Saturday, June 25, 2005

This weekend turned out to be a damn expensive weekend. It pretty much fucked up my bank balance.

It all started with me deciding to buy a DVD Recorder. So many good programs airs late night and I was missing most of them. Most of the programs are super awesome programs like South Park, Reno 911, Crank Yankers and the likes.

My uncle got a Panasonic DVD Recorder and inspired me to get one too. But I wanted to buy a DVD Recorder with a Hard Disk. Without a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), the maximum you can record on a DVD(4.7 GB) is 8 hours (low quality) or 1.5 hours (DVD movie quality).
I was zeroing in on a Panasonic with a HDD, but my friend Michael Morse suggested to get a Toshiba RD-XS34, with 160 GB HDD and TV Guide support.

After doing some research I found out that, that particular model was the near perfect one for my requirements. I say near perfect because, a perfect one would have also carried a VHS player with VHS to DVD dubbing feature.
But , hey it's ok...we don't live in a perfect world ;)

I also decided to re-wire my entertainment system completely.
Till today, I was using RCA composite video cables, and stereo jack cables.

For video, I would have preferred to take the component video route, but as my TV doesn't support component video, I had to settle for S-Video.

I went to circuit city and bought the following:

(1) Monster Video® 2/Interlink® 250 A/V Connection Kit (S-Video)
(2) Monster Video® 2 High Resolution S-Video Cable
(3) Monster Satellite® Fiber Optic Audio/S-Video Hookup Kit

For video, I connected the 3 S-Video cables between, the DISH Satellite Receiver and DVD Recorder, DVD Recorder and my BOSE 3-2-1 DVD Home Entertainment System & between Bose 3-2-1 and my Sharp TV.

For audio, I junked the old RCA A/V stereo cables and used the Monster Interlink 250 A/V cable between my DISH Satellite Receiver and DVD Recorder. I also replaced the RCA A/V Stereo cables connecting my DVD Recorder with BOSE 3-2-1 with Monster Interlink Lightspeed 100 Fiber Optic cable.

This completed the re-wiring of my home entertainment system.

When I turned on the systems, WAW...everything worked perfect and the quality of the video and audio was super awesome.

The whole process took me about 15 minutes.

I recorded some clippings from Sun TV to my HDD and viewed it later. The playback quality was as good as the original. No loss of quality.

When I went to circuit city, I also ended up buying 3 more DVDs for my DVD library.

I got the following DVDs.

(1) Not Another Teen Movie
(2) Once Upon a Time in the West
(3) Titanic

Even though this whole operation was a successful one, it cost me a lot.
When HDTV(High-Definition Television) and BD(Blu-Ray Disk) comes out sometime next year, I may have to get ready to re-wire everything. I better start saving some money.


kvman said...

Wow, thats close to a $1000 investment! Do you have HD channels? Can you record them? I would have prefered buying a PC TV tuner card and just record programs on the PC's hard disk. That way you can schedule recordings over the web with softwares like the one from mythTV , and this setup could have worked out a bit cheaper. But of course, you won't get features like time slip, and the integration of the whole thing into one box.

vimal said...

It has support for HD, but not HD compatible directly.
I considered mythTV.
But tuner card, HDD, integration with multiple inputs(Satelite, cable)DVD writer, the cost was the more or less the same.
And like you said, lots of features, like TV guide, timeslip, live tv pause and so many other featurs may not have been available.

But yes, it would have been more fun building and assembling everything on your own.

vimal said...

One more cool thing...
I was recording something today morning.
After some time forgetting that I am recording something, I turned off the DVD recorder, but it didn't turn off, and instead if displayed an 'ALERT' on its display. At that time as I had turned off my TV I don't know what was displayed on TV.

But the fact that it did not interrupt my recording and turn off the DVD recorder. I thought that was cool.

kvman said...

I wonder why you said HDTV is coming out next year. Comcast already broadcasts many HD channels. But of course you need HDTV to view them. Whether the DVR can capture and store the programs in HD resolution is a different question. I would imagine HD tuner cards are super expensive and will be lacking features because of early stage of development.

vimal said...

"When Will the DTV Transition Be Complete?

Television stations serving all markets in the United States are airing digital television programming, although they still must provide analog programming until the target date set by Congress for the completion of the transition to DTV - December 31, 2006. "

... from FCC website(

By end of next year, all channels are supposed to come in HDTV only. That's what I was trying to say in my post. Wrong wording probably.

Also when HDTV comes standard, the best quality will be achieved through HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), better than component video.

Yes, you are right, it will take couple of years for the technology to become stable and the prices low.

2007 end, or 2008 beginning might be the right time to convert.

Iam also waiting on Dolby Digital 6.1 (some even talk about 7.1).