Subscription free PVR? - AVS Forum
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Old 09-07-2004, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry if this is a n00b question. I need a "manual" PVR that has no subscription fees.

I know a DVD recorder+HD will do the trick, but I have no need for DVD archival.

I basically need a disk based recorder that will record analog NTSC channel x at time y. No TV guide or subscription service. Basically, an old school VCR without the tape.

- JP in TOronto
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:33 PM
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See if you can find an RCA Scenium DRS7000N (older model) or DRC7005 (newer model). These use Guide+ service which is free of charge.

If Necessity is the mother of invention, then Laziness is surely the father.

5040(1): 00004-54831-55585
5040(2): 00004-54831-83297
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Old 09-07-2004, 06:38 PM
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JPinTO,

You want the Toshiba SD-H400 Tivo. This features the free "Tivo Basic" service with 80 hours of recording. You should be able to find it for about $200. Best Buy currently has it for $299, minus a $100 mail-in rebate (from Best Buy). There is an additional $100 rebate ($200 total) if you decide to subscribe to the pay service for a month.

Alternatively, you can buy a refurbished model for $174.99. An additional $100 rebate is available if you try the full "Tivo Plus" service for a month.

For a comparison of the pay "Tivo Plus" service and the free "Tivo Basic" service that comes with the SD-H400, see this link.

The free service on this DVR works much better than what you get with the RCA Scenium series mentioned above.
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Old 09-07-2004, 09:06 PM
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A little more expensive would be a replay. It would be about $400 after your all said and done, but I think the extra features are worth it (especially commercial advanced if you buy a refurbished 5040 off their website.) Replay has had a manual record pretty much since it came out.
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:39 PM
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Are there any HD PVR's that do not require a subscription service or use a one-time fee?
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Are there any HD PVR's that do not require a subscription service or use a one-time fee?
I assume by HD PVR you mean HDTV PVRs.

Yes, the LG 3410 DVR, but it doesn't support encrypted HDTV channels (ESPN-HD, DiscoveryHD, HBO-HD) from cable or satellite. It's primarily for HDTV channels from an antenna. The box also has a number of limitations, such as the inability to record one program while watching another, and the inability to watch a previous recording while recording a new program.

These days, you basically have two choices:
  1. $800-$900 HDTV DVR with limited functionality and limited usability, no software updates, and no DVR fee;
  2. $900 HDTV DVR with excellent functionality, excellent usability, and free software updates, but with $5/mo DVR fee.
I would take #2 (HDTV DirecTivo) every time. Some people would rather have #1 just out of principle, and that makes no sense to me.

If you'd still prefer #1, Sony plans to release a CableCard HDTV DVR in November. This will be similar to the LG 3410, except it will support encrypted HDTV channels like ESPN-HD, DiscoveryHD, and HBO-HD from your cable company. Depending on your cable company, you may be hit with a $2.50 to $6.50/mo fee to rent the CableCard (decryption card) to put in the box, however.
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