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#35935 - 09/09/15 09:16 AM Recording digital TV signals
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
For several years now — since most OTA TV broadcasting switched over to digital signal transmission — I have been using a DVD recorder (Panasonic, Model DMR-EZ48V) with DVD-RAM discs. It's been performing a "yeoman's service" since inception. However, it and its components are no longer supported or even available from Panasonic or after-market sources.

Now, perhaps, it's time to think of something along the lines of a PVR which would have greater recording capacity and which doesn't require cable or satellite services.

I can locate nothing online or through discussion with various audio/video outlets.

Anybody got suggestions?

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#35936 - 09/09/15 12:08 PM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: grelber]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
you are literally the only person I have ran into that has ever (past or present) used DVD-RAM disks.
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#35938 - 09/09/15 04:25 PM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Further to the original post I should point out that the DVD recorder mentioned has both NTSC and ATSC tuners incorporated, so the recorder functions autonomously from the TV (and its tuner), thereby allowing one to record programs one isn't watching.
All of the other models on the market have no internal tuner and so can only record only what one is watching or just tuned to. Useless for the most part.

As for DVD-RAM discs: They seem, like the Energizer bunnie, to go on and on and on. None has ever deteriorated to the point of unuseability. I'm not sure why one would not want to use such; clearly they wouldn't have been on the market if there weren't a demand, and they certainly wouldn't have been spec'ed and recommended by Panasonic if they weren't useful.

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#35942 - 09/10/15 05:29 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: grelber]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
erasable disks made good sense for a short interval of time while cd and dvd blanks were expensive, and data was small. I remember buying DC blanks at close to $2 apiece. I was floored when prices were cheap enough to buy them in packs of 20 for under $25 shipped.

But that timespan was very brief. Prices were down to 50 cents/ea shortly thereafter. I had skipped CD-RAM (which were quite pricey) and DVD RAM also, as they were poorly supported, and instead got a 1gb jazz drive. I calculated that a jazz with two 1gb carts cost less than two 1gb hard drives, and thought it was a good investment.

I was smart to unload them within about a year and a half as hard drive prices plummeted. By that point, disc RW and RAM were totally unjustifiable in terms of cost for me, and add to that the inconvenience of erasing CD RAM disks, (I had one that saw very little use, I think it cost around $6-7 ?) I really never looked back at them.

The only time I saw them put to good use was as a daily backup at a business. They had a small stack of CD-RW disks, and would do a full database backup nightly. It would wipe the disc and write the new data whole. They had 7 RWs for a week of backups, and then would burn a regular CD-R at the end of the week for archival backup. Back then, HDD space was still quite high, and CD blanks were still high enough for that approach to save significant money. Still, I think they only did that for about a year before their backup process evolved.

Nowadays RW/RAM media have so many disadvantages compared to other media, I don't see any application to recommend them. I'd say that's been true for me for the last 8-10 yrs. I think speed is the biggest problem, they are much slower access than a hard drive, and the RW at least have to be erased before reuse. (I don' have any experience with CD/DVD RAM discs) DVD capacity would still be minority useful, the CDs would be a waste of space. I heard talk of a bluray ram disk, that makes more sense, but it sounded like it was going to price itself out of the market. (and was still going to have slow r/w performance)
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#35946 - 09/10/15 06:47 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: Virtual1]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
The Panasonic DVD-RAM discs I got back in 2011 have a capacity of 4.7 GB and are spec'ed to record and play back at a maximum rate of 33 Mbps. (On the DVD recorder in EP mode I can record 6 hours of TV programming.) They cost $3 a pop.

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#35949 - 09/10/15 08:42 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: Virtual1]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
you are literally the only person I have ran into that has ever (past or present) used DVD-RAM disks.


Now you have met two! wink

In the land of 3 Mbps download speeds, my original DVR had only 80 GB of storage. I watch virtually nothing in real time, so being able to offload things from the DVR to a DVD to watch later was extremely convenient.
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On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#35958 - 09/11/15 04:50 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: grelber]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: grelber
The Panasonic DVD-RAM discs I got back in 2011 have a capacity of 4.7 GB and are spec'ed to record and play back at a maximum rate of 33 Mbps. (On the DVD recorder in EP mode I can record 6 hours of TV programming.) They cost $3 a pop.

I was pleased to see SSDs drop below $1/gb, and that's been awhile now. (I JUST picked up a Sandisk 960gb SSD for $235! waiting on the postman to give my 4 yr old MBP a kick in the pants) $3 for 4.5gb is more expensive than SSD now by quite a margin. SSD: $0.25/GB, DVD RAM $0.65/GB

And that's an SSD. Prices for spinning media are much cheaper, and much higher capacity. If I was DVR'ing lots of media I'd probably have a 4TB drive for that. (but there's simply NO way I have time to watch that amount of video)

I simply can't see any reason to still be using xxRAM media, unless you've got shoeboxes of blanks and all the time in the world.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#35962 - 09/11/15 06:55 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: Virtual1]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I've really got no choice: There's no PVR* which can record on OTA TV signals, digital or analog; if there were, I would've gone that route long ago.
Other than my Panasonic machine, there's only a Philips DVD recorder (without tuners); Toshiba recently stopped making their version of same.

* Edit: Available in Canada, that is. Several exist elsewhere, but the highly rated TiVo Roamio requires a $12.50 per month subscription fee and can't be used here. There are others which don't have a subscription fee, but they don't get good reviews and aren't available here either.


Edited by grelber (09/11/15 09:19 AM)
Edit Reason: Additional info

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#36028 - 09/19/15 08:01 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Well, after trying out the Philips and Toshiba DVD recorders which have no incorporated tuners and finding them severely wanting in convenience of operation, and after spending many hours of web searching, I came across Angel Electronics (in Ontario) which offers a few OTA PVRs with ATSC tuners.
They're not exactly cheap but they're also not all that much more expensive than the DVD recorders mentioned above (and a lot less expensive than others on the market).
So I'm opting for the Channel Master DVR+ CM-7500 Digital Over-the-Air HD TV Tuner and Recorder with 1TB Hard Drive which has 2 tuners, which allow recording of 2 different programs and up to 160 hours' worth of programming. Not too shabby. We shall see.
The product can be checked out at Angel Electronics, as can the up-scale model with USB WiFi capability.

Aside: Obviously I stand corrected on my previous note that there aren't any PVRs available in Canada.

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#36147 - 09/26/15 09:49 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I've only had the Channel Master DVR+ for a couple days and find it superb.
It's less than ½" (10 mm) thick, as is its remote.
It does everything exactly as touted.
The only drawback is that the OTA signals from the local TV outlets don't provide scheduling information more than 10 hours past the current hour; this restricts future programming but will be easily remedied over the next few weeks as the TV schedules settle down.
The company's customer service is outstanding: Several email queries (and replies) about minutiae over a 12-hour period, and the guy on the other end knew his stuff. Most exceptional in this day and age.
Channel Master's head office is in Arizona, otherwise known primarily for zero humidity (or as Yogi would say, humility) and gila monsters.

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#36158 - 09/28/15 07:19 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: Virtual1]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
I was pleased to see SSDs drop below $1/gb, and that's been awhile now. (I JUST picked up a Sandisk 960gb SSD for $235! waiting on the postman to give my 4 yr old MBP a kick in the pants) $3 for 4.5gb is more expensive than SSD now by quite a margin. SSD: $0.25/GB, DVD RAM $0.65/GB

Followup: LOVELOVELOVING it. Not only was boot time improved, but everything about the computer that was laggy has been corrected. Safari even runs faster. Absolutely best bang-for-the-buck to improve the performance of an aging computer.

And for $230/960gb pure SSD, why bother with a hybrid (fusion) drive?
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#36243 - 10/04/15 02:04 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
That echoes my comments in Upgraded to an SSD...WOW!!!, but I paid $199 for a SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB SATA 6.0Gb/s SSD, and I just saw the 960Gb model offered for more than $400.

Did you actually get the SanDisk SATA III 960 for $230, and, if so, where? (Or did you get a SATA II?)

Thanks.

Hmmm... Would my SATA II MBP perform as well with a SATA II SSD as it does with the SATA III, and did I just waste money buying the III? Aaargh! frown
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#36275 - 10/05/15 07:47 AM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: artie505
Did you actually get the SanDisk SATA III 960 for $230, and, if so, where? (Or did you get a SATA II?)

I got a SanDisk Ultra II 960GB SATA III while it was (deeply) on sale. And I correct my price, I paid $260.

Quote:
Hmmm... Would my SATA II MBP perform as well with a SATA II SSD as it does with the SATA III, and did I just waste money buying the III? Aaargh!

AFAIK, SATA3 will just fall back to SATA2 protocol when attached to a SATA2 adapter. So a SATA3 device will perform like a SATA2 when accessing it from a SATA2 interface. If you were hoping for better, yeah, you did waste your money.

I don't know offhand if my Late 2011 15" MBP is sata2 or 3, but whatever it is, it's really flying.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#36291 - 10/05/15 11:54 PM Re: Recording digital TV signals [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
OK...I got a SanDisk Extreme PRO for $200.

Part of the extra cost was software, e.g. TRIM support, that apparently is PC only, but I also got slightly better write speed, assorted other benefits, and a 10 year warranty that will probably repay some of my extra cost some day.

I realized beforehand that I was going to be limited to SATA II performance, but I was wondering whether there might somehow be even the slightest benefit from running a III in a II environment. (SATA II shows as 3GB...III as 6GB Link Speed in System Profiler (or whatever) > Serial-ATA.)

What I might have done was shopped for a SATA II SanDisk, but l just looked and didn't see any in the size I needed, so I didn't miss that boat.

This is my fourth Mac, each one having been faster than its predecessor, each one having had its RAM maxed out, and this one having been upgraded from a 5400 to a 7200RPM HDD, and the biggest speed increments I've experience 'til now were when my bus speed went from 133 to 1066 MHz (most noticeable) and when I upgraded my RPMs.

This SSD upgrade has really stunned me, though.

I feel like I've gotten a new, top of the line machine.

(Mods, I think this and the previous three posts would be best off either standing on their own or appended to Upgraded to an SSD...WOW!!!. Thanks.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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