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post #1 of 11 Old 12-08-2004, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for a "no service" PVR. My wife bought me a Tivo Series 2 DVR for Xmas, but I have realized that this won't work without the subscription, and I'm not willing to pay $12.95 per month for it. So, now what I'm looking for is a PVR (it doesn't necessarily need to have a lot of bells and whistles) that I can use to schedule program recording without having a subscription (manually).

Does anyone have any recommendations?
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-08-2004, 03:24 PM
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i'm looking for the same.....pvr that works like an old fashioned vcr. i was told in some other forums that some tivo types will work w/o the subscription, but i'm not sure about that.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 08:27 AM
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"Tivo Basic" is a stripped down version of Tivo ... no subscription fees. However, it is only available on certain models (basically, the Tivos with DVD burners).
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 04:44 PM
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Well, you can always lifetime activate a TiVo or ReplayTV unit...the going rate is $300 per machine.

Otherwise, look into one of the RCA DVRs. They are very basic and kind of quirky, but if you have cable, they might work for your needs (the RCA DVRs do not support channel listings for satellite).

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

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post #5 of 11 Old 12-10-2004, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, we have cable... No satellite.

I've done some poking around, particularly on Ebay. I kind of like the idea of a dual tuner DVR like the Sony T60 (I think that's the right model), but it looks like this model is designed for DirectTV, and I'm not sure it will work with cable, and without a subscription service.

Anyone have any experience with this?
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-10-2004, 06:45 PM
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If you are computer savy, you can build yourself an HTPC, put two tuner cards in it, and run somethign like MythTV (Linux Based) or BeyondTV3 (Windows Based). It may cost a little more in hardware initially, but you can put whatever you want in it and it will definitly have alot more functionality then a store bought pvr (especially if you use MythTV). You can capture video in MPEG4 to save space, you get all your listings for free via xmlTV, etc, etc, etc.

I always wondered if someone could figure out a hack for replayTV to make it use xmlTV instead of paying for their program guide. Do ReplayTV units run linux?
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-11-2004, 02:23 PM
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ReplayTV runs VXWorks, a proprietary real-time operating system. I have never seen any publicly posted methods for getting around the activation requirement, and the ReplayTV community here at AVS forum does not condone in any way shape or form efforts to do so.

We Replay users went through quite a scare about a year and a half ago when we thought Replay was done for and our guide data would stop. Thankfully, Denon and Marantz picked them up and created a new group called Digital Network North Armerica (DNNA) to administer ReplayTV, RIO, and Escient. DNNA is still providing us with guide data and has indicated that there are no plans to terminate it for the foreseeable future. So, please understand why we don't find it wise to bite the hand that feeds us (guide data, that is).

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

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post #8 of 11 Old 12-11-2004, 05:59 PM
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I understand that. I myself am going the HTPC route, and I have my Explorer 8000 and 8000HD from TWC, so I have no need for a ReplayTV now anyway. I just know there were alot of hacks/mods for it, and I was curious about it, so I figured I would ask.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-11-2004, 06:51 PM
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I always thought you could use the TiVo for basic recording, but couldn't use the advanced features like the season pass without subscribing to the service? Or did they change that?
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-11-2004, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Method Machine:

I am in no way asking you to "bite the hand that feeds you," and, to be honest, I never really thought of my question as a way of "ripping off" the ReplayTV and Tivo services. I just thought that maybe I could purchase the DVR and elect not to purchase the advanced features for the monthly cost (essentially using the DVR like a suped up VCR).

Personally, I don't feel like I should have to purchase a monthly subscription to get the advantages the DVR offers over a VCR, but obviously, companies like Tivo and ReplayTV have found a way to force their customers hands by designing products that will not work without the monthly service. In my opinion (from the standpoint of the consumer, of course), this is unbelievably bad business, custmer service, and P/R, but it's obviously making them a lot of money, and that's what counts to the bigwigs in the big offices.

I'll step down off of my soap box now ( this topic has really got me fuming mad at these companies).

Based on the research I've done, it looks like if I can find an older DVR (Tivo series 1, with operating system 1.3 or earlier), I can run it like a normal VCR without a subscription.
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-12-2004, 06:58 AM
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Bruce,

No harm no foul. Its just that we get questions like this quite often over at the Replay forum (and I am sure there are an equal or greater number of similar requests over at the TiVo forum). Anyway, the out the door cost of these devices is low (you can get a new Replay or TiVo these days for $100) because they are subsidized by the manufacturer who expects to be paid for the guide and software service. If you want to know the "true cost" of a TiVo or a Replay, consider the cost of the machine + the lifetime activation. In the case of each, that is about $400.

There are lower cost options out there that include lifetime guide data--RCA DVRs with Guide+ (an ad supported guide system) have been mentioned. These work OK for some users, but do not compare in any way to the powerful software/guide combination that you get with a TiVo or a Replay.

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

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