Record video from cable box like the old VHS - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-24-2014, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi

 

My cable box company wants me to pay 25$ every month just to allow the box to record the TV programming.

I know I need a separate DVR or PVR to record the TV programming.

 

Also want to record to a Hard Disk and playback the video back to the TV like a the old VHS.

and the unit must able to schedule the time to record.

 

My cable box has HDMI, composite and coaxial outputs, so I think I can record the video from one of this ports.

 

So the question is, which DVR or PVR to buy?

 

Any comments will be appreciated

 

thanks

 

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post #2 of 7 Old 01-24-2014, 09:13 AM
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A multi-tuner DVR/PVR will take the place of your STB. The cable plugs directly into the DVR and you use the tuners in the DVR to view and record programs. You will have to rent a cable card from your cable provider for the DVR in order to get all the encrypted channels you are paying for. Your choices are TiVo for a stand-alone box or build a HTPC with a cable card tuner ( Ceton or Silicon Dust) and run Windows Media Center. Both solutions record in HD by spooling the broadcast transport stream so the playback picture looks exactly as it would if you had viewed it live.

If you want to go less expensive (with less functionality) and record from your STB, you can buy a DVD recorder such as the Magnavox. If your cable company broadcasts any clear QAM channels, you can use the tuner in the DVD recorder to record those and schedule recordings manually like a VCR. If you want to record encrypted channels, this will record from the composite output of your cable box. You can't easily schedule recordings unless your cable box can be scheduled to change channels. In either case, the PQ is always SD, the DVD recorder recodes everything and there are crushed black issues. Also, it is unlikely that your STB will output 16:9 from the composite port, but rather 4:3 letterbox which will display as a postage stamp on a 16:9 display. Recordings from the tuner will have the proper aspect ratio.

See the links for more information.

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-24-2014, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Also, it is unlikely that your STB will output 16:9 from the composite port, but rather 4:3 letterbox which will display as a postage stamp on a 16:9 display. Recordings from the tuner will have the proper aspect ratio.

It's also very possible that if your using your STBs HDMI output that the composite output may be disabled, they can do that when using HDMI, they couldn't do that with component, which is one of the reasons component is quickly dying, they want control, they don't want you to have control ;) 

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-24-2014, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

It's also very possible that if your using your STBs HDMI output that the composite output may be disabled, they can do that when using HDMI,
Yup. Forgot about that one. Just another reason why not to bother trying to record from a cable box.

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-26-2014, 08:15 PM
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Although they can shut off the composite output of a cable box, most cable operators don’t. At least my cable co doesn’t and from what I read at the DVD recorders forum most folks have access to HDMI out and composite/ S-Video out simultaneously.

jjeff and Kelson, your cable boxes won’t output HDMI out and composite/ S-Video out simultaneously? I thought the both of you are non-cable OTA users.

To the original poster, what cable co are you with and what model is your box?
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

jjeff and Kelson, your cable boxes won’t output HDMI out and composite/ S-Video out simultaneously? I thought the both of you are non-cable OTA users.

To the original poster, what cable co are you with and what model is your box?

I'm OTA only but have helped many people on the DVD Recorders forum with cable and from what I've seen is if you have a newer HD STB/DVR from Comcast or any of the major cable companies when using HDMI all other outputs(including component if even available) will be disabled :( If you get your TV from one of the satellite companies you have a much better chance(I don't think I've ever read of a satellite company disabling outputs) of all outputs working simultaneously.

I'm sure some Comcast boxes work but again from what I've read, the ones that might output simultaneously tend to letterbox everything, which again doesn't seem to be the case for the vast majority of dish customers.

My Tivo like I believe all Tivos don't disable outputs nor letterbox SD and could be used either OTA or Cable, I just chose OTA only.

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-27-2014, 10:39 AM
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I realize the OP wants to record from the outputs of his cable box. But I can't think of any good reason to do this in the 21st century. There are much better, cheaper, simpler ways.

I second Jeff's observation that the analog out of all cable boxes is going to look like a postage stamp. Not acceptable in my book. Just get a cable card tuner and you get around all SD and copy protection problems. If you go that route, you can do away with all your cable boxes entirely.
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