I noticed some 160GB hard disk recorder with DVD recording and DIVX and more support over at Wally mart. I have my RCA 40GB DVR which I think is nice and my Philips DivX DVD player but that unit would be what I'd replace that pair with... from that always low prices shelf.
VCR's seem to be a fading technology. I had found and used some that were more or less satisfactory for many years. But, by the time I needed to replace my last one, it was hard to find a replacement VCR. I finally did recently - and it was virtually a replica of my old one - same brand & most features - but crappily constructed and now, it appears, too quickly breakable.
I thought my requirements/wants were simple and could be easily met by the DVR machines on the market. Here they are:
- Must have ability to watch one TV program while recording another.
- Must have ability to fast-scan through advertisements.
- Must have ability to pick up and display Closed Captions (if TV program has them).
- want ability to jump to next stored program without scanning for it (indexing?)
- want ability to use VCR+ numbers for programming, but this isn't essential if manual setting can be done efficiently and fast enough.
- want ability to store up to 40 hours worth of programs (on one or more discs or tapes pr drive)
- *don't* need ability to record from the DVR to a CD disc.
- don't currently subscribe to *digital* cable TV (and need to know if I'd have to)
- don't want to watch TV programs on my PC
The universal retail sales response to this has been - "get TiVo", though I'm not at all sure it would actually do all of the above. But I'd certainly prefer not to pay a monthly ransom (beyond what I already pay for cheapest cable TV).
Some friends have said I can do it by buying a small computer, connecting it to my TV, and recording on hard disk with "the right software", but I haven't found anyone to tell me what the right software and computer requirements actually are.
Brand names would help too.