AVS Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi..we are contemplating purchase of a dvdr/vcr combo with an atsc tuner to replace our old vcr. We have a new digital TV but don't have cable or satellite.

We also have a Phillips 3575 HDD/DVDR which we use to record TV programs, a Blue Ray player, etc., My husband feels the dvd/vcr combo would offer a back up for the Philips 3575 and also allow us to view the vhs tapes we have or put them on dvd,etc.

The combo units are getting harder to find and he has narrowed it down to a couple of choices: Magnavox ZV450 MW8 and Panasonic DMR EZ485VX or VK. These are refurbished units.

What is the difference between the Panasonic EZ485VX and VK..were they made for different stores?

I have attempted to write this post as succinctly as possible as I don't have a clue!!

We would appreciate any recommendations!


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,725 Posts
Current combos with a digital tuner are very problematic, with the EZ-48 being near the top of the list. You're a lot better attaching a VCR only or a VCR/DVD player to the line input of a DVDR (like the Magnavox 2160A which is the current version of your Philips 3575). The VK at the end of the EZ-48 just means it's black, I haven't heard of VX unless maybe it's a special model available only at wholesale clubs like Sams or Costco(or even could be a misprint). The only differences in the wholesale version is it includes a free HDMI cable.

I'm not familiar with the Magnavox you've listed but as I said before you're really better off avoiding the combo recorders all together, they tend to be really buggy and problematic.

Note VCR/DVD players are also getting quite scarce last time I looked, everything is BR now days



Check out Wajo's sticky thread on the Philips/Magnavox for a wealth of information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,766 Posts
Also be aware that

-with the Pan EZ48, you can not record digital channels to the vcr side, only to a DVD-R/RW (re-writable) disc or RAM disc.RAM discs can not be played back in the 3575, or any other non RAM compatible player.

-you cannot dub copy protected commercial vhs tapes to dvd


Poster Digado aptly stated in another thread that the ez48's are not for the casual user...It is a bit of a diva, with lotsa quirks and has to be handled accordingly. I'd never pay full price for one, so a refurbished unit can be a bargain-if you're willing to put up with it. As you already have a Phillips 3575, the Magnavox may make a better companion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,530 Posts
Jeff and Westly-C have provided sound advice.


For your situation my best advice is to connect an output from your VCR to an input on your 3575 and use the two machines in that manner. For regular viewing of videotapes connect a VCR output to one of the TV inputs and select from the inputs with the TV remote. If the TV has only a single composite input (yellow, white, red) an inexpensive multi-device switch box may useful. (In my multi-recorder setup I use two switch boxes, see the attached photo.) Maximize utilization of your 3575 before purchasing other products. (I own four 3575, 3576, 2080 and 2160 models; another 2160 is expected to arrive tomorrow.)


I own a little-used Magnavox ZV450MW8A of August 2008 manufacture. My sample is a decent enough machine that provides good clear QAM (cable) or ATSC (antenna) performance and good quality DVD recordings from these sources. Playing and dubbing VHS tapes is easy enough but the videotape playback picture was gloomily dark for several tapes as were the images dubbed to DVD. Your results may vary.


I should also mention that I have experience with a similar Sylvania ZV450SL8 of April 2007 manufacture. The Sylvania could not maintain it's hold on clear QAM (cable) channels but had satisfactory performance with an ATSC (antenna) connection. While this Sylvania was more stylish in appearance than the utilitarian Magnavox, there were several operational/functional limitations with the Sylvania "450" model mentioned in my earlier posts. A problematic machine. Your results may vary.


Due to uneven performance and the presence of sample variations between "450" machines, I suggest that you pass on both these models.


I could go on at length concerning good and bad characteristics of Panasonic EZ series combo recorders. In other threads I've frequently posted detailed information, advice and warnings to avoid EZ series combo recorders. (I own sixteen functional ES and EZ series Panasonics.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,331 Posts
Not to put too fine a point on it, but "husbands" and "wives" have a tendency to ask for advice, then totally ignore it if it doesn't agree with what they want to do anyway. So here's my dead-blunt statement to print out for the hubby:


DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PURCHASE ANY BRAND/MODEL OF ATSC COMBO RECORDER! You heard me buddy: don't do it.


The unfortunate reality is that combo recorders don't work right. But people are so entranced with the idea of having the DVD and VCR recorders in one box that they ignore this fact and keep buying them anyway, only to get them home and be totally disappointed. Combos are one of those rare items that keeps being made and sold based on fantasies of what it should be able to do, despite the fact they are actually completely useless and never live up to expectation.


The biggest killer of combo usefulness is the revolting ATSC system we invented here in the US, because we couldn't be bothered adopting the DTV system already in use by 90% of the rest of the civilized world. ATSC is a hopelessly screwed up system, the Asian mfrs don't know what to make of it and have repeatedly proven themselves incapable of building functional ATSC tuner/timers that work in a combo recorder (for that matter, it rarely works right in DVD-only recorders, either). While it seems to work passably well in television displays, ATSC is a poison pill when embedded in recorders: either it destroys the reliability of their timers, or it causes the machines to stop recording in the middle of a program by sporadically issuing false "copy protected" signals. After almost three years of this ATSC nonsense, we still have only two ATSC-equipped recorders available that actually work properly: the Phillips DVD/HDD you already own (and its Magnavox twin), and the Panasonic EZ-28 DVD-only machine. There are no other ATSC recorders, combo or otherwise, that are worth the plastic they're made out of.


Prior to ATSC, the combo machines were a little better, but not by much: only Panasonic made truly decent combos (and then only between 2005-2006). Today, they're all a disaster, Panasonic worst of all: the machines just don't do what people expect. There are two primary reasons people buy a combo: to reduce clutter/get rid of a seldom-used old VCR, or to "easily make DVD copies of their tapes". Todays combos deliver on neither of these promises. Their ability to copy tapes is not "easy", its a giant pain and much less successful than using a separate VCR plugged into your Phillips DVD/HDD unit. The VHS portion cannot record from the tuner, as others mentioned above, so basically its just a player. And combining VHS in the same box with DVD and ATSC always (always) results in a machine with a faulty timer that randomly fails in timeshift mode and randomly locks up, refusing to record for inexplicable reasons of its own.


In your specific case, a combo would be completely worthless as a backup to your Phillips for off-air recording: if your husband strongly feels you need a backup recorder, he should look for a Panasonic EZ-28 or preferably the Maganvox H2160 which is an updated twin of your Phillips using a different remote code (so both can be used in the same room). For VHS, either keep your existing VCR or look on eBay or Craigs List for a Mitsubishi 448 (or 449), or a Panasonic, Quasar or Sharp VCR. People are giving these away for under $20 in mint condition. If you look carefully, many of the Panasonics and Quasars were made with very small, narrow chassis that easily fit into even cramped shelves or entertainment cabinets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,748 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/16862342



DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PURCHASE ANY BRAND/MODEL OF ATSC COMBO RECORDER! You heard me buddy: don't do it.


Combos are one of those rare items that keeps being made and sold based on fantasies of what it should be able to do, despite the fact they are actually completely useless and never live up to expectation.

this is the best advice I could come up with. I'm sure they are still being made because, as you say, people have this fantasy that you plug in a tape, put in a blank DVD, and press copy. Poof! A few hours later, you have a perfect copy of the tape on disk. WRONG! It never once worked for me like that in almost 1500 tapes transferred. Okay, I gave up trying that approach pretty early with failure after failure. It might have worked sometime. It just wasn't worth my time to keep trying. No one should expect it to work for them, except in very rare cases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again...you guys are a riot! lol! After reading your responses the other day hubby decided against buying the combo unit...you all saved us from making a bad purchase and me from listening to a lot of @#$%& when it didn't work.

CitiBear and Church AV Guy...I'm printing your responses as reinforcement!!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top