It's 2005. I'm looking for something to replace my Sony DVD Recorder. There are some fancy new combo units available from Panasonic. They have VCR, DVDR, and a Hard Drive all in one unit! Wow! But they're still too expensive; maybe next year. Wait a minute; Sony has a High Definition Recorder with a Hard Drive. No built in DVDR and it costs $1,000.00! Outrageous, besides, there are hardly any HD TV stations out there.
2006 rolls around and the Panasonic DMR-EH75 is looking good. For a very reasonable $450.00 I have a fantastic combo unit. Hooray! By 2007 or 2008, I'll bet Panasonic will have one with High Definition.
Along comes late 2007 and I'm looking for the latest and greatest from Panasonic. Wait a minute, this can't be right, there must be a typo, no hard drive units at all! In fact there is no good fee free High Definition Over the Air unit at all! A nightmare come true! Is it 1992 again? How could they do this? Tivo? Monthly fees for Over the Air? Give me a break! Come next year, I guess I'll use a Digital to Analog converter with my Panasonic DMR-EH75.
Early 2008 brings with it the possibility of a future DVR, the EchoStar TR-50. My mouth waters with anticipation.
Now it's the summer of 2008. I get my highly rated DTVPal. I can't get it to work with my Panasonic TV Guide, the picture quality is terrible, and it dies the next day. What a letdown, but that was only the beginning. Tech support was like robot Deli Bellys. I called EchoStar in Colorado and spoke with an actual American woman and told her about my DTVPal problems. My return for refund request was met with we have a no refund policy. They promised to send me a new unit. In closing my conversation with her I asked, will the same division (as DTVPal) in EchoStar be making the TR-50? An enthusiastic Yes! Will the same Tech support be used for the TR-50? A cautious Yes. Will the same customer support people be working the TR-50? A depressed Yes. Thank you, click. One week later and I still don't have a replacement DTVPal. That's the end of TR-50. Now what? I take a second look at the Sony DHG- HDD 250. It's looking pretty darn good at this point. A casual whim takes me to E-bay and what do I find? A like new 250 up for auction and is located within driving distance. A fairly easy bid process wins the unit for me at a price of $460.00. To me that's not bad. To some of you a fortune. Three years of TiVo would set me back almost $700.00. I have the Sony at home and it doesn't have so much as a smudge on it. Everything works. I have my Over the Air HD recording and good old TV Guide. Life is good again. This forum is simply amazing with its wealth of information. Thank you all.