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  #1  
Old 03-26-2008, 03:57 PM
KarTek's Avatar
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OK, now a question for the A/V guru's...

I know about commercial A/V gear but very little about home stuff. My elderly father has a TV attached to cable and a VCR. He regularly tapes shows he likes to watch but every few weeks he forgets how to operate it and I have to spend hours teaching him how it works again and again because he no longer has the ability to retain new information.

So now for my question - what type of rig do I need to:

1. Limit operation of the system to a very few buttons like power, volume and channel and record.

2. Easily set up a schedule to record and play back his favorites.

3. At any given time, even if another show is being recorded at that moment, he wants to record what's showing on the TV.

Now, if he had access to satellite, he could just use a dual tuner/DVR but he is restricted to cable in the place where he's living. Currently his cable is just hooked up to the TV but I'm wondering if there's a similar box for cable that does what my DVR at home does. Do cable companies send digital cable into the same places along with analog?

Another way to go I thought of is to get one of those programmable remotes that you can change the appearance and function of the buttons and change their function to suit the job. Then I could set up macros to do everything.

What do you all think?

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  #2  
Old 03-26-2008, 04:00 PM
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TiVo?


or any other DVR
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2008, 04:03 PM
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I don't know much about TiVo. My satellite rec. has it's own scheduling/recording system. Isn't TiVo a subscription service? You have any model numbers?
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2008, 04:04 PM
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uhmmm no...

who is his cable provider?
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2008, 04:08 PM
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Unless limited by the type of subscription (some condo or HOA groups) he has to cable, virtually all cable providers have implemented digital cable and deployed hard drive based DVR set top boxes for subscriber additional fees.

For instance the SA 8300 DVR will record two programs while allowing viewing of a live or recorded program, at the same time.

A programable remote makes a lot of sense.
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2008, 04:46 PM
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well if you have a computer with windows media center and a dual tv tuner card then yes what you want to do can be achieved. plus unlike the vcr it is easy because it has easy menus to get through. with the price of hard drives now a days you could put a 500 gb in there and you could record multiple shows seasons to watch later on.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:48 PM
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Using a PC in the situation described would be counter productive.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:15 PM
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PC would be great for me but not for Dad. He needs a minimum of buttons because he can't think through processes logically any more.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:20 PM
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What is his cable provider?



I also would suggest the Tivo. My grandma has one, and loves how simple it is to use!
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2008, 07:47 PM
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He's on Time/Warner. Now here's a question: If I buy some sort of DVR with digital cable compatability, will it work with the digital cable signal? I just don't know any of this basic stuff...
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2008, 07:50 PM
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I believe TW's digital signal is coded to the digital box, so any device recording (VCR, TiVo, PC) would have to be after the box and before the TV, making their DVR the easiest way to go.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2008, 10:23 PM
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If you can get a cable card, it will work in the Tivo box.
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2008, 10:57 PM
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For now, how about writing out the directions for the next time he forgets?
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2008, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI View Post
Using a PC in the situation described would be counter productive.
Not necessarily. You can easily build your own Digital Video Recorder (DVR). Like stated before all you need is a tuner card, in & out, and a PC.
TIVO is proprietary software as well as the cable/satelite recorders. You can build your own without having to pay for a subscription.

All it takes is a little research.
http://www.mythtv.org/

Danny
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2008, 09:22 AM
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Time Warner will provide a Tivo like DVR that will record both analog and digital signals. I think it runs around $10 per month.

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