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  1. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2014
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    I currently reside in a nursing home. Six years ago i suffered a life-changing illness. Before that I was able to hook up, program, code,etc. no memory leaves me lost.

    Anyway, the building is going with a national cable company. I have Comcast with the DVR function built in. Next week I have to replace it. I'm looking for a DVR so I can record on lightweight discs and not cumbersome VHS tapes. I know, before your time ...

    I want a quality DVR around $100. Remote control. If the tv could plug into the DVR which plugged into the wall, saving me an outlet space, it would be great but if not, oh well.

    My computers won't need to be hooked up to the tv or DVR. I've been out of the loop for years in a coma. I'm now trying to catch up and learn but it's daunting. Y'all seem to know your shit from what I just read. So I figured I'd ask for recommendations. Which units to avoid. Which to buy and arrive here in a week. Easy to hook up. Maintenance will do it but some guys aren't too bright.

    Thanks in advance. I'm interrupted so often it's easier to tape everything and playback at my leisure.
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  2. Most tv's these days have a PVR (personal video recorder) built in, you just plug in a hardrive or usb drive and way you go. Short of that im sure others here can offer more information on the DVR route, but like anything technology keeps steaming ahead and is replaced very quickly.
    Status - Attacked by mold spores. - Pour out a lil liquor for all the homies lost in the format wars. Sanlyn will live again, a Sanlyn v2.0 if you will
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  3. Member
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    All the advertisements I've heard for Comast boast their DVR, which is built into the cablebox. Seems easier than buying an external device.
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  4. Member
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    My TV is flat screen but about 8-10 years old. It has a built-in DVR but it wouldn't work when we tried it a few years ago. I had never used it at home for recording; just playing.
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  5. Member
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    Originally Posted by mail2tom View Post
    All the advertisements I've heard for Comast boast their DVR, which is built into the cablebox. Seems easier than buying an external device.
    And I love mine. But I won't be on Comcast as of next Thursday when the home switches providers. I'll save $104.85 a month but lose about 200 channels. I asked if we could stay with Comcast but they said no. Equipment being taken out.

    The $5 monthly charge for the DVR function was awesome. No discs, tapes or boxes. If I don't find a cheap alternative I'm f&@^$+ and not in a good way.
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  6. Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    Originally Posted by mail2tom View Post
    All the advertisements I've heard for Comast boast their DVR, which is built into the cablebox. Seems easier than buying an external device.
    And I love mine. But I won't be on Comcast as of next Thursday when the home switches providers. I'll save $104.85 a month but lose about 200 channels. I asked if we could stay with Comcast but they said no. Equipment being taken out.

    The $5 monthly charge for the DVR function was awesome. No discs, tapes or boxes. If I don't find a cheap alternative I'm f&@^$+ and not in a good way.
    I wish you were my grandfather you seem cool as hell. I would try you built in recorder again, possibly the usb drive or hardrive you used wasn't suited to that tv. a small usb thumb drive does work quite well, even an 8GB small one can record multiple hours and the 64GB ones cost next to nothing.
    Status - Attacked by mold spores. - Pour out a lil liquor for all the homies lost in the format wars. Sanlyn will live again, a Sanlyn v2.0 if you will
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    I currently reside in a nursing home. Six years ago i suffered a life-changing illness. Before that I was able to hook up, program, code,etc. no memory leaves me lost.

    Anyway, the building is going with a national cable company. I have Comcast with the DVR function built in. Next week I have to replace it. I'm looking for a DVR so I can record on lightweight discs and not cumbersome VHS tapes. I know, before your time ...

    I want a quality DVR around $100. Remote control. If the tv could plug into the DVR which plugged into the wall, saving me an outlet space, it would be great but if not, oh well.

    My computers won't need to be hooked up to the tv or DVR. I've been out of the loop for years in a coma. I'm now trying to catch up and learn but it's daunting. Y'all seem to know your shit from what I just read. So I figured I'd ask for recommendations. Which units to avoid. Which to buy and arrive here in a week. Easy to hook up. Maintenance will do it but some guys aren't too bright.

    Thanks in advance. I'm interrupted so often it's easier to tape everything and playback at my leisure.
    @SickSquirrel
    You have to hook up a DVD recorder to one of the cable box's sets of analog outputs or its coax out (on analog channel 3 or 4). If the cable box has no VCR function to change channels at specific times, you have to take care of it manually. Recording is timer-based like a VCR, not guide-based like a cable DVR. It is not as convenient as a Comcast DVR, but that's the way it is.

    This is literally the only DVD recorder you can get new for $100 in the USA http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-DR430-DVD-Recorder-Black/dp/B0038JECKY/ref=sr_1_1?s=elec...&qid=139570718 Note that it has no tuner so if your cable box has no composite video connection and no analog stereo out, you are not going to be able to use it.

    I have a DVD recorder with a hard drive that I use to record the output from my cable box. The hard drive means that you do not have to buy DVD media unless you want a permanent copy of a recording. It cost me in the neighborhood of $200, like this, the model that replaced it http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HDD-DVR-and-DVD-Recorder-with-Digital-Tuner-320GB/20710260
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 24th Mar 2014 at 18:53.
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  8. Member
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    Originally Posted by VideoChunkster View Post
    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    Originally Posted by mail2tom View Post
    All the advertisements I've heard for Comast boast their DVR, which is built into the cablebox. Seems easier than buying an external device.
    And I love mine. But I won't be on Comcast as of next Thursday when the home switches providers. I'll save $104.85 a month but lose about 200 channels. I asked if we could stay with Comcast but they said no. Equipment being taken out.

    The $5 monthly charge for the DVR function was awesome. No discs, tapes or boxes. If I don't find a cheap alternative I'm f&@^€$+ and not in a good way.
    I wish you were my grandfather you seem cool as hell. I would try you built in recorder again, possibly the usb drive or hardrive you used wasn't suited to that tv. a small usb thumb drive does work quite well, even an 8GB small one can record multiple hours and the 64GB ones cost next to nothing.
    Your solution is not a available in the USA. New TVs in the USA may have a built-in USB media player, or a built in DVD player, but I have not seen a single one with a built in USB recorder or built-in DVD recorder, and I browse the TV section in the warehouse club I belong to every few weeks.
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  9. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by VideoChunkster View Post
    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    Originally Posted by mail2tom View Post
    All the advertisements I've heard for Comast boast their DVR, which is built into the cablebox. Seems easier than buying an external device.
    And I love mine. But I won't be on Comcast as of next Thursday when the home switches providers. I'll save $104.85 a month but lose about 200 channels. I asked if we could stay with Comcast but they said no. Equipment being taken out.

    The $5 monthly charge for the DVR function was awesome. No discs, tapes or boxes. If I don't find a cheap alternative I'm f&@^$+ and not in a good way.
    I wish you were my grandfather you seem cool as hell. I would try you built in recorder again, possibly the usb drive or hardrive you used wasn't suited to that tv. a small usb thumb drive does work quite well, even an 8GB small one can record multiple hours and the 64GB ones cost next to nothing.
    Your solution is not a available in the USA. New TVs in the USA may have a built-in USB media player, or a built in DVD player, but I have not seen a single one with a built in USB recorder or built-in DVD recorder, and I browse the TV section in the warehouse club I belong to every few weeks.
    Wow i had no idea. Over here we just plug in a usb stick and we're good to go. Even my cheaper hd small screen I have in another room has this option and that screen is 15.6 inch hd tv.
    Status - Attacked by mold spores. - Pour out a lil liquor for all the homies lost in the format wars. Sanlyn will live again, a Sanlyn v2.0 if you will
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  10. Member
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    Originally Posted by VideoChunkster View Post
    Wow i had no idea. Over here we just plug in a usb stick and we're good to go. Even my cheaper hd small screen I have in another room has this option and that screen is 15.6 inch hd tv.
    The reason for this is only about 10% of US homes exclusively watch over-the-air TV. Most of us subscribe to a paid TV service of some kind which requires the use of equipment rented from the service provider to watch or record anything.
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by VideoChunkster View Post

    I wish you were my grandfather you seem cool as hell. I would try you built in recorder again, possibly the usb drive or hardrive you used wasn't suited to that tv. a small usb thumb drive does work quite well, even an 8GB small one can record multiple hours and the 64GB ones cost next to nothing.
    I could be your cool grandpa if a) I aged 20 years and b) I had a sex-change operation 😘

    This TV has no thumb drive slot. Insert DVD on side in slot and watch watch the screen. I "think" it records but I can't test it. A recorded disc just sits there. Won't boot up, won't kick start the DVD function, just seems to be in a coma.

    After researching I was leaning toward a new flat screen TV (19"-24"; size matters) with built in DVR. I find DVD but not DVR.

    Hmmm VCR that's built in but uses discs. Shit, they're called DVR now. Seems I need to find a bargain or a winning lottery ticket.
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  12. Member
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    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    Originally Posted by VideoChunkster View Post

    I wish you were my grandfather you seem cool as hell. I would try you built in recorder again, possibly the usb drive or hardrive you used wasn't suited to that tv. a small usb thumb drive does work quite well, even an 8GB small one can record multiple hours and the 64GB ones cost next to nothing.
    I could be your cool grandpa if a) I aged 20 years and b) I had a sex-change operation 😘

    This TV has no thumb drive slot. Insert DVD on side in slot and watch watch the screen. I "think" it records but I can't test it. A recorded disc just sits there. Won't boot up, won't kick start the DVD function, just seems to be in a coma.

    After researching I was leaning toward a new flat screen TV (19"-24"; size matters) with built in DVR. I find DVD but not DVR.

    Hmmm VCR that's built in but uses discs. Shit, they're called DVR now. Seems I need to find a bargain or a winning lottery ticket.
    Don't waste your time testing your TV. Your TV has a built-in DVD player and can't record anything. New TVs with DVD players can't record anything either.
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  13. Member
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    @SickSquirrel, Most satellite and cable TV providers will rent PVRs to direct subscribers. Is there really is no way for residents at your facility to do the same with the new service?
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  14. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    SickSquirrel, given your situation I don't think you would be happy with any of the available independent recorders. The integrated convenience you had with the ComCast PVR cannot be duplicated with a recorder you buy for $100 at WalMart. As usually_quiet has mentioned, a separate recorder would need to be attached to whatever hardware the new provider supplies. These connections create all sorts of complications and inconveniences, and recording to blank DVDs is not as "idiot-proof" as recording to the ComCast PVR or VHS tape (honestly, recording directly to DVDs is so annoying and inconvenient that DVD recorders have all but vanished from the American market).

    We would be in a better position to help you if you could tell us the name of the new service provider your nursing home will be using. Each service offers different options for recording, some are easier to work with than others. ComCast is a cable TV service, they almost always have a monopoly in any particular city, so I doubt the nursing home changed to another cable company. Most likely they are switching to Verizon FiOS or AT&T Uverse (TV service provided by the phone company), satellite service (DiSH or DirecTV), or some sort of antenna maintenance service for free over-the-air TV. Please ask the staff which of these it it will be, and let us know.

    Just to very quickly summarize your options: FiOS / Uverse and the satellite companies are a huge pain to use with a separate recorder: very, very difficult for someone in your situation. The most practical thing to do with any of these is to sign up for their version of optional PVR: all of them offer something identical to what you had with ComCast. If the staff tells you the new contract does not include options for a PVR, ask to speak with your patient advocate: there is no practical reason why you could not have a PVR subscription as long as you (or your family) agrees to the monthly fees. This is esp true with satellite: the service and the PVRs are usually less expensive than ComCast, Verizon or AT&T.

    If the nursing home is moving to some sort of free or low-cost antenna system for off-air broadcasts, a separate recorder purchased by you at a one-time cost is much more feasible (they work well with broadcasts, but can't reliably tune cable or satellite). Here again, though, you don't want to record directly on DVDs: you would find that quite tedious. You would be much happier with a hard drive (HDD) recorder, which works more-or-less like your ComCast PVR did. The two most popular "budget" recorders for off-air broadcasts are the Magnavox MDR533 (records and plays both DVD and HDD) and the Channel Master CM7500 (HDD only-no DVD). The Magnavox has no program guide screen like the ComCast: you set timers exactly like we did in the VCR days, based on newspaper TV listings. The Channel Master does include a guide screen somewhat like the ComCast.
    Last edited by orsetto; 24th Mar 2014 at 21:33.
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  15. Member
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    I believe the new service is Bulk TV. I wish I had lots of options but appreciate your help. I guess I'm up the creek with the paddle a mile away. *cry*
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  16. Member
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    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    I believe the new service is Bulk TV. I wish I had lots of options but appreciate your help. I guess I'm up the creek with the paddle a mile away. *cry*
    Bulk TV installs TV systems for apartment buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and similar settings that receive service from the well-known satellite TV service provider, DirecTV. You probably can't get a DVR from Bulk TV or even DirecTV, because Bulk TV does not install any systems that resemble DirecTV's home installations. I'm not sure whether you will have a decoder box or not.

    It looks like Bulk TV installs two different types of service, one where a basic HD decoder box is provided, and another where TVs tune signals on their own. I'm guessing the boxless option converts the digital satellite channels to analog standard definition channels so that any TV can be used. You should find out which type of installation the nursing home picked before buying anything.
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    If it's the analog system(or even clear QAM) I'd think any DVDR with a tuner would work for the OP. A HDD model like a Magnavox from WalMart would act like a DVR, albeit one that you'd have to program start and stop times. I believe the Maggies start ~$250 depending on HDD size.
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  18. Member
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    Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
    If it's the analog system(or even clear QAM) I'd think any DVDR with a tuner would work for the OP. A HDD model like a Magnavox from WalMart would act like a DVR, albeit one that you'd have to program start and stop times. I believe the Maggies start ~$250 depending on HDD size.
    The price for the least expensive Magnavox hard drive recorder is $218 at the moment, according to the link I posted.

    Recording analog cable channels would not be a problem for the Magnavox hard drive recorders, but there is a known bug affecting Magnavox recorders which can prevent them from tuning some clear QAM sub-channels.

    If a decoder box is provided and its outgoing audio/video connections were limited to HDMI plus coax using analog channel 3 or 4, the decoder box would be completely unusable with the $100 tunerless Toshiba DVD-only recorder I linked to. It could still be used with the Magnavox hard-drive recorder, but would be a pain in the butt to record from.
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  19. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    I guess I'm up the creek with the paddle a mile away. *cry*
    Don't despair just yet, my friend: all is not lost!

    Depending on how exactly Bulk TV installs your service, you should be able to use the Magnavox MDR533 or similar recorder with it. If they don't give you a decoder box, but just plug the cable directly into your TV, you might be able to fully use the Magnavox tuner/timer, kind of like a VCR. If they give you a decoder box, that would also work with the Magnavox, although you might lose the ability of the Magnavox to change channels for automatic recording of different shows, or the ability to watch one channel while recording another. When a decoder box is required, one is usually limited to recording whatever channel the decoder is showing. Even then, workarounds are sometimes possible to get more flexibility.

    For the time being, just relax and wait to see what happens. After the transition to Bulk TV is finished, if they don't offer their own TiVO or DVR option come back and let us know exactly how they hooked up to your TV. We'll be able to give you more accurate suggestions on how you might proceed once we know what connection type we're dealing with. Bulk TV does offer DVR options to residential facilities, but their website is unclear on the details. Perhaps the person who is coordinating your residence transition can ask the Bulk TV representative about possible DVR options: if one is available from Bulk TV, that would be the most practical alternative.

    The only hookup where it might be totally impossible for you to use a recorder would be if they remove your current TV and replace it with a new one during the Bulk TV migration. This would mean your residence management has chosen the less expensive, lower-maintenance system that requires special "Pro:Idiom" televisions with built-in decoder circuits for encrypted channels. No consumer-available recorder is equipped with a "Pro:Idiom" tuner. There might be a chance the Magnavox could still tune at least a few unencrypted channels, but you'd need a friend or family member to help you test this (and return the unit for refund if necessary).
    Last edited by orsetto; 25th Mar 2014 at 19:11.
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  20. Member
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    Hmmm I see a light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you. I spoke to someone who knew little other than no individual cable boxes, about twenty channels, and talk to the head of maintenance. I'm going to seek him out tomorrow to a see what I can find out. I want to keep Comcast and just continue as an individual customer. Naturally my preference would be to drop $300 on a DVR and get free Bulk TV.

    I will post when I find out more. Thank you
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    Spoke to Maintenance today. They only knew that we would not get cable boxes. His suggestion was what I wondered -- can I just buy a DVD recorder and that's all I'd need.

    I began researching DVD recorders tonight. I found one that looks promising, but I have two questions:

    a) Just connect the unit to your cable or satellite box and you are set to record with the push of one button .

    If my setup is TV only with no boxes, can I use this model?

    b). Multi-format recording and playback provides the utmost in recording media convenience with compatibility with the most popular formats (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW).

    If y'all agree that I can use this model, which type of disc is needed? I want to record and playback.

    If I'm on the wrong search, please guide me. I looked for DVD recorder with remote. Simple
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  22. Member
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    Re-check usually quiet's post #7, the Magnavox is the recorder you should get, it will work without a cable box and has a HDD to be able to hold days worth of programming. HDDless DVD Recorders are problematic at best.
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  23. Member
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    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    Spoke to Maintenance today. They only knew that we would not get cable boxes. His suggestion was what I wondered -- can I just buy a DVD recorder and that's all I'd need.

    I began researching DVD recorders tonight. I found one that looks promising, but I have two questions:

    a) Just connect the unit to your cable or satellite box and you are set to record with the push of one button .

    If my setup is TV only with no boxes, can I use this model?
    It depends...

    If the DVD recorder does not have a tuner, it definitely won't be useful for recording boxless service, and not all DVD recorders have tuners. If the signal is encrypted and they need to replace your current TV with a new TV that has a built-in decoder for the new cable system, even a DVD recorder with tuner won't work.

    If the signal is analog NTSC (the same as old fashioned US analog cable), any US model DVD recorder with an NTSC or an NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuner will work.

    If the signals are clear QAM digital and the DVD recorder is a US model with an NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuner, the DVD recorder should work for recording, but some may have difficulty tuning individual channels.

    ...so without knowing which DVD recorder you want to buy and more about the new cable signal, the only answer I can give is maybe.

    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    b). Multi-format recording and playback provides the utmost in recording media convenience with compatibility with the most popular formats (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW).

    If y'all agree that I can use this model, which type of disc is needed? I want to record and playback.

    If I'm on the wrong search, please guide me. I looked for DVD recorder with remote. Simple
    DVD+RW or DVD-RW can be re-used. Don't use DVD-R unless you want a permanent disk copy.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Mar 2014 at 19:14.
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  24. Member
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    Thank you both. My cable service will be BulkTV which uses Direct tv. I don't know what type of signal they output.

    I need a unit with tuner, NTSC and +/- RW discs. Hopefully y'all can suggest one based on my two requirements.
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  25. Member
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    The only DVD recorders still made today that have an NTSC tuner are the Magnavox DVD recorders with a hard drive that we all keep suggesting to you. At $218, this is the least expensive model: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HDD-DVR-and-DVD-Recorder-with-Digital-Tuner-320GB/20710260 You have to buy them online. Buy from Walmart if possible. They can direct ship to you, and if the recorder does not work out, someone can return the recorder to any Walmart store for you within the 90 return period for a refund of the full purchase price, plus tax.

    If you can't afford it, I'm very sorry but the sad truth is that the number of DVD recorders left to choose from is very limited these days. Only Toshiba and Magnavox still make any for the US market, and both Toshiba DVD recorders are tunerless models.

    If you buy a Magnavox recorder with a hard drive, you do not need to buy DVD+RW or DVD-RW discs to make recordings that you want to watch and erase. That is what the hard drive is for. A 320 GB hard drive can store something like 150-300 hours of video in reasonable quality.

    Good DVD+RW or DVD-RW discs cost about $1 each, and are way less convenient to use for recording than a hard drive. Each rewritable DVD can store only between 2-4 hours of video in reasonable quality, then you have to change the discs manually to record more programming, or erase the recordings on the disc and start over. I did that for 7 years, before I bought a DVD recorder with a hard drive, and trust me the DVD recorders with a hard drive are far more convenient than DVD-only recorders.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Mar 2014 at 22:18.
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  26. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    I spoke to someone who knew little other than no individual cable boxes, about twenty channels, and talk to the head of maintenance.
    Spoke to Maintenance today. They only knew that we would not get cable boxes. His suggestion was what I wondered -- can I just buy a DVD recorder and that's all I'd need.
    Unfortunately it seems the management of your facility is utterly clueless as to what they've actually signed up for with Bulk TV: like most corporate drones, they went price shopping with little regard for the consequences and no attempt to put someone in charge of the project who has some inkling of what the project entails. Typical.

    Given the complete lack of concrete information available to you, SickSquirrel, I believe you need to delay making any decisions until they have finished the BulkTV installation in your room, and you can tell us exactly what happened. There are too many variables we don't know about, and it may be that the system chosen by your facility will completely prevent any use of a recorder. The info you've been told so far re "no decoder boxes, 20 or so channels" leads me to believe that is what you're getting: a locked-down bare-bones TV system identical to what transient hospital rooms, motels and office lobbies opt for. It is tied into DirecTV satellite service, but only on the roof: the signal is altered into something different as it is fed throughout your building. It uses tuning channels unavailable on any consumer recorder, or even to an actual DirecTV PVR, effectively limiting the system to "live viewing". We won't be able to confirm this until after the installation is finished, however: we need to find out if they change your TV set, or if they don't we'll need to know the exact make and model number of your existing TV.

    Is the TV you have now your own? Did you or your family bring it to your room, or was it provided by the residence? Is it freestanding, or mounted to the wall on an arm? If it is your own personal TV, and they let you keep it for BulkTV, you can use the Magnavox recorder no problem. If it is not your own TV, or they bring in a new one, you may not be able to use the Magnavox. I know this may be hard to understand, but while you were too ill to follow the technology changes of the last few years, the television landscape got very confusing with so many signal variations that even us "geeks" have trouble sorting it out. Some of the signal variations are completely incompatible with consumer TVs and recorders. Since the staff at your residence is clueless to what they actually ordered from Bulk TV, you will need to wait and tell us what you end up with before you can proceed. No sense buying a recorder you can't possibly use.

    And if it does turn out that you CAN use your own recorder, don't waste your time looking for anything other than the Magnavox MDR533 for $218 via WalMart that usually-quiet and jjeff recommended. There really is no other choice: DVD recorders were never popular in North America and the selection of makes/models withered in the past few years leaving the Magnavox MDR533 the only remaining recorder with a digital + analog tuner (necessary if you don't have a decoder box). That the 533 also has a hard drive so you can make easier disc-less recordings is an added bonus. This is the only recorder, period, you should consider for Bulk TV.

    The fact that you have internet access opens up some other possibilities even if the BulkTV version you get turns out to be one you can't record from. There are many websites where you can directly watch (or download for later viewing) nearly any TV show in the world. This isn't as convenient as using a dedicated TV recorder, but watching what you missed on your computer is better than not seeing it at all.

    I want to keep Comcast and just continue as an individual customer.
    If you can afford it, this would easily be the most convenient option. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be possible: in buildings like your residential facility, the ComCast feed comes from one main cable drop that then feeds all the rooms simultaneously. Once that is disconnected, it becomes very difficult to set up an individual service connection to just one room. It may be possible, you could ask ComCast and your facility staff, but odds are ComCast will be vindictive after the residence cancels full service for the building, and will decline your request for individual service. ComCast is not a very nice company to deal with as an individual.
    Last edited by orsetto; 27th Mar 2014 at 10:09.
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  27. Member
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    Although it is less than ideal for you, SickSquirel, I understand why the nursing home may have changed TV systems. My father spent some time in a nursing home prior to his death last year, so I have some idea of what goes on.

    The cost of Comcast service would certainly be a problem for some residents. Plus, many residents in your facility are likely to have significant cognitive disabilities or they are very elderly folks who after many years of using their TVs without cable boxes, find cable boxes hard to deal with. (I had difficulty teaching my own elderly parents how to use a cable box or their TVs digital tuner when Comcast discontinued analog service, and they were pretty sharp. My mother is still alive and at over 90, is still mentally capable of handling most of her affairs on her own.)
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 27th Mar 2014 at 11:41.
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  28. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Cape Cod
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Unfortunately it seems the management of your facility is utterly clueless as to what they've actually signed up for with Bulk TV: like most corporate drones, they went price shopping with little regard for the consequences and no attempt to put someone in charge of the project who has some inkling of what the project entails. Typical.

    Is the TV you have now your own? Did you or your family bring it to your room, or was it provided by the residence? Is it freestanding, or mounted to the wall on an arm? If it is your own personal TV, and they let you keep it for BulkTV, you can use the Magnavox recorder no problem. If it is not your own TV, or they bring in a new one, you may not be able to use the Magnavox.

    And if it does turn out that you CAN use your own recorder, don't waste your time looking for anything other than the Magnavox MDR533 for $218 via WalMart that usually-quiet and jjeff recommended. There really is no other choice: DVD recorders were never popular in North America and the selection of makes/models withered in the past few years leaving the Magnavox MDR533 the only remaining recorder with a digital + analog tuner (necessary if you don't have a decoder box). That the 533 also has a hard drive so you can make easier disc-less recordings is an added bonus. This is the only recorder, period, you should consider for Bulk TV.
    Management isn't clueless but Maintenance is. He really knew nothing about the system yet he'll be called on to maintain it. I'm hoping once installed he'll learn.

    The TV is my own from one office (I had four bedrooms; two were offices). It's freestanding on top of my cabinet.

    I told my maintenance guy about the 533 before I read this. I mentioned no need for discs, no need for cable box, same size as cable box, remote and just one outlet needed. He said he could set it up for me. Then I opened my laptop and saw your post. I found the same model on Amazon for the same price plus free Prime shipping. I was hesitating on ordering it until BulkTV is installed to be sure it's compatible. But in reading more and more I realized you were saying as long as I had no cable box, it would work. If the system we get is non-recordable, I can return the 533.

    I have Internet through the Home. I just log onto their WiFi and save $$$ for fairly decent service. But watching TV on my computer (iPad) is something I do now. I use Amazon's Prime service. Due to logistics (can't lie on one side for more than hour and the other side has my roommate) I'm limited in watching on computer. I haven't watched on this laptop but again, logistics and space.
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  29. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Cape Cod
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Although it is less than ideal for you, SickSquirel, I understand why the nursing home may have changed TV systems. My father spent some time in a nursing home prior to his death last year, so I have some idea of what goes on.

    The cost of Comcast service would certainly be a problem for some residents. Plus, many residents in your facility are likely to have significant cognitive disabilities or they are very elderly folks who after many years of using their TVs without cable boxes, find cable boxes hard to deal with. (I had difficulty teaching my own elderly parents how to use a cable box or their TVs digital tuner when Comcast discontinued analog service, and they were pretty sharp. My mother is still alive and at over 90, is still mentally capable of handling most of her affairs on her own.)
    About 30 residents or 40% have cable. The Home had it in the living rooms. I haven't yet asked about Internet access but they go through Comcast. Oy. Something I'd better ask them tomorrow. Only I use their WiFi in my room. Everyone else uses the computers in the activities room. So maybe they forgot to tell me about a new provider or they are keeping the Internet and dropping the cable service. Guess I'll find out
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  30. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by SickSquirrel View Post
    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Unfortunately it seems the management of your facility is utterly clueless as to what they've actually signed up for with Bulk TV: like most corporate drones, they went price shopping with little regard for the consequences and no attempt to put someone in charge of the project who has some inkling of what the project entails. Typical.

    Is the TV you have now your own? Did you or your family bring it to your room, or was it provided by the residence? Is it freestanding, or mounted to the wall on an arm? If it is your own personal TV, and they let you keep it for BulkTV, you can use the Magnavox recorder no problem. If it is not your own TV, or they bring in a new one, you may not be able to use the Magnavox.

    And if it does turn out that you CAN use your own recorder, don't waste your time looking for anything other than the Magnavox MDR533 for $218 via WalMart that usually-quiet and jjeff recommended. There really is no other choice: DVD recorders were never popular in North America and the selection of makes/models withered in the past few years leaving the Magnavox MDR533 the only remaining recorder with a digital + analog tuner (necessary if you don't have a decoder box). That the 533 also has a hard drive so you can make easier disc-less recordings is an added bonus. This is the only recorder, period, you should consider for Bulk TV.
    Management isn't clueless but Maintenance is. He really knew nothing about the system yet he'll be called on to maintain it. I'm hoping once installed he'll learn.

    The TV is my own from one office (I had four bedrooms; two were offices). It's freestanding on top of my cabinet.

    I told my maintenance guy about the 533 before I read this. I mentioned no need for discs, no need for cable box, same size as cable box, remote and just one outlet needed. He said he could set it up for me. Then I opened my laptop and saw your post. I found the same model on Amazon for the same price plus free Prime shipping. I was hesitating on ordering it until BulkTV is installed to be sure it's compatible. But in reading more and more I realized you were saying as long as I had no cable box, it would work. If the system we get is non-recordable, I can return the 533.

    I have Internet through the Home. I just log onto their WiFi and save $$$ for fairly decent service. But watching TV on my computer (iPad) is something I do now. I use Amazon's Prime service. Due to logistics (can't lie on one side for more than hour and the other side has my roommate) I'm limited in watching on computer. I haven't watched on this laptop but again, logistics and space.
    Waiting still makes sense to me, especially if you intend to buy from Amazon. Return shipping costs could be higher than you expect if the Magnavox recorder is incompatible with your new TV system. Although I understand that some people are philosophically opposed to the company and refuse to shop at their stores, at least with Walmart there is the option for a friend to return the recorder to any nearby location for a full refund and save the return shipping costs.

    Bulk TV offers internet service as well as TV, so your residence has likely contracted for both.
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