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Marilee J. Layman

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06:12 pm: VCR/DVR Help
My newer VCR is starting to make almost-dead sounds (I use it almost every day) and it's almost exactly seven years old (I was thinking it was newer). So I figured the choice was a new VCR or an unaffiliated DVR, and I expected I'd end up with a VCR. Well, I've just spent a mostly fruitless hour searching, so I'm asking for help.

I have a DVD, so I only need a VCR, but those are almost impossible to find at consumer-TV level. Lots of very expensive ones for security systems.

Almost all DVRs are associated with a plan and a dish or phone line. I don't want to pay for the extras, I can program one like I've been programming VCRs for years.

There is a third possibility -- I can buy a consumer-level VCR/DVD and sell/give my DVD, but I'd really like to just add one new component.

Anybody have ideas?

Comments

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From:sciamanna
Date:April 4th, 2008 10:53 am (UTC)
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No cheap VCRs on ebay? Sounds like the obvious place, so you've probably checked that already, but on the offchance...
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:April 4th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Considering how much I use it, I'd like a new one.
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From:janetmk
Date:April 4th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
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My new digital TV (ordered from Amazon last fall) has a built-in DVD player. I have a few VCR tapes that I wanted to be able to play and my old VCR was dead, so I went looking for a new basic VCR player and found, as you did, that no one seems to be making them any longer.

I decided against getting a new VCR/DVD player because my TV already plays DVDs and I don't plan to timeshift programs. So I looked on ebay for used VCR machines. I didn't find many inexpensive choices there (and shipping was pricey on most of them). I finally took a chance on a really old one ($15? plus $10 shipping) that came without instructions and no guarantee that it would work. It was OK for what I needed it for.

I suspect getting a new VCR/DVD is your best option. Have you browsed the ones available on Amazon?





[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:April 4th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I was thinking that was probably best, but I wondered if anybody would know something I didn't. I don't have a digital TV, but it doesn't matter because I have cable. I looked at a batch yesterday, but I'll be napping soon and maybe not back online until tomorrow, so I'll look then.
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From:laurel
Date:April 5th, 2008 07:33 am (UTC)
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One place to check would be Craig's List, not necessarily for a VCR (though I'm sure they crop up), but for an older TiVo with lifetime service. "Lifetime" is for the life of the machine, but they can live a long time (we have the very first model chugging along just fine). That means there are no additional service fees required ever and you'd have a nice working TiVo. Might not have all the bells and whistles of newer models, but I doubt you want them.

TiVo has specials they post to their site which are often quite good. These days most have service fees but then the boxes themselves are usually really cheap. Occasionally they have lifetime memberships/subscriptions available.

Do you have cable? All the older TiVos and some newer ones work with it. I've never used TiVo with broadcast, but I'm sure it's do-able.

I think TiVo is one of the best inventions ever, especially for people who used to tape plenty of shows. Happy to answer any questions you have.

A search on "VCR" at Amazon did turn up some VCRs that were available new that weren't combo units and weren't expensive. Not many, but at least a couple. (If you don't find 'em, I can send specific links).
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:April 5th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
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I can't afford another phone line, which TiVo wants. I'll check Craigslist and Amazon, though, thanks!
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From:laurel
Date:April 5th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
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TiVo doesn't need its own phone line, it just makes a single call in the middle of the night about once a week (or once a day, never more than that). It knows not to call if you're on the phone.

And with most TiVos you don't even have to use the phone line if you have internet access it can use (via a wireless adapter or ethernet). Some prefer the phone, some the net.

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