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Recording from TV (Read 646 times)

    I may finally have to catch up to the 21st century now that my TV setup is slowly dying, but I need some expert advice... So, here's my caveman-era question:

     

    If I am to buy one of these fancy new TVs, how do you record TV shows?

     

    Currently I get shows off the air with rabbit ears (antenna -> hd tuner -> tv), and I can record off the tuner (which refuses to turn on occasionally) or from the TV out using a dvd-recorder or a vhs-recorder (don't laugh...). It seems that "TV out" is extinct in the new TVs, and the tuners are all built-in. I assume without cable/dish, DVRs/TiVos-like stuff are out of the question, is that right? So is recording off the TV possible?

     

    I'm not inclined to buy a new TV and then needing to subscribed to something or build a fancy setup around it just to record Wild Kratts... The one solution I can think of is just replace the current HD tuner with a cheap HD converter and not bother with getting a new TV at all...


    Feeling the growl again

      Does your TV have RCA jacks (red/yellow/white colored)?  If so, any remotely modern recording device should be able to take the signal from these to record.

       

      I am not sure on the whole DVR-off-non-cable question.  Theoretically I think it should work but you lose a lot of the functionality (listings etc) they are set up to use and I am not sure they function without that.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        My current 10-year-old TV does have composite out, so does my HD tuner box, that's how I get the signal out to the DVD-recorder to record shows right now. It's basically analogous to a TV+VCR setup in the 80's. Right now my tuner box is dying/dead, so I'm not getting any over-the-air TV channels anymore. To make the whole setup work again, I'll need a new tuner, that's why I'm also considering a new TV (nice-to-have but not necessary), which has built-in tuner. It seemed simple at first but then I realized there's no TV-out from the new TVs anymore, so I can watch but not record OTA shows. Cable/Dish/TiVo seems overkill to pay monthly for something I've been getting off the air for free, especially considering we don't really watch TV except for a couple of kids shows on PBS. So now I'm not sure if I want to get a new TV anymore. I guess I'll just have to replace my tuner with another one or downgrade to a cheaper simple HD converter box.

          Your example of TV -> VCR seems backwards to me because you'll have to connect your VCR back to your TV to view what you recorded.  I think the most common TV recording configuration is:

          (antenna | cable) -> recording device -> TV

           

          If you use this scheme, you can use any recording device you like, such as DVR or TiVO.  In my case, I use my computer as a DVR and TV.  If you're computer savvy, you can buy yourself a TV card (they come as either an accessory card or a USB device), install some bundled software that comes with the card (or Windows Media Center if your version of Windows comes with it), and you can watch, schedule and record TV shows on your computer.  If you want to watch it on your new TV, you can use an HDMI cable to connect your computer to your TV (assuming your computer is modern enough to have an HDMI port, if not, you can always buy another card for that).  There are even remote controls that connect to your computer so you can change the channels.

           

          Anyway, there are plenty of solutions these days and they don't require a cable connection.  What you end up with depends on how much you want to spend.


          Feeling the growl again

            You learn something new every day.

             

            Which begs the question....why don't you run your antenna into your VCR, and then to your TV?  Use the tuner on your VCR to surf channels and leave the TV on 3.  Then you can record on the VCR.  That's exactly what we did back in the day.  Our old Betamax VCR had a better tuner than our TV and brought in a couple extra channels so we used it into the 90s.  Big grin

             

            As the VCR is not digital (at least I don't think any are), I do not believe you can use a DVR this way.  But I could be wrong.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

              You learn something new every day.

               

              Which begs the question....why don't you run your antenna into your VCR, and then to your TV?  Use the tuner on your VCR to surf channels and leave the TV on 3.  Then you can record on the VCR.  That's exactly what we did back in the day.  Our old Betamax VCR had a better tuner than our TV and brought in a couple extra channels so we used it into the 90s.  Big grin

               

              As the VCR is not digital (at least I don't think any are), I do not believe you can use a DVR this way.  But I could be wrong.

              You got that right, Spaniel.  So did Jack.  TV is the last thing you need to be concerned with--it's just a tube that SHOWS.  The signal would have to come into the recorder.  TV shouldn't have the "OUT"-let.  TV only receive and show.  I have 3 VCRs all connected, as well as DVD recorder, and TiVo and, well, all sorts of stuff.  I tape from video to video; video to DVD, DVD to video...all sorts of stuff.  My mom in Japan doesn't know how to use a DVD player (I don't even know if she has one) so I have to put it in VHS in order to show her her granddaughter's performance.  I got tons of marathons, etc., on VHS so I'm in the middle of putting them all on DVDs.  I have Blu Ray and DVD recorder connected as well.  It's all the matter of following "IN" and "OUT", where you want the signals to come out and into where.  That's all there's to it.  Then you play around to make sure it record what you want; and you're set.  Don't just do it in your head (especially when you can't), always try it a few times to make sure it works.

               

              Digital is another matter...  You can always put the "old-fashion" technology into new technology (i.e.: VHS to DVD).  But you can't always to new to old (digital to DVD/VHS).  You CAN but you'll need a special device.  I think it costs like $300.  My daughter's been in some college performances (not running, opera) and they live-stream.  I have no choice but "video-record" the screen--that's the only way I can record it and then put it on VHS and send it to my mom.  I MAY purchase this "device" IF my daughter actually got some major role!! ;o)  

                Thanks guys for the suggestions and links. I was hoping to "simplify" the description of my setup in the original post but I guess a convoluted description is now needed.

                 

                My current setup:

                (A) Antenna goes to HD tuner (a standalone set top box). The tuner is what's broken right now.

                (B) Digital HDMI output of HD tuner goes to HDMI input of TV

                (C) Analog RCA output of HD tuner goes to RCA input of DVD-recorder (the VCR)

                (D) Output of "VCR" goes to analog RCA input of TV

                (E) Irrelevant: I also hook up the analog TV-out to the VCR to record other digital inputs to the TV

                 

                To answer jackalope's question of why this is so backward: I use (B) when I watch live TV because I get the higher definition. I use (C) to record shows because I can't record the digital HDMI output. I use (D) to watch the recorded show which is of lower quality, but I'm ok with that.

                 

                To answer spaniel: "why don't you run your antenna into your VCR, and then to your TV?" This is effectively what I have now (see above, antenna -> tuner -> VCR -> tv), so we're on the same page I think. It's just that since I need to replace the tuner, I figured I may as well replace the old TV also (new one with a built-in tuner), but I'm changing my mind now if I'll lose the ability to record shows.

                 

                I have found some useful info today though. It appears that users can record (and playback) TV shows via the TV's USB connection to an external USB drive (very cheap nowadays), which is a good solution, but it's available on European models only, the feature is disabled in US models... 

                 

                Then I found out about boxee. It has a tuner to decode and record OTA channels, which got me excited for 5 minutes until I found out that it records to the cloud for a monthly fee and has no local recording option (not to USB drive nor analog out to VCR)

                 

                Why has recording TV become so complicated?....

                  You got that right, Spaniel.  So did Jack.  TV is the last thing you need to be concerned with--it's just a tube that SHOWS.  The signal would have to come into the recorder. 

                   

                  That's the problem I'm having figuring out the new TVs. The tuner and the TV is ONE unified unit now, how do I get a signal out to a recorder when the TV doesn't have an output?


                  Feeling the growl again

                     

                     

                    Why has recording TV become so complicated?....

                     

                    Because they don't want you freeloading broadcast signals, and certainly not recording them.  

                     

                    You're supposed to be paying >$100/month for cable and a DVR system and stimulating the economy like a responsible American.  Big grin

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                      Because they don't want you freeloading broadcast signals, and certainly not recording them.  

                       

                      You're supposed to be paying >$100/month for cable and a DVR system and stimulating the economy like a responsible American.  Big grin

                       

                      I see, how irresponsible of me to also not have a landline for phone!

                       

                      MTA: and a data and txt plans for my cell just like everyone else...


                      Feeling the growl again

                        That's the problem I'm having figuring out the new TVs. The tuner and the TV is ONE unified unit now, how do I get a signal out to a recorder when the TV doesn't have an output?

                         

                        You need a unit in front of the TV (wiring-wise) with outputs.  This is beyond my experience, but I did a quick search and THIS may be your solution...albiet not a cheap one.  DVR capability, keep yourself off cable....$400 may sound expensive but compared to getting cable it will pay for itself in a few months.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                          You need a unit in front of the TV (wiring-wise) with outputs.  This is beyond my experience, but I did a quick search and THIS may be your solution...albiet not a cheap one.  DVR capability, keep yourself off cable....$400 may sound expensive but compared to getting cable it will pay for itself in a few months.

                           

                          Ah ha, thanks. This got me searching different terms in google and I found something similar and cheaper, now it's a more presentable plan to DW...


                          Feeling the growl again

                            Ah ha, thanks. This got me searching different terms in google and I found something similar and cheaper, now it's a more presentable plan to DW...

                             

                            I am glad that such a tech ignoramous as me could be useful.  The cheaper unit has questionable reviews but YMMV.....personally I have found little value in internet reviews though I admit that they still influence me.

                            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand