Any alternatives to HD TIVO for OTA - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 10-19-2007, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted something similar to this on the OTA forums but I think I might get a better answer over here. Im about to but a HD TIVO unit just for OTA recording and then started looking on the web and found that Humax makes a perfect application for this but it doesn't look like this is sold in the US. Does anybody know why or is there an alternative that I haven't found yet.

heres that humax link http://www.humaxdigital.com/global/p.../pvr-9200t.asp

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post #2 of 40 Old 10-20-2007, 06:10 AM
 
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There are three DVRs sold in the United States that are good for OTA (only) recording. I just read a thread discussing this on another website. I'll try to remember where it was and post the three model numbers.

I do remember that one of them was a Phillips, though.
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post #3 of 40 Old 10-20-2007, 09:39 PM
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The Tivo is the only option that will actually record HD. The rest downconvert to SD.

If you want to record high-definition, the $250 dual-tuner TivoHD ($550 with three-year subscription or $850 with six-year subscription) is your only choice for a new unit.
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post #4 of 40 Old 10-21-2007, 04:25 AM
 
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I didn't know that. I'll need to find that other thread and pass that info along to THEM.
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post #5 of 40 Old 10-29-2007, 04:15 PM
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It's a sad state for those of us who want a nice ATSC Over The Air PVR! I'd love to buy an ATSC version of the Humax 9200T. Although it would be difficult using the Humax because it doesn't have a 'season pass' function. The TivoHD does OTA, but I'm not willing to pay the $17 month to month subscription fee, the whole idea of getting an ATSC PVR is to avoid monthly fees in the first place.

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post #6 of 40 Old 10-29-2007, 05:22 PM
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The only DVRs of which I'm aware that are of the "consumer electronics" variety, which *actually* capture HD, other than the TiVo HD and the TiVo Series3, are the Sony DHG-HDD250/500, and the LG LST-3410a. However, these units are no longer in production, so you'd have to pick them up off eBay or another auction site.

Also, some people have good luck with them, some don't. Their guide data is provided using what's called TVGoS (TV Guide on Screen); both these units extract the data from VBI data from a local OTA or analog cable channel, which is available in most areas, but not all. When the analog shutoff occurs in early 2009, this may render the guide functionality of these devices useless.

Check out the threads about these devices in the HDTV Recorders subforum, if you want to find out if they're for you. Of course, since they're both out-of-production consumer electronics devices, you don't get a warranty, or much (if anything) as far as customer support goes, so just keep that in mind - if it breaks, if you have problems, whatever, it's all on you, you keep both pieces, caveat emptor, et al.
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post #7 of 40 Old 10-30-2007, 09:39 AM
 
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A sad state indeed. I think if they could sell large numbers of such units at about $500, then I think we'd seem some options in production.
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post #8 of 40 Old 10-31-2007, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

The Tivo is the only option that will actually record HD. The rest downconvert to SD.

If you want to record high-definition, the $250 dual-tuner TivoHD ($550 with three-year subscription or $850 with six-year subscription) is your only choice for a new unit.

Does anyone know if the TivoHD unit would actually work without the monthly/yearly subscription fee as strictly an ota hd-dvr? Would you be able to set a manual timer to record and just not have the guide/season pass/etc, info?
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post #9 of 40 Old 11-01-2007, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanubankit View Post

Does anyone know if the TivoHD unit would actually work without the monthly/yearly subscription fee as strictly an ota hd-dvr? Would you be able to set a manual timer to record and just not have the guide/season pass/etc, info?

No, Tivo doesn't allow that.

Tivo has said they sell the box for a loss at retail-- Amazon and Best Buy pay about $210 for the TivoHD and the hardware costs about $300-- so they would go bankrupt if they allowed people to use it without a fee.

I agree it would be nice if Tivo would sell a premium version of the box for $600 with the free "Tivo Basic" service (3 day guide, timer-based recording), which would let customers decide whether the other features were worth the monthly fee.
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post #10 of 40 Old 11-01-2007, 05:40 PM
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After looking at the Tivo website, I figured that was the case. I don't remember the exact wording but it was something to the effect "the unit will not function without a subscription". I've looked at the units (no longer made) by Sony & LG, on Ebay, several times over the last 6 months or so, they usually end up going for $600+, a tad more than I'd care to pay.
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post #11 of 40 Old 11-02-2007, 04:08 AM
 
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You'll basically end up paying around that much for what you're looking for. It is roughly the correct price-point for the value such an option provides, whether it is box only or box plus three year subscription.s
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post #12 of 40 Old 11-02-2007, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

You'll basically end up paying around that much for what you're looking for. It is roughly the correct price-point for the value such an option provides, whether it is box only or box plus three year subscription.s

I'd have to go with the Tivo unit in that case (price being approx equal), at least there would be a warranty in case of a problem (have had several Dish
dvr's: 501, 921 & currently a 622) and several of these had to be replaced under warranty. *I believe* the Tivo website said the unit would be under warranty as long as you had an active subscription.
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post #13 of 40 Old 11-03-2007, 04:14 AM
 
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post #14 of 40 Old 11-04-2007, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

The TiVo warranty is 90 days.

http://www.tivo.com/buytivo/tivodvrlimitedwarranty.html

Thanks for the info, that was wishful thinking on my part
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post #15 of 40 Old 11-05-2007, 06:29 AM
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Hi,
I'm one of those OTA (don't want a subscription) folks and I use two Sony DHG-HDD250s that may become bricks come 2/2009 due to the VBI configuration.

If my units quit receiving guide info, I'm thinking there is another option - Look for the HD Home Run (HDHR) by SiliconDust (http://www.silicondust.com/). THis is a dual tuner ATSC/QAM device that works via your PC and Ethernet. The unit gives you several options on where you get TV listings. Here's the link to the AVS forum:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=731457


Have fun

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post #16 of 40 Old 11-05-2007, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyca View Post

Hi,
I'm one of those OTA (don't want a subscription) folks and I use two Sony DHG-HDD250s that may become bricks come 2/2009 due to the VBI configuration.

If my units quit receiving guide info, I'm thinking there is another option - Look for the HD Home Run (HDHR) by SiliconDust (http://www.silicondust.com/). THis is a dual tuner ATSC/QAM device that works via your PC and Ethernet. The unit gives you several options on where you get TV listings. Here's the link to the AVS forum:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=731457

That's an option if only care about locals.

Another option would be to sell those two Sonys @ $700/ea. With $1400, you could get two dual-tuner TivoHDs with six years of service. Or you could buy one, single-tuner Vista CableCard PC.
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post #17 of 40 Old 11-06-2007, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

That's an option if only care about locals.

Another option would be to sell those two Sonys @ $700/ea. With $1400, you could get two dual-tuner TivoHDs with six years of service. Or you could buy one, single-tuner Vista CableCard PC.

He clearly stated that he is one of those "OTA folks" and does NOT want a subscription. So while the $1400 could get him such a unit, it will not pay for the on-going monthly fees.

Many of us are quite content with "locals". While there are a couple of channels I wouldn't mind having (ESPN & FSN for example); I am not willing to pay a TV service provider, pay a company to provide a guide and then still be forced to watch commercials (or deal with them).

Thank you Lyca for the info. This type of product will be quite valuable once NTSC OTA is shut down.

CA GUY
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post #18 of 40 Old 11-06-2007, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

That's an option if only care about locals.

The title of the thread is "Any alternatives to HD TiVo for OTA". OTA would be locals.
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post #19 of 40 Old 11-06-2007, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bidger View Post

The title of the thread is "Any alternatives to HD TiVo for OTA". OTA would be locals.

Thanks, I missed the op's post.

HDHomeRun is an excellent solution to record locals if you have a Windows PC and/or Windows Media Extender (like an Xbox360) in your living room.
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post #20 of 40 Old 11-06-2007, 04:05 PM
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Pardon my ignorance but how does one use an XBox 360 as an HTPC, front end or whatever?

Thanks,

Lyca
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post #21 of 40 Old 11-06-2007, 04:21 PM
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The XBox 360 can be used as a Media Center Extender for Windows Media Center, so you can stream video to it, and (I think) change channels on live streamed TV.
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post #22 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 08:51 AM
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I am also in the OTA camp. I have no sat/cable subscription and won't pay the ridiculous TIVO sub' price.

I have a panasonic dmr-E80H which works for NTSC ota, upstairs in the bedroom and an LG 3410a downstairs in the main room hooked up to my new plasma (w/ built-in atsc tuner). I have an antenna on the roof and like I said no cable or sat provider. I don't use the LG unfortunately because I can't figure the damn thing out. It is a royal PITA to use IMHO.

I like the Panasonic's manual timer recording functionality just fine. Yes it'd be nicer to use a TV guide like service to track the TV show regardless of when it aired, but I'll take something over nothing and I am not willing to pay through the nose for such a feature.

I am really peeved with Panasonic not coming out with a HD PVR. The E80H is an analog pvr and a dvd burner in one. Their newer offerings have dvd-burner + ATSC tuner *OR* dvd-burner + HDD. WTF?! Why not dvd-burner + ATSC tuner + HDD? I don't get it. I think it is coersion of the cable/tivo/sat players to keep monopolistic practices in play. But I guess there are too many consumers willing to pay and not complain so it goes on unnoticed.

I don't mean to turn this into a total rant against the companies, I would like to keep a running thread here with the viable options available to those who choose not to participate in the subscription services for whatever reason they choose.

I'm willing to pay a fair price for a good useble HD PVR box for OTA ATSC (&NTSC as long as it is offered) if it means not having to signup for subscription. There should be choices available to us. Please continue to post products and methods to get this service.

TO MODERATORS: can we create a thread, or sticky this thread, for HD PVR options w/o subscription services so that people can find such info?

JoshK on most other audio forums
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post #23 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 12:09 PM
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There's no singular thread devoted to it, but there are individual, dedicated threads on many of the options over in the "HDTV Recorders" sub-forum (Sony DHG-HDD500/250, LG 3410a, etc.).
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post #24 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 01:12 PM
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I'm making a change. While I don't want subscription services at all, I saw something today that got me to jump. Tivo has lowered their subscription to $12.95/month or prepaid for a year at $10.75/month. The TivoHD can record two OTA streams at once, this seems like the only decent option for an OTA DVR option so I'm pulling the trigger. I'll still save $40/month over my ****** "extended basic" cable package. Between OTA and Netflix I should survive fine.

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post #25 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 02:11 PM
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Pre-pay for 3 years and it's only $8.30 a month.
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post #26 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 02:12 PM
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yeah that's a good deal, but too long of a commitment for me. I may be on to something else before three years.

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post #27 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 02:42 PM
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Today, Tivo announced a reduction in the monthly fee. Month-to-month service is now $12.95/mo maximum. Prepaid options include $129 for one-year, $249 for two years, and $299 for three years.

Tivo also announced the return of the lifetime service option. The cost is $399 (on top of the $250 cost of the box) for a lifetime subscription to the Tivo service. Unfortunately, they only made the lifetime option available to existing customers. Hopefully if all goes well, Tivo will extend it to new customers in the future.

More details here.
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post #28 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 07:04 PM
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I'm in the same boat, I'd love to have a HDTV DVR for OTA. I don't need a program guide, we are still manually setting our VCR/DVD recorder for analog OTA channels and it doesn't bother us. Unfortunately the VCR doesn't do as well as it used to, the antenna is aimed to recieve the digital stations that we watch using our TV's HD tuner, not the analog channels the VCR picks up.

Anyway, that brings me to ask about the HDTivo. I'm considering it, but does anyone know the quality of it's OTA ATSC tuner? Is it a fifth generation type? We have a Sony HDTV that's a couple years old and the tuner drops out stations on occasion. I briefly used a fifth generation computer ATSC tuner that easily outperformed the TV in recieving stations. I'd buy one of the older Sony or LG DVR's if I didn't think I'd be downgrading on reception (better to watch the fuzzy VCR recording than have missing minutes of shows).
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post #29 of 40 Old 11-08-2007, 10:35 PM
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I have the Samsung DTB-H260F tuner with a 5th gen. chip, and it's definitely better than my Sony DHG-HDD500's 4th.

But the Sony's isn't all that bad, either.

I think the LG 3410a DVR uses a 3rd.
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post #30 of 40 Old 11-09-2007, 04:29 PM
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If you want an OTA HD DVR that has the guide info for FREE, you have to build it. Check out the forum here for PC based home entertainment. Basically you can run Windows Vista home premium or Windows XP Media Edition or a linux box with an HDTV card, forgot the name of the linux software but many people do it and enjoy it. Keep in mind that this sort of PC is full multi-media, DVD, MP3 and disk space is only limited by your wallet and imagination. What's nice is you have one single box where you can connect to the internet, burn DVDs, transmit recorded programs from one unit to another, watch it on your PC and do lots of things Tivo can't.
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