(OT) How do DVRs work?

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yeah you match the account code between the 2 boxes and bam you have 4 tuners networked
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On 9/7/2011 8:02 AM, bob haller wrote:

What I resent with all of the newer cablecard and other digital DVRs is the leash that runs back to the content provider. I started out with MythTV I built myself which allowed you to do anything with the content. It even had a feature where it would scan the recording and edit out the commercials or insert auto skip points if you wanted.
They can also set expire flags so the content is unavailable after a number of plays or certain time.

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On 9/7/2011 5:54 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I think we watch way less than an hour of live TV/week. The DVR records what we tell it. Then watch or not whenever. I built the first one based on something called MythTV when few even heard the term "DVR" and then a number of them for friends after they saw it.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in wrote:

You shouldn't feel too bad. I've been wondering all of this, too!
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2011 02:14:33 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Since I have a DTV converter for my older tv set, is there a way to pipe that DTV box right into a computer? If so, what sort of card would be needed on the computer? I wouldn't mind taking an older computer and making it specific for recording tv programs.
I do NOT have any cable or satellite, just an antenna connected to a DTV box.
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On 9/7/2011 10:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote: (snip)

Some people over in the computer or TV groups could give you better advice, but yeah- just search CL or eBay for a Hauppage (sp?) TV tuner card for whatever spare PC you have. The non-HD Hauppage cards are going dirt cheap these days. Depending on the card, you can feed in from the converter box via coax or the other usual flavor of cables. Downside to this approach is that the resolution isn't the greatest (at least on the one somebody gave me), and you have to watch the show on the computer. I'm no expert- maybe some of them let you pipe it back out to the TV. And they are pretty piggy on hard drive space, at least by the standards of older computers.
--
aem sends...

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wrote:

My son 'watches his computer' on his TV. $3-400 will get a new big-screen that will serve as TV and monitor.

Yeahbut-- who cares about HDD space these days. $100 will get you a 2TB external drive from Newegg. [$80 for internal]
I think that might be the best bet from what the OP is saying.
Jim
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wrote:

I agree, I have a $60 Compaq D500 connected to the PC port of my big screen for internet TV (Hulu etc) and Netflix streaming. It is also my MP3 player since the big screen feeds an audio system.
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On 9/7/2011 11:10 PM, aemeijers wrote:

Much better to go with the HD version Happauge card or adapter. They aren't expensive. First the quality issue as you noted. Quality will be much better because those boxes were a kludge to convert DTV to modulated NTSC. So using the RF input (none of those boxes offer any other outputs by design) would mean two conversions with the first having degraded the signal a lot. Second, there is a lot less tinkering because the popular distros know how to change channels directly using the Happauge card.
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On 9/8/2011 8:46 AM, George wrote: (snip)

Uh, wrong- all of the low-end DTV boxes I have also offer the VCR-style R-W-Y cable option. Noticeably better picture than the 'channel 3' game-style RF output. If his old TV has inputs for R-W-Y of course. My ancient Hauppage has the jacks, which I assume are for input, but have never really played with.
--
aem sends...
would mean two conversions with the first
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2011 21:38:54 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

I bought a video capture card for a PC for about $30 at Gearxs.com.
You can spend just about as much as you want on these things. The Tivo/Replay DVRs are easier to deal with because they are plug and play. You can get a Replay on Ebay pretty cheap these days because DNNA has threatened to drop the TV Guide service. Also finding the blaster code for changing a converter box may be a trick, depending on your converter brand. If you just want a manual record machine, it would be hard to beat an old Replay TV 4xxx or 5xxx. They have automatic commercial skip and they will port shows out to your PC so you can burn off DVDs. I have a 4xxx myself The guide is pretty cool tho, as long as it lasts. There are a bunch of hackers out there who have a work around if it stops.
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On 9/7/2011 10:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Just get a EchoStar TR-50 DVR
http://ces.cnet.com/8301-13855_1-9840910-67.html
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On Sep 7, 1:27am, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

They record to a internal hard drive. Most have two tuners which is what allows them to record things while you watch something else or record two things at one.
They do not allow you to edit the recording and most do not make it convenient to move the recorded shows to some other media so that you can edit it. Most people fast forward through the commercials.
Some people never watch live tv, they have the shows they want to watch set to record. Then they watch them later and fast forward through the commercials. I do it a lot myself. A 30 minutes show takes about 20 minutes to watch.
As others have pointed out, they really are just a specialized pc. That's the case for most everything electronic these days, smart phones, ipods, tablets, dvrs, even newer tvs all are just specialized pcs.
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Basicly they are similar to a specialized PC, digitizing, compressing and storing video to a large HD.
I have the Tivo Premier which records up to 45 hours of HD TV. It will record many times that of non-HD. It has the capability of supporting 2 tuners. If you're just using an antenna as the OP does, then the tuners are already there. If you use cable, you get a cablecard tuner that's about the size of one of the old PCMCIA cards that plugs in. Cable company here, Cablevision, charges 2 or 3 dollars a month for the card. But it replaces the basic cable box which they charged 2 or 3 dollars a month more for, so you come out ahead on that. And if you compare it to Cablevisions DVR cable box, you come out 7 or 8 dollars ahead, because they charge $5 a month more for their DVR box. It also works with Satelite, I think Tivo is still supplying the box that comes bundled with DirectTV.
Everyone who has actually used one that I know of agrees that it has the best user interface and functionality of any of the DVRs. For example, I can search for what I want by name, actor, subject, etc. Usually after only 5 or 6 characters it's narrowed it down and found it. It will search not only the cable or broadcast guide, but also internet sources like YouTube. It uses an internet connection (required) and will play those YouTube videos as well as vidoes you can pay for from Amazon, Netflix, etc. Best part is the season's pass. After you find a show, you can sign up for a season's pass. It will then record it each time it's on, without regard to any shift in days or time. For example, if Hell's Kitchen isn't on next week, it won't record it. And if the following week it's on for 2 hours instead of one, or plays on a different day, it will correctly record it. It then organizes all the saved shows in an easy to find format.
You can also pause live TV while you go get a drink, etc. Or you pause one show and go to another one because it has two tuners. I do that occasionally. With the commercials it works out that you can watch two shows in about 1.5 times what it would take to watch just one.
If you're traveling and want to record something you can reach your Tivo through the Tivo website and tell it to record from there. If you have 2 of them, you can start watching something on one and then finish watching it on the other.
The downside is that it isn't cheap. To get the prgramming schedules, which is essentially necessary to use the unit, requires a subscription to the Tivo service. That is available monthly or for the lifetime of the Tivo unit. The unit with lifetime service is about $550. For me it's well worth it because being an existing customer I got it for around $400, it's saving me about $8 per month compared to the cable company and will pay for itself in 4 years. The Tivo Premier storage can be expanded with an external HD too, they have an XL that stores 150 hours of HD, etc. But for me the 45 hours works fine.
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On Wed, 7 Sep 2011 05:41:05 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

This is where I get lost. If I'm just connected to an antenna, I cant get the service. All I want to do is be able to record something off the air, either by pushing a "record" button, or setting a program timer. Why would I een need a service to do that? I can look up the local tv station websites to find out when they are going to be showing a movie I want to see, or whatever..... I'd also like to be able to copy a movie or segement off the local news to save as a file, or burn it to a dvd.
This is why I asked about using an old computer to do this. I can add a big hard drive, and imagine I need some sort of card, and some software (not sure what)? I can sort is see using my DTV converter box as the tuner, but not sure how to connect it to the PC. Yea, I'd only get one program at a time with the DTV box, but that's plenty.
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I think you have the layout wrong. The DTV converter is not a tuner, just a converter. The card should be able to receive the signal and send it to the HD. If you had a newer TV, that is all you'd need, but since you don't, you still need the DTV converter after the PC and before your TV.
One of the electronics newsgroups can probably give you better information on how to do what you want..
I see others mentioned having some sort of service. With cable or satellite, you get all sorts of nifty option, but they do come at the price of a subscription. Things like series recordings, program information, choosing to record only new shows, no re-runs, etc. is very nice to have. Of course, with cable you get the better channels, like History, Travel, Discovery, Science, etc. Without them, I could do away with the TV as the networks have little to offer.
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wrote:

If you have the Guv'mint "converter", it has a tuner in it. You snatch the digital signal over the air and down convert it to NTSC for your old TV or old DVR/VCR.
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On Thu, 08 Sep 2011 17:31:23 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I was scratching my head as Ed said that it's not a tuner. My Guv'mint "converter", does have a tuner in it. The tv is ALWAYS set to AUX. All channel changes are done on the DTV converter.
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I was confusing it with something else. You know you can trust the Guv'mint to give you what you need.
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wrote:

I agree the networks have little to offer, but in the last couple years they came out with THIS-TV and ME-TV. I love those oldies programs. That's about all I watch now. But that's just what I want this DVR for. For example, I have around 20 video tapes just for Mister ED the talking horse. (my favorite program). It sure would be nice to be able ot remove all the commercials, and burn that huge stack of tapes to a few dvds. But I've never found a way to connect a vcr to a computer either (other than the audio portion).
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