and should I wait to buy a dvd recorder that has one? I was looking at a panny Es15 ($109) or a panny Es25 ($169). Niether have this type of tuner.
An ATSC tuner is what you would need to record over-the-air digital broadcasts.
Should you wait? That would depend on what you want to record and how those things get to you.
If you want to record digital broadcasts off from an antenna you will want an ATSC tuner.
If you subscribe to a satellite service, no, you won't need an ATSC tuner.
If you subscribe to HDTV cable and use a cable box, no, you won't need an ATSC tuner.
If you subscribe to HDTV cable and don't use a cable box, yes, you need an ATSC tuner.
Hope this helps.
What does ATSC stand for?
Well, right now, ATSC stands for "Advanced Television Systems Committee"; the group that worked on the standards for HD TV. The old (mostly-U.S.) standard is NTSC, which stands for "National Television Systems Committee" (a similar, earlier committee). The term NTSC has been corrupted over time to stand for "Never Twice the Same Color". :-)
So if I understand correctly, I currently record 8 programs a week via my VCR w/out a cable box involved. At some point in the next year or so when everything goes digital, that VCRs tuner will cease to work and I'll have 2 choices:
1) Get into the 1970s version of hooking the VCR to the cable box, programming to record channel 4 and leaving the cable box on antuner to whatever channel I wish to record AND not being able to watch anything else at that point.
2) Get a DVD recorder with this new type tuner.
Is that about right?
Yup. About right.
However, if what you do is time shift, IE record a show, watch it, and then erase it, I have found it far easier to use a cable box with a built in hard drive recorder than trying to sync a VCR with a cable box.
If you want to archive something on a DVD you can then use the DVD recorder to do that.
Never Twice the Same Color...
LOL, never heard that one before.
Anything like that for PAL and SECAM?
Thanks for the info.
Not that I've heard; sorry. :-)