VCR Widescreen HD Compatibility

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by DavidC-Phd, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. DavidC-Phd

    DavidC-Phd Auditioning

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    I have a widescreen HD TV, but currently have standard cable. I have been reluctant to upgrade to HD cable, because I am concerned that video recording off HD widescreen will not play back properly on a regular TV.

    Does anyone know if I record a Widescreen HD show off cable using a regular standard VCR ... will the playback on a regular TV be letterboxed or will it be squished to make everyone look tall and thin?

    David
     
  2. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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    I'm sure others will know for sure, but for the sake of a quick answer I would have to say that I don't believe you can record HD on a regular VCR at all.
     
  3. Johnny Mo

    Johnny Mo Agent

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    I haven't seen a VCR that has component video inputs, you will need that in order to record any HD broadcast, so I think the answer is no you can't.

    HD broadcasts are sent to the TV via the Component Video jacks, not via the coax. In any event, you can probably record HD onto a TIVO or DVR, but I think you will only get the original form that was input (the cable box will usually stretch it to fit your widescreen tv). If you use the DVI inputs then you will likely be restricted in recording anything.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. DavidC-Phd

    DavidC-Phd Auditioning

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    Yikes. I at least figured it would record the show in low resolution! Are you sure it cannot even do that? That is not good [​IMG] Has anyone tried to do this?
     
  5. Johnny Mo

    Johnny Mo Agent

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    David,

    if you go with HD cable, you will most likely have a cable box with multiple outputs. Mine happens to be a Scientific Atlanta 4200HD box.

    It will have a set of HD outputs for Audio and Video, and then a regular coax output for digital (non-HD) cable. It is usually not necessary to hook up the coax, but I have it for for those times when I may need picture in picture, or to record to the VCR. The HD outs are componenet video or DVI, depending on how advanced your cable provider is.

    In your case you will likely want to hook up both sets of cable outputs to your tv, one for 90% of the time, and the coax for when you want to record at regular digital cable resolution to your vcr. The other thing you lose by going with the coax on a HD (vs the component vid) box is the on-screen information bar that you can scroll thru.
     
  6. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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    Johnny Mo, just to clarify, you can record only SDTV programming via the coax, correct?
     
  7. Johnny Mo

    Johnny Mo Agent

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    That is my understanding.

    My VCR only has coax and composite video ins, so I can only get Std Definition...on a SuperVHS you'll get S-Video - Std Definition with slightly better picture quality, and now that I think of it I do remember seeing (before the holidays) a ridiculously expensive HD-VCR (with component video) at Circuit City. For the price they were asking I'd pay the few extra bucks for the Tivo/DVR and be done with it.
     
  8. DavidC-Phd

    DavidC-Phd Auditioning

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    I am now more confused. What is STD? Standard? I don't care if the recording is lower resolution, as long as I can still record off of HD TV, but can I do this? If so, will the widescreen shows be squished vertically, or letterboxed?
     
  9. Johnny Mo

    Johnny Mo Agent

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    David,

    sorry yes Std is Standard definition. As far as HD recording goes NO you will not be able to record things broadcast in HD.

    Not sure about your area, but my cable provider has separate HD channels that will only transmit to the TV via the Component Video lines, the same program will be broadcast in standard definition on a different channel fed via the COAX and WILL BE recordable.
     

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