Please bear with me folks...I'm 66 yr female so I just don't understand all the latest stuff.
I'm trying to find out what I need to look for to buy a combo dvd/vhs recorder with a TV Tuner.
I have two Go Video's, vhs/vhs and vhs/dvd. Also have just regular vhs by itself. I've always known how (as I moved many times) to hook up my vcr to tv so I could record and watch tv at the same time.
Since I've never known anythng else I bought what I thought was the same vhs/dvd recorder with a tv tuner. It says in the instructions you can record and it has "TV/DVD-Video on the control. I've never been able to figure it out. I called the company once for help and they told me it didn't have a TV tuner. That was about a year ago. It's a Sony RMT-V504A Video Dvd Combo. So all I've been able to do with it is either play a vhs or dvd or watch TV but not record anything.
I bought recently what I thought was the right one. I hooked it up tonight and I'm afraid it's the same thing. This one is a Toshiba DVR620KU. I realize that just like the one before it there's those three jacks red, white and yellow that I had coming out of the TV and into the vcr (whereas my other vcr/tv's have the cable coming in from the wall which I attach to the vcr and then the vcr has a little white cable connected to the tv (or vice versa).
Can someone tell me how to buy one with a tuner...meaning is that all I ask for? And or what's the story on these two that I have that don't have a tv tuner. What am I missing here? Do they still make a machine that you can watch one channel while recording on another?
I actually haven't even been able to get the new combo unit to function yet. i keep switching from line 1,2,3 and my tv doesn't recognize anything...no set up screen etc.
Thanks in advance.
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There aren't many DVD Recorder/VCR Combo units available that include a digital tuner. DVD recorder/VCR Combo units with tuners tend to have more problems than DVD HDD recorders (no VCR) with tuners, but if you must have one, there is this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sylvania-Dvd-Recorder-Vcr-Combo/11088889?findingMethod=rr
You haven't told us which country and what your TV source is? Over the air broadcast from antenna? Cable? Satellite?
Assuming USA, over the air broadcast has gone ATSC digital so your NTSC TV tuner is unlikely to work. What is your TV model?
Cable is reducing the number of NTSC analog channels to make space for more digital channels. Do you use a cable box?
The easiest way to "watch one channel and record another" is to go with a DVR of some type, say a Tivo or similar system offered by your cable or satellite provider. If you don't care about keeping shows around on disc or tape, this is really your very best choice for your needs. As edDV points out, we don't know where you live so I have to say that DVRs are really an American or Canadian option at this time and if you live elsewhere, you'd probably be best served to just get a DVD recorder unless you really have some ongoing need for a VCR. DVD recorders are hard to find in the USA and Canada as everybody here just wants DVRs because of convenience.
WOOOOOW!! So much in the replies I don't understand although I'm sure willing to learn. I'm in San Diego and have Cox Cable. I don't have any box from them as I have the basic TV and I connect their cable directly to my Tv or the Vhs and then the Vhs to my TV (or vice versa).
The one TV that the Toshiba dvd/vhs is currently hooked to in the bedroom/office is an RCA Guide Plus Gold Gemstar (took this from the book...don't have model number but have had it probably 7 to 10 years and it works excellent).
The govideo unit is hooked to another tv in the living room. That tv is also older but works excellent. I have no desire to get one of these big screen tv's right now (nor the funds).
One mentioned I could go with a DVR? will have to search on that further. I actually DO LIKE TO RECORD AND KEEP SHOWS ESPECIALLY ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL. So how is this done in this day and age aside from what I have? And if I copy a show how do I edit out the commercials in this day and age?
TV broadcasting (to antenna) has gone to ATSC digital. NTSC is no more.
Cable companies are required to convert the local digital broadcast to analog NTSC until 2012.
Cable companies in the past offered their own channels (including the History channel) in analog up to about channel 72. For three digit channels you needed a cable box.
Currently, many if not most cable companies are reducing the analog NTSC channels to about 20-30 (locals plus a few). For analog customers they are providing a device called a DTA (a mini cable box) to allow reception of the channels they used to get on channels 2x to 72. The cable company here provides two of these without extra cost.
So, how does all this relate to VCR/DVD recorders?
First most models with NTSC tuners have been discontinued because analog may go away completely as early as 2012. Still, older analog tuner devices can tune the local stations plus remaining cable analog channels for now. The DTA is received on analog channels 3 or 4.
There are so called "tunerless" DVD recorders from some manufacturers that depend on a cable box for reception. The cable box feeds the DVD recorder and the DVD recorder changes channels on the cable box with an infrared transmitter device that pretends to be a remote control. You set the DVD recorder to record a channel at a particular time and the DVD recorder switches the cable box to that channel at the proper time and records. The TV can receive the DVD recorder on the Aux input or tune analog channels directly from the cable. That way you can be watching an analog channel while the DVD recorder records the output of the cable box. Since the cable box receives analog and digital channels, it will always have full access to your subscribed channels. The TV will see a decline in channel choice as the cable company moves formerly analog cable channels to digital.
There is a question pending whether these tunerless DVD recorders can control a DTA. In theory, it should be possible but the DVD recorder would need the IR codes for the DTA.
So in summary, a vcr or DVD recorder with just an NTSC tuner will see a decline in cable channels available. Remaining solutions will require a cable box or DTA.
Last edited by edDV; 12th Sep 2010 at 16:06.
"Currently, many if not most cable companies are reducing the analog NTSC channels to about 20-30 (locals plus a few). For analog customers they are providing a device called a DTA (a mini cable box) to allow reception of the channels they used to get on channels 2x to 72. The cable company here provides two of these without extra cost."
I have 95 channels and you're right it's one step up from the basic. BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY KIND OF CABLE BOX. So I guess I'm getting the "must still give the customer analog til 2012?" right? Why don't I have to have a box?
That said....what's the simplest set up to bring me into the new age...so I can do the following:
1. Tape shows off the tv and keep them AND be able to edit them
2. Copy all my family videos on to a format that will safely be preserved (ie DVD?)
3. Copy and preserve all my family pictures onto DVD.
4. Where I've done the tv editing in the past with my vcr's is there a computer software that I can do the same editing in instead?
5. I have a brand new HP Desktop computer that should be able to accomodate whatever technology needed.
6. What about saving ALL THIS STUFF ADDITIONALLY ON AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE? Is that safer than only saving to DVD's that might go out of existance?
Cable has a funny way of numbering channels. Ch 95-99 actually are between Ch 6 and Ch 14.
Your top analog channel is probably between Ch 64 and Ch 79. The others carry SD and HD digital channels, internet, phone, VOD, etc.
Regardless, you are still on the old system until you aren't. We received zero days notice from Comcast when channels 29 to 72 disappeared.
So, your old equipment will still work but you should think about spending too much on old discontinued analog tuner equipment on eBay. This also goes for computer tuners. If you buy one, get one that supports control of a cable box with IR.
Actual setup of an HTPC is non-trivial.
I would split the cable coax from the wall and route one side to the recorder, the other to the TV. Then run s-video/composite and RCA cables from the recorder to the TV. Use the TV's controls to switch between the cable signal from the wall and the video from the recorder. That way you can easily record one show while watching another.
The question is when will your provider cut off analog cable? They could do so tomorrow and give you a digital cable box.
Although it is costly, Cox will probably switch over to all-digital too, at some point, because it would offer them some substantial benfits, but I haven't read that they have set a date for it.
By law, cable TV service providers must also carry local channels in unencrypted digital form (clear QAM), and they often throw in CSPAN, The Weather Channel, and some shop-at-home channels too. The unencrypted channels can be tuned by most TVs and DVD recorders that have a digital tuner. However, cable companies often encrypt the rest of their digital offerings so even those with digital TVs must use a cable box to receive the majority of the channels in their package. Many DVD recorders don't have tuners because they only need to record the output from a rented cableco DVR or cable box.
A DVD recorder with an NTSC/ATSC/QAM (analog+digital) tuner and hard drive could offer you some benefits, and you can always hook it up to a VCR to transfer tapes to DVD. It would allow you to record shows to the hard drive and delete them, or save them on a DVD, and you can edit out commercials on the HDD. You can get a good deal on a refurb here http://www.jr.com/magnavox/pe/MAG_H2160MW9_hy_RB/ or a newer model with a bigger HDD at Wal*Mart and a few other stores http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-MDR-513H-F7-320GB-DVR-and-DVD-Recorder/14291489?findingMethod=rr
I edit recordings from DVDs on my computer. It offers more control, but there is a learning curve involved with both video editing, and DVD authoring (needed to produce a DVD that can be played with a regular DVD player). Choosing the right software can help quite a bit.
There are lots of threads here on the subject of digitizing VHS. It isn't often easy or inexpensive to get a good result transferring VHS to DVD yourself, whether you use a combo recorder or not. Sometimes it is better to use a professional service for this.
Hard drives fail too. Good write-once DVD media can be used for backup copies of your files, or you can back them up to a second hard drive.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 12th Sep 2010 at 23:17.
Thanks for the help. I know a lot more now than I did. Based on the results posted here and a trip to Best Buys yesterday I now unerstand why the recorder like I thought I wanted is virtually not available. For about $16-25 a month I can get a box from Cox Cable that allows me to tape my shows and then I can copy what I want to keep to DVD. I'm sure I will have more questions about the hook ups and I need to re read all above to digest and understand it.
Thanks for now for the time you all took to respond. It can be a lonely island at my age to sort out this info!
I have a JVC DVDR/VCR bought from Costco for $200. It has a "digital tuner" as they call it. In this case, it receives analog and digital channels either off the air (antenna) or through cable (QAM). However, the only QAM channels that can be received are the ones broadcast "in the clear", which is only local channels, shopping channels, and some religious channels. No premium (encrypted/scrambled) content is received. If you only want to record the unencrypted/unscrambled channels, then that would be a solution for you.