Are VCR tuners ancient history? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-06-2007, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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One of my VCRs just went out and I find it nearly impossible to find a replacement that still has an analog RF coaxial input or output. I realize we are in an ever increasing digital age. But my cable company still broadcasts analog channels 2-74, & 98 & 99. I like to be able to record those analog channels without tying up my cable box.

Is there some sort of FCC regulation that says you can't make NTSC analog tuners anymore?

I assume that even after the digital switch over in a couple of years we will still have analog cable for several years to come.

It's bad enough that I can't buy a plain VCR anymore... they only make DVD/VCR combos. But even the DVD recorder ought to be able to record an analog channel using a cable ready NTSC tuner!

So what is the deal? Are tuners ancient history?

By the way I guess VCRs are ancient history because this web site doesn't even have a forum to discuss VCRs! I posted here because it did have something to do with cable.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-06-2007, 07:48 PM
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How are you on refurbished items? You can find decent used VCRs all day on eBay and Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/VCRs-Audio-Vid...F8&node=172669

They even point out the analog tuner on some of the items:

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CONSUMER ALERT: This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009 to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the U.S.'s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322), or visit the commission's digital-television Web site at: www.dtv.gov.


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post #3 of 14 Old 07-06-2007, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cy_borg5 View Post


I assume that even after the digital switch over in a couple of years we will still have analog cable for several years to come.

It depends where you live. Comcast, for example, was scheduled to turn off analog for much of Chicago this Summer. The cable companies need to recover the analog bandwidth to make room for all those HD channels that are coming in 2008 and 2009. Most likely they will still provide the handful of analog channels available in their obligatory limited-basic packages, but beyond that there are no guarantees. Obviously, not all areas will transition immediately, so your assumption may still hold true if you live in a lower priority market.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-06-2007, 09:37 PM
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Certainly hard to find in general if you are really intent on a VCR and not something like a TIVO or DVD Recorder. A couple years ago, my wife's last Mits VCR (I love Mits VCR's) went bad and I decided to go a different route since this unit (??747) only lasted a couple years and she didn't want a TIVO -- wanted simple and what she was used to. I went with a New Old Stock Mitsubishi 2000 DVHS since it looked like it was built like some of those old VCR tanks from the late 80's/early 90's before everything went disposable. It felt much more like the U67 that I used, then handed down to her when her prior unit burned out. I think she used it for 6 or 7 years probably averaged 6 hours a day b/w recording and playback. It looks like you can still get brand new units on EBay for less than $120 -- original MRSP was over 1000.

I don't even use it for DVHS, just SVHS tapes and the thing is amazing for old tech -- solid quiet, fast, and so far extremely reliable. I liked it so much I bought a second new one to replace my JVC 9500 which was handed down to the kids to replace the Mits U59 (one of the first quasi SVHS players) which had given them several years of Disney and time shifting use.

I was trying to remember how many VCR's I've owned over the last 25 years starting with an Emerson my Dad bought for me in 1985 when I was in Grad school, a Mits U52 in 1989 ( I want to say I also had a U50 in there somewhere), U67 in 1994 to put in my first real HT, JVC 9500, U59, U747, and now the HD2000U's. I suspect that will be the last though I always wanted to look at a Sony 1000 or one of the Panasonic Prosumer AG1980's. My roomie from college had one of the first VCR's I ever saw back when they were $1000 -- I think it was 2 piece RCA that cost around $1K maybe around 1981 or 1982???
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I did find a VCR with tuner from a third-party reseller through Amazon.com. I'm just surprised with all of the disclaimers about "Someday your analog TV won't work but if you have cable or satellite you will be OK" that nobody told me that analog cable was disappearing and VCRs with analog tuners would disappear even before that!

Speaking of that old two-piece RCA you mentioned... I wrote about mine in a blog recently. Check out...
http://blog.cyborg5.com/2007/06/my-first-vcr.html
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 12:38 PM
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Heh, we had a hardwired remote on our first VCR (Montgomery Ward brand, probably a rebadged JVC or something.)

I think the tuners are going out not because there is a law forbidding analog tuners all together (although the law is affecting over-the-air signals so the FCC can reclaim the bandwidth, so digital tuners must be provided). But with OTA and cable working to go all digital, the manufacturers feel the days of the market for analog tuners are numbered and are phasing them out.

I think most TVs will have both analog and digital tuners for a while, though.

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post #7 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 02:26 PM
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It's not that there will no longer be analog tuners (unless you really want to spend $25K to put your back door camera on your in-house system), but, with VCRs selling for less than $100, the manufacturers don't want to add a $100 DTV tuner to them. If it has an analog tuner, it has to also include an ATSC DTV tuner.

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post #8 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

If it has an analog tuner, it has to also include an ATSC DTV tuner.

Is that a FCC regulation or federal law of some kind? If the VCR has any analog tuner it has to have an ATSC DTV tuner as well? If that is a official federal rule, when does or did it take effect? Can you provide me a link to something official that explains that specifically as related to VCR's?

I don't doubt you... in fact that was the point of my posting here was to confirm my suspicions that it was some sort of federal rule.
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 03:44 PM
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Cy...
I agree.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 04:57 PM
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VCR's & VHS are Dead men walking

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post #11 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

If it has an analog tuner, it has to also include an ATSC DTV tuner.

It's an FCC rule sumarized here as an example.
FCC tuner mandate: You may have heard that all TVs will have to be HDTVs by a certain date. That's not technically correct. The FCC has mandated that as of March 1, 2007, all new TV and video products imported into the U.S. or shipped to retailers that include an analog (NTSC) tuner need to have a digital ATSC tuner as well. There's a loophole though: if the product contains no tuner whatsoever--for TVs, this means it's a "monitor"--then the mandate does not apply. As a result of the mandate, nearly all televisions sold after that date should be ready for the analog switch-off.
Here's the link to their larger article. http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5108580-3.html

I have not seen an owner's manual, but the box labeling on some VCR/DVD recorders (and VCR/DVD/HDD units) would seem to indicate that recording from the ATSC tuner would be to the HDD or DVD Disk, with no mention of tape (VCR) recording options. In other words, the VCR section might be play only.

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post #12 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 05:05 PM
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You can find DVD/VCR on Circuit City's website, my local CC has Sony VCR for $80 and Zenith for $60 and my Best Buy has a $60 Panasonic. I still use my VCRs for recording analog channels the picture looks better than the digital conversion my DVR makes when it records analog channels.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 05:19 PM
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KMart had a Sylvania standalone VCR for sale when I was there today.

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post #14 of 14 Old 07-07-2007, 09:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cy_borg5 View Post

One of my VCRs just went out and I find it nearly impossible to find a replacement that still has an analog RF coaxial input or output. I realize we are in an ever increasing digital age. But my cable company still broadcasts analog channels 2-74, & 98 & 99. I like to be able to record those analog channels without tying up my cable box.

Is there some sort of FCC regulation that says you can't make NTSC analog tuners anymore?

I assume that even after the digital switch over in a couple of years we will still have analog cable for several years to come.

It's bad enough that I can't buy a plain VCR anymore... they only make DVD/VCR combos. But even the DVD recorder ought to be able to record an analog channel using a cable ready NTSC tuner!

So what is the deal? Are tuners ancient history?

By the way I guess VCRs are ancient history because this web site doesn't even have a forum to discuss VCRs! I posted here because it did have something to do with cable.

Last week I purchased a sony SLV-N750 from Amazon for $39.99 plus $6.00 shipping in like new condition. It works great.
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