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23 reviews | 4.3 out of 5
* Editing is simple and versitile
* Titling is simple for chapter or disc
* HDMI out up-conversion to 1080p
* DVD+R/RW fast transfer from HDD in SLP mode
* Full-featured for the enthusiast
* no component input (RGB)
* negative reviews likely from technically challenged reviewers EXCEPT for defects (read on)
* no HDMI input
There are NO COMPONENT INPUTS - Rear: only composite (VIDEO/L/R) FrontL DVI and another Composite
The Rear output is HDMI or Composite or Component (R/G/B)
Overall Rating: 5 stars - outstanding product
Aw Shucks: Get this unit while you can, last of its kind, you will be forced to go to computer-based PVR if you do not get one - read on to find out my theory as to why
1. get the 3 year extended warranty, as the peace of mind is well worth it because you will likely use this every day.
2. I recommend +RW discs - no finalization required, no coasters ever, Memorex discs WILL NOT WORK (!). Check manual for compatible discs.
I am reviewing the refurbished 350 GB model of this HDD/DVD recorder/player/editor. The unit is made by Funai and customer service from the manufacturer is fairly easy to deal with. I know, because this was my third unit - each of the first two had different problems, so if you want the "deal" that is the refurbished model, brace yourself, as the QA may not be the best. I am going to guess that this is because most of the units are returned because consumers cannot deal with the complexity of operating a product such as this - as a result of receiving one defective out of every hundred returned, Funai likely grew very tired of throughly testing the returns. As the likely result of this hypothesis, these recorders will be discontinued (fact) next year, sending all non-TiVo consumers to the computer-based PVR [personal video recorder] solution. Great for TiVo, I guess, but what most people do not realize is that the editing capabilities of this machine make it very unique.
You can edit scenes - start and end delete
You can title chapters
You can title discs
You can select the thumbnail displayed for each chapter
You can also roll-back the streaming video (it runs all the time) and retroactively begin a recording. How cool is that?
The unit well suited for home video enthusiasts who do not want to deal with computer interfaces or software or those who believe in dedicated devices vs mutlifunction.
The device is guaranteed to transform the way you will watch TV, particularly with the programmable interval skip forward - say goodbye to AFLAK!
Dont have to pay the cable comp. a monthly charge to rent thier DVD player. It pays for itself
What I like about the product:
*Has a huge hard drive that can record hundreds of shows on the lowest quality setting. (and the lowest quality setting still provides a clear picture)
*In depth directions that are easy to understand. There were at least four different directions for every set-up including connections to a vcr, dvd player, antenna, and cable box. I initially hooked it up to a cable box and after our cable expired, hooked it to an antenna.
*Program setting is very simple and nearly idiot proof. It will tell you during programming if there is a scheduling conflict. It has several options for daily, weekly, Monday through Thursday (etc.) and other programs. The channels are automatically loaded into the tuner during set up, so it's easy to select the correct digital channel.
*Very easy to make compatible recordings on DVDs. We taped several shows onto a DVD that played in our minivan.
What I do not like:
*DVR recordings are difficult to organize and identify. I bought the product a month ago and have read the manual from front to back. It's not possible to place your programs in folders. So if you are accustomed to cable company DVRs, this one will be disappointing.
*Menu interface is not intuitive; however, there are shortcuts on the remote that make it easier to get to the program menu or the recordings listed on the hard drive.
*Renaming the programs is possible, but requires using the numeric key pad on the remote in a similar fashion to texting on an old cell phone.
My second Magnavox MDR. My wife loves them. Tossed all the other VHS/DVD recorders. First was so reliable and convenient we bought one for a second TV. We record on the HDD and transfer anything we want to keep or watch on another screen to the DVDs. Have had great luck with Radius DVD+RW discs.
We can't say enough good things about this. With the hard drive, this is truly a 'set it and forget it' kind of thing. You can program it up to a month ahead of time, and forget it---you never need to remember to put a dvd in, it just records it! And you can record on it while you're watching a dvd, and vice versa! No more stopping what you're watching because you have it set to record.......We don't have cable, and we record a lot so we always have things to watch, and this works great! It's very easy to use too. The menu's walk you right through it. I know some people who record on it all the time, and they never could figure out how to use a vcr--that's how simple this is! It's also great for when you'll be away because you can record hundreds of hours with no tapes or dvd's to change!
It is really hard to find a player/recorder that also has a tuner. This machine is a good solution.
We finally are free of Directv!!!!!! Have to do a little more than push one button to set up recordings, but the savings are worth it. We had gotten spoiled. We are not it the city, so we were told antennas wouldn't work for years here. Antennas have come a long way. We get 19 channels, that includes all the major networks. So this recorder was all we needed to be free. We can record one show while watching another. It takes no time to set it up. If you ever used a VCR with your TV years ago, all you need is a refresher course, which the enclosed instruction book provides.
I am soooo please with this new digital video recorder. I have never seen one so easy to use. And best of all, you can set it to record the same show every week PLUS when you take a bit of extra time to enter the program title--it picks up that title for all future recordings. Very glad I bought this!
It is a bit confusing but I have learned how it operates and am happy with it.
Being able to split with the pass-through and watch and record simultaneously is a pay once dvr.
Have not tried the HDMI yet but the s-video is dvd quality.
Recorded Wimbledon from digital broadcast TV, looks as good as live.
The recorder performs better than I anticipated, it is easy to operate and less confusing than most recorders.
Because I bought a refurb, I still have concerns about product's longevity. Out of the box, it meets all manufacturer's standards. Also, on Standard Play the HDD seems not to have as good fidelity as a DVD recorded at the same level. HQ play is satisfactory.
The product is defective and was missing a cord that was supposed to be included, according to the manual, so we had to use a spare we had on hand. Refurbishers and packers obviously not on the ball. Was iffy from the very beginning, but tonight we decided it is not our ignorance, that we understand and are following the instructions, that it is truly a faulty product and has to go back. It will not read a disk, although it did attempt to briefly once or twice in the beginning but then didn't respond at all. It records to the hard drive just fine but will not record to a DVD, neither something that was already recorded to the hard drive nor straight from the TV to a disk because it doesn't recognize that one has been inserted. The Toshiba DVD recorder online was rated very poorly, so I bought this one. No other brand choices except for a TiVo which doesn't record to DVDs and some brand I've never heard of, which evidently is the place who refurbishes the Magnavoxes because it's name is all over the shipping box and instruction manual. Very disappointed in the lack of choices available anywhere, not just at Walmart, although still a lot of choice in DVD players out there. Doesn't anybody make homemade DVDs of TV shows anymore?
I have no Idea why your company would put a product like this on the the market for sale.
I spent three days trying to get the timer program to work,following the owners manual to the the letter and it would not record a single TV Program. I did get a refund,but can't understand why I should pay for shipping charges,for I product that doesn't work.
I have it connected to the cable outlet, and it records the over the air channels. PS this is the third unit in the house.
I had this up and running less than an hour from opening the box. It is reasonably straightforward to operate. But I should point out that I have used this kind of device before, but not this brand. The unit is connected to an antenna and receives all the channels I need here in Kissimmee FL. The output from the unit is via an HDMI lead and not through the antenna input to the TV. This needs to be connected, however for the TV to receive a different channel to that being recorded. If you want to play a DVD, it is necessary to select "DVD" via the remote or the front panel button. (This is not clear in the instructions). We have recorded several programs and paused and rewound/fast forwarded live TV using the unit.
This unit does as advertised. Pausing and rewinding live TV works better than a DirecTV Genie. Setting up recordings is easier than VCRs but similar in that you do it by setting the time, not via an electronic programming guide. This makes it better than a Genie because the Genie would record by a program, which would get you reruns at odd hours that were not wanted. We get our TV via an antenna and the tuner in this unit is exceptional, pulling in the weakest signals that the built-in TV tuner would not pull in. Also fast forwarding and rewinding is better than a Genie because this unit stops scanning exactly were you tell it to stop whereas a Genie goes beyond where you want then guesses and goes back a few seconds to where it thinks you want to be (very confusing!!).
This unit also plays standard DVD's (but not BluRay). This makes playing store bought movies easier because now you do not have to change the input from the TV remote to the DVD player.
Maintaining your recording library is also quite easy as you can make your own titles for each show recorded. You can protect certain recordings so you cannot delete them by mistake. You can delete all shows that are not protected with one procedure not having to go show by show. You can record the shows at different levels of quality extending the amount of hard drive space available. Recording at lower quality levels does not seem to matter much because even low quality recordings are quite clear. You can also record to DVD but I have not done so yet because there is so much space on the hard drive.
If you want to cut the cable/satellite cord and not lose any of the flexibility of the company DVR, this is the way to go. If you decide to get cable again (or U-Verse), this unit will work as a DVR making it so you do not have to pay $8.00 a month for their device. However it will not work with satellite (which is fine because I will never go that route again, it is horrible!!!)
I have the Magnavox MDR513H, purchased MDR533H as a supplement.
The MDR533 had a poor washed out picture. Tried three different TV's
by HDMI and Component no improvement. Returned unit to Walmart.