What DVD Recorder Have Built Cable Tuners? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm new to the DVD recorder format. I want to replace my mother-in-laws VCR that she uses to recorder standard cable. She has the RG-6 cable feed split so 1 goes to the VCR and the other to her TV (so she can watch a channel are record another). So if I want to replace the VCR with a DVD recorder, I need to have one with a built in cable tuner. Can anyone tell which DVD recorders have built-in cable tuner?

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post #2 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 10:10 AM
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Read through this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=791417
it should answer most of your questions - most of the new DVDrs will do what you want with one big caveat - the number of clear QAM chs available varies by location.
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snooktarpon View Post

I'm new to the DVD recorder format. I want to replace my mother-in-laws VCR that she uses to recorder standard cable. She has the RG-6 cable feed split so 1 goes to the VCR and the other to her TV (so she can watch a channel are record another). So if I want to replace the VCR with a DVD recorder, I need to have one with a built in cable tuner. Can anyone tell which DVD recorders have built-in cable tuner?

Sincerely,
snooktarpon

If all she needs is to record basic analog cable, any DVD recorder with a built-in tuner should work.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BMAG View Post

If all she needs is to record basic analog cable, any DVD recorder with a built-in tuner should work.

Yes, that is all she needs for now. I initially looked at Samsung and their models did not have the built-in tuner. I'm now looking at the Panasonic models and they seem to have all the features I need and more.

Getting a built in digital tuner is not necessary since she lives in semi-rural area and the closest digital TV stations are 35 miles away for just PBS. All the big networks are about 60 miles away.

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post #5 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snooktarpon View Post

Yes, that is all she needs for now. I initially looked at Samsung and their models did not have the built-in tuner. I'm now looking at the Panasonic models and they seem to have all the features I need and more.

Getting a built in digital tuner is not necessary since she lives in semi-rural area and the closest digital TV stations are 35 miles away for just PBS. All the big networks are about 60 miles away.

snooktarpon

Yeah, but your MIL isn't using an antenna, right? She might be able to tune into the digital and HD stations using a QAM tuner. Most of the new DVD-Recorders include a QAM tuner in addition to the ATSC.

Of course, if the MIL only has a SD analog TV, the digital tuner won't be very useful.

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post #6 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ftaok View Post

Of course, if the MIL only has a SD analog TV, the digital tuner won't be very useful.
ft

I'm not sure why you would say that... A digital tuner in a DVD recorder is an easy way to retrofit an old analog TV to receive free digital programming. My local PBS stations carry multiple subchannels with different programming. Nice to have sometimes.

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post #7 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snooktarpon View Post

Yes, that is all she needs for now. I initially looked at Samsung and their models did not have the built-in tuner. I'm now looking at the Panasonic models and they seem to have all the features I need and more.

Getting a built in digital tuner is not necessary since she lives in semi-rural area and the closest digital TV stations are 35 miles away for just PBS. All the big networks are about 60 miles away.

snooktarpon

You realize that fairly soon the analog chs will go away and QAM will be the only choice (without an STB)?
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimSH View Post

I'm not sure why you would say that... A digital tuner in a DVD recorder is an easy way to retrofit an old analog TV to receive free digital programming. My local PBS stations carry multiple subchannels with different programming. Nice to have sometimes.

I went back and re-read what I wrote. I think I agree with you. I'm not exactly sure what I was trying to say.

I think maybe I was trying to say that the digital tuner (ATSC) won't do her any good since she's not using an antenna. But I guess a QAM tuner may work with her cable system.

Again, I'm not sure what I was trying to say.

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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My MIL is current just getting standard analog cable. She is paying $50/month for it (no premium channels and the PQ varies vastly from OK to very crappy) and I told her she is getting ripped off. I'm assuming digital cable would help but then she will be probably paying around $60/month. I told them that satellite would be a cost effective solution but my father-in-law is extremely resistant to change.

My plan sometime soon is to connect a long range antenna and see if she can get the 2 PBS stations that are ~35 miles away so she can watch some free HD programming. She never watches PBS but she might in HD. She lives to far IMHO to receive the major network stations (either NTSC or ATSC) so getting unit without a built-in ATSC is not a big deal. Having QAM would be nice to have so she could upgrade to digital cable.

Thanks for all your opinions.

BTW (and a little off topic), are the new Panasonics good DVD recorders?

Sincerely,
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 06:56 PM
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BTW, if you're really going to use a DVD recorder for time shifting (not recording "for keeps"), I'd really suggest getting a HARD DRIVE recorder.. or at the very least, use re-writable DVDs, though if they're ever intending to use them in OTHER players/recorders, the "finalization" step may be not MIL-compliant (i.e. too confusing).

Basically, I'm trying to avoid a pile of use-once DVDs that are then thrown away or whatever.
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snooktarpon View Post

Having QAM would be nice to have so she could upgrade to digital cable.

The beauty of QAM is that you don't need to upgrade your service to benefit.

There's nothing special to digital cable. Many cable companies offer unencrypted digital channels with basic cable service. So with a QAM tuner, you can get whatever digital channels are passed "in the clear". This is usually limited to the local HD channels, but sometimes they pass a couple of other channels through.

For example, I subscribe to Extended Basic. With my QAM tuner, I can get the 7 local HD channels and UniversalHD. All for $50/month. If I pay for Comcast's digital package (additional $30+ if I want the DVR) I would get a boatload more digital SD channels that are only available with a STB, plus 9 other HD channels (ESPN-HD, TNT-HD, DiscoveryHD, etc).

Personally, the locals plus UHD is fine with me.

Who is your MIL's cable provider?

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post #12 of 17 Old 04-11-2007, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post

BTW, if you're really going to use a DVD recorder for time shifting (not recording "for keeps"), I'd really suggest getting a HARD DRIVE recorder.. or at the very least, use re-writable DVDs, though if they're ever intending to use them in OTHER players/recorders, the "finalization" step may be not MIL-compliant (i.e. too confusing).

Actually, for time-shifting, DVD-RAM works pretty well. On my Panasonic DVD recorder, a DVD-RAM disc behaves pretty much like the hard disk (HDD). You record programs to it and delete programs from it just like on a hard disk. The user interface is exactly the same. You don't have to re-format it when you want to delete something. The main limitation is capacity: 2 hours per disc in SP mode (the default), 4 hours in LP mode at reduced picture quality, etc. But if a DVD-RAM fills up and you don't want to delete something yet, simply remove the disc and put in another one.
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-12-2007, 05:07 AM
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My suggestion to the OP is to go to the local HDTV threads and find out what is available in clear QAM - if the selection available is agreeable you can REDUCE the cable sub (there's probably some basic tier at $15 or so) and save money and get a QAM tuner equipped unit. You'll get better PQ and a lower cost. This may also eliminate the eventual introduction of an STB by the cable co when the analogs go away.
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-12-2007, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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After talking with my inlaws, I think they may change from analog cable to Digital TV (http://www.consolidated.com/dvs/index_il.jsp). This is an easy change for them since Consolidated is their phone and DSL provider. The price is about the same as their analog cable but they a special for basically 5 months free for a year's subscription. Has anyone have any experience with Digital TV that uses your existing phone lines. Is there a AVS thread on this topic?

I'm not sure what the set-top box is for Digital TV. They state that a single set top box is used and you can have 3 different programs on at once set up to 6 TVs. BTW, they stated that HDTV is not available, yet. Based on this, I'm guessings that a DVD recorder will just have to use one of the outputs of the set-top box and thus the built-in tuner may not be needed.

Sincerely,
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-13-2007, 05:29 AM
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Going with this setup things will get even more complicated because of the STB requirement. Anytime a DVDr is used with an STB the tuner is not used. Also, with this setup you can't watch one thing and record another at a single STB location. HDTV will probably never be available with such a setup - the BW is just not there. With such a service you don't even need anything else - just keep using the VCR.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-13-2007, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

Going with this setup things will get even more complicated because of the STB requirement. Anytime a DVDr is used with an STB the tuner is not used. Also, with this setup you can't watch one thing and record another at a single STB location. HDTV will probably never be available with such a setup - the BW is just not there. With such a service you don't even need anything else - just keep using the VCR.

I agree.

I still would like them to upgrade to a recording device that has better PQ than their VCR. The Panasonics claim 500 lines of resolution at their slow speeds (4 hours/disc) so this looks like a 2X improvement in resolution over their VCR.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-13-2007, 10:16 AM
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