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Old 07-07-2007, 11:08 AM   #21
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Timeshifting usually helps us avoid conflicts with just 2 recorders. Watching the recorded stuff and skipping commercials makes the viewing more intense. But we prefer it to the aggravation of commercials and all the time-wasting techniques (filler) that networks use. The specialty channels have a rich variety of stuff but usually it is never broadcast at a convenient time.

I think if we had 7 recordings going on, I would get the job of channel-changer. Sometimes our favourite sports like Wimbledon are broadcast when we are busy. Biggest problem seems to be more material to watch than we want to spend.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:03 PM   #22
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I've noticed a tendency for some channels to begin programs at times other then on the hour, i.e. some will start at 6:55 and go to 7:55, while others start at 7:05 and go to 8:05.
That stuff makes me crazy. I think it was NBC that started it and then fox and fx picked it up. Its nationwide.

I'm not sure if they're trying to bundle more minutes of commercial time into the "hot" show or just trying to get people to overrun their watching so competitive follow-on shows are already on.

Oddly, it seems the shows actually run in the 00-59 minute range the majority of the time.

The dual tuner HELPS fix this. But you'll still have a problem if you're recording two shows that run to :01-:05 and a third show starting at :00.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:11 PM   #23
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...I wonder if this is really what you wanted and had in mind when you planned to ER? For me the desire to record 7 channels at once would be a red flag....
Even after seeing Nords' reply, I was left with the same thought.

How about a looooong family camping trip or a round-the-world voyage in a catamaran?

Scratch that. Harmony is a pearl of great price.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:30 PM   #24
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I don't know if anyone has noticed this yet, but VCRs are about as commercially available as IBM Selectric typewriters. I can't even find them at Goodwill or pawnshops anymore. Try to find a VHS video rewinder or a head cleaner, too.
Interesting. I have been considering adding a VCR to my A/V mix for a while now, and there are about a dozen VCR's at the nearest thrift store, all between $10 and $15 each. Most look to be in perfectly fine shape.

PM me if you're interested in them. I'd be glad to buy a few and ship them your way. I can't tell if you would want them as my eyes glaze over at the complexity of y'alls TV setups. I have an old color TV with rabbit ears and a DVD player.

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Old 07-07-2007, 04:43 PM   #25
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I've noticed a tendency for some channels to begin programs at times other then on the hour,
I've even wondered if they do this to discourage recording. My DVR picks up the true start/stop time of the show, but a few times the movie has run about two minutes past this. You choke on your popcorn if get to that point, and find that there's no more. One I remember was the movie Sliding Doors which isn't resolved until the very end. Luckily we recorded it again another time and saw the whole thing.

Now I usually check for the ending credits before I get into a movie.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:58 PM   #26
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Interesting. I have been considering adding a VCR to my A/V mix for a while now, and there are about a dozen VCR's at the nearest thrift store, all between $10 and $15 each. Most look to be in perfectly fine shape.
Thanks, I appreciate the offer, I think we're good for a couple more years. I don't want to keep legacy tech alive much longer than that.

The (only?) advantage of a cable signal is its multiplexing into multiple DVRs. IIRC both DirecTV and Dish (which I believe are both available in Hawaii) require as many satellite-receiver tuners as I wanted simultaneous channels to record. I have room on the roof for three dishes but I'd have to see how that fee compares to cable.

Probably the easiest setup (so far) is three dual-tuner DVRs off the cable signal with some way for each to direct its output to a single TV for playback. A remote-controlled ABC switch would be an unexpected bonus.
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:32 PM   #27
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IIRC both DirecTV and Dish require as many satellite-receiver tuners as I wanted simultaneous channels to record. I have room on the roof for three dishes but I'd have to see how that fee compares to cable.
Nooo...with Directv you only need one dish, two wires from that and a multiswitch. The multiswitch allows 'n' separate tuner drops from that single dish. The multiswitch is a box about 4x8x2" and can either sit outside the house or inside the house.

So one dish, two wires to the back of your rack of stuff, multiswitch, as many wires as you want from there, depending on the size of your switch.

Directv charges you the basic fee (about $30-100) for the programming set and one dual tuner receiver, then $5 extra per month per dual tuner receiver. $5 flat fee per month for DVR use, regardless of how many receivers.

Comcast charges you the basic fee, plus $10 a month per dual tuner receiver.

Nice part about the cable is as you noted, splittable signal and use of existing cable in the walls. Directv might have to drill a few holes and will likely require some new cable.
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Old 07-08-2007, 02:34 PM   #28
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Probably the easiest setup (so far) is three dual-tuner DVRs off the cable signal with some way for each to direct its output to a single TV for playback. A remote-controlled ABC switch would be an unexpected bonus.
The Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR that we have from Comcast has limitations.

The internal hdd is 180 GB, which holds only ~20 hours of HD recording or 90 hours of standard definition (yuck). An external hdd (up to 500 GB?) can be added to increase storage to ~70 hours of HD but is not officially supported by Comcast. The hdd cannot be switched to a computer nor even to a different 8300HD.

There's no convenient way to save programs to DVD or other medium. If you have to return a machine or have a serious glitch everything recorded is lost.

I'm not aware of any way to select an alternate control code set so it may not be possible to set up 2, much less 3, different remotes.

The machine has HDMI and component outputs so there's a good chance of connecting 3 of them to one (well-equipped) TV or AV amplifier.
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