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post #1 of 6 Old 11-02-2007, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been reading and looking around without much luck for a while so hopefully someone here can offer some insight.

I'm looking for a PVR that can record to a HDD from analog cable. It would be nice if it could also record digital broadcasts/OTA HD/etc but I cant get any of those where I live right now. I also want to be able to hook it up to my home network. I guess USB would be ok but a regular ethernet port would be ideal so I could copy the captures to my computer if I wanted to. If there is such a thing that also has a DVD-R and VHS that would be the goal, but I think that is a bit too much to ask. I would also like to avoid the HTPC option for now.

Any links/manufactures greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-05-2007, 01:40 PM
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TiVo Series2? That's the least expensive option I can think of, at ~US$100 off eBay or direct from TiVo, and ~$13-17/mo (depending on commitment period). They're reliable, they can connect via phone line or broadband, and if you have Ethernet connectivity, you can use TiVoToGo to download recorded episodes. Other broadband-specific features are also available, and it's relatively trivial to upgrade to more disk space if you feel the need. However, of course, it is analog cable only (though it can use a digital cable box via composite or SVideo cables for input with an IR blaster or serial interface for channel control). Unless you can get a used ReplayTV with lifetime service, or a TiVo S2 with lifetime service, off eBay for a decent price, it's the best deal I can think of...
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-08-2007, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas, however I do not currently reside in the USA so the whole subscription thing isnt possible. Can you just use the Tivo like a VCR programming it yourself and just using the tuner?

I also saw an LG device on ebay that had a HDD in it. It used some form of media center. the model number eludes me at the moment though. I also heard panasonic makes these. My quest continues. Any other ideas?
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-08-2007, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkpocky View Post

Thanks for the ideas, however I do not currently reside in the USA so the whole subscription thing isnt possible. Can you just use the Tivo like a VCR programming it yourself and just using the tuner?

No, unfortunately not. The service is required for the TiVo branded units; there were a few third-party devices with "TiVo Basic", which allowed one to sidestep the subscription requirement, but those are no longer in production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkpocky View Post

I also saw an LG device on ebay that had a HDD in it. It used some form of media center. the model number eludes me at the moment though. I also heard panasonic makes these. My quest continues. Any other ideas?

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the device. Where are you located? I think knowing that might help someone advise you better as far as what options you would have.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-08-2007, 12:12 PM
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He's either referring to the LG 3410a HD DVR, which uses the free, TV Guide on Screen service, or an SD HDD/DVD recorder they had out a couple of years back that got it's Microsoft-based guide info from the internet. There originally was a subscription fee for the guide, but by the time they started knocking the price way down to clear it out, they also dropped the subscription fee entirely. I don't know if the service is even available anymore. It could be.

Panasonic stopped making HDD models before this year (SD-only) - but you can still get "multi-regional" or "international" models if you know where to look (www.world-import.com carries them). But the warranties are only for like 30 or 90 days, and they only have analog tuners (which won't matter if you're using an external one). Pioneer has a few of these type models, also. People here who have bought them have been mostly very satisfied with them, as Panny and Pio generally have always made the best SD HDD/DVD recorders. I know that at least the Pio's (if not both brands) have TVGOS, but I really don't know if it works in this country - although I don't see why it wouldn't. They also have some pretty large hard drives in them (up to 400 GB).

Otherwise, finding an older model used is your only choice. And you never know what you're getting with ebay. Occasionally an HD or SD unit will pop up in the "For Sale" area on this forum (mostly because a person just caved in and got the TiVoHD, which has finally become reasonably affordable, especially with the 3-yr. pre-paid subscription - about $8.30/mo.), so you can check that once in awhile, also.

Check over in the "HDTV Recorders" sub-forum for information on the HD subscription-less DVR's, and the "DVD Recorders" sub-forum for info on the SD ones. Most of the information on these types of units is concentrated in those two sub-forums. Sometimes people selling their older units will announce it in the threads there.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-23-2007, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the advice. I threw in the towel on the HDD and got a Panasonic VHS with DVD burner. Component out/tuner/dubbing both ways. Good enough for now.
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