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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a question on what suggestions people have for connecting the replayTV to my TV in my setup. Here's what I have:


- Sony 27" flat screen TV (not HDTV)

- Comcast digital cable w/ General Instruments box

- DVD player

- ReplayTV


Here's the setup I chose so far:

(1) coax -> Digital Cable Box -> coax -> ReplayTV -> coax -> TV

(2) DVD player -> component video cable -> TV


I'm not inclined to use the component inputs on my TV for the Replay TV, so the DVD player setup is fine as it is (unless someone can persuade me otherwise). But I'm not sure if it's better to "branch off" the ReplayTV. That is, should I send the coax directly from the cable box to the TV, and have the cable box send a composite/RCA video output (or S-Video) to the replayTV, which in turn sends composite/RCA output (or S-Video) to the TV?


i.e.,

(1) coax -> Digital Cable Box -> coax -> TV

(2) Digital Cable Box -> composite -> ReplayTV -> composite -> TV

(3) DVD player -> component video cable -> TV


I thought about it, and I can't think of any advantages. I can always power off the ReplayTV if I want to use just the cable box to browse channels, so it doesn't really matter if it's on the coax path to the TV. Similarly, if I want to do pay-per-view or something, I can just power off the replay and use the cable box remote control.


Does anyone have any thoughts/preferences about what's the best way to go? Thanks for your advice.
 

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The ideal setup really depends on what you will be recording with the replay and how your cable system works.


With my Cablevision, I can get most channels on the Replay w/o a cable box.. Since that is the case, I have the coax go from the wall to a splitter and then into both the cable box and the Replay. Then the both directly to the TV. This allows me to watch somthing else while the Replay is recording. I can't record any premium (or digital) channels on the replay, but I primarily use this Replay to record network channels. But I also have another Replay connected to cable box in my office.

Quote:
I can always power off the ReplayTV if I want to use just the cable box to browse channels, so it doesn't really matter if it's on the coax path to the TV.
The possible problem with this is that if the replay is recording something when you change channels on the cable box, the ReplayTV will record your changing of channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dewolfxy
That is, should I send the coax directly from the cable box to the TV, and have the cable box send a composite/RCA video output (or S-Video) to the replayTV, which in turn sends composite/RCA output (or S-Video) to the TV?


i.e.,

(1) coax -> Digital Cable Box -> coax -> TV

(2) Digital Cable Box -> composite -> ReplayTV -> composite -> TV

(3) DVD player -> component video cable -> TV
Short answer: yes.


Longer answer: The quality of the RF out on the Replays isn't that great. Using the composite out on the replay is going to give you a MUCH BETTER signal. In addition, using the composite in is also going to give you a MUCH BETTER picture. (S-Video for Replay -> TV will give you an even better picture.)


Rule of thumb: always use the best possible inputs/outputs available. (There are some exceptions, but ANYTHING is better than RF modulated coax.)
 

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I vote for:


(2a) Digital Cable Box -> S-video -> ReplayTV -> S-video -> TV


This preserves the analog signal as much as possible, instead of the conversions to/from RF that you currently have in the path.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback!


I do want to record digital channels on the replay, so I don't want to split my coax before it gets to the cable box. I'm aware of the problem with changing the channels on the cable box while recording, so I'll just avoid that. I'll probably watch TV through the replay at all times anyway, unless I'm watching a pay-per-view.


The arguments about quality convince me though, since I have noticed my picture quality isn't as good now, with the replay hooked up, as it was when I just went coax into the cable box and then to the TV.


So I'll go with S-Video (I think my TV and cable box have S-Video), with composite/RCA as my second choice if I don't have all the connections available (but I'm pretty sure I do).


Thanks much.
 

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There's one other way to drop a ReplayTV in your setup.


- Split incoming coax into two signals.

- One goes directly to the coax-in of the rtv

- The other goes to the digital cable box.

- Cable box coax-out goes to your TV's coax-in.

- Cable box RCA-out (red-white-yellow) goes to the RCA-in of the rtv.


So the rtv is really configured for two inputs. The direct coax-in connection will have channels listed from 1000 in the program guide and the RCA-in from the cable box will have the usual channels. You can manually delete the cable box channels that overlap the RCA-in channels.


The advantages of this approach:

1. You can watch all channels on your TV (not buffered, premium and non-premium channels)

2. Rtv can record both premium and non-premium channels

3. Channel surfing on the rtv (if you still do this) is faster for non-premium channels (because of the direct connection & no ir-blaster)

4. If you're like me and record non-premium channels most of the time and use the rtv to record occasional movies on premium channels, you can surf premium channels in non-buffered mode while the rtv is recording non-premium.

The only problem with this is when the rtv is recording say a movie from a premium channel and you want to watch another premium channel. If you switch channels using your cable remote, your rtv will record whatever you just switched the cable box to! Not sure if this will bother you often.

And as usual, use S-video instead of coax above whereever applicable.

My cable box does not have S-video out but my pq with RCA jacks is stilll excellent.


--Naren
 

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Here's my 2 cents.


It is likely that your digital cable box has 2 composite audio outs, 1 composite video out, 1 s-video out, and 1 coax out (which uses only channel 3/4).


So...


Split the incoming coax

Also, split the composite audio outs (if it doesn't have 2 sets of them) of the digital cable box.

Coax ->Digital Cable

Coax ->ReplayTV


Digital Cable -> S-video -> ReplayTV

Digital Cable -> Composite -> TV

ReplayTV -> Coax -> TV

ReplayTV -> S-video -> TV


This is the same setup as one described above, except that your regular TV will also get some standard cable channels from the coax in. This happens since the "coax -> Replay -> coax" setup will act as a "through" when the Replay is off.
 

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Doesn't that mean three inputs to the TV (composite, coax and S-video)?

I don't know about dewolfxy's TV, but mine has one coax i/p and two composite i/ps, one of which can be used as S-Video. If so, you'd need an S-video switch to connect the DVD player.


Another thing I forgot to say is that digital cable boxes have a passthrough

button on the remote (not sure what you'd call it, but it says input switch on mine) that passes regular cable directly to the TV while the RTV is buffering premium.


--Naren
 

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If you dont' need/care to watch nonbuffered TV, set it up like I set mine up and use your RTV for all watching:


Wall->Coax->Digital Cable Box->SVideo & RCA Audios->RTV->SVideo & RCA Audios->TV
 

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I have DirecTV - but this example should still apply. I have a 27" Vega (non-HDTV) - so I'm guessing your inputs are similar to mine.


Get 2 cable boxes - one for the replay and one for the TV.


Cable box 1:

spliter -> cable box -> svhs -> RTV -> svhs -> Tv input 1


Cable box 2:

splitter -> cable box -> component -> TV input 2


DVD:

Composite in


I understand that TV input 2 shares the component and composite in - but as long as the alternate device (RTV or DVD) is off you shouldn't have a problem.


This set up will allow you to watch any channel (digital or otherwise) while your RTV is recording anything it wants. Of course you'd only want to use cable box 2 if your replay is recording something you don't want to watch right away since you won't get the benefits of RTV off of it.


For example - I like "Two and a Half Men" as well as "Las Vegas", but both shows are on at the same time. Sure I could IVS the show everyweek but that takes time and bandwidth. I don't care about saving "Two and a Half Men" so I have the the RTV (off cable box 1) record "Las Vegas" and watch "Two and a Half Men" live off of cable box 2.


If you really want to you can connect your coax out of your cable boxes to the coax in on the TV - just for the hell of it too, but you shouldn't need to and it will probobly just confuse things.
 

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If there is a pass through option for the digital cable box, which only affects the output that is sent to the coax out, then the incoming coax (from the cable company) should not be split (one to RTV and one to digital cable box), but rather the RTV should use the digital cable box's coax out and it should always be set to pass through.


Splitting coax is always bad and should be avoided if possible.


My 27" Philips flat screen tube TV has 1 coax input and 3 composite inputs, one of which has an optional S-Video input.
 

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Don't want to make it seem like I'm nitpicking, but if you don't split

the coax (I know it's bad), then you have two options:

1. Coax -> cable box, coax of cable box -> RTV_coax, composite of cable box -> RTV_composite => Cannot buffer one show and watch another

2. Coax -> cable box, coax of cable box -> RTV_coax, composite of cable box->TV => cannot record premium channels

If you split the incoming coax, you can get all these features. Quality vs. convenience, I guess. I can't live without either of the above features. Depends on what you can live with, I guess.

I haven't seen any noticeable pq degradation after splitting the coax.

Has anyone seen a huge difference (like the one you see when you move from composite-in on the RTV to S-video-in) by splitting?


--Naren
 

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If you plan to live at that location for awhile call your cable company and ask them if they have any cable boxes with svideo-out. In my area they have both kinds and will give you one with svideo-out if you ask.


I didn't read all of the above posts..


Possible setup(I just thought it up right now, critisism encouraged):

have the coax split 3 ways..to the replaytv, to the cable box, and directly to the TV.


Have two guides..one for standard cable, and one for the cable box


Go into the 'cable box' guide and delete all of the channels your replayTV can get through a direct hookup. ..leaving you with only premium channels, ect.


This will give the regular channels a more direct and cleaner signal and avoid possible IR blaster fawl ups. Or is the replayTV tuner worse then using a cablebox with composite or svideo out?


cow


side question: is there such thing as a balanced 3-way splitter.. evenly splitting the db 1/3, 1/3, 1/3?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by zeromorph
I have DirecTV - but this example should still apply. I have a 27" Vega (non-HDTV) - so I'm guessing your inputs are similar to mine.


Get 2 cable boxes - one for the replay and one for the TV.


Cable box 1:

spliter -> cable box -> svhs -> RTV -> svhs -> Tv input 1


Cable box 2:

splitter -> cable box -> component -> TV input 2


DVD:

Composite in


I understand that TV input 2 shares the component and composite in - but as long as the alternate device (RTV or DVD) is off you shouldn't have a problem.


This set up will allow you to watch any channel (digital or otherwise) while your RTV is recording anything it wants. Of course you'd only want to use cable box 2 if your replay is recording something you don't want to watch right away since you won't get the benefits of RTV off of it.


For example - I like "Two and a Half Men" as well as "Las Vegas", but both shows are on at the same time. Sure I could IVS the show everyweek but that takes time and bandwidth. I don't care about saving "Two and a Half Men" so I have the the RTV (off cable box 1) record "Las Vegas" and watch "Two and a Half Men" live off of cable box 2.


If you really want to you can connect your coax out of your cable boxes to the coax in on the TV - just for the hell of it too, but you shouldn't need to and it will probobly just confuse things.
I like this solution best, but the 2nd cable box is like $5/month. Still, it is the hookup I would personally use in my house if I had digital cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My head's spinning a bit now, but thanks for all the replies. I checked and my cable box doesn't have S-Video output, so I either have to use composite or call the cable company and see if they'll offer a replacement, as suggested above.


I wouldn't be willing to pay the extra $5/month for an extra cable box. I can always watch TV in another room if my replayTV is recording, so that's my solution for the "record one thing watch another" problem.


AndrewF, your setup sounds intriguing, perhaps I'll go with that one if I want to get normal cable channels on the TV while recording. The only disadvantage is having to split the coax, but it may work OK. I have a splitter, so there's no harm in trying and seeing how I like it.


Thanks again for all the input, I appreciate it.
 

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I have the exact setup Andrew suggested and it works great. Splitting teh coax signal is not that bad. Go for it. Takes gettign sued to but I can wathc Digital TV while Replay is recording coax signal!!!
 

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Ok, here goes.. thanks in advance for suggestions. I've got a dct5100 HD cable box. My goal here is to be able to watch HD channels while recording regular shows on the replay (5080) -- Currently the digi-cable box is component out to the tv. From the cable box I have s-vid out to the replay. I also have a splitter with an amplifier with one running to the digi-cable and one to the replay. So, with my current setup I should be able to use the builtin tuner for recording, while watching HD or premium channels in unbuffered mode right?? Well, when I go into the menu on the replay and choose the "builtin tuner" for the replay input, it still changes the channel on the cable box w/ the IR blaster, I can't get it to use it's own tuner.. what am I doing wrong? Thanks!
 

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Are you sure you've deleted the overlapping channels?

Since you have the S-video in of the rtv coming in from the

cable box and the coax-in of the rtv coming in from your split

cable, the channels which are switched using the internal

tuner are mapped to >1000.

What this means is that switching to channel 8 with your setup, for example, will change the cable box channel using the ir blaster, whereas

switching to 1008 will make use of the rtv's tuner and you can switch HD channels with your TV at the same time.


--Naren
 

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You don't *need* to delete overlapping channels. But then you would have to keep track of channel 8 vs. channel 1008 and you would have the same channels show up twice in the program guide.

Also, if you wanted to record say channel 8 and watch maybe HBO at the same time, you would have to choose between the two. However if you had deleted 8 in the first place and scheduled the recording on 1008, your rtv would record the program you wanted (without using the cable box) and you can use your cable box to switch to watch HBO unbuffered.


--Naren
 
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