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  1. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Hello every one
    I plan to buy a sony L series 32 inch lcd television
    I also saw a sony dvr recorder player combo vcr - the sony did not have a built in tuner and the price for it was about fifty bucks less then a panosonic dvr recorder which I saw next to it on the shelf the panosonic came with a built in tuner
    I don't care about the extra $50 expense for the tuner -- but my question is why would a built in tuner ever be advantageous to me I have comcast cable and I use the comcast box used as the tv's tuner
    Would it be easier to switch inputs from live tv input 1 to recording input 3 with a build in tuner then without it ?
    Right now on my older televison set which has a tube and is 5 year old trinitron sony tv when ever i want to record of a tv program and switch over to input 3 the picture is always full of distortions and I can not record decently off input 3 - the viewing of vcr is on input 3 is not a problem -- but I can't record off the input 3 because the picture quality is very poor -
    Would a built in tuner solve problems like this ?? Or would that be unessary with a new tv with HDMI cables for tv and recorder , or would it make sense to get a recorder with built in tuner ?
    Thank You
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    With a digital (QAM) tunered DVDR and cable TV, you could be getting unscrambled channels with the DVDR and scrambled channels thru the cable box (STB). You could then be watching one channel while recording another on the DVDR.

    Sketch #1 in this help file shows and explains such a setup.

    Several other options apply if the DVDR has digital tuners (ATSC/QAM):

    1. Could record unscrambled channels in another location, if needed, such as a bedroom, w/o another cable box.

    2. In future circumstances, you could ditch cable and use an OTA antenna and potentially gets LOTS of good HDTV channels over-the-air (esp. good for when the cableco pi**es you off).

    3. If you ever switch to satellite (DirecTV or Dish), you could get their channels PLUS attach an OTA antenna and get THOSE channels also (see sketch #2 in that linked help file).

    4. others ??
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    I'm sure the Sony DVDR will also do this, but with my Panny DVDR and my new Sony W4100 TV if I bring up the disc menu it will automatically change the Sony TV to the HDMI input that the DVDR is hooked too.
    Now with my Sony DVD player w/hdmi it does even more. With that player if I turn my TV off it turns the DVD player off. If I turn my DVD player on and push PLAY it will turn the TV on and to the correct HDMI input. Kinda nice, and while I really wouldn't recommend a Sony recorder(I like their players though) it might be one advantage of going all Sony.
    In your case I can't really see a big advantage of getting the tuner, except with the tuner you would have the option of recording a non scrambled QAM channel while watching a scrambled channel on your TV through your STB. Wajo's point #2 about "future proofing" in case you ditch cable also makes sense. You may also find OTA networks may look clearer OTA than on your cable connection.

    Note I just thought of one other advantage of something like the Panny EA-18 or combo EA-38(without a tuner). It has a IR blaster which will automatically change the channel on your STB to correspond with your scheduled events. The Pannys with a tuner do NOT have the IR blaster. Not sure about the Sony you're looking at, but it would be a handy feature in your case, if your plan on many scheduled events on different channels and your STB cannot be programmed to automatically change channels by itself.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks Guys for your help in my decision as to my choice of recordable dvd players

    The main reason I was leaning toward the sony was that it has a dubbing feature - where you can copy an old vhs cassette tape to a blank dvd disc and so its going to last longer and lest change of it jamming in the vcr
    there are two dubbing buttons right on the front of the dvd player .

    As I am soon going to be 75 years of age , I am not that much of a videofile or techky so I don't care much about bells and whistles I will never need to use .

    The only thing I am concerned about is a good live programing picture on the television
    In otherwords what I mean is that after I change the input after watching live tv on the default input which is video 1 on my tv and which is fine when I go to 3 on the tv remote to video / dvd channel

    and I can't make a dvd recording off live tv vid 3 because I have a rotten picture qualilty on there full of little stars and stuff and distortions
    This is the problem i am having now with my five year old tube trinitron and my Panny vcr
    and my reason for buying a new sony 32 inch L series bravia
    Will the plain no tuner sony dvd recorder combo solve this problem or do you think I still need a tuner and better not take a chance on not getting good dvd vcr recording quality on input vid 3 ??
    Thanks Again !
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    I'm sorry I don't quite follow you. What type of video outputs does your cable box have? Is it a digital HD box?
    As far as the one touch record to copy a VHS to DVD, Panasonic has had this feature since at least '05 and I believe the current line up also has that button.
    The problem with many Sony DVDRs is false copy protection. For whatever reason the Sonys think the tapes are copy protected(even if they are not) and shut down the recording. For this reason I can't really suggest the Sonys, otherwise I'm a Sony guy with Sony TVs, VCR and DVD players, just not the DVD recorders.
    If you let us know the outputs of your cable box we would be better able to help you.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Hello ,
    The salesman in the dvd department at Best Buy said that he did not think the panosonic could dub , because he could not find anyplace on it that did dubbing , but those guys at best buy don’t really know much –
    I would be more inclined to believe you then him thats for sure !
    Like I said I am not a tecky so I can’t tell you the outputs of my cable box for sure
    But I am sure that the cables in the cable box are componet - it has five cables three are white with a red , light blue and green band and two are black with a white and red band .
    its hdtv, dolby sound and dvr capable and its digital
    It’s the motorollo comcast cable box - It’s the older motorolla box DCT6208
    So it has one tuner instead of the two in the new DCT6412

    Robust CPU (800 MIPS), memory footprint, 3D graphics to run IPG, VOD, advanced applications and middleware Full range of interfaces including YpbPr, DVI, 1394, USB, Ethernet, SPDIF, Smartcard, and more
    • Integrated High Definition decoder with YpbPr component output
    • DVI and dual 1394(DTV) digital connectors
    • Built-in MPEG analog encoder
    • Optical and electrical SPDIF / Dolby Digital connectors
    • S-Video Output
    • RF and Baseband Output (Video, L/R Audio) Ports
    • 4 digit, 7 segment LED display with IR receiver for remote and/or keyboard
    • Switched Accessory Outlet
    • DVI and 1394 (DTV) digital interfaces
    • Supports HDTV and Dolby 5.1 services1
    • Build in DOCSIS modem for high speed interactivity
    • DOCSIS 1.0/1.1 capable integrated cable modem1
    • DCT6208 80 GB storage capacity
    • MPEG-2 Digital Video Processor
    • PCM, AC-3, Dolby 5.1 Prologic Digital audio capability
    • 800 MIPS, RISC-based microprocessor
    • 32 bit, 2-D / 3-D graphics
    • Analog/digital video scaling (Picture in Graphics)
    • 10/100 Base-T Ethernet Connector (RJ45 Connector)
    • Smart Card Interface Connector (E-Commerce)2
    • TVPASSTM renewable security connector2
    • IR Blaster Port1
    • I hope this helps ??
    • PS – You did help my decide –
    • I am going to get the Pannasonic not the Sony –
    • I trust that it has the dubbing feature –
    • Zalman001---Thanks guys
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    It looks like your cable box has DVI and component outputs. I would run either directly to your Sony TV. Note if using the DVI output you'll need to buy a DVI to HDMI adapter or adapter cable. The TV will just have HDMI input. DVI/HDMI is digital where as component would be analog. Truthfully on a smaller TV I doubt you'd notice much of a difference. Note DVI does not carry audio(HDMI does) so you'll need a stereo patch cable along with the DVI. On Sony LCDs usually only one HDMI jack will have a option for separate audio so be sure to use that one if going the DVI-HDMI route.

    I'd take the S-video output of your cable box and run to the line input of whatever DVDR you get. You will also need a left and right audio cable.
    Lastly take the HDMI(or component) output of your DVDR and run it direct to your TV's HDMI or component input.

    To just watch TV select the TV input you've hooked your cable box output too.
    To watch a DVD/VCR select the TV input you've hooked your DVDR output to.
    To record something from your cable box, on your TV select the DVDR output, select line input on your DVDR, tune your cable box to the channel you want to record and push record. You may continue watching your cable box through your DVDR or for better picture quality, on your TV select the output of your cable box directly.

    One last point. Since you have a Motorola cable box chances are very good that it does not output wide screen to the S-video output. This means that your recorder will only record either the picture with the sides chopped off, or a letter box format. On your TV watching directly from your cable box you will get the full 16:9 if available for that channel.

    In your case I think matters would be easier if you just got a tunerless DVDR/VCR like the Panasonic EA-38. And yes it does have a direct dubbing button, it's right on the front of the unit. Note the EA-38 is a little harder to find than it's tunered cousin the EZ-48. I believe Best Buy and Circuit City do not carry the EA-38. I think Target and I know Ultimate Electronics carry the EA-38 and it's ~$50 less than the EZ-48.

    Finally if going the tunerless route the only RF cable you have to deal with is the one that goes from your wall jack to your cable box. None is needed to the DVDR/VCR. If you wanted the option of recording one channel while watching a different (unscrambled) channel, I'd split your cable with a 2 way splitter and have one go to your cable box and the other side directly to your TV. Then to watch something different that your cable box is tuned to just tune it directly on your TV. You'll probably just find the analog channels and your local HD channels tuning directly on your TV. Your cable box has the potential to get many more scrambled digital channels.
    Edit: Target does not carry the EA-38, they carry the tunered EZ-48. The EA-38 isn't easy to find B&M.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Hi - Thank You !
    I was going to pay the store to set it up -
    for a fee of course.
    I know enough about it now ,
    So now I can do it up myself
    and save $100 on set up charge
    I really appreciate your expert advice .
    Thank You ! Thank You !
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi -
    Thank You JJeff
    I was going to pay the store to set it up -
    for a fee of course.
    I know enough about it now ,
    So now I can do it up myself
    and save $100 on set up charge
    I really appreciate your expert advice .
    Thank You ! Thank You !
    zalman001
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Good luck, post back if you run into any problems. Should be pretty straight forward. If you go the HDMI/DVI route don't spend too much on the cables. You should be able to find a decent cable/adapter for less than $10. Cables are where many stores like Best Buy etc. make tons of money.
    I get my HDMI cables at Monoprice.com for under $4 a cable. Of course you'd have to pay the shipping so I usually order more than one thing. They are very cheap on all their cables and I've never had a problem with them.
    The more I think about your case you really don't gain much by getting a combo with the tuner, I'd save the ~$50 in your case(unless you planned on dropping cable in the future) although even then all you would have to do would be add a digital to analog converter box that runs ~$20 after the government coupon and you'd be able to record from a antenna.
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