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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen,


Well, here I am again! I now have a new problem, which hopefully you can advise me on.


Yesterday my Sony TV died.
I now must look for a new flat panel TV. You all seem to be unanimous that I buy a HDD DVDR.


Again, this may be stupid question.....but, is there anything that I should be looking for in a new TV as far as connection capabilities that would make it easier to connect the HDD???
I also have a digital cable box.



I should also add that I had PIP on my Sony and used it alot. I would like to have that feature again and it seems that Samsung is where I have to go for that feature. However, I have seen where a lot of people have been having a problem with connecting their PIP. I was hoping that I would be able to connect both my new HDD and a VCR recorder to my TV. I know I need a second tuner from either the HDD, VCR or Cable Box for the PIP?



Now, I'll just add another comment only because I don't know if it makes a difference in your knowing this or not.....remember... this is Rose writing here.... sigh.....and you know what happens when you ASSUME...




I have a main cable coming into my house and with a splitter... one cable goes to my downstairs TV and the second cable goes to a TV in my bedroom.


The TV in my bedroom is a Samsung LN-S3286D. I have a Panasonic DMR-EZ48VP-K Combo Recorder connected to it, which I also have been unable to connect my PIP. (Samsung told me that I am unable to use my PIP because of my connections and cable box?)



My second question is ....can I connect the new HDD and VCR recorder to my TV with all the splitters that I am using? Will it drastrically effect my signals on both TV's?




Thanks!



Rose
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose /forum/post/19548993


Again, this may be stupid question.....but, is there anything that I should be looking for in a new TV as far as connection capabilities that would make it easier to connect the HDD???
I also have a digital cable box.

What kind of cable box is it? What connections did you use for the old TV?


Your new TV just has to have the inputs needed for each item connecting to it. So if your DVD recorder and cable box both use HDMI, get a TV with at least two HDMI inputs.


Most TVs nowadays have multiple inputs, unless you get a really small one.


Quote:
I should also add that I had PIP on my Sony and used it alot. I would like to have that feature again and it seems that Samsung is where I have to go for that feature. However, I have seen where a lot of people have been having a problem with connecting their PIP. I was hoping that I would be able to connect both my new HDD and a VCR recorder to my TV. I know I need a second tuner from either the HDD, VCR or Cable Box for the PIP?

Yes, when you have PIP, two tuners have to be present somewhere, as one tunes the channel on the full screen, and another tunes the channel on the little PIP window.


My old TV had PIP capability, but needed a second tuner. I had my TV as the primary tuner and my VCR serve as the second tuner, but I can't remember for the life of me the exact connection (it's been several years.) But I *think* the TV had the straight connection from the cable and the VCR was hooked up through an a/v type of cable.


I know in the past there have been TVs with two tuners that did PIP all by themselves, but I don't know if this is the case today what with the need for cable boxes to decrypt the majority of channels.
 

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P.I.P. is a very tricky and difficult subject to cover with you on a forum, even worse than DVD/HDD recorders.
The feature is offered in different ways by different brands among their different TV models, and compatibility depends on your specific cable company and cable hardware. Some TVs don't accept any PIP except from their internal tuner, others only from one or two specific inputs. I would like to suggest getting help from the sales staff at Best Buy or whatever store you shop in, but unfortunately the salespeople nowadays seem to know much less than their customers.



One thing you definitely want to ask about is how many "old fashioned" composite audio/video connections does the TV have. My parents recently bought a top-of-the-line 40-inch Samsung LED/LCD tv without consulting me, then were surprised to discover it has five HDMI inputs but only ONE input for "old school" hardware like their older cable boxes, VCRs and DVD players. Not fun to work around, not fun at all.
 

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My 2 year old Sony LCD has PIP(actually picture and picture, two side by side pictures one smaller than the other). It was not really advertised and I only discovered it when reading the manual. I can watch TV through the tuner(I use an antenna) and whatever else through any of of my various inputs. I believe one of the pictures must be from the tuner and again the other from any other input.

In your setup you'd split your coax with a two way splitter, one side would go to your cable box and the other side your DVDR's coax input, then your DVDRs coax output to your TV's RF input. Next your DVDRs line output to your TV, I'd use HDMI(or you could use other connections if you wish). Lastly your cable box line output, again HDMI or component would be best, S-video or composite would also work, to your TVs line input.


Again to use PIP you'd need have one of your inputs tuned by your TVs tuner(clear QAM or any analog channels that may be left). The other picture could be from any of your line inputs(cable box, DVDR, VCR, etc.)


If you don't really get anything you like from your TVs tuner, you could also run the modulated RF output of your cable box to your TVs RF input and leave your TV on channel 3. You'd use your cable box for one of the pictures and whatever else you wanted(not your cable box) for the other picture.


To confuse things even more
you could pick up one of those cheap DTA converters from your cable company(might be free in some areas) and use that for the RF feed to your TV. You'd tune whatever channel you wanted with the DTA(for your TVs RF input) and the other channel would be from your other cable box with line outputs. This would be your best option if you TVs tuner couldn't really tune anything you care to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tulpa,

Quote:
Tulpa Quote:

What kind of cable box is it? What connections did you use for the old TV?


Your new TV just has to have the inputs needed for each item connecting to it. So if your DVD recorder and cable box both use HDMI, get a TV with at least two HDMI inputs.


Most TVs nowadays have multiple inputs, unless you get a really small one.

I presently have a Digital Motorola Cable Box... but, then again, that may change and I will get whatever HDTV cable box offered by my cable company.


For my old TV, I was very lucky... all I used was a RCA connector (red, white yellow) from my VCR to my TV. Things were so much easier then... so less complicated.



Tulpa, lol.... I still must purchase my HDD DVDR. I have made several new friends here, that have been so kind to take me under their wings and are willing to teach me. It is the reason I placed this post because they know what they have in mind for me and know what it is that I need. So, I must refer that question to them.



The TV that I am considering is a Samsung UN46C8000XF http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/...XFXZA-features


or the same model in a 55 inch. Very few companies offer the PIP feature anymore, which is why I am going with Samsung. Samsung stopped making two tuners in I think 2005. It would be a whole lot easier if they still offered two.


CitiBear,

Quote:
P.I.P. is a very tricky and difficult subject to cover with you on a forum, even worse than DVD/HDD recorders

I literally did LOL ...Laugh Out Loud... when I read that statement. You would know better than anyone!


Quote:
One thing you definitely want to ask about is how many "old fashioned" composite audio/video connections does the TV have. My parents recently bought a top-of-the-line 40-inch Samsung LED/LCD tv without consulting me, then were surprised to discover it has five HDMI inputs but only ONE input for "old school" hardware like their older cable boxes, VCRs and DVD players

That is why I placed this post. There is 1 Composite (AV) Input. That I would hope to use for my VCR?? Would the HDD DVDR use a HDMI connection? That is what I am using for me Panasonic EZ 48.

Quote:
I would like to suggest getting help from the sales staff at Best Buy or whatever store you shop in, but unfortunately the salespeople nowadays seem to know much less than their customers.

AMEN!!! That is why I come here... those guys could tell me anything ... and from personal experience, I have found their info to be incorrect.



jjeff,


Wow! That is a lot of info for me to save when I get my new TV and HDD.

At that time I would probably have some questions for you. I actually understood some of what you were telling me!



Ah, your Sony 2 years ago had the PIP? I will have to take a second look to see if I can find any models listing PIP. I don't know why manufacturers are making them less and less. I even googled for just TV's with PIP...didn't get much. I really liked my old Sony. It was good to me for many years! That is why I held on to it for so long.


I don't understand enough about the complexities of High Def TV and Digital Recording to be able to understand why having PIP is so complicated.




To go back to my original question.... Can I connect all of these TVs, VCRs, cable boxes and HDD with just one incoming cable from outside? Will it weaken my signals?




Thanks everyone!


Rose
 

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Rose, in my above scenery you're only actually splitting your cable signal one time(which should be just fine, ~-3 db) the rest of the connections are using passthru which degrades the signal very little. In fact if the DVDR you get is the Magnavox, it's been report that the output will actually be stronger than input because the Maggy has amplified passthru.


If you explained exactly how you wanted to use PIP I could tell you what you would need(as far as splitters or cable boxes). My Samsung LCD doesn't have PIP so I'm not really sure how Samsung implements that feature but I would assume it might be similar to my Sony.


If your at a store that has a Sony hooked up and operating, Sears generally has many models running and usually has the remotes nearby, try pushing the OPTIONS button on the remote. If you get a choice for P&P or PIP it probably has the picture in picture feature. Again I don't know where to check in the Samsung menus but at least my local Sears has many Sammys hooked up and running to check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
jjeff,

Quote:
Rose, in my above scenery you're only actually splitting your cable signal one time(which should be just fine, ~-3 db) the rest of the connections are using passthru which degrades the signal very little. In fact if the DVDR you get is the Magnavox, it's been report that the output will actually be stronger than input because the Maggy has amplified passthru.

\\



But, you are also using an antenna to watch your TV... doesn't that help in not interfering with the signal?


I think it has been decided for me that the Magnavox will be the DVDR because if I remember correctly (?) from earlier posts... only the Magnavox has a tuner and the Panasonic does not? Here is a basic explaination of my present setup-


Outside Cable >> 2-Way Splitter


2-Way Splitter >> Cable to downstairs and Cable to upstairs



Cable downstairs >> 2-Way Splitter


2-Way Splitter >> one line to my VCR ... second line to my cable box



Cable upstairs >> 2 Way Splitter


2-Way Splitter >> one line to my EZ-48 ... second line to my cable box




What I first would like to do - add to the cable downstairs... the DVDR. This is where the new TV will be plus whatever is needed for my PIP and whatever else I may add for sound, etc.




We won't even discuss PIP till I find a TV, etc.



But, if the TV only comes with one Composite Input, I would need that for just the VCR? The Magnavox DVDR would use HDMI?


Thanks again!



Rose
 

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You didn't say if you still wanted to be able to record to your VCR but I'll assume not since you'll be getting a DVDR. In this case from your 2 way splitter downstairs I'd have one side go to your cable box and the other to your DVDR. From your DVDRs cable OUT I'd run that to your TVs cable IN.

As far as line connections downstairs I'd hook those up as follows to your new TV:


1. DVDRs HDMI output to one of your your TVs HDMI input.

2. VCRs line output to one of your TVs composite inputs.

3. Cable box output(HDMI best, component next best, S-video or composite last choice) to your TVs matching input. You'll also need to run a S-video or composite connection from your cable box to your DVDRs line input for recording whatever you have tuned on your cable box.


If you get little or nothing with your TVs tuner(all the channels are scrambled) then you might want to consider a cheap RF DTA converter. In this case from your DVDRs RF OUT you'd run that to your DTAs RF IN and run the DTAs RF OUT to your TVs RF IN. Your TV would always be left on channel 3(or 4) and you'd use the DTAs remote to tune the channels.

You would normally want to watch TV through your regular cable box feeding your TVs line input because that connection would be better quality than RF on your DTA. The DTA would be strictly for watching P&P.


I could give your more specifics if I knew the exact outputs of your existing cable box, is it HD or just SD? If only SD you may want to consider upgrading to HD when you get a flat panel HDTV. Otherwise your only chance for watching cable HD would be using your TVs tuner and tuning the clear QAM channels(mostly local and shopping channels). If you used the DTA to your TVs RF input you'd only get the SD tuned by your DTA.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose /forum/post/19550681


...There is 1 Composite (AV) Input. That I would hope to use for my VCR?? .... Can I connect all of these TVs, VCRs, cable boxes and HDD...?

A workaround for a TV with only one set of composite inputs (yellow, white, red) is a switchbox.


Here are two photos showing an older Pelican System Selector (about $20 including S-Video/composite and component, including audio cable sets), front and rear views of a Philips (about $10) and a TriQuest (still in it's packaging, $4 at Big Lots). The Pelican has component, S-Video and composite input and output while the Philips has S-Video and composite input and output. The TriQuest is the same as another switch box sold under the GE brand name; both have composite input and output.

 

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Mine is split as it comes into the apt, then both of those legs are split again - no appreciable signal loss, tho if you find you need it, you can get a small signal booster for less than 50 dollars. The passthrough from the magnavox antenna out is very good (in fact it boosts output signal a little) so if the cable coax goes directly into the HDDrecorder you can receive and record all the cable channels on the magnavox tuner that don't require 'unscrambling' as well as the scrambled ones you will get by connecting the cable box to magnavox using either svideo or video and audio cables. Many of the older motorolas still do offer svideo out, which is better than standard video. Then connect your tv to the cable using one of the other 'out' options from the cable box... HDMI or component... to the tv, and connect the magnavox to the tv, also using HDMI or component. You're all set.


The main reason you might want to split the cable this way would be if you use on-demand from the cable company, which I do now and then -- so I split the (already split) line and connect one part directly to the cable box, the other to the magnavox. You can use the antenna out from the magnvox HDD to go to directly to antenna input on your tv (to feed the tv tuner), or you could pass through to the VCR's antenna input (if you plan to record anything that way... but you may not want to bother - just use it for playing back VHS tapes).


This way, you have lots of choices... you can watch a different (unscrambled or standard network) show through the TV's tuner using the cable passthrough from the maggie, at the same time you're recording a cable show on the maggie's tuner or through line input from the cable box. This gives you lots of options, and...if your signal strength is within spec, you should be ok.


so the short answer is, try to get at least two, ideally three HDMI inputs. A component input might be handy (in case you get another recorder, for example) but not essential... and of course at least one standard video connection for the vcr. The reality is, inputs are like Hard Drive space -- always get more than you think you will need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! Thank you guys! I didn't know anything about a switchbox or that I could purchase a small signal booster! That info makes me feel better. I also never even heard of a DTA. I don't even know what that is or does.


As far as the connections, I guess we will have to wait to see what TV I get and what inputs I will have. And, also if I switch cable boxes to HD...which I probably will. The last time I checked my cable company was taking a list for the HD's because so many people wanted them they couldn't get them in fast enough.


I don't have my DVDR yet...I may wait a few months since I wasn't expecting this big expense of a TV at Christmas. Plus, I will have to learn how to use the TV with all its toys.
My brain is getting tired from all this thinking.



This is second nature for you... but, for me it's like learning a new language.

jjeff,


I am sure I would be recording on my VCR for awhile, till I learn how to use my

DVDR.


Thanks gentlemen! I appreciate all the help! For me, this is all going to be one step at a time.



Rose
 

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A DTA is a cheap cable box, also known as Digital To Analog converter. It only has a RF output(no line outputs) but this would be fine for your PIP use. They are generally free or $1.99 rental/month and are meant to appease people who lost most of their channels when the cable system went to digital and dropped most analogs. If your TV tuner can tune the channels you want you won't need one but many/most cable systems are dropping most of the channels that a TV(or DVDR) can tune by themselves.
 

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Rockyrose, I couldn't live without a PIP either. I have a 2006 Samsung DLP, a Comcast Moto DVR, a DVDR with HDD, and, well, lots of other stuff.

Here's what I would recommend you do:


From your splitter, run one side to your new Maggy DVDR. Run the cable out from your Maggy to your cable box. You don't need another splitter, because the Maggy will just pass through the cable signal, without alteration. Leave your VCR on the other side of the splitter. If you do stop recording with it, get rid of the splitter.


Your Maggy will have a QAM tuner, and you can use it as one tuner for your PIP. Since you are still able to record with your VCR, you must still have unscrambled analog channels. So, your Maggy will probably be able to tune quite a bit, and you shouldn't need a DTA, at least not yet.


Run S-Video, and R/L audio cables from your cable box to your DVDR, so you can record scrambled channels.


Run HDMI to your TV from your cable box.


Now, what you run from your Maggy DVDR to your TV depends on your TV's PIP function. Can it show a PIP with two HDMI inputs? If so, HDMI from your DVDR to your TV is fine. Also, I gather you will use your DVDR to play DVDs, so you will want the HDMI. If your TV won't accept a second HDMI input for a PIP, you will need to run S-Video and R/L audio cables from your DVDR to your TV.


Run composite video, and R/L audio from your VCR to your TV. An alternate is to run them to your DVDR. That would let you dub tapes to DVD. To watch the VCR, you would select the proper input on the DVDR, and watch through it.



That should take care of it.
 

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rr, I read the Samsung link on your other thread. I am stunned that they don't seem to accept S-Video for a PIP any more. Only RF does limit your choices. To modify what I said above, I would go ahead and disconnect your VCR from the cable input, and run that cable directly to your TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/19553136


A workaround for a TV with only one set of composite inputs (yellow, white, red) is a switchbox...a TriQuest... has composite input and output... The TriQuest is the same as another switch box sold under the GE brand name...

On Saturday I visited a Big Lots store (Portland Oregon, 105th & Washington). TriQuest switch boxes were no longer in stock. I didn't find any other switch boxes or other A/V accessories in stock.


On Sunday I found the video signal cutting out when I nudged one of my TriQuest switch boxes. One of the yellow video jacks was loose. I opened the case. I observed that two jack pins had worked loose from the solder joints on the printed circuit board. Out came the soldering iron and a few minutes later the switch box had been repaired, reassembled and was put back in use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
kjbawc,



Thank you for taking so much of your time to help me!! I was so happy to learn that there is finally someone else who couldn't live without PIP!
I was beginning to feel I was the only one. Salesman yesterday told me that I was the first person to ask for it in years... 10 years ago everyone wanted it... now people could care less! Another salesman told me hasn't had anyone in 5 years ask about it. Well, that made me feel ancient!


As for my connections, I have more information for you today, which I don't know if this makes a difference in what you already told me. You see, I am very low tech......very, very low tech! So, please forgive my lack of knowledge and understanding.



Today I bought a Samsung Plasma TV. Here is the link to its specifications in case you need it-
http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/...YFXZA-features


Now with this TV, a 3D Blu-Ray player was included.


I don't know if I will be able to do the following; but, I would like to see if it is feasible.


Just to quickly refresh..... I have an outside cable being split with another cable to upstairs. My downstairs cable then uses a splitter

I would like to be able to-


1. Use PIP


2. View one channel, and record another.


3. Be able to do a time recording where I may be able to set it for more than one channel.

e.g. at 8:00 watch CH 6 .....at 9:00 watch CH 3....


(I am mentioning this because when I connected my samsung upstairs to my Panasonic EZ 48, I was told

by Panasonic that I could only connect my VCR to the outside cable if I wanted to set different channels.

Connecting it to the cable box meant I couldn't record more than one channel per time recording)


4. View 2 different channels through my PIP.


5. Record HBO



My TV is scheduled for delivery on Wednesday. Tomorrow I am going to my cable office to exchange my cable box for a High Definition. So, right now I cannot tell you the make or model. Maybe you might want to wait till I can let you know?


I am also buying my Maggie...don't have it yet. I will also be using a VCR to record until I learn how to use the Maggie, which could very well be after the holidays. I will also be using the VCR to transfer VHS tapes to DVD's. And, I won't be using my 3D Blu-Ray at the moment; but, I will need to have it hooked up.


I thought it would be easier to get everything now, even if not using it.... so I hopefully will only have to bug all of you once instead of repeatedly.... well, maybe some small stuff!



I would like to place an order to MonoPrice for all the cables, etc. that I will need. Any input/tips would be appreciated regarding suggestions for using quality manufacturer's products and models.


Also, what do the R/L audio cables look like?
What is RF????


Composite video are the red, white and yellow RCA plugs?


I was wondering since my splitter is old, should I replace it? Does it make a difference in manufacturer's splitters? Coax cables?


I hope I have remembered every detail, as I don't want to bother you all again.




jjeff,

Quote:
A DTA is a cheap cable box

Aaaaahhh! I will try to remember to ask my cable company tomorrow just in case.



DigaDO,

Quote:
On Saturday I visited a Big Lots store (Portland Oregon, 105th & Washington). TriQuest switch boxes were no longer in stock. I didn't find any other switch boxes or other A/V accessories in stock

Does this mean that now that I have discovered and learned about switch boxes, they are already falling to the wayside?????





Thanks everyone!


Rose
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrose /forum/post/19566668


DigaDO,


Does this mean that now that I have discovered and learned about switch boxes, they are already falling to the wayside?????

I don't think so. Big Lots might have replaced the regular merchandise with more profitable seasonal merchandise.


Here are two photos of the switch box opened up. The pencil points to my solder repair (kind of sloppy but it works).

 

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Rockyrose, I do so much with my PIP! I actually edit things on my DVDR while watching a different channel from my cable DVR. I just bought a second DVDR. In order to be able select it in the PIP, I need a selector box. I just found some at B&H PhotoVideo. They have two different models. Both have four sets of inputs -S-Video, composite, R/L audio - and one output. One model for $28 requires that you get up and push a button to change inputs. The other model, for $44, has a remote.


I looked at the inputs on your new Samsung. The bad news is, no S-Vid inputs. The good news is, plenty of HDMI and component inputs, and one composite input, which you can use for your VCR.


I think that the hook-up instructions I gave you hold up, but are you getting a DVR cable box? If so, it will probably have two tuners, giving you a lot more recording options. But, I think you can do all that you want to do. With one side of the splitter running first to the Maggy, then to the cable box, your Maggy can tune and record anything that is in the clear, that is, not scrambled. The cable box can tune anything you pay for, and pass it to the TV through HDMI.


The problem is getting another cable to go to the RF input on the TV, so it can also tune clear channels. RF (radio frequency), also called coax, is just the round cable used for cable hookups. Perhaps your cable box will have a pass-through, with a cable output. If not, you would need a three-way splitter, or need to drop your VCR, and use the cable from that side of the splitter to go to your TV.


Your cable company should provide splitters, and short lengths of cable. I have Comcast, and they are pretty easy about that. I pick them up at their office, or from the installer. The quality of splitters is important, especially where one is making many splits, as you are, because that can lead to signal problems.


So, get back to us, and give us details on your cable box, the better to advise you.


About the popularity of PIPs - I'd bet that the use of DVRs, especially two tuner ones, has blunted most people's need for PIPs. If you don't watch in real time, you don't need a PIP to channel surf during commercials. If you have a two-tuner DVR, you can set one tuner to an upcoming program, watch another channel on the other tuner, then go back to the other program, and back it up to the start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
kjbawc,

Quote:
I think that the hook-up instructions I gave you hold up, but are you getting a DVR cable box? If so, it will probably have two tuners, giving you a lot more recording options. But, I think you can do all that you want to do. With one side of the splitter running first to the Maggy, then to the cable box, your Maggy can tune and record anything that is in the clear, that is, not scrambled. The cable box can tune anything you pay for, and pass it to the TV through HDMI.


I wasn't able to get to the cable company today; but, it probably was for the better. I phoned them and asked questions first, so I could report back to you. I wasn't planning on getting a DVR cable box until you presented the question to me. And, when you said it had two tuners... well, my ears just perked right up!



I was told they carry two boxes...a Motorola #6400 and a PACE TDC779X

I found the manuals for both of them.

http://tv.manualsonline.com/manuals/...dct6400_1.html

https://www.pace.com/Documents/Manua...79x_manual.pdf

Quote:
The problem is getting another cable to go to the RF input on the TV, so it can also tune clear channels. RF (radio frequency), also called coax, is just the round cable used for cable hookups. Perhaps your cable box will have a pass-through, with a cable output. If not, you would need a three-way splitter, or need to drop your VCR, and use the cable from that side of the splitter to go to your TV.

I did ask ...

Quote:
"Perhaps your cable box will have a pass-through, with a cable output. If not, you would need a three-way splitter,"

I was told both have the coax output and I didn't need the 3-Way Splitter.


And, YES! My company does provide splitters, hdmi cables, etc. You just saved me alot of $$$$!!! All these years I have been buying all my own cables and splitters, etc. Thanks for the tip!


I hope I didn't miss any information. I don't know if I am getting my TV tomorrow. I had a guaranteed delivery date from Amazon and saw that go out the door today. It is also the reason I didn't make it to the cable company.

Please advise me which DVR cable box I should ask for. Also, if it's not too much trouble.... could you please type me a list of all the cables, etc. I need from the cable company?
I am also going to replace the 3 splitters I am using. I should hope I would get quality splitters from the cable company since they base their living on giving good televison.


I did order my Maggie and should have it the end of next week. If there is anything that you or anyone else can think of that would make it easier for this non-tech person to work with....PLEASE tell me. I would most appreciate it. Can't tell you how happy I am to have found another PIP person. (Cable company guy told me he also never gets asked about PIP!!)



Thanks again!


Rose
 

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I am familiar with the Moto 6400. The 6412 has a 120GB HDD, and the 6416 has a 160GB HDD. So, get a 6416, if you can. I don't recall that you mentioned the name of your cable co. Comcast also has available the DCX3400, which comes with a 250GB, or 320GB HDD. Ask if your cable co. uses those. You might have to ask to get on a list to be notified, when they get some. That's what I had to do.


I am not familiar with the Pace units, but haven't heard anyone proclaim that they have virtues that the Motos don't, with one possible exception. I'm afraid I'm going to introduce you to a new complication.


Most of us prefer to make anamorphic DVDs, when we can. That means that when recording a wide screen program from a high definition source, the picture is horizontally squeezed, to fill a 4x3 frame, and not leave black bars top and bottom. Commercial DVDs are made that way. It gives you a sharper picture, because it doesn't waste pixels on reproducing black bars. Your TV will stretch the picture out, so it looks right. But, to make an anamorphic DVD, your DVDR has to get a squeezed signal.


Almost all cable systems, and their DVRs do not output a squeezed image over the S-Vid output, which you will need to record HBO, and other scrambled channels. But, I can't be absolutely certain that your cable supplier, and a Pace DVR won't. So, let us know your cable supplier, and maybe someone else can say for sure. Most of use a component>S-Vid adapter to get a squeezed picture. There is a thread on those.


As to what cables you will need - most of your cable setup will be exactly the same, so, you know you need three two-way splitters, and you should measure all your cables, noting how long they should be. Usually, cable companies will only supply shorter cables, like up to 6-8 ft. Some will make custom lengths, and go longer. The one leg that will change is the one that goes from your basement splitter to your cable box. Now you will need three cables, one from the splitter to the Maggy, one from the Maggy to the DVR, and one from the DVR to the TV. You'll have to determine the lengths, by where you will put things. With this hookup, your Maggy DVDR, and your TV, will be able to tune all clear channels, and your cable DVR will be able to tune everything you pay for on cable.


You will also want a HDMI cable, which the cable co. should provide. Generally, the cable co. will provide everything you need to hookup their equipment to your TV, and any recording devices you use. But, they don't provide the cables to go from recording devices, or from other pieces of equipment, except for coax.


As I said before, you will want S-Video and R/L audio, from the cable DVR to the Maggy, so you can record scrambled channels. But, I don't think the cable company will provide those cables
 
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