Options for Recording After DVDRs Are Gone
This thread provides info on specific options for recording after that inevitable day when there are virtually no new
std def (SD) HDD/DVD recorders (DVDRs) available for OTA and cable users in North America. Of course, when that day comes, there's usually a "used" option, but without "new" competition, used stuff suddenly turns into gold.
Our standalone SD HDD/DVD recorders for OTA and cable are slowly being replaced by HD recorders, some for OTA only (a new trend?):
Links to Possible Alternatives
- SD Magnavox MDR533, 535, 537 DVDRs, released in Sep 2012, OTA and cable.
- HD Philips HDR5710 & 5750 DVRs, released in Nov 2013, OTA and cable.
- HD Channel Master DVR+, released in Dec 2013, OTA only.
- SD Magnavox MDR557 DVDR, released in May 2014, OTA and cable. The last SD HDD/DVD recorder?
- HD Magnavox MDR865, 867, 868, released in Sep 2015, OTA and cable. First HD DVRs for N.A. with DVD burners, SD inputs, editing, HD/SD rec modes, and USB 3.0!
- HD Magnavox MDR877H & TB560HP/560HS, due for release in 4th Qtr 2016. The MDR877H is a follow-on/upgrade to the dual-tuner MDR867H, which has a 1TB internal HDD and DVD burner for OTA and cable. The two TB560 models appear to be for OTA only (?)... the HP will have 2 tuners and 1TB internal HDD, the HS will have 6 tuners and 2TB internal HDD. They'll all have USB (prob. 3.0) for external drives, a Guide, whole-home DVR Sync/Link, and DLNA for networking.
I hope the following links will help users find viable options to VCRs and DVDRs for recording their favorite TV shows on a regular basis. Most, if not all, the items from item 7 down require a computer or external HDD to give you recording, rather than just tuning, capability.
If you want DVD capability, you should be able to record stuff on your PC/Mac or 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 PC/Mac or DVD recorder, with slightly reduced quality (esp. if you get a counterfeit converter).
Jump to "points of light" (note date of posting, contact posters for additional or updated info):
Just a heads-up
- HDTV Recorders - AVS threads on high-def (HD) DVRs (no on-board DVD burner except for the Mags listed above), some of which are still available. A comparison of some HD DVRs to the Mag HDD DVDRs is here.
- 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 recorders,. 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.
- Home-Theater PC (HTPC) Forums - AVS forums on home theater PC's.
- Building your own HTPC.
- List of Available DVD Production Tools for PCs... last updated June 2013.
- SD DVD File Structure . . . HD Disc and File Info.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- WMC With Old PC - Old HP Pavilion Elite with WMC, 10.750TB of HDDs, Bluray burner and lots more.
- 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.)
- 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!"
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avermedia Game Capture HD C281 - A $130 box for capturing HD DVR titles on USB-connected HDDs. Avermedia website ... Amazon seller.
- 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.
- 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, and in some Sam's Club stores, and at J&R. 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).
- 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).
- DVBLink, Kodi, OpenELEC, PercData, and more - CharlesR's thread on turning your PC or NAS into a personal TV server. "... DVBLink products for NAS, PC and Raspberry Pi platforms offers everything you need to enjoy your favorite Satellite (DVB-S/S2), Cable (DVB-C and QAM), Terrestrial (DVB-T/T2 and ATSC), IPTV and Analog TV channels and recordings within your home network and on the go!" Regarding ease-of-use, CharlesR says: "Don't let the fact this is NAS based scare you off. You can purchase a ReadyNAS with more than enough power for under a hundred dollars (if you catch a good sale). And the installation of DVBLink is 100% browser based. You don't need to know SSH, vi or even know how to spell geek"
- Aura Live - OTA box, internet connection not required for live TV via antenna. From their website: "AURA is a complete solution for ditching cable. You’ll be able to watch FREE Live TV, Free Movies, Free Episodes, and FREE sporting events. With Live TV you’ll be able to bring up a channel guide, pause, record and even schedule events to be recorded. You’ll even be able to enjoy your favorite streaming apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more [with an internet connection]. The average cable bill is $80/month. AURA pays for itself within the first two months."
: 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 an "all-digital" (all-scrambled) cable system. 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-FuCCu-Rule.