FAQ: DVD Recorders and the Analog to Digital Transition - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 220 Old 07-21-2007, 06:51 PM
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7. Can I use an ATSC-capable DVD recorder as an HDTV receiver?

All of the units seen so far deliver only standard-definition (SD) output. They can receive high-definition (HD) signals, but they downconvert HD to SD both for recording and for immediate viewing via a line output.


I've never understood why they do this? Are they worried about piracy? I have an older Pioneer HDD DVD recorder that is non ATSC capable and I don't see the need to buy one of the newer ones until the units record in HD. I don't want a monthly rental DVR since that will cost me more in the long run.
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post #32 of 220 Old 07-21-2007, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Apparently they did it this way because it was fast (to meet the March 1 ATSC tuner mandate) and cheap.

As I recall, an engineer who works on this sort of thing commented on this in another thread somewhere here. At the time they were designing these units, adding HD passthrough for direct viewing would have increased the complexity and cost significantly, because of the design of the ATSC chips that were available then.

He also said that newer chips are now available which should enable HD passthrough economically, so DVD recorders with HD passthrough should appear sometime next year.

(I'm going from memory here, so some of the technical language or details may be wrong, but I do remember the bottom line of "wait till next year.")
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post #33 of 220 Old 08-22-2007, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Actually, the DVR part of most units is relatively easy to get the hang of - it's the DVD recording and the editing features that are harder to grasp.

Sorry if by being new I am speaking out of turn but in many reviews, including the ones I see here, the program guides sound terrible. Many people want to easily be able to "tape" their favorite show, whether "season pass" style where the DVR will tape all (and only) new episodes or catching up on episodes they missed by setting it to tape a show every time it is on. This seems very difficult to pull off with the hard drive players, which is why I have been hesitant in buying one myself.
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post #34 of 220 Old 09-08-2007, 08:37 AM
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I have a question relative to point #4 above.
I have an older Panasonic DVR with NTSC only tuner. I also have Comcast service.

I recently upgraded my service to digital with HD and now have a STB for the first time. When I run the coax into my DVR and then out of it to the STB; the DVR only displays a few local stations. The rest of the stations are just static. I swithced it so that the coax comes into the STB first and then I run coax out of it to the DVR and it seems like I get the same thing.

If I read #4 above correctly, can I run the coax into the STB and go from the STB to the DVR via component or composite and pick up all of the channels?
Thanks
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post #35 of 220 Old 09-08-2007, 08:49 AM
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It sounds to me that you have the tuner set up incorrectly on the Panasonic. You need to go into the setup menu and choose Cable instead of Antenna for the tuner. This way you will get all the analog cable channels. In order to get any of the digital-only channels you must connect lt with video and audio line cables from the output of the STB to the input of the Panasonic, and then choose that input for recording.
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post #36 of 220 Old 09-22-2007, 07:08 AM
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I wrote this on the Philips 3505/37 forum. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Does anyone have an issue where the SDTV audio level is much lower than the analog TV level with the Philips 3505? I have to raise the volume on the TV when playing back SDTV recording or watching the digital channels. In a side by side comparison with my Panasonic and Sylvania analog recorders, the sound levels are par with the 3505 analog though. The Philips tech help could not help me. I'm thinking about returning the recorder and exchanging it.

If this is the nature of this recorder then I'll keep it.
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post #37 of 220 Old 09-22-2007, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wristpad2 View Post

I wrote this on the Philips 3505/37 forum. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Does anyone have an issue where the SDTV audio level is much lower than the analog TV level with the Philips 3505? I have to raise the volume on the TV when playing back SDTV recording or watching the digital channels. In a side by side comparison with my Panasonic and Sylvania analog recorders, the sound levels are par with the 3505 analog though. The Philips tech help could not help me. I'm thinking about returning the recorder and exchanging it.

If this is the nature of this recorder then I'll keep it.

I don't know the specifics of that unit, but I can tell you that every HDTV and STB I own has a difference between digital (HD and SD) program sound levels and analog. The digital audio is noticably lower in volume.

I suspect the receiver in your unit is behaving like the others I have experience with. The recordings are just reflecting that difference.

The fact that you hear the volume level difference when watching live TV confirms that the digital received audio is lower in volume.

Dave
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post #38 of 220 Old 10-02-2007, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
The digital audio is noticably lower in volume.

Less audio processing, less compression.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #39 of 220 Old 10-02-2007, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Less audio processing, less compression.

Not sure what you mean here. Can you say more please?

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post #40 of 220 Old 10-03-2007, 04:26 AM
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Processing similar to FM (and AM) broadcast where the audio dynamic range is compressed to increase the average level to make it 'louder' overall. As in TV commercials. It helps the S/N ratio in weak signal conditions and louder is better (at least the advertisers think so).
There is more dynamic range (as long as they don't do the same damn processing) with a HD broadcast. Just as a DVD will have more dynamic range thah a video tape especially with linear audio.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #41 of 220 Old 10-04-2007, 04:18 AM
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I found lots of complaints about this on the Internet (Vizio forum and others). I found this answer on one forum. I believe it is similar to what videobruce is saying.

"Unless you're experience a big difference between DVD content and OTA HD content, the volume level of you HD content *SHOULD* be lower than that SD material.

I wish I could find the post over on www.doom9.org that elaborates on the specifics, but AC3 content is mastered in a completly different manner than SD audio signals, or even music to matter.

To allow for the increased headroom and dynamic range that AC3 provides, on top ensuring that activating the various supported processing modes (Theater, Midnight) don't blow you're speakers during that Sauron Death Scene in LotR:FotR , AC3 audio is typically mastered as an RMS level or profile of ~-24db (if done right). An SD broadcast on the other hand, is highly compressed from a dynamics perspective and may go as high as ~-6db RMS, especially on commercials. Given that the scale is exponentual in nature, that equates to quite a difference between the two audio sources.

In my case, an MCE volume of 20 for SD content just about equals that of HD content (which I can't set the volume on since I'm doing SP/DIF passthru). "

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/47068.aspx

Another:

"The sound volume difference between PCM and Dolby Digital original material has always been like that. Most HD programming has DD original sound. It's the nature of the two systems. Dolby says it's to allow a wider dynamic range. Anyhow, everybody else has the same issue and I've never seen any way to really effectively make a difference except to expect it and have the remote in hand. It's especially aggravating between programming recorded in DD and commercials recorded in PCM stereo."

http://forums.directv.com/pe/action/...ostID=10288191

However, a TV broadcast engineer emailed me the following:

OK, then it is the DVD recorder. There's no external inputs involved, and the DVD recorder ought to be internally matching up the levels between it's analog and digital receivers. I still disagree, though, that there's any overall standard that says "digital TV is quieter than analog TV". If it's happening, it has to be a function of the receiver. But, I know none of my receivers exhibit that (and I have a couple brands and models at home and at work: RCA, Samsung, and DirecTV and Dish Network boxes that receive both over-the-air HD and HD via satellite).

"But maybe there are receivers out there that are consistently running all digital stations quieter. Since I have not encountered one personally, I can only theorize that those manufacturers are not setting the nominal level of their digital tuner outputs to a -20dBfs reference. Perhaps they're setting their DTV receiver output stages to a full-scale 0dBfs reference like you would with a DVD/CD player. But, that's just wrong-headed if they do. DVDs and CDs go through a post-production mastering process in which their audio levels are "normalized" up to maximum scale. They can analyze the entire recording, find the maximum audio level peak(s), and set it so that those peaks run right up to 0dBfs. Television broadcasters, and other industries that work with "live" audio will never do that, they're working with live incoming audio streams that they cannot entirely control. They have to leave some headroom, otherwise unexpected peaks in the live audio stream will overdrive and distort the audio. Thus the -20dB standard used in "professional" audio. Consumer DTV tuners should be following that same standard, and when they integrate those tuners into the same box with analog tuners, DVD/CD, and DVRs, they need to make sure the varying audio reference levels used in those technologies get lined up evenly at the output stage.

Well, thanks for the interesting information on your receiver."
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post #42 of 220 Old 10-25-2007, 02:36 AM
 
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good deel sariiiiiiiiiiiiiii
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post #43 of 220 Old 10-25-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loalat View Post

good deel sariiiiiiiiiiiiiii

???

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #44 of 220 Old 12-20-2007, 09:51 AM
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I wonder how does tuner-less DVD Recorders do timer recording? Are they compatible with all existing cable/sat STBs? What about HD Tuners? Or VCRs with NTSC tuner? Can the DVD Recorder control them and change the channels?
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post #45 of 220 Old 12-20-2007, 01:25 PM
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I would guess, but since I don't have one of the tunerless models it's only a guess, they would record many events via it's S or composite input, which as you pointed out would not be to handy. I have the same question about how the digital tuners that the government is going to give us credit for work. I would like to hook one up to my analog DVDR, and would like the tuner to automatically change channels at a given time. Otherwise I will have a 15 event, one channel timer. Not too usefull indeed.
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post #46 of 220 Old 12-20-2007, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I would guess, but since I don't have one of the tunerless models it's only a guess, they would record many events via it's S or composite input, which as you pointed out would not be to handy. I have the same question about how the digital tuners that the government is going to give us credit for work. I would like to hook one up to my analog DVDR, and would like the tuner to automatically change channels at a given time. Otherwise I will have a 15 event, one channel timer. Not too usefull indeed.

The government specs. for these converter boxes include a remote control. So if you have a Panasonic DVDR with IR blaster there is a possibility that it may work with the converter box.

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post #47 of 220 Old 01-10-2008, 03:53 PM
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Thanks for the info. It helps. Contrary to 95% of the cable companies out there, it seems , my cable company plans to switch to digital in 2009 (thought I haven't seen it confirmed (they have the stereotypical cable customer service) it was reported in the paper)

So this will effect me sooner rather than later. And with 4 TVs & 4 other tuners that are not digital, I do not want to buy/rent 8 boxes. It's a bummer about the older dvd hard drive devises. I absolutely love my DRM-2001, and do not look forward to the unit having a diminished roll.
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post #48 of 220 Old 01-10-2008, 06:34 PM
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Since my post on 12-20, I have found that LG makes a DVDR model with the IR blaster, but I think it's the exception, rather than the norm. I still would like to know is someone is going to make a converter box that I can program to change channels at a programmable time. I don't think the govt. is going to restrict that option for the credit, the way they have for HDMI output. Anyone heard of a Digital tuner box, that I can program to change channels at a certain time, that would meet the guidelines for the government credit?
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post #49 of 220 Old 01-10-2008, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Since my post on 12-20, I have found that LG makes a DVDR model with the IR blaster, but I think it's the exception, rather than the norm. I still would like to know is someone is going to make a converter box that I can program to change channels at a programmable time. I don't think the govt. is going to restrict that option for the credit, the way they have for HDMI output. Anyone heard of a Digital tuner box, that I can program to change channels at a certain time, that would meet the guidelines for the government credit?

See this info nextoo posted about the echostar TR-40. It's an approved converter box with 7-day EPG and VCR tuner timers.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...2&postcount=45

I just hope it's out by the time I get my vouchers in March. I posted previously that when I applied for the vouchers on-line the final screen stated the vouchers expire 90 days from date of issue. If they come in early March that gives me till the end of May to use them or lose them.

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post #50 of 220 Old 01-11-2008, 05:13 AM
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Thanks Kelson, don't know how I missed it. I had been following that thread too!
Neat how you did that link. Just brought up that single post, instead of the whole thread. Boy, I got lots to learn.

Thanks for the tip below Kelson. I just recently figured out how to make links, and had only been copying and pasting the address
bar at the top of my screen. I didn't know anything about the header bar of the post. I'll use that from now on.
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post #51 of 220 Old 01-11-2008, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Thanks Kelson, don't know how I missed it. I had been following that thread too!
Neat how you did that link. Just brought up that single post, instead of the whole thread. Boy, I got lots to learn.

At the top of each post is a header bar. On the right side of the bar are 2 copyable links: the "post number" (i.e. #51) and the word "link". When you create a post with a hyperlink to another post, using the link from the "post number" will cause only that post to display as I did. Using the link from the work "link" will cause the post to display but include the entire thread page.

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post #52 of 220 Old 01-17-2008, 07:44 AM
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I just got off the phone with my local Cox tech support dept. I asked about their plans to implement the analog to digital changeover next year. My concern is for all my non digital hookups to tvs and dvd recorders that are now free since I have one digital cable box hooked up to one tv.

He said at the latest Cox w/b doing a complete changeover at the official date next year, but that it might even be 6 months early. He said all stations w/b digital, no analog even for local stations, and I would need a digital cable box for each hookup at $6 each per month.

I asked about what others here had posted about cable cos having until 2012 to completely drop analog and he told me I was wrong. He said I could thank the government for the higher fees I'd be paying - that Cox had no choice but to do it on or before next February.

When I stated that I thought that date was for OTA broadcasts and that cable cos had the option to continue some analog signals until 2012 he actually got angry and told basically told me I didn't know what I was talking about.

That might well be the case, but wow! What a windfall for the cable cos when they add the rentals of digital boxes for service that had hitherto been free (extra analog connections).
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post #53 of 220 Old 01-17-2008, 08:21 AM
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My guess is he's wrong. From everything I've read, they must at least provide the LOCAL channels in analog band. I would be really surprised if the locals were not still available for the near future.(but then again I have no inside info about Cox and what they might do)
I would think if cable co's had any insight they would continue to provide analog signal past the feb '09 date. That way some that do not have cable, may actually sign up to just get the locals on there old sets. JMO
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post #54 of 220 Old 01-17-2008, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

My guess is he's wrong. From everything I've read, they must at least provide the LOCAL channels in analog band. I would be really surprised if the locals were not still available for the near future.(but then again I have no inside info about Cox and what they might do)
I would think if cable co's had any insight they would continue to provide analog signal past the feb '09 date. That way some that do not have cable, may actually sign up to just get the locals on there old sets. JMO

That's what I thought and I completely agree with you. Cox here in N.O. is advertising that "Cox customers won't be effected by the coming switch to digital" and that "We will continue to receive the same great Cox service as usual".

However, there was some recent debate on one of the threads here (sorry I don't remember offhand which one) where they were saying that was only if they still had analog customers after Feb. '09. If they are already all digital by that point, they are not going to make them provide even the locals in analog. That may be what Cox is doing in his area.

Some cableco's seem to be expediting their transition to digital while others are taking advantage of the switch to keep/lure customers as an alternative source for analog TV after the broadcast switch.

I would certainly like to know for sure. My Cox tech. rep. did not go into great detail, but with the ads running I thought I would be OK to buy/use analog equipment for a few years longer.

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post #55 of 220 Old 01-17-2008, 09:21 AM
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I'm going to wait until the Feb transition date and see what my cableco does cuz of my recent question on switching to digital cable.

I asked what it cost ($60, now $35 for my basic analog cable), and did they have to do anything to my incoming signal to "switch" me to digital.

NOPE! Nothing, nada, zilch... same signal.

OK, so do I need a box. YES, cost $7/month.

OK, so what channels do I get with the "digital package." Well, we take the trap off your basic cable feed so you'll get the "extended basic" channels (4 ea. incl. Fox News), then you can select from digital pkg A or B... no channels I'd care to watch much less record!

I'm thinking the box only allows tuning those Pkg A or B losers!

Right now, with a basic analog cable subscription, I get 8 very nice digital channels in the clear. I'll wait to see if I continue to get those channels and/or maybe some others if they just keep sending their digital channels in the analog-soon-to-be-called-digital (?) feed.

Here's a good article on how the cablecos cheat subscribers with their "digital" cable offerings.
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post #56 of 220 Old 01-17-2008, 10:29 AM
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wajo (wabjxo - I'm so confused!!!) I am a little surprised.

"...and did they have to do anything to my incoming signal to "switch" me to digital.

NOPE! Nothing, nada, zilch... same signal."

Are you really saying they did nothing and it is the exact same signal. Clearly they must be sending QAM encrypted digital signals thru the line. I understand from our previous discussion that you can't see a difference between your analog and digital cable. I wish I had your cable service b/c I can see the difference between analog and digital on mine. I just happen to prefer analog still; but some of my analog channels are pale in comparison to their digital counterpart.


BTW - it is at their discretion whether they encrypt the QAM channels. Others have told me they get a nice selection of unencrypted QAM channels but I would not count on getting anything but the federally mandated locals.

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post #57 of 220 Old 01-17-2008, 10:52 AM
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For some unknown reason, I must have "mis-spoke" when I said I didn't see a diff. between my analog and digital channels. I think it was when I described how my analog channels suddenly got almost-digital quality after several complaints.

Anyway, here's my post on that subject before they did something to increase the PQ on my analog channels... I'm thinking they just "switched" me to their digital feed/source w/o telling me?

There used to be a tremendous difference between my analog and digital channels, now it's still noticeable, esp. when I get close to my 1080p LCD TV. But from proper viewing distance, the analogs are quite good, I must say. It pays to be a serial complainer!?

Anyway, I believe they would like me to "switch" to digital so they can rent me a box for every TV at $8 ea., but we'll see what happens as time goes on. I'm in a very small market and was once told by a cable tech that we would NEVER get HDTV cable here.

Everything I've read suggests the cablecos can encrypt most everything they want, leaving only local channels in the clear so they can be always available for emergency announcement purposes.
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post #58 of 220 Old 01-17-2008, 11:17 AM
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Well, I was actually reading your link while you were posting and I think I see where you are coming from. I have always heard digital cable was a mix of analog and digital signals. I was rather surpised when I got digital that even the analog channels below 100 appear to be their digital counterparts; as described in the link. I can tell by the sharper, clearer picture and noticeable digital artifacts when A-B testing digital to analog on the same set. Maybe I am the one that is lucky. I am even one of those losers that sprung for the complete digital packages. In my case and IMO, it was an unbeatable deal. Good luck!

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post #59 of 220 Old 03-31-2008, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernie6 View Post

... I just purchased a Pioneer International 80 GB recorder and paid $416.00 delivered...


What model number is it, Ernie, and where did you get it?

You can PM me with the information if you think it's appropriate.
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post #60 of 220 Old 04-01-2008, 06:08 AM
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I installed Zenith dtt900, it works fine for tv but cannot record a different channel than the one I'm watching on the dvd recorder. dvd is a lite-on with ntsc tuner--also have vcr--need help getting these to work.
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