I wanted to ask about this specific machine--bigger sounds better, but by going to a much larger hard drive, are there any downsides to this machine in recording, playing, longevity, etc.
Thanks very much for any replies and information.
Your older 513 and the 515 both exhibited freezing on occasion that can be easily fixed with a Soft Reset, as described here.
The new 53x Series haven't shown a similar problem probably because Funai fixed it... they had already developed a FW update to fix the problem in older units (Ver02C), and I suspect they incorporated the fix in writing the new FW for 53x units. The new tuner seems to be helping as well!
I think you can have high confidence in the new models.
Before you decide, you need to make sure you can tune your cableco's channels (the ones you must have) WITHOUT the cable box. Only if you can will the Mag "replace" the cable box for tuning, but it still will NOT have a Guide. Setting programs to record requires you knowing when they are on and setting a manual timer, with a menu, for each single- or recurring program you want to record. We do that by consulting our newspaper or online TV listings and setting a whole season for timer recording, making changes only when necessary and we usually just let our machines record even when a show is pre-empted or a re-run, i.e., we don't obsess about letting our very reliable Mags record shows we might not watch.
You can discover what channels are tunable without a box by connecting a HDTV with analog and digital tuners direct to the incomng cable coax and scanning for channels with the TV. Whatever channels the HDTV can tune w/o the box is what you'll get with the Mag.
Yes, you can use it with a cable box but do NOT set it up per pg 19... as you said, that makes it a single-channel "slave" to the box.
Instead, connect as shown and described in Sketch 3 here.
Lots more detailed info in the help files listed on Page 1 of this thread.
4. You can go from page to page in the title list with the NEXT and PREV buttons.
6. Can't combine titles (but it's on our Wish List).
Odds are slim to none that anything new will be implemented since Funai has reassigned their DVD recorder personnel and resources (again)..
If you keep any record of titles that lists them by number, you can instantly play specific titles (and even Chapters) without ANY searching at all using the Display menu, as described here. Same for music CDs.
You don't have to travel anywhere. Click on that link again and look under the 1st pic on that page, no scrolling needed. Sentence starts with "To play a specific Title, ...."
Oftentimes, repeating the Auto Channel Preset brings in "problem" channels... on my older units, I've had to do as many as 3 repeat scans.
Also, see if there's a pattern to the cableco's channel assignment numbering, suggested to me by your 202.1 showing up as 2.1 on the Mag. My cableco also does some "matching" with its higher-numbered channels. If the end numbers suggest a channel within the Mag's 125/135 channel range, try entering that channel manually with a Manual Channel Preset.
Finally, use the resources linked in this help file section to track down the staton call sign and what virtual/physical channel numbers for that station. Add/delete virtual/physical channels mentioned in those resources to find the combination that works for that channel.
The 533/535/537 remote is the same as the 515 remote, same ops in both, incl. R/RW DVD usage.
Before giving up on the 515 if you have cable TV: (1) toggle from one tuner (TV/DTV) to the other to make sure it's not temporary, then (2) make sure the cableco hasn't begun scrambling all its channels. Connect incoming cable directly to a HDTV (with analog and digital tuners), scan for channels and see if any show up in the TV. If same as the 515, your 537 would act the same way.
The 537 has a new tuner (new model/supplier) since the supplier stopped making that model. Some notice a difference for the better.
Unfinalized 515 DVD-R/+R, finalized/unfinalized -RW, and +RW discs should be usable in the 537. Normally. discs from any Mag HDD/DVDR can be interchanged between models, and even the predecessor Philips discs can be interchanged if you turn Recording > Make Recording Compatible (MRC) on, as described here.