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newbie dvd recorder questions

734 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  RonDawg
Hello! I have some questions on dvd recorders... First of all I have directv with a dtv tivo on the set I want the recorder for- my tv is a toshiba 51" rear projection hdtv. The reason I'm wanting a dvd recorder is that my tivo is constantly full and deleting things before we have a chance to watch them (plus there's a bunch of stuff on there the wife wants to keep and won't let me delete). So the main purpose I'd have for the recorder would be to archive old/unwatched items from the tivo. I've seen some recorders with upconversion capabilities and was considering the toshiba RD-KX50 or the RCA DRC8060n- the problem with the toshiba is that as I understand it won't play dvd+R's which i've already got a ton of movies on... so I'm leaning towards the rca at the moment... anyway on to my questions...


1) can I connect my dtv tivo to the recorder via s-video & the recorder to the TV via HDMI? Can I watch live tv thru the hdmi connection even when I'm not recording? (I'd assume the unit would need to be on) I'd rather not have to change the input on the tv back and forth if possible (it always confuses my wife and kids)- is there a specific channel I'd need to keep the recorder set to?


2) would I get any picture quality benefit (via the recorder's "upconversion") from this set-up while watching tv? or is it strictly upconverting while playing dvd's only?


Thanks for your help!!!!!!


Lab Rat
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Quote:
can I connect my dtv tivo to the recorder via s-video & the recorder to the TV via HDMI?
Yes, with a caveat: if your dtv TiVo unit is HiDef capable, in order to record the HiDef programs you need to set it to output a 480i signal.

Quote:
Can I watch live tv thru the hdmi connection even when I'm not recording? (I'd assume the unit would need to be on)
Yes, but as you said, the DVD recoder will need to be left on. You also cannot use the DVD recorder for anything else (i.e. recording off your camcorder) during this time.

Quote:
I'd rather not have to change the input on the tv back and forth if possible (it always confuses my wife and kids)- is there a specific channel I'd need to keep the recorder set to?
Leave it on the input that the DVR is connected to (usually Line1). Again if your DVR is HiDef capable, you'll be forced to watch the program in 480i when viewing it this way.

Quote:
would I get any picture quality benefit (via the recorder's "upconversion") from this set-up while watching tv? or is it strictly upconverting while playing dvd's only?
I believe it will also upconvert the programming off the HDD, but I'm not sure about that. You should also be aware that "upconversion" is not universally considered necessary among videophiles, and that many feel a TV's built-in de-interlacer/upscaler can sometimes do a better job. Go over to the DVD Players Forum and read up on the subject.


As far as upconverting DVD recorders, if you need + format capability and HDMI upconversion a good, but expensive, alternative to the RCA is the Sony HX715. It will play back and record on both + and - format discs, along with +DL.
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Thanks RonDawg! Just to clarify, my directv is not HD. Is it a given that my TV is upscaling my SD signal from my satellite box? I only ask because when I go to the TV's on screen menu while watching TV the place where I can select 780p or 1080i is "grayed out", or not selectable. When I'm watching a DVD in my xbox I can select and change this setting ( xbox is connected via component cables vs s-video for my dtv tivo). I'll check the sony recorder, but I think I may have already ruled that one out as it was out of my price range...



Thanks!


Lab Rat
OK- I think I'm going to go ahead and get a recorder... Just to clarify can someone jump in and correct me if I'm way off base here- My set-up will look like this:


[dtv tivo receiver]--{s video}--[DVD recorder]--{HDMI}--[TV HDMI Input]


so I will always leave the tv set to the HDMI input (input #6 on my toshiba 51H84 set) so long as the dvd recorder is powered on?- & this may or may not give me any PQ improvement over my current s video connection straight from my tivo to the TV


That just leaves me with two questions-


Will I continue to change the channels on my tivo receiver with my old remote, the same as always?


&


Does it matter what channel the recorder itself is set to?



Thanks!!


Lab Rat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lab Rat
...[dtv tivo receiver]--{s video}--[DVD recorder]--{HDMI}--[TV HDMI Input]

...Will I continue to change the channels on my tivo receiver with my old remote, the same as always?
Yes. In addition, if you want to you can run an IR blaster from the DVD recorder to the Tivo receiver so the recorder can still do scheduled recordings where it would need to change the channel on the reciever itself.
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Originally Posted by Lab Rat
Does it matter what channel the recorder itself is set to?
Not if you're hooked up via the s-video input.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lab Rat
Does it matter what channel the recorder itself is set to?
The channel display needs to read "Line1" or "L1" if that's the input connected to your DVD recorder. You can get this reading by selecting "Video Input" or similar on the DVD recorder's remote, and sometimes by repeatedly pressing the CH DOWN button past 2.
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