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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi -

I am not at all technically inclined and my needs are very simple.

I've got a digital TV (Samsung) and an indoor antenna which works well. I don't get cable because I don't need it for the reception and I don't watch that much TV.

But - I always had a VCR to record one show while watching another or if I was out.

Then I got a DVD/VCR which only allowed me to record on the VCR if I was watching the show that I wanted to record at the same time or if it was turned off. Finally the remote became unusable so I was unable to access the menu on my DVDs and my TV remote won't access the menu on the DVD player.

Now I am unable to record at all so I am looking for a DVD Recorder. I thought that I needed to pay for cable to use a DVR but from what I've been reading on this forum I don't think that that's right.

All I want is to be able to watch my DVDs on it and also watch one show and record another or record something if I am out. I don't need to copy it to a DVD as long as it will not be copied over if I don't get to watch it right away.

So - what do I need? The easiest to program (and figure out how to use) will be appreciated.

I am not far from B&H and I saw several on their site that are low cost (Toshiba and Magnavox) but they look like they record to DVD so I don't know if they are what I ought to buy.

Thanks!
 

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A TiVo Premiere works with over the air antennas. And is probably easiest to use, with an intuitive grid with the show names and flexible recording options. It has two tuners to watch one thing and record something else (or record two channels and watch a stored video.) It's not the cheapest option, though. You'll need to buy the unit, and either pay a periodic fee or buy the lifetime fee. They do appear to have a sale going on.

http://www.tivo.com/products/source/antenna/index.html


There is also the Channel Master CM-7000PAL for about $250 or so, usually available online. It also has two tuners and a guide. It's not as smooth or reportedly as reliable as a TiVo, but it's a lot cheaper.

http://blog.channelmaster.com/2010/0...00pal-dvr.html


Pair either of those with a cheap DVD player and your goals are met.


The Magnavox hard drive DVD recorders (2160, 513, and 515) will run about $160 for a refurb to $250 for a new one (sometimes cheaper.) They lack high def recording, dual tuners, and a guide, but they do allow DVD burning. They also have a digital over-the-air antenna. The timers work like a VCR's (although they may be more sophisticated for multiple events), so you're on familiar terrain there. They're probably the most direct replacement for a VCR.


I wouldn't buy any other new DVD recorder, as they lack that very useful hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There's no single device that can do what you want, except maybe a home theater PC.


Is it that they aren't able to record one show while I am watching another? If I didn't want that, will any of the ones that wajo mentioned work?


I really don't want to pay a monthly fee for something that I don't use that much.

They also have a digital over-the-air antenna Forgive my ignorance but what is that?
 

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If you're OK with DVD quality(SD) then the Maggy Wajo linked would be a good choice.

If you want HD for your HDTV then either the CM Tulpa spoke of, or the most expensive but most feature rich Tivo Premiere Tulpa linked.

Besides Wajo's comparison chart, here's another one listing more HD options.

The Maggy will be your cheapest option, followed by the CM.


Even the Maggy will let you record one channel and watch another, if you can tune the second channel on your TV. It's just the dual tuner devices will do it all, without using your TVs tuner. Since you're OTA, unless you want to record two different programs at the same time, the Maggy will work fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclernyc
Is it that they aren't able to record one show while I am watching another? If I didn't want that, will any of the ones that wajo mentioned work?

.
I thought you wanted DVD playback as well, that's why I worded it that way (I edited it out, though, on second thought.) All of the devices can record one channel and let you watch another. With the Magnavox, you'll need to split the antenna's signal and have the TV's tuner work as well, just like a VCR.


The Magnavox recorders can also play back DVDs, but at the expense of laser wear on the recording mechanism. If you only play back DVDs occasionally, it might work. Otherwise, I'd also pair it with a DVD player.

Quote:
I really don't want to pay a monthly fee for something that I don't use that much.
The TiVo can be owned without a fee, but it is expensive. The Channel Master can be owned outright. They require a net connection for their guides. The Magnavox doesn't need any net connection.

Quote:
They also have a digital over-the-air antenna Forgive my ignorance but what is that?
I worded it wrong. I meant tuner. They work with your existing antenna.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa
The TiVo can be owned without a fee, but it is expensive. The Channel Master can be owned outright. They require a net connection for their guides. The Magnavox doesn't need any net connection.
The Tivo requires either a land line phone connection or internet connection, AFAIK the CM uses OTA digital TVGOS, no phone or internet required.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff
The Tivo requires either a land line phone connection or internet connection, AFAIK the CM uses OTA digital TVGOS, no phone or internet.
Does it? My mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your response!

Just so I am clear - the Magnavox will record one channel and let me watch another and also record when it is off - no DVD required.

But if I want to watch a DVD it might damage the lasers on it.

Are there instructions for splitting the antenna's signal and get the TV's tuner to work as well? Is it difficult?
 

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No splitters needed with the Maggy. Just connect your antenna to the Maggys RF input and hook the Maggys RF output to your TV. Connect the Maggy to your TV with either Composite, S-video, Component or HDMI.

To watch your Maggy select the input on your TV that you've hooked the Maggy to. To watch TV use your TVs tuner. Very simple setup and note while most DVDR users use a separate DVD player, if your needs are simple and you don't watch DVDs all day long, the Maggy will be just fine. I'm sure many people do this and experience no issues. Many people around here are hardcore users so we tend to suggest a separate player.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclernyc
Thanks for your response!

Just so I am clear - the Magnavox will record one channel and let me watch another and also record when it is off - no DVD required.
Right, but you'll need to use the TV tuner if you want to watch a channel and record a second.

Quote:
But if I want to watch a DVD it might damage the lasers on it.
It won't damage it if you watch a DVD once in a while. It's just that the laser is delicate and every use puts wear on it. Combined with that a DVD recorder's laser isn't as robust as one in a decent DVD player.
 

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They're basically the same machine. Just different hard drive sizes and some other tweaks. Wajo's link will give you all the info (and moreso.)
 
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