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post #1 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been doing a lot of searching here on the forums, google, ebay, amazon etc but I keep ending up at dead ends. Maybe I am searching for the wrong thing I don't know... but I officially need some serious help.



This is what I want to get.

- HD-DVR that can record upto 1080i
- Works with cable
- No service requirement (so no Tivo or Dish/Direct TV DVR's unless they are subscription free)
- Storage isn't too important. As long as it can hold at least 10 hours of HD recording.
- At least two tuners for dual simultaneous HD channel recording
- Has a QAM tuner (ATSC I assume?) -- This is the most important (see below).
- Output HDMI and Component. Doesn't need to be simultaneous though. Either or is fine as long as it has both.
- Under $500


Ok, so here is the deal. I have basic cable and have been using my Samsung HDTV's QAM tuner to get some HD channels (pretty much all local HD channels now). I have come to the point where I want to start recording in HD and SD. Storage isn't that important because I have a Hauppauge HD-PVR. So I can basically re-record onto my PC from the HD-PVR if I actually wanted to keep one of the recordings. I need the QAM tuner because I just have basic cable. Without it, the box will not have access to the HD channels.


That is all I can think of. So do I have any hope of finding anything within my price range... or anything at all? Any help is greatly appreciated, and sorry if these are really stupid questions but there is so much DVR stuff on these forums (and the net) that it is beyond mind boggling to find the right one.

Thanks for any help
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leukoplast View Post

I've been doing a lot of searching here on the forums, google, ebay, amazon etc but I keep ending up at dead ends.

You keep turning up dead ends because there is nothing being sold in the United States that meets all of your requirements.

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
normal on a two month old set..
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 09:21 AM
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There are only three dual-tuner HDTV DVRs sold in the United States. All are listed below:

   
PRICE          
  Price online
  DVR fees
None
None
$129/year or
$330-$399 lifetime
Included
  Total online cost without any future fees
$229
$300
$580 - $650
$799
TUNERS          
  Tuners for off-air antenna
1
2
2
None
  Tuners for analog (NTSC) and digital cable (QAM)
1
None
2x digital cable
2x analog
2x digital cable
1x analog with dongle
  Separate coax inputs for antenna and cable    
X
 
  Supports encrypted digital channels on cable with a CableCard    
X
X
BASIC          
  Program guide  
X
X
X
  High-definition output
(Only outputs in SD)
X
X
X
  Pause and rewind liveTV on both SD and HD channels
X
X
X
X
  Record one channel while you watch another live  
X
X
X
  Record one HD channel as SD while you watch a previously recorded show in SD
X
     
  Record two different HD channels, while you watch a previously recorded HD show  
X
X
X
  Pause, replay, 30sec skip, slow mo, and multiple speeds of FF and RW
X
X
X
X
  Skip-to-tick or comparable function (i.e. skip 15 minutes at a time)    
X
X
  Progress bar (on trickplay) shows current position in video
X
X
X
X
  Dual live buffers (i.e. saves pause position and video on inactive tuner)    
X
(Does not save position)
  Remembers where you left off in every recording
X
X
X
X
  Conflict management (i.e. ability to skip a scheduled recording to record something new)    
X
X
  Closed captions on recordings
(Analog only)
X
X
X
RECORD          
  Records HD at 100% original quality
(Only records in SD)
X
X
X
  Records all programs using VCR-like timers (ex: every Monday from 8:00-8:30pm)
X
X
   
  Records and tracks programs by their name    
X
X
  Ability to record only new episodes and ignore repeats    
X
X
  Automatically adjusts record schedule when programs change their days, times, and/or lengths    
X
X
  Series manager to prioritize what two programs are recorded when 3+ programs conflict    
X
X
  Automatic rescheduling so programs missed due to conflicts are recorded the next time they air    
X
X
  Overlap protection to eliminate conflicts when three or more programs overlap by up to five minutes    
X
 
  Automatically deletes oldest recording (not set "keep until I delete") when space needed for new recording    
X
X
  Start recordings early or end late  
X
X
X
  Keep only the last X episodes of a show    
X
X
  Keep recording until I delete or until space is needed  
X
X
X
GUIDE          
  Create recording from program guide selection  
X
X
X
  Guide filters and favorites    
X
X
  Delete individual channels from guide  
X
X
X
  Days of program information
None
8 days on many channels
14 days on all channels
14 days on all channels
  Comprehensive program information available on all channels in all markets    
X
X
  Detailed episode information and original airdate; distinguishes between new and repeat episodes    
X
X
  Program information on unencrypted digital cable (ClearQAM) channels without a CableCard    
(Requires CableCard)
X
  Downloads guide data without an Internet connection (wired or wireless) or phone line  
X
(Requires Internet or phone)
(Requires Internet)
  Integrates off-air and cable channels into a single guide  
N/A
X
N/A
  Maximum number of 30min timeslots shown on guide screen  
6 in grid
3 in grid, 8 in TiVo-style
6 in grid, 4 in Moxi-style
  Guide data available for past timeslots    
X
SEARCH          
  Search program titles and descriptions  
X
X
X
  Search program titles, descriptions, actors, directors, and categories with boolean operators (AND/OR/NOT)    
X
 
  Record a single program found with search  
X
X
X
  Automatically record all future programs matching a saved search    
X
 
DVR UI          
  High-definition user interface  
  Single-click delete    
X
 
  Deleted Items folder with recording undelete    
X
 
  Number of programs shown on recorded list screen
?
6
8
10
  Recorded list shows name of every recording  
X
X
X
  Recorded list shows date of every recording    
X
X
  Recorded list can be sorted by name, date, or grouped  
X
X
 
  Program groups (folders) can be sorted by name or date  
(Name only)
X
(Name only)
  Inside program groups (folders), recordings are sorted by recorded date    
X
X
  Inside program groups (folders), episode names are listed    
X
X
  Record schedule shows names of upcoming programs    
X
X
  Recorded history shows why programs didn't record  
(Limited)
X
 
  Free disk space estimate
X
X
(Recently Deleted)
X
  No advertising of any kind
X
X
X
STORAGE          
  Built-in capacity
160GB
250GB
160GB (1TB on XL)
500 GB
  Supports external drive expansion    
Up to 1TB
Up to 6 TB w/ RAID
  Allows internal hard drive upgrades
X
X
X
?
TRANSFER          
  Allows download/transfer of HD and SD recorded files to a computer    
X
 
  Allows transfer of PC videos to DVR for viewing    
X
 
  Allows streaming of PC videos to DVR for viewing    
(Limited)
X
  Software to automatically download favorite series and convert them for portable players (ex: iPhone)    
X
 
MULTIROOM          
  Access and view recordings on a DVR in another room    
X
X
  Pause a recording in one room and resume it in another    
X
X
ONLINE          
  Connects to Internet time server each night to set clock    
X
X
  Download software updates using ethernet connection  
X
X
X
  Remote scheduling via the web and mobile phone    
X
X
  Real-time conflict management for remote scheduling      
X
  Edit and/or delete scheduled recordings online      
X
  View list of recorded programs and upcoming / scheduled recordings online    
X
X
  Subscribe to specific RSS video feeds and podcasts (i.e. so they automatically download when available)    
X
 
  Support for Amazon's "TV Passes" (i.e. purchase a cable series and new episodes are downloaded in HD)    
X
 
  Support for Netflix SD/HD streaming    
X
Netflix SD Only
(Requires third-party software)
           
OTHER          
  Requires phone line? Requires Internet connection? Requires one or the other?
No/No/No
No/No/No
No/No/Yes
No/Yes
  Native output mode to output all video as is without conversion    
X
X
  Downconverts HD video to SD over s-video and composite connections for non-HDTVs
X
(Composite only)
X
X
  All SD and HD outputs active simultaneously  
X
X
X
  Allows 16:9 anamorphic output through SD connections    
X
 
  DLNA compliant      
X
  Built-in DVD writer
X
     
WARRANTY          
  Parts warranty
One year
90 days
One year
One year
  Cost to replace after warranty expires
?
$300
$150
$?
  Cost to transfer lifetime service to a replacement DVR for three years
N/A
N/A
$0
N/A
  Cost to transfer lifetime service to a replacement DVR after three years
N/A
N/A
$199
N/A

Of these products, the best for ClearQAM cable is the Moxi. If you get a CableCard, then the TivoHD and Moxi are comparable; each is better than the other in some respects.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Because of the price? What feature am I looking for that isn't working?

Also, I think I may have found something. The Motorola DCT6412 might just do the job. It seems to have a QAM tuner, has DVI which is easily adaptable to HDMI video, dual tuner, and a 120GB HDD with HD recording.

And the box I am looking at has the Comcast logo on it, and my cable is Comcast. The only thing I am not sure of is if it will work or not without having a higher end Comcast subscription. .
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 09:44 AM
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The 6412 requires a monthly lease and has monthly digital cable service fee and separate fees for some of the program group options. It can easily add up to 60-90$ a month.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leukoplast View Post

Also, I think I may have found something. The Motorola DCT6412 might just do the job. It seems to have a QAM tuner, has DVI which is easily adaptable to HDMI video, dual tuner, and a 120GB HDD with HD recording.

In the U.S., the Motorola DCT6416 is a doorstop unless its rented from the cable company. Your dual-tuner choices are limited to those in the above table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

None of the four units in the table have a QAM tuner for cable.

Huh?

Three of the four units in the table have QAM tuners for digital cable. Of those, only the Moxi gets you guide data without a CableCard.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, thank you for the answers, appreciate it I will look into those DVR's in the table above. Although right off the bat it looks like the Moxi is the only one that has the dual tuners for cable, and it is extremely expensive. Darn...
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leukoplast View Post

Ok, thank you for the answers, appreciate it I will look into those DVR's in the table above. Although right off the bat it looks like the Moxi is the only one that has the dual tuners for cable, and it is extremely expensive. Darn...

Both the TiVo and Moxi have dual tuners for digital cable, but only the Moxi gets you guide data on ClearQAM cable channels without a CableCard. It does this by allowing you to define certain numbers as certain networks (ex: 88-1 is ABC-HD) using their web site.

To get guide data on digital cable channels with TiVo, you'd have to get a CableCard from Comcast.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

In the U.S., the Motorola DCT6416 is a doorstop unless its rented from the cable company. Your dual-tuner choices are limited to those in the above table.

Huh?

Three of the four units in the table have QAM tuners for digital cable. Of those, only the Moxi gets you guide data without a CableCard.

My mistake I read through your excellent table at least twice and missed the QAM line item both times. I have corrected my previous post.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Both the TiVo and Moxi have dual tuners for digital cable, but only the Moxi gets you guide data on ClearQAM cable channels without a CableCard. It does this by allowing you to define certain numbers as certain networks (ex: 88-1 is ABC-HD) using their web site.

To get guide data on digital cable channels with TiVo, you'd have to get a CableCard from Comcast.

Yes, but Tivo is subscription only. Non-subscription, the Moxi is my only choice for what I need.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leukoplast View Post

Yes, but Tivo is subscription only. Non-subscription, the Moxi is my only choice for what I need.

No free source of guide data exists for third-party cable products, so you're always going to pay in some form to get a DVR with a guide.

TiVo allows you to pay extra upfront to eliminate all future fees; this is called a lifetime subscription. Moxi includes the cost of the lifetime subscription in the initial purchase price; that's why it costs $799. There's no practical difference between the two; both use their own Internet servers to deliver guide data purchased from Tribune Media Services.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-25-2009, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leukoplast View Post

Yes, but Tivo is subscription only. Non-subscription, the Moxi is my only choice for what I need.

Not really. I actually was in the same boat. I spent $500 for an HDTivo with life time subscription, which is still $300 cheaper than a Moxi.
I know Sony HDD DHG may still get the Guide for free and record HD for free, but its an ancient model, I wouldn't recommend it.
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