DVR for OTA (1 Viewer)


Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2006
Corona, CA
Does anyone know of a good solution for a DVR using OTA? I just realized that I never watch satellite channels anymore since getting an Xbox and so I don't really need my Dish Network so I want to cancel it. But I watch a lot of shows on NBC/CBS/ABC/FOX and want to record them via OTA. I do not want a computer in my entertainment system. What is the best solution for me?


SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 30, 2008
Aurora, CO
We bought a Panasonic DMR-EZ475 DVR/VCR combo about three months ago, and if asked whether we'd do it again, we'd have to say "no." The main problem involves scheduled recordings on the DVR side -- it sometimes decides it's not in the mood, and it records no indication at all of what went wrong, ie, damaged disc, insufficient disc space, no or low OTA signal, etc. It also has an occasional habit of "freezing" prior to the start time, so no show gets recorded. I've reduced how often this happens by using the "flexible record" option, meaning one can't record more than one thing on each side of the DVD-RAMs we use (while the machine has a navigator menu of up to six separate recordings per disc), and hitting the reset button before each scheduled session, making sure not to use the deck prior to the start time. Even with all that, I've only managed to raise its "batting average" from about .400 to maybe .800.

The Panny only records in 480i and then upconverts, but you do get widescreen and surround sound, and the PQ is as good as any commercially produced DVD.

Its VCR is absolutely flawless, but since that side is analog, it can't record digital sources. Therefore, it's only going to be useful for playback after the transition next February.

If you're always there when you want to start recording to DVD, this machine might be fine since you'll be there to iron out any problems. Having its own ATSC/NTSC tuner, you can record one show while watching another channel on the receiver, and that's a nice feature to have. But when you've scheduled recordings during the wee hours or while working, as we have, it's aggravating when you discover it didn't record anything and won't tell you why not.


SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 28, 2008
Near Chicago, Illinois
You could use a Diamond 9000 HD PVR Satellite receiver, it has a built-in ATSC tuner. You just add a, External USB Hard Drive / USB Stick to record. The draw back is the OTA Guide does not work, so you have to enter the start / stop time, but you can choose daily / weekly / once options. Also has Time Shift / Pause. You can get them for under $200 on ebay if you're patient. Just a thought.


Member of the Month - July 2014!
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 20, 2005
Northern VA
I've got one of the discontinued Sonys. Not bad. I plan to buy at least one TR-50 when they come out. In fact, I'll probably pre-order one, given the chance. More business for our sponsors.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 7, 2008
TiVo HD DVR and TiVo Series 3 record HD OTA...

I don't know that this would help the OP but for someone who already has a S2 Tivo I got a dual tuner Tivo to work with the main channels. And I can manually record the sub channels if needed.

I got the codes to manually reconfigure the Ir blaster for a Digital Stream DTX9950 and Tivo thinks I'm using Direct TV to provide me the EPG since we have 2 number local channels here.

But if I didn't already have a S2 Tivo I'd not mess with this workaround and just get a Tivo HD. I might consider the PAL DVR when available but right now I don't care for anything with an Echostar or Dish name on it. I got fed up and parted ways with them.

Users who are viewing this thread

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)