Cable TV and front projection, Sima Copy Kit, printers and documents

Week 29, 2003  

Q:     Can you hook up cable television through a front projector?     If so, is there anything special needed for the hookup?

-Sam Mursau, Appleton, Wisconsin

A:   You can use cable television with a front projector, but you cannot connect a front projector directly to the cable coming from the wall.   This is because front projectors do not have television tuners.   Front projectors only have video inputs such as S-Video, component video, composite video, or DVI.

There are several ways to use a front projector with cable television.   The easiest is to just use the video output from a cable box.   If you don’t use a cable box, you can use a cable-ready VCR.   Run the cable from the wall to the VCR, then connect the VCR’s video outputs to the projector.   Set the VCR’s TV/VCR setting to “VCR” and when you change cable channels on the VCR, the picture will be sent from the VCR’s video outputs to the projector for display.

Using your VCR to change channels also works great for people who have televisions without cable tuners, and with TVs who have a cable tuner that does not go very high into the channel band, cutting off around 60, for example.

Q:   What is DVD-ROM?

-Lav Ji Jhingran, India

A:   A DVD-ROM is simply a DVD that has been manufactured with content on it, and which cannot be recorded again.   For example, a purchased DVD movie is an example of a DVD-ROM.   DVD-RAM and DVD+RW are the DVD formats that can be recorded over more than once.   A DVD-R is a home recordable DVD that can be recorded one time only.   You could say that DVD-R is a form of DVD-ROM because it can only be recorded once.

Q:   Recently in your column, a reader asked about copying 8mm film with the use of a camcorder and other equipment. While I was intrigued with your explanation, I was wondering if here is a more efficient and economical method to transfer the 8mm film to discs or videotape.

-M.   Sienick

A:   As the question was posed, the reader needed to edit his movies.   If editing is not necessary, the process is much simpler, and you can use the Sima Copy Kit to transfer 8mm movies to a VCR or a DVD recorder using only a camcorder.

To make a direct transfer to VHS tape or recordable DVD, connect the camcorder’s video outputs directly to the video inputs of the VCR or DVD recorder.   (Make sure the menus are turned off and you only see a video image in the viewfinder.)   Select the video input on your recording device, press record, then start your movie projector.   Everything the camcorder “sees” on the Sima Copy Kit’s screen will be transferred directly to the blank videotape or DVD.

Q:   I just got a digital camera and was starting to research photo inkjet printers.   Can I use the photo printer for printing photos as well as the Word documents that I now use my standard ink jet printer for?   I believe from reading one of your earlier columns, that I should switch from standard “office printer” paper to photo paper (made by my printer company) according to what my output is.   Would I also need to go into printer control to adjust the resolution, etc. when switching between Word documents and photos?  

-Roger Linville, Pittsburgh, PA

A:   Your new photo printer will work fine for printing both documents and photographs. The default printer control setting is usually for documents, so you will have to adjust the resolution and paper type when printing photographs.e to adjust the resolution and paper type when printing photographs.

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