Originally Posted by ClearToLand
I read a recent post by CitiBear
regarding Magnavox DVDR reliability (Downhill:
2160A -> 513 -> 515).
Are the 515s *REALLY* that bad?!?
(or is it just "Operator Error"?)
No, they aren't
"that bad". Please, don't start quoting me like that or wajo will put a hit out on me.
My remarks are not meant to disparage the 515, just to confirm it gets a disproportionate share of "acting wonky shortly after purchase" reports compared to the 513 and especially the H2160, which had few such reports (aside from the finalization workaround which got corrected in the 513 and 515). I don't think the 515 is any more flaky out of the box than many of the other brands/models back in the pre-2006 heyday, but it gets much more intense scrutiny and coverage by dint of being the last and only DVD/HDD model we can buy in the US. Wal*Mart being the only major seller also skews these "defective" reports, since your average Wal*Mart customer is not as savvy as the person who shopped for a Toshiba XS or Pioneer 640 at Best Buy or Circuit City five years ago.
I'd estimate about half the complaints I've seen about the 515 reflect operator error or misunderstanding of the blockhead instruction manual. I never
use the Magnavox manual: I go straight to wajo's sticky which is much clearer and more direct, but most 515 buyers would have no idea wajo's sticky even exists. They get frustrated by something like the initial setup/disc tray interlock or cable service complexities, return the 515, then post complaints. The great advantage of Wal*Mart being the main backer of the Magnavox is their generous return policy: if the machine seems seriously funky and can't be fixed using tips found here on AVS, just return it and get another (which more than likely will be fine).
Note the 513 and 515 (and to a lesser extent the H2160) are subject to the same generic SATA HDD connection glitches that plague the final Pioneers, Sonys and LGs. If you seem to get weirdness localized to the HDD, consider opening the Magnavox and re-seating the HDD plugs (on both motherboard and HDD). This is often helpful if you're past the 90 day Wal*Mart return period, or if you bought your unit via Amazon or J&R and have gone past their shorter return periods.