"PHD-VRX" (you gotta add an external drive to get the DVR functionality) .
I am saving the pennies for a lifetime-TiVo Roamio and 2TB HDD. $800.00.
There's a lot of info on this question over here:
I tried the Magnavox DVD recorder that was mentioned, and I ended up returning it 2 days later to Walmart. Maybe I got the wrong one, but it couldn't record HD which was a deal breaker.
In the end, we just decided to get the TiVo Roamio with the monthly fee. I love it. No hassle. 4 tuners. HD, with channel guide. I never found a good fee-free solution that did everything I wanted. Maybe someday Google or someone else will make a box I can buy off the shelf that does basic HD DVR without a monthly fee... Until then, TiVo is great.
The DVR+ is an excellent DVR and I highly recommend it.
+1 for HomeWorx HW-150PVR.
Thank you Charlie. So awesome. I'm in the Toronto, Ontario area and saw this post and immediately went out to BestBuy and price matched with NCIX to get this for $42 CAD. Tried it for a couple days and works like a charm as an OTA PVR. And as a bonus, it even picks up an extra channel (CHCH) that my TV's built-in digital tuner doesn't get.
I like that you use your own flash drive so you can watch what you record on other devices too. Mine is version 14 so no firmware update was needed and everything works great. Thanks again! :)
Note there's also another similar device on Amazon - the iView 3500STB which I almost got 'cause it's even cheaper and has a QAM Tuner (although some say doesn't work) but it seems the DVR software is buggy and there is no support. So I went with the HomeWorx and couldn't be happier.
However it does not record satellite or cable channels. You cannot offload programs to your computer or smartphone.
The machine is not made anymore, but you can find a good used one on Ebay for about $150.
Just purchased one and picture look great from all stations with sensitive tuner compared to Dish HD DVR OTA tuner. Been having issues though with downloading program guide. Only getting 12-24 hours of guide info from local stations. Emailed customer support at Channelmaster and they are trying to help me get the guide info worked out. Remote a bit hard to navigate - been spoiled by Dish remote. Wish it could record one more channel at the same time since all the local stations put their network news on at at 6:30 PM.
A lot of people speculated that the $175 price was a sell-off in advance of a new model. Channel Master has denied this and, in fact, announced a MAJOR FREE upgrade for these DVRs. In the first quarter, the DVR will get an upgrade that enables something called Linear OTT. Linear OTT puts streamed 'channels' in the guide. While On-Demand has it's place, those of us who like to fall asleep to TV will enjoy linear programming. This is in addition to streamed apps like Vudu, Pandora, and YouTube.
This is THE box that ought to be on every cord cutter's television. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. I'll answer to the best of my ability.
The bad thing about this is that it's not available via any retailer, & apparently only an online purchase. (Which I no longer do).
I personally don't need 'guide' services & would just like the option to manually program on & off time.
$175?? I thought these were more like in the $299 range?
If you want to go with a two television setup, the DVR+ cost doubles to $600. If you want to add another tv to the tablo setup, you could add another roku, another tablo, and another disk raising the price to $780. This is the most comparable upgrade and it still rings up at 30% more. You could go with a four tuner tablo with a 2t disk, lifetime, and a pair of Rokus for $710. I would caution, though, that failure of one disk or DVR and you are 100% out of business.
In my experience, the time required to change channels on a whole house DVR is noticeably longer than on the DVR+. Sometimes, the tuner would time out and require a second try. This is with the Simple DVR, mind you, so YMMV with tablo.
I have found it very simple to download and convert files recorded on my DVR+ for playback via my Plex server. The quality is much better than doing the same with the Simple DVRs (though playback directly from the DVR was very good quality).
I do still use the Simple DVRs for access to my antenna from laptops and tablets via my WLAN and remotely.
One other small thing is that the DVR+ does not have to be tethered. If there is no network connection, it populates its grid style guide using OTA data. I like this feature when I am camping, when we lose power, and when the network guide goes away (Rovi pulled the plug on their OTA guide) or just sucks (Simple's).
Lots of things to consider before choosing a solution.