Pace DC900 mDVR info - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-29-2013, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I just joined AVS after being linked here while researching the Pace DC900 mDVR that my cable Co. offers. On June 17th they are going all digital , which is going to put a crimp in my analog VCR recording capabiliity. I do quite a lot of recording and have 4 VCRs and one DVR. The stories I've heard on the reliability of Metrocasts mDVR system sounds like its not the answer. But since I can't find VCRs with QAM digital tuners or stand alone programable QAM digital tuners, than I have little options. I did find Magnavox has a HDD/DVR with DVD, so I'm looking at all available options. Does anybody have any experience with these Pace mDVR systems? The link that brought me was created in 2010, it had 74 responses, but ended abuptly at response #61. It was created by lindend.
Its been almost three years and I'm interested to see if improvements have happened.
Is anybody working on a device that uses the flashdrive as the medium recorded on?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-30-2013, 03:07 PM
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It's hard to be specific since you haven't indicated it your new cable feed will have SDV or if the service you pay for is encrypted. Start here:

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460149/updated-list-of-consumer-available-dvrs-in-the-us/0_50

 

The only DVR that works (somewhat) with SDV is the TiVo. It also uses a cable card. If your new feed includes a tuning adapter for free, you may wish to wait and see what clear
QAM is supplied first, using your TV to get a list of the channels.

 

The Magnavox units are not HD but very reliable and can create/play a DVD.

 

I don't use a DVR from my cable company. I use a TiVo. I have a Mag 515H, Sony DHG, BV-980H,and TViX.

 

Edit:

Seems like most small cable feeds, yours doesn't use SDV. Here the web site:

 

http://www.metrocast.com/dta/

 

If you don't have a QAM tuner in your TV, buy a new TV.

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-03-2013, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Joe for your response. Metrocast presently provides a QAM signal with analog and both SDV and HDV digital signal. I have 4 VCRs that record regular analog stations with their tuners and I also have one of their Motorola DVRs. However, after the 17th of June, they will drop all analog feed. I'll still be able to record with the VCRs if I tune the station in on my converter and set the VCR to channel 3, but I will be only limited to single channel recording. They do have a multiroom DVR system, the Pace DC900, but the system has not been very reliable. Many have returned them. They are plagued by lock ups, lost programing and false HDD full errors. They usually have to be rebooted. The result is alot of lost recordings. This is why I was looking into commercially available DVRs. WalMart has the Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder DVR with a 500GB HDD for just over $200. Although it is only SDV, I'm used to that with my VCRs. I was wondering if the magnavox could be set up to act as a QAM tuner for my VCR, so I could do multichannel recording. I'm not sure if the DVD can be recorded onto right off the video feed or if you only can record from the HDD. As far as DVD recording goes, aren't they limited to about 2 hours of recording space?
All my TVs have QAM tuners. Does anybody know why you can't buy a stand alone programmable QAM tuner? During the digital transition, I made sure I got the programmable converters (Zinwell and Dish TR40) but was extremely disappointed when I learned about clear QAM signal that our Cable Co. used. Since you have a Magnavox, how do you think it'll work for my situation?

Dave
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-03-2013, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazda626awd View Post

Thanks Joe for your response. Metrocast presently provides a QAM signal with analog and both SDV and HDV digital signal. I have 4 VCRs that record regular analog stations with their tuners and I also have one of their Motorola DVRs. However, after the 17th of June, they will drop all analog feed. I'll still be able to record with the VCRs if I tune the station in on my converter and set the VCR to channel 3, but I will be only limited to single channel recording. They do have a multiroom DVR system, the Pace DC900, but the system has not been very reliable. Many have returned them. They are plagued by lock ups, lost programing and false HDD full errors. They usually have to be rebooted. The result is alot of lost recordings. This is why I was looking into commercially available DVRs. WalMart has the Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder DVR with a 500GB HDD for just over $200. Although it is only SDV, I'm used to that with my VCRs. I was wondering if the magnavox could be set up to act as a QAM tuner for my VCR, so I could do multichannel recording. I'm not sure if the DVD can be recorded onto right off the video feed or if you only can record from the HDD. As far as DVD recording goes, aren't they limited to about 2 hours of recording space?
All my TVs have QAM tuners. Does anybody know why you can't buy a stand alone programmable QAM tuner? During the digital transition, I made sure I got the programmable converters (Zinwell and Dish TR40) but was extremely disappointed when I learned about clear QAM signal that our Cable Co. used. Since you have a Magnavox, how do you think it'll work for my situation?

Dave

That's a lot at once, but I have two Mag DVDR, which has it's own thread and walmart.com has free home shipping right not. If SD is good enough then you will like the Magnavox and it upconverts to 1080p. I use it on my SD channels that are SD even though they say HD. It will be letterbox however. You can record to DVD directly, but why bother since even the middle range 535H is 100 hours at HQ (480i, 10Mbs recording rate). Many are happy with SP and it's fine for making archives.  Please see the forum for recording times. I'm pretty sure it's 6 hours.

 

You can buy a QAM tuner (I have three) but none are very good. Check eBay. The 260F is most popular but also the lowest quality.

 

Yes, the Mag can be used as a "tuner" for your VCR as can most cable boxes. It is not a logical thing to do and I can not think of any reason to use it that way.

 

If your TV can find QAM channels without using the cable box the Magnavox should be able to find and record them also. Sadly there is only one tuner in the Mag, so you have to decide the best path to follow. It's only money. I would look for a used 2160A or 515H on eBay.

 

And then there is a TiVo. One box, one cable card, four tuners.

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post #5 of 8 Old 06-03-2013, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again Joe. You mentioned in your first post the other equipment you have. I checked the internet on the TViX. I wasn't sure what it was exactly. I see alot about a home theater and the model 6000. I'm still not sure, I did see it had a replacable HDD.

Whats the advantage of the used 515 and 2160A over buying new besides the price? Would there a be question of how long the unit would last? What are the common failures on these things? Sorry for all the questions.

I'll be sure to check out that walmart forum.

Are the other recorders you have priced around the Magnavox range?

As for TiVo, I didn't like the monthly fee idea when I first checked it out years ago, but in light of what the multiroom DVR will cost in additional rental fees, might be worth looking at again.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-03-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazda626awd View Post

Thanks again Joe. You mentioned in your first post the other equipment you have. I checked the internet on the TViX. I wasn't sure what it was exactly. I see alot about a home theater and the model 6000. I'm still not sure, I did see it had a replacable HDD.

Whats the advantage of the used 515 and 2160A over buying new besides the price? Would there a be question of how long the unit would last? What are the common failures on these things? Sorry for all the questions.

I'll be sure to check out that walmart forum.

Are the other recorders you have priced around the Magnavox range?

As for TiVo, I didn't like the monthly fee idea when I first checked it out years ago, but in light of what the multiroom DVR will cost in additional rental fees, might be worth looking at again.
Dave

I can't recommend anything except the TiVo and Magnavox. Forget eBay. New at walmart.com is cheaper. The Mag forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/940657/magnavox-537-535-533-515-513-2160a-2160-2080-philips-3576-3575/23800_50#post_23387464

 

Failures are rare, but it is sensitive to power interruptions.

 

Other data:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460149/updated-list-of-consumer-available-dvrs-in-the-us/0_50

 

Good luck Dave.

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post #7 of 8 Old 06-04-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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OK Joe, I just spent 2 hours reading about the TiVo. It looks promising, do you have the 4 tuner unit? I was trying to figure out the best way for a multiroom set up. But it looks like you need 2 DVRs which means you will be paying for 2 subscriptions. Is there a way around this by connecting the boxes together via wired/wireless setup?

Another concern I have no matter which way I go is with loss of signal strength when splitting cable between multiple inputs. In the 90s, Radio Shack sold this switch box that was amplified and had five inputs and three outputs (all coax) that you could send a show to three TVs or video players. They discontinued making them around 2000. I managed to pick up four of them. Only have three left working marginally. I've searched and was unable to locate something that work as well. The great thing about them was the signal was amplified and helped keep the signal strength usable. Also since then, cable signals have changed and the same old splitters don't work so well. Do you have any info about this?

Thanks
Dave
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-04-2013, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazda626awd View Post

OK Joe, I just spent 2 hours reading about the TiVo. It looks promising, do you have the 4 tuner unit? I was trying to figure out the best way for a multiroom set up. But it looks like you need 2 DVRs which means you will be paying for 2 subscriptions. Is there a way around this by connecting the boxes together via wired/wireless setup?

Another concern I have no matter which way I go is with loss of signal strength when splitting cable between multiple inputs. In the 90s, Radio Shack sold this switch box that was amplified and had five inputs and three outputs (all coax) that you could send a show to three TVs or video players. They discontinued making them around 2000. I managed to pick up four of them. Only have three left working marginally. I've searched and was unable to locate something that work as well. The great thing about them was the signal was amplified and helped keep the signal strength usable. Also since then, cable signals have changed and the same old splitters don't work so well. Do you have any info about this?

Thanks
Dave

First, I have the original Series 4 two tuner unit. I can record two cable channels (or watch one and record one) at the same time. I bought it used on eBay and don't have a lifetime subscription. Yet. Second subscriptions are discounted.

 

If you had two TiVo units they can talk to each other. There is also a free PC-based TiVo program that can archive programs. I use that also. There are several such programs. I don't suggest adding an external HDD, but that's just my opinion.

 

I use a Shack 1 to 4 amplified splitter. I use two right now, since nothing is daisy-chained. For cable, you should be able to see the signal levels for digital channels. I have 90+ of something on the Mag and a SNR of 37 on my TV.

 

For overflow recording I use either the Mag or a Sony DHG-HDD250. The Sony is (sorry) not a solution you will wish to pursue.

 

TiVo has a thread and two good web sites:

 

 http://www.avsforum.com/t/1232191/the-official-avs-tivo-series4-premiere-topic/0_50

 

 http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=67

 

 http://support.tivo.com/

 

Have fun.

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