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post #1 of 89 Old 02-19-2015, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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No idea what DVR to buy

Hello!

I currently tape shows on a VCR (two VCRs, actually) and it is time for a change.

Here is my situation; I have cable TV; Time Warner cable in the Northeast USA, but NO STB. I have just a coaxial cable coming into the house. I have a TV with a digital tuner and I get a number of standard definition analog channels, a few standard definition digital channels, and some high-def (both 720p and 1080i) digital channels.

I would like to set up a DVR,

Here are my selection parameters:

Must-haves:
-Must record and play back in High Definition.
-Must not have any monthly fees or subscription fee (not even a one-time, lifetime fee)
-Play-back "Chasing" where you can start playback while still recording, happily skipping through commercials as you go.

Nice-to-haves:
-A 30-sec channel skip button or something similar is a STRONG nice-to-have
-The program guide that comes through my cable system seems pretty sparse, and I already know what times the shows are on that I want to tape, but it would be nice if it had an EPG or at least had the intelligence to know when a show is starting a little late/early (say, when a sports event moves the start time)
-I have HDMI, component, and Coaxial inputs on the TV so I don't think I am picky about the output type, as long as it's Hi-Def.
-Dual tuners would be nice; sometimes on Sundays I want to watch the Walking Dead while recording something else

Don't-really-cares:
-I don't need networking since we mostly watch on one main TV, but it might be nice.
-I can plug in USB flash drives or an external HDD. I have some of each already so I should be all set.

I was looking at this item online but I really have no idea if it will do what I want:

(oops - I had to remove the link to Amazon because I don't have 5 posts yet, but it was the "Viewtv At-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box and Media Player w/ Recording PVR Function / HDMI Out / Coaxial Out / Composite Out / USB Input")

Based on these parameters, what would you kind folks recommend?
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post #2 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 10:56 AM
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VCR? What's the heck is that?! Sure this isn't an early April fool's joke?!

As you say, "...watch the Walking Dead", that's AMC, so you I assume you already have cable or satellite. So, why not just get a HD-DVR from whoever your provider is. Doesn't sound like you're just talking about free OTA recording.

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post #3 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello Brajesh! Thanks for the reply. I do indeed use a vcr (hangs head in shame).

I do have cable TV but am on a very cheap plan with no cable boxes. I also don't want to rent an extra piece of equipment from the cable provider. I currently get a package that is not scrambled, so I don't need a STB or decoder of any kind.

I'm looking for a DVR that works with a cable input containing a mix of analog and digital non-scrambled channels.

thanks!
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post #4 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 11:11 AM
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Windows Media Center and a tuner (or two). There's a whole sub-forum about them down below: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-hom...ter-computers/
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post #5 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DeeVeeAre View Post
I'm looking for a DVR that works with a cable input containing a mix of analog and digital non-scrambled channels.
Why bother. It sounds like you have lifeline analog cable and no intention of upgrading. Stick with your VCR's. Buying a DVR would be like putting high-performance racing tires on a Yugo. Besides, other than TiVo (which is out of the question for you) I don't believe any of the other clear-QAM tuners support analog which means you may lose a big chunk of your channels.

You would have been better off with a DVD recorder that's pretty much a digital VCR that does analog as well as clear QAM and records to a HDD. Only problem is they are at the end of the road and so prices for the remaining stock of the only model available have doubled to a point beyond what any sane person would pay.

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post #6 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 11:45 AM
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Kelson makes a good point; most DVRs can't handle NTSC, so you wouldn't be able to record many of your channels anymore. If you're on the cheapest cable package that doesn't even require an STB, then you probably get few (if any) HD channels, anyway, so the ability to record in HD is useless.
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post #7 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
Why bother. It sounds like you have lifeline analog cable and no intention of upgrading. ...
Because his cable company will eventually force him to upgrade, like virtually every cable system in the US already has?
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post #8 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
Because his cable company will eventually force him to upgrade, like virtually every cable system in the US already has?
Agreed, but that is not the case now and he makes no mention of it in his OP. Analog tuners are a thing of the past. Unless he is willing forgo all analog recording with his current service, there is nothing for him other than his current VCR's.
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post #9 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone who responded!

I guess the biggest takeaway is that no HD DVRs have an analog tuner. In retrospect, I guess this makes sense because (nearly) all OTA TV is digital.

The reason I don't give up is because I currently watch TV in HD and would like to record/playback in HD too.

The number of channels that are digital and Hi Def are less than the number of analog channels, but all of the networks are available in HD. Currently I videotape the SD analog network stations, but it would be nice to capture them in HD instead. Also, there are a handful of channels that are ONLY available as digital channels, so I currently have no way to tape those.


I guess I have two questions now:

1) Let's say for sake of argument I am willing to give up all the analog channels. Would you folks have a hardware recommendation for that?


2) I was not originally interested in setting up a Windows Media Box (too much work) but , if that is the only choice (to record both analog SD and digital HD), will it do what I need (satisfying all of the must haves and any of the nice-to-haves above)?

Thanks again for the inputs.
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post #10 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 07:43 PM
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Can you tell us your zip code and cable provider? That would help determine your need(s).
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post #11 of 89 Old 02-20-2015, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
Can you tell us your zip code and cable provider? That would help determine your need(s).
I'm in the Northeast on Time Warner cable. But I think the hardware questions don't much matter on my provider; I guess it's more important that what's coming down the co-ax is a mix of analog and digital channels. The digital channels are a mix of SD, 720p, and 1080i (according to my Samsung TV)

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post #12 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DeeVeeAre View Post
"...Viewtv At-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box and Media Player w/ Recording PVR Function / HDMI Out / Coaxial Out / Composite Out / USB Input"...
If you read the reviews for this device, one guy mentions that when connecting to cable, you won't have a guide...the guide will only work for OTA.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-c...Go.x=10&Go.y=6
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post #13 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 10:16 AM
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You have painted yourself into a corner. No subscription fee, a detailed guide and the ability to record analog cable and HD local channels (from cable) pretty much limits you to building an HTPC with an NTSC and QAM tuning card such as the Hauppauge 2250. Use the links above for our HTPC section. Everything you need to know is there, But you're in for a lot of reading and the expense of gathering hardware and software, assembling the computer, then tweaking it all to do what you're wanting.

That can be expensive and, as some members have mentioned, all of your cable analog channels are going to slowly go away.

You mentioned being able to record your analog cable channels - such as AMC - in HD. For that, you'll need to upgrade your cable package. Those channels are encrypted.

You can build an HTPC, but it's still going to be Windows and have Windows' issues. You'll go away for a week and come home to find it didn't record anything because of a bad Windows Update or some other issue that caused it to hang or crash just like any other computer. There are ways to minimize this, but they still happen.

As mentioned above, your best bet might be to bite the bullet and get a DVR from the cable company. You might find that adding HD and a DVR to what you already have isn't all that expensive. Pros: Largely foolproof, dependable and you get access to PPV movies and events and VOD. Cons: Monthly fee, limited storage.

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post #14 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks;

Thanks again for the responses. I feel that I may not have done a good job explaining some of the points I was trying to make:

I do not want to record analog channels in HD. My cable system has duplicates of some channels available in both analog SD and digital HD. I was merely pointing out that I currently record the analog SD channels (because I have no other choice) on VCR, but that I can live-watch (and therefore would like an HD-DVR to record) the digital HD versions of those channels. I currently get those channels in digital HD and don't need a box or a cable package upgrade.

I agree that building a Media PC is going to be a tough row to hoe and would prefer to just purchase an off-the shelf product.

Note that a channel guide is on my nice-to-have list and is not mandatory (especially since I refuse to pay a service fee). And, I don't even care if it is a detailed EPG, I just would like the DVR to have the ability to change the recording start and stop times if there is a delay.


I think what must be confusing most people is the mix of analog and digital channels and the duplication of some channels in both analog SD and digital HD. Is this rare? Unfortunately, there are some channels that are only available in either analog SD or digital, or else I could focus on either an analog or a digital solution.

But, like I said before, assuming I am willing to give up all the analog channels, and only have non-scrambled, digital HD channels coming through the cable, is there a hardware solution you'd recommend in that case?
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post #15 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 10:47 AM
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If you read the reviews for this device, one guy mentions that when connecting to cable, you won't have a guide...the guide will only work for OTA.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-c...Go.x=10&Go.y=6
Appears to be just another iView clone.

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post #16 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks;

Thanks again for the responses. I feel that I may not have done a good job explaining some of the points I was trying to make:

I do not want to record analog channels in HD. My cable system has duplicates of some channels available in both analog SD and digital HD. I was merely pointing out that I currently record the analog SD channels (because I have no other choice) on VCR, but that I can live-watch (and therefore would like an HD-DVR to record) the digital HD versions of those channels. I currently get those channels in digital HD and don't need a box or a cable package upgrade.

I agree that building a Media PC is going to be a tough row to hoe and would prefer to just purchase an off-the shelf product.

Note that a channel guide is on my nice-to-have list and is not mandatory (especially since I refuse to pay a service fee). And, I don't even care if it is a detailed EPG, I just would like the DVR to have the ability to change the recording start and stop times if there is a delay.


I think what must be confusing most people is the mix of analog and digital channels and the duplication of some channels in both analog SD and digital HD. Is this rare? Unfortunately, there are some channels that are only available in either analog SD or digital, or else I could focus on either an analog or a digital solution.

But, like I said before, assuming I am willing to give up all the analog channels, and only have non-scrambled, digital HD channels coming through the cable, is there a hardware solution you'd recommend in that case?
Sorry, I forgot to add; there is some meta-data coming through the cable system, because some channels (when I press the Info button) will show me the name of the show, the start and stop times, and the name of the next show coming up. Again, this is only a nice-to-have, but the data is obviously there so why wouldn't there be hardware that could take advantage of it?
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post #17 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 10:52 AM
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You have painted yourself into a corner. No subscription fee, a detailed guide and the ability to record analog cable and HD local channels (from cable) pretty much limits you to building an HTPC with an NTSC and QAM tuning card such as the Hauppauge 2250. Use the links above for our HTPC section. Everything you need to know is there, But you're in for a lot of reading and the expense of gathering hardware and software, assembling the computer, then tweaking it all to do what you're wanting.

That can be expensive and, as some members have mentioned, all of your cable analog channels are going to slowly go away.

You mentioned being able to record your analog cable channels - such as AMC - in HD. For that, you'll need to upgrade your cable package. Those channels are encrypted.

You can build an HTPC, but it's still going to be Windows and have Windows' issues. You'll go away for a week and come home to find it didn't record anything because of a bad Windows Update or some other issue that caused it to hang or crash just like any other computer. There are ways to minimize this, but they still happen.

As mentioned above, your best bet might be to bite the bullet and get a DVR from the cable company. You might find that adding HD and a DVR to what you already have isn't all that expensive. Pros: Largely foolproof, dependable and you get access to PPV movies and events and VOD. Cons: Monthly fee, limited storage.
But if you are getting the cable co box and like the OP seem to own for a long time then TiVo and lifetime will be cheaper.
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post #18 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeVeeAre View Post
Hi folks;

Thanks again for the responses. I feel that I may not have done a good job explaining some of the points I was trying to make:

I do not want to record analog channels in HD. My cable system has duplicates of some channels available in both analog SD and digital HD. I was merely pointing out that I currently record the analog SD channels (because I have no other choice) on VCR, but that I can live-watch (and therefore would like an HD-DVR to record) the digital HD versions of those channels. I currently get those channels in digital HD and don't need a box or a cable package upgrade.

I agree that building a Media PC is going to be a tough row to hoe and would prefer to just purchase an off-the shelf product.

Note that a channel guide is on my nice-to-have list and is not mandatory (especially since I refuse to pay a service fee). And, I don't even care if it is a detailed EPG, I just would like the DVR to have the ability to change the recording start and stop times if there is a delay.


I think what must be confusing most people is the mix of analog and digital channels and the duplication of some channels in both analog SD and digital HD. Is this rare? Unfortunately, there are some channels that are only available in either analog SD or digital, or else I could focus on either an analog or a digital solution.

But, like I said before, assuming I am willing to give up all the analog channels, and only have non-scrambled, digital HD channels coming through the cable, is there a hardware solution you'd recommend in that case?
None of the cable companies have "analog HD"-all HD channels are digital.
It essentially boils down to a Tivo for cable-which does not fit your needs.
You could pick up a used Moxi from ebay and get a cablecard to avoid the tivo service fees.
Decoding cable (encrypted) channels means you need a cablecard device and the only real alternative is a Tivo at this point.
Clear QAM cable is dead like the do-do bird, so all those options are not realistic anymore thanks to the lobbyists who got the FCC to allow encryption on all cable digital channels.....
A HTPC will just be a headache for you and at considerable cost and technical pain.
BTW-I own several Tivo's, Moxi's, Tablo, Channel Master DVR+, DVHS decks, and other recording devices including HDHomeRun tuners (cablecard & otherwise).....Good luck-your choices are very limited.

Last edited by qz3fwd; 02-21-2015 at 11:09 AM.
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post #19 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 11:15 AM
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You've done a good job explaining your situation. It's now time to listen to what people are telling you.

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I think what must be confusing most people is the mix of analog and digital channels and the duplication of some channels in both analog SD and digital HD. Is this rare?
No, this is (was) quite common. It won't last -- plenty of people here will attest to that fact. You are just at the tail end of the conversion. The first thing that will eventually happen is a letter from your cable co telling you they are eliminating all analog channels and you will be supplied with a DTA to convert the digital signal to analog for your legacy CRT TV's. The next phase is they will scramble all your digital channels -- even the locals -- so that every TV or device you connect will need a box or cable card. The DTA's are not HD boxes so you will find that you will need to rent an HD STB for each of your HDTV's. At that point you will have only 2 choices for non-cable co devices -- HTPC with a cable-card tuner running WMC or TiVo -- period. Anything you invest in now for tuning clear QAM will be useless.

Quote:
But, like I said before, assuming I am willing to give up all the analog channels, and only have non-scrambled, digital HD channels coming through the cable, is there a hardware solution you'd recommend in that case?
Yes, there is a solution for you, until the ax falls. Buy one (or more) of the iView/HomeWorx clones that handles clear QAM. They will pass analog through but not record it. They are only $40 so you won't lose much when they scramble your digitals and you have to toss it. Of course you will have to buy an external HDD for each one if you don't have some hanging around already.

These are essentially digital VCR's for digital signals. You will not have a guide. You will schedule your recordings the same way you do for your VCR -- by date/time/channel. There is no intelligence, you are responsible for changing the parameters if the broadcast time changes -- just like your VCR's. You cannot watch the recording as it is recording -- like a VCR you have to wait until it has finished recording. There will be times when it fails to record what you have scheduled.

This the best you can do on the cheap.
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Last edited by Kelson; 02-21-2015 at 11:18 AM.
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post #20 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 11:48 AM
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Yes, there is a solution for you, until the ax falls. Buy one (or more) of the iView/HomeWorx clones that handles clear QAM. [...] This the best you can do on the cheap.
It's worth noting, though, that these boxes don't really work properly with cable. They rely on PSIP to set their clocks, and since most cable systems use proprietary guide data instead of PSIP, your iView/Homeworx won't know what time it is when it's hooked to a cable feed. As such, you can't make any timed recordings, so it's not much of a solution.
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post #21 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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It's worth noting, though, that these boxes don't really work properly with cable. They rely on PSIP to set their clocks, and since most cable systems use proprietary guide data instead of PSIP, your iView/Homeworx won't know what time it is when it's hooked to a cable feed. As such, you can't make any timed recordings, so it's not much of a solution.

Can't I set the time manually?
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post #22 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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None of the cable companies have "analog HD"-all HD channels are digital.
It essentially boils down to a Tivo for cable-which does not fit your needs.
You could pick up a used Moxi from ebay and get a cablecard to avoid the tivo service fees.
Decoding cable (encrypted) channels means you need a cablecard device and the only real alternative is a Tivo at this point.
Clear QAM cable is dead like the do-do bird, so all those options are not realistic anymore thanks to the lobbyists who got the FCC to allow encryption on all cable digital channels.....
A HTPC will just be a headache for you and at considerable cost and technical pain.
BTW-I own several Tivo's, Moxi's, Tablo, Channel Master DVR+, DVHS decks, and other recording devices including HDHomeRun tuners (cablecard & otherwise).....Good luck-your choices are very limited.
Understood, but again, I never said analog HD; I have both analog SD and digital HD channels on the cable system.

I will look into Moxi and see what that is.

I do not need/want to decode encrypted channels.

I reject the suggestion that clearQAM is dead and I should just give up. I've had clear QAM channels (plus SD analog channels) for years and years now. Heck, if the Clear-QAM channels only last one more year and they convert them all to scrambled channels 12 months from now and I have to throw out a $40 box, I've still saved money over obtaining a Time Warner set-top-box and paying rental fees from the cable company.

There are a lot of retiree's and lower income residents on this cable system on the other side of town and I think Time Warner is keeping alive this plan with basic analog+some clear QAM because otherwise those people would drop their subscriptions.
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post #23 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 12:17 PM
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Can't I set the time manually?
Nope. When people say those boxes are cheap, they mean it. They apparently don't have a clock chip, so they can't keep time on their own.
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post #24 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 12:24 PM
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What ClearQAM HD channels are you getting other than those available over-the-air? Most TW systems only feed The Weather Channel, C-Span and maybe WGN or CNN in ClearQAM.

You just might do just as well with the cheap box and an antenna.

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post #25 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
You've done a good job explaining your situation. It's now time to listen to what people are telling you.


No, this is (was) quite common. It won't last -- plenty of people here will attest to that fact. You are just at the tail end of the conversion. The first thing that will eventually happen is a letter from your cable co telling you they are eliminating all analog channels and you will be supplied with a DTA to convert the digital signal to analog for your legacy CRT TV's. The next phase is they will scramble all your digital channels -- even the locals -- so that every TV or device you connect will need a box or cable card. The DTA's are not HD boxes so you will find that you will need to rent an HD STB for each of your HDTV's. At that point you will have only 2 choices for non-cable co devices -- HTPC with a cable-card tuner running WMC or TiVo -- period. Anything you invest in now for tuning clear QAM will be useless.
I fully understand what you mean about the clear-QAM going away but I intend to enjoy it while it lasts.

I have been on this cable system (and its predecessor) for nearly 20 years. I have seen it go from a fully analog system with sync suppression scrambling (except HBO, which always used a notch filter) to a mostly-digital system (with the obvious rental DVRs and on-demand options that everyone provides nowadays). I've seen all the premium channels move off analog and go to digital, but that never mattered to me since I don't watch Cinemax, Starz, etc. The system has never lost the basic analog channels. I realize they will go away.

Plus, if I buy a $40 box to do what I want, the channels could go away in less than a year and I'd still come out ahead vs renting a box from Time Warner.

If (when!) they kill off the analog and clear-QAM channels, I'm switching to satellite TV.

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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Yes, there is a solution for you, until the ax falls. Buy one (or more) of the iView/HomeWorx clones that handles clear QAM. They will pass analog through but not record it.
I think this is the nugget of information I have been looking for.

-I will have to sit down and see if there are digital versions of all the channels I would want to record.
-If I want to record one channel while watching another, your comment means I will have to record the digital channel and watch an analog one
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They are only $40 so you won't lose much when they scramble your digitals and you have to toss it. Of course you will have to buy an external HDD for each one if you don't have some hanging around already.
Understood. I have a number of 1 and 2 TB HDDs that I used for backing up which are no longer needed (replaced with larger drives). Also my job gave me a couple of 32GB USB sticks I could use, so my investment will be very modest.
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These are essentially digital VCR's for digital signals. You will not have a guide. You will schedule your recordings the same way you do for your VCR -- by date/time/channel.
Sounds like what I want, basically
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There is no intelligence, you are responsible for changing the parameters if the broadcast time changes -- just like your VCR's. You cannot watch the recording as it is recording -- like a VCR you have to wait until it has finished recording.
I don't think the second part of this is correct, one of the Amazon reviewers mentioned that when you press pause, the box says "entering time shift, waiting" and then you can play catch-up with the program you are recording.
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There will be times when it fails to record what you have scheduled.
Just like when I screw up a VCR recording
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This the best you can do on the cheap.
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post #26 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Nope. When people say those boxes are cheap, they mean it. They apparently don't have a clock chip, so they can't keep time on their own.
If this is universally true, then it kills my plan. However, several reviewers on Amazon have said they make recordings from a clear-QAM cable system so there must be some way to do it. Perhaps the time signal is provided on some systems and not others? Do you know of any DVRs similar to the one I mentioned from Amazon but which do have an internal RTC?
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post #27 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 12:51 PM
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It's worth noting, though, that these boxes don't really work properly with cable. They rely on PSIP to set their clocks, and since most cable systems use proprietary guide data instead of PSIP, your iView/Homeworx won't know what time it is when it's hooked to a cable feed. As such, you can't make any timed recordings, so it's not much of a solution.
That slipped past me.
I guess the only other option for clear QAM is the Philips 5750. It has manual clock but probably has to be checked and reset every week.

@DeeVeeAre
Look at this unit Philips HDR5710/5750 DVRs, Antenna/Cable, Streaming, Int/Ext HDDs, 33TB Storage. They never caught on and are currently being dumped by Radio Shack for $125. If this will fit for you, you better act quick before they are gone.

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post #28 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 01:08 PM
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I reject the suggestion that clearQAM is dead and I should just give up. I've had clear QAM channels (plus SD analog channels) for years and years now. Heck, if the Clear-QAM channels only last one more year and they convert them all to scrambled channels 12 months from now and I have to throw out a $40 box, I've still saved money over obtaining a Time Warner set-top-box and paying rental fees from the cable company.

There are a lot of retiree's and lower income residents on this cable system on the other side of town and I think Time Warner is keeping alive this plan with basic analog+some clear QAM because otherwise those people would drop their subscriptions.
Whether you wish to accept it or not - Clear-QAM is nearly dead. Many other communities also have retiree's and low-income residents and also have lost theirs. I have relatives in rural ND that said the same. "We're a small community ... Too many people would complain about needing DTA's for all of their TV's ... etc". For those relatives - the last of their channels will disappear on Tuesday without a dta box. The supplying of free DTA boxes for a limited amount of time (1 - 2 years, for the most part) is how Time-Warner (and other cable companies) get around that.

Sooner or later - the demand for more HD capacity by other customers will push even your system to get rid of the last of the analog and switch to an all-digital system.

For the others: Is it still true that the iview/homeworx boxes don't do clear-qam out-of-the-box? Or at least do it very well? I thought it was a special firmware that had to be utilized (and, in fact, was downloaded right from these forums for a while)?
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post #29 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 01:20 PM
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If (when!) they kill off the analog and clear-QAM channels, I'm switching to satellite TV.
You're dead-set against a box for cable, but your replacement will require a box. Curious - why not go for real savings and be a cord-cutter? Use OTA for networks and simply purchase only the programming you want from Amazon, Google Play, ITunes, etc?

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I have a number of 1 and 2 TB HDDs that I used for backing up which are no longer needed (replaced with larger drives). Also my job gave me a couple of 32GB USB sticks I could use, so my investment will be very modest. Sounds like what I want, basically I don't think the second part of this is correct, one of the Amazon reviewers mentioned that when you press pause, the box says "entering time shift, waiting" and then you can play catch-up with the program you are recording.
Note that using USB sticks for recording can lead to increased recording problems with those boxes. The read/write speeds of USB drives are not really fast enough for HD recording.

Also - your confusing time-shifting and recording. It's true that these cheap boxes will allow you to pause a program for a bit and then play 'catch-up'. But that's different functionality than a scheduled recording. To these boxes - they don't even use the same buffer.
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post #30 of 89 Old 02-21-2015, 01:29 PM
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Do you know of any DVRs similar to the one I mentioned from Amazon but which do have an internal RTC?
The TVIX 6620 does clear QAM and has its own clock.

As eherberg mentioned, if you're against monthly DVR fees, then you can't switch from cable to satellite. Satellite TV systems are entirely proprietary, so you can't use your own DVR to record satellite TV. You must rent the satellite company's DVR to record anything (aside from feeding the output of the satellite STB into your VCR).
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