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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This unit is typically $149 at Best Buy, and often 10 free DVD+R discs are thrown in for free. The unit has 480i component inputs, DV input, and is supposed to have a desirable LSI chipset.


I just bought one, and the first dub from my DVR looked nice.


Lets discuss.
 

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I bought one from BB, too. I've only made a few recordings from my DirecTivo using s-video connection, but no coasters so far. It has limited editing capabilities (understandable considering its price and lack of hard drive). In my limited use, it seems to me that it capably replaces a typical VCR (one without cable box control). I just want to preserve some recordings on my dtivo to free up space on it, and also copy some VHS tapes for ease of viewing. I think this unit is well suited for those tasks. I plan to try "taping" an HD program from my LG4220a HD STB using the component cables. I'll report back with the results soon.
 

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You cannot record a true HiDef program onto the current crop of DVD recorders, even if has Component Video Inputs; it MUST be downconverted by the STB to 480i. Any other resolution and the video recorder will simply output a blank screen.


If this unit is like most of that of parent company Philips, there should be a "hide a chapter" capability that works sort of like editing. The program isn't truly edited per se, as the unwanted material is still there, but the unit adds an instruction on the disc to skip over any chapters that you wish it to. It's also more compatible than -RW(VR). However the feature doesn't work reliably with some older players.
 

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Yeah, I was aware of the 480i limitation, but still hope a 480i recording of OTA HD over component will look pretty good (better than s-video). Hope to know the answer soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I dubbed a signal that was originally hi def with the 660. It was from a PBS Austin City Limits Broadcast, and I used the 2 hour mode. I thought that the sound and picture adequately caught what was on the 8300 box. In general, the 8300 has some "anomalies" when playing back videos from hard disc, and of course the Magnavox 660 caught the glitches. I think I need to tape a hi def broadcast off the air for a real test.


I just used the regular composite output; not the 480i component input.


Interesting observation. I had tape some disney channel from OTA using the composite input. Somehow the 660 "knew" that it had received a disney channel signal. Must be something embedded in the vertical blanking interval. But I must admit I was surprised that this information was passed though. So for those forum members who care about such things, I would be very surprised if there were any way to bypass macrovision protection on this unit.


Another observation. I don't have this unit fully connected to the "system" yet, it is still being used as an external dubbing box. So I can't test this; but the manual says it does pass DTS signals even though the box does not mention this capability.


So far I like the unit much more than the $99 Cyberhome 1600 that it replaced in my test bed.


Also, I did not finalize the disc, but I was still able to copy it to my PC using DVD Decrypter in IFO mode. (Yes, I really use the program for legit purposes...guess somebody has to!). Then I edit the resulting VOB files using video redo. The output is DVD movie factory compatible MPG files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Best Buy has this unit on sale for $142 right now.


They adjusted the price of my previous purchase to this price.


New observation...this unit seems to like DVD+RW discs that have been unused. In other words, it does not seem to be able to re-format DVD+RW discs that have been previously used in the computer. I have tried to do a full erase on the computer using NERO and In-CD, and this does not blank the discs properly from the point of view of this machine. I think it will add to the blank space on discs created on the computer in some cases, but won't completely erase them.


Anybody else notice this, and perhaps has a work-around? I ended up buying a 5 pack of Fuji DVD+RW discs at Best Buy (to add to my remaining 3 "virgin" HP DVD+RW blanks that I had lying around).
 

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For those with a 16:9 TV, does this unit record the full 16:9 image through Component IN and display it on the TV properly without ZOOM etc??? I have a Atlanta Scientific 8300 cable box with component OUT.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by originalsnuffy
Best Buy has this unit on sale for $142 right now.


They adjusted the price of my previous purchase to this price.


New observation...this unit seems to like DVD+RW discs that have been unused. In other words, it does not seem to be able to re-format DVD+RW discs that have been previously used in the computer. I have tried to do a full erase on the computer using NERO and In-CD, and this does not blank the discs properly from the point of view of this machine. I think it will add to the blank space on discs created on the computer in some cases, but won't completely erase them.


Anybody else notice this, and perhaps has a work-around? I ended up buying a 5 pack of Fuji DVD+RW discs at Best Buy (to add to my remaining 3 "virgin" HP DVD+RW blanks that I had lying around).
The Magnavox is a Philips recorder. On my Philips 985, you can reuse a DVD+RW by opening the tray, then hit "record" while the tray is open. The tray will close and start recording.


Does the Magnavox have a 2.5hr and 3hr mode?
 

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What blank media would you guys recommend for use with this unit? I'm going to stop by Best Buy on the way home from work and buy one. If BB has decent media, I'll pick some up as long as I'm there.

TIA, Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With regards to blank media; as long as it is "virgin" I am not sure it matters. I've been using HP blank DVD+RW so far, and they work fine. Other people on AVS forum are jazzed about Fuji blanks so I bought some new DVD+RW blanks from Fuji but have not tried them yet.


I tried to put a disc that had been completely erased using nero on my PC in the open drive and pressing record to do a reformat on the unit. This procedure did not work. I called Phillips/Magnavox, and they said that this procecure will not work on this unit. They don't have any workarounds right now; but said that future firmware upgrades *if they do any upgrades* might provide a solution.


At the same time, I have no real problems with the unit per se; I just wanted to save a few buck and re-use some of my old DVD+rw discs.


It still mystifies me how the machine can read program identification information from my DVR using the composite video interface.
 

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I bought one last night for $134.99. They matched their own "Web Special" price, and told me if I see it priced lower anywhere in the next 30 days, to bring in proof, and they'd refund the difference. I also picked up a 50-pack of Memorex DVD-R blanks while I was there. Just finished hooking it up, but haven't had a chance to record anything yet. Still have to get all the codes out of the Magnavox remote, and into my MX-500. I found a few (very few!) other online reviews, and most people seem happy with it. I'll run my DVE disk through it to see how the player section stacks up against the Sony DVD play-only machine it's replacing.
 

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I just Googled a bunch for various combinations of the model number, but didn't save the links. The web price was 134.99, and when he rang it up as 149.99, I told him that the website had it at the lower price. He had somebody check, they confirmed it, and the kid entered some code, and retotaled the price. I played a couple of DVD's through it, and it has a picture at least as good as the Sony NS-715P that it replaces. I'll run the DVE disk through it tonight, and see how it does on the tests.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by qpskfec
The Magnavox is a Philips recorder. On my Philips 985, you can reuse a DVD+RW by opening the tray, then hit "record" while the tray is open. The tray will close and start recording.


Does the Magnavox have a 2.5hr and 3hr mode?


I checked the support website for Magnavox and it does have 2.5 and 3 hour mode. I find the 2.5 hour speed quite useful on my Phillips especially since it has virtually the same picture quality as the 2 hour mode and the stated time modes truly fit 3-5 minutes less than what is stated.


The Mag has some editing options for a basic recorder. It seems to be a clone of the Philips model; hopefully the laser will have more reliability than the older Philips.
 

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Looking to buy this but have a few questions about macrovision. Will I be able to transfer premium shows such as HBO's Rome recorded on my HR10-250 DirectTivo to it? Does it enforce the copy never/copy once protocol? Will I be able to tranfer the copied DVD to my PC's hardrive or make more copies?


Thanks
 

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Page 17 of the manual says if you try and copy a protected VHS tape or DVD, the "COPY PRO" message will appear on the display.

Page 37 has a warning about "Unrecordable pictures", meaning copyrighted television programs, films, videotapes, disks, and "Other materials", and that they "May not be recorded" on the device. It doesn't specify if they mean you *shouldn't* do it, or if you *can't* do it.

I haven't tried to record anything yet, so I don't know if it will allow me to record something from a premium channel like HBO or SHO. I know in the old tape days, you could buy a "Video Stabilizer" that effectively negated the Macrovision stuff, but I don't remember if an S-Video version was available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If it will record to dvd, you can transfer it to your pc. This unit certainly has smarts built in, and I'm sure it looks diligently for macrovision. Beyond that I don't know.


Anybody test the tuner to see if it has stereo? I assume it does.


It looks to me like the audio is Dolby Digital (AC3). Anybody else check? I would also like to know the bit rates for audio and video (and at what speeds) if anybody knows how to determine this.


I like the no muss no fuss dubbing with the machine. And I like the picture quality.


Independent of using this machine, I am discovering on my computer (after editing some DVDs created on the magnavox) that some of my very old DVD+RW media discs are getting trashed. So it does look to me like there are defnitely shelf life limitations to DVD+RW discs, at least my three year old 2.4x discs.
 

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I have a few issues with this recorder. Maybe I have a lemon.


1) Sometimes the erase function doesn't work for a show recorded on a DVD+RW. If the unit is restarted, erase will work correctly.


2) The firewire input gets glitchy. Sometimes the video will separate into large digital blocks. Switching between inputs usually fixes this... until it happens again that is.


3) If a signal is lost, the unit will do one of three things (randomly). It will either detect the signal and resume as normal. Or, it will fail to detect the signal and sit until you switch between inputs on the remote. Or, my personal favorite, if the signal is lost repeatedly from a bad vhs tape, the unit sometimes just turns off.


4) Switching to the composite input that I use for the cable box, the recorder will say it doesn't detect a signal. I know the signal is there so I wait... 20 seconds later, poof, it sees the signal and works as normal.


5) Not being able to erase a computer formatted disc is annoying as well.


6) Output was black and white for some reason. couldn't figure it out. I power cycled the unit and the color came back. I also experienced a color shift when using firewire. Not all the time, but once the color yellow was to the left of where it should have been. It makes no sense to me why yellow... but, once again, a power cycle fixed it.


If there is a firmware update, I would be willing to try it, but I will most likely return the unit and continue using my crappy vhs tapes. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Meeu, I would sugggest you try a new unit before giving up. I tested the firewire dubbing, and it worked just fine. No problems at all.


This unit overall has worked well for me. I must agree though, it takes a little bit before the unit recognizes that the input source has changed and has a signal (but it will recognize the new source in about 10 seconds).


Didn't have problems with erasing discs made on the machine. No problems with black and white.


The unit won't erase computer discs as previously noted, but I just bought 10 DVD+RW discs (HP brand) at Office Max, so I don't really care (price was cheap, like $8).


I also like the 1 year parts and labor warranty.
 

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originalsnuffy, I must have gotten a lemon. I was recording another tv show and heard a strange noise coming from the recorder. I took the recorder out of my tv cabinet and realized the noise was the fan on the back of the recorder. It was chirping/squealing.


That was the last straw. I didn't even want to try another Magnavox.


I decided to try the Samsung dvd-r120 instead. So far I like the look and feel of it. I wish the magnavox was better quality... it had almost every port you could want, recorder +r.... oh well.
 
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