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HD DVR with dual OTA antenna?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I know this forum is for DVR's with a service provider, but I just wanted to tap the knowledge base.

I just moved into a new community that include an expanded basic cable in the monthly HOA fee. There are currently no non-network HD programs that I watch or record, so I was thinking about dropping Dish and just going with the cable tv that is included and use an OTA antenna for watching broadcast HD. However, I would want an HD DVR that has the ability to record two OTA HD Broadcasts at once.

Is there anything out there like than now?

Thanks.
post #2 of 4
There are a few options in that space:
  • TiVo HD or TiVo HD XL. $299 or $599 MSRP respectively, along with either Product Lifetime Service ($399 for a new customer), or a monthly/yearly recurring service fee. Not cheap, but has lots of features. Guide is very thorough, and supports VOD content via Amazon VOD (including HD), Jaman, CinemaNow, and streaming via Netflix Watch Instantly (including HD). Supports external drives via eSATA, but only certified drives (without a bit of hacking, at least). Also works with digital cable, supports CableCARDs. Does not work with satellite.
  • E*/Dish DTVPal DVR. $299, no monthly fees. The guide is populated either via PSIP data or TVGoS data; not as thorough as TiVo's. Sounds like a software update was released recently to address many early-adopter issues. Doesn't currently do any on-demand video services, though there's been talk about Dish On Demand content via the Internet at some point in the future. I know there was talk about support of external drives via USB; don't know where that's at currently. *ONLY* does OTA, doesn't do satellite or cable in any form. Its recordings are by day/date/time slot; doesn't have the same ability as TiVo to automatically follow a show's timeslot changes.
  • Windows Media Center with a ATSC tuner cards. Cost varies, and digital cable support comes only with Vista (and either a precooked CableCARD-certified box or some hacking). Costs more, but no continuing fees for guide data. Extenders are readily available (including XBox 360), allowing streaming of live or recorded HD to multiple rooms.
  • Assorted other PC-based software (Mac, Windows, Linux) with ATSC tuner cards. There are a variety of options out there, both for pay and for free.
  • DVD recorders. Not a true HD option, but may be alright if you're on a tight budget. Single tuner. Some have hard disks for recording to, but AFAIK all models still downconvert the video to 480i for recording out to DVD.
  • Sony, LG, Zenith HD DVRs. All retired models. They can be acquired via eBay, but if they break, you keep all the pieces. I believe these units are all single tuner.

There may be others, but these are the ones I'm aware of off the top of my head
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Tivo HD looks like it might be the best option. Thank you for such a thorough answer.
post #4 of 4
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