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02/03/2009 12:20:55 PM · #1
Not really photography related, but there are a lot of smart people here that always seem to be able to answer anything so I'm giving this a shot.

I have a security camera on the front of my house. It plugs into a TV/VCR/DVR... via standard RCA jacks. I want to hook it to a DVR that will constantly record the last 40 or 80 hours at all times. All the DVR's I can find require that you subscribe to TIVO, which I don't need or want to pay for.
Questions:
1. Could I get a TIVO DVR, not subscribe to the sevice and still do what I want (record from an input)?
2. Any other thoughts other then a VCR?

I considered the PC route, but I like having the cameras hooked to the family room TV and I don't have a PC to dedicate to it.

Right now I have it hooked to a DVD recorder and sometimes I record and other times I don't... I heard there are now DVD recorders that have a hard drive, which would probably/possibly do what I want? Anyone know?

They do make DVRs specifically for security cameras but they cost 3 to 4 times more then a standard DVR so I'm trying to avoid that route.

Thanks!

Message edited by author 2009-02-03 12:22:20.
02/03/2009 12:27:19 PM · #2
In case you change your mind about using a PC, MythTV is a free linux-based DVR. You can easily set it up to record hour-long "shows" (in your case, from the camera), and expire the oldest as you run out of disk space.

A minimum PC to run this would likely cost around $350. But you could get dual tuners, record TV as well, use it to browse the web, have a file server, etc.
02/03/2009 12:32:41 PM · #3
i dont know of how much help i can be but i bought my girlfriend a tivo and based playing with it and hooking it up for her a bunch of different time and places i dont think you would able to record onto that,in that way either or paying for the sub or not, and me personaly i have dvr trough my cable co. and i cant like record a dvd or vhs on to it. so my only thought is for you to maybe try looking dvd recorders(like a shelf unit non cpu related) my pops has one its like a vhs/dvd player/recorder where he can record vhs to dvd buy yet he can record tv straight to dvd i dont think he picked it up for too much due to hes not all up to date with hi-end electronics and wont spend such high prices for entertament but i guess to say maybe try looking into it and see what the capibalitys are. hope ive been of some help to you and good luck.
02/03/2009 01:55:09 PM · #4
I'm inclined to think that you wouldn't be able to record to a DVR. The signal that's recorded on a DVR box comes in through the cable (coax) input on the DVR, if I'm not mistaken. Obviously, a VCR could record for you. They'll record from any input that's used, as you know. I wonder if you could use the hard drive on a laptop or PC instead. There might be a software solution to handle this.

Not much help, there's probably plenty more peeps out there who could say for sure.
02/03/2009 03:25:59 PM · #5
thanks for the thoughts so far. The MythTV thing may be an option but I'll have to steal my wife's computer or buy her a laptop.

You'd think this would be a fairly easy thing, I don't get it...
02/03/2009 03:34:21 PM · #6
have you checked out any security companies or alarm companies for options?

Originally posted by LoudDog:

thanks for the thoughts so far. The MythTV thing may be an option but I'll have to steal my wife's computer or buy her a laptop.

You'd think this would be a fairly easy thing, I don't get it...
02/03/2009 03:35:53 PM · #7
I've never tried it, but assuming you can get a color signal from your camera, you can use a Tivo. I don't recall if every Tivo has RCA inputs, but I know that some (most?) do. When you're setting up the Tivo, you tell it you've got a cable box. It will always whine about not having the Tivo service, but should still work.

If your camera is black and white, Tivo won't get a signal though.
02/03/2009 05:47:48 PM · #8
Originally posted by Bugzeye:

have you checked out any security companies or alarm companies for options?

Originally posted by LoudDog:

thanks for the thoughts so far. The MythTV thing may be an option but I'll have to steal my wife's computer or buy her a laptop.

You'd think this would be a fairly easy thing, I don't get it...


Yep, those are quite expensive though... I'm cheap.
02/03/2009 05:49:22 PM · #9
Originally posted by Ann:

I've never tried it, but assuming you can get a color signal from your camera, you can use a Tivo. I don't recall if every Tivo has RCA inputs, but I know that some (most?) do. When you're setting up the Tivo, you tell it you've got a cable box. It will always whine about not having the Tivo service, but should still work.

If your camera is black and white, Tivo won't get a signal though.


That's what I'm looking for, can I use a TIVO box without the service. I see those pretty cheap all over the place.
02/03/2009 06:23:57 PM · #10
investigate the computer route. You can get an adapter to go from the camera to a USB port and turn that hard drive into a DVR. The adapter costs like 40 bucks.


Message edited by author 2009-02-03 18:25:42.
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