2014 list of consumer available DVR's - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 539 Old 02-25-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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With well over 700 individual boxes to fill in in the table, it's close to impossible not to have some errors. To those select individuals that claim the information is wrong and especially to one that posted "if your intent is to help people because you are not doing it"., you are surely free to explain in detail the correction needed.
Apparently some refuse to look at both sides of the coin and only see the pluses, ignoring the negatives. I look at the whole picture.

The requirements to be listed here are;

1. Available for purchase in the US,
2. A stand alone, combined ATSC and/or QAM HD tuner(s) with an internal HDD and or provision for one or,
3. One that has at least one USB and/or eSATA port(s) for an external HDD,
4. Connects to a television directly (HDMI and/or component and/or composite) with no other interface needed,
5. Does not gets it's programming exclusively from the Internet (streaming),
6. Doesn't depend on a PC to record or store the material,
7. HD capable recording (of course).

Using this sub-forum as a reference, here is what I came up with;

BriteView BV-980H / Zinwell ZAT-980H,
Channel Master CM 7000 / DTVPal,
Channel Master CM7400 / Entone Amulet 458 (w/ fan),
Channel Master DVR+,
Digital Stream / RCA DPH1000R,
DVICO TViX M6620N,
ePVision PHD-VRX/VRX2,
iView-3500STB/STBII, the similar Homeworx HW-150PVR and another 4-6 versions under different names using the MStar SoC
Philips HDR5710/F7 & 5750 made by Funai,
Moxi HD,
TiVo Series 3 & HD,
TiVo Premiere & Premier 4,
TiVo Roamio.


I didn't include these (for the reasons stated);
"MagicTV"; lacks ATSC and/or QAM tuners,
Sony DGH 250/500; not functional as a easy to use DVR anymore and a power hog to use just as a tuner,
Sezmi DMR-1000; discontinued,
Goldstar (LG) LST-3410A due to age, even though it is still functional. You may be able to find one if you look long enough. The owners thread is here for reference;
http://www.avsforum.com/t/337424/lg-...and-discussion


Since this is a forum for DVR's not computers or just streaming devices, these units weren't included;
AVerTV Hybrid TVBox 11,
Ceton InfiniTV
Hauppauge USB Tuner
SiliconDust HDHomeRun
simple.TV
Tablo TV

If you are interested in those, try here;
http://www.avsforum.com/f/26/home-theater-computers


On a side note, from a request from a member, here are a few links for this Tablo TV (that doesn't fit into this category due additional devices needed to control the unit);
http://www.tablotv.com/how-tablo-works/
http://metronews.ca/news/ottawa/9413...e-hd-channels/
http://www.cordstomping.com/2014/04/...tv-dvr-review/
http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/16/tablo-hands-on/

There already is a thread started in this forum;
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1499826/official-tablo-thread


Additions/corrections welcome.

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.

Last edited by videobruce; 06-12-2014 at 05:11 PM. Reason: removed listing for Magnavox
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post #2 of 539 Old 02-25-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Links for specific models (I show the links as an address, so one can see where it is before one clicks. No surprises that way);

Bright View/Zinwell BV 980H;
http://www.brite-view.com/980h.php
http://www.amazon.com/brite-View-BV-980H-Digital-Supported-Shifting/dp/B004XIB9UA
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1337412/br...at-980h-thread

Channel Master CM 7000 / DTVPal;
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...r_TV_s/304.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master-CM-7000PAL-Digital-Recorder/product-reviews/B0033TJPJW
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1360146/ch...ternet-content

Channel Master CM 7400 / Entone Amulet 458 (w/ fan);
http://www.channelmaster.com/Channel...r_TV_s/304.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master-CM7400-Internet-Compatible/dp/B0065EQ45U
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1360146/ch...ternet-content
http://henrybowman.wordpress.com/201...m7400-ota-dvr/
http://www.entone.com/products/amulet
http://antennalogic.ecrater.com/p/17...er-for-antenna

Channel Master DVR+;
http://www.channelmasterstore.com/DV...m?Click=32508#
http://support.channelmaster.com/hc/...55-CM-7500GB16
http://support.channelmaster.com/hc/...sers_Guide.pdf
http://reviews.cnet.com/video-player...-35833139.html
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1481183/ch...-owners-thread

Digital Stream/RCA DPH1000R (couldn't find any importers website);
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Recorder.html
http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/columns/...ams-hd-dvr.php
http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Stream-DPH1000R-Recorder-Tuner/dp/B007FEEO3S/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1402738/rc...-hdtv-recorder

DVICO TViX M6620N
http://www.tvix.co.kr/ENG/products/PVRM6620N.aspx
http://www.digitalconnection.com/pro...vixM6620NP.asp
http://www.amazon.com/M-6620N-Wireless-Network-Player-INCLUDED/dp/B002WVJILC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1195962/of...am-tuner-topic
This isn't new, but take a read here;
http://www.mpcclub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28345

ePVision PHD VRX/VRX2;
http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phdvrxmain.htm
http://www.amazon.com/1080p-Digital-Recorder-Receiver-Center/dp/B008RHTXLA/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1414002/ep...-owners-thread

Funai made Philips HDR5710 & 50/F7;
http://www.usa.philips.com/c/blu-ray...750_f7/prd/en/
http://download.p4c.philips.com/file...f7_dfu_aen.pdf
http://www.twice.com/articletype/new...dr-pair/109046
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1498196/ma...i-fi-streamers
http://www.amazon.com/review/B00G037DQU/ref=cm_cr_prvoterdr?_encoding=UTF8&thanksvoting=cr-vote-R3BBJAW8E6S380#R3BBJAW8E6S380.2115.Helpful.Reviews

iView-3500STB/3500STBII;
http://www.iviewus.com/iview-box/iviewgorilla1.html
http://www.iviewus.com/firmware3500stb/
http://www.amazon.com/iView-3500STB-Digital-Analog-Converter-input/product-reviews/B00BFIJQ10/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&s ortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465875/iv...-owners-thread

Mediasonic Homeworx HW-150PVR;
http://www.mediasonic.ca/product.php?id=1365123671
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CXAE92K

Moxi;
http://www.moxi.com/us/moxi_dvr.html
http://www.amazon.com/Moxi-2-Tuner-500GB-Digital-Recorder/product-reviews/B001GQ8MT8/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1095015/moxi-hd-dvr
For the record, this will be of interest (link from Bryan_CoxPHX);
http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2012-02/...i-dvr-service/

All TiVo's;
http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-premiere/index.html
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...wners%20manual
http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/forum.php

TiVo Series 3;
http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD648250B-Series3-Digital-Recorder/product-reviews/B000I661J0/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
http://www.avsforum.com/t/722696/tiv...fficial-thread
http://www.engadget.com/topics/hd/20...hd-vs-series3/

TiVo 'HD'
http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD652160-Digital-Video-Recorder/product-reviews/B000RZDBM2/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD658000-Digital-Video-Recorder/product-reviews/B001EWEIOW/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
http://www.avsforum.com/t/879469/off...-tivo-hd-topic

TiVo Premier;
http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-pr...specs.html#tab
http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD746320-Premiere-DVR-Black/dp/B0036OR910/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD748000-Premiere-DVR-Black/dp/B0036OR91A/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1232191/th...premiere-topic
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1366539/tivo-premiere-elite

TiVo Premier 4 (QAM only, four tuner version of above);
http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD750500-Premiere-Digital-Recorder/dp/B006L8TX94/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

TiVo Roamio;
https://www.tivo.com/shop/roamio
http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-Digital-Recorder-Streaming-TCD846500/product-reviews/B00EEOSZK0/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt/190-7955357-3454467?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1486871/ti...torage-streams
And then there is this;
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=510377


On a separate note;
Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR (it doesn't fulfill the previous requirements, but does have component record capability making it somewhat unique);
http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-1212-Definition-Personal-Recorder/dp/B0018LX0DY/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1361799950&sr =1-2&keywords=moxi
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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.

Last edited by videobruce; 06-12-2014 at 05:12 PM. Reason: removed listing for Magnavox
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post #3 of 539 Old 02-25-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Comparison chart;

.

My whole hearted thanks to wajo for helping me update this table in spite of the forums software. It was no easy task. There are still additions & corrections needed, mostly for the Roamio.

Those are always welcome for those wishing to contribute.

 

This is best viewed on a 16x9 monitor (1920x1080) or at least 1360x768.   If that isn't possible, just download one of the attachments and print that out.

 

 

MAKE BriteView Channel Master CM / Entone Channel Master Digital Stream DVICO TViX ePVision

Magnavox /

Philips

iView Moxi TiVo TiVo
MODEL BVT-980H CM7000/ DTVPal CM7400 / 458 DVR+ DPH 1000R M6620N PHD - VRX/2 HDR5710/ 5750

3500STB/

STBII

HDMR 1500T3

S3/ HD/

Premiere/ P4

Roamio/ Plus/ Pro
Cost new ($) 165 Used Used 250 230 320 210 250 / 300 40

Used

Used $180 

$200 & up
                  (also HW-150)   & up w/service plus service
Authors rating * *** ** / ** *** * ** *** ** *** *** ***½  
                         
HARDWARE BriteView Channel Master CM / Entone Channel Master Digital Stream DVICO TViX ePVision

Magnavox /

Philips

iView Moxi TiVo  
Tuner types; ATSC / QAM / NTSC 1 ATSC /  QAM 2 ATSC 2 ATSC / QAM 2 ATSC 2 All 2 ATSC / QAM 2 All 1 All ATSC / QAM 2 or 3 QAM All except Prem4  
Combined analog & digital tuners --- --- --- --- No --- Yes Yes --- --- Yes  
RF inputs One One One One One One Two One One One Two except Prem4  
HD Video outputs: HDMI / Component HDMI Both Both HDMI Both HDMI HDMI HDMI Both Both Both  
Digital audio outputs: Optical / Coaxial None Optical Optical Optical Optical Both Optical None Coaxial Both Optical  
Front panel display type text or LED's LED LED Clock & LED LED Led Full Text Both LED Both LED LED  
Front panel functions; transport and/or menu None None Menu Standby Menu Menu & PB Menu & Ch. Standby Pwr, ch up/dn Menu S3 Text/ LED/ LED  
Power consumption; operating & standby 9 / 1 23 / 21 24 / ? 20/ 1 15 / 1 ? 20 /HD / 1 22 wHD / 15 / 2 20 w/HD / 1 9 wHD / 7 /  1  26 / Mate 10 S3-34 / S4-26  
HDD: internal stock/maximum external size 320G / No 250G / No 320G / Yes None/ 3TB 320G / 2TB None / 2TB None / 2TB 4TB ? / 4TB None / 1TB 500G / 6TB 250/ 160/ 320-1TB  
HDD spins down in standby Yes No No? Yes Yes Yes Yes ?? Yes No stdby No stdby  
External record: HDD / Memory stick Stick None Both Both? Both Both Both HDD Both Yes / No Yes / No  
Low power standby Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes --- ---  
Boot time from standby 30 sec --- --- >3 sec 30 sec over 60 sec 30 sec ?? 10 sec  --- 5.5 min. from off  
HDD file system (format) NTFS DFS– Proprietary EXT3 EXT4 NTFS NTFS EXT2 XFS NTFS Linux ? MFS – Proprietary  
Hardware build quality ? Fair Fair/Good ? Fair/Good ? Poor Good ?? Fair Good ? Good  
                         
TUNERS & CHANNELS BriteView Channel Master CM / Entone Channel Master Digital Stream DVICO TViX ePVision

Magnavox / 

Philips

iView Moxi TiVo  
Separate OTA & CATV channel scans No --- No No No No Yes No No No scan No  
Add channels not in the original scan Yes ? Yes ? Yes Yes ? No Yes Yes Yes --- Yes w/ 2nd scan  
Add channels via physical numbers No Yes ? Yes Yes ? Yes, no sub Yes Yes Yes No No  
M Cable Card support No --- No --- No No No No No Yes Yes  
Edit channel names and/or call letters No Yes Yes No Analog ? No Call letters No? Call letters No No  
Ability to re-map QAM channels No --- No --- No No No No No  Yes No  
Signal strength indicator No Yes Yes Yes - dual Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes  
Skips encripted QAM channels ?? --- ?? --- ? ? Yes Yes Only some Yes via CC Yes  
Skip channels in guide that are in the ch. list ? No  ? ?? ? ? No --- Yes ? S3-No / S4–Yes  
                         
PROGRAM GUIDE & RECORDING BriteView Channel Master CM / Entone Channel Master Digital Stream DVICO TViX ePVision

Magnavox /

Philips

iView Moxi TiVo  
Program guide; PSIP and/or Pay (full) PSIP PSIP Both Both/Rovi PSIP dig. only PSIP PSIP No guide PSIP Full Pay only  
Fully usable without additional fees Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Register DVR No  
Number of days of programming Varies Varies Varies / 14 14 Varies Up to 1 Varies 100 programs
Less than 1
14 12  
Grid type of guide No Yes Yes Yes No No No --- No Yes Yes  
Combined or separate guide for all tuners --- Comb. Comb. Comb. Comb. Comb. Sep. --- --- Comb. Comb.  
12 or 24 hr clock 24 hr 12 hr 12 or 24 hr 12 hr 24 hr 12 or 24 hr 12 hr 12 hr 24 hr 12 hr 12 hr  
Time setting; auto and/or manual & source Manual Both / PSIP Both / PSIP Both / NTP Both / PSIP PSIP / NTP NT / PSIP  Man Both / Station PSIP Auto / NTP Auto / NTP  
QAM channels listings w/o using a CC Varies w/MSO --- Yes w/sub. --- Varies w/MSO Varies w/MSO Varies w/MSO --- No Yes No !!  
Jump fwd & back in Guide No 1-8 days 3 & 24 hrs 1 day No ? ? Page up/down --- No 24 hrs Not in Grid view  
Guide search by program names No Yes Yes Yes No No No --- No  Yes Yes  
Save program searches No Yes Yes No --- --- --- ---
---
Yes Yes  
Manual recording VCR style Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes Yes  
Protect recordings from deletion No ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Record only new episodes No No Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes  
Name and/or time based recordings Time Time Name (pd G) Name Time Time Time Time No Name Name  
Auto-adjust for changing days / start times No No No Yes? No No No No No Yes Yes  
Recording conflicts action; auto or manual No Manual Manual ?? Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual ? Auto  
Auto pad recordings start & end in Guide No No Yes Yes Indirectly No No --- Yes No Yes  
Number of programs recorded at once One Two Two Two One Two Two One One Two or Three 2 / 2 / 2 / 4  
Record indicators of future programs ? Yes Yes Yes? From guide Yes Yes in Rec list No In Sch. list Yes

S3/HD No

Premier yes

 
Available HDD space shown ? Yes Yes % used Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

S3/HD No

Premier Yes

 
Adjustable buffer time amount No No No ? Fixed No buffer Yes Up to 4 hrs No buffer Yes No No  
Closed Caption available in playback No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?  
                         
PLAYBACK & MISC BriteView Channel Master CM / Entone Channel Master Digital Stream DVICO TViX ePVision

Magnavox /

Philips

iView Moxi TiVo  
Dedicated play & stop & standby buttons Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No play / stop Yes Yes Yes Yes No stop or Sttdby  
Remembers where playback left off Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Skip ahead or back time amounts None Both; 30 sec Fwd; 30 sec Up to 60 sec None Both: variable Both to 2 min Up to 5 min. No  Fwd variable Fwd 30 sec hack  
Edit recorded program name ? Yes ? Yes Yes Yes No Yes (auto titles) Yes No No  
Recordings encrypted within HDD No Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes  
Record history showing errors Shows failed Yes No ? Yes? Yes No Yes (limited) Yes No No ? Yes  
PC / USB file transfer ability No / Read No / No No / Yes No / No No / Yes No / Read Yes / Yes Yes, but not easy No / Read Yes / No Yes / No  
Media Player No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes  
Create playlists for external media --- --- Yes No No Yes No No No No No  
Networking: wired/wireless No No Both

Wired/

Optional

No Both Wired Both No Wired Wired  
Internet services available --- --- Hulu VuDo --- None U Tube Numerous --- Numerous Numerous  
Multiple room recording and/or viewing --- --- No No --- Yes No No --- Yes, w/ mate Yes w/ extender  
Firmware update; Internet and/or USB USB Both USB Both None available Internet USB Both USB Internet Internet  
Support; on-line and/or telephone None Limited Limited  /None Yes /time limit None None Both limited Both Both limited Both ?? Both Good  

 

.

Below are a spreadsheet and a .pdf version of the above table;

 

HDDVRComparison011814.xls 24k .xls file

HDDVRComparison011814.pdf 70k .pdf file

 

per sensible request, clarifications with TiVo's base price & optional service

Attached Files
File Type: xls HDDVRComparison011814.xls (24.0 KB, 76 views)
File Type: pdf HDDVRComparison011814.pdf (70.3 KB, 106 views)
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In alphabetical order, additional info and comments:

The main problems with most of these importers are; culture issues, language barriers and where the firmware is written. China, where the firmware can't be tested properly due to their OTA & CATV standards being different. It has to be sent here for testing, most times by some non-engineers. So many simple issues, mostly to the GUI, especially the menus, could be fixed, but are not.They are ruining it for themselves by not listening to the customers.

BriteView BVT980H;
Uses a 12vdc 2 amp switching wall power supply,
Internal drive is a 2 1/2”
The best thing about this is cost and the power saving, true standby state with the drive spinning down.
The low rating reflects the lack of support from a 'no name' company, a very poor manual and a high number of negative reviews.

Channel Master CM7000 / DTVPal;
On it's third name, this unique (for the time) DVR still has merits if you can find one used. Originally designed for TVGOS data, this is the only PSIP sourced guide that retains listings for all channels, without re-retriving the listings every time you switch channels in the guide. Apparently, one tuner automatically scans all the channels and updates the guide at certain intervals. Why all the others (with dual tuners) can't do something similar is beyond me.
Allows upgrading using a 3 1/2” drive up to 1TB which is a 4x increase of the original capacity. It runs cool, being a simple & basic model. It has a auto format function for new drives, Network & HDD tests, a programmable remote and a RF pass through. The fair rating for Build Quality is due to the odd case design and the hoaky way the HDD is suspended within the enclosure.
Overall rating reflects functionality, reliability and mostly it's age.

Channel Master CM7400;
A huge step up from their predecessor, adding internal Wi-Fi which no other DVR has adding a premium to its price. Problem is, the well known over heating that CM refused to do anything about other than a firmware upgrade that corrected another problem, claiming this isn't a problem. It adds the option of a pay guide. Menu access is available on the front panel The display with a clock can be dimmed or turned off completely. It also has a Network test and a programmable remote. There is a 'pay' option for the guide, but since CM apparently isn't selling this anymore, there may be a uncertain future for that.
Rating is due to over heating, issues with the tuners and being discontinued by CM. It is replaced by the DVR+.

Channel Master DVR+
The new kid on the block. Hopefully CM has learned from the 7400. This appears to have it's act together thought I would of preferred an internal power supply and provision for an internal HDD. I don't know why they opted for such a flat design since height is rarely a problem. The biggest concern here is the track record of the program data supplier; Rovi. Many here have been stung in the past by the pullout of Rovi for devices that depended on it for recording.

Entone Aumet 458;
This is the same as the CM7400 from the actual manufacture with a cooling fan added for the over heating issues. Now, why couldn't CM do the same? A possible firmware update was applied. Rating reflects support is apparently non existing from the sole US importer (seller).

Digital Stream DPH1000R (aka RCA);
This does have two tuners, but it only records from one at a time. The other can be used for viewing. It also has analog capability, but that function is through a “hybrid” system with separate inputs on the remote. This is the same outdated setup for the Funai/Magnavox SD DVR/DVD recorder.
This has the ability to format the internal HDD and it also has RF pass through and the ability to adjust brightness & contrast for the output. Menu access is available on the front panel.
Unlike all the others, this can record from the composite input. This appears to have a true standby state, which spins down the drive.
The manual is better written than the BV. Two outstanding issues to note; bad tuners & intermittent HDMI audio drop outs. Rating reflects this no-name company and the apparent lack of support available.

Dvico M6620N;
While it is more a media server, the flexibility of this is above all the others. Unlike the others, other than menu functions, playback controls are available on the top cover. It doesn't come with a hard drive, but adding one is easy. You don't have to remove the case to do so. Just slide it in from the side. The ability to use UPnP servers and WinAmp play lists, makes this well suited to store music, photos and videos to distribute to other 6620's or PC's. You need to look through the manual to learn of all the functions.
The remote is very small and the text is very hard to read.
Worse than TiVo is the doubling up of the 'Play' function with the 'Ok/Select' button. Come on now. What were they thinking here? Unnecessary confusion and non user friendly. Not to be outdone, the 'Stop' function is the 'Return' button. I believe the standby state spins down the drive. The poor Build Quality rating is due to the very small enclosure and the way everything is cramped in, making access extremely difficult. Why not a full 17" width enclosure is beyond me.
Boot time is the longest, over one minute. My 7 year old DLP TV takes that long.
Rating reflects the lack of support from the manufacture and the reported closure of the company over 18 months ago Which is such a shame considering all the features.

ePVision PHD-VRX/VRX2;
This a lot of promise if the numerous bugs would ever get acknowledged and addressed. Many have, but there are many that remain. The biggest annoyance is the two separate guides, one for each tuner.
The outstanding function is the tuner. I know of no other than has the flexibility, function and performance as this. For that, it would get a five star rating, but the DVR function brings it down to three.
Two RF inputs (the only other is the TiVo), two separate tuners, each with separate memories for OTA and CATV, making a total of four channel maps. That may be overkill, but this setup allows using two separate antennas pointed in different directions, eliminating the need for a rotor.
One note, thought this does have analog enabled in one tuner, but there is no encoder included, so those stations can not be recorded, which partially defeats the CATV function.
This does not come with a hard drive. There are two USB ports for two external storage devices. Menu & channel up/down are available on the front panel.
This can also be used as a media input switcher with the ability to adjust video settings for all inputs (color, tint, brightness, contrast among others).
Though no provision for a internal 2 1/2” drive was made, it is possible to install one with the addition of a suitable USB enclosure with no modification of the unit.
Lastly, this allows low power standby with the HDD spinning down. Rating reflects the promise this has and the great strides in spite of the lack of solid support.

Philips HDR5710 & 50/F7 (made by Funai);
Funai has finally entered the 21st century with a HD recorder. Problem is, they dropped the ball on three major areas; only one tuner, no Guide and no separate digital audio output. Anyone with a 5.1 or 7.1 surround receiver that doesn't have HDMI inputs will have to listen to analog stereo audio. The plus is a internal HDD is included in the price unlike a few others here. Recordings can be offloaded to a PC and edited, but it is not an easy task.

iView-3500STB/3500III (aka Homeworx HW-150PVR and many others);
The latest entry in the field at a price point that is hard to believe: $40
From another mostly unknown Chinese company (marketed under various names), has OTA & CATV capability though the skimpy owners manual and website do not make this clear. There is a USB port for adding a separate external hard drive or a USB stick to play back media. Using a USB hub will allow multiple storage devices to be accessed. Maximum HDD size is reported to be 1TB, not just 500GB as stated in the manual.There are a few shortcomings;
1. The channel numbers on the display are not the actual channel numbers of the stations, but only consecutive numbers starting at C001 and working upwards based on the number of channels in the channel map,
2. The clock can't be set manually, the display is terribly bright and the remote is so small with the buttons close together causing the text to be hard to read,
3. The QAM tuner has problems dealing with some CATV systems regarding proper ID'ing of their 'in the clear' stations.
On the positive side, boot time is only 10 seconds and channel changes are relatively fast. PQ and reception is on par with other HD tuners. There are HDMI, component & coaxial audio outputs. I gave it a three star rating mostly for cost.
All of these versions are based on the same SoC (System on a Chip) so features & performance should be very similar.

Moxi HD MR1500T3;
Note: There are two & three tuner versions of this with the same model number.
This is TiVo's closest competition and in many ways exceeds TiVo. Note this is QAM only, no OTA (just like the Premier Elite). Unlike TiVo, this has the ability to re-map channels so 'in the clear' stations will get guide data listings. A huge short coming of TiVo if you don't have a CC.
Unlike TiVo, the subscription (if you can call it that) for the 'Pay' guide equivalent is included in the price. You do need to register the product on their site. External hard drives can be as large as 6TB (if you need or can afford one) which gives it 3-6x more storage than other DVR's. There is also a eSATA port and a front panel USB port. The menu is also available from the unit.
There are numerous pay services available through the Ethernet connection and the 'Media Link' function.
Hardware status includes CPU temp, & tuner S/N. If you want CATV analog channels, you have to buy a optional “analog tuner dongle”.
One beef is the lack of a standby function with the ability to allow the drive to spin down (a common complaint with some of these). There is no ability to do manual recording, nor is there any way to set the clock if this program data service stops. It will become a brick, just like the Sony. Very shortsighted.
Rating is due to the discontinuance in the consumer market and no OTA ability, in spite of the many features. These are now only sold to MSO's.

TiVo: Series 3 & Premier These all may not apply to the new Roamio;
The proponents are fast to point out the pluses, but continue ignoring the problems as if they don't exist. Or, they have just gotten use to them with many never having experience with anything else.
One would think, for something that has been out for over 10 years, these would be the last to have issues.
1. The lack of ability to receive program listings for 'in the clear' QAM stations without a CableCard even though you paid for the guide. This is due to the lack of ability to re-map channel numbers as the Moxi has. If I don't have any pay digital tiers, why should I have to rent a CC to get the listings I paid for? This is clearly designed for customers paying for additional digital tiers that require a CC, something the product literature does not tell you unless you dig around in their site and look for it. Their lame, outdated, canned excuse stating; MSO's keep change physical channel numbers without divulging the changes. So what, it's not necessary to know. The tuner will see the change when you do a rescan and add that new number to it's map. Most MSO's now re-map to the stations OTA virtual number on their system if you don't have their STB. That virtual OTA number is already in their data base for program listings. It doesn't matter what the physical channel number is since the virtual CATV channel number is the same as it is with an antenna. For systems that still don't re-map, all would be needed is what Moxi was smart enough to do, that is to allow re-mapping. Duh?
2. Grade school level user interface. Everyone isn't a 'Joe Sixpack'. Forcing one to endure between 24 & 30 separate screens during their so called "guided setup" is ridiculous. 1/3 of those should be either eliminated or combined with others. Then add annoying 'messages' and unnecessary extra screens & steps to perform simple functions. What's this 'Romper Room'?
3. No power saving standby function and no dedicated 'stop' button. One unnamed individual complained about adding two more buttons on the remote. Gee, such a burden. If these were designed correctly, a power reducing state should be no feat. Doubling up functions of the left navigation button is only more confusing.
4. The poor marketing decision for their older series numbers makes telling those apart difficult, getting the models easily mixed up. Basically there are four versions. Original Series 3, the “HD”, Series 4 Premiere’s and the Premier Elite four tuner model. Two of the three have a version with a 1TB drive. They have apparently learned from this, labeling the newest in name only, no series number.
Model numbers have three sections. All begin with “TCD”, followed by three digits (really the model number), ending with three more digits representing the size of the drive. The 1TB models show “000”.
Here is the list with the release dates in related groupings.
5. The hard drive thrashes around for long periods of time for no apparent reason, even when no operation is under way (record and/or playback). Even with a A/V type drive, it is noticeable. This apparently is the system "indexing" the drive. Since this uses space to 'hold' 'deleted' recordings, fragmentation will increase as the drive fills up until the system starts to automatically deletes old recordings.
Also, since this has a one hour buffer (I believe that is the amount), that contributes to the activity.
6. The Premier series has (or had) a issue with CATV SDV adapters (modems if you prefer) and channels disappearing by themselves and/or not getting recorded if I understood the problem correctly. Also, the OTA tuner is worse than previous versions.

Series 3 TCD648250 9/06 250GB
Series 3 “HD” TCD652160 7/07 160GB, economy version (this should have been Series 4, since it is completely different then the original)
Series 3 “HDXL” TCD 658000 1TB version
Series 4 Premier TCD746320 4/10 320GB (should of been called Series 5)
Series 4 Premier TCD746500 500GB version of above (replaces the above?)
Series 4 Premier XL TCD748000 1TB version of above and TXH certification
Series 4 Premier Elite (aka Premier 4) TCD750500, 4/12 four tuner QAM only version
Series 4 Premier Elite (aka Premier 4) TCD758000, 1TB version of above
Series 4 Premier Elite (aka Premier XL4) TCD758250, 2TB version of above
(As you can see, there is no possible way any of that could be confusing.)

TiVo recently added their Roamino as the latest & greatest. The above comments do not necessary apply to this unit as it has it's own set of problems. Namely, dealing with CC's, Tuning Adapters and their 6 tuner model with only 4 working at once.
http://stopthecap.com/2013/09/17/cab...-tivos-roamio/

Their narrow minded business model, that has put a strangle hold on the rest of the DVR market due to greed, lawsuit happiness and the failing of some basic functions. For all of that, these should get only one star.
Rating reflects the numerous reasons stated.
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Last edited by videobruce; 06-12-2014 at 05:09 PM. Reason: removed listing for Magnavox
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Ok, what did I miss or include that shouldn't be? redface.gif
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CM 7400?
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Your right, I did forget it in the first posts, but I didn't forget it in the spreadsheet I'm compiling. redface.gif
Corrected.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

From the original thread which is now very outdated, I thought I would stick my neck out and try to compile a list of DVR's available to consumers.

Ok, what did I miss or include that shouldn't be? redface.gif

SDV adapters for TWC feeds now being rolled out.
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SDV adapters for TWC feeds now being rolled out.
Not a DVR and not available for purchase.
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There is also the TiVo Premier
That was already included. wink.gif

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I revised and re-ordered the first two post entries.
List still in progress. I will be looking for corrections & additions. redface.gif

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Series 4 Premier TCD746500 released March 2012?; effectively the replacement model to TCD46320

The Premier's internal software does include dedicated programming for "Standby/Power-on", "MyShows" Lists/Recordings, and "Return/Exit". Unfortunately those three keys are not on the remote that comes with it. I discovered this with a programmable remote like the Sony RM-VLZ620 and TiVo Code No. 20739

AFAIK there is no internal dedicated programming in the Premier for "Closed Caption" (unless maybe carried over form Older TiVo's?) or for "Stop" on the transport. An illusionary-fake "Stop" can be externally programmed from the left arrow on the Select wheel and assigned on almost any programmable remote.

Yes the DVR market is way short of what it could be, but then the market is............
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Quote:
effectively the replacement model to TCD46320
You mean the 746320A?
Quote:
The Premier's internal software does include dedicated programming for "Standby/Power-on"
I assume that results it going into that semi Sony like standby state?
Quote:
AFAIK there is no internal dedicated programming in the Premier for "Closed Caption"
They won't record CC? Surprised.
I haven't tried it yet (since I don't use the feature) and you brought it up, the older 3's can record CC?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

The requirements would be;
1. Available for purchase in the US,
2. A combined ATSC and/or QAM HD tuner(s) with an internal HDD and or provision for one or,
3. A device with a internal ATSC and/or QAM tuner(s) that has at least one USB and/or eSATA port(s) for an external HDD.

 

By definition you're missing WMC.

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I assume that is Windows Media Center.
No I'm not. You are talking about a computer. It may accomplish the function, but it is not a "DVR". Actually, it would be in the wrong sub forum. wink.gif
But, I will clarify the requirements.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

You mean the 746320A?
I assume that results it going into that semi Sony like standby state?
They won't record CC? Surprised.
I haven't tried it yet (since I don't use the feature) and you brought it up, the older 3's can record CC?

1. It was my understanding the 320 was replaced with the 500; but I could be wrong about that?
2. The "power" button turns the unit off (or standby) just like the Sony - I see no difference at all. All the lights go out on the front of the unit. A brief message on the screen says to hit format, or live TV and ?? in order to turn it back on; but that is irrelevant. Just like the Sony hit the power button to turn it back "on". Yes the unit will still record shows when "off" just like the Sony did (does).
3. I do not know about recording CC, I have not tried that. I was referring to the CC toggle switch so many are looking for (not me). Just "one" button to hit to turn CC "on" or "off" without walking through so many changing menus that is hard for some.

If older Tivo remotes do have a toggle on the remote to turn CC "on" or "off", then perhaps that would still work on a new TiVo Premier, if that feature is coded in the box? I do not gave access to older TiVo's or their remotes.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I assume that is Windows Media Center.
No I'm not. You are talking about a computer. It may accomplish the function, but it is not a "DVR". Actually, it would be in the wrong sub forum. wink.gif
But, I will clarify the requirements.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

The requirements would be;
1. Available for purchase in the US,
2. A stand alone, combined ATSC and/or QAM HD tuner(s) with an internal HDD and or provision for one or, one that has at least one USB and/or eSATA port(s) for an external HDD.

 

It still meets your requirements and WMC is no more a computer than TiVo or virtually any other DVR. If you wish to list available DVRs you'll need to include XBMC as well... among others.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

They won't record CC? Surprised.
I haven't tried it yet (since I don't use the feature) and you brought it up, the older 3's can record CC?
HD TiVos do record closed captions, including the Premiere models. He was just saying there's no dedicated button for enabling/switching closed captions.
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I was referring to the CC toggle switch so many are looking for (not me). Just "one" button to hit to turn CC "on" or "off" without walking through so many changing menus that is hard for some.
Looks like someone at TiVo seems to have an aversion for buttons on the remote that are on practically every other remote. rolleyes.gif

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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Looks like someone at TiVo seems to have an aversion for buttons on the remote that are on practically every other remote. rolleyes.gif
There's no dedicated button, but it's not hard to get to - if I recall correctly, press Info, then press Down until the "Closed Captioning" icon is selected, then the Select button to turn captions on or off. Not as easy as a single button, but not difficult.
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Nice list. I suppose that you should mention that TVGOS got pulled this year, so CM 7000 users are now stuck with PSIP, so the guide went from mediocre to barely useable.
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Not as easy as a single button, but not difficult.
True, but not necessary.
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I suppose that you should mention that TVGOS got pulled this year
That is, or should be well know by now. The table does show the guides source is PSIP. wink.gif

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I didn't include these (for the reasons stated);
"MagicTV"; lacks ATSC and/or QAM tuners,
Sony DGH 250/500; not functional as a DVR anymore,
Goldstar (LG) LST-3410A due to age, even though it is still functional
Sezmi DMR-1000; discontinued,

 

Another one in that list would be the LG's predecessor, the Zenith HDR230 

 

http://www.hometheater.com/content/zenith-hdr230-hdtv-receiver-digital-video-recorder

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That's going back a ways. I didn't want this to be a history lesson and had to stop somewhere. wink.gif
Looking at that date of the article which was 10/03 and the first post of the LG thread;12/03, there was only a few months difference in release times of the two. Looking at the owners thread, the last post was 2006. I did a quick search on eBay and none turned up, either currently for auction or previously sold.
I will add a link for the LG thread as reference.

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Thanks for the summary! I have been looking into these and trying to find the best option. I'm more or less set on the CM7400 or the M6620N. I'm more leaning to the M6620N especially since I can offload recorded shows to my computer and put in a bigger HDD, but the additional cost of the HDD makes them closer to even. Anyone want to weigh in on which they prefer? What happens when the CM7400 overheats? Can you manually set to record beyond the limited schedule without paying the monthly fee?

Funny thing about the M6620N: on their website they list it for $299, but literally everywhere else they seem to be selling at a premium of over $300. Is that because the website selling them for $300 doesn't really have any in stock and is just taking backorders without saying so? I don't want to order it if I will have to be in backorder limbo for who knows how long, and the premium price of other sites would probably definitely push me to the CM7400.
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Digitalconnection isn't backordered; Kei changes the page to say when new units are expected when that happens.

I would say the TViX 6620 is superior to the CM 7400, but people who own the CM box would just as likely say the opposite. For me, the fact that the CM won't let you offload recordings was a deal breaker, and the number of people who have complained about its tuner is equally concerning. The only thing the CM has over the TViX is that it can do closed captions, but the flexibility of the TViX's storage options and the operating stability afforded by it having a case fan trumps CC support in my book.

*edit*

I'm not sure if the CM 7400 addressed the problems, but I should probably also mention one of the other major factors that convinced me not to buy its predecessors (DTVPal / CM 7000) is that those units are notorious for being unable to deal with DST changes: they frequently miss recordings around the time of the transition, they may not transition properly, and their timers may become corrupt after the transition and require you to delete them and make new ones. They also may end up with incorrect clocks due to acquiring their time from TV stations with bad clock data (although a firmware update reduced this problem).

The TViX handles DST without problems (at least it did for me when DST ended last year; this weekend will be my first time moving forward), and it also has multiple clock settings that let the unit keep perfect time: you can get time from TV stations if you want, but you can also set the clock manually or have the TViX check NTP servers every time it boots to keep the clock from drifting. As a result, you never have to worry about the clock messing up your timers, which is a boon in the DVR reliability department.
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The CM-7400 has a bad/problematic tuner, so I would not recommend it on that basis. I recently ordered a new DTVPal just made available for $269, and it has a much better tuner. But don't know yet about time change issue, however for my use the Pal is also a very good standalone tuner box and glad I finally got one through this new supply just made available. But the TViX may be the best choice depending upon your own interests, but I would not choose the 7400.
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Providing that internal wireless setup added unnecessary cost to the DVR, It's a waste if you don't use it.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

I'm not sure if the CM 7400 addressed the problems, but I should probably also mention one of the other major factors that convinced me not to buy its predecessors (DTVPal / CM 7000) is that those units are notorious for being unable to deal with DST changes: they frequently miss recordings around the time of the transition, they may not transition properly, and their timers may become corrupt after the transition and require you to delete them and make new ones. They also may end up with incorrect clocks due to acquiring their time from TV stations with bad clock data (although a firmware update reduced this problem)..

If connected to a home network, the CM 7400 gets its time from pool.ntp.org. My DST change went off without a hitch.

I also own a CM 7000, and oddly, the timers were all intact after the DST change. I wonder if the timers are affected only by "falling back."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

That's going back a ways. I didn't want this to be a history lesson and had to stop somewhere. wink.gif
Looking at that date of the article which was 10/03 and the first post of the LG thread;12/03, there was only a few months difference in release times of the two. Looking at the owners thread, the last post was 2006. I did a quick search on eBay and none turned up, either currently for auction or previously sold.
I will add a link for the LG thread as reference.

.

Great thread man, very illustrative! BTW is there any HD DVR Satellite capable (yes, I know that's not OTA)? Thanks a lot!
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TiVo is the only one that has cablecard support, which is necessary for most pay-TV providers now.
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