Pan.EH-55: Record digital TCM? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
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My local Charter cable is switching my favorite channel, TCM, from analog to digital. I have been recording TCM with my 2 EH-55's, creating a lot of chapters, etc. Is there any way that I can continue to use them for recording this channel?

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 05:14 AM
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Not without a DTA or better yet a STB or DVR with line outputs. If using line inputs you could still record other programs with the EH-55's tuner(if there are any available) otherwise if you use a DTA with only RF output you'll only be able to record the actual channel it's tuned to, IOW no multiple channels while you are away
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post #3 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

If using line inputs you could still record other programs with the EH-55's tuner(if there are any available) otherwise if you use a DTA with only RF output you'll only be able to record the actual channel it's tuned to, IOW no multiple channels while you are away

Doesn't the EH55 have an IR blaster? But then I suppose that only works for line inputs and not if you are using RF with the tuner set to channel 3 or 4.

@jasta -- yes there are ways you can use to still record digital TCM to the EH55, but nearly all of them are going to cost you more money.

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post #4 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 10:30 AM
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Doesn't the EH55 have an IR blaster? But then I suppose that only works for line inputs and not if you are using RF with the tuner set to channel 3 or 4.

@jasta -- yes there are ways you can use to still record digital TCM to the EH55, but nearly all of them are going to cost you more money.

Yes, the EH55 has an IR blaster, and according to the manual, it can be used with a selected input of RF channel 2, 3, or 4, or a line input. The problem is, the control codes in the EH55 pre-date those "new" digital boxes by quite a lot. There is only a fair chance that your EH55 could control whatever digital STB you end up with. If it does, you are fine.

The simple truth is, yes, the digital conversion will require some means of turning the (now) digital signal into something that the EH55 can record. This will cost some money, no question. It will also make your setup more complicated, but it can be done.

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post #5 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 12:16 PM
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One of my Panasonic DMR-EH50 HDD/DVD models is currently set up so it may record from any of four (actually five) different input sources.

1-The RF input is connected to a Zenith DTT901 ATSC converter box for recording OTA programming,

2-IN 1 is connected to a Comcast Motorola DCT700 cable converter box for recording cable services,

3 & 4-IN 2 is connected through a switch to a Magnavox 515 for real time dubbing material from that recorder's hard drive and a Magnavox MDV456 DVD player for real-time recording from previously archived DVDs,

5-IN 3 is connected to a Monoprice LKV2000 converter box for recording streamed internet video.

This DMR-EH50 Recorder has quite a variety of sourced recordings on it's hard drive.

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post #6 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 03:36 PM
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Versatile little gadgets, aren't they? I have an EH59 that has all three usable inputs connected to various DirecTV receivers, as well as a switch box allowing me to record off a DVD player, a last-of-its-kind-in-my-equipment-rack VCR, and an "open connector" in case I need to just plug in a random device, which I have used on occasion.

It does not have a north American tuner, or else I'd be using that too.

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post #7 of 18 Old 03-22-2012, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. A few months ago, the Charter guy was here for 4 hours, setting up my Tivo, and I don't completely understand what he did. There are 2 Charter cables coming into the room. One goes directly into a Motorola MTR-700 Tuning Adapter, and then from the adapter into the Tivo, which also has a Charter cable card. The other Charter cable goes into and out of an Antronix VRA-900/ACP amplifier, then into a splitter. One of the cables coming out of the splitter is high speed internet. The other 2 cables are analog(?) cable. One goes through my 2 EH-55's. The other one goes directly to my Sony KDL-26L5000 TV. The only way I can watch digital channels is through the Tivo, but I can't edit (chapters, titles, etc) like I can with the Panasonics. Does anyone understand all of this? Can one Charter cable contain both high speed internet and tv signals?
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post #8 of 18 Old 03-22-2012, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasta View Post

Thanks for the replies. A few months ago, the Charter guy was here for 4 hours, setting up my Tivo, and I don't completely understand what he did. There are 2 Charter cables coming into the room. One goes directly into a Motorola MTR-700 Tuning Adapter, and then from the adapter into the Tivo, which also has a Charter cable card. The other Charter cable goes into and out of an Antronix VRA-900/ACP amplifier, then into a splitter. One of the cables coming out of the splitter is high speed internet. The other 2 cables are analog(?) cable. One goes through my 2 EH-55's. The other one goes directly to my Sony KDL-26L5000 TV. The only way I can watch digital channels is through the Tivo, but I can't edit (chapters, titles, etc) like I can with the Panasonics. Does anyone understand all of this? Can one Charter cable contain both high speed internet and tv signals?

Connect the composite or S-Video output of the TiVo to one of your EH55 and you can do a real-time transfer. All TiVo outputs are active at the same time. Which TiVo do you have -- an HD or the Premier. The HD has an S-Video output whereas the Premier does not so you would have to use composite out with a Premier. jjeff can comment more because that is what he does.

The other alternative is to use the TiVo software on your PC to transfer your recordings over the network to you PC for editing and burning. You can get original HD/5.1 quality that way or use VideoRedo to recode down to SD/2.0 if you want to burn a standard DVD.

- kelson h

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post #9 of 18 Old 03-22-2012, 01:28 PM
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I get excellent results using S-video with my Tivo HD, when I experimented with composite it was noticeably worse which is one reason I'm in no hurry to get rid of my HD. True I lose the 5.1 audio but for most of what I record audio isn't the highest priority, stereo is just fine.
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-22-2012, 02:38 PM
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Umm...

Don't forget that to feed the AUDIO and video from the TiVo to the recorder, you'd have to use not just composite or S-Video, but also red and white audio lines.

Without that, you'll get a real nice picture.

And no audio.

Also...

"The other 2 cables are analog(?) cable."

Unless a cable provider is doing something unheard of, namely running a whole second set of cables out on the poles to carry their digital signals, any coaxial line coming into the house should carry the digital signals, not just analog. (Of course, a digital cable box of some kind would be needed to descramble the digital channels...except for any digitals that aren't scrambled and can be grabbed by a QAM tuner.)


Oh, and as for making DVDs by way of a computer, the digital cable channel could have an anti-copy signal that might allow TiVo recording, but prevent moving them on to another device, let alone to a DVD. Same with feeding them from a digital cable box to a DVD recorder directly.

A digital cable box might need to have its outputs run thru a video filter to allow them to be copied without interference.
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-23-2012, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Is it unusual for one of these Charter cables to contain both high speed internet, and a video signal that goes to the Panasonics?
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-23-2012, 04:56 AM
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^^^yes, coax carries both TV and HS internet. It's one of the reasons many cable systems are dropping analog channels, to free up bandwidth for more internet and digital channels. The cable can carry only so much information and they figure analog is the least desirable(or makes the least amount of money for them....).
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-24-2012, 11:11 PM
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jasta, the best thing is to record what you want on your TIVO, then dub it to your DVDR's HDD (with S-Vid and R/L audio) while you watch it, or set it up to dub when you go to bed, go to work, etc. You can edit it later, and then dump it to DVD at high speed, if you want to save it.
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have a Tivo Premiere XL. I would be willing to spend some money in order to get a signal to one of the EH-55's, that I can record and program, as I have been doing with the analog signal. If I split the signal going to the Tivo, with half going to the EH-55, would that work? What does that "blaster" do? If I had one of those "grey market" panasonic imports, would it work better than the EH-55?
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-27-2012, 04:39 AM
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If you do what kjbawc suggests, all you'll need is a couple-dollar, RCA A/V patch cable (that's composite - the Premiere doesn't have s-video out), to run the "A/V record out" from the TiVo to the "A/V record in" of the Panasonic.

Then, you'd record TCM straight off of cable with the Premiere first, and transfer it to the Panasonic at your convenience.

Otherwise, if you don't want to move the Panasonic over near the TiVo, you'll need a "DTA" or other cable box from the cable company (which you'll be needing at another TV anyway, if you want to get anything other than the local channels), and then record TCM from that directly to the Panny. Warning, though: a DTA might not be able to be used to receive TCM. You'd have to either ask (and trust them to tell you the truth), or try it first.

The Panny's IR blaster will not be able to control and change channels on the DTA - it doesn't have the code. I can just about guarantee that. So you'll need to leave the DTA set to TCM whenever you want to record from it. The IR blaster might possibly be able to control a fuller-featured cable box from them, though. If it can't, you can try to see if they have one available that has a "reminder" feature built-in, which is kind of a rudimentary channel changer.

As long as your EH55 is working well, there's no other reason to try another recorder. Nothing newer has an IR blaster, anyway.

Also, if you do get the "fuller-featured" cable box, they might have one with s-video out, which will give you slightly better PQ than from composite out, and even more noticable improvement than from a DTA's RF out. The EH55 does have s-video in. Another issue that may or may not concern you is whether their cable boxes will even put out anamorphic 16:9 widescreen over either composite or s-video, whereas the Premiere might. I think the older, TiVo HD model does (jjeff should be able to confirm that), but I'm not sure about the Premiere. Heck, I'm not even entirely sure if the EH55 will be able to record it that way, with anything other than DVD-RAM, for that matter (I have both the TiVo HD and the EH55, as jjeff does, but I've never even tried dubbing that way between the two yet. And, like I said, the Premiere could be different from the HD model in that respect. But it'll only take an inexpensive cable to find out for sure).
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-28-2012, 02:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Would there be any way to schedule recordings on the EH-55, for various channels, so that it would record when I am not here?
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-28-2012, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasta View Post

Thanks. Would there be any way to schedule recordings on the EH-55, for various channels, so that it would record when I am not here?

Yes - you can set manual timers with the Panasonic (and it also has manual time setting, so you can keep it's clock accurate).

If you're using the IR blaster, you would program it to record from the channel you want on the cable box (and it will change the channel on the box accordingly).

If you're not using the IR blaster, you would just set each timed recording to record from whatever input the box is connected to (example; L3).

It's all right there in the timer recording setting menu, where you will be presented with those options, so it's nothing difficult.

Also, you'll probably have to leave the cable box on.

Still, the easiest way for you to accomplish what you want would be the way kjbawc said. Nothing is really as guaranteed using the other methods, and it'll take a lot more work and hassle to get it set up. You have two tuners with the TiVo, so whenever you're using one to record from TCM, you'll still have the other free to watch something else live at the same time (assuming they gave you the right type of CableCARD to be able to use and record from the two tuners, that is. They should've. If you can receive all your cable channels on the two tuners now, then they did).
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post #18 of 18 Old 04-05-2012, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I wonder if one of the current or recent non-hard drive Panasonics, with a digital tuner, would work, using DVD-RAM to record TCM movies, make chapters, delete things, create titles, etc. I know they get bad reviews, but I would be using the Tivo to record TCM, at the same time, as a backup. Could you pass the signal through the Tivo?
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