Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I want my old VCR back...
Old 12-04-2007, 09:01 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
I want my old VCR back...

We had an old VCR (bought in the early 1990's) that finally broke. So, we had to go out and buy a new one. Got a DVD/VCR combo (seems like they don't sell stand-alone VCR's anymore).

We use our VCR obviously to play tapes, but also to record t.v. shows when we aren't home. Well, all the VCR's now require you to have a cable box to be able to record tv.

I find this quite annoying. We use cable and just have the basic package since we rarely watch movies. Now we had to go get a cable box and will have to pay an extra $10 a month so we can tape our favorite shows.

Grrrr....just had to complain.
__________________

__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-04-2007, 09:32 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Well, all the VCR's now require you to have a cable box to be able to record tv.
I hadn't heard that.

We're keeping six VCRs alive now and the alternatives don't look very good. (#7 is eating tapes and is probably OOC.) However the last time I went VCR shopping was in pawnshops and on Craigslist. You might be able to find something old enough to stand alone, or at least without the DVD hardware. Beats paying $120/year to not have one.

Craigslist is especially busy in our area this month (raising cash for Christmas presents) and next month (raising cash for Christmas bills).
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 07:44 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,735
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Well, all the VCR's now require you to have a cable box to be able to record tv.

I find this quite annoying. We use cable and just have the basic package since we rarely watch movies. Now we had to go get a cable box and will have to pay an extra $10 a month so we can tape our favorite shows.
This sounds wrong to me. Unless your cableco has gone all digital already, any VCR will record up to 125 cable channels straight from the cable. You need a splitter in front of the cable box to feed the VCR.

After all, there have not been any technical advances to VCRs lately.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 08:16 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
This sounds wrong to me. Unless your cableco has gone all digital already, any VCR will record up to 125 cable channels straight from the cable. You need a splitter in front of the cable box to feed the VCR.

After all, there have not been any technical advances to VCRs lately.

Well, I am not a technically inclined person at all...I let my DH handle this one. This is what it says on the box (and all the other DVD/VCR's had this on their boxes, too):

"Recording through line input only. To record TV programming, a separate cable, satellite or off-air tuner with audio/video output is required."

You say we need a splitter in front of the cable box. Note what I said was we had to get the cable box for the VCR to be able to record. (We are able to receive our regular cable channels without the box.)

OK, so I'm probably really confused and not getting what you are saying here...do you have any suggestions for how this should work without a cable box?

Thanks!!
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 08:17 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I hadn't heard that.

We're keeping six VCRs alive now and the alternatives don't look very good. (#7 is eating tapes and is probably OOC.) However the last time I went VCR shopping was in pawnshops and on Craigslist. You might be able to find something old enough to stand alone, or at least without the DVD hardware. Beats paying $120/year to not have one.

Craigslist is especially busy in our area this month (raising cash for Christmas presents) and next month (raising cash for Christmas bills).
thanks for the suggestion Nords! I will keep my eye out on our local Craigslist.
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 08:52 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
People still use VCRs?
__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 09:14 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9 View Post
People still use VCRs?
Yes, I have a lot of treasured moments on them, like my wedding, etc.

I have one of those units that has a VHS slot on one side and will burn to DVD directly. I have been taking all my VHS and burning to DVD, and keeping important stuff in the safe deposit box.

I have a HD DVR, but when I tape shows, they play blurry, and I haven't taken the time to figure it out...........
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 10:35 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
A splitter somewhere should work, it may depend on your exact set-up...

Now a rant from me: I wanted to buy a DVR for the family. We do not have cable or satellite, but get all the Chicago channels clearly. DVRs make so much sense over a VCR (easy to schedule, no checking to see if a tape is in, erasing over what you wanted, keeping track of the tapes, etc.). I looked at them last year, for OTA (Over The Air) broadcasts, you can get a free program guide from TV Guide (OnScreen). I think they sell a subscription if you want some advanced features, but the free one looked plenty good for me. The DVRs were kind of expensive, I figured they would come down in price this year...

Surprise! I can't seem to find one that is not sold w/o a 'discount', but requires a TiVo subscription ($12/month - or as I prefer to say, $144/year) to function. Arggggg.

Alternative may be to buy a used one (can't do that for a gift to my wife, nope), or roll-your-own MythTV that requires you to build a little Linux box. I might find that fun and challenging, but I know my wife would not be impressed with some kludged together home-grown box that would probably crash once in a while. And since they need to be awake 24/7 to record, I hear they suck a fair amount of juice.

My understanding is that the retail outlets dropped the 'unbundled' DVRs because they just could not sell them next to the same unit with a 'discounted' (but bundled subscription) price. I guess the average consumer does not look at a monthly charge as 'real money'. So I suffer for it. Many things seem to be going this way - 'cheap' up-front cost, expensive (and locked in) monthly cost. Stinks, IMO. /rant.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 12:31 PM   #9
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
<Many things seem to be going this way - 'cheap' up-front cost, expensive (and locked in) monthly cost. Stinks, IMO. /rant.>
Gawd, but isn't that the truth! No one calculates the cost of anything anymore, just can I afford the monthly fee?
We have a stand-alone VCR and a really old tiny color tv. When I broke down and bought a DVD player a year ago, I realized (after the fact) that the tv didn't have a n input plug for the dvd player. So I ran it through the aux on the VCR player and it works great. If anyone has this particular problem, it works pretty well. I have to use all three remotes to watch the X-files DVDs I borrow from the library, but I feel all cool doing it!
Good luck in your VCR search! I hope mine never goes, otherwise I've gotta replace the tv, too!
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 12:57 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Well, I am not a technically inclined person at all...I let my DH handle this one. This is what it says on the box (and all the other DVD/VCR's had this on their boxes, too):

"Recording through line input only. To record TV programming, a separate cable, satellite or off-air tuner with audio/video output is required."

You say we need a splitter in front of the cable box. Note what I said was we had to get the cable box for the VCR to be able to record. (We are able to receive our regular cable channels without the box.)

OK, so I'm probably really confused and not getting what you are saying here...do you have any suggestions for how this should work without a cable box?

Thanks!!
If all it has is a "line input" then your DVD/VCR combo does not have it's own tuner, thus the need for a "cable box". Old VCRs have built-in tuners.
__________________

NotSoonEnough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 01:10 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
jambo101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9 View Post
People still use VCRs?
Whats a cable box?
__________________
"Second star to the right and straight on till morning"
jambo101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 01:25 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoonEnough View Post
If all it has is a "line input" then your DVD/VCR combo does not have it's own tuner, thus the need for a "cable box". Old VCRs have built-in tuners.
SimpleGirl, I think NotSoonEnough is right. Your new VCR/DVD doesn't have a tuner so it can only record what comes in through the line input. Since you use your cable-ready TV to tune the cable channels (no cable box), you can't record any shows. If your TV had an audio/video line out, then you could hook that up to your VCR, but then that would mean that you have to have your TV tuned to the channel that you wanted to record!

Quote:
Alternative may be to buy a used one (can't do that for a gift to my wife, nope), or roll-your-own MythTV that requires you to build a little Linux box. I might find that fun and challenging, but I know my wife would not be impressed with some kludged together home-grown box that would probably crash once in a while. And since they need to be awake 24/7 to record, I hear they suck a fair amount of juice.
I tried the MythTV thing and it was fun to do, but doesn't quite pass the DW-approval test. The interface is a little quirky and DW didn't like having to use the keyboard to change channels (too lazy to get the remote working!). Things might be much better now since this was about a year ago.
__________________
WanderALot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 01:41 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9 View Post
People still use VCRs?
Until we can buy a Tivo that'll simultaneously record five separate channels on a weekly rotating schedule...

... so if anyone is getting rid of their VCRs, lemme give you a shipping address!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Have to make sure it has a tuner
Old 12-05-2007, 03:02 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
aenlighten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 275
Have to make sure it has a tuner

With the new HD/ATSC standard, anything with a SD/NTSC tuner must have an HD/ATSC tuner or neither. Some drop the tuner altogether, but others do include the ATSC tuner converting the HD signal to SD. Unfortunately, nothing so far actually records or passes an HD signal in HD other than the Tivo HD and some proprietary cable/satellite system boxes. Avoid anything without a ATSC tuner.
__________________
aenlighten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 03:30 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Until we can buy a Tivo that'll simultaneously record five separate channels on a weekly rotating schedule...

... so if anyone is getting rid of their VCRs, lemme give you a shipping address!

Nords, I'm coming to Honolulu next week, should I bring my 1998 era Sony with me?
__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 06:27 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
ERD50,

The DVR that I have should work for what you want. You can buy it on Amazon here:

Amazon.com: Panasonic DMRE85HS Progressive-Scan DVD Player/Recorder with 120 GB Hard Drive Recording: Electronics

You can read the manual here.

Mine gets the programming info from the TV guide that's transmitted by the cable company. That may work from the broadcast TV guide, but I don't know. In any case it's possible to set up recording times (e.g. every Friday 8-9, channel 6), although that function is buried in the menus.

EDIT: OK, I see they don't have new ones on Amazon. But I bet you can find a new one of these (or equivalent newer model) somewhere on the Internet.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 07:04 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Wow, thanks for the great replies. I shared the info with DH. Then I went and searched the net a little more and found this:

" Because all tv broadcasts are switching to digital broadcasting in 2009, manufacturers are required to make the newer machines either with a digital tuner or no tuner at all. The digital tuners are more expensive, and so a lot of the less expensive machines currently in stores don't have any tuner at all. The only way to record tv shows on such a machine is to attach something else with a tuner (e.g., a cable box or another vcr) to the line input jacks on the machine, and then use the other device to tune in the channels. (If you have an older vcr that still tunes in the channels but doesn't record so well, you might want to use that). It is still possible in some stores to get older models of some devices that still have the analog tuners, but they're getting harder and harder to find."

So....we could have used our old VCR as a "tuner"...but unfortunately threw it out! So Nords (and whoever else doesn't want to make the same mistake as us!), don't throw out your old VCR's! The tuners may still be good and you can route the signal through them to your new DVD/VCR (as long as I am understanding the above correctly).

We will be looking at local pawn shops/etc. for an old VCR we can rescue
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 07:27 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
ERD50,

The DVR that I have should work for what you want. You can buy it on Amazon here:

Amazon.com: Panasonic DMRE85HS Progressive-Scan DVD Player/Recorder with 120 GB Hard Drive Recording: Electronics

You can read the manual here.

Mine gets the programming info from the TV guide that's transmitted by the cable company. That may work from the broadcast TV guide, but I don't know. In any case it's possible to set up recording times (e.g. every Friday 8-9, channel 6), although that function is buried in the menus.

EDIT: OK, I see they don't have new ones on Amazon. But I bet you can find a new one of these (or equivalent newer model) somewhere on the Internet.
Thanks T-Al, that is the problem I'm finding - they just are not carried by the major sellers. I found two questionable sellers, they want ~ $500, but this box will be obsolete in a year. It only has the analog tuner, not a DTV (ATSC tuner) compatible.

I'll take another look for similar, newer models, but I think I'll be back at the beginning - TiVo contract, or no-go.

The price of *most* electronics comes down with time, these are not. Probably because of the oligopoly of the local cable and two satellite companies.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 09:46 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
RE: Amazon.com: Panasonic DMRE85HS Progressive-Scan DVD Player/Recorder with 120 GB Hard Drive Recording: Electronics



Quote:
Thanks T-Al, that is the problem I'm finding - they just are not carried by the major sellers. I found two questionable sellers, they want ~ $500, but this box will be obsolete in a year. It only has the analog tuner, not a DTV (ATSC tuner) compatible.

I'll take another look for similar, newer models, but I think I'll be back at the beginning - TiVo contract, or no-go.
Yep, more googling and found this, very few on the market:

Philips DVDR3575H Video Player and Recorder editors' rating explained - CNET Reviews
Quote:
CNET editors' review

for Philips DVDR3575H Reviewed by: Matthew Moskovciak
Edited by: John P. Falcone

Review date: 11/5/07



DVD recorders with hard drives used to be the poor man's TiVo. Sure, they lacked the finesse and eye candy of a true TiVo, but you didn't have to pay a subscription fee and you could burn anything right in the same unit. Fast-forward to today and you'll be hard pressed to find a DVD recorder with a hard drive, and if you go to eBay it might cost you nearly $2,000 to pick up an older model. The Philips DVDR3575H is one of the few DVD recorders with a hard drive that's still on the market, plus it has a built-in ATSC tuner,
So, this Philips DVDR3575H is available at a decent price ($290), no subscription, but has no guide at all - you program like a VCR. OK, still has the advantage of not finding/rewinding tapes, and running out, etc. But some negative reviews.

Ahh, but overall very positive here:

Philips DVDR3575H - Features, Setup and Operation - AVS Forum

Soooo, *if* I can get my wife to settle for a DVR instead of the whole cable/satellite approach, this unit looks pretty good. The only other advice there was - January CES show - maybe newer stuff?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 10:27 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
RE: Amazon.com: Panasonic DMRE85HS Progressive-Scan DVD Player/Recorder with 120 GB Hard Drive Recording: Electronics



Yep, more googling and found this, very few on the market:

Philips DVDR3575H Video Player and Recorder editors' rating explained - CNET Reviews
So, this Philips DVDR3575H is available at a decent price ($290), no subscription, but has no guide at all - you program like a VCR. OK, still has the advantage of not finding/rewinding tapes, and running out, etc. But some negative reviews.

Ahh, but overall very positive here:

Philips DVDR3575H - Features, Setup and Operation - AVS Forum

Soooo, *if* I can get my wife to settle for a DVR instead of the whole cable/satellite approach, this unit looks pretty good. The only other advice there was - January CES show - maybe newer stuff?

-ERD50
Or, if you have plenty of free time and a spare PC, there is always MythTV...

MythTV
__________________

__________________

NotSoonEnough is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I'm Back...............I Think??? FinanceDude Other topics 1 05-23-2007 07:18 AM
I'm back Sheryl Young Dreamers 37 05-24-2006 07:55 PM
Welcome back, JG Martha Other topics 5 06-21-2005 07:50 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:53 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.