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  1. I got a Blu-Ray for Christmas as my TV's built in DVD player seems like it's starting to die (and I didn't have a remote for it anyway). The TV only has one set of input besides the coax and that's the AUX RCA, which is already connected to the VCR. As the Blu-Ray is HDMI only I went out and bought an HDMI to RCA converter along with the appropriate cables. Through the converter I hooked up the Blu-Ray output to the VCR's Line 1 input, then used the VCR's input select to allow the TV to display what the Blu-Ray player is running.

    I do have a couple of questions, the VCR has three input select modes, the default just displays a "2", then there's Line 1 and Line 2. Is the "2" to just play a tape? Assuming nothing is actually being input into Line 1 (like the Blu-Ray is turned off) then could I play a VHS tape without having to switch back to "2"? I tried looking in the VCR manual but didn't see anything helpful. My VCR is a Sony SLV-775HF. Thanks.
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    Line 2 are the inputs on the front panel, probably hidden behind a door. Neither Line 1 (In) or Line 2 (In) have anything to do with playback which is either through the the coax out (RF out) or Line Out.

    I'm glad to hear you got a Blu-Ray player, but I highly recommend that it's time to upgrade to a modern HDTV. A 32" model can be had for <$100 and as low quality as it is will be miles ahead of your current set. Also check your local Craigslist or other local free/sale sites as a lot of people are selling their old HDTVs for really cheap or giving them away free as they've gotten a newer/larger set for Christmas. Keep you current set for VHS playback as VHS looks bad on a HDTV compared to an old (sounds like) tube (CRT) set. However your DVDs/Blu-Rays will look great!
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    Also, I'm sure you love your VHS tapes, but keep in mind that videotape is a ticking timebomb that can be corrupted (torn, stretched, crinkled, edge damaged) with every play. In addition, every play wears down the oxide layer a little, slowly degrading playback.
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  4. Originally Posted by lingyi
    Line 2 are the inputs on the front panel, probably hidden behind a door. Neither Line 1 (In) or Line 2 (In) have anything to do with playback which is either through the the coax out (RF out) or Line Out.

    I'm glad to hear you got a Blu-Ray player, but I highly recommend that it's time to upgrade to a modern HDTV. A 32" model can be had for <$100 and as low quality as it is will be miles ahead of your current set. Also check your local Craigslist or other local free/sale sites as a lot of people are selling their old HDTVs for really cheap or giving them away free as they've gotten a newer/larger set for Christmas. Keep you current set for VHS playback as VHS looks bad on a HDTV compared to an old (sounds like) tube (CRT) set. However your DVDs/Blu-Rays will look great!


    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Also, I'm sure you love your VHS tapes, but keep in mind that videotape is a ticking timebomb that can be corrupted (torn, stretched, crinkled, edge damaged) with every play. In addition, every play wears down the oxide layer a little, slowly degrading playback.
    Thanks for your feed back. Indeed, video tape is something of a time bomb. I generally get my tapes from thrift stores second hand and I've seen a couple that are on their last legs.

    Right now I'm not looking to upgrade my TV, I got it for free from a family friend and the TV part of it still works fine. The biggest reason I asked for a Blu-Ray player for Christmas is just because a few things I am looking to get at some point next year are only available on Blu-Ray. Since I needed an external solution, an upgrade made some sense. The thing about those fancy HDTV flat panels is they are also ticking time bombs. Sure they fairly inexpensive but there's a reason for that, they aren't well made. I know of plenty of people who had flat panel TVs die after just a few years. To contrast the TV I have now was made in 2004, and it still works. My parents have a TV from 1992, and last I heard they use it everyday and it still works too. Very few of the flat panels being made today are going to make to 10, let alone 20 or 30 years old. The components just aren't that good anymore. I might revisit this again in the future but at the moment I'm not looking to hop on the planned obsolescence treadmill.
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    I give you props for you commitment to your videotapes and TV. However be sure to a spare VCR or two because a single moldy or seriously flaking tape can clog your videoheads beyond repair. It's true that modern HDTVs aren't as robust as the old CRTs, but even it lasts just 5-10 years, video quality will have increased enough to warrant the upgrade anyway. As I stated, your tapes are probably best viewed on your current set, but the quality difference of a DVD or Blu-Ray is tremendous, especially if viewed on a large, 55"+ screen.

    You probably don't notice it, but while current sets do tend to die suddenly, your and your parents sets are dying slowly, becoming dimmer and less accurate (to whatever limited extent a DVD/TV combo is capable of) than when new. Still as long as you're happy, continue to enjoy!
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    I don't think it was typical for CRT TVs to last for 20+ years with 3-4 hours of daily use. In my personal experience, there has been no significant difference in how long solid state CRT TVs and HDTVs last. In my family, both solid state CRT TVs and HDTVs have lasted about 10 years unless they were not used daily to watch prime-time programming. In fact, some of our early CRT TVs, which used vacuum tubes rather than transistors, were short-lived, lasting just a few years.
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
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  7. I have four CRT TVs, three of which I use every single day. Two of them get used for at least three hours a day because I turn them on to watch TV in the background. I get the signal for these TVs via a modulator that puts my cable TV onto channel 66 and my OTA signal onto channel 84. I bought the oldest TV in 1981. It works as well as the day I bought it. The one in my office, where I'm typing this, is a Sharp that I bought in the mid-1990s. The one that gets used at least four hours a day is our kitchen TV that I bought when I moved back into the house after a remodel. I got that in January 1995. It is a Sony, and the picture has expanded a bit (typical aging problem with CRT TVs), but it otherwise running perfectly. The final one is a Sony Wega 36" in the bedroom. I watch that for at least an hour every night.

    So, my experience is that solid state TVs manufactured after 1990s hold up remarkably well.

    Early solid state TVs were not so good. I spent years repairing two 9" GE semi-portable TVs (they could run off 12V in a car), but they were prone to failure.

    I finally gave up on my last tube TV in the 1980s.

    Both the early solid state and the 1970s tube TVs tended to have HV supply problems, and I never liked working on those.

    Finally, I have totally different experience with magnetic tape. I have some first-generation audio tape that was recorded two years before I was born (I'm 67), and it plays and transfers without flaking. I still do occasional videotape transfers (VHS, Beta, DV, HDV, and all 8mm versions) I've never once had problems with tape, but the players are a different story. Pretty much every one of my dozen VCRs has some sort of flakiness or problem. I can still work around this on some of them, but the end is in sight, and I'm not sure my repair skills are going to be sufficient to rescue them. I know how to recap supplies (seldom the actual problem) and replace the rubber parts, like pinch rollers and belts (often the problem), but alignment issues require special equipment and skills, neither of which I posses, and finding people that have those skills is getting really difficult.
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