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What does "no tuner" on a DVD/VCR combo mean?

wdm0744
07-21-2007, 10:00 PM
I was looking into buying a combo for my older (c.a. 2002) standard def RCA tv. The TV has one coaxial jack, one component, one s-video, and two composite jacks.
I was interested in buying the Sony SLV-D380P DVD/VCR combo. However, I read that it had no tuner and that this had caused some people problems.
What does this mean? I think it means that if you have an older tv with just one coaxial jack then you will be unable to hookup your cable through the dvd/vcr. Is that right? (Wouldn't a RF modulator solve this anyway?)
I am also about to have digital cable installed, including a digital cable box. (Not sure how this box will be hooked up to the tv. Maybe component -since it is digital?- or will it just be coaxial since it is a standard tv set?)
In any case, will I be alright buying this player? Will I be able to watch cable as well as dvds and vhs? Seems like it, considering all the inputs I have to use. Will I be able to record tv on vhs?
Any help appreciated! Thanks.

BrianO
07-21-2007, 10:45 PM
The SLV-D380P can play DVDs and VHS tapes. However, it cannot record VHS tapes off air simply by attaching an antenna because it lacks a TV tuner. To record TV programs it must be connected to another video component that can output its signals via an a/v connection.

The following is taken from Sony's marketing specs for the SLV-D380P:

Line Input Recording (No Tuner) refers to utilizing
Audio/Video Inputs to record desired programming
from a set-top box or other video sources that use
A/V outputs.

Record TV Programs - This DVD/VCR player is tunerready,
meaning it requires a tuner from another
video source with A/V output (i.e. cable, satellite, TV
or off-air tuner, etc). The combination of this
DVD/VCR player and a video source with tuner
allows you to record your favorite TV shows

billinprinceto
07-22-2007, 08:29 AM
You say that you are having "digital" cable installed. What company? Is a set-top box required? What types of set-top boxes do they offer? Answer these questions first, before spending money of ancilliary equipment which may not conveniently function with your system.

That said, consider that the Sony (or any other) combo unit is almost certainly a waste of money as all it does is record to tape (dying technology) and play tapes and DVDs. If your primary purpose is to transfer all of your old archieved VHS tapes to DVD, there are other units out there in the same price range that can record to both tape and DVD and have much better upscaling capabilities.

Another question to ask yourself: When will I be upgrading to a new TV? Sounds like the old RCA is at the limits of its life cycle.

wdm0744
07-22-2007, 08:54 AM
1. I have no idea what type or brand of cable box they will use, but I am getting Comcast's digital starter package, which includes some form of a digital box and remote.
2. The RCA tv is strictly a second tv. I also own a Samsung 720p 42'' DLP. The RCA is less than 5 years old (only 4 of which saw daily use). I will not replace it within the next 3 years unless it breaks.
3. While I have a large collection of dvds, I still have a small collection of movies on VHS (not home movies - the store bought kind that have the recording tab removed). I can't transfer tapes that have that tab removed, can I? If I can, then what players would you recommend?
4. I am not planning on doing a lot of recording off of tv. I would just like to have the option in case something I really wanted to save should come on (like some historical event or a family member appearing on tv).

billinprinceto
07-22-2007, 12:22 PM
Well, if you are strictly interested in "playing" tapes and dvds to the RCA set, perhaps the Sony is not such a bad choice - - - however, you might look into a combo VHS player/DVD player/recorder which can probably had for similar price, then you could transfer VHS tapes if you wanted to - but for the next several years, who cares.

I believe that Comcast system will feed all SD channels to multiple sets. So, you can run the Comcast cable to the RF input of the RCA and run the output of whatever combo unit you buy to the RCA with either composite, S-video or component. Only problem is that the combo unit will only be for playback - - - unless you purchase a combo unit with a tuner, in which case you can use a splitter to feed SD channels to both the RCA and the combo unit; use the same hook-up as above and voila, your all set.

One other point, you might consider upgrading to the Comcast DVR (for about $12/month) which allows recording of both SD and HD; pause during "live" TV and records somewhere around 100 hrs of SD programming. Believe me, once you've tried DVR, you'll never go back!

Bkville
07-22-2007, 04:58 PM
Personal, I wouldn't buy a VCR without a tuner.. Shop around a little..

wdm0744
07-22-2007, 05:13 PM
Okay...
Say I bought an HDD Dvd Recorder (like the Phillips DVDR3575H) or some other Dvd Recorder (without the VCR), would I be able to hookup my VCR to it and transfer my tapes to dvd?
How does that work?
Thanks for all the help.

billinprinceto
07-23-2007, 07:42 AM
Yes, you can do that (I have the DVDR3475/37 (no hard drive/no tuner version) and have been using it to transfer all of my 8mm beta tapes to dvd). The other difference between the 3475 and the 3475H is that the "H" version has front panel USB input and output upscales to 1080p. Also, you can dub from the HDD to DVD if you want to archive movies, programs, etc.

Check the manual . . .

http://www.p4c.philips.com/files/d/dvdr3575h_37/dvdr3575h_37_dfu_aen.pdf

rbinck
07-23-2007, 09:08 AM
Okay...
Say I bought an HDD Dvd Recorder (like the Phillips DVDR3575H) or some other Dvd Recorder (without the VCR), would I be able to hookup my VCR to it and transfer my tapes to dvd?
How does that work?
Thanks for all the help.
Some of the tapes will copy and some won't. Store bought tapes that have Macrovision copy guard will not copy. There used to be a black market box you could put between the two boxes to allow a copy, but I don't know where to tell you to look for one these days. Maybe eBay.

But all of your home movies will copy just fine and as well as tapes you have recorded.

wdm0744
07-23-2007, 10:04 AM
That's wonderful.
Would homemade tapes that have the record "tab" taken out still transfer?
Thanks a lot. I guess the store bought ones with Macrovision will just have to be replaced. Most of my favorites already have been, just a few stragglers.

billinprinceto
07-23-2007, 02:47 PM
yes, all of the homemade tapes will transfer just fine.

Also, with the HD version, you will have the ability to do some limited editing prior to transfer to DVD.

plclark
04-14-2012, 01:23 PM
I have a DVD recorder with no tuner, so I have been using an old VCR as the tuner. I moved my TV and had to disconnect everything and now I can't remember how to hook it back up. I want to go from cable to vcr to dvd recorder. Everything was working beautifully until I moved the darn TV. Could anyone help me? Game of Thrones will be on HBO tomorrow and I want to record it since I will be gone. Help!

robertva
04-15-2012, 06:34 PM
I have a DVD recorder with no tuner, so I have been using an old VCR as the tuner. I moved my TV and had to disconnect everything and now I can't remember how to hook it back up. I want to go from cable to vcr to dvd recorder. Everything was working beautifully until I moved the darn TV. Could anyone help me? Game of Thrones will be on HBO tomorrow and I want to record it since I will be gone. Help!Coax to RF input on VCR. Connect from stereo out (red and white insulators might be labeled "L" and "R") and composite/video out (yellow insulator) to corresponding color inputs on DVD recorder/player. Similar connections from DVD recorder/player stereo and composite video out to TV stereo and video input.

Many cable companies require a rented converter to receive HBO though. If yours does you may be need to use an RF coax or a combination of the red and white stereo and yellow composite video cables from the converter to corresponding inputs on the VCR (permits using the VCR to watch tapes).