Originally Posted by sfniceguy
For me, the biggest difference between the two units, if I understood the threads and specs correctly, is that the brite-View records in and plays out in HD, and the Magnavox records in and plays out in SD. Am I wrong about that?
But sure, getting your additional comparisons of the two would be nice.
Of course, the primary difference is that the 980H supports 720p and 1080i with DD5.1 audio.
The 515H supports 1080p from its DVD drive only.
The 980H does not support vsb (analog). On a cable channel scan it picks up channels that are scrambled. The 515H fails to find some real unscrambled channels, but that is rare. The 515H does not enable scrambled channels but if 26.1 is scrambled you can manually enable 26.2 if desired. The 980H channel editor will disable any subchannel. The 515H can not and it can only disable channels based on their primary number. So if you want only 26.1 with the 515H, you get all the clear QAM 26.x channels. With the 980H, you can de-select each subchannel. That could take a while. My initial cable scan found 350+ channels. I only receive 138 clear channels and exclude 50% of them.
Recording with the 515H is SD 480i digital DD 2.0 only but does upconvert to 1080p very well. The 980H gives you what you record. At this time both have worked well connected to my Sony EX700 TV and Yamaha RX-V867 AVR.
Neither unit makes a very good tuner for an old analog TV. Since DTV, tuners are not what they used to be. Channel surfing is not so much fun on a flat panel digital TV. Cable box owners may disagree. My box is quick too, but we are comparing tuners. I never channel surf. About 90% of my viewing is time shifted. Hence my interest in HDD HD recorders.
Playback of a title is simple with the 515H, but you must page through all recordings with thumbnails. No textual listing. Recording on the the 980H are listed by date, sorted in Japanese format. Same with the 515H, but it adds DOW and uses U.S. date stamping. You can also have textual titles applied either before or after the recording with the 515H.
The format of a 980H title is: YYYYMMDD_TIME_CH_SUBCH.ts, which is not so user friendly. When watching a title, the 980H doesn't have a stop button that will allow you to start playback where you started. The 515H remembers your position. There is no "play" button on the 980H. A right arrow with two bars works as a play button from a pause or FF.
There is extensive title/content editing with the 515H. That is valuable if you want to burn a DVD. With 100 hours of HQ (10Mbs) recording, the DVD isn't so important.
The 980H supports real simple off-unit expansion. It's not so simple with the 515H, but possible from what I have read. I expanded my 250Gb 2160A to 500Gb easily.
Both use PSIP data if you have it. I don't. Neither supports any internet interface. That sucks. The 515H has a virtually silent fan. Power needed by the 980H is 9 watts max. The 515H needs about 20w. It also turns on twice daily to set its clock (optional). Both have manual clocks. There is a 6 hour live capture buffer with the 515H. You can't turn that off either. But there are some positive side effects from that buffer and some negative.
I still have a lot to learn from both units. Neither comes close to my Sony DHG in any catagory except lower price and power use.
The remote controls are quite different. As was mentioned, there is no skip button. Should I hit "EPG", I get 30 seconds of no video (not just a blank screen), and then it returns to the former display.
If I made errors or omitted items, you can feel free to correct me with your experiences.
I would buy the previously described PHD-eZ1 if they sold it. I like new toys.
Just thought of a nice feature: to be able to take a title on the HDD and send it out the USB port. I haven't tried to do that, but I have recorded to a USB memory SanDisk drive with no issues. The 515H can offload to a DVD-+*, where * means everything except RAM. For them that like to archive stuff. One input to the 515H is that little plug so you can convert your camcorder/camera data to DVD. No feature on the 980H like that. It's analog inputs are in the back. The 515H has that DVI connector in the front, along with a RWY input.