DVR options besides what my cable company offers: Computer? DVDR player? Other? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-08-2006, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Newbie here. If I am in the wrong place or their is already a thread for this (which I suspect there is but couldn't find) kindly direct me to it.

I have regular digital cable through Charter. I really want a DVR but refuse to pay $15 a month to Charter for a machine that I don't own). I looked into TiVO but want to stay away from a subscription service. I dont mind paying for a machine that will do what I need. All I want is an easy way to record programs and watch them. Pretty must a digital VCR. The reason I say "easy" is because I want my girlfriend and other people to be able to schedule recordings and watch them without my help (that is why I am leaning away from using my PC - see below). I dont really need features like being able to burn shows to DVD, watch a live show 30 minutes after it started and fast forward through commercials, or anything like that, but it would be nice if I could still get it. Pretty much I want something as close to a DVR that my cable company offers without paying a monthly fee.

Here are the options I know of and my thoughts on each. Please let me know if there are more options or I am wrong on any of them.

1) Use my PC. I have a TV-In card and it records TV shows great. This works fine for me, but trying to get anyone else (like my girlfriend) to be able to watch or record something is next to impossible. She is always asking me to set it up to record or "Can you hook it up so I can watch my show you taped for me"
2) DVDR machine like the Philips DVDR3455H or Pioneer DVR 640H. This seems to be the best option for me at this point. No subscription and can be programmed to record somewhat easy.
3) TiVO Series 3. I am not very familiar with the Series 3 models. Can you use one of these without subscribing to the TiVO service?
4) Dust off my 10-year old Sanyo VCR.

Thanks
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-09-2006, 06:26 AM
 
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(Since you mentioned the TiVo Series 3, I assume you're talking HD, not SD.)

There are a few others. There are some discontinued HD DVRs, available sometimes on eBay. Discontinued, perhaps, because there really isn't a profitable market for them, not because they didn't work.

Also, there's D-VHS.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-14-2006, 10:28 PM
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Well I figured I'd add a related question. How do I get HD stations through my dvr if I buy my own instead of renting my cable company's? I'm guessing that there is some kind of decoding the dvr has to do in order to display hd programming from my cable company. I have RCN by the way.

Thanks.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-15-2006, 04:45 AM
 
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You mean buying the TiVo Series 3 HD DVR? If you do that, you can receive any unencrypted HD channels via the QAM tuner built-into the Series 3. I was able to get about 30 digital channels, about seven or eight of which were HD (local network affiliates and local stations), in addition to the 60 or so analog channels. If you want to receive and record encrypted channels, you'll need CableCards from your cable company. They're sort of "keys" to the decryption which are installed into the DVR. The vast majority of people have no problem getting them and getting them working, but a significant number of us were unable to get the Series 3 working with encrypted digital cable, so beware that it just might not work for you. (Get the DVR where you can get a 30 day money-back guarantee, and then make sure you make your final keep/return decision long before time's up.)
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-18-2006, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1
You mean buying the TiVo Series 3 HD DVR? If you do that, you can receive any unencrypted HD channels via the QAM tuner built-into the Series 3. I was able to get about 30 digital channels, about seven or eight of which were HD (local network affiliates and local stations), in addition to the 60 or so analog channels. If you want to receive and record encrypted channels, you'll need CableCards from your cable company. They're sort of "keys" to the decryption which are installed into the DVR. The vast majority of people have no problem getting them and getting them working, but a significant number of us were unable to get the Series 3 working with encrypted digital cable, so beware that it just might not work for you. (Get the DVR where you can get a 30 day money-back guarantee, and then make sure you make your final keep/return decision long before time's up.)
But if you were to get a cable card you have to rent it from the cable company right? My whole thing is I don't want to pay them any rental fees, I just want to pay for the cable and internet service and run my own hardware. For those of you that have the cable card how did they charge you to buy it outright? I don't plan on ripping off the cable company, I'll let them still charge me for all the extended channels I just don't want to pay $20 a month for the 2 boxes I have.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-19-2006, 09:38 AM
 
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First, for the TiVo Series 3, you'd want TWO CableCARDs. Otherwise, you're basically turning your $800 DVR into a single-tuner unit. (Zero CableCARDs = dual tuner; Two CableCARDs = dual tuner; One CableCARD = single tuner.)

Comcast offers the first CableCARD for no extra charge over the cost of any Digital Cable package. The second card will have a fee associated with it, which eventually will come down to about $1.50. If you don't want to pay them for the rental of the CableCARDs, then you can't get encrypted content. That's your choice, though, and you'll have to acknowledge that you're placing your own limits on the services availble to you. You could just consider the $1.50 as part of the regular monthly charge for your package. Don't fixate on it being a rental fee for the card.

They will never allow you to buy the CableCARD. Ever.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-19-2006, 10:39 AM
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You can try ebay or a sony outlets for a DHG-HDD250 . I know the outlet had some refurbished ones for $300, and I think they had a 30 day return policy.
Good luck.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-19-2006, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1
You could just consider the $1.50 as part of the regular monthly charge for your package.
Plus the other $12.95 (or whatever the TiVo fee is these days).
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-21-2006, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1
First, for the TiVo Series 3, you'd want TWO CableCARDs. Otherwise, you're basically turning your $800 DVR into a single-tuner unit. (Zero CableCARDs = dual tuner; Two CableCARDs = dual tuner; One CableCARD = single tuner.) .
street is 30% lower than $800
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-22-2006, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aero12
street is 30% lower than $800
Don't matter if they're givin' them away - he still doesn't want to pay any fees.
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-26-2006, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1
First, for the TiVo Series 3, you'd want TWO CableCARDs. Otherwise, you're basically turning your $800 DVR into a single-tuner unit. (Zero CableCARDs = dual tuner; Two CableCARDs = dual tuner; One CableCARD = single tuner.)

Comcast offers the first CableCARD for no extra charge over the cost of any Digital Cable package. The second card will have a fee associated with it, which eventually will come down to about $1.50. If you don't want to pay them for the rental of the CableCARDs, then you can't get encrypted content. That's your choice, though, and you'll have to acknowledge that you're placing your own limits on the services availble to you. You could just consider the $1.50 as part of the regular monthly charge for your package. Don't fixate on it being a rental fee for the card.

They will never allow you to buy the CableCARD. Ever.
That sucks. I don't plan on trying to rip off the cable company although I'm sure that's what they're trying to avoid. I just don't like renting items I'd rather buy them and be done with it. Oh well. Maybe I'll look into this again in a few years for now I'll just pay.

Thanks for help everyone.
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-27-2006, 05:14 AM
 
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Unfortunately, we all pay for the actions of those who steal and cheat.
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