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OTA Tuner/DVR Needed

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am looking to watch OTA broadcasts on a 1080p monitor that has HDMI input only. I have been looking around for a TV Tuner with HDMI output with or without a DVR. Looking around there doesn't seem to be a DVR that people really like, so I'm thinking I'll get a plain tuner. Can someone make a recommendation of something that is consistently good at taking broadcast video and displaying it on a screen. If its only available used, that is certainly fine, too.

post #2 of 13
You'll probably get several suggestions besides this one. Keep an eye on eBay listings for the Sony DHG DVR, both the HDD250 and the HDD500. A lot of owners are getting rid of them because the TVGOS service is ending this coming April. Without the guide, the units won't be able to do scheduled recordings anymore, but they are good ATSC tuners and have HDMI out. Great OTA PQ. The units will still be able to record on-the-fly as well as pause/rewind live TV.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Great recommendation, but I was hoping to spend no more than $150 for a DVR or $75 for a tuner. Is that realistic?
post #4 of 13
No. DVRs are complicated enough that they have to have all the components of a full PC. The cheapest way to get a DVR is to build a HTPC, and even then you'd probably spend at least $300, especially if you want high storage capacity. If all you want is an ATSC tuner, then yes, you can get a DTV converter box for probably < $50, but those only offer 480i output at best. Most HDTV tuners are designed to connect to a PC via PCI-E or USB, so they can't connect to a monitor on their own.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
So there is no 1080p stand alone tuner out there that is any good? Perhaps something I can buy on ebay?
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by joshfeingold View Post

So there is no 1080p stand alone tuner out there that is any good? Perhaps something I can buy on ebay?
Yes. There was a Samsung HDTV tuner that was in production some years ago to accommodate early HDTV's that came without built-in digital tuners. At the time it cost close to $300 new. I would be surprised if you could not find one on eBay but I wouldn't pay over $100 for one. The ATSC tuner is an early generation model which doesn't handle multi-path issues as well as the latest tuners.

As far as DVR's are concerned, I would agree with Aleron. Full function OTA DVR's that actually work are not cheap. About the cheapest way to go for a full function dual-tuner DVR would be a used TiVo HD with lifetime. They are selling on eBay in the $300 range.
Edited by Kelson - 12/15/12 at 10:38am
post #7 of 13
You could also get a tuner that outputs component and use a component to HDMI converter, such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/Component-Coaxial-Optical-Converter-100~240V/dp/B001IPKJJ8/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1355601995&sr=8-5&keywords=component+to+hdmi
post #8 of 13
Title edited to make more specific.

That said, OTA doesn't do 1080p. 1080i is the most you'll get.
There's a whole list of tuners at the top of the HDTV Technical section.
If you want something fully-functional with your monitor, you could also build an HTPC. With that, you can incorporate Blu-Ray, streaming, OTA and unlimited storage. Your call. Though that'd be WAY over your budget.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, found a Tivo Series 3 for $75, so went with that. Great quality.
post #10 of 13
And another $500 for the lifetime subscription, or aren't you aware of that??
post #11 of 13
The price he quoted was probably for a used one on eBay with lifetime already included.
post #12 of 13
Better look again. The cheapest Series 3 w/ lifetime I have seen was around $280.
W/O is what he paid.
post #13 of 13
Either the seller didn't know what he had, or josh didn't know what he was buying. His next post will probably inform us of which one it was.
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