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DVR vs VCR with ATSC Tuner?

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Old 06-14-2008, 06:58 AM   #46  
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Rather than setup a recording computer,
I'd rather just download the already-existing file from isohunt.com.
If it was broadcast last night, it will be there today.

Also:

I mentioned in another thread about buying $15 cable tv. It provides an analog signal that is compatible with old VCRs.

And:

There's also the Echostar DTVpal which automatically changes channels & sends the signal to your old analog VCR.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:56 AM   #47  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
Rather than setup a recording computer,
I'd rather just download the already-existing file from isohunt.com.
If it was broadcast last night, it will be there today.
And it will be downloaded by next episode!
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:14 PM   #48  
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Chris.

The problem with a DVR is the amount of recording space available. I usually have around 70 tapes [420 hours] recorded by the time reruns start.

I have three Sony VCR's. Model No. SLV-N50, No.SLV-N55 and No. SLV-N750.

Not sure what you mean by what souce I use. I get all of my programming from an antenna on the roof. Is that what you mean?

The thing is, I am obviously very low tech and I pay zilch to watch all I want on TV. To get the channels I watch now on Cable would cost me $55 a month on Time Warner. Satelite is cheaper, but I would lose 3 of the local stations I like to watch. Of course, with both Cable and Satelite I would pick up tons of stations I would never watch.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:29 PM   #49  
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Electrictroy,

For a while, I thought the EchoStar TR40 was the answer. Now, from what I understand, the EchoStar DTV Pal requires access to TV Guide On Screen, which my VCR's do not have.

If I have to, I will buy 3 new VCR/DVR Combos, but at this point I am still not sure I have to.

Do you need TVGOS to use DTV Pal? What about EchoStar T-40? The boxes may have differences, from what I have read.
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:54 AM   #50  
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Quote:
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The problem with a DVR is the amount of recording space available. I usually have around 70 tapes [420 hours] recorded by the time reruns start.
My TiVo S3 has a 500GB eSATA drive hanging off of it, giving me 750GB of storage total, or about 675 hours of SD (or 107 hours of HD). Though I have had problems with this set-up, most other folks have not.

I could also order a replacement 1TB drive, or better yet, dual 1TB drives, providing me up to 1947 hours of SD (or 292 hours of HD).

That enough storage for you?

And of course that last option takes up no additional room; the dual drive replacement goes inside the DVR. 70 VCR tapes... gosh that must fill a cabinet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie53 View Post
Not sure what you mean by what souce I use. I get all of my programming from an antenna on the roof.
The TiVo S3 and TiVo HD both have both analog and digital OTA tuners (as well as cable tuners). They're both dual-tuner devices, so you could actually record programming on two channels at the same time, while watching something you had recorded earlier.
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:09 AM   #51  
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Hi Bicker,

Yes, 1947 hours of recording space would be plenty! And yes, I have a nice little cabinet I store my 70 plus tapes in.

I am once again confused. TiVo is a subcription service---right? How would I access a subsciption service with an antenna? Keep in mind, my internet access is dial up. Yes, I know, I am one cheap little @#$%!

Now, if I could just find a DVR with 1947 hours of storage availabe, that does not need TiVo to function and has a digital tuner----I would only need converter boxed for my TV's----right?----I think.
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:11 AM   #52  
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"boxes"
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:31 AM   #53  
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Originally Posted by Annie53 View Post
I am once again confused. TiVo is a subcription service---right? How would I access a subsciption service with an antenna?
You access the programming via antenna; you access the subscription service via the Internet. Most folks use either wired or wireless connection to a router, but last time I checked there was an option for direct dial-up (perhaps for an additional fee).

Quote:
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Now, if I could just find a DVR with 1947 hours of storage availabe, that does not need TiVo to function and has a digital tuner----I would only need converter boxed for my TV's----right?----I think.
You said you were "cheap" -- would you really be willing to pay the price for that box (probably close to $1,500)?
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:43 AM   #54  
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One more thing: There is a perhaps-better option on the horizon. Sling is planning on putting out a OTA-only HD DVR in the Fall, currently referred to as the TR-50. It will be released with 250 GB of storage, but there is no reason to think that there won't be a way to upgrade that, perhaps as high as the TiVo, i.e. two-by-1TB. Still, you're still talking about big bucks for this super-advanced stuff you're aiming for: The price for the TR-50 is still anyone's guess -- my best guess is $250. Then the 2TB upgrade would probably cost $750 (just like the TiVo 2TB upgrade), so that's $1000 -- better than $1500, though. Unlike the TiVo, the TR-50 would have no monthly fee.

The difference in price, however, carries with it some limitations: The TR-50 will likely be limited in purpose (which for many, if not most, of the people waiting for it, perhaps a good thing). That means it will have a program guide, and the ability to record programming, set up repeating recordings, series recordings, etc., but probably won't ever support advanced features like whole-house or multi-room viewing, downloading to remote devices like video iPods and Zunes, etc. And, of course, it won't record off satellite or cable. Again, these limitations could be considered a good thing: A device tends to be more reliable the less feature functionality it has.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:49 AM   #55  
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bicker,

What box costs $1500?

If I accessed TiVo via direct dial up, does that mean I couldn't be on the phone or using the computer while I am programming my VCR's to record? {that would be OK} After I was done using the TiVo to program my VCR's----being on the phone or computer wouldn't interfere with things----would it?

How much does TiVo cost per month?

I have heard of the TR50, I know that may end up being one of my options. I have even resigned myself to the fact that I may have to subscribe to cable TV while I wait for available technolgy to catch up with the digital change over.

Yes, I am cheap, but I am also set in my ways. I would spend a couple thousand to continue recording my programs without paying a $60-$80 monthly fee. I could make that up in a few years of free OTA TV....... I hope.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:59 AM   #56  
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Annie,
Here is a possibility for you that will not cost you $1500: Two Outstanding HTPC Values They have sold out of the z556 units, but still have a few of the z560 units, the second one in the link.

While this is a computer, and I noticed you say you are technically challenged, this is a Media Center that is very easy to set up. The only drawback with the z560 unit for you may be that it is intended to work with a HDTV that has component or HDMI inputs.

But if you could find a HP z556 somewhere, it will have composite outputs. Otherwise you could use a VGA to composite converter with the z560. They run about $100.

These units come with a ATSC tuner and a DVD player/burner so they are set up for both TV reception and playing DVDs. They come with large hard drives (z556 250 MB, z560 300 MB) so they will hold a lot of hours of recording plus they both have a socket to plug in the HP Personal Media Drives that are available up to 750 GB. I bought a couple 300 GB drives for mine at about $80 each. That gives you unlimited storage by changing the drives out.

The set up is very easy no more difficult than any other computer and the TV portion is done by a step by step wizard.

Price for the z560 varies, but generally will be under $700 while they last.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:46 AM   #57  
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rbinck,

WOW! It says you can record 3 programs simultaneously. Can you watch TV at the same time?

I have one HDTV ready TV. It is my main TV in the livingroom. My old livingroom TV died less than a year ago.

You're right, it sounds horribly complicated to me.

Would I need another computer to be dedicated to the TV?----or---is the unit itself the computer?

My brother knows about computers----he programmed and set mine up for me. He could do that part. {but he can't set a VCR to record }

Can you buy these units new or are they discontinued?
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:03 AM   #58  
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Yes you can buy them new for a while. When they were new they were over $2,000 so this sell out represents a tremendous saving.

As far as the recording of three programs that is because it comes with two tuner cards. Unfortunely one of the tuner cards is a dual tuner analog tuner card that will not help you after the 2009 cutoff unless you add a converter externally which could be done.

You can watch any of the three tuners. But to try to be clear, only three programs can be received at any given time, so if you are recording three programs at once, you will have to watch one of them.

It is a very powerful computer itself so no other computer will be necessary to dedicate to watching TV. The recording scheduleing, btw, is very similar to setting up most any DVR. You call up the guide and highlight the program you wish to record and press the buttons for recording.

Your brother will have no problem setting this one up.

Last edited by rbinck; 06-16-2008 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:33 AM   #59  
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"Unfortunely one of the tuner cards is a dual tuner analog tuner card that will not help you after the 2009 cutoff unless you add a converter externally which could be done."

Uh Ohhhh. That is my main problem, trying to find a converter capable of changing channels automatically.

I am fine with my equipment now. My problem is that after the 2009 cutoff, none of my VCR's can be used to automatically change channels to record programs. My previous posts go into more detail.

It just seems like everytime I think I have found a solution----something just doesn't fit----like this time.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:39 AM   #60  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie53 View Post
What box costs $1500?
A typical HTPC, with the capabilities and storage you expressed interest in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie53 View Post
If I accessed TiVo via direct dial up, does that mean I couldn't be on the phone or using the computer while I am programming my VCR's to record? {that would be OK}
Remember, the TiVo is a replacement for your VCRs. It would connect roughly once a day to exchange information with the server, and the rest of the time (including while you're setting up recordings) it would be disconnected.

Quote:
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How much does TiVo cost per month?
About $10 per month, or $300 for lifetime service.

Quote:
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Yes, I am cheap, but I am also set in my ways. I would spend a couple thousand to continue recording my programs without paying a $60-$80 monthly fee.
As you can see, a TiVo would be a lot less than that, either way: $550 for the TiVo and lifetime service, or $250 for the TiVo and $10 per month for service.
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