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  1. I'm 64 and have been using VHS it seems like forever, but I'm finding it harder to get VHS rewind machines and people who'll repair my old VCRs. I have basic TW cable and use their little digital to analog converters along with my old CRT TVs. Would these DVD recorders be a newer upgrade? I'm not terribly tech savy when it comes to TV.
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    Well, a DVD recorder would be a newer upgrade, but that is not saying much. Their popularity peaked about 8 years ago. Only a handful of models are still being made for sale in the USA, and it is hard to say how long they will continue to be produced. This tunerless Toshiba DVD recorder/VCR combo is one example: http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-DVR620-DVD-Recorder-Black The other kind of DVD recorder has a digital tuner (ATSC/QAM), hard drive, and a DVD burner, but no VCR. This is a refurb of the least expensive of them: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882226040

    Most of those who record cable TV now rent a DVR from their cable provider for watch and erase recording, or own a TiVo, or record the output from their cable box with an HD or SD capture device and a computer.
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Here's your upgrade!:

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    Scott
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  4. your better off going to bluray then messing with a dvd recorder. good dvd recorders are a real pain to find. I bought one a few years back for about $150.00, and it burns really good, but........one of the out put ports went bad. btw it was a Toshiba. as for bluray recorders.....there $300+ and not to many manufactures make them. the way of things now for recording is DVR's, but they don't really record....they encode/wright to digital media (ram/thumb drives) or HDD's. everything is all digital now. in fact the only thing in production atm in holly wood that is using film is JJ with the next starwars movie.
    everything else like camcorders, cameras and such is all digital.
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    Originally Posted by clamo View Post
    your better off going to bluray then messing with a dvd recorder. good dvd recorders are a real pain to find. I bought one a few years back for about $150.00, and it burns really good, but........one of the out put ports went bad. btw it was a Toshiba. as for bluray recorders.....there $300+ and not to many manufactures make them. the way of things now for recording is DVR's, but they don't really record....they encode/wright to digital media (ram/thumb drives) or HDD's. everything is all digital now. in fact the only thing in production atm in holly wood that is using film is JJ with the next starwars movie.
    everything else like camcorders, cameras and such is all digital.
    This would be good advice, except for one thing. What you are suggesting doesn't exist in N. America. The Blu-Ray recorders sold in N. America are made for strictly for use in professional videography, and cost between $1500 and $3500.They don't have timers that can be programmed to record at a specific time. They have no connections able to accept video input from HDMI or component sources. They have no tuner. The only connections they have that would work for recording the output from a cable box or satellite receiver are composite, s-video, and stereo audio, just like a DVD recorder. They can only accept HD video transfer from a camera via USB or Firewire, but cable boxes in the US don't transfer video via USB, and Firewire in the same way a camera does. This makes them pretty useless for recording TV.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1033187-REG/jvc_sr_hd1350us_blu_ray_disc_hdd_recorder.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/844862-REG/JVC_SR_HD2500US_SR_HD2500US_Blu_Ray_Disc.html
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 20th Sep 2014 at 15:58. Reason: clarity
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  6. This whole flat screen DVR streaming video thing seems too complicated for me. I recently had to have my old 35" Sony CRT repaired and the repair guy said these new flat screen TVs are junk. They're designed to last 2-3 years tops.

    Does a DVR record the analog signal off a digital to analog converter like a VCR can?
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    Originally Posted by jacatone View Post
    This whole flat screen DVR streaming video thing seems too complicated for me. I recently had to have my old 35" Sony CRT repaired and the repair guy said these new flat screen TVs are junk. They're designed to last 2-3 years tops.

    Does a DVR record the analog signal off a digital to analog converter like a VCR can?
    It depends on what you mean by a "DVR".

    If by "DVR" you mean a box rented from Time-Warner/Comcast... The rented DVR replaces the digital to analog converter you have now and lets you watch one channel while recording another, or record two channels at once. No tapes or DVDs are needed. However, the recordings are not portable, You can only watch them with the DVR that made them. You pay a monthly rental fee and turn the box back in to Time-Warner/Comcast if you discontinue your service.

    If by "DVR you mean a DVD recorder... I'm guessing that your digital to analog converter is the type that is only able to output a signal over coax on channel 3 or channel 4, not a box that can output video via a yellow RCA composite connection and audio via the red and white RCA stereo connections. For recording from channel 3 or 4 on your DTA you need a DVD recorder with an analog tuner. Below is the complete list of current Magnavox models that will work for recording from a DTA that outputs video over channel 3 or channel 4.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HDD-DVR-and-DVD-Recorder-with-Digital-Tuner-320GB/20710260
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HDD-DVR-and-DVD-Recorder-with-Digital-Tuner-500GB/20710258
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-MDR557H-F7-1TB-Hard-Drive-DVD-Recorder-with-Digital...Tuner/36246088

    You don't need any DVDs to use one of the Magnavox recorders above unless you want to save something permanently. The refurbished unit I linked to earlier is machine #2 above (500 GB hard drive).
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 20th Sep 2014 at 18:15.
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  8. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    2-3 years is an exaggeration (unless you bought elcheapo brands): most are good for 5-10 years on average, IMO.

    It's more complicated because there are exponentially more options: OTA, Cable, Sat, Vod/Streaming svcs (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon), Internet streams (YouTube, Vimeo, Vines, p2p), plus dvd, bd, cd, usb, sdcard, hdd, and lan sources, etc.

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    2-3 years is an exaggeration (unless you bought elcheapo brands): most are good for 5-10 years on average, IMO
    That is my experience as well. I would take what the repair guy says with a grain of salt. He profits from doing repairs, so he is unlikely to tell you anything that might discourage you from retaining his services.
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  10. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by clamo View Post
    your better off going to bluray then messing with a dvd recorder. good dvd recorders are a real pain to find. I bought one a few years back for about $150.00, and it burns really good, but........one of the out put ports went bad. btw it was a Toshiba. as for bluray recorders.....there $300+ and not to many manufactures make them. the way of things now for recording is DVR's, but they don't really record....they encode/wright to digital media (ram/thumb drives) or HDD's. everything is all digital now. in fact the only thing in production atm in holly wood that is using film is JJ with the next starwars movie.
    everything else like camcorders, cameras and such is all digital.
    This would be good advice, except for one thing. What you are suggesting doesn't exist in N. America. The Blu-Ray recorders sold in N. America are made for strictly for use in professional videography, and cost between $1500 and $3500.They don't have timers that can be programmed to record at a specific time. They have no connections able to accept video input from HDMI or component sources. They have no tuner. The only connections they have that would work for recording the output from a cable box or satellite receiver are composite, s-video, and stereo audio, just like a DVD recorder. They can only accept HD video transfer from a camera via USB or Firewire, but cable boxes in the US don't transfer video via USB, and Firewire in the same way a camera does. This makes them pretty useless for recording TV.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1033187-REG/jvc_sr_hd1350us_blu_ray_disc_hdd_recorder.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/844862-REG/JVC_SR_HD2500US_SR_HD2500US_Blu_Ray_Disc.html

    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-equipped-high-definition-Recorder-DMR-BR130-K/dp/B009R...u+ray+recorder

    don't exist in the US? even says $300.

    if you meant this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/jvc-blu-ray-disc-player-recorder-500-gb-hdd/1304794404.p;j...=buyingOptions then you are just asking for trouble. this is WAY marked up.

    and there are more places to buy them in the US but there online stores. that's the way were heading. online buying.

    if the TV is so old that it don't have HDMI, its time to upgrade. RCA style jacks are almost obsolete, in fact most tv manufactures don't use them any more.
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  11. Originally Posted by jacatone View Post
    This whole flat screen DVR streaming video thing seems too complicated for me. I recently had to have my old 35" Sony CRT repaired and the repair guy said these new flat screen TVs are junk. They're designed to last 2-3 years tops.

    Does a DVR record the analog signal off a digital to analog converter like a VCR can?

    it should. I don't see Y it can't. providing the dvr supports recording from the inputs you want to use. be sure to check for that.
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    Originally Posted by clamo View Post

    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-equipped-high-definition-Recorder-DMR-BR130-K/dp/B009R...u+ray+recorder

    don't exist in the US? even says $300.

    if you meant this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/jvc-blu-ray-disc-player-recorder-500-gb-hdd/1304794404.p;j...=buyingOptions then you are just asking for trouble. this is WAY marked up.

    and there are more places to buy them in the US but there online stores. that's the way were heading. online buying.

    if the TV is so old that it don't have HDMI, its time to upgrade. RCA style jacks are almost obsolete, in fact most tv manufactures don't use them any more.
    Perhaps you should have read the single product review from the Panasonic Blu-Ray recorder's Amazon listing. It is not ever going to work here. LOL:

    The product is meant for use in Japan only. Japanese is the enbedded language, the manual is in Japanese only. You need a person who reads Japanese to set up the recorder.

    I was disappointed that the listing in Amazon.com did not warn the buyer that this product was not usable by English speakers.

    I just had a Japanese engineer go over the unit with me (29 Oct.2013). There is no way to imput a cable signal into the unit, so the unit is useless to me. I thought that perhaps English was imbedded in the unit but it is not. I do not understand why this unit is being offered in the USA. My new rating for this unit is zero!
    Furthermore, the tuner won't work here for OTA TV. We use ATSC and Japan uses ISDB-T

    Most US TVs still have at least one RCA composite input and one composite RCA input, but the component and composite inputs are combined.

    [Edit] Shame on you for attempting to mislead poor jacatone
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 25th Sep 2014 at 19:40.
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  13. FWIW, I showed your post to my wife. It wasn't too many years ago that I convinced her to give up her TV-VCR combination for a Tivo. She has never looked back and today you would not be able to pull her Tivo out of her hands. She absolutely loves it and wouldn't go back to VCRs if you paid her. It is so convenient and easy to use. Check into a used Series 3 Tivo HD with Lifetime, should be about 200 - 300 dollars. The worst part will be getting TW to provision the cablecard(s).
    As far as the TV, I was sorry to see my Sony XBR2 36" tube go, but honestly a cheap flat screen will blow the doors off even the best tube TV. High Definition can't compete with Standard Definition, and once you get used to it, going back is not an option. I've had repairers tell me how bad flat screens are for reliability but I just recently sold our first 720p TV (bought about 8-9 years ago) that was still working fine and have purchased a few refurbished flat screens that (knock wood) still look great and have exhibited no problems. Dive in and don't worry - you won't be sorry.
    Good luck!
    84Lion
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  14. Rancid User ron spencer's Avatar
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    64 is pretty young...I am surprised you have not looked at the benefits of flat screen. Better picture and certainly much easier to move. Less energy too. I am surprised you have not moved on to better technology. Obviously you have internet...it is new technology. Dump the CRT for something better. You won't regret it. Don't be afraid of change...you will love HD. You only need one HDMI cable and you are done.
    'Do I look absolutely divine and regal, and yet at the same time very pretty and rather accessible?' - Queenie
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  15. Member bendixG15's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ron spencer View Post
    64 is pretty young...I am surprised you have not looked at the benefits of flat screen. Better picture and certainly much easier to move. Less energy too. I am surprised you have not moved on to better technology. Obviously you have internet...it is new technology. Dump the CRT for something better. You won't regret it. Don't be afraid of change...you will love HD. You only need one HDMI cable and you are done.
    Three cheers for the above. 64 is young, I left that a long time ago.

    Check the calendar and enjoy the years to come. This new fangled, video technology is pretty good and a lot easier on the eyes.
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