What are the top DVR choices these days? I want to escape my Cox DCH3416. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-25-2009, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a Cox DCH3416 (Hi-Def, dual tuner). I hate it because I'm constantly subjected to the cable company shoving things down my throat that I don't want. The power-on channel is a PPV advertisement stream. I changed it to something else. It changes it back. The tv-guide grid is a listing of all possible COX channels that cannot be filtered to remove the channels I do not subscribe to and the channels that I don't want to see, making it totally useless for any kind of real-time browsing. Cox just loves to use their DVR to shove their services down your throat, at the cost of convenience and usability.

Now that I've been sensitized to a DVR that has its own agenda, I'm kind of looking a TiVo with a weary eye. It does a great job of filtering out junk channels and of eliminating duplicate programming. But it has main menu spam, a new pause button spam (yes, it can be worked around), but there isn't any limit to what new and innovative intrusion that they can put into their software at any time, and as I mentioned, Cox has sensitized me to hate this kind of thing.

What top tier DVR competitors are left these days? I just want something that works like an electronic appliance and isn't pushing someone's marketing agenda on me. Something that is content neutral and still works well.
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-25-2009, 02:33 PM
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I assume you're interested in something that'll work with digital cable. Unfortunately at present, your choices are still pretty limited.
  • The TiVo HD, which you already mentioned.
  • The Moxi CableCARD box. It works *only* with digital cable, no OTA support. It can work with analog cable with an additional dongle, which is free, but you have to request (it's a totally separate tuner path, but only receives one analog cable channel). It currently costs $800 up-front, with no continuing service charges. It has a 500 GB internal HD, and an eSATA port which can be used for additional external storage. Requires an M-Card.
  • Windows Media Center with CableCARD UDCR tuner devices. Currently boards are single-tuner, so you'll need multiple cards to get more than one channel at a time. I've heard good things, but piecemealing a system can be difficult to do (possible, but not easy). Storage is easily expanded, and there's no ongoing cost for guide data. Analog cable would be handled by separate tuner boards, the UDCR tuners only do digital cable.
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