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  1. #21
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    Vash, I had a very similar experience, and I'm afraid I think your machine is dying. It will just keep reading less and less disks, til it'll load none.

    Make sure you get all your recordings finalized if you haven't yet, otherwise new machines most probably won't be able to read them.
    I know from experience: I got stuck with 60+ DVDs I was too lazy to finalize as soon as recorded, mostly figure skating.

    While the machine still somehow works, when it won't load a disk it's true it might help to dust it off, or clean it with lense products. But as the machine gets worse, the trick will be less and less helpful.

  2. #22
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    Machines like this become obsolete way too soon.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post

    Here's the problem: of the (few) DVD recorders available, none I've come across can read double-layer (DL) DVDs.
    Not sure if this will be any help, but just in case...

    I did a Google search on "External DVD burners double layer" and got a ton of hits. Best Buy has quite the price range for their options. I got my external DVD burner at Staples. I don't know if it supports double layer, but it is so much faster than using my laptop's internal burner.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capella View Post
    Not sure if this will be any help, but just in case...

    I did a Google search on "External DVD burners double layer" and got a ton of hits. Best Buy has quite the price range for their options. I got my external DVD burner at Staples. I don't know if it supports double layer, but it is so much faster than using my laptop's internal burner.
    Thanks for the info. Do external burners like that work with TVs/DVRs?

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by loulou View Post
    Vash, I had a very similar experience, and I'm afraid I think your machine is dying. It will just keep reading less and less disks, til it'll load none.

    Make sure you get all your recordings finalized if you haven't yet, otherwise new machines most probably won't be able to read them.
    I know from experience: I got stuck with 60+ DVDs I was too lazy to finalize as soon as recorded, mostly figure skating.

    While the machine still somehow works, when it won't load a disk it's true it might help to dust it off, or clean it with lense products. But as the machine gets worse, the trick will be less and less helpful.
    Right now it's not even turning on/off. There is a DVD stuck in it. I may have to take it in for repairs, at least to get the DVD out. It is part of my Roswell set. I would hate to lose it. When my DVD player is not connected, my TV does not work, so I am going to wait until after the Oscars before disconnecting it for repairs. I may even go to BestBuy and see if they have a DVD/VCR with tuner, and just buy it. Repairs do cost a lot, unless you buy the long term insurance. I did not.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    Here's the problem: of the (few) DVD recorders available, none I've come across can read double-layer (DL) DVDs. And almost all of my skating recordings are on those DVDs. I guess I can live with recording to regular, single-layer DVDs from now on, but I want to be able to watch the DVDs I already recorded on.
    Are you saying that if you get a current-model DVD player/recorder, you won't be able to watch your older skating DVDs?

    My impression was that hard drive would be main format for saving digital content in future and that I would have to transfer all my skating DVDs to a drive. Which will unfortunately mean a loss in quality, I would think.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    Thanks for the info. Do external burners like that work with TVs/DVRs?
    That I don't know. I'm sorry.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Are you saying that if you get a current-model DVD player/recorder, you won't be able to watch your older skating DVDs?
    Yes, unless I spend $$$ on a combo player, which I probably won't need much longer and will be obsolete soon anyway. Almost all my skating DVDs are on double-layer. I thought it made good sense - the Nats and Worlds broadcasts were usually each 4 hours long so they could each fit on their own DVD instead of two separate ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capella View Post
    That I don't know. I'm sorry.
    I did some more research and it appears they are only for computers and camcorders. There are some programs out there that will compress content on a double-layer disc onto a single-layer disc via a computer, but I'd be worried about video quality suffering. Not that the quality was great to begin with (nowhere near HD) but I don't want it to get worse.

    I suppose I could get a Blu-ray player and a DVD recorder for about what I'd have to spend for the combo player, and then I could play my skating DVDs and watch other stuff on Blu-ray, but I don't really have space for both, and I suspect managing the connections would have me .

    Interesting thought that everything will be stored on hard drives in the future. I guess we're seeing that already with DVRs. But DVRs have limits on what they can hold, and they're really owned by the cable company. I like having copies of recordings that I can play anywhere.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Right now it's not even turning on/off. There is a DVD stuck in it. I may have to take it in for repairs, at least to get the DVD out. It is part of my Roswell set. I would hate to lose it. When my DVD player is not connected, my TV does not work, so I am going to wait until after the Oscars before disconnecting it for repairs. I may even go to BestBuy and see if they have a DVD/VCR with tuner, and just buy it. Repairs do cost a lot, unless you buy the long term insurance. I did not.
    I'm sorry, I know first hand it's bothering.

    -- I think repairs are tricky: when insurance is in place, they never really do a good job; when it's not, they cost (almost) more then new replaces.
    I usually just try out the thing, see if looks fine, and return it in less than a month for money back if I have doubts.

    If you decide to buy a new one, just crack it open to recover your Roswell (mine would have been Felicity - to chose one from about the same time frame).

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    Interesting thought that everything will be stored on hard drives in the future. I guess we're seeing that already with DVRs. But DVRs have limits on what they can hold, and they're really owned by the cable company. I like having copies of recordings that I can play anywhere.
    There are at least two ways to avoid the cable-company-owned DVRs: record TV to a computer, or buy a DVR with a hard drive. There are Magnavox-branded machines with 320 GB and 500 GB hard drives, plus DVD-burning capability. Those in the know say that the manufacturer (Funai) will stop making the products at the end of March, if it hasn't already. So anyone who might be interested should investigate this option and be prepared to act immediately.

    Walmart.com still has the 320 GB machine (Magnavox MDR 513H/F7): http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-M...order/14291489

    For the 500 GB (Magnavox MDR515H), it looks like only refurbs are available unless you want to chase probably-overpriced machines on eBay. Refurb availability comes and goes. J&R is one potential source of refurbs: http://www.jr.com/magnavox/pe/MAG_MDR515H_hy_RB/

    I'm happily using multiple Magnavox DVRs (though I prefer recording to my computer since editing is so much more efficient), but I offer these cautions:

    - They don't record in high definition.
    - There is no TiVo-style program grid that allows you to click on shows you want to record. You must input date, starting time, etc., as on a VCR.
    - Editing (such as removing commercials) is awkward if you're accustomed to using computer software for that purpose. Edit points are not absolutely precise.
    - Although there is an analog/digital tuner, some users have reported that the tuner isn't as reliable as it should be (especially on digital channels??), so the DVR works better when being fed by a cable box (so you're always recording Channel 3). This means you need a way (computer?) to program changes to your cable box, or you must change the cable box channel manually.
    - One of my (new) DVRs arrived with a faulty hard drive. It worked part of the time, so I feel fortunate that I noticed the problem while the machine was still under warranty. If you buy one of these, do a lot of recording the first week to be sure programs record properly and don't disappear until you delete them.

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