New to the Personal DVR movement PLEASE HELP!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-30-2014, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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New to the Personal DVR movement PLEASE HELP!!!

So it would seem that I am a decade or more behind the times when it comes to PVRS/DVRS...

So for the past several years I have been a streaming video only user.

But recently Time Warner Cable had a great deal on their BASIC/STD (analog)

So here is what I am looking for:

DVR compatible with analog cable... if it also has QAM all the better.

HDMI out is a must!

At least 2 tuners

EPG!!! would prefer non-fee based but if there is a GOOD low fee epg or TIVO that doesn't use a cable card that would be fine

upconversion would be great if one such exists

Thats not really a long list of things... seems like I should be able to find something easily... but ARG!!! Sending back on iView 3500STBII after learning that "Works with Cable" means QAM only... Plus that was a terrible EPG.... if it can even be called that...
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-30-2014, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Is analog cable NTSC?
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-30-2014, 11:16 PM
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Yes. If you want to record NTSC from your cable company, a VCR would be the cheapest solution. DVRs can only record QAM, since that is digital, and NTSC is not.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRush View Post
But recently Time Warner Cable had a great deal on their BASIC/STD (analog)

So here is what I am looking for:

DVR compatible with analog cable... if it also has QAM all the better.

HDMI out is a must!

At least 2 tuners

EPG!!! would prefer non-fee based but if there is a GOOD low fee epg or TIVO that doesn't use a cable card that would be fine

upconversion would be great if one such exists
If you are dealing with analog cable then HiDef recording is not a concern.
I don't think you can get everything you want in the box because analog has been pretty much dead for quite some time and so the number of current devices that support analog recording is very thin. You should take a look at a Magnavox DVD recorder -- the thread is here. DVD recorders are old obsolete technology which is why they still record analog. Their time on the market is dwindling. This is the most recent model with a 1TB HDD -- and may very well be the last. The previous models with smaller HDD's have been discontinued and are now selling for highly inflated prices. Although their primary purpose is to record and burn DVD's, they record to internal HDD's and have some DVR trick-play features for playback of recorded content from the HDD -- including skip forward/backward for jumping over commercials. Kind of a souped-up digital VCR.

It has only one tuner and no EPG -- not even PSIP. It is programmed completely manually by date/time/channel like a VCR but does have a recurring option. It does tune and record both analog cable and clear QAM channels. It only records in SD (which means it down-converts any QAM HD to SD) -- remember, its purpose is to make DVD's which are SD. It has HDMI out. It will up-convert to 1080i out of the HDMI port but if your HDTV is decent it is almost guaranteed to do a better job. You also get the benefit of a built-in DVD burner should you ever want to archive anything you record or just play a DVD.

As dismal as that may sound, I frankly can't think of anything that will do a better job recording both analog and clear QAM cable other than renting the cable company equipment or buying a TiVo or building a HTPC. I know you said you feel behind the times with DVR's, but if you are looking to build a system around analog cable you are still residing in the stone-age and most of the modern kit will not serve your needs.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine


Last edited by Kelson; 10-01-2014 at 07:04 AM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRush View Post
So it would seem that I am a decade or more behind the times when it comes to PVRS/DVRS...

So for the past several years I have been a streaming video only user.

But recently Time Warner Cable had a great deal on their BASIC/STD (analog)

So here is what I am looking for:

DVR compatible with analog cable... if it also has QAM all the better.

HDMI out is a must!

At least 2 tuners

EPG!!! would prefer non-fee based but if there is a GOOD low fee epg or TIVO that doesn't use a cable card that would be fine

upconversion would be great if one such exists

Thats not really a long list of things... seems like I should be able to find something easily... but ARG!!! Sending back on iView 3500STBII after learning that "Works with Cable" means QAM only... Plus that was a terrible EPG.... if it can even be called that...
If you have the basic package from TWC, that should include locals in HD, but you will likely need a Cable Card (but no Tuning Adapter) to tune them. Honestly, I would get a used Tivo HD or Premier with lifetime and pay the $2.50/month for the cable card if I were you. That way you can record both the analog and HD signals.

-Ted
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-01-2014, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncted View Post
Honestly, I would get a used Tivo HD or Premier with lifetime and pay the $2.50/month for the cable card if I were you. That way you can record both the analog and HD signals.
Thanks, I should have said a used TiVo in my post.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #7 of 7 Old 10-04-2014, 08:23 AM
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While you may get analog cable at the moment, it probably won't be around much longer. So I personally wouldn't spend any money on an analog or even clear QAM solution as both are quickly on the way out. I'd be surprised if you had more than a year left.

If Tivo is too expensive, HTPC is a great alternative. I assume you posted this from a computer, right? All you have to do is plug in a cable card tuner, install free Windows Media Center, plug in your TV (VGA works fine, otherwise a $15 video card with HDMI will do), and you've got yourself a fantastic DVR with free interactive guide and can record every channel in your package.

On the other hand, since you seem to be content with basic cable, you're a good candidate for cutting the cord and forgoing a DVR entirely. You can get most basic cable content for free online or via an antenna.
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