Originally Posted by danhoo
Assuming I have a basic HD-TV, and am receiving HD ATSC signals from an antenna, and I just need basic recording functionality (of both HD and SD shows), I'm guessing I need a DVR that can do RF-antenna in, has an ATSC tuner, and can do HDMI out. Is this remotely correct?
You don't necessarily need HDMI output. Component cables will output HD as well.
If so, is there a relatively cheap but solid DVR that will fit the bill? I've found that the current Tivo HD DVR will do the above, but it seems pricey (?) and I'm not clear if I would also have to pay a Tivo subscription to use it.
The Tivo HD will do the job, but you need to have an internet connection for receiving the guide information. If you don't want to pay the monthly fee, you can get the lifetime service. It'll bring the price up by $400. But you'll have a fee-free, dual-tuner, HD DVR.
There have been lots of talk about the Echostar/Sling/Dish TR-50 HD-DVR. The latest info is that it's coming out around Thanksgiving 2008 for $300. Not much more is known about it, other than it has dual-ATSC tuners and it's supposed to have TVGOS for the listings. If it does hit that price target and has that feature set, I would expect them to be quite popular.
Another route to go is the discontinued Sony and/or LG HD-DVRs. They both use the TVGOS guide service, but they are only single-tuner devices.
If you have a decent PC/Mac around, you could use it for HD-DVR duties. You could put it in a back room and use some sort of media extender on your TV. Or you could plug it right into the TV as well.
You should do a search on this topic as it comes up very often.