Originally Posted by David Stern
Thanks for the info. As it turns out I did crack open the box and just happened
to have a similarly sized SAS drive which I popped in. So since the problem is
still with me, I plan to run it for a while opened and with a room-fan directed
at the guts.
In case this fails, what is my "option C"? I've occasionally come across a DVRpal
or Channel Master 7000pal on sale on ebay but no idea what I'm getting for that
kind of money (clearly, they're old) So what do people do these days if they want
I did buy a magnavox mdr535h. It's terrible! plan to return it. Has one tuner, doesn't
work well with other inputs, doesn't skip forward as easily as dvrpal, has no guide,
and is incredibly clunky to use. Heck, even my $30 digital antenna converter shows
what the next program on will be. That's not a full blown guide but it's a start.
The only other reasonable thing I can find is a Tablo 2-Tuner DVR. I can add an
external USB HDD and presumably then play things back on a laptop. But that's
not quite what I want.
What is the rest of the population doing if
they don't have cable
don't wanna pay a monthly Tivo fee
want to be able to record up to 2 things on a "converted" analog TV.
In the USA, there really aren't many options left except to try and keep whatever you use working....
Both Philips and Magnavox make OTA hard drive recorders, single tuners with different hard drive sizes. From what I read, they are pretty much like a digital VCR. No program guide just like your Magnavox.
Other people here use HTPCs (Home Theatre Personal Computers) that they build themselves, buy multiple tuners, and use Windows Media Center for recording onto a computer.
Others have bought the latest Channel Master offering, the DVR+. It doesn't come with it's own storage, you'd have to buy an external USB hard drive to record a decent amount of programming. (to me, it's too much money)
As far as Ebay goes, the DTV PAL was introduced around 2009, buying a used one is a very risky proposition.
After Dish Network abandoned the PAL, Channel Master came out with their own version called the CM-7000. It's essentially an exact reproduction of the PAL but with different branding. That unit was short-lived and and seems more trouble-prone than the original PAL was, based on posts I've read in these forums.
Then Channel Master introduced the CM-7400, a complete redesign in a smaller case using a laptop hard drive.
Most early adopters panned this recorder for its numerous problems, which included overheating and freezing.
From what I've read, a lot of TV enthusiasts have gone the Tivo route, plunked down cold cash for these units and pay the monthly fee. Even Tivo now markets an OTA-only DVR, but you still have to pay the fee. There are other single-tuner black boxes available that are mainly digital tuners with USB ports for external recording, and they are pretty cheap.
On AVS Forum, there are two resident "experts", Video Bruce is the one who maintains a list of all current and past digital recorders. For the DTV PAL, P.Smith is a technician who is able to fix broken DVRs.
For more reading I would suggest going to the main forum, "AVS Forum> HDTV>HDTV Recorders"
Many readers have posted the same "what do I do now?" question numerous times.
I maintain my own personal arsenal of digital recorders.... two DTV PAL DVRs, two Channel Master CM7400s
two Sony DHG HDD250/500s, an 11yr old LG LST-3410A, and a bunch of DVD recorders I bought over the years
on Ebay. I'm of the opinion that, if you use something every day, eventually it will break down. So my method is to vary what I use to record TV shows, including downloading them from the Internet. I've been paying for basic cable since the 1990's, but don't have a cable company DVR, because I refuse to pay the monthly fee. Maybe it's illogical, but it works for me.