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Confused on which OTA DVR to purchase? Any advice?? - Page 2

post #31 of 59
I just bought a used Tivo Premiere XL with lifetime service for $315 shipped. It is 15 months old. Look for a used Tivo with lifetime and get it for less than the Channelmaster.If I ever decide to go back to cable the tivo can be used with a cablecard. The tivo also streams Netflix ,Amazon, and others.
post #32 of 59
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(a lot) of this is because people don't WANT to pay the true cost for a DVR, whether it's $500 or $300. They want the cableCo to take care of everything for them and are willing to rent craptacular DVRs so they don't have to think about it.
Laziness would sum that up nicely.
Period.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

There are basically three DVR options at this point: the CM-7400, the TViX 6620, and the PHD-VRX. The first works well if you want only throw-away recording, while the latter two allow you to archive content permanently, as you could with a VCR. The VRX was just released and is quite buggy to the point of being unrealiable, while the TViX has many known bugs that some users find annoying but that generally don't interfere with operation. I went the TViX route myself and am quite pleased, but there are no stand-alone DVRs that offer a flawless experience. The HTPC route gives the most flexibility but uses the most electricity and requires the most technical experience to configure...

Do any of the above three DVRs offer the capability to manually re-title a recorded program? Does any provide a recording buffer limited only by the size of its HDD?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

...I would go with TiVo...

Comcast is soon going all-digital here and TiVo w/o a CC will be limited to manual recordings only. Here, TiVo with a CableCARD incurs an Additional Outlet fee of $8.75 monthly, offset by a $2.50 Customer Owned Equipment adjustment.
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Why not a HTPC?..for me TV should be simple and effortless and that doesn't equal HTPC.

Yep!
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All in all, this thread has provided a decent overview of alternatives.
post #34 of 59
The TViX will let you rename files, but using the remote control to enter letters is about as pleasant as pulling teeth. It also lets you pause live TV with a buffer that can consume the entire HDD, but it is not possible to save the buffer to a file, i.e. recording TV and pausing TV are treated as mutually exclusive functions.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

The TViX will let you rename files, but using the remote control to enter letters is about as pleasant as pulling teeth. It also lets you pause live TV with a buffer that can consume the entire HDD, but it is not possible to save the buffer to a file, i.e. recording TV and pausing TV are treated as mutually exclusive functions.

Between the seemingly conflicting info in the comparison thread and page 23 of the manual I couldn't figure out the length and functionality of the buffer. Thanks!

The Magnavox 2160 DVD recorder has probably the easiest system for entering letters from a remote. But even if a big hassle the ability to re-title a recording is essential considering the 6620N's lack of a decent EPG as a source for title info.
post #36 of 59
If you have PSIP, naming isn't a problem. All of the channels I record provide program titles, so it is easy to tell which file is which. Depending on the size of your schedule, you can probably get along without names, too. Recordings are sorted into folders by channel and named with the date and day of the week. Assuming you keep track of which channel and day of the week your programs air, you could tell which file is which without PSIP. You can check the reliability of PSIP in your area with your HDTV before buying a DVR if names are important to you.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

If you have PSIP, naming isn't a problem. All of the channels I record provide program titles, so it is easy to tell which file is which. Depending on the size of your schedule, you can probably get along without names, too. Recordings are sorted into folders by channel and named with the date and day of the week. Assuming you keep track of which channel and day of the week your programs air, you could tell which file is which without PSIP. You can check the reliability of PSIP in your area with your HDTV before buying a DVR if names are important to you.

Glad to hear that a PSIP generated EPG provides titles! smile.gif

I wanted to know if one of the alternative DVRs is a viable option to a relatively cheap used TiVo with Lifetime.
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I tried manually recording using only channel and time info on a TiVo w/o a CableCARD and a Sony HDD500 when TVGOS wasn't working and the clock was wrong but once a list grew to more than a half dozen or so it rapidly became a drag. Never again!
post #38 of 59
I guess I'd be concerned about investing in a "can" versus "chip" tuner. I read that 50% of the HDTV's being shipped right now have chip tuners in them.

I would hope that the chip tuner will be superior to the can in every respect, however, that may be foolhardy.

Also, what generation ATSC tuner are we talking about? Stuff like "the worst Gen4 tuner is better than the best Gen3 tuner" makes my flesh crawl. (Any good links with ATSC tuner generation specs?)

For OTA, its as if you want to have a separate tuner feeding your DVR/HDTV etc. so you can upgrade the tuner w/o having to "rebuy" the HDD.

Also noted, it seems like OTA DVR has devolved since I last looked into one (6-12 months ago.) That is not music to my ears.

One other question, Is there any reason to hang onto my CM7000 or my DTT901?

Regards,
Tom
post #39 of 59
I have found that the CM-7000PAL has a type of timer called Event Timer. This timer will change time slots to follow a named show when it changes its time slot.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
I have found that the CM-7000PAL has a type of timer called Event Timer.
What does that have to do with the discussion? confused.gif
"Timer" and "tuner" are mostly unrelated as far as reception.
post #41 of 59
It is useful info that relates to issues brought up earlier in the thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

...there is big difference between a recorder that is just functional vs. one that facilitates the viewing/recording process and is a pleasure to use to the point of being transparent. IMHO, the former is just a digital VCR, the latter is the true DVR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by demonfoo View Post

...Unless you're okay with keeping a spreadsheet and manually updating scheduled programs forever, if you want the "set-and-forget" TiVo-type experience, paying for service, either monthly or up-front, is going to be a must.
post #42 of 59
But it may not be valid!
Quote:
Originally Posted by A J View Post

I have never found that to be the case. Many times in the two years I've owned my CM-7000PAL, after selecting a program in the guide, I later found that the recording was botched because the network times had been shifted back due to a previous event, football game for example, having run long.
If at the time I select an event from the guide the scheduled time is from 10:00 to 11:00 pm, that is the actual time my DVR records. It never shifts. If that event gets delayed 20 minutes, then my recording will consist of 20 minutes of the previous network event followed by only the first 40 minutes of the event I wanted.
As far as the manual timers you also mentioned, I use those for repetitive recordings, once a week, Monday-Friday, etc.
post #43 of 59
To be quite honest, if someone doesn't want to set-up a HTPC-based dvr, then they should go with a Tivo w/lifetime. The best interface, the most features, the best support and least amount of problems of any of the available units. And I'm sure it has by far the best resale value.
post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post

But it may not be valid!

 

I believe he is referencing delayed airings not when a program's schedule is changed for any number of reasons. Such as moving nights and or time slots.

post #45 of 59
I have found that the recording follows the information in the guide. There are hicups, ocasionally the CM-7000PAL decides that the time zone/settings have changed, which changes all events to the timer type. Also like I noted if you edit the timer afterwards, it is converted to a manual timer.
post #46 of 59
I wonder why anyone would suggest VCR when the DVD recorder w/HDD was the ultimate configuration in my book. If it worked on HD, that would be all I would ever ask for.

D-VHS works great too. Its no longer made but I wouldn't call it obsolete. Attribute that to market forces.

For the BIG TOPIC which I don't thing anyone addressed is "Who has the best tuner?"

Where I live, a CM-7000, CM-4228, CM-7777 is the absolute bare minimum. I don't buy the latest HDTV models - the most cost effective. This puts me a few tuner generations behind which means I cannot use them exclusively - I have to watch SD through my 7000 if I want to watch the program.

I'm assuming the 3 STB's mentioned do not have the same tuner performance. So which one has the best tuner? Maybe the CM?

I would hope that any chip tuner would out perform the best can tuners but I don't know if that is true.

The nice thing about the HTPC is that you can upgrade the tuner card - and of course the question, "Are there HTPC tuners that will out-perform the 3 STD's mentioned in this thread?"

So, for my situation, it is all about the tuners otherwise I'd have one of those LG 3410's if I got my model number right.

Thanks in advance - eagerly looking forward to any tuner talk!
Tom
post #47 of 59
Stand alone tuner talk would be found in the "Technical" sub-forum.
Most recent stand along tuners should perform similar. As far as tuner cards for PC's, ask that in the PC sub-forum. wink.gif
post #48 of 59
Thanks for the suggestion videobruce,

Unfortunately its a Catch 22

The device I want is a OTA DVR.

If I get a stand alone tuner, frankly, I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to hang a STB DVR only onto it - even if I could find one, programming the combo would be more than I want to deal with.

And yes, if I was interested in a PC card tuner, I would post there. The only problem is that I'm looking for the best tuner which means someone has to talk about both the OTA-DVR and the PC. If I go and post to the PC area and mention an the OTA DVR, I suppose I'll get the same suggestion - post on this forum.

Its actually even worse than you suspect. When searching for the best ATSC tuner, that also includes HDTV's themselves.

It sounds like maybe there might be a need for an ASTC tuner sub forum where discussion would be about tuners themselves that are found in all the various products. Then it would be known if HDTC's were ahead of HDTV's or vice versa, etc.

And then even if that was the case, in olden times, they used to publish just about every of FM tuner spec and editorial reviews of them were quite technical. But even back then, virtually nothing was said about NTSC specs. Ironically, now that HD video has basically replaced High Fidelity audio, I am unaware of any kind of technical editorial review regarding any audio or video device. The most you can hope for is an amateur that has actually owned a few units at the same time.

OTA is kept swept under the rug and I suspect it will no longer be available in 10-20 years due to the voracious hunger for broadband devices.
post #49 of 59
Quote:
And yes, if I was interested in a PC card tuner, I would post there. The only problem is that I'm looking for the best tuner which means someone has to talk about both the OTA-DVR and the PC. If I go and post to the PC area and mention an the OTA DVR, I suppose I'll get the same suggestion - post on this forum.
Its actually even worse than you suspect. When searching for the best ATSC tuner, that also includes HDTV's themselves.
It sounds like maybe there might be a need for an ASTC tuner sub forum where discussion would be about tuners themselves that are found in all the various products. Then it would be known if HDTC's were ahead of HDTV's or vice versa, etc.
Reasons I don't want to bother with a HTPC.

The best 'tuner' setup and features id the PHD-VRX. It also has the ability to become a DVR with the addition of a external HDD though a internal 2.5" drive will work with some extra work. But, there are numerous 'bugs' that counteract the positives of the tuner.
I have been working on a updated DVR comparison and will post the table when it is ready if I can figure out how to do the BB Code. redface.gif
post #50 of 59
videobruce, very, very eager to see what you will be posting!

I was thinking more about the Tuner "issue" and it is even worse than what I said before because I didn't mention antenna technology.

There is another science unto its own with that regard.

I'm running a CM4228 and CM7777 but only at an elevation of about 8'

I live in the shadow of a ridge and with the above, considered by some as the top rung of the antenna food chain, my reception is marginal when it comes to the major networks and Public TV.

Along antenna lines, I'm amassing a rotor and chimney mount that will get me another 20' in elevation and hopefully a few more db in signal strength.

It is unfortunate for people who live in poor reception areas because they have no easy solution.

I guess when you get down to it, the antenna system is trumps the tuner sensitivity regarding reception of a signal.

However, the difference between my Samsung CRT 32" 1080i TV and my CM-7000 is huge. For some channels, I can have 100% signal strength in the CM and yet the Samsung will not receive the channel because it cannot deal with the MultiPath distortion. Of course, receiving through multipath is precisely what the latest generations of HD tuners best resolve and yet almost nothing is said or quantified with those huge improvements.

One quick bit about Can -v- Chip tuners:

The latest HD tuners are now chip based and not (tin) can based. I have not heard if the chip based are better tuners than the cans - my guess is that a tuner chip is 1/100th the cost of a tuner can - so cost may be the improvement. And this could be at the cost of poorer reception. Since reception performance does not seem to be a market factor (it is not mentioned by manufacturers) it could very well be the case that the can tuners are superior. It is questionable what forces are pushing tuner improvements these days.
post #51 of 59
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It is unfortunate for people who live in poor reception areas because they have no easy solution.
I have lived in the city all my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. When I go out into the country and look at houses in low lying areas, my first thought is bad location for reception. The opposite for someone on top of a hill or ridge. wink.gif A criteria for buying a house out there would be height of the land the house is on.
Quote:
The latest HD tuners are now chip based and not (tin) can based. I have not heard if the chip based are better tuners than the cans - my guess is that a tuner chip is 1/100th the cost of a tuner can - so cost may be the improvement. And this could be at the cost of poorer reception. Since reception performance does not seem to be a market factor (it is not mentioned by manufacturers) it could very well be the case that the can tuners are superior.
Very interesting 'tid-bit' I never though about. Worthy of a separate thread. wink.gif
post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I have been working on a updated DVR comparison and will post the table when it is ready if I can figure out how to do the BB Code. redface.gif

Nice! Please include the SD Magnavox line and the Pixel Magic MTV-7000D which can be used in the States as HDMI ready DVR (Using a separate ATSC Tuner).
post #53 of 59
The Pixel Magic Mini is not included because it is not an ATSC/QAM DVR and is not legally obtainable in the US.
post #54 of 59
Neither will the Funai since it is a SD model. This is only for "HD" decks since this is a "HDTV" Recorders forum. wink.gif
Nothing against the Maggy (I have two), but if and when Funai enters the 21st century and steps up to HD, it's in another league.
post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

...if and when Funai enters the 21st century and steps up to HD, it's in another league.

Funai (nor anyone else) will probably never produce a standalone hi-def recorder of any kind that includes recording to detachable media such as BD. Funai's DVD recorder is one of a kind, and we're lucky to have it available at all.
post #56 of 59
But that doesn't mean it still can't have a plain SD DVD recorder. wink.gif
post #57 of 59
Funai makes a not-so-plain DVD recorder now! smile.gif
post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Nothing against the Maggy (I have two), but if and when Funai enters the 21st century and steps up to HD, it's in another league.

Yeah, the OTA DVR totally confused me. biggrin.gif
post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Nothing against the Maggy (I have two), but if and when Funai enters the 21st century and steps up to HD, it's in another league.

Yeah, the OTA DVR totally confused me. biggrin.gif
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