Dinosaur needs help with video components

roamdog

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Dec 29, 2004
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Dinosaur needs your advice. My VCR has died. Yes, I know that nobody uses a VCR anymore and I know that I eventually was going to need to upgrade to a DVR. However, I was hoping to wait until 2009 when the big transmission changeover takes place. Anyway, I was expecting to spend about $50 to get a basic replacement VCR. Unfortunately, it is apparently no longer possible to purchase a plain old 4-head VCR (at least one that is not a refurb--I know that many people have great success with refurbs but they have been a disaster at my house and I cannot go down that path).
In fact, it appears that it is not even possible to purchase a VCR/DVD combo that has an analog tuner in it anymore. I have basic analog cable so I do not have a set-top box. Therefore I really need the tuner that used to be standard in every VCR sold a couple years ago. Or I need to do something radically different.
So, where do I go from here?
The functional capability that I need to replace is to be able to watch TV and record a separate channel at the same time. A bonus would be the ability to watch one channel and record 2 different other shows on 2 different other channels (a total of 3). I currently have a Vizio 37-inch LCD 1080i and a plain-old (non-upconverting) DVD player. DVD is connected to TV via HDMI cable. And the VCR was connected via old-school RCA cables (Composite Video).

Can you help me with answers to some (probably newbie/basic) questions:
1. Do (most) DVRs come with one or more internal tuners?
2. Do DVRs work with basic analog cable?
3. What DVR models should I consider to replace my VCR (and or what factors should I consider to make the decision around what DVR) given that I do NOT have a 1080p TV and don't have an audio receiver in the mix?
4. Are separate standalone tuners available? If so, what models (if this question even makes any sense at all)?

 

rexter

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Mar 17, 2006
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“Unfortunately, it is apparently no longer possible to purchase a plain old 4-head VCR (at least one that is not a refurb--" Depending on where you are from. Try Garage Sale. You might get VCR for 5 - 10 dollars, but since you'll use it for recording I could understand you need it brand new.

I gave my 6 head multi format bought in Europe to my ex since she still have some VHS left and keep my 4 head because of the easy to find F type connector, for my girl since she still wants to watch her old Disney movies. I'm still lucky it still working since I'm not really looking forward of replacing all my daughter movies to DVD or HD.

“A bonus would be the ability to watch one channel and record 2 different other shows on 2 different other channels (a total of 3)." That might be possible in the future if there's enough demands.

"Can you help me with answers to some (probably newbie/basic) questions:" I'll answer that to my best knowledge.

Ans. 1 One, Most If not all only comes with one tuner. Some may have two but only one will play or record and one to play only in small screen to view when you change channel.
Ans. 2 mostly as long the tuner that comes with the DVR is not HD.
Ans. 3 HD (High Definition) recorder because SD (Standard Definition) will be phase out in two years or so. Anything higher than 480 line of resolution is considered High Definition. Although HD standard start at 720 resolution.
Ans. 4 Yes, obviously still called Cable Converter. Ask you local provider for one.
 
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