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I have a hdtv with a recorder from the cable co...that's fine


I have an older set that I think it's nearly time to get rid of. It looks ok but it's fuzzy on the edges and 20 years old.


I have a recorder on this one but it only has a analog tuner. The guide + thing is now being stripped out of analog transmissions etc


I figure if I get a cheap hdtv in the next year or so having a recorder would be nice. Now I know that recording onto dvd doesn't make the dvd into hd. I know that most of what I'd get is analog cable and locals in hdtv...


Recording in dvd isn't exactly a big deal with me. I'd prefer a hard drive. I have a TON of empty dvd's though.


There's some nice extra stuff I've been finding for raw feeds in the hdtv tuner I have. Some extra channels. It would be nice to record some of that maybe.


Getting a guide would be nice although I think if push comes to show I can do manual recordings.


So basically I'd like a ATSC tuner and the ability to record...if it's not in hdtv I guess that's ok.
 

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The recorders recommended (and thoroughly documented
) by wajo are the Phillips 3576 and Magnavox H2160. These are decent dvd recorders with built-in 160GB hard drives, and are in fact the *only* DVD/HDD recorders in the USA equipped with an ATSC tuner. This makes it very convenient to schedule multiple events on different channels (assuming you have "boxless" cable that doesn't use a decoder box, or you're willing to hook up an antenna for off-the-air flexibility and line in for the cable box). Timer settings are manual, like the old VCRs. Recorders that combine DVD, HDD and a grid-selection easy timer system are long discontinued and unlikely to make a comeback as ATSC-capable machines.


You won't be able to capture in HD quality, only the SD quality of "normal" TV. Depending on the broadcast this can be quite satisfactory, although a large percentage of whats out there looks very disappointing on current LCD or plasma screens. These new screens don't have the dynamic "fudging" capability of old analog tube displays, which could show even crummy signals as viewable. Our modern flat panels like to see full HD-quality inputs, or they basically look terrible. Eventually this will improve, and SD will look better on future HDTVs, but for now shop carefully and don't opt for a jumbo-sized screen unless you're prepared for a world of hurt. If you have a very large living room that allows you to back way the hell off from the TV, great: otherwise stick to a 32" maximum.


The Phillips 3576 is sold in stores and online, its clone the Magnavox H2160 is only sold at Wal*Mart's website. Both have competent, though not exceptional, ATSC tuner performance: your new TV will likely have a better-quality tuner and you may see a difference. To meet a recorder price point this affordable, Phillips had to compromise slightly to create an all-round very good recorder. An all-round fantastic recorder would cost double, which is why all the other mfrs gave up on the USA market. The Phillips is at the outside upper limit of what Americans will pay, we totally rejected previous $400-500 machines. Wajo has an assortment of suggestions in his "sticky" thread on how to maximize the recording quality of Phillips/Magnavox units: very worthwhile reading.


At this time it is not possible to buy a recorder that combines DVD, HDD and really superb ATSC tuning: you can get any two of the three but not all three in one box. For example, there are hard-drive-only recorders which can record full HDTV, and Panasonic has DVD-only recorders with somewhat sharper tuners than the Phillips units. But either of these costs the same or more than the Phillips while offering less features. Its a tough choice for some, but on average the Phillips/Magnavox are the best price/performance value available today and in the forseeable future.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdovell /forum/post/15526206



.....

So basically I'd like a ATSC tuner and the ability to record...if it's not in hdtv I guess that's ok.

You should look at the DTVPal DVR from Dish. It is a dual (ATSC) tuner HD DVR that includes a program guide. It is OTA only (no NTSC or QAM), DVR only (won't record or play DVD's). It can record about 30 hours of HD or 150 hours of SD. I have been using a Philips 3576 and recently got the DTVPal. I think the DTVPal is a big step forward. The HD PQ is much better, it has dual tuners (can record two programs at the same time), and it has a program guide. I only use my Philips for playing DVD's and sometimes for recording a 3rd program when my DTVPal is already recording 2 others.
 
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