Its been almost three years and I'm interested to see if improvements have happened.
Is anybody working on a device that uses the flashdrive as the medium recorded on?
It's hard to be specific since you haven't indicated it your new cable feed will have SDV or if the service you pay for is encrypted. Start here:
The only DVR that works (somewhat) with SDV is the TiVo. It also uses a cable card. If your new feed includes a tuning adapter for free, you may wish to wait and see what clear
QAM is supplied first, using your TV to get a list of the channels.
The Magnavox units are not HD but very reliable and can create/play a DVD.
I don't use a DVR from my cable company. I use a TiVo. I have a Mag 515H, Sony DHG, BV-980H,and TViX.
Seems like most small cable feeds, yours doesn't use SDV. Here the web site:
If you don't have a QAM tuner in your TV, buy a new TV.
That's a lot at once, but I have two Mag DVDR, which has it's own thread and walmart.com has free home shipping right not. If SD is good enough then you will like the Magnavox and it upconverts to 1080p. I use it on my SD channels that are SD even though they say HD. It will be letterbox however. You can record to DVD directly, but why bother since even the middle range 535H is 100 hours at HQ (480i, 10Mbs recording rate). Many are happy with SP and it's fine for making archives. Please see the forum for recording times. I'm pretty sure it's 6 hours.
You can buy a QAM tuner (I have three) but none are very good. Check eBay. The 260F is most popular but also the lowest quality.
Yes, the Mag can be used as a "tuner" for your VCR as can most cable boxes. It is not a logical thing to do and I can not think of any reason to use it that way.
If your TV can find QAM channels without using the cable box the Magnavox should be able to find and record them also. Sadly there is only one tuner in the Mag, so you have to decide the best path to follow. It's only money. I would look for a used 2160A or 515H on eBay.
And then there is a TiVo. One box, one cable card, four tuners.
I can't recommend anything except the TiVo and Magnavox. Forget eBay. New at walmart.com is cheaper. The Mag forum:
Failures are rare, but it is sensitive to power interruptions.
Good luck Dave.
First, I have the original Series 4 two tuner unit. I can record two cable channels (or watch one and record one) at the same time. I bought it used on eBay and don't have a lifetime subscription. Yet. Second subscriptions are discounted.
If you had two TiVo units they can talk to each other. There is also a free PC-based TiVo program that can archive programs. I use that also. There are several such programs. I don't suggest adding an external HDD, but that's just my opinion.
I use a Shack 1 to 4 amplified splitter. I use two right now, since nothing is daisy-chained. For cable, you should be able to see the signal levels for digital channels. I have 90+ of something on the Mag and a SNR of 37 on my TV.
For overflow recording I use either the Mag or a Sony DHG-HDD250. The Sony is (sorry) not a solution you will wish to pursue.
TiVo has a thread and two good web sites: