AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have analog cable, and due to the local price do not plan to upgrade until required by the cable company. Unfortunately the only way to get a DVR through them is to upgrade to digital, so that route is a no go. So, I have the single coax going into the back of the TV right now, as we do not need/have the cable box from them. Again trying to save a few pennies


While I have read all the reports on the various machines that have HDD included, that is more than I would like to spend for what will basically function as a VCR- - allow us to watch one station will recording another ~or~ record different stations at different times and dates unattended. Is there anything out there that fits this description? I would plan to use DVD RW discs as I would not be archiving any of the shows.


If there is not, then what advice is there on getting what will not be an obsolete HDD? My concern there is that I hear the format wars are continuing on blue ray vs high def, and I hate to end up with a machine that is on the wrong side of that battle when it settles. Also, I suspect that a dedicated player has better video output for those formats than an all-in-one recorder?


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,724 Posts
I don't think the newer dvd recorders with digital tuners will allow you to record one channel while watching another. The inconvenience of the coming analog shutoff next Feb (09)-of that ability is one of the downers for many of us. Unless someone comes up with a recorder with 2 digital tuners, we will be stuck needing a cable box and a recorder with digital tuner in order to watch one show on the cable box while recording a different channel with the recorder.


Here's the cheapest dvd recorder with a digital tuner (at the moment) that I can find. http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Toshi...oductDetail.do

Prices for many dvd recorders will most likely drop, or go on sale as we near Feb 2009.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,260 Posts
Check out the Panasonic EZ-17. They're plentiful on ebay for around $50. That's cheap enough to get 2, solving your long term watch one, record another problem. Heck, you could record 2 and watch a third. And with a digital tuner, you'll likely find many digital channels you didn't know you had, even with your existing analog service.


Although there are tons of EZ-17's on ebay, read the descriptions carefully about the condition and any missing parts. I got mine from the best buy outlet on ebay, and it was practically mint and wasn't missing anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,738 Posts
As long as your cable company is still providing the channels you want in analog format, you can use a single DVD recorder to record one channel while watching another. Use the DVD recorder to tune one channel (the one you're recording, of course), and use your TV to tune to the other channel! This assumes you're not getting any premium services which require a cable box.


The Panasonic recorders all (I think) can use DVD-RAM discs which behave basically like slow, removable hard disks with a 2-hour capacity in SP mode (or 4 hours in LP, which is still pretty good quality on the Panasonic units). They're perfect for timeshifting, because you don't have to re-format them... just delete a program after you watch it and are ready to record another one. The biggest problem is the limited capacity of the discs, but that's similar to the limitations of tape which you're presumably already familiar with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,579 Posts
I think Magnavox, Poloriod and some others also make DVDR's w/HDD for ~$150. I think there are threads on this forum talking about the features of each. Walmart seems to have a selection of cheaper units.

But if you could get a used Panny EZ-17 for ~$50, that would be my choice, assuming it was in good shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,256 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C /forum/post/12914028


I don't think the newer dvd recorders with digital tuners will allow you to record one channel while watching another.

I think the OP meant to record one program on the recorder, while watching another on the TV, similar to what we did during the VCR days.


If you split the incoming cable, either with a RF signal splitter (one RF out to recorder, one RF out to TV) or using the RF pass-through of the recorder (RF out to TV, recommended), then you can record one program while watching another.


Digital tuners do not change this capability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,256 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/12915865


I think Magnavox, Poloriod and some others also make DVDR's w/HDD for ~$150. I think there are threads on this forum talking about the features of each. Walmart seems to have a selection of cheaper units.

But if you could get a used Panny EZ-17 for ~$50, that would be my choice, assuming it was in good shape.

The Best Buy Outlet store on ebay has Panasonic EZ-17 recorders that should be obtainable for around $75 (at least less than $100). I got mine there and it works great, but YMMV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,724 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara /forum/post/12918373


I think the OP meant to record one program on the recorder, while watching another on the TV, similar to what we did during the VCR days.


If you split the incoming cable, either with a RF signal splitter (one RF out to recorder, one RF out to TV) or using the RF pass-through of the recorder (RF out to TV, recommended), then you can record one program while watching another.


Digital tuners do not change this capability.

Yeah. I got stuck on thinking what's gonna happen next year. If you want to keep your old, but perfectly fine tv, you're going to have a headache when you want to record one show from digital cable, while watching another.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, let me see if I have this straight, and if not please knock me up side the head, as that will probably happen anyway if I end up getting the wrong set up!



1. Since I currently have an analog signal without a cable box, I can use any recorder such as the referenced Panasonics as long as I split the signal and run into both the TV and recorder. This allows viewing on and recording another at the same time.


2. Once I transition to digital, as long as my recorder has a digital tuner, I can run a similar set up and still watch one and record another.


So, if I have this correct, how difficult is the programing on the referenced Panasonic? Can it be easily done by someone not technologically versed such as my wife? This will also run any recordable DVD without issues?


Also this will provide acceptable playback of regular rented DVD's?


Thanks!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,724 Posts
^^

1-Correct.


2-Also correct.


3-Setting a timer recording is the same as on a vcr. Set channel, the date, then start time, then stop time. And rented dvds playback fine, though many prefer using a separate dvd player for playback, as it saves wear and tear on the recorder. But don't let that deter you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,579 Posts
DZ9-Not sure what you mean by your comment "This will also run any recordable DVD without issues?" But if you mean will the Panasonic's record to any recordable media, the answer is yes. About the only thing it won't write to would be BR or HD DVD's.


Also note you do not need a splitter to do what you want, unless your TV is RF only, and if that's the case you will need to buy a external RF modulator, or a DVDR/VHS with a built in RF modulator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,566 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzd9fy /forum/post/12913589


I have analog cable, and due to the local price do not plan to upgrade until required by the cable company. Unfortunately the only way to get a DVR through them is to upgrade to digital, so that route is a no go. So, I have the single coax going into the back of the TV right now, as we do not need/have the cable box from them. Again trying to save a few pennies

BTW, Tivos (and other standalone DVRs) can just take the coax in and record analog stations too. I realize this is more than you want to spend, but I'm actually using a Series 3 and a Tivo HD as analog cable recorders... (Because of 'lifetime transfer' offers for the service.)


I will eventually try to get an OTA cable or maybe even cablecards. These replace the cable box.


(I also have a Toshiba XS32, which I like many things about, but I would get rid of it much much sooner than I'd get rid of any of my Tivos.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack /forum/post/12924271


BTW, Tivos (and other standalone DVRs) can just take the coax in and record analog stations too. I realize this is more than you want to spend, but I'm actually using a Series 3 and a Tivo HD as analog cable recorders... (Because of 'lifetime transfer' offers for the service.)


I will eventually try to get an OTA cable or maybe even cablecards. These replace the cable box.


(I also have a Toshiba XS32, which I like many things about, but I would get rid of it much much sooner than I'd get rid of any of my Tivos.)

Ok, a quick question for you then the standalone DVRs such as Tivo, will they work just as well or better than a recorder? Can I utilize them effectively without the subscription fee? I notice that there are many on eBay, so what do I look for there?


And thanks for the prior clarification on media type by the prior poster, I was indeed asking if the recorder was sensitive and would only perform well with say Brand X, but not Brand Y.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,256 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzd9fy /forum/post/12925239


Ok, a quick question for you then the standalone DVRs such as Tivo, will they work just as well or better than a recorder? Can I utilize them effectively without the subscription fee? I notice that there are many on eBay, so what do I look for there?

Can't burn a DVD, nor play prerecorded DVDs on a Tivo, just record and play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara /forum/post/12926927


Can't burn a DVD, nor play prerecorded DVDs on a Tivo, just record and play.

Not on the newer, HD ones anyway.


But there were some older Pioneers, Toshibas and Humax's with TiVo that had DVD burners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,566 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzd9fy /forum/post/12925239


Ok, a quick question for you then the standalone DVRs such as Tivo, will they work just as well or better than a recorder? Can I utilize them effectively without the subscription fee? I notice that there are many on eBay, so what do I look for there?

Series 1 Tivos can work without a subscription, but I suggest that that is not the way to go.. (I have changed my mind on this, I originally bought a second series 1 long ago to use without a subscription -- but it ended up as actually having lifetime.. it was broken when I bought it.)


A Tivo without a subscription is *in some ways* worse than VCR-like programming. (In some ways it's still better -- more reliable, can obviously delete a recording WHILE it's recording..)


But I believe there is still a deal on where you *can* get a lifetime subscription on Tivos.. at least for one model. But it's like $700 total for hardware and lifetime I think. (Personally, I paid more than that for my Series 3 about a year ago.)


At least *averaging* the price of my S3 & TivoHD, I think it was worth it, and I won't have to pay a monthly fee again.


I love the Tivo UI.


I also frequent this forum because I have a Toshiba XS-32 to use along with my Tivos -- because the Tivo/DVD recorder combinations don't allow you to edit recordings before burning or burn in multiple sessions. But in retrospect, maybe I should have put up with that limitation in terms of reliability (XS32 dvd burner went bad).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,738 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzd9fy /forum/post/12921853


2. Once I transition to digital, as long as my recorder has a digital tuner, I can run a similar set up and still watch one and record another.

Only with the (digital) channels that your cable company does not encrypt. This will probably mean only the local broadcast stations, plus maybe a few odds and ends, what they now call "lifeline basic" or "limited basic" or something like that. CNN, ESPN, TNT, etc. will probably be encrypted, as they are now on most digital cable systems.


To watch or record the encrypted channels, you'll have to rent a cable box or cable DVR, or buy a TV and recorder that accept a CableCard or its future equivalent. (And you'll have to rent the CableCard or whatever.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/12922761


But if you mean will the Panasonic's record to any recordable media, the answer is yes.

Jeff, could you list some of the types(DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, etc) that you have had success with, as well as what brands.(Panasonic, Imation, etc) I just won an auction for a Best Buy Outlet DMR-EZ17 and would like to know what would be best to stock up on. My local Office Depot has +RW 25 disc spindles of their own brand($9.99) and Memorex(12.99) on sale this week.


Danny in Yorktown, VA hoping to kick one of his dying VCRs to the curb in the very near future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,579 Posts
I personally have used many Office Depot discs. -RW's and -R's. I have also used -RW Maxell's and Verbatims.

For the -R's I have used in addition to OD, Verbatim, Philips, Maxell, and probably some others.

I really have not had problems with any brands. Now how long the discs will last is another thing. I get a little worried when people talk about DVD's going bad over time. Although my oldest DVD's are now approaching 4 yrs old, and so far all seem fine.

Many people speak well of TY discs. I personally have never tried any, but I'm sure they would also work fine in the Panasonic. Also note all speeds also seem to work. I have used up to 16X and they all record fine.

Note IMO Panny's like - media better than + media. I think the - media is more native to Panasonic. The older Panny's wouldn't even record to certain + media. The few times I used + media I had odd search problems. Either the search speed was too slow, or WAY fast(like 5min/second). Because of this I always try to stick to - media.

Note I think many people do not like Memorex media, at least that's what I have read here on AVS. I personally have not used any, and might tend to stay away from them from what I have read here.

I usually get my best prices on media at Office Depot, and have had good luck with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Jeff, thanks for the detailed information. I was leaning towards getting +RW (I'll be using this for time-shifting shows for later viewing and then erasing) because that is what my co-workers use in their DVD recorders. I think I'll start out with a small spindle of -RW to begin. I was reading on a Circuit City website for the DMR-EZ17 that one customer stated that you could only record digital broadcasts on DVD-RAM. I was hoping to record the unscrambled digital broadcasts of the local affiliates that my cable company is required to provide. The digital broadcast of CBS for example is much clearer/noise-free than the analog broadcast. The person said he found this information about needing DVD-RAM in the user's manual. I looked at the PDF version online and saw that DVD-RAM was needed when recording CPRM one time recording only shows. I don't know if that applies to regular network digital broadcasts. Have you or anyone else had to use DVD-RAM to record a digital broadcast?
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top