Digital Converter Box and VCR/DVD Recording - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-18-2009, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi - I am new here and pretty challenged when it comes to technology. I have a roof top antenna and a Magnavox TB100MW9 converter box. I hooked that up today and get a few digital channels. I also have hooked up a Toshiba Hi-Fi VCR & DVD Video Recorder (D-VR5SU).

What I am trying to figure out is how am I going to be able to record the TV programs that I normally tape. I have done an auto channel channel scan and the VCR/DVD Recorder is not picking up the digital channels - I don't think.

For example, most all programs that I would record were on Channel 2. Channel 2 is now Channel 2.1 Will the recorder still be able to record or what will I need to do to be able to record programs while I am not watching them.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Andy
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-18-2009, 01:57 PM
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You'll need to hook the converter box to the 'VCR's antenna in' and then tune the VCR to channel 3 (or 4). The VCR will then see/record the digital channels. If you want to watch a different digital channel at the same time, you'll need a second converter box to hook to your TV antenna input.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy04605 View Post

Hi - I am new here and pretty challenged when it comes to technology. I have a roof top antenna and a Magnavox TB100MW9 converter box. I hooked that up today and get a few digital channels. I also have hooked up a Toshiba Hi-Fi VCR & DVD Video Recorder (D-VR5SU).

What I am trying to figure out is how am I going to be able to record the TV programs that I normally tape. I have done an auto channel channel scan and the VCR/DVD Recorder is not picking up the digital channels - I don't think.

For example, most all programs that I would record were on Channel 2. Channel 2 is now Channel 2.1 Will the recorder still be able to record or what will I need to do to be able to record programs while I am not watching them.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Andy

I don't believe the D-VR5SU has a digital tuner. Therefore to receive digital channels such as 2.1 you will need to connect it to a converter box. If you do not want to watch one channel and record a different channel at the same time you can use one converter box. Just connect the converter box to the TV using either the coaxial cable or the composite (red/white/yellow). Use the other one to connect to the line IN of the D-VR5SU. You can then record to either VHS tape or a blank DVD. You will need the converter box set to the correct channel and set the timer on the D-VR5SU.
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 05:48 PM
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If you can, try to use the audio/video cables (red/white/yellow plugs) between the converter box and the dvd/vcr and tv, rather than the single coax; this will give better quality picture and stereo sound.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-20-2009, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popeetheus View Post

if you can, try to use the audio/video cables (red/white/yellow plugs) between the converter box and the dvd/vcr and tv, rather than the single coax; this will give better quality picture and stereo sound.

+1
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-23-2009, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popeetheus View Post

If you can, try to use the audio/video cables (red/white/yellow plugs) between the converter box and the dvd/vcr and tv, rather than the single coax; this will give better quality picture and stereo sound.

I have a DVR with a digital tuner and also a DISH PVR 501. Do I still need a second converter box, or just a splitter?

I can view digital programs with the CECB and also with the DVR, but when I try to record on the DVR (which I could do prior to adding the CECB to the mix) the DVR comes on, but will NOT record until I put the CECB on standby. That does not work for me.

Will a splitter solve the problem, where my DVR is digital? The TV is analog.
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-23-2009, 03:16 PM
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Hi l2le,
I'd like to know how your equipment in connected in such a way that your DVR will not record until your converter box goes into standby. I'm guessing you have the converter box plugged into the DVR one way or another?

Without knowing that for sure, I can only speculate. If it were my equipment, I would use a coax splitter to feed each receiver unit (DVR, converter box, what have you) and then take the a/v output from each unit and connect those the the a/v inputs on your t.v.

It seems this way you should be able to view one digital channel while recording another with your DVR.

It should look something like this:


Antenna l signal l -------> DVR------> a/v input 1 of TV
-------> l splitter l -----> CEBC-----> a/v input 2 of TV

I can't imagine your DVR refusing to record in this situation, but then again, I've only used vcrs.

Just to be clear, the lines from the antenna to the splitter will be coax, the lines out of the splitter will be coax. The lines out of the DVR and CEBC should ideally be a/v for best quality.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-23-2009, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popeetheus View Post

Hi l2le,
I'd like to know how your equipment in connected in such a way that your DVR will not record until your converter box goes into standby. I'm guessing you have the converter box plugged into the DVR one way or another?

Without knowing that for sure, I can only speculate. If it were my equipment, I would use a coax splitter to feed each receiver unit (DVR, converter box, what have you) and then take the a/v output from each unit and connect those the the a/v inputs on your t.v.

It seems this way you should be able to view one digital channel while recording another with your DVR.

It should look something like this:


Antenna l signal l -------> DVR------> a/v input 1 of TV
-------> l splitter l -----> CEBC-----> a/v input 2 of TV

I can't imagine your DVR refusing to record in this situation, but then again, I've only used vcrs.

Just to be clear, the lines from the antenna to the splitter will be coax, the lines out of the splitter will be coax. The lines out of the DVR and CEBC should ideally be a/v for best quality.

Sorry, It is a Panasonic DMR-EZ48V and when the Tivax is connected and turned on, the Panny starts up from its scheduled timed program but then does not record until I turn the Tivax to standby. This is even though I am recording a digital channel.

I guess I don't understand the way the signals all work. The only way I can figure to connect everything, is to run a splitter and send one end of the antenna to the DMR and one to the Tivax box. I'm still concerned however that the timed program will not work.

The Panny recorded fine and started up correctly BEFORE I put the Tivax box in the mix. AND, I don't know how everything is hooked up right now, as I would have to pull the entertainment center out to see the cords from the back of it. I need help to move it, so cannot look right now. I moved cords around trying to get everything to work, and now I'm not sure of what I have!

Yes, the Panasonic DMR-EZ48V has a digital tuner and I've been watching digital channels with it and recording digital channels. My TV is analog, so I wanted to be able to watch a digital channel (after the transition) while the DMR was turned OFF in order to start a recording. If it is turned off, then I don't have any way except a converter box to watch digital channels. Am I really messed up or what?

Linda
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-24-2009, 07:18 PM
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Thank you all for your help! Very much appreciated and I hooked up components like most of you all said to do....

Antenna - ->DMR-EZ48V- ->Tivax STB-T8 - - >Satellite - ->TV

It all works great! Thank you again. Next time, (IF..God forbid) I'll ask the questions first and try to be more specific.

I think the DTV people for the government and all others should post a "help" with a simple diagram for those of us who are using a recorder with a digital tuner and a converter box who have the same situation as I do. Believe me, no one I found has that scenario.
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-31-2009, 01:00 AM
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I just discovered this forum a few hours ago, so I apologize in advance for my unfamiliarity with all the terms and anagrams. Anyway, I plan to buy two CECBs in order to record digital OTA TV programs on my old (10 years) Sony VCR and my not-so-old (2.5 years) Cyberhome DVD recorder, both of which have s-video ins and outs. The Cyberhome has (I believe) component out as well. I found out about the Zinwell ZAT-950A converter box with time-programmable channel-changing, and thought my search for a "gizmo" that would allow me to record different channels at different times had been solved. Then I read that the Zinwell only offers component-out connections. I've not found a CECB with this option that has s-video out connections, and a component-to-svideo converter runs nearly $100, so that's out.

Tonight, after digging through some posts, I learned that an IR "gizmo" could change the channels of a CECB with some programming. I don't have, nor do I ever plan on having, cable or satellite.

So, FINALLY, the questions:
Can the IR gizmo do this for OTR digital channels? If so, is there a CECB with s-video outputs that anyone would recommend?
And if I may switch gears on this question, is there a DVD recorder/VCR combo that anyone knows of that can record two different ATSC OTR channels at the same time?

Thanks in advance for any/all help that you can offer!
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-31-2009, 06:23 AM
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On at least one part of your question, I believe you have confused component with composite. Component is a three wire video connection (red, blue, green) that is capable of full HD, although your Cyberhome is probably limited to 480i/p, not 1080i or 720p. Considering the level of processing in the Cyberhome, you should leave it at 480i anyway and that is only marginally better than s-video. Composite is the single wire video (yellow) connection which all CECBs and DVD/VCR recorders have.

Many recorders have more than one video input. If the programs don't overlap (and you can't get the CECB or remote control timers to work properly) you can hook one box up to one input, a second box to another input, and conceivably a third to the RF/tuner input, (using ch3: if you are not concerned with archive quality) and leave each box on the desired upcoming channel. (the Zenith box runs cool enough to leave on almost continuously) If your timers work OK then so much the better.

For overlap recordings, I would suggest another recorder. A straight DVD recorder with no tuner seems to be running under $100 but I don't know if they have timers. With a tuner (which would include an OTA ATSC tuner) they run $150 - $300, possibly with a hard drive at the high end. You might want to check this out also. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1099071

Archiving shows will require different methods than just timeshifting or viewing.

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post #12 of 24 Old 01-31-2009, 10:24 AM
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The APEX DT502 has S-Video and the ability to select programs, through the Simple Guide, that causes the CECB to change to that channel when the program starts (dependent upon accurate time stamps from the stations). It's called a "Reminder" function.
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-31-2009, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No54 View Post

Anyway, I plan to buy two CECBs in order to record digital OTA TV programs on my old (10 years) Sony VCR and my not-so-old (2.5 years) Cyberhome DVD recorder, both of which have s-video ins and outs.

Since it's a higher end Sony VCR that has s-video in, does it also have an IR blaster?

If so, it should be able to change the channels on the CM-7000, which also has s-video out.
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-07-2009, 12:16 AM
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Hey Folks

I really appreciate all the info you've shared. After three or four hours of following up on your leads and suggestions, I'm still a bit confused, but that's not due to any misinformation so much as the vast AMOUNT of information to be gleaned here!! Whew!

Some of you have nothing but kudos for the Apex (thanks systems2000 for the info); some don't like it at all. Some swear by the CM7000; again, some don't like it at all. The DTV Pal gizmo sounded interesting; but I guess there are actually two different gizmos. One is a box and the other is a DVR? Do I have that right?

Zaphod... thanks much for pointing out my component/composite misunderstanding. Thanks also for the link to the additional forum. Lots to read there, but mostly all enlightening and helpful.

Thanks to Rammitinski for mentioning the possibility of having an IR Blaster on my Sony VCR. The model is a SLV 675-HF and I honestly have not followed up on that.

Here's another question and if anyone cares to chime in, please do so:
I was told by a salesperson at a local retailer that a tunerless DVD recorder hooked up to a digital converter box is NOT capable of recording from that box. I was under the impression that the box IS a tuner, and that having a tunerless DVD recorder hooked up to a tuner would enable that recorder to capture video from the tuner. Has anyone else been told this, or something similar?

I think it really comes down to some trial-and-error on my own here, insofar as the converter boxes are concerned. I'm very intrigued by the Apex, and the CM7000. I have a little time before my coupons expire, but I have less than two weeks before I'll have to have SOMETHING in place to record the programs I'm most fond of (since I work second shift and won't be able to see them otherwise).

This forum is absolutely invaluable, and I'm extremely glad that I stumbled upon it. For the responses and help you've all provided, I'm forever grateful. I plan to keep an eye on the posts because they're so helpful. FAR better than any FAQ on ANY other website I've seen. If I feel I have anything helpful to pass along, I'll be sure to do so.

Thanks again, folks!
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-07-2009, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No54 View Post

I was told by a salesperson at a local retailer that a tunerless DVD recorder hooked up to a digital converter box is NOT capable of recording from that box. I was under the impression that the box IS a tuner, and that having a tunerless DVD recorder hooked up to a tuner would enable that recorder to capture video from the tuner. Has anyone else been told this, or something similar?

They're either lying, nuts or confused.

You can record from any CECB to any recorder through it's line inputs.

I checked, and your VCR does not use an IR blaster, so if you want a box that can change channels on it's own, I'd suggest the Zinwell ZAT-950A.
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-07-2009, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No54 View Post

Here's another question and if anyone cares to chime in, please do so:
I was told by a salesperson at a local retailer that a tunerless DVD recorder hooked up to a digital converter box is NOT capable of recording from that box. I was under the impression that the box IS a tuner, and that having a tunerless DVD recorder hooked up to a tuner would enable that recorder to capture video from the tuner. Has anyone else been told this, or something similar?
Thanks again, folks!

It's possible that the tunerless DVD recorder doesn't have a timer so recording can only be done by manually hitting "record". You could use a high-end remote control with a timer function or a PC with a blaster of some sort.

He could also be confused with a digital cable box, where the programming might be flagged as "copy never", which the DVD recorder would honor. OTA should not be flagged at this time but in the future, the infamous "Broadcast Flag" could rear it's ugly head.

I currently have a tuner equipped DVD recorder hooked up with cable for Clear QAM recording on the internal tuner and a CECB on line1 for OTA recording because the DVD recorder was either/or but not both for it's digital tuner. (I had hoped to be able to use an A/B antenna switch but I would have had to do a full setup and scan to switch from Cable to OTA)

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post #17 of 24 Old 02-07-2009, 07:58 AM
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The salesperson might have wanted to sell you a more expensive unit with a tuner. As long as there is not a "FLAG" on the broadcast, the recorder should be able to record the CECB output through the RCA jacks.

As far as I know, there hasn't been a head-to-head comparison of the APEX DT502 to the Channel Master CM-7000. You could be the first.

The DTVPal with DVR is not a CECB. The CECB's are the DTVPal, DTVPal Plus (silicon tuner), & the TR-40CRA.
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-07-2009, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMI Guy View Post

I don't believe the D-VR5SU has a digital tuner. Therefore to receive digital channels such as 2.1 you will need to connect it to a converter box. If you do not want to watch one channel and record a different channel at the same time you can use one converter box. Just connect the converter box to the TV using either the coaxial cable or the composite (red/white/yellow). Use the other one to connect to the line IN of the D-VR5SU. You can then record to either VHS tape or a blank DVD. You will need the converter box set to the correct channel and set the timer on the D-VR5SU.

Hello, I am also new to this forum and am not that electronically gifted either. I have an "on the roof" antenna and a very expensive *analog* TV connected to it that I do not want to "trash". (it works very well..now..) I am interested in purchasing either a Magnavox ZV450MW8, or Toshiba D-VR660 DVD/VCR Combo with digital tuner. My question is this: Will I need a *separate* converter box to enable me to record over-the- air digital programs while watching another channel on an *analog* TV? If so, how would It be hooked up? Will the converter box somehow interfere with the recorder? I have asked this question at "Radio Shack, HH Gregg, Walmart, Sears, and other internet forums and *no one* seems to know for sure or they all give conflicting answers. This forum appears to be the place for knowlegeable, correct instructions. Thanks

HHank
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-07-2009, 10:34 AM
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Any recording device with an ATSC digital tuner, will not require a CECB. CECB's are limited to 480i, while a highend recorder, with an ATSC tuner, will probably have the ability to record 480i, 480p, 720i, 720p, 1080i, and/or 1080p.

To watch analog on your television, you will not need anything additional. To watch another digital channel, you'll need a CECB with APT. Make sure the recorder will freely pass unaltered RF through an RF output, while recording.

Your setup will become:

Antenna --> Recorder --> CECB (turn OFF to watch Recorder) --> Television
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post #20 of 24 Old 02-08-2009, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post

It's possible that the tunerless DVD recorder doesn't have a timer so recording can only be done by manually hitting "record".

I'm pretty sure most, if not all tunerless recorders have manual timers.
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-08-2009, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I'm pretty sure most, if not all tunerless recorders have manual timers.

The nearest Circuit City to me started to close out a couple of months before the chain announced it was shutting down completely.  On the first day of their closeout, I was looking at a tunerless recorder, asked a salesdroid if it had a timer, and he swore that none of the tunerless recorders did.  I know he heard the question right, because he said you have to be there to start and stop the recording manually, and he asked why I'd want a timer anyway, since (in his view) tunerless recorders are good only for copying recordings.  I said I was thinking of using a CECB as a tuner, and he acknowledged that it could record from one, but insisted it had no timer.

I was dubious, but all sales were final, so I left it there.  At home I visited the manufacturer's web site, read the model's manual, and found that of course it had a timer.  When I got back to Circuit City two days later, all their recorders had sold out, so somebody who knew or didn't care bought it anyway.
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post #22 of 24 Old 02-08-2009, 12:49 PM
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If it was one of the liquidator's 'droids, he may not have known.

If it was one of CC's, I'm surprised he didn't follow that up with, "But with Comcast or DirecTV's DVR's, you can do that".
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post #23 of 24 Old 02-08-2009, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

If it was one of the liquidator's 'droids, he may not have known.

It was a CC employee: the chain-wide liquidation hadn't started yet and this store was being closed by CC itself.
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post #24 of 24 Old 06-27-2009, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHank View Post

I have an "on the roof" antenna and a very expensive *analog* TV connected to it that I do not want to "trash" . . . I am interested in purchasing either a Magnavox ZV450MW8, or Toshiba D-VR660 DVD/VCR Combo with digital tuner. My question is this: Will I need a *separate* converter box to enable me to record over-the- air digital programs while watching another channel on an *analog* TV? If so, how would It be hooked up? Will the converter box somehow interfere with the recorder?

To watch one channel while recording another put a splitter on the antenna coax. Feed one side to the converter box then connect a converter box output to an input on the TV. Feed the other side to the digital tuner DVD recorder then connect a DVD recorder output to an input on the TV. Use the TV remote to select between the TV inputs.

This same connection method will also work for antenna reception with an analog tuner DVD recorder or VCR. (A similar connection method extends functionality for analog tuner recorders connected to cable company coax feeds; but only as long as the cable company continues to provide analog signals.) An analog tuner DVD recorder will continue to be useful for recording from a CECB for antenna reception and/or a cable company converter box. The attached photo shows a well-used Panasonic analog tuner combo recorder set up with a Zinwell 970A CECB connected to a composite input and an (unseen) cable company converter box connected to a RF input. The finger points to the "common" DVD/VCR composite output to a TV.

Here is a recent comparison of two Funai-built digital tuner combo recorders, a Magnavox ZV450MW8A and a Sylvania ZV450SL8:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post16712001

Funai-built Toshiba combo recorders may be similar. Your results may vary.

Garden variety Funai-built combo recorders, while good products, are far outclassed by recent Funai-built HDD/DVD recorders for simplicity, flexibility, reliability and value.

I own one each of the digital tuner Philips 3575/3576 and Magnavox 2080/2160 HDD/DVD recorders. I upgraded my Magnavox 2080 with a larger hard drive, a fifteen minute procedure that doubled storage capacity, and purchased a second 2160 remote for use with the 2080.
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