One PVR, two TVs. What are my options?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by PaulDF, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    We've just upgraded one of our Bell ExpressVu receivers to a 5900 PVR setup.

    The main purpose was for my wife to use it to record her soaps etc, as the VCR in her TV room was dying, and the sat receiver was also on the fritz. So far we love it and it is going to really spoil us.

    BUT, just below her tv room is my home theater. And the Bell PVR receiver has Dolby Digital output which she can't use upstairs but I could sure use downstairs! The output is optical, and it doesn't seem feasable (or economical) to run an optical cable through the floor and down the inside of the wall.

    Here are my options as I see them...

    1. Leave PVR upstairs and regular sat downstairs and don't utilize the DD output. [​IMG]

    2. Run optical and coax cables to downstairs and use an extra input on my TV. Not even sure how long of an optical cable is available, but the price would be out of my range.

    3. Move the PVR to downstairs and run coax up to the TV above. (The UHF remote seems to work okay from one floor to the other). Wouldn't be able to see if the unit was on or recording while upstairs though, but it should work.

    Has anybody else been in this situation? I hate having features and not utilizing them, especially when it comes to audio/video.

    Any ideas I've missed?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Option 2. There are no issues at all with longer runs of RF signals.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Please post about PVRs here in the area designated for such.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Wayne, i'm pretty sure coax in option 2 was for video.

    If you can't find a long optical cable you could get an optical-to-coax converter from radio shcack for around $20, convert the optical to coax, and run the coax down to your HT.
     
  5. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    does that work well? Woulnt you need 2 converters then? one to make it coax, and the other to bring it back to Optical?
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    You would only need 2 converters if you don't have an open digital-coax input on your receiver and do have an open optical input.
     
  7. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Thanks Stephen. I did consider a converter, but didn't really think they existed.

    That is probably the best way to go. Not many channels so far in 5.1, but I'd sure like to see if it sounds as good as a DVD.
     
  8. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Paul - You didn't mention the best option:
    (4) Get a second PVR and have one in both rooms. I guarantee after you use the PVR for a while, you won't want to go back to a VCR. No tapes to worry about, instant access to all programs, better recording quality, etc. There are definitely a lot of advantages to a PVR, so perhaps the best option (subject to affordability) is to have a PVR in both rooms.

    Enjoy.

    Steve K.
     
  9. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    my issue, is that we have an HD reciever in the living room, and a directivo in the bedroom. unfortunatly, I ussually wait for my programs to record to skip the commercials. I would like to watch it in my livingroom sometimes, sitting on the bed by default isnt so fun after a while. smaller tv, no surround, 4:3. BLAH
     
  10. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Thanks Steve, That is most likely the best option, but just can't swing it! Rarely do we watch regular TV programs downstairs, so its not worth it. I had thought the odd time we may want to watch something we recorded, downstairs on a bigger screen and much better sound system.

    We don't pay per vu very often, usually we rent DVDs. I had thought that might change if I had the PVR set up for both rooms, but then I notice there is not much programming yet in 5.1.

    The PVR is definitely superior to the VCR. No rewinding, everything in menus. Picture quality is not degraded at all. Very nice. Still getting used to the controls etc too.

    The big sticker on the front saying not too move or vibrate the machine worries me though, since my baby boy did pull the shelf out from under it and it took a tumble... Still works the same though. Just how fragile are these units?
     

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