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  1. Hi all, I need suggestions on what equipment to buy, and hope you can help. I'm not sure if I need a vcr/dvd recorder combo unit or seperates, and I'm not sure if I need a hard drive in the dvd recorder, and finally, I'm hoping for model suggestions.

    What I have
    --------------
    I have an old Sony TV, it's not fancy. I have a rented Time Warner Cable Scientific American digital recorder box hooked up, as well as a dvd player and a wii. I think the only video/audio inputs left are in the front of the tv.

    My Needs
    ------------
    The main purpose is to record dvd's from the cable co's dvr box or what I am watching at the time. I also need to record a few old vhs home movies to dvd *and* likely copy-protected old instructional videos I have purchased and want to back up to dvd. There are several of these. I may copy dvd to vhs for my family who liv in the dark ages and only have vcr's. I have a camcorder that uses the mini tapes, but it also has firewire and usb. I would like to make dvds from the camcorder. It would be nice if I could edit the camcorder movies but not completely neccessary. This will be an occassional use. My budget is up to $300.

    Questions
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    With this info, should I get a dvd/vhs recorder combo unit, or seperates, and since I have a hard drive in the cable co's dvr box, do I need one in the recorder unit? Do I have enough inputs to the tv for seperates? What do you suggest? I'm good with figuring out the devices, but stupid at hooking it all up, lol.

    Thanks for any help getting me started on the right track,
    Gina
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    For $248.28 at Sam's Club, you can get the brand new Philips DVDR3576H/37, which has a 160GB HDD and NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners. Ideal for transferring tapes to the HDD from a separate VCR (recommended by many over a combo), editing if necessary, then assembling into dub lists in proper order for making DVD copies. For Copy Protected stuff, you'd need a "video filter" in line between the VCR and (any) DVDR for copying to the HDD. It has digital coax and optical audioo out, and it has the DV firewire port for your camera.

    Here's a post on how you'd connect up. Click the link at the bottom of that post for a list of 25 other subjects that might be of interest.
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  3. wabjxo, thanks for replying. Quick question, my cable co's dvr (STB, I guess) has many of the features as the dvd recorder you suggestec, such as pausing live tv, ff and rew live tv, etc. I'm having a hard time imaging how they play together if the Philips is first in the lineup from the coax. Does the STB malfunction or get "replaced" by the Philips? Or do I just use each units remote to control one or the other as I wish? Could you explain or direct me to the place in your info to find out? Thanks!

    Gina
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  4. Member
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    Since the 3576's coax loop is strictly an amplified signal passthru, your box and TV won't even know it's 1st in line, but in that position, the 3576 can "pick-off" whatever unscrambled channels might be in the cable feed.

    With separate line inputs to the TV, the 3576 and cable box/DVR (if any) can be used independently... tune a channel or watch a show from the box while the 3576 is recording one of the channels it can tune w/o the box (unscrambled or "in-the-clear" channels).

    It doesn't matter that the 3576 is 1st on the coax cuz it just needs a line input from the box to record scrambled channels (if you want them recorded directly on the 3576 for "convenience"). In fact, some people who have ALL SCRAMBLED CHANNELS, so the 3576 tuner is useless, report that they "got a new TV" just from the amplfied signal thru the 3576's amplified coax passthru... one user reports ~20% better pic.

    Obviously, with the 3576, you can also play commercial DVDs or your home-recorded videos on discs, when desired.

    The text under that first sketch in the link I gave above explains some of this, maybe in a different way. Check it out and let me know if it needs further explanation.
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  5. Member KeepItSimple's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wabjxo
    Since the 3576's coax loop is strictly an amplified signal passthru, your box and TV won't even know it's 1st in line
    Well MY cable box knows that it's "1st in line" and it messes things up! I have Comcast with OnDemand here in CA. If I connect the cable directly to the Philips and then through to the cable box I cannot get the OnDemand channels on the cable box. It says "Communication Error" on the screen when I go to OnDemand so it loses some signal strength instead of gaining from the "amplified signal passthru" you talk about.

    Hey Wabjxo where does it say in writing that the Philips has that amplified blah blah anyway? I can't find it in the manual.
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  6. Member
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    Originally Posted by KeepItSimple
    Originally Posted by wabjxo
    Since the 3576's coax loop is strictly an amplified signal passthru, your box and TV won't even know it's 1st in line
    Well MY cable box knows that it's "1st in line" and it messes things up! I have Comcast with OnDemand here in CA. If I connect the cable directly to the Philips and then through to the cable box I cannot get the OnDemand channels on the cable box. It says "Communication Error" on the screen when I go to OnDemand so it loses some signal strength instead of gaining from the "amplified signal passthru" you talk about.

    Hey Wabjxo where does it say in writing that the Philips has that amplified blah blah anyway? I can't find it in the manual.
    Hey, thanks for letting me know for sure that the 3575/76 passthru blocks the return signal for ordering PPV, etc. I've been writing that it "probably" will and to use a bidirectional splitter if so.

    On the amplified thing, it's not in the manual. Here's a post on my test that proved it, etc.

    I've been advising people to set the 3575/76 1st in line EVEN IF THEY HAVE ALL-SCRAMBLED CHANNELS, and someone with that situtation did that and said he "got a new TV." Another reported the same thing even tho he's using a line input, E1.

    See this post for example of boost thru coax. See this post for example of boost thru line input (E1) from cable box.
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