Smart Home & Appliances

General discussion

*Digital* VCR/DVR Combo and *Analog* TV?

by HHank / December 22, 2008 10:08 AM PST

Can I connect my "on the roof" antenna to a Digital VCR/DVR Combo (with a Digital Tuner), and then run the "antenna out" cable to a Digital Converter box tuned to channel 3 or 4 and then run the antenna out on the converter box to an analog TV? If so, I could use the VCR to record one channel while I viewed another? Also, would I have to leave the VCR "on" when just watching TV programs through the converter box? Walmart is selling these Digital VCR Combo's for $179.95 each, and I don't know whether their sales people always know what they are talking about. It does seem feasible , but I'm no expert. Does anyone have an answer or suggestion?

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DVD/VCR/DIGITAL ETC.
by Phil Crase / December 23, 2008 10:44 PM PST

You would have to use a splitter to feed both units from one input(antenna), as to watching from one while recording to another (unit), doubtful but you could try the hook up, you can't hurt anything.

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DVR/VCR/DIGITAL ETC.
by HHank / December 24, 2008 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: DVD/VCR/DIGITAL ETC.

Thanks for the reply Phil. This question that I originally posted to CNET is now posted (somehow) "all over the world!" And you are the *ONLY* person that has given an opinion! As for the need for a splitter: (1) The *DIGITAL* VCR/DVR COMBO would be connected to the "on the roof" antenna. (2)The antenna "out" on the Combo would be connected to the "antenna "in" on the converter box in order to convert the *DIGITAL* signal from the Combo to *ANALOG* (3) The "antenna out" on the converter box would be connected to the analog TV'S antenna input. (4) The converter box would be set to channel 3 or 4 so that the incoming signal from the Combo can "overpower" channel 3 or 4.. If this will work, then one could leave home and record (say) three digiatal programs without the converter box being left "on". One could also record one program while watching another by starting to record one program and then changing the channel in the converter box for the TV. (can the antenna pull in more than one channel (split itself) much as it does right now on the VCR'S/TV'S that we use every day?). I'm not sure if all of this will work, but *SOMEONE* out there certainly does. This would save many of us who cannot stay at home to change channels on converter boxes to record their favorite programs and who recently purchased expensive equipment that will no longer work after Feb. 17th. lot's of money and heartache. A recent program televised by a company named "TECH NOW.com" indicated that Digital VCR/DVR'S would solve the problem of having to hook up two converter boxes in order to record one channel while watching another. I visited the site, but I'm not techically gifted enough in this area to understand all of the "lingo". Question: "Will any or part of this solution work?" Thanks.

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My guess that you didn't get many replies is because...
by ahtoi / December 24, 2008 3:18 AM PST
In reply to: DVR/VCR/DIGITAL ETC.

most of us don't have any experience with it nor probably any reason to deal with it. Personally I give reply when I tap into my own experiences. This digital stuffs is too new; take for instance the splitter, which is an analog device, will it work with digital or do they have digital splitter (I don't know)?

If you have all these things you should definitely try them. It won't hurt; then you can be the expert on this next time.

Personally I have DirecTV and I am in an area where I can't get any (and I mean ANY) ota tv station at all. So I can't do any experiment on it.

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Re: "My guess that you didn't....."
by HHank / December 24, 2008 9:32 AM PST

I don't (as yet) own a digital VCR/DVR combo so I can't "try it out". Walmart sells them for $179.95 each, and I need two of them. I'd like to know if they'll work in this way before I spend the money. A guy at Radio Shack said that if the VCR/DVR Combo has it's own digital tuner, then I don't need a converter box. I don't think this is true because the signal comming from the Combo will be a digital one for a digital TV tuner, but my TV has an analog tuner, so I think that I need a converter box. Thanks for your suggestions.

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Does the tv have s-video or composite (yel,wht,red) input?
by ahtoi / December 25, 2008 1:11 AM PST

If it has any one of them then you can watch tv through it.

You know what I would do if I am in your shoes? I would go to Walmart and get just one to try it. You can always use a recorder even it may not be exactly what you need. Also get the converter box in case it is needed. Good luck and Merry Christmas.

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Using VCR/DVD combo with digital tuner
by barbiedoll32560 / January 3, 2009 6:55 AM PST

IF you can find a VCR/DVD with digital tuner and coax connections, you should NOT need a converter box to watch TV when it goes digital. You hook your antenna to the "in from antenna" coax plug, then use the "out to TV" to connect to TV. Keep your TV on channel 3 or 4 (like when you are watching a VHS tape or DVD) and keep your VCR/DVD unit turned on and on "VCR". You will be using the VCR to receive and change channels, NOT your TV. (The TV is only being used to display the picture, in the same way a computer monitor displays an image. It is NOT receiving the digital signal....so it doesn't matter at all that the TV is analog.) We have been watching TV thru our VCR for years, mostly because the VCR seems to pull in the signal better and give us a clearer picture. Now, this is all theoretical, because the switch to digital hasn't happened yet and so we can't really prove that all this will work, BUT......when our local TV station recently ran a test by broadcasting only digital, our VCR/DVD combo with digital tuner (connected to very old analog TV) did pass the test by continuing to receive the broadcast. So I am hopeful!! Problem is, it's getting really hard to find the combos that have built-in tuners AND a coax connection!! Seems that the industry is trying really hard to make us all subscribe to cable, huh?!

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Using VCR/DVD combo with digital tuner
by HHank / January 5, 2009 2:09 AM PST

Thanks for the info' barbie. That's the answer that I was looking for. I thought that I would need to install a "converter" box to change the output from the digital tuner on the DVR to analog for my older analog TV. Are you saying that since the TV is not *receiving* the signal itself, it will display the digital program from the DVR to my analog TV successfully? Your example here seems perfectly logical.

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digital vcr/dvd
by ny_nlg / January 5, 2009 12:46 AM PST

thank you for all your info. You are making the "transition" much easier to bear. I have a question for the person that mentioned walmart. What brand was the digital vcr/dvd? I can't seem to find it on the walmart website and it seems like a very good price.
costco has one by sony but the reviews were not great and I believe they said that you could not record TV programs.

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vcr/dvd digital
by ny_nlg / January 5, 2009 2:12 AM PST
In reply to: This might be it.

I checked the walmart site, thank you. from the customer reviews that I read, it doesn't appear they will work for what I want to do. I primarily use my vcr to tape tv shows when I am not home. The VCR i have now went out of commission yesterday so I am going to need to replace it. I want something that I can tape shows on and not have a problem. Any suggestions?

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digital VCR/DVD
by HHank / January 5, 2009 2:12 AM PST
In reply to: digital vcr/dvd

Walmart: Magnavox #ZV450MW8 Hope this helps.

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DVD/VCR COMBO CONNECTIONS
by OTAFAN / January 7, 2009 10:28 PM PST
In reply to: digital VCR/DVD

HHank,
I hope this the connection you want. This is assuming you have a converter box, which I think you said you did. You need the coax cable OUT from the antenna to go to the VCR/DVD Combo tuner IN, then another coax from the Combo OUT to the TV IN. Then you need to hook up the rca cables (red, white & Yellow) from the Combo OUT to TV IN. I have the Magnavox, and it works for me. I can record a show and watch TV at the same time. The only problem I can see is if your TV doesn't have jacks for the Red White & yellow RCA cables, in which case you may have to get some kind of converter.
Now, my problem is, I have the Magnavox as well as the Philips, which for all intents, are basically the same unit. I want to use one tuner to record while I am watching media on the other. I can't get both units to "talk" the the TV at the same time, no matter what hook up I use. I think I will have to get a splitter to split the signal from the antenna, and see what works.

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DVDs/VCRs and converter boxes
by ny_nlg / January 8, 2009 12:41 AM PST
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DVDs/VCRsand converter boxes
by HHank / January 8, 2009 1:27 AM PST

O.K., Thanks for the info' and website (great information). But I still have one more (I hope) question: Can the DVD/VCR combo/w digital tuner record several programs on it's own while you are away, and can you record one program while watching at another? (using an analog TV?)

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dvd/vcr
by OTAFAN / January 8, 2009 1:34 AM PST

Yes.

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dvd/vcr
by HHank / January 8, 2009 10:21 AM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

OTAFAN,(or any other) The question that I am asking is whether or not I can record one channel with *one* DVD/VCR combo/w *one* digital tuner while viewing another channel on an analog TV?. The other question was: Can I also program this same combo to record multiple over the air TV shows while away from home? (can it switch channels?). Please briefly discuss. You have said that you are trying to do this with a Magnavox *AND* a Phillips combo hooked up together. Why two? I don't understand.

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dvd/vcr
by OTAFAN / January 8, 2009 8:40 PM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

(OTAFAN,(or any other) The question that I am asking is whether or not I can record one channel with *one* DVD/VCR combo/w *one* digital tuner while viewing another channel on an analog TV?. The other question was: Can I also program this same combo to record multiple over the air TV shows while away from home? (can it switch channels?). Please briefly discuss. You have said that you are trying to do this with a Magnavox *AND* a Phillips combo hooked up together. Why two? I don't understand.)

Yes, you CAN record one channel with one combo tuner while viewing another. I just did it last night. And you can program it to record multiple shows using the event timers. It will work just like the old ones did. That was the one dealmaker I insisted upon when I purchased mine.

As to your other question, I want to hook up two devices because a lot of the time I or someone else in the family wants to watch another tape or DVD at the same time something is being taped. For example, I might have time to watch a movie, but I only have time to see half of it, so I don't want to see it live. So I tape it. a few days later, I put the tape in to watch, but it is at the same time another show is on that I like, so I tape the show. Or it's Saturday night, and I like to watch NOVA, but since it is Saturday Night and the grandkids are over, we have to watch the latest DVD release of whatever the kids like to share with us. I suppose I could set up the TV in the guest room with a recorder, but I don't like a lot of clutter in that room. I don't have a lot of technology in my house, but this is how I like to watch TV. Besides, wouldn't it be cool to be able to tape "The Twilight Zone" as well as "Antiques Roadshow" while watching "Masterpiece Theatre"?

Anyway, that's what I want. But if I have to settle for just one machine, so be it. It will work just fine, I just can't tape one show and watch another tape or DVD.

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dvd/vcr
by HHank / January 9, 2009 1:15 AM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

OTAFAN, Walmart sells a Magnavox #ZV450MW8* VCR/DVD recorder/w digital tuner for $179.95. Is this the one that you own? Do you reccommend it? And thanks for all of your help!

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Magnavox Combo
by OTAFAN / January 9, 2009 1:26 AM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

HHank,
Yes, that is the very one. I have not had any problems with it, seems to do what it is supposed to do. I have not used it to record DVDs, but I gave it a test when I first hooked it up. The only problem I have with it is there doesn't seem to by any universal remote that controls it, even the Phillips universal that says it is "Guarranteed To Work With Your Device". And Phillips makes Magnavox! The remote that comes with it is kind of user unfriendly, IMHO. No punch through keys (i.e., volume control) at all
All in all, I'd say it is a good buy.
One more thing--when playing DVD's, sometimes it seems to take an inordinate time to initialy load.

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DVD/VCR Combo (cont'd)
by HHank / January 22, 2009 1:40 AM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

O.K. OTAFAN. One other question (of course) HH Gregg just told me that the Combo's have *no* ability to "bring in" signals from the antenna on their own! They must be connected to a converter box (as you have done). If this is so then do you have to leave the converter box "ON" when you are away in order to record multiple channels? And if so "what channel do you leave the converter box tuned to?". Also, I'm told that in order for the timer in the combo to work the unit must be turned "off", so will the signal from the converter box go through the combo to the TV while the combo is turned off for timer recordings? I wonder if *ANY* of these store guy's have a clue!

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DVD/VCR COMBO
by OTAFAN / January 22, 2009 1:54 AM PST
In reply to: DVD/VCR Combo (cont'd)

No no no! The unit I have is definitely digital, so it does not need a converter box. I should have said, If it has a DIGITAL Tuner you will have no problems. If it is not digital, then you will have to use a converter box. Walmart probably carries both. The one I have is ZV450MW8, if you want to look it up or buy online, here is a link to Overstock http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Magnavox-DVD-Recorder-VCR-Combo-w-Digital-Tuner/3500923/product.html. They have it for $129.00, but I am sure you can probably still get it from Walmart. If you get one that is NOT digital, then you have to get two converters, one for TV one for recorder,(don't ask me why) and you have to go through a lot of setups to get the one hooked to the VCR to turn on at the same time and channel. That's why I got a digital Combo with tuner. It was worth it.

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Since it is so close to Feb. 17,
by ahtoi / January 22, 2009 12:05 PM PST
In reply to: DVD/VCR Combo (cont'd)

let's not talk about converter box for the recorder. This is a must..the recorder must have a built-in DIGITAL tuner for this setup to work, period. I don't have the info on the magnavox but Costco has a Panasonic (about $300) and Sam'club has a JVC (about $200); both of them will work.

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DVD/VCR Connections
by HHank / January 23, 2009 1:27 AM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

Thanks OTAFAN. But I worry that you are able to watch one channel while viewing another because your TV has an "analog" tuner and the TV stations are still broadcasting in *both* analog and digital formats. When they turn off the analog signal you may need a converter box to be able to watch one channel while viewing another or recording because the digital tuner in the combo will be tied up! I just talked to the "Geek Squad" (at Best Buy) and they even told me that the Combo's digital output had to go through a converter box to be "understood" by an analog TV! You previously said that you have a converter box hooked up in your system "somewhere" and I wanted to know where and what channel you have it turned to when viewing recordings and whether or not it has to be "on" when you leave home? After talking to the "Geeks" I'm really confused! Step by step how is your system hooked up? And will it continue to work this way after Feb. 17 when they turn off the analog side of the signal?

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DVD/VCR CONNECTIONS
by OTAFAN / January 23, 2009 2:24 AM PST
In reply to: DVD/VCR Connections

HHANK,
Strictly speaking, you DO NOT need a converter box for a recorder with a digital tuner. It will download the correct signal all by itself. You could use it in place of a converter, provided you are willing to watch TV ONLY through the recorder. However, You CANNOT watch one show and record another, but you can record multiple programs while you are gone, and it will switch channels. However, you want the converter box anyway because then you can watch anything you want at the same time you are recording something else. And no, you do not have to leave the converter box on while you are taping, as I said before it has it's own digital tuner.
When we go digital, Your TV will be set to channel 3. You will use a remote to change channels through the converter box. Your recorder will be set up to pick up on a different channel, in the case of my old RCA console, "VID" or "SVID" can be used. Use yor TV's present remote to tell it which one you want the Magnavox to use. Then follow my previous instructions as to how to connect everything. I did it this way. Antenna to converter box "IN", converter box"OUT" "to recorder"IN", recorder"OUT" to tv. RCA (red, white yellow) cables from recorder"OUT" to TV. Plug everything in, you are ready to go.

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DVD/VCR Connections
by HHank / January 24, 2009 1:21 AM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

Thanks again OTAFAN, your instructions have been great! However, I talked to a supervisor at "Best Buy" this morning and he said that if I hook up a converter box to my antenna on the roof and then run it to the "In" on the VCR/combo and then "out" to the TV then every channel I program on the converter box in order to view one channel while recording another will "change" the pre-programmed channels in the recorder and "ruin" the recording! This is *wrong* information right? I have Magnavox converter boxes.

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DVD/VCR CONNNECTIONS
by OTAFAN / January 25, 2009 8:22 PM PST
In reply to: DVD/VCR Connections

HHank,
You do not need to program the converter box to record so long as you have the Combo with the digital tuner. If you try to program the converter box, then yes, it will interfere with the Combo programming. Just use your converter to watch tv.

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DVD/VCR Connections
by HHank / January 26, 2009 1:25 AM PST
In reply to: dvd/vcr

OTAFAN, I promise (I think) that this is my last question! (You must be a "Saint"). I *must* program the converter box as directed to use it with the TV right? How will this interfere with the Combo's recordings? Or did I misunderstand you (again)? I also have a Magnavox digital converter box.

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DVD/VCR CONNECTIONS
by OTAFAN / January 26, 2009 1:39 AM PST
In reply to: DVD/VCR Connections

HHank,
Though I do not have a Magnavox converter, I am pretty sure you don't have to program it, just follow the set up. But the simple answer is, no, "programming" it for use with the TV should not have any effect upon programming the Combo unit to record. As long as you don't "tell" the converter box that you want to record a program, it should not interfere with anything other than your TV.

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response to dvd/vcr connections
by dbkg / January 18, 2009 1:54 AM PST

I saw the Magnavox at Walmart yesterday and was doing a search to answer the same questions HHenry had. In response to Otafan's questions: Have you tried using an A/B switch with your two vcr/ dvd recorders? And for those that want to make some connections to a tv without rca cables, you can hook up an rf moculator to the tv and hook the rca cable into it. Also, my Memorex vcr/ dvd player (which is almost exactly like my previous Magnavox vcr/ dvd player) does allow me to watch a dvd while recording through the vcr. If you haven't tried to do that with your current machine, you might want to try it.

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"DVD/VCR Connections?"
by HHank / January 19, 2009 1:32 AM PST

Thank you dbkg. If you come up with an answer to my questions please let us know. Again the question is: Can I connect my "on the roof" antenna to the (Walmart) Magnavox VCR/DVD Recorder (or any other comparable system), and then to a digital converter box, and then to an *analog* TV? (before and after Feb.17th) If so this would allow me to:

1) Program and record multiple TV shows while not at home. (A converter box alone would only allow you to record *ONE* program as it cannot change channels)

2) Watch one program while recording another (The digital tuner in the VCR/DVD combo will "grab" one station and not let it go until the timer tells it to) while the digital tuner in the converter box allows you to change the channel and view another while this is going on. There should be no need for a "splttet" because we currently do this with analog VCR'S and Analog TV's all the time without a slitter. The splitting takes place (somehow) in the coaxial cable.

3) So far, *No one* seems to be able to confirm or deny this question! It will be quite a "feather" in the cap of someone who can because many, many "over the air" people want to know and are "waiting" for this answer. Thanks again.

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