VCR OTA Connection

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VHS recording Yes, I still have one of those 'ancient' gadgets and it still works....BUT. ..since the Time Warner/CBS 'warfare' I am now stuck on how I can record so me of my favorite shows on CBS from time to time. ON cable it was all set u p to record CBS, but now I am using my OTA connection to view CBS ( I live In NYC ). My wires are coming straight from the VHS recorder to my TV and m y cable channels can get recorded...BUT, i am stumped doing the same now wi th my OTA connection.BTW, I am using my RCA cables, not hdmi, nor component connections. ( VCR has neither ) Do I need some kind of an adapter...A/B s witch???or something? MY TV is Samsung 55" LCD.
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you will need a digital converter to convert OTA digital content to analog yur vcr can record.
altough it costs more a TIVO is far more convenient:)
picture quality is better, no tapes to mess with, easy skipping past commercials.
DVRs have become very popular for excellent reasons:)
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On Sunday, August 18, 2013 4:02:13 PM UTC-4, bob haller wrote:

g yur vcr can record.

ercials.

MY TV is digital and i do see my digital channels over my OTA setup. So if i can see it, wouldn't a non digital vcr able to record it? It is now set u p to record my digital cable chnls..but since CBS can only be seen on my OT A, I am hoping to record that chnl that way.
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On 8/18/13 6:44 PM, novel wrote:

Does the TV have RCA *output* jacks ?? or composite coax *output* jacks ?? if not then the fact you have a digital TV is no help. OTA converted to digital in 2009, and unless your VCR has a digital tuner, it can't record the OTA signal. Assuming your VCR *inputs* are analog, you need something that outputs analog to record from.
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do your digital channels come from a cable box? the cable box converts it to a format the tv can see
in any case you can buy a low cost digital to analog converter to get your Cbs channel.
it will probably be easier to devote a dedicated Vcr for recording this one channel
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wrote:

I bet you can find one of those Guv'mint converters on Ebay for a couple of bucks. Right after the conversion they were almost free with the government coupon and lots of people got one or even 2. Now they don't use them. unless they are in New York ;-)
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On Mon, 19 Aug 2013 02:08:44 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

They must still be using them because they are no way near as cheap as you predicted them. Back in 2010 my friend and I had no plans to to go to digital and like you, we predicted extra converter boxes would be reallly cheap, as soon as people had mire time to buy digital tvs. But it hasn't happened. The very cheapest I see is 17 dollars and that has no remote. Most are a lot more. Even the remotes alone start at 12 dollars.
In addition, I joined Freecycle, a very busy subgroup, and I've seen about 5 requests for boxes, but no more than one offer in the past 3 years.
Some mba or economist should write a thesis on this.
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wrote:

NYC has very good over the air tv reception.

Where do you mean? Are you running both your cable and your antenna to your VCR?. I think no one does that, because the cable signal will get lost. Right? Below you seem to say No. Unless you have the antenna signal going through a digital converter box first. Please elaborate because I record the digital broadcast tv on my VCR too, but I use a digital to analog converter first, one of the ones that they gave 40 dollar coupons for.
Or do you mean you're running both your cable and your VCR output to your television?
My answer will vary depending on which of these situations is yours.
Please let me know**
You coudl definitely use an A/B switch, but then you have the need to be home and remember to set the switch for your next recording,
If it is input to the VCR, if this works, you might be better off with a splittler, used as a merger/combiner, and put the cable in one input, the antenna in the other and the common connector to the VCR.
When signals were analog, I tried this with one tv and its own rabbit ears and a signal from the VCR in the other room, both coming in through a splittler. I got interference.
I might have been using a splitter designed for the wrong frequencies. I'm not sure two kinds exist, one for antenna frequencies and one for the RF between the VCR etc. and the tv input.
Or it might be that the splitter I was using was too cheap. Only a dollar maybe.
I had to go to the A/B switch, but this was a TV I watched, so I was always there to change the switch. If it was too the VCR, I would have tried harder to get the spliter to work.

You can split (merge) a lot of things. You can take two TV antennas and merge their signals if say one is designed to get local stations and the other a directional antenna meant for one direction 30 miles away. Not useful in NYC.
BTW, I used to live in Brooklyn. From the roof of my building I could see the WTC. I found an abandoned tv antenna on the roof, whose wire went right by my window and I connected that and got perfect pictures on all channels.
My friend still lives there on E. 57th. He gets great reception from the Empiire State Building. (no cable.)
** because I want to record more (I have a DVDR, but I think the signal amp in the attic has failed and the VCR gives better reception. Plus once in a great while I want to record two channels at once. (Don't tell about cable recorders that do that. I'm not spending the money.) but I don't have the right remote for that, and can't get the machine out of the fastest speed, 2 hours for a whole casstte. I have 3 other VCRs and plan to use one of them.
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On Monday, August 19, 2013 7:21:22 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

UT...since the Time Warner/CBS 'warfare' I am now stuck on how I can record some of my favorite shows on CBS from time to time. ON cable it was all se t up to record CBS, but now I am using my OTA connection to view CBS ( I li ve In NYC ).

e channels can get recorded...BUT, i am stumped doing the same now with my OTA connection.BTW, I am using my RCA cables, not hdmi, nor component conne ctions. ( VCR has neither ) Do I need some kind of an adapter...A/B switch? ??

Yeah, I don't get what he means either. In every case where I've used a VCR, the VCR had a tuner. The signal flow was from the antenna to the VCR to the TV for that mode. And from the cable box, to the VCR to the TV for that mode. The TV didn't output anything to the VCR. For the VCR to be able to record anything today, it needs a tuner somewhere that is a digital ATSC tuner that can receive the signal and output that signal to the VCR. If he has an older NTSC TV, then he has no ATSC tuner at all. If he has an newer TV that has a digital ATSC tuner, then it may work IF the TV provides a video output that is std, not HD and it's on a video output that he can connect the VCR to. I would think the chance of that is small. And even then, he would have to have the TV tuned to whatever he wants to record, ie the VCR is not going to be able to tune in to different channels at different times to do programmed recording.
And I second Bob's recommendation of a Tivo DVR. They are a bit pricey, one with a lifetime subscription was going for around $550 last time I checked. But, here a DVR that is available as part of the cable service costs an extra $10 a month. And with the Tivo, you don't need a cable box, instead you rent a cablecard from the cable company. That is $3 less than the box. So, I save $13 a month. In a few years, you're even. And as Bob said, the Tivo ease of use and functionality blows away the Cablevision cable box and DVR and every other cable one that I've seen. As a example, you can set it up to auto-record any movie that is playing at anytime on any channel with Joe Pesci in it. Or if you're into snowboarding, you can have it auto-record any show that has that keyword in the description. You can also watch youtube videos on it too, which is a nice feature.
Are you running both your cable and your antenna

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On Monday, August 19, 2013 7:21:22 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

UT...since the Time Warner/CBS 'warfare' I am now stuck on how I can record some of my favorite shows on CBS from time to time. ON cable it was all se t up to record CBS, but now I am using my OTA connection to view CBS ( I li ve In NYC ).

e channels can get recorded...BUT, i am stumped doing the same now with my OTA connection.BTW, I am using my RCA cables, not hdmi, nor component conne ctions. ( VCR has neither ) Do I need some kind of an adapter...A/B switch? ??

MIckey, sorry for whatever confusion I unintentionally caused. No, I do not have both my cable box and ota connected to my vcr. Not possible I guess. Yes, a fter reading other comments here it seems I need the converter box that wou ld transform the channels digitally. I fortunately still have one left from my old 13" analog TV, which i do not use anymore. So that seems to be the one solution, but then I lose my recordings of my cable channels. I know i would have to auto search for channels with the converter box. As for when i was recording my cable channels, all i needed to make sure that i left th e box on the channel that i wanted to record, which in turn goes on my VCR 03 input. I do not even thing a A/B switch could help in this situation to get both.
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wrote:

Use the RF out from the converter for CBS on ch 3 and use the A/V outputs from the cable box for the other channels.
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wrote:

Why is it not possible? Even more important, how have you been recording cable stations until now? (I"ll assume you use the VCR, but you still haven't said. You might also be using a function of the cable box.)

Do you mean you will lose future recordings? Why?

The digital to analog converter box also outputs on channel 3.

Why not? Take gfretwell's answer and use an A/B switch to switch input to the VCR from the converter box output to the cable box outlet.
Or perhaps use a splitter to have both of them connected all the time. That is better, if it works and gives a good picture for both. (One of my problems was that the DVDR was in the other room, and I didn't want to have to go to the other room to turn it off, so it caused interference, but if your cable box is in the same room, you can turn it off, or maybe you can leave it on and use the A/B switch and it's the same level of inconvenience either way.
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Novel,
I watch OTA and have a VCR wired into my sysytem. Here's a guess on how you can do this. Your antenna should connect to you digital convertor box.. The convertor box heads to the VCR in. The VCR out heads to an A/B switch box, as does the cable box. The A/B box heads to the TV.
Dave M.
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On Monday, August 19, 2013 8:58:21 AM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:

The problem is he apparently doesn't have an OTA converter box because he's been using cable. Even if he gets a converter box, which are probably pretty cheap by now, I'm not sure how useful that would be. The biggest use for VCR is recording programs on various channels at various times. Can you do that with the converter boxes, ie program them to tune channel x at time y?
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Trader,

He does not mention whether he has a convertor box. He will need one.
Even if he gets a converter box, which are

No, the biggest use of VCRs is to watch pre-recorded tapes. He will be able to do this. He wishes to tape CBS OTA. He can do this by setting the convertor box to CBS and programming the VCR to record the output of the convertor box (probably ch. 3) at the appropriate time. He can certainly watch cable and most likely CBS while the taping is being done
Can you do that with the converter boxes, ie program

He didn't ask that question and I did not answer it. My convertor box does not do this.
Dave M.
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On Monday, August 19, 2013 12:13:32 PM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:

I don't think there are very many people watching VCR tapes today. In any case, clearly the OP wants to use his to record programs.
He will be

Yes, I agree with that. I missed the part that all he cared about was one channel, CBS.

Even if he didn't ask it, it would seem an appropriate question to figure out before he buys a converter. If there are some available that are smart and can be programmed to switch channels, then he could record other channels besides just CBS.
But if I were him, I'd look at buying a Tivo DVR. It will record cable and OTA. And the money you typically save by not paying for a cable box DVR pays for it in a few years. After that, you're saving money each additional month. With Cablevision I'm paying $13 less a month than I would for their cable box and DVR.
I also can't imagine that anyone could tolerate looking at anything recorded on VCR on a 55" TV. It's going to look like crap.
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On Mon, 19 Aug 2013 11:03:19 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Only one brand that I know of. I still forget the name but it was a cable company, of all things, Not sure, but I think its colors were green and yellow.

But he's been doing it . I don't know. My tv's range from 14" to 19". I have no room for anything bigger than 25" ;-)
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On Monday, August 19, 2013 8:58:21 AM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:

David, with this setup, you are able to record your cable channels too?
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On Monday, August 19, 2013 12:30:55 PM UTC-4, novel wrote:

You're apparently using composite video to go from the cable box to the VCR and to the TV and you can record that, correct? If so, then the easiest thing is probably if the VCR has another input and the tuner box you buy has the same output. Then you could use the VCR to select whether you record from the cable or from the OTA tuner. They both might have S-VHS for example. Or you could use the RF output from the OTA tuner to go to the VCR, they both would have that. Then you just select from the VCR which input to record.
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On Mon, 19 Aug 2013 11:42:06 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Even if they don't *both* have the same kind of output, part of the recording is choosing the input, and if one is RF channel 3, and the other composite, the timer can be set to record the right one with the right time, and that will work fine too. It will be better because no A/B switch will be needed. The VCR will take care of the choice.

Right.
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