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I need to replace my ailing MDR515H/F7. I skimmed through this enormous thread, and I gather that the Magnavox is still the only game in town. And the 537, 535 and 533 are the latest models. Right?


And it looks like the 537 model is sold out, at least at Walmart. What's my best bet -- buying one of the other models (new at Walmart, unless anyone else sells them) or buying a refurbed 537?


If I buy a refurb, does it matter where I get it? Are they all refurbed by the same company?


Is there any difference between the three models other than HD capacity?


I'd like to buy something right away. Any suggestions, info, advice, would be greatly appreciated.


TIA.
 

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The 537 is sold out because there is an inexplicable fetish for it among buyers mesmerized by the thought of a terabyte hard drive. No one stops to consider that such over-the-top capacity is unwieldy to navigate with the Magnavox interface, plus if you fill it all the way up (which most people drool over doing) and the drive crashes due to a power glitch, you're unbelievably screwed. The 537 has also undergone a pricing rollercoaster at WalMart in recent weeks, causing a stampede of panic buying.


Forget the 537: it is likely not going to be restocked, and other than the stupid-enormous hard drive capacity it is exactly the same as the 320GB 533 and 500GB 535. The 535 would essentially be a drop-in replacement for your 515, the 533 is the same with slightly smaller 320GB HDD. At the moment, the 533 is fire-sale priced at $199 and an incredible value if you like Magnavox recorders. The 535 at $249 is decently priced, but you're paying $50 more for the extra 180GB. Whether thats worth $50 depends on how efficient you are at keeping up with your backlogged recordings.


Significant internal changes to Magnavox recorders after the 515 make the newer models a less attractive prospect as refurbs than the old ones were. The slight discount you get with the refurb is outweighed by the added risk: it is safer to buy a brand-new 533 or 535 directly from WalMart to have their incredible return/exchange guarantee. If you can find a leftover refurb 515 at a good price, that would be the only model I would trust as a refurb unit.
 
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