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Seeking recommendations on a recorder with all region capability

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have a five year old Philips DVDR 3400 recorder that is starting to show its age. I have reprogrammed it to play all regions using a hack from the VideoHelp site. I am looking to replace this unit with a new one with HDD. I have been looking at the Magnavox 533/535/537 models based on information from this site and others. However, it is does not have all region capability and I have not seen any hacks for it. Does anyone have any recommendations for a model that would fulfill my needs in the $200-$300 range. Thank you in advance.
post #2 of 3
DVD recorders that can be hacked for all-region are far less common than players that can be hacked. DVD recorders with HDD that can be hacked are pretty much non-existent. And forget anything that has been sold as a North American model in the past six years (the Magnavox ain't gonna work for you no-how).

There is no such thing as a cheap (under $300) DVD/HDD recorder with "deluxe" features like multi-region. The Magnavox is as cheap as it is due to WalMart consciously choosing to lose money on each one sold: it is a halo product they commissioned from Funai for specific marketing reasons. Those reasons make absolutely no sense whatever to a first year MBA student, but make a lucky break for those who need an inexpensive DVD/HDD unit for normal NTSC use.

The closest thing to a region-free DVD/HDD you're going to find in USA/Canada is the gray-market import Panasonic EH59 and EH69, at approx $330-$430 depending on supply and demand at any given time. These are models specifically designed for worldwide use in assorted countries both NTSC and PAL. The analog tuner is PAL only, but you can record NTSC thru the line inputs from an external tuner, cable box, or satellite box.

These Panasonics auto-detect NTSC or PAL dvds and will send the appropriate signal to the outputs. But unlike multi-region DVD players, they will not auto-convert PAL dvds to NTSC output: PAL is output as PAL. You would need a multi-format CRT TV with analog inputs, or a flat screen that accepts PAL over HDMI and displays it properly. Most reputable dealers of the import Panasonics will let you return the recorder if it doesn't work the way you want. Sometimes, these returned units are steeply discounted to well under $300, so it pays to monitor the dealer sites for a few weeks.

Otherwise, just get a Magnavox MDR533 DVD/HDD and a supplementary $50 hackable DVD player. Thats what most of us do nowadays.
post #3 of 3
Great info. I just got the 533. Thanks for all the info.
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