Anyone recommend a DVR to purchase? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-01-2009, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted this 1st in the wrong forum (HD recorders). I'm trying to delete it.

2 rental units are costing me $345 annually.

I'm really tired of their rising rental fees. Can't I just "buy" my own HD ready DVR's like the Tivo to use with my Time Warner Sara system.

I still have a closet full of Direct TV equipment that I was stuck buying and then changed to time Warner cable after I moved into a rental house.

Can anyone suggest the best reasonably priced HD DVR unit? It does not have to be a Tivo. The cheaper the better because I don't want to be stuck paying for quickly outdated high priced equipment because their technology keeps changing.

Thx
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-01-2009, 09:30 AM
 
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Time Warner Cable is required by law to provide you CableCARD(s) (for a small monthly fee), to support your TiVo S3 or TiVo HD DVR. They are the most affordable options currently in production. There is also a new Moxi DVR that supports CableCARD, but it is a bit more expensive than TiVo.

Unfortunately, technology will keep changing, and personally, I would wait another year or two before buying another DVR of my own, until it is clear where tru2way is going and how quickly it will become a factor. So I would recommend you chalk this up to bad timing, and hold off, continuing your current services, at least that long.

If you had asked a couple of years ago, I'd think you could have purchased one of these CableCARD-equipped DVRs with a relatively high probability of the investment paying off in the long-run -- now, I just don't think that is the case since so much time has passed.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-01-2009, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. I did not know they had a cable card to use along with a Tivo. That's why I didn't go the card route 2 years ago and opted to rent the their equipment.

Ya, you're right about the waiting. I just needed to hear it from someone else. It's been so long since I've looked into this stuff again. I thought maybe some company would have produced a cheap HD DVR by now.

I paid about $3600 for my 50 inch Panny Plasma and I just saw it for $799 not two years later in a local stores flyer.

I figured if flat screens have dropped in price so fast maybe HD DVR's have dropped too!
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-01-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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The TiVo S3 was $799 (plus the cost of service) when they came out. The current TiVo HD is $239 (plus the cost of service). So yes, HD DVRs have dropped in price quite a bit.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-02-2009, 08:36 AM
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I love my Tivos. However if you are attempting to save $$$ then you will need to make a big investment into Tivo to see savings. I currently have a mutiservice discount plan, three Tivos, costing me about $8.95 per box. In addition to this there is a $5 CableCard rental cost per box for a grand total of $502 a year. The only way to "save" is to bite the bullet and buy the Lifetime subscription ($400) on top of the purchase cost of the Tivo.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-02-2009, 08:45 AM
 
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And then, the break-even point is probably about four years away. (Keep in mind that the CableCARD rental fees will be paid, even if you have lifetime service with TiVo.)
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-02-2009, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thx for the input. Guess I'll have to wait it out. One would think that there is a great market for owning your own cheap DVR equipment.

Seems everything else comes down but somehow the cable companies are able to keep the other vendors equipment prices up.

Example: the Sony Bluray unit that was $1000 last year and now look what you can pick up a Bluray unit for by buying an off brand unit.

My first DVD player was the Sony at $1100. Now the ones I buy are $25 and are actually better because of no regional coding blocks. I have 3 or 4 of them and even the slow mo is better than the original $1100 Sony unit.

This has not happened with the DVR stuff. I've seen smaller hard drive units cheaper, but the 160 mb are still high.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-03-2009, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Keep in mind that the CableCARD rental fees will be paid, even if you have lifetime service with TiVo.

Depends on the local franchise what those fees are. I have three CableCARDs and Comcast doesn't charge me for any of them, nor do they charge me additional outlet fees. And I haven't heard of anyone charging for SDV tuning adapters.

Back to the OP, the significant expense is not my DVR hardware ($250 or less for a dual tuning HD TiVo is quite reasonable) but the recurring monthly fees - most via Comcast. I see more of my pals turning to over-the-air programming + Netflix to meet their TV needs.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-03-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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Here, digital packages include the cost of one CableCARD, and the every additional is $1.50. If you don't have a digital package, it is $4.50 each.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-03-2009, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I just looked at a recent purchase of a 32 LCD Sammy that I have in my kitchen.

I thought wow that would be great if I could just get the cable card from TW and I wouldn't have to get yet another box as it's only hooked up directly to the coax now.

Figures though, the Panny in my bedroom (which I have one of the 8300HD hooked too) has a cable card slot, but the new Sammy does not. I searched and found threads that said many newer flat screens no longer have cable card slots because the mostly one way technology never took off.

Why would it become popular when the cable companies can charge you more bucks for renting their DVR equipment.

I just checked TW's website. Says they have a cable card for $1.75 a month. They also say open (two way cards will be availbable by late 2008. I'm thinking of moving my dvr box into the kitchen and getting a cable card for the bedroom since that tv has a cable slot. I might be able to find a cheap used Tivo on Ebay.

Or for tv's without a cable card slot like my new sammy, are there any adapters where I could use the card and the adapter to work with this tv instead of just running the coax without a box as I'm doing now?
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-03-2009, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expidia View Post

They also say open (two way cards will be availbable by late 2008.

The cards aren't different, it's the host devices and headend gear. The stuff on TW's site about "two way cards" is complete BS. They should know better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expidia View Post

I might be able to find a cheap used Tivo on Ebay.

You'll need a TiVo HD or Series3. Dunno what the prices will end up being on eBay these days, but you might do better getting one off Amazon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expidia View Post

Or for tv's without a cable card slot like my new sammy, are there any adapters where I could use the card and the adapter to work with this tv instead of just running the coax without a box as I'm doing now?

Nope, unfortunately there aren't (presently) any cable-box-only type devices that accept CableCARDs that can be purchased. Probably won't be - there really isn't a lot of desire on anyone's part for such a thing, it seems.
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-04-2009, 05:09 AM
 
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There is a new CableCARD-capable DVR, from Moxi. It runs about $800. TiVo HDs run about $250, plus $400 for service on the box (not optional). Those are the only DVR choices currently in production for sale to the general public in the United States.
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