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Digital Cable and VCR Recording -randau

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Anonymous
September 27, 2004 8:04:53 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

I am thinking of converting from Comcast analog cable to digital
cable.

My current analog system has a cable splitter going to two VCR's with
one of the VCR's going to the main TV input and the other connected to
the TV via A/V jacks. I setup and record on the VCR connected to the
main TV input via channel 3. While recording, I watch other TV
programs live through the TV tuner and/or the 2nd VCR tuner which can
also playback previously recorded tapes during the live program
commercials visible in the small PIP (Picture in Picture) window.

My understanding is that a digital cable box connected through a VCR
to the TV input can only record a digital program if both the VCR and
TV tuners are left set to channel 3 or 4. Which means, while
recording, you can watch nothing but the program being recorded. But,
my TV has its own built-in 2nd tuner with which I could view another
live program in the small PIP window while watching the same program
on the main screen through the 2nd VCR's tuner. I think this should
let me continue to switch between watching the live program and
playing back previously recorded tapes during commercials which remain
visible in the small PIP window as I'm now doing with analog cable.

Will I be able to do this, or am I missing something?

-randau
Oregon, USA

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Anonymous
September 28, 2004 5:26:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

randau wrote:

> I am thinking of converting from Comcast analog cable to digital
> cable....

My advice? Sling out the video's', get yourself a TiVo. Better than
trying to sort out this RF modulated mess, and having to invent things
to do during those long commercial breaks that thankfully we don't have
this side of the pond.

--

Adrian C
Anonymous
September 28, 2004 4:36:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

On 27 Sep 2004 16:04:53 -0700, spamjunkmail2002@yahoo.com (randau)
wrote:

>I am thinking of converting from Comcast analog cable to digital
>cable.
>
>My current analog system has a cable splitter going to two VCR's with
>one of the VCR's going to the main TV input and the other connected to
>the TV via A/V jacks. I setup and record on the VCR connected to the
>main TV input via channel 3. While recording, I watch other TV
>programs live through the TV tuner and/or the 2nd VCR tuner which can
>also playback previously recorded tapes during the live program
>commercials visible in the small PIP (Picture in Picture) window.
>
>My understanding is that a digital cable box connected through a VCR
>to the TV input can only record a digital program if both the VCR and
>TV tuners are left set to channel 3 or 4. Which means, while
>recording, you can watch nothing but the program being recorded. But,
>my TV has its own built-in 2nd tuner with which I could view another
>live program in the small PIP window while watching the same program
>on the main screen through the 2nd VCR's tuner. I think this should
>let me continue to switch between watching the live program and
>playing back previously recorded tapes during commercials which remain
>visible in the small PIP window as I'm now doing with analog cable.
>
>Will I be able to do this, or am I missing something?
>
You could simply insert the digital box between the splitter and one
of the VCRs and continue to do what you're doing with the analog
unscrambled channels. Many digital cable boxes have A/V outs, so you
wouldn't be limited to recording on a VHF channel from the box RF out.

What you won't be able to do is watch one digital/scrambled channel
while recording another one or put 2 digital/scrambled channels on the
screen with PIP. You would be able to record any analog unscrambled
channel while watching the box or record from the box while watching
an unscrambled analog channel. You would be able to use the box
output for only one of the inputs for PIP mode.

To get full functionality for recording and PIP for all channels, you
need 2 boxes.

Gary E
--
|Gary A. Edelstein
|edelsgNO@SPAMyahoo.com.invalid (remove NO SPAM and .invalid to reply)
|"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Walt Kelly's Pogo
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Anonymous
September 28, 2004 6:29:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 01:26:50 +0100, Adrian C <me@privacy.net> wrote:

>randau wrote:
>
>> I am thinking of converting from Comcast analog cable to digital
>> cable....
>
>My advice? Sling out the video's', get yourself a TiVo. Better than
>trying to sort out this RF modulated mess, and having to invent things
>to do during those long commercial breaks that thankfully we don't have
>this side of the pond.

A Tivo will be no better in the regard of hooking it up.
Anonymous
September 28, 2004 6:34:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

Adrian C wrote:
> My advice? Sling out the video's', get yourself a TiVo. Better than
> trying to sort out this RF modulated mess, and having to invent things
> to do during those long commercial breaks that thankfully we don't have
> this side of the pond.

What is this RF modulated mess you refer to?

-randau
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 12:12:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

Gary J. Tait wrote:
>>
>>My advice? Sling out the video's', get yourself a TiVo. Better than
>>trying to sort out this RF modulated mess, and having to invent things
>>to do during those long commercial breaks that thankfully we don't have
>>this side of the pond.
>
>
> A Tivo will be no better in the regard of hooking it up.

Well, maybe but...

At the end of the day he is trying to avoid watching mindless
commercials. If he wants to live in the previous century (connecting
things at RF in my opinion went out the window in the 1980's) and waste
the investment in an advanced TV with Picture-in-Picture (and probably
Stereo) by doing so, then he is welcome to do so.

A TiVo, apart from allowing rapid skipping of commercials, has plenty of
connectors at composite (CVBS) or superior S-Video and some useful
integration via the remote to make it very easy to switch sources (and
even include a video recorder if necessary). OK, a glorified switch box
- but a saner presentation of your TV service.

Just a suggestion. I'm not saying he *has* to do things this way. ;-)

--

Adrian C
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 12:12:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 20:12:04 +0100, Adrian C <me@privacy.net> wrote:

>Gary J. Tait wrote:
>>>
>>>My advice? Sling out the video's', get yourself a TiVo. Better than
>>>trying to sort out this RF modulated mess, and having to invent things
>>>to do during those long commercial breaks that thankfully we don't have
>>>this side of the pond.
>>
>>
>> A Tivo will be no better in the regard of hooking it up.
>
>Well, maybe but...
>
>At the end of the day he is trying to avoid watching mindless
>commercials.

Possibly true, but his worry right now is hooking it all up.

> If he wants to live in the previous century (connecting
>things at RF in my opinion went out the window in the 1980's) and waste
>the investment in an advanced TV with Picture-in-Picture (and probably
>Stereo) by doing so, then he is welcome to do so.
>
>A TiVo, apart from allowing rapid skipping of commercials, has plenty of
>connectors at composite (CVBS) or superior S-Video and some useful
>integration via the remote to make it very easy to switch sources (and
>even include a video recorder if necessary). OK, a glorified switch box
>- but a saner presentation of your TV service.

Not many more than a VCR has (well, it has two sets of A/V outs, which
I am not using on my Tivo right now, as the heart of my system is a 4
in 2 out A/V switcher.

>
>Just a suggestion. I'm not saying he *has* to do things this way. ;-)
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 7:02:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed reply, Gary. You seem to be
quite knowledgeable on the subject.

Gary A. Edelstein wrote:
> You could simply insert the digital box between the splitter and one
> of the VCRs and continue to do what you're doing with the analog
> unscrambled channels.

Yes, I think that's what I meant when I said a digital cable box
connected through a VCR to the TV input coming from one side of the
cable splitter. If the cable from that side of the splitter is fed
directly into my 2nd TV tuner receptacle, there's a TV outlet that can
be used to also feed it to the cable box input (an internal splitter)
and from there to the VCR and then to the 1st TV tuner receptacle.
Then I'd view or record digital channels using the 1st TV tuner and
while recording, view analog channels using the 2nd TV tuner and/or
from the other side of the cable splitter, use the 2nd VCR for viewing
analog or playing back previous recordings like I'm now doing with my
analog system.

> Many digital cable boxes have A/V outs, so you
> wouldn't be limited to recording on a VHF channel from the box RF out.

I'm currently using A/V connections from my 2nd VCR to an A/V TV
input.

>
> What you won't be able to do is watch one digital/scrambled channel
> while recording another one or put 2 digital/scrambled channels on the
> screen with PIP. You would be able to record any analog unscrambled
> channel while watching the box or record from the box while watching
> an unscrambled analog channel.

I'm mostly planning to do the later (record from the digital box while
watching analog channels) to avoid having to fast forward through all
those annoying commercials while playing back a movie. On the former
(record analog while watching digital) (using the 1st VCR and TV
tuner), is that done by just setting the VCR channel to something
other than channel 3 while still passing the digital channel through
the TV tuner's channel 3?

> You would be able to use the box
> output for only one of the inputs for PIP mode.
>
> To get full functionality for recording and PIP for all channels, you
> need 2 boxes.

I don't think I'll need that, so I won't have to pay for a second
digital box. I have enough boxes already.

Thanks again for the reply,
-randau
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 3:03:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

Adrian C wrote:
> At the end of the day he is trying to avoid watching mindless
> commercials.

That's not the only thing. Of equal significance is the ability to
watch a show at my convenience with the ability to pause when
interrupted and to be able to replay any portion at any time. And, to
be able to watch live TV or prior recordings while recording something
new. All of which can adequately be done with two VCR's.

> If he wants to live in the previous century (connecting
> things at RF in my opinion went out the window in the 1980's) and waste
> the investment in an advanced TV with Picture-in-Picture (and probably
> Stereo) by doing so, then he is welcome to do so.

I make quite good use of my PIP by retaining the live program in the
PIP when switching to tape playback from my VCR during the live
commercials so that I can see when the commercial is over with. Then
switch back to the live program which switches back and forth almost
instantaneously with the press of a remote button.

>
> A TiVo, apart from allowing rapid skipping of commercials, has plenty of
> connectors at composite (CVBS) or superior S-Video and some useful
> integration via the remote to make it very easy to switch sources (and
> even include a video recorder if necessary). OK, a glorified switch box
> - but a saner presentation of your TV service.

I looked into Tivo at some length some time ago and found it wanting
for lack of a 2nd tuner. The only really significant feature that
DVR's have that I can't do with VCR's, that I'm aware of, is to be
able to pause and play back live TV. A DVR with just one tuner can't
record and pause live TV at the same time and I find that
unacceptable. Comcast is suppose to be coming out with a dual tuner
DVR built into its digital cable box which I've been waiting for
before switching to digital cable. But, I'm running out of patience.
So, that's why I'm investigating how my dual VCR system might work
with just a digital cable box.

>
> Just a suggestion. I'm not saying he *has* to do things this way. ;-)

Yes, understood. I'm just trying to find out if anyone sees any flaws
in my perception of what I'm trying to do or any cautions or reasons
why I shouldn't do it.

-randau
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 4:29:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

spamjunkmail2002@yahoo.com (randau) wrote:

> I looked into Tivo at some length some time ago and found it
> wanting for lack of a 2nd tuner.

Dish Network DVRs and DirecTivos have two tuners, allowing you to
watch 1 program and record another simultaneously. You can also send
the 2nd tuner's output to a TV in another room with RF coax or AV
cables. Many of the dual tuner sat DVRs have a 2nd remote that works
via RF, so you can control the 2nd tuner in another room if desired.

Cable is so behind.....
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 12:36:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

On 30 Sep 2004 11:03:23 -0700, spamjunkmail2002@yahoo.com (randau)
wrote:

>Adrian C wrote:
>> At the end of the day he is trying to avoid watching mindless
>> commercials.
>
>That's not the only thing. Of equal significance is the ability to
>watch a show at my convenience with the ability to pause when
>interrupted and to be able to replay any portion at any time. And, to
>be able to watch live TV or prior recordings while recording something
>new. All of which can adequately be done with two VCR's.
>

Or a DVR.

>> If he wants to live in the previous century (connecting
>> things at RF in my opinion went out the window in the 1980's) and waste
>> the investment in an advanced TV with Picture-in-Picture (and probably
>> Stereo) by doing so, then he is welcome to do so.
>
>I make quite good use of my PIP by retaining the live program in the
>PIP when switching to tape playback from my VCR during the live
>commercials so that I can see when the commercial is over with. Then
>switch back to the live program which switches back and forth almost
>instantaneously with the press of a remote button.
>
IMO, you don't need PIP except when there are two live programs, or
possibly watching something live while watching a recording (as you
may be alluding to).


>>
>> A TiVo, apart from allowing rapid skipping of commercials, has plenty of
>> connectors at composite (CVBS) or superior S-Video and some useful
>> integration via the remote to make it very easy to switch sources (and
>> even include a video recorder if necessary). OK, a glorified switch box
>> - but a saner presentation of your TV service.
>
>I looked into Tivo at some length some time ago and found it wanting
>for lack of a 2nd tuner. The only really significant feature that
>DVR's have that I can't do with VCR's, that I'm aware of, is to be
>able to pause and play back live TV. A DVR with just one tuner can't
>record and pause live TV at the same time and I find that
>unacceptable.

As long as its the same program, you can, but on separate channels,
yes, you would need two two DVRs though. IMO, get one or two Tivos, or
one Tivo or one cable DVR.

> Comcast is suppose to be coming out with a dual tuner
>DVR built into its digital cable box which I've been waiting for
>before switching to digital cable. But, I'm running out of patience.
>So, that's why I'm investigating how my dual VCR system might work
>with just a digital cable box.
>

Compared to Tivo, the cable DVRs features are lacking.

>>
>> Just a suggestion. I'm not saying he *has* to do things this way. ;-)
>
>Yes, understood. I'm just trying to find out if anyone sees any flaws
>in my perception of what I'm trying to do or any cautions or reasons
>why I shouldn't do it.
>
>-randau

To be able to independantly record teo digital channels, you will need
two digital channels.
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 7:56:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

randau wrote:
>> Comcast is suppose to be coming out with a dual tuner
>> DVR built into its digital cable box which I've been waiting for
>> before switching to digital cable. But, I'm running out of patience.
>> So, that's why I'm investigating how my dual VCR system might work
>> with just a digital cable box.

Gary J. Tait wrote:
> Compared to Tivo, the cable DVRs features are lacking.

Please elaborate. What features are lacking?


>
> To be able to independantly record teo digital channels, you will need
> two digital channels.

I'm not sure why you said that.
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 3:42:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

On 1 Oct 2004 15:56:21 -0700, spamjunkmail2002@yahoo.com (randau)
wrote:

>randau wrote:
>>> Comcast is suppose to be coming out with a dual tuner
>>> DVR built into its digital cable box which I've been waiting for
>>> before switching to digital cable. But, I'm running out of patience.
>>> So, that's why I'm investigating how my dual VCR system might work
>>> with just a digital cable box.
>
>Gary J. Tait wrote:
>> Compared to Tivo, the cable DVRs features are lacking.
>
>Please elaborate. What features are lacking?
>
>

Features regarding choosing program recording, namely Season passes
(which essentially records a program by name, and can account for it
moving around the shcedule, and for repeats.) Wishlists, which can
record programs for you based on title/actors/directors, or keywords,
even if the Tivo doesn't know about them yet, and suggestions, which
will record programs you might like, based on your viewing habits.
There is also search, where you can search based on title (don't know
if cable DVRs have that), but Tivo begins searching when you enter the
first letter.

>>
>> To be able to independantly record teo digital channels, you will need
>> two digital channels.
>
>I'm not sure why you said that.
Anonymous
October 3, 2004 4:32:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

spamjunkmail2002@yahoo.com (randau) wrote:

randau wrote:
> I'm investigating how my dual VCR
> system might work with just a digital cable box.

You would have to rent 2 digital cable boxes to record two digital
channels at the same time. You would also have to rent 2 digital cable
boxes to watch one digital channel while recording another.

To auto-record a future program(s), you would not only have to program
the VCR(s) to come on at the correct certain time, you would also have
to make sure the cable box associated with the VCR is tuned to the
future channel to be recorded and left on. You would have to do this
every week to record a whole season's episodes. With a 2-tuner
DirecTivo, you just hit 1 or 2 buttons and you're done, even if you
want to record the whole season of a show (and the Tivo automatically
skips reruns).

If you want to continue to use 2 VCRs, it's a big PITA using multiple
SetTopBoxes. And the rental cost of 2 digital cable boxes (at least in
my area) is almost double the $5 monthly 2-tuner DirecTivo fee.
Anonymous
October 3, 2004 8:40:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

Gary J.Tait wrote:
> Features regarding choosing program recording, namely Season passes
> (which essentially records a program by name, and can account for it
> moving around the shcedule, and for repeats.) Wishlists, which can
> record programs for you based on title/actors/directors, or keywords,
> even if the Tivo doesn't know about them yet, and suggestions, which
> will record programs you might like, based on your viewing habits.
> There is also search, where you can search based on title (don't know
> if cable DVRs have that), but Tivo begins searching when you enter the
> first letter.

I don't think I'd use any of those features except for the last one
(search). Mostly I just record movies and documentaries that appeal
to me (not series shows). But, I would be interested in the search
feature to confirm the scheduling of a movie that too often appears
incorrectly in the weekly Cable Program Guide that's mailed to me.
I'll have to ask if the Comcast digital Interactive Program Guide has
such a search feature. Thanks for the input.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 8:29:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.video.digital-tv,uk.tech.digital-tv,rec.video.cable-tv,alt.tv.tech.misc (More info?)

randau (spamjunkmail2002@yahoo.com) wrote in alt.video.digital-tv:
> I don't think I'd use any of those features except for the last one
> (search). Mostly I just record movies and documentaries that appeal
> to me (not series shows).

So, tell TiVo to do it automatically. I have TiVo record every first-run
dog show for my wife. I have it record every live Texas A&M sporting
event for me. It hasn't missed one of either show yet.

--
Jeff Rife |
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