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Thread: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

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    PWS
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    Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    Hi all--as I think I mentioned in the troubles thread a while ago, our cable company insisted we had to get a "box", which, it turns out means that my 2 trusty VCRs are now pretty useless. I used to be able to record 2 shows while watching another, and there was still a TV free for my Sig. Other to watch a game on. After several visits I can now at least play old tapes again, but I cannot use the timer feature to set a tape, and can only record the station the TV is set on. So to record a 9pm show if I'm leaving the house at 6 I have to start the recording as I walk out the door, and I can only record from one station obviously, no planned station hopping as I used to be able to do.

    So, that said, I'm going to have to purchase some kind of DVR I think. The cable company of course is glad to rent one to me for a fee each month.... So what do people suggest? I know I"m years behind the loop on the Tivo thing... I only know it is a kind of DVR because wikipedia says so. Any recs.?? Thanks!!!

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    Resident "tyrant" JavaJo's Avatar
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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    I'm not positive how TiVo works. I have a general idea and think I would like one, but for now, we DVR, with Time Warner. Other companies may have a different set-up. You can only record two shows at a time and if you are actually watching the tv, you can still record two but you have to be watching one of the channels you are recording on. You can't just switch to a third show. Although, if you miss the beginning of one of the shows, you can start at the beginning of the DVR'd one and catch up. We do that a lot if we are going to be late getting home. We like it well enough. Only problem is, 95% of the time, if a show isn't scheduled to begin early or end late, it will cut it off unless you program it to begin/end taping earlier/later than the allotted time. If the time of the show moves or the day it airs moves, it will still record it, unless there are more than two shows slated for that time. Hope that helps.
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    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    My understanding is that you can still hook up a VCR, even when you have a cable box. So, that means you would not need to "rent" the DVR every month.
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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    Does anyone know, if one is using cable (have Time Warner... hate it) but wants to change to Directtv, will it affect the ability to record the old fashion way with a VCR? I think they use box hook ups too. I don't want to call Directv to ask this because I didn't want them to hound me forever if it really isn't what I might want to use. Most people I know use Tivo or DVR and they all think I live in the dark ages! Would love to know if anyone has this info. Ahead of time, thank you.
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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    We have a DVR through Comcast and I can only record 2 shows, but I have to be watching one of them. I really wish I could do 2 shows while watching another.
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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    Thank you, FORTers! Glad to see I'm not the only one happy with my VCR, Coco46! I would never be considering this if my local cable company weren't forcing us to use a box due I think to the loss of broadcast TV. Basically they said if you don't get a box you won't have TV after mid August (this is the NY area). So we got one, but now the VCR lost its timer capability, hence my problem. I can still set it to record, but all it records is grey fuzz...very faintly you can see the picture very very faintly. I don't see why they couldn't have designed a box that would work with VCRs...probably because they don't care about us technological Stone Agers. But..since they didn't...
    Hmmm, good point, combatcutie...he said you can record two shows at once, but I didn't ask if you had to be watching one of them!

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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    Wow! I've been too embarassed to ask this myself. I used to tape on vcr and have no idea what tivo and DVR entail. I just either catch it now, or I don't, and if I'm lucky, I can catch it the next day on HULU.
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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    Quote Originally Posted by norealityhere View Post
    My understanding is that you can still hook up a VCR, even when you have a cable box. So, that means you would not need to "rent" the DVR every month.
    You can - the cable companies just don't want you to know it. When I did it, I connected the cable from the wall directly to the VCR and then connected the VCR to the TV. They tell you not to do that, but it worked for me for years until my VCR finally went belly up. If you connect it the other way, you can only tape a show that you're watching, which is kind of not the point of owning a VCR in the first place.

    Now I don't have anything to record shows. I just either watch them when they air or I catch them online or OnDemand. My cable bill is already way too high. I'm not adding DVR service onto that giant bill.
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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    AT&T/U-verse has a DVR that will record up to 4 shows at once. At least, that's what the commercials tell me

    I am in Southwestern Ontario and currently subscribe to cable services. I am in love with my DVR! In my package I get West Coast/East Coast channels so if there's 3 shows on at 8pm that I want to watch I can watch one, DVR the second at 8pm, then DVR the third at 11pm. I am limited to recording 2 shows at once but feel that the option to record west coast programming makes up for the limitation.

    I also like having the ability to set up series recordings so that I don't have to remember to record each week....

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    Re: Tivo, DVR, VCR?

    I love my DVR. Apparently Directv used to sell Tivo's but then made their own. From what I understand Tivo is just a name brand. Just this year we had to switch to their DVR because of my local channels switching to HD. The Tivo and new DVR are similar, they have a few different functions, but overall they work the same, and the one my friend had that was with the cable company seemed also similar, but again, minor differences.

    I don't personally think I'd like to ever go back to watching tv any other way. It has wonderful features for live tv, not just recording. When watching live tv, you can still go back and rewind to see what you missed, so if someone said a line you couldn't understand, you can rewind it and catch what they said - whether it's set to record or not. I'm so used to this feature I even try to do it at other people's houses or on the radio!

    When watching live tv I almost always pause an hour show for 20 mins before I start to watch it. The 20 min mark is approximately when I can start watching it and then fast forward through all the commercials, never having to watch them, or wait on them. So that means an hour show can be watched in 40 minutes rather than the whole hour.

    Those are some of my favorite functions of live tv. The recording options (and I had a whole set up for my VCR before we got a DVR) are also wonderful. I can set my DVR to record an entire series. I don't have to worry if they switch days for things eg Survivor Finale is always on Sunday. The DVR just finds the times and automatically records it, where on my VCR I'd have to manually remember to record that special date. If a show changes times it will (usually) find the new time/day and record it then. As long as the tv guide is updated the DVR can find it.

    It also records series every new season for me. For example, Harry's Law I have set to record. It recorded all the new shows (how I have the series set up, to not record reruns) for me. Then this year it changed days from Mondays to Wednesday. It automatically found the day change and is set to record all the new ones, and I didn't even have to do anything to it. The only time this doesn't work is for some reality shows like Survivor where the name changes each season, or Top Chef, Top Chef Masters or Top Chef: Just Desserts. I had to search each one of those series and set them to record the seasons.

    It also apparently doesn't work if for some reason the network changes channels like my FOX channel moved. I had Glee set on series record, but turns out that the Fox channel changed and it didn't record the new episode. I had to go and do a new search but now it should record all new ones for me.

    I have recorded things from my DVR to video (and DVD). Sometimes it won't work. It usually works if I push play on the DVR and then hit record on the VCR/DVD just like it I taped live tv.

    Hope this helps some. Can you tell how much I love my DVR? I'm such a fan.

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