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Magnavox MDR515H/f7 HELP!!

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hello.. greetings and HELP.

I recently purchased this model from Walmart. Had the hubby hook it up with the hdmi cables to specs to our new Samsung TV. Everything on this model seemed to be what we wanted...once exception. In order to watch HD channels on this unit you had to switch over to HD! There is a button on the remote DTV/TV you had to engage for high def. The channels were not all integrated. This does not seem right. So my plan was to call Magnavox but before I could do that the whole unit basically fried. Went to turn it on and nothing.. no power nothing. After trying to "reset" it unplug/replug etc it was pronounced dead and after 2 months! Walmart took it back but I am still looking for a DVDR HDD ... any suggestions?

My expertise is not in AV equipment and its an awfully big market out there! I called customer service at Magnavox today and the gal told me this was normal, that in order to integrate the channels you had to have a cable box along with the DVDR - well one of the reasons I bought this was to get away from having to rent a Centurytel DVDR box for 15.00 a month.

Help!

Lost in tech land... Lisa
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamay View Post

The channels were not all integrated. This does not seem right.

When you say the channels weren't all integrated, what exactly do you mean? Are you missing channels? Did you do a scan?

If you mean they have weird channel numbers (like say, 15.2), that's because they're using QAM channels. Cable boxes have more "normal" channels because the cable company tells the box how to display them. The Magnavox on the other hand just displays them as it finds them. It can't make the channel numbers match the way the cable box did.

Quote:


well one of the reasons I bought this was to get away from having to rent a Centurytel DVDR box for 15.00 a month.

Unfortunately, DVD recorders are not direct replacements for cable/DVR boxes from the cable company.
post #3 of 32
The DTV/TV button is for switching back and forth from the Digital tuner, and the analog tuner. Most cable system still offer a handful of 'old' analog plus the HD version of the local tv channels that can be tuned-if you connect a cable directly to the recorder on it's tuners.
Scrambled chs like USA, TNT, TBS, etc, must now be watched on the recorder's line input from the required cable box. There wasn't anything wrong with the Maganvox in that regard...
post #4 of 32
I think she meant that the tuner has a separate scan for analog and digital , which she was referring to as HD. You can pretty much ignore the analog channels (which most likely wont be very clear anyway), and only use the DTV portion for your recordings, Lisa.

Also, this machine will substitute as a recorder, but given the way the cable channels have locked up their line ups, you will only have access to a few channels if you do not use a cable box. That is not to say that you have to rent a DVR from them - but you need the box to be able to get the stations ... you can feed that signal into the Line inputs on the back or front of the recorder and tune in to L1 or L2 to capture the cable feed from the box, bypassing the internal tuner. If you want something for simple program time shifting, and you do not need to KEEP the recordings you make, then it may be easier for you to get a DVR from the cable company. The magnavox is great for keeping, editing, dubbing content, but for quick recordings, you may find the DVR solution simpler.

In the past, much of the cable content could be fed to the magnavox tuner via direct cable coax connection, but these days that has been disabled or is about to be disabled by most cable providers who want you to have a set top box for each tv. That adds up! If you wanted to record over the air channels (with antenna) only, then the recorder could do that nicely without the box - but again , you'd be limited to the stations you can receive free -- the local affiliates , pbs, some shopping, public access, etc. That wont be sufficient if you want the full line up or any premium movie channels, etc.
post #5 of 32
The first post in Wajo's sticky thread is the gateway to a wealth of information concerning Magnavox HDD/DVD Recorders:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post12244086

The experts are found in these pages, not necessarily at Funai/Magnavox Customer Support.
post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks.. okay so, in essence in order to be able to record from hd to dvd I am going to have to have a cable box and the magnavox. Holy cats. What will the cable company's do to bilk consumers next. Force customers to rent a box to see channels your already paying for. That's double dipping.

What I mean by integrate is that for instance if I have just my TV plugged direct to cable ALL the channels are there. I just need to go up and down to see the hd right along side the non hd channel. With the magnavox in order to see any hd you have to press that DTV/TV button, then it would do a short scan and find maybe 3 hd channels. Once you changed from DTV to TV the hd channels were gone, no where in the lineup.

HD sure seems to complicate matters. Maybe I will skip HD all together.
Thanks for your replies. Now instead of being just confused I am also angry at my cable company for double dipping!
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hmmmm can a person buy a cable box?
post #8 of 32
lisamay, honestly, you need to just rent the cable PVR and cut yourself a break from the "frugality" mindset: it will just lead to frustration. Cable overall is not what it once was: they really aren't interested in serving the "no box" clients and are cutting them dead region by region. Partly this is due to our boneheaded, uncoordinated transition from analog to digital (i.e. "HD") broadcasting: the cable systems found all sorts of loopholes that allow them to force a decoder box on most subscribers with the excuse "they're necessary" for the new digital cable. In a sense, they are correct: the QAM digital "boxless" system is a convoluted joke that doesn't work right on many TVs and recorders even when the cable company does cooperate (and they rarely cooperate). Having a decoder box simplifies this messy system, having the decoder box with built-in PVR makes it almost foolproof.

The overwhelming majority of cable subscribers long since decided to forgo food or cigarettes to pay for midrange cable service with all the "good" channels and an integrated decoder box/PVR. It is so much easier to use that it killed off every DVD/HDD recorder aside from the Magnavox: most people would rather pay the monthly PVR rental to avoid the headache of integrating a separate recorder. There isn't much you can do now except take it or leave it: this trend holds in the face of a lousy economy and massive unemployment- the rental PVR is as common as the toaster and if you don't want it you're the odd man (woman?) out.

The Magnavox is an amazing machine at an incredible price, but it isn't magic: it cannot get around cable company issues, and there are many. Unless you seriously think you will often want to make permanent DVD copies of shows you record, the Magnavox is not worth the aggravation and confusion. You have to be a bit of a geek to work around the cable company roadblocks and deal with some other issues, compared to a PVR it really is a pain to use if you aren't into electronics as a hobby. The tuner design of the Magnavox is wonderful in some respects, its the best tuner/timer available in a current DVD recorder and the only one with built-in HDD recorder. But it has the hopelessly kludgy dual-band DTV/TV system which makes it a nightmare to use with boxless cable.

This dual-mode system is a holdover from earlier designs: today most TVs have a single integrated analog/digital tuner which is more seamless with boxless cable. Magnavox has not redesigned its tuner because attempts to do so by other recorder mfrs resulted in degraded performance and problems: Magnavox chose to leave well enough alone, preserving its low price and amazing recording quality with off-air antenna signals. Trying to keep a recorder compatible with ever-changing cable specs is a losing battle, especially since the demand for "generic" recorders is almost nil. BTW in USA you cannot buy or own a cable box anymore- the signal is now proprietary. It comes as part of a "not-basic" channel package, or is included "free" in many basic systems as a limited "mini-box" (no HDMI or fancy features). If your system is not offering a "free" mini-box now, it will in the next year or so.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamay View Post

Hmmmm can a person buy a cable box?

Not in the United States. Do not buy one off of eBay. It's a waste of money for something that won't work.

Closest you can get is a DVR (hard drive, no DVD burning) like a TiVo or Moxi DVR. And you still need to rent a cableCARD from the cable company.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamay View Post

Hello.. greetings and HELP.

I recently purchased this model from Walmart. Had the hubby hook it up with the hdmi cables to specs to our new Samsung TV. Everything on this model seemed to be what we wanted...once exception. In order to watch HD channels on this unit you had to switch over to HD! There is a button on the remote DTV/TV you had to engage for high def. The channels were not all integrated. This does not seem right. So my plan was to call Magnavox but before I could do that the whole unit basically fried. Went to turn it on and nothing.. no power nothing. After trying to "reset" it unplug/replug etc it was pronounced dead and after 2 months! Walmart took it back but I am still looking for a DVDR HDD ... any suggestions?

My expertise is not in AV equipment and its an awfully big market out there! I called customer service at Magnavox today and the gal told me this was normal, that in order to integrate the channels you had to have a cable box along with the DVDR - well one of the reasons I bought this was to get away from having to rent a Centurytel DVDR box for 15.00 a month.

Help!

Lost in tech land... Lisa


These Magnavox recorders are not High Def television devices. Their tuners down-rez any high def video received to Standard Def...that's what DVDs can handle.

Regular DVDs are NOT high def storage media.

Everything you get coming thru the Maggie recorders has gone thru the down-rezzing.

The only way to get a High Def picture on a TV that's using one of these recorders is to

1) Use the TV's own tuner. (The recorder's antenna cable will feed any cable or antenna feed thru to the TV as it was received.)

or

2) Use another external box, like a satellite or cable box, that produces a high def picture, and feed that into the TV thru a different input than the one the Maggie is using.

As for using the Maggie in place of a cable box, don't know why you'd expect that. At no time is it described as being a substitute for a cable or satellite box. It can't de-scramble satellite or cable channels, and the Maggies themselves need cable/satellite boxes to record programming from such scrambled sources.

As for needing to hit a button to switch from the analog to the digital tuner, that's the way these recorders were made. The channels aren't integrated.

Most (if not all) TVs do what you're talking about, but these Magnavox recorders don't.
post #11 of 32
Because most cable digital channels other than (typically) the locate broadcast channels are encrypted, recording from digital cable channels is tricky. If you want to record all the channels that Century box can record then you need a Tivo, Moxi or a PC with cable card tuner(S). You will also have to rent a cable card and possibly a tuning adapter from your cable company.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1204433

These all have a substantial up front cost. However, you can have a lot more hard drive space. Note that some Cable company recorders do support an external hard drive. I don't know if Century's box supports an external drive.

The Magnavox does not support a cable card needed for the encrypted channel and it doesn't support tuning adapters. For non-encrypted HD channels it can down convert to SD and record the show in SD. On playback it can up convert to HD giving you a 16 by 9 wide screen picture of somewhat lower quality than the original. Depending on the TV screen size the quality may or may not be acceptable to you. On my 42 inch LCD TV at a distance of 10 feet I can see a small difference but the Mag's picture is very good. The Mag only has one tuner so you can only record one show at a time. However, you can record one show while watching a previously recorded show.

If you want to be able to record encrypted channels then you need one of the more expensive solutions noted above. If the Century recorder supports an external drive then it may be the best solution for you because it has much lower upfront costs and no repair or replacement costs. If it doesn't support an external drive it won't be a very good choice for recording HD.

If you are willing to not watch/record the encrypted channels and don't object to the reduced quality on HD channels then the Mag may meet your needs and save you money in the long run. If you are willing to live with just your local broadcast channels try connecting an antenna to the Mag. If it can get the channels you want off the air then you can drop cable entirely and save even more money.

If you need to record two shows at the same time you would need a second Mag. In this case a Tivo with a life time subscription or a Moxi are not a lot more expensive than two Mags.

I currently rent an Explorer 8300HD from my cable company for recording encrypted channels. I have added a 750 GB external drive giving me about 100 hours HD or 600 hours SD. I also have a PC with two digital tuners, one analog tuner, and two hybrid tuners (will record either analog or digital). The PC can record a maximum of 5 non encrypted channels at the time (no more than 4 digital /3 analog). I have a 3 tuner Hdhomerun Prime on order. If it does what it is supposed to I will be returning the 8300HD.

Had the Moxi or Tivo been available 3 years ago either would have been less expensive than the PC. However, the PC can do more than just record and play back TV. If all you want is to record and play back TV I don't recommend a PC solution.

Digital TV and cable have made things more complicated, but at least you have choices.
post #12 of 32
Note OP's bolded statement... problem is she doesn't see the channels the same way as thru her TV and it's confusing here... nothing scrambled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamay View Post

What I mean by integrate is that for instance if I have just my TV plugged direct to cable ALL the channels are there.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeajea View Post

Had the Moxi or Tivo been available 3 years ago either would have been less expensive than the PC.

?

The first TiVo HD DVR, the S3, was released in late 2006. The TiVo HD was released around a year later.
post #14 of 32
Three years Tivo prices were higher than the current price of the premiere and you had to rent two cable cards for a two tuner model.
post #15 of 32
Neither company was going to be that cheap three years ago. Moxi was just starting out and TiVo was still trying to get above breaking even. They couldn't afford to have a DVR cheaper than what they were then and stay in business. The only reason the Premiere is $99 today is from smartly building on all the razor thin profits of the past decade.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

The only reason the Premiere is $99 today is from smartly building on all the razor thin profits of the past decade.

Also with the $99 Premieres you have to pay a inflated monthly price for the guide service, at least for the first 2 years. IMO in the end they are the same price they were a few years ago but not your price is more spread over time than the current pricing structure. I think they know most people like monthly rather than lump sum prices and are pricing accordingly.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Neither company was going to be that cheap three years ago. . . The only reason the Premiere is $99 today is from smartly building on all the razor thin profits of the past decade.

Three years ago (when I bought my TiVo) the price of a TiVo HD was $299 list from TiVo and could be found for as low as $249 (what I paid) from Amazon. Lifetime was $400 for a stand-alone cost of $650-700.

Today the Premier is $99 with a lifetime cost of $500 = $600. So although the Premier is cheaper today than the HD was 3 yr ago, it's only by ~$50.
post #18 of 32
Trying to locate the 'viewing channel' for the setup of the unit. Unit connections have been completed to receive signal using a HD antenna for over the air broadcasts with a coaxial cable from the antenna to the DVR antenna in connection and a coaxial cable from the antenna out connection to the HDTV antenna in connection. I'm using a HDMI cable from the DVR HDMI out connection to the HDTV HDMI #2 connection. The manual then refers to locating the initial setup screen by pressing channel '2' on the TV remote control and then pressing the channel down button repeately until you see the initial setup menu. By doing this the HDTV just changes channels between the existing digital channels programed into the HDTV; no initial setup menu appears? Help! Bob
post #19 of 32
Jeff: Can you view my setup question on the Magnavox MDR515H/F7?
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartab15pm View Post

Jeff: Can you view my setup question on the Magnavox MDR515H/F7?

Me? I'm sure any of the other Maggy users could also answer, but from your description I'd say the following:
To see the setup screen you want to select HDMI on your TV. Your Maggy along with just about every other DVDR does not output on channel 2,3 or 4, only from line outputs(which includes HDMI)
Some older VCRs(and maybe TVs) accessed the line input by selecting channel 2 and pushing channel down or enter the highest channel and then pushing the channel up button. I haven't seen this way to access the line inputs in quite some time. Now all TVs have a dedicated line input type of button, many times called VIDEO or INPUT.
Good luck.
post #21 of 32
The Magnavox does not output it's own signal through the HDMI output until you've enabled it by pressing the HDMI button on the Magnavox remote. Of course, your TV also needs to be set up to receive it's signal through the HDMI input.

Be aware that using HDMI leads to "handshake issues" that have been addressed at length in these pages.

Of my fourteen recorders set up for daily use, only one of them, a (Funai manufactured) Toshiba D-R410, uses the HDMI connection to a TV. That Toshiba is used in our family viewing area, not a recorder that I use personally.
post #22 of 32
What is the best type of connection to use to view recorded material on this DVR HHD on your HDTV (Hitachi Plazma)? It's my understanding there are some 'handshaking issues' when using the DVR HDMI out connection?
post #23 of 32
Lots of info like that in this thread.

It might come in handy as you get to using your new toy.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartab15pm View Post

What is the best type of connection to use to view recorded material on this DVR HHD on your HDTV (Hitachi Plazma)? It's my understanding there are some 'handshaking issues' when using the DVR HDMI out connection?

HDMI would certainly be the connection of choice. If you experience connectivity issues, then component would be the next best connection. Things get much worse after that, with the remaining choices being S-Video, and composite. Start at the top and work your way down.
post #25 of 32
Related, but arguably a new thread. Possible Keywords/Subjects: Verizon FIOS QAM Clear-QAM Legal-Cable
I am a [mostly] happy owner of a Magnavox_MDR535H, as well as its predecessor Philips_dvdr3576h_37. I bought the Magnavox to replace my really old PANASONIC_DMRHS2 that croaked last year. I subscribe to Verizon FIOS and pay the monthly rent for ONE of their "Extortion Boxes", mostly for my wife's use. We live in a western Boston 'burb, just far enough from The Big City to limit what even a good antenna can suck out of the air (since the switch to Digital). And as you might deduce, I'm a retired engineer. I don't care much about image quality, but I do care about content and reliabliity; I watch mostly PBS.
A couple of months ago Verizon, as is their custom, resumed screwing around with the channel assignments, necessitating a rescan for all sets and DVR's not connected to an Extortion-Box. Normally merely an annoyance, but this time no two devices behaved identically. A Sylvania TV can't find New Hampshire PBS, another sprouted all kinds of useless sub-channels, the Philips DVR and a Samsung TV did mostly rational mapping, but the Magnavox did some really weird things I can't explain. It comes up with TWO channels for 2.1, 2.2, and 5.1. The "lower" of each is bogus, either serving up nothing or a 20-second Verizon "commercial". If I use the "^" button from 2.1 it goes to "the other" 2.1, which is the "real" one I'm after (WGBH, Boston-PBS). The "upper" one is exactly the one I want, but there's no way I've found to fool the timer to ignore the lower bogus one and record the upper one, although if I manually force it with the ^ button and hit RECORD, it records the right thing. I simply cannot get the timer to chose the "right" 2.1 or 2.2 or 5.1.
Does anybody understand what Verizon has done, why it fools only the newest of my devices, and perhaps most important, is there any way to work around it? It is getting really annoying to have to use only the Philips recorder for Channels 2.1, 2.2, and 5.1 and use the Magnavox for everything else, and as an engineer I'm offended by it. I've given up all hope of finding human intelligence at Verizon; to date nobody I've ever talked to - after endless minutes of Puking-Music-On-Hold - even knows what QAM stands for, and they'll simply say it's a DVR problem I wouldn't have if I rented more Extortion-Boxes.
I'm equally unlikely to get much help from Magnavox. Their incentive is low, and they don't even provide a way to delete sub-channels individually, which would be an obvious benefit to owners. I will explore the procedure (if any) for updating the software, but I'm not optimistic.
Finally, does anybody know the legal requirements imposed on cable companies to provide "local channels" to customers in the clear - i.e. Clear-QAM, without an Extortion-Box? How might I track down whatever legislation exists that forces them to provide the basics to people who don't get a box?
Many thanks. ShutterbugDon
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShutterbugDon View Post

Finally, does anybody know the legal requirements imposed on cable companies to provide "local channels" to customers in the clear - i.e. Clear-QAM, without an Extortion-Box?
A recent FCC ruling has cleared the way for cable companies to encrypt everything, thus requiring you to rent either an STB or cable card. What each company elects to do is anyone's guess, but the law is no longer on your side.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShutterbugDon View Post

Related, but arguably a new thread. Possible Keywords/Subjects: Verizon FIOS QAM Clear-QAM Legal-Cable
I am a [mostly] happy owner of a Magnavox_MDR535H, as well as its predecessor Philips_dvdr3576h_37. I bought the Magnavox to replace my really old PANASONIC_DMRHS2 that croaked last year. I subscribe to Verizon FIOS and pay the monthly rent for ONE of their "Extortion Boxes", mostly for my wife's use. We live in a western Boston 'burb, just far enough from The Big City to limit what even a good antenna can suck out of the air (since the switch to Digital). And as you might deduce, I'm a retired engineer. I don't care much about image quality, but I do care about content and reliabliity; I watch mostly PBS.
A couple of months ago Verizon, as is their custom, resumed screwing around with the channel assignments, necessitating a rescan for all sets and DVR's not connected to an Extortion-Box. Normally merely an annoyance, but this time no two devices behaved identically. A Sylvania TV can't find New Hampshire PBS, another sprouted all kinds of useless sub-channels, the Philips DVR and a Samsung TV did mostly rational mapping, but the Magnavox did some really weird things I can't explain. It comes up with TWO channels for 2.1, 2.2, and 5.1. The "lower" of each is bogus, either serving up nothing or a 20-second Verizon "commercial". If I use the "^" button from 2.1 it goes to "the other" 2.1, which is the "real" one I'm after (WGBH, Boston-PBS). The "upper" one is exactly the one I want, but there's no way I've found to fool the timer to ignore the lower bogus one and record the upper one, although if I manually force it with the ^ button and hit RECORD, it records the right thing. I simply cannot get the timer to chose the "right" 2.1 or 2.2 or 5.1.
Does anybody understand what Verizon has done, why it fools only the newest of my devices, and perhaps most important, is there any way to work around it? It is getting really annoying to have to use only the Philips recorder for Channels 2.1, 2.2, and 5.1 and use the Magnavox for everything else, and as an engineer I'm offended by it. I've given up all hope of finding human intelligence at Verizon; to date nobody I've ever talked to - after endless minutes of Puking-Music-On-Hold - even knows what QAM stands for, and they'll simply say it's a DVR problem I wouldn't have if I rented more Extortion-Boxes.
I'm equally unlikely to get much help from Magnavox. Their incentive is low, and they don't even provide a way to delete sub-channels individually, which would be an obvious benefit to owners. I will explore the procedure (if any) for updating the software, but I'm not optimistic.
Finally, does anybody know the legal requirements imposed on cable companies to provide "local channels" to customers in the clear - i.e. Clear-QAM, without an Extortion-Box? How might I track down whatever legislation exists that forces them to provide the basics to people who don't get a box?
Many thanks. ShutterbugDon

Please do not hijack threads about other subjects. Please do not resurrect old threads about subjects different from what you're bringing up.

Please do not do either and then try to excuse it by admitting that's what you're doing.

Please start your own thread without hijacking an old one about something else and then claiming you're starting a new thread while also admitting you're hijacking.

Why would you even bother to do something like this?

Why NOT start your own thread?

Seriously dude. What was your aim here? Why did you handle things this way? Why NOT just start your own?
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShutterbugDon View Post

and they'll simply say it's a DVR problem I wouldn't have if I rented more Extortion-Boxes.

Nice phrase "Extortion-Boxes"... hi there this friend have a related issue and with some luck maybe he could compile a firmware solution, (why not?) anyway you must talk to him:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

Since I have commercial equipment at my disposal..I just did a few tests with the 537:

I took an ASI transport stream from a GI DSR-4810 satellite receiver with some audio streams.
Fed that to a Tandberg TT6120 QAM Modulator on channel 132 with no SI / TVCT (PSIP). The Tv's and the 537 tuned it just fine.
Next added SI / TVCT (PSIP) using a Wegener DTV720 processor creating 2 programs: 18-18 Tune-1 and 18-19 Tune-11. The Tv's and the 537 tuned it just fine.
Next changed programs to 118-18 Tune-1 and 218-19 Tune-11. The Tv's would tune the channels however the 537 would not.

More Later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

The RF limit is channel 135, there should not be a limit on a "virtual" channel as it is simply an ID tag the tuner assigns to the RF channel based on the info provided in the CVCT.. RF channel 83 MPEG Program 38 could be tagged as 18-1 or 180-4 or 235.6 by whatever is entered in the table. If the device will not display virtual channels above a certain number.. then it has a major design flaw, as higher channel numbers are pretty common now with cable ops.
post #29 of 32
member Gastrof's reply:
> Please do not hijack threads about other subjects. Please do not resurrect old threads about subjects different from what you're bringing up.
Please do not do either and then try to excuse it by admitting that's what you're doing.
Please start your own thread without hijacking an old one about something else and then claiming you're starting a new thread while also admitting you're hijacking.
Why would you even bother to do something like this?
Why NOT start your own thread?
Seriously dude. What was your aim here? Why did you handle things this way? Why NOT just start your own? <<br />
The thread subject is Magnavox MDR515H, and unlike yours, my level of expertise does not permit me to reject a peculiarity of this device as the cause of the problem I described. Silly me. I will, however, explore the replies intended to be helpful.
post #30 of 32
SUBJECT: Magnavox DVDRs / FiOS ClearQAM / MAPPING PROBLEMS...
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShutterbugDon View Post

Related, but arguably a new thread. Possible Keywords/Subjects: Verizon FIOS QAM Clear-QAM Legal-Cable

I am a [mostly] happy owner of a Magnavox_MDR535H... ...subscribe to Verizon FIOS and pay the monthly rent for ONE of their "Extortion Boxes", mostly for my wife's use.... ...I'm a retired engineer...

A couple of months ago Verizon, as is their custom, resumed screwing around with the channel assignments, necessitating a rescan for all sets and DVR's not connected to an Extortion-Box. Normally merely an annoyance, but this time no two devices behaved identically. A Sylvania TV can't find New Hampshire PBS, another sprouted all kinds of useless sub-channels, the Philips DVR and a Samsung TV did mostly rational mapping, but the Magnavox did some really weird things I can't explain. It comes up with TWO channels for 2.1, 2.2, and 5.1. The "lower" of each is bogus, either serving up nothing or a 20-second Verizon "commercial". If I use the "^" button from 2.1 it goes to "the other" 2.1, which is the "real" one I'm after (WGBH, Boston-PBS). The "upper" one is exactly the one I want, but there's no way I've found to fool the timer to ignore the lower bogus one and record the upper one, although if I manually force it with the ^ button and hit RECORD, it records the right thing. I simply cannot get the timer to chose the "right" 2.1 or 2.2 or 5.

Does anybody understand what Verizon has done, why it fools only the newest of my devices, and perhaps most important, is there any way to work around it?
.
Since I cannot find another thread from you on the Magnavox / FiOS Tuner Problem, I'll just answer here:
.
  • Start out reading Tuning Problems to get a general overview of the Magnavox / Cable Tuning Problem.
    .
  • Then SEARCH that thread (Yeah - the *BIG ONE** that's difficult to find answers in unless they're already LINKed in Post #1, or one of its related posts) for specific replies from Ken.F - IMO, he originally identified and provided a solution to the 'Magnavox / FiOS' problem.
    .
  • And, finally, since I have 2160As, 513s and 515s that give *DIFFERENT* results from an 'Auto-Scan', here are MY steps (abbreviated, since Vista / IE8 is buffering 'Keyboard-to-Screen' data slower than an old 300 baud teletype!):
    1. Run an Auto-Scan with the RF Cable disconnected to CLEAR Channel Memory.
      - Check for success.
      .
    2. Run a second Auto-Scan with the RF Cable disconnected until it reaches DIGITAL CH 10.
      - IME, it's not super important if you connect ~9 or ~11; just be aware that the lower FiOS channels are just 'Random Ads' that you'll want to DELETE.
      .
    3. Grab a pencil and paper and return to normal VIEW mode. CH UP from L3 and label everything you see (TIME CONSUMING!)
      - IME, ClearQAM HD channels are on separate BASE channels while ClearQAM SD channels are usually groups of several sub-channels on a few sequential base channels.
      .
    4. REPEAT Step 1 to clear Channel Memory.
      .
    5. ONE-AT-A-TIME, add a ClearQAM HD channel from your paper list (i.e. ADD / CONFIRM / RINSE / REPEAT).
      - *PAY* attention if it RE-MAPS (i.e. 72.1 may remain as 72.1 CBS-HD, but 74.3 may RE-MAP to 9.1 WOR-HD (in the NYC area). This is where your problems will originate. If let's say 57.8 *ALSO* RE-MAPS to 9.1 Korean-SD, you now have a CONFLICT. Since 57 is lower than 74, during an Auto-Scan, the *UNWANTED* 57 RE-MAP will succeed, while the *DESIRED* 74 RE-MAP will fail.
      .
    6. IME, the *FEWER* channels you ENABLE, the easier your Magnavox DVDR is to maintain *WHEN* FiOS 'Spins-the-Dice'.
.
Good Luck! smile.gif
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