2014 list of consumer available DVR's - Page 24 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #691 of 720 Old 02-10-2016, 08:48 AM
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Excellent. Breaking it into two tables makes it a lot easier to read. Each one fits, even on a smaller (1440x900) monitor.
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post #692 of 720 Old 02-15-2016, 09:19 AM
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I've been making changes to the tables since posting them on Jan 31.

See latest changes here.



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post #693 of 720 Old 02-20-2016, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Posts 1, 2 & 4 are updated. Post six revised with current list.

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Free, abundant OTA television separates this country from many others. ATSC1 has only been in force since 2009. The wireless industry has enough spectrum. Enough of 'planned obsolesce'.

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post #694 of 720 Old 03-20-2016, 02:27 PM
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Which off air DVRs have the strongest tuners

Looking for a new DVR, I have a IVew and a TVio series 3 DRR which is HD. But the picture is poor quality for HD and some dark on the TVio. Both of these have weak tuners as my signal is not the strongest. Both do drop out on signal, My Question is which newer DVRs have the Strongest tuner. Both of my Vizio Tvs have much stronger tuners never loose picture, as I am off air user not cable. If I buy to try and see if it has strong tuner then I would need a Store with a very good return policy.
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post #695 of 720 Old 03-20-2016, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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There shouldn't be a whole lot of difference between tuners these days. It sounds as you are need in a serious upgrade to your antenna. What exactly do you have?

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Free, abundant OTA television separates this country from many others. ATSC1 has only been in force since 2009. The wireless industry has enough spectrum. Enough of 'planned obsolesce'.
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post #696 of 720 Old 03-20-2016, 02:51 PM
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iView, HomeWorx, eMatic, etc. comparison chart

Here's a chart I put together summarizing the (mostly minor) differences between the various under-$50 DVRs on the market. Note that there are some unknowns in the table, which I marked with question marks:
Make
iView
iView
iView
HomeWorX
HomeWorX
HomeWorX
HomeWorX
Boost Waves
eMatic
RCA
ViewTV
Channel Master
Model
3500 STB
3500 STBII
3200 STB
HW130 STB
HW150 PVR
HW180 STB
HW220 STB
BW1658
AT103BDTA880
AT163 / AT263
CM-7003
Power Supply
Internal
Internal
External (5V, 2A)
External
Internal
Internal
Internal
Internal
Internal
External
Internal
External
RF Out Switch
Software
Varies
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Software
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Software
Software
Software
Software
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
USB Port
Front
Front
Side
Front
Front
Back
Front
Front
Front
Side
Front
Front
SoC
7816
Varies
7802
7802
Varies
7802
?
?
Varies
7802
?
7802
Component Video Outputs:
X
X
No
No
X
No
X
No
No
No
X
X
Coaxial Digital Audio Output:
X
X
X
No
X
No
X
X
No
No
X
X
Front Panel:
            
Numeric Display
X
X
No
No
No
No
X
X
X
No
X
No
Controls
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
None
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Full Menu
Channel Up/Down
Special Features
None
None
None
?
None
None
Karaoke
None
Games
No Chase Play
None
None

Features common to all boxes: All these boxes have HDMI, composite video, and L/R analog audio outputs, so I removed those rows from the table. All boxes can output the same five resolutions via HDMI and/or component: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. The composite output is always 480i, naturally.

New Models: HomeWorX has a new HW-130 model which is similar to the HW-180, but smaller with an external power supply. ViewTV now has a new AT263 model. It looks a little smaller but seems to have exactly the same features as their older AT163, so I didn't create a separate column for it. Finally, Channel Master is now selling one of these too.

I think the RCA DTA880 clone may no longer be on the market. I couldn't even find a decent picture of it on the Internet, which is why it has so many question marks. Edit: Found a listing at eBay that shows pictures of the DTA880 box. That's good enough, because the box has a drawing of the back panel. I've filled in its video and audio outputs according to that drawing.

I tried to identify the SoC used where I could, mostly because different SoCs require different, incompatible firmware, so it's important if you're trying to ensure compatibility of your recordings when replacing one of these boxes, or if you experiment with "foreign" firmware. All these boxes seem to use either a 7816 or a 7802 SoC. The iView 3500STBII and HomeWorX HW-150PVR have been sold with each of those two SoCs at various times.

All the firmware for the 7802 SoC I've seen addresses a longstanding bug with displaying closed captions on playback. Unfortunately the 7802-based iViews have managed to introduce a few new bugs in the process
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Last edited by JHBrandt; 08-19-2016 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Add CM-7003
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post #697 of 720 Old 06-12-2016, 08:32 PM
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Thank you for the summary! I had an iView that died after a couple of years and then a Homeworx that just appears to have died after a couple of years....but have liked the functionality.

I think I'll try the RCA next based on your table: even if it's basically the same internal system, I'm hoping the External power supply gives me a little longer life. Thanks!
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post #698 of 720 Old 06-13-2016, 02:22 PM
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Hope so. The nice thing about an external power supply is if that fails, you can replace it without replacing the whole box.

I had an eBay link for a seller with a couple of RCA DTA880s, but it looks like they've sold out now

If you can't find an RCA, the iView 3200 also uses external power. The firmware is buggy, but if you still have the remote from your HomeWorX, you can cross-flash the 3200 with certain versions of Homeworx firmware to eliminate the bugs. Check the latest posts in the iView 3500STB thread for more details.
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post #699 of 720 Old 08-10-2016, 11:30 AM
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The DTA880 is available off the shelf at many Walmarts: http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-Digita...rding/46583029

I never noticed they use a wallwart.

Walmart wallwart... I'm now going to be saying that all day for no good reason.

Edit: These are still at two of my local Walmarts. Checked this week.

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post #700 of 720 Old 08-18-2016, 06:55 PM
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Yet another iView clone has hit the market. This one bears the Channel Master brand: http://www.channelmaster.com/Digital...m?Click=103354

It's a 7802-based box that looks like an iView 3500 or HomeWorX HW-150. The most obvious difference is the external power supply. It's brand-new so I don't know how buggy the firmware is.

Now I have to update my table again
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post #701 of 720 Old 08-19-2016, 06:53 AM
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^^ no real mention of recording(it mentions the USB port is for using it as a "media player") but I can't believe it wouldn't have that function.....of course I wonder if it has the pause live TV function
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post #702 of 720 Old 08-19-2016, 07:24 AM
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Where does the assumption of recording capability come from?
The website indicates it is a replacement for their previous CM-7000/7001 converter boxes which were basically CECB's. I know the CM-7000 didn't have recording capability (I have one) and I'm pretty sure the 7001 didn't either. So why is it presumed this is an iView clone?

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post #703 of 720 Old 08-19-2016, 07:31 AM
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If you download the user guide, it does explain how to record - and how to set the time-shift buffer size. So presumably it has both functions, but it is odd the main Web page makes no mention of either.

Maybe they didn't want to compete with their own DVR+. Of course the MStar boxes are toys compared to a DVR+, but a lot of unsophisticated folks might see an under-$50 DVR and wonder why they should pay $250 for a DVR+.
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post #704 of 720 Old 08-19-2016, 07:48 AM
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OK, that all makes sense from a marketing perspective. I would presume that Channel Master is simply buying the box from a third party and reselling it the way they do their DVR's. So it probably works like all the other iView clones -- the good and the bad. If used strictly as a digital tuner to feed an old analog device or an analog capture device, they work quite well.

I note this unit has an HDMI output. In your table of iView clones you don't have a row for HDMI output. Is HDMI output common across the clones.

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post #705 of 720 Old 08-19-2016, 10:20 AM
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Yes, every MStar box I've seen has had HDMI, composite video, and L/R audio outputs. I used to have rows for them in my table, but every column had a green X so they seemed redundant.

All MStar boxes support the basic five resolutions (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p) via the HDMI (and if the box has it, component) outputs. Of course the composite video output is always 480i.

I don't know anyone who's bought the Channel Master-branded box yet (at the moment, it's a bit pricier than the other clones), but from everything I've read, it looks very similar to the HW150. Only differences I've seen are, the CM-7003 has an external power supply and a hardware channel 3/4 switch.
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post #706 of 720 Old 08-19-2016, 02:07 PM
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They support 1080p over component? That's unusual for a box sold in the US; component is usually restricted to 1080i as a futile anti-copying measure.
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post #707 of 720 Old 08-19-2016, 05:38 PM
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Well, they seem to, at least. When I switch from 1080i to 1080p using component cables, the screen has to resynchronize with the signal. And my HomeWorX says it's set to 1080p at 60 Hz. But since I'm watching OTA content, it's just upscaled from 480i, 720p, or 1080i anyway.

My guess is that since all these boxes can play is unencrypted, un-DRM-encumbered content, nobody really cares about trying to make it hard to record their output. So they can get away with things that would set off alarm bells if we were talking about a CableCARD device or Blu-Ray player.
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post #708 of 720 Old 09-15-2016, 09:32 AM
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The download-able version of Post 6 doesn't align with the online version. Which is more up to date?
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post #709 of 720 Old 09-15-2016, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The data should be the same.

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Free, abundant OTA television separates this country from many others. ATSC1 has only been in force since 2009. The wireless industry has enough spectrum. Enough of 'planned obsolesce'.
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post #710 of 720 Old 09-17-2016, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
The data should be the same.
See the attached png file which is the online version and the attached pdf which is from the downloaded spreadsheet.

The “Cost new ($)” line doesn’t appear on the pdf.

Differences are highlighted on the pdf file for the first 17/18 lines.

Some of the differences are minor. For the tuner line the png file for the Magnavox shows “2 ATSC or QAM” while the pdf file shows “2 ATSC, QAM” (one says “or” while the other has a “comma”).

Others are more major. For the tuner line the png file for the TiVo Bolt shows “4 ATSC or QAM” while the pdf shows “4 QAM”.
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post #711 of 720 Old 09-17-2016, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
If you download the user guide, it does explain how to record - and how to set the time-shift buffer size. So presumably it has both functions, but it is odd the main Web page makes no mention of either.

Maybe they didn't want to compete with their own DVR+. Of course the MStar boxes are toys compared to a DVR+, but a lot of unsophisticated folks might see an under-$50 DVR and wonder why they should pay $250 for a DVR+.
As mentioned on the DVR+ owners thread, CM has removed the pages from the CM-7003 user guide that explain how to record and set the time-shift buffer size!

I don't know if they've removed the functionality from the CM-7003 firmware or are just trying especially hard to hide its existence. There are still some hints of recording functionality in the user guide, such as a blurry screen-shot of the USB menu showing the PVR function as one of the choices, but until someone has a CM-7003 and can give a first-hand report, no one knows for sure.
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post #712 of 720 Old 09-17-2016, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Carl_Ballard;
I didn't compile the 2016 list, just the original at the beginning of the thread.

Here is his current list;
2014 list of consumer available DVR's

IIRC, corrections were made on some of those entries in the thread, but there are mistakes, hence the differences. Tivo's numbering system borders on impossible to keep track of and hasn't gotten any better especially with their last two series.
They do have a list of models and some of the differences somewhere on their web site.

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.
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Free, abundant OTA television separates this country from many others. ATSC1 has only been in force since 2009. The wireless industry has enough spectrum. Enough of 'planned obsolesce'.

Last edited by videobruce; 09-17-2016 at 10:39 PM.
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post #713 of 720 Old 09-18-2016, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Carl_Ballard;
I didn't compile the 2016 list, just the original at the beginning of the thread.

Here is his current list;
2014 list of consumer available DVR's

IIRC, corrections were made on some of those entries in the thread, but there are mistakes, hence the differences. Tivo's numbering system borders on impossible to keep track of and hasn't gotten any better especially with their last two series.
They do have a list of models and some of the differences somewhere on their web site.

.
Your link takes me a post dated 1-31-2016, but you link states it to be a "2014 list of consumer available DVRs"?

Disregard. I see that the post distinctly states it to be a 2016 I list. Although you should probably edit your post to change 2014 to 2016.

Last edited by Carl_Ballard; 09-18-2016 at 05:34 AM.
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post #714 of 720 Old 09-18-2016, 10:19 PM
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It'd be great if we could rename the thread. Seems silly to still say 2014.
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post #715 of 720 Old 09-22-2016, 01:27 PM
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(Mr. Moderator; Not meaning to hi-jack the thread. But, not sure where else to post this.)

I have a situation which requires a recorder that will record various types of TV signals - QAM, NTSC, and ATSC --all from one input. Only one channel is needed at a time. But, more would be fine. It needs to be a standalone box ---not part of a computer. It needs to record video, audio...i.e., it does not need to be 4K or UHD, nor 5.1, 7.1 etc. All channels need to be in one roster so that automated recording can occur any channel without needing the human to change the tuner from "Cable to Air", etc.

Do any of these recorders "scan for channels" to see what is actually available at its input? We've tried previously with recorders that limit themselves strictly to a list from a cable provider, OR from the ATSC received over the air. Each of those is inadequate for this.

Anyone offer any suggestions?
Thanks,
Kelly
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post #716 of 720 Old 09-22-2016, 02:37 PM
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DVRs can't do what you want, as there's no way to record analogue content (NTSC) with a DVR. Your only feasible option that doesn't involve a PC is to have both a DVR and a VCR in service so that the DVR can handle the QAM and ATSC channels, while the VCR handles the NTSC ones.
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post #717 of 720 Old 09-22-2016, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBoswell View Post
(Mr. Moderator; Not meaning to hi-jack the thread. But, not sure where else to post this.)

I have a situation which requires a recorder that will record various types of TV signals - QAM, NTSC, and ATSC --all from one input. Only one channel is needed at a time. But, more would be fine. It needs to be a standalone box ---not part of a computer. It needs to record video, audio...i.e., it does not need to be 4K or UHD, nor 5.1, 7.1 etc. All channels need to be in one roster so that automated recording can occur any channel without needing the human to change the tuner from "Cable to Air", etc.

Do any of these recorders "scan for channels" to see what is actually available at its input? We've tried previously with recorders that limit themselves strictly to a list from a cable provider, OR from the ATSC received over the air. Each of those is inadequate for this.

Anyone offer any suggestions?
Thanks,
Kelly
I'm not an expert on these, but I think the Philips HDR5710/5750 DVRs, Antenna/Cable, Streaming, Int/Ext HDDs, 33TB Storage come closest. Just one tuner, and IIRC they down-convert everything to SD, but it doesn't sound like that's a problem for you. The big question is whether you could set up both cable and OTA recording timers without having to manually switch them back and forth. @wajo could probably tell you for sure if you want to ask him in a PM.

As for your 2nd question, most of the DVRs here scan for channels. I think TiVo is the only big exception.
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post #718 of 720 Old 09-22-2016, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'm not an expert on these, but I think the Philips HDR5710/5750 DVRs, Antenna/Cable, Streaming, Int/Ext HDDs, 33TB Storage come closest. Just one tuner, and IIRC they down-convert everything to SD, but it doesn't sound like that's a problem for you. The big question is whether you could set up both cable and OTA recording timers without having to manually switch them back and forth. @wajo could probably tell you for sure if you want to ask him in a PM.

As for your 2nd question, most of the DVRs here scan for channels. I think TiVo is the only big exception.
The Mag 5710 or 5750 requires switching between antenna and cable and scanning for channels on each. Although they retain both channel lists in memory, there's no way to "select" a channel list either manually or in a timer program for recording, i.e., you manually select a channel or set one in a timer program, both of which are based on which "list" you prev. selected in initial setup for channel scan. Also, these units can view analog cable channels but cannot record them.
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post #719 of 720 Old 09-22-2016, 08:47 PM
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Like I said, I'm not an expert on these. Maybe I was thinking of the Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575. As I understand it, the 557 is a DVD recorder that also has an HDD, so you can use it like a DVR. It records in SD only, down-converting HD stations, but you don't need to record to a DVD, and it can record analog too, right? But I'm guessing it has the same drawback as the HDR5710 & 5750: you still have to switch between cable and OTA manually. Also, it's not available new anymore; it'd have to be used or refurbished. And it's rather expensive too.

I also thought of the ePVision PHD-VRX/2. Two tuners, and I understand it can have both cable and OTA channel lists at once. But like the HDR5710/5750, it can tune analog stations but not record them. So there may be no one-box solution short of a PC with (say) a Hauppauge tuner card that can tune both analog and digital (ATSC & QAM) stations.

The requirement to record both cable and OTA stations through a single RF input is unusual; that's why this is so challenging. It's extremely rare to have both ATSC and QAM signals on the same coax, so you won't find much on the consumer market that can easily handle that situation.
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post #720 of 720 Old 09-23-2016, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post
The Mag 5710 or 5750 requires switching between antenna and cable and scanning for channels on each. Although they retain both channel lists in memory, there's no way to "select" a channel list either manually or in a timer program for recording, i.e., you manually select a channel or set one in a timer program, both of which are based on which "list" you prev. selected in initial setup for channel scan. Also, these units can view analog cable channels but cannot record them.
Good info. Thanks everyone I appreciate your input.
Kelly
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