Question: I read your article about DVR recording with great interest. I can record shows on the cable company’s DVR, but if something happens to the unit, anything recorded is lost and storage is limited. I liked to be able to record on the VCR, since there was in theory unlimited space and if the unit died, the recordings could be used on another machine.
The Mediasonic HW-150PVR, which uses removable hard drives, sounds like something I would enjoy. But my question is, can it be used to record from cable? Also, you mention using a rabbit ears for over-the-air transmissions. I thought a special antenna was required to receive the new digital HD signals.
Fox Point, Wis.
Answer: The Mediasonic HW-150PVR does not have a QAM tuner, so recording from cable would be impossible even if they weren’t encrypting signals now. You can use the HW-150PVR record over-the-air as much as you want, though.
If you want to record pay television shows and keep them, Dish Network will allow you to transfer recordings from their Hoppe DVR to an external hard drive. The hard drive can be used to transfer content between Dish Network receivers. You can learn more at www.mydish.com/upgrades/products/expand-dvr-storage/.
You do not need a special antenna to receive digital broadcasts. In fact, receiving digital television signals over-the-air is much easier than it is with analog. If you go to AntennaWeb.org, you can get help choosing what kind of antenna is best for your area.
Question: I currently have a Comcast DVR and PC running Windows Media Center connected via HDMI to a Samsung flat panel TV. I have a Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz connected to the audio output of Samsung TV. The volume of Comcast DVR is much, much louder than the volume of PC, even though both are doing sound over HDMI. Any idea why this might be?
Mountain View, Calif.
Answer: The audio output of the Comcast DVR is set higher than that of the Media Center PC. Each component (DVR or PC in your case) will send out an audio signal of differing strength, depending on how the component itself is configured and the strength of the program material.
Go into the audio menus of your PC and DVR and see if there is an adjustment for audio output.
If your cable box does not have one, just using the volume control with the remote set to DVR may work. Work with them both and you should be able to balance it out.
Question: Is there any way to record from a DVR to VHS? If so, what do I need and how do I do it?
Answer: It’s easy, as long as your DVR has active analog (yellow/white/red) RCA outputs and your VCR has matching inputs.
Connect the yellow, red and white outputs from the DVR to the corresponding inputs on your VCR, select the input on your VCR, and press record. Press play on the DVR and the VCR will record from the DVR.
Quality will suffer and there may be a distorted picture from the different screen formats, but you can get a signal on to the tape.
Read product reviews at soundadviceblog.com.