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can i make an old vcr work with a new hdtv?

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Old 12-07-2008, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default can i make an old vcr work with a new hdtv?

Hi, I'm new here so this is a learning experience for me. Our old analog tv just died so we bought a new lcd hdtv. I love it! But.... we still have our old vcr. We do not have cable or dish - don't want it - just regular local channels. After getting TV, DVD player and VCR all hooked up, we discovered we can't record digital channels. The VCR will play back already recorded tapes on the the new TV and will record the stations still broadcasting in analog. Is there some way to record the digital stations or are we going to have to get a new VCR? Are there digital VCRs or do we have to invest in a DVR? Any answers will be appreciated. Even my techno geek son didn't have an answer. He's already set up with all digital stuff and didn't even want to deal with my old clunker.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Buy a digital to analog converter box and connect it to the VCR.

Either connect it by composite, S-video or RF and set the VCR appropriately.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:07 PM   #3
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If you are currently getting your digital signal via an antenna, the what jim suggested will work just fine. Walmart has the converters for about $50 and if you get a coupon that'll knock $40 off of the cost. see: www.dtv.gov for coupon application.

If you are getting the analog signal for the VCR from cable, nothing should change for you in Feb 2009.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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A digital to analog converter box doesn't have the smarts to change channels if the OP wants to record more than one channel. A digital VCR and a Digital Video Recorder can be one in the same. The Tivo HD and Tivo HD Xl have digital tuners in them so you can record digital signals. You have to pay a fee.

Rumor had it that DISH/Echostar was going to come out with a digital OTA only DVR for somewhere in the 250 dollar range that would be fee free and do the same as the Tivo. This hasn't hit the store shelves yet.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxsam View Post
A digital to analog converter box doesn't have the smarts to change channels if the OP wants to record more than one channel. A digital VCR and a Digital Video Recorder can be one in the same. The Tivo HD and Tivo HD Xl have digital tuners in them so you can record digital signals. You have to pay a fee.

Rumor had it that DISH/Echostar was going to come out with a digital OTA only DVR for somewhere in the 250 dollar range that would be fee free and do the same as the Tivo. This hasn't hit the store shelves yet.
Actually it may be quite some time before the Dish DTVPal DVR does hit store shelves but you can purchase it now from here - http://www.dtvpal.com/ It has 2 tuners so you can watch one program while recording another or record two programs at once.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:18 PM   #6
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Hi again, I read the replies and still have a question. We have 2 of the converter boxes, one to be used with another old tv in the bedroom and we were going to use the other on our main tv. Since the new tv is digital and doesn't require a converter box, will the converter box still hook up to the tv so I can use my old vcr?
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pdxsam View Post
A digital to analog converter box doesn't have the smarts to change channels if the OP wants to record more than one channel.
There are three converter boxes that will change channels: Apex 502, Zinwell 970A, and DTVPal. I have the Apex 502 and it works well with a dvd recorder. I set a manual timer on the dvdr for input2 (output from converter box). The Apex 502 has reminders and changes the channel to the correct station. There are threads on each box in converter box forum.

see: http://www./avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=186

Last edited by IDRick; 12-07-2008 at 05:30 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balandsal View Post
Hi again, I read the replies and still have a question. We have 2 of the converter boxes, one to be used with another old tv in the bedroom and we were going to use the other on our main tv. Since the new tv is digital and doesn't require a converter box, will the converter box still hook up to the tv so I can use my old vcr?
Use the output from your converter box as the input source for your vcr. Split your antenna cable and use one run to feed the new tv directly and the other run to feed the converter box --> vcr.

***Add Connect your vcr to one of the inputs of your new tv. Use s-video and audio connections or use the composite connections.

Last edited by IDRick; 12-07-2008 at 10:21 PM.
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