Home>Discussions>NEW DIY IDEAS>Home Technology>getting ready for digital tv show question
20 posts / 0 new
Last post
curlingkc
getting ready for digital tv show question

I watched your PBS show about "getting ready for Digital TV" with great interest and was hoping to post a question at your website(http://www.pbs.org/digitaltv/). While the broadcast was informative it didn't answer my particular problem about a having a vcr.

I have Rabbit ears connected to a vcr which is connect to an analog tv since I like to record shows during the week and watch them later on my schedule. Something I imagine many others in my situation do.

I have connected the digital tuner between the rabbit ears and the vcr as shown on the show. I have been told and have experienced, the inability to record digitally while I watch tv and if I buy a second tuner for the vcr it needs to set to the channel being recorded. This defeats the purpose setting the vcr to record for later viewing since some evenings I may record on two different stations.

It looks like now that I need to buy a digital dvd recorder/vcr to replace my vcr or a digital tv to record on my present vcr. Since both option will cost me at least $250, I was hoping there was a cleaner, budget minded direction or that my assumptions are correct. There is nothing on any website that clearly lays out this seemingly simple connection problem.

BigWalt
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

Why not get cable connection?

With this set up, you can still use existing TV and VCR.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

curlingkc,
Your assumptions are correct. The switch to digital is going to be a bigger headache than advertised.
Jack

canuk
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

Yep ...... that's correct regarding the VCR recording.

To be fair though .... it's not a new issue of sort ..... folks with cable boxes have run into this years ago ..... it's not a new phenomenon .... unfortunately new for you.

Like BigWalt said ..... if analog cable ( without a set top box ) is available you might explore that avenue.

curlingkc
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

curlingkc,
Your assumptions are correct. The switch to digital is going to be a bigger headache than advertised.
Jack

I was hoping I was wrong. Looks like I need to spend $250 to continue to get what I am getting.

canuk wrote:

Like BigWalt said ..... if analog cable ( without a set top box ) is available you might explore that avenue.

Getting Cable is one choice. But I don't need all those channel or the Monthly service fee of $42- 65 per month for basic cable.

I simply want to record the shows I already get.

ed21
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

If you want to record one channel and watch another you will need 2 boxes. One to tape & one to watch.
I haven't tried that setup, but it should work. When you recorded before digital, you were using two tuners. The one in your tv and the one in your vcr. I saw a vcr with a built in digtal tuner from sony I think a while back. I'm remembering $200+
A DVR may be the better choice if the prices are similar.
I'm saving up for a high def DVR. It may be a while though.

curlingkc
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question
ed21 wrote:

If you want to record one channel and watch another you will need 2 boxes. One to tape & one to watch.
I haven't tried that setup, but it should work.

I have been told that you can only record digitally using the vcr if the digital tuner is tuned in to that specific channel. This doesn't help me when I want to set the timer in my vcr to record different channel at different times of the day throughout the week.

They do not make a VCR with a Digital tuner only DVR/VCR and if they have a tuner and made today they are digital . though A DVR with tuner is Cheaper

ed21
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

With a digital box feeding a vcr, you can't get fancy & program more than one channel at a time.
Here's a digital vcr that appears to do what an old vcr can do plus a lot more.

Product Description
DVD/VCR/SD Card Recorder, With ATSC Digital Tuner

Product Description
Panasonic DMR-EZ37K DVD Recorder & Player with VHS VCR Combo offers opportunities to upgrade your VHS videotape recording collection onto DVDs. You can choose to continue recording TV broadcasts to the VCR or onto DVDs. Accutune Digital Tuner is a high performance hybrid tuner capable of receiving both ATSC digital and NTSC analog broadcasts. The DVD recorder can record to and play back just about any DVD DVD-R/-RW/-RAM/+R/+RW discs, as well as DVD-Video, DVD-R (dual layer), DVD+R (dual layer), CD, CD-DA and CD-R/RW (including MP3 files). Digital Broadcast Capable - Built-in ATSC Tuner Automatic Program Information Acquisition Long Time Recording with High Picture Quality Real-Time Variable Bit Rate Control DV Auto Recording Auto DVD Disc Finalizing Direct Navigator for Quick, Easy Search 1 Second Quick Start for Recording DVD Recorder and Player are not HDTV capable. There is no HDMI connector to permit upconversion for 1080p play
I found it after a quick google search. Price was $127 on amazon.

bsum1
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

Unfortunately you are going to accept some change.

goldhiller
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

Hook one DTV converter to the TV and another to the VCR. Watch and record different shows this way.

Hook the TV's converter to the TV via the RCA jacks and hook the VCR to the TV via the coax jack (or vice-versa). Makes for easy switching from real time TV watching to VCR watching this way.

Or if your TV doesn't have both connection types...couple to TV thru a simple A/B switch and then choose A or B for input to TV.

canuk
Re: getting ready for digital tv show question

There are devices called Digital Video Recorders ( DVR ) or Hard Disk Drive recorders ( HDD ) available with digital ( ATSC ) tuners that may be considered as an alternative. The storage capacity for recording generally varies from 80 GB to 160 GB .... which means you can record anywhere from 34 to 200 hours of programs.

They came come in different configurations ..... such as .... DVD recorder with a HDD .... or ..... stand alone DVR/HDD units ..... the stand alone units tend to be cheaper.
There are a variety of different brands like Phillips , Magnavox , Sony , etc..
Apparently there's the Polaroid DRA-01601A available for around $100.

Personally, I made the switch to a DVR about 2 years ago. They function similar to VCR's although better performance.
VHS tapes around these parts .... while still available .... aren't as readily available as they once were.
Since I'm not home much I can easily record a month's worth with the DVR without needing to swap out tapes... needless to say the VCR basically is collecting dust.

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.