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Discussion Starter #1
Man, while the hardware seemed alright, the software seemed buggy as hell......friggin hated it, returned it the next day.

Now I just bought a JVC DVD Burner, can't get (and wouldn't pay the subscription fees) for Tivo, and HDD recorders are just plain too expensive. I just wanted something to record shows (and no, I don't want to get into VHS tapes) ;)
 

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I had bought a real cheap 20 pci tv tuner card online a few years back. The software it came with was suspect, so I downloaded some other program online and the crack for it. It worked great with my analog cable. It also recorded shows and all the other good stuff. Still have it somewhere, I took out the card to give to someone awhile back but they decided to buy a TV instead.

Then I was at walmart about a year ago late at night. They had a 40GB DVR with a built-in DVD burner in the clearance area for $100 cause they couldn't find the remote or the books for it. They were still selling the new ones on the shelf for $280. The unit was useless without the remote. I was able to buy the remote from the manufacturer for $14 shipped and download the manual online (not that I needed it). This works great as well in recording onto Hard Drive and then transferring to DVD if I wanted to keep the show.

The advantage of an all-in-one device like this is that to transfer a 1 hour show onto DVD, it takes 5 minutes. To transfer a 1 hour show from TIVO to a standalone DVD Recorder, it takes 1 hour.

I've heard from others that the ATI TV Wonder brands are more hype than anything.

**EDIT**
I'm assuming that when you say you bought a JVC DVD burner, it's a standalone unit that you attach to like your TV? If so, I have one one sitting in my basement as well. Once I got the one with the hard drive, the dvd only recording function seemed slow. Be sure to use DVD RW's, I love mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The main problem with that stuff is that I have an HDTV digital cable box, and the TV tuners can't switch channels for me can they? (would that require an IR blaster or something of the sort?) I'd have to still manually set timers for the cable box to switch to the channels and set the PVR to record at the same time. IDK, I'm gonna try out this JVC DVD recorder for a couple weeks before I decide weather to keep it or return it (gotta love the 30 day return policy at Future Shop AKA Best Buy) :)
 

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Is there an analog signal coming thru the same coaxial? Mine has both the digital signal and the analog signal coming into my place in one line. So while my hdtv requires the hd cable box, the rest of the tv's are plugged directly into the cable. They only get the 75 or so analog cable channels, but if what you want to record is on one of those channels, then you're all good.

That is, unless you're trying to record in HD, which I doubt the JVC DVD Recorder you have will do that.
 

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Check out the Philips DVDR3455H. Its a 160GB HD recorder with a DVD burner too so you can record shows to the HD and if you want them on a DVD you can burn them. I have a brand new one for sale that was going to go on eBay if you or anyone else is interested.

I'm using sagetv on my HTPC and I've been very happy with it although I no longer get show listings because my "subscription has expired" I can record shows and pause/ffwd/rwd like Tivo, use my TV & surround system to watch videos and listen to music I have saved on my desktop box, and transfer anything I recorded to my desktop so I can burn a DVD. Another cool thing is the ability to use sagetv client to watch cable on any of the computers on my network. I think with the streamzap remote, tuner card, video card with tv out and 5.1 surround card I paid less than $200. Another great thing is I didn't have to build a whole new PC because it runs fine on my old 1.3GHz Celeron with 128mb ram.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, so the DVD Recorder won't record full screen.......there are bars all the way around the screen. I narrowed the problem down to my cable box........which doesn't output a full screen signal on anything but the component cables. I'm out of ideas.
 

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I kinda know what you mean. I havent troubleshooted down, but my stand-alone DVR kinda does the same thing.

It'll record the Hi Def programming scrunched up in the 4:3 aspect ratio. So if I were to play the program on a regular 4:3 tv, the show would look squished left to right. But if I were to play it on my HDTV and do the stretch to full screen feature, it'll play at the correct aspect ration 16:9.

So then, I must assume that it's recording only at a 4:3 ratio. However, once I stick a dvd that I burned from my DVR/DVD Burner into my computer to convert the program to avi or mpeg or what have you. The computer is smart enough to know that the program is in 16:9 and so it encodes it as a widescreen movie and plays as 16:9 on the computer. So something is telling the computer that the native resolution is 16:9.

I have no idea why, I just know that my setup works so I keep with it.

FYI, my cable box does have a place where I can specify the output on the regular composite cables (full screen, black bars on sides, etc).
 
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