How to Run a Magnavox DVD Recorder

Written by lori spencer
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How to Run a Magnavox DVD Recorder
With a Magnavox DVD Recorder, you can build a collection of your favourite shows. (dvd image by dinostock from

If you purchased a new or used Magnavox DVD recorder and don't have the user's manual, don't worry. Manuals for most models, along with specifications and connection diagrams, are available for free download on Magnavox's website.

The basic commands, menus and functions are essentially the same for all models of Magnavox DVD recorders, although it is recommended that you obtain the user's manual for your specific model number to learn more about that machine's unique features.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Connect the coaxial cable from your wall outlet to the "cable input" coaxial jack on the back of your TV set.

  2. 2

    Connect standard RCA cables from the audio and video (A/V) outputs on your television set to the A/V inputs on your cable or satellite box. Match the corresponding colour-coded cables--yellow to yellow; white to white; red to red. Run a second set of RCA cables from your cable box's A/V outputs to the A/V inputs on the DVD recorder.

  3. 3

    Press the "On/Standby" or "Power" button on the front of the DVD recorder to turn it on. Wait while the machine goes through its boot-up process.

  4. 4

    Set your TV, DVD recorder and cable/satellite box to the correct channel for video recording, usually either channel 3 or 4. All devices must be tuned to the same channel or you will not be able to record from cable TV.

  5. 5

    Install fresh batteries in the remote control; you will be using the remote for most operating functions. There are also buttons on the front of the unit that perform the same tasks.

  6. 6

    Select "System Menu" on your remote to enter the set-up menu. Follow the onscreen instructions to set the DVD recorder's clock, which is important for timed recording. Also, choose your language, audio playback preferences and program cable channels.

  7. 7

    Press "Open/Close" to open the DVD recorder's disc drawer. Insert a blank DVD+R or DVD+RW disc, unless your specific model supports DVD-R or DVD-RW recording, which many modern Magnavox models do not. Wait while the disc formats in the drive. When the DVD is ready to record, the digital counter will reset to 00:00.

  8. 8

    Press "Rec Mode" on the remote to choose your recording speed. Most Magnavox models have the following options: SP (two hours at highest quality), SP+ (2.5 hours), LP (three hours), EP (four hours), SLP (six hours) and SEP, which allows you to record up to eight hours, however, the sound and picture quality will be poor at this setting.

  9. 9

    Press the button on your remote that indicates the input source you wish to record from: "Tuner" for TV or Cable/Satellite, or "VCR" or "Auxiliary" for VCRs, camcorders and other sources running through your "auxiliary" input channel, which is usually channel 0 or 2.

  10. 10

    Press the "Record" button to start recording. Use the "Pause" button to edit out commercials, re-cue your input source tape, or temporarily halt recording. Pressing the "Stop" button will create a new chapter on the disc next time you hit "Record."

  11. 11

    Press "Stop" when you are done recording the first chapter on the disc. Then add additional chapters to the DVD until the disc is full. Use the "Display" button to check how much time you have remaining.

  12. 12

    Press "Finalize" when you wish to end the recording session for that disc and make it playable on standard DVD players. This process may take several minutes to complete. Eject the DVD and test it on another player to make sure it works.

Tips and warnings

  • When connecting your DVD recorder, you have the option of listening to the audio through your home stereo system. Just run RCA audio cables from the DVD recorder into the stereo inputs.
  • Set your DVD recorder's timer to record episodes of your favourite shows automatically. This feature can usually be accessed through the main recording menu under "Timer Recording."
  • Most recordable discs (except DVD+R and DVD+RW) must be finalised before they will play on other DVD players. Be sure to "finalize" your DVD when the disc is full.
  • Older (pre-2005) Magnavox models will not play or record on DVD+R or DVD+RW formats; only DVD-R discs will play or record on these machines.
  • Clean DVDs, especially rentals, before playing them. Dirty discs can damage your Magnavox machine. Clean the machine's laser with a special cleaner disc after every six to 10 hours of use.
  • Don't block the vents on your DVD recorder or the machine may overheat. Keep the unit away from extreme temperatures, dust, and sources of water and humidity. These can permanently damage your recorder.

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