Record from Cable box without S-Video Cable - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently had to change cable boxes. I previously had my cable box connected to the DVD Recorder with a S Video, but this newer Cisco box I got does not have S-Video. Any suggestions how to connect this new box to my recorder so i can record from the TV onto a DVD?? Thanks for any help.

Back of my cable box:



Back of my DVD Recorder:

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post #2 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 02:28 PM
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You will want to try composite video(yellow) along with red and white for audio. Note if you have a Magnavox DVDR you may need to go into it's setup and specify composite input if you had previously been using S-video. Also note some HD cable/satellite boxes will disable SD outputs(composite) if you use HDMI. If this is the case then I suggest using component(and L&R audio) to your TV instead of HDMI. Component should be similar quality as HDMI but just requires more cables.
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post #3 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 02:31 PM
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You'll have to use the Video (YWR) cables to the DVDR.

 

If the box doesn't output full-screen 16:9 WS from Yellow, you can get a Component RGB converter like this one to preserve 16:9 to the Mag's Yellow video input.

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post #4 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

You will want to try composite video(yellow) along with red and white for audio. Note if you have a Magnavox DVDR you may need to go into it's setup and specify composite input if you had previously been using S-video. Also note some HD cable/satellite boxes will disable SD outputs(composite) if you use HDMI. If this is the case then I suggest using component(and L&R audio) to your TV instead of HDMI. Component should be similar quality as HDMI but just requires more cables.

Dont know why I didnt just think of composite. I just did that and the HDMI works. Thanks
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post #5 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by luiginyc84 View Post

Back of my DVD Recorder:

That's clearly a tunerless recorder, maybe a Toshiba one [made by Funai]. So, with composite you will be fine.
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profhat View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by luiginyc84 View Post

Back of my DVD Recorder:

That's clearly a tunerless recorder, maybe a Toshiba one [made by Funai]. So, with composite you will be fine.

Yup, that's a garden-variety tunerless Funai recorder like my Toshiba D-R410 from August 2008:

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

--Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-26-2012, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea. Its a Toshiba DR430. I use it mainly for recording from my DVR.
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post #8 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 08:31 AM
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I read your post and just had to sign up and respond, because you have exactly my problem. I had been making discs with an old piece of crap dvd recorder from my motorola cable/dvr, just to get what I wanted to keep off the hard drive. Then they convinced me to "upgrade" and get a fancier box that does all kinds of on demand, pandora, facebook, etc, with a 500 GB drive for about the same money, so I go OK. But now I want to make discs again anyway, but the old recorder is crap. So I bought an open box toshiba like yours except with the vcr as well. I start to make discs but they suck big time. Not like I used to get with my crummy recorder and old fashioned cable box. Then I remembered that I did used to have S video and the new one doesn't so I had to use the yellow coax RCA cable. In short, there is no way to make decent dvd;s with the newer equipment, and it's not an accident. I went on ebay and am bidding on my old box to buy it, then hook it up in parallel to my new one so I will just use the old motorola just for making dvds with the S video output. That's all you can do these days. Get some old gear and hang onto it. It's a conspiracy. It sucks. Good luck.
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post #9 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 10:12 AM
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I have read many times here that you cannot buy a cable box off eBay and expect it to work. The cable co's do not sell their boxes so what you are buying off eBay is probably stolen. Then, of course, your cable company will refuse to activate it on their system because they didn't supply it. Be cautious or you may end up buying a door stop.

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post #10 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 01:34 PM
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See this thread

http://www.avsforum.com/t/828063/cheaper-component-to-s-video-converter
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post #11 of 30 Old 12-10-2012, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Pleim View Post

I had been making discs with an old piece of crap dvd recorder from my motorola cable/dvr, just to get what I wanted to keep off the hard drive. Then they convinced me to "upgrade" and get a fancier box that does all kinds of on demand, pandora, facebook, etc, with a 500 GB drive for about the same money, so I go OK. But now I want to make discs again anyway, but the old recorder is crap. So I bought an open box toshiba like yours except with the vcr as well. I start to make discs but they suck big time. Not like I used to get with my crummy recorder and old fashioned cable box. Then I remembered that I did used to have S video and the new one doesn't so I had to use the yellow coax RCA cable. In short, there is no way to make decent dvd;s with the newer equipment, and it's not an accident. I went on ebay and am bidding on my old box to buy it, then hook it up in parallel to my new one so I will just use the old motorola just for making dvds with the S video output.

Recording via S-Video should certainly give a better picture than recording from composite but the quality difference is minor, not drastic. Are you recording at the same quality as before? XP or SP bitrate?

As to acquiring a third party STB. Depends if you live in the US or Canada. Canadian Cable and Satellite providers do indeed activate certain used boxes but I would never buy a box off of eBay because if it’s from a US seller its likely stolen as in the US you can’t purchase them and if its from a Canadian eBay seller chances are the box has “account owing" on the box account and most Canadian providers won’t activate the box unless the account owing is cleared.

My Canadian cable provider will only activate second hand boxes that come from customers of the same cable provider and are clear of any past due account owing – so you must contact the cable provider and give them the box serial number prior to buying the box. I have bought used STBs off of my local craiglist without a problem this way.

BTW even my newest Motorola DCX-3400-M (which I purchased brand new a year ago) has HDMI, component, S-Video, composite and coaxial outputs along with analog and digital audio outputs.
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post #12 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 05:16 AM
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Do those 'garden variety' Toshibas run on 220 volts or are they only 120? i wonder if there is an equivalent in 220v i can pick up? Do they have a HDD?
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post #13 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 12:42 PM
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Do those 'garden variety' Toshibas run on 220 volts or are they only 120? i wonder if there is an equivalent in 220v i can pick up? Do they have a HDD?

The North American models are 120v only, NTSC only, and have no hard drives. While the current Toshiba recorders are all clones of various Funai Philips/Magnavox designs, Toshiba does not market a variant with HDD in North America: only the Magnavox MDR5xx series offers 120v NTSC HDD.

For 220v PAL use, Toshiba offers UK/NZ/Aus equivalents of the generic North American Funai DVD-only and DVD/VCR combo machines, plus a triple-threat DVD/HDD/VHS combo not offered in North America at all. See these Amazon.uk links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-RDXV60-DVD-HDD-Recorder/dp/B003LO2RKI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1355257705&sr=8-3

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-DVR20-Digital-Recorder-Freeview/dp/B003LO2RIU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355257705&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-DR20-Digital-Recorder-Freeview/dp/B003LO2RIA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355257705&sr=8-1

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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I have read many times here that you cannot buy a cable box off eBay and expect it to work. The cable co's do not sell their boxes so what you are buying off eBay is probably stolen. Then, of course, your cable company will refuse to activate it on their system because they didn't supply it. Be cautious or you may end up buying a door stop.

It depends on the individual cable system and service area, but 90% of the time buying a used box is a bad idea in USA. It will either fail to activate due to incompatibility with your cable system, or will identify itself as stolen and refuse to work, or it will work but during activation will trigger an "upgraded or additional box" signal and your cableco will automatically begin to bill you monthly for it.

NOTE: this "auto-identify-and-bill" system is causing HUGE problems for those now trying (futilely) to avoid the new monthly internet cable modem fees instituted by Time Warner Cable. DO NOT run to eBay to buy a used modem of the same type you currently have, expecting to return your existing modem and avoid the monthly rental fee. Just like the decoder boxes, "used" cable modems identify themselves to the system the moment they're connected, so connecting ANY of the dozens of older modem models employed by cablecos will simply continue the monthly fee (because the system will only recognize these older models as cable company property). There is no way to individually reprogram "used" cable modems to identify themselves as "consumer-owned hardware." If you want to avoid the monthly fees, the only way is to purchase one of the handful of new models on the TWC "authorized" list (then call a customer service rep to set it up as "no monthly fee").

BTW all the hostility at TWC over this "new fee" is a little misplaced: Time Warner is simply following the lead of ComCast and every other competitor that already charges modem fees (TWC was actually the last holdout that didn't charge). This doesn't excuse the new fee, but explains why TWC is doing it: to please stockholders who complained they were "leaving easy money on the table." mad.gif
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post #14 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 01:51 PM
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Thanks Citi Bear. I was just wondering if i could grab a cheap one. No tuner or HDD is fine with me but i wonder if a Panny ES18 would be a better option anyway.
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post #15 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 02:40 PM
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Cyclone82, are you looking for an NTSC unit in particular? Tunerless 120v NTSC non-HDD Toshiba and Magnavox models can be had in USA for about $100. Don't know how much money you'd save once shipping to Australia is factored in, however.

The Panasonic DMR-ES18 is more than double the price of a Toshiba/Magnavox in USA, and really not worth the cost difference beyond brand name prestige. OTOH, compared to importing a Toshiba/Magnavox to Australia, buying a DMR-ES18 locally would be a better deal in your case. Build quality and "feel" is nicer than the lower-end Toshibas. But if the DMR-ES18 is unavailable via local dealer in Australia, it would be silly to import one: the $239 price + international shipping + import tax is not much less expensive than just buying a dual-tuner Panasonic DMR-XW390GLK with 500GB HDD directly from your nearest JB HiFi or Harvey Norman.
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post #16 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 05:43 PM
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No not looking for NTSC specific recorder. I just noticed the budget Toshiba tunerless HDD recorders and saw that they were cheap so i wondered if i could get a 220v version. I want to avoid 120v only dvd recorders though. I looked on ebay AU and we have nothing equivalent here. I just thought a basic non HDD recorder could be useful to add to my collection.
This came up in a search in Australia only but who knows where they are
http://www.enterplayment.com/dvd-recorder-p-1505912.html?currency=AUD

http://www.google.com.au/products/catalog?q=toshiba+DVD+recorder&hl=en&cr=countryAU&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bpcl=39918873&biw=1270&bih=610&wrapid=tlif135526323043710&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=15467488001444123150&sa=X&ei=Da3HULeKEYKbmQWU9oCgBg&ved=0CFcQ8wIwAA

We dont pay import tax here for under $1000

XW390 has no s-video support and no component. They really cut back things on that one. Probably panasonics last one for Australia.

Prefer to get another one that has a no tuner i can use which i can dedicate for VCR/transfer work and not see heavy use. A EH69 is on the shopping list though
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post #17 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 06:37 PM
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Those links you found are for the same 120v NTSC Toshibas marketed for USA, the dealers just specialize in selling & shipping North American products to Australia. Same with the units on eBay.au, so no joy there either. Looks like your only practical choice is to import the ES18, EH59 or EH69. They run $229, $331 and $429 respectively (from top USA dealers like B&H Photo Video). The price jump of $100 between the EH59 and in EH69 is hard to justify, IMHO: all you get for it is a measly 70GB larger HDD and a slot for reading JPEGs from SD cards (whoopee). I'd pocket the extra $100 and use it to pay the shipping fees.

Too bad about the XW390: I didn't realize it was lacking s-video and component connections. I got excited for a minute when I saw Harvey Norman also carried a BluRay/HDD for $427 AU$, until I noticed the BD drive was play-only.
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post #18 of 30 Old 12-11-2012, 10:41 PM
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I still know there are some XW385 2011 models around. I want to either get one of those or a 09/10 XW350/450 380/480 which can be bought as refurbs from Panasonic with the same 12mths warrenty and when i asked they said most are just under 21 day returns.. I heard that the 2009 models were the best of the models here. After that they started dropping things off. I have a 2010 XW480 i bought this year and its got no s-vid in on the front. Thats when they started droping features. Its still a great unit though. There are some blu ray recorders still but i dont know too much about them. If theres any new models next year i am guessing they will be even more crippled. I am not sure i have much of a want to make blu ray discs though??
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post #19 of 30 Old 12-12-2012, 05:42 AM
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/800911168-USE/Panasonic_DMR_ES18_Multi_System_Multi_Zone_DVD.html
Condition 9 is like new, including the box and all accessories but IMO at $175 I'd pay $50 more and get the EH-59 when they become available open-box. They generally go for only $59 more which is a seal IMO. The ES-18 is basically a new ES-15 which was a good work horse machine but of course lacks the very handy HDD.
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post #20 of 30 Old 12-12-2012, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/800911168-USE/Panasonic_DMR_ES18_Multi_System_Multi_Zone_DVD.html
Condition 9 is like new, including the box and all accessories but IMO at $175 I'd pay $50 more and get the EH-59 when they become available open-box. They generally go for only $59 more which is a seal IMO. The ES-18 is basically a new ES-15 which was a good work horse machine but of course lacks the very handy HDD.

J&R had an EH59 open box for sale last week. Predictably, it was available only for a very short time before it was snatched up by some alert customer. smile.gif And NO it wasn't me! biggrin.gif

I too would recommend the EH59 over the ES18. The HDD is more than just handy, it's nearly essential, at least for what I do.

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post #21 of 30 Old 12-12-2012, 08:19 PM
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Hey Cyclone82 can you still get LG brand HDD/DVD recorders in Australia? They seem to be inexpensive and plentiful in the UK and LG has added a brand new updated model just this year.
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post #22 of 30 Old 12-13-2012, 12:49 AM
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Yeah i think so maybe if i hunted around a bit. http://www.lg.com/au/dvd-blu-ray-players
May have bought one before i came on here and realised Panasonic is the go. The only reason i would buy a LG today is for just a cheap/spare/backup sort of thing and would not have any high expectations of expect great quality.

I found out last night that back 6 or so years ago we did have Magnavox DVD recorders. Sold at Target, Harris Scarfe, Big W, K-Mart etc. Pretty much the equivalent of Wallmart.

I thought it would be nice to own a HDD less DVDR to perhaps avoid some problems. One less thing to go wrong. It seems many people come on here with HDD problems, always asking 'can i fit a PC HDD' etc etc, so they obviously fail over time. Just to have HDD less one could be handy
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post #23 of 30 Old 12-13-2012, 09:19 AM
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I thought it would be nice to own a HDD less DVDR to perhaps avoid some problems. One less thing to go wrong. It seems many people come on here with HDD problems, always asking 'can i fit a PC HDD' etc etc, so they obviously fail over time. Just to have HDD less one could be handy

You misconstrue the motivations behind the endless endless threads about "fitting a recorder hard drive to a PC." Very very few of the people on these threads has suffered a corrupted or damaged recorder HDD that they need to salvage: such a catastrophe is relatively rare with recent (post-2006) models from Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, and Magnavox.

What drives the incessant discussions about "transplanting" recorder HDDs into a PC is the bizarre resistance some people have to using an entirely-PC-based recording system. They don't like the idea of tying up their PC for DVR tasks, yet perversely desire to transfer their recordings to generic PC files that can then be accessed freely from a media server (or they want to do what gives Hollywood nightmares: upload videos to websites). Why the hell anyone would want to go to the trouble of tearing their recorder apart every few weeks to shove its HDD into a PC, then go to the time and effort of parsing the MPEGs and converting them to another format, when it is much MUCH easier to just record on the PC in AVI or MP4 in the first place: thats a question with few rational answers. The fact that DVD/HDD recorders were not designed to facilitate such an oddball workflow keeps these people awake at night, gnashing their teeth in frustration. Since they can't get what they want off the shelf, they keep harping about it in threads and writing up "How To" posts involving hex editors, conversion tools, video editors, and (probably) divorce court.

None of that has any bearing on the overall reliability of DVD recorders with HDD: the reported experience with 99% of these units is the DVD burner will fail LONG before the HDD. Of course, this depends to large degree on proper use of the recorder: the ever-growing HDD capacity in newer models, like the demented terabyte capacity in the current Magnavox MDR537, encourages owners to use them like media servers, leaving months or years worth of video sitting on the HDD. While the HDD is unlikely to completely fail, bad sectors can develop over time resulting in inability to copy the files to a DVD. Or, the DVD burner itself may fail, or perhaps the recorder power supply section, leaving the videos stranded on the HDD. These are all logical reasons for then wanting to salvage the HDD by connecting it to a PC, but since that process is so inconvenient it is better to develop recording habits more in tune with the design goal of these recorders. The HDD is meant for temporary storage of non-critical videos for watch-then-erase viewing, and as a scratch space to edit videos in preparation for DVD dubbing.

If you don't treat a DVD/HDD like a media server, it won't disappoint you with HDD failure. If you don't desire DVDs as the end result of recording, preferring AVI, MP4, or H264 instead, a DVD/HDD recorder will be frustrating and pointless to use: since you're going to end up manipulating the files on your PC anyway, may as well record them directly to the PC with a DVR add-on accessory. It really is much easier that way, and you gain the option to record HD material in true HD.
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post #24 of 30 Old 12-13-2012, 09:42 AM
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What drives the incessant discussions about "transplanting" recorder HDDs into a PC is the bizarre resistance some people have to using an entirely-PC-based recording system. They don't like the idea of tying up their PC for DVR tasks, yet perversely desire to transfer their recordings to generic PC files that can then be accessed freely from a media server . . . Why the hell anyone would want to go to the trouble of tearing their recorder apart every few weeks to shove its HDD into a PC, then go to the time and effort of parsing the MPEGs and converting them to another format, when it is much MUCH easier to just record on the PC in AVI or MP4 in the first place: thats a question with few rational answers.
And dual-tuner ATSC/QAM PC cards or network tuners are so cheap these days (<$100). You don't need to leave the PC on all the time, just when you want to record something. Good PC-DVR software is free open source and records the standard MPEG-2 transport stream to open files you can do anything with. If you want to make DVD's, single software packages are available that will let you edit out commercials, down-scale the HD/5.1 to SD/5.1 and author/burn a DVD-R with simple or fancy menus. Use the DVD recorder for SD/2.0 watch and delete and do a PC record in parallel for the stuff you want to keep. It's really not that hard.

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post #25 of 30 Old 12-13-2012, 11:05 AM
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... and cable card tuners are even better, giving you all your subscribed cable channels in full HD and can be watched in any room. I can't imagine ever going back to cable DVR's and DVD recorders when cable card tuners are so good and so much easier.
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post #26 of 30 Old 12-13-2012, 10:45 PM
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Ok i see what you mean about the HDD's I want to get a haupauge HDPVR to experiment with. I only have a 2009 lap top with 4gb and about 1.8ghz so anything PC must be done in a external unit. That is about as far as i want to venture with PC stuff right now. They are too confusing and require certains specs video cards etc etc to do capturing and i just do not know what i need. Will worry about that when i get a new computer.. I could not even get a crappy 'Easy cap' to work on my computer. The drivers just would not install and work but from what i read heaps of people have had the same isses with me with that.

Back to the DVD recorders, i bought a EX79 and paid for it today. Dont know much about it but it is brand new in box. The seller picked up a heap of them from a department store and offloaded them on ebay. I am not sure what year its from. Has a 250gb HDD and only a SD tuner which means it wont pick up our 2 or 3 HD channels but its no big deal for me.
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post #27 of 30 Old 12-14-2012, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclone82 View Post

Yeah i think so maybe if i hunted around a bit. http://www.lg.com/au/dvd-blu-ray-players

I was thinking of the inexpensive LG RHT599H HDD/DVD Recorder. It’s often on sale between £180 to £200 – like here right now. http://www.hiwayhifi.com/productlist/tv---dvd---blu-ray/dvd-players-and-recorders/dvd-hard-disk-recorders/lg-rht599h.asp

I think it normally retails for £250.
http://www.lg.com/uk/blu-ray-dvd-players/lg-RHT599H-dvd-player
But my RDR-HX780 retailed for $450 CDN yet you could almost always buy it for $299 after it was out for a while.

£180 seems like a pretty good deal for that LG Lucky Brits.smile.gif
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post #28 of 30 Old 12-14-2012, 02:54 PM
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That LG does seem good. Has RGB recording through scart so you could record component if converted to RGB. I am still not sure if UK DVB-T is the same as AU DVB-T though.
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post #29 of 30 Old 12-14-2012, 03:11 PM
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post #30 of 30 Old 12-14-2012, 03:46 PM
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Yeah i am just not sure if their DVB-T is the same frequencys as out DVB-T though? I think it might be but i am only guessing/assuming. All out stuff is in MEPG2 but a lot of devices are MPEG4 'ready' not like that will be needed antime soon though. Will probably be 10 years time before they think about MPEG4. So far behind the times frown.gif
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