Options for Recording After DVDR's Are Gone - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 04:14 PM
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I'm not sure what to do yet. My point in posting that thread was in my disbelief over the $100 quote for a homemade DVR.
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post #32 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 11:17 PM
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As most of you may know by now I picked up a HD Homerun Prime during the Black Friday online sales cheap and have been happily using it since. It has 3 Cable card enabled tuners and can record 3 at once.
The setup and activation wasn't too bad. The gal at my local office had never seen one before but she got on her computer after looking at the box that I brought with me and figured it out and handed me a M cable card. I got home, called their 800 number and a very nice gal knew exactly what I was trying to do and get activated and had me setup and running in under 10 minutes. Then it was time to get my Media center working again and let it find my networked tuner and populate the guide. I had to get the sleep function working properly too but now that it's all dialed in it just captures my series and single shows almost perfectly every time now. The only extra cost besides buying the Prime is a extra 9 buck a month becuase I already have a HD cable box that counts as my first free cable card I guess. I'm sure if I call and complain about my rising bill they would give me a discount or at least drop the cable card charge.
So now I AM running a PC that doubles as a HTPC so I can do everything from right here. I also run VideoReDo TV Suite version 4 because I've run the earlier version for years and it always worked great. This one can directly edit the new WTV format WMC uses and then save it in a multitude of formats for you.
If you already have a earlier version they offer a good upgrade discount and like said you can download and try it free for 7 days. If you don't need cable card there are a lot of other options that work nicely for a good price including the regular HD HomeRun that has 2 tuners and does clear QAM and OTA for around 99 bucks, plus all the other onboard and set top options like that Hauppauge 1212 that records directly from your cable box or the 2650 that has two cable card tuners for pretty cheap.
Their are some really nice small cases that will hold just enough thing to make a dedicated HTPC that are silent and not much bigger then a old school VCR too for making a HTPC only box to go on your rack out front.
I also have 2 media players, a new Pivos Aios and a WDTV live and I use them to play my edited captures very nicely, plus they can play ISO files and just about anything else a PC can and can play You Tube and all kinds of internet goodies too.
I have 2 large external drives and a 2tb internal I added to the Aios, plus the 5 hard drives in my box here. As my shared HD cap folder fills up I transfer the shows to any of the 3 big drives out front. When they fill up I get more drives instead of burning everything to disk to watch on the main system.
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post #33 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 12:56 AM
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Was wondering if one of these HD Homerun with a ZOTAC ZBOX AD04 plus build might be a good option?

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post #34 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 01:11 AM
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Well it uses WMC to tell it what to do over the network so as long as it has the HP to run WMC and play HD videos with some sort of storage it should be fine I'd think but haven't researched it all. I'm running a AMD 1090t with 8 gig and win7 ultimate 64 here with a ATI old 4870x2 video card and it runs great of course but I have way more then enough to run it I'd think.
Most of the HTPC are just something just powerful enough to play any HD stream and like that so they don't run hot or draw lots of power and make noise.
My geek friend has one built in one of the dedicated small HTPC cases and I doubt it's hugely powerful like the typical boxes he builds, just enough to run everything smooth.
Just read a review of the box and it sounds like it should work OK and is dead silent and small. Maybe do some more research and give it a shot if it sounds good and the price is OK with you.
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post #35 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 02:43 AM
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This thread needs to be split between FOSS and pay solutions. People who can afford subscription TV probably can also afford, and find more convenient, cableco & satco DVR rentals with their built in guides.

I find non-FOSS discussions to be mere noise, as I can't see myself ever making a non-FOSS choice. Spending money on an OS or other software in order to watch FTA TV is antithetical to the concept of FTA TV, my recording goals, and budget.

Genuine HD via ATSC and BUD satellite DVB.
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post #36 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapler1234 View Post

A couple of years ago, HP did (maybe still) make such a PC, however, as I wasn't personally interested, haven't follow it's progress. As I recall, it had a TV-PCI tuner card, used Windows Media Center software and was available with either conventional audio/vidio output connections or an optional wi-fi card.

Cost: approx $1,000

This oldish puppy is the basis of my HTPC with WMC, plus upgrades to 10.750 TB worth of HDDs, a Blu-ray burner, wireless mouse and illuminated keyboard, etc.

Inputs include OTA ATSC for HD via a Winegard SS-3000, analog cable, FM radio, composite and S-video, plus the usual PC inputs (USB, FireWire).
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post #37 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

This oldish puppy is the basis of my HTPC with WMC, plus upgrades to 10,750 TB worth of HDDs ...

10,750 TB !?

That is 10,750,000 GB. Do you have physical hard drive storage, or are you using the Cloud?

That which may be known of God is evident within man, for God has shown it to them, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
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post #38 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post

This thread needs to be split between FOSS and pay solutions. People who can afford subscription TV probably can also afford, and find more convenient, cableco & satco DVR rentals with their built in guides.

I find non-FOSS discussions to be mere noise, as I can't see myself ever making a non-FOSS choice. Spending money on an OS or other software in order to watch FTA TV is antithetical to the concept of FTA TV, my recording goals, and budget.

Many of the common multimedia formats are proprietary with no way to access them using only true open source software. There are non-free methods to use these restricted formats in Linux at no cost. Do you draw the line at open source or is proprietary software OK if it doesn't cost you any money?
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post #39 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwil View Post

10,750 TB !?

That is 10,750,000 GB. Do you have physical hard drive storage, or are you using the Cloud?

Typo: the comma should be a decimal point, of course. 10.750 TB Thanks for catching that. I am without excuse.
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post #40 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

Typo: the comma should be a decimal point, of course. 10.750 TB Thanks for catching that. I am without excuse.

A perfect example of why I'm hoping this thread explains things as simply as possible for the "other" people: PC newbies or neophytes, who probably thought 10,750TB sounded OK!


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post #41 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

Many of the common multimedia formats are proprietary with no way to access them using only true open source software.

My understanding is that condition is normally no more than temporary for new formats before the FOSS community figures them out. Until that happens, and maybe even after, I don't need them. To me, new does not imply better.
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There are non-free methods to use these restricted formats in Linux at no cost. Do you draw the line at open source or is proprietary software OK if it doesn't cost you any money?

Presumably you are at least partly referring to Flash, which is the leading example of user unfriendliness regardless of platform. It's a resource pig in several ways and an input thief used more often than not to annoy rather than provide something useful that is unavailable otherwise. I install Flash in one browser, and mostly only use that browser for pages that have no equivalent that does not demand Flash.

AFAICT, other than drivers, there is no proprietary software, regardless whether available without money, that is or can be made universally friendly rather than friendly only to those with 20/15 vision. If I was to discover that a Redmond or Cupertino OS and common apps for them were available that were not made by those with 20/15 vision for those with 20/15 vision, with complete resolution independence, I might change my mind. Until then, I can't rationalize paying, because I wouldn't be getting anything better than what's available for no money by spending money.

Genuine HD via ATSC and BUD satellite DVB.
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post #42 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 08:42 AM
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This thread is a very good idea, but I still don't want to connect a recording PC to my cable cord, not yet.

So I'll wait until you have reach the most convenient price quality unit, with its part list, software and extras (UPS, Home routers,etc)

Just don't forget the HDMI inputs!
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post #43 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 08:52 AM
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I've been watching this thread: Ceton announces new 6-tuner outboard whole-house DVR system. No OTA recording, but it looks promising for cable users.
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post #44 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 09:17 AM
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I suspect that we are going to have a variety of requirements of a device(s) depending on who you talk to. Dartman describes a nice setup using the HD Homerun Prime, yet that is only used for cable. Others will want just OTA ATSC, or SD line inputs for VHS transfers, or HD component inputs for recording/archiving Satellite/internet streaming devices (Roku, WD Live, etc). Perhaps we should all jot down our minimum requirements/desired uses and have Wajo (sorry, man) tabulate these in the first post.

My primary uses:
1. SD composite or S-Video inputs for VHS transfers to MPEG2 for archiving to EHD and burning compatible DVD menu structures.
2. HD component inputs for AVCHD MP4 archiving of satellite programming and Roku output of Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix streams, etc.
3. DVD burner for portability and backup of MPEG2 DVD compliant content and AVCHD HD content playable on BluRay players
4. Basic editing features: cut scenes/commercials, manage chapter marks, split/combine titles

Secondary uses (nice to haves, not required):
1. HDMI inputs/passthru
2. BluRay burner for compliant BluRay disc creation
3. ATSC tuner for OTA TV reception with guide/timer/search functionality
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post #45 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post

My understanding is that condition is normally no more than temporary for new formats before the FOSS community figures them out. Until that happens, and maybe even after, I don't need them. To me, new does not imply better.

I assume you are using Linux. If so, what distro?
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post #46 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

I suspect that we are going to have a variety of requirements of a device(s) depending on who you talk to. Dartman describes a nice setup using the HD Homerun Prime, yet that is only used for cable. Others will want just OTA ATSC, or SD line inputs for VHS transfers, or HD component inputs for recording/archiving Satellite/internet streaming devices (Roku, WD Live, etc). Perhaps we should all jot down our minimum requirements/desired uses and have Wajo (sorry, man) tabulate these in the first post.

I also have a Divco Fusion3 gold that I have been using till everything went encrypted, my 3575, a LG 4200a QAM OTA tuner, and probably other fully OTA stuff I have forgot about.
I was pretty ticked off when they decided to encrypt everything like everyone else because now most of my expensive gear that belongs only to me is mostly useless. Most of us bought the Philips Magnavox recorders BECAUSE they could do anything digital and continued to work on cable or OTA after the changeover. Those of us that use cable only now are SOL so when the Prime went down to a good price I jumped in as I already have most of what I needed setup to run it and already pay for cable, so I wanted to be able to do what I used to do without paying them yet more rental for a box I can't edit or transfer content. If users here don't need or want cable there are a ton of good options for cheap or free they can use and lots of ways to edit and transfer to their hearts content that also work with a network and PC or stand alone and we're just discussing what we think we might do when all the options we used to use dry up no matter what way we get the content into our houses.
I LIKE free or cheap but it's just not going that way anymore for me so I'm making the best I can out of what I'm stuck with and still save some money.
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post #47 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

Others will want just OTA ATSC, or SD line inputs for VHS transfers, or HD component inputs for recording/archiving Satellite/internet streaming devices (Roku, WD Live, etc). Perhaps we should all jot down our minimum requirements/desired uses and have Wajo (sorry, man) tabulate these in the first post.

I use a Hauppauge 2250 dual tuner card with Media Center. The ATSC OTA reception is a bit weak but should be fine if you get strong reception. It works great with FiOS QAM. It has S-Video, composite, and L/R audio inputs but I've never used them.

This tuner card is sold in two different packages. One package only has the bare essentials and the other includes a remote, IR blasters, breakout cables, etc. Watch the package contents carefully when comparing prices.
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post #48 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 10:14 AM
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I edited my post#44 above, just pointing it out in case wajo considers it "link worthy" for the first page.
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post #49 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 10:29 AM
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Anyone have experience with MediaPortal? It looks promising:

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/medi...tures-overview
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post #50 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

I assume you are using Linux. If so, what distro?

Strictly speaking, your question as spelled cannot be answered, and I have my doubts as to whether it's on topic according to wajo's request to "confine this new discussion to options or alternatives to DVDRs and keep it as simple as possible".

Most of my machines are multiboot, averaging in excess of 6 installed OS/system. Most communcation, such as here, I handle on this system, free of any type of browser plugins, which on average stays up on eComStation 1.14 about 364 days/year. I run Apache, multimedia apps and do some software and web site testing on openSUSE, also up on average about 364 days/year. All but three of my other multiboot systems have at least one top 10 distro in addition to openSUSE. Those that don't are mostly dust collecting standbys for the 24/7 systems. Most of those with non-FOSS OS installed are WinXP Pro licensed Dells of various single core Optiplex models acquired for $0, and spend minimal time up.

Genuine HD via ATSC and BUD satellite DVB.
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post #51 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post

Strictly speaking, your question as spelled cannot be answered, and I have my doubts as to whether it's on topic according to wajo's request to "confine this new discussion to options or alternatives to DVDRs and keep it as simple as possible".

If you don't want to discuss it here then you may be interested in the HTPC Linux Chat section of the forum.
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post #52 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

Someone should make a home theater PC all ready to go right out of the box. Nothing to install, either hardwarte or software. A PC that out of the box has DVR software (no monthly fees or interent connection required), ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuner card with cable card slot, and remote control already installed, just connect to a tv and be ready to go. Ability to operate entirely by remote control since there often isn't room to set up a keyboard and mouse next to a tv. In the early days of PCs if you wanted color, graphics, and sound you had to buy seperate cards and install them, now every PC has that out of the box. An HTPC ready to go out of the box would be a natural evolution.

AMEN!!
The argument between a "general purpose" device (PC) and a "commercial" dedicated tool (phil/mag) is an old one.
In the same way we don't pick and choose options for the phil/mag, let's not have to do that with a commercial HTPC.
I thought that HP and others did that for a while and no doubt there were not enough takers, at that time!
Sure, allow add-in cards (more tuners, more HDMI cards) and allow a storage NAS or SAN or JBOD or whatever.
I don't see any refs to that out-of-the-box product yet.
Mike
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post #53 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 06:54 PM
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There's a whole sub-forum on HTPC down there \\/\\/\\/ (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26) that has all levels of info including a 'Compleat Idiot's Guide' or two. It's not that difficult to do or learn....


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(Just as big an idea thief as)

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post #54 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

There's a whole sub-forum on HTPC down there \\/\\/\\/ (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26) that has all levels of info including a 'Compleat Idiot's Guide' or two. It's not that difficult to do or learn....

See #2 link on pg 1, post 1.

I think there's at least a million old DVDR farts who'd croak just reading the headlines in those forums... thus, the purpose of this forum.. a "halfway house"!

Computer geeks need to have some empathy... get outside your skin and consider how "those other people" live and think!


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post #55 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

I suspect that we are going to have a variety of requirements of a device(s) depending on who you talk to. Dartman describes a nice setup using the HD Homerun Prime, yet that is only used for cable. Others will want just OTA ATSC, or SD line inputs for VHS transfers, or HD component inputs for recording/archiving Satellite/internet streaming devices (Roku, WD Live, etc). Perhaps we should all jot down our minimum requirements/desired uses and have Wajo (sorry, man) tabulate these in the first post.

My primary uses:
1. SD composite or S-Video inputs for VHS transfers to MPEG2 for archiving to EHD and burning compatible DVD menu structures.
2. HD component inputs for AVCHD MP4 archiving of satellite programming and Roku output of Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix streams, etc.
3. DVD burner for portability and backup of MPEG2 DVD compliant content and AVCHD HD content playable on BluRay players
4. Basic editing features: cut scenes/commercials, manage chapter marks, split/combine titles

Secondary uses (nice to haves, not required):
1. HDMI inputs/passthru
2. BluRay burner for compliant BluRay disc creation
3. ATSC tuner for OTA TV reception with guide/timer/search functionality

We kind of have a starter wish list in the person of our Funai Wish List, right? In trying to remedy Funai deficiencies aren't we also defining HTPC function?

Since I have to share my 1 TV with the rest of the family for record setups and editing and burning... I know I'd like to be able to use the PC display for those purposes, thus need a 2nd display capability (switch between the two, etc).

Also a list of things that make cable/sat/fiber DVRs popular would be instructive:
1) The guide (set recordings by series, search, etc)
2) The guide
3) Keep until I erase
4) The guide
5) it comes free with the service (mine did, I think)
6) lots of promotion in advertising
I know I'm implying a closer link between The Source and the HTPC and that usually means $$.

We all offload our HDD to DVD (with notable exceptions- bow to Auskck and his external SATA disciples) when they get full. I always have seen the DVD as the ultimate portable/sharable format. There are few folks who want to "share" with me tho' and it's getting lonely. Also being told I should rely on "the cloud" to get my viewing is getting old. Perhaps stopping DVD collecting (and going to HTPC) is just an excuse to get away from those niggly problems, eh?

While I dread sucking my DVD collection into a honking JBOD or the like it's looking pretty attractive about now.

BTW, AT&T uVerse has stifled some of my burning enthusiasm. Basically it's a STB that I s-video connect to my 3576. I have to queue up a real time transfer to get stuff to my 3576 for edit/burn. I don't know how to assess the "quality" of this material, no fancy WS tv yet. It does provide great DVR function with Guide. For the time-displacers in the family it's tops. It rendered the tuner in my 3576 (for all it's foibles) useless. So "tuner cards" are worthless for uVerse users. Of course, there are other services...

Thanks all, Mike.
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post #56 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
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We kind of have a starter wish list in the person of our Funai Wish List, right? In trying to remedy Funai deficiencies aren't we also defining HTPC function?

While the Funai Wish List is an all-encompassing feature set for an unlimited price point, I wanted to start off with just minimum requirements to build from, giving everyone a chance to give a baseline idea of what such a device build would entail. After we set the base model (or models for differing uses), then we can research available components that would satisfy those minimums and then from there delve into the pros and cons of specific feature sets that each investigated component would offer.

For my set of functions, a cursory search yielded this, which looks like it has some promise:

Hauppauge Colossus $141.99 at Amazon, $159 at Best Buy.
Open source Media Portal, $free, with specific community support for the Colossus.
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post #57 of 156 Old 01-28-2012, 09:03 PM
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The Colossus looks like another good solution for some folks. I considered their settop version of that device but you know I kind hate trying to make my stupid Comcast box be the thing I have to also turn on and use to capture my shows. Half the time if it does turn on at the right time the sound doesn't work and I hate the stupid huge blue box that comes up and ruins the beginning of many timer recordings you try to make with it unless you offset the times enough for the warning box to go away.
For me and all my encrypted sub channels the Prime is perfect, for Kelson the regular Homerun is perfect, maybe for you that card is perfect, it depends on your budget and what your dealing with.
I think the good thing is that if it can be seen on your TV that box will get it recorded for you no matter what system your using.
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post #58 of 156 Old 01-29-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

Computer geeks need to have some empathy... get outside your skin and consider how "those other people" live and think!

Funai God bless you Wajo.
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post #59 of 156 Old 01-29-2012, 11:00 AM
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Yeah, I'd hate the support calls I'd get from my mom and step dad if I set them up a HTPC and one of the primes to use with it
They have a provided DVR they got stuck with when they upgraded their cable to HD and I don't think either one of them has touched it since I set it to record Oprah and DR Phil for mom back when both shows were still going.
That's why I finally got them a refurbed harmony 880 remote from Dell, or Amazon, as once they understood just hit watch cable TV, or watch a DVD and it happened they were good to go. I did have to tell her about the help button once when it had gotten stuck between modes and she couldn't get the TV to play so now they are pretty self sufficient as long as everything stays the way I wired it and setup the remote
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post #60 of 156 Old 01-30-2012, 12:52 PM
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I have spent about a year following the media streamer forum, looking for an ideal solution but everything requires fiddling, has bugs, or is missing features. Mainly Popcorn Hour, Dune, WD, Boxee Box, etc. For whatever reason, the market hasn't been able to come up with a "box" that handles current capabilities with room for future. Maybe I am expecting too much. Maybe there are too many usage scenarios to try to get into a single device. What are the usage scenarios that are desired for this Funai replacement?

For my part, I only use the DVD burner to get content from my 2160 to my PC. I suppose there is a segment of the market which will archive to DVD only, but should we be restricted to DVD-video format? How many DVD-video only decoders are there going to be in 2 years?

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