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Analog to Digital Change questions (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 7, 2003
I have a couple questions about the change from Analog to Digital. I hope this is the right place to ask this.

I'm also asking questions for a couple other people that I know.

Okay, my setup first. I have a tv that is about 4 years old. It is connected to Cable and I know it will work still after the switchover. Some of my local stations did a test a few weeks back and it worked just fine.

My question is this. I have a VCR (yes I know, it's 2009), will I still be able to record shows with a standard VCR when the switch happens? The VCR is probably 3 or 4 years old as well.

Another question I had. I've been considering getting a DVD recorder, so I can get rid of the old VCR. With the change to Digital, is there anything I need to look for when buying a DVD recorder?


Then I have a friend that does not have cable, but they got one of those converter boxes and have it hooked up to their tv. Will they still be able to record on a standard VCR?


Then another friend, that has a fairly new tv, less than 2 years old. She lives in an apartment building, and the tv is hooked up to the Cable hookup But she doesn't pay for the Cable service, she just has the normal over the air channels. The only extra thing that she has through the cable hookup is the closed circuit thing where you can see the front door of the apartment building.

Will she need to buy a converter box? or will hers work because she's hooked up to the Cable hookup, even though she's not actually receiving any Cable channels?


Thanks for any help you can give me with any of these questions.


Senior HTF Member
Aug 22, 2000
Real Name
You and your friend have cable so the change does not impact you guys at all. But some cable companies are taking this as an opportunity to change to all digital programming. That's a business decision and not a government mandate. Cable companies are also using this as a way to scare people into subscribing to their services rather than educating the consumer.

Bottom line - if you receive programming via an antenna connected to a TV, VCR, DVD recorder, etc without an ATSC tuner, then you need a converter box.


Joseph DeMartino

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1997
Real Name
Joseph DeMartino
The switchover only affects broadcast television. You cable company is already converting the local signals into something any TV (or VCR) can handle, so you're good to do unless your cable company is doing something truly bizarre in your area. (Check their web-site or give them a call if you want to be sure.) You should not need to do anything special re: a DVD recorder. (Although you might also want to consider getting a DVR from your cable company.)

Your friends with the roof antenna and the converter box are likewise OK, but things may work differently if they've never used a box before. They will need to connect the box to the VCR, and the VCR to the TV, and they'll only be able to watch/record the station the box is tuned to.

Your other friend will need to check with the folks who run her building. She is either getting free basic cable through a group purchase deal negotiated by the building owner, in which case nothing will change, or she's on an internal distribution system connected to a roof antenna - in which case only the people who manage that system will be able to tell her where she stands.



Todd Erwin

HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Apr 16, 2008
Hawthorne, NV
Real Name
Todd Erwin

Another solution to the VCR issue would be to have one converter box hooked up to the VCR, and another to the TV, if they want the option of recording one program while watching another.

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