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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent several hours trying to use this forum and since I'm old, it's a little confusing. Have been reading many, many post but no answer to my problem. I still use a roof top antenna. No cable, no dish, just an antenna. I've got several of those converter boxes now but none hooked up yet. I presently have a few VCR/DVD recorder/players but all old and analog so was going to purchase a new one with ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuners such as a Panasonic. HOWEVER, on the Circuit City web site and checking with people at Best Buy, a place called ABT and FRY's, I was informed that none of these machines will be able to record on the VCR side after February 2009 digital change over unless a converter box is used.

Does anyone out there know if this is true of all VCR/DVD recorder/players?

I thought the internal tuner would handle this problem.

Doesn't the ATSC tuner allow recording on the VCR side?

What is the NTSC tuner for if it will not allow recording?

Will the ability of a VCR not be able to record after Feb without a converter box?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by just carl /forum/post/15455092


Doesn't the ATSC tuner allow recording on the VCR side?

What is the NTSC tuner for if it will not allow recording?

Will the ability of a VCR not be able to record after Feb without a converter box?

First, this thread really probably belongs in the DVDR forum so it may get moved, but here's my answer.

1. I believe only Panasonic has limited recording from the digital tuner to VHS. You could try other brands of combos if you still want to record to VHS. I know the JVC 100 does this and I think Toshibas will.

2. The NTSC tuner if for current analog transmissions as well as low power and translator stations which will still be broadcasting OTA after 2/'09. Oh and it will still work for analog cable.

3. A regular VCR will not be able to record the majority of OTA transmissions post 2/'09 without a converter box. Zinwell makes a nice CECB that includes programmable timers for use with your VCR. With $40 govt. coupon it should be ~$10 or less.
 

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Just carl.

Yes any box with a OTA digital tuner will record the ATSC HD OTA broadcasts. If the box can also receive clear QAM it cand record slear QAM digital HD broadcasts.

The Salesmen you talked to are wrong. You do not a digital converter box if you have a unit that will tune OTA digital directly.

I am surprised that the salesmen wanated to sell you a low cost converter box instead of a new VCR that will procees OTA or QAM digital.

I think they would have suggested a DVD recorder that would accpt the different digital tranmission instead.
 

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If you don't mind changing media (from tape to DVD), all of the current gen DVDrs can record OTA directly with their internal tuners. As was mentioned, some combo units have the VCR section disabled for recoding from the ATSC tuner.


The cheap but more complex solution - put a converter in front of every VCR - you have to program both the VCR and converter to record.


The simpler but more expensive solution - get DVDrs.


Biker, who can't believe the DTVPal didn't get mentioned in this thread.


P.S. Don't buy any more equipment till you hook up at least one of the converter boxes you already have. Check reception with that and see what you have now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry where I posted this. Not aware of a DVDR forum nor what it means. Old age I guess. Probably why I couldn't find this post without using search.

Update is I know have several converter boxes. Zenith, Magnavox, Dishnetwork brands. As an experiment I hooked up a Magnavox TB100MW9 to a really old, JVC stand alone, monoral VCR and a small Black and White portable TV. Needed convertions for the TV since it needed jacks for external antenna connections. Antenna on roof has 300olm and 75olm downcomers. Splitters for basement and first floor wall connections. Basement is where I tried experiment. Magnavox does not have Analog pass through so I can only get digital signals there and was able to receive about 50 stations clearly. Able to tape better than ever except loss of audio do to only one audio connection from the converter box. Next attempt is the Zenith since it allows Analog pass through.

Spent lots of time at several stores about a VCR/DVD recorder/player. All sales people stated there will be no ability to tape with a VCR after Feb change over to Digital without a converter box. Circuit City add for Panasonic DMR-EZ48V unit states "Important, unit will not record on VCR after Feb. 2009

although it comes with a Digital and Analog tuner.

At a place called ABT electronics they said a JVC DRMV100B that most people rave about will not record on VCR side after FEb. 2009 either. Said a Philips equivalent might but no one carries them.

So purchased a Toshiba DVR-660 that has a ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuner setup. Will probably try connecting this to my Toshiba 42" LCD TV.

Then move the JVC DVD/VCR Recorder from there to the stupid 32" Apex Digital unit with a converter box.

I was amazed that although the name of a TV is Apex Digital it is an Analog unit. Apex Digital is just the name of the company.

What ever works or not I'll attempt to find this post in the near future and say what happens.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Of course if you could find a JVC VCR model HM-DT100U, you wouldn't need a converter box since it would have the digital tuner needed.
 

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just carl-Here's a link to the DVD Recorders forum which also occasionally has VHS talk.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...ysprune=&f=106

Here's a link to the JVC 100 combo thread, and it looks like I was wrong. One poster said the JVC will NOT record from the digital tuner to the VHS
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&highlight=jvc

Personally why I think recoding from the digital tuner to VHS is restricted has more to due with copy protections than anything else.

DVDs abide by something called copy once, where you can record something to DVD but you're restricted from copying THAT DVD. VHS has no such restrictions so if you copy that program to VHS you could just keep copying that VHS if you wanted. Since the digital broadcast needs to be converted to analog to go out the composite video they can't say the problem is in the D to A conversion, I think it's strictly a CP issue


I sure seem to remember a combo that let one record from a digital broadcast to VHS but I can't remember which one.

For digital VHS recording I think your best bet is a Zinwell with programmable timers. Link to Zinwell thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1048100
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84lion /forum/post/15467910


I must be missing something. The Philips 3545, link to manual

http://www.p4c.philips.com/files/d/d...37_dfu_aen.pdf


appears to indicate that a recording can be made to VHS of the digital (ATSC) signal. If the unit won't do it, the information sure is buried deep in the manual.

I agree that this unit MAY record on the VCR section after Feb. 2009 but as usual most manuals state what the product does but does not mention what it won't do. The Philips adds state built in NTSC and SDTV tuners capable of receiving AND recording your both standard and digital formats. HOWEVER, no where does it state on the VCR side. Could be on the DVD side only.

Also, can not find a VCR recording statement after the digital change over for the JVC DRMV100B that is supposed to contain a ASTC and QAM clear tuner.

At least the Panasonic adds do state their unites will NOT record digitally on the VCR portion.

I did purchase a Toshiba DVR-660 that is supposed to have a ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuner. Spent lots of time in the manual. As usual everything states what the unit WILL DO but not what it won't do.

I guess it would be dumb for a manufacturer to put in a page of all the things thier products don't do in thier manual or advertisements.

As I keep telling people, I'm old and this stuff is really getting over my head. I don't like DVD's and not even sure if I used one to record what type to use. I've seen them as DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and probably a million more.

All I want to do is record programs where I normally fall asleep and miss the ending.
 

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You do not have cable so QAM is not relevant.


You have an antenna which seem to be working with your digital converter boxes so anything with ATSC should work for you.


I would recommend dropping tape. Keep your old VCR to watch any tapes you may presently have.


I would recommend a DVD recorder with a build in hard drive because recording on the hard drive is easier then recording on a DVD (IMO). You can transfer the show from the hard drive to a DVD should you want to save it for a long time. They work with both old and newer TVs. You will not get High Definition with them but they will look a lot better then a VCR. They following is a thread about the one I have:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940657


There is also a hard drive only recorder (DVR) you may be interested in. While this can be use with older TVs, you get best results on a new HD TV. So far, there is only one I know of and I'm planning to get one soon:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1099071
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This forum is great for information. Unfortunately I'm not about to run out and purchase a lot more stuff due to this silly digital change over. Like I said I'm rather on the older side, income is Social Security, don't understand how to use DVD's, not sure at my age I want to learn about them either. To purchase another machine with a hard drive is also a little above what I want to do. I'd rather just go out and shovel snow than try to start all over again with instructions.

My latest dumb thing is to try contacting TV stations to complain that they do not tell the entire story. Such as what do you do with a TV with no external connections for an antenna? What do you do with the TV sets in cars and other vehicals. My son has a built in TV for his daughter to watch. A few years ago I gave my son a small hand held TV. Casio I think. No external connections for an antenna. What do you do with old portable TV's we used to take to the beach?

Only one TV station answered me at all. Channel 5. And they didn't even know about the rating system for antennae. They sent me a diagram on how to use your Analog system to watch one station and record another after Feb 2009. It requires two converter boxes and a real lot of cables.

Only a few more weeks until the change over. I may well stop watching TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by just carl /forum/post/15480134


\\ I may well stop watching TV.
Sometimes I feel the same way.
 

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If you are going to go with a DVD recorder look for one that is RAM (All Panasonic are) compatible so you don't have to use up a DVD every time you record something. Buy a stack of DVD RAM and you are good to go for 2-4 hrs per disc.


If you don't plan on keeping the recordings look into the DVTpal DVR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by just carl /forum/post/15480134


My latest dumb thing is to try contacting TV stations to complain that they do not tell the entire story. Such as what do you do with a TV with no external connections for an antenna? What do you do with the TV sets in cars and other vehicals. My son has a built in TV for his daughter to watch. A few years ago I gave my son a small hand held TV. Casio I think. No external connections for an antenna. What do you do with old portable TV's we used to take to the beach?

No dumb questions when it comes to this stuff. Recently, I heard a guy on a call-in radio show ask about radios that receive TV-audio (only), a question that I hadn't heard up to this point. Current existing portable electronics will likely get left behind, such as that guy's radio and small TVs without a coaxial input.


And without coax or composite (Ylw-Wht-Red) inputs, they're pretty much useless (unless someone released a convertor that could beam short-range analog signals to the legacy devices).
 

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Some people have tried sticking a bent paper clip in the RF output of the CECB - results on the portable device may vary. Certainly, you would need an antenna on the CECB sufficient to receive ATSC signals.
 

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Even small TV's w/o a coax input should have an ordinary "rod antenna" that you might be able to hook the center pin of the coax to. I haven't seen a TV with only an internal antenna that couldn't be adjusted.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by just carl /forum/post/15480134


What do you do with old portable TV's we used to take to the beach?

You throw it in the ocean. All those TVs are paper weights next month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by biker19 /forum/post/15493666


You throw it in the ocean. All those TVs are paper weights next month.

Now that is the first really great idea for me.

I just looked at a small TV I haven't used for years. No external connections for an antenna at all. A TV station that finally answered me told me to just open up those TV's, cut the wires to the built in antenna, add a 300 Olm/75 Olm converter, drill a hole in the case, place that coaxial portion through the hold and connect to a converter box.

See how simple that is. And for portable TV's just use a very, very long extension cord.

I finally hooked up a Zenith DTT901 to the setup in the basement as a test.

Removed the Magnavox one. Sound improved extensively. Lost a few stations completely though. Analog pass through works great but you have to shut down the converter box. Tried to record a few stations and the signal dropped out near the end of the program.

I use a 12 foot directional boom antenna on a rotor about 20 feet up from the roof. Can't get about 1/3 the stations I saw listed on another post here that is supposed to be there.

Today I try the new Toshiba VVC/DVD recorder with supposedly a NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuner or something like that.

If I can find this post again, I'll give results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK so I finally found the HDTV forum. Like I said before I didn't know where to put this post. OLD AGE you know.

Could someone move this there?

I don't know how or I would I guess. Not even sure if I'm supposed to.
 
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