558 of 576 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2010
I have had this unit since may because one dept store had exclusive rights to sell it until late July, so after a few months...heres my review on this excellent DVD recorder with 350 GIG hard drive.
For 2010, this is simply the BEST DVD Recorder you can buy. It has a massive 320 gig Hard drive, that gives you almost 400 hours on the lowest setting (which looks like a VCR recording) the next setting up looks very good and has almost 300 hours.
You can record a tv show to the hard drive and keep it there, EASILY delete out commercials with the Edit feature, then save to a DVD or just keep it in the hard drive, I mean with 400 hours, its not like your gonna fill it up.
The manual that comes with it at first seems daunting, but the best way to fig this unit out is just plug it in and play with it. It didn't take me long to figure it out. It was a easy 1 button record (otr) and a quick 1 button Dubbing (Hard drive to DVD or DVD to hard drive). Works much like a old style VCR but just all Digital and much better picture quality.
It has a tuner that picks up Digital and old style Analog cable/satellite channels.
This magnavox system is a gem!
It's a almost like having a Tivo but without any monthly fees.
I would deff recommend this unit to a friend or anyone wanting to buy a DVD recorder or to replace a old VCR or just tired of Tivo.
155 of 159 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2010
Although this DVD-R offers some advanced features, it is priced in the range of a casual user and this is a casual user review. There are some good "techie" reviews on Amazon but I don't do anything complicated with a DVD-R and this review is for anyone like me looking for a good, easy to use machine for recording TV and watching movies. In brief, I can say buy it! Here's why - I have gone through two cheaper DVDRs in the last 3 years because the disk insert/read functions of the machine wore out or hosed up. I started looking at this Magnavox initially because of the digital tuner. As the last surviving non-subscriber to cable and with only one TV having a digital tuner, I like having a digital tuner in the DVD-R so I don't have to mess with a rotten converter box on the analog TV. I record a lot of TV because I am often working when my shows are on and I hate commercials and the breaks in the show commercials cause. (I much prefer to record even shows I could watch on the Internet because the Internet access always forces you to watch commercials that I just fast forward through on the recording.) When I realized the Magnavox had a hard drive, I decided to buy it even though some of the reviews implied that you need to be doing a lot of fancy taping/dubbing, etc. to really making use of it. Not so! I just set up all the shows I like in the easy to use scheduler (you can record up to 64 hours with a high quality setting, even more if you give up some quality), record everything to the Hard Drive and watch commercial free at my leisure. No more messing with trading out disks, forgetting to trade out disks and missing a show because the disk was full, missing a show because the DVD-R that recorded the disk suddenly decided it couldn't read it when I wanted to watch it (had a Panasonic that did that all the time), forgetting which disk the 1/2 seen program was on, etc. The hard drive recording allows me to use my DVD-R sort of like TiVo - set up the scheduler for what I want, I always get the recording without messing with the machine, and watch when I'm ready.
There are a couple of features I really like. The timed recordings will record no matter what you do short of unplugging the machine. You don't have to set a timer or turn the power off or anything. The Magnavox remembers where I was in a recording I played but didn't finish. So, if I watch 20 minutes of a show and stop to watch a different recording, when I return to the first show I can ask it to take me back to where I was. My cheaper machines had a preprogrammed 1 minute "skip" button - the Magnavox has the 1 minute skip button to get through commercials quickly, but it also has a programmable skip button that I can set for the amount of time I want it to skip.
Cons are minor: Fast forward doesn't go that fast at top speed; same with reverse. Remote control keys are labeled kind of odd and you can not see them in the dark.
I am a telecommunications engineer and I am capable of using advanced technology, but in my home life I really just want technology that is intuitive and uncomplicated. This DVD-R fits that bill perfectly.
191 of 199 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
Since the digital switch I have tried to get a digital recorder with a hard drive. I had an analog HDD/DVR and loved the convenience.
Couldn't find a DVR (with digital tuner) for OTA programs, only cable. Got a recorder that used all kinds of disks. Sent it back. Hoped someone would make one with a HDD. I get TV through a rooftop antenna. Would not pay for TIVO or satellite but wanted the benefits.
I'm very low tech and worried that I would have trouble with setup or programing. Recorder arrived last week. One call to customer support for clarification of installation. So simple to set up. Programing is SOO easy! Tech support was quick, polite, helpful and didn't have an accent.
While it's recording you can watch a previously recorded HDD program, watch the currently recording show from the beginning and cut out commercials, watch a DVD or different TV channel while recording
I love this thing and am ordering another today for another TV.
355 of 393 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2010
I researched quite a few on-line sources on information about this product and decided why I want to buy this unit:
(1) I want to transfer from my existing DVDs, VHSs, many of my personal video made in the past, and burn them onto DVDs.
(2) I want to record TV programs buy setting time-shift when I am away, so I can watch them later and burn them onto DVDs.
(3) I want organize various titles together in a meaningful way, and them dubbed them from the Hard Drive(HDD) to DVDs.
(4) I want to edit the titles recorded on the HDD, remove commercials, bad sections of my own video, and add or change chapter breaks into the titles.
(5) I want to make multiple DVDs of the same title to share with family and friends.
If you have similar needs to store, organize and make edited titles before burning them on to DVDs, then this type of equipment maybe what you need.
Otherwise, different type of equipment maybe more suitable and less expensive for you: Such as a 'Standalone' DVD recorder (with or without a tuner) but less the Hard drive; or for just watching a TV program you recorded when you're away, a cable service's Box top unit with DVR maybe easier.
My guess is that because not many people have all the needs as I do, equipment companies are offering less and less DVD recorders with HDD onto the US market in recent years, and some people even believe this type of equipment is a 'dying breed' ie. in the future there would be no more.
Fortunately, I bought a DVDR(different brand that discontinued) with a HDD about 3 years ago and am still using it for recoding and dubbing DVDs.
But being aware of the dwindling market for this type of unit, and the lack of availability, I decide to purchase one before may current one goes out of commission.
Since there is not many choices left today. I advise you to take your time looking into the few available brands, study and compare their individual features before you make a decision.
By the way, this unit is a direct descendant from MAGNAVOX H2160MW9 HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner, Black (which is still available by sellers on Amazon.com)You may want to take a look of the user's reviews and discussion.
The following is my overall and some specific findings about this unit.
OVERALL FEATURES in meeting my needs: 3 Stars
OVERALL QUALITY of the product: 3 Stars
LOOK ans FEEL: 3 Stars
PICTURE QUALITY: 4 Stars
EASE OF USE: 2 Stars: yes on playing the HDD, not so good on burning DVDs
USER MANUAL: 2 Stars
(1)Many capable features, including both analog and digital tuner, allows you to connect both to the antenna and cable box, and a special feature allowing you to record a program already started but did not push the button in time to record.
(2)Adequate connectivity to your other AV equipment with component, composite/(S-Video), and coax cables, for playback, HDMI cable to your TV display.
(3)After you're familiar with the controls(steps and buttons to push) it operates reliably, very few error occurs.
(4)Allows you to add extra Hard Drive but wiring from the unit to external hard drives to increase your storage capability. (but at same time void the products warranty)
(1) Poorly designed and operable remote unit. Very hard to use.
(2) Does not burn Double Layer DVDs.
(3) Lack of USB port, unable to connect extra devices.
(4) Difficult to edit titles, or burn titles onto DVDs because of complicated steps and button pushing, plus quirky behavior of the user interface, and time consuming cycles of 'writing to disc' waiting periods, enough to discourage your effort in editing and dubbing DVDs.
(5) Not able to dub 'native' wide-screen titles or programs from HDD onto the DVDs, it automatically "squish" the dubbed image to regular 3x4 mode and therefore out of proportion, forcing you to adjust the image size of your TV display to 'wide screen' or 'full' in order to view it correctly.
More to come as I get to know this machine better.
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2010
After careful consideration and research, I bought this DVR for my 50" plasma TV. I am so glad I did!! Let's run down the reasons why.
1.) Setup... less than 4 minutes before I started pausing live TV.
2.) Built-in hard drive allows you to save your DVD discs with 64 hours of HD recording, but you can get more out of your hard drive by reducing the quality of your videos.
3.) Built-in video editor! Holy hell batman!! You can mark off chapters and delete them by scene deletion mode, which then cuts your video and hard disc space used. I can tell you, as a video editor myself, the time it takes to delete a scene and scrunch a movie back together takes a while, but this DVR... a few seconds tops!
I am also a Tivo subscriber and was toying with the idea of getting another Tivo, but found out that since my cable company doesn't offer a cable card, that I cannot buy any of their products for my plasma. So, $227 later and no monthly service fee, I am thankful that my cable company doesn't offer a cable card :)
I only have one "con" to report, but will give you a work-around. You cannot sync your HD receiver channels with this DVR, However, here is the work-around... you can autotune your HD receiver to view a certain channel at a certain time, then you can set your DVR timer to record at that same time so you can get your show.
In closing, I am not affiliated with Magnavox nor Tivo... both products are phenomenal. However, I've found that I am saving a lot of money by not getting my cable company's DVR. And, back to the beginning... you must see to believe
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2010
This is the best DVD recorder I've had. It even has features I haven't used, such as freezing live TV. It makes great recordings. I usually record onto DVDs but there are times when there are two or three programs in succession, I record to the hard drive for those. I can either watch them from the hard drive or transfer them later to a DVD. I usually transfer my HDD recordings to a DVD because I usually watch TV on a big screen and home theatre sound system a Blu-Ray player. The recordings play better than any made on my two previous recorders. I'd happily recommend it to a friend.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2011
The first box worked and I programmed it to record to HDD. While operating, all control buttons (both remote and on the box) locked. Pushing any button did nothing, not even the "Standby button". The display froze too, showing the last display before the big freeze. The only way to recover was "Power On Reset" (unplug the power cord, wait, then apply power again. Then the unit was functional again (all program controls reset to factory condition). After doing this routine twice with the same results, I returned this unit to Amazon. I asked for a replacement unit. Unfortunately the same thing happened with the second unit. I surmise Magnivox has a software problem -- the software enters a loop in which it ignores all interrupts. I asked for a refund the second time.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2011
The product was great for the first few months. You could program many shows by a specific one-time only, to record every day, to record the same day and time every week, to record at the same time only on weekdays, etc. You could dub from HDD to DVD and vice versa. So, if a *disposable* product with great features that doesn't even last a year is a good investment for your cash, this is a great HDD-DVD machine.
BUT, for me... It STOPPED working after 9 months though still WITHIN the warranty period. It would no longer copy from the HDD to DVD. I contacted Magnavox promptly. First they tried every possible excuse for why it was not the machine. I even had to go buy a fresh package of RW DVDs just to prove it was the machine, even though I had used 12 (yes TWELVE!!) different disks in the machine and then used them in both my Sony and Toshiba DVD-R machines and they worked fine in those machines. Needless to say, the new disks also did not work. Clear it was the machine, they said I had to have my receipt and proof of purchase, I did. Then, get ready for it, they said the warranty was not valid for me because I bought it from Amazon.com.
I called Amazon - who was a class act and said they would make it right if the manufacturer would not. After a few days and multiple calls by Amazon to Magnavox on my behalf to address their policy, Amazon calls me back to say it's all a misunderstanding and if I call back, Magnavox will supposedly honor the warranty. When I call back, they still try to balk. I tell them of my conversation with Amazon, etc. The guy claims he has to check on it. I was left on hold for over 20 minutes before he came back and said they would honor the warranty.
Although the warranty calls for them to repair my machine, instead they tell me they will send me a remanufactured one to replace it and I have to pay them $25.00 for it. Well, after more days and more calls, it is arranged and I pay for this other unit (feeling a bit offended given this was a $200 purchase and still under warranty). I make it very clear what address it is to be shipped to and why (because I am never home, all items are shipped to a family member that lives nearby - as the original unit was previously shipped). They take down all the information and assure me it will be to that address. What happens? A unit gets dumped at my door where I eventually find it around 7 p.m. at night tipped up on its side in a banged up carton that my family would never have signed for.
My first call to complain about the delivery experience was just rudely brushed off. The "replacement unit" has a black scorch-marked plug as if it has been struck by lightning. It also has a strong "ozone smell" coming out of the back of the unit. I could not believe this is what they charged me $25 for and had the nerve to send. Ozone smell is not a good sign in electronics (never was for any fan, computer or monitor I've owned that developed it... always died shortly after you started smelling it).
I am truly frustrated and disgusted. I expect $200 equipment to last longer than 9 months. I won't even bother detailing the rude treatment of the employees in the Magnavox customer NO service department to date. But, I can say that I would NOT buy a Magnavox product again because of this experience! However, I must say that Amazon.com's people were pure class.
Update: I refused to let this be the end of my story so I called back and talked to a different representative than the last rude one (to give you an idea of how long and frustrating this process has been, it began on 10/1 and it is now 10/20). I need to now ship back the "replacement unit". The most recent representative agreed with me that the condition of it should have been caught. A unit with a scorched plug and ozone smell should not have been sent in the first place. Duh. If I ship it back, then they will ship me another replacement unit. We will see. I will update this review as the experience continues.
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2010
I couldn't rate this product properly thanks to Comcast. When the tuner wasn't picking up all the channels, we were referred to a local Magnavox repairman by Magnavox's Customer Service department. The repairman informed us that since Comcast scrambled most of their channels so only their equipment and Tivo would work, there was no way to use this DVR on our cable system. We then did some more refined Internet searches to see if anyone had been able to do a workaround, but no one has succeeded. Amazon accepted the return with absolutely no problems with a prepaid shipping label and we ended up having to rent a DVR from Comcast.
What channels it did pick up seemed to record as advertised, so it would probably be fine if it's compatible with your TV signal provider.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2010
This seems to be the only non-subscription DVR out there at the moment. It has all the basics covered and some very nice features as well. (Pausing live TV is so cool) It doesn't do DVD-RAM but with the HDD that's not really a problem. The picture quality is very good even on the next-to-the-lowest quality setting, although with 320GB, I can't see any real reason to use the lower settings. I've recorded several programs to the HDD and tried the DVD once and those worked well.
The biggest problem I've found so far is with the clock- it gains approximately 2 minutes per day. This may not sound like much at first, but in a week the accumulated error will cause you miss half of "The Big Bang Theory". Using the automatic clock set feature should solve this problem but it doesn't work either, although this is the fault of screwed-up time signals from the cable company. Something to do with the Great Digital Changeover of 2009. (This faulty time-signal situation is known by the mfr- the clock set default is for the the user to set the time. On all previous models, it was always autoset.) My belief is, if you're going to try to save a few pennies while building a DVR, whose function is TIMED recordings, you shouldn't cheap-out with the clock. I have to reset the clock every day that I'm going to record something.
Another beef is the remote. For starters, there's no provision for programming it to turn on your TV or control the volume. This really surprises me- this ability has been mandatory for years on VCRs and DVD recorders. I keep looking in the manual and on the remote, convinced I've simply overlooked it somehow.
As noted by others, some of the remote buttons are small and poorly placed. Some of the most used buttons need to be pressed very hard and aimed closely and directly at the recorder to work at all. The controls are not at all intuitive- to play a HDD program, for instance, you need to go into "Setup" to get to the list of recorded programs.
The manual is 120+ pages and you will become good friends with it, although it is possible to get the basics from just playing with the controls for a while.
Overall, this unit does what it should and with very good results and I am grateful that someone has finally brought a modern DVR to market. However, it does it in a very irritating, crotchety, user-unfriendly way. It's a bit like having to refill the air in your tires after having to climb a tree to get the air pump EVERY morning before you go to work. If it weren't the only game in town for non-subscription DVRs, I'd say look elsewhere. As it is, I'm thinking of buying another one to stick in the closet for when this one dies. Who knows when they'll stop making these or if anyone else will ever bring one to market. Just try finding a VCR five years from now.