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VCR not working with Xfinity set top box:
So here's my VCR issue and I know this issue occurs for alot of people with a DVD running through a VCR to the TV...the dreaded macrovision... BUT I'm having this problem with just using A VCR. No DVD

I've got the xfinity Cobra digital box PR/150BNM. I've got a Panasonic PV-7660 VCR (4 head Omnivision VHS). A Magnavox TV (analog / one coax input only). Old school, I know. But, this VCR worked to record tv shows with my previous service (different xfiity box at that time...but it worked). Same connect now as then... cable into the "Cobra" box RF-out to the VCR RF- then out from the VCR and into to the TV RF. Pretty simple. Cable TV is ok. Just watching a prerecorded tape is ok. But if I want to record the fading picture...clear and bright at first for about 10 seconds- then fading very dark and picture quality breakdown- then brightening up again to decent quality and the cycle repeats itself. I'm guessing macrovision in the new Comcast box??
Anyone have a clue as to how to mod this issue?
...or do I have to go out and purchase a DVD-R (not knowing of course if I'll get the same issue)
Frustrated tech would really appreciate your take on this!.
 

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rated:
Yup, that's macrovision. Your best bet is to make your own DVR.

May I ask why you are archiving shows on VHS tape?

rated:
Thanks for your reply forbin.

I guess I just hate to abandon a perfectly decent working VCR...(I'll tell you about my stereo sometime...you vinyl may be coming back some day)ANYWAY...seems like I have three options: 1) Go out and buy an iVIEW 3100STB Digital Converter Box with Recording, Media Playback and Universal Remote for example. But this will only work with an antenna, if I'm correct, and only capture content that's on the "free air waves" correct?
So there goes CNN, BBC, and RT...?
2) I think Comcast will "rent" you a DVD-R (for a loan-shark fee)...and that equipment should let you record and play off their set-top box? ...or is there a DVD-R that I can buy that will also work?
AND lastly, my best option:3)the "build your own DVD-R" Option!
Can you please briefly explain?

Thanks so much
Jordachex

rated:
1) Technically, a box that handles QAM in addition to ATSC can tune and record unencrypted cable channels. Typically though, only a handful of cable channels are unencrypted (locals, public access, etc.). One that handles CableCard can work with all cable channels, but you need to rent a CableCard from Comcast For $5/month. Tivo is the most popular of 3rd party DVRs, although you have to subscribe to their channel guide service, either as a monthly/yearly fee ($14.99/$149.99), or a "lifetime" subscription upfront ($549.99).
https://www.tivo.com/

2) The Comcast DVR rental can look pricey, but keep in mind it's replacing your existing cable box, so the increase in your monthly cost is the DVR rental fee - basic box rental fee. Also, Comcast will fix/replace the DVR for as long as you're renting it, while whatever DVR you buy/build on your own, you're going to be on the hook once the warranty expires.

3) Building a DVR is a really intensive task. It's basically a nightmare of limited hardware/software options that aren't all that user friendly, especially during setup. It used to be that Windows Media Center was a good way DVR program, but MS discontinued it with Windows 10. It's not going to be cheap either, and you'll still have to rent a CableCard from Comcast.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-alternatives-windows...
http://www.techhive.com/article/2962313/tv-tuner/how-to-replace-...
https://forum.silicondust.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43737

rated:
forbin4040 and marsilies,

Thanks again for your info. And yeah...my VCR issue IS pretty old school,,,but I'll still keep the damn thing (I'm a pack~rat like most tech's. And I can still transfer some tapes to DVD, A DIY DVR build would be pretty complicated for me though... I see on a SiliconDust link someone sent me, the HD Homerun Connect...I think this might be similar to my Zenith Digital TV tuner converter box, And yeah, Comcast switched to digital some time ago. At first their box "allowed" the VCR to record...but they put Macrvision into the new box...so VCR recording is done. So now I'm really thinking about just plain "cutting the cord" entirely and building a free "over the air" set up. I know I'll loose a lot of content from Comcast's service. And I'm going to miss Bill Maher and RT... But Comcast is just going to up the cost every two years anyway. So maybe I should start a new thread on this site about an over the airways build and see what others think. Here's where you start http://www.receptionmaps.com/Advanced-TV-Maps.html and there's some pretty good antennas out there now http://antennadeals.com/HD2605.html You will get some programming thet you would not get with Comcast too. I don't know...what do you think?

rated:
Another option is to drop cable TV but keep the internet and go with one of the "streaming cable" services is PS Vue, DirecTV Now, or SlingTV. PS Vue has a DVR-like function where you can save your favorites to watch later.
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

SlingTV just started a beta for Cloud DVR:
http://blog.sling.com/announcements/record-your-favorite-shows-o...

See a comparison of features:
http://fox6now.com/2017/01/18/3-streaming-tv-services-compared-s...

Some of them have local channels in certain markets, otherwise you'd still need to set up an OTA DVR for the locals.

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