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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 10536  
Subject: Need expert help Date: 12/6/2012 11:58 PM
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I do not own a home theater. In fact, all I have at the moment, are 4 TV's and 3 VCR/DVD recorders/players.

Here's my problem. Our condo assn. has service through Time-Warner. In its infinite wisdom, T-W has decided to switch some channels from analog to digital...all fine and good. However, we do not subscribe to the digital service; although, most of our TV's have that capability. Being retired, we refuse to pay T-W for the box (plus the box would cause the same problems we are having with the DHA). T-W has given us an adapter, so we may access those digital channels, i.e., CSPAN, TruTV, OWN, MTV, and another whose call-letters I cannot remember as I do not watch it. This adapter (Cisco DTA)is to be installed as follows: The cable line goes into the "antenna in" terminal of the DHA, the "out to TV" line from the DHA goes into the VCR/DVD and the line currently going into the TV stays as is. However, we are unable to record one channel and watch another. How do we do this? The channels I am interested in are CSPAN, TruTV and OWN, although I don't watch them very often. I do record some programs on TruTV and OWN, watching something else at the same time.

In addition, the DHA has its own remote control. If we attempt to use our TV remote or VCR/DVD remote, we get no picture.

Help! Many of my neighbors are anxiously awaiting the answer. Or, do we call T-W, raise H**l, and have their technicians come to our units and install it? (Just as an "I told you so".)

Many thanks,

Donna
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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10001 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/7/2012 1:16 AM
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Help! Many of my neighbors are anxiously awaiting the answer. Or, do we call T-W, raise H**l, and have their technicians come to our units and install it? (Just as an "I told you so".),

Donna


Donna, the whole situation appears a kludge mainly because T-W hasn’t upped the central distribution box so all channels are covered and accessible from the individual condo installed box.

I’d circulate a letter each home owner signs and then present this to T-W. Maybe this could be done by the condo association. This tells T-W it isn’t an isolated problem and that it would be best solved at the central terminal than ‘fixing’ each condo. It would be far cheaper for T-W to do so.

Ideally, each condo should have a single cable box (preferably with a DVR) and not what is: a kluge modifying this and that.

In the letter you might suggest that DirectTV will install what you want and T-W will find their gear at the curb for pickup.

This is for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&v=STiuregSvHg

MichaelR

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Author: RHinCT Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide SC1 Red Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10002 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/7/2012 10:55 AM
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In the letter you might suggest that DirectTV will install what you want and T-W will find their gear at the curb for pickup.

Absolutely! If you call Dish and mention anything about cancelling you are forwarded to a department devoted to keeping that from happening. I doubt their competitors are different.

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Author: Radish Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10004 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/7/2012 6:45 PM
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If you call Dish and mention anything about cancelling you are forwarded to a department devoted to keeping that from happening. I doubt their competitors are different.

I used to have Time-Warner, and when I called them asking for the same deal they were offering new subscribers they said no. I told them I could actually get a slightly better deal with Verizon. And they said: go with Verizon. I asked them again if they'd give me their standard new-subscriber deal, and they said no... not unless I left and came back 6 months later as a new subscriber. So I said, fine, I'll go with Verizon. They said, good luck, and we'll sure you'll be back.

Of course I haven't gone back, I'm still with Verizon.

Phil

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Author: kenm47 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10006 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/8/2012 1:30 PM
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I believe your TV is reading only channel "3" and all input from the adapter is to that "3," and that is why the "DHA" (what does that stand for?) remote is the only one that "works."

You cannot tape one channel and watch another because the channel being taped is the only signal coming in through the adapter, change the channel on the adapter and the program being taped is now the changed channel - like a TV/VCR set up with rabbit ears and an analog to digital converter (which I have on one TV in my house which works for OTA signals and allowed me to watch and tape the CW while it was kicked off Cablevision, and when the cable goes down - very infrequently it turns out).

Good luck

Ken

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Author: mschmit Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10015 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/11/2012 9:03 PM
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I think you need a splitter and another converter box...think of each converter box as its own TV tuner that can decode a single channel. Because this is what they are probably doing. Each converter box takes in one digital channel, digitally decompresses it, converters it to an analog channel and sends it back out.

Mike

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Author: Mark12547 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10017 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/12/2012 12:25 AM
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This message will briefly describe what I did when Comcast killed the analog channels and then a more thorough description of one of the options you may have.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

When Comcast killed the analog channels about two months ago, I considered getting digital-to-analog converters ("D2A boxes") so I could continue using my VCRs and bedroom TV, but discarded that idea because the VCRs are getting very old, can't be economically replaced anymore (except by paying good money for DVD/VCR combo units), I would need splitters, multiple D2A boxes (at least two), an A/V switch, and I still would want to replace the really old TV that shows a big orange halo on the right of any bright image on the screen.

I ended up renting a HD DVR from Comcast and buying a 32-in HD (720p) LCD/LED TV. Suddenly all the standard cable digital stations were available (over 100, though many were HD feeds of the corresponding SD feeds in the lower channel numbers), and with two digital tuners in that HD DVR, I could record two shows at once (while optionally watching a previously-recorded or currently-being-recorded show while both tuners are involved in recording), or I could record one show and watch another. Now I still have the ability to record two shows at once, but now the quality is far superior to what it was, and it's a joy to watch on that new TV, especially with content shot in 16:9 aspect ratio and viewed on the full 16:9 screen. I still tend to "time shift" (record for later watching) because then I can FF past the commercials and, if the show is one that I discover I am not that interested in, I haven't committed that much personal time in it but in three keypresses that show is gone. Plus it is nice not having to worry about tape changes at every 6 hours of recording time or having to watch in the order recorded.

Yes,this costs me more per month, but I knew eventually I would have to replace the VCRs with something else, and eventually would end up renting something from Comcast, either cable cards or a DVR, and that TV should have been trashed years ago. It just happened earlier than I planned on, but I was expecting it to happen sometime in the future. The "digital signal enhancement" that obsoleted the equipment I had was enough for me to pull the trigger on getting things replaced.

That just might not be the solution for you, however; especially if you tend to keep programs long term instead of just "time shift" them for one-time viewing at a more convenient time.

Old setup (coax between each piece of equipment):


+----------+
| .------. |
cable .-------. .-------. | ! ! |
=======>| VCR |>===>| VCR |>====>| ! TV ! |
'-------' '-------' | ! ! |
| '------' |
| o o |
+----------+


New setup (coax to HD DVR, HDMI to TV; a DVD/VCR unit ended up replacing the VCRs in bedroom, I had purchased it to replace the VCR in the "den", it is now used only for playing DVDs and it is connected to TV via A/V cables, i.e, Left Audio, Right Audio, Composite video for the VCR part and via component cables for the DVD part):


cable .----------. +--------------------+
=======>| HD DVR |=~~~~~~=| .----------------. |
'----------' | ! ! |
| ! ! |
.---------.._______.| ! HD TV ! |
| DVD/VCR |:=======:| ! ! |
'---------' | ! ! |
| '----------------' |
+--------------------+




-----------------------------------------------------------------------

In your case, you mention that some of your TVs have digital tuners.

If TV has digital tuner and you want to also record a show:


+-----+ +-----+ +---------+ +-------------+
| S | | | | |.______.| .---------. |
| P |>===>| DHA |>===>| VCR/DVD |:======:| ! ! |
| L | | | | | | ! ! |
cable | I | +-----+ +---------+ | ! TV ! |
========>| T | | ! ! |
| T | | '---------' |
| E |>==================================>| o o |
| R | | |
+-----+ +-------------+


The above diagram shows the splitter splitting the signal, so part goes through the coax to the DHA (what I called a "D2A box"), and the coax to the VCR/DVD unit (but you can use whatever connection the DHA has as output that the VCR/DVD unit also has for input), and then presumably using the A/V connection (Left Audio, Right Audio, Composite Video) to go from the VCR/DVD unit to the TV. The other half of the splitter is connected by coax to the coax input to the TV since usually the only TV input that has a tuner is the coax connection. For recording, you would have to set the channel on the DHA and leave the VCR/DVD on Channel 3 or whatever the DHA puts out. Switching the TV to the A/V input will allow you to see the VCR/DVD menus or to watch what you had recorded on DVD or on VHS tape, and switching to TV channels will use the TV's tuner to tune to an unscrambled digital channel that your cable provider is sending out.

Depending on the sophistication of the DVD/VCR, you might be able to get it to control the DHA (some of the more expensive DVD/VCR units can output an IR signal to tell the DHA to change the channel), but this really depends on the DVD/VCR unit and it isn't normally available on units under a couple hundred dollars. But if it is available on your VCR/DVD unit, having the VCR/DVD unit send the signal to the DHA to change to the desired channel will allow you to record from different channels on the same tape like you used to do when the channels were all analog.

If the TV doesn't have a digital tuner, the diagram may end up more like this:



+-----+ +-----+ +---------+ +-------------+
| S | | | | |.______.| .---------. |
| P |>===>| DHA |>===>| VCR/DVD |:======:| ! ! |
| L | | | | | | ! ! |
cable | I | +-----+ +---------+ | ! TV ! |
========>| T | +-----+ | ! ! |
| T | | | | '---------' |
| E |>===>| DHA |>======================>| o o |
| R | | | | |
+-----+ +-----+ +-------------+


A problem with two DHAs is that the same remote will probably control both at the same time, so you would have to figure out how to block the IR beam from the remote to one of the DHAs while controlling the other.

There might be other solutions, and you may be able to buy DHA's or equivalent instead of having to rent them. Or you might investigate Netflix as a possibility to replace a lot of your cable content with discs or streaming video (e.g., through a Roku box), though streaming generally isn't viable for local access/government channels or for sports.

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Author: kenm47 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10019 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/12/2012 8:33 AM
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FWIW, many DVRs (like the Scientific Atlanta boxes I have from Cablevision/Optimum) have outputs (on mine, looks to be for RCA plugs) for copying a recorded program to a VCR.

I used it once a long time ago, and it worked. I assume that those outputs could also be connected to a DVD recorder, but I've no experience with them beyond the ones in my PCs and I imagine there's a way to hook up to them if really needed.

So there can still be a way to "archive" a recorded program if you need that in this day and age of near instant DVDs being released to market, bit torrents, or Netflix, or other online viewing.

Ken

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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10026 of 10536
Subject: Re: Need expert help Date: 12/13/2012 5:46 PM
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Thank you, Mark. The one thing is the fact that the basic cable is provided each unit through our Condo Assn. dues. Therefore, we are not "individual" subscribers; although T-W does recognize those who own their units as being individual subscribers.

I am going to share your post with my backdoor neighbors who are in the same boat as I, along with many other residents out here.

I said "DHA" when I meant "DTA"; however, I understand your message.

Again, thank you.

Donna

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