Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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I've got this Sears VCR, probably 80's vintage that has a timer
program function. You set the program via the onscreen display, up to
4 programs. However, to activate it, you push a slider that puts the
VCR into a dormant mode until the appointed time.

If anyone's familiar with this kind of functionality, how are you
supposed to record future events if you have to work this slider to
make the recording happen and essentially renter the VCR useless for
anything else in the meanwhile? The whole thing seems cotingent on
your remembering when you set the programs for.

Thanks for all insight.

Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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Yes.

That's how it is designed, but there probably should be a button which lets
you see what you have programed.

Depeneding upon the model, it erased the program after it recorded it. Some
had a special program which would repeat everyday. This was to prevent you
from recording a program at the same time tomorrow if you only wanted the one
on tonight and vice versa.

It never really worked in the general public. VCR's were notorious for
flashing 12:00 meaning the clock had never been set.

Geoff.


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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
On Sun, 26 Oct 2008 05:39:01 -0000, Geoffrey S. Mendelson <gsm@mendelson=
.com> wrote:

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They tend to set themselves nowadays.

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
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    Most VCRs will have some sort of indication that the clock has
either not been set or there has been a power outage. My Panasonic
"Omnivision" 4-head VCR, bought new perhaps four years ago, shows four
dashes on the clock display after a power outage (or directly out of
the box). It can be reset manually or by means of an XDS (extended
data signal) from the local PBS television station.

  Most if not all VCRs made in the last five years or so have this
automatic clock set function, so users need not worry about resetting
the clock after the power goes out. If the user's area has a local PBS
station, the auto-clock-set function will use the XDS signal to reset
the clock to the correct local time.

  The old "flashing 12:00" story only applies to older machines
manufactured before the auto-clock-set function became more or less
standard (or was even thought of). The XDS signal will reset the clock
automatically when the power is restored, regardless of what channel
the VCR was set to before the outage.

  The use of the XDS data signal to automatically set the VCR clock
has made most modern VCRs very easy to set up; just take it out of the
box, connect the cable or antenna, plug it in, turn it on....and the
machine will take care of the rest, not only automatically setting the
clock to the correct time but also programming the tuner for all
locally receivable TV stations. I had a Magnavox VCR that had this
type of automatic set-up, and I liked it...a lot. Had to get rid of
it, though, about nine years ago when the heads wore out. I've had two
VCRs since then, however, one with VCR Plus+ and my present Omnivision
machine, that have the same automatic set up systems.

I don't know, however, if today's combination VHS/DVD players even
have timers anymore. The ones that have digital tuners probably do,
but the bare-bones machines without RF modulators which will record
only from line input (cable box, antenna) probably don't. The machines
that are set up to dub from VHS to DVD, or vice-versa, carry a very
clearly worded warning to the effect that the units are not designed
to and in fact will not duplicate copyrighted material under any
circumstances. This design, which is required these days by law, is
almost certainly to prevent piracy and copyright infringement, both of
which are punishable by up to five years in federal prison and/or a
$250,000 fine.  All commercially-made DVD movies and/or TV series
carry this warning as well, which shows at the beginning of these
DVDs.

Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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Doesn't work with mine any more, as I only have a scart input to the VCR from
the Sky satellite receiver.

Plus the JVC was so stupid that it would only set the time if it was switched
off, and not on timer.  I only ever had it on timer, or recording or playing.

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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Errr... you've just described every single VCR I've ever known.  Except it's not
usually a slider nowadays, it's called "timer rec mode".  Some you just have to
switch off.  It's to prevent it recording stuff over a tape you were just
playing.  You're to tell it that you've now put the recording tape in.

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
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My newer VCRs don't even require that.  They will happily record over
the tape you were just playing right after you press Stop when it's time
for a timer recording.  That's not a very nice “feature” at all.

--
Travis Evans
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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
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Exactly. No one has ever made a VCR that allows you to manually record while
the machine is in timer-record mode. You have to switch off timer mode, make
the recording, then turn timer-record back on again.

This does not seem to me to be an unreasonable way of arranging things.



Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 11:10:20 -0000, William Sommerwerck

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The most annoying thing I've found is in the user interface for programming
them.  Is it just me or are they always extremely badly designed?

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
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Both. The Sony SL-HF900 had a superbly simple system that I won't waste time
describing. I've seen other VCRs whose programming system is so difficult to
follow that even an instruction book isn't of much use.



Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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The timer programming on the HS-U4xx, HS-U7xx, and HS-HD2000U is a snap. The
HS-HD2000U even lets the user enter all of the info (on time/off time/channel,
etc.) into the remote, then press "transmit", and all of the info is sent to
the VCR. Nifty.

Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
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use.


My Hi8 Sony Hi8 VCR has such a system. But I'd be willing to bet that most
people couldn't use it, because the utterly trivial and obvious concept that
you have to enter the channel, day, and start/stop times is completely
beyond their comprehension. Most people act by rote, not by understanding.

The Sony SL-HF900 was about as simple as you could get. You pressed a big
bar, and the setting you were to change blinked. You spun a big knob to
change it, then pressed the bar again. This was repeated until everything
was set.



Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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Thus, the popularity of the DVR with IPG.

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The Mitsubishi is similar. A line is highlighted; adjust with jog dial on
remote; turn shuttle ring to enter - next line is highlighted; etc. Really
simple.

Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
On Tue, 28 Oct 2008 11:03:21 -0000, William Sommerwerck

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Is that one of those knobs you can spin and press?  My GPS has that, I always
press it by mistake while trying to turn it.

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
On Tue, 28 Oct 2008 00:31:23 -0000, William Sommerwerck

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The most annoying thing about my JVC is that it cancels what you've put in if
you leave it idle in the middle of programming for about a minute and replaces
the programming on the screen with "program cancelled".

The Sky box and a Sony DVD recorder both annoy me for another reason - there is
a delay of about 0.5 seconds between pressing a button on the remote and
something happening in a menu.  And there is virtually no keyboard buffer, so it
gets behind what I'm pressing and does something completely different.  The sky
box is even more annoying - it has no cache, if I select a progam for recording,
then go back to the program listings, it reloads the bloody listings from the
dish!

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
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My LG DVD/VCR combo also has an annoying delay.  I can't even enter the
data in using the number keys; I have to futz around with the arrow keys
for around 30 seconds just to enter one piece of data because of the
ridiculously poor UI (and exceptionally slow key response).  I believe
the firmware coders were just plain lazy.  It wouldn't have taken much
to make the UI significantly more tolerable even with the slow key
response.

My Philips DVD/HDD recorder is the best--I can use the arrows /or/ the
number keys, and it accepts keystrokes almost as fast as I can press
them.  /That's/ the proper way to implement it.

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Travis Evans
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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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I don't understand why anything made recently would have a slow response.  The
ZX80 was faster at key input, haven't chips speeded up since?

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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What isn't being into consideration is the time it takes to process/buffer
digital video signals. This is even more problematic on a DVR since you are,
in effect, viewing a recorded/delayed signal.

Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR

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It can do all that decoding, but can't repsond to a keypress in a timely manner?

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Re: Understanding timer program recording on old Sears VCR
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manner?
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The chip can but the progammer has no clue what a chip does.

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