TVs & Home Theaters forum

Question

HDTV & recording with VCR?

by KatieKabooom / April 26, 2011 9:10 AM PDT

My 1st time buying of an HDTV is growing complicated. Please keep in mind cost is an issue.

Option A:
1. I want a new tv so I can unsubscribe to cable and because new tvs are cooler than my flat screen big-**** tube tv
2. But I still record with a VCR and play DVDS on dvd player

If I buy a new tv, is it possible to *record* with a VCR and hook-up a dvd player?

B. If I keep my analog tv (without cable or satellite):

1. Can I use a digital converter box with the analog tv, dvd player AND *record* on my VCR? If so, what is the hook-up?

OR

2. Do I have to buy/use a DVR/VHS recorder without a digital converter box and use an antenna (to get reception and still record tv shows)?

I hope this is clear. If not, please ask and I'll try to clarify. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks! Happy

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All Answers

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Answer
This is the only difference:
by ahtoi / April 27, 2011 1:55 AM PDT

Whatever analog devices you have will need either a digital tuner or converter between the antenna and the analog device. With that, everything should function the same (more or less). The only problem you might have is try to "timer recording" because most tuner or convert box don't have timer recording function.

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Recording with new tv
by KatieKabooom / April 27, 2011 6:49 AM PDT

So, even with a new digital tv I would need a converter box/digital tuner in order to use the vcr, but won't likely be able to record with the timer (which is what I use)?

Man, this digital conversion is a scam. I have to buy a new tv or subscribe to cable (because converter boxes didn't work and or aren't compatible with recording/VCR use). Or, in addition to a new tv I would have to buy a DVR, which is pretty expensive and from what I've read, don't work (the vcr/dvr combos).
Grrrr! Angry

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No, the digital tv doesn't need the converter box.
by ahtoi / April 27, 2011 10:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Recording with new tv

I said any analog devices. If you were to get a dvd recorder with a "built-in " digital tuner, why is it must be able to work with your old vcr/dvr combo (or is there such thing?). This isn't all that complicated except this new device will cost. Sorry to say but I don't think we can get around that.

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recording
by KatieKabooom / April 27, 2011 12:54 PM PDT

I apologize for not understanding the terminology and getting confused. When you mentioned "any analog device" that threw me because the new tv is digital. therefore, I wasn't sure why I'd need a converter box to record with a vcr.

And yes, there are such things as DVD/VCR combos with digital tuners. I made a typo and wrote "dvr" instead of "dvd".

I'm still trying to understand what I need to do to use my VCR and record shows from a new digital tv. My brain is fried trying to figure it out.

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(NT) Can you give us the make and model of the dvd/vcr.
by ahtoi / April 27, 2011 1:08 PM PDT
In reply to: recording
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Regroup for a moment
by WildClay / April 28, 2011 5:11 AM PDT
In reply to: recording

Taking this by the numbers or devices might help. There are 4 things going on here from what I am reading, you want a new digital HDTV, you want to watch stuff from your VCR on the new TV, you want to still record shows on your VCR, and finally you want to play your existing DVD's on your new TV.

Let's go with the easy one first, the DVD player, that will hook to your new TV and no converters are needed, just make sure your TV has inputs that match the outputs on your VCR. (The DVD player should have at minimum a composite video and L/R audio outputs, if you put your brand and model number up I can likely tell you what input you will need on your new TV.)

Next is the VCR, to record broadcast digital on your analog VCR you will need a converter box to convert digital to analog, they are cheap enough so should not be an issue, using it effectively is another matter. You will have to set the channel to record on the converter before recording and then set you VCR for whatever time you want it to start, the downside is there is no way to change channels automatically from your VCR so unless you are around to change the channel between recordings you will be able to record from one channel only while you are not there.

The TV really has no part in the ability of the VCR to record shows, that is between the VCR, digital converter and the antenna.

The last part, watching your VCR on your new TV that is the same as the DVD player, just have to make sure the TV has the right kind of inputs and that will be Composite Video and Left/Right Audio, so to have both the VCR and DVD player you will want two composite inputs on your TV.

Now for the TV, you will not need any coverters for your TV, the over the air digital broadcasts will tune in just fine native, however before you dump your cable you might want to find out just what channels you can really get over the air, for example in my area I get 6 channels I can pull in from an antenna, not a lot of selection.

The only real trick with the TV is just getting one that has the inputs you need for what you plan to hook to it, all of them will have HDMI, which you do not need yet, and most will have at least one analog input, you want 2.

Good Luck

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DVD
by KatieKabooom / May 22, 2011 3:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Regroup for a moment

Hi wildplay and Ahtoi,

So, I have my new 32" Panasonic TC-L32X2 LCD tv hooked up with basic cable. I do not have a cable box, just a cable-tv cable that goes from the wall to the television and a cable-tv cable from my VCR to the TV Antenna.

I can record shows with my VCR. Happy

Now I need to figure out how to hook up my DVD player. It's a Toshiba SD-400KC/SD-400KU. I think I bought it in 2006 or 2007.

Typically, I would use the red/white/yellow cable from the dvd to my then-analog tv. While the new tv has two red/white/yellow input thingys and one red/blue/green input thingys, I can't figure out where the dvd cable goes. I tried the red/white/yellow to the red/white/yellow but that only created static when I tried to play a dvd.

You all have been so patient and helpful, I do appreciate it!
Thanks!
Kate

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typo
by KatieKabooom / May 22, 2011 3:26 AM PDT
In reply to: DVD

Sorry, wildclay! typo in previous post and I called you wildplay.

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It should have worked.
by ahtoi / May 22, 2011 2:37 PM PDT
In reply to: DVD

There are 2 composite input(red, white, yellow) on that tv (side and rear). Give the other one a try.

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Simple Answer, I hope
by Dan Filice / May 22, 2011 7:18 AM PDT
In reply to: recording

You say you want to unsubscribe to cable. If you do that, where is the coax cable going to get TV channels? Will it be basic cable service without a cable box or will it be connected to a roof antenna? You don't answer this, and the answer is what will give the answer. Here are a couple of scenarios:

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DVD player
by KatieKabooom / May 22, 2011 11:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Simple Answer, I hope

Hi. Sorry I wasn't clear. I have a stand-alone dvd player, a Toshiba SD-400KC/SD-400KU. I have basic cable and am keeping it for now. I already have the new tv connected to both the vcr and cable. But I don't know how to connect the dvd player. The "simple" red/white/yellow cables from the dvd to the tv didn't seem to work but am not sure why.

Are you saying that I can't use the dvd player that I have now and need to buy a new one?

Thanks.
Kate

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Use your current DVD player
by Dan Filice / May 22, 2011 4:14 PM PDT
In reply to: DVD player

I didn't think you already had a DVD player. The cables you mention are called RCA type, and they should work. Make sure you are using the yellow for video and make sure it's connected to the Video-out on the DVD player. Then identify a yellow plug on the TV where this cable would connect. It will say Video-in. You TV will have multiple Input connections. When you find the yellow plug for the cable from the DVD player to connect, it will have a numbered Input, like Input 2. Then you need to tell the TV that you want to watch the same Input, which you do by using the remote which should have a button called Input. If it doesn't, then read the TV manual to find out how to change Inputs.

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dvd
by KatieKabooom / May 23, 2011 2:44 AM PDT

Hi Everyone,
I'm such a dolt. Silly I had the inputs in the right place but accidently programmed the tv for "input 2" instead of "input 1".
I knew it couldn't be this difficult!
Thanks for your patience and suggestions Happy
~~Kate

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I take everything is working now?
by WildClay / May 23, 2011 8:38 AM PDT
In reply to: dvd

Sounds like you got it all hooked up and working now, glad to hear it!

Hope you enjoy your new TV.

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A-OK
by KatieKabooom / May 23, 2011 10:13 AM PDT

Hi! Yes, everything is great. I love this tv (Panasonic Viera 32" LCD). I wandered into a local tv shop "just for the heck of it" and wouldn't you know? It was on sale for the price of many 26" tvs. And it has all the bells/whistles e.g. ipod dock but most importantly, the picture/sound is amazing.

After many confusing options cable vs. antenna and VCR vs. cable DVR vs. Tivo Premiere. I've settled on keeping the basic cable and using my VCR and DVD player - at least until Fall and then I'll figure things out from there.

Everyone here has been great at helping me figure things out, from buying a tv to hooking everything up Happy I don't remember how I found this forum but I'm glad I did!

Thanks again Happy everyone!
~~Kate

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Glad to hear it!
by WildClay / May 23, 2011 12:20 PM PDT
In reply to: A-OK

Great to see ya stick it out, I know of more than one person who just gave up at what they could get to work.

The experience might make you enjoy your new set-up even more.

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tv
by KatieKabooom / May 24, 2011 12:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Glad to hear it!

Well, it does get overwhelming so I can understand wanting to give up. And I'm only keeping the cable (special promo) to get me through baseball season (Go Red Sox)haha and then I'll have to figure out the antenna/tivo option (cheaper) so I'm sure I'll be back. But I printed out all the responses so when the time comes, I can try to do it on my own.

And yes, I do enjoy my set-up Happy . I know it's so 1980s but I love that I can still use my vcr haha with cable/new tv. I was told by neighbors it wasn't possible but I'm guessing Comcast misled them. Now I can let them know it's possible.


~~Kate

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Check Out "Diary of a Cable Cutter"
by WildClay / May 24, 2011 9:51 AM PDT
In reply to: A-OK
Well, it does get overwhelming so I can understand wanting to give up. And I'm only keeping the cable (special promo) to get me through baseball season (Go Red Sox)haha and then I'll have to figure out the antenna/tivo option (cheaper) so I'm sure I'll be back. But I printed out all the responses so when the time comes, I can try to do it on my own. And yes, I do enjoy my set-up .

I know it's so 1980s but I love that I can still use my vcr haha with cable/new tv. I was told by neighbors it wasn't possible but I'm guessing Comcast misled them. Now I can let them know it's possible.


I had to reply here, the thread depth was at the max so I could not directly reply to your above post.

There is nothing wrong with figuring how to get the most out of your gear, and a lot of folks were mislead or just misunderstood the impact of the switch to digital. There are an aweful lot of analog VCR's still playing and recording out there and will for some time to come.

This is a great tech how-to place, between the mods and members, someone generally comes up with suitable, understandable answers, and most enjoy helping out.

Before you drop your basic cable you might want to see what life will be like with only over-the-air (OTA) TV. First check out this great "Diary Of A Cable Cutter" here on cNet, ( http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20025595-1.html ), this is by a staffer that really cut the cord and replaced it or tried to with over-the-air and internet sources, should be a "must read" for anyone considering cutting their cable/sat service. Not only does it present the pro's and con's well, it is cover to cover options and alterantives and how they worked. You may even want to hook up your antenna and see what life on OTA, dvd's, and VCR tapes is like.

In any event, glad you are good for now, see ya when baseball season is over Happy
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cable
by KatieKabooom / May 24, 2011 12:33 PM PDT

Oooh, thanks for the link. I'll definitely check it out.

I'm just trying to cut corners and save $ where I can and tv, generally, isn't a priority so I figure cutting cable was the way to go. Being unemployed stinks Sad There is also something satisfying about going against the crowd Silly

RE: the VCR/Comcast. It seems my neighbors were partially right. You can record-while-watching but only as high as your VCR will take you. That is, my VCR only goes to channel 100. And, who wants to record a show they're watching? LOL I'm a big user of the timer (recording one show watching another).

So, with a splitter installed, I'l be able to use the timer for recording but then I'll only be able to record local network stations (up to channel 20).

Comcast is returning tomorrow to install the splitter (at no cost). However, with most of the network television season over, I won't likely need it. In other words, I used it when several of my favorite shows were on at once and now with repeats I won't be recording anything. Or, won't be recording as much.


And to be honest, if money wasn't a concern I would simply bite the bullet and buy a cable package and then just complain about the cost like everyone else Silly


P.S. Sox won tonight heehee

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