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I'm trying to determine which dvd recorder would be best for my wife. She watches her native Thai Tv

using a FTA (free to air) satellite receiver. This is a

analog feed. She currently uses a vcr to record. I

would like to find an alternative that would record to

hard drive and on occasion to disk. I need a very simple process for recording using composite video

RCA inputs and output to a HD plasma Tv. The analog

in and the ease of use recording are the main concerns. I would also like to be able to transfer the

video from the Hd to my computer via usb. Any help

would be appreciated.
 

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You will receive more and better advice if you could let us know more specifically which country you live in. "Free to air satellite" is primarily a European phenomenon, also each region/country worldwide is a different market with different (or no) DVD/HDD recorders available at the present time.
 

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Magnavox MDR-513H/F7 or the newer MDR515H. They're the only ones you can buy in the USA with a hard drive, and really the only option to consider. Walmart online, Amazon, and Target online sell them. They have composite video and S-video inputs, so they should work with the Free-to-Air receiver. Its timers are similar to (though probably more advanced than) a VCR.
 

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Tulpa's recommendation is the right one. In USA the ony recorder model we have left with HDD feature is the Magnavox, fortunately it is a very good quality unit. It will do everything you need except for connecting the HDD directly to your computer: this has been forbidden on every consumer recorder ever made, the HDD file systems are encrypted and/or proprietary. The recorder itself can make a high-speed, lossless digital copy to DVD in approx. 15 mins (i.e., two hours of programs recorded on the HDD in the standard SP speed will copy to a DVD in 15 mins).


It will be easier for your wife to navigate the recordings on the HDD if you choose the newest MDR515 model. It has an upgraded repeating timer recording menu that allows you to pre-enter the name of the show along with the start and stop times. Assuming these Thai programs are broadcast at the same times and days of the week, each recording will appear in the HDD window with its name and the date. If you carefully trim the beginning few seconds of each recording, you can display a thumbnail image for each show as well. The slightly older Magnavox 513 does not have the automatic title feature in its timer system, it displays only the date/time of each HDD recording unless you manually add each title name after it is recorded.
 

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If it makes you feel any better, the Magnavoxes are made specifically at Wal*Mart's request: if it weren't for Wal*Mart, DVD/HDD recorders for the USA market would have vanished completely in 2007. Considering they don't turn a dime's profit on the damn things, and swallow a ton of returns from stubborn consumers who whine "it doesn't have a VCR built in, who the hell needs this stupid HDD thing", Wal*Mart should be appreciated for keeping the DVD/HDD concept going three years after Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer, and Toshiba washed their hands of us. Now and then Target tries to sell a few, and sometimes refurbished units appear at closeout dealers, but the Magnavox DVD/HDD is essentially Wal*Mart's baby all the way. So forgive them their "benign monopoly" on this particular product.
 

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Agreed, their overall impact on the economy is questionable. I'm not too keen on them, either, but do have to credit them for single-handedly "saving" what many of us consider a crucial electronics device. Most of us on this forum got our Maggies from the great J&R "refurbished" jamboree over the last couple years, which I suppose did not directly benefit WM at all since they took a dead loss on each one we bought via that liquidation.
 

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What's amazing is not only did they keep a HDD machine on the market, they keep improving the dang thing.


jiminnwf, if you're not keen on WalMart and can wait, I'm sure Amazon will have it for sale for about the same price, and maybe Target (although they charge a bit more.) The same thing happened with the 513 and the 2160, IIRC.


Might take awhile, though.
 

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What you think of WalMart aside, they are the sole source for DVD recorders equipped with a hard drive these days, actually the last three+ YEARS! We should be grateful, and as appropriate, many of us on this forum are. If there was another source, we'd be mentioning it, as the referb sales at J&R. As soon as J&R has stock, we tell everyone about it, and as soon as they are out of stock, this forum lets that news be known also.


Like it or not, your options today are basically one (Hobson's Choice?). Other than that, you have eBay, craig's list, and pawn shops.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy /forum/post/19646760


Other than that, you have eBay, craig's list, and pawn shops.

And let's just say you're taking a gamble on those, unless you luck out and find an open box item or something (are there any of those even left?)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy /forum/post/19646760


What you think of WalMart aside, they are the sole source for DVD recorders equipped with a hard drive these days, actually the last three+ YEARS!

When did they stop making the Philips, which was sold mainly at Sam's Club (which is owned by Wal-mart)?


Wasn't that a little less than 3 years ago, or no? (Hard to remember, because the last model was still floating around for awhile after it stopped being made.)
 

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I could be way off on this, but:


I think they had three concurrent recorders at one time around 2007 or 2008, the 3576 at Sams, the 2080 at Target (and Wally World?) and the 2160. Then the 2160 disappeared for a little while, and then came back as the "A" model, and then they dropped the Philips and the 2080 while the 2160 soldiered on until the 513 came along.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy /forum/post/19646760


Like it or not, your options today are basically one (Hobson's Choice?). Other than that, you have eBay, craig's list, and pawn shops.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/19646778


And let's just say you're taking a gamble on those, unless you luck out and find an open box item or something (are there any of those even left?)

+1


That's why I mentioned them at the end. They are to be used as a last resort. It's pathetic that we have only a single option
, but it would be MUCH worse without that option.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc /forum/post/19644732


That almost makes up for locking their employees in the store at the end of the night, and making them work off the clock.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/19646210


Agreed, their overall impact on the economy is questionable. I'm not too keen on them, either, but do have to credit them for single-handedly "saving" what many of us consider a crucial electronics device. Most of us on this forum got our Maggies from the great J&R "refurbished" jamboree over the last couple years, which I suppose did not directly benefit WM at all since they took a dead loss on each one we bought via that liquidation.

Lest I seem 'holier than thou,' I'll 'fess up, and admit I have a Sam's Club membership (no Costcos in the area.) And, I'm glad that some company is keeping HDD DVDRs alive.
 

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I came here looking for help with my Pioneer DVD-640H and saw this thread. Am I reading this correctly? DVRs with HDD allowing for editing, etc, are no longer made with the exception of the Magnavox discussed here? If so, why did this happen???
 

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Prob. a combination of reasons, incl. lack of interest in or understanding of a "computer-like" (what's a "HDD") recorder on the scale they needed to justify continued production. Everyone except Funai bailed on the HDD-DVD recorder for the U.S. in 2007, when mfgrs had to produce a NEW HDD-DVD design for digital use. Funai planned ahead and, helped by producing in their own factories and making most of their own components, we got the Philips 3575, first of seven generations of the same HDD-DVD design... latest is the MDR515H/F7, specifically designed with some key user Wishes included.


Funai is currently watching sales of the 515 and its predecessor 513, virtually sole-sourced to Walmart.com, to see if they can justify continuing 515 production or developing a new model (unlikely?). Funai is a Strategic Vendor to Walmart.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkingDobermann /forum/post/19662807


Interesting - and here I thought the industry would have matured nicely with having many more choices and better prices!

Well, the prices did get better, they dropped like a stone over the years.
The problem was, nobody in the USA (except AVSers) ever bought the damn things. Joe Sixpack was content with a DVD/BD player and a cable DVR, and the DVD/HDD recorder died a painful death.


That Funai is actually continuing it and actually improving the player is a little surprising, but I guess they found a profitable niche all to themselves. No one else will touch it (in the US market.) It might be the market only supports one machine after all.
 
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