with digital TV. First, would like to know is it possible to record a TV program with those components? If not, what else is required? Thanks
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The tuner in a VHS deck will only receive the old analog channels, which have gone off the air after the changeover to digital. If you don't have a DTV converter box, you're SOL.
There are no VHS-only recorders with digital tuners, so as filmboss80 wrote, you need an ATSC to analog converter box to act as an external tuner. If you do not already have an older converter box you can use, some new ones like the ones below, can even record TV themselves if you connect a USB hard drive.
A USB hard drive with its own power supply is a better choice for this use than than one that is powered by its USB connection.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th May 2014 at 16:58.
Thanks for the replies. Follow-up question: Would a new non-VHS recorder make recording possible?
this that I use for recording TV from an antenna. It doesn't record in high definition, but many digital TV channels are standard definition anyway. Recordings can easily be recorded on DVD or transferred to DVD from the hard drive.
There is also a TiVo Roamio with 4 tuners that can record 4 channels at once from an antenna source. (It requires an internet connection and paying a monthly subscription fee.) If you have a TV with HDMI, there is also the Channel Master DVR+ with 2 tuners for recording 2 channels at once to a USB hard drive supplied by the user. (No subscription needed).
Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th May 2014 at 21:25.
You should just forget about VHS and get an iView 3500STBII or HomeWorX HW150PVR and a USB hard drive with a power supply. The iView comes with a universal remote, but has a gaudy channel display on the front panel that doesn't even show the actual station number; the HW150 doesn't have either. Both have analog and digital HD outputs and can pause and rewind live TV (with a USB storage device connected). They record the actual stream so there's no loss of quality on playback.
They're also compatible with cable clear QAM, the iView seems to have better firmware options for that. Both companies have an ear out for customer comments on the AVS forum.
If you really want to record to VHS you can use their timer function to turn on the converter and switch channels then set the VHS to record the output of the converter.
I use the HW150 with this Corsair USB 3.0 flash drive to record programs while I watch another show with my TV's tuner or I can switch inputs on the TV and timeshift live TV. Flash drives are not recommended, but this one is fast enough. The box's pass through antenna connector doesn't seem to degrade the antenna signal to the TV, the weak stations still come in. This is important since using a splitter to feed the box and the TV would reduce the signal by 3 dB.
Well the Magnavox HDD referenced by usually_quiet as 'this' came through and is up and recording. Thanks to all for the helpful information.