Total noob here. First a word of thanks to all the knowledgeable posters on this board. I know not all here are fans of the HDD Ilo, but at this price and with Wal-Mart's good return policy, I thought I would give it a try. Should be delivered today. This will be my first recorder. After ordering the Ilo I found that my local cable co. now offers a Tivo-like box (specifically the Motorola HD Set Top DCT6208) for a mere 7 bucks more/mo. than I pay for my current box. Will I have trouble using this in conjunction with the Ilo? Would I even want/need to? If indeed the Ilo unit gives me problems would I be better off using the Motorola with a better quality recorder without the HDD? Thanks.
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I have the motorola cable DVR and an iLo non-hard drive model. What I do is recorf to the cable DVR so I get stereo sound and use the S-Video out of the cable box to the iLo's S-Video in. Works great!
If your cable comapny's Tivo-like box offers local channels, you probably don't need the hard drive. I use the DVD+R to make copies of things I want to save from DirecTV channels. One reason I have the iLO w/HDD is my DirecTv doesn't offer local channels and I got used to a Tivo.
I also put out a Christmas DVD for family and friends and the hard drive will be very helpful while I'm making multiple compies.
Just some food for thought.
Your dvr should have a vcr out that you can record, in theory, from.
When I tried mine, a Scientific Atlanta, there seemed to be an audio synch problem. But I was too impatient to piss around with it.
It is much easier to buy a video switcher with two outputs. Run one to the tv and the other to the Ilo. That way you can watch television without having the Ilo on, as a straight s-video or composite in would require.
Plus the switcher will have a number of inputs allowing for easier addition or other sources for the Ilo to record.
SIMA has a decent one. Mine is a few years old but still works great.
While the Ilo will give you nice pq on a capture it will not do audio justice. It will not record Dolby Digital or DD 5.1. If you have no problem with stereo ( I can't recall the Ilo audio format off the top of my head) then it is fine.