Well, I've bitten the proverbial bullet The new EH69 is here, and I'll have to set it up in the next couple of days, and, while I'm not resistant to the process, I'm not looking forward to finding and plowing through the relevant parts of the manual.
First, here's the context. I have an EH55, which is input from my cable STB/DVR by the two red and white composite audios and the S-video video. I then output the EH55 to my Panny plasma display. I collect older films in SD as my EH55's principal use and use the STB DVR as my principal signal source by simply pre-setting the EH55's timer recording to 5 minutes before and 10 minutes after a scheduled broadcast and set the STB channel to that on which the program (film) will be playing. I nearly always choose an analog channel (say, TCM) for these recordings, rather than a HD channel which I can simply watch through an HD recording on the STB/DVR. Of course, I have no need of any built-in tuner in my EH55.
I also have, as a backup, an EH75V. I purchased it used and, even (or especially) working with Panny tech support, can seem to have my cake, etc, i.e. timer recording and a clock that can be set, so I've settled for timer recording and have to do a bit of special timing of the timer recording to adjust the recording start and stop to the now 1 hour, 20 minute difference between the unsettable clock (it's grayed out), and the estimated upcoming program time. The EH75 is input by coax and composite cables from a second STB which is not equipped with an S-video output, but, which, I understand from the cable company, can be replaced at no charge by a more modern STB by the cable company. Sine the EH75 is simply the backup for the EH55, this is a so far satisfactory solution.
Since I expect to set up the EH69 as a second backup and, eventually, to replace the EH55 when it no longer is functional, I'd like to simply set up the EH69 to provide for timer recording and to make available a clock that I can set from time to time (I have no need of automatic clock setting. Will I have to go through some complex and onerous job of somehow using a coax into EH69, pretending that I'm tuning channels that may not even be relevant to the US, somehow bypassing a tuner and a program guide that don't work here in US in any event, or is there a way to bypass all those exercises (for which I can't ask Panny tech support for help) and just set up the EH69 to work directly to timer record from the STB tuned to the channel I will have manually preset and allow me to change the clock a couple of times a year and more often if necessary?