Looking for a DVR box to bring to college - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-22-2006, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,
We have a Sony DHG-HDD250 that has recently been fried (along with about $5000 of other equipment) by a lightening strike to our house. So i am looking for a new box to replace the Sony that I can bring to college (Penn State). The box does not need to be high definition but it cannot have a monthly fee associated with it (so no Tivo). I do not need another bill to pay while i am in college.

Thank you for your suggestions.
Alex.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-23-2006, 05:26 AM
 
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You could alway just go with a TiVo Series 1 -- no subscription necessary:

Search ebay -- there are a bunch for sale.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-23-2006, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Really, its free? What is missing from the services? Or does everything work just like normal? For instance the ability to schedule over the internet does that still work?

And if that is true what is the best model to get?
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-23-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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You're talking about subscription services. You cannot get subscription services (program guide, wishlists, season passes, online programming, etc. ) without paying for the subscription. Without paying for the subscription, all you can get is a basic DVR: You can pause live programming, and schedule it to record specific channels at specific times. That's it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-23-2006, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh ok, so its a VCR but with a HDD. What about these people that are selling Tivos with lifetime subscriptions will that be transferred to me if i buy it?

I cant believe there is no other box out there that is like that sony.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-23-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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There just isn't a strong enough profit motive to provide service without getting paid for it.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-23-2006, 11:29 PM
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There are standard definition DVR/DVD recorders that should do what you want. Some have the free TV Guide on Screen service like the one that the Sony used. If you do not want to use the guide to program, you can do so manually.

What sort of service do you plan on having? OTA, analog cable, digital cable or satellite?
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-24-2006, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Analog cable is the only thing that i will be putting through it, possibly digital while i am home for the summer.

What about that LG HDTV recorder box? How is that one compared to the Sony?

Or should i just invest in a new Sony.

If there are any others out there I would prefer that it had 2 tuners like the one that i have now (Motorola through our cable company). Whatever i get needs to have a guide i find that a required feature.

Thanks,
Alex.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-25-2006, 11:29 AM
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The Sony is probably a better unit than the LG in every way, except that you can't transfer from it to D-VHS (or any other HD medium), like the LG can. The LG is pretty hard to find. They also seem to be a bit buggier than the Sony's. You might have more luck finding the Sony. I know Best Buy had the DHG-HDD500 still on their website last time I checked, but that was awhile ago. It was still pretty expensive. Many BB's are selling open box or display models of the HDD250 for a reasonable price if you can find one. I know my local store has still got one that I've been keeping tabs on to see if they lower the price anymore (I think it's still over $400.00 yet).

The only thing I can think of with 2 tuners is the TiVo that's currently available that has two analog tuners. But you said you didn't want any fees involved.

Other than those, a DVR/DVD recorder is the only other thing. The TV Guide on Screen in the new Panasonics are compatible with satellite and digital cable now, in case you'd ever want to use it with those sources at some future time. Their E55 model has something like 200GB of hard drive space. They can generally be had for a bit over $400.00 online. But of course, it will always only record in 480i (SD). The Sony will at least let you upgrade to HD later if you want, but you can still only transfer from it in 480i (although the transfers do generally look excellent). If you want any other info on DVD/DVR recorders, there is plenty of it over in that section of the same title.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-25-2006, 11:42 AM
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How about at PC, you can get a couple tuner cards, and run either MCE or Sagetv and get the same features.

- Josh
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-25-2006, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I was actually thinking about sage tv. But there are so many diffrent tuner cards that you can buy. Is there a forum here or somewhere else that has a listing of the best ones? I was looking at one of the Hauppague cards with 2 tuners, I am aware that you need to have a compatable card to use sage TV but how do you know which one is the best? There is also an nVidia one that i was looking at but you can only buy that one direct.

Does anyone know which card is the best?
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-25-2006, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azwillnj
I was actually thinking about sage tv. But there are so many diffrent tuner cards that you can buy. Is there a forum here or somewhere else that has a listing of the best ones? I was looking at one of the Hauppague cards with 2 tuners, I am aware that you need to have a compatable card to use sage TV but how do you know which one is the best? There is also an nVidia one that i was looking at but you can only buy that one direct.

Does anyone know which card is the best?

yup, the HTPC forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26

as for tuners, the MCE PVR500 from haupauge or the new dual tuner from Nvidia are two of teh best SD tuners out there.

Then Vbox cat's eye makes some great OTA HD tuners.

- Josh
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-08-2006, 09:17 PM
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If you have a Mac, check out the EyeTV products in the hardware section at Elgato.
(sorry I can't post complete URLs yet)
One very small box, instead of a big DVR. No fees and online program guides. Your computer becomes your DVR, and if it's a laptop you can take your shows with you or watch them in bed. That what my son is going to take to college. If you have a nice monitor it will make a nice TV. The biggest downside is not being able to record shows when your computer is not in the dorm room if you are using a portable computer.

I've never looked into it, but I would imagine that there are similar PC compatible items avaliable.
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