Archive for the ‘Video Equipment’ Category

I’ve been waiting to transfer my family VHS tapes to DVD, looking for a recorder that would make the whole process easy. The Magnavox ZC320MW8B/F7 DVD recorder at Walmart turned out to be the answer! At only $98.00 it turns out to be a great deal for dubbing directly to DVD!

I’m already quite familiar with the Magnavox 2160 & 513 line of HDD/DVD units, having owned a couple myself. This stand-alone DVD recorder seems to operate & burn DVD’s with the same ease, the main difference being that there’s no internal tuner and no internal HDD. When you record you’ll need to use an external video source such as a VCR, camcorder or external TV tuner.

A quick look inside the unit reveals a DVD burner assembly that looks similar to the one in the Magnavox 2160 (although I can’t guarantee that it’s identical). It’s well made, and in my experience it burned both DVD+R and DVD-R’s with ease. Both formats play back reliably on most modern DVD players. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that you can considerably extend the life of the DVD burner by using 8x blank DVD’s instead of 16x. The laser runs at lower power when it burns to an 8x disc, lengthening the life of your recorder.

The Magnavox ZC320MW8B/F7 comes with a remote control that’s similar to the 2160 & 513 Magnavox remotes. A few buttons that weren’t needed are missing, so the remote may look somewhat naked by comparison. Operation of the recorder is quite straightforward, and if you’re familiar with the 2160 or 513, this DVD recorder operates in the same manner.

Direct dubbing is very simple, insert a blank DVD, on the remote press the REC MODE (to select recording speed), then when you’re ready hit REC. For extra convenience, once you’re recording, you can press the REC button several times to choose the time to shut off the recording. When you’re finished recording the Magnavox automatically creates a title menu showing program length and record date (you can also add a still frame photo from the recorded movie to the menu title). Tip: if you don’t enter a date or time into the DVD recorder’s memory, it will leave these things blank when it burns the title menu on the DVD. Also, if you’re direct dubbing, set your burn length time to exceed the amount of time on the disc you’re burning and you won’t even see the “empty space” title box in the menu. Finally, and of paramount importance, be sure to FINALIZE the completed DVD so that it’ll play back on other DVD players.

The particular unit I bought was the last one in stock, and since the unit had been returned the store kindly gave me a discount. Over time I’ve seen several Magnavox boxes at Walmart that look like they made it to someone’s home before being promptly returned. I believe some consumers are confused about how to program these units. More importantly, they don’t read the instructions explaining how the discs have to be finalized before they’re played back on other DVD players. If you can spend ten minutes to read through the instructions you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration. By the time you’ve burned a couple of discs the whole process will become second nature!

All in all, the Magnavox ZC320MW8B/FZ is wonderful buy at only $98.00. Great for direct dubbing or timer recording from an outside video source. It’s a wonderful addition to your video hardware collection :)

If you’ve ever had a disc get stuck in the Olevia BDP-110 Blu-ray player, you know how frustrating this can be!  The player locks up and can only be re-started by unplugging and then plugging in the A.C. cord.  Even then the player boots up and locks again without ejecting your disc. Here’s how to manually eject the disc.

Warning:  This article is for informative purposes only!  We take no responsibility for any damage that you may cause or incur if you try this yourself.

First, and most importantly, make sure the A.C. line cord is unplugged! Remove the eight (8) small phillips bolts that hold on the top cover of the player. Tip the cover up at a 45 degree angle and remove it. ( The yellow screwdriver in the photo is pointing to the eject hole)


We found that it was easier to reach the eject hole by tipping the player assembly out. There’s 4 small brass bolts and a red SATA-type cable holding the blu-ray player unit in place.

Here we plainly see the eject hole, faintly marked “E”.  Straighten out a paperclip to about a 3″ length and insert it in the hole.  As you push it in you’ll feel a small wheel inside the player turning the eject mechanism.  You may have to do this several times. As you push the paper clip in, you’ll slowly see the eject door opening.  Eventually you’ll be able to pull the tray out and retrieve your missing disc!

Warning:  This article is for informative purposes only!  We take no responsibility for any damage that you may cause or incur if you try this yourself.