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post #1 of 37 Old 02-01-2014, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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new to DVR's. do any come with 1 hdmi, 1 composite, and 1 coax inputs?

I have 2 hd cable boxes and I hope to record 1 and watch a second. in a year I will need just a coax input and a composite input (no HD).

actually, do most allow for recording 2 inputs?

thanks.
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-01-2014, 01:13 PM
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Besides the PixelMagic models I guess not. Because the Hauppauge HD PVR 2, only has one HDMI input.
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-01-2014, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jimlau View Post

new to DVR's. do any come with 1 hdmi, 1 composite, and 1 coax inputs?

I have 2 hd cable boxes and I hope to record 1 and watch a second. in a year I will need just a coax input and a composite input (no HD).

actually, do most allow for recording 2 inputs?
A TiVo DVR will take the place of your two cable boxes. You can return them and save the rental fee. You will need to rent a cable card which is only a couple dollars per month. The base model TiVo will come with 4 tuners so you can record 3 channels at a time and watch a 4th live.

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post #4 of 37 Old 02-02-2014, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlau View Post

new to DVR's. do any come with 1 hdmi, 1 composite, and 1 coax inputs?

I have 2 hd cable boxes and I hope to record 1 and watch a second. in a year I will need just a coax input and a composite input (no HD).

actually, do most allow for recording 2 inputs?

thanks.

Most come with multiple outputs which I think is what you're asking. They have no inputs other than the source cable from the cable company.
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-02-2014, 01:02 PM
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Most come with multiple outputs which I think is what you're asking.
No, I think he did mean inputs.
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I have 2 hd cable boxes and I hope to record 1 and watch a second.

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post #6 of 37 Old 02-02-2014, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

No, I think he did mean inputs.

Do any Cable/Satellite boxes have composite inputs?
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-02-2014, 06:31 PM
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He needs to clarify. But my take is that he wants to buy some sort of stand-alone recording device that has multiple inputs that he can plug the outputs of his cable boxes into. Terrible idea, but that's what he wants to do.
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-02-2014, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

He needs to clarify. But my take is that he wants to buy some sort of stand-alone recording device that has multiple inputs that he can plug the outputs of his cable boxes into. Terrible idea, but that's what he wants to do.

just trying to find the cheapest way to record 1 show and watch another. cable boxes make it so each line can only carry 1 channel now. and i'd rather not pay a monthly fee for TiVo or the cable co. dvr.
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-02-2014, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jimlau View Post

just trying to find the cheapest way to record 1 show and watch another. cable boxes make it so each line can only carry 1 channel now. and i'd rather not pay a monthly fee for TiVo or the cable co. dvr.
In that case, get a Ceton InfiniTV or Silicon Dust Homerun Prime. No monthly fees (besides $2 cable card), 3 or 4 channels viewable/recordable simultaneously, no cable boxes required at all, so you save a lot of money. Next cheapest, but more complicated and limited is a DVD/HDD recorder. That option works like VCR, no guide, uses blasters and multiple timers, no HD.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-03-2014, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

In that case, get a Ceton InfiniTV or Silicon Dust Homerun Prime. No monthly fees (besides $2 cable card), 3 or 4 channels viewable/recordable simultaneously, no cable boxes required at all, so you save a lot of money. Next cheapest, but more complicated and limited is a DVD/HDD recorder. That option works like VCR, no guide, uses blasters and multiple timers, no HD.

not sure how those systems work. I have Comcast, so I need their tuners, which only unscramble 1 chammel at a time. so I think I need a dvr, and no need for a tuner (since comcast box is used and needed for that), I think?

which means I need a DVD/HDD recorder I think. actually not sure what a dvd recorder would be for. it also has to be able to set a timer to record a show.
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post #11 of 37 Old 02-03-2014, 08:51 PM
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Those systems are tuners that unscramble 4 channels at once. Like a TiVo but cheaper. No cable boxes required. Check out their websites to get a better understand of how they work. I have encrypted cable like you and haven't used any cable boxes for years. Cable card tuners take their place. It is much simpler and cheaper to replace your cable boxes entirely than to keep them and try to record from their low res, copy protected, analog outputs. You seem to be locked into the VCR mindset where you have a cable box connected to some other recording device via analog connections. There are much better ways to record now in the 21st century, cable card tuners being the cheapest.

DVD/HDD recorders are awful by comparison. I did that for years until cable card tuners came along. I'm much happier with my Ceton.
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post #12 of 37 Old 02-04-2014, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jimlau View Post

not sure how those systems work. I have Comcast, so I need their tuners, which only unscramble 1 chammel at a time. so I think I need a dvr, and no need for a tuner (since comcast box is used and needed for that), I think?

which means I need a DVD/HDD recorder I think. actually not sure what a dvd recorder would be for. it also has to be able to set a timer to record a show.

Think of it like this. The DVR you get from Comcast uses a CableCard. That allows it to decrypt the correct channels for the DVR. It also has a tuner (actually multiple tuners), which picks which channel to view/record. Then it has the DVR part, the hard drive that actually records the TV show that is selected.

The Ceton/Silicon Dust option replaces this DVR. In the case of Ceton, it exactly replaces the DVR with a PC. The CableCard, tuners and hard drives are all in the PC, and instead of Comcast's software, you use Windows Media Center. If you go with Silicon Dust, the difference is the tuners are taken out of the PC and put on the network instead, otherwise it's essentially the same.

One big difference is the programs that are recorded are more easily accessible using WMC since they are already on a PC instead of on a hard drive inside a DVR that you don't own. Still subject to DRM protection on some channels, of course.
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post #13 of 37 Old 02-06-2014, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I watch a lot on-demand. doesn't that eliminate the possibilities of not using their set top box? also not really wanting to get my pc involved.

I guess a back-up could maybe be buying a TiVo without the subscription?
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post #14 of 37 Old 02-06-2014, 10:50 PM
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I watch a lot on-demand. doesn't that eliminate the possibilities of not using their set top box? also not really wanting to get my pc involved.

I guess a back-up could maybe be buying a TiVo without the subscription?
Gotta give up something to save some cash. Nearly everything on demand can be streamed online these days. Since the PC route saves me at least $40/month, I don't mind using Hulu in place of on demand.

I wanted to avoid using a PC too, but it's worked out fine. My wife has no idea a PC is running the show. Everything works with a regular remote, so the end user doesn't see any difference. If you have an Xbox, the PC doesn't even have to be in the room or connected to your TV at all.

You can't really use Tivo without a subscription or lifetime.

Your original idea of using a DVD/HDD recorder will work ok. I did the same thing for many years. But after using a PC, I'd never go back to the old DVD/HDD recorder. Too limited and too much hassle.
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post #15 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Gotta give up something to save some cash. Nearly everything on demand can be streamed online these days. Since the PC route saves me at least $40/month, I don't mind using Hulu in place of on demand.

I wanted to avoid using a PC too, but it's worked out fine. My wife has no idea a PC is running the show. Everything works with a regular remote, so the end user doesn't see any difference. If you have an Xbox, the PC doesn't even have to be in the room or connected to your TV at all.

You can't really use Tivo without a subscription or lifetime.

Your original idea of using a DVD/HDD recorder will work ok. I did the same thing for many years. But after using a PC, I'd never go back to the old DVD/HDD recorder. Too limited and too much hassle.

wouldn't a "dumb" TiVo (no subscription) basically be an HDD recorder?

also, is there a difference between a coax cable input and an antenna coax input? a TiVo has both, which maybe I could plug both cable box coax into?
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post #16 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 09:26 AM
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Just get a DVR from the cable company and get rid of both of your current cable boxes. It will probably end up costing about the same.
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post #17 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jimlau View Post

wouldn't a "dumb" TiVo (no subscription) basically be an HDD recorder?
No. More like a brick. I think it will tune some channels and may even buffer them, but not much more. They may have even eliminated that ability. With TiVo, you are buying their service, the box just enables you to use their service.
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also, is there a difference between a coax cable input and an antenna coax input? a TiVo has both, which maybe I could plug both cable box coax into?
You are reaching for a simple and cheap option to drop into your current setup. If it existed, somebody would have told you by now. As mdavej stated, you have to give up something -- convenience, ease of use, functionality, maybe all three -- to save money.

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post #18 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 09:31 AM
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Just get a DVR from the cable company and get rid of both of your current cable boxes. It will probably end up costing about the same.
I thought of suggesting that for the same reasons, but it is not clear that both boxes are on the same TV. He might have them in separate rooms.

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post #19 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks all.

looks like, if I don't get it from the cable company, I could get a programmable, tunerless dvr version of a vcr, 1 coax in, 1 composite or hdmi out with a hdd and no need for dvd recording. what would that be called? where could I get 1? are those security system boxes quality?
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post #20 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 12:32 PM
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looks like, if I don't get it from the cable company, I could get a programmable, tunerless dvr version of a vcr, 1 coax in, 1 composite or hdmi out with a hdd and no need for dvd recording. what would that be called? where could I get 1? are those security system boxes quality?

OK, sounds like what you really want is a digital version of a VCR. Go look at a Magnavox DVD recorder here. That is the closest and cheapest you will get -- the lowest model costs $210. It has a HDD so you don't have to burn to DVD and can ignore that. You program it manually like a VCR to record at the date & time you want. It has composite and coax input. You can hook it to the coax output of your cable box set to channel 3 or 4. You will need to set your cable box to the channel you want to record if your cable box can't be programmed.

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post #21 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 02:51 PM
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And don't forget the added bonus of a postage stamp picture.
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post #22 of 37 Old 02-07-2014, 10:02 PM
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And don't forget the added bonus of a postage stamp picture.
As you said previously,
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Gotta give up something to save some cash.

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post #23 of 37 Old 02-08-2014, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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ok, trying to go modern.wink.gif

if I get a TiVo Premiere 4 HD DVR with lifetime subscription, I can get a card from the cable company for $5, and that's it per month?

btw, my tv has picture in picture, so I need 2 inputs to the tv. is that possible with 1 cable card? my tv has coax (which is needed for the small picture) and hdmi and composite (for the main picture). can I TiVo output 2 signals? or maybe get a small second box from Comcast for the coax?
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post #24 of 37 Old 02-08-2014, 05:10 PM
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ok, trying to go modern.wink.gif

if I get a TiVo Premiere 4 HD DVR with lifetime subscription, I can get a card from the cable company for $5, and that's it per month?
Yes. You will only be paying the cable card monthly fee.
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2 issues:

1) my tv has picture in picture, so I need 2 inputs to the tv. is that possible with 1 cable card?
No. The cable card will supply 4 channels to the Premier XL4's 4 tuners but they will feed a single input on the TV. You would need a second source to feed the second TV input for PiP.
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2) can I toggle between 2 channels if i'm taping 1?
With TiVo all the tuners are buffered independently. You can switch to any tuner at any time whether the tuner is being recorded or not -- actually they are all being recorded, all the time.

Caveat: You mentioned in another post you watch a lot of Comcast On-Demand. TiVo does not do on-demand. Only the Comcast boxes will give you on-demand capability. If you want on-demand you would have to keep one of their STB's -- which you could plug into the second input on your TV for PiP.

Final Note: Unless you can get a killer deal on a used XL4 + lifetime, go with a new Roamio basic -- a much better investment and a killer DVR.

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post #25 of 37 Old 02-08-2014, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I believe u are mistaken. this model and roami do get on-demand. also looking to get used 1 as cost is an issue.
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post #26 of 37 Old 02-08-2014, 11:00 PM
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I believe u are mistaken. this model and roami do get on-demand. also looking to get used 1 as cost is an issue.
Someone with a TiVo and Comcast will have to provide an answer.

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post #27 of 37 Old 02-09-2014, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I am confused. I pay $68 for cable, and my big cable box is free. so getting a tivo would really increase my bill. $68 plus tivo plus a cable card?
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post #28 of 37 Old 02-09-2014, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Someone with a TiVo and Comcast will have to provide an answer.

just learned that it's an even swap, cable box returned for 1 cable card received. is 1 advantage with TiVo that I can watch/tape 2 different channels from the 1 cable input? currently I need a second box to get 2 channels.
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post #29 of 37 Old 02-09-2014, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jimlau View Post

is 1 advantage with TiVo that I can watch/tape 2 different channels from the 1 cable input? currently I need a second box to get 2 channels.

You can record four or six channels with one cable input, depending on which model you buy.
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post #30 of 37 Old 02-09-2014, 03:56 PM
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just learned that it's an even swap, cable box returned for 1 cable card received. is 1 advantage with TiVo that I can watch/tape 2 different channels from the 1 cable input? currently I need a second box to get 2 channels.
You stated previously you were looking for a used Premier + lifetime to save money. A regular Premier has two tuners and a Premier XL4 has 4 tuners. So you can watch/record 2 or 4 different channels from a single coax and a single cable card. See my previous post to you here.

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