As for AZCowboy’s question to me:
What I need is a device that will record and playback an analog TV signal, as a VCR would. The only difference is that I have a digital-to-analog tuner already that is connected to a VCR and TV already.
Of course, this device needs a timer to start and stop recording at predetermined times. I realize that it also needs a way to keep some type of archiving scheme, in the same manner as a computer keeps track of files, so a user can choose what to play back, etc. Also, since we’re at it, I prefer something with a large storage capacity, and as far as I can tell, the only device these days that can do that is a digital one with a hard drive.
If there is no security DVR that can handle analog TV quality video and have a timer to turn it on and off, archiving, etc., then I would not have a use for it. Price-wise, a brand new recorder of this type would not be an advantage, but I’ve seen some used ones dirt cheap, just for tinkering with. I haven’t had a definitive answer on the feasibility of this approach yet.
I can handle setting up a dedicated computer for this purpose, but I think an existing device would be much more practical, and from what I’ve seen in the suggestions here, also more economical.