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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If this is not the best forum for this question, please direct me to the right place. I am a digital video/high def novice. I have cable TV with some analog channels and some clear QAM channels. I do not have a set-top box or decoder of any kind. I am looking for a digital video recorder. I ordered a Tivo recorder and when I received it was astounded to find that it will not allow me to record the clear QAM channels.


What I would really like is stand alone DVR (no program guide service) that provides the ability to record both the analog and clear QAM channels. Put another way, I would like a DVR that gives me the same features that my Hauppauge HVR-1600 card with WinTV 7 gives me in my PC. Does such a device exist? If so can anyone point me to some reviews, recommended models or other information. Thanks.
 

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Which TiVo is this? Model?


I'm very surprised it doesn't record clear QAM. Did you run a scan?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tulpa: I can view the clear QAM channels on the Tivo box and, to be completely accurate, you can record them manually by pressing the record button at the time the show starts and manually pressing the stop button when the show ends but I do not consider that "recording". Recording to me is being able to set the box to start recording at a specified time and stop recording at a specified time and there is no way to do that with clear QAM channels on Tivo unless I buy a cable card from my cable company and that requires that I sign up for their encrypted digital and high def services which would add almost $60 per month to my bill. The problem is that a Tivo box has no way to set up a recording operation for a channel that is not in the Tivo program guide and none of the clear QAM channels are in the guide.
 

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Ah, I see.


I imagine the Moxi DVR is the same way, since it also works off of a guide. But you might look into it to be sure.


Otherwise, you're left with the Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder, about $227 from Walmart online and less at J&R (when they have them in stock) as a refurb. Lacks HD recording. Everything will be standard definition.


Those are about your options, other than your computer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/18297111


Ah, I see.


I imagine the Moxi DVR is the same way, since it also works off of a guide. But you might look into it to be sure.


Otherwise, you're left with the Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder, about $227 from Walmart online and less at J&R (when they have them in stock) as a refurb. Lacks HD recording. Everything will be standard definition.


Those are about your options, other than your computer.

Moxi actually maps clear QAM to a electronic program guide.


So you do series recordings, record in advancing using the EPG using titles and channels insteading of manual recordings.
 

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There you go. Sounds like it might be his solution. At $500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does the Magnavox recorder allow you to schedule a recording to occur at the same time each day or week?


Can you record a high def clear QAM channel in standard def?


Thanks for all of the information. This is really helpful.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazsl /forum/post/18299475


Does the Magnavox recorder allow you to schedule a recording to occur at the same time each day or week?


Can you record a high def clear QAM channel in standard def?

Yes. But there's no guide, so you'll have to set all timers manually.


You didn't mention if your display is HD or SD, but if it's an HD one, it wouldn't make much sense these days to watch downconverted HD on it if you have the choice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazsl /forum/post/18297042


Tulpa: I can view the clear QAM channels on the Tivo box and, to be completely accurate, you can record them manually by pressing the record button at the time the show starts and manually pressing the stop button when the show ends but I do not consider that "recording". Recording to me is being able to set the box to start recording at a specified time and stop recording at a specified time and there is no way to do that with clear QAM channels on Tivo unless I buy a cable card from my cable company and that requires that I sign up for their encrypted digital and high def services which would add almost $60 per month to my bill. The problem is that a Tivo box has no way to set up a recording operation for a channel that is not in the Tivo program guide and none of the clear QAM channels are in the guide.

Can I assume you are at least subscribed to the TiVo service (either subscription or lifetime service). If you have TiVo service and connect it to your cable service without cable card, you will get guide data for the analog channels but not the clear QAM channel lineup. You can schedule the analog channels to record using the TiVo guide and you can schedule the clear QAM channels to record by setting up a manual timer (DVDR style). This is all detailed in the TiVo HD FAQ in the HDTV forum.


Without buying the TiVo service, you basically can't do squat with the box. If you bought a TiVo HD with the intention of not buying the TiVo service you have essentially wasted your money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I did subscribe to the Tivo service. I bought the DVR, wireless adapter and a one year subscription directly from Tivo. Fortunately there is a 30 day money back guaranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/18299726


Yes. But there's no guide, so you'll have to set all timers manually.


You didn't mention if your display is HD or SD, but if it's an HD one, it wouldn't make much sense these days to watch downconverted HD on it if you have the choice.

The TV is a new Samsung high def and I agree that it would be nice to be able to record in high def but that does not seem to be an option.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/18299726


Yes. But there's no guide, so you'll have to set all timers manually.


You didn't mention if your display is HD or SD, but if it's an HD one, it wouldn't make much sense these days to watch downconverted HD on it if you have the choice.

Just to expand a bit, you can manually set the Magnavox to record DAILY, Mon - SAT, Mon - Fri, or each day individually, so it repeats each week on Mon, Tues, etc, in addition to setting it for a particular date. I'd like to be able to set it for TUES - SAT since I record a weeknight show that starts ("late late") after midnight -- no luck, I just use the Mon - Sat setting for the timer, instead, but often forget to erase the CSI reruns or whatever leftovers CBS happens to be airing in the wee hours of Mon am


And yes, Hi Def broadcast recorded to standard def via QAM looks great -- it's not a high def recording, but it usually looks a lot better than the same show recorded off the SD or High Def signal from the cable box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by artwire /forum/post/18302322


Just to expand a bit, you can manually set the Magnavox to record DAILY, Mon - SAT, Mon - Fri, or each day individually, so it repeats each week on Mon, Tues, etc, in addition to setting it for a particular date. I'd like to be able to set it for TUES - SAT since I record a weeknight show that starts ("late late") after midnight -- no luck, I just use the Mon - Sat setting for the timer, instead, but often forget to erase the CSI reruns or whatever leftovers CBS happens to be airing in the wee hours of Mon am


And yes, Hi Def broadcast recorded to standard def via QAM looks great -- it's not a high def recording, but it usually looks a lot better than the same show recorded off the SD or High Def signal from the cable box.

Thanks. That sounds like just what I am looking for. The DVR is for my wife and the things she records are all during the day or evening so the lack of Tue - Sat capability will not be a problem. I record old movies in the middle of the night but I do that with a Hauppauge card in a PC.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazsl /forum/post/18300721


Yes, I did subscribe to the Tivo service. I bought the DVR, wireless adapter and a one year subscription directly from Tivo.

Then, as I posted above you can set manual timers in the menu for QAM channels. I would recommend you go to the TiVo HD forum I linked above. You'll get first hand information from people doing what you are trying to do.
 

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When they did the big "upgrade" here and I was finally forced to get the free boxes they signed us up for digital starter package which they claimed was the same cost as the old extended basic we've had for years.

I wasn't looking for a cable card because nothing I own at this point can use one so I didn't ask what's included in the starter package but I can tune the HD channels with the box, it just wont let me see them because it's not HD capable and gives a error about needing a HD box.

So you might want to check out their digital starter package and see if they'll let you tune at least the basic HD channels like Discover and TLC and all the rest that have HD equivalents that used to all be included in the expanded basic. They HAVE to give you the locals in the clear and in HD as my LG 4200a box still gets all the locals in HD, and a few extras the locals added recently, everything else is either encrypted or in SD only with my tuner now.

Yep, they gave themselves quite the cash upgrade, all they gave the basic only customers was much less then we could tune before with our own stuff.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartman /forum/post/18303704


When they did the big "upgrade" here and I was finally forced to get the free boxes they signed us up for digital starter package which they claimed was the same cost as the old extended basic we've had for years.

I wasn't looking for a cable card because nothing I own at this point can use one so I didn't ask what's included in the starter package but I can tune the HD channels with the box, it just wont let me see them because it's not HD capable and gives a error about needing a HD box.

So you might want to check out their digital starter package and see if they'll let you tune at least the basic HD channels like Discover and TLC and all the rest that have HD equivalents that used to all be included in the expanded basic. They HAVE to give you the locals in the clear and in HD as my LG 4200a box still gets all the locals in HD, and a few extras the locals added recently, everything else is either encrypted or in SD only with my tuner now.

Yep, they gave themselves quite the cash upgrade, all they gave the basic only customers was much less then we could tune before with our own stuff.

Maybe time to trade in the free boxes they gave you? I went to digital starter last year because it was 50 cheaper per month than my old analog plan - well, for 6 months it was cheaper... now, about the same. At the time they sent me a motorola STB that does pick up the HD stations. I still prefer recording with QAM, but who knows how long that will be an option. They're calling daily offering to send free crappy adapters, which I'm trying to avoid, even though they are hinting darkly that we will 'lose all our channels'. Will see next week if they are telling the truth, but for now, at least, the 2160 is still able to record the QAM feed.


You should be able to get HD stations with digital starter... if you're not receiving all you're paying for, you need to get at least one set top box for free -- not just the 'converter' boxes. Did you tell them you want to be able to use 'on demand' - you don't have to use it - but it will give you a better STB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson /forum/post/18302560


Then, as I posted above you can set manual timers in the menu for QAM channels. I would recommend you go to the TiVo HD forum I linked above. You'll get first hand information from people doing what you are trying to do.

Thanks for that. I have a test recording of channel 110-1 running as I type this.


Part of the frustration of this is that I have called Tivo support three times for help and was told:


1) It is impossible to view channels above 99 without a cable card.

2) It is impossible to view clear QAM channels.

3) It is impossible to record channels that are not in the Guide.

4) It is impossible to manually record any channel.


All of these answers were wrong. It is amazing that three different techs do not have the most basic knowledge of the product they are supporting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by acaoacao /forum/post/18298845


Moxi actually maps clear QAM to a electronic program guide.


So you do series recordings, record in advancing using the EPG using titles and channels insteading of manual recordings.

Unfortunately, according to the comparison chart at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...66&postcount=2 , Moxi will not record analog channels without a $129 add-on and does not support manual recording. If that is true I cannot use it since 3/4 of the channels I get are analog.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwire /forum/post/18304576


Maybe time to trade in the free boxes they gave you? I went to digital starter last year because it was 50 cheaper per month than my old analog plan - well, for 6 months it was cheaper... now, about the same. At the time they sent me a motorola STB that does pick up the HD stations. I still prefer recording with QAM, but who knows how long that will be an option. They're calling daily offering to send free crappy adapters, which I'm trying to avoid, even though they are hinting darkly that we will 'lose all our channels'. Will see next week if they are telling the truth, but for now, at least, the 2160 is still able to record the QAM feed.


You should be able to get HD stations with digital starter... if you're not receiving all you're paying for, you need to get at least one set top box for free -- not just the 'converter' boxes. Did you tell them you want to be able to use 'on demand' - you don't have to use it - but it will give you a better STB.

Well they gave out 1 Motorola 7000? cheap analog only box that does analog RCA outs and RF, and 2 of the even crappier DTA boxes, that's all they offered anybody out here for the free "upgrade"

I spose I could call and complain and might be able to get them to send me a basic HD box like the 3200 series and also get them to give me a promo price again but I'm sick of them trying to get me to upgrade my service to do what I used to be able to do for the price I was paying with my own bought and paid for gear.

But it is good to hear that you have been able to get the Basic extra HD channels just by having the cheap HD box on starter so I think when all these new cable card equipped boxes and PC tuner cards come out that's what I'm going to do as I'm also tired of paying extra per month to rent something that lets me do what I want.

I can still watch the free on demand things that I have been doing since I got this box hooked up, even though they claimed I'd need a A/B splitter to make my old tuner and the new box work together, you don't, you just need a bidirectional splitter or drop amp so the official box can send data back to them so on demand works.
 
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