Originally Posted by DigaDo
Any DVD recorder with a digital tuner can be used instead of a CECB. Last month I purchased a Magnavox digital tuner ZV450MW8 VHS/DVD recorder through Craig's List for $20. The digital tuner works well for viewing OTA stations and the DVD recorder works well recording those stations. This ZV450MW8 is programmed to record from various local stations almost daily. The VHS mechanism "eats" videotapes so this recorder is not used to play or record videotapes. I suppose I should place a strip of tape over the VHS slot to prevent VHS use by another family member.
I used to have a DVD recorder. It worked ok, until it started to pause on its own while i was recording. That and I couldn't watch any of the dvd's I recorded on any of my dvd players, even my computer. So we pawned it. I've been recording OTA (usually The Late Late Show on CBS) on my Hitachi VCR in EP. Even on an old tape, it still looks and sounds pretty good.
I'd suggest going around the thrift stores, pawn shops, and the like. You could get a really good used VCR these days since a lot of people are upgrading to DVD recorders and junking their "obsolete" equipment after they transferred their VHS to DVD.