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FAQ: DVD Recorders and the Analog to Digital Transition - Page 5

post #121 of 220
Pat, just a quick note on the Philips 3576 or Magnavox H2160 (#1 link in my sig.).

You don't need a converter box for it cuz it has NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners so it can tune all unscrambled channels from OTA or cable feeds. Basic System Connections are shown in sketch #1 here.

If you connect your analog Panny's to the coax passthru (output) of the Philips/Mag (the "other DVDR" shown in dotted lines in sketch #1), each analog DVDR will be able to tune its own channels, again if you're on cable. If OTA, your analog Pannys will need a converter box and only able to tune/record the channel the converter box is set on... using a line connection for best PQ.

One "odd" possibility is using the Philips/Mag as the digital converter box for one of the Pannys, as described here. This ties up both machines for one channel (in the Philips/Mag), but it's purpose might be for using the FR rec modes and more sophisticated editing of the Panny?

If you get a new HDTV with at least ATSC and QAM tuners, you won't need a converter box on the TV for either OTA or cable.

I'll let others who know more about the future of cable TV post on that subject.
post #122 of 220
Wajo:

Thanks! Now, assuming the Philips has only one coax output, that would mean a splitter to hook up the 2 Panny's. What kind and how best to avoid signal loss? I have a powered distribution amp I'm using right now for input splitting. I wouldn't need that once the Phillips is in place. Wouldn't the same thing work for the output of the Philips (now the input to the Panny's) or do you recommend something else?

PatH
post #123 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatH View Post

Wajo:

Thanks! Now, assuming the Philips has only one coax output, that would mean a splitter to hook up the 2 Panny's. What kind and how best to avoid signal loss? I have a powered distribution amp I'm using right now for input splitting. I wouldn't need that once the Phillips is in place. Wouldn't the same thing work for the output of the Philips (now the input to the Panny's) or do you recommend something else?

PatH

The Philips has an amplified coax passthru, so IF YOU'RE ON CABLE TV, just "daisy-chain" from the Philips to the 1st Panny, then on to the 2nd Panny, then on to the TV. Your signal at the TV should still be strong enough for good PQ. Run each DVDR with line outputs to the TV,of course.

Your option is to run the Philips alone to the TV on one leg of a good splitter, and both Pannys on the other leg... but the coax "daisy-chain" should be good to go for cable TV.

If you're OTA, only the Philips will be able to tune those ATSC channels, so you'd need at least one 2-way splitter to serve the Philips and one converter box for one Panny. If you need the 2nd Panny also, a 3-way splitter and 2 converter boxes?... ugh!

In any config., I wouldn't have your powered amp feeding the Philips to start with cuz it might overdrive the signal thru the Philips amplified coax connection... and digital channels can "fall off the cliff" (disappear) if the signal is too strong or too weak (info on the "Cliff Effect" is at the bottom of this help file, same link I gave before). Only if the Philips doesn't tune all OTA channels in your area would I recommend trying it on the amp.

EDIT: Oops, I forgot that one of your Pannys has a VCR, which might "complicate" a coax passthru cuz VCRs modulate the signal on the coax, altho I think you can turn that modulation off in the 75? That would keep the coax as a signal passthru for the "daisy-chain" effect. You'd be seeing things from each DVDR thru line inputs to your TV anyway, and your TV would have its own signal for tuning w/o any DVDR being on (if it has the proper tuners, of course).
post #124 of 220
And with this daisy chain I could record a different program on each Panny?

PatH
post #125 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatH View Post

And with this daisy chain I could record a different program on each Panny?

PatH

Yes.
post #126 of 220
One more for wajo or anyone else. Wajo advised that I view the output of the Panny's through line out. Fine and dandy, but I was reading the Panny manuals and each has a HDMI connection. The TV's I'm looking at all have three of these. So could I plug the Panny's and my future Philips (am I incorrect in assuming it has HDMI?) into each of these for output to the TV without causing some kind of conflict?

Pat
post #127 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatH View Post

One more for wajo or anyone else. Wajo advised that I view the output of the Panny's through line out. Fine and dandy, but I was reading the Panny manuals and each has a HDMI connection. The TV's I'm looking at all have three of these. So could I plug the Panny's and my future Philips (am I incorrect in assuming it has HDMI?) into each of these for output to the TV without causing some kind of conflict?

Pat

Yes, plug each DVDR into one of the HDMI connectors, then use your TV remote to select "HDMI1" or "HDMI2" etc. or whatever name your TV gives those.

With my 3575's I actually get a better TUNER pic with Digital Composite cables compared to HDMI... my TV source is basic (analog) cable, which is a Composite signal. I use HDMI only for playing commercial DVDs, where the pic is awesome!
post #128 of 220
PatH,

Before you buy any HDMI cables, check out forum sponsor monoprice.com who sells for $5-$15 what Best Buy and others would sell for $25-$100.
post #129 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget_HT View Post

PatH,

Before you buy any HDMI cables, check out forum sponsor monoprice.com who sells for $5-$15 what Best Buy and others would sell for $25-$100.

When they go on sale at monoprice.com it can be under $2 +S&H.
post #130 of 220
With so many posts on each subject I may never find the answer to my question but I'll try. Being a rather elderly individual the world of DVD's is a little scarry. I'm really a VCR person. I presently have 3 DVD/VCR combo machines connected to 3 TV's. Only one TV is a LCD with a digital tuner. I presently have hundreds of DVD movies but only watched one since I get irritated with all that book, page, etc stuff or whatever it is all about. I fall asleep easily so I tape, on VHS tapes most shows or programs and watch whenever I want. At my age I'll probably never get used to those DVD things.
I've heard that after February 2009 I will not be able to record on the VCR portion any more unless I use a converter box. One of my VCR/DVD machines is a Toshiba with a ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner that I just purchased a few days ago for this reason, just in case. Haven't hooked this one up yet. All other recorder/players are old and analog.
Anyone know if it's true that even this Toshiba machine will not be able to record digital signals on the VCR section after the change over? Salesman told me none on the market will be able to record on the VCR part without a digital converter and he sold me this Toshiba. Must I still connect a converter box to the Toshiba? If I do how would this effect the Toshiba LCD TV with the digital tuner? I have several of those converter boxes. Is there a specific one that would work better in this situation? I have a Zenith, Magnavox, Dishnetwork so far.
Like I said I'm on the older side and all this technology is slowly loosing me. I can purchase all the VCR tapes I want around here. Sure wish I'll be able to use them.
post #131 of 220
If you're talking about over-the-air television, the Zinwell ZAT-950A CECB has built-in event timers, which will allow the box to change channels on it's own. That would've been the best choice for someone like you - as long as you can also set timers on the VCR side to coincide.

Seeing as you already have a DTVPal, though, you might as well just use that instead, because that box has timers, also. Only thing is, don't expect the picture quality on the LCD from the DTVPal to be all that great, as that's never been rated too highly on that box (the Zinwell's is supposed to be a bit better. It's timers are also generally more reliable than the Pal's. Of all the CECB's you said you have, the Zenith has the best PQ, so if you don't really need the timers to change channels, I'd just use that. Just leave the box on and tuned to the channel you want to record from).

If you need QAM on the VCR side, there are a few standalone tuners that will give you that - check the "HDTV Hardware" sticky on HD tuners. If you need QAM and NTSC, I'd suggest the PrimeDTV PHD-205. If you just want NTSC, just use the tuner from your old VCR for that. You can run it into the Toshiba.

One question, though - if you have a DVD recorder now, why do you want to continue to record on bulky, clunky VHS tapes? The picture quality of DVD is much better, and they certainly take up less space (and VHS tapes are going to be increasingly harder to find now - and blank DVD's are generally much cheaper in bulk). They're really that not difficult to use once you get used to them. It's easy to get psyched out by all those features on a DVD recorder - especially when you try to decipher those convoluted manuals they give you - but all you really need to know is start/stop, FF/RW, chapter up/back, and record/erase.
post #132 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by just carl View Post

One of my VCR/DVD machines is a Toshiba with a ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner that I just purchased a few days ago for this reason, just in case. Haven't hooked this one up yet. All other recorder/players are old and analog.
Anyone know if it's true that even this Toshiba machine will not be able to record digital signals on the VCR section after the change over? Salesman told me none on the market will be able to record on the VCR part without a digital converter and he sold me this Toshiba.

If your Toshiba would NOT record from the ATSC and QAM tuners to its VCR, I would be stunned. I think the salesman was feeding you a load of equine excrement. But, I don't have that machine. Maybe someone who does can confirm?
post #133 of 220
I have a similar question as Carl.
Currently, I am using a VHS player to record a show every morning from 2 am to 3 am.
Then I will watch the tape the following night, rewind the tape, to be re-recorded over the following morning.

The Philips3576 is the ideal product to digital recorder to record shows directly on the HDD, however, it costs > $300

So I am thinking about buying a cheap $99 dvd recorder, which record on DVDs.

My question is:
- For these DVD recorders, is it true that I can re-record onto the same DVD RW disc over and over again?
- With the DVD RW disc, is it pretty straight forward to rewind and fast forward.
- Can I specify the recorder to record anything that comes through the video input, at 2 to 3 am, or must it rely on some type of EPG programming guide?
- Which brand with ATSC tuner should I buy at $99. I need a machine that can accept 2 video inputs (one tuner is sufficient), so that I can use the tuner to record the OTA shows, and the other input to record satellite shows.
With a VCR, for example, I can hookup the the antenna to the coaxial, and the satellite to Line 1. Then i can set the program event to record from Channel 5 from 2 to 3 am, then from Line 1 from 3 to 4 am.

These questions may sound trivial, any help will be appreciated.

John W
post #134 of 220
You could look for a Panasonic EZ-28 with the tuner built-in for a good price and just go with that. DVD-RAM is best for time-shifting (it's sort of a "mini-DVR"), as you can get more re-recordings out of it. And you can record in full widescreen with it, if you ever need that, which you can't do with +/-R or +/-RW. Those others are fine for an older, 4:3 TV, but if you ever get a 16:9 one and want to use it on that, you'll be glad you have that feature.

Not many recorders record on or playback -RAM. Some, like the Toshiba's, will play them, but not record to them.

If you were prepared to spend up to $200.00 anyway, you can usually find the EZ-28 for that price, or sometimes even less.

If you want a hard drive model, the $239.98 Magnavox H2160 is available at Walmart.com (although I think it might be out of stock at this moment - usually isn't for long, though). Sometimes you can find their last model, the H2080, for quite a bit less (even less "refurbished". It only has half the size HDD (80GB to 160GB), but it's also known to be a bit buggier tham most. The newer model is apparently better, but for OTA-only recording, the old one may suffice.

They all have more than one line input.
post #135 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbjohn View Post

The Philips3576 is the ideal product to digital recorder to record shows directly on the HDD, however, it costs > $300

So I am thinking about buying a cheap $99 dvd recorder, which record on DVDs.

The cheapest DVD recorder with ATSC tuner that I would even consider buying is the Toshiba D-R560 for $150 from buydig.com. It records to +/-RW (but since it is a funai box it will favor +RW) which are cheap enough in bulk and should be good for a couple dozen re-records before errors start cropping up. Since you are using it for OTA recording, you shouldn't have any trouble with the funai tuner.
post #136 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbjohn View Post

I have a similar question as Carl.
Currently, I am using a VHS player to record a show every morning from 2 am to 3 am.
Then I will watch the tape the following night, rewind the tape, to be re-recorded over the following morning.

My question is:
- For these DVD recorders, is it true that I can re-record onto the same DVD RW disc over and over again?
- With the DVD RW disc, is it pretty straight forward to rewind and fast forward.
- Can I specify the recorder to record anything that comes through the video input, at 2 to 3 am, or must it rely on some type of EPG programming guide?
- Which brand with ATSC tuner should I buy at $99. I need a machine that can accept 2 video inputs (one tuner is sufficient), so that I can use the tuner to record the OTA shows, and the other input to record satellite shows.
With a VCR, for example, I can hookup the the antenna to the coaxial, and the satellite to Line 1. Then i can set the program event to record from Channel 5 from 2 to 3 am, then from Line 1 from 3 to 4 am.

John W

I see your about to give up on VHS tapes. Me I really like them. I like the ability to take one out of the machine, put aside, add more tomorrow, play back what I want, when I want and as much as I want.
I've heard that if you use a rewrittable DVD-RW you can use it even more than a VHS tape.
Might have to try that soon enough.
post #137 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by just carl View Post

I see your about to give up on VHS tapes. Me I really like them. I like the ability to take one out of the machine, put aside, add more tomorrow, play back what I want, when I want and as much as I want.
I've heard that if you use a rewrittable DVD-RW you can use it even more than a VHS tape.
Might have to try that soon enough.

Even simpler would be a hard-drive based recorder... never have to swap ANY media. Its all just there till you erase it. Have you thought about something like the Philips HDD recorder? Personally, I'm waiting to see what the immediate future brings us to find a replacement for my trusty (but analog SD) Panasonic DMR-EH85.
post #138 of 220
Yes, the Philips or the Magnavox would be ideal, but they cost $249 at least.
The Toshiba 560 with Tuner looks good at $160.

I see that there is a Toshiba 410 without Tuner at $99, which I can connect to my DTVPal Plus CECB. Does anyone know if the 410 allow Timed Recording? or do I have to manually start the recording myself?

I just went to Toshiba site, and read the manual. It does allow timer recording. I will go to a local store to get one and try it out.
post #139 of 220
I can guarantee, you will get exactly what you pay for.
post #140 of 220
One last question, for the non HDD recorder, I will always have to "finalize" the disc before I can watch the disc? even if the disc is DVD-RW?

For the Panasonic types, which can be recorded on to DVD-RAM, do I need to "finalize" the DVD-RAM discs also?
post #141 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbjohn View Post

One last question, for the non HDD recorder, I will always have to "finalize" the disc before I can watch the disc? even if the disc is DVD-RW?

For the Panasonic types, which can be recorded on to DVD-RAM, do I need to "finalize" the DVD-RAM discs also?

Hi lb,

For any + or - DVD, yes, you will have to finalize it to play it in other recorders. DVD-RW discs do not have to be finalized for playback on compatible machines. DVD-RAM discs are much like DVD+/-RW discs: you can record on them repeatedly and watch them on any compatible playback machine (I always leave one in the DVD slot of both my Panny DMR machines, and they basically work just like the HD).
post #142 of 220
-RWs need to be finalized to be played in anything other than the recorder that recorded them or usually the same brand that recorded it.
+RWs and RAMs don't need to be finalized although +RWs usually need to have a separate step done which creates the top menu, if you want that. On Pannys anyway it takes about as long as finalizing a -RW disc.
post #143 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

-RWs need to be finalized to be played in anything other than the recorder that recorded them or usually the same brand that recorded it.

Well, lots of people say that, but unfinalized -RW discs recorded on my Pio 640 play just fine on my Sony 995 400 disc changer, and my Oppo 980.
post #144 of 220
That's handy, do the discs have a top menu or do they play like +RWs that aren't made compatible, that is no available top menu and they automatically play when inserted?
Do all Pios act that way or do you think that it's more about your Sony and Oppo players? I know none of my Sony single players play unfinalized -RW from any of my Pannys.
post #145 of 220
It's been a while since I played one. I think they come up with a menu similar to the menu that shows on the Pio for an unfinalized disc. I should point out that these are -RW VR mode discs. Perhaps unfinalized video mode discs behave differently. My Oppo's instructions says it won't play VR discs, but I think I played some, so I better check.

I WAS surprised that the Sony would play unfinalized -RW VR discs. But, insertion isn't a factor, since it is a 400 disc carousel. Perhaps they do start play when selected. I loaded about 10 in the player, and watched most, but that was a couple of months ago. I do think hitting the menu button brought up a title list type menu.
post #146 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

I should point out that these are -RW VR mode discs.

Yes I think that explains it, I believe the VR mode is similar to the + format. I didn't think of that since Pannys only do the VIDEO mode and no VR mode. One of the little extras on a Pio
post #147 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalabria View Post

Even simpler would be a hard-drive based recorder... never have to swap ANY media. Its all just there till you erase it. Have you thought about something like the Philips HDD recorder? Personally, I'm waiting to see what the immediate future brings us to find a replacement for my trusty (but analog SD) Panasonic DMR-EH85.

You just turned on a light bulb......I have a H10-250 recorder from DTV that was replaced by a newer DVR. Instead of using the H10 as a boat anchor, could I somehow hook it up to my H21 unit in the living room and record feeds off of DTV. Right now my DVR in the bedroom is full and I don't have enough time to burn DVD's on my Panasonic EZ47
post #148 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Yes I think that explains it, I believe the VR mode is similar to the + format. I didn't think of that since Pannys only do the VIDEO mode and no VR mode. One of the little extras on a Pio

Panasonic records VR mode to RAM, Pioneer, and I believe Toshiba, can record VR mode to -RW. This is very different from the Philips +VR mode. VR mode allows for variable resolution as well as VBR and was designed for easy video editing. The variable resolution part can cause people problems if they are not aware of it -- you can't high-speed dub a DVD-R from a variable resolution VR recording. VR mode is recorded on UDF 2 formatted disks, is the CPRM compliant format and does not have to be finalized. My Sony and Panasonic players both playback VR mode disks, but the Sony only plays -RW VR disks. If I take a VR mode RAM burned on my Panasonic E-85 and image copy it to a DVD-RW, it plays on the Sony. As far as the video data is concerned, it is still an MPEG-2 stream just like DVD-Video.
post #149 of 220
My Polaroid DRA-01601a has failed and I wish to replace it with a new DVR. It should have the tuners to receive OTA digital, satellite, and cable since we're in an RV and the input will vary from park to park. It should also be capable of outputting hi def to the TV. We also want the capability to record to hard drive and/or DVD. I would very much appreciate any suggestions.
post #150 of 220
Doesn't exist.
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