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Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer?
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Dan
electronics forum beginner


Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer? Reply with quote

Recently moved & have a new cable company (comcast). My previous cable
company (wideopenwest) had a cable box with an in-box program menu where
you would select a future program to record. When the program's
running time came, the cable box would turn on, go to that channel,
then a "vcr commander" infrared transmitter you placed in front of your
vcr would turn on the vcr, tape for the alloted program time, then the
box & vcr would be shut off. Comcast prefers to sell you its $10/mo
"digital vcr", which works like "On Demand". I'm wondering if anyone
makes a remote control which would replicate the behavior of the WOW
cable box, one with a timer, such that you could tell it to 1) turn on
the cable box at a specific time 2) set the cable box to a specific
channel 3) turn on the vcr & tape for a designated period, then 4) shut
the 2 units down. I've seen ads for a remote for those who can't
program their vcr's, basically you tell the remote to turn the vcr on,
point it at the vcr, and it turns the machine on/selects a channel at
the preset time. Did some searching, can't find one that does the added
step of turning on the cable box (probably obvious to most but this is
required since in my case more than 1/2 my available channels only come
in via the cable box). Anyone know of such a thing?

TIA

Dan
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Travis Jordan
electronics forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 01 May 2005
Posts: 274

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer? Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Quote:
Anyone know of such a thing?

Virtually all the high-end remotes have a programmable macro capability
that can do what you want.
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Dan
electronics forum beginner


Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer? Reply with quote

Travis Jordan wrote:
Quote:
Dan wrote:
Anyone know of such a thing?

Virtually all the high-end remotes have a programmable macro capability
that can do what you want.



Thanks for the reply. All the ones I looked at online (logitech, etc)
even those in the $200 - $400 dollar range (that such things even
existed surprised me Wink ) WILL run macros of the type "press a
button, turn on these 3 boxes, set them this way", but none I saw had a
clock that would do this at a variable time/channel you select, like you
set a vcr/tivo to record. Unless I missed that. Wouldn't be the 1st
time...

Dan
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T o d d P a t t i s t
electronics forum beginner


Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer? Reply with quote

Dan <none@hotmail.com> wrote:

Quote:
Thanks for the reply. All the ones I looked at online (logitech, etc)
even those in the $200 - $400 dollar range (that such things even
existed surprised me Wink ) WILL run macros of the type "press a
button, turn on these 3 boxes, set them this way", but none I saw had a
clock that would do this at a variable time/channel you select, like you
set a vcr/tivo to record. Unless I missed that. Wouldn't be the 1st
time...

Another option would be a VCR+ (VCRplus) handheld device. I
don't know if they still sell them, and you'd need to get
the VCR+ code for anything you want to record, but it will
run an internal clock, turn on the VCR and cable box, tune
the channels and tell the VCR to start recording, then turn
it all off at the end of the program. You can figure the
VCR+ codes yourself if you can't find them for the program
you want, but the method of creating them is encrypted, and
it's been years since I figured out how to do it.
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Dan
electronics forum beginner


Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer? Reply with quote

T o d d P a t t i s t wrote:
Quote:
Dan <none@hotmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for the reply. All the ones I looked at online (logitech, etc)
even those in the $200 - $400 dollar range (that such things even
existed surprised me Wink ) WILL run macros of the type "press a
button, turn on these 3 boxes, set them this way", but none I saw had a
clock that would do this at a variable time/channel you select, like you
set a vcr/tivo to record. Unless I missed that. Wouldn't be the 1st
time...

Another option would be a VCR+ (VCRplus) handheld device. I
don't know if they still sell them, and you'd need to get
the VCR+ code for anything you want to record, but it will
run an internal clock, turn on the VCR and cable box, tune
the channels and tell the VCR to start recording, then turn
it all off at the end of the program. You can figure the
VCR+ codes yourself if you can't find them for the program
you want, but the method of creating them is encrypted, and
it's been years since I figured out how to do it.

Thanks Todd, that might be another approach, though as you say dealing
with the codes is a bit of a pain.

Dan
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jeffhs@ameritech.net
electronics forum beginner


Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer? Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Quote:
T o d d P a t t i s t wrote:
Dan <none@hotmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for the reply. All the ones I looked at online (logitech, etc)
even those in the $200 - $400 dollar range (that such things even
existed surprised me Wink ) WILL run macros of the type "press a
button, turn on these 3 boxes, set them this way", but none I saw had a
clock that would do this at a variable time/channel you select, like you
set a vcr/tivo to record. Unless I missed that. Wouldn't be the 1st
time...

Another option would be a VCR+ (VCRplus) handheld device. I
don't know if they still sell them, and you'd need to get
the VCR+ code for anything you want to record, but it will
run an internal clock, turn on the VCR and cable box, tune
the channels and tell the VCR to start recording, then turn
it all off at the end of the program. You can figure the
VCR+ codes yourself if you can't find them for the program
you want, but the method of creating them is encrypted, and
it's been years since I figured out how to do it.

Thanks Todd, that might be another approach, though as you say dealing
with the codes is a bit of a pain.

Dan

I don't know either if you can get the standalone VCR Plus controllers
anymore. I had one about 20 years ago, but then they were readily
available in stores; I'm not sure about now. The only way I know of
these days to get VCR+ is to buy an RCA VCR that has the feature built
in.

I don't know if other brands of VCRs, including the cheap ones now
available at Big Lots, et al. even have the feature anymore. The TV
Guide (both the national magazine and many if not most local versions
in Sunday newspapers) does not have VCR Plus+ codes anymore, so perhaps
this feature is on its way out. In this age of video on demand, TiVo
and DVD recorders, VCRs are becoming technological dinosaurs and are
not really worth messing with anymore, unless you have a bunch of old
VHS tapes and/or want to time-shift a program once in a while.

I have a One for All universal remote with one programmable button,
the red power on/off switch. This can be set via a macro to turn on/off
up to three devices in any combination, but it is the only
macro-programmable button on the thing. There are more expensive
versions of the One for All that have two or more macro-programmable
buttons which can be set for other functions. Also, another
manufacturer (the name of which escapes me at the moment) has a
learning remote that can memorize the codes from all of your present
remotes and will operate most functions of just about any make or model
of TV, VCR, cable box, etc. made in the last ten years or so.

There was a device about ten years ago called a "VCR Co-Pilot" that
allowed remote timer settings of VCRs. It looked like a hand-held VCR
Plus+ unit, only the CoPilot had two large dials for time settings and
a large LCD display at the top of the front panel, above the time set
controls. I don't know whether or not the unit allowed automatic
channel changing of VCRs, but when it was popular, the CoPilot, like
Gemstar's VCR Plus+ hand unit, had a good following among people who
were intimidated by the time-setting procedures for their machines. My
own Panasonic Omnivision VCR, bought new three years or so ago, has
on-screen timer controls (which can be set only via the remote, one of
the very few things I don't like about it) and an auto clock set
function, but some older ones were much more difficult to set up--this
is what spawned the jokes several years ago about the "flashing 12:00"
on VCRs. Some machines had timers which were so difficult to set that
many people just left the clock flashing and used the unit simply to
play back tapes.

_________________________

Jeff, WB8NHV
Fairport Harbor, Ohio USA
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T o d d P a t t i s t
electronics forum beginner


Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Remote control to turn on cable box, select a channel, then vcr by timer? Reply with quote

"Jeff, WB8NHV" <jeffhs@ameritech.net> wrote:

Quote:
I don't know either if you can get the standalone VCR Plus controllers
anymore.

I did a quick check of ebay, sure enough. there were lots of
them and they looked cheap.
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