Trying to Decide on owning a DVR - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-05-2007, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I am a novice when it comes to DVR's and TIVO but I am looking at purchasing a Pioneer 640HS DVR or just going thru my cable company (Millennium Cable). I don't like the idea of renting a box at $16 and an additional digital converter box for $5 more per month so I was looking for some advice from some experts.

If I buy a DVR like the Pioneer, is there a need to buy additional equipment to pick up the cable companies signal? Do cable companies typically scramble programming to prevent you from using your own equipment?

Is the programming of DVRs similar to how the old VCRs worked?

Since I would need to keep the DVR more than 18 months to pay for itself over the cable cost, what is the typical shelf life for a DVR?

Your advice is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-05-2007, 07:30 AM
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As far as I know, the Tivo Series 3 is the only personally owned DVR capable of tuning the digital tier. The cableco supplied CableCard is a necessary component. At present, only 1-way CableCard technology is available which means no pay-per-view ordering through the box and no on-demand content is available. As far as the States is concerned, I haven't seen any posting citing a cableco that is willing to provision/authenticate a user-owned cable box except with cable card subscription.

Personal and publically discussed experiences support the notion that the DVR hardware from the cableco is sufficiently unreliable that you are better off renting rather than having to pay for repairs/replacement of the hardware as frequently as they go bad.

YMMV

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post #3 of 4 Old 03-06-2007, 06:29 PM
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I am getting the Toshiba RD-XS35 - it should arrive tomorrow, actually. It will essentially replace my current VHS VCR.

The decision to purchase a DVR was influenced by desiring more features then the cable company provided via their current (rental) offerings - including the SIGNIFICANT feature (for me) of reading/editing/writing DVDs within the same unit. Also, I can upgrade components in my DVDR+DVR with impunity.

My cable company still broadcasts most channels in analog, with the rest (i.e., digital and/or pay-per-view) requiring that we rent a single cable box with registered card. Most of the shows we record on the VCR today (DVR tomorrow) can simply be tuned in via the analog tuner of that recording component, which is fed by a splitter in the cable company's coax line. For those shows which are digital and/or pay-per-view, we manually change to that channel in the box and send the output directly from the cable box to the Line input of our VCR.

I am waiting on an A/V receiver to arrive in the coming weeks/months (delayed to due shipping damage), after which I'll probably keep a similar setup with the DVR . . . except that at least one set of cable signals will route through the receiver to the recorder, and then I'd like to determine if an IR Blaster can control the cable box for recording shows which must route in that fashion.

- ooofest
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-07-2007, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMike6by9 View Post

As far as I know, the Tivo Series 3 is the only personally owned DVR capable of tuning the digital tier.

There's also the Sony's, which also will accept a (1-way) cablecard.
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