HDTVs and VCRs

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MrSmith, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    #1
    Don't know anything about HDTVs, but I'm going to buy one soon when we go digital. My wife wants to be able to continue recording whatever mindless drivel she watches to the VCR after we change. Can anyone tell me what kind of converter I need (and how much they are) to record from HDTV to VCR, and how it all connects up? (I have a converter I used to record from the VCR to my computer but presume that's something different as the output seems to be Firewire only.)
     
  2. wvuwhat macrumors 65816

    wvuwhat

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    Sep 26, 2007
    #2
    DVR. The extra few bucks a month are worth it, and you won't have hundreds of "tapes" around.
     
  3. walterwhite macrumors 6502

    walterwhite

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    Jan 22, 2011
    Location:
    South Central PA
    #3
    Recording from HDTV to VCR

    I am guessing that you are really only wanting to record to a regular VCR with VHS tapes... if thats the case the connection is very simple and you have a few possible choices. There are RCA jacks for video (yellow for composite) and Audio Red and White(Red is right, white is Left channel) Connect those RCAs to the respective Video/Audio Inputs of the VCR and you should be able to record whatever is on the HDTV... but it wont record in HD... VHS is rather low quality for todays standards.

    Hope that helps!

    WW
     
  4. MrSmith thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    Nov 27, 2003
    #4
    Yes, I just want to record from the HDTV to the VCR tape. Quality is not important. It's just to watch chat shows and the like, then record over them until we get a digital device to do that (having a DVD player only right now).

    Walter, I'm confused. I read that the VCR won't recognize the digital signal from the TV, therefore the need for the converter. Is that incorrect, then? (Our VCR is 14 years old.) If so, what connector is on the other (HDTV) end of the composite lead?
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #5
    This reminds me of my father-in-law, who recently paid $400 (not a typo) for a new VCR - because of the few machines left in stores, most only play VHS tapes, and almost none of them record.

    I tried to tell him that it's deprecated technology, and has been for 10-15 years or so. He doesn't care; he still thinks the only way to record his games is with a VCR.

    OP, it's getting to the point where it's hard to find blank tapes anymore. Are you sure this is a setup worth investing in?
     
  6. Rooskibar03 macrumors 65816

    Rooskibar03

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    #6
    A couple questions to better give you advice.

    What is your current TV setup?
    Do you have cable, dish, or over the air broadcast?
    If you have cable or Sat, do you have a cable box or some type of receiver between the wall and your TV?
    Does your VCR sit between the cable box and TV?
    How is the signal currently being sent to your TV (Coax or Composite Cable?)

    If you are just planning on buying a new TV, are you planning on upgrading to a digital TV service? If so then you will have a cable box to send the signal to the TV.

    Not all TV's have the ability to send a video and audio signal back out so you’re VCR will have to get the signal before it reaches the TV. Some cable boxes still have coax output that you could run to the VCR and then run an HDMI to your TV.

    Keep in mind that with a cable box you will not be able to set recordings for specific times on the VCR. The signal will depend on what channel the cable box is on.

    My advice. Buy your new TV and get the DVR that is offered by your provider. Show your wife how much easier it is to use and how difficult using the VCR will become and she will give up her attachment to that relic.
     
  7. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #7
    You can record off of the digital box to analog. It won't look great but it is doable. There is no point in even recording HD to a VCR because it will just look horrible.
     
  8. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    South Dakota, USA
    #8
    You probably don't want to spend extra money, but you should really check out the Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder that Wal-Mart sells on-line. I believe they sell a 320 and 500 GB version. They are great recorders with digital tuners and HDMI. You can also transfer your recordings to a DVD if you like so it is a very versatile recorder.
     
  9. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Apr 19, 2006
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    Carolina Beach, NC
    #9
    Depending on how you get your content, it would be worth looking at some sort of DVR solution. Providers usually offer them for a cheap monthly fee. If you're recording OTA stuff, then a Tivo, or Elgato product paired with your Mac may be in order. Once you see the quality of the HD content, you really won't want to watch something via VCR. DVR's are also a lot simpler setup too. The learning curve is very small.
     
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #10
    I couldn't agree with others have said in this thread. Ditch the VCR and invest or look to see if your cable provider offers a DVR solution. It is so much nicer, no video tape clutter, no rewinding. When done you hit delete or save to view again.

    I wouldn't invest in any VCR combination's or products.
     
  11. MrSmith thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    Nov 27, 2003
    #11
    I'm not looking to spend any money at all, if possible. In the future we'll get a BR recorder or whatever, but right now the existing VCR will do as a stop gap. We have a DVD player, which is fine for now, and use the VCR for little more than a once-a-week recording of a chat show. That will be fine.

    Besides, won't a DVR become obsolete when I get a BR recorder? Is there a benefit in getting a separate DVR and BR player only?
     
  12. brentsg macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #12
    I know of no viable set top box BR recorders. The era of swapping media in and out to record TV is over.

    If all you do is record one chat show per week I guess you can limp along. Be advised that your VCR going to look dreadful, considerably worse than how it looks on your SD display.

    You are going to need some type of set top box though. As is, your VCR will need something to convert your digital signal to analog. In such a case, you might as well get a DVR.
     
  13. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    Aug 26, 2006
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    Atlanta, GA
    #13
    A big issue here too will be how to get the channel tuned so the VCR can record it. Something will have to tell the digital box what channel to be on when it's time to record...unless of course you do actually have analog cable.
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #14
    The only way to record off of the digital box will be to daisy chain the coax from the wall to the box to the VCR to the TV. The VCR will become a dummy box that will record what ever channel the receiver is on. Recording the digital signal won't look too bad as long as it isn't HD. The picture won't be a true digital signal but it will be cleaner since the picture is of higher quality. I have never attempted to record HD on to a VCR, I don't even think it will work since the resolution is so different.
     
  15. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #15
    There could be. The DVR is much easier to use, since it knows when programs are on, and on which channels. No need to worry about whether everything's set to the right channel and whatnot.

    I wouldn't go quite that far. There are still quite a few people who like to archive things they've recorded, or to pass a copy to someone. My wife sometimes records shows and takes them to school to play for the students - you can't do that with a DVR.
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #16
    Actually you can. If you have a tivo you can actually record to an external hard drive and rip the shows from there.
     
  17. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #17
    And if you don't, you can't.
     
  18. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #18
    I'm pretty sure you can't just hook up your VCR to the wall and then from there to the TV as the VCR won't be able to decode the digital signal once the analogue gets turned off.

    Therefore, you are going to have to use a signal from the TV. However, this means you can only record whatever you are watching. Will that be a problem? If not, you should be able to hook up a VCR to one of the SCART sockets and record whatever you are watching. Hopefully how to do that will be in your VCR and TV manual (I think you need to use specific ports).

    DigitalUK also have a helpline you can call. Perhaps they can offer some good advice (it's free, so worth a shot!) - 0800 519 20 21
     
  19. garybUK, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

    garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #19
    Most HD tv's still come with Scart connector so you should be fine there, after the digital switchover, if, your vcr doesn't have Freeview built in then you'll have to Buy a freeview tuner and plug that into the VCR to be able to get any signal from the air.

    The only other way to do it is have the TV on the channel and record via the Scart connector but then you'll have to have the TV on and tuned to the channel you want.

    Edit: if you have Sky or Virgin Media then both have scart / composite video outputs so you should be able to connect those up to the VCR also.

    There are also freesat & freeview boxes that do SKY+ Functionality (PVR).

    Also I assumed your in europe but not sure where you are, just says london in your location :)
     
  20. MrSmith thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    Nov 27, 2003
    #20
    Yeah, sorry, my location says 'Too far from London'. I'm actually in Japan. :eek: Think I'll change that now...
     

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