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post #1 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Options for Recording After DVDRs Are Gone

This thread is for exposing VCR/DVDR users to specific options for recording after there are no new std def (SD) HDD/DVD recorders (DVDRs) available in North America in 2014 and beyond.

Latest std-def/high-def (SD/HD) recorders:

Links to Possible Alternatives

I hope the following links will be important to PC-newbies in finding viable options to VCRs and DVDRs for recording their favorite TV shows on a regular basis. Most, if not all, the items from #7 down require a computer or external HDD to give you recording, rather than just tuning, capability.

If you want DVD capability, a PC/Mac connected to the following should be able record what they receive and create DVDs with the appropriate video creation app(s). Also, you should be able to record stuff on your 20th- or 21st-Century DVD recorders you have now or find in the nearest museum, as long as the item selected has composite YWR RCA or S-Video output... or you can use converters to allow you to use a source's HDMI or Component output to feed a DVD recorder, with slightly reduced quality (esp. if you get a counterfeit converter).

Jump to "points of light" (contact posters for additional or updated info):
  1. HDTV Recorders - AVS threads on high-def (HD) DVRs (no on-board DVD burner), some of which are still available. A comparison of some HD DVRs to the Mag HDD DVDRs is here.
  2. Cable and Satellite DVRs. Rent cable or satellite DVR and copy to recorder from it, Some people use their STB w/o a DVR as a tuner for their DVD recorder(s,. like this user who switched to Dish's Hopper and Joey and is thrilled! Here's a help file on copying/recording from a STB, followed by TIPS from actual users.
  3. Home-Theater PC (HTPC) Forums - AVS forums on home theater PC's.
  4. Building your own HTPC.
  5. List of Available DVD Production Tools for PCs.
  6. DVD File Structure & Terminology (click then scroll down to 2nd red line).
  7. Dare2be-1 - List of basic uses YOUR post-DVDR option should have and features to accomplish them (at time of posting)?
    Dare2be-2 - Chart comparing features of 5 PC and standalone products worthy of consideration (at time of posting).
  8. HDHomeRun - Complete description of PC system for cable TV, HDHomeRun Prime with 3 cable card tuners, Windows Media Center (WMC), HD VideReDo for editing, etc. HDHomeRun for OTA with 2 tuners also available.
  9. Windows Media Center (WMC) vs. Tivo - Charles R describes his conversion from Tivo to WMC with X-box as extenders, HDHomerun, etc. for all his recording, streaming, storage, etc. He has enough detail in Post #1 alone for anyone else to do the same thing if desired, or at least contact him for more details if needed.
  10. WMC With Old PC - Old HP Pavilion Elite with WMC, 10.750TB of HDDs, Bluray burner and lots more.
  11. Simple & Cheap WMC HTPC - Mdavej describes his simple and cheap (used-equipment) setup for his 5-TV house where everyone can watch live TV and access recorded shows... all without anyone realizing there's a computer and WIN 7 Windows Media Center (WMC) involved! (He doesn't recommend WIN 8.)
  12. Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR - $189-220 external box for recording from cable or set-top box (STB) to a computer. Discussion starts here. One user starts his Review with some good info: "It takes component video from any HD cable or satellite box, digitizes and compresses it to an h.264 transport stream and sends it via USB2.0 to a computer." And, later, this: "If you're sick of your cable company's crappy DVR and of paying for the privilege of using it, or of paying for redundant guide data (Tivo), or have an existing PC-based PVR box and your cable company just went "all digital" and took away all the analog channels you used to record freely (and even encrypted them on QAM even though they're not even HD), then the HDPVR is a must-have. Just get a standard, non-PVR HD cable or satellite box, mate it with this and enjoy!"
  13. Boxee TV - July 10, 2013. Samsung bought Boxee and will shut down Boxee's Cloud DVR, where user recordings resided, effectively starting the move to put Boxee out of business.
  14. Simple TV - Small $99 box for watching and streaming Live TV and recordings to multiple devices. Watch live TV or record to USB HDD. For clear-QAM cable or OTA.
  15. Ceton Echo - Connect the $179 Ceton Echo to a TV set and enjoy live TV, DVR and all your personal media in any room. As they say on their splash page, "Transform your WMC PC into the whole-home entertainment box you’ve always wanted." AVS thread here.
  16. Avermedia Game Capture HD C281 - A $130 box for capturing HD DVR titles on USB-connected HDDs. Avermedia website ... Amazon seller.
  17. Hauppauge 1512 HD-PVR 2 - An upgraded 1212, #9 above. A $200 external box for recording unprotected content from HDMI and Component sources to a computer. Includes an IR blaster for auto-changing cable/sat box channels. Compatible with Windows Media Center (WMC). AVS thread.
  18. Roku LT, HD, 2XS, 2XD & 3 - Palm-sized $40-100 box for streaming from "Channels" like Netflix, Vudu, HBOGO, Hulu Plus (but not the free Hulu), Amazon, etc. (see "Channels" on their website). LT/HD/2XD/2XS have composite YWR output for recording to a PC or DVD recorder (with CP filter/converter as needed), but latest Roku 3 has only a single HDMI output... for recording, it WILL require a HDMI>Composite/S-Video converter as shown in the link above. KenF has some interesting info on the Roku 2XS, which is not on Roku's website. It and the Roku 3 are the only models with both wired and wireless networking, plus USB for playback. The 2XS can be found at Amazon for $75, and in some Sam's Club stores for ~$86?, and at J&R for $90. Retains setup, channels, resume point on titles, etc. when unplugged, so it's portable from one TV to another. I can stream movies nicely with my 1.5Mbps AT&T Uverse internet, with router set manually for channel 6 (speed sucks on auto-set... ch. 1, 6 or 11 are the preferred manual-set router channels for reducing interference that can slow things down).
  19. TabloTV - OTA box with DVR capability with your USB-HDDs. 2-tuner and 4-tuner units now shipping (Jun 2014), This is "the first solution designed to combine the functionality of a DVR with the convenience and mobility of a tablet-based app to browse, record and stream broadcast TV content to any device, anytime, anywhere." Thread here, where first users seem to like it a lot. One first-user's summary post. Don't worry about broadband usage since this is NOT an internet streaming device. Instead, it streams live antenna TV to up to 6 networked devices simultaneously. Watch on PC/Mac or iPhone/Android smartphone via browser. Stream live AND recorded shows anywhere in the world. Stream (internally) to TV via AppleTV/Roku/Chromecast. Only uses external bandwidth for guide data ($4.99/m, $49/yr or $149 for your account's lifetime (not the box's).


Just a heads-up: The FCC has been making changes in cable rules that could affect your research and decision on new technology. See this Nov 2012 article that mentions some of the options described here and the potential problems you *might* experience when using them in the all-scrambled cable future. Far-fetched as it may seem, even OTA signals could be affected (scrambled) *someday* based on industry/FCC discussions (plots) on how-to-enslave-viewers-with-a-simple-FuCC-Rule.

Last edited by wajo; 08-16-2014 at 07:35 AM.
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post #2 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 12:42 PM
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I'm still seeing DVD recorders for sale out there, I just don't know if they're still being made.

If they are, then we're back to real time recording to a DVD, rather than being able to record to a drive first and then edit and high-speed burn a DVD.

Aside from that, I know about computers being used to both receive TV and record it (as well as burn discs), but have no knowledge of how it all works or experience using one.

I'm kind of hoping someone gets into that subject in this thread, but does it like they're talking to a total novice, because that's what I need to hear.

Getting a separate computer just to record TV might be a turn-off to some people, but then we ARE video-philes.
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post #3 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 12:45 PM
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Hey Wajo - you are a Thread starter extraordinaire !!

To whom is may concern:

I am using XBMC on a PC, as an Addon they have now got MythTV which with a USB external TV card has the added capability of removing commercials on the Fly - At least that is what I am thinking it does as I never owned a Linux based Box running Myth.

Other nice features of XBMC is how nicely it plays all video formats. There are apps for Weather, Vimeo, and different TV Channels such as HGTV, USA that list the latest shows that the respective TV Channel Web sites are offering.

Oh and did I say XBMC is free?
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post #4 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

I'm still seeing DVD recorders for sale out there, I just don't know if they're still being made.

If they are, then we're back to real time recording to a DVD, rather than being able to record to a drive first and then edit and high-speed burn a DVD.

Aside from that, I know about computers being used to both receive TV and record it (as well as burn discs), but have no knowledge of how it all works or experience using one.

I'm kind of hoping someone gets into that subject in this thread, but does it like they're talking to a total novice, because that's what I need to hear.

Getting a separate computer just to record TV might be a turn-off to some people, but then we ARE video-philes.

I'd like to emphasize your point about keeping it simple, at least in the beginning, so old DVDR farts can keep up... and, remember, some of us have wife/CFO/kids/S.O.'s who cringe when you say the word "computer" so we'll have a huge learning curve (or impediment) there, just for the new language that might be required!
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post #5 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 12:47 PM
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Copied from the other thread.

I downloaded VideoRedo TV Suite 4 on a trial basis (yes, I'm using a M$ OS), and one thing I did like about it was the automatic scene/commercial detection logic. I tried it on one of my Mag DVDs that I ripped to the computer. What I didn't like, was that the result after it did its commercial cuts, had distorted the audio around the scene cuts.
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post #6 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 12:48 PM
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Again, copied from the other thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I never experienced that when I was using it. It's a complete program that has a learning curve so maybe you have to play with it some more. On the other hand, that may be a function of the evaluation copy -- vendors do things like that; make it 98% functional but prevent you from actually using it to your advantage until you pay for it. DVD Fab is like that. If you encode anything with the 30 trial version it embeds their monkey logo as a watermark in the video stream.

Funny thing is, I chose as many of the options as I could find to NOT re-encode the stream. It only took about 15 seconds to make the cuts on each title. I also emailed for an evaluation key so that I wasn't limited to 15 minutes of video output. If they make it appear that the program is buggy in the evaluation copy, that isn't a ringing endorsement to buy it.
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post #7 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 12:50 PM
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I've had my eye on a Hauppauge 1212 too, or their internal card, the model name escapes me.
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post #8 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

..........Getting a separate computer just to record TV might be a turn-off to some people, but then we ARE video-philes.

Today, practically every electrical product, from your new toaster or clock radio, to that light dimming switch on the dining room wall, use IC's and/or micro processors. In other words they're computers.

With todays inexpensive computer TV tuner cards and adaptors (which come with programming software) it should be relatively easy for the average person to turn their home computer into a DVR. Or....that 5-8 year old computer you planned to throw out, could be an ideal candidate as your "new" DVR. Don't have an old computer? Check your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or other Thrift Store. Many have warehouses full of used computers they want to get rid of, at unbelievably low prices. On average, one should be able to build a good "Computer-DVR" system for well under $100.

This YouTube video is just one example of how to accomplish same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwC1D...eature=related

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post #9 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by stapler1234 View Post

With todays inexpensive computer TV tuner cards and adaptors (which come with programming software) it should be relatively easy for the average person to turn their home computer into a DVR. Or....that 5-8 year old computer you planned to throw out, could be an ideal candidate as your "new" DVR. Don't have an old computer? Check your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or other Thrift Store. Many have warehouses full of used computers they want to get rid of, at unbelievably low prices. On average, one should be able to build a good "Computer-DVR" system for well under $100.

1. I'm trying to wrap my head around the "under $100". Most decent TV tuner cards/capture devices by themselves cost around that much, or more.

2. How to I get my A/V outputs from my living room equipment to my computer, without putting the computer in my entertainment center? Most "old" or "used" computers don't have a low profile or small footprint to fit in existing entertainment centers. Then, if the computer is with existing AV equipment, then it needs to be more like an HTPC to be able to be controlled from a distance.

3. Most threads I've seen on a cursory look talking about building an HTPC, which I believe is what most of us need, talk about costs running upwards of $500 or more.

I'm not trying to shoot you down here, just trying to understand a new paradigm.
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post #10 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

If they make it appear that the program is buggy in the evaluation copy, that isn't a ringing endorsement to buy it.

The evaluation is just as stable as the purchased copy. In fact it's the same copy. After you pay for it you get a registration key to unlock it. The evaluation worked so well for me I only needed to try it for 3 days. I paid for it long before the trial period ended.
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post #11 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:10 PM
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Glad to see a dedicated thread for this. I've been recording on an HP laptop for about 3 years but have never gotten anywhere with the bundled software - editing is hopeless and a 1-hour burn takes 3 hours - that's like 30x longer than the 3576, much less the 2160 or 515.

Oh wait - I guess this thread isn't inherently Funai-specific like the other one so we'll have to avoid the shorthand model number references? But I imagine many posts will involve comparison to Funai functionality - maybe a sticky post #1 would be useful for non-Funai readers?

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post #12 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

The evaluation is just as stable as the purchased copy. In fact it's the same copy. After you pay for it you get a registration key to unlock it. The evaluation worked so well for me I only needed to try it for 3 days. I paid for it long before the trial period ended.

Well, my evaluation hasn't gone well so far (Win7 at work). I will try it on an XP machine I have at home this weekend.
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post #13 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

Well, my evaluation hasn't gone well so far (Win7 at work). I will try it on an XP machine I have at home this weekend.

Does your computer meet the system requirements?
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post #14 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:21 PM
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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.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #15 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

Does your computer meet the system requirements?

It's the most powerful computer I use. 4GB memory, dual core E7500, plenty of HDD space, etc. The lossless cuts I did on an hour-long show only took 15 seconds.
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post #16 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:33 PM
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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. [...]

They've made them for years: they were called DVD/HDD recorders.

Of course I totally get what you're saying: what mystifies me is why such a "PC" housed recorder would probably sell while dedicated recorders are persona-non-grata. There is an oddly recorder-resistant element in the consumer mindset that just doesn't add up: they won't touch a DVD/HDD for as liittle as $229 (and a $399 BD/HDD would be laughed off the loading dock as "too expensive" before it ever reached store shelves). Yet it would not surprise me in the least if a PVR-optimized PC from Dell or HP would fly out the door for $499. Sometimes I wonder if they embed pheromones in the plastic chassis of modern PCs: it might explain the mania for putting up with a PC to do tasks that are much more simply and conveniently done with dedicated devices. Although the trend occasionally reverses itself: witness the ridiculous "smart TVs" that cost double the price of a "dumb" TV yet cause nothing but grief compared to a "dumb" TV connected to a PC.

I think the trend towards HTPC was partly stoked by the emergence of simple file-sharing sites a few years ago. When torrents were the only way to obtain videos from around the world, you had to be a little more savvy than usual. Then file-share sites sprang up, and any grandmother could go to a fan site and download movies or episodes with an easy click. With all those sharing options slamming their doors and going under last week in response to the MediaUpload FBI raid, the moment may have unexpectedly passed, leaving us back in torrent-land once more. I suspect this may dim some of the appeal of HTPC solutions: torrents are not intuitive for the casual user. This comes too late to help save standalone recorders, but it will still have quite a ripple effect on some factors that have been taken for granted regarding "media center PC" use.
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post #17 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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We better get crackin' on this thread... last Mag 513 HDD/DVD recorder at Walmart sold.

Will they get more? Doubtful!


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post #18 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Yet it would not surprise me in the least if a PVR-optimized PC from Dell or HP would fly out the door for $499.

Dell tried it with the Zino HD. It didn't catch on.
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post #19 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:40 PM
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I'll bet it's the ebayers grabbing them up so they can offer them for $300 each in a month or 2.
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post #20 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

Dell tried it with the Zino HD. It didn't catch on.

How is that an HTPC? It's more like a WD Live for NAS streaming...I don't see any recording/capturing/editing features on it.
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post #21 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

I'll bet it's the ebayers grabbing them up so they can offer them for $300 each in a month or 2.

That's what I meant writing "scalpers" in the old thread.

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post #22 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

How is that an HTPC? It's more like a WD Live for NAS streaming...I don't see any recording/capturing/editing features on it.

It had quite a following here on the HTPC forum. Those guys sure think it's a HTPC.
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post #23 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 03:02 PM
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Well, if that is what an HTPC is, then most of us here need more than an HTPC. Much more than the $100 price quoted in this thread (or was it in the Mag thread?), or the $500 quoted from custom builds: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/32...bo-case-please
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post #24 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dare2be View Post

1. I'm trying to wrap my head around the "under $100". Most decent TV tuner cards/capture devices by themselves cost around that much, or more..............

You'll find a number of TV tuner/capture cards at Amazon for $30 and up. Start your search here.

Most HDTV today have PC inputs where you could run a cable from the computer's monitor output directly into the HDTV. Or if your HDTV has built-in wi-fi capability or is connected to a LAN setup, a wi-fi card or USB wi-fi adaptor, added to the computer, would be another way to go and eliminate wires/wiring.

Obviously, a stand-alone DVR in your entertainment center would be more desireable than a bulky computer, but here we're talking about the future, when you cannot buy any reasonably priced DVR in the USA. Only rent them from your local cable/satellite company.

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post #25 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 03:16 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...........

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

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post #26 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 03:16 PM
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The HP (I think they actually had couple of models - one was the HP Z555, I know) actually got down to about $799 towards the end, and places like Tweeter was clearing out their display models even cheaper right at the very end - or at least Tweeter's very end, if they still had any laying around).

Sony also made something a bit similar under their "Vaio" line, but those actually cost 3 grand.

As far as the thread subject in general, it never hurts to poke around the pre-existing, dedicated areas elsewhere on this forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...sprune=45&f=26
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...sprune=45&f=42
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post #27 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by stapler1234 View Post

You'll find a number of TV tuner/capture cards at Amazon for $30 and up. Start your search here.

Obviously, a stand-alone DVR in your entertainment center would be more desireable than a bulky computer, but here we're talking about the future, when you cannot buy any reasonably priced DVR in the USA. Only rent them from your local cable/satellite company.

I said "decent" tuner/capture cards . It isn't just about tuning ATSC or QAM, but also having HD/SD line inputs as well.
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post #28 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 03:40 PM
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We better get crackin' on this thread... last Mag 513 HDD/DVD recorder at Walmart sold.

Will they get more? Doubtful!



They must have received another small shipment, as I'm still getting an "In Stock" reading even after adding 12 to my "Cart".

But the hand-writing is on the wall.

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post #29 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 03:42 PM
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They must have received another small shipment, as I'm still getting an "In Stock" reading even after adding 12 to my "Cart".

But the hand-writing is on the wall.

Grab-n-go, wajo! I show 98 available.
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post #30 of 156 Old 01-27-2012, 05:08 PM
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...or the $500 quoted from custom builds: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/32...bo-case-please

If you want to build, a good place to start is right here.
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