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My head is spinning....too much electronic stuff!

Posted by catherinet (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 19, 08 at 9:42

I'm not sure I'm going to make it through this digital change-over. I bought several zenith DTV converter boxes, and am getting used to them.......but only in the simplest situations (TV only).
In my bedroom, I have a TV, a VCR, and a DVD-R combo with a VCR in it. I prefer to keep using the simple VCR for all my daily taping of shows, since I don't want to wear out the one on the expensive DVD-R, since some day I want to transfer my VHS home movies to discs.
A couple years ago, I bought some splitters, etc., to try to make it so I could tape TV shows on the DVD-R machine too, but I haven't gotten around to that. Now there's this huge digital change-over thing, and I'm going NUTS.

I've looked up alot of the old posts about connecting VCRs to DTV converter boxes, and it sounds like such a pain in the butt. It seems as though I would have to buy another converter box just for the VCR, if I wanted to be able to tape 2 shows on different channels.
Someone at Radio Shack told me that I could buy this thing (for another $50), so that I could plug everything into it, and it would make VCR taping and DVD watching, etc. easier. Is that true? It was a block that had several jacks on it.
This all seems like a big gimmick to get us to spend tons of money on new electronic stuff. I know that sounds paranoid......but if you're like me and my husband.....we keep things until they just don't work anymore. We don't run out and buy the latest electronic stuff.
This is just so damned frustrating. On one of my TVs (so far....there may be more)......I will always have to use 2 to turn on the TV, and one for the Converter box. I'm not able to program the remote to control the TV. Maybe I'll just give up watching TV at all.
I routinely tape several shows each day. It used to be so simple to do that. Now I'm going to need a Ph.D. to figure this out. I'm just really ticked off.
Why can't I program the remote to turn this one TV on and off?

I suppose the easiest thing for me to do is to start using my DVD-R combo (with VCR) all the time, so I only have one thing to plug into the converter box.....but I just don't want to wear it out. Is it even possible to plug the VCR and the DVD-R combo into the converter box at the same time???

Thanks for listening to my rantings.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My head is spinning....too much electronic stuff!

this is starting to be a trend, it seems that folks who use the converters are the very folks who still use VCRs. you can get a converter with a built in DVR for a price, and then no more tapes.

as to teh 2 remote issue, not all "universal" remotes are truly universal. the best thing i ever got was a Logitech Harmony a couple years ago. tha tone remote replaced 9 others in my den!

as to plugging different things in at once, yes it is possible. no need for fancy boxes, just use a properly sized splitter or use coax for one and RCA cables for the other.

RE: My head is spinning....too much electronic stuff!

As my mother used to say (and it drove me nuts) "Where does an alien go to register??" LOL.
I think its my learning disability/ADD, but this stuff seems almost impossible for me to understand.
So are you saying I can use a splitter with the DTV converter box and my VCR and DVR?
I realize that we are at a point in technology evolution that this change-over is needed, but its sure hard. You have alot of old farts like me who have been taping shows forever. I recently went through all of mine, and am sending about 3 grocery bags of VHS tapes to a recycling place......but I still have about 150 tapes left, with shows on them!
Okay.....maybe here's an option for me: Start taping my shows on DVDs? I have a nice Sony DVR and I've never figured out the splitter thing, so I never taped on it.
That way, I could get rid of the VCR in the equation.......except for when I wanted to watch some movies I'd taped (which I could do on my combo DVR). Is this thinking correct?
I watched an hour-long PBS show last night on this change-over, and was very disappointed that they didn't once mention VCRs. I guess they are dinosaurs that the current electronic world wants to get rid of, right?
What concerns me is that the rate of development is speeding up, and maybe we'll need another big change in 10 years. I worry about this country going through too much stuff!
Thanks davidandkasie. Its really weird being older and fairly set in my ways. I thought I'd be young forever. It was fun while it lasted.

RE: My head is spinning....too much electronic stuff!

I found this site that shows how to plug in a VCR or a DVD to a converter box and the TV. I know it doesn't help me with plugging into both.....although it does say I would need 2 converter boxes. But I figured there might be others out there who are fairly electronically challenged, and might appreciate the diagrams.

Here is a link that might be useful: diagram of DTV converter box and VCR

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