TVs & Home Theaters forum

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Need New Equipment

by joenj267 / March 14, 2008 10:23 AM PDT

Currently I'm still in the stone ages and still have a VCR,but the quality of the tapes now pales in comparison to what's out there now. The reasons I haven't converted yet are 1)Most of my recordings are all on VHS, 2)I think videotape is more durable/stable than anything I have tried(which has basically been only DVD).

So my ultimate question is what is my best bet to start investing in now? What are the advantages/disadvantages to Tivo or DVR? I currently have DirecTV which may provide DVR.
Another reason I like my videotapes are that I can add things on if I'm compiling a tape,is there anything that can do that? I've heard I can record on CD but if I don't 'seal' it I can't watch it. Again I'd like to be able to compile things.

Suggestions?

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Replacing VCR
by Dan Filice / March 14, 2008 12:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Need New Equipment

I don't have Tivo or a DVR, but they basically have made VHS a thing of the past. You can keep adding to the disc-based recorder and you can program the shows you want to record. The storage is limited though. With VHS you have a copy (lousy copy) that you can keep, but you can do the same with a DVD recorder. The quality will be better than VHS. You can hook a DVD recorder up to the Video-Out of your cable box, or with some fiddling you can hook it up to your DVR to record programs. I don't think DVRs will let you record with either HDMI or component connections, so you'll need to dumb it down a bit and use S-Video. But, it will still be better than VHS.

I'm curious about your second point where you say "I think videotape is more durable/stable than anything I have tried (which has basically been DVD)." Actually VHS tapes are one of the most unstable formats around. The oxide sheds and after a few years you can't even play them. Why do you think DVDs are unstable?

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Re: Replacing VCR
by joenj267 / March 14, 2008 12:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Replacing VCR

Well after some more research I decided I don't think I want to deal with DVR or Tivo because I want to archive my recordings and from what I've seen those are stored on hard drive.
I'll probably end up going with recordable DVD or the like.

When I said VHS is more stable I meant that it's not as 'delicate' as CD where if you get a speck or smear the tape won't freeze like a CD.
What I probably meant was that VHS was more durable.
As far as the oxide on tapes,I've still got tapes from 1985 and up that still play fine.

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generally
by obobskivich / March 15, 2008 4:11 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Replacing VCR

a high quality player wont have any problems running through specks or fingerprints on optical discs, but cheap devices will usually stall out and freeze, as you've mentioned


one thing to note is that video tapes not only oxidize, but are much more susecptable to the effects of moisture, climate change, physical vibration, etc

not to mention the quality (which generally isn't something you worry about, unless you were connecting your VCR to a hundred thousand dollar audiophile home cinema)

honestly you shouldn't be getting oils/scratches on discs, but it does happen, and from experience I can tell you that better players have better luck with those discs (also, most used video game stores (ones that re-buy video games and re-sell them) will resurface your optical discs for you, given that most of them have commerical resurfacing equipment to repair used games, just expect to pay a little bit)

DVR and TiVO do store the content to an internal hard-drive, which means you can keep the content forever, or erase it with the push of a button to free up space, some DVR solutions offer storage of hundreds to thousands of hours of content, so that shouldn't be a huge issue (given that a standard DVD offers around 2 hours of video, versus at least a few hundred on a DVR)

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Re: generally
by joenj267 / March 16, 2008 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: generally

I've heard that before,that with things like my current cheap DVD player it will freeze up alot more,which it definitely does!
Good to know though that DVDs can be resurfaced.
Like I said I never really had much trouble with VHS before,aside from the obvious generation & quality problems,I pretty much took care of them so they wouldn't deteriorate otherwise.
As for the DVR & Tivo,as I also mentioned I like to archive some things and it doesn't seem that these do that too well.

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