Originally Posted by Biddle
The user review's I have read have been overwhelmingly terrible. Users have cited problems with the unit breaking down, no where to get it repaired, and an unresponsive customer service department at Dish Net. To make matters worse, the unit has been discontinued, presumably because of the magnitude of its problems. Has anyone had the DTVPal DVR for more than a year and would still recommend it? Thanks for your help.
Around 8 months ago I briefly researched for a reasonably priced recording solution to replace wife's VCR due to the Digital transition.
I found much to her dismay VERY few OTA ATSC Non-Subscription *HARD-DRIVE based type recorders.
The "story" being that the subsidized cable /satellite boxes had pretty much decimated the market.... so the mfg'rs pulled out of the market.
(I excluded Subscription (Tivo), GREY-MARKET, or "high-priced" units)
GREY-MARKET=Not sold or supported by the manufacturer for sale in the North American market.)
*Hard drive recording is light years ahead of recording to a dvd disc, RW disc holds 4.7gb.. which isn't much space. Additionally you can expect the dvd burner to burn out much sooner than a hard drive.
Sad thing is right now due to the digital transition, and with Canada going digital soon that there is a HUGE market that the manufacturers are ignoring. There are millions upon millions of persons with VCR's , and/or ANALOGUE type DVR's looking for a recording solution.
(Hint-Hint to all the manufacturer's /insiders who may run across this post...
1: Every person that has a VCR, and/or ANALOGUE DVR without a ATSC tuner is a potential customer.. Think about how many VCR's are out there with ANALOGUE tuners in them which are due to the digital transition pretty much useless.
2: There is a market "out there" that due to the digital transition should be viable now more so than before the cut-off.
EG: Due to the digital transition with the increased number of OTA stations /programing being transmitted in "crystal clear DVD like clarity " that rivals and surpasses what you get with cable or satellite and most being in HD people ARE looking for VCR and ANALOGUE DVR replacements. Due to these factors, people that would a few years ago who would have not have been interested in a OTA recorder looking to save money are seriously thinking about dropping their cable, going to OTA only.
Translation: There is a large numbers of potential customers out there who would buy hard drive based OTA recorders.)***************Philips 3575/3576 and Magnavox H2160http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940657DTVPal DVR - 90 day warranty- Sort of tells you how much faith they have in the unit, eh?Comparison Chart of available OTA recorders
(Compare these specs to what a PC running a SiliconDust HDHomeRun
, or SEVERAL HDHomeRun tuners can do!
NOTE: Each HDHomeRun has (2) tuners- So with a PC you can record 2,4, 6, 8? channels.... Additionally note: With a PC based solution hard drive space is unlimited /easily expanded)http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...56&postcount=6*******************
After reviewing all the Pro's, and Con's I went with a PC based recording solution (and yes it is viewable via TV thru S-Video
, and to the 61" Big screen Tv via HDMI/DVI
(*Note that most ALL TV's these days have HDMI, so PC to TV should not be much of a problem.)
Solution I arrived at was a SiliconDust HDHomeRun
tuner and a PC running WIN7 Media Center which gives me GUIDE data, with detailed program info out to (2) weeks.
PS: Since the tuner plugs into your "NETWORK" ....The tuner(s) and guide programming are accessible via ANY computer on your network... Additionally note you can EXPAND your system (add tuners), and EXPAND HARD DRIVE SPACE VERY EASILY SINCE you are using a PC.
NOTE: If buying used, you want to try to find a REV 2 unit..
. On the bottom of the unit is a sticker... if if starts of 1013 (or above)
I'm pretty sure it's a REV 2 unit.
To verify /get support check out the support forums:http://www.silicondust.com/forum/
HDHomeRun® Networked Digital TV Tunerhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815327005http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun_atscHDHomeRun® Networked Digital TV TunerOne Box, Two Digital Tuners, Anywhere on Your Network
* Watch TV from any computer on your network.
* Record full 1080i broadcast resolution.
* Pause, rewind, fast-forward live TV.
* Schedule and record all your favorite TV shows.
* Expand with multiple HDHomeRun devices.
* For use in United States and Canada:
o ATSC over-the-air digital TV.
o Unencrypted digital cable.
* For Europe, Australia, and New Zealand click here
Works with popular DVR software:
* Pause, rewind, fast-forward live TV.
* Record all your favorite TV shows by name.
* Integrated TV guide (provided by the DVR software).
Seamless operation with multiple computers:
* Run Vista Media Center on multiple computers sharing the pool of HDHomeRun tuners.
* Tuners are automatically allocated between computers as needed.
* Multiple HDHomeRun units can be used together to expand the number of tuners.
* Tuner pooling works with Windows Media Center, BeyondTV, SageTV, GBPVR, MediaPortal, and TotalMedia.
* Free software/firmware upgrade available for download.
* Windows Media Center:
o MCE 2005 (32/64-bit)
o Vista WMC (32/64-bit)
o WMC TV Pack (32/64-bit)
o Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
* Elgato EyeTV - DVR for Mac
* MythTV - DVR for Linux
* SnapStream BeyondTV - DVR for Windows
* SageTV - DVR for Windows/Linux/Mac
* MediaPortal - DVR for Windows
* GB-PVR - DVR for Windows
* VLC - Multi-platform media viewer
* TSReader - MPEG-2 transport stream analysis
* 8-VSB (ATSC over-the-air digital TV)
* QAM64/256 (unencrypted digital cable TV)
* 100baseTX high speed network
* 1 year warranty
* 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 or better for HD playback
* 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
* 1-4 GB per 1/2 hour of DTV recording