Economical OTA Recording Equipment?

navychop

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And Channel Master has sold OTA DVRs. Not sure of their current model, but I bought two of the previous model and they work great and no EPG fee. Yep-EPG is free over the Internet or if no Internet they will use OTA PSIP.


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Lone Gunman

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And Channel Master has sold OTA DVRs. Not sure of their current model, but I bought two of the previous model and they work great and no EPG fee. Yep-EPG is free over the Internet or if no Internet they will use OTA PSIP.
OUCH! That Channel Master stuff is made out of gold isn't it. :oldwink Thanks for the reply but I guess I'll just stick to the Homeworx stuff since it's cheaper and most here have a positive opinion of the stuff.
 
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harshness

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The Channel Master stuff works and it is generally pretty slick (though not every iteration has been a winner). The ViewTV and Homeworx stuff is not very slick at all. Sometimes you get what you pay for; sometimes you wish you'd skipped a step in the learning process.

I ended up opting for a lifetime Plex Pass after tinkering with a ViewTV.

You may have to build the storaqe system as smaller USB drives become harder to find.
 

Lone Gunman

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Found out today on a Homeworx forum that some of the HW180STBs are for viewing or playback only, no record function?? :eek Guy on fleabay had one that was a new "open box" that he had never used that he was trying to sell for $25. That's when I went searching and found out that it wouldn't record. Some of the later models of the HW180 will record and playback but I'm not exactly sure how to tell the difference because some of the ads are a little vague.

So maybe I just better back off on this for a bit to get my old head straight before I spend money on something I can't use.
 

ken2400

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Just remember if you get a HomeworX 150PVR it may delete the a given set of channels it it can not receive them. It may also delete recurring timed events from time to time. Good luck.
 

Corrado

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Before I got my Edision Mio receiver I used one of those inexpensive OTA boxes for time shifting overnight programming. It doesn't even show a brand, just ATSC on the front. It works fine with a 32GB flash drive. Programming is manual like a VCR , channel, date, time etc. For $30 spent I have no complaints other than a 1 hour HD program is in the neighborhood of 5-6 GB, SD is 1+GB file size from my local networks due to it's file format.
 

harshness

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For $30 spent I have no complaints other than a 1 hour HD program is in the neighborhood of 5-6 GB, SD is 1+GB file size from my local networks due to it's file format.
Few DVRs transcode (convert from one compression scheme to a different compression scheme) so you can blame the ATSC for choosing MPEG2 when they decided on a compression format.
 

navychop

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Well, if you’re REALLY cheap, you can get an old ATSC to NTSC converter box and feed a VCR. Plenty of those in pawn shops if you don’t have one.




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Ypsiguy

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I use a ViewTV AT-163 setup on a separate antenna. Cheap and it encodes the DVR files into MPEG4 AVC H.264, which can be played just about everywhere. Small enough to use a USB thumb drive as a DVR drive.

30 minutes of 480i video is only about 500MB. One hour of 1080i HD is slightly less than 4GB.
 

Lone Gunman

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UPDATE: Well, after the repack cluster F things are getting to be somewhat "normal" where OTA TV channels are concerned. The only one that's missing now that I need to have is CBS WDBJ out of Roanoke, Va and after trading Emails with them I expect to see those channels available in the not too distant future when they finally finish the new broadcast antenna they had to put up. Right now I've got 26 OTA channels and a couple of those are what I normally record the most off of satellites for later viewing.

So, last week I got to looking around for a deal on that HW-150PVR recorder that was mentioned up the page and I found one on Best Buy's Ebay site for $29.95 shipped, so I ordered it. It arrived yesterday and I've been "playing" with it trying to learn how to use it.

What I have found is that programs recorded on that 150 WILL playback on my Micro HD receiver but they will NOT playback on either of the Openbox S9s I have? Funny that because the S9 and the Micro HD will play each other's recordings fine?? And even the commercial skip forward 30 seconds function works with the S9 recordings on the Micro HD but not on the S9 with either?? Hummm.............. Oh, and there IS NO SKIP FORWARD function on this 150??? Yup, a WTF moment indeed cuz that's about the only thing so far that's a problem with it for me. That skip forward function on the Micro HD is something I expected with this 150? Oh well!

So overall, I guess the 150 is a keeper, BUT, I won't buy anything else that doesn't have that commercial skip forward function with it!!

And a final note here, all this OTA stuff I'm doing is because I'm getting setup for the coming demise of FTA satellite TV as we know it! With the cost of equipment sky rocketing and no one importing the cheap stuff any more, I can no longer justify the expense involved in doing it, ie, $140 for a Vbox II? Really? So, when my current junk breaks down and or there's nothing up there to watch on satellite I'll have OTA to fill the gap.

And thanks all for the info on this. Like I said before, I'm in uncharted territory with this OTA stuff and it's nice to have people like you to help me get this up and running.
 

FTA4PA

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UPDATE: Well, after the repack cluster F things are getting to be somewhat "normal" where OTA TV channels are concerned. The only one that's missing now that I need to have is CBS WDBJ out of Roanoke, Va and after trading Emails with them I expect to see those channels available in the not too distant future when they finally finish the new broadcast antenna they had to put up. Right now I've got 26 OTA channels and a couple of those are what I normally record the most off of satellites for later viewing.

So, last week I got to looking around for a deal on that HW-150PVR recorder that was mentioned up the page and I found one on Best Buy's Ebay site for $29.95 shipped, so I ordered it. It arrived yesterday and I've been "playing" with it trying to learn how to use it.

What I have found is that programs recorded on that 150 WILL playback on my Micro HD receiver but they will NOT playback on either of the Openbox S9s I have? Funny that because the S9 and the Micro HD will play each other's recordings fine?? And even the commercial skip forward 30 seconds function works with the S9 recordings on the Micro HD but not on the S9 with either?? Hummm.............. Oh, and there IS NO SKIP FORWARD function on this 150??? Yup, a WTF moment indeed cuz that's about the only thing so far that's a problem with it for me. That skip forward function on the Micro HD is something I expected with this 150? Oh well!

So overall, I guess the 150 is a keeper, BUT, I won't buy anything else that doesn't have that commercial skip forward function with it!!

And a final note here, all this OTA stuff I'm doing is because I'm getting setup for the coming demise of FTA satellite TV as we know it! With the cost of equipment sky rocketing and no one importing the cheap stuff any more, I can no longer justify the expense involved in doing it, ie, $140 for a Vbox II? Really? So, when my current junk breaks down and or there's nothing up there to watch on satellite I'll have OTA to fill the gap.

And thanks all for the info on this. Like I said before, I'm in uncharted territory with this OTA stuff and it's nice to have people like you to help me get this up and running.
I had one of the HW-150PVRs but haven't used it lately (gave it to my daughter). As far as the SKIP FORWARD function there is fast forward/rewind. I believe there was also a GOTO function on the remote to move to a specific time in the recording. So if the current time in the recording is 15:00 you could enter 16:30 to jump ahead a minute and a half. Definitely more work involved than just having a dedicated button on the remote but doable. I believe I just used the fast forward/rewind to skip commercials. :)
 
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Lone Gunman

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Say, any of you guys ever try to join the Mediasonic HOMEWORX support forum? I went there the other day and tried to register, but, the captcha question they are using sux and after 4 or 5 attempts to answer it they shut me out?? WTF???

So I emailed them, got a smart ass answer from whomever replied and they still didn't even give me the answer to the captcha question?? Having said that I guess this speaks volumes about their tech support SUCKS!! [/rolleyes]
 

comfortably_numb

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It's a cheap Chinese $30 box. I would suggest it isn't all that surprising that support is lacking (or non-existent).

Personally, I use my Edision OS MIO 4K as my OTA DVR and I have no issues with it. Titanium is in California and supports the box and many of us who have it can also help. Yes, it costs more money, but you get what you pay for.
 
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TNGuy84

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I've got the same model of DVR. The picture looks great, but even with a full signal, I'll get this weird problem where it cuts out with blockiness for a second or two in the middle of the recording. It happens every so often. It's annoying, so if I want a 100% dependable recording I use my Philips 3575H DVR/DVDR unit that records SD only. I paid $300-$400 for it 12 years ago, but it keeps on running with no problems. If I knew I would get my money's worth out of a new DVR, I'd buy a Tablo. There's not as much these days that I'm interested in recording.
 

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