Why not? I mean, if it didn't do what they needed, or supplies (i.e.
tapes) were hard to get hold of, then OK - but you say it worked great,
so I assume neither of those were a problem (otherwise it wouldn't be
Yes, that's logical. Tapes will work and they might even be an economical
choice at the moment. But, the TV signal has to go through the converter
box for analog recording and the tapes have to be played back via the analog
TV. Once that TV dies, there's a useless VCR and a stack of tapes that
would have to be converted.
Yes, I know there are analog to digital converters. I have one of those,
but I'm less than happy with the picture quality.
I appreciate all of the good suggestions. Seems like the market still needs
some better choices though.
On 1/16/2012 11:19 AM, email@example.com wrote:
you should try to believe 2 impossible things before breakfast. to wit:
Los Angeles Times Articles
VHS era is winding down
The last big supplier of the tapes is ditching the format, ending the
long fade-out of a product that ushered in the home theater.
December 22, 2008 Geoff Boucher
Pop culture is finally hitting the eject button on the VHS tape, the
once ubiquitous home video format that will finish this month as a
creaky ghost of Christmas past.
After three decades of steady if unspectacular service, the spinning
wheels of the home entertainment stalwart are slowing to a halt at
retail outlets. On a crisp Friday morning in October, the final
truckload of VHS tapes rolled out of a Palm Harbor, Fla., warehouse run
by Ryan J. Kugler, the last major supplier of the tapes.
Very interesting. Good to know.
I actually recorded one of the Rep. debates on my VCR (with
dig-to-analog converter box) just before New Hampshire. The DVDR was
being used to record a show I watch every week.
And I still have about 8 once-blank tapes, and since I almost never
save anything after I watch it, and since one tape lasted me a year or
two even when I used it every day, they should last a long time.
I also have a box of 20 or 30 tapes that someone else recorded on.
Eventually I'll watch each of them once, or less if it's boring, and
then I'll have more "blank tapes".
The story that they could only be used 4 or 5 times was so so false.
I recorded and rerecorded mine 40 or 50 times or more before they
failed. Until failure, the picture quality seemed unchanged to me.
I should be able to last the rest of my life with what I have.
i don't read the LA Times and I don't know what they are talking about
and apparently neither do they. I just typed "buy vhs tapes" into
google and apparently TDK
and Maxell are available to buy. Also who the hell is Ryan
I suggest you and chaniarts go read the actual LA times
article again. While it starts off saying the last truckload
of VHS tapes is leaving the warehouse, by the end of the
article it's clear the article is actually talking about
PRE-RECORDED VHS TAPES, ie those with movies
on them. Which explains who Kugler is. He's a guy
who bought up the old movies and is selling them off
out of his warehouse.
That poorly written, misleading article was written over
3 years ago and major retailers are still obviously stocking
blank VHS tapes from many different manufacturers,
Maxell, TDK, Sony, etc.
There are several issues to consider.
The most of important is, "What do you mean by the plural 'shows'?"
If you want to record multiple shows AT THE SAME TIME, you've got
Can you view ALL the channels you want to record with one antenna
direction? If you've got multipath and have to turn the antenna
to get a channel, that makes multiple channel recordings, or unattended
recording of a single channel problematic.
Whatever you use has to have an internal or external ATSC tuner.
You can't buy a new VCR with an ATSC, at least not at a rational price.
Thank your legislators for preventing vendors including tuners that
didn't do ATSC. So the vendors left 'em out.
That makes programming a nightmare. You have to program the VCR AND the
tuner simultaneously. I tried it for a while, but gave up trying to get
I tried a couple of DVD recorders without success. If there was ANY glitch
in the recording process, like a bad spot on the DVD or a pixelation
due to a plane flying over or ANYTHING not perfect, the recorder
gave up and aborted. I ended up with the first few minutes of a show
before it ALWAYS found some reason to abort. There was no recovery process.
I ended up with two VCRs and four digital converter boxes.
I could set two channels on each recorder and program the VCR to record
either channel. That worked fine, but since I'm home while the recordings
are happening, I ditched two of the converter boxes and switch it
I also have a TV tuner card in my PC. ATI HDTV wonder. It works
mostly, but if I do much else on the computer, the recording skips.
Also skips a lot on some channels.
I've tried a couple of other cards without success. Either no drivers
or too resource hungry to run on a 2.8GHz computer. There's a lot of
difference in the ability of a given tuner to get a reliable picture
in a multipath area.
Some of the older cable boxes will let you tune OTA hdtv without
service. So, I have a Hughes HTL-HD plumbed into the monitor.
So, I can record one HD channel on the computer if it's on a good
Two lowD channels on the VCRs and watch one HD channel on the computer
The more popular shows can be viewed on network websites if you have
Most people would find this setup unacceptable.
People who report being happy have multiple dual-tuner cards
(with hardware assist) in a
dedicated multi-core PC.
But it ain't cheap.
It won't be too long before you can stream anything you want on demand.
But it will never be at a cost I'm willing to pay.
Yes, it's the cost thing that bugs both my friend and me. Your information
is excellent though. My friend knows as much about computers as his cat;
but he can carefully follow a set of instructions. He does use a roof
antenna to feed his sets (the analog set is fed through a converter box) and
doesn't need to reposition the antenna to get all the stations in the area.
He's perfectly willing to record with one set and watch the other if two
shows are on at the same time. But, he's more likely to do time shifting
and want to set a timer to record a show while he's at work or away for
So far from the comments here, I see two choices given his interests and
capabilities: (1) Get a TIVO or cable TV recorder system and pay the big
bucks forever (2) Cobble together his new ditital TV, and a DVD or DVR
player along with a computer and a honking-big hard drive for storage. Use
the computer for control and moving files. I don't see yet how to set up a
recording schedule, but maybe there's some software around. It sounds like
streaming from the internet could be done with the same rig.
If you use a Windows platform, most non-basic versions of Windows 7 come with
Media Center, which both downloads a program guide for free and permits single
episode or series recording of any OTA program. It will also transcode a
recorded program such that it can be burned onto a regular DVD. Takes a while,
but works fine.
My experience has been that you need more than a hyperthreaded 2.8GHZ P4
to run that resource hog. Way too much eye-candy and not enough svelt
Support for TV cards is also limited.
But I do get a nice bunch of expanding graphics menus on the way to,
"No TV card Installed".
M$'s idea of plugandplay hardware support is minimum functionality at the
lowest-common-denominator of features and no way to access the good
stuff...on a limited subset of existing hardware.
I never got MythTV to work properly either with any of my TV cards.
People using payware solutions on specific cards report better results.
With Tivo you can buy a lifetime subscription for
about $300. And the older units definitely worked
without a subscription, but it's then just a dumb
time/channel machine. I've heard the new Tivos
won't work without the subscription, but not sure
if that's true.
The problem for you is that the cost of a new Tivo
with lifetimes is around $550- $600. That can be
recovered in 3 - 4 years if you're replacing a cable
box DVR. I'm saving $14 a month. In your case,
with just antenna, it's a different proposition. You
can check Ebay for used Tivos as well.
do what i did buy a used tivo for 30 bucks whos service has
activate for 1 month as monthly. if it works well buy lifetime 300
this gets your costs down to just over 300 bucks
craigslist has lots of tivos cheap.
I'd be a bit careful. That $30 Tivo was not HD, right?
And the older ones that are not HD may not be
compatible with an external ATSC tuner. I no for a
fact that at least some of the early ones will not
work with an external ATSC tuner/converter. If it
were me, before spending $300, I'd want something
HD compatible. Also, there are Tivos on Ebay that
include the lifetime subscription, whether new, used
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