question about DVRs

Blab about the Boob Tube.

Moderator: Mods

User avatar
king_arthur
Hachikō
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:56 am
Instruments: guitar, vocals, bass, BIAB, keyboards = synth anything
Recording Method: Tascam DP-24SD
Submitting as: King Arthur
Location: Phoenix, AZ

question about DVRs

Postby king_arthur » Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:27 am

Hey -

Can somebody who is familiar with DVR units answer a question about how they operate in terms of the programming controlling what you are seeing on the screen? We're working on moving my mom into a care home, and what we want is a box that we can program to, say, Animal Planet until 10 a.m., then Food Channel until 3 p.m., TVLand for a couple hours, back to Food Channel... and then on Fridays, sit on National Geographic most of the day for the Dog Whisperer. The goal being that any time she turns on her TV, it will be on one of her favorite channels, based on what is being recorded on the DVR. And basically all we expect her to be able to do is to turn the TV on and off.

We've been able to do this sort of thing with the cable settop box she has now, but I think the care home will be DirectTV, and the cable box only allows eight programmed channel changes.

I've been seeing commercials about something new from DirectTV that lets you program the recorder from the internet or a cell phone... that would be great, too, as long as there is a way to set it up so that what is being recorded is what shows up on the screen when you turn on the TV. Previous phone calls to DirectTV didn't seem to suggest that we could do what we wanted to, but maybe there are some new features or something.

Suggestions, ideas? We've never had a DVR so we're not sure how they work in terms of whether you can use the programming to control what comes on if you just turn the TV on.

Thanks,
Charles
"...one does not write in dactylic hexameter purely by accident..." - poetic designs
User avatar
jb
Scrappy Dappy
Posts: 3546
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:12 am
Instruments: Guitar, Cello, Keys, Uke, Vox, Perc
Recording Method: Logic X
Submitting as: The John Benjamin Band
Location: WASHINGTON, DC
Contact:

Re: question about DVRs

Postby jb » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:36 am

Well, you can do this as a side-effect. Just create a bunch of scheduled recordings, to span a typical week. When the DVR goes to record a particular show, it will change the channel to wherever that show is. Once it's done recording, it will stay on that channel. When it's time to record the next show, it'll change again. If it's a dual-tuner DVR, you'll need to schedule twice as many shows to make sure you get a channel change when you want one.

This will record shows until the hard drive is full, and then shows will start to drop off the hard drive-- not an issue for you, since you don't really care about the recordings, you only care about the channel changing.

If the DVR is a Tivo (doesn't sound like it will be), you'll want to set it to not record suggestions, so there's no willy-nilly channel changing that you haven't approved. Also if it's a Tivo, you can program the DVR from tivo's web site.

HTH,

JB
User avatar
Billy's Little Trip
Odie
Posts: 12000
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:56 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Drums, Skin Flute
Recording Method: analog to digital via Presonus FireBox, Cubase and a porn machine
Submitting as: Billy's Little Trip, Billy and the Psychotics
Location: Cali fucking ornia

Re: question about DVRs

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:15 am

Charles, JB pretty much hit it all right on. But you said you've never had a DVR, so I'll make a couple suggestions.

First off, it is really easy and cheap to get one from your cable company. To really get familiar, I suggest you get one for a month. There are no contracts, so you don't have to keep it. You don't even need a cable guy to come install it unless you want one to. These days, you can walk into your local cable store, tell them you want a DVR, go home and plug it in and bam, you have a DVR. Mine is around 9 bux a month. Then you can start experimenting with it. If you don't have cable now, then this suggestion does you no good, unless you sign up for cable.

Second. DVR units come in single or multiple tuners. As JB mentioned, the more tuners, the more you will need to program to achieve what you are trying to do. For most people the more tuners, the better. With 4 tuners, I can record 3 channels and watch a fourth channel simultaneously. But in your case, a single tuner would be best. That way the channel will switch automatically to one chosen channel at a time.
IE: Channel 2 has programs chosen from 8:00am to 10:00am. Then channel 4 has programs chosen from 10:00am to 3:00pm, etc etc. In those time frames, there may be multiple shows chosen to record. Example, from 8:00am to 10:00am there may be 4 half hour shows programed. You will tell the DVR that you want it to record even if they are reruns so that it stays on your goal of switching channels at selected times. Because if, say, the first half hour show in your 10:00am to 3:00pm slot is a rerun, the DVR will not switch from channel 2 to channel 4 at 10:00am. It will stay on channel 2 until one of the shows in your 10:00am to 3:00pm slot is not a rerun, then switch to channel 4. This is a good thing, but in your case could be confusing to your Mother if she's expecting the channel to change at 10:00am. It would be awful for your Mother if channel 2 didn't change at 10:00am and she had to sit through Jerry Springer, lol. I guess she can simply turn off the TV if she doesn't want to watch something. So I think in your case, it would be best to set it so it does record reruns.

Third. I know that you'd like to make it so that your Mother only has to hit the on/off button for the TV, and I can completely understand your reasoning. Trying to program and understand everything with a DVR does have a learning curve and my Father in law still doesn't understand his DVR after 2 years, lol.
But here is my third suggestion, which is non DVR related. You do know that you can set only channels that you want and eliminate every other channel? So, if you have only 5 channels that you like, you can hit the button labeled "favorites" (on my unit) and it only goes through those 5 channels each time you hit the favorite button. It also does the same if you hit the up and down channel button.

Fourth, on line DVR programming. I haven't tried this yet, but it is available and I've seen it in action. I was on a job site a few months ago and one of the subcontractors had to stay on the job site because of a delayed concrete delivery. He was planning on getting home early to watch some sporting event. He then pulled his Iphone/blackberry/whatevertheIfuck thing out and programmed his DVR to record it. So that does mean that if your Mom says that she wants to see a special at a certain time, you can set it via computer for a one time recording, then after the show is over, it goes back to your normal schedule.

Welp sir, there's my coffee thinking for the day. I just used it all up on this, so I hope it helps. :wink:
Last edited by Billy's Little Trip on Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
king_arthur
Hachikō
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:56 am
Instruments: guitar, vocals, bass, BIAB, keyboards = synth anything
Recording Method: Tascam DP-24SD
Submitting as: King Arthur
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: question about DVRs

Postby king_arthur » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:11 pm

Thanks, guys, that does help. I actually called up DirectTV at one point and was told that I couldn't do what I was trying to do, but it sounds like maybe I can. The basic tricky bit is whether there is a way to wire up the DVR so that whatever is currently being recorded is what you see on the TV if you just turn the TV on.

And, yeah, it sounds like a single-tuner model is what I want. Thanks much!

Charles
"...one does not write in dactylic hexameter purely by accident..." - poetic designs
User avatar
roymond
Owney
Posts: 5094
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:42 pm
Instruments: Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Logic
Recording Method: Logic X, MacBookPro, Guitar Rig 5, Rig Kontrol 3, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, iPad3, Apogee Jam
Submitting as: roymond, Dangerous Croutons, Intentionally Left Bank
Location: brooklyn
Contact:

Re: question about DVRs

Postby roymond » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:38 pm

king_arthur wrote:The basic tricky bit is whether there is a way to wire up the DVR so that whatever is currently being recorded is what you see on the TV if you just turn the TV on.

There are basically two "watching" modes (other than the settings mode): live TV and the play list (recorded programs). You want it set to live TV at all times. With the channel-changing JB mentioned, it will always display what's currently on TV as opposed to what's been recorded.
roymond.com | songfights | covers
"Congratulatons, roymond; you finally managed to write a song I don't really care for." - Märk
User avatar
Teplin
Rin-Tin-Tin
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:21 pm
Instruments: Bowed guitar and an excess of reverb
Recording Method: Reaper
Submitting as: Howl Down the Chimney, Humboat, Make Spoons Not Knives
Location: Colorado

Re: question about DVRs

Postby Teplin » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:33 pm

When I had a single tuner, I'd use it as an easy-to-set alarm clock for naps. Set it to record something at the time I wanted to wake up, change to a "blank" channel, and nod off on the couch.
User avatar
jb
Scrappy Dappy
Posts: 3546
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:12 am
Instruments: Guitar, Cello, Keys, Uke, Vox, Perc
Recording Method: Logic X
Submitting as: The John Benjamin Band
Location: WASHINGTON, DC
Contact:

Re: question about DVRs

Postby jb » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:50 am

king_arthur wrote:The basic tricky bit is whether there is a way to wire up the DVR so that whatever is currently being recorded is what you see on the TV if you just turn the TV on.


The DVR will have an "In" where the cable goes (I imagine it's the same or similar for satellite), and an "Out". Plug the TV into the Out and the TV will show whatever channel the DVR is tuned to. This is the normal wiring chain, you're not doing anything weird wiring it this way. In fact you kind of HAVE to do it this way so you get the "pause/rewind live TV" functionality.

I suspect the DirecTV rep misunderstood your question, because I'm pretty sure that if you just plug everything in where it seems to make sense it will behave as I've described here, which as a side effect means it will behave the way you want it to in your case, Charles.

JB
User avatar
mkilly
Hachikō
Posts: 1218
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:22 am
Instruments: guitar
Recording Method: Marantz PMD-620
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Re: question about DVRs

Postby mkilly » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:53 am

To follow up on BLT's suggestion: a straightforward way to do this would be to get analog cable (just coaxial wire going to the TV) and delete all the channels except those five that you want available. Then, any time someone changes the channel it'll be on one of those five, with no CNN or Weather Channel or MTV to get the blood pressure up, etc.
One, two, cha-cha-cha.
User avatar
king_arthur
Hachikō
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:56 am
Instruments: guitar, vocals, bass, BIAB, keyboards = synth anything
Recording Method: Tascam DP-24SD
Submitting as: King Arthur
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: question about DVRs

Postby king_arthur » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:56 pm

Thanks again, everybody. I think this will work, and as an added bonus, when I go over to visit her there will always be a couple dozen episodes of the Dog Whisperer sitting on the DVR that we can watch if there's nothing else on :-) And I can even set it up to record those Formula 1 races that are on early in the morning in case I forget to record them at home!

Charles
"...one does not write in dactylic hexameter purely by accident..." - poetic designs
Lida_Whinly

question about DVRs

Postby Lida_Whinly » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:39 am

Those are good tires and if the size difference is only an inch you should be fine. You will notice a slight loss of power during acceleration and it might be a little harder to break the tires loose.

[USER BALEETED! - JB]
User avatar
jb
Scrappy Dappy
Posts: 3546
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:12 am
Instruments: Guitar, Cello, Keys, Uke, Vox, Perc
Recording Method: Logic X
Submitting as: The John Benjamin Band
Location: WASHINGTON, DC
Contact:

Re: question about DVRs

Postby jb » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:42 am

Wow, I was really on the ball about DVRs in 2009. Forum spam really helps bring back the nostalgia...

Return to “Television”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest