Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575 - Page 506 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #15151 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjb View Post

After following this thread for quite awhile, I decided to order a refurb 515 from J&R.com.
I got it last week but when I unpacked it, the manual and the remote were for a totally different model---a Magnavox DVD/VCR with no tuner. I set it up, scanned the OTA channels, but since there was no Channel Up/Down button on the remote it was impossible to easily change channels or access the digital sub-channels.

I don't know who screwed up--Magnavox or J&R--by throwing in the wrong manual and remote, but I called up J&R customer service. They told me to return the whole unit to them. I asked if I could just send back the manual and remote, but they insisted that I send back the whole package. At least they e-mailed me a prepaid UPS shipping label, so I packed it up and send it back today. I'll let you know how long it takes to get a replacement.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with a refurb?

rjb-
I've found J&R to be very honest and easy to deal with, when there is a problem such as you described. The "mix-up" most likely occured in the Funai refurb center and not at J&R.

As your in CA and J&R is in NY, it takes 5-7 days for UPS to deliver a (ground) package across country, so most likely it will be 2-3 weeks before you receive the replacement 515. (You may be able to cut that time in half by ordering another 515 and having J&R credit your account, when they receive the returned 515. If that appeals to you, call J&R customer support at 1-800-426-6027)

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post #15152 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 06:09 PM
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...But why purchase a refurbished Magnavox 515 from J&R when you can get the same item brand-new for $10 more from walmart ?
I ordered mine last week with the extended 3-year warranty (considering notorious problems/failure rates for parts such as hard drive and optical drive) and so far i have been quite pleased, coming from previously owning a Sony DVR/DVD burner model that lasted me for years of daily usage.
I did find the 515 remote a little "hokie-pokie" and the DVD-ROM drive to be rather slow during initial disc set-up as well as a bit "clunky/noisy", but other than that the unit does indeed seem to offer better MPEG4 codec perfomance than my older Sony model.

Sony XBR-940E, Integra DHC-80.2, Oppo 103, Sound Lab A-1 electrostatic speakers,SVS PC12-NSD subs, InnerSound Electrostatic Amp,, Hafler 220 amp, Harman Kardon PA5800 amp, Pioneer LD-W1, Darbee Darblet, DVDO iScan Mini, Nvidia Shield, Yamaha CR-7, Koss ESP/950, Stax SR-40, Audeze Isine 10, etc, etc.
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post #15153 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 06:59 PM
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As promised, I said I would follow up with my purchase of a refurbed 515 from Worldwide Distributors on Amazon. I will start off by saying that the shipping/packaging and my first 3 hours of experience with it are pretty positive.

It shipped in what I'm assuming is Mag's own factory brown box with the unit heavily protected in bubble wrap (which BTW is a great new-fangled design that will not pop, never seen this stuff before,).



Included everything - remote (no bats), manual, warranty, composite cable, cheap coax. Be nice if someone could verify if this is the same as a refurb unit from J&R.



I suppose the sticker indicates this is certainly a factory refurb. Also has the "warranty void if opened" sticker over the back of the case which I forgot to photograph. Cosmetically it was free of any scratches or fingerprints aside from the contact points on the underside. It does come with the 90 day official Mag warranty.



After the initial setup I ran the SKIP 079 and 321. This thing is basically new...



Couple other things:

- The remote DOES indeed also control my Sylvania Bluray player.
- I agree with everyone else that the tuner is absolutely terrible. It picked up 5 channels out of the 22 I get with 2 other TVs, a Magnavox converter box, and Windows Media Center in the past. It reads WTAE at 67/100 whereas the others are like 97. Thankfully those are the only channels I will probably record on.

Overall I think it was a wise choice ordering from Worldwide Distributors but ultimately time will tell.
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post #15154 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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These tuners can be fussy on occasion, so do one or two more auto scans (Analog/Digital if cable) and see if the tuner picks up more channels and gets "smarter."

My tuners all get "smarter' on rescans (dropping "Scrambled" channels, for instance), and one picked up additional channels it missed on 2nd scan, then all available on 3rd scan... all done one after the other.
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post #15155 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajgenard View Post

As promised, I said I would follow up with my purchase of a refurbed 515 from Worldwide Distributors on Amazon. I will start off by saying that the shipping/packaging and my first 3 hours of experience with it are pretty positive.

It shipped in what I'm assuming is Mag's own factory brown box with the unit heavily protected in bubble wrap (which BTW is a great new-fangled design that will not pop, never seen this stuff before,).



Included everything - remote (no bats), manual, warranty, composite cable, cheap coax. Be nice if someone could verify if this is the same as a refurb unit from J&R.



I suppose the sticker indicates this is certainly a factory refurb. Also has the "warranty void if opened" sticker over the back of the case which I forgot to photograph. Cosmetically it was free of any scratches or fingerprints aside from the contact points on the underside. It does come with the 90 day official Mag warranty.



After the initial setup I ran the SKIP 079 and 321. This thing is basically new...



Couple other things:

- The remote DOES indeed also control my Sylvania Bluray player.
- I agree with everyone else that the tuner is absolutely terrible. It picked up 5 channels out of the 22 I get with 2 other TVs, a Magnavox converter box, and Windows Media Center in the past. It reads WTAE at 67/100 whereas the others are like 97. Thankfully those are the only channels I will probably record on.

Overall I think it was a wise choice ordering from Worldwide Distributors but ultimately time will tell.

OTA or cable? I'm assuming OTA since you mention convertor box
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post #15156 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

These tuners can be fussy on occasion, so do one or two more auto scans (Analog/Digital if cable) and see if the tuner picks up more channels and gets "smarter."

My tuners all get "smarter' on rescans (dropping "Scrambled" channels, for instance), and one picked up additional channels it missed on 2nd scan, then all available on 3rd scan... all done one after the other.

I've noticed that too. But I did a few scans with same results. I just went in and manually added the other channels. Some of them actually showed up. How did it skip those in all 3 or 4 scans?

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Originally Posted by rdgcss View Post

OTA or cable? I'm assuming OTA since you mention convertor box

OTA. I'll never go back to cable.
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post #15157 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajgenard View Post

Be nice if someone could verify if this is the same as a refurb unit from J&R.

It looks like the same packaging as the 515 refurb I got from J&R.

There should be a bar code sticker on the end of the box. The last line printed on that sticker is believed to be the refurb date and location.
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post #15158 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjb View Post

After following this thread for quite awhile, I decided to order a refurb 515 from J&R.com.
I got it last week but when I unpacked it, the manual and the remote were for a totally different model---a Magnavox DVD/VCR with no tuner. I set it up, scanned the OTA channels, but since there was no Channel Up/Down button on the remote it was impossible to easily change channels or access the digital sub-channels.

I don't know who screwed up--Magnavox or J&R--by throwing in the wrong manual and remote, but I called up J&R customer service. They told me to return the whole unit to them. I asked if I could just send back the manual and remote, but they insisted that I send back the whole package. At least they e-mailed me a prepaid UPS shipping label, so I packed it up and send it back today. I'll let you know how long it takes to get a replacement.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with a refurb?

Sorry, but I had...
I know more education is necessary.
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post #15159 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

It looks like the same packaging as the 515 refurb I got from J&R.

There should be a bar code sticker on the end of the box. The last line printed on that sticker is believed to be the refurb date and location.

Yeah there is a sticker with a barcode. It outright says "REFURBED ON: 2011/06/13."
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post #15160 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 08:40 PM
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I haven't been able to get VOD for a few days. I was about to call my cable company and then I thought I better look over all of Wajo's instructions. Sure enough, the DVDR blocks info going back to the cable company. In order to use VOD you have to connect the coax directly to the STB. I rarely use VOD so it's not much of a bother.

While messing with this, I had noticed some pixelation and lack of reception on a couple of channels that went away when I connected directly to the STB. I'm thinking this is a case of too strong a signal coming from the amplified DVDR coax. I'll experiment with correcting this problem per Wajo's suggestions.
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post #15161 of 27999 Old 08-02-2011, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BIGA$$TV View Post

I haven't been able to get VOD for a few days. I was about to call my cable company and then I thought I better look over all of Wajo's instructions. Sure enough, the DVDR blocks info going back to the cable company. In order to use VOD you have to connect the coax directly to the STB. I rarely use VOD so it's not much of a bother.

While messing with this, I had noticed some pixelation and lack of reception on a couple of channels that went away when I connected directly to the STB. I'm thinking this is a case of too strong a signal coming from the amplified DVDR coax. I'll experiment with correcting this problem per Wajo's suggestions.

For reference purposes only, you might see what the signal numbers display before and after you change things. Just hit display on any digital channel. Mine are between 94 and 98.
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post #15162 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 07:50 AM
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(which BTW is a great new-fangled design that will not pop, never seen this stuff before,).

What no pop !!! What am I going to give my Mom for Christmas? My mother loves to pop that stuff. I being paranoid always wonder what Legionairs Diseased air I am breathing when I pop those bubbles.

However a coworker came up with some neat tricks with that stuff. Place it on a hard floor and roll over it with a office chair. What a cacophony of noise it makes.

And if you really don't like someone place some up to their ear and pop it. Man it is loud as firecrackers.

Wajo, Question. When I look at a "New" title on the Hard drive it says something like "Continue from where left off" and the other is "Start from Beginning".

Why does it have Continue from where left off when I have not even viewed the title yet?
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post #15163 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post

These tuners can be fussy on occasion, so do one or two more auto scans (Analog/Digital if cable) and see if the tuner picks up more channels and gets "smarter."

My tuners all get "smarter' on rescans (dropping "Scrambled" channels, for instance), and one picked up additional channels it missed on 2nd scan, then all available on 3rd scan... all done one after the other.

I'd like to comment on the magnavox tuner. I get my signal OTA with the cable going to a 2160 then to a 3575 and finally my Samsung LCD TV. For a while last year my reception for PBS was totally trashed and unwatchable. I took this to be interference, perhaps from a neighboring apartment, since it was intermittent (bad for a few hours, ok for a few hours) and finally went away completely.

The thing is while the magnavox picture was trashed, the image on the TV was perfectly watchable showing no signs of interference. The picture from the 3575 was even recordable. Again showing no signs of interference. I tried playing around with the cables, putting the mag 2nd in line instead of first etc but nothing changed the result until the problem went away on its own. Since it was just one channel I moved timer programs for PBS to the 3575 during this time.

It looks like this may not be that good a tuner to me. To keep the cost down they have to cut costs somewhere. I can recall the same thing happeining with VCR's.
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post #15164 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tbal2000 View Post

It looks like this may not be that good a tuner to me. To keep the cost down they have to cut costs somewhere. I can recall the same thing happeining with VCR's.

My VCR is insulted. I'm using it every night to record analog channels to figure out which one is screwing the clock on my 515H. [joke][almost]
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post #15165 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DonB2 View Post

Wajo, Question. When I look at a "New" title on the Hard drive it says something like "Continue from where left off" and the other is "Start from Beginning".

Why does it have Continue from where left off when I have not even viewed the title yet?

It's apparently a "fixed" menu that highlights all available choices for that title. The continue (or "Resume Playback") is still a valid option cuz it would start from beginning. The programmer *could* have made that menu more context-sensitive and grey-out the continue but probably saw no special need to do so?
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post #15166 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 08:34 AM
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Wajo, Thanks, That is what I thought also.

I wish there was a set up option for watched shows to display "Watched" instead of just seeing the "New" disappear. My other storage devices tag the watched shows not the unwatched shows. I can get use to "New" but I would prefer the opposite to more closely allign to my other recording devices. Very small nitpick though !!!!!
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post #15167 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

My VCR is insulted. I'm using it every night to record analog channels to figure out which one is screwing the clock on my 515H. [joke][almost]

Yeah, I still have a couple still going too. They're used in a vacation home and maybe 7 years old. I gave a VCR to my parents circa 1995 that's still in use (by me when I visit, they gave up on it) and the difference between it and the newer models, especially for things like pausing the tape or slow motion, is very noticeable. ie the older one easily outperforms the newer. The older machine cost $100-150 than the newer ones and as they lower the price I think it just gets harder to keep up the features.

I hope this isn't the case with these DVR's, but I have to wonder why the tuner performance from the tv and Phillips was so much better than that of the mag 2160a
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post #15168 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 12:39 PM
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For grins I went in our local K Mart to see if they stocked the Mag 515 on the shelf, but all I saw was DVD/VCR combo Mag units which everyone sells.

It does not seem that long ago that the family got its first VCR and it had a wired remote !!! I was not even sure if I needed a VCR at the time. Was I crazy? Before I knew it I had hundreds of shows recorded.

Can anyone say "Laser Disc" or "Beta" ?
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post #15169 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbal2000 View Post

Yeah, I still have a couple still going too. They're used in a vacation home and maybe 7 years old. I gave a VCR to my parents circa 1995 that's still in use (by me when I visit, they gave up on it) and the difference between it and the newer models, especially for things like pausing the tape or slow motion, is very noticeable. ie the older one easily outperforms the newer. The older machine cost $100-150 than the newer ones and as they lower the price I think it just gets harder to keep up the features.

I hope this isn't the case with these DVR's, but I have to wonder why the tuner performance from the tv and Phillips was so much better than that of the mag 2160a

I'd rather not comment on the Mag tuner. I get all the channels my Sony TV gets even if the channel numbers don't always map the same.

I have established, using the VCR, that the clock will set at noon and midnight if the data is there. My two PBS stations supply data at midnight but not at noon. One is 2.5 hours fast and one is 1.9 hours fast. By capturing to tape I can get a better understanding of the fault and then learn how use TSReader to find the data that is causing the problem. I have been through all the digital channels and found no problems with any of them (no clock signal). That took about a month. My 2160A has nothing better to do. It would help if the PBS channels worked weekends, but they get Sat & Sun off.

If you wish to read back a while, the word "preset" translates to "enabled." So channels that are enabled or disabled don't affect the clock set subsystem. That is not a surprise. It does affect your ability to designate the channel for a manual clock though. It's complicated and I want to simplify it.
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post #15170 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonB2 View Post

For grins I went in our local K Mart to see if they stocked the Mag 515 on the shelf, but all I saw was DVD/VCR combo Mag units which everyone sells.

It does not seem that long ago that the family got its first VCR and it had a wired remote !!! I was not even sure if I needed a VCR at the time. Was I crazy? Before I knew it I had hundreds of shows recorded.

Can anyone say "Laser Disc" or "Beta" ?

My first VCR was a $1200 Kenwood marked down to $700.
It was a top loader and had a wired remote.
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post #15171 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 03:37 PM
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........... but I have to wonder why the tuner performance from the tv and Phillips was so much better than that of the mag 2160a

My setup is OTA only, with antenna indoors pointing through a patio window, feeding (unamplified) three (3) 2160a's and a 32" Samsung LCD HDTV, all connected in series (ANT►DVR#1►DVR#2►DVR#3►TV).

At the last channel scan, each unit locked in 196 digital channels/sub channels, plus 4 analog channels (mainly religious or home shopping content).

Comparing each 2160a signal strength (remotes display readout) on at least 20 channels, I note very little difference in readings between the 3 units, with perhaps one showing 88-91 and another 90-93. More often than not, two give the same reading. The Samsung TV only shows signal strength in "bars", but tuning a distant weak station, one which repeatly drops-out ever couple of minutes, the TV and all 2160a's all drop or recover video at about the same time.

So...based on these scientific tests , I'd have to say the tuners in all 4 of these units, when used OTA, are very close in overall sensitivity.

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post #15172 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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stapler: FW update installed?
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post #15173 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

stapler: FW update installed?

Would that be a way of saying a firmware update affects tuner sensitivity?
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post #15174 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 04:32 PM
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My first VCR was a $1200 Kenwood marked down to $700.
It was a top loader and had a wired remote.

A top loader! Wow. I'm using a Mitsubishi HS-U746 for my testing since it will dim its front panel when a "clock" signal is detected. I have a pair of HS-HD2000U also, but no firewire interface TV to use its digital abilities.
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post #15175 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by stapler1234 View Post

So...based on these scientific tests , I'd have to say the tuners in all 4 of these units, when used OTA, are very close in overall sensitivity.

Tend to agree. I have an attic-mounted Yagi outdoor antenna with an rf amp at the antenna feed that is connected with a splitter to a 2160A and a Samsung HD STB tuner. I would say A/B testing the tuners they both perform about the same, though with weak signal they tend to break up differently (the STB tends to freeze, while the 2160A tends to pixelate).

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post #15176 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 05:23 PM
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This is pretty odd. Today I turned on the 515 and found that it now reads the missing 15 channels and the signal is improved on the initial 5 it found, although still not as good as my other TVs/STB. WTAE was reading about 67 yesterday, 80 today - everything else holds the channel at 92-97. I think that rules out regular signal fluctuations. Does this mean it will "improve" until it reads the same strength as the rest?
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post #15177 of 27999 Old 08-03-2011, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post
stapler: FW update installed?
No. All three 2160a's have the original FW. (They were refurbs from J&R.) In the past, I've found updating FW's on other systems caused more problems than it solved. Just clicking into L3 to finalize a disk only takes a couple of seconds and it always works 100%.

I'm continually amazed at the picture quality these 2160A's record. If I didn't know better, I'd swear they were recording in Hi-Def, not SD. (I only use the SP record mode and have them set to upconvert to 1080p via HDMI.)

In case you were wondering, yes, I love my "Maggies".
__________
PS- I originally set the clocks per your "Fox" instructions and they have been absolutely accurate to the second for over 1½ years now , including 3 DST auto time changes. (My local FOX station is company owned, not an affiliate, which may account for the time accuracy.)

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post #15178 of 27999 Old 08-04-2011, 05:35 AM
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I just ordered my second Magnavox 515 from Walmart for $219, marked down from $299.99. I love these machines, even though my Verizon FIOS scrambles most stations I can get enough to record & keep my favorite network shows. Fingers crossed I get a good one
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post #15179 of 27999 Old 08-04-2011, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by stapler1234 View Post

My setup is OTA only, with antenna indoors pointing through a patio window, feeding (unamplified) three (3) 2160a's and a 32" Samsung LCD HDTV, all connected in series (ANT►DVR#1►DVR#2►DVR#3►TV).

At the last channel scan, each unit locked in 196 digital channels/sub channels, plus 4 analog channels (mainly religious or home shopping content).

Comparing each 2160a signal strength (remotes display readout) on at least 20 channels, I note very little difference in readings between the 3 units, with perhaps one showing 88-91 and another 90-93. More often than not, two give the same reading. The Samsung TV only shows signal strength in "bars", but tuning a distant weak station, one which repeatly drops-out ever couple of minutes, the TV and all 2160a's all drop or recover video at about the same time.

So...based on these scientific tests , I'd have to say the tuners in all 4 of these units, when used OTA, are very close in overall sensitivity.

The performance issue I commented on in my orginal post was specifically about the ability of the tv and phillips tuners to play through interference. As I mentioned the same channel (PBS) that was unwatchable on the mag was actually recordable using the phillips. Otherwise I think the mag tuner is comparable in terms of reception and the picture quality (very important) is better. I also use the mag signal strength indicator to fine tune antenna direction since the tv meter will often indicate 100% while the mag may only show 70%. Hard to fine tune direction using the tv when it just shows you 100%

As an aside those who get their signal OTA I have had very good success with the local Fox station the last few years. The time it provides is very close to that shown by the different tv stations during their newscasts. I think others have recommended Fox as well. The Phillips just has to be adjusted every few weeks as it gains about 45-60 sec
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post #15180 of 27999 Old 08-04-2011, 07:31 AM
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196 digital channels/sub channels

where the hell are you?
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