2014 list of consumer available DVR's - Page 19 - AVS Forum
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post #541 of 559 Old 08-22-2014, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Either I bend over and take it from Comcast, or I bend over and take it from TiVo.
You can thank TiVo for the monopolistic stranglehold they have on the limited DVR market effectively destroying fair and reasonably competition. Of course, there is always OTA.

Just think if Ford would of done the same thing 100 years ago?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #542 of 559 Old 08-22-2014, 08:14 AM
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Roger, I feel your pain... I think most of us have similar or like stories, unfortunately.

As Bruce said, you might want to really consider OTA, especially if you are in a good reception area. OTA + Roku (or the like) is working well for us and quite a few folks on this forum. Finding a DVR can be a bit tough though. I'm in that process now... For me at this location, I really need a solid tuner, so that's a big part of that challenge.

If you are not aware of your OTA reception situation, you can go somewhere like TV Fool's website and input your address...

The Tablo tuner is fantastic. It has its shortcomings, but is a neat product. I have a Roamio coming on Tuesday. With discount code MMA, it can be scored for 150 bucks from the TiVo website. I went instead through Amazon due to various discounts there, and got one for $85. "Lifetime" DVR service can be had for 400 dollars...

Best to you.

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post #543 of 559 Old 08-22-2014, 12:03 PM
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Sad to say, but if you're at the mercy of Comcast you'll need a DVR with a CableCARD-ready tuner. And that means either TiVo or a PC-based tuner. (This thread doesn't cover PC-based products, but there's an HTPC forum on this board if you want to go that route.)

I continue to hope that someday, someone will market a standalone DVR that supports a network- or USB-connected tuner intended for a PC, so that you could "build your own" cable-ready DVR. It seems like such an obviously good idea, but so far, I haven't heard of anyone even planning such a thing.
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post #544 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 04:57 AM
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Tivo's new Roamio OTA DVR just announced!


For approx. $49 and it has 4 tuners. Unlike other Roamio boxes, the Roamio OTA has no cable-card slot, so you can't get cable TV signals. Instead, you connect an HD antenna to receive and record over-the-air broadcast signals. You'll also get a two-week programming guide, plus access to streaming services such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube, provided you have a broadband connection but you have to pay a $15 per month subscription fee, with a minimum one-year commitment. Unlike the other TiVos, this has no lifetime subscription option, which usually works out better if you expect to use the DVR for at least three or four years.
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post #545 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by LenL View Post
Tivo's new Roamio OTA DVR just announced!


For approx. $49 and it has 4 tuners.

... but you have to pay a $15 per month subscription fee, with a minimum one-year commitment. Unlike the other TiVos, this has no lifetime subscription option, which usually works out better if you expect to use the DVR for at least three or four years.
I saw that yesterday. That subscription rate is the same as for full-fledged cable-equipped Tivo, so it doesn't offer a lot of value over time.
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post #546 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 06:32 AM
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I saw that yesterday. That subscription rate is the same as for full-fledged cable-equipped Tivo, so it doesn't offer a lot of value over time.
Yeah I was excited about it too (hell, I just spent $50 on an HDTV antenna alone) until I saw the $15/mo price. That's ridiculous. TiVo needs to really reexamine their monthly pricing or they're never going to gain much ground -- but I suspect those high monthly fees are the only thing keeping them afloat at the moment.
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post #547 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 07:22 AM
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Yeah I was excited about it too (hell, I just spent $50 on an HDTV antenna alone) until I saw the $15/mo price. That's ridiculous. TiVo needs to really reexamine their monthly pricing or they're never going to gain much ground -- but I suspect those high monthly fees are the only thing keeping them afloat at the moment.
Don't you think that part of your monthly cell-phone subscription fee is paying for that heavily subsidized Smart-Phone you are using. Do you really expect to buy a full-fledged 4-tuner TiVo for $50 and that monthly fee is only for guide service?

I personally don't like the terms of the Roamio OTA deal so I would not buy it -- but I understand what goes into those costs.
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post #548 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 07:28 AM
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Don't you think that part of your monthly cell-phone subscription fee is paying for that heavily subsidized Smart-Phone you are using. Do you really expect to buy a full-fledged 4-tuner TiVo for $50 and that monthly fee is only for guide service?

I personally don't like the terms of the Roamio OTA deal so I would not buy it -- but I understand what goes into those costs.
I don't buy subsidized phones. I pay full price and fully control my costs.

You do have a good point about the Roamio OTA being so cheap. The problem I have really originates with their more expensive boxes, the ones that run $200-$500 up front and still require you to pay $20/mo forever (or $700 up front for the cheapest one with Lifetime -- and I have a hard time believing those things really cost $700).
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post #549 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 08:07 AM
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I don't buy subsidized phones. I pay full price and fully control my costs.

You do have a good point about the Roamio OTA being so cheap. The problem I have really originates with their more expensive boxes, the ones that run $200-$500 up front and still require you to pay $20/mo forever (or $700 up front for the cheapest one with Lifetime -- and I have a hard time believing those things really cost $700).
But you are OK believing an unsubsidized Smart Phone without a service plan can cost $500+
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post #550 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rogersmj View Post
Yeah I was excited about it too (hell, I just spent $50 on an HDTV antenna alone) until I saw the $15/mo price. That's ridiculous. TiVo needs to really reexamine their monthly pricing or they're never going to gain much ground -- but I suspect those high monthly fees are the only thing keeping them afloat at the moment.
Nice price, but not for its subscription. I'd rather pay lifetime subscription or have no TV Guide.
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post #551 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 10:53 AM
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But you are OK believing an unsubsidized Smart Phone without a service plan can cost $500+
Yes -- smartphones have high-quality LCD screens and Lithium Ion batteries, neither of which a DVR has, not to mention much more powerful processors and the need to miniaturize components to a degree that is unnecessary in DVRs. All those things add significant cost. I don't think it's a good comparison.

DVRs are cheap single-purpose computers with a cable tuner. Given that most comparable hardware can be had for somewhere in the $200-$350 range sans subscription fees, yes, I think $700 for a TiVo is ridiculous. I've had TiVo for 13 years, so it's not like I'm just sniping from the outside without having experienced it. I just don't think it's worth what they're asking these days.

Thanks to the list at the top of this thread, I'm now considering the Channel Master and the Tablo TV.
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post #552 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 10:27 PM
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It's true that smartphone prices are heavily subsidized. AT&T typically knocks $400 off the cost with a 2-year contract, so you can get a $450 phone for only $50 up front. And yes, TiVo is using a similar business model.

But smart phones still aren't really the same thing. In addition to @rogersmj 's good points, you have to remember there's no such thing as free cell phone service. If you want to use a smartphone (unless as merely a tiny WiFi access terminal) you'll have to pay for a service plan, whether the phone's cost is subsidized or not. Given that fact, committing to a certain carrier's service for two years doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

OTA DVRs are very different. The programming is free, and the guide info is cheap enough that at least two companies, Channel Master and Microsoft, build the guide's cost into their product's purchase price. No user of a non-TiVo OTA DVR has to pay anywhere near $15/month. The next highest was the old CM-7400, which was $50/year, or about $4/month.

Still, TiVo is the only OTA DVR I'm aware of with more than two tuners (aside from PCs of course), and the $49 up-front price is going to look better than, say, $250 (for a 2-tuner DVR+ and a USB HDD) to a lot of folks. So I suspect a lot of folks will be willing to pay $15/month for it.

OTOH, at least the DVR+ is thin
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post #553 of 559 Old 08-26-2014, 11:30 PM
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When I first heard of the Roamio OTA, and for 50 bucks, I was pretty excited, for about 5 minutes, after learning about there being no Lifetime option. Zero appeal with a monthly, especially at 15 dollars...

Oh, Tablo has an OTA DVR with 4 tuners... It's certainly not $50 though. One box can take care of the house which is nice, and beyond (away from home). And, account Lifetime for $150 is very appealing. It's currently a different animal than the TiVo, but it gets the job done...
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post #554 of 559 Old 08-27-2014, 04:22 AM
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When I first heard of the Roamio OTA, and for 50 bucks, I was pretty excited, for about 5 minutes, after learning about there being no Lifetime option. Zero appeal with a monthly, especially at 15 dollars...

Oh, Tablo has an OTA DVR with 4 tuners... It's certainly not $50 though. One box can take care of the house which is nice, and beyond (away from home). And, account Lifetime for $150 is very appealing. It's currently a different animal than the TiVo, but it gets the job done...
Yeah, now that I'm seriously considering ditching cable, the Tablo is at the top of my list. We already have Rokus everywhere so that's not an "added cost" for us -- quite the contrary, I love the idea of handling all of our media (except Blu-Ray) on a single box without switching inputs. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Plex, and Tablo DVR TV. And, they're supposedly going to work on an Amazon Fire TV app, which is great because with its quad core processor the Fire TV is far superior to the Rokus and makes navigating the apps/menus much faster.

I know it's not on this thread's original list because it requires another device like that, but for me it's a plus.
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post #555 of 559 Old Today, 10:05 AM
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I am confused about the new TIVO OTA unit. Is there ANY way [including a hack?] that it can receive OTA WITHOUT BUYING THEIR SERVICE? After all, if their tuner "tunes" OTA, I would think that you could do your own guide.
Or is the thing locked up UNTIL YOU BUY THEIR GUIDE?
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post #556 of 559 Old Today, 10:41 AM
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I am confused about the new TIVO OTA unit. Is there ANY way [including a hack?] that it can receive OTA WITHOUT BUYING THEIR SERVICE? After all, if their tuner "tunes" OTA, I would think that you could do your own guide.
Or is the thing locked up UNTIL YOU BUY THEIR GUIDE?
Without a monthly fee it's basically just a tuner, did you expect more for $50
If so then maybe the <$50 iView DVR may be your ticket. It's a bit buggy but it's cheap.
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post #557 of 559 Old Today, 11:02 AM
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Guess my questions are premature and this should wait until someone has had hands on with these and knows for sure how they really work and can address my questions more exactly.
Thanks.
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post #558 of 559 Old Today, 01:11 PM
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I think you'll find it can tune OTA without the fee, as well as time-shift (i.e., you can pause a live show, resume, rewind, FF, etc.). But you can't save any recordings without subscribing. You can't even record the show you're currently watching, even though the EPG isn't even used for that. The recording function is completely locked until you subscribe. @jjeff is right; if you don't plan to subscribe, you'd be better off with an iView or Homeworx. You'd save about $10 and could do more.

That's just TiVo's business model. It's not necessarily bad or evil, but it does rub a lot of folks the wrong way, especially with no lifetime subscription available on this new model.
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post #559 of 559 Old Today, 01:40 PM
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I have a base Roamio now with no service at this moment, and there is no trick TV, recording... It tunes channels, volume, mute, etc... Not sure if TiVo OTA will be different though.
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