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Tivo alternative for DTV DVR?

Discussion in 'Digital Over the Air Television Talk By RabbitEars' started by apsinkus, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. apsinkus

    apsinkus Thread Starter Member

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    So I finally have convinced my wife to get rid of cable TV. Only block I have is figuring out an alternative to Tivo (don't want to pay $15 monthly) for DVRing DTV channels.
    I have nice antenna, nice reception, just need something that does program guide and can record.

    Any suggestions? Ideally would like to stay under or around $100.
     
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  2. jayn_j

    jayn_j SatelliteGuys Family Supporting Founder

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    OK, I am confused. Are you subscribing to DirecTV, or are you looking for an OTA DVR? I am thinking you are looking for an ATSC OTA DVR, but TIVO is again selling one for DirecTV.

    For OTA, your best bets are TIVO and Channelmaster.

    Channelmaster DVR: Amazon.com: Channel Master CM7400 1080p Internet Compatible HDTV DVR: Electronics
    It isn't cheap, but no monthly fees.

    For TIVO, a lot of folks look for a TIVO Premiere or HD unit used with lifetime. They tend to go for a few hundred, but also don't have monthly fees. Be careful about the latest 4 tuner Premiere as it is cable only and doesn't have an OTA tuner.

    The other alternative is to use the Hauppage cards for media center PCs and build your own DVR. This will cost more, and require knowlege and continuing maintenance, but provides a very flexible system.

    There really are no solutions for $100.
     
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  3. apsinkus

    apsinkus Thread Starter Member

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    Just looking to pull whatever local PBS and major networks and record that stuff. I will check out the Tivo with lifetime, might be what is needed.
     
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  4. jgantert

    jgantert Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    I would recommend Tivo with lifetime. Everything else is just a VCR with a harddrive. I still have the old Tivo HD, I hear the Tivo Premier doesn't have as good of an OTA tuner. Not sure if that is true or not.

    Anyways, here are some alternatives that I do *not* recommend:

    ChannelMaster 7400 DVR (Plus fees for premium guide data, just like Tivo!)
    Brite-View BV-980H (OTA guide data, pass)
    Digital Stream DPH1000R (same as BV-980H, I think)
    Magnavox MDR-513H/F7 (SD and timer based recording only)
    TVIX PVR M-6620N (Strange beast, but looks like it might be awesome!)

    And that's about it. Anyone find any others currently being made? Even the Magnavox doesn't look like it's in production anymore, which is a shame, looks like a good SD model.
     
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  5. mike123abc

    mike123abc Too many cables Supporting Founder

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    You can also rig up an old PC with windows media and an OTA tuner.

    I went the used TiVo route and am very happy. Once you own a TiVo you get a discount on future lifetime upgrades and hardware too.
     
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  6. jayn_j

    jayn_j SatelliteGuys Family Supporting Founder

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    I use the TIVO premiere and can vouch for the fact that the tuner is somewhat weak. It pixilates on signals that the TV handles just fine, so I needed more antenna to use it. However it has a guide and record options that work better than anything else (except maybe the DISH DVR.)

    If you buy directly from TIVO, you can purchase lifetime right away. Figure a bit less than 2 years to break even on lifetime.
     
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  7. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Family Pub Member / Supporter

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    HD TiVo Series 3 (second generation) sell for about $200-250 with lifetime.

    I have 2 now and use then for all my OTA recording, work great.

    I even upgraded both to 1TB HDD for more hours of recording than I could ever watch.

    If I ever go insane and go back to cable, they can accomodate cable cards, too.
     
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  8. jgantert

    jgantert Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Here is a new entry into the field, but it looks buggy and only supports 720p and 1080p (no 1080i for older TVs). ePVision PHD-VRX $230
    http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phdvrxmain.htm

    Requires an external hard drive formatted in ext2.
     
    #8

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