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DVR vs VCR with ATSC Tuner?

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Old 12-16-2007, 09:48 PM   #1  
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Default DVR vs VCR with A

I like OTA free tv and record all my favorite shows on VCR so I can watch them later and FF thru commercials. I do not want to pay for cable, satalite or Tivo fees.

Are there DVRs that work like VCRs to record free tv w/o fees?
Recommendations?

What about a VCR with an ATSC tuner? Will they record in HD, and act like my old VCR as the tuner for the LCD tv where I can record and change tv stations with the VCR remote?
And do they use regular VCR tapes?

Thank you
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:50 PM   #2  
What is HD?
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Default DVR vs VCR with ATSC Tuner?

I like OTA free tv and record all my favorite shows on VCR so I can watch them later and FF thru commercials. I do not want to pay for cable, satalite or Tivo fees.

Are there DVRs that work like VCRs to record free tv w/o fees?
Recommendations?

What about a VCR with an ATSC tuner? Will they record in HD, and act like my old VCR as the tuner for the LCD tv where I can record and change tv stations with the VCR remote?
And do they use regular VCR tapes?

Thank you
raphael1137
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:57 AM   #3  
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Unfortunately, the few such DVRs without subscription fees that have been released were never profitable, and so they've been discontinued. I've never heard of a VCR with an ATSC tuner. There are D-VHS machines, but they extremely expensive: You'd be better off finding someone with a TiVo who could pick one up for you, with lifetime service (i.e., no monthly fees), for less.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:17 AM   #4  
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Originally Posted by raphael1137 View Post
I like OTA free tv and record all my favorite shows on VCR so I can watch them later and FF thru commercials. I do not want to pay for cable, satalite or Tivo fees.

Are there DVRs that work like VCRs to record free tv w/o fees?
Recommendations?

What about a VCR with an ATSC tuner? Will they record in HD, and act like my old VCR as the tuner for the LCD tv where I can record and change tv stations with the VCR remote?
And do they use regular VCR tapes?

Thank you
raphael1137
Yes you can record on those digital tuners now ATSC ones.. But more on the DVD Recorder replaces the VCR but on the combo units you can use the DVD-RW to record and erase. If you can find one with a HDD (built-in HDD) they got a good recorder there. I was going to get the Funai brand sold under Magavox lable one at Wal-Mart but they sold out quick. I wanted to dub all my VHS collection to DVD+R.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:34 AM   #5  
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What I did was to build a HTPC to record OTA HD. I can also burn DVDs in SD. Check out MyHTPC
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:19 PM   #6  
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What I did was to build a HTPC to record OTA HD. I can also burn DVDs in SD. Check out MyHTPC
Well I can't record HD yet only on my DVRs from cable companies. Still trying to see if they're going to offer digital HD through the coax feed then I could build a NEW HTPC for PCI-E Tuner HD cards. What do you use for PVR software?
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:10 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raphael1137 View Post
I like OTA free tv and record all my favorite shows on VCR so I can watch them later and FF thru commercials. I do not want to pay for cable, satalite or Tivo fees.

Are there DVRs that work like VCRs to record free tv w/o fees?
Recommendations?

What about a VCR with an ATSC tuner? Will they record in HD, and act like my old VCR as the tuner for the LCD tv where I can record and change tv stations with the VCR remote?
And do they use regular VCR tapes?

Thank you
raphael1137
One VCR with an ATSC tuner was released, the JVC HM-DT100U.

http://support.jvc.com/consumer/prod...lId=MODL027315

I use D-VHS a lot and like it but never recommend it, it is videotape after all and has all of the associated problems. I am committed to using it, have been using it for 8 years and will continue to use it for many more years. I don't have the VCR with a built in tuner and use a separate tuner with IEEE1394 ouput to the VCR or use a cable box with IEEE1394 or a modified satellite receiver with IEEE1394. I have no way to record the new MPEG-4 HD channels to D-VHS and have no way to decode MPEG-4 if I can figure out how to record it to D-VHS.

D-VHS VCRs work with D-VHS or high grade SVHS tape, actually D-VHS tape is high grade SVHS tape with an extra hole in the shell. My suggestion, stick with a DVR, they work great.

Chris
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:49 AM   #8  
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Originally Posted by tipstir View Post
Well I can't record HD yet only on my DVRs from cable companies. Still trying to see if they're going to offer digital HD through the coax feed then I could build a NEW HTPC for PCI-E Tuner HD cards. What do you use for PVR software?
It's all described in the link MyHTPC. The software comes with the card.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:49 AM   #9  
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Quote:
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It's all described in the link MyHTPC. The software comes with the card.
This http://www.highdefinitionblog.com/Pages/MyHTPC.htm should be mandatory reading before anyone is allowed to post on this thread. Nice job rbinck!!
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:24 AM   #10  
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It's all described in the link MyHTPC. The software comes with the card.
Very interesting you gone a different way... Still I don't see what software your using? Are you using this just for recording is this strickly media server box.? That old compaq case does the job, I was trying to get one from my prior job we had so many of them not in use. As they only have the two slots. But I just built AMD X64 tower over clockeed the CPU 2.4GHz sticked in 1GB of DDR 400MHz dual RAM and 500GB HDD, to run all of what I have with SAGETV and SAGETV Web Server with 4x Hauppauge PVR-150s.

I never heard of the tuner card you are using before... You just use the one card right?
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:51 PM   #11  
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Yes just the one card. It has the ATSC/QAM tuner on it and it has its own video output. You can get VGA or component outputs or with the optional daughter board you can get DVI output.

There is an input for your existing VGA (or DVI with the daughter board) video output to connect for feed through operation should you use your HDTV for your computer monitor.

What is neat about the card is you don't need much of a computer to use with the card because it is self contained with the decoders on the card. The only thing the computer is used for is to launch the application and record the programming. It comes with its own software that will allow you to use the www.titantv.com guide for scheduling the recordings. There is also some 3rd party software that allows for TiVo sort of operation. There is even more info on it at www.digitalconnection.com if interested.

I have several customers that have tried the route of the Fusion card and the software you mentioned with different degrees of success. Generally they are constantly upgrading their codecs and if they are doing anything else with their computers in the background, they got studder and jerky playback. That, along with trying several tries to play downloaded HD content using media players, I decided to go with the MyHD card. So far it has been pretty bullet proof as far as the recorded video goes. I do have to convert downloaded files to the format the card will play, but that's a small thing for me considering all of the jerky results I got trying to allow the computer to play the files.

I also use some other software to prep files for the card. VideoReDo software allows me to remove the commercials from the recorded files, for example. It will also allow the splitting of large HD files for saving on regular DVDs. These files can be played back from the DVDs later. Womble software allows for recoding for DVDs and making slide shows for DVDs and card playback. I also use some other software for DVD and video prep, depending on what I'm doing.

Last edited by rbinck; 12-20-2007 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:39 PM   #12  
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Yes just the one card. It has the ATSC/QAM tuner on it and it has its own video output. You can get VGA or component outputs or with the optional daughter board you can get DVI output.

There is an input for your existing VGA (or DVI with the daughter board) video output to connect for feed through operation should you use your HDTV for your computer monitor.

What is neat about the card is you don't need much of a computer to use with the card because it is self contained with the decoders on the card. The only thing the computer is used for is to launch the application and record the programming. It comes with its own software that will allow you to use the www.titantv.com guide for scheduling the recordings. There is also some 3rd party software that allows for TiVo sort of operation. There is even more info on it at www.digitalconnection.com if interested.

I have several customers that have tried the route of the Fusion card and the software you mentioned with different degrees of success. Generally they are constantly upgrading their codecs and if they are doing anything else with their computers in the background, they got studder and jerky playback. That, along with trying several tries to play downloaded HD content using media players, I decided to go with the MyHD card. So far it has been pretty bullet proof as far as the recorded video goes. I do have to convert downloaded files to the format the card will play, but that's a small thing for me considering all of the jerky results I got trying to allow the computer to play the files.

I also use some other software to prep files for the card. VideoReDo software allows me to remove the commercials from the recorded files, for example. It will also allow the splitting of large HD files for saving on regular DVDs. These files can be played back from the DVDs later. Womble software allows for recoding for DVDs and making slide shows for DVDs and card playback. I also use some other software for DVD and video prep, depending on what I'm doing.
Very interesting info you have provided.. I get different results than you since 2003 yes I did try software different like PCTV which was crappy, then use that PCTV PCI tuner with Intervideo WinDVR then WinDVD Recorder with titan guide on PIII 500MHz with 768MB 512KB Cache. That was okay. Moved up and built P4 Prescott over clocked that to 2.6GHz and started using the software PVR free with Zap2it from New Zealand. More like a test, bug, test, bug PVR with a lot of issues through-out the 3 years, then ended up with SAGETV mid 2007.

In the past I use to make DVDs but had stopped it after getting Hauppauge MediaMVP in 2004. Now with 7 of these MediaMVP on the network connected to CRT, LCD HDTV I don't need a PC in every room just the small MediaMVP. Sometimes I use Womble MPEGVCR to cut out the ads out of the recorded videos. This program does it in real time much quicker than Videoredo. Womble I just save as blank.mpeg and it saves it quickly and then ready for use after that.

I just use SAGETV to record off channel 2 through 99 which is analog for me. The 3-4x Hauppauge PVR-150 has their own Hardware MPEG2 Encoder but uses a software decoder for MPEG2 playback on the PC. As with most video cards they have hardware MPEG2 decoder, so I could hook the system up to a PC. But I don't use it that way I use the Hauppauge MediaMVP they have Hardware Decoder for MPEG2 built-in. But these devices can't do more than 480i SD-S-Video for playback. Still on both my Funai/Emerson and Proview/Element playback is vivid, clear and sharp looking.

To make everything stable I use Hauppauge MediaMVP software server with my own creation designs for the GUI on TV. SAGETV you have to buy a license for each MVP and that gets pretty expensive. But the software records great with good playback I don't have any video or audio problems everything records on a bases on favorites. The guide uses Zap2it with all the info about the show or movie.

I have to see how it goes with HD channels on my QAM tuner before I'll think about going your route. As the Hauppauge tuner cards are great they can be a real pain to setup and get going. With SAGETV the setup is quick and easy.

SAGETV WebServer uses VLC to stream the recorded media over wired or wireless PCs. that works out great. I can also watch Live TV using the SAGETV Clients also wireless.

I guess there are many ways to setup a HTPC and to enjoy using it like I see you do as do!
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:33 PM   #13  
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Basically the difference is probably just the load on the computer. I do a lot of re-encoding and that's a pain with some of the other technoligies trying to watch the files at the same time.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:25 PM   #14  
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Basically the difference is probably just the load on the computer. I do a lot of re-encoding and that's a pain with some of the other technoligies trying to watch the files at the same time.
Oh is that what you do.. I decided to just build another system a clone of the HTPC but without tuners and call that my Video Production box. That's what I use for all editing and DVD creation if want to do it. I mostly convert PAL 352x288 to NTSC 352x480 MPEG2 using MainConcepts MPEG1/MPEG2 Encoder. Easy to use program. That along with Womble MPEG/VCR editor for commercials out of music shows recorded with SAGETV HTPC/MediaMVP Server just making music videos, by pulling and saving songs videos them out of a 1 hour long run. So when my Nice and Nephews come over they have something to watch on their MVP box in another room away from me!
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:55 PM   #15  
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Yep, I chose to have 2 HTPCs that can do both so I can record 2 shows at the same time. It really comes down to how much you want to spend, I guess.

In any case, I was just giving an alternative to the OP that will work with practically any computer. Some of the other tuner cards require a pretty powerful (read expensive) PCs. Just about any P3 or P4 level computer will work with the MyHD card allowing some $$ to be spent on hard drives rather than computer. Also a good use for the older computer you want to replace as well. Both of mine run Windows 2000 even.

Last edited by rbinck; 12-20-2007 at 08:10 PM..
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