Any Free DVR

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uptownvideo

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 13, 2006
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I have Dish Network and do not want to pay extra to upgrade to their DVR with monthly fee. Are there any products out there that will work similarly where I don't have to may a monthly fee? I just want something similar to a VCR , but without the tape. I would rather not hook my computer up to the tv.
 
charper1

charper1

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May 18, 2004
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Check some of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Refurbished-L..._12/104-8906952-9771939?ie=UTF8&s=electronics

http://www.amazon.com/RCA-DVR2080-D...X9S/ref=de_a_smtd/104-8906952-9771939?ie=UTF8

or try this search tool: http://www2.shopping.com/xPP-digital_tv_recorders many are going to be just out of production. Ebay would be another great place to look.

I would keep the PC solution open as well. I have three of these around the house along with 3 ReplayTV DVRs.

http://www.makezine.com/extras/4.html

http://www.byopvr.com/

http://www.mythtv.org/

http://www.epicempire.com/computers/how-to-build-a-dvr.html
 
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mastermesh

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2006
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yep... keep pc idea open.. I got a ati all in wonder graphics card. It does tv out and tv in. It does have some driver issues on occassion, but makes a right nice dvr type of thing... only isn't quite as good of a solution as a dvb world box though since it'll only see ota channels or whatever your reciever is sending out to tv.... If you had cable on the other hand, it's awesome because it sees all the cable channels and can record any channel you want at any time.
 
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WildSioux

Member
Oct 10, 2006
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I too am looking for a solution to record from my TV, cable, and FTA to a hard drive instead of a VCR. Unfortunately, the PC method is out for me since I have my PC upstairs and my tv stuff downstairs.

Does anyone know if any of these boxes from the links posted above from charper1 work? I would prefer to be able to record to one of these and then once recorded be able to move to a networked hard drive over ethernet.

So far, I have not been able to find anything that comes close. This day and age with technology, there is nothing (that I can find) that would do this :(

EDIT: The links I posted didn't work. They are in the second post from charper1. I think the LG one would work for my needs. I will have to give it a better look.
 
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mastermesh

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2006
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You got cable? Get an ATI All In Wonder Card!!! I have the 9000 Pro. There are much nicer newer ones, but that one goes for 30 bucks or so on ebay. It does record cable amazingly. For satellite, it's not so great, but with cable, it's awesome. Best part is, all you gotta do is run an extra coax cord - much cheaper than going the ethernet route... and yep, my computer's upstairs and fta satellite and stuff is downstairs in the main floor.
 
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WildSioux

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Oct 10, 2006
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You got cable? Get an ATI All In Wonder Card!!! I have the 9000 Pro. There are much nicer newer ones, but that one goes for 30 bucks or so on ebay. It does record cable amazingly. For satellite, it's not so great, but with cable, it's awesome. Best part is, all you gotta do is run an extra coax cord - much cheaper than going the ethernet route... and yep, my computer's upstairs and fta satellite and stuff is downstairs in the main floor.

I do have an ATI 9800 Pro and I think it has the coax hookup. But I just don't want to leave my computer on especially if I am away on vacation when I need to record something. It just doesn't make sense to have my recorded program upstairs on a computer when I watch the tv downstairs. I also have a slingbox so if I want to watch a recorded program it needs to be hooked up to the slingbox downstairs so I can remote control it.

I may just stick with the vcr for a long time until there is a box made specifically for this need. Which you would think would be around since hard drives have been around for 30+ years, vcrs have been around for that same amount of time. What gives?

I have read some on the www.byopvr.com website. I think I could build something but it would cost a lot to get all of the components needed just to record a program.
 
bjdotson

bjdotson

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2005
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Maybe I don't understand his question but I have an HP media center PC (it looks like a piece of stereo equipment) it's a DVR but the TV Quide is Free so there is no monthly fee. The model I have is a Z555 and is a low end model priced at $1000.
I was lucky enough to win one, but it's great. 3 tuners (2 reqular, 1 OTA HD) It come with a 250 gig HD and I bought a 400 gig second drive. (my 10 year old filled the first one with his shows.) If you can afford it, it's the way to go.
 
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kb7oeb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 27, 2004
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Phoenix,Arizona
My friend bought a DVD recorder with a hard drive built in from walmart, you can set timers to record to the hard drive instead of the dvd. I don't know if it can control the dish box but you could set timers on both boxes.
 
Geronimo

Geronimo

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mastermesh

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Apr 18, 2006
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Do you have the specs or a link to the dvd recorders at wal-mart on wal-mart.com? I'm behind proxy here at work and can't go looking myself at the moment.

I'm wondering how big the hd is on those things?
 
Digital Dude

Digital Dude

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At Wal-Mart the Polaroid is a screaming deal! At $219 it comes with an 80 gig drive BUT you can replace it (plug and play) with a drive up to 500 Gigs!
 
jrbdmb

jrbdmb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 5, 2004
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Surprised nobody has mentioned that there *are* Dish DVRs with no monthly fee: 501, 508, 721 (dual tuner). Easy enough to find one of these used on the net or even this site. Just swap your current receiver for one of these and there will be no extra charges - and with the 721 you even get a 2nd tuner thrown in.
 
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uptownvideo

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 13, 2006
170
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Dish 721

Are you saying that if I buy a 721, it could replace my 322 and have a dvr with no extra monthly costs? Does this receiver have dual tuners to control 2 tvs at once?
 
navychop

navychop

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The 721 has 2 satellite tuners built in, but only supports one TV. You could split the signal and support more TVs, but all TVs would be watching the same program.

I love my 721. In fact, I've loved all 6 of them that have passed thru my hands. They are GREAT when they work. But they do seem to have a large number of HD and power supply failures. It'll probably be useful for another 3-4 years, until Dish moves all programming to MPEG-4. The 721 does not support MPEG-4 or 8PSK.

As you can imagine, 721s can be scarce (discontinued long ago). Check the classifieds or eBay.

The 501 and 508 are single tuner DVRs and do NOT have a monthly DVR fee. The dual tuner 721 does not have a DVR fee either. They are grandfathered, because Charlie promised they would never charge a DVR fee on them. All units that came out after then have monthly DVR fees.

I have VCRs (dusty), DVD recorders, and stand alone DVRs. I also have the ATI All In Wonder HDTV card in my main PC. I gladly pay Dish a DVR fee on my ViP622, just for the ease and convenience of it's use. I don't like setting manual timers, synchronizing 2 pieces of equipment, or setting up IR blasters. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt - and burned it. Not worth the trouble.
 
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uptownvideo

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 13, 2006
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If I hooked up the familyroom tv to the rca outputs and the bedroom tv to the rf outputs, would they still have to be watching the same program? What are the 2 tuners for then?
 
navychop

navychop

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The two tuners allow you to watch one program live while recording another. Actually, you could record 2 satellite programs and watch a third program previously recorded to the HD. Once you have two tuners, it's hard to go back to just one.

All outputs have the same program on them.
 
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drewdunn

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Dec 23, 2006
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free dvr

I just went to a two 622 system and bit the bullit on dvr fees. i replaced a 721 with two tuners (one fed the local tv and the other was circulated to secondardary tv s with rg6 runs with xtra uhf remotes to control them) and an 811 with a series 2 tivo dvr which contolled the 811. neither had any dvr fees. there is no fee with the 721 and i used tv basic which is no fee for the other. the only problem with the setup was that i could not record in hi def and the 811 did not get mgeg4. both units are now just gathering dust. dish used to pay 50 dollars for the return of the 721 but reduced that to 25 dollars recently--so its a spare now.
 

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