As a professional in the television and film industries, I'm pretty demanding. The machines I have in the house are all professional level decks. So when they started to age and I knew that I would eventually have to replace one of both, I started researching what was out ... Read full review
As a professional in the television and film industries, I'm pretty demanding. The machines I have in the house are all professional level decks. So when they started to age and I knew that I would eventually have to replace one of both, I started researching what was out there to replace my old Panasonic DVD Player/VHS combo decks (I have two and had a dead Panny DVD Recorder/VHS combo in a third room).
All sources I checked lead to the Magnavox MDR515H/F7 500GB HDD and DVD-R with Digital Tuner. I was already a member of the AVS forum so I checked out their massive amount of resources on various decks and found their incredible board on this deck. It helped me make up my mind on my purchase.
I bought the deck along with an HDMI cable and a box of Sony DVD-RW discs, which came highly rated. The cable and discs came within a couple of days and the deck about a week later.
Now being a professional in the biz and working around very expensive high level gear, you'd think I'd be a pro at setting up home video gear. Nope. I'm just like everyone else. So do be informed that this deck has so much in it, you will have to pre-read the manual front to back before setup, and maybe a few times to get the feel of it.
After you use it for a while, you'll see that it is actually very well thought out and somewhat intuitive, though there are a few functions that you're just going to have to break down and read the manual BEFORE you try to make them work. I keep the manual right with the deck just in case. Through repeated use and practice, you'll eventually learn how all the functions work. Man, does this device have a lot in it!
Initially, everything started out fine and I was having a great time putting the deck through it's paces. But then, while I was trying to use a feature that let's you change the title of something you recorded, the deck locked up on me. I had read that this deck on rare occasion can lock up and on even rarer occasion, you have to take it back to the store and have another shipped to you. I did buy the extended "no questions asked" warranty for this deck.
But after going to the AVS forum, the friendly members there advised me to first, pull the power and let it sit overnight, which I did. Then they said to hold the power button in and then plug the power cable in while still holding in the power button until the "On" indicator showed in the display. I did this and the machine came back to normal and I've been using it daily ever since without a hiccup.
I won't repeat all of it's features as you can read about those in the product description and in others' reviews. And it does have a few very minor quirks as well as features they just couldn't put in the deck or it's software (such as the TvGuide scheduler for auto recording programming) but that is nitpicking.
So trust the word of a professional, if you need to replace that old, dying VHS or combo deck, and you don't want to go with a Tivo, this IS the deck to consider! We will be getting another one right away for the other bedroom and maybe a third for the den!
P.S. If you will buy the Magnavox MDR515H I suggest you have to check for best price before you decide at: www.amazon.com/exec/******/****/B004PYDE1E/cnet-offer-20