Using This DVDR as a Digital Tuner between DirecTV with Local Channels and
Non-Digital Panasonic Recorder To Use Its Superior Editing Capabilities
One person who has been getting all his TV from DirecTV (with local channels) found a "cool" way to use a Mag as a digital tuner to get his "marathons" and other important stuff from DirecTV's or an antenna's digital signal to his analog Panasonic recorder(s) to use their superior editing capabilities. None of the Panasonic DVD recorders he owns have digital tuners to record them directly.
His process had been to record everything he wanted to watch, and copy the programs he wanted to "save" from his DirecTV DVR to one of his analog Panasonic DVD recorders.
However, there were programs he wanted to record that were on subchannels that DirecTV does not carry (but were on OTA channels), so he could not program his DVR to record them. and others were on at very inconvenient times to watch live. Many of those programs are shown in blocks of two, three, even four episodes in a block, which is inconvenient to sit through in one live marathon viewing session, and again, he couldn't record them with his analog Panasonics..
He bought the Magnavox 515. connected his antenna, did a channel scan, and got all of the "local" digital channels he gets on DirecTV, plus all the subchannels that DirecTV does not carry. However, the Magnavox doesn't have the editing capabilities he was used to with the Panasonic... he does LOTS of complex editing and "fiddling around" with titles he wants to save on optical media. So, the problem was, how to get the content from the Magnavox to the Panasonic.
The solution was absurdly simple.
He records everything he wants to save to DVD in HQ mode on the Mag 515. This results in as high a picture quality as possible. He connected S-Video+audio cables from the back output of his 515 to a line input on the Panasonic, made sure Progressive Scan was OFF (or no output from composite or S-Video), then played back the recorded program on the Magnavox while simultaneously recording it on the Panasonic. Any degradation in the picture quality turned out to be so small, it's all but unnoticeable
Once in the Panasonic, he separates the single title into individual episodes using the Playlist feature and fancy-titles them appropriately. When he gets a disk full of episodes, he saves them to a DVD.
Moral of This Story
In essence, he's using his Mag 515 as a DVR rather then a DVD recorder. It does this very well, and he is very pleased. It is reliable (never missed a recording so far) and the picture quality is excellent.
As he learns how to edit recordings on the 515, he expects to be using it as a DVD recorder more and more. Since he first set this up, the number of channels he can record on the 515 has increased (new subchannels appear ) and he's using it more. He says it has been a very cost-effective purchase.