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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamay /forum/post/20765903


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.
 

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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...
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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!
 

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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.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamay /forum/post/20768289


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.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamay /forum/post/20765903


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.
 

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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.
 

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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 /forum/post/20768283


What I mean by integrate is that for instance if I have just my TV plugged direct to cable ALL the channels are there.
 

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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.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/20774171


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.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/20774171


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.
 

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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
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartab15pm /forum/post/20918965


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.
 
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