Thanks JJeff and Wajo for your advice - I just ordered the Magnavox HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner, 320GB online from Walmart and it's coming in for store pickup this coming Friday
I would like to share with you what my current setup looks like and how I plan to use my new HDD/DVR.NOTE #1
: The only reason I am purchasing this new HDD DVR is to DVR my baseball games that air on ESPN U (HD) and the Big Ten Network (BTNHD) and then make a DVD copy so I don't have to keep asking the TV people in the video truck to burn me a DVD copy after the game.NOTE #2
: To keep things simple, my wife and kids will still want to use the existing cable box DVR that AT& T provides to record all of their cable TV shows (because they are used to using it and don't want to relearn a new way of doing things). My plan is to use the new HDD DVR strictly to DVR baseball games and then make/burn a copy of the games to a DVD disc so that I can send them to my supervisor, friends and family, etc.
My current setup at home is the following:
1. I have a Panasonic HDTV with an HDMI cable which I think is connected to the AT&T box?
2. The TV has a yellow Ethernet cord that I believe goes from the cable box to the back of the TV?
3. The TV is kind of like a "smart tv" because we can download movies directly from Amazon... which I think comes automatically preloaded on Panasonic HDTVs. It has a few other preload internet sites (You Tube, Weather, etc) that we can access but hardly ever use.
4. To complicate matters, I have an older DVD & VHS combo player that is also connected in the mix. We only use this as a DVD player and never use the VHS part of it and do not use this to record anything (we use the DVR that comes with the AT&T Uverse box to record our shows off cable)
With all that said I have the following questions with how the new setup will be:
1. Do I need to purchase any additional cords/wires/cables/splitters to do my new setup or can I just use the one's that come with the Magnavox HDD DVR? If so, please let me know what I need to get so I can do buy it before-hand and be ready to install everything when my new HDD/DVR comes in on Friday
2. I would imagine that it is easier to DVR the games to my HDD/DVR and then burn copies when needed rather than recording the LIVE games directly to DVD… correct? Is the video quality any better doing it one way vs the other?
2. Since I cannot burn DVDs from my AT&T cable DVR, can I transfer my previously recorded games from the cable DVR onto the new HDD/DVR so that I can then burn/make DVD copies of those past games that are sitting on my AT&T cable DVR?
3. When I add/connect my new Magnavox HDD/DVR, can I throw out the older DVD & VHS combo unit since we really only use it to watch DVD movies (which I think my new Magnavox will be able to do)?
4. I like to watch and DVR the HD channels of ESPN & BTN which are channels #1604 and #1650 on my AT&T Uverse box - will the higher number channels be a problem to record on the new HDD/DVR (I thought I read on one of the forums that the HDD/DVR can only record channels from 1-99)?
5. My games are on an average 3 – 3 1/2 hrs in length (including commercials), what kind of DVDs should I buy to record/burn/copy my games in the highest video quality. It would be great if I could get each game on one DVD but I realize that it will probably take two DVDs for each game?
6. Given what I have now, can you help explain the best way to connect everything, ie. AT&T ethernet cable goes from the wall into the AT&T DVR box and then another ethernet wire go from the AT&T DVR box to the Panasonic HDTV and then wire(s) go from the Panasonic HDTV to the new Magnavox HDD/DVR? Again, it would be great to eliminate my older DVD/VHS player if possible
If it would be easier to reply directly by email, my personal email, it is email@example.com or feel free to just call me on my cell at 586-530-6795. Sorry for the long post and I really do appreciate all of your help guys provide here on this forum!