What is the CHEAPEST way to download movies so I can watch them later while traveling in my motorhome? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-04-2013, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to watch movies while traveling in my motorhome. I like to boondock which means I usually don't have internet to use my Netflix account. Of course I could buy a ton of DVD's but that gets expensive and I rarely watch the same movie more than one time.

So here is my question...

Does a DVR exist that will not only save movies from my TV programming (Time Warner) but will also allow me to download those movies to a hard drive I can take with me while traveling?

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magentawave View Post

I want to watch movies while traveling in my motorhome. I like to boondock which means I usually don't have internet to use my Netflix account. Of course I could buy a ton of DVD's but that gets expensive and I rarely watch the same movie more than one time.

So here is my question...

Does a DVR exist that will not only save movies from my TV programming (Time Warner) but will also allow me to download those movies to a hard drive I can take with me while traveling?

Thanks

AFAIK your are SOL. Most of the PPV stuff is for a 24 (48) hour window after you start watching, do not know if you could save to your HDD. If you can I bet the same time window would apply.

Many DVD and/or Blu-ray titles come with digital copies that you can copy to your HDD. You could purchase the disc, keep the digital copy and sell the main disc. If you have DVD or Blu-ray titles then you may be able to convert them to UV (Ultraviolet), click here for info, then download a copy. Being able to download a copy varies, some titles you can, some you can not. Some folks are selling their UV codes on eBay which is illegal.
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 09:11 AM
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Choices are limited, but you do have some.

You can download Amazon rentals to your laptop and take them with you. I think Amazon has a 30 day window to start watching and then you have 24 hours to either finish or watch again. Sadly Amazon only offers SD movie rentals though pc's. You can also buy a dvd recorder with a hard drive and record what you want from your cable box. Once again, that is only SD. But from what I've read about the Maganvox's, HQ recording quality through HDMI on a hdtv looks very nice.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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But I'm not talking about saving PPV stuff and what is an AFAIK? I am asking if a regular DVR can save movies to my own hard drive? After I started this thread I called Time Warner and they said their $23 per month DVR can do this but I was wondering if instead of paying them if I could just buy a used DVR off of Craigslist and do this? Ultimately I want to save tons of stuff to one of those HD's that creates its own wireless network (Seagate has a couple now) so I can watch movies on my iPad in bed at night while traveling.
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

AFAIK your are SOL. Most of the PPV stuff is for a 24 (48) hour window after you start watching, do not know if you could save to your HDD. If you can I bet the same time window would apply.
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. I don't think I want HD because HD files are so much larger than standard.

What I want is a DVR that does the following...

- Won't cost me a monthly fee.
- Will show the name of the show/movie that it saves.
- Will allow me to save directly to my own external HD or will at least let me transfer the movies on the DVR's HD to my external HD later.
- Is cheap to buy and possibly available used on Craigslist or eBay.

Does a DVR like that exist?

Thanks again.


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Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

You can also buy a dvd recorder with a hard drive and record what you want from your cable box. Once again, that is only SD. But from what I've read about the Maganvox's, HQ recording quality through HDMI on a hdtv looks very nice.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 04:29 PM
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Generally, I think most cable system DVR's require 2-way communication with their head end. They may work for a short time, but if they cannot contact the authorization servers, they will basically shut down. Also, cable system DVR's are typically not sold to users, and cable systems will NOT authorize them to work on their system.

Buying a DVD/BD, downloading the digital copy, then selling the disk is probably a license violation unless you also delete the digital copy.

To be honest, there is little you can legally do.

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post #7 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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But I have no intention of ever selling the movies/shows I save to my hard drive. Why would you think that? I only want to save them to an external HD so I can watch them later on my iPad while traveling in my motor home.

Actually I can legally do this if I rent a DVR from Time Warner for $23 per month. That might be my only option but before I do that I want to see if there is an alternative that wouldn't cost me a monthly fee.

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Originally Posted by andyross63 View Post

Generally, I think most cable system DVR's require 2-way communication with their head end. They may work for a short time, but if they cannot contact the authorization servers, they will basically shut down. Also, cable system DVR's are typically not sold to users, and cable systems will NOT authorize them to work on their system.

Buying a DVD/BD, downloading the digital copy, then selling the disk is probably a license violation unless you also delete the digital copy.

To be honest, there is little you can legally do.
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 08:27 PM
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A used TiVo with lifetime sub is your "cheapest" dvr option. You rent a cable card from TW and if TW doest place the copy flag on the content, you can tranfer recorded shows off the TiVo with TiVo desktop or other third party software to take with you.

For netflix and other online video recording to take with you, look at http://www.playlater.tv/

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post #9 of 18 Old 03-11-2013, 01:24 PM
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I have a Pioneer DVR 520 with an 80 GB hard drive, it is also a dvd recorder.  It is only good for SD, but I used it to copy programs from another dvr hd from the cable company and would bring it along on vacation to hook up to the tv in the rental.  I don't know how you'd connect this though to you ipad since this was all in the predigital era.

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post #10 of 18 Old 03-11-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn't connect the iPad to anything. I would put all the movies on one of those external hard drives that creates its own wi-fi network. Seagate has one now and I expect a lot more to start rolling out.
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-11-2013, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-13-2013, 11:27 AM
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buy used dvd's then sellem.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-13-2013, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I could do that but it would be a lot more work than to download them to an external HD.
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-13-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magentawave View Post

Does a DVR exist that will not only save movies from my TV programming (Time Warner) but will also allow me to download those movies to a hard drive I can take with me while traveling?

TiVo, as mentioned, is your best bet. You can transfer the recordings to a PC using a program called kmttg that also strips off the .tivo wrapper. The file that results is an ordinary mpeg that is all yours. You can reencode it to play back on just about anything.

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post #15 of 18 Old 03-23-2013, 02:47 PM
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A Windows 8 PC and the Xbox Video app should work. Rentals are tricky because they have a short time bomb. However, I think purchases work better. They are still DRM'd of course, but after you buy a movie, you can download it to your hard drive and watch it when you are not connected.

I've also noticed some of the prices seem to be cheaper than physical blu ray disks which is a nice bonus.
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-03-2013, 05:45 PM
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Honest answer and the only thing that will work 100% of the time... torrents.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-29-2014, 09:30 AM
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The Playon / Playlater combination software is relatively unknown, but works well. Total cost for their software (lifetime license) is $70. I have been using for > 5 years and have been impressed with frequency and quality of updates. Format is MP4. copy to any digital media without any DRM. Check out on link in above post or google playon.

Cheers

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post #18 of 18 Old 03-29-2014, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Two questions about Playon please...

1) Can Playon copy any video found online?

2) If the movie I want to copy is 2 hours long does that mean it will take Playon two hours to copy it?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmson23 View Post

The Playon / Playlater combination software is relatively unknown, but works well. Total cost for their software (lifetime license) is $70. I have been using for > 5 years and have been impressed with frequency and quality of updates. Format is MP4. copy to any digital media without any DRM. Check out on link in above post or google playon.

Cheers

J Hull
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