Aereo replacement - inexpensive OTA DVR - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.ds View Post
I have to admit that I have not kept up with this market over the past few years. I have 2 HDHomerun, 2 tuner devices and use Win8.1 Media Center to record. What I would like is a relatively inexpensive device (<$100) that would play back the Media Center recordings (via Shared folder) on other TVs in other rooms. Is there anything out there that will do that (for Win 8.1 WMC files)?
I take it from the 2-tuner HDHR devices that you are OTA. Most media players like the WDTV Live do not play WMC files because of the DRM. You will have to convert them into a standard container like .m2ts, .mpg or MKV. You can buy Video Redo to do that. Alternatively, don't use WMC if you are OTA. There are other DVR apps for the HDHR that record to standard .ts files directly and require no conversion for media players.

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post #32 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
I take it from the 2-tuner HDHR devices that you are OTA. Most media players like the WDTV Live do not play WMC files because of the DRM.You will have to convert them into a standard container like .m2ts, .mpg or MKV. You can buy Video Redo to do that.

Interesting. I have a WDTv Live that I tried and didn't find much use for, but converting the file format may pump new life into that device. I also have an old copy of Video Redo Plus that I used to batch convert WMC files. I could probably upgrade that version to the latest, if it still allows scheduled batch conversion. The commercial elimination feature has some appeal going that direction, I wonder if it's reliable?


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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
Alternatively, don't use WMC if you are OTA. There are other DVR apps for the HDHR that record to standard .ts files directly and require no conversion for media players.

Do you have one you could recommend that works well with the HDHomerun devices? I assume then once in the .ts format, that the WDTv Live (class) devices would/could be used to stream to other TVs?


Thanks
Gary

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post #33 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.ds View Post
I also have an old copy of Video Redo Plus that I used to batch convert WMC files. I could probably upgrade that version to the latest, if it still allows scheduled batch conversion. The commercial elimination feature has some appeal going that direction, I wonder if it's reliable?
I use VideoReDo H.264 to decrypt and edit (remove commercials) TiVo recordings which I then save as .m2ts files and put on my server for streaming through the house to WD Live's. The commercial detect is good but not fool-proof. It depends on a couple black frames between the commercial and the program. If the program omits the black frames and goes right from commercial to program, it cannot detect the breakpoint. I generally let it analyze the whole file and then go in and clean up the edit points. It takes me about 7-8 min per 1 hr show if I focus.

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Do you have one you could recommend that works well with the HDHomerun devices? I assume then once in the .ts format, that the WDTv Live (class) devices would/could be used to stream to other TVs?
NextPVR and Media Portal (both free but the guide = $25/yr). Beyond TV by Snapstream is very complete but also not free. WD Live plays .ts files. The Live does not have a skip forward/back facility like a DVR to skip over commercials. You would have to edit them out or watch them.

If you already have Video ReDo and you are familiar and setup with WMC then I would recommend you stay with WMC and just use VRD to batch convert the files and edit out the commercials.

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post #34 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 05:08 PM
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My setup
  1. HDHOMERUN DUAL - have 2 of them hence have 4 tuners connected to router using CAT6
  2. MythTV server connected to router using CAT6 and configured to use above
  3. XBMC front end - can use IPAD or TV or PC (Wireless is also possible) - All my TV's are connected by CAT6 Not wireless -- however IPAD uses wireless connection
  4. XBMC Live TV can pause get full EPG can record et all
  5. Mythtv - can use web interface and schedule recording from anywhere

Advantage is I do not need to dedicate a PC for 24x7 -- The MythTV server is a server dedicated for this - used an old pc lying around. MythTV automatically skips ad's - can pause, forward or rewind live TV

Disadvantage is setting up MythTV is a pain even for a tech savvy person!


HTH

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post #35 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SMHarman View Post
I'll also have likely saved another $300 in electricity bills over the pc on 24/7.
I compared power usage of TiVo and my PC and the PC uses less... it's detailed in the WMC thread. That's a stand alone PC and since I use the WMC computer as a desktop it's on most of the time anyway. Oh regarding another post... the PC uses a Harmony remote.

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post #36 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.ds View Post
I have 2 HDHomerun, 2 tuner devices and use Win8.1 Media Center to record. What I would like is a relatively inexpensive device (<$100) that would play back the Media Center recordings (via Shared folder) on other TVs in other rooms. Is there anything out there that will do that (for Win 8.1 WMC files)?
OpenELEC will do such. Either a low-end NUC or Chromebook will run a little over $150. I have some images posted (along with details) in my WMC thread.
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post #37 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 05:47 PM
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I guess reading these. My initial thought is yes the pc may be cheaper up front but not much. It likely consumes more electricity. My TiVo is <20w. But they seem really geeky. Great if you want to drive this yourself but can the kids operate this on a Sunday morning or the less technically minded husband Or wife.

Is there a wand remote or so I need a keyboard etc.

That's why I would recommend the TiVo over these solutions bit I can see the benefits of these solutions.

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post #38 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 09:53 PM
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Why must a PC run 24x7? Mine is awake for watching and recording, asleep otherwise. So I probably average 40W for 5 hrs/day or roughly 70 cents per month.

I also use a remote with my PC. To the end user (from toddler to geek), it isn't really any different than a TiVo. I like being able to do all the other stuff TiVo can't do, and I like the low upfront cost.
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post #39 of 84 Old 06-28-2014, 09:58 PM
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Gary,

To watch your recordings in another room, you can get a used Xbox for < $100. No need to convert any files or jump through any hoops. Takes about 5 minutes to set up.
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post #40 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 05:11 AM
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Couldn't you just install a slingbox and then sling it to your girl friends house?
Then she'd have the same package that you have. Pretty inexpensive too.
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post #41 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 07:06 AM
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That would work great if you both watch the exact same thing all the time. May as well move in together.
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post #42 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 07:30 AM
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post #43 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Why must a PC run 24x7? Mine is awake for watching and recording, asleep otherwise. So I probably average 40W for 5 hrs/day or roughly 70 cents per month.

I also use a remote with my PC. To the end user (from toddler to geek), it isn't really any different than a TiVo. I like being able to do all the other stuff TiVo can't do, and I like the low upfront cost.
Sounds like you have created something you could stick a logo on and bring to market.

Lower running costs than a TiVo. Same ease of use and cheaper.

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post #44 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 08:32 AM
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Here is the setup I am using in my effort to soon "cut the cord" (at least the cable tv cord):

1. Over the air TV entry point: HDHomerun Plus connected to gigabit switch. Has 2 tuners for simultaneous viewing/recording
2. Windows Media center "backend" running on a small Gateway low power desktop PC
3. First Gen (silver) Apple TV's running XBMC Gotham (v 13) as the "frontend" for the WMC backend. The frontend is what connects to the TV via HDMI.

This setup works pretty good as XBMC is a very flexible frontend. Many other services (Netflix,Hulu) can be added later. The setup is however time consuming to get working, but the online help is amazing. The other advantage is the apps that are available to send the streams to mobile devices from the HDHomerun.

The recordings are stored on a NAS and my next step is to see if a MYSQL database can track the recordings/playback so that a show can be paused on one TV and then picked back up on another.

Some will say that the Apple TV 1's are old technology and I will not deny that, but with the Crystal HD upgrade (you lose wifi with this, but HD streams strain wifi anyway) I have no issues with buffering or stalled streams. They can be had on ebay for <100 and with the CrystalHD upgrade is still less than 130.00 USD. An Amazon or Raspberry Pi also works well in this application as a frontend. I already had an AppleTV and iPhones/iPads so that is what started me down that path.

The WMC backend comes with a good EPG built-in for free. The other nice thing about this setup is that if someday you do decide to go to cable, Silicon Dust makes an HDhomerun prime model that takes a cablecard that can then take the place of a cable box.

If you have none of the hardware mentioned (I assume you have a home network of some sort), than you are looking at about 800.00 to get started on one TV. If you have a PC running Win7 or 8, than you can reduce this by about about 400 or so or whatever the cost of a PC is. This does not include whatever antenna you may need. Mine is a 26.00 higain directional yagi type in the attic.

If you are looking for a system that can grow and you are a bit of a geek, than in my opinion this is hard to beat. If you are looking for a "5 minute install", than stay away as it does take some time configuring.

Dave
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post #45 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
What if your Tivo goes kaput at the end of 36 months?

PC is still the best option IMO. Tuner is only $100, and you already own most of the other hardware you need. I've done it for years and saved thousands. Plus, I can add more rooms for just $100 each (I'm up to 5). Resale value is probably at least %60 on tuners and extenders.

Good luck convincing the supreme court that re-broadcasting and selling it is not a copyright violation. Aereo's lawyers couldn't pull that off either.
What hardware do you use? I have a fairly old Avermedia... Velor, I think.

Software is in beta for my tiny Apple computer and I don't want to use my large power hungry Windows machine. The channel guide is poor at best and the whole thing just didn't work decently for me.
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post #46 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 10:36 AM
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Of all the HDhomerun users here, I am easily the least technically savvy. So if you are like me, you are not alone. You can make the setup as complicated or as simple as you want. I have very simple setups. I have two HDhomerun dual tuners in two different setups. Each took about 5 minutes to set up.

Setup 1(wireless):

1. Plug antenna, power, and Ethernet cable in the HDhomerun.

2. Connect HDhomerun to wireless router.

3. Install HDhomerun software.

4. Scan for channels in WMC and HDhome run software.

Done! Ready to enjoy wireless shows with my laptops.

Setup 2 (no internet):
I don't want to rely only on my wireless connection to record shows, as the connection gets disconnected occasionally.
In this setup I connect the HDhomerun directly to the laptop via the Ethernet cable.

1. Plug antenna, power, and Ethernet cable in the HDhomerun.

2. Connect HDhomerun to laptop.

3. Install HDhomerun software.

4. Scan for channels in WMC and HDhomerun software.

Done!

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post #47 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 12:28 PM
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What about a Stick TV?

What about a PC on a stick plugged into her TV? If they can save to a Cloud service you could DVR to the cloud.
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post #48 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazookus View Post
What hardware do you use? I have a fairly old Avermedia... Velor, I think.

Software is in beta for my tiny Apple computer and I don't want to use my large power hungry Windows machine. The channel guide is poor at best and the whole thing just didn't work decently for me.
Ceton. But I have cable. For OTA, I'd go back to a Homerun.

My PC is a very small, very cheap, used Windows box, 6 years old I think. It's a bit larger than the Xbox it sits on top of. Guide in WMC is fantastic.

Anybody can do this IMO. Just set goals, stick to them, and do your homework. My goals were TiVo simplicity, low cost, quiet, efficient. Add too many requirements, and budget and efficiency go out the window.
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post #49 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post
Yes it is the same. And it becomes an issue when you attempt to profit from the arrangement.. which is basically selling access to copyrighted programming material to others.
While Aereo's model was plausible under existing law and court decisions, a big copyright problem was they didn't delay the broadcast until after the live version was over, effectively making it like a DVR. Five minutes, or whatever their delay was, was not much of a charade.

To whomover said Aereo could pay the carriage fees, have you checked your cable bill lately to see how much those that do pay charge?

An OTA doesn't do all that much good when so much is on cable. No one has mentioned it, but it would seem to me that "piracy" is one of the winners here, at least in the short run.
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post #50 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 04:58 PM
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Sounds like you have created something you could stick a logo on and bring to market.

Lower running costs than a TiVo. Same ease of use and cheaper.

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It's already being done-that is exactly what I got from freetvee & it has been working great. No monthly fees ever & it's very easy to use. They build a inexpensive HTPC for you & ship it right to your door. They can help you hook it up along with the antenna over the phone/internet or if you are near Denver, CO they will even come out to your home and do everything for you. http://freetvee.com/service-options/...ust-easy-htpc/
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post #51 of 84 Old 06-29-2014, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dervari View Post
With the pending demise of Aereo after the SCOTUS decision, I'm looking for an inexpensive way to get my GF set up for DVRing. She had still been on a VCR with rabbit ears and an OTA box when we met, and I got her a Roku and Aereo subscription for Christmas. She absolutely LOVES Aereo over the old VCR solution, but since it's going away I want to get her set up with an OTA antenna (which I have) and DVR. She's not a big videophile and would only need a two tuner unit. Don't want to spend much so I'm looking for suggestions on older Tivo units that I could find on eBay that would fit the bill. Any help is appreciated.
I have a Hauppage TV tuner card in my PC. I use Windows Media Center as my DVR and stream recordings to my TV through the Roku using Plex. It only requires to install the Plex Media Server software on the PC and point it to the directory where Windows Media Center stores the recordings. It will then take care of the transcoding and streaming to the Roku via Wi-Fi. As a bonus you also get the ability to stream the same content to any other PC on the same Wi-Fi network, provided Windows Media Center is installed on them too. Works like a charm and even on a 802.11g network I can stream recorded OTA HD TV programs through the Roku and to any of our three laptops.

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post #52 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 04:58 AM
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Try a Magnavox 533/535

Quote:
Originally Posted by dervari View Post
With the pending demise of Aereo after the SCOTUS decision, I'm looking for an inexpensive way to get my GF set up for DVRing. She had still been on a VCR with rabbit ears and an OTA box when we met, and I got her a Roku and Aereo subscription for Christmas. She absolutely LOVES Aereo over the old VCR solution, but since it's going away I want to get her set up with an OTA antenna (which I have) and DVR. She's not a big videophile and would only need a two tuner unit. Don't want to spend much so I'm looking for suggestions on older Tivo units that I could find on eBay that would fit the bill. Any help is appreciated.
I have 4 of the Magnavox DVRs and they are excellent, easy to use/set up, and inexpensive. They are SD (with upconversion) but I doubt your GM could tell the difference. Here is a link - $229 at Walmart.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-H...320GB/20710260
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post #53 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 06:04 AM
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Bad Experience with Magnavox 320gb from Walmart

I ordered a 'new' Magnavox 320gb HHD from Walmart. When I tried to register it with Magnavox, I was informed by Magnavox that my unit was beyond warranty. It was over 2 years old and had been previously been registered. I contacted Walmart and registered my complaint of receiving a 'used' item instead of a new one and have not received a satisfactory response from them. I don't trust Walmart regarding this product and am wary of other electronic devices from them.
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post #54 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
AFAIK the DVR+ like the old Tivos require a specific WiFi adapter, it doesn't have drivers built in for off the shelf WiFi adapters.
The DVR+ is particular about the WiFi adapter. Others have noted that it seems to require a particular chip set in the adapter. Here's a list of compatible adapters.
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post #55 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 07:41 AM
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solution without a computer involved

iView 3500STBII Multi-Function Digital Converter Box -


iview - It is inexpensive and you just connect it to an antenna and attach a USB connected standalone hard disk to it and connect it to your TV and you are done. All for usually under $30. Only one tuner but at that price you can buy two. It is independent from your TV so you can watch a show on your TV while recording a different one on the iView.
Product Highlights
  • Convert Digital Signals to Analog (also included but it is full Digital HD for all the features)
  • High-Definition Support
  • Recording Function
  • QAM and ATSC Support
  • HDMI, USB Connectivity
  • Electronic Program Guide
  • Parental Control Function
  • Auto Tuning
  • Signal Quality Indicator
  • Front Panel Controls and Indicators

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post #56 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 07:56 AM
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The DVR+ is particular about the WiFi adapter. Others have noted that it seems to require a particular chip set in the adapter. Here's a list of compatible adapters.
This is true for WiFi adapters that interface to the DVR via USB connection. But almost any ethernet (RJ-45) connected WiFi adapter should work with no problem.

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
normal on a two month old set..
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post #57 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMHarman View Post
And adding a TiVo stream to the premiere will get the watch anywhere part of aerio back.

In fact I don't understand the scotus ruling when the above hardware is legal!

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As far as understanding the ruling, unfortunately, there have been few reports out there that seem to grasp the essence. I am not an expert, however, I think it goes something like this:
When scotus ruled that VCRs were legal way back, the premise was that it was legal to record anything for your own personal use. If you stray outside the bounds of that to the point where you sell your recording or otherwise use that recording to make a profit off of that recording, then it becomes a case of copyright violation. You, I, anyone who records anything for our own personal use at home is legally able to do so as long as the person making the recording does not profit from it. So, if you, I or anyone were to charge admission for someone to come over and watch a recording you have made, then you would owe royalties to the copyright holder, and this is where I believe scotus is coming from especially since it is a unanimous decision.

Its the same thing in sports bars. They have to pay royalties because they are making a profit off of it.

Think of it this way: You set up your a bank of DVRs in your home and tell all your friends that you will record anything they want and deliver that recording to them for a fee. While it is legal for you to own and use that equipment at home and record anything you want, it is not "fair use" for you to then distribute any of what you record and charge a fee for it that results in a profit for you without you paying royalties to the copyright holders. This scenario is no different than what aereo was doing. Aereo may have claimed hands off in the process, however, it is still their equipment and their customers would not have been able to make any recordings without their equipment - so Aereo was enabling the whole process by providing the equipment and allowing their customers to use it for a profit making fee.

If aereo had set up their operation and allowed their customers to use it for free and they had no means of making a profit off it, then the argument and the case might have been vastly different. But aereo was essentially making recordings of copyrighted material and distributing those recordings for profit without paying royalties to the copyright holders and this is in violation of fair use laws. This, as I see it, was why scotus made a unanimous decision on the case against aereo.

As far as OTA and DVR capabilities - I'm using Media Portal and HD Home Run plus tuners - works great.
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post #58 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 09:23 AM
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jimdon- Sorry you had a bad experience with the Mag from Walmart. Mine has been great, but I bought it a little over a year ago for around $228.

Pros: It has been flawless in recording, has NEVER missed a scheduled recording. You can set the compression, so I lower it when the drive starts to fill up. I will probably put a larger drive in it at some point, it's only a 320. Auto clock set is on the money.

Cons: Single tuner. SD only, not too big of a deal, (I also have a Hauppauge card in my PC for HD recordings, sent to a NAS, and use the Patriot Box Office at my TVs via hardwired LAN to view recordings. Laptop can access NAS wirelessly. I also have an iView, as well as a Homeworx box which do HD OTA recording). Other cons are: poor/almost non-existent guide, you have to manually set the recordings, like an old VCR. It also names them by date, but you can change that.

I use the Mag for recording a few shows weekly. It's sort of a fail-safe box, as my Hauppauge has missed scheduled recordings, and the Homeworx/iView often misses recordings when the external drive becomes "disconnected." Not sure why this happens, but the external drive that is the most reliable on it has a very short USB cable, maybe 6". But not 100% reliable.

My search for the holy grail of DVRs continues, as my setup is already too complex for my wife to use.

Last edited by chazdole; 06-30-2014 at 09:27 AM.
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post #59 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 09:40 AM
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The Mag 515, 53x Series and 557 can pre-title programs via an option in the Timer Programming menu, as described here.

The Mag 2160A and 513 can also pre-title if you update the FW to SuperFW 727V, as described here.
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post #60 of 84 Old 06-30-2014, 10:07 AM
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I know everybody here hates cable and dish but ....

I just upgraded to a Hopper with built in Sling and a Super Joey and an OTA Dish stick and 2 TB hard disk for use with 2 TV's.

It gives me 4 networks recording all their Prime Time shows at the same time on just one tuner and gives me 5 additional tuners and another OTA tuner in the optional OTA stick for all the other channels with the ability to go to the DishAnywhere website and control and watch my DVR or live TV on any device anywhere.

Also unlike when the Hopper first came out, they do not now charge $100 for this and $75 for that, so it came out to the same price as I was paying with a Dual and Single Dish VIP DVR, about $75 a month without Premiums like HBO. Expensive but during prime time I can actually record 10 channels at the same time (one from the over the air stick).
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aereo , dvr , mag 2160a , Ota
Gear in this thread - 2160a by PriceGrabber.com

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