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Thread: A quick video tech question if I may please?

  1. #1
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    A quick video tech question if I may please?

    From what I understand, "TIVO" (and it's iterations) is a subscription based service right? You subscribe through your cable or satellite provider?

    Is there a digital video box that I can go down to Costco or Circuit city and buy that will do the same thing that our old VCR's used to do without a subscrition? Or is the DVR only a subscription based format?

    The property where I live has just been sold and one of the stipulations of the sale was that I would stay on and manage/maintain the property (three units). So, I finally had some cable hooked up to my house. However, they want $10 a month to rent the TIVO type box. If there is a stand alone unit without a subscription I'd rather buy one than give away my money to the cable company. The VCR's had a tuner built in. I'd be looking for a tuner in a DVR as well. Do they make these?


    Thanks very much for your information.
    Last edited by Mark Rios; 01-09-2007 at 11:41 PM.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  2. #2
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    No, you can buy a TIVO. It's just a digital video recorder.

    TIVO at Best buy
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    No, you can buy a TIVO. It's just a digital video recorder.

    TIVO at Best buy
    I'd have to say that you're right and wrong. Yes, you can buy a TIVO. But unless things have changed recently TIVO is a subscription based service. I know that's how it used to be but maybe they've changed. I've got a DVR that I rent from my cable company. I love it! Sure I'm paying for it monthly but it's not that expensive and if anything goes wrong with it they replace it for free. I've had it for about two years and not a problem yet though. I'll say one thing though, you will get accustomed to being able to hit "rewind" if you miss something and want to see it again. I find myself doing it a lot while watching the other TV in the house that doesn't have it. But I even find myself doing it in the truck while listening to the radio. I'll be driving along thinking about something and not really paying attention to the radio and hear something that I wanted to hear and it's already done. Invariably I start reaching for the rewind button. LOL Boy I tell ya it's some world we live in these days. When I was a kid you could hardly DREAM about some of the luxuries that we take for granted today and just can't live without.

    John
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  4. #4
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    John's correct...the TiVo sold at electronics stores still requires a subscription. FWIW, the TiVo subscription is well worth it, IMHO. We've got two of them (both on DirecTV), and don't know what we'd do without them. I don't watch much TV, but when I do, I can watch the shows I want to watch, when I want to watch them. The TiVo service allows me to choose, weeks or months ahead of time, what I want it to record.

    That said, there are indeed standalone digital video recorders that don't rely on a subscription service. A quick Googling found this site that lists several makes and models.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  5. #5
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    Okay...thanks very much to those of you who very kindly posted. I think that some of you understood what I was asking. I'm sorry for not being more clear.

    To summarize then please (because I AM a bonehead, don't forget), I can buy a hard disc unit, let's say like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Philips-DVDR34...&s=audio-video, and it will work/ record just like the old VCR's used to. I DON"T need any subscription to any service, I just will have to program the start and stop times like we used to do with the VCR"s. The difference in the media being a huge storage medium (hard disc) vs. a small one (VHS tape).

    Did I get it right?


    Thanks again very much for your time and patience with me.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  6. #6
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    You can record Digital cable and cable TV with a DVR or a PC with the correct inputs. The problem lies with signal conversion. If you are wanting to get say the digital channels that the cable box provides, you will have to have TIVO or something similar to do it as there is not a way that I am aware of today to do it outside of that. Supposedly, cable cards are going to be available for the PC at some time that will allow you to do this, but they are not today. If you get a device or PC with a HD tuner, it will be able to decode the channels that are available from your cable provider without the cable box. For me, that is my local channels that broadcast in High Definition. I cannot capture any of the other HD channels like Discovery, TNT, etc that are not subscription based.

    If you just want to capture it from the audio and video output ports of the cable box, that can be done as well. I am not aware of boxes that do it (doesn't mean there aren't, I just haven't checked), but I know you can do it with a PC with some additional hardware that isn't that expensive.

    So, yes, you can do it. Have to find a box or PC with the correct tuner and it will and does work. Just limited capabilities

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Porter View Post
    You can record Digital cable and cable TV with a DVR or a PC with the correct inputs. The problem lies with signal conversion. If you are wanting to get say the digital channels that the cable box provides, you will have to have TIVO or something similar to do it as there is not a way that I am aware of today to do it outside of that. Supposedly, cable cards are going to be available for the PC at some time that will allow you to do this, but they are not today. If you get a device or PC with a HD tuner, it will be able to decode the channels that are available from your cable provider without the cable box. For me, that is my local channels that broadcast in High Definition. I cannot capture any of the other HD channels like Discovery, TNT, etc that are not subscription based.

    If you just want to capture it from the audio and video output ports of the cable box, that can be done as well. I am not aware of boxes that do it (doesn't mean there aren't, I just haven't checked), but I know you can do it with a PC with some additional hardware that isn't that expensive.

    So, yes, you can do it. Have to find a box or PC with the correct tuner and it will and does work. Just limited capabilities

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks again for your time. Here's my set-up. I merely have a coax cable connected directly to my HD plasma (with built in HD tuner), no cable box. I have basic cable...no digital upgrade, no HBO or other movie channels, etc. basic cable. I"m only interested in being able to record regular TV like sporting events, TV shows etc. If it's analog, fine...If it's digital, fine. I just want to record whatever comes into my TV through the coax cable.

    Will the above linked DVR do it for me?

    Thanks very much again.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  8. #8
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    As an update, I found the exact same DVR, the one I linked to from Amazon, at Walmart for $50 less!!!! I couldn't believe that Walmart would beat out Amazon in price on an item like this. I had to pay sales tax but it was still $29 less after tax.

    Anyway, thanks again to those of you that responded and helped with your explanations.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  9. #9
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    Well being that I should have been from Missouri I went to the TIVO site and found that it cost's $199 per year to subscribe. Total shot what I understood about TIVO. Also told me I don't need one so I didn't read any further.

    Jeff
    Totally surprised!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Well being that I should have been from Missouri I went to the TIVO site and found that it cost's $199 per year to subscribe. Total shot what I understood about TIVO. Also told me I don't need one so I didn't read any further.

    Jeff
    Totally surprised!
    I'm paying $6.00 monthly per TiVo unit (in addition to my DirecTV satellite service), and we have two, so it's $144 per year. One unit would be $72 yearly. Of course, that's a DirecTV deal only, but for us, it's worth it. Especially since the DirecTV version of the TiVo box has two receivers, so we can record two shows at the same time (and even watch a third, previously-recorded show).

    Mark, I think that Phillips unit will do exactly what you are looking for. Just like a VCR with a BIG tape.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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