Will DVD Recorders with Digital Tuners work with OTA Signals? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 Old 01-29-2007, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
McGinty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tucson
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I know this is a pretty basic question and I hope the answer is yes but...

I recenlty opened up my cable bill (Cox in Tucson) and was amazed how high it was. The next day I received a notice that they are raising the monthly rental fees on the HD boxes and DVR. I have a bundled package with my cable, phone, and internet connection. However, if I switch to Vonage or some other VoI protocol for phone and drop my cable, I'll save significant $$$. I can live without most cable channels (although ESPN will be tough ) but I do like to record and timeshift shows. Essentially I'm looking to return to the 1980s VHS days.

When I started looking at recordable DVDs I realized they just had analog tuners which seems ridiculous. I understand digtal tuners will be on the market soon so my question is if I purchase a DVD recorder with a digital tuner, I assume I'll be able to pick up digital signals OTA. I also assume I can run the antenna through the coaxial input in the DVD and out to my HDTV that also has a tuner and watch, but not record, HD signals OTA.

Does this make sense or am I missing something obvious?

Thanks

McGinty
McGinty is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 Old 01-29-2007, 06:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bobkart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 3,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by McGinty View Post

I understand digtal tuners will be on the market soon ...

ATSC Tuners have been on the market for some time, for example:

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Samsu...oductDetail.do
bobkart is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 01-29-2007, 07:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
foxfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,013
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Yes. Receiving OTA signals is the whole point behind integrating digital tuners.
foxfan is offline  
post #4 of 16 Old 01-29-2007, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
McGinty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tucson
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I guess I should have specified, but are there any DVD recorders on the market now that have digital tuners integrated or would I need to purchase a seperate tuner and DVD recorder?

Thanks

mcGinty
McGinty is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 01-29-2007, 08:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mattack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: sunnyvale
Posts: 1,604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
There aren't any (that I know of) with digital tuners *now*... DVD recorders that is.

The Tivo Series 3 is a PVR with digital tuners -- OTA and cable (with cablecards).. It's expensive though (I got one because of the special offer to transfer, for $199, the existing lifetime subscription from an existing Tivo). So it's expensive, but I won't have any monthly fees. (Except cablecards if I get them. I may be willing to do that, since others in my home subscribe to digital cable.. if the cablecard fee actually ends up being $1.50/month like I think it would be.)
mattack is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 01-29-2007, 09:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sivartk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Round Rock, TX
Posts: 5,070
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by McGinty View Post

I understand digtal tuners will be on the market soon so my question is if I purchase a DVD recorder with a digital tuner, I assume I'll be able to pick up digital signals OTA. I also assume I can run the antenna through the coaxial input in the DVD and out to my HDTV that also has a tuner and watch, but not record, HD signals OTA.

Yes, they should be on the market in the next couple of months (March/April). You will be able to pick up OTA ATSC signals. Whether or not the DVD recorder has a coaxial pass through will be up to each vendor...but if it doesn't a simple splitter will work. (not as clean, but gets the job done).

If the DVD recorder doesn't have a hard drive, your recordings of HD programming will not be in HD. They will be in widescreen SD (480p) or similar to the quality of current DVD's. The question will be whether the hard drive versions will capture to the hard drive in HD or downconvert to SD.

I say, buy one of these when they come out and drop the cable company. I did it when I moved and haven't regretted it. Just be careful how many devices you have hooked up to a single antenna. I have 3 devices hooked up to mine in the attic and notice that the distant (non-local) channels will not tune with all 3 devices using the antenna. (Local channels are fine). People are amazed how clear my picture (HD quality) is and ask how much I pay for cable (no visible antennas in the house)

If you want to record HD, but don't need to burn to a disc within the same unit, there are a couple of options:

  • TiVo Series 3 (as mentioned) 80 hours. Monthly Fee is about ~$15 if I remember correctly - dual tuner
  • Sony DHG-HDD250 (HDD500) - 30/60 hours. No monthly fee, discontinued unit, but some new ones are available still at Fry's and maybe a Sony outlet store (I own 2 of these) - single tuner
  • LG LST-3410A - 15 hours. No monthly fee, discontinued unit, eBay and craigslist are about the only places to find these. - single tuner

All of these can handle cable cards, but their have been problems with some getting all the channels because of the way the cable companies are sending out the HD channels.

At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it.

My Little Theater
sivartk is offline  
post #7 of 16 Old 01-30-2007, 05:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
biker19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: McLean, VA
Posts: 3,696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
You may have lots of company (people dropping cable) once viable (reasonably priced digital tuner) OTA DVRs (DVDr w/HDD) become available.
biker19 is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 01-30-2007, 01:50 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ncaahoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,072
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by McGinty View Post

I guess I should have specified, but are there any DVD recorders on the market now that have digital tuners integrated or would I need to purchase a seperate tuner and DVD recorder?

Thanks

mcGinty

A few of them have been announced at CES 2007 (early January) but I don't think any of them are available right away (it may take a few weeks). None of them has a hard disk, they are either DVD-only or DVD/VCR combos. Some of the press releases are not clear whether they have QAM tuners as well. You can find them by going back a couple of weeks in the forum and looking for thread titles with words like new, 2007, CES and manufacturer names. I don't remember if someone summarized them all in a single post...

Boldly trying a new DVR: http://moto3416review.blogspot.com/
ncaahoops is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 01-30-2007, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
McGinty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tucson
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the info everyone. It's been very helpful so far, but I do have a pretty basic questions.

I understand the digital vs analog difference between ATSC and NTSC tuners but can someone explain QAM tuners to me?

Thanks

McGinty
McGinty is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 01-30-2007, 07:41 PM
AVS Special Member
 
gigaguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: AustinTX
Posts: 1,562
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
QAM allows reception via cable of unencrypted digital channels, in my town this allows all the network HD channels to tune in, ABC, PBS, CBS, NBS, Fox.

I highly recommend the Sony DHG-HDD500 or 250 HD DVR models. I have 2 of the 500 models (500gb each), blows away the old school cablebox HD DVRs. Uses ota, cable, or cablecard, my 500s each hold 40 hours of HD programming/200 SD programming. They were discontinued but are numerous on ebay (250 model) and very much in demand now.

I use a Sony DVD recorder RDR-HX715 with 160gb hard drive to record SD programming too.
gigaguy is offline  
post #11 of 16 Old 01-30-2007, 08:58 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ncaahoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,072
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigaguy View Post

I highly recommend the Sony DHG-HDD500 or 250 HD DVR models. I have 2 of the 500 models (500gb each), blows away the old school cablebox HD DVRs. Uses ota, cable, or cablecard, my 500s each hold 40 hours of HD programming/200 SD programming.
.

Yeah for primary HD, the cablebox HD DVRs are almost like an extended VHS tape in capacity. I have a Comcast Moto 3412/6412 and it can theoretically hold 15 hours of HD programming, however when recording live events it's more like 10 hours. It only buffers 15 minutes of HD.

Boldly trying a new DVR: http://moto3416review.blogspot.com/
ncaahoops is offline  
post #12 of 16 Old 01-30-2007, 09:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
gigaguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: AustinTX
Posts: 1,562
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
The Sonys will buffer up to 1.5 or 2 hours. and store up to 40 hours of HD, the 500gb model.
gigaguy is offline  
post #13 of 16 Old 01-30-2007, 10:40 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jtbell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Clinton, SC
Posts: 3,832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 12
The 500GB Sony units actually claim 60 hours of HD content, and this is conservative in practice. Most stations don't use their full bandwidth on a single HD subchannel, but use some of it for secondary SD subchannels, reducing their HD bandwidth accordingly. Stuff that I record off PBS HD takes noticeably less disk space than stuff from some other channels, because our PBS station also carries two SD subchannels.
jtbell is offline  
post #14 of 16 Old 01-31-2007, 09:54 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ncaahoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,072
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

The 500GB Sony units actually claim 60 hours of HD content, and this is conservative in practice. Most stations don't use their full bandwidth on a single HD subchannel, but use some of it for secondary SD subchannels, reducing their HD bandwidth accordingly. Stuff that I record off PBS HD takes noticeably less disk space than stuff from some other channels, because our PBS station also carries two SD subchannels.

Indeed I have observed the same thing with the Comcast DVR. The digital encore channels can be a poor man's "TiVo", except they probably won't rebroadcast network shows that depend on ratings. But for PBS shows, local news and a few other things they can be handy - at least for some people.

Boldly trying a new DVR: http://moto3416review.blogspot.com/
ncaahoops is offline  
post #15 of 16 Old 02-01-2007, 12:55 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Rammitinski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Des Plaines, IL
Posts: 17,437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivartk View Post

LG LST-3410A - 15 hours. No monthly fee, discontinued unit, eBay and craigslist are about the only places to find these....All of these can handle cable cards....

The LG doesn't - just the other two.
Rammitinski is offline  
post #16 of 16 Old 02-02-2007, 07:39 AM
Member
 
2muchtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
McGinty, before you drop your provider, try and find a neighbor with an atsc tuner and see how the reception is. Tucson can be bad with all the mountains surrounding it.
Check out the OTA Forum for the Tucson area also.
2muchtime is offline  
Reply DVD Recorders (Standard Def)

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off