DVR W/Tuner to simply record TV. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 03-14-2012, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Need advice people > I'm dumping Comcast (had enough) and when I hook-up a digital antenna to my 50" Plasma Zenith/LG I'll want to record TV programs (as I did with my VCR).
50" Plasma Zenith/LG
Will something like this work for me? http://www.amazon.com/MAGNAVOX-MDR51...pr_product_top

Thanks for any advice or direction, Ray
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post #2 of 34 Old 03-14-2012, 06:50 PM
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Yes, but it's cheaper ($249) at Walmart.

J&R also has 15 good refurbs left at $169. Many people have bought these.

Click "HDD DVDRs" in my sig. for LOTS of info on that std def Mag HDD DVDR.
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post #3 of 34 Old 03-14-2012, 09:02 PM
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It will NOT record in HD though, if that is important to you.
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post #4 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamerdown View Post

when I hook-up a digital antenna to my 50" Plasma Zenith/LG I'll want to record TV programs . . . Will something like this work for me? http://www.amazon.com/MAGNAVOX-MDR51...pr_product_top

If all you want is a digital version of a single-tuner VCR that you program manually and only records in SD with stereo sound -- then yes, that will do the job.

However, if not and you want a real dual-tuner DVR with on-screen program guide and guide-based scheduling and which records in full HD/5.1 -- look into the TiVo Premier ($600 complete) or the Channel Master CM-7400 DVR ($400+$50/yr for guide). I've used a TiVo myself for OTA recording for over 3 yr. There are active threads for both units in this forum section.

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post #5 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

If all you want is a digital version of a single-tuner VCR that you program manually and only records in SD with stereo sound -- then yes, that will do the job.

However, if not and you want a real dual-tuner DVR with on-screen program guide and guide-based scheduling and which records in full HD/5.1 -- look into the TiVo Premier ($600 complete) or the Channel Master CM-7400 DVR ($400+$50/yr for guide). I've used a TiVo myself for OTA recording for over 3 yr. There are active threads for both units in this forum section.

Thanks for the above...HOWEVER...I'm wanting to avoid paying any further subscription fee's.

So with that said > will this Magnavox MDR-513H/F7 320GB DVR and DVD Recorder allow me to on-screen program a TV show and watch something else at the same time > like the good old VCR days?
If not what other options do I have???

I don't require true 1080P HD recording/sound but I would hope it would be better than the prior fuzzy VCR SP recordings. My 50" LG is only 720 but still stunning when in HD.

Thinking of purchasing the Digital antenna (Mohu Leaf) and input into the DVR/Tuner and out and into my Plasma...sound right for hook-up?

Or, could I use a 1-in-2-out splitter from the Mohu antenna-out then into the DVR/Tuner and out to Plasma and the second out-leg directly into the Plasma???

Thanks for your patients and I hope I'm explaining myself and needs correctly, Ray
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post #6 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 11:41 AM
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Ray, the Mag 513 will be very familiar to you but simpler for recording (manual or timer) due to the HDD... no media to load or manage... record instantly if needed. In fact, the 513 will autorecord everything you tune to and place it in a 6-hour buffer for instant replay and save to HDD if desired... great for pausing live TV while you answer the phone.

It gets slightly more complicated when you want to go to DVD from the HDD due to the limited capacity of the DVD.

The quality from a good antenna will be better than your VHS tapes, "amazingly" so in your situation since all you OTA channels will be digital, which can deliver a MUCH better pic than the old analog. Think "DVD quality."

I encourage you to click "HDD DVDRs" in my sig. where you can read as much as you need to know about the 513, then help you later if you get one.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

Ray, the Mag 513 will be very familiar to you but simpler for recording (manual or timer) due to the HDD... no media to load or manage... record instantly if needed. In fact, the 513 will autorecord everything you tune to and place it in a 6-hour buffer for instant replay and save to HDD if desired... great for pausing live TV while you answer the phone.

It gets slightly more complicated when you want to go to DVD from the HDD due to the limited capacity of the DVD.

The quality from a good antenna will be better than your VHS tapes, "amazingly" so in your situation since all you OTA channels will be digital, which can deliver a MUCH better pic than the old analog. Think "DVD quality."

I encourage you to click "HDD DVDRs" in my sig. where you can read as much as you need to know to make a good decision for your needs.

Thank you...I'm heading over to your sig to do some reading.
Ya know I'm old enough(54) to remember when TV was FREE and the VCR was magical > that's all I'm looking to do again (banging head against wall)
And hell with Comcast and writing out monthly checks for way too many commercials.
I use Red Box for DVD/movie rentals and fire-up the surround sound. And just want to record/program some over-the-air TV broadcasts, watch one show while recording another...like the good ole days. But technology has to make it $$$ and complicated.

Thanks, Ray
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post #8 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 12:25 PM
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If your TV has a digital tuner, you're in business for watching one show while recording another.

One diff. in the 513 vs your VCR is that ONLY the raw incoming signal passes thru the coax, in your case digital/HD. The 513 has a built-in amp'd splitter which directs the signal also to the tuner.

You'll need to connect incoming OTA coax to the 513 and coax out to the TV so BOTH can tune channels separately. The 513 needs a line connection to a TV input to see anything internal (513 menus, channels, HDD recorded titles, DVDs).

Lots more in the info/help files.
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post #9 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 05:11 PM
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You have essentially three options for a stand-alone recording unit, the first two of which (the Magnavox and the Channel Master units) have already been recommended to you. The third is the TViX M6620N DVR. All of them have their individual quirks, and so far, no company has come out with a perfect DVR solution. All three of these operate without subscription fees, though.

I recently purchased the TViX unit, and I'm quite happy with it. I researched the Dish/Channel Master DTVPal unit a few years ago, and I read so many bad stories about it that I decided it simply wasn't worth the risk to purchase one. The main problem with the DTVPal is that it wants to set its system clock from either TVGOS (TV Guide On Screen) or PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol) data sent by stations. Unfortunately, many stations don't bother to set their clocks correctly, which means that your timers can go completely haywire and the DVR records random things you didn't want to watch. Because the DTVPal has no "manual" clock setting, it's impossible to avoid the problem if you have unreliable stations in your area. The weeks surrounding the Daylight Saving Time transition are especially prone to causing your timers to break.

The TViX overcomes this problem by having both manual and network time settings, which lets the box completely ignore the time sent by TV stations. As a result, you don't need to worry about your timers breaking, although you do have to toggle the DST setting manually. Unlike the Magnavox unit, the TViX records in HD, so you could utilize the 720p capability of your HDTV with it. It lets you record with timers like a VCR, and it lets you pause live TV shows like other DVRs.

Unlike a VCR, it lets you watch one channel while recording another, record two channels at once, and record two channels at once while watching a previously saved recording. Unlike the Channel Master box, it also lets you copy recordings from the HDD to your PC, where you can convert them to burn onto DVD or Blu-Ray disc. You can also stream files from the TViX to other displays to watch them in other rooms, and you can stream content from other computers to play them on the TV with your TViX.

The main limitation of the TViX is that it doesn't support closed captions, while the Channel Master box does. The TViX does support external subtitles, so you would have to go through a tedious process of extracting them from the recordings if you wanted captions. It's a limitation that may not matter to you, but it's worth noting.

You can check out the respective topics for each DVR in this forum, and of course you can ask further questions, too. Happy browsing!
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post #10 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

If your TV has a digital tuner, you're in business for watching one show while recording another.

One diff. in the 513 vs your VCR is that ONLY the raw incoming signal passes thru the coax, in your case digital/HD. The 513 has a built-in amp'd splitter which directs the signal also to the tuner.

You'll need to connect incoming OTA coax to the 513 and coax out to the TV so BOTH can tune channels separately. The 513 needs a line connection to a TV input to see anything internal (513 menus, channels, HDD recorded titles, DVDs).

Lots more in the info/help files.


Zenith/LG Z50PJ240 HDtv > it has a Qam tune
r, supposing it's digital as it does get some HD channels from Comcast.
Off to read your sig stuff.
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post #11 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

If all you want is a digital version of a single-tuner VCR that you program manually and only records in SD with stereo sound -- then yes, that will do the job.

However, if not and you want a real dual-tuner DVR with on-screen program guide and guide-based scheduling and which records in full HD/5.1 -- look into the TiVo Premier ($600 complete)

TiVo Premiere is the only way to go. Try it out for 30 days. If you don't love it, cancel the service. The HDD inside is worth more than $49.95

$49.95 + $499.99 Lifetime
The best price I have ever seen for the TiVo $49.95, If you like it, purchase lifetime service.
http://www.electronics-expo.com/tivo...iere-dvr-black

Or TiVo promo $79.99 + $14.99/mo 1yr commitment, you can still cancel within 30 days if it does not meet your expectations.
http://www3.tivo.com/promo/fastforward/premiere79.html

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post #12 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

You have essentially three options for a stand-alone recording unit, the first two of which (the Magnavox and the Channel Master units) have already been recommended to you. The third is the TViX M6620N DVR. All of them have their individual quirks, and so far, no company has come out with a perfect DVR solution. All three of these operate without subscription fees, though.

I recently purchased the TViX unit, and I'm quite happy with it. I researched the Dish/Channel Master DTVPal unit a few years ago, and I read so many bad stories about it that I decided it simply wasn't worth the risk to purchase one. The main problem with the DTVPal is that it wants to set its system clock from either TVGOS (TV Guide On Screen) or PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol) data sent by stations. Unfortunately, many stations don't bother to set their clocks correctly, which means that your timers can go completely haywire and the DVR records random things you didn't want to watch. Because the DTVPal has no "manual" clock setting, it's impossible to avoid the problem if you have unreliable stations in your area. The weeks surrounding the Daylight Saving Time transition are especially prone to causing your timers to break.

The TViX overcomes this problem by having both manual and network time settings, which lets the box completely ignore the time sent by TV stations. As a result, you don't need to worry about your timers breaking, although you do have to toggle the DST setting manually. Unlike the Magnavox unit, the TViX records in HD, so you could utilize the 720p capability of your HDTV with it. It lets you record with timers like a VCR, and it lets you pause live TV shows like other DVRs.

Unlike a VCR, it lets you watch one channel while recording another, record two channels at once, and record two channels at once while watching a previously saved recording. Unlike the Channel Master box, it also lets you copy recordings from the HDD to your PC, where you can convert them to burn onto DVD or Blu-Ray disc. You can also stream files from the TViX to other displays to watch them in other rooms, and you can stream content from other computers to play them on the TV with your TViX.

The main limitation of the TViX is that it doesn't support closed captions, while the Channel Master box does. The TViX does support external subtitles, so you would have to go through a tedious process of extracting them from the recordings if you wanted captions. It's a limitation that may not matter to you, but it's worth noting.

You can check out the respective topics for each DVR in this forum, and of course you can ask further questions, too. Happy browsing!

Thanks for all the above but...what about the below???
Thinking I may be getting in over my head
"This item is advertised as a PVR with "over-the-air" broadcast recording capability. However, the device comes delivered without a hard drive, thus, I had to incur the additional expense of buying one. Nowhere in the advertisement is this mentioned."
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post #13 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 07:04 PM
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You are correct that the TViX doesn't come with a built-in HDD. Like everything else related to getting a DVR, there's a good and bad side to it.

The good side is that unlike the Channel Master DVR, you can decide how much storage capacity you want and how much you want to pay for it. If you want tons of space to store entire seasons of programming, you can even buy multiple drives and swap them whenever you want. The TViX also supports playing files from an external HDD over USB, so you can record shows to the internal drive and copy them to an external one, too.

The bad side is of course the extra expense and the "hassle" of doing the installation yourself. It actually isn't hard though; all you do is attach an included clip to the side of the drive (so you have something to hold onto if you want to pull the drive out again) and push the HDD into the drive bay until it's fully inserted. You don't need any cables or anything else. The expense isn't too bad, either. The unit itself costs $269, and then you can get a decent HDD for around $100, so you're still looking at around $400 complete. Hard drives used to be much cheaper, but the floods in Thailand have slowed production lines and tripled the prices from what they were previously.

Thankfully, you can even eliminate the installation problem if you want. The recommended place to buy the TViX is at Digital Connection, and they will offer to bundle a HDD with your unit and install it for you, if you want. I bought my TViX from them and was perfectly happy with the experience, although I opted to get my own HDD and install it myself. If you need advice on what kind of drive to get and how much capacity you need, we can help you with that, too. If you get the Channel Master unit, you have to be happy with the included HDD, as you can't replace it (or at least it isn't designed to be user-serviceable) AFAIK.
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post #14 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 07:22 PM
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Topic title edited.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #15 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 08:03 PM
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Another option to consider is a used TiVo HD w/ an Upgraded HDD that already has Lifetime subscription, in the $400 ballpark

ebay recently sold listings
http://www.ebay.com/csc/i.html?_nkw=..._dmd=1&_ipg=50

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post #16 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 09:13 PM
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One other thing regarding your original post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamerdown View Post

when I hook-up a digital antenna

There's actually no such thing as a "digital" antenna; a TV antenna that worked for analogue TV will also work for digital TV. In fact, you don't need to buy an expensive antenna at all to get good performance: you can build your own using wood, screws, and some copper wire or coathangers. It's cheap and works far better than the ones you can buy, especially if you add a low-end signal amplifier. I'm using one with my TViX to record a program at this very moment.
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post #17 of 34 Old 03-15-2012, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan_CoxPHX View Post

TiVo Premiere is the only way to go. Try it out for 30 days. If you don't love it, cancel the service. The HDD inside is worth more than $49.95

$49.95 + $499.99 Lifetime
The best price I have ever seen for the TiVo $49.95, If you like it, purchase lifetime service.
http://www.electronics-expo.com/tivo...iere-dvr-black

That's a pretty good deal right there. $550 total is what I paid for my TiVo HD with lifetime, and it's never given me any trouble in all the time I've had it.
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post #18 of 34 Old 03-23-2012, 05:13 AM
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I'm surprised no one pointed him to the "sticky" at the top of the sub forums page;
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1204433
Though it needs to be updated!

Quote:


There's actually no such thing as a "digital" antenna

Don't forget those "digital" speaker wires also.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #19 of 34 Old 03-23-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I'm surprised no one pointed him to the "sticky" at the top of the sub forums page, though it needs to be updated!

Unfortunately, that topic has indeed gotten stale. It no longer reflects the current features offered by all the DVRs listed, as firmware updates have changed what's available.
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post #20 of 34 Old 03-23-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Unfortunately, that topic has indeed gotten stale. It no longer reflects the current features offered by all the DVRs listed, as firmware updates have changed what's available.

The last update was almost 2yr ago and unfortunately, the thread keeper has been absent from AVS for nearly as long. It is beyond stale.

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post #21 of 34 Old 03-23-2012, 07:34 PM
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Thought it might be of interest to repost this here also.

New TiVo lower pricing coming next week w/ larger Premiere HDD
http://blog.tivo.com/2012/03/new-upg...avorite-shows/

* NEW Model #TCD746500 - TiVo Premiere $149.99 (increased $50): Records two shows at once and up to 75 hours (increased from 45) of HD content
Increased HDD 500GB/75 Hours HD, 2 tuners, analog cable, digital cable, FiOS, antenna

* TiVo Premiere XL $249.99 (reduced $50): Records two shows at once and up to 150 hours of HD content
1TB/150 Hours HD, 2 tuners, analog cable, digital cable, FiOS, antenna

* TiVo Premiere Elite $399.99 (reduced $100): Records four shows at once and up to 300 hours of HD content
2TB/300 Hours HD, 4 tuners, digital cable, FiOS w/ MoCA onboard

* The TiVo monthly service fee is now $14.99 per month (reduced $5), with a one-year commitment, making it lower on a monthly basis than most cable offerings
* Multi-service discount pricing is now $12.99 per month (reduced $2)
* Lifetime Service, one-time priceing - $499.99 (1st TiVo), $399.99 (addt'l TiVos)

TiVo Roamio Pro, Premiere XL4, Premiere 2TB-WD20EURS, TiVo Mini
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post #22 of 34 Old 03-23-2012, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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^ thanks but I'm done paying for a "monthly service" ... hence dumping Comcast!
And going OTA FREE TV
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post #23 of 34 Old 03-24-2012, 05:15 AM
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Quote:


thanks but I'm done paying for a "monthly service"

When they drop the 'Guide' rate to well under $50 a year and/or have the ability to use the recorder w/o any subscription I might be interested.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #24 of 34 Old 03-24-2012, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

When they drop the 'Guide' rate to well under $50 a year and/or have the ability to use the recorder w/o any subscription I might be interested.

And if they did, I suppose you would expect them to continue selling the box for $100? You want a $50 guide, there is always the CM-7400 for you. $400 buy in and you get to pay $50/yr for the life of the box because there is no flat-rate one-time fee option like you have with TiVo. Frankly, I don't know anyone with a TiVo who pays the monthly fee. It seems everybody in the TiVo threads buys it outright by paying the one-time price for the box and lifetime support.

- kelson h

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post #25 of 34 Old 03-24-2012, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

It seems everybody in the TiVo threads buys it outright by paying the one-time price for the box and lifetime support.

Thats what I did 3? years ago and I haven't looked back
The only people that don't seem to like Tivo are the ones that don't own them I speak from experience, I was that way before I purchased one...
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-24-2012, 11:51 AM
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Quote:


And if they did, I suppose you would expect them to continue selling the box for $100?

No TiVo DVR I ever looked at was under $300.
I fully realize it has it's advantages (as long as you don't mind being spied upon).

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #27 of 34 Old 03-24-2012, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

The only people that don't seem to like Tivo are the ones that don't own them

It isn't that non-TiVo users dispute the benefits of the TiVo service; certainly it provides a higher level of convenience than competing DVRs that use time-based recordings. The question is whether that higher level of convenience is worth the price TiVo charges.

For people who are used to recording TV shows for free with a VCR, the idea of paying TiVo an extra fee to read the TV guide for us is ludicrous, just as paying a cable provider an extra fee to provide HD is ludicrous when HD is available for free over the air. Whether you pay TiVo on a monthly basis or purchase the service with a single payment is irrelevant; they're still charging for something that some of us believe should be free. Yes, name-based recording is easier to use, but that benefit doesn't outweigh the fact that time-based recording is free, just like OTA TV.

It isn't even necessarily a matter of money for everyone, since competing DVRs aren't that much cheaper than a fully paid TiVo; it's a matter of principle more than economics. If you're going to get your TV OTA without a monthly cable or satellite fee, you're probably going to want to do your recording without monthly fees, too, and TiVo boxes don't even work without an active subscription. If a TiVo DVR could be used to do time-based recordings without a subscription for people who only wanted to buy the hardware, then that would eliminate the problem; unfortunately, TiVo sells DVR hardware at a loss so they can make up the cost by selling subscriptions, so the option to use a TiVo DVR without service doesn't exist at present.

It would be nice if people could agree to disagree on whether TiVo service is worthwhile, but that's not likely to happen. It would at least be good to keep it out of this topic, since Ray has already made his intentions clear. We've given him the information on current DVR options, so now the choice is his to make.
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post #28 of 34 Old 03-24-2012, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

It isn't that non-TiVo users dispute the benefits of the TiVo service; certainly it provides a higher level of convenience than competing DVRs that use time-based recordings. The question is whether that higher level of convenience is worth the price TiVo charges.

For people who are used to recording TV shows for free with a VCR, the idea of paying TiVo an extra fee to read the TV guide for us is ludicrous, just as paying a cable provider an extra fee to provide HD is ludicrous when HD is available for free over the air. Whether you pay TiVo on a monthly basis or purchase the service with a single payment is irrelevant; they're still charging for something that some of us believe should be free. Yes, name-based recording is easier to use, but that benefit doesn't outweigh the fact that time-based recording is free, just like OTA TV.

It isn't even necessarily a matter of money for everyone, since competing DVRs aren't that much cheaper than a fully paid TiVo; it's a matter of principle more than economics. If you're going to get your TV OTA without a monthly cable or satellite fee, you're probably going to want to do your recording without monthly fees, too, and TiVo boxes don't even work without an active subscription. If a TiVo DVR could be used to do time-based recordings without a subscription for people who only wanted to buy the hardware, then that would eliminate the problem; unfortunately, TiVo sells DVR hardware at a loss so they can make up the cost by selling subscriptions, so the option to use a TiVo DVR without service doesn't exist at present.

It would be nice if people could agree to disagree on whether TiVo service is worthwhile, but that's not likely to happen. It would at least be good to keep it out of this topic, since Ray has already made his intentions clear. We've given him the information on current DVR options, so now the choice is his to make.

Very well put > I'm DONE making monthly payments to watch or RECORD FREE tv
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post #29 of 34 Old 03-25-2012, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

No TiVo DVR I ever looked at was under $300.

Where the heck you been lookin'?

The entry-level Premiere has been going for $75-$80 dollars on Amazon for quite awhile now.

Also, someone here reported that another internet seller had it recently for only $50. That came to $550 with the lifetime fee.
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post #30 of 34 Old 03-25-2012, 05:12 AM
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You forgot the $500 sub cost.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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