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No Tuner But Recording is Possible
on September 15, 2007
I bought the Philips DPV3340V today. It's true, there's no tuner, but in a couple of years analog tuners will be obsolete anyway. If you have cable or Dish/Direct TV you can record incoming signals. There are instructions on the box, but you cannot watch one channel and record another unless put the cable box line to the VCR and have another connection to the TV tuner (RF or composite).
This unit is a VHS recorder. You can copy directly from DVD to VHS but it will not go from VHS to DVD. (VHS to DVD is a more expensive unit.)
I bought this unit primarily to play my old VHS tapes and to record TV programs. While there is no tuner or cable connection (RF coaxial) on the back, there are the RCA (composite) type connectors. (All newer TVs have this type of connection; the red, white and yellow connectors.) If you do not have the composite connections on your TV, only the old RF coax connection, you can't connect a DVD player to your TV anyway.
My cable box has both the old style RF coax and the newer RCA composite connections. I used a splitter and connected the composite red, white, yellow cables from my cable box to both my TV and to the VCR. I can play DVDs, VHS tapes and I can record TV shows on tape. The cable box is the input.
You do not have to have the TV on to record programs unless you are using the output from the TV to the VCR. This is a backwards connection and I'm not sure why anyone would do this unless they didn't have cable or dish. If that's the case then you need the TV to be on, using it's tuner and the *TV-OUT* composite jacks to the VCR input jacks. (Not all TVs have an "out" connection.) You cannot record digital to VHS unless you create a DVD first, then you can use this player to make the copy. Output from your cable box will work as input to this VCR.
The VCR was easy to set up, I haven't even read the manual. It comes with a quick start guide. The VCR delivers a good picture and sound. The DVD player has progressive scan if your TV is capable. If not, it still gives a good picture. It also has component video connections for TVs with that capability. You can copy from DVD to a VHS tape in one operation, if there is no copy protection. Sound is HI-FI stereo. It will play WMAs, MP3s and displays .JPG pictures from a DVD. There is an S-Video connection, one front input, one rear input. There is one set of cables (Red, white for sound and a separate yellow for video.) If you want input for recording you will need to purchase another set.
It has a small remote with small lettering. (The remote comes with 2 AAA batteries.) If you have vision problems it may be hard to read. There is a child lock. It does not glow in the dark, a feature on my TV's remote. There are buttons to switch between DVD and VCR but several buttons work in either position. (I briefly had a Memorex and the controls were very confusing, locking the DVD door and refusing to open unless you pressed the DVD button.)
I've had it for only a few hours but so far I'm satisified. My old VCR died and I opted to replace it and the DVD player with one unit. The zoom on my old DVD player displayed on the screen unless you weren't zooming. This unit zooms and the display goes away. I don't have widescreen yet so I like to zoom to fill the screen.
I can't speak to the longevity but this is my fifth VCR. Quality seems to be an issue with VCRs. I've had Pioneer, Sony, Zenith, JVC and a Memorex. All have gone belly up. It's cheaper to buy a new one than pay for repairs.
I hope they keep making them. I'd hate to buy these movies all over again. I have a lot of DVDs now but I've been around for a while and have a lot of VHS movies that I still enjoy. Watched two today on my new Philips DVP3340V :-)