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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 8th Generation Magnavox HDD/DVD Recorder
This is the MDR535H/F7, one of three in the 53x Series of std def (480i) HDD/DVD recorders... 533 and 537 are the others. This 535 has a 500GB HDD while the others have 320GB and 1000GB (1TB) HDDs.

More info at avsforum.com > Forums > Video Components > DVD Recorders > Magnavox 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575...
Published on October 7, 2012 by wajo

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too complicated for non-tech older person
We were trying to find a replacement for our TiVo after moving and had poor antenna reception. It took me 3 weeks to figure out from reading the manual how to program the shows I wanted to record. Then I couldn't figure out how to make it work with the DISH satellite system that we had installed after getting this recorder because our antenna reception was so poor -...
Published 21 months ago by William & Beth Kroll


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 8th Generation Magnavox HDD/DVD Recorder, October 7, 2012
This review is from: Magnavox up to 620hrs onto 500GB HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner Watch, Forward, Rewind or Freeze Live TV While Recording (Electronics)
This is the MDR535H/F7, one of three in the 53x Series of std def (480i) HDD/DVD recorders... 533 and 537 are the others. This 535 has a 500GB HDD while the others have 320GB and 1000GB (1TB) HDDs.

More info at avsforum.com > Forums > Video Components > DVD Recorders > Magnavox 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575.

[...]

Page 1 there is the only page you need to read and bookmark.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Mag 533/535/537 (53x) Series is the 8th, and possibly final, generation of simple, family-friendly, durable, std def (SD, 480i) analog/digital DVD recorders (DVDR) with hard disk drive (HDD) that are yearly improvements of the same basic design and operating system.

They're the ONLY recorders, SD or HD (720/1080), available for daily use in North America with:

-NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners for antenna or cable.
-Easily replaceable/upgradeable/expandable hard-disk drive (HDD).
-Easily replaceable DVD/CD drive for burning DVDs and playing DVDs and CDs.
-Widescreen (16:9) recording.
-Amplified coax passthru w/unit on or off.
-Amplified coax and line inputs.
-DV input.
-Coax digital audio out.
-1080p HDMI upconvert.
-36 timer-rec programs with pre-titling.
-6-hour autorecord buffer.
-Pause & rewind live TV.
-Chase play.
-Skip/replay.
-Simultaneous play/record.
-Record while watching diff. channel on TV via coax passthru.
-Integrated TV/DVDR control via HDMI CEC-link.
-1-2 hour power backup, dep. on whether Auto Clock is off or on.
-Simple editing for your archive copies or home movies.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
FOR NEWCOMERS TO DVDRs OR THIS BRAND OF DVDR

The 53x Series are standalone units that can record from antenna or cable coax. They also have line inputs so they can record from cable boxes and satellite receivers or copy from VCRs, DVRs, cameras and camcorders.

They're so easy to use they can be operated by the entire family, from kids to timeshifters to gearheads.

Timeshifters can reliably record a bunch of named shows, unattended and with NO tapes or discs.

Gearheads can upgrade their HDD or create an "HDD farm" of multiple 2.5" and 3.5" external (E-SATA) HDDs with unlimited storage, <1-min. drive swapout, HDD portability, and external power for less internal heat and stress.

The DVD burner is also DIY replaceable with a ~$70 OEM unit.

For the past 5 years, this same HDD/DVD recorder design has proven to be a simple and reliable way to record your daily and weekly shows on analog or digital channels, completely unattended, so you can go on a long vacation or business trip and you'll never touch a disc!

It's the only device you'll need to copy your family's home movies or your DVR recordings to a stand-alone, no-monthly-fee HDD, where you can edit or not, then high-speed dub to DVDs for a perfect mirror-image of the original. You can also record/copy direct to DVD, if you prefer.

If you get your TV signal via OTA antenna, you won't need a digital converter box wherever you've got one of these.

Fair warning: The HDD will spoil you rotten!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
FOR OWNERS OF PREVIOUS MODELS

If you looked at or have one of the previous models in the Philips or Mag HDD/DVD series, you might only need to know that, with the 53x Series, Funai is basically only satisfying a "Primary Wish": KEEP MAKING THE MDR515!

The 53x Manual reads virtually the same as the 515 manual, except they now show 999 titles possible on the HDD instead of 600.

One major disappointment, other than the fact that the MDR53x Series doesn't add any new capabilities, is that the remote still operates the older Mag HDD/DVD recorders, the 2080, 2160, 2160A, 513 and 515. Users of multiple Mag machines will still have to use barriers to operate a single machine.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ERRORS, OMISSIONS AND MISLEADS STILL IN THE MANUAL

Be aware that the 53x manual STILL has several important errors, omissions, and misleads.
Three of the worst are:

1. WRONG - SETTING THIS DVDR UP BEHIND A CABLE BOX, pg 19.
Makes this DVDR a "slave" to the box! It should be 1st on the incoming cable coax unless you order PPV/VOD thru the box... only then do you need a 2-way splitter on the incoming coax. This Mag already has a built-in, amplified splitter that (1) passes the raw signal thru to downstream components like a cable box or TV, and (2) feeds the Mag's tuner so it can "pick off" (record) ANY unscrambled channels in the signal. It should NEVER be behind a cable box where it can only record the channel the box is tuned to... EVEN IF ALL YOUR CABLE CHANNELS ARE SCRAMBLED (makes no diff.). Of course, you must do an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital) to make sure your DVDR sees and memorizes the unscrambled channels (if any).

2. OMITTED - MAKING FRONT- AND END-CUTS IN EDIT, Pp 93-94.
Frustrates many new users! In the Scene Delete menu, only REW stops on 1st frame and only PLAY and FF stop on last frame. 2160, 2160A and 513 also had a totally confusing and unnecessary auto-Preview after an End Cut that should be IGNORED. At least the 53x Series doesn't have the confusing auto-preview!

3. MISLEADING - RECORDING 16:9 WIDESCREEN AS 4:3, pg 45.
This half-truth has caused more misunderstanding than almost anything else in the manual. It's a "deep" technical subject that didn't need to be there! It HAS TO record a 4:3 aspect pic FRAME because the DVD Std was built on the old 4:3 VHS Std, but the DVD std allows a combo of square/non-square pixels, variable horiz. rez, compression and decompression within that 4:3 frame. THAT'S what allows your HDTV to stretch the "non-square" (rectangular) pixels of a WS image inside that 4:3 frame to natural 16:9 WS aspect. You just need to set this DVDR's Video > TV Aspect to "16:9 Wide" and your HDTV on its "Wide" aspect setting. However, this DVDR's DEFAULT setting for aspect ratio is "4:3 Letter Box" so you have to change that to 16:9 Wide during setup or none of your recordings will be 16:9 WS!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

More info at avsforum.com > Forums > Video Components > DVD Recorders > Magnavox 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575.

Page 1 there is the only page you need to read and bookmark.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Disclaimer: I have never represented or worked for Funai or any seller in any capacity... and currently don't work for anyone else! -:)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FREE is beautiful, admit it~, May 5, 2013
This review is from: Magnavox up to 620hrs onto 500GB HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner Watch, Forward, Rewind or Freeze Live TV While Recording (Electronics)
I cancelled my satellite (and beloved DVR!) in December 2011 and missed it terribly. Not having it made me a DVD-recording-slave. (Using rewritable DVD's is really a pain after using any kind of DVR, but that's what I've been doing for almost two years. X.X) I was thrilled to learn about this machine. I love this product because there's no monthly fee. It gives me the ability to record programs on a hard drive that I can dub onto different DVD's when I have time. Without this DVR, if I was away from home or asleep and I had more than one show to record, the DVD recorder could do it, but they would both be on the same DVD. This machine solves that little problem.

It would have gotten 5 stars except I have a couple gripes. The down side to this machine is that each recording is 'one unit' and dubbing to DVD is an automatic process that I am not allowed to fiddle with. When I would record from satellite to their paid DVR, I would then play the hard drive version and when laying onto DVD, could eliminate all commercials by pausing recording through them, which saved a lot of DVD space, and I could cram like 19-20 shows onto a single DVD if I didn't care about it looking a little choppy. This unit takes the recording and lays down the whole thing onto DVD in one bite. I can still do the pause thingy, but only if I am there in person to do that during the recording of the show - I can't do that later. I'll assume this is a by product from being both machines in one.

That brings me to the second thing I didn't like. DVD's which used to give me 8 hours recording time on the slowest speed on other recorders will only give me 6 maximum hours on this machine. That sucks. I haven't figured out how to get a full 8 hours from a DVD on this machine.

So, 2 hours lost, plus commercials not cut out, that nets me more like 11-12 shows per DVD. Quite a loss. But since it is saving me big bux for not being a monthly service, I'll just buy more DVD's and a few more DVD storage albums. 4 happy stars!! ****
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't play all zones., February 3, 2013
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This review is from: Magnavox up to 620hrs onto 500GB HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner Watch, Forward, Rewind or Freeze Live TV While Recording (Electronics)
Great machine. We were hoping it would work on some Australian DVDs that we have. I did not. Still, very useful.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too complicated for non-tech older person, March 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Magnavox up to 620hrs onto 500GB HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner Watch, Forward, Rewind or Freeze Live TV While Recording (Electronics)
We were trying to find a replacement for our TiVo after moving and had poor antenna reception. It took me 3 weeks to figure out from reading the manual how to program the shows I wanted to record. Then I couldn't figure out how to make it work with the DISH satellite system that we had installed after getting this recorder because our antenna reception was so poor - even though I tried to follow the directions from an on-line "techie". It's just tooooo complicated. Then because I was over the 30 days, I cannot even return this. It's not worth even $100 - even though I paid $319 for it.
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