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I have an older model video recorder --- the Philips DVDR3575H. It has a built-in hard drive and I use it to record analog cable. I've had it for three years now, and it croaked last night. It won't turn on anymore, so it's most likely the power supply. I have become so accustomed to recording my tv programs, that I felt that I had to replace it immediately. I just got back from Best Buy, Future Shop, Walmart, the Sony Store, and the Source. Guess what? They don't sell these types of devices anymore! At least, they don't sell anything like them at those stores. What???? Has recording to hard drives become passe?

Both Best Buy and Future Shop sell a box that will record to DVD disks, but not to a hard drive. The sales guys tell me that everyone uses a PVR now. They either rent or buy them from Rogers. I went to the Rogers store, and they told me that to get the PVR, it is another $25/month for rental, plus an additional $3/month to go digital. That is on top of my current $60/month for my analog cable. The other option was to buy the PVR for $500, and just pay the additional $3/month to go digital.

Yeah, I know that I could always build my own home media player PC, and record tv that way. I've thought about it, but I enjoy the convenience of turning on a box that simply records and plays back my files. I want to avoid booting up a PC, and dealing with issues like preparing the box for recording, fan noise, etc. I just want to have a simple way to record, like the old VHS days... Set my recording list, and turn off the box. Everything happens when I'm not around, and I'll watch my programs at my convenience.

Now, I see that there is a $200 product by Tivo which requires some sort of subscription. I don't know the monthly fee of that, but I would prefer to have something like I have now. Can I just buy the Tivo without the subscription and record analog cable?

Ideally, I would like a box that could record to hard drive, be able to upconvert to 1080p (HDMI output), and be DLNA compliant. I have an ethernet cable behind the tv, so it would be nice if I could play files from my media server through the box.

Funny thing is that they still sell VHS tape machines! And they discontinued selling recorders that record to hard drives... What sense does that make?? Does anyone have any ideas? Help!

I may need to look at Philips repair shop for a replacement power supply...
 

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Funny thing is that they still sell VHS tape machines! And they discontinued selling recorders that record to hard drives... What sense does that make??
There's no market for hard-drive-based recording devices. There's (amazingly) still a market for VHS.
 

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At FS they still advertise a DVD recorder with a HDD , capable of 1080P ( don't know how true this is ) it LG model (RH398H-M ) the other option its today the most common ( PVR ) that replaced the VCR/DVD recorders .
 

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Thanks for the response. I'll have to consider that option. I am beginning my search for a replacement box. It seems obvious to me that the VCR should get replaced one day, and with all of the features that are available, you would think that one manufacturer could come up with the 'superbox'. Features I would like:

* be able to plug my satellite/cable into
* an ethernet cable (for streaming Internet video, as well as other local sources and updates)
* upscaling HDMI output
* an optical drive (capable of playing blu-ray disks, as well as burn to blank DVD's)
* be able to play my files from my network shares, or media servers
* have multiple input tuners for recording to hard drive

I would guess the first one to the market would have people lining up to buy one. I know you could build a PC to do all of that, but why would you want to, if it all came already in one package? Many of today's blu-ray players are almost there... They just need to add the recording capability....
 

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Many of today's blu-ray players are almost there... They just need to add the recording capability....
People have PVR's for that. Not to mention the headache that HDCP brings to Blu-ray and recording.
 

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Like Cooper said there's way to many limitations with HDCP and also with the CRTC getting in the way that we still dont understand there job , but anyway if you are in the Toronto area or Montreal area you should give a look at the Bell Fibe TV ( you can start here in this same forums ) .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I understand that DHCP will prevent me from copying digital signals, but I am only interested in recording my analog cable programs. I figure that a regular VCR would allow me to copy a baseband video signal via an analog path. Why can't they include a feature that allows me to copy signals via an analog path? The majority of the programming that I watch today is SD anyways, so I don't see the point of going digital... yet. But, it looks like there won't be any solution in the near future, and I will eventually be forced into the Rogers PVR game....
 

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You can purchase a DVD recorder. HDCP is not really applicable to recording - it's for displays since no recording devices have HDMI inputs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDCP

Digital (firewire and PVR) recording is covered by 5C, not HDCP and there are currently no "broadcast flags".

Analogue recording is covered by CGMS-a - see the following threads where CGMS-a has been discussed in detail.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=44045 recording to DVD recorder.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=130585&highlight=cgms-a


Here's the FAQ on how to connect a DVD recorder:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76077


And a useful post:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=57741
 

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Discussion Starter #9
57, thanks for the info on CGMS-a. Interesting stuff. To date, I haven't found any program that I couldn't record via analog cable. I wasn't aware that they used this technology yet, but I guess I may eventually run into it when a program refuses to copy. But my point is that I am not looking for a 'workaround', nor am I trying to do anything to bypass current product designs. I am merely requesting that features in two boxes be combined into one box.

I have a DVD recorder that copies my analog programs to hard disk. I can transfer files to DVD disks if I want to (but I usually erase the programs after watching them). I also have a blu-ray player that has an ethernet connection. It can stream video from Netflix, You Tube, etc. I can play media files from network shares and my media server. Why can't these two boxes be combined into one?

It seems like an obvious slam-dunk, but I am sure that there is a simple reason why they will not make such a box... The only solution may be to build your own PC (HTPC), but I would prefer a Window-less, Linux-less box...
 

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I am sure that there is a simple reason why they will not make such a box...
The reason is simple: there is no market for devices which record to physical media. With more and more people using DVR's and streaming devices, why introduce aging technology to the equation?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In the 'old days', we had VHS tape. You were able to record a program and give the tape to a friend to watch. Recently, I recorded a documentary and was able to make a copy to DVD. I gave it to a friend of mine to watch. Isn't that why we want to record to physical media? I don't think everyone is up to speed with streaming media. In fact, many of my friends and relatives are just not tech savy enough to even consider it. But, they do own a DVD player...
 

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But, they do own a DVD player...
And they've had plenty of opportunities to purchase a DVD recorder over the past several years, but I'm assuming they didn't. Manufacturers and retailers can only offer a product for so long without sales before pulling it off the market.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, I understand your point about manufacturers in a supply and demand market. What you are saying is that there is no market for people who want to share files via physical media. I don't know what the real numbers are, but it seems strange that no one wants to share their recorded programs anymore. I envision the day when a recorder comes out that I can transfer the file via Internet....
 

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I've performed hundreds of home theatre optimizations. I can count on one hand the number of DVD recorders among these. If there were a market, there would be a supply. As it is, there is a small supply. Sort of like cassette deck recorders years ago, some people had them, but most people had players.
 

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Lg rh398h-m

If you have used other HHD DVD recorders yu are going to be disappointed with this model. The editing software is primitive: does not allow you to review and adjust where cuts were made. It does have preview windows that supposedly show where your cut starts and ends, but they isn't accurate. This is my fifth HDD DVD recorder (we are basketball fans so collect up episodes of our other shows to watch in the offseason) and I wish I had never purchased it.
 

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Magnavox the Only Choice Left

LG's RH398H-M is no longer being manufactured. You might find a new one someplace, but not Future Shop and the usual places.

After a lot of looking for a friend whose VHS machine just died, I now believe that the only HDD DVD recorders available in the U.S. or Canada are one or more Magnavox models. The guide on about.com confirms this.

I'm not sure if Magnavox sells them in Canada. But, in the U.S., Walmart sells them, on-line and in store. Here are the three models listed on Magnavox's web site:
http://www.magnavox.com/p/index_player.php?id=60
http://www.magnavox.com/p/index_player.php?id=58
http://www.magnavox.com/p/index_player.php?id=29

For my part, I've owned three HDD DVD recorders: two generations of Pioneer, and a Sony RDR-HX780 which is essential a reverse engineering of the last generation of Pioneer models. I bought my Sony a year ago, but they are no longer made.
 
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