hopper system and is ecstatic about it, as described here. Native 16:9 WS out via composite (no converter needed), and a "great" pic.

VIP722K: For 16:9 WS to this DVDR w/o a converter, mdavej says (and Mike99 confirms) that his VIP722K will send WS via TV1 and TV2 in Single-Mode only. The 722's outputs are all active at the same time. Most users run their audio to their TV via HDMI so their L/R audio outputs can be run to their DVDR w/o having to split audio with two RCA Y-adapters (splitter cables), one for L and one for R audio.

VIP211K: Greaser posts here how his VIP211K, which has NO DVR, has an Enable VCR menu item with a Timer section where he sets multiple programs to record and coordinated timer rec programs in his DVDR, and he speculates that DirecTV users have the same system. Check your Dish STB for a similar "Enable VCR" or even a "Record Show" feature in the Guide, even if you don't have Dish's DVR!

 

With Satellite, the Mag's full capabilities can be gained only by adding an indoor or outdoor antenna or a cable feed.

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

DirecTV (D*TV) With or Without Their DVR

Some D*TV satellite receivers/STBs, even without a DVR, have a menu option similar to Dish's "ERD" or a Timer section mentioned above. Might also require a specific line output, like "Out to VCR," that must be set/used.

sSgidurange reports that his H20 and newer STBs have an "Autotune" feature that will change channels at set times for coordnated timer recording on these DVDRs w/o an IR blaster.

Greaser speculates here that DirecTV users have the same system as his Dish VIP211K, which has NO DVR but does have an Enable VCR menu item with a Timer section where he sets multiple programs to record and coordinated timer rec programs in his DVDR.

One D*TV user ran into a problem with copying from a Hughes TiVo-2 directly to a DVD in this DVDR, but found it worked OK when he copied to the HDD first, then dubbed a copy to DVD, as described in his post here.

Another D*TV user copied PPV titles from his DVR to his 3576 and his 2160 in the same HDD-1st manner, as described here and following posts.

If you get an E-25 error with D*TV: "This program is not allowed to be recorded" (copy protection) and the station is not HBO or similar channels that normally employ copy protection, then turn all off and unplug both this DVDR and the D*TV receiver. Leave both unplugged about five minutes, then plug all back in and try again. Using the reset button will not correct the problem... you must unplug the receiver.

 

With Satellite, the Mag's full capabilities can be gained only by adding an indoor or outdoor antenna or a cable feed.

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

 

AT&T Uverse

Based on a few reports herein, Uverse encrypts their signal so the Uverse STB is needed to decrypt it. This makes Uverse virtually identical to a satellite feed as far as user experience is concerned. Your DVDR would only act as a slave to the Uverse box, able to record a single channel that the box is tuned to and copy shows from the Uverse DVR.

 

Here's a series of posts, starting with Mike Hardy laying out some recording scenarios, which is followed by suggestions, including the addition of a Component-to-Composite/S-Video converter/filter for copying protected shows from the Uverse DVR.

 

As with satellite, the Mag's full capabilities could be gained only by adding an indoor or outdoor antenna.
 

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

 

Verizon FIOS STB With or Without DVR

Ken.F describes his special DVDR scanning procedure here, where he advises not scanning in (or deleting) ch. 1-10 since FIOS uses those ch. for encrypted premium content that can cause tuning interference in these DVDRs. (See these posts for a recent confirmation.) For recording, he says he can select a program to record in the FIOS guide but it sets a "Reminder." Must be a diff. FIOS box than the other two FIOS users below, who can set channels to "RECORD" whether they have a DVR or not.

Denal46 found that his FIOS STB can set a timer to record a channel EVEN THO HE DOESN'T HAVE A DVR! He presses the red record button on the STB remote, which brings up the menus for selecting a program and setting it to record, even tho there's no DVR with his STBs. He then just needs to set a timer program in his DVDR for a coordinated, unattended timer recording session, as described here.

JanisHP uses the same RECORD SHOW feature of a FIOS STB as Denal46 to set coordinated timer programs, as described here..

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

 

Widescreen Preservation (and CP Stripping)

See this list of STB/DVRs that will and won't preserve 16:9 WS aspect thru their Composite/S-Video outputs; if your's doesn't, see the next list of converters below that. For shows with copy protection (CP), you'll have to record/copy from the STB/DVR with a filter/converter between the source and this DVDR. See this post for two filter/converters I've tested that will strip CP AND preserve 16:9 aspect ratio from the STB/DVR.

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

IR Blaster Fakeout for Anyone Who Has Older Recorder with IR Blaster

Some people use an older recorder that has an IR blaster to set one or more "fake" 1-min. programs whose only purpose is to change the channel on their box 1-min or so BEFORE they want their DVDR to record with its timer rec program(s). For example, they set a program in the fakeout unit for 10:58-10:59 for a timer program to start at 11:00 in this DVDR. The fakeout unit is not actually going to record anything, it provides ONLY the channel-changing function, so it's only "connected" to the box via the IR blaster. It can be that POS you stored in the closet just for this purpose.
 

  1. DrevH uses a old Sony DVDR that has an IR blaster to change channels on his box for recording with a Mag 515, as described here.
  2. CopRock uses his "POS" LG RC797t combo recorder to change the channel on his cable box with its IR blaster. He sets up 1-min. timer recs on the LG's VHS side before the times he wants to record to his 513, which sets the box on the desired channel, as described here.

 

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

 

480i Output May Be Reqd

This DVDR requires 480i input from either a composite or S-Video output of an external cable or satellite STB/DVR. Some DVRs require you to specify 480i output with a "copy-to-external device" setting, and some have a composite and/or S-Video output that auto-converts the output to 480i, sometimes identified as "Out to VCR" or similar. Using one of the filter/converters mentioned in "Widescreen Preservation..." above or "Copying from DVR..." below does the conversion to 480i for you.

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

HDCP Error

Ken.F reports that he sometimes sees "HDCP Error" when recording/copying from his STB/DVR connected to his TV via HDMI thru a receiver and to this DVDR via S-Video and he switches inputs too fast.

He reports the following: "I corrected the HDCP issue by removing the HDMI cable between the FiOS STB and the AV Receiver. I now have the FiOS STB directly connected to the TV with R/G/B component cables. The only connection between the FiOS STB and AV Receiver is the TOSLINK optical audio. The FiOS STB is still feeding the 515 L1 input with R/W and S-Video cable.

The HDCP error wasn't caused by any cabling between the FiOS STB and the 515. I believe it was caused by interrupting an attempt to re-establish the HDMI handshake between the AV Receiver, TV, and FiOS STB after switching inputs. I think the FiOS STB was broadcasting the HDCP error over all the video outputs so it showed up on the 515 recording."

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

Some Critical Connection Tips

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.

MrNews found that he needed his HDTV ON when recording shows from a cable STB with HDMI-related copy protection, as described here (3 posts).

ss_sea_ya says he has to have his Sony LCD ON if copying shows from his cable STB when using the TV's HDMi/DVI input, but it can be ON or OFF if using the TV's HDMI-only input, as described here.

Ghpr13 found two things that might be important to others recording VOD or other "copy-protected" stuff from his Dish sat STB:

 

  1. He found that, with a switcher, he could copy VOD and other premium shows from his DVR if he didn't switch to the DVDR's HDMI connection/input on his HDTV to view what he was copying. As soon as he did, the DVDR would start recording black screen, as described here.
  2. He also found that if he didn't have his TV ON while copying from his Dish receiver, the program would stop playing altogether, as described here. (Same finding as MrNews above.)


Geodon005 queried Moxi on how to copy shows from a Moxi DVR to his DVDR. They advised him to have only the DVDR connected to the TV while copying, as described here.

MrMazda says Samsung and Scientific Atlanta Brighthouse cable boxes cut off other outputs when they're connected to TV via HDMI.

These all show that, if you have problems seeing or recording from another device incl. black screen, you should experiment with only one specific unit connected to TV or both and with what cable type, whether TV should be on/off, etc.

Equipment mfgrs and "Hollywood" work together to allow you to VIEW anything but prevent RECORDING if at all possible, and setting output restrictions to accomplish that is just one of their dastardly tools!

Never forget, "fair use" was a 20th Century concept, so you may not be prepared yet for the new world order!? An HDMI Converter/CP Stripper may be of interest?

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

 

Copying from DVR/VCR/DVD/Camera ... CP Strip & WS Preservation... Direct-To-Disc (DTD)
 

 

NOTES:
• See Notes 6 & 7 above for info on rec WS programs and using the STOP button while recording.

• Check Timer Programs First - Before starting a copy to HDD or DVD, make sure you have enough time to complete before a timer rec is due to start. If not, the timer rec takes precedence and copying will stop. If copying to HDD, you'll have an incomplete title; if to DVD, your disc will be ruined. In either case, you'll have to start over.

• Don't Activate Menus on Player -While copying, don't activate any menus in the playing machine. Whatever you can see on the final output is being recorded! 

• Copy Protection (CP) Strip & Widescreen (WS) Preservation - This DVDR can copy 50% or more of your comm. VHS tapes but less (if any) of your comm. DVDs. For backup copies of the "uncopyables," you'll need a filter/video stabilizer between the external source and this DVDR. See this post for several devices I've tested. Two of those devices ALSO preserve WS aspect from the Component RBG or HMDI outputs of a STB/DVR to the Composite YWR or S-Video input on this DVDR.

• Copying Direct-to-Disc (DTD) - In my tape-to-DVD project for comm. movie backups, I've been doing real-time record (RTR) direct-to-disc rather than to HDD then HSD to disc cuz it gives me several key advantages FOR TITLES THAT DON'T NEED SUBSEQUENT EDITING:
  1. Copying direct to HDD or to DVD is the same real-time copy process.
  2. The copy on DVD will be a 1st-gen copy, same as a HDD>HSD.
  3. If you use Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim DataLife PLUS (AZO) discs, odds are virtually equal in getting a good copy as rec to HDD.
  4. With Mag DVDRs only, DTD eliminates the need for Overwriting to delete the Empty Title/Space, which involves more steps. (N/A to Philips DVDRs.) I just let the DVDR keep recording after the source video ends. It reverts to copying black screen all the way to the end of the disc cuz comm. movies have a defined video ending. When the disc gets full, recording stops and there's NO EMPTY TITLE/SPACE to contend with.
  5. With my Mag DVDRs, letting the process run to DVD end allows me to walk away so the only manual steps are coordinating the start of tape and recorder, and changing the title and index pic on disc at the end... plus Finalizing, of course, which is reqd no matter what method is used.

    Notes on DTD with Mag DVDRs (N/A to Philips):
    1. DTD is an OK procedure if the show you're copying isn't too short. This could take more time than if you stopped the recording and overwrote the Empty Title. This DTD method is a winner if you're NOT anxious for the disc to fill up, i.e., you've got something more productive to do.
    2. If you like the run time in your labels, remember to use the actual show run time, not the time shown in the DVD title since that is the ENTIRE run time to end of disc.

 

 

You can copy stuff using virtually any external device that has std "analog" outputs (YWR RCA or S-Video). The device can be a VCR, DVR, DVD player, still/video camera, CD player, etc. Anything you can play to your TV

All copying will be in real-time... there is no high-speed copying from external components by common earthlings.

The procedure for copying from an external device is as follow:

 

  1. Connect Composite Y/W/R RCA or S-Video outputs from the DVR, VCR, camera, etc. to this DVDR's AV IN or S-Video inputs (E1/L1 on back or E2/L2 on front). The W/R audio inputs supply audio for both Composite and S-Video video inputs. Some people say S-Video provides a better pic, but I can't see any diff. in my system... test each if you're a PQ-freaknut. Most HD camcorders (and other devices) have a HDMI output cable that converts to YWR RCA or S-Video for use with this DVDR.
     
  2. Connect video stabilizer between the source and this DVDR if needed for stripping CP or maintaining 16:9 WS aspect from the source (for your backup copies only).
     
  3. Set or select the following:
    1. TV input. Lets you see what you're doing.
    2. DVDR drive. Select HDD or DVD drive. Copying direct to DVD has several advantages and one disadvantage, as described above.
    3. DVDR Source. Use SOURCE button to select E1/L1 or E2/L2 (or press 001 or 002), whichever you connected to in Step 1.
    4. DVDR Video Input. Use Video > Video In menu. "Video In" is for Composite YWR and "S-Video In" is for S-Video.
    5. DVDR Rec mode. Your eventual goal is to get title/tape on a single DVD, so match title/tape length to DVD rec mode. That is, 2-hours or less of title/tape run time recorded at any tape speed will fit on a single DVD if copied at 2-hr-SP rec mode. 6 hours of title/tape run time recorded at any tape speed will only fit on a single DVD if copied at 6-hr-SLP. See DVD limitations and lots of other info here.
    6. DVDR TV Aspect. Set DVDR Recording > TV Aspect to 16:9 Wide. It doesn't affect aspect of old 4:3 analog stuff, like all VHS tapes; aspect of 4:3 material is controlled solely by TV. On a 4:3 TV, it will display naturally; on a 16:9 HDTV, use TV control to show either "Normal" 4:3 or "Wide," depending on your pers. prefs for how it looks. However, this setting guarantees widescreen recording of 16:9 source. I have many 4:3 analog channels and don't like a 4:3 pic in the middle of my big 16:9 screen, so I don't switch my TV to show 4:3 in "Normal" aspect... keep the TV set for "Wide" and just accept the slight PQ degradation of 4:3 stuff stretched to fit the screen. If you're a PQ freak-nut, you prob. won't like this, so bite the bullet and keep switching!  More info here if needed.

      Note: Diff. STB/DVRs may or may not send a 16:9 WS program to this DVDR over their composite or S-Video outputs. See this help file for info on some that do and some that don't, and info on converters that can maintain the STB/DVR's 16:9 WS aspect from its Component or HDMI output to Composite YWR or S-Video for the DVDR.
       
  4. If source is a tape, run FF and REW to remove moisture and reseat the tape on the hubs, while ALSO noting the tape's run time, which you'll need to do an unattended copy (unless you use the DTD method described above and let the process run to DVD end).
     
  5. Start the VCR/DVR/camcorder/other device playing.
     
  6. When you see first pic on TV or just before first audio (if CD player), press the DVDR's REC button.
     
  7. If you know the original's run time, and you're NOT using the DTD procedure (letting copy run to DVD end), press the DVDR REC button multiple times in 30-min. increments, at start of rec or anytime during tape run, until you see the number of minutes/hours needed to cover the original's run time (or remaining time if you press REC late in the process). You can add up to 6 hours, then more REC presses recycle back to the 30 minutes, etc. The display then turns into a countdown clock showing remaining rec time. If you don't set a manual REC time when copying to the HDD, this DVDR will record until you shut it off with the STOP button, or 12 hours (11:59:59) max continuous in one title. On a DVD, copying stops when the DVD runs out of room if using my DTD procedure and you let the copy run to DVD end.
     
  8. When copying is complete, click on the index pic on disc, select Edit, then change Title Name and the Index Picture in the same Edit menu, as described here. (Mag 557 does not have Index Picture editing feature.)
     
  9. If the disc has an Empty Title that you don't want, Overwrite it as described here. (Applies to Mag DVDRs only.)
     
  10. Finalize the disc using the Disc Edit menu under General Settings.

 

You could also set a timer rec program for the length of the original and press PLAY on the source once the timer program starts on this DVDR.

See this help file on Editing if you want to create a custom title (recommended) and/or cut scenes from your copied tapes on the HDD before offloading to DVDs.

See this help file on Dubbing when you're ready to copy your tapes/titles from the HDD to DVDs.

See next section for some notes on copying commercial VHS movies to the HDD.

For a tape that shows too dark or too light thru this DVDR, one user with very bright tapes used a clever workaround to change brightness as he recorded to this DVDR's HDD: he set a Panny DMR-ES10, which has multiple darkness-control settings, in the path from his VCR to this DVDR's line input.

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

Notes on Copying Commercial VHS Tapes (for Backup Copies Only)

Don't Activate Menus on Player -While copying, don't activate any menus in the playing machine. Whatever you can see on the final output is being recorded!
 
Copy Protection (CP) - For backup copies of commercial VHS tapes and DVDs, you'll need a video stabilizer/converter between an external player and this DVDR. See this post for devices I've tested. Another device is the DPX-7000, which has been tested and approved by other AVS members... see post #37 and #42 here.

A step-by-step procedure and info for copying VHS tapes is in the subject just above this one.

Before buying a video stabilizer for comm. movies, try copying direct from VCR to this DVDR, no filter/stabilizer. I successfully copied 9 of 14 commercial movies from VHS tape to my 3575 and 2160 HDD and dubbed them in High-speed to DVDs, all without doing anything to defeat their copy protection. I used the front and rear RCA connections (E1/L1 and E2/L2), and the copies turned out great all the way thru to DVDs... no video disruption or audio/video loss or blackout.

TIP: In doing this, I ran into a situation that could easily affect others who might try to copy old movies or anything from a VCR or DVD player: I didn't select the drive before pressing the REC button.

If you don't switch manually to the drive you're using, pressing the REC button after starting the tape or DVD playing on the other machine will yield no response at all, and you might think this DVDR won't let you record that movie.

OR, if you do happen to have a DVD in this DVDR's drive and loaded, you'll most likely get a "can't copy" message since some CP will allow copying to a HDD but NOT to a DVD... has to do with the "portability" and "copyability" of the media.

So, make sure you've selected the correct drive (HDD/DVD) BEFORE starting a copy from an external source!

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

Removing Index Marks on VHS Tapes
This procedure was provided by CDToaster. If you have questions, you can contact him via PM here.

If you’re having trouble transferring VHS to DVD on recorders such as the Panasonic EZ-48, which automatically creates a new title at every index mark found on the tape, you’ll have to erase the index marks before transferring the tape to DVD.

First, acquire an Index-Mark-Erasing VCR such as the Mitsubishi HS-U69. The following procedure is for erasing index marks with this machine, therefore, your particular application may be different. You must use a tape with its Accidental Erasure Tab intact, or taped over.

When erasing a sequence of Index Marks, it’s best to start the tape from the beginning, reset the counter to zero, then progress through the tape in a FORWARD motion using Index Search. Going forward instead of in reverse allows you to work with only increasingly positive numbers.

Set the VCR’s Display mode to view the tape’s Time Counter on the VCR’s built-in Display panel because the “Erase Index Mark” screen, which you will use later, prevents a simultaneous display of it and the Time Counter on your TV monitor. You will do the edit while reading the numbers on the VCR’s Time Count display, NOT by viewing the tape’s playback image on the screen. You may find yourself having to toggle your viewing between the TV monitor and the VCR’s display to see the tape Time Counter which will always be either on the VCR’s display or on your TV monitor.

Each erasure uses 3 numbers, A, B, and C. Write them down.

A. Unless you know exactly where the Index Mark you want to erase begins, use Index Search (from either the Stop or Play mode) to find the first Index Mark. Press STOP immediately after Auto Playback begins, noting time “A.”

B. Subtract 5 sec from time “A” and write this down as time “B.” This is the time at which you will press the REC button on the Remote Control which begins the Erase Index Mark process.

C. Rewind the tape for approximately 10 sec from position “A,” and press Stop.

IMPORTANT:

D. On the Remote Control, bring up the Erase Index Mark screen using the menu and jog/shuttle rings.

E. With the Erase Index Mark instruction page displayed on your TV monitor, PLAY the tape while watching the time counter on the VCR’s display panel, holding your finger over the REC button.

F. Press REC on the Remote Control at time “B.”

DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON UNLESS THE TAPE IS PLAYING IN THE ERASE INDEX MARK MODE OR ELSE YOU WILL ERASE YOUR MASTER TAPE! BE CAREFUL!

A triangular Index Mark symbol lights STEADY on the VCR’s Display panel while it waits to detect the beginning of the upcoming Index Mark. After a few seconds, it will start to flash indicating it has detected the Index Mark and is erasing it. It will stop flashing and disappear when the Index Mark has been erased.

G. Press STOP after the Index Mark has been erased or Search for the next Index Mark and repeat the procedure.

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

Copying from DV Camera Using Firewire (IEEE 1394)
Before starting a copy to HDD or DVD, make sure you have enough time to complete before a timer rec is due to start. If not, the copying will stop and your disc will be ruined.

See Notes 6 & 7 above for info on rec. WS programs and using the STOP button while rec.

Connecting a DV camera to the DV input on this DVDR (Source E3 on 357x or L3 on 2160/513/515/53x/557) is the ONLY time you should have both units ON because a DV camera has to establish communications with this DVDR in a "handshake" procedure. That requires the DVDR to instantly "see" the camera thru the DV cable.

Here's the basic procedure for DV copying (DV cable is LAST):
  1. Select TV input this DVDR is connected to.
  2. Set DV camera for Video mode and for output in appropriate aspect.
  3. TURN BOTH UNITS ON (this DVDR and the camera).
  4. Select this DVDR's HDD drive.
  5. Select this DVDR's DV input (E3/L3) with Source button on remote.
  6. Rec mode. If going to DVD, match title/tape length to DVD rec mode. That is, 2-hours of title/tape recorded at any speed will fit on a DVD if copied to HDD at 2-hr-SP rec mode. 6 hours of title/tape recorded at any speed will only fit on a DVD if copied to HDD at 6-hr-SLP. See DVD limitations listed here.
  7. Set Recording > TV Aspect for "16:9 Wide" even if old 4:3 analog tapes. Aspect control of 4:3 material is controlled solely by TV. If 4:3 TV, it shows naturally. If 16:9 HDTV, use TV control to show either natural 4:3 or Wide/Stretched if you have a widescreen TV and your pers. prefs for how it looks. However, this setting guarantees widescreen recording of 16:9 source. More info here if needed.
  8. Finally, connect a 4-pin DV (firewire) cable from the camera to the front DV connection (E3/L3) on this DVDR.
  9. Refer to instructions in the manual for the copy operation:
    • 357x/2160 - pp 54-55.
    • 2160A - pp 55-57.
    • 513 - pp 56-58.
    • 515 - pp 57-59
    • 53x - pp 57-60
      .
    If you want to control your DV camera and this DVDR's recording function with this DVDR's remote, see the manual pages noted above.

 

If your DV recording is in widescreen (WS) 16:9 mode, make sure your Video > TV Aspect is set to 16:9 Wide. Actually, you should leave this DVDR set for 16:9 Wide for virtually all your recordings even if you don't have a 16:9 TV now cuz you WILL have one someday and you don't want your WS recordings "forever" squished by letterbox bars... I guarantee you'll be pi**ed off if that happens!

 

Note: All Panasonic digital Palmcorders have a "Cinema Mode" for shooting, which produces a WS pic. Other cameras prob. have a similar setting for WS. Make sure you've set this DVDR AND your camera for proper aspect when copying. PQ in your copy on this DVDR's HDD can be significantly affected if you have mismatched aspect settings. All this depends on your current TV and, more importantly, your FUTURE TV, which by all odds will be 16:9 widescreen aspect.

One user had a good idea but never reported actual results: he thought he could connect his camera to the firewire input, then feed video THRU THE CAMERA from another device (computer, STB, DVR) that the firewire (E3) connection wouldn't normally accept, and record to the HDD that way. Sounds like a brilliant idea and can't see why it wouldn't work?

One user reported that a widescreen DV camera recording copied to this DVDR in correct 16:9 aspect thru the DV input (E3).

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

The STOP Button

The STOP button works differently depending on the DVDR model and the activity at the time. Also, it only works on the drive selected at the time, so make sure you're on the active playback or recording drive before pressing STOP. This comes into play often if you're timer recording on one drive and playing a title on the other drive.

During PLAYBACK and MANUAL RECORDING
With any model, pressimg the STOP button during Playback and Manual Recording stops the playback/recording drive when that drive is active or selected. When playing a DVD and simultaneously recording manually on the HDD, you can STOP each activity by selecting that drive and pressing STOP once.

During DUBBING
To STOP a dub on the 3575/3576, the STOP button on the remote does nothing... you have to press the STOP button on the 3575/3576 front panel. On the 2160/513/515, the reverse is true: you can stop a dub by pressing and holding the STOP button on the remote for 2 sec. and answer Yes to dialog, but the STOP button on the front panel only stops playback, not a dub.

During TIMER RECORDING
The STOP button on the 3575/3576 will STOP a timer rec with one press, which is dangerous while simultaneously playing something from the HDD (but not from a DVD since that drive is the active drive). Pressing STOP once stops the HDD playback and pressing STOP a 2nd time will stop the HDD timer rec. On the 2160/513/515, pressing STOP brings up a dialog you have answer Yes, which stops the timer rec.

When Resuming after a playback STOP, the video "rewinds" ~3 sec, so a short portion will be replayed, assuring that you won't miss even a syllable.

One other "neat" way to stop playback on these DVDRs WITHOUT affecting a simultaneous recording is to use the HDD and DVD drive buttons. Switching between these while playing a title and simul-recording stops ONLY the playback, leaving it in Resume position... recording continues unless you then press STOP. This works the same for both drives and is safer than using the STOP button while recording, esp. on the 3575/3576, since the drive buttons are far removed from the pesky STOP button (less chance of an accident).

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

Copying Titles from HDD to HDD

Two methods for copying titles from the HDD of one DVDR to the HDD of another DVDR without machine teardown, HDD removal, PC, etc

1. From One PhilMag DVDR to Other DVDR or PC with Video/Audio Input Card.

Only way I've found to "batch" copy titles from one of our DVDRs to another unit's HDD w/o teardown is to set up a dub list of 6-hours worth of titles and dub that w/internal drives to a RW disc at SLP rec mode (select SLP in dub menu), while simultaneously copying to the HDD of the other machine via the analog I/O (normal external copying). Repeat for all desired titles in 6-hour increments. No single title can be over 4:59:59 for a SLP dub. This has to be a RTD to get normal output of what's being dubbed, i.e., can't use HSD.

 

If totally unattended, each title will have the "Writing to disc" stuff a normal dub adds at the end, but this can be deleted in edit on the other machine. If you babysit the copying, you could come back for the end of each title and press PAUSE on the copying machine and wait for start of the next title to continue REC.


The picture coming from the outputs of the playing machine will not be in SLP quality, it'll be in the quality of the original titles on the playing machine.

 

Since THIS has suddenly become a point of contention from our resident "argumentarian," you can test this yourself as follows:

1. Record short section of live TV at 2-hr-SP with text as part of pic, like an ESPN talk show. Notice normal "2-hr-quality appearance" while its playing... this is what your 2nd recorder/HDD will see and record.

2. Dub that to a disc in real-time at 6-hr-SLP, while noticing the SAME "2-hr-SP-quality appearance" during the RTD.

3. Play disc copy and notice the obvious quality difference, especially edges of text. Talking heads on ESPN should look GREAT but they'll look exactly like 6-hr-SLP quality, cuz it is on the disc!

 

This test will show that what you see, and what gets passed thru to the other HDD, during a RTD is the original quality of the recorded title(s), even tho you may be dubbing it at a much lower quality at the time..

2. From Pioneer, Panasonic or Other DVDR with "Playlist" Feature to PhilMag DVDR.

If the titles you want to get on this DVDR's HDD are on a Panasonic, Pioneer or other recorder with auto-play, program-play, Play-Mode menu (Pioneers) or Playlist menu (Panasonic), you can set it to play titles from its HDD to the HDD of this DVDR. (Also works for DVD titles if the machine can program-play them as well.)

Set a play program in the other DVDR, up to 12-hours worth of titles in the order you want (or any order since you'll be separating the titles on the Mag HDD later). Start the titles playing, press REC on this DVDR, and this DVDR will record continuously for 12 hours (11:59:59 to be exact).

 

Note: Don't activate any menus on the playing machine since those will most likely get recorded as part of the video (whatever you see on screen you will record).

Before recording, you can pre-set this DVDR's Recording > Auto Chapter menu to 30- or 60-minute interval to make finding title breaks easier. Then, in the Edit menu, use the NEXT button to make big single moves that should get you close to the ends of typical titles. Use SKIP and REPLAY to make smaller single moves, then FF/REW as usual.

 

Once a batch of titles is on this DVDR's HDD, use the Scene Delete and Divide features in the Edit menu to clean transitions and separate into titles on this DVDR's HDD.

(This DVDR can't auto-play titles from the HDD, only from DVDs, so you can't reverse this HDD>HDD procedure.)

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PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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RECORD SPORTS

 

Recording football is a PITA! - wajo 11/23/07
And it's not this DVDR, it's the %#&@ networks that don't bring their best stuff to the game... HD cameras, HD feed, etc. So far, only ESPN-HD and NBC-HD are worth a shitzu in my analog cable feed!

Jump To:
Notes
Fast Movement and This DVDR's MPEG-2 Encoder
Three Methods for Recording Sports with Good to Unbeatable PQ
Effect of the Broadcast Network on Your Recording Result
The 21-Stage Tour de France

Notes

  1. Be careful with the REC MODE button, as described here.
  2. Be careful with the STOP button on the 3575/3576, as described here.
  3. Set the TV Aspect to 16:9 Wide for games on digital channels, as described here.
  4. Remember Rule #1 for Hi-Quality Recording: It all depends on the source, esp. for sports.

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

Fast Movement and This DVDR's MPEG-2 Encoder

Fast movement is NOT a problem for our DVDRs. Auto racing (even the zip-zip of cars passing by the wall-camera), basketball, baseball, hockey, wrestling, etc. are pretty easy for this DVDR to record with quality, but football and soccer can be a PITA!

The main problem with football and soccer is the LSOSBFWLPMIDD Effect... Long Shot Of Static Big Field With Little People Moving In Different Directions. That's cuz it's difficult to render adequately in a consumer-level SDTV recorder using an MPEG-2 encoder and compression algorithm. Our DVDRs work in a highly compressed, virtual, and predictive world... not like film where every frame is a complete picture.

Obviously, if you just want to record, watch and delete LSOSBFWLPMIDD sports, you can use 1-hr-HQ mode and get outstanding PQ, even on large LCD and plasma HDTV's. But, it's another story if you want to record at a longer rec mode so you can HS dub the entire game to a single DVD.

Our encoder creates video in multi-frame Groups of Pictures (GOP) typically consisting of 1 real compressed "key" frame followed by a varying number of virtual (2-10% of key) frames that are predicted in backward/forward-looking relation to key frames. That is, they're ALL "artificial" pics created with just a few digital bits and a motion vector that predicts movement. (Creating GOPs is one thing the encoder is doing during the 3-sec buffer/cache time between signal input and actual MPEG-2 write-to-disc.)

The MPEG-2 encoder creates an entire pic frame based on an instantaneous "global" assessment of what's happening. If it sees a large green, stationary field that's NOT moving, it doesn't need many VBR bits for that. But then, those tiny little people running around on that big green field are also rendered with the same low bit rate and there's either a weak motion vector or a "confused" one that's used for 98% of the pic frame... the unmoving field. It doesn't say, "Hey, I need more bits and a more-accurate motion vector in this little moving spot and that one"... at least, I've never heard my encoder say that!

So... you might notice some slightly "hairy" edges on players moving fast in the long shots if you record at the longer rec modes like 4-hr-EP or 6-hr-SLP (on ESPN-HD or NBC-HD). 1-hr-HQ and 2-hr-SP are very good and 2½-hr-SPP can also be good if the source is digital/HD on a network like ESPN or NBC's Sunday Night Football.

While this DVDR might produce some "hairy" edges on small, fast-moving objects at very-long rec modes, other DVDRs can produce macroblocking, stuttering and jagged lines on the field, even at higher-quality rec modes.

I haven't seen any of that in my 3575 or 2160 at ANY rec mode after MANY tests... possibly due to Philips work on the MPEG-2 codecs used in these DVDRs. In Nov 2007, I posted about the great PQ I was seeing even at longer rec modes from my downrezzed digital HD channels and wondered if Philips had developed a "different algorithm" for MPEG-2 encoding or something. Shortly thereafter, my question was answered when I read a magazine article about the "big four" codec producers [Zoran, ESS, LSI and Philips] and who's doing what with their DVD chips, part of which reads:

"Philips is adding to its new MPEG-2 CODEC optimized hardware blocks for running new picture improvement algorithms such as adaptive picture sharpness detection and deblocking* artifacts removal."

Philips' continuing development of its own MPEG-2 codecs might also explain why this DVDR doesn't show "macroblocking" or "stuttering" on fast moving objects or jagged lines on the field, AT ANY REC MODE, like some other DVDRs do.

In football games, other problems come from the length of the game vs DVD capacity, the varying quality of the camera equipment (SD/HD), and the broadcast method (analog/cable/HD).

I've done lots of tests trying to understand the MPEG-2 encoder in this DVDR as we see it. I've used the bit-rate meter on my Pio 640 to review various sports action recorded with my 3575 or 2160 and watching for specific Mbps changes.

In these tests, I found that movement, by itself, is NOT difficult for this DVDR's MPEG-2 encoder to capture with good resolution; where it has to work hard is in big scene changes (new key frames). Large spikes in bit rate occur consistently at drastic scene changes, like from the CU of a face to a car explosion. Just going from black (no video) to white (max. video) can spike from 2 to 10 Mbps.

Note: This uptick in Mbps at scene changes only occurs in home-made discs, not in commercial movies, which are produced a different way... for example, professional encoders can create key frames wherever they want. Commercial movies move from scene to scene much more "seamlessly" than home-made discs.
I recorded a NASCAR race in 2-hr-SP mode (normal bit rate: 5 Mbps), and the cars racing around the track kept the bit-rate meter almost constant around 2.5 Mbps on shots from all cameras (in-car and outside static and panning/tracking cameras)... even on long shots of cars moving fast around the track with out-of-focus background, with stands and people coming into view suddenly, as well as closeups of the cars racing by a stationary wall camera... doesn't get much faster than the zip-zip of BIG, CLOSEUP cars moving by. This is where I first realized that predictable movement by relatively large, fast-moving objects is no problem at all for this DVDR.

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

Three Methods for Recording Sports with Good to Unbeatable PQ

Below are three methods for recording an NFL Football Game, the most difficult sport if it has to fit on a DVD. That difficulty comes from not only from the LSOSBFWLPMIDD Effect, but also from the quality expectations of die-hard fans.

Choosing a method depends on how "important" the game is to you and your die-hardness. (Same tips apply to ANY fast-action field sport.)

If you plan to just watch and delete later, use 1-hr-HQ and record for up to 12 hours, as necessary. If you want to put the game on a DVD, see the three recommended methods below.

One thing I found in my tests of these methods was that, altho unedited game-time is unpredictable, the *typical* CORE game-time (whole game minus only commercial breaks and halftime) is just a little over 2 hours, so core game-time will fit on a std DVD using 2-hr-SP rec mode and HSD, the ultimate goal for football. That 2+ hours should be true for most ANY game, even tho some games, like the Super Bowl, will have more "fluff" packaged around their game-time.

Note on "Quality": These procedures should produce good to unbeatable SD PQ for a Professional (NFL) game and only IF shot with HD cameras and broadcast on digital/HD channel. NBC-HD and ESPN-HD seem to be the best networks for using HD equipment from game cameras to broadcast uplink, i.e., a complete "HD package." Based on the low quality of my analog cable feed, even tho on a digital channel, I'd have to assume a better source like OTA HD should produce even better results than I've seen in my tests!

1. A So-So Game and You're Lazy - Deleting SOME Non-Game Stuff But Only If Necessary
. . Use 3-hr-LP for OK PQ on Long Shots and Good PQ on Closer Shots... See Note on "Quality" Above
  1. Set timer program for 4 hours or so. depending on how "safe" you want to be in capturing all the action, incl. any possible overtimes. Max. timer is 11:59 hours.
  2. Set rec mode in timer program for LP.
  3. Post-Game: If game runs longer than 3-hours, delete one or more commercials and other non-game stuff until run time shows 3:20:00 or less.
  4. High-speed dub (HSD) to ONE std DVD±R.
  5. If HSD not allowed, delete 10-15 more sec and try again. Repeat until HSD allowed.
     
2. An Important Game - Deleting All Non-Game Stuff
. . Use 2-hr-SP for EXCELLENT PQ on ENTIRE GAME-PLAY (All Shots)... See Note on "Quality" Above
  1. Set timer program for 4 hours or so. depending on how "safe" you want to be in capturing all the action, incl. any possible overtimes. Max. timer is 11:59 hours.
  2. Set rec mode in timer program for SP.
  3. Post-Game: Delete (only) pre- and post-game, half-time and commercials until run time shows 2:08:00 or less. If still over that, there's a lot of opportunities to cut one or more timeouts or between-play crap.
  4. High-speed dub (HSD) to ONE std DVD±R.
  5. If HSD not allowed, delete 10-15 more sec and try again. Repeat until HSD allowed.
     
3. The Most-Important Game - Keeping It ALL and Deleting Virtually Nothing
. . Use 1-hr-HQ for UNBEATABLE PQ on the Whole Shebang... See Note on "Quality" Above
  1. Set timer program for 4 hours or so. depending on how "safe" you want to be in capturing all the action, incl. any possible overtimes. Max. timer is 11:59 hours.
  2. Set rec mode in timer program for HQ.
  3. Post-Game: Change Title Name to most basic info, like Packers v Bears, but leave enough space to add section or Qtr # after Dividing. A total of 30 characters/spaces allowed.
  4. Divide into separate Qtrs/sections with run time of no more than 1:04:55 each.
  5. Use Change Title Name again to add -1, -2, etc. or 1st Qtr, 2nd Qtr, etc. at end of main title.
  6. High-speed dub (HSD) each title to a std DVD±R.
  7. If HSD not allowed on a title, delete 10-15 sec and try again. Repeat until HSD allowed.
     
See procedure for Changing Title Name.

See procedure for Scene Delete and Divide here, much of it undocumented elsewhere.

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

Effect of the Broadcast Network on Your Recording Result

Some Network sports broadcasts are very spotty... and that's being kind! Two very different examples:
  1. I was going to rec an ABC NFL Monday Night Football (MNF) pre-season game being broadcast only on an ABC SD channel, but aborted it when I saw the live pic... the field shots looked like "previously recorded" VHS tape @4-hr-LP while the booth shots were their normal brilliance. I did a short rec test and, needless to say, the game portion rec. at 3-hr-LP looked pretty bad since it was awful to start with... players standing still had "hairy edges" IN THE LIVE PIC... I kid you not! I'm thinking the game was either a tape replay, or they used SD cameras for the game and HD cameras for booth shots cuz the announcers looked great!?
     
  2. Sep 16 2008 - I tried another 3-hr-LP recording of a MNF game except this time on a digital ESPN HD channel, which has 2008's MNF broadcast contract... aha, that's why ABC's MNF game was so crappy while booth shots were brilliant, they didn't have rights to the game footage so they were using a copy of a copy! Anyway, the results on ESPN were VERY GOOD... long shots had SOME small signs of roughness, but all other camera shots were VERY GOOD! Once again, however, 3-hours was NOT QUITE long enough for the timer rec program... stopped short about 00:06:30 left on game clock. So, once again, it appears that a timer program should be set for 3-1/2-hours (3:30:00), then delete some commercials to get total time down to ~3:18:00-3:20:00 for HSD, dep. on number of edits. Even better, if you don't need halftime, rec 3-1/2-hours at 2-hr-SP and cut ALL commercials (and halftime) to get down to ~2:08:00 for HSD.

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The 21-Stage Tour de France

Scuzzo report on 21-Stage Tour de France.

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RECORD CLOSED CAPTIONS (CC)

 

Closed captioning can be so confusing to some (me) that I feel obligated to make this opening statement:

 

"The whole CC area is a ball of poisonous snakes! I'd rather explain the origin of the universe cuz that's simple compared to CC."

wajo 11/23/07

 

Analog CC are what the Feds mandated in 1990 to be in *all* programming and user-visible with a TV control... just a couple of snakes, In 1996, DTV CC was mandated.,, creating the "ball of snakes" I mentioned above. Lots more details in this Wiki article on Closed captioning. Also, here's a FCC Fact Sheet.

 

Analog and digital (DTV) CC are created in accordance with totally different standards. Old recorders can't record the new DTV CC and old analog TVs can't display them natively... analog TVs need the source to provide DTV CC.

 

To VIEW and RECORD Analog CC

 

  1. All live and recorded analog CC will be present *only* on analog channels.
    As always, exceptions apply, so don't get your panties in a wad!
     
  2. All DVDRs must record analog CC if present in the program, without user action.
    This requires NO setting or action by you. Analog CC are contained in the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI, or space between interlaced frames that we don't see), so they're always a part of interlaced analog video (the original TV standard that continues today). Not all programs have CC, either analog or digital. and not all programs are produced/broadcast in interlaced format.
     
  3. Analog CC can be seen on playback by using the TV's CC control.
    Set TV's CC control to CC1 (for English). Most DVDRs don't have an analog CC on/off setting cuz they're always in the VBI and a TV setting controls on/off. Some players and recorders (old Toshibas and others?) have a built-in CC decoder like a TV and can send CC over HDMI and Component, even with Progressive scan.
     
  4. Both HDMI and Progressive Scan (PS) ON strip analog CC during playback.
    CC are still in the unseen VBI but can't be displayed. Use a diff. connection type and/or turn PS OFF.
     
  5. See Important Notes below.

 

To VIEW and RECORD DTV (Digital) CC

 

  1. DTV CC will be present *only* on digital channels.
    As always, exceptions apply, so don't get your panties in a wad!
     
  2. All units can be set to display DTV CC but only the Magnavox 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557 can also be set to record DTV CC.
     
  3. Live DTV CC viewing thru TV:
    My HDTVs can turn analog CC on and off with a CC button on the remote, but I need to use a menu to turn DTV CC on and off. Your HDTV may also be an odd duck on DTV CC!?
     
  4. Live DTV CC viewing thru DVDR (all models):
    Change DTV CC > Caption Service from OFF to Service1 (English), Service2 (Spanish), etc. Each Service option is for a diff. language or CC type.

    Digital CC display and are viewable via any connection type and with Progressive Scan on or off.

    If you don't see DTV CC on screen with proper settings while on a digital channel, it's because that program is analog or doesn't have DTV CC embedded, or ???.
     
  5. To record DTV CC (2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557 only):
    Caption Service must be set per #4 above to activate the menu option for Recording. Click the Recording option and select ON. The DTV CC (if present) will be burned into the visible portion (frames) of your recordings, so they can't be turned off like analog CC can. (The 357x can only display digital CC, it can't record them.)

    A manual or timer rec won't record (burn in) DTV CC if you just turn a Caption Service on but don't turn Recording ON. However, with just a Caption Service on, they will get recorded in the buffer even when NOT recording (recording turns autorec off). If you turn the Display menu on while on a digital channel, the buffer will also record the 1st Display screen if you activate it... the one with the DTV signal strength meter

    To stop Recording, you can leave Recording ON and turn Caption Service OFF to deactivate the Recording function. Then turn ON again just by selecting a Caption Service.

    If you don't see DTV CC on screen with proper settings while on a digital channel, it's because that program is analog or doesn't have DTV CC embedded, or ???.
     
  6. To customize DTV CC display:
    Open Display > CC Style > User Settings menu and select ON, then make desired format changes in the next menus that now become active.
     
  7. See Important Notes below.
 

Important Notes on CC

 

  1. CC may not appear instantly.
    It CAN take several sec for analog CC to begin displaying on screen... I've seen a delay of up to 60-sec on occasion. Programs and commercials have their own CC data so there will be slight gaps in CC display as each program or comm. gets its own CC started. As with everything else CC, you have to have the patience of a Zen Buddhist Snake-charmer!
     
  2. Analog CC can't be seen during playback thru HDMI or thru Component RGB with Progressive Scan ON.
    Analog CC DO display thru this DVDR's Component connection IF Progressive Scan is OFF. Analog CC is recorded in the unseen space (VBI) between fields of an interlaced pic (2 fields per frame). Switching playback to a progressive mode for Component or sending a digital signal over HDMI (even 1080i) "strips" analog CC since they change the field/frame structure of a basic interlaced signal. One user of a different DVDR checked his line outputs with a scope and found no analog CC passing thru Component outputs with or without Progressive scan on, so some OTHER DVDRs may not pass analog CC thru Component regardless of scan type. For those OTHER DVDRs, analog CC are still in your recordings, but you may have to use a Composite or S-Video connection, where the signal to the TV will always be interlaced even if Progressive scan is on... a "no-strip" zone, so to speak!

    DTV CC display and are viewable via any connection type and with Progressive Scan or off.
     
  3. IF you think you're recording CC on a cable TV digital channel with the 3575/6, it means that channel is not really a digital channel since the 3575/6 can't record true DTV CC. (See this on "digital" channels that may actually be analog.)

    One way to tell if a cable channel or program on that channel is analog or digital (if you don't have a Tivo which has that ability) is to tune a digital channel directly on your HDTV and open the TV's setup menu option for CC. If the channel and program are digital, the DTV CC option will be active. If the channel or program is analog, only the analog CC option will be active. At least, that's how my 3 Vizio LCDs work.

    Another "trick" is to turn Caption Service1 on and tune to a KNOWN digital cable channel. If CC appear (may some time top 1st appear), that channel is digital from the head end (assuming the program shown has DTV CC). I do this by finding a digital channel that shows DTV CC, then switch to that channel's analog counterpart, which won't show the same DTV CC.
     
  4. Some external signal converters/copy-protection strippers will strip CC. See this help file for some that do and don't.
     
  5. Analog CC won't display during Rapid Play or FF since they're controlled solely by your TV. Most likely caused by inability to read the fast-moving VBI CC lines at an accelerated playback speed.

    DTV CC will display during Rapid Play if you recorded that program with DTV CC Service1 and Recording ON because the CC are burned in.

    DTV CC will also display during Rapid Play of the AR buffer if you had Service1 ON during the buffer recording time. Don't need Recording on for this.
     
  6. Some discs/programs use Second Audio Program (SAP) as an option for CC. Solution: turn on SAP.
     
  7. Subtitles can also be used as an option for CC in commercial DVDs/movies, and they will display regardless of any DVDR or TV settings, DVDR connection type or Progressive Scan setting. Solution: turn on Subtitles in your language, usually listed as an option in the DVD setup/settings menu.
     
  8. One notable feature of this DVDR's Zoom is that it maintains text size and position in commercial DVDs when zooming to any ratio: 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, or 2.0X. Using the zoom on virtually all 16:9 TV's enlarges text and sends some of it off-screen.



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UPCONVERT, SIMULTANEOUS PLAY/RECORD, CHASE PLAY

Jump To:
Note
Upconvert
Simultaneous Play/Record
Chase Play
Chase Play Back-to-Back (BTB) Timer Recordings
USING YOUR DVDR AS A DVD PLAYER

Note

Be careful with the STOP button on the 3575/3576 while a normal recording is in progress thru the REC button or a timer program. Click here for more info on using the STOP button.

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Upconverting

These DVDRs can upconvert live TV and HDD/DVD playback over HDMI.

To upconvert to 1080p or other rez, you "activate" it for first use by pressing the HDMI button on the remote, which starts HDMI at 480p. Each press of the button then changes rez to 720p, 1080i and 1080p, then starts over at 480p. Any rez your TV can't support is skipped.

On "Expectations": Don't expect upconversion to do anything "magical" with an analog channel received via cable TV... that's a bit-starved composite crap signal (all video signals mixed together and compressed), and you can't make a silk purse out of that sow's ear!

However, upconverting can make stuff produced with component video (analog YPbPr or digital YCbCr) look better on a good TV, like HD channels from an OTA antenna and from commercial DVDs, which are produced with digital component video (YCbCr). Even that assumes you've got a good TV and the appropriate DVDR settings for your system.

I use 480p with my HDMI and let my good HDTV do the upconverting to its native 1080p rez cuz I don't see much improvement in my live pic or home recordings compared to my composite cable TV signal, but MANY others report they do see a noticeable PQ improvement when they upconvert... MUCH depends on your source (OTA, digital cable, ?) and/or TV.

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Simultaneous Play/Record

You can play an already recorded HDD title or a DVD while this DVDR is recording something else.

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Chase Play

Chase play allows you to watch a show from its beginning while it's still being recorded on the HDD. The recording needs a 3 sec. head start before you can chase-play it, and you can only chase PLAY to within 3 sec. of the live show. (DVDs can't be chase played... only DVD-RAM discs, which this DVDR can't use.)

That 3-sec. is the "buffer" between the data read from the incoming signal and stored in the HDD's cache before it's written to the HDD. Essentially, it's what alllows us to play and record a show at the same time, i.e., the data read and written are at different points in time, but never closer than that 3-sec. buffer cuz that's not been written to the HDD yet.

With a manual or timer recording to the HDD in progress, press PLAY and start watching from the beginning until you catch up to within 3-sec. of the live recording. You don't have to go to the title menu to play since the PLAY-button priority is 1-Whatever's recording, 2-Last title left in Resume position, 3-Last title recorded. This priority persists even after turning the unit off and back on again.

Hint: To see where you are in chase play vs. the live show, press the INFO button (Philips) or DISPLAY button (Mag) and the counter will show your play position in left-counter and the live recording position in right-counter.

While chasing, you can SKIP commercials, FF, etc except the ability for any fast-speed play/skip ends sooner, i.e., it only lets you PLAY when you get ~3-4 min. from the end.

To stop Chase Play, press either PAUSE or STOP (1 time). PAUSE freezes playback for ~20 min. then reverts to live TV. Press PLAY to continue watching. You can also Press STOP once to go to live TV. After a STOP, your chase play will be left in a "Resume" position. That position is remembered even when the recording stops and even if you turn the unit off, and it never "times out" like a PAUSE can.

If your chase play catches up to the live show, it auto-stops the playback and switches to the live show... an info message appears on screen. You'll miss the 3-sec buffer between what you watched and what's being recorded.

If you just CAN'T miss that 3-sec of buffer cuz it happens in a crucial part of the show, you can keep chase playing after you get the message by pressing PLAY again. Then, keep playing till the start of the next commercial and press STOP. Now, you'll be live IN A COMMERCIAL and you can watch live from there on!?

When recording stops, you won't notice any difference. You can continure normal playback cuz the entire program is now on the HDD, available for watching again, dubbing to DVD, or deleting, and its previously watched Resume position will be remembered if you didn't watch it all the way thru already.

See the Note above on using the STOP button.

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Chase Play Back-to-Back (BTB) Timer Recordings

I tested a Chase Play of FOUR back-to-back (BTB) timer-recorded shows on different channels (could be on same channels), where the end time of program 1 is the same as the start time of program 2, etc.

If you start Chase Play on Program 1 while it's still recording, it PLAYS THRU THE CHANNEL SWITCH AND START OF RECORDING ON PROGRAM 2... the only "blip" you'll see is the 3-sec buffer write to HDD.

If Program 1 has finished recording and you're into Program 2, 3, etc. and you press PLAY, the show currently recording will start playing., and IT will play seamlessly into the next program IF it's still recording, and the next, etc.

While any subsequent Program is still recording, you can go back to any other program anytime and play it by going to the normal Title menu or the INFO menu (T1, T2, etc.) and selecting it. (Programs must be over 3-4 minutes long or you can't get to the title menu... same thing that prevents FF, SKIP, etc. during last 3-4 minutes of a program being chased.)

Titles that you've chased, even if just the first frame, will NOT show the normal "New" in the Title menu. Titles you haven't chased will be obvious cuz of the "New" indication on the index pic. If using the INFO/DISPLAY menu, each title selected to play will play back from first frame, regardless of their Resume position.

Hint: Since you only miss 3 sec. of the 2nd and subsequent shows in a back-to-back series of recordings, people who like ALL their shows to be in separate titles, even those on the same channel, can do this by setting back-to-back recordings rather than one "block" of recording, e.g., 7:00-8:00, 8:00-9:00, 9:00-10:00, tather than 7:00-10:00.

 

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post #17 of 26027 Old 11-23-2007, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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EDIT WITH THIS DVDR (NO PC/MAC)

Jump To:
Editing Ops Available... Name Title, Delete Title, Delete Scene, Divide Title, Protect Title, Add/Delete Chapter, Index Pic
Planning Ahead for Divide and Delete
Special Notes on Divide/Delete and Edit-Point Accuracy after HSD
Protect a HDD Title
Edit Title Name
Change Index Pic
UNDOCUMENTED PROCEDURES FOR MAKING FRONT- AND END-CUTS
SCENE DELETE, FRONT-CUT -- Delete Frame 1 to New Beginning Frame
SCENE DELETE, END-CUT - Delete from New Last Frame to End of Title
SCENE DELETE, MID-CUT - Delete a Scene or Commercial in "Middle" of Title
Effect of Scene Deletes on Playback
DIVIDE/SPLIT a Title
How To Avoid DIVIDE Altogether in Timer Recording!
Placing and Editing Chapter Marks
Hiding and Unhiding Chapter Marks
Reserving Space on the HDD for Complex Editing
How to Watch, Edit and Make DVD Copy at Same Time!
Editing +RW DVD Discs and Assuring They Play and Show Edits on Other Machines

 

Note: The Edit menu will be grayed out at the 2-minute mark before a scheduled timer rec. If in the Edit menu at that point, the Edit menu will revert to the main Edit menu and not allow you to continue editing, The timer rec will start at the scheduled time.


Editing Ops Available... Name Title, Delete Title, Delete Scene, Divide Title, Protect Title, Add/Delete Chapter, Index Pic

This DVDR has a very simple and intuitive editing interface for performing the most important editing tasks most normal people need: titling, deleting scenes, dividing titles, and chaptering. No deeply embedded menus, editing on "virtual" copies, or other bells-and-whistles for gearheads... sorry!

A list of available editing functions is shown below (557 adds Combine Titles but deletes Index Picture or Making edits compatible).



Finalizing is done with the General Setting > Disc Edit menu.

For each Edit op on an HDD or DVD title:

  1. Select approp. drive with HDD or DVD button.
  2. Press TITLE button for either HDD or DVD or DISC MENU button for DVD.
  3. Select/highlight the title's index pic with the arrow keys (NEXT/PREV for page moves on HDD or left-right arrow keys for DVD), then press OK.
  4. In the menu that pops up, highlight Edit and press OK.
  5. In the Edit menu, select the Edit option desired, as shown below.
  6. Perform the chosen edit function as described in the sections below.

 



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Planning Ahead for Divide and Delete

How you record multiple, sequential shows off TV or copy shows from VHS tape can depend on if you plan to Edit them.

If your main interest is watch-and-delete, you'll seldom need the Editing functions. You can record sequential shows on TV that appear on the same channel as one multi-show title cuz you're just going to Delete it anyway. If you want to watch show #2 or #3 directly, this DVDR has an excellent and "intelligent" Search menu for that, as described here!

You can also record all your shows as individual titles, even if they're back-to-back on different channels. You'll lose only 3- to 6-sec of succeeding shows, depending on if they're on analog or digital channels.

If you have a copy project involving a "series" of shows or episodes, you can record them on the HDD in one title by PAUSING between each show/episode, then change the title name and Divide into logical sections or episodes. Each Divided show/episode will already have the MAIN title, and you'll only have to add an episode name, number or date to differentiate them.

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

Special Notes on Divide/Delete and Edit-Point Accuracy after HSD

 

  1. DIVIDE - Don't use Divide BEFORE Scene Delete in a 3575/3576. Not a problem in 2160/A or 513/515/53x/557. More info on this below, incl. How To Avoid Divide Altogether in Timer Recording! Also, THERE IS NO "COMBINE" so make sure your Divides are what and where you want them to be.
     
  2. EDIT-POINT ACCURACY AFTER HSD - Scene Deletes set a "virtual" chapter mark to define where to pass over a "deleted" section of video during playback or dubbing. Those sections are never truly deleted, they just lose their "addressing" pointer so the OS skips them... same for a Title.

    The virtual marks (edit points) you set can look right on in Preview but they can move, usually BACKWARD (LATER) from your chosen frame IF you use high-speed dub (HSD) for a DVD. Only a real-time dub (RTD) will maintain edit-point accuracy.

    This movement is done automatically during HSD to comply with DVD/MPEG-2 rules as to location and spacing of chapter marks... must be on Index or Key frames, normally every 15th frame in our units. This movement is always LATER to the next available Key frame, never forward. Our simple, single-pass units aren't able to move marks forward or create new Key frames, as some other systems can, even tho a key frame already passed by may be closer.

    I can't be exact in this except to suggest that movement in our units after HSD can start close to set-point but grow progressively later as you edit from beginning to end of a long title.* In my tests of a 2-hr-SP title with a 3575 and 513, my first cuts within the front portion of the title ended up from 1-5 frames later than set-point and got progressively later until ~10-14 frames towards the end. It also appeared that my 513 was a little more accurate than my 3575. My experience only... YMMVBDBMIJTM (Your Marks May Vary But Don't Blame Me I'm Just The Messenger).

    Also remember: this movement is only applicable if you plan to HSD, and (2) a Preview will NOT show the effects of a HSD on edit points so your "adjusted" points might look "wrong" in Preview (which could be a good thing)!


    *I tested on a CNBC show that has a running double-banner at bottom of screen, with Dow numbers running slowly in top banner and S&P running faster in bottom banner . Both banners have diamond-shaped indicators of last trade either green or red and facing up or down. I set my cuts on those times the bottom banner had a directly opposing diamond to one in the top banner. This provided a visual clue to where I made the cuts and what happened to them after HSD.

 

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Protect a HDD Title

To prevent accidental deletion of a title on the HDD, press OK on the index pic, select Protect, press OK on the only selection there, OFF>ON. Selection changes to ON>OFF which can be used to revert to unprotected.

Press Return/Back button to get out of the menu.

Protecting only prevents Editing and Deleting without specifically selecting Delete All Titles in the Menu > HDD Menu instead of the Delete All Protected Titles option.

You can Play, Dub and Finalize normally.

Only for Edit would you need to reverse the Protection in the same Edit > Protect menu. It'll "look" like you're editing, but it won't take.

We use the Protect icon to show which titles we've watched when we do our once-a-year fill-up-the HDD routine to prevent "bit fade," which experts say can happen by recording/deleting ONLY on the same HDD sectors all the time. See this help file for more info.

A multi-person household can also use the Protect icons to indicate Titles the stay-at-home member has watched so the working member knows those are Titles he/she has NOT watched. (FWIW, I've added an option to Item 18 in Wish List #1 to allow re-marking watched titles with a "New" icon for this purpose.)

You can delete Protected titles individually or use the HDD Menu > Delete All Protected Titles or > Delete All Titles to delete Protected titles when desired.

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Edit Title Name

This DVDR auto-titles shows on the HDD, after recording, with a 2-line "generic" title:

1st line: RecDate - RecStartTime - Ch - RecMode
2nd line: RecStartTime - (Length) - RecDate - Ch - RecMode

After recording, you can use the Edit menu to change the 1st line to something more descriptive of the contents. The 2nd line can't be changed. However, the 515/53x/557 adds day-of-week recorded to the above-noted info.

The 515/53x/557 can also pre-title that 1st line, like "CSI," for timer recordings, as described here. If not pre-titled, the 515/53x/557 defaults to the generic date/time on the 1st line, just like the other models.

The 2160A and 513 can be updated by you to operate just like a 515/53x/557, incl. pre-titling of timer rec programs. if you install SuperFW 727V, as described here.

 

Titling Procedure:

 

  1. With proper drive selected, press Title button on remote (if DVD, disc must be loaded).
     
  2. Highlight desired title with arrow keys (NEXT/PREV for page moves), press OK on title, then select Edit > Edit Title Name. 1st letter in auto-title line at bottom is highlighted and capital letters are checked in side menu (515/53x/557 pre-titling with timer Program Change menu starts here). You can have only 30 combined characters and spaces in a title.
     
  3. To delete an existing title entirely, press CLEAR button and hold. To erase a letter or space midstream, press CLEAR button once over a letter or space, or hold down and erase all letters one at a time as the cursor moves backwards.
     
  4. Start new title by pressing a 2-9 key for 1st letter/character, like cell-phone texting. See key/character-set chart below. Keep adding letters at right. Cursor auto-moves right as long as the letter is diff. than the last... if the same, like "TT", arrow right to add the 2nd letter. At end of 1st word, right arrow twice to start a new word.

    Remote Key/Character Matrix


    *1 = Press "1" key to automatically select the @!? character set. Keep pressing to ratchet thru all 29 characters. The character you stop on will be placed at cursor location. If you go by the character you want, you'll have to keep pressing "1" to ratchet back. Characters at left are in order of appearance. The dash key is 13 presses, the / is 15 presses, and you'll learn your favorites as you do more titling. When done with symbols, press any other number, 2-9, to auto-revert to the previous letter option you were using.

    *2 = UP and DOWN arrows move you to the side menu, where you select a dif. character set by pressing OK, which moves you back to title line to continue.
     
  5. To enter any of 29 diff. symbols, press the 1 key at selected position in title line and immediately keep pressing 1 to get a specific symbol, then arrow right to add another, if desired (order of symbols is shown above). When done with symbols, press any other number, 2-9, to auto-revert to the previous letter option you were using.
     
  6. To select a diff. character set option, press UP or DOWN arrow to move to the side menu. Press OK on a letter/number option, which auto-returns you to the title line. Numbers will add at any cursor position and move text for another number.
     
  7. To add a space under the cursor and split the text at that point, press the zero (0) key, which leaves a blank/open space. Leave as space of add a character there.
     
  8. When done with a title, press OK, answer Yes to dialog, then press BACK button (3575/3576) or RETURN button (2080/2160/513/515/53x/557) continually to get out of menus and back to normal TV.

 

Notes on DVD Titling

When dubbing a HDD title to a DVD, the title transfers to DVD as follows:

1st line: Either the same as on HDD OR a custom title if you changed it after recording or pre-titled it (in the 515/53x/557 only).
2nd line: RecDate - Length - Rec Mode (whatever you selected for the DVD drive for that dub/recording).

If you don't change the generic 1st line, your HDD and DVD titles will include the ORIGINAL rec mode text ("HQ," "SP", etc.) since it's part of the auto-titling function.
This might be confusing later... you can end up with different rec modes in 1st and 2nd lines. A RTD also changes your DEFAULT rec mode, so check that after every RTD. There's a slight diff. between 367x and later Mag models when D.Dubbing (One-Touch), too complicated to explain here.

You can also change the 1st line of the title on an unfinalized DVD, as described here, but it takes longer to write than on the HDD.

Since the 2nd line of a title can't be changed, a DVD will always show the rec date and length. Not a big deal except for one AVS member, kalish47, who wanted NO DATE on his titles from copied VHS home movies cuz it would confuse people seeing video from 1980 with a 2008 date in the title. He solved that problem by pulling the plug on his 3576 for 5 minutes to get a clock that showed --/--/--. Now he had no rec date and time in the title of his copied videos, and none in his dubbed DVDs, as described here! Obviously, he can't do timer recordings like that, but this is one way to avoid a permanent "recording/copying" date on DVDs with old video watched by easily confused relatives?

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

Change Index Pic

 

See "Note on Edit-Point Accuracy."

Does not apply to 557.

 

Titles recorded directly to HDD or DVD automatically use the 1st frame as their index pic (live pic on HDD, static on DVD). On unattended (timer) recordings, this can often be a black frame or commercial, so you might want to change it to something more suitable, like the show title. The procedures for HDD and DVD are different, but both require doing some work in the Edit menu.

 

For a HDD title, you can  do a Front-Cut to trim back to a 1st frame that works for you.


For a DVD title (unfinalized only), the process is slower but you can also do a front-cut OR select any other frame w/o front-cutting, as follows:

  1. Open Disc Menu and highlight a title's index pic.
  2. Press OK on Index Picture and select Edit. Title auto-plays.
  3. Use Play mode buttons (PLAY/FF/NEXT/SKIP) to move to a frame you want for the new index pic and press Pause. While in Pause mode, you can advance or go back one frame at a time with the NEXT and PREV buttons to find the CLEAREST and BRIGHTEST pic.
    Note: Frame selection may not be frame-accurate... check your 1st attempts and adjust frame selection for accuracy. Also, if looking for "best" index pic, select the BRIGHTEST frame with LITTLE OR NO MOTION.
  4. While Paused on your selected frame, arrow down in Edit menu to "Index Picture" and press OK.
  5. Answer Yes (or No if you change your mind and want to try another frame). Picture plays in background... ignore it.
  6. Press BACK button (3575/3576) or RETURN button (2080/2160/513/515/53x/557) once and wait for "Writing to Disc" message to go away and TV returns to Disc Menu.
  7. If you don't like the index pic you selected, you can change it multiple times until satisfied.

 

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

UNDOCUMENTED PROCEDURES FOR MAKING FRONT- AND END-CUTS

The manual's Scene Delete instructions tell how to do a Mid-Cut for commercials or other mid-title scenes, but they DO NOT tell how to do a Front- or End-Cut.

THE SECRET: IN THE SCENE DELETE MENU, ONLY ONE BUTTON WILL START A CUT AT THE 1ST FRAME, REW, AND ONLY TWO BUTTONS WILL STOP A CUT AT THE LAST FRAME, PLAY AND FF.

And, to make matters worse, the programmer decided that an AUTOMATIC Preview of an end cut would be a swell idea! NO ONE WILL EVER SEE A TITLE PLAYING FROM END TO BEGINNING (shouting now)! Not only that, but it's the only place he/she programmed an AUTO Preview... any place else, the user has to manually choose the Preview... or not! (This was fixed in late-model 513's and the 515/53x/557... no auto preview on an end-cut.... and there's a FW upgrade that eliminates it in 2160A and early-513's.)

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

SCENE DELETE, FRONT-CUT -- Delete Frame 1 to New Beginning Frame

 

 

  1. SELECT DESIRED TITLE... press Title button, move to title w/arrow keys or NEXT/PREV for page moves, then press OK.
  2. SELECT EDIT > SCENE DELETE... menu has "Start" highlighted and title begins playing.
  3. PRESS REW... use REW only (any speed), title auto-pauses on 1st frame and Pause icon (||) appears on screen, lower-left.
  4. PRESS OK... sets Start point and "End" becomes active (black).
  5. PRESS PLAY... move to and PAUSE on new/desired 1st frame using PLAY/PAUSE-mode buttons.
    • While Playing: FF/REW for fast play... NEXT/PREV for Chapter move... SKIP/REPLAY for preset move... PAUSE for frame-stop.
    • While Paused: FF/REW for slow play... NEXT/PREV for single-frame move... PLAY to get out of PAUSE mode.
  6. PRESS OK... selects that frame as END point and moves highlight to "Preview."
  7. PRESS OK on "Preview" if you need one... it'll Preview the edited transition one time, then stop and begin playing the OLD unedited stuff. To play the edited transition again, click on Preview again, as many times as needed. (Preview will NOT show the effects of a HSD on edit points... they'll move back up to 14 frames with HSD.) When satisfied...
  8. ARROW DOWN AND PRESS OK ON DELETE... and answer Yes to confirmation questions

 

If you need to do a front-cut AFTER a mid- or end-cut, the easiest way to get to the beginning again is to press the BACK button (3575/3576) or RETURN button (2080/2160) all the way to the Title menu, let the index pic regenerate, then go back in and make the front-cut. You could also use the REPLAY and PREV buttons to get close to the beginning, but they won't auto-pause, so use REW for the last move.

Since a DVD title is a static 1st frame, make sure anything you want to dub to DVD has a descriptive (and bright) 1st frame on the HDD so you can have a visual ref. for what's in the title, besides the custom title you created (right?)... something that portrays the title's contents, like a movie or program title. Pick brightest frame cuz static index pic on DVD shows darker than seen in Edit menu.

If you forget, you can also make changes on a DVD after dubbing but before finalizing, e.g., Change Title Name and Change Index Pic, but it takes longer to write than on the HDD.

Using Front-Cut to Delete Just a Short "Snippet" at Beginning

  1. Set START point using REW and OK, as described above.
  2. While in PAUSE mode on 1st frame, press NEXT (>>) button twice to advance 2 frames (1 frame gets "no-go" circle), OR keep pressing NEXT to move as many frames as desired.
  3. Press OK to select that frame as END point.
  4. Arrow down and select Delete.

 

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

SCENE DELETE, END-CUT -- Delete from New Last Frame to End of Title

 

  • Before you start, see "Note on Edit-Point Accuracy."
  • 2160/513/515/53x/557 has Chapter bar at bottom that helps show position in title.
  • 2160/513/515/53x/557 auto-plays for Step 5 after you press OK in Step 4.
  • 3575/3576/2080 don't have Chapter bar like 2160/513/515/53x/557, so note title's run time in Title menu before you start editing so you'll know how close to last frame you are for final FF/PLAY to end.

 

  1. SELECT DESIRED TITLE... press Title button, move to title w/arrow keys or NEXT/PREV for page moves, then press OK.
  2. SELECT EDIT > SCENE DELETE... menu has "Start" highlighted and title begins playing.
  3. MOVE TO and PAUSE on new/desired end frame using PLAY/PAUSE-mode buttons.
    • While Playing: FF/REW for fast play... NEXT/PREV for Chapter move... SKIP/REPLAY for preset move... PAUSE for frame-stop.
    • While Paused: FF/REW for slow play... NEXT/PREV for single-frame move... PLAY to get out of PAUSE mode.
  4. PRESS OK... sets Start point and "End" becomes active (black).
  5. PRESS PLAY... move to close to end of title using PLAY-mode buttons BUT USE ONLY FF (any speed) OR PLAY for final move to last frame. Video STOPS on last frame (trust me on this!). ON SOME MODELS*, "Preview" and "Delete" options become active (black), highlight moves down to "Preview," and an auto-Preview from end to start of title begins. This auto-preview is the programmer's drug-induced error... IGNORE WHAT'S PLAYING ON SCREEN... IT DOESN'T MATTER!
  6. ARROW DOWN TO DELETE.
  7. PRESS OK... and answer Yes to confirmation questions.

 

* On 3575/3576/2080/2160/2160A/early-513's with OEM FW, after FF or PLAY ends and the "Preview" and "Delete" options become active (black), the menu selection automatically goes to and starts a Preview. THIS DOES NOT APPLY to 515/53x/557, late-513's, or early-513's and 2160A with SuperFW 727V. Don't panic, that's cuz it's the ONLY edit that they programmed for an AUTOMATIC Preview and the only place an auto-Preview ISN'T USEFUL OR NEEDED... go figure! Unfortunately, you'll see 5 sec of the new end and then the beginning of the title, with the frame counter moving. No one will ever view the title this way, so just ignore the Preview, arrow down to "Delete" and press OK. This End-Cut procedure is so accurate and repeatable, the only way to screw it up is to use any button besides FF or PLAY for your last move to the last frame. No need to hurry... lots of people write that they "panic" when they see the stupid auto-Preview!

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

SCENE DELETE, MID-CUT -- Delete a Scene or Commercial in "Middle" of Title

 

  • Before you start, see "Note on Edit-Point Accuracy."
  • 2160/513/515/53x/557 has Chapter bar at bottom that helps show position in title.
  • 2160/513/515/53x/557 auto-plays for Step 5 after you press OK in Step 4.
  • Select 1st fade-in or fade-out, or several frames AHEAD, if you plan to HSD. See Note 2 here on Edit-Point Accuracy.

 

  1. SELECT DESIRED TITLE... press Title button, move to title w/arrow keys or NEXT/PREV for page moves, then press OK.
  2. SELECT EDIT > SCENE DELETE... menu has "Start" highlighted and title begins playing.
  3. MOVE TO and PAUSE on first frame of scene/commercial to be cut using PLAY/PAUSE-mode buttons.
    • While Playing: FF/REW for fast play... NEXT/PREV for Chapter move... SKIP/REPLAY for preset move... PAUSE for frame-stop.
    • While Paused: FF/REW for slow play... NEXT/PREV for single-frame move... PLAY to get out of PAUSE mode.
  4. PRESS OK... sets Start point and "End" becomes active (black).
  5. PRESS PLAY... move to and PAUSE on last frame of scene/commercial to be cut using PLAY/PAUSE-mode buttons.*
  6. PRESS OK...sets End point and "Preview" and "Delete" options become active (black) and highlight moves down to "Preview."
  7. PRESS OK ON PREVIEW if you need one... there's no "undo" option, so if you're trying to be "exact," you can Preview the cut before committing to deletion. When you press OK, it'll Preview the edited transition one time, then stop and begin playing the OLD unedited stuff. To play again with edited transition, click OK on Preview again (as many times as needed). If not what you want, you can go back to Start and End points with up/dn arrow and reset one or both points, then Preview again. Preview will NOT show the effects of a HSD on edit points... they'll move back up to 14 frames with HSD. If nec., you can start fresh by pressing BACK/RETURN button once to go back to the Edit menu, which leaves the title in its previous Play position, or twice to start over at the Title menu. When satisfied...
  8. ARROW DOWN TO DELETE.
  9. PRESS OK... and answer Yes to confirmation questions.

 

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

DIVIDE/SPLIT a Title

 

  • See Note on edit-point accuracy.
  • There's no "Preview" of a Divide and there's no Undo, Join or Combine feature, so make sure your Divides are really where you want them to be!
  • The 3575/3576 has a slower and less capable CPU/OS system than later models so they have a little more trouble handling lots of edit instructions on a too-full HDD. To keep them out of trouble, always make Scene Deletes BEFORE attempting a Divide.

 

Dividing a Title is a great way to DELETE large sections since you can Divide/separate a long beginning or end then immediately Delete them. I use Divide often when editing shows that we want to save only short sections to disc, like certain dances or singers... Divide before and Delete, then Divide after, and repeat until all keepers are separated and titled for easy recognition and all non-keepers are deleted.

To do a Divide:
  1. Press OK on a title's index pic
  2. Open the Edit menu.
  3. Move to the point you want to Divide using the Play/Pause mode buttons.
  4. Highlight Title Dividing and press OK.
  5. Answer Yes to the dialog if that's where you want the Divide. You only get one chance at this, so select No if unsure. You'll now have two titles from the one.
  6. You can make other Divides to split off sections. Hardest part will be keeping track of the sections you want to keep, so immediate titling will help in that regard, even if it's a cryptic 1, 2, etc. for now.

 

You can change the title names right after Divide, or you can wait till later when all Divides are done. Either way, you'll want a better title name before dubbing so your disc has some recognizable indication of content. If you forget, you can change a title name on a disc as long as it remains unfinalized, just takes longer on a disc.

You can Divide a title of virtually ANY length into segments also of virtually any length. I divided a 15-sec title into three segments on my 2160, one of which ended up as 1-sec in length!

Just a suggestion: when all Divides are done, and esp. before dubbing, press BACK button (3575/3576) or RETURN button (2080/2160/513/515/53x/557) to get back to the Title menu. Let all index pics regenerate to fully clear the small cache and "connect" the new titles to their portions of the User Data, which are still in the same place on the HDD, just identified now with new instructions for address and assembly. Continue working on the titles or dub them to DVD, as desired.
 

Special Notes on 3575/6 Units

On the 3575/3576, NEVER use Divide on a title BEFORE using Scene Delete, esp. if your HDD is nearly full... always make SCENE DELETES first! Doing it in reverse MAY cause HDD freezes or other problems.

My 2160/513/515 units have NO problem with any order of Divide/Delete.

Once you Divide a title on a 3575/6, immediately Change Title Name on the segment(s) that will remain on the HDD and Delete any segments no longer needed. This will establish "new" relationship(s) between the data and its title(s) and clear unneeded edit instruction.


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

How To Avoid DIVIDE Altogether in Timer Recording!

Since this DVDR is so good at transitioning from one timer-set program to another, you really NEVER have to record two or more shows appearing on the SAME channel as one continuous program if you'd rather have them in separate titles.

This means NO DIVIDING REQUIRED just to get separate titles!

You can set timer programs back-to-back on the same channel OR on multiple different channels when recording to the HDD and lose only the first 3-sec. of 2nd and subsequent shows for analog-analog channel switches, and 5-7 sec. for analog-digital or digital-digital switches.

The HDD has a 3-sec. buffer that it has to write to disk (indicated by the chasing lines in the display) and, while it writes that buffer, this DVDR is switching to the next timer program (same or other channel) and starts recording immediately. You'll end up with separate titles and 1 extra sec on the lead show, then 3-7 sec less at the beginning of the next show(s), depending on which tuners are used for the switch.

If you're a timeshifter and only record/watch/delete, no problem either way.

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

Chapter Marks

 

See "Note on Edit-Point Accuracy."

 

You can have up to 99 chapter marks per title on the HDD or a DVD, and you can have an unlimited number in ALL titles on the HDD and 254 in ALL titles on a DVD.

You can set one of five time increments (plus Off) for auto-chaptering titles while they record, using the Setup > Recording menu. You can also Add and Delete chapter marks after recording, using the Edit > Chapter Mark menu accessed by clicking the index pic of a title.

Both auto- and custom-set chapter marks transfer to a DVD if using high-speed dub (HSD), but a real-time dub (RTD) resets chapter marks to only the interval you set in the Setup > Recording menu (i.e., it strips all chapter marks already in the HDD title, then sets its own). Default interval is 10 minutes, which is best for everything.

Pressing PAUSE on these DVDRs does NOT set a chapter mark.

Editing Chapter Marks (Edit > Chapter Mark menu)

The following editing comments are based on my research, experience, and testing only.

A problem can occur when you use auto-chapter marking on the HDD, add more marks with Scene Deletes, then do a high=speed dub (HSD)... the marks can "collide" at times and cause freezing during edit and can cause playback oddities.

HSD moves edit points/chapter marks BACK up to 14 frames (1/2-sec) cuz it applies MPEG2/DVD rules for location and spacing of chapter marks, which says they must be on I-frames. They move BACK cuz our DVDRs are a simple, 1-pass system so they can't create new I-frames to accommodate chapter marks or "re-evaluate" a chapter position and move it forward like commercial, multi-pass systems can.

This can cause problems in the DVD copy that you won't notice in the HDD original... the chapter mark movement only occurs on a DVD and only during HSD. Although a real-time dub (RTD) is "frame accurate" (preserves the cut point accuracy), it results in an odd still-black-still-frame edit point that's "disconcerting" to the eye.

Technical note from DVD-Lab Instructional Manual: "As you are adding chapters or moving them you will discover you can't always add a chapter to an exact spot you would like. DVD specifications require that each chapter point be on an I-frame which occurs approximately every 15 frames. 15 frames is about 0.5 sec of playback. Therefore, Chapter Points can only be placed on these spots which occur approximately every half-second.

This limitation is often solved in professional practice by encoding the MPEG-2 stream such that - if necessary - extra I-frames will be generated at specific times to allow for accurate placement of Chapter Points (such as a scene change or transition)."

This DVDR has a default auto-chapter setting of 10-min. That setting seems to be OK for most timeshifting and light to moderate editing. If you like auto-chapters on the HDD AND regularly do lots of editing followed by HSD, don't change the default to 5-min. interval cuz that is more likely to cause colliding chapter marks if you make lots of Scene Deletes after recording.

One user trying to copy a camera tape ran into a freezing problem, which we suspect was caused by "colliding" chapter marks since he had auto-chapter set for 5-min. and he was adding lots of new chapter marks with Scene Deletes. He tried deleting the chapter marks but still had problems. He solved it by turning auto-chapter OFF before re-copying the tape to the HDD, leaving only his custom-set chapters from editing.

If you run into a freeze or playback problem with a title, check the proximity of chapter marks and see if any appear too close. If some do, you can try deleting close marks at the auto-marked locations (easy to spot since auto-marked chapters are on XX:XX:00 positions), leaving just your edited marks. This worked for me once, but like the tape story above, it may not ALWAYS work? You may even want to delete ALL chapter marks if they're not "vital" to you for that title.

To delete ALL chapter marks on the HDD, start with the LAST one, then the next-to-last mark will ratchet back TO YOU... you won't have to chase each mark down manually, just keep ratching them back to you! (For DVDs, there is an easier "Delete All" command, but the ratchet-back method on the HDD is very fast!)

Once you get thru with chapter edits, make sure you BACK out of the Edit menus to a TV pic, then go back in and LET ALL THE INDEX PICS REGENERATE before selecting a title for more work or playback. Since the index pic and title are like the "pointers" in our computers, this allows the CPU to reconnect with the User Data (video and audio) that a title points to. If something doesn't work right, shut this DVDR down for ~20 sec (to allow the HDD to spin down and park the heads), then turn back on for a "complete" memory wipe.

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

Hiding and Unhiding Chapter Marks

Chapters can be Hidden or Unhidden on UNFINALIZED DVDs (only) using the Edit menu. The best explanation of this is to compare it to Scene Delete.

Scene Delete never really "deletes" anything, just marks it so it's inaccessible/invisible to the OS, and you can never address that Scene again. It can be considered a "destructive" delete.

Hiding Chapters is a "nondestructive" delete. It marks chapters as "Hidden," which prevents the OS from addressing them. However, before Finalizing, chapters can be Unhidden if you change your mind. (Many Philips DVDRs, esp. in Europe, have ONLY a Hide function, not a Delete.)

With hidden chapters, a title's index pic and Info bar will still show the original run time.

Hidden chapters on an unfinalized DVD are still visible in the Edit menu since that's the only place you can Unhide them. During playback in the Edit menu, the Hidden chapters will play as normal, but a "Hidden" bar will appear on screen whenever a Hidden chapter is playing.

Purpose of hidden chapters? One purpose might be if you want to see what a finished product will look like with a section missing, or it just might be that the OS started with the European version which already had a Hide function but not a Delete, and they knew N.A. users were used to "delete" so they added that and didn't want to get rid of Hide?

You can't hide and unhide on a Finalized -/+R DVD since you need access to the Edit menu. However, you can change your mind on a -RW disc since it can be Unfinalized. Not sure how/if that works on +RW.

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

Reserving Space on the HDD for Complex Editing

If you do LOTS of editing, DON'T let your HDD get beyond ~75% full or freeze-ups can occur due to file fragmentation and lack of space. The 3575/3576 HDD has a small cache for temp. storage... the 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557 has a larger cache. Our HDDs are like your computer HDD: they don't delete data, they just delete the "pointers" to the data and keep editing instructions in their cache and on the HDD. So, it's advisable to clean off the HDD on a regular basis by deleting watched titles ASAP and/or offloading to DVDs.

If your HDD gets "seriously" full and/or you start having HDD editing problems, use the First-In First-Out (FIFO) method of offloading/deleting titles, i.e., offload/delete titles with the earliest dates until you see ~75-80% free space available in the INFO/DISPLAY screen (bottom right). This will clear the largest contiguous spaces on the HDD since those titles were recorded w/o the OS having to find and fill fragmented spaces.

See this post by a user who let his HDD get full, had persistent editing problems, cleaned up his HDD, and pledged allegiance to KYHCO, "Keep Your HDD Clean Org."

More info here on why you shouldn't let your HDD get full, then do complex editing.

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

How to Watch, Edit and Make DVD Copy at Same Time!

You can watch a LIVE TV show thru this DVDR while recording to DVD, editing commercials as you watch. Pause this DVDR when you see a commercial and press Pause again to resume recording when the live show resumes.

Pausing with these DVDRs does NOT set a chapter mark.

You can also watch an ALREADY RECORDED show while cutting commercials and making a DVD copy at the same time. Connect the output of this DVDR to another DVD recorder with a remote that doesn't clash with this DVDR's remote, like a 3575/3576 + 2080/2160 or a Toshiba/Panny/Pio (single-disc OK). While watching the show on this DVDR, start recording to DVD on the 2nd unit. Pause the 2nd unit when you see a commercial break, SKIP thru the commercial on this DVDR, unpause the 2nd unit when the show resumes and you continue watching. You'll end up with a DVD copy in just slightly more time than watching the show and skipping commercials... and your edit points will be absolutely pristine!

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

Editing +RW DVD Discs and Assuring They Play and Show Edits on Other Machines

Does not apply to 557.

If you edit directly on +RW discs, you must use the Disc Edit > Make Edits Compatible (MEC) function (557 doesn't have this) to assure that other player/recorders can play that disc and show all the edits you made.

Hillneerg posted a reply on VideoHelp.com that he recv'd from a Panasonic UK tech on playing +RW discs. The message is that +RW discs, while not needing "Finalizing" as we know it, DO need "Make Edits Compatible" (MEC) activated in the Disc Edit menu by the machine that created the disc (557 doesn't have this).

The UK tech explains that +RW discs need the top menu created, which is what the MEC function does. MEC also assures that any editing changes, like chapter edits, show up on those other machines.

I think it also needs MEC after new changes to a +RW disc so it rebuilds the top menu again, and shows all editing changes, on Video-mode machines, or even other +VR brands?

I ass-u-me this also applies to U.S. Panasonics and other video-mode DVDRs?

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PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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RECORD TO DVD... MULTI-SESSION... MULTI-MACHINE... DVD MENU/STATUS... REGION/NTSC/PAL

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Notes
DVD Recording Basics
Using DVD±R Discs
Using DVD±RW Discs
Multi-Session Rec/Dub on Same Machine
Multi-Machine Rec/Dub on Same DVD
Using the Disc Menu and Checking DVD Status... Disc Type, Total Titles, Disc Space Used, Disc Protect OFF/ON, Finalize
DVD "Loading" and Power Calibration Tests
Region Code & NTSC/PAL TV Standard

Notes

  1. The reason we can fit only 4424 MB, or 4.424 GB, of info on a "4.7 GB" disc is simply the difference in figuring capacity: disc mfgrs use the decimal numbering system (K=1000) to represent their total decimal capacity, but our DVDRs and computers must put binary data (K=1024) on that disc. Same diff. is shown in your computer's disc capacity vs. used space.
  2. Be careful with the REC MODE button if just checking the current setting cuz your first press will probably change the rec mode to the next lower-quality one. Better to use the INFO button (3575/3576) or DISPLAY button (2160/513/515) as described here.
  3. The Video > TV Aspect menu controls the format you view and record on digital channels. See this post for more info on setting TV Aspect and recording widescreen programs.
  4. For recommended DVD brands and speeds and checking them for quality, see this post.
  5. Remember Rule #1 for Hi-Quality Recording: It all depends on the source!
  6. DO NOT PULL THE POWER CORD WHILE RECORDING. You can stop a recording after ~6 sec (red REC dot disappears) by pressing the STOP button on the front of the unit or the 3575/3576 remote (hold button on 2160/513/515 to get Yes/No dialog). With REC dot on screen, title might freeze in Title menu.
  7. There are TWO ways to fix the E19 Finalize/Format/Erase bug in the 2160A, as described here.
  8. The Dubbing procedure is here.
  9. Playback of titles on DVD is sequential, so you can start title 1 and that DVD will continue playing its titles in sequence, with just a slight pause between them.

 

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

DVD Recording Basics

A blank DVD can hold:
Titles per Disc = 49.
Chapters per Title = 99.
Chapters per Disc = 254.
Hours = See table below for approx. capacities in H:MM:SS for a std single-layer (SL) DVD using real-time dub (RTD), high-speed dub (HSD), or real-time recording (RTR).

You can record direct to a DVD or to the HDD, but not both at once. See this help file for recording or copying to the HDD.

The table below lists the approx. rec time you can fit on a NEW/BLANK std single-layer DVD±R using Real-Time Dub (RTD), High-Speed Dub (HSD), or Real-Time Record (RTR). The RTR times are for manual recording (press REC) or manual timed recording (press REC multiple times). Timer recording times are the same as RTD.
 

RecMode¹     RTDTime   HSDTime²   RTRTime³   Notes
1-hr-HQ 1:00:00
1:04:55
1:05:57
HSD only: 1:05:00 wouldn't fit.
2-hr-SP 2:00:00
2:10:00
2:10:15
HSD only: 2:08:00 for title w/36+ Scene Deletes (same for many edited clips).*
2½-hr-SPP 2:30:00
2:46:30
2:48:14
 
3-hr-LP 3:00:00
3:20:00
3:21.05
 
4-hr-EP 4:00:00
4:21:00
4:21:39
 
6-hr-SLP 6:00:00
5:41:00
6:16:33
HSD only: 5:41:18 wouldn't fit. HSD only: No single SLP title can be more than 4:59:59.
¹Rec mode of recorded titles to be dubbed (RTD or HSD), or Rec Mode you set for recording to DVD (RTR).
²End-cut only on HDD title(s), no internal cuts.
³Single direct manual rec to DVD till full, no edits.
*Based on my 36-cut NFL game @2-hr-SP, each mid-cut on HDD might subtract ~3.33 sec from SP 2:10:00 HSD Time? End-cuts have no effect.

More detailed info on these is given in this help file.

When deciding whether to record to HDD or DVD, consider the real possibility of a bad DVD disc, which causes the recording to fail, or stutter on playback, or ...? Too late! You've got no recourse, no Plan B... you've lost any chance at seeing the show you wanted to record. On the other hand, if you record to the much-more-reliable HDD, you can not only watch the show but also dub to your heart's content until you get a good disc that'll play for 100 years!

To do a manual recording to DVD, insert a disc with enough space left for the program(s) you want to record or copy. After loading (~15-20 sec), check/set rec mode, select channel or source, select DVD drive, press REC. If copying from an external source, connect external source and press PLAY on the external source before pressing REC on this DVDR. There are three other subjects on Copying below, starting with this one.

To do a timer recording to DVD, set a timer program as described here and select "DVD" in the REC TO box. Insert DVD with enough space left for the program(s) you want to record. If a DVD doesn't have enough space for a timer rec, this DVDR will know that in advance (capacity is checked during Loading) and immediately switch to the HDD for that timer rec. For a ±RW disc with prior titles, you must Erase those titles then reload the disc to give the machine a fresh look at disc capacity.

Note: The default rec mode can be automatically changed by a real-time dub (RTD) from HDD>DVD at a different rec mode, so always check your default rec mode before starting a manual recording! A high-speed dub (HSD) doesn't change the default rec mode.

 

Just remember the DVD time limits for each rec mode, and they're NOT the same for manual recording and dubbing.

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

Using DVD±R Discs
 

"Timer-Rec Traps" with DVD±R:

  1. A manual recording will stop if a timer rec program starts before the manual recording ends! The disc will be unsuable (ruined)!
  2. Dubbing will not be allowed if a timer rec program is due to start in the next 59 minutes (always allow at least 60-min.)!

 

DVD±R discs are write-once media ideal for long-term storage, assuming you use high-quality media. These disc types don't need Formatting before use.

When you first insert a new, blank DVD±R disc and select the DVD drive, the TV display will show "Loading" for ~15-20 sec, Then, it'll show how much time that disc will hold at the currently selected default rec mode. It'll show this time also in the front panel display. Changing the Rec Mode changes both displays to the new time available.

 

BEFORE you Finalize a DVD±R disc, you can:

  1. Add more titles if there's room left, w/o worrying about overwriting anything already on the disc... the machine knows where to start a new recording.
  2. Change title names.
  3. Change the index pic.
  4. Add/delete chapter marks.
  5. Delete titles (altho no space is gained back).
  6. Overwrite titles, as described here for deleting the "Empty Title."

 

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

Using DVD±RW Discs
 

"Timer-Rec Traps" with DVD±RW:

  1. A manual recording will stop if a timer rec program starts before the manual recording ends! Nothing will be recorded!
  2. Formatting or Erasing will not be allowed if a timer rec program is due to start in the next 15 minutes!
  3. Dubbing will not be allowed if a timer rec program is due to start in the next 59 minutes (always allow at least 60-min.)!

 

DVD±RW discs are "rewriteable," which means they can be burned and erased many times (up to 1000, according to experts) cuz they have a "phase-changing" burn layer which allows for burning, then changing back to their original crystalline stage.


Initial Formatting
For first use in this DVDR, new DVD±RW discs need Formatting to Philips +VR Standard, which occurs automatically immediately after the normal "Loading."

Erase Disc is same as Formatting.


It doesn't matter which drive is selected at time of this process but, if on the DVD drive, you should see a progress bar on the TV screen plus chasing lines in the display, and if on the HDD drive, only the progress bar on the screen (at least that's what happens with my DVD-RW discs in my 2160). Std DVD±R don't get formatted, so no special actions reqd before 1st use.

Once Formatted, RW discs don't need formatting again for use in any +VR DVDR... they can be dubbed/recorded to, Finalized, Unfinalized, Erased and reused many times. In fact, Erasing a RW disc is the same as re-Formatting.


To Format a new DVD±RW disc in a 2160A
The 2160A has a FW bug that requires either the FW Update or the L# Workaround described in this help file. If using the L3 workaround, you MUST have the unit on L3 BEFORE inserting the disc. You don't have to delete timer rec programs using this bug work-around. Erasing and Finalizing also require the 2160A FW Update or the L3 workaround.

Deleting Titles
Deleting titles on a RW disc is easier on the disc than Erasing/Formatting and may make your RW's last longer, altho you can only Delete one title at a time, so its a little more time-consuming.
 

To Delete one or more titles, click OK on a disc title, select Edit, then Delete Title. Repeat for other titles on that disc.


You can Delete individual titles on RW discs and gain their time back if you (1) keep the disc in the same machine or brand, and (2) delete the last title first and work forward. If you delete an intermediate title, you'll have ANOTHER "Blank Title" in addition to the one always at the end, and no time will be gained back. However, if you then delete all title(s) between Empty Titles, all remaining time will be consolidated in a single Empty Title in its normal position, at the end.

Using Same RW Disc in Different +VR DVDRs
A DVD±RW disc can be passed back and forth between +VR DVDRs.

If you use Disc Edit > Erase Disc, an RW disc will be formatted and the Disc Menu will be converted to that machine's system and all disc ops will be available, like with DVD±R discs. However, all previous titles are erased.

To preserve existing titles on a RW disc, you can just dub or record new titles w/o a disc erase. Again, this changes the menu system to the new machine's and all disc ops should become available. HOWEVER, ONE TIME, after many iterations of dubbing/recording in my 3575 and 2160, I lost all Disc Edit ops for a -RW disc on both of my machines, requiring a 3rd machine to access the Disc Edit menu. This has only occurred once on a -RW disc and could not be duplicated in subsequent tests.

Finalizing/Unfinalizing
DVD+RW discs don't need Finalizing. However, if you've done some editing (Chapters, Scene Deletes, etc.) on a title on the HDD or on the disc itself and you want other players/recorders to show the edit effects, you'll have to Make Edits Compatible in the Disc Edit menu.

DVD-RW discs can be Finalized and Unfinalized with the Disc Edit menu for playing in other machines. You don't need to Unfinalize a -RW disc before Erasing it, just select Erase Disc in the Disc Edit menu.

Universally Playable
Unlike DVD-RAM, finalized DVD-RW and non-finalized +RW discs created in this DVDR are playable in virtually any other brand of DVDR.

 

Using DVD±RW discs in this DVDR and other DVDR types.

If you use a RW disc in this +VR DVDR, then insert it, UNFINALIZED, in a DVD-Video (DVD-V) DVDR like a Pio or Panny, it won't recognize titles or be recordable on that machine, and vice versa... might even "freeze" some other brands?

 

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

Mult-Session Rec/Dub on Same Machine

DVDs can be recorded/dubbed to in multiple sessions as long as the disc remains Unfinalized. You can remove a partially recorded/dubbed disc and reload it later in this DVDR for more recording or dubbing. This DVDR knows where to start its next burn, so don't worry about accidentally overwriting.

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

Multi-Machine Rec/Dub on Same DVD

To allow all Disc ops on a DVD in different brands and models of DVDRs, there are TWO BASIC OPTIONS with very different results.

OPTION 1: Disc Ops with Different +VR DVDRs

Philips, Magnavox, late-model Toshiba, Lite-on, and some other Funai-mfgd +VR DVDRs can use each others' UNFINALIZED discs for one or more disc ops IF you have Setup > Recording > Make Recording Compatible (MRC) ON. (Don't confuse this with "Make Edits Compatible" in the Disc Edit menu, which is for +RW discs and a totally diff. function.)

Each time you record or dub to an unfinalized DVD±R or DVD±RW disc in a different-brand +VR machine with MRC ON, the disc menu is changed to that machine's standard, and that machine brand becomes the "owner" of the disc, with all normal disc ops available.

There are two immediate visual clues as to which brand of recorder created or last recorded to an UNFINALIZED disc:

  1. The menu color...dark blue background for Mag vs light blue for Philips.
  2. The presence or absence of the rec mode in upper right corner and a time remaining in the Empty Title. If both are there, that machine is the current "owner " of that unfinalized disc. If both are absent, the disc needs to be converted to that machine's menu structure by recording or dubbing to it. (Finalized discs will not show either.)

 

Here are some operational results with MRC OFF and ON with different-branded machines:

  1. With MRC OFF, you can only PLAY or ERASE(RW).
  2. With MRC ON, you can PLAY/RECORD/DUB/ERASE(RW)/TITLE DELETE.
  3. With MRC ON, and AFTER a 6-sec manual rec/dub or an RW is Erased, ALL disc ops become available, including:
    1. Finalizing ±R/-RW discs and Unfinalizing -RW discs, as described here. If you want to use a Finalized -RW in the other machine, Unfinalize it first in the machine it was created in.
    2. Deleting the Empty Title/Space on DVD±R discs, as described here.

 

Notes:

  1. On a disc that doesn't behave as expected:
    1. If MRC is NOT on, turn it on and do a manual 6-sec REC on that disc (press REC, wait till red dot disappears, press STOP)... stopping REC with dot on screen can cause a Title freeze. This transfers "ownership" of the disc to that machine. After REC, click OK on new index pic, then select Edit > Title Delete (it will still take up a few sec of space).
    2. If MRC IS on, turn it off temporarily. So far, this has been used succesfully by dare2be with Finalized discs from an old Philips DVDR72. However, it could apply in many other situations as well and worth a try?
  2. Title Delete on RWs works in same brand machine, but may need 6-sec REC in other brand to transfer ownership first. After REC, click OK on new index pic, then select Edit > Title Delete (it will still use up a few sec of space).
  3. Even if your DVDR has a MRC option in the Recording or other menu, it may or may not be "activated in the FW" and available for use, e.g., some Sylvanias not. See this post by DigaDo for some specific +VR machines and their MRC options. He proved that if a recorder has 2.5- and 3-hour rec modes, it's prob. a +VR recorder. Another clue is if it creates an "Empty Title" or "Empty Space" on DVDs.
  4. We have proof-of-concept HERE on Lite-on discs. Later Toshibas should be the same since Funai also mfgs those. Toshiba DVR620 is not a +VR recorder.

 

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

OPTION 2: Rec/Dub with +VR DVDRs and Other DVDRs

If you try to mix rec/dub sessions on UNFINALIZED DVDs between a +VR Std DVDR (Philips/Magnavox and some others) and a DVD-Video (DVD-V) DVDR (Pioneer/Panasonic/Sony), results are either "unsatisfactory" or impossible.

Following are some potential options and outcomes:

  1. Unfinalized DVD+R
    • If rec first in this DVDR, CAN be used in a DVD-V DVDR but title(s) rec in this DVDR will disappear and their space will be used up!
    • If rec first in a DVD-V DVDR, CAN be used in this DVDR but title(s) rec in the DVD-V DVDR will disappear and their space will be used up!
  2. Unfinalized DVD-R
    • If rec first in this DVDR, CAN'T be used in a DVD-V DVDR ("Can't Record").
    • If rec first in a DVD-V DVDR, CAN'T be used in this DVDR ("Disc Error").
  3. Finalized or unfinalized DVD-RW Erased in this DVDR or Initialized in a DVD-V DVDR (Pio 640 for sure) can be Erased/Initialized and rec to in the other DVDR.
  4. DVD+RW - didn't have any +RWs to test.


     
Note on "VR Mode vs VR Std": DVD-Video machines like Pioneer and Panasonic can Intitialize or Format DVD discs in "VR Mode." That is NOT the same as the Philips +VR Standard. VR-Mode discs cannot be read or recorded to in this DVDR (and many others as well).

 

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

Using the Disc Menu and Checking DVD Status... Disc Type, Total Titles, Disc Space Used, Disc Protect OFF/ON, Finalize

New, blank DVD±R discs need something recorded or dubbed to them before a Disc Menu appears, and DVD±RW need Formatting. Those actions create the Disc Menu and the Empty Title/Space.

To see titles in the Disc Menu, select the DVD drive, then press the DISC MENU button. That brings up a screen showing all the titles on that disc, with static index pics.

If there are more than three titles, they will continue on subsequent pages. You can move from title to title with the up/dn arrows or move page-to-page with the right/left arrows (except right arrow only on pg 1 cuz left arrow brings up disc status screen).

From the Disc Menu, you can check the status of DVDs created in this DVDR (Disc Type, Total Titles, Disc Space Used, Disc Protect OFF/ON, and Finalize Status. There are two ways to see the DVD status screen in this DVDR (and other machines as noted in parentheses):

  1. From the Disc Menu that shows titles and index pics (DISC MENU button), arrow up from 1st title or left from any title on 1st page and read the data screen. Press down or right arrow to go back to title.
  2. Go to Setup > Disc Edit > Edit Disc Name. A grey screen will appear shortly with the DVD info on it.

 

If you press OK on a highlighted DVD title in this DVDR and it plays, that DVD is Finalized. If you press OK and it just shows a menu with Play/Edit/Overwrite options, that DVD is NOT Finalized. If you press OK and it only starts the title playing, with no other options shown, that DVD is prob. from another brand of +VR DVDR... see this post for how to use such a disc.

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

DVD "Loading" and Power Calibration Tests

DVD "Loading" time varies: blank or home-recorded DVDs (30-35 sec), commercial movies (20-25 sec).

With unit off:

  1. The initial power-on Loading includes HDD startup, typically 16 sec for the 3575/3576 and 8 sec for the 2160/513/515.
     
  2. 2 min. before a timer rec program is due to start, this DVDR will quickly search for a DVD and start up the HDD ~2 minutes before scheduled timer start time (no change in display, just some internal startup sounds).

 

With unit on, there's no Loading process before a timer program is due to start a HDD rec. Instead, an on-screen msg appears to warn that the channel will be changed shortly. You can ignore the msg if you want the rec to proceed, or cancel if you don't.

Another thing that happens duiring Loading a blank DVD is power calibration. Blank discs have a Power Calibration Area (PCA) near the inner hub, in the lead-in area. Each time you insert an unfinalized disc, the DVDR's FW performs a 15-step test to determine the optimum power for writing to that specific DVD disc. It stores results of the power test in a Recording Management Area (RMA). This storage is cumulative. A DVD-R can hold up to 7,088 separate calibration tests, and a DVD+R can hold up to 32,768. If bored, you can read more on this subject in this thread.

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

Region Code & NTSC/PAL TV Standard

There are 8 Region codes possible on DVD discs that restrict where they can be played. Regions 1-6 are assigned to specific geographic areas. Region 7 is reserved for future use and 8 is for aircraft, cruise ships, etc. A disc can have just one Region code or a combination of codes.

This DVDR is hard-coded for PLAYBACK of Region 1 discs only. Region 1 includes Canada, United States, U.S. territories, and Bermuda. Note again: this Region setting is only for playback.

Home-made DVDs PRODUCED in this or any DVDR will be auto-coded for ALL regions, 1-8, for playback anywhere with NTSC equipment. A computer app. like DVD Decrypter will show the Region code of discs YOU produce in this DVDR as "Region 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8."

The coding of discs with ALL the Region numbers ASSURES that they'll play anywhere in the world on NTSC equipment. Discs identified as "All" are also coded with all the Region numbers. Region 0 is not an official code and was used in the early days of DVD until the studios enforced "Regional Coding Enhancement" to stop their use.

There have been many people wanting to find a "hack" to allow this DVDR to play DVDs coded for another SPECIFIC region, like Region 2, but region hacks for recorders are almost imposssible to find. MANY players can be hacked, but not recorders. Also, if you do try a region hack, that action could void your warranty since evidence of region change will be evident in the machine's FW which, of course, the factory or repair center would be able to read.

Region vs PAL/NTSC

PAL and NTSC are TV standards used in diff. parts of the world. This DVDR cannot play PAL discs regardless of the Region code, as described here.

There is no direct relationship between Region and TV std, but there can be some coincidental overlaps. For example, Region 2 is mostly Europe and other countries where PAL also happens to be the TV std, so they prob. won't play in North America (N.A.), which is Region 1 and NTSC TV std. Wherever you are, you'd need a PAL-capable player that is coded for Region 2 or whatever code the DVD is set for.

Getting or having a NTSC version of a DVD will NOT guarantee playability in a N.A. machine since NTSC is used in more places with diff. region codes than N.A., as this Wiki article shows.

In purchasing DVDs for playing in N.A. on a std N.A. player/recorder, make sure you specify that you want only Region 1 NTSC discs?

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


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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Essential Info on RTD, HSD, RTR... Multi-Generational & Mode-Conversion Dubbing/Copying

 

May 2014 - The 9th-gen 557 model changed record/dub speeds to 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 hours. Tables herein do not include specific info directly related to the 557, but other info applies.

 

  • The procedure for dubbing is in a separate help file here.
  • Whenever you select a rec mode for a RTD or RTR, you're changing the DEFAULT rec mode for your machine. Always check your DEFAULT rec mode after a RTD or RTR so you don't make RTR recordings at an "unexpected" rec mode. (The rec mode for RTD and timer recording is set via menu, regardless of the default rec mode).
     
Jump To:
Notes
Methods & Capacities for Dubbing/Recording to DVD
Real-Time Dub (RTD)
High-Speed Dub (HSD)
Real-Time Record (RTR)
Rec Mode Selection Menu
Effect of Rec Mode on HSD
Strategies for Ending Up with HSD Capability
Making Multigenerational Copies in Same Rec Mode - Digital Channels
Mode-Conversion Dubbing/Copying from 1-hr-HQ to ALL Other Rec Modes - Digital Source
Mode-Conversion Dubbing/Copying from 2-hr-SP to 2.5-hr-SPP & 3-hr-LP
Pauses at Scene-Delete Edit Points After Dubbing, Philips vs Magnavox

Notes
  1. The reason we can fit only 4424 MB, or 4.424 GB, of info on a "4.7 GB" disc is simply the difference in figuring capacity: disc mfgrs use the decimal numbering system (K=1000) to represent their total decimal capacity, but our DVDRs and computers must put binary data (K=1024) on that disc. Same diff. is shown in your computer's disc capacity vs. used space.
  2. HSD retains ALL chapter marks in the DVD copy (auto- and custom-set). RTD strips those and sets marks only per your auto-chapter setting in the Recording menu.
  3. A dub is controlled by the machine so, once you start the dub, you can walk away... you don't have to babysit a dub.
  4. Caution: Don't start a dub if you have a timer rec program due to start within the time period of your dub. Nothing will be copied if the disc is DVD±RW, and the disc could be ruined if DVD±R!
  5. Whenever you select a rec mode for a RTD or RTR, you're changing the DEFAULT rec mode for your machine. Always check your DEFAULT rec mode after a RTD or RTR so you don't make RTR recordings at an "unexpected" rec mode. (The rec mode for RTD and timer recording is set via menu, regardless of the default rec mode).

 

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

Methods & Capacities for Dubbing/Recording to DVD
 

Anything you record or copy to the HDD can be "dubbed" (copied using the internal drives) to a DVD±R or DVD±RW disc.

 

There are three ways to get titles on a DVD:

  1. Real-time dub (RTD).
  2. High-speed dub (HSD).
  3. Real-time record (RTR).

 

The OS is in control of RTD and HSD but not RTR, so each method can fit a different amount on a DVD, as shown in the table below:
 

RecMode¹ RTDTime HSDTime² RTRTime³ Notes
1-hr-HQ 1:00:00
1:04:55
1:05:57
HSD only: 1:05:00 wouldn't fit.
2-hr-SP 2:00:00
2:10:00
2:10:15
HSD only: With 36+ Scene Deletes, 2:08:00 (same for many edited clips).*
2½-hr-SPP 2:30:00
2:46:30
2:48:14
 
3-hr-LP 3:00:00
3:20:00
3:21.05
 
4-hr-EP 4:00:00
4:21:00
4:21:39
 
6-hr-SLP 6:00:00
5:41:00
6:16:33
HSD only: Max. 5:41:00 all titles, 4:59:59 any single title.

¹Rec mode of recorded titles to be dubbed (RTD or HSD), or Rec Mode you set for recording to DVD (RTR).
²End-cut only on HDD title(s), no internal cuts.
³Single direct manual rec to DVD till full, no edits.
*Based on my 36-cut NFL game @2-hr-SP, each mid-cut on HDD might subtract ~3.33 sec from SP 2:10:00 HSD Time? End-cuts have no effect.


These times can be used as a goal, or at least a starting point, for your DVD dubbing/recording projects.

I verified the listed HSD Times by recording long, then end-cutting in increments to find the point that HSD was allowed. Number of titles and program type (sports, drama, etc.) made no noticeable diff. except for lots of edited clips and... you guessed it... that pesky SLP rec mode (see Note in table).

For RTR Times, I pressed REC and let it run until the disc filled up and recording stopped.

Titles with many internal edits (mid-cuts), like a long NFL football game with 36 mid-cuts or 18 ea. 6.5-min. clips with edits, have to be cut slightly shorter than HSD Times to use HSD (see Note in table).

HSD/RTR differences apply to DVDs as well. Time Remaining listed in an "Empty Title" ("Empty Space" on 515/53x/557) on a DVD IS FOR REAL-TIME DUBBING, NOT HSD or RTR! You can add MORE time than the Empty Title/Space shows if you HSD/RTR..

For more help on SLP dubbing, see this post and this one.

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

Real-Time Dub (RTD)

 

  • Whenever you select a rec mode for a RTD or RTR, you're changing the DEFAULT rec mode for your machine. Always check your DEFAULT rec mode after a RTD or RTR so you don't make RTR recordings at an "unexpected" rec mode. (The rec mode for RTD and timer recording is set via menu, regardless of the default rec mode).

 

The OS is in control of RTD. You select the rec mode in the dub menu, but the OS controls the RTD process.


The RTD times listed above are the absolute total "RTD Time" at each rec mode that the OS will allow you to fit on a std DVD.

Each listed RTD rec mode/time combo will create a file size that will always fit within the std DVD capacity in these DVDRs (4424MB) when dubbing to a DVD. You have to manually set the rec mode in the Dubbing menu. If you set a RTD time for longer than the absolute RTD Time, even 1-minute, the DVDR will use its "Alternate Recording" feature to auto-switch the recording to the HDD at (usually) the next lower-quality rec mode.

All times are for one or more titles, added together, that would be included in a dub. For example, for 2-hr-SP, that can be in one 2-hr title, two 1-hr titles, four 30-min. titles, etc.

RTD writes (encodes) titles (User Data) in real time, bit by bit, and adds "overhead" bits for header, error correction, and sync in each sector of the disc. It ignores any custom chapter marks in the source; instead, it sets new chapter marks at the interval you selected in the Auto Chapter menu.

RTD can reduce PQ slightly since it's a 2nd-gen rewrite of the original recording, but with this DVDR, I found that to be true only if starting with an analog recording or a low-quality rec mode.

In fact, from my tests, I no longer worry about doing mode conversions from 1-hr-HQ to any other mode if the source is great, like an HD program on a digital widescreen channel... altho they WILL be real-time dubs. This is OK for VIEWERS but maybe NOT for frequent dubbers. See this post for some mode-conversion tests!

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

High-Speed Dub (HSD)


The OS controls HSD. You select "HIGH" in the dub menu, but the OS controls the HSD process.

 

HSD is only available for dubbing from HDD to DVD. The only limiting factors for HSD are disc capacity and a <5-hour limit for any single SLP title (use RTD instead for a single SLP title longer than 4:59:59).

With HSD, all titles are dubbed at the rec mode setting and aspect ratio in which they were originally recorded, and you can mix titles with diff. rec modes and aspect ratios in the Dub List... max. 18 titles in one dub batch/session, as many batches as will fit on disc.

HSD is the #1 goal for dubbing QUALITY cuz it:
1-Makes a "lossless" mirror image of the HDD title.
2-Fits more time on a disc than RTD.
3-Transfers all auto- and custom-set chapter marks to a disc.
4-Allows you to watch TV while dubbing (RTD occupies screen).
5-Takes 1/4-1/8 the RTD time.

However, HSD heats the laser diode (LD) more than RTD or RTR, and HEAT is the LD's worst enemy. Unfortunately, there's very little published data in the lit. to know exactly how HSD works... burn process, LD power reqd, etc. Only things I've learned from years of searching and study are a change from CLV to ZCAV or CAV and an INCREASE IN LD POWER to accommodate faster data transfer rates (write "speeds"): "The higher writing speed, the less time a laser has to heat a point on the media, thus its power has to increase proportionally." [emphasis mine].

I still don't know exactly how much higher HSD raises LD power/heat to accomplish its 3.6X-7.6X faster (Philips-Mag) data transfer rate ("speed"), as seen in the Elapsed Time chart below. This *could* mean 3.6-7.6X the 30mW max. RTD/RTR laser power on 8X TY discs, or 108-228mW max., albeit for a shorter time. ?

Elapsed time (ElapTm) for HSD to create an unfinalized DVD depends on various combos of rec mode, disc speed, and burner speed... a 16X disc will not necessarily burn faster than an 8X. The 357x/2080 have 4X burners, and 8X discs burn faster than 16X. The 2160/513/515/53x/557 have 8X burners, but they burn 2X/4X RW's slower than the 357x/2080.

Some ElapTm results reported so far are listed below (ElapTm rounded to nearest minute):
 

DVDR     Disc Used   Rec.Tm RecMode   ElapTm   Notes
3575 16X ±R 2:00:46 SLP 10  
3575 16X ±R 2:02:53 SP 34*  
2160 16X -R 2:02:54 SP 17*  
2160 16X -R 2:01:54 SP 16  
2160A 16X -R 2:01:53 SP 16  
515 16X -R 1:59:54 SP 16  
2160A 8X -R 2:00:01 SP 16  
2160 8X -R 2:44:43 Mixed 19 51:16 SP + 1:35:42 LP + 18:45 SPP
2160 8X -R 3:04:00 LP 22 8 LP titles, 23:00 ea., 1 front/end/mid cut ea.
2160 2x -RW 2:02:54 SP 29*  
3575 2X -RW 2:02:53 SP 25*  
3575 4X -RW 2:02:53 SP 25  
3575 4X +RW 1:59:?? SP 21  
3575 4X -RW 1:00:00 HQ 26.5  
2160 16X -R 1:00:00 HQ 16  

*Direct comparison between 3575 and 2160, same disc type, rec mode & rec time.


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

Real-Time Record (RTR)
 

  • Whenever you select a rec mode for a RTD or RTR, you're changing the DEFAULT rec mode for your machine. Always check your DEFAULT rec mode after a RTD or RTR so you don't make RTR recordings at an "unexpected" rec mode. (The rec mode for RTD and timer recording is set via menu, regardless of the default rec mode).

 

YOU are in control of RTR. You set the rec mode and press REC without any process control from the OS.

 

RTR is any recording direct-to-disc (DTD) via the REC button. This can be a manual recording (press REC) or a manual timed recording (press REC multiple times). This includes copying from an external source (VCR, DVD Player, etc.). Does not apply to timer rec, which honors the std RTD times.

You can use a ±R right out of the box or a ±RW disc that's new/blank or prepared properly. A new/blank ±RW will be auto-formatted for 1st use upon insertion.

An RTR can get slightly more on a disc than a HSD.

Besides more time on the disc, another RTR advantage is that, if recording from a VCR or other source player, you can eliminate the "Empty Title" by just letting this DVDR keep recording until the disc fills up, at which point it'll stop and there won't be any room remaining, so no Empty Title. The excess disc capacity will be filled with blue screen from the point the source video runs out.

RTR can heat the laser diode longer than Overwriting the Empty Title, depending on the excess disc capacity and rec mode used. However, the heat level could be ~3.6-7.6X lower than a HSD, as described above.

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

Rec Mode Selection Menu

The Rec-Mode Selection menu will add up the total MB of your titles (18 max. allowed) and auto-select the highest rec mode possible for your dub.

Rec-Mode Selection Menu


The rec-mode selection menu always shows the total file size in MB of your selected "Dubbing Titles" at the selected rec mode compared to the empty-disc capacity of 4424 MB (not the "3000 MB" shown above).

Only if HIGH is highlighted will the total MB be for the original as-recorded title(s). If your original as-recorded MB are OVER 4424, the menu will auto-select (highlight) the next lower-quality RTD rec mode and show the NEW, MODE-CONVERTED MB at THAT rec mode.

At that point, you could proceed with the RTD, or you could BACK/RETURN out and do some Front-, End- or Mid-Cuts (like commercials), as described here, to get the edited file size down to 4424 MB or less so you can use HSD.

Also, with multiple titles to dub to one DVD, deleting from the higher-quality rec modes (HQ, SP) will make the greatest difference per minute deleted.

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

Effect of Rec Mode on HSD

If your title(s) are all in the same rec mode, you just have to remember the HSD Time above for that rec mode to know in advance that you can use HSD. However, if your dub has MIXED rec modes, all bets are off.

Combining diff. rec modes can't be estimated in advance by ratios alone, like 3X more room for a SLP title vs. a SP title. For ref., here's one user's problem in combining 4 LP titles and 1 SP title, with an example of the fairly simple math required to correlate one rec mode to another vs. time remaining on a disc.

Often, it's not possible to plan ahead for the best rec mode to allow HSD, esp. when you're combining diff. titles recorded at diff. times. In situations like this, just add titles until the dub menu switches to a RTD, then you can decide if you want to edit... depends on several factors not always evident at the time of recording, like how MUCH over HSD Time, how many discs you want ot end up with, etc.

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

Strategies for Ending Up with HSD Capability

Rec. time/mode and the goal of always using HSD (for a lossless copy) is prob. the most "difficult" part of the DVDR experience. If you plan to dub several titles to DVD (say, a series), and you really want to use HSD, you have to plan ahead in picking a rec. mode that fits the HSD Time listed above. Also, you need to know if you're going to edit the recorded titles down or leave them at full length.

If you decide to edit, you need to subtract time spent on opening network promos, commercials, and ending network promos... things you can cut out. Typically, this will leave you with 43 min./hr of edited run time (ERT) vs original run time (ORT).

A couple of examples for 3-hr ORT:

3 x 43 = 129 = 2:09:00 ERT.

43 min.= 71.7% of an hour. To work with minutes rather than fractions:
3 x 60 = 180 x 0.717 = 129 or 2:09:00.

Calculated either way, you should be able to use 2-hr-SP mode for a higher-quality recording and a lossless HSD to DVD since ERT is under 2:10:00. (Might have to be under 2:08:00 if MANY internal cuts, like the 36+ in my NFL Football Game mentioned in the table above.)

If you plan to do NO editing and still want to use HSD, you have to use the rec. mode that covers the entire time of the programs you want on a single DVD. Examples: use 3-hr-LP for three 1-hour shows, 4-hr-EP for 4 1-hour shows, and 6-hr-SLP for 6 1-hour shows (with no single SLP title over 4:59:59 and max total SLP time of 5:40:44 or less as shown in the HSD Time chart above).

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

Making Multigenerational Copies in Same Rec Mode - Digital Channels

 

NOTES:
  1. This discussion assumes you start with a 1-hr-HQ title on this DVDR's HDD and that title came from a digital channel/source. Recordings from analog channels/sources will be hard-pressed to retain PQ, much less improve it!
  2. These RTD mode-conversion tests were all done on 1-hr-HQ recordings with the INTERNAL DRIVES of a 3575. Even if you copy from an external digital source like another DVDR or DVD player, the starting quality of 1-hr-HQ will STILL maintain that quality much better with real-time copying once on this DVDR's HDD..
  3. Be aware that any RTD from HDD to DVD will lose any custom chapter marks and set them per your Auto-Chapter setting. HSD retains both.

 

High-speed dub (HSD) is ALWAYS best to use IF POSSIBLE. However, there are some occasions that you might want to or need to use real-time dub (RTD), or mode-conversion dub, like when programs run long and you don't want to Delete Scenes, or you do all your recordings at 1-hr-HQ cuz you value VIEWING quality over subsequent ability to put on a disc, etc... "special" circumstances, for the most part.

Prompted by a Panasonic Super-Fan who posted that his 3575's HQ multigenerational dub "looked like crap," and me thinking that sounded suspiciously like another lie, I decided to test the very-worst-case scenario of making sequential dubs, from one generation to the next with the internal drives, ALL in RT. That's definitely "worst-case" since, in the real world, the dubs from HDD-to-DVD would normally be made at HS for a lossless, mirror-image copy.

I started by recording 30 min. or so of an action movie at 1-hr-HQ rec mode from my excellent TNT digital channel (Gen 1), which I receive via an analog cable feed. It has lots of detail shots, fast movement, closeups of faces, C4 explosive blocks w/small writing, a detonating device with a small LED and text, helicopter flying with inside shaky shot of heads-up display, etc. IOW, LOTS of stuff that would normally show PQ degradation.

I copied the Gen1 HQ title from HDD to a DVD+R (Gen2), back to HDD (Gen3), back to DVD (Gen4), back to HDD (Gen5), and back to DVD (Gen6)... all RT dubs from the last Gen using 1-hr-HQ rec mode.

Theoretically, there was supposed to be some degradation, but I just couldn't see it. I've got 3 copies on DVD... representing SIX REAL-TIME GENERATIONS... and ALL look virtually the same!

I wonder how many gens I could stretch that to if my original feed were OTA or Sat HD to start with, or even true digital cable, rather than my basic analog cable feed!?

If you need to do this multi-generational dubbing for a special purpose, you should, of course, use HS dub from HDD to DVD, then the Gen6 RT dub in my worst-case test would only be Gen3.

Even if you start with a Finalized DVD in HQ mode from a good source, where the Gen1 on the DVD would have to be DIRECT DUBBED in RT to the HDD (Gen2), this test proved that a worst-case Gen5 from a Finalized HQ DVD can be virtually indistinguishable from the original, depending on the quality of the source.

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

Mode-Conversion Dubbing/Copying from 1-hr-HQ to ALL Other Rec Modes - Digital Source

 

NOTES:
  1. This discussion assumes you start with a 1-hr-HQ title on this DVDR's HDD and that title came from a digital channel/source. Recordings from analog channels/sources will be hard-pressed to retain PQ, much less improve it!
  2. These RTD mode-conversion tests were all done on 1-hr-HQ recordings with the INTERNAL DRIVES of a 3575. Even if you copy from an external digital source like another DVDR or DVD player, the starting quality of 1-hr-HQ will STILL maintain that quality much better with real-time copying once on this DVDR's HDD..
  3. Be aware that any RTD from HDD to DVD will lose any custom chapter marks and set them per your Auto-Chapter setting. HSD retains both.

 

Another question might be how good is this DVDR in maintaining PQ with a RTD that converts rec mode from a digital channel recording to one of the next-lower quality modes... again, in prob. the worst-case for source (other than an analog channel): my basic analog cable feed?

This is useful for someone who is primarily a "time-shifter" (record shows, watch later, then delete), but wants the highest quality recordings to VIEW. The true time-shifter seldom makes DVD copies so the 1-hr-HQ per DVD limit will only be an occasional "time-problem" that might require a real-time conversion dub to another rec mode... and even then, just for movies or special events that are over 1-hr in length.

I just completed several tests of RTD to check PQ loss from a 5-minute segment I recorded to my HDD in 1-hr-HQ. This DVDR allows you to pause a manual recording and change channels, so I did that to make sure I included sports, dramas, commercials, etc. in my test recording.

My results are summarized below with separate PQ assessments for a Drama (Las Vegas) vs Sports (BB & FB), PLUS the commercials, which were of different quality (RedLobster looked delicious at any rec mode ).

I was able to get a good assessment of the original PQ cuz I watched each RTD, looking for key areas to compare, like the effect of fast movement on edges, facial sharpness, etc. "Excellent" means I could not see a diff. from the original. "Good" means there was some visible softness but really hard to tell w/o a direct comparison to the original (i.e., I wouldn't have noticed anything "wrong" w/the pic if I hadn't seen the original.... many times!). "Fair" and "Poor" mean there was increasingly noticeable softening, mosquito noise, fuzzy edges, etc.

Mode-Conversion Dubs from 1-hr-HQ to Other Rec Modes with Internal Drives
From 1-hr-HQ rec. of digital HD channels in analog cable feed
 

1-hr-HQ to:  PQ Drama    PQ Sports 
2-hr-SP Excellent Good
2.5-hr-SPP Good Good
3-hr-LP Good Good>Fair
4-hr-EP Good Fair
6-hr-SLP Good Poor

*See this help file for info on recording fast-action field sports where fast-moving players are teeny-weeny objects on large field.

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

Mode-Conversion Dubbing/Copying from 2-hr-SP to 2.5-hr-SPP & 3-hr-LP

 

NOTES:
  1. Be aware that any RTD from HDD to DVD will lose any custom chapter marks and set them per your Auto-Chapter setting. HSD retains both.

 

Comm. VHS Movie, SP>SPP

I copied a 1994 commercial VHS movie from the original tape to my 3575 HDD in 2-hr-SP rec mode using COMPOSITE Y/W/R RCA CABLES, which is considered by many to be lowest quality connection. So, my reported results here should be considered as WORST-CASE since S-Video connection should produce an even better end product. The SP HDD title turned out to be 2:22:05, so too long to fit on a DVD with HSD (2:10:00 max.), so I dubbed the movie to a DVD-R using AUTO, which selected the SPP mode (nearest, best mode for total length). I asked my wife, who has critical nose and eyes, to see if she could tell any difference between the SP original and the SPP copy on disc. She said there was a "very minute" difference in PQ. Based on my experience with mode-conversion dubbing of digital HD programs using the internal drives, I believe if I had used an S-Video connection instead of composite for the original copy-to-HDD, she wouldn't have been able to detect that "minute" difference cuz the original copy on HDD would have been a better source for the SPP conversion.

 

Movie Recorded on Digital Channel, SP>LP

I recorded a 4+-hr movie (Coma) on a digital channel, deleted commercials, and dubbed the 2:38:37 title from HDD to DVD at 3-hr-LP. My critical wife and I could not tell a diff. from the 2-hr-SP original... copy on disc was "very good."

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

Pauses at Scene-Delete Edit Points After Dubbing, Philips vs Magnavox

 

I did some tests with my Mag 513 to check against my original (early) results with my Philips 3575 on pauses at Scene Delete edit points after Dubbing to DVD. Where a RTD of an edited title in my 3575 gave me an odd still-pause-still frame sequence at Scene Delete edit points, my 513 edit points were just slight delays, no still frames.

 

I did a short recording in SP, made one Scene Delete, then HSD'd and RTD'd it to a -RW disc. Pauses, in both Unfinalized and Finalized state and played back on the 513 and a 2160, were approximately:

 

Original on HDD = 1 sec

RTD SP>SP = 1.25 sec

RTD SP>LP = 1.25 sec

HSD  = 2 sec

 

My pause times were measured with the SWAG method: "1001, 1002, 1003." biggrin.gif

 

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


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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post #20 of 26027 Old 11-23-2007, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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DVD INFO - BUYING & USING

Jump To:
Notes
Recommended DVDs
Factory and Other Info in Hub Code
Special Note on Imation/TDK/Maxell/Memorex
Effect of Disc Speed on Burner / Disc Longevity
Effect of HSD on Burner / Disc Longevity
Using DVD±R Discs
Using DVD±RW Discs
Which to Use: DVD-Minus or DVD+Plus?
Mult-Session Rec/Dub on Same DVD
Mult-Machine Rec/Dub on Same DVD
DVD Quality in the Longevity Equation
How Long Will DVDs Last?
Tips on Disc HANDLING and MARKING
Using This DVDR's Disc Utility to Check Media Quality

Notes
  1. For an intro to DVD basics, a good ref. is here, in videohelp.com.
  2. Keep your finger out of the hole... handle discs ONLY by outside edge!
  3. When inserting a disc, make sure it's centered in the round "cradle" area before closing the tray. Move around slightly to make sure it's hits edges of cradle, esp. if your DVDR is high, like mine, and you can't SEE exactly where the disc is!
  4. The reason we can fit only 4424 MB, or 4.4 GB, of info on a "4.7 GB" disc is simply the difference in figuring capacity: disc mfgrs use the decimal numbering system (K=1000) to represent their total decimal capacity, but our DVDRs and computers must put binary data (K=1024) on that disc. Same diff. is shown in your computer's disc capacity vs. used space.

Recommended DVDs

Digitalfaq.com is a widely used ref. source for disc quality based on actual use. There are only three discs they and many users here recommend. These are described below, with links to a few sellers.
 
1. VERBATIM DVD±R AZO/DataLifePlus or DVD±RW Super Eutectic Recording Layer (SERL), 8X, made in India, Singapore, Taiwan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

DVD±R, the "Plus" is important. Plain "DataLife" or "Value" series discs are NOT metal AZO dye and are NOT recommended... look for the "AZO" on the front of the pkg and/or "Plus" in the name. For DVD±RW, look for SERL on the pkg.

2X-4X (RW) and 8X (R) speed are best for ANY DVDR (see "Disc Speed" below). Find in many B&M stores but maybe only 16X there. Search for 8X at supermediastore.com ... at rima.com ... at B&H Photo.com... at NewEgg.com ... at Canadian seller.

Interesting Wiki info on Verbatim that suggests the best Verbatims are prob. made in Japan and Singapore where Mitsubishi has its own plants.

However, FullOnShred gets "stellar burns" with 16X Verbatim AZO's made in the UAE and very good results from those made in Taiwan. He gets his 16X from NewEgg.com. For reduced laser diode heating, here are NewEgg's 8X Verbatim AZO 50-packs, one of which is my favorite white-topped no-stack-ring discs.
 
2. JVC/TAIYO YUDEN DVD±R, 8X, Premium Line.

In Oct 2008, TY and JVC entered into a "marketing" joint venture (JV) so TY discs may be shipped in JVC packaging, which should still show "Made in Japan." The TY-mfgd discs will have a TY media ident. (MID) code, like TYG01, TYG02, TYG03, YUDEN000T02, or YUDEN000T03.
 
2X-4X (RW) and 8X (R) speed are best for ANY DVDR (see "Disc Speed" below). TY 8X media was introduced in Mar 2004. 16X in ???, and -R DL in Jun 2006.

Discs in JVC/TY pkg may be in local B&M stores, in TY pkg only online. Search for 8X Premium at supermediastore.com ... at rima.com... at Disc Makers... at Canadian Seller.

Premium Line has a Mfgr Part # WITHOUT "VAL" in it... "VAL" is Value Line, TY rejects for Premium Line status but still better than most? Value Line is OK for Aunt Mabel's copy but not really recommended for your long-term archives.

One writer says they should smell like peaches if they're genuine cuz they're made in Japan's peach growing region!? I think he's serious?

You can check the MID on discs with the SKIP 123 utility, as described here.

Here's a TY/JVC media conversion table (©2011, latest I could find).

TY hub codes are shown in the OUTER hub ring, just before the write media, in this Wiki article.

NEW INFO: TY used to NOT make RW discs, but since their JV with JVC, I've found a few places to get JVC-TY RW discs, but I know nothing about their quality or durability. I suppose if TY is putting their name on them they *must* be OK? Here's some +RW discs that just show TY, not JVC name. If you try some of these JVC-TY RW discs, please let us all know what you think of them?
 
3. SONY DVD±R 16X or DVD±RW 2X-4X, made in Taiwan only

2X-4X (RW) and 8X (R) speed are best for ANY DVDR (see "Disc Speed" below). However, only 16X seems to be available in stores or online. Check for Made in Taiwan on wrapper.

16X available online: at supermediastore.com ... at rima.com.


These three recommended disc brands/speeds/origins are truly the best and should always be preferred over others on the market. DVD+R/+RW are the "native" format for Philips/Magnavox/Funai recorders, and some people have reported higher-quality burn results with these (98-99% vs 93-95% w/-R/RW). DVD-R/-RW can be used with no problems and are more compatible with older players/recorders... those mfg before 2004 (+RW was introduced in 2002).

These DVDRs can play commercial movies on double-layer (DL) discs but can't record on them. They also can't play or record on -RAM discs.

I use the "hub-printable no-stack-ring white inkjet" DVDs cuz it provides a nice, flat writing/printing surface.

The "hub printable" means the white inkjet layer goes all the way to the center hole, over the hub area, and "no-stack-ring" means there is no "hump" to contend with for writing or printing. Both of these are VERY useful if you plan to use an inkjet printer, like an HP or Epson, to print fancy titles and pics on the disc. A flat, continuous-tone coated hub area is critical to good title design since it allows text and esp. pics to be arranged in a more cohesive design... you WILL want to use that small area, trust me!

I used to think it also provided a "barrier" for writing disc titles with alcohol-based Sharpie pens w/o worrying about ANY possible damage to the top polycarbonate. However, I've since learned that you can safely use alcohol-based Sharpies directly on the polycarbonate top if you prefer, as noted here. In fact, alcohol is the recommended cleaner for polycarbonate! If you're super-cautious, you could also play it safe and get the Crayola or other brand of water-based marking pens, but then don't spit or sweat around them!

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

Factory and Other Info in Hub Code

Here's a graphic from a German forum that shows the layout and meaning of hub code on DVD discs.

Taiyo Yuden hub codes are shown in this Wiki article.

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

Special Note on Imation/TDK/Maxell/Memorex

Altho TDK is still listed at the bottom of the 1st Class media at digitalfaq.com, TDK no longer makes its own consumer DVDs. In the 3rd Qtr of 2007, Imation bought TDK Recording Media and Memcorp (Memorex). Imation farms out a lot of mfg to CMC Magnetics and Optodisc who often, but not always, make landfill material.

Even if Imation were still using TDK's old TT or TDK media codes in its own or farmed-out factories, they could well be something else, i.e., no guarantee any more of a TT or TDK code being the sign of a good blank TDK-branded disc (unless you bought them before 2007)?

 

Maxell discs are made by contract suppliers, same as the others. Here's a recent anecdote on Maxell longevity.

Memorex are considered the worst by wide consensus among AVS members, altho some people have used them successfully for years (but maybe they haven't tried playing them in awhile ).

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

Effect of Disc Speed on Burner / Disc Longevity
 

The laser diode (LD) in a DVD burner is a small semiconductor embedded in a heat sink.

 

DVDRs write DVDs at variable "data transfer rates" from 1X-16X as described here, The "disc speed" you see, like 2X/4x/8X/16X, indicates how fast data can be transferred (written), i.e., the disc media/dye is designed to withstand the proportionally higher heat generated when the LD is dumping data faster, like in high-speed dub (HSD).

The heat-sink is extremely important in DVDR laser design since HEAT is the worst enemy of the LD and laser lens as they focus and pulse the laser "beam" for writing. Laser diode researchers and "experimenters" have "fried" LDs or popped them out of the heat sink by applying too much power for too long.

A Wiki article starts a section on LD Failure modes this way: "Laser diodes have the same reliability and failure issues as light emitting diodes. In addition they are subject to catastrophic optical damage (COD) when operated at higher power." Then, it mentions the still ongoing efforts to prevent COD and the methods some companies have developed to prevent or reduce it... methods that are still-undisclosed and closely held secrets since it's such a critical element of LD design!

Another article notes how higher heat affects the plastic laser lenses used today:
"Where the problem lies in modern DVD writers is that the focus lenses are no longer made of glass, but of plastic, and the more power the write laser pushes through them, the faster the plastic lens degrades due to heat build-up. The writer's electronics are self-adapting to a point, and will increase power as the plastic starts to fog, but eventually even at maximum power output the lens is too far degraded to get an accurate write."

Unfortunately, disc type (+/-) and speed (8/16X) have become insanely contentious and divisive, so be aware that the purpose of this discussion is simply to show that higher-speed writing, using higher-speed discs, requires higher power/heat thru the laser. Actual numbers in this discussion are not nearly as important as their RELATIVITY!

If you disagree with that or don't care... or you haven't taken your meds today... and you choose to read further, I accept no responsibility for strokes, heart attacks, boiled blood, blindness, incoherence, dyslexia, apoplexia, schizophrenia  or any other physical or mental disorder you may suffer!

If you're still interested:

In light of the above, those who care... and those who have taken their meds today... *might* want to keep heat down as much as possible to help the LD and lens last as long as possible, and there is ONE surprisingly easy way to do this: use lower-speed discs.

16X discs use the 8X dye formulation "extended" (Verbatim's word) to handle the higher laser power/heat those discs are capable of. Even tho WE may not be able to BURN at a 16X rate, PC's can, so a 16X disc dye is designed to be written at that fastest possible DVD data transfer rate. Since it's the DYE that makes 16X discs more resistant (or "accommodating") to heat, writing to them at any burner speed, like our 4X and 8X, requires more laser power and resultant heat.

Still, newbies might ask, "Why not just use 16X discs for everything since they're almost all you can buy from B&M stores?"

The answer can be inferred from power stats of burners and discs. Burner mfgrs publish stats on the increasing power their burners are capable of at higher write speeds. And disc maker, Taiyo Yuden (TY), publishes a yearly spec sheet on its discs that shows higher power required for 16X discs vs 8X.

Taiyo Yuden Laser Power Stats for 8X vs 16X Discs at 8X Burner Speed
2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557 burners are 8X.
Stats derived from Table 4 of TY Doc mdvd_e published in 2009 (year at bottom of each page in actual doc.) See their chart below.
 

DVD Speed -R DVD +R DVD -R DL DVD
2-2.4X 12mW 15mW 32mW
8X 32mW 30mW 55mW
16X 50mW 53mW -

 

These stats show that, in RTD and RTR, 16X SL and 8X DL discs require 75-85% more burn power than std 8X ±R discs!


TY Chart from 2009. Republished yearly. None have been "corrected" for errors as one person claims.

In addition, a Wiki entry on DVD-RAM says there's a 10-fold decrease in disc longevity between 3X and 5X discs, a measly 2X difference: "Faster DVD-RAMs support fewer rewrites (3x speed: 100,000, 5x speed: 10,000)." Altho our DVDRs can't burn DVD-RAM discs, this is ANOTHER telling stat on the negative effect of using higher power to burn discs, except this stat shows higher power ALSO creates more "stress" in the burn layer, which can reduce the longevity of the discs!

In summary, using lower-speed discs, like 8X ±R and any 2-4X ±RW, offers several key advantages for RTD and RTR:

  1. Less LD power needed to burn a disc (esp. important as your burner ages).
  2. Less heat in the LD.
  3. Less heat in the laser lens.
  4. Less stress on the burner power circuit.
  5. Longer burner life due to 1-4.
  6. Longer disc life due to less "heat stress" in the burn layer.

 

In the 3575/3576, which have 4X burners, not only do 16X discs require higher LD power, they ALSO take several minutes longer in HSD than 8X discs. That's higher power for a longer time in those older machines... a double-whammy, due solely to the harder-to-write 16X DVD media formulation!

 

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

Effect of HSD on Burner / Disc Longevity


I've been searching for several years for definitive, technical articles on exactly how high-speed dub (HSD) works in our DVDRs... burn process, LD power reqd, etc... with little success.

 

Only things I found in the expert literature to date are a possible change from CLV to ZCAV or CAV for higher burn rates and an INCREASE IN LD POWER (AND HEAT!) to accommodate faster data transfer rates (write "speeds"): That 2nd source/link says: "The higher writing speed, the less time a laser has to heat a point on the media, thus its power has to increase proportionally." [emphasis mine]

Of course, we all know that HSD is transferring data faster than RTD or RTR since we have Elapsed Time stats that show 7.5X faster writing with HSD on a Mag compared to 1X RTD or RTR. If the higher laser power reqd is truly "proportional," that could mean 7.5X the 30mW RTD/RTR laser power/heat on 8X TY discs, or 225mW, albeit for a shorter time!

I still don't know exactly how many mW it takes to do that faster HSD write, but I'll keep searching the literature!

 

One last thing: These stats also suggest that you can test an apparently "dying" burner by switching from your hard-to-burn 16X discs to 8X or even 2-4X RW discs just to see if your burner system still has some life left!? If so, a switch to 8X discs could prolong your burner's life.

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

DVD±R Discs

Notes:

  1. These DVDRs are designed around the Philips +VR standard which favors +R/RW discs.
  2. DVD±R discs DO NOT require Formatting for 1st time use. They are readyfor immediate use.
  3. There must be at least 60 minutes before the next timer rec program before Finalizing becomes an active option in the Disc Edit menu.

 

DVD±R discs are write-once media ideal for long-term storage, assuming you use high-quality media.

To play DVD±R discs in a player/recorder other than the same model, you need to Finalize them using the Disc Edit > Finalize menu, as described here.

You can record to any disc type in one 2080/2160/513/515/53x/557 machine and add other recordings or Finalize in a 3575/3576 (or vice versa) if you turn Recording > Make Recording Compatible ON, as described in Option 1 here (557 doesn't have this).

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

DVD±RW Discs

Notes:

  1. These DVDRs are designed around the Philips +VR standard which favors +R/RW discs.
  2. DVD±RW discs require Formatting for 1st time use. This is automatically done upon 1st insertion (chasing lines in front-panel display).
  3. Formatting a new ±RW disc for first use or Erasing a used one with timer rec programs set in the 2160A (only) cannot be done successfully without either (1) a FW update, or (2) setting the 2160A on Source L3 (DV) input BEFORE inserting a new ±RW disc, both described here.
  4. There must be at least 15 minutes before the next timer rec program for Format or Erase, and 60 minutes for Finalizing a -RW.
  5. FYI: There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that ERASING RW discs causes them to fail much sooner than DELETING titles.

 

DVD±RW discs are rewriteable... they can be burned and erased many times (up to 1000, according to experts) cuz they have a "phase-changing" burn layer which allows for burning, then changing back to their original crystalline state.

These are ideal for temporary offloading, storage, testing or other temp. purposes... "temporary" only cuz the National Archivists Org. recommends that THEIR MEMBERS should NOT use DVD±RW discs for safekeeping national archival records cuz the discs might "change phase" during long-term storage. IMHO, an unproven theory only! The real-life odds of a phase-change in good storage conditions for our remaining lifetime are next to nil... FWIW YMMV!

One excellent use for RW discs is dubbing programs or edited stuff you want to see again in the near future but not necessarily keep long-term. I use RW discs to dub an edited compilation of our favorite dances from "So You Think You Can Dance" so we can watch them later... until the next season of even more amazing dancers!

RW discs are also ideal as "transfer" or "offload" discs for titles you KNOW you might want to put back on the HDD for some purpose or other. You can HSD the original from the HDD to a ±RW disc, watch it or store it somewhere, then dub back to the HDD in all the rec modes available with the dubbing menu. That's cuz a -RW disc can be Finalized in this DVDR for watching or storage, then Unfinalized and dubbed to HDD thru the main Dubbing menu, and +RW discs don't need Finalizing at all.

If you offloaded to DVD-R, you'd have to Finalize them to watch on different brands of machines, and they can't be Unfinalized. So, the only dubbing option available back to the HDD is thru Direct Dubbing, which takes place one title at a time (not complete disc contents) and only in the same rec mode as on the disc.

DVD+RW discs DON'T NEED FINALIZING so they're playable virtually anywhere else right after dubbing or recording to them. However, if you make edits directly on a +RW disc, you must set Disc Edit > Make Edits Compatible for that disc for other machines to see those edits.

You can Erase RW discs or just Delete Titles, one at a time. In normal use, Erasing and Deleting Titles gets you to the same place for re-use in this DVDR but, if you use some computer apps for editing, Deleted titles can be "seen" and grabbed by the app whereas Erased titles can't be seen.
 

FYI: There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that ERASING RW discs causes them to fail much sooner than DELETING titles.

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

Which to Use: DVD-Minus or DVD+Plus?

 

Note: These DVDRs are designed around the Philips +VR standard which favors +R/RW discs.

 

DVD+R/RW may produce better burns due to the plus-format's inherently better design for tracking, speed control and addressing (location on the disc), esp. at higher burn speeds.

Here's the first "definitive" 2003 article on the subject, which is used as a reference in many other media discussions. See esp. "Pre-pits versus ADIP" discussion and the section farther down on "Multiple recording sessions and compatibility." IGNORE the section on "Defect Management" and DVD+MRW Mount Rainier cuz it's only been implemented in a few consumer systems like Windows Vista and Linux. Our perennial boo-birds (and previous -R-only Panasonic/Pioneer users) here will try to suggest the entire +R/RW system "hasn't been implemented" in DVD discs when it's really only the Mount Rainier elements and, even there, it has been applied, just not widely... and we don't care about Mount Rainier, just the real benefits of +R/RW technology. It's getting hilarious lately, with boo-birds saying a person is just "lucky" if he gets better results with +R vs -R! :-)

Here's a 2009 article on how to choose archival DVD media that has a section "Why DVD+R" with a similar analysis and a conclusion as to which is best for archiving: Taiyo Yuden +R.

Wiki also discusses the +R/RW's design factors that combine to produce higher-quality burns.

One lifelong -R AVS user who always computer-checks his burns posted that he switched to +R and improved his Quality scores from 95% with -R to 98-99% with +R. (Still looking for this post.) Here's another person who tests his burns and went from 93% to 98% on same burner when he switched to +R discs.

But, better yet, here's a recent post by a new 515 user with a quality scan comparison of TY +R (100%) and -R (70%).

As expected, expert articles plus AVS user experience are not good enough for our AVS boo-birds. While they present no contrary evidence, they WILL say we shouldn't believe those -R to +R switchers but we should believe THEM when they give THEIR opinion and anecdotal tales!

The boo-birds are also quick to offer their opinion that the only reason for Philips developing the +R format was MONEY... avoidance of a licensing fee to the DVD Forum (-R, developed 2 years prior). Yeah, right, Philips et al spent megabucks to develop a standalone NEW format rather than pay a measly licensing fee! More on that here.

The REAL reason was the DVD Forum knew that +R was going to be a superior product since Philips was ditching the bad tech. features of -R, and the Forum's monopoly would soon crumble, so they WITHHELD licensing rights to the competing, superior product!

I've never understood why this subject is SO contentious to the point of being illogical! I can only guess that, for the most part, the boo-birds are known to be lifelong users of pre-2005 Panasonic or pre-2006 Pioneer DVDRs that could use ONLY -R. Maybe they've still got -R-only recorders or are too stubborn to switch. Maybe they can't admit the possibility that they're not using the very best technology anymore? Maybe they're just POOP (Pissed Off Old People) in general!?

You'll just have to take this info and make your own decisions... there WILL NOT be a consensus on AVS!

All other things being equal, the closer you can get to a 100% quality score the better the chance of a longer disc life. The closer you get to a "marginal" burn the more likely the disc is to "fade" into unreadability over time.

However, other considerations come into play when trying to decide between the two archival formats. DVD-R was introduced in 1997 while DVD+R was introduced in mid-2002. Wikipedia says this on -R vs +R:

"... because the DVD-R format has been in use since 1997, it has had a five-year lead on DVD+R. As such, older or cheaper DVD players (up to 2004 vintage) are more likely to favor the DVD-R standard exclusively, and when creating DVDs for distribution (where the playing unit is unknown or older) the DVD-R format would normally be preferable."

So, if your ext. family has machines made from 1997-2004, they might not be able to play +R discs? "1997-2004"? That's ancient history in electronics!

Also, one person reports that DVD+RW discs FF at a max. 16X speed in his Panasonic machine vs. 200X for other disc types.... all other types FF/REW normally as long as they're finalized. (I think I'd rather have 16X than 200X, but that's just me and my weak eyes!) All disc types should FF/REW normally in Funai/Philips DVDRs like Magnavox, Emerson, Sylvania, Durabrand and Toshiba (>50% of DVDRs in NA).

Another advantage to +R: This DVDR and most others will auto-play finalized DVD+R discs if you place the disc in the tray and don't close it but, instead, SELECT DVD DRIVE, then press PLAY. This'll close the tray, load the disc, and play title 1 from start. Manually closing the disc tray will just display a +R's disc type/info then sit there with blank screen, waiting for a command. (Won't work if you don't select DVD drive before pressing PLAY!)

As far as universal compatibility, in 2006... again, ancient history in electronics!... a German magazine did multiple-unit tests and found -R was 95% compatible and +R was 93% compatible (but 95% if it was bit-set to ROM). However, that test is over 5 yrs old now and 2006 was a "pivotal" year for DVDR mfgrs making their machines "all DVD" compatible... some previous "all-R" mfgrs started making machine that also recorded on +R/RW. So, most every machine made since 2006 should be ±R and ±RW compatible.

Bottom line: I think anyone wanting DVDs for personal archive purposes should get better burns and longer playable life from +R discs, while people wanting to distribute lots of DVDs to extended family and friends with old (1997-2004) players might be better off with -R discs?

 

Oh, Oh, your first decision on using DVDs: do you care more about getting better burns for yourself or about your Aunt Mabel's ability to play your DVDs with her ancient Panny or Pio DVD-R-only player?

 

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

Mult-Session Rec/Dub on Same DVD

DVDs can be recorded/dubbed to in multiple sessions as long as the disc remains Unfinalized. You can remove a partially recorded/dubbed disc and reload it later in this DVDR for more recording or dubbing. This DVDR knows where to start its next burn, so don't worry about accidentally overwriting.

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

Multi-Machine Rec/Dub on Same DVD

See this help file for options in using DVDs in same and diff. brands of machines.

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DVD Quality in the Longevity Equation

One of the reasons you should care about disc quality is the incredible accuracy and consistency required for good DVD burning at home. You're using a laser beam to burn (mark) User Data (video and audio) in digital form into a thin layer of organic dye or metal alloy in concentric tracks only 0.74 micrometers (µm) apart. The laser has to do its data marking precisely from hub to outside rim with the disc rotating at a very high speed.

For some hair-raising info and stats on the miracle of recording to DVD discs at home, you can read this e-articles.info tutorial, which has this particularly interesting tidbit on disc reading (which also applies to writing since the *only* diff. is laser power used?):

"Officially, the spiral track of a standard DVD starts with the lead-in zone and ends at the finish of the lead-out zone. This single spiral track is about 11.84 kilometers or 7.35 miles long. An interesting fact is that in a 20x CAV drive, when reading the outer part of the track, the data moves at an actual speed of 156 miles per hour (251km/h) past the laser. What is more amazing is that even when the data is traveling at that speed, the laser pickup can accurately read bits (pit/land transitions) spaced as little as only 0.4 microns or 15.75 millionths of an inch apart!"

That "156 mph" is the actual rotational speed of the outer tracks, which move faster than the inner tracks in relative terms, i.e., if an inner track travels an inch, an outer track travels many more inches in the same time period, so the outer edge is moving faster when expressed in mph. Like a marching band making a turn where the inside guy hardly moves but the outside guy has to move fast to keep the line straight!

To help visualize just the track-spacing element of this process, consider this: a female dust mite, which we can't see... even tho they're all over our eyelids, face, and ... (well, nevermind)... can cover more than 400 tracks on a DVD! (Females are plumper than males, so they're more "impressive" for this visualization )

What's the message of the dust mite? KEEP DUST AWAY FROM YOUR DISC TRAY OPENING! ...ROFL...just a joke... sort of! However, dust DOES collect around the edges of the disc tray opening in the case (upper edge on mine), so clean the edge(s) off every once in awhile. I rub my finger along that edge before inserting a disc for playback or dubbing... that cleans any dust off and adds a little finger grease to trap more dust at the outer edge of the tray, before it enters the mech.

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How Long Will DVDs Last?

No matter what you've read about DVD longevity, if you start with cheap or fake media AND get a bad burn cuz of that, those DVDs might serve as "coasters" after you learn they're unplayable from the get-go. Even if your "burn-on-the-cheap" happens to be an initial success, the DVD may then be playable for only a few months or year at best.

Here's a post by Sean Nelson showing an animated sequence of burn tests on a 2nd Class Ritek disc, which illustrates how even 2nd Class media can fade in quality just 3 and 6 months after burning! See list of 2nd Class media here, where Sean's Ritek disc is in the middle of the 2nd-Class pack, Media ID "RITEK F1."

If you use the best blank DVDs you can afford (typically 30-35 cents each), they should last from 100-200 years, depending on type of disc and storage conditions. One online tech site says this about longevity:

"Manufacturers... test discs by using accelerated aging methodologies with controlled extreme temperature and humidity influences over a relatively short period of time. However, it is not always clear how a manufacturer interprets its measurements for determining a disc’s end of life. Among the manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more; CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM discs should have a life expectancy of 25 years or more."

National Archivists, who are charged with digitizing and preserving the nation's most-precious digital records on DVDs for long-term archival, recommend against rewriteable DVD±RW discs for long-term storage since their burn layer is made from a phase-changing metal alloy film that's designed to accommodate rewriting (multiple changes between burned and erased states). DVD±R discs are better for long-term storage cuz they're made with an organic-dye burn layer that's designed to change only once... during their one-and-only burn cycle. Here's their publication on best practices for archiving on CDs and DVDs and some good info on disc types and longevity.

Shelf Life of Blank DVDS: National Archivists recommend not using blank CDs/DVDs beyond their typ. 5-10 yr shelf life (#5 here)..

If you really care about longevity, do at least steps 1 and 2 below; if you really, really care, do all four:
  1. Keep your tapes.
  2. Check your blank media batches before 1st burn with them, using this DVDR's disc utility described here.
  3. Check all "precious-memory" burns with computer software (SW) that will show how good your initial burns really are. Nero Speed is used by many, and there are several more mentioned and recommended in this forum.
  4. Check your burned DVDs (w/SW program) over time to make sure they're still playable... you may have to drag out the tapes again!?

 

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

Tips on Disc HANDLING and MARKING

 

  1. Keep your finger out of the hole... handle discs ONLY by outside edge... no matter what you read elsewhere!
    Sticking a finger thru the center hole can, over time, deposit skin grease, boogers, etc. on the hub. Centrifugal force from the spinning hub can spread your boogers outward to the rubber/silicone "disc gripper." Combined with dust... check the front edges of your disc tray opening sometime!... that can lead to disc slippage, one of the most predominant causes of unreadable discs. And if a blank or still-recordable disc slips, the reqd series of performance tests can't be run to determine the ideal burn routine for that disc. This will cause an error or "can't record" type message. Altho reports of this problem with PhilMag HDD-DVDRs are virtually nonexistent, it could happen, requiring a cleaning of the hub in the DVD mechanism, as described here.
  2. Store discs vertically.
    Prevents warpage or "sagging edges" over time, which can cause read/write problems as the laser gets closer to the outer edge of a disc. The machine speeds disc rotation as the laser travels towards the outer edge to maintain a constant read/write rate, and a mis-shaped or floppy disc edge can cause problems.
  3. OK to use alcohol-based Sharpies for marking.
    Household (isoprorpyl) alcohol is OK to use on DVDs, as shown in this Wiki article. DVDs are more "chemical-resistant" than CDs since they have polycarbonate on both side of the burn layer and a lacquer coating. If concerned, use the new water-based Crayola markers in the CD/DVD section of Walmart and other stores, or buy discs that have a white coating on top for inkjet printing. I use these all the time and mark with Sharpie, when lazy, or print with my HP C309a inkjet printer for "beautimous" discs for my library.
  4. Store in normal household environment, out of sunlight.
    UV light is particularly damaging.
  5. Don't use DVD±RW discs for long-term storage.
    These have a phase-changing layer, which allows erasing and rewriting but also is not a stable burn layer over time, like DVD±R disc (once burned, permanently burned).

 

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Using This DVDR's Disc Utility to Check Media Quality

This subject has been moved to its own separate file here.

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PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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PLAY AND SEARCH WITH INFO/DISPLAY MENU

Jump To:
The INFO/DISPLAY Button
Playback Controls in the INFO/DISPLAY Menu
Play and Search from the Menu
Audio
Subtitle
Angle
Repeat
Marker
Noise Reduction (NR)
Zoom
Surround
Changing Rec Mode and Checking HDD/DVD Capacities
Using "Audio Language" and "Subtitles" To Learn a New Language
USING YOUR DVDR AS A DVD PLAYER
 
DVD tray won't open on new or hard-reset unit until it's set up and channels scanned. More info.

All Display menus will be recorded if activated in the player in a 2-unit copy setup.

The INFO/DISPLAY Button

The INFO button on the 3575/3576 remote and the DISPLAY button on the 2160/513/515/53x/557 remote bring up several screens in succession by repeated pressing of the button, and those screens are "context-sensitive," i.e., they change to suit the tuner selected and/or the media loaded or being played.

For video on an analog channel, the first screen provides information on channel, video resolution, audio type, drive currently active, and HDD time remaining at selected rec modes.

For video on a digital (DTV) channel, the first screen shows any avail. TVG/show info and signal-strength meter, AND THIS SCREEN WILL BE RECORDED: (1) if recording at that time, or (2) whenever the 2160/513/515/53x/557 is on (as part of its background autorecording). The 2nd screen on a digital channel shows the same info as on an analog channel. On either an analog or digital channel, and with an HDMI cable connected to the TV, the last screen always shows HDMI info regardless of whether the TV's HDMI input is selected or not.

With the 2160/513/515/53x/557, you can get to the Display info/menu WITHOUT recording the 1st screen on a digital channel by using one of the Autostart Recording (AR) buttons: PAUSE, REW OR REPLAY.

One of the screens has 9 playback control icons for viewing and setting the video playback options described next.

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Playback Controls in the INFO/DISPLAY Menu

This DVDR has a very useful video/audio DVD/CD playback feature under the INFO/DISPLAY button that really should be called Playback Central... maybe "Playground" Central cuz, once you know your way around, you'll be like a kid again, trying to find new ways to get into trouble!

Most everything you might need or want to do with DVD/CD playback can be commanded and controlled in this on-screen display. Pressing the INFO/DISPLAY button while playing brings up the INFO/DISPLAY menu and control icons at the top of the TV screen.

This is a graphic that shows what appears along the top of the playback pic after pressing the INFO/DISPLAY button:



There are 9 control icons in the 2nd row. From left to right, they are:



You can arrow right from the auto-selected Search (?) icon to select each of the other 8 controls. Just arrowing right activates a control within 1 sec, or you can press OK after arrowing right to activate the control immediately (indicated below by "Activate"). If no options pop up, there are no options under that icon/feature. Use arrow up/dn and OK to select an option. Exit anytime with the INFO/DISPLAY button.

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Play and Search from the Menu

The INFO/DISPLAY menu allows you to play titles and chapters by number and search by time.

The menu opens up on the Search icon (? in mag. glass)... it's already highlighted. Click OK on this icon and it moves you up to the top row, where there are three video sections: Title (T), Chapter (C), and Time (digital clock).

For CDs, the sections change to Track (T) and Time; Track/Time will not work if you select Random Play from the CD Playback menu under Setup, but will if using Program Play or normal play (just pressing Play).

Here's an annotated Search Menu showing the three video sections:



To play a specific Title, arrow up/dn on the 1st "T" number or enter numbers directly, then press OK to play that Title from its beginning. That starts play at 0:00:00 if not played before in that session, Resumes if playing then using the "T" number and keeps track during that session.

Note: If you have lots of titles on a HDD or have an external "farm" of HDDs with title content NUMBERED, this is the ideal way to play a specific title w/o having to search pages of index pics... just enter the Title NUMBER in the 1st "T" number position.

 

To play a specific Chapter, arrow right to the C section, arrow up/dn on the 1st "C" number or enter numbers directly, then press OK to play that Chapter from its beginning (always starts play at 1st frame of Chapter).

To play a currently playing title by specific time other than its beginning, arrow right to 1st set of hr:min:sec time digits, arrow up/dn or enter time directly, then press OK to go to that time immediately. Total time of that title is shown in a 2nd set of hr:min:sec numbers. For a title not yet playing, first select that title number (and chapter if desired), then arrow right to set a specific time in that title. You can also search CDs the same way with this function.

"Intelligent" Search Feature: When searching for start of next show in a multi-show title (like 2nd of 3 shows), each arrow-up on the 1st clock segment advances to the next whole hour exactly, even tho you might currently be at an odd time. For example, if you're currently on 1:18:35, arrow up on 1st number segment to hour 2 and it goes to 2:00:00, not 2:18:35. It knows you want to start at the beginning of the hour for a new show! Just press OK to go there. Of course, you could also enter minutes in each clock segment, if desired.

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Audio - Activates the speaker control for selecting Audio options. Start playback, press DISPLAY button, arrow right to Audio (speaker) icon, press OK, select option.

 

This displays and checks/highlights the type of audio being played and gives you any other available options you can select with arrow up/dn and OK button (languages, DD types, etc.)

You can also use this feature to turn subtitles on in your native language (English, French or Spanish), then change the "Audio Language" in the Playback menu to a different language as a way to learn or practice the selected Audio Language, as described below.

Audio on HDD and home-made DVD titles will always be DD2.0, which is the compression std use for recording anything coming in thru the tuner or line inputs. However, DD5.1 audio on commercials DVDs will play as DD5.1 via the digital output(s) on this DVDR (and HDMI?).

There is also a menu item for audio: Playback > Disc Audio which has options for Dynamic Range Control, PCM and Dolby Digital... this is ONLY for audio played back on a DVD.

More info on digital audio here.

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Subtitle - Activates the Subtitle control for selecting subtitle language(s), if available. For DVDs only. Start playback, press DISPLAY button, arrow right to Subtitle icon, press OK, select option

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Angle - Activates the Angle control for selecting camera angle(s), if available. For DVDs only. Start playback, press DISPLAY button, arrow right to Angle icon, press OK, select option

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Repeat - Activates the Repeat control for selecting a type of repeat play on HDD, DVDs and CDs. Start playback of a title/track, press DISPLAY button, arrow right to Repeat icon (circular arrow), press OK, menu starts on "Repeat Off." To repeat play a Title, Chapter/track, or A-B section:.

 

Video Title/CD Track: Play title/track. Arrow down to Title/Track option, press OK. That entire title/track repeat-plays until you press Stop.

 

Video Chapter: Play video Chapter. Arrow down to Chapter option, press OK. That entire Chapter repeat-plays until you press Stop.

 

CD All: Play CD. Arrow down to All option, press OK. The entire CD repeat-plays until you press Stop.

 

A-B Section: Play title/track. Arrow down to A-B icon, press OK. Box in upper right shows "A" highlighted, waiting for you to mark that "A" point. Play or advance to near desired start point. At desired start point, press OK, which switches highlighted "A" in box at top right to "B." At desired end point, press OK again. That marks your desired section (from A to B), and it will repeat-play until you press Stop.


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

Marker

Activates the Marker control for selecting up to six "bookmarks" at playback points you might want to return to. Use this icon to go directly and instantly to one of your marked spots. Markers can be in one title/track or in multiple titles/tracks.

The Marker Menu


The procedure for setting markers is:

  1. Start a title playing and PAUSE at the point you want a marker if you want an exact spot... if a more general spot, you can ALSO set markers "on-the-fly" as something is playing.
  2. Press the INFO/DISPLAY button.
  3. Arrow right to the 6th icon (down-arrow symbol) and press OK.
  4. In 1st Marker position, press OK button. This sets a Marker there.
  5. Play or FF to next position, arrow down to 2nd position and place a marker there in same way, etc.

 

To use markers to watch again, start playback, press the INFO/DISPLAY button, arrow right to marker icon and wait 1-sec for menu to open (or press OK for immediate access), then OK on any of your set markers.

To set markers on 1st frames for a sequential-play of titles:

  1. Press the INFO/DISPLAY button.
  2. Arrow right to the 6th icon (down-arrow symbol) and press OK.
  3. Play 1st title and Pause immediately.
  4. Press OK button. This sets a Marker at beginning of title.
  5. Press TITLE button to get Title menu again.
  6. Play 2nd desired title, PAUSE, set marker, press TITLE button, etc. until you've marked the first six titles at their very beginning. Pretty easy, really.

 

In a sequential-play, you can open the INFO/DISPLAY menu and press OK on the Markers in order, top to bottom. Each title will start playing from the marked position, which is the very beginning of the title. You could mix-n-match Markers with 1 in one title, 2 in another, 3 in another, as needed.

Markers PERSIST on the HDD until you delete them using the CLEAR button or delete the title, so you can turn the machine off and use them at a later time. You'd do another six titles by CLEARing the old Markers and placing new ones. Deleting or Dividing a title also deletes its marker(s).

Markers can also be placed in home-made or commercial DVDs, and those markers persist only while the disc remains in the tray and the DVDR remains on... they disappear once the disc tray is opened or the DVDR is shut off.

Some "special" uses for the Marker feature might be:

  • Political "junkies" could set up two or more politicians speaking on an issue or answering a question. Set a marker for each where they start to speak on the same subject, then play each one quickly in sequential order... no searching, etc.
  • A teacher could record educational items and mark them for quick access in classroom instruction.
  • Teacher-instructors could produce videos of teachers' classroom work, marking special spots, as self-help aids to improve their teching methods.
  • A law school professor could show different courtroom action by various lawyers for do's and don'ts w/o queuing up tapes or searching thru titles... delays that might "kill" the immediate visual comparison.
  • A coach could show players some game action for review, errors made, etc.
  • Any home user could play Titles, like favorite Soap episodes, IN RECORDED ORDER by marking 1st frames so they can follow the developing story line. Might be esp. useful if they've got LOTS of titles spread about in multiple pages of the Title menu. One 3575 user went on a 3.5 week trip and had 35 HDD titles on 6 pages to sort thru. There's no automatic "sequential play" mode for videos on HDD (just CDs and VCDs), but even if there were, you'd still have to go find the Titles, "mark" them for auto-play, and set their specific sequence. The Marker method provides one way to accomplish the same thing, at least for 6 titles in sequence.

 

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

Noise Reduction (NR) - Activates the NR control for selecting three video noise-reduction levels: Off, Type 1 for SLP or other long rec mode with video noise, or Type 2 for even stronger NR. Start playback, press DISPLAY button, arrow right to NR icon, press OK, select option

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

Zoom - Activates the video Zoom control for selecting four zoom levels: 1.0x, 1.2x, 1.5x, 2.0x. Right arrow to the +/- icon, wait 1 sec or press OK to bring up the zoom options. Arrow down to a zoom option and press OK. That displays an open box over the pic that defines approx. what area of the pic it will zoom to. You can move the box with the arrow keys, if desired. Press OK again and the pic zooms in.

The 1.2X zoom box might display with a small portion of the top and bottom bars not deleted, but when you press OK to accept that zoom, the zoomed pic will not retain any of the bars.

To go back to normal view, press the INFO/DISPLAY button again, which auto-selects 1.0X, so press OK again. Also, if you Stop playback and resume later, the pic will be back to normal view.

One notable feature of the Zoom function is that it maintains CC/subtitles in the same location on screen and in the same size text.

This is not true with many other devices, like TVs. One user lost the top bar of his INFO/DISPLAY menu and it turned out someone had set his TV to ZOOM, which also zoomed the menu off-screen on top!

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

Surround - Activates the Surround control for selecting three surround options: Off, Type 1 (natural), Type 2 (emphasized). Start playback, press DISPLAY button, arrow right to Surround icon, press OK, select option

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

Changing Rec Mode and Checking HDD/DVD Capacities

Since this DVDR's REC MODE button is set up to CHANGE rec mode on first press, it's easy to accidentally CHANGE rec mode when all you wanted to do is CHECK the current setting... nothing worse than finding out, after a recording, that you had the wrong rec mode by accident. Here's where the INFO/DISPLAY button comes in handy.

While on the HDD and a live TV channel (nothing playing), press the INFO/DISPLAY button 2X or 3X until you see the screen with the search and playback icons at the top. Look in the bottom-right corner of the screen (item "3" in screen shot below), which should show the rec-mode and HH:MM of time-remaining. Number of presses varies with the machine, channel (analog/digital), and drive selected.

Once on that screen, press the Rec Mode button to change rec modes and, at the same time, change the time-remaining on the selected drive. You can change to either drive while on this screen... an icon in the upper-right corner (item "7") shows which drive you're currently viewing. If DVD drive is selected, an unfinalized DVD must be loaded to see the default rec mode and the time remaining on that DVD.



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

Using "Audio Language" and "Subtitles" To Learn a New Language

These DVDRs can be a great asset to students or others trying to learn a "foreign" language... commercial movies can be played back with audio in the foreign language and subtitles turned on in English! Works great cuz you can hear the foreign language and see the English subtitles!

Use the REPLAY button to repeat sections until you understand the linguistic connections.

To see a concurrent English translation of a disc's foreign language, turn Subtitles on in the INFO/DISPLAY menu while playing the disc... 3rd icon from left.

To hear the foreign language, set the "Audio Language" in the Playback menu to French, Spanish, or Other.

For "Other," go to pg. 119 of the 3575/76 manual, or pg 117/118/119 of 2160/2160A/513 manual, for a list of 132 Language Codes you can enter after selecting the "Other" option. Enter the code that corresponds to the language actually on the disc, press OK, and when you play that disc, the audio language will be the one you hear (if on the disc) while the subtitles will be in English.

If your disc doesn't have the "Other" language you selected, the audio defaults to that disc's "native" language.

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


PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
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post #22 of 26027 Old 11-24-2007, 08:00 PM
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Dude, you might convince me to buy one of these yet!

What's the build quality like (i.e. fit and finish, reliability, etc.)?
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post #23 of 26027 Old 11-24-2007, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I was originally impressed with the build quality of my first unit, compared to other Philips' I've seen, and am still very happy with my three units...one for each network!

I think Philips put some extra effort into this unit to try and get things right, while keeping things "affordable" and simple enough for a wide user base. The jury is still out on longevity, as can be expected since they're only about 8 months old now.

Not sure how much money they're making, tho, selling for less than US$300, which is worth many less Yen and Yuan lately... now on a par with the Canadian dollar...

So far, it's been an excellent unit equal to or better than my Pio 640 in many respects. The digital tuner alone has opened my eyes to how good TV should look, even tho I'm on analog cable. For that alone, it's worth a try for anyone looking to "upgrade" to digital SDTV now.

Be forewarned, however, when an analog-only person sees his/her first digital TV pic, they might develop an irresistable craving for a satellite or digital cable upgrade!

Had to add an example... I just walked close by my 1080p LCD on an analog channel and could see every flaw and pixel in the pic (you can't get too close to a 1080p display...shows flaws you never knew were there! ).

Changed to a digital TNT-HD channel and the pic was beautiful, even tho I was only 2 feet away... and that channel is one of those downrezzed-and-converted-digitals I get thru my analog-only cable feed!
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PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
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post #24 of 26027 Old 11-25-2007, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Known Problems and Operating Idiosyncracies

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Reported problems:
P1. Possible digital channel loss of tuning in some 3575's in basic (analog) cable systems, esp. Comcast. 38% of 3575's, only a few early 3576's, NO 2160/513/515/53x/557.
P2. Possible editing freeze on 3575/3576 if you use Divide before Delete under certain conditions (like too-full HDD). NO 2160/513/515/53x/557.
P3. Possible dark pic with Computer-Based 768p TVs. NO 2160/513/515/53x/557.
P4. New 2160A for 2009 USED TO HAVE a problem with Disc Edit ops... now solved!

P5. 513/515 Freezing (Appearing "Dead") for no apparent reason.

The "Digital Cliff" Effect:
The "Digital Cliff" Effect and How It Can Affect Your Digital Channel Stability

Operating Idiosyncracies:
Op1. STOP button stops play AND record... big diff. between 3575/3576 and 2160/513/515/53x/557!
Op2. Heat and EMI can cause stuttering, freezing, false copy protection.
Op3. Format/Finalize Locked Out Before Timer Rec Program: Format RW=15 min., Finalize=1-hour
Op4. Shutdown procedure takes 15-20 sec, so don't cycle power too quickly... or too often.
Op5. Power sag or brief loss might require unplugging/replugging to reset "standby" circuit (or Soft Reset).
Op6. HDD Repair Utility might activate when needed.
Op7. Title can freeze but can be deleted with Setup > HDD Menu.
Op8. Disc menu of home-made DVDs will show an "Empty Title" but it can be deleted. Changed to "Empty Space" in 515/53x/557.
Op9. Fan mounting design can cause "harmonic" noise in case.
Op10. Some "odd" noises when DVDR starts up or searches for auto-clock time signal.

 

Quick Answers to Common Questions/Problems

  • Initial Setup - "Before You Start" page in manual is wrong for seeing "Initial Setup" menu.
  • Auto Clock - Time signals can cause problems. Try MANUAL using 11:57 Procedure or set to OFF.
  • DVD Tray - Won't open until you set unit up, scan channels & press DVD button.
  • Connect-1 - Unlike a VCR, nothing internal (menus, channels, titles, DVDs) goes thru the coax.
  • Connect-2 - Put DVDR 1st on cable/antenna coax (not sat) unless you order PPV/VOD thru a cable box.
  • Timers - Needs clock set first. For weekly/daily show, use DOWN arrow in date box of timer menu.
  • Widescreen - To record 16:9 WS programs, set Video > TV Aspect to "16:9 Wide."
  • Editing - Making Front- and End-Cuts (Scene Deletes) is undocumented.
  • Dubbing - Two methods for DVD>HDD. Finalized DVD requires Direct Dubbing.
  • Finalizing - NOT automatic. Use Disc Edit > Finalize, with at least 1-hour to next timer program.
  • Outputs - Composite Yellow and S-Video OUT on Mags won't work if Progressive scan is ON.
  • Inputs - Won't work if Video > Video Input is not set to type of cable used.
  • Dead Unit - Check batteries, try power button on unit, do Soft Reset, check for tuning interference.
  • Tuning Interference - Duplicate channels can cause tuning, timer & even power-on problems.
  • Top 12 Things Wrong, Misleading or Omitted in the Manual. The manual is wrong? YES!

 

Reported Problems


There have been three reported problems affecting some early 3575 users and, only a very few 3576 users, no 2160/513/515/53x/557 users, and one new problem with the 2160 "A" version release in Apr 2009, as described below.

P1. Possible Digital Channel Loss of Tuning in 3575's but only in Some "Basic" (Analog) Cable Systems, esp. Comcast

Note: See "Digital Cliff" description for one possible cause of digital channel loss.

About 38% of 3575s and only a couple of 3576s being used by people who subscribe to basic/extended (ANALOG) cable TV have lost digital channel tuning... TV goes "blue-screen." According to a Philips CSR, the problem is caused by "analog interference" and it's a hdwe problem, not FW.

Only one user subscribed to DIGITAL cable reported the same problem, but then one other thought HE had "digital" cable cuz he got some digital channels (it was basic analog cable), so who knows for sure that the other user really subscribed to his cableco's extra-cost digital package.

No one using an OTA antenna has this problem with digital channels, and no one with any service has reported a loss of tuning with analog channels.

I have two of the first units (April 2007) and one is rock solid in my basic analog cable system, but the other will lose digital channel tuning if I surf madly thru those channels trying to test its limits (50-60 round trips). Once it goes blue-screen, I can get the channels back by HOLDING the DTV/TV button for 2-sec or so till the tuner switches to analog and back again... the toggle action is all that's needed, don't have to actually wait for it to tune an analog channel. It works perfectly if I use it like a NORMAL person... it has always tuned digital channels fine on cold-startup and has never lost a timer rec. recording from its five M-F daytime programs and several primetime weekly shows. I'm still using both April 2007 units w/o any problems during NORMAL operations.

Updates thru Apr 3, 2008 (Combined): Several analog-cable users have received Jan 2008 3575s and still have a digital tuning problem. Also, some analog-cable users have bought the "Factory Refreshed" units from Philips and seemed to have no problems, but lately two of those units had the tuning problem.

One thing of note, however, is that MANY (not all) of the people having digital tuning problems subscribe to basic or ext. basic COMCAST analog cable. Comcast is aggressively "updating" their systems and switching channel assignments...just something to be aware of that might require regular channel scans to keep up with them.

Update May 2, 2008: One person who has a 3575 that drops digital tuning in his analog cable feed got a new 3576, and it has the same problem. Like me, he can get digital tuning back by toggling the DTV/TV button. A couple of other analog cable users have new 3576's and report no loss of digital tuning, even tho they've tried my "stress test."

Update Sep 9, 2008: There have been two new 3576 users who report digital channel tuning problems in their COMCAST basic or ext. basic (analog) cable systems.

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

P2. Possible Editing Freeze on 3575/3576 If You Use Divide before Delete under Certain Conditions
The 3575/76 has a very small, 2MB cache for storing edit instructions on-the-fly, which can create a problem if you Divide a title before cutting sections with Scene Delete. If Divided first, a title can freeze up during Scene Delete, requiring power unplug/replug to clear.

This problem seems to be caused by a HDD that's "too full" for complex edits and/or auto-chaptering set for 5-min. intervals.

The 2160/513/515/53x/557 have SATA HDDs with a larger cache and no one has reported the same edit problem with them.

The easy solution for a 3575/76 is to always make Scene Deletes first, then Divide as described here. Also, renaming one of the Divided segments immediately seems to make a difference... keeps from having two titles with same name on HDD.

Also, this DVDR is so good at transitioning from one back-to-back (BTB) timer rec to another on the same or different channels, you can set BTB programs and NEVER have to use Divide!

I had only one freeze-up with my 3575 as I was testing for this but it was related to Chapter Marks. I Divided a title, then went in to make Scene Deletes and found that I had "colliding" chapter marks. The problem title had 5-min. auto-chapter marks, and every Scene Delete was adding more chapter marks. When I got one new mark too close to an auto-set one, my title froze up. I went out of the Edit menu, back in, and deleted ALL chapter marks. (The MPEG-2/DVD specs have specific rules for how close and where chapter marks can be.)

I've since changed my auto-chapter setting to 10-min. intervals... I went for awhile with zero auto-chapter setting but found they were too handy during editing to eliminate altogether.

Update Apr 3, 2008: Found out that a couple of 3575/76 users who had persistent freeze-ups from Dividing, then Deleting, were running with their HDD full or almost full. (See this post.) If you do lots of editing, DON'T let your HDD get beyond ~75-80% full or freeze-ups can occur due to file fragmentation and lack of space. The 3575's Seagate HDD has only a small (2MB) cache for temp. storage. It's like your computer HDD: it doesn't delete data, just the "pointers" to the data (the Title entries), and it keeps editing instructions in a small (2MB) cache and prob. on the HDD also. So, it's advisable to clean off the HDD on a regular basis by deleting watched titles ASAP and/or offloading to DVDs. More basic info here.

Update Apr 27, 2008: Results of some testing of timer-rec of back-to-back programs shows this DVDR is EXCELLENT at minimizing loss of show while switching programs and/or channels... it loses only 3-sec at the beginning of succeeding shows on analog channels after the first one! This alone can reduce or even eliminate the need for DIVIDING since you can set back-to-back programs, even on the same channel, and end up with separate show titles requiring no Divide!? More details here.

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

P3. Possible Dark Pic, Primarily with Computer-Based 768p TVs
Some people with 3575/3576 units are reporting their TV pic is a little dark when viewing digital channels. Turns out MANY (not all) of these people have TVs 40" or smaller, which have a fixed resolution of 1366x768, even tho many are "advertised" as 720p. Their specs usually show "720p (768p)".

768p TVs are built for dual PC/computer and video applications, but their 768p resolution is not directly relateable to ANY TV/video resolution (480i/p, 720p or 1080i/p). Some of them also have a "protection circuit" that auto-darkens the pic if it senses a signal it thinks is from a PC, which might play a role in your system.

BOTTOM LINE: If you get a dark pic thru HDMI on a "720p" (true 768p) or 1080p HDTV, try both HDMI settings for Format and RGB Range as described here.

Also, try sending both 480p and 1080p, which "made the diff. between night and day" for one user.

 

Also, if your HDTV has HDMI1 and HDMI2 try both... one is usually for a diff. Gamma settings, which affects darkness.

Finally, see if you can also find a specific TV setting like any of these:

  1. For Panasonic TVs, check Menu > Picture > Advanced Picture > HD Size > ["Size 1" or "Size 2"] and try both. Size 2 is exact-pixel mapping and that's prob. your best bet to get a lighter and better pic.
  2. In other TVs, that same exact-pixel mapping might be named Just Scan, 1:1 or Dot-by-Dot.
  3. Also look for a "DTV" setting vs a "Computer" setting for the "type" of use and choose DTV.

 

If HDMI settings don't help, Component and S-Video output are one option for a brighter pic, as is returning the unit.

Old Apr 18, 2008: One user reported a "Factory Refreshed" 3575 he got has the dark (black-level) problem on ALL connection types, and he's on OTA antenna... first report from an OTA user. However, he did find that his 768p (computer-based) TV had a setting for "DVD" or "DTV" and setting it to DTV brightened the pic. So there IS a TV setting that can help... if the 768p people would just look for a similar setting for computer/SVGA vs. DTV/Video use.

Old May 2, 2008: Only two people so far have reported a dark pic with a 1080p LCD TV, one of which is me, but mine was directly on my TV, not thru my 3575, and it's on an analog channel. I have always seen a beautiful, bright pic on my 47" 1080p Vizio GV47L LCD, but one day I saw the local NBC evening news program on my analog channel 13, which recently switched to broadcasting in HD, and it was DARK ON THE COAX SIGNAL DIRECTLY TO THE TV, NOT THRU THE 3575! I saw this same darkness a second time and did some tests with my 3575 to see if IT could actually IMPROVE THE LIVE PIC, and I found an HDMI setting that DID brighten up the raw pic from my cable, as reported here.

The other report was from a 3575 user with a Samsung 52" 1080p LCD. He reported a dark pic with one particular dark scene in a commercial DVD (not his tuner). However, he found his HDMI Format was set on "RGB" and his "RGB Range" on "Enhanced" which tends to increase contrast for a sharper pic, but it also increases darkness in dark scenes. Changing his RGB Range back to the default "Standard" made his HDMI "brighter than Component!" But, better yet, when he changed his HDMI Format to YCbCr, his shows on the HDD and his DVDs look "great"! More details here.

 

Update Oct 8, 2008 - One user found that Gamma settings are inportant, esp, if using DVI. Many helpful hints and links here, followed by my post of trying HDMI2 vs HDMI1 input on your HDTV if it has both.

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

P4. New 2160A for 2009 USED TO HAVE a problem with Disc Edit ops... now solved!
The previously reported FW bug in the new 2160A for 2009 HAS BEEN KILLED! Two fixes: a FW upgrade for a permanent fix, or a temp. workaround, as described here.

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

 

P5. 513/515 Feezing (Appearing "Dead") for No Apparent Reason.
Some 513/515 units, mostly in cable systems, can suddenly appear "dead" after turning off or after a power event. Some are caused by analog interference in the tuner when people turn them off on an analog channel. Other causes are unknown.

 

Most, if not all, these "freezes" can be cleared with a Soft Reset, described here.

 

For units that exhibit multiple and recurrent freezes, Funai released a DTV tuner FW update, DTV Version 0x2C, as described here.

 

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


Important Note on the "Digital Cliff" (Loss of Digital Tuning)

ONE possible, and "surprising," cause of reception problems with DIGITAL channels is the "Digital Cliff" or "Cliff Effect." Too weak or too strong a signal FROM COAX OR ANY LINE INPUT can make DIGITAL channels freeze, move in slo-mo, stutter, pixelate, disappear (fall off the cliff), etc., and can even cause problems with TVGOS or time signals. Wiki info here... and good discussion here.

Since this DVDR has an AMPLIFIED video circuit, both coax and line inputs, it can be more sensitive to over-amplification, esp. if you have an amp just before this DVDR w/o lots of attenuation in between.

The Cliff Effect is exactly the OPPOSITE of all our previous experience with ANALOG channels, where we were always trying to get the STRONGEST signal... if we saw "snow" with a properly pointed antenna, we'd just "beef up" the signal strength. Not any more, bubba!

For DIGITAL TV, even your DVDR's signal-strength meter might not tell when the signal's too strong! DIGITAL tuners can be "over-driven" with signal strength and "splatter," so the possibility of a Cliff Effect is NOT indicated in the "meters" some of our equipment has... in fact, one expert says a very strong signal can register normally while it's splattering.

To determine if your signal is too weak or too strong thru the tuner, first do a "Hang-by-a-Thread Test" to see if it's too strong (most likely) and, if that doesn't improve things, add a bidirectional Digital Signal Amplifier to see if it's too weak. Only thing for a line input is to remove any amps that might be in that line?
 

HANG-BY-A-THREAD TEST

Here's a quick-n-easy prelim. test to determine if your digital signal is too STRONG thru the tuner only:
  1. Unscrew the incoming coax from this DVDR's ANT IN (top) coax connector until it's hanging by only one or two threads. Pull on the cable to make sure the center wire is withdrawn some and not "fully-seated" anymore.
  2. Check channels.
This usually degrades the signal just enough to see if there's any difference... UNLESS you've got coax with the center wire too long, which makes it NEVER lose solid contact. If center wire sticks out beyond threaded nut more than 1/16-1/8" or so, trim it back before doing this test.

If you've got a pic on the problem channel(s) that breaks up, pixelates, freezes, etc... or just plain disappears... this test may clear the pic up. If your channel(s) have been "disappearing" (blue or black screen), they might re-appear with this test.

OR if you never DID get digital channels after a good scan, you might need to do a new Auto Channel Preset with the coax in its attenuated state (still hanging by a thread), then check for presence and stability of your expected digital channel(s)... don't immediately screw the coax in tight cuz if the signal is too strong, it'll splatter again and you won't have proved anything. Once you're convinced that the signal is too strong, then you can use one or more splitters or buy one or more RF attenuators (they're "cheap") for a permanenet installation.

See this post for flamike's successful "coax-on-a-thread" test.

If the quick-n-easy prelim. test suggests attenutation is needed on the incoming coax, you can do the following:
  1. Remove any amplifiers leading to this DVDR. This might be the solution... no further action required?
  2. If no amplifier is inline, install a 2-way splitter on the incoming coax with one output to this DVDR and one to your TV. Note how many -dB each output of the splitter has, e.g., if balanced -3.7dB or unbalanced -3.7dB and -7.4dB, and try both outputs to see if a specific dB-weakening thru the splitter helps. You could also go directly to Step 3 with attenuators... they're pretty cheap.
  3. Install one or more signal attenuators of appropriate strength on the incoming coax in front of this DVDR (flamike's attenuator source is here). To help decide which one(s) to buy, here's how flamike used two of the three he bought... however, each system will be diff. and his was a rather complex one that might not apply to anyone else?
Below are a couple of other options for attenuation... don't have any experience with these, but they sound very interesting:
  1. Winegard TC-200A Tilt Compensator, $10.95.
    Description: "Coaxial cable attenuates high frequencies greater than low frequencies. This problem is most severe when cascading amplifiers one after another. The signal differences are attenuated to a point where the high frequency signals are so small compared to the low frequency signals that the high frequency signals can no longer be received. The TC-200A Tilt Compensator provides a balanced signal level by compensating for 200 feet of coax cable loss and allowing all signal levels on all channels to be of equal amplitude at distant locations. Therefore, the picture quality on the higher channels will be maintained."
  2. Winegard TA-8700 Variable Attenuator, $19.85.
    A 75-Ohm attenuator for continuously variable attenuation from 1-17 dB. AC-DC passive.

 

Attenuating or reducing the signal in front of this DVDR shouldn't affect downstream components (STBs, TVs, other DVDRs, etc.) cuz this DVDR amplifies whatever signal it receives, so those downstream components *should* be receiving about the same signal strength they used to get.

In addition to the signal-strength problem, a couple of 3576 users and many users of other DVDRs are suddenly (starting in Sep 2008) seeing a CP flag in COMMERCIALS, which allows you to record to the HDD but not offload/dub to a DVD. More info here.

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

Operating Idiosyncracies

Op1. 3575/3576/2080 STOP Button Stops Play AND Record - Big Diff. between those units and 2160/513/515/53x/557
This DVDR doesn't have a separate "Stop Recording" button like the Pio 640 and maybe others, so the STOP button is used for stopping playback AS WELL AS RECORDING!

3575/3576/2080 users (only) have to be especially careful with the STOP button while a normal recording is in progress thru the REC button or a timer program. Pressing the STOP button once, by accident or on purpose, will stop the recording! That's fine for stopping a recording if that's what you want to do. However, where you could get into trouble is while watching something else from the HDD or a DVD during a recording. In this situation if you press the STOP button to stop playback, the playback will stop on Resume and the recording will continue. BUT, with all playback stopped, if you press the STOP button again at any time, the recording will also stop! Try to remember: pressing STOP twice in a row on the 3575/3576 serves no useful purpose... ever!!!

HOWEVER, on the original 2160 (mfg 2008), you can press STOP on the remote as many times in a row as you want and it'll only stop playback. To stop recording, you have to HOLD the STOP button down for 2 seconds, or press the STOP button on the front panel... an excellent feature compared to the 3575/3576! The newer Mag 2160A/513/515/53x/557 have added a STOP dialog after holding the STOP button that asks if you want to stop recording Yes/No!

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

Op2. Heat and EMI Can Cause Stuttering, Freezing, False Copy Protection
Someone in Ireland bought a Philips EU 3595 and had problems with stuttering, freezing, etc. and replaced it with an EU 3575 and had similar problems. The frantic analysis of his problems on videohelp.com turned up some interesting potential reasons for his problems THAT COULD APPLY TO ANY DVDR.
Machine #1 - EU 3595 - Reasonable explanation: Turns out he had it crammed into a bookcase shelf WITH NO AIR SPACE ON FRONT RIGHT SIDE, PLUS IT WAS JUST BELOW AN OLD, HUGE CRT TV, so machine was getting too hot (intake air vents are on front right side) and there was possible electromagnetic interference (EMI) altho not suspected yet (until Machine #2).
Machine #2 - EU 3575 - Reasonable explanation: Turns out he had this one ALSO crammed into that bookcase shelf with no airspace and it was under same CRT TV. So, once I accused him of "DvdSlaughter" by suffocating his machines, he moved the 3575 to the top of his old, huge CRT TV, as shown here, and it started working OK for awhile, then back to stuttering, freezing, plus now failure to record as if programs were copy-protected (CP). Orsetto did a test on a friend's U.S. 3575, reported here, where he placed the 3575 on top of a 32" CRT TV, AND GOT THE SAME STUTTERING, LOCKUPS, AND FALSE CP SYMPTOMS. The user claimed he had an old HS2 recorder in his bookcase, BUT IT WAS 2 SHELVES AWAY, ON BOTTOM OF 3 SHELVES, BELOW THE OLD CRT... AND IT WAS UNDERNEATH HIS SKYBOX (STB) WHICH SHIELDED IT FURTHER FROM THE TV! Hey, CP works by "disrupting" the normal video signal, and EMI can do the same, so some people may be self-CPing and not know it!?

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

Op3. Format/Finalize Locked Out Before Timer Rec Program: Format RW=15 min., Finalize=1-hour
You can't start a DVD±RW Format if there's a timer rec program that might start within the next 15-min., and you can't start a Finalize within 1-hour, exactly (not even at 59 minutes from timer start!). This DVDR allows those times cuz Formatting and Finalizing can't be interrupted or the disc can become unusable since our DVDR op system can't restart an interrupted process like a computer can. You have three options if Format or Finalize is not available: (1) wait till next timer rec program ends, or (2) temp. change next timer program's start time and reset it after Format or Finalize, or (3) buy multiple DVDRs and use one of the other machines like I do!

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

Op4. Shutdown Procedure Takes 15-20 sec - Don't Cycle Power Too Quickly... or Too Often
All units except the 515/53x/557 take about 15-20 sec to actually shut down completely and park the HDD heads, so don't turn it back on immediately after shutting it down, which might induce some "over-spin" in the HDD. The 515/53x/557 shuts down in ~7 sec (and starts up in ~10 sec).

My Vizio LCD's let me know when the heads have parked and the disk(s) have spun down completely cuz it turns blue-screen when there's no more video signal or "activity."

On occasion, when I cycle power off then on too quickly, I can't turn my 3575 off with the remote's power button. If that happen, play something from the HDD title menu, then power can be turned off normally with the remote... no clue why?

Drive mfgrs rate their longevity in "contact start/stop cycles" not spin or working time. A start/stop cycle is defined here as a power-on/power-off cycle... 50,000 for our drives. So, if you power this DVDR up/down three times a day, you might think you'd get 45 YEARS out of the HDD. But, in the REAL world, experts say 3-5 years is a good lifespan for a modern HDD, as described here. Those just happen to be the std warranty period for HDDs... as of Jan 1 2009, Seagate lowered their std warranty period from 5 years to 3 years for our 3575/3576 HDD, and the same as the Hitachi 2160 HDD.

There's good info on HDD longevity in this post by SteelTownGuy.

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

Op5. Power Sag or Freeze
Many electronically controlled devices, like TVs, DVDRs, new dehumidifiers, etc., might not return to FULL op. status after a power loss, e.g., dehumdifier fan might work but compressor not. They have a "standby" circuit that needs constant power to retain electronic settings, which might not auto-reset when power comes back on. If this DVDR loses power and then won't power up, unplug it for just 5 sec or less and replug... nothing will be lost.

If it freezes and you can't do anything with it, or if it's "dead" (won't turn on), pull power plug and do a Soft Reset, as described here.

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

Op6. HDD Repair Utility Might Activate When Needed
This DVDR has a user-invokable, user-controlled "Format" command for the HDD with the SKIP 079 code, described here. It also has an automatic Repair program that you might see under certain unusual conditions. The manual says this: "Repairing" appears on the TV screen. If there is a power failure or unplugging during recording, finalizing, formatting or editing (even after "Repairing" disappears), a repairing process will begin automatically just after turning the unit on again. It may take several minutes up to about several hours."

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

Op7. "Frozen" Title Can't Be Deleted
If you (or the machine) start a manual recording then stop it BEFORE THE RED DOT DISAPPEARS (or the machine stops it immediately for some problem), that title can "freeze" cuz the HDD Rec icon is still being displayed on screen (for ~6 sec), so the op system is "busy." Sometimes, a Divide can also freeze a title with an "0:00" time. Frozen titles don't seem to hurt anything so they can be left in place, and they sometimes can be deleted in the normal manner with the Title Delete menu, but after a power cycle. Several people have tried the combo of Protecting titles they wanted to save, using the Edit > Protect menu on each title, then using the Setup > HDD Menu > Delete All Unprotected Titles option, but they reported that it didn't work... on 11/14/09 however, Stump 69 did the Protect/Delete Unprotected trick and it worked!? Don't give up too soon trying to delete in the normal manner. I worked for a long time trying to delete a frozen title, gave up and turned machine off, then my wife turned machine on after I told her about the frozen title, and she deleted it with no problem... called me a "putz" or "klutz" or something like that. Lucky for her I don't hear so good!

Update Sep 2011: An untested remedy? If you have a frozen title, try a Soft Reset, as described here. Then try to delete the frozen title normally.

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

Op8. Disc Menu of Home-Made DVDs Will Show an "Empty Title" But It Can Be Deleted
DVD discs you create in this DVDR will show an "Empty Title" which is a placeholder for all Philips/Magnavox +VR recorders (50% of all sold in N.A.). It serves a specific technical purpose but most people don't like it on their home-made discs. It can be deleted with the Overwrite procedure described here.

The 515/53x/557 changed that to "Empty Space" on discs.

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

Op9. Fan Mounting Design Can Cause "Harmonic" Noise in Case
A few people have complained that their unit is a little noisy when it's on and the fan is running. One of my three 3575's started out a little noisy (only my wife could hear it), but I found it was from a "harmonic" in the unit's case when the fan was running, and it's from the way the fan is mounted (couldn't hear my fan when SLIGHTLY removed from case... careful, thin wires connected to inside). You can test for the same "harmonic" by pressing your finger on the TOP CENTER of the case, and/or towards the back end near the fan and see if it doesn't quiet down. I found I could reduce the harmonic to where my eagle-ears-wife could barely hear it after listening awhile by placing some heavy knick-knack with silicone feet on top. Another video component with an added silicone foot right over the harmonic's "sweet-spot" did the trick too? The harmonic comes from the way the fan is mounted. There are two screws on one side, but the other side is held in place by tabs on the fan that fit into slots in the back panel of the unit. Screws instead of tabs-in-slots would have made for a quieter assembly and maybe no harmonic? Couldn't actually "remove" the fan cuz there are thin wires that connect to inside circuit so fan can't be pulled away from back panel very far at all... more like you can just "twist" it towards the screw side after carefully working tabs out of back panel. I added some thin magnetic ref. mag strips between the fan and three edges of the case opening; helped some but removed them cuz I don't think it's "safe"... they could fall into the fan someday? Remedies: (1) tighten screws and wait a couple of weeks for the fan to settle into its "groove" (mine did), (2) place other component on top with extra "foot" over harmonic spot, (3) take unit back, (4) ???.

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

Op10. Some "odd" noises when DVDR starts up or searches for auto-clock time signal.
When this DVDR starts up at power-on, it searches for a DVD in the tray (in case it's a startup DVD like FW) and starts the HDD spinning. This activity makes some "strange" noises to first-time users, like a calunk-calunk-whirrr-calunk. Not to worry, it's normal.

This DVDR also has an Auto Clock feature which, if set to on (which is the default), searches for a time signal at 11:59 am and 11:59 pm. It doesn't power-up, just turns the fan on and activates the tuner circuits to search each channel for a signal. You'll hear the fan noise for ~2 min., then it spins down with no indication on front panel thru the entire process. Setting Auto Clock to a Manual channel reduces the search time... a procedure for confirming a good time signal with a Manual channel setting is given here.

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

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PHILIPS HD DVRs | MAG/PHILIPS SD DVDRs* | DVDR/DVR COMPARISONS | POST-DVDR OPTIONS
*Due to the AVS SW change in June 2014, most but not all links in this thread will work if you're not logged in. If you are logged in, links should work if your User CP > Edit Options > Number of Posts to Show per Page is set to 30, the default.
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post #25 of 26027 Old 11-26-2007, 02:14 PM
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An amazingly thorough series of posts. A great primer for the newbies.
I have a Philips HDD unit on order and due to arrive soon. My two Panny HDD units have served me well for a couple years recording a couple hours every day, but I am worried they might drop dead. The Philips seems to be the only HDD option with digital tuning. My main use is to record material for editing and authoring on the PC so I use only + or - RW discs (RAM on the Panny units). My RCA HDD and the Magnavox non-HDD units can both write to -RW and +RW, but for some reason, I can only read on the PC +RW from the RCA and -RW from the Magnavox. My Samsung combo unit can write to plus or minus RW and both are readable on the PC. I will be interested to see and will report on my results from the Philips unit, particularly regarding compatibility with the PC. I should add, the RW discs, plus or minus, made on either the RCA or the Magnavox play fine on standard DVD players.
Durability will be key. I have had many bad DVD recorders that stopped working properly not many months after going into service, including JVC, Pioneer, Go, Liteon and Panny. The two Panny HDD units are very exceptional as I had 3 Panny non-HDD units crap out.

I have seen enough to know I have seen too much. (A League of Their Own)
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post #26 of 26027 Old 11-27-2007, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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DUBBING HDD>DVD>HDD, FINALIZING, EMPTY TITLE... DATELESS DVDs

Jump To:
Notes
Pauses at Scene-Delete Edit Points After Dubbing, Philips vs. Magnavox
Dubbing HDD>DVD - Single or Multiple Titles, Recommended Method
Dubbing DVD>HDD - Finalized and Unfinalized Discs
Stopping a Dub
Deleting the EMPTY TITLE/SPACE on a DVD±R
Finalizing/Unfinalizing on Same-Brand/Model of +VR DVDR
Finalizing/Unfinalizing in Different-Brand/Model of +VR DVDR
Dubbing on Different Brands/Models of +VR DVDR
Making DVD Copies Without Current Date or Time
NOT Recommended - Dubbing Single Title HDD>DVD thru Title Menu
NOT Recommended - Dubbing Single Title HDD>DVD with D.Dubbing

Notes

  1. The reason we can fit only 4424 MB, or 4.424 GB, of info on a "4.7 GB" disc is simply the difference in figuring capacity: disc mfgrs use the decimal numbering system (K=1000) to represent their total decimal capacity, but our DVDRs and computers must put binary data (K=1024) on that disc. Same diff. is shown in your computer's disc capacity vs. used space.
  2. High-speed dub (HSD) retains ALL chapter marks in the DVD copy (auto- and custom-set). Real-time dub (RTD) strips those and sets marks only per your auto-chapter setting in the Recording menu.
  3. A Real-Time Dub (RTD) from HDD to DVD sets the DVDR default rec mode to whatever you select for the RTD. Always check your default rec mode after a RTD.
  4. Neither TV Aspect nor channel tuned at time of dubbing affect anything in the dub process or change pic results. What you see is what you get.
  5. The Finalize option will be greyed out and unavailable if there's a timer rec program that might start within 1 hour (00:59:59 or less).
  6. DO NOT PULL THE POWER CORD WHILE RECORDING. You can stop a recording immediately by presing the STOP button on the front of the unit or the 2080/3575/3576 remote (hold button on 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557. might get Yes/No dialog).
  7. There are TWO ways to fix the E19 Finalize/Format/Erase bug in the 2160A, as described here.
  8. Special Notes for All Dubbing:
    You may see one of these dialogs before or during setup of a timer recording:

    "There are Timer Programming, Start Dubbing? Yes No"
    If you start a dub with not enough time to complete, the dub might not complete or it might ruin the disc, depending on several factors:
    1. If using a ±RW disc, nothing will be written to the DVD even if the progress bar shows completion of the "Writing to disc" portion of the dub.
    2. If using a ±R disc, data will be written to disc until the timer starts, but it won't show up in a title and that space will be used up. You can access the disc menu by doing a short rec, and it may show Empty Space remaining, but that disc will most likely be nonrecordable, i.e., it'll be hosed.

    "It may not be possible to dub all titles. Start dubbing anyway? Yes No"
    This dialog is just a cautionary thing. You need the title run time +5 min. or so before next timer program to avoid this dialog. If you plan to high-speed dub (HSD), you can proceed if you have a "normal" HSD elapsed time for that recorder, title run time, and disc type. Some typ. elapsed times are here.

 

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


Pauses at Scene-Delete Edit Points After Dubbing, Philips vs. Magnavox
 

I did some tests with my Mag 513 to check against my original (early) results with my Philips 3575 on pauses at Scene Delete edit points after Dubbing to DVD. Where a RTD of an edited title in my 3575 gave me an odd still-pause-still frame sequence at Scene Delete edit points, my 513 edit points were just slight delays, no still frames.

 

I did a short recording in SP, made one Scene Delete, then HSD'd and RTD'd it to a -RW disc. Pauses, in both Unfinalized and Finalized state and played back on the 513 and a 2160, were approximately:

 

Original on HDD = 1 sec

RTD SP>SP = 1.25 sec

RTD SP>LP = 1.25 sec

HSD  = 2 sec

 

My pause times were measured with the SWAG method: "1001, 1002, 1003." biggrin.gif

 

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


Dubbing HDD>DVD - Single or Multiple Titles, Recommended Method

  • A single DVD can hold 49 titles, 99 chapters per title, 254 chapters total.
  • What shows on TV screen during dubbing: HSD = live TV, RTD = the title being dubbed.
  • A Real-Time Dub (RTD) from HDD to DVD sets the DVDR default rec mode to whatever you select for the RTD. Always check your default rec mode after a RTD.
  • See Note 7 above for Special Notes for All Dubbing.

 

* * * * * * * *
DUBBING PREP
* * * * * * * *

  1. Select HDD drive, then press HDD TITLE button.
     
  2. Select 1st title to be dubbed and click OK.
     
  3. Select Edit > Edit Title Name, and enter a custom title that describes contents, as described here. Note the discussion there of what gets transferred to the DVD from each line of the HDD title... important to know in advance.
     
  4. Since DVDs use the 1st frame of a title for its still frame index pic, make sure the beginning of your title(s) have a good, BRIGHT 1st frame that identifies the content. Best to do that on the HDD by doing a "Front-Cut" on the title as described here. You can also do it on the DVD, where you can select ANY frame for the index pic so no Front-Cut needed, but it's slower and takes slightly longer.
     
  5. Repeat custom title naming and Front-Cutting for each title to be dubbed.
     
  6. Press BACK/RETURN to get out of menus to live TV.

 

* * * * * * * *
DUBBING
* * * * * * * *

  1. Load a blank DVD±R for archiving or giving to others, or a DVD±RW for temporary use and erase. If your DVD already has titles from a different +VR machine, like from a Philips to a Mag or vice versa, make sure you first turn Setup/Menu > Recording > Make Recording Compatible ON (557 doesn't have this)... you'll be advised to do that with a large message if you don't.
     
  2. With nothing playing, open dubbing menu (disc must be fully loaded, ~20 sec):

    Option 1, Press SETUP/MENU button and click OK on "Dubbing" option.

    Option 2, Press DIRECT DUBBING, D. DUBBING, or DUBBING button (depends on model).
     
  3. With HDD > DVD highlighted, press OK.
     
  4. With Add highlighted, press OK, which brings you to the Title menu.
     
  5. Select title(s) to be dubbed.

    Selecting Titles with 3575/3676/2080/2160:
    Select first title w/arrow keys and press OK, which brings you back to the dub list. Keep Adding this way till all desired titles are in Dubbing List.

    Selecting Titles with 2160A/513/515/53x/557:
    After pressing OK on 1st title, you'll stay in the title menu. A number "1" will appear in upper-left corner of 1st index pic indicating 1st title to be added to dub list. Click OK on any other titles you want to dub, which adds a number to those titles. (You can rearrange order later if desired.) When thru selecting, press the D.Dubbing button to Add the title(s) selected to the dub menu. This "registers" the title(s) and places a checkmark on the index pic(s) so you can see already-selected title(s) in case you go back to the title menu during this process to Add another. You can move between title menu and dub list with the left- and right-arrow buttons.

    Max. of 18 titles in Dubbing List in one session. For more, dub 1st 18 then repeat as many times as will fit on the disc. HINT: If you need more than one DVD, dub 1st list to that many DVDs, then create 2nd list, dub to all, etc.

    Once in the dub list, titles can be Moved (up or down in order) or Deleted, which does NOT delete the title from the HDD, just from the dub list... press OK on a title and select Move or Delete... after selecting Move, arrow to new position in list and press OK.

    Titles don't have to be all the same rec mode or aspect ratio; you can mix them together in a dub list. Only restriction is no SLP title can be more than 4:59:59 long if you're planning on HSD.
     
  6. To start dubbing, arrow down to Dubbing Start and press OK. Menu changes to a list of rec. modes available for that title. If you get a "Disc is full" message, you've Added too much capacity (MB) to the dubbing list to fit on the loaded disc at any rec mode (even a blank disc which can't be "full").

    Rec-Mode Selection Menu

     
  7. If HIGH is highlighted (the entire box, not lined like selecting a title), press OK and answer Yes to dialog. A high-speed dub (HSD) will begin and you can walk away or watch something else thru the TV or this DVDR's tuner.

    If TOTAL file size of all titles added is MORE than disc capacity (4424 MB), the next lower-quality rec. mode will be auto-highlighted AND the "Dubbing Titles" capacity will show the NEW file size for that lower-quality rec mode. If you press OK and answer Yes to dialog, a real-time dub (RTD) will begin at a lower quality, it will take as long as the title runs in hours:minutes, and it will occupy the TV screen when viewed thru this DVDR... you CAN watch a channel thru your TV's tuner, tho.
    • "High" is the best possible dub mode. It's a lossless transfer and it takes less space on a disc. "High" is highlighted (entire box), so it's easy to miss that it's actually "selected" cuz you're prob. used to seeing a highlight LINE around an item when you select it.
    • HSD retains ALL chapter marks in the DVD copy (auto- and custom-set). RTD strips those and sets marks only per your auto-chapter setting in the Recording menu. You MUST FINALIZE a disc for playing on other machines with all chapter marks as you intended.
    • With HSD, you can get more time on a std DVD than with RTD.
    • See this post for more info on HSD and a list of HSD Times.
       
  8. To change your mind in Step 7, either Back/Return out or, if already at the Yes/No dialog, arrow down to "No" and press OK. One reason to change your mind might be if you decide to edit titles down to lower total file size so the title(s) can be HS-dubbed instead of RT-dubbed?
     
  9. Once you start a dub, the machine takes over and stops dubbing when the last bit of the original is copied to the other drive... you don't need to babysit a dub. A RTD will occupy the DVDR and show what you're dubbing on screen, whereas a HSD doesn't show on screen so you can watch something else with this DVDR's tuner. You can also watch a channel on your TV if you have coax from this DVDR to your TV.

    The last step in a dub is "Writing to disc" with a progress bar at bottom of screen for each title being dubbed. You'll know a dub is done when the TV goes silent cuz its last act is to display the disc menu.

    Above the "Writing to disc" bar will be a message ADVISING you to Finalize for playing in other machines... it DOES NOT mean the disc is actually being finalized! FINALIZING IS NOT AUTOMATIC since you might want to add more titles later. To Finalize, go to Disc Edit menu, select Finalize and follow prompts. Takes ~2 minutes to Finalize 2-hrs of SP video. The less video on the disc, the longer Finalizing will take cuz it has to "close" all the open space, so fill-er-up if you can!
     
  10. Titles in the Dub List will be deleted if you open the disc tray, Finalize the disc (cuz "Dubbing" option disappears), or record something else to the HDD while the disc is in the tray.

 

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

Dubbing DVD>HDD - Finalized and Unfinalized Discs

 

NOTES:

1. See Note 7 above for Special Notes for All Dubbing.

2. Some users haven't been able to use internal drives for dubbing VCD discs to HDD. Try with external player (and possibly a converter/CP filter, if needed)?

 

Dubbing DVD>HDD from a home-made or other non-copy-protected disc with this DVDR's internal drives, is done in real-time only... there's no HSD from DVD to the HDD, using either the internal drives or an external DVD player.

 

Dubbing is described below, depending on whether the DVD is Finalized or Unfinalized. (+RW discs don't need Finalizing.) You can tell if a DVD±R or -RW is Finalized or Unfinalized by selecting the DVD drive and arrowing up from 1st title or left from any title on the 1st page, which brings up a disc Status screen.

FINALIZED DVD±R or -RW, or DVD+RW... D.DUBBING ONE TITLE AT A TIME

 

  1. Select DVD drive and load a FINALIZED, non-copy-protected disc (takes ~20 sec to load).
  2. Select HDD drive and set desired Rec Mode for the copy to HDD.
  3. Open Disc Menu (using DISC MENU or Title button).
  4. Select a single title you want to dub to HDD.
  5. Press PLAY.
  6. Anytime while playing, press DIRECT DUBBING, D. DUBBING, or DUBBING button on remote (depends on model). Entire title will dub to HDD in real time, no matter where the title is in playback.
  7. Repeat for any other title(s) you want to copy to the HDD.

 

If copying a home-made DVD, the title lines will be different on the HDD depending on whether you're using a 357x or later Mag unit. The 357x models (at least the 3575 I did the original tests on) will D.Dub a Finalized DVD to HDD at the HDD rec mode set by user, but if you didn't use Change Titles on that discs titles, the original 1st line of the title will still include the original rec mode listed in that line. So, if a 357x user changes rec mode for a DVD>HDD dub using D.Dubbing, the two resulting title lines on the HDD will have different rec modes listed. Line 1 will show the original rec mode from the default (unchanged) line 1 of the DVD title, while line 2 will show the as-dubbed rec mode. This only applies if you don't change the names of DVD titles, and it applies only to 357x models AFAIK..


Important Note: If you're unable to Dub Finalized DVDs > HDD with a 3575/6, it may be due to your Make Recording Compatible (MRC) option being ON (557 doesn't have this). Try Dubbing with MRC OFF.

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

UNFINALIZED DVD±R OR -RW... ADD TITLE(S) TO DVD>HDD DUB MENU

 

  1. Load Unfinalized disc, one that will play in your DVDR in an unfinalized state, i.e., disc has to have been created in same brand/model of machine, or converted via Make Recording Compatible, as described in Option 1 here (557 doesn't have this).
  2. Open Setup menu using SETUP/MENU button (doesn't matter which drive is selected).
  3. Scroll up once or scroll down to DUBBING option and click OK.
  4. Select DVD>HDD option.
  5. ADD first title you want to dub to HDD.
  6. ADD any other titles you want to dub to HDD.
  7. Scroll down to Dubbing Start option and click OK.
  8. Select a REC MODE and click OK (HIGH is not an option for DVD>HDD).
  9. Answer Yes to Start Dubbing? dialog to start dubbing.
  10. All the selected/Added titles will dub to the HDD, together, in real-time. (You'll see a sequential Writing to Disc message for each title... wait for no more progress bar or messages.)


Commercial movies/programs on DVD typically contain strong copy-protection (CP) and most likely will not copy in an internal DVD>HDD dub. You'll need an external player and one of the CP-strippers described here.

For VHS movies, you can use the MCM CP-stripper in that link. Without ANY CP stripper, I was still successful on 9 of 14 1st-run comm. movies on VHS tape, as described here.

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

Stopping a Dub

To STOP any dubbing session, press the STOP button on the front of a 2080/3575/3576, or hold the STOP button on the remote for 2 sec with a 2160/2160A/513/515/53x/557, which may get Yes/No dialog. If you STOP a dub to a DVD±R disc, that disc may be unusable again.

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

Deleting the EMPTY TITLE/SPACE on a DVD±R

 

NOTE: To Delete the Empty Title with a 2160A with timer rec programs set, you must first apply one of the two fixes for a FW bug described here.


In DVDRs that use the Philips +VR standard, all DVDs will show an "Empty Title" ("Empty Space" in 515/53x/557) in the Disc Menu. As long as the DVD is unfinalized, the Empty Title/Space shows the amount of rec time remaining on the DVD at each rec mode (press REC MODE button while viewing the disc title screen). That's called a "Reserved Fragment" and serves a specific technical purpose which no one is interested in... only how to get rid of it!

If you really don't like the Empty Title/Space on your DVD±R discs, here's the procedure for deleting it before Finalizing:

 

  1. Tune DVDR to any live TV channel or an external input with live video source (like a cable/sat box).
    Don't tune to a "dead" line input (no video) or a music channel since those will take "forever"... no video to write to disk and use up space quickly. Make sure you DON'T have the "End of Disc" Auto Finalize option on in the Recording menu or this DVDR will begin Finalizing BEFORE you have a chance to delete the new title.
     
  2. Select DVD drive and load your disc.
    I
    f the disc came from your one and only DVDR or from same brand/model of machine (Philips or Mag), proceed to Step 4.
    If from a different brand/model of +VR DVDR, like a Mag disc in a Philips or vice versa:
    1. Set Recording > Make Recording Compatible to ON... just leave this on (557 doesn't have this).
    2. Record live TV on the DVD just long enough for the red REC dot to disappear... ~6 sec or so.
    3. Delete that short title... it's done its job of transferring ownership and changing the menu structure.
       
  3. Set HQ rec mode (to minimize Rec or Overwrite time in Step 4).
     
  4. Delete Empty Title/Space... two alternatives:

    Alternate #1 - Record to End

    With DVD drive selected, press REC.
    Recording will stop when DVD's Empty Title/Space is filled up. (Only a timer rec switches to the HDD when disc is full, i.e., the "Alternate Recording" feature.)

    Alternate #2 - Overwrite
    Click OK on Empty Title/Space and select the "OVERWRITE" option.
    Red REC dot and Pause symbol show on screen. Press Pause or REC to record over the Empty Title/Space with an exact-length "filler" title. Stops itself when done. Overwriting starts with whatever's showing on live TV and auto-stops when it fills up the disc, so you can leave and play with the kids! Recorded time will count up on the front-panel display and at the top of the INFO/DISPLAY menu, and time remaining will appear in the bottom-right corner of the INFO/DISPLAY menu and go to zero, but the process might still be incomplete... don't stop the overwrite manually... it'll stop on its own. Your first clue that the overwrite is done is a silent TV, which happens cuz the machine will display the disc menu for a short time. If that releases and returns to live TV, the red dot, "Writing to Disc" progress bar, and all counters will be gone, i.e., NOTHING will be on screen anymore except the live TV pic.
  5. Select new/last title on DVD and press OK > Edit > Title Delete.
     
  6. Finalize disc with Disc Edit menu.
     
  7. Reset rec mode to your normal default.

 

This doesn't work on DVD±RW cuz they're designed to return deleted space so, when you delete the new (last) title, it creates a NEW Empty Title/Space... can you say "Catch-22"!?

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

Finalizing/Unfinalizing on Same-Brand/Model of +VR DVDR

 

  • The Finalize option will be greyed out and unavailable if there's a timer rec program that might start within 1 hour (60 full minutes) from the time you finish w/dub menu and press OK.. That's an arbitrary time gap Funai selected. The more blank space on a disc the longer it takes to "close" that space and complete the Finalize op. With the slowest combo of a 3575, -RW disc, and 10-sec recording, Finalize time is ~8 min. Typ. Finalize time is 2-3 min.
  • If Finalize is not available due to a pending timer rec program, you can change the DATE of the next program... don't worry about an "overlap" warning cuz you're going to reset the date after Finalize... right?! With a ,515/53x/557 you could also set the next program to "Skip" one time, then uncheck the skip . when done as described here.

 

To Finalize in a 2160A with timer rec programs set, you must use the L3 workaround or apply one of the FW fixes described here.

 

Finalizing on my 513 takes approximately:

2:18 for 1 ea. 60-min title (59:58) on 4X -RW.

2:32 for 2 ea .60-min titles (59:58 ea.) on 4X -RW.

3:25 for 2 ea. 60-min titles (59:58 ea.) on 8X -R.

 

To Finalize a disc:

  1. With machine on either drive (HDD or DVD), insert an unfinalized ±R or -RW disc. (+RW don't need Finalizing.)
  2. While the disc is loading, open the Setup/Menu > Disc Edit menu and, when the Finalize option becomes active/black, select it.
  3. Answer Yes to the "Finalize disc?" dialog.

 

Finalizing adds the disc menu and other info to DVD±R/-RW discs and makes them read-only... like "Closing" a CD. It then allows any other player or recorder to play them... as long as that player is NTSC and -R/+R-capable. *Most all* players/recorders mfgd in 2004 or earlier are most likely -R only (and even some mfgd 2005-2006 since +R discs were introduced in 2004?)

Before Finalizing, only the machine/model that burns a DVD can Finalize it... except the Philips and Mag can Finalize each others' discs if Recording > Make Recording Compatible is ON (557 doesn't have this). See next section below.

At the end of dubbing or recording, during the final "Writing to disc" process, there'll be a message above the progress bar ADVISING you to Finalize for playing in other machines... many people mistake this for an auto-finalizing step... it's NOT.

FINALIZING IS NOT AUTOMATIC unless you set one of the rather "stupid" options in the Recording > Auto Finalize menu: Disc Full (never happens except when Overwriting the Empty Title, but then you won't have a chance to delete the Overwritten title) and End of Timer Program (who timer recs to a disc, Uncle Dufus?). These are off by default and I recommend you keep them off... Finalizing should only be done manually AFTER you're SURE the disc has everything just the way you want it (edited, good title and 1st frame for static thumbnail, etc.).

For -RW discs only, the Finalize option "toggles" between Finalize and Unfinalize. This ability to Unfinalize a -RW disc is a big advantage for recording stuff temporarily so it can play in other machines, then be Unfinalized so existing titles can be edited or deleted, or the entire contents erased for reuse. Some other DVDRs don't allow this option... they require Erasing or Formatting, which deletes all contents whether that's what you want to do or not.

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

Finalizing/Unfinalizing in Different-Brand/Model of +VR DVDR

 

Note: To Finalize in a 2160A with timer rec programs set, you must first apply one of the two fixes for a FW bug

described here.

 

If you want to Finalize an unfinalized disc created in a different-brand of +VR DVDR, like a Philips disc in a Mag or vice versa:

 

  1. Turn Setup/Menu > Recording > Make Recording Compatible ON (557 doesn't have this)
     
  2. Record live TV on the disc just long enough for the red REC dot to disappear... ~6 sec or so.
     
  3. Delete that short title... it's done its job of transferring ownership and changing the menu structure.
     
  4. If desired, get rid of the Empty Title as described here.
     
  5. Finalize the disc normally.
 

WARNING: Don't wait too long to Finalize your discs! Many sad stories of people who didn't Finalize a bunch of discs and got stuck with a broken machine... one recently with an old, broken JVC, a repair cost of $200-300 just for labor, and 200 unfinalized discs RECORDED IN VR-MODE! Can you say triple-WTF: no working machine, repair costs more than a new machine IF IT WERE AVAILABLE (NOT!), and VR-mode discs only THAT machine can read!

 

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

Dubbing on Different Brands/Models of +VR DVDR

You can dub titles on unfinalized DVDs created in different brands of +VR DVDRs, like dubbing to a disc created in a Philips 3576 with a Mag 2160. To do so, you have to turn Recording > Make Recording Compatible (MRC) ON (557 doesn't have this).

See "Option 1" here for instructions.

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

Making DVD Copies Without Current Date or Time

Some people with easily confused relatives want to produce "dateless" DVDs so they don't see a rec date of 2012 on home movies taken in 1985. Unfortunately, you can't just change your clock to some year back in the "good old days" since your clock only goes back to 1st year of model production, e.g., 2007 for the 3575.

They said is couldn't be done! However, you CAN get dateless DVDs on any model by losing the clock, then copying direct-to-DVD (DTD) from an external source like your VCR. The 357x and 2080 can also produce dateless DVDs via internal dubbing. For the benefits and advantages of DTD for home and comm. movie dubbing, click here.

Here's the procedure:

 

  1. Write Timer Rec programs down or take a pic.
    You'll lose timer programs in Step 3, along with the clock.
     
  2. Turn Auto Clock OFF.
    This is to make sure the machine doesn't find a time/date from a station immediately after turning machine on and off in next step (which it's programmed to do). DON'T ever open the Clock menu; if you do, a default date will appear there, which will be transferred to titles.
     
  3. Unplug power for specified time, then replug.
    Specified time = at least 5 min. for 357x/2080/2160/2160A/513, 2½ hours for 515/53x/557.
    Plug power cord back in. Clock must show --:-- . If clock time shows, start over.
    DO NOT GO TO OR OPEN CLOCK MENU!
     
  4. Copy direct-to-DVD via L1 or L2.
    This will give you a DVD with the source (L1, L2 or ch.#) on top line ready for customizing and the run time on 2nd line. With the 357x and 2080, you can also copy to the HDD first for editing, if desired, then dub to DVD normally (HSD, RTD, DDub). Other units can't do this w/o adding a default date to the DVD title's line 2. Full procedure for copying is here.
     
  5. Reset clock and timer programs.
    After all dubbing and editing are done in the dateless condition, set date and time in Clock Setting menu and reset your timer rec programs.

 

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

NOT Recommended - Dubbing Single Title HDD>DVD thru Title Menu

 

This method of dubbing [from Title menu] is not recommended cuz it starts automatically, w/o a menu, so it doesn't allow ANY operator control compared to the "Single/Multiple Title" dubbing described above. Once it starts, all by itself, your dub will be in high-speed if there's enough room left on the DVD, but it'll be in a lower-quality rec mode if not... and you can't change your mind w/o ruining a DVD±R. If you don't care if you get a high-speed or real-time dub, this procedure is for you!

If you start this dub with not enough time remaining on the DVD, and it shifts to a lower-quality rec mode, that will be the rec mode used even tho the title on disc will show the ORIGINAL rec mode in its title. You can tell what rec mode was actually used for the dub if, right after dubbing, you look in the top right of the DVD menu and read the rec mode. THAT's the rec mode of the dub AND the new DEFAULT rec mode for both DVD and HDD.

You'll know if the machine started a HSD or a RTD by what shows on the TV screen during dubbing: HSD = live TV and ability to change channels, RTD = only the title being dubbed and no channel changes.

Be careful with this method of dubbing, for many reasons.

 

The procedure is as follows:

 

  1. Load a blank DVD±R for archiving or giving to others, or a DVD±RW disc for temporary use and erase... it'll load in background while you prep. the dub title on the HDD.
     
  2. Select HDD drive, then press HDD TITLE button.
     
  3. Select the single title to be dubbed and click OK.
     
  4. Select Edit > Edit Title Name, and enter a custom title that describes contents, as described here.
     
  5. Since DVDs use the 1st frame of a title for its still frame index pic, make sure the beginning of your title has a "good" 1st frame that identifies the content. You can get a good first frame by: (1) doing a "Front-Cut" as described here, or (2) once the title is on DVD, you can select ANY frame for the index pic (can't do it on HDD).
     
  6. Press BACK/RETURN to get out of menus to TV pic.
     
  7. In the HDD Title menu again, select the title to be dubbed and press OK.
     
  8. Select the Dubbing option and answer Yes. The dub will proceed at High speed IF all High-speed conditions are met, or at a real-time rec mode if not. It's a "crap-shoot" now... you've lost control of the dub settings and any opportunity to change your mind if you don't like the rec mode the machine selects for you. Thus, the "not recommended" comment in the heading.
     
  9. Use Disc Edit menu to Finalize the DVD if no more titles are to be added to that disc.

 

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

NOT Recommended - Dubbing Single Title HDD>DVD with D.Dubbing

You can use the DIRECT DUBBING (DD) button to copy HDD titles, one at a time, to a DVD. However, this method is not as good as the "Recommended" method above. With the DD method, you won't have the same visibility and control, and it's one-title-at-a-time.

First, create custom title as described here. Load a DVD, start the HDD title playing, then press the DIRECT DUBBING button. The HDD title will be copied to DVD from the beginning of the title, no matter where you start the dub during playback. The dub will be made at High-speed if all normal conditions are met for a HS dub, and these may not be known in advance. No single SLP title can be longer than 4:59:59. IT'S BEST TO USE THE DUBBING MENU, which allows you to dub one or multiple titles in one op and gives you visibility in advance so you know and can control what will happen before you start the dub.

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

 

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post #27 of 26027 Old 11-27-2007, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

I was originally impressed with the build quality of my first unit, compared...

So far, it's been an excellent unit equal to or better than my Pio 640 in many respects. The digital tuner alone has opened my eyes to how good TV should look, even tho I'm on analog cable. For that alone, it's worth a try for anyone looking to "upgrade" to digital SDTV now.

Be forewarned, however, when an analog-only person sees his/her first digital TV pic, they might develop an irresistable craving for a satellite or digital cable upgrade! ... analog-only cable feed!

"So far, it's been an excellent unit equal to or better than my Pio 640" -whoa, that kind of talk could get you shot around here!

Appreciate the reply. I'm definitely going to have to look into these further. I know a happy camper when I see one! It sounds like a really nice unit. I'm not a big fan of Phillips and pretty much just dismissed it offhand. But based on your posts, I'm gonna re-think this one. I'm on analog cable, but they're doing everything possible to push us remaining die hards off. (Love my ReplayTV's though, so I'm hanging on.)

Thanks again!
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post #28 of 26027 Old 11-27-2007, 04:37 PM
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...It sounds like a really nice unit. I'm not a big fan of Phillips and pretty much just dismissed it offhand. But based on your posts, I'm gonna re-think this one...

FWIW, I like mine as much as wabjxo likes all of his.
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Notes on Erroneous or Misleading National Reviews

 

I've seen some erroneous or misleading info lately written by national equipment reviewers. There are also MANY first-time user reviews that are horrendously inaccurate or dead-wrong! Here are just a few I've run across so far.

  1. It has only 12 timer rec slots
    This is still being listed in many web sites, even Philips', and is a carryover from previous models. It really has 36 slots. Most other Philips/Magnavox models have 12 slots... one example of how different this new breed is!

  2. It can't dub from DVD to HDD
    Huh? Is this a joke, or did the reviewer just try to rip off the Star Wars Trilogy? Either that or he didn't know the super-secret code words for copying finalized non-copy-protected DVD titles: "DIRECT DUBBING."

  3. It doesn't have a cable-QAM tuner cuz it's not mentioned in specs or advertising
    Very few recorders, if any, mention that they have a QAM tuner for cable channels, prob. cuz cablecos don't want you to know some of their channels can be tuned by a standalone consumer recorder, i.e., one they can't make any money on. Also, the mfgrs know that cablecos control the QAM channels and may illegally scramble them all, which the DVDR mfgrs can't control but would surely be the first to be blamed. Here's a post that shows this DVDR does have a QAM tuner and may be the ONLY DVDR that's had its QAM tuner field-tested on a "135-lane QAM freeway!"

  4. It can't record HDTV or pass HDTV thru its tuner
    No sh**, Sherlock!? It DOES pass HDTV thru its coax in/out loop, but this DVDR 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 bemoaning 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 record in HDTV from OTA and cable TV to a standalone DVD unit you don't have to rent? MOVE TO JAPAN... and change your name to Sherlockanaka! A double

  5. Playback wraps around when deleting the end of a title
    MANY new users post on an editing "problem" that's caused by NO EXPLANATION in the manual. It explains how to make a Scene Delete from the midst of a title (a Mid-Cut), like a commercial, but they ignore the more-difficult Front- and End-Cuts people also need to make. On both ends of a title, you have to move to the first frame using only REW and to the last frame using only FF or PLAY. You'll see the end-cut mentioned most often with people complaining that playback wraps around to the beginning of a title when trying to delete the end and there's "no way to get back to the end"... that playback is not needed for an End-Cut and should be ignored! Full procedures for all edits are here.

  6. The 3575 remote is small and there aren't enough direct-entry buttons
    One reviewer, commenting on the 3575 remote, made the correct assessment that it and some of its buttons are a little small, but then went on to say it didn't have enough direct-entry buttons. OMG, I guess size IS deceiving... it has 47 buttons (2 on toggles)! My Pioneer 640 remote has 41 buttons (counting the center toggle as 4) and to get to the Timer Rec menu, the manual says: "Press HOME MENU, select Timer Recording, then Timer Recording." Huh? A sub-sub-sub menu for timer rec? At least my PhilMag remotes have a single, direct-entry button for that all-important DVDR function. I didn't realize how many direct-entry buttons this DVDR's remote had until I tried a Sony RM-VL600 universal remote people were touting. I couldn't find a LOGICAL or even CLOSELY NAMED button for 13 of the direct-entry buttons on my PhilMag remotes! My wife refused to use it after I told her she'd have to press "Sleep" to see the Disc Menu! It just proves the old adage: "Size doesn't matter, it's what you can fit in the available space that counts!"

  7. The Title button has a confusing name
    Well, uh, now I'm confused! What did he mean by "button"? Must have run out of writer/reviewers with recorder experience and called up a sub from their auto department!? I can hear it now: "Hey, Joe, I know you're still working on your Lexus review, but this little machine looks pretty simple. Just give it a try, OK? Besides, the Panasonic people tell me it's 'cheap Chinese junk' NOT Malaysia's finest like their machines, so it'll probably break while you're reviewing it!"
    Another reviewer had a similar problem except he couldn't read! He said he had to go into the Setup menu to see his recorded titles. Oh, wait, what's this button with the name "Title"!?

  8. S-Video input doesn't work on FOUR units in a row... or maybe SIX... or is it TEN!?
    One user posted that the 3576 had "Bad Build Quality" cuz he had to return FOUR units (posted on CircuitCity.com)... or SIX units (Buzzillions.com)... or could it be TEN units TOTAL... due to an inoperative S-Video input! He did say the setup instructions were "confusing." I really have to doubt there would be any OTHER person out there who wouldn't start thinking, "Could it be ME!?" Just in case, be aware that the default E1/L1 and E2/L2 inputs are set for "Video In" (Composite Y/W/R), so if you connect S-Video to an input, you have to change the Setup > Video > Video Input menu to "S-Video In"!

  9. Channel numbers have to be entered manually
    Well, here's another one of those that makes you laugh, then cry! This user said: "One issue is in selecting a DTV channel, the quick timeout value means that you have to quickly enter the number, which is very hard to do one handed. [Ed: What's your OTHER hand doing, huh!?] I am not sure of why they don't allow the use of the up/down left/right buttons when watching the TV, such as to select the channel. [Ed: Hmmm... OTHER hand... up/down... maybe just distracted!?] I suspect that they could have reduced the buttons if they had planned it better." More observant users will probably notice, right away, that it has a long, dedicated up/down rocker button with a "CH" between + and - symbols which should be obvious it has something to do with CHannels... like maybe scroll thru them up and down!? Oh, wait, I suppose some people COULD think the "CH" is for ordering "CHinese" food, but even then you'd think they'd just HAVE TO try the button and see what's on the menu?

  10. "Copying is very slow, even at realtime"
    Need to think about this one for awhile? ... more than a millisecond?

  11. No erase-all function
    "There is no erase-all and record to the same title functions, so you would have to manually marked each title for delete, very tedious. I believe it's made by a Chinese co with very rudimentary understanding of friendly user interface. Would not buy it, if I have known that it's just not up to snuff." Actually, there's an easy-access menu, SETUP > HDD Menu that has an option to "Delete All Titles." It's in English!

  12. It will only project your digital reception in 4:3 ratio and it records in 4:3 ratio
    Yet another case of operator error: not reading the manual or searching for setup instructions like "If you have a widescreen TV: Select 16:9 Wide in the procedure for setting TV Aspect. This is so good, I decided to include the entire review... I esp. like the ref. to not using "the new standard"... for what, incompetence!?
    "I did not see anywhere on the specs page for this item that the output is 4:3 ratio. If you enjoy using your wide-screen TV, do not purchase this product. It will only project your digital reception in 4:3 ratio and it records in 4:3 ratio. So much for modern technology! I don't understand why they would do this, knowing that the 4:3 TV's are thing of the past - you can't even purchase one today. If you don't mind watching tiny little screens - then go ahead. I have a new 46" wide screen TV and was very disappointed that they aren't using the new standard. My Panasonic DVD-RAM is apparently more sophisticated than Magnavox. I just thought it would be great to have a DVR. But not at the price of shrinking the screen. Back to the store it goes!"

There are so MANY "problem" reports that are understandable but frustrating newbie-operator-error, I had to stop reading them... the AVS servers are only so big! Even with these, aggregate user reviews are consistently 4 to 4-1/2 stars out of 5... PDG!

 

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post #30 of 26027 Old 11-28-2007, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post

I'm definitely going to have to look into these further. I know a happy camper when I see one! It sounds like a really nice unit.

The "Pause Live TV" feature is pretty neat.
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