View Full Version : Recording from TV--Cable Going Digital--HELP!
01-21-2011, 05:51 PM
(feel free to laugh at any time)
Our cable company has been transmitting in analog but is going digital in a few weeks. I am a techno-basketcase and love my 20 year old VCR. It's simple to use (a huge advantage when I get around anything technological), faithful, and has done well by me all these years.
My problem is the black box converters we've received from the cable company (to be used with analog devices) will only handle one channel so the VCR can't record. A simple old VCR isn't made anymore (I'll wait patiently while you laugh hysterically). I want to be able to record and take the tape (waiting again for more hysterics) to another place in the house to watch.
Any suggestions? I want and need SIMPLE! I don't want TIVO and my experience to date with programming the DVD recorder in the living room ranges from simple frustration to catastrophic failures. A scouting trip to Best Buy found a couple combination DVD/VCR recorders, but the evaluations of them on line are pretty ghastly.
What would folks suggest (once you recover from your giggles, of course)? Is there any hope?
01-21-2011, 06:03 PM
I do like recording stuff and then putting it on a VHS tape so I can have a reliable physical version of it. Recordable DVD's have crapped out and TIVO fills up so I do VHS tapes. I have a Panasonic DVD/VCR recorder and its working fine. I ran the cable to the cable box and then connected the white red and yellow wires from the cable box to the DVD/Player and connected the TV to the DVD/VCR so I can record onto VHS tapes or DVD's. I don't know if this helps.
In my experience those little black digital cable boxes only allow you to tape one channel at a time and then only the channel the tv was last tuned too before being turned off. ( I still have my VCR as well) I have no idea if a converter is different from those digital boxes, and if they are then perhaps it will not effect your ability to tape multiple shows on one tape. That is what I use to do but cannot anymore without a DVR or whatever they are called.
01-21-2011, 06:07 PM
How To Watch One Channel and Record Another with a DTV Converter Box and VCR
But isn't that like recording Sirius satellite radio broadcasts onto a cassette tape?
Also, you might have a bad DVR. I had to exchange mine soonafter I started subscribing to it.
A few VCRs are for sale at an online electronics store based near Chicago. The machines they sell are designed to be used around the world, but if you get one that recognizes NTSC (signal used in North America and Japan), you'll be fine.
Sorry, the top link is about TVs not connected to cable :slinkaway.
Disadvantage of DTV Converter: You will lose the ability to watch one program and record another with the DTV converter. Sorry for the bad news.
The reason is the tuner. The VCR tuner is useless with digital except for recognizing channel 3. The digital converter is a single tuner item so it only receives one station at a time.
Advantage of Digital Television, DTV Converters and Antennas: A single broadcast station can send out multiple signals within their digital band. This is called a sub-channel. You will likely gain recording access to these sub-channels when using the DTV converter box with an antenna.
01-21-2011, 06:09 PM
When I had Time Warner digital cable, I had to set the cable box to the channel I wanted to record. The VCR stayed on the same channel that let the cable signal come through (either AUX or 3, I can't remember which), and then the visual signal was fed through to the TV, while the audio signal was fed to my mini-system. I had a splitter set up so I would be feeding signals into the VCR from the cable (which actually was fed into a 2nd VCR first, as I did a lot of tape-to-tape dubbing), the DVD player, or my ancient Playstation v1.
You don't say which cable company it is, but if it is TW, you can set the cable box to switch channels by programming it to turn on and set to certain shows (you need to use the on-screen program guide to do this). You'll have to set the VCR to start and stop for each program. One of the biggest drawbacks to this method is if the previous program goes overtime (remember watching skating on ESPN, how many times that happened?)and your VCR has already shut off at the appointed time.
I just got rid of my digital and standard cable entirely. With my Road Runner I was paying $127/month. I only have the Broadcast Basic for $8/month, and it is so much easier to program the channels through the VCR. I don't watch all that much TV to start with, and I much prefer to have the extra $72 in my pocket every month.
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