Dvd Recorder for cable & ota - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I am on Charter cable and i also have over the air tv. Can i record from on demand? I like alot of nature shows that are on demand. I am more interested in recording to a dvd and hd record.

I would also like to do the same with my ota antenna from a pbs station. On Demand is so much easier(from cable) and just sits there where i could record most anytime.

If this is possible, what are the recorders i should look at that does what i want? I am looking for something easy to use and very good picture quality. If i can not do this and only can record from my over the air what would be good for me to get?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paris_tn View Post

I am on Charter cable and i also have over the air tv. Can i record from on demand? I like alot of nature shows that are on demand. I am more interested in recording to a dvd and hd record.

I would also like to do the same with my ota antenna from a pbs station. On Demand is so much easier(from cable) and just sits there where i could record most anytime.

If this is possible, what are the recorders i should look at that does what i want? I am looking for something easy to use and very good picture quality. If i can not do this and only can record from my over the air what would be good for me to get?

The Magnavox 2160 and 513 HDD/DVD recorders are the only recent/current choices for recording to hard drive and DVD. Devices that record to removable media (DVDs) are prohibited by law from recording in High Definition.

This is how to set up dual connectivity with Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders (or any other recorder equipped with a digital tuner):

When using a cable company converter box the connection method uses the cable box S-Video or composite yellow output and the white/red audio output connected to the corresponding inputs on the Magnavox. With the Magnavox enslaved to a cable converter box one must tune the converter box to the "channel" one wishes to record. Recording is through the line input where the cable converter box is connected. Some cable company converter boxes can be programmed to change the "channel" for unattended recording. Of course, the Magnavox has to be set to record in the timer programming menu.

The antenna connection will be to the Magnavox's RF input. Once an antenna channel scan is run the Magnavox will record ATSC broadcast sub-channels from it's internal tuner.

The first post in Wajo's sticky thread is the gateway to a wealth of information concerning Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post12244086

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post #3 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 02:25 PM
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After submitting the above post I thought that it might be of some value to snap a photo to demonstrate dual connectivity.

Before someone starts yelling "FAKE, FAKE!" I must admit that the attached photo is "STAGED."

The photo shows one of my standby Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD recorders with a Philips indoor antenna connected to the RF input. So far, so good. But I didn't have a spare cable converter box that I could use to demonstrate cable connectivity. What to do? I have an unused Zenith DTT901 CECB that, from the rear, appears much like a low-end cable converter box so that's what I used to simulate a cable converter box. Notice that the Zenith's composite yellow video and white/red audio outputs are connected to the Magnavox's composite yellow video and white/red audio inputs. The Zenith's coax cable input simulates the raw coax cable feed from the wall.

Oh, I just realized that I forgot to simulate the Magnavox output to an unseen TV. In any event, those outputs are easy enough to see. The Magnavox, the Zenith and the Philips are now back in their respective boxes.
LL

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post #4 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks and this is great information. Thanks also for the picture. I'll look at both the 2160 and 513. I wonder why it is prohibited for removable media to be recorded in high def for our own personal use. I'll look and decide on one of the Magnavoxes.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 06:27 PM
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The reason "they" don't want us recording to optical disc in High Def is that not everyone would do it "for our own personal use".

There'd be a LOT of piracy.

Personally, I'm happy to be able to make Standard Def recordings on optical discs (DVDs).
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 08:19 PM
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Do note that the "on demand" feature varies in recordability from channel to channel and cable system to cable system, and that cable systems are prone to changing these restrictions without notice. While many of us use our Magnavox (and other brand) recorders to make DVDs of "on demand" material for our personal archives, just as many others are unable to do so. The answer to this question must always be qualified with "it depends".

In my particular neighborhood in New York City, using Time Warner Cable and a (near-obsolete non-HDTV) Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3250 decoder box, I can record any on-demand program source to my Magnavox and Pioneer recorders. Friends of mine in other neighborhoods, using different decoder boxes, experience various restrictions. Nationwide, cable services appear to have a rough "hierarchy" of on-demand service tiers. "Pay Per View" is the one most likely to not be recordable, although many do succeed. "Premium Channels On Demand" (HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, etc) may or may not be recordable. Advertising-supported channels like FX, Bravo, AMC, etc are usually recordable in their "on-demand" form. Then you have weird random channels like "Speed" which change their recordable status minute-to-minute for no apparent reason other than incompetent tech staff that doesn't supervise the common broadcast glitches which can trigger false recording lockouts/copy protection response.

Fortunately the Magnavox is returnable to Wal*Mart with no questions asked if you find it unsuitable for your needs. You should be able to record nature programs from "Discovery Channel On Demand". But: it depends.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paris_tn View Post

I wonder why it is prohibited for removable media to be recorded in high def for our own personal use.

You can do that with TiVo.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-20-2010, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

You can do that with TiVo.

It is against the law to make copies for resale of copyrighted material. In some instances it is against the law to make copies of a program and give them away. In other cases, it is against the law to keep a copy for yourself longer than one year, and it has to be destroyed.

For this reason manufacturers are fearful of being sued on any level that an infringment may apply. It has nothing to do with High Definition, or Standard Definition. It is just as against the law to make "illegal" copies of Standard Definition as it is for High Definition.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-20-2010, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

You can do that with TiVo.

For the sake of "newbies" who might not already know the details, TiVO itself has no built-in removable media system: when members here suggest using a TiVO to make HD discs, they are referring to some TiVO models ability to connect to your PC and transfer TiVO recordings to the PC hard drive. Then, using PC software, you can convert those TiVO recordings into special AVCHD high def DVDs that play on computers or BD players (if your PC has a BluRay burner, you could alternatively make BD discs). Making high def discs is therefore a two-step, multi-gear process: you need a compatible TiVO, a PC, and video conversion/disc authoring software.

This sort of begs the question "why bother with the TiVO at all, then, if you're going to get stuck using the PC to make discs: why not just record directly into the PC and bypass the TiVO?" Many members here do record HDTV directly to their PCs for various reasons: they don't want to pay for TiVO service, they don't have cable TV service or enough channels available to make the convenience of TiVO worthwhile, or they just prefer an all-PC workflow. For those heavy recordists with deluxe cable service subscriptions and lots of channels, the hybrid TiVO/PC approach is appealing because of the TiVOs very well thought out timer scheduling interface and ease of use (the all-PC approach relies on an assortment of web-based timer scheduling services and PC tuner cards that are not as refined or versatile as TiVO). One very important TiVO advantage is cable companies grudging acceptance of it: while they do everything they can to discourage you using TiVO (including intentionally botched installation nightmares), if you're persistent enough most cable services will cave and set up your TiVO to work properly with all channels.

With an all-PC recording system, you're on your own: the cable company will not lift a finger to make it compatible with the channels you want to record. The PC recorder is limited to off-air broadcasts or unscrambled cable channels tapped off the cable wire: any cable channels that require a decoder box result in a line input connection to the PC and manually tuning the box to the desired channel on the desired date/time. This is workable on a limited basis, many of us have to do this anyway to record cable with our standard-def recorders like the Magnavox, but its certainly not as convenient or idiot-proof as a TiVO.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-20-2010, 11:49 AM
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The point of Rammitinski's TiVo statement being that people love to invoke the 800 lb media gorilla as somehow prohibiting CE manufacturers from making boxes that will allow recording of HD source to transportable media. When, in fact, such a box does exist and has been freely sold in the US for years. The ability of a TiVo to transfer an HD/5.1 recording over a network connection for burning to disk or storing on a NAS or spreading across the Internet with bit-torrent is a valued feature that TiVo elected to build into their box. NetGear now sells a 4- and 6-bay NAS that links directly with one's TiVo over the network. It seems to me you could do a lot more "copyright" damage with a TiVo than you could ever do with a DVDR. So where are the gorillas? You would think if they had the ability to prevent anyone from selling a box like that they would have TiVo dead in their sights.

Adding HD/5.1 recording and HD/5.1 burning capability to a DVDR will double the price of the box and I think that is the answer to the question. The days of people willing to pay $500-600 for a disk recorder are over. And I can't see a lot of people willing to pay $3/blank for BD-R in quantity.

- kelson h

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post #11 of 13 Old 09-20-2010, 06:29 PM
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Well, the "800 lb gorilla" argument isn't entirely without merit, either: while often greatly exaggerated or simplified it is a significant factor holding back introduction of removable-media HDTV recorders in North America. Its probably a 50/50 mix of "800lb gorilla" and "nobody wants a $600 (more likely $900) recorder anymore".

The topic has been beaten to death on this and other forums, but once again: USA trends and services dominate the North American market. The USA has a huge cable/satellite penetration factor unmatched anywhere else in the world: Americans have little to no interest (or incentive) to record off-air broadcasts. American cable/satellite providers are influenced by Hollywood pressure to some degree, but mostly they operate in their own self-interest (as any commercial enterprise must do). When TiVO debuted it was a consumer sensation, and cable/satellite companies took note: they developed their own TiVO-like recorders embedded in their decoder boxes. While not nearly as elegant as a TiVO, these integrated PVRs have 80% of the most-wanted features and seem vastly cheaper at first because there's no upfront cost. Hookup is a non-issue because the recorder is built into the cable/satellite box and fully supported by your provider.

TiVO, OTOH, has an apparent higher upfront cost and requires a separate monthly subscription or "lifetime" package. It also requires your cable company to send out a tech to install a "CableCard" approved by their system (a CableCard is a essentially decoder box miniaturized onto a credit-card-sized electronic board). Cable companies really hate these things, and will often send incompetent techs out to screw up the installation in hopes you'll be disenchanted with the TiVO and give it up. While most TiVOs are of course eventually set up correctly, enough consumers are dissuaded from TiVO and switch to the decoder box PVR to make these shenanigans worthwhile. If you have satellite instead of cable, its even more difficult. So, yes, in a sense there is an "800 lb gorilla" whose name is "our addiction to non-broadcast program services".

When TiVO was at its early peak of success, the system was licensed by several DVD recorder mfrs and a handful of TiVOs with built-in DVD/HDD recording were offered. The timing was poor, both TiVO and DVD recorders were still in their early overpriced phase, and the machines bombed. That failure was not forgotten and still haunts any mfr considering selling a high-end (i.e. expensive) recorder. TiVO eventually regrouped with better pricing and rode the wave of HDTV, but DVD recorders fell out of favor and became a funky profitless commodity product hardly anyone wants. The proliferation of "cheap" subscription HDTV recorders weaned the public off the idea of making permanent disc recordings, most people only want to timeshift, so the market for a pricey HDTV-capable disc recorder in North America is too small for mfrs to bother. In other parts of the world, TV broadcasting and consumption patterns are noticeably different than US, which makes $600-900 disc recorders more attractive. Consumers in Australia, Japan and New Zealand can now buy HDTV-capable BluRay/HDD recorders for about $1000, but these will never fly in the US or Canada.

With all the uncertainties of US cable/satellite integration and the TiVO history to guide them, electronics mfrs are in no rush to return to the US/Canada generic recorder market. TiVO is now the only remaining successful challenger to proprietary cable/satellite recorders, and it seems no one wants to throw money away chasing that small market- the field has been ceded to TiVO. The fact that TiVO is "allowed" to peddle devices capable of HDTV "piracy" does not mean "there is no 800 lb Hollywood gorilla": the gorilla most certainly exists and is not at all pleased with TiVOs connectivity features. But the gorilla reasons the percentage of consumers smart enough or motivated enough to connect a TiVO to their PC is so small it isn't worth making too obvious a scene over it. After all, the gorilla got 90% of what it wants already: consumer video disc recorders could not be more dead in North America. Offer your average American consumer a choice between $300 video recorder or a $300 game console, and they'll pick the game console every time. Heck, they'd take a dead fish over the typical DVD recorder. As Kelson noted, an updated North American recorder that could burn AVCHD or BD discs would be at least twice the price and twice as complicated to use.
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-21-2010, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Well, the "800 lb gorilla" argument isn't entirely without merit, either: while often greatly exaggerated or simplified it is a significant factor holding back introduction of removable-media HDTV recorders in North America. Its probably a 50/50 mix of "800lb gorilla" and "nobody wants a $600 (more likely $900) recorder anymore".

We can agree on that.

- kelson h

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post #13 of 13 Old 09-23-2010, 03:19 PM
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Pay TV services offering a hefty subsidy on the DVR equipment is what killed the DVD recorder. Most people have Pay TV service and it's easier to pay an extra $10/mo forever than invest $500 in a recorder.
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