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Why so few HD DVR's?  

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I may be ill-informed but the only HD DVR I know of is the one that you can get if you have DirecTV. If there are others I haven't heard of them. Why aren't there a ton of models out? Why hasn't Tivo released one other than the DirecTV model? There seems to be no reason not too. I have used the DirecTV HD Tivo and it works just like a regular Tivo. It works great! I want one but I don't want to have to pay for satellite TV. I know I can build an HTPC but all of the software (not sure about MythTV) only supports one HD tuner which means no watching HD while recording HD. Why don't they release some HD DVR's?
post #2 of 12
Both Motorola and Scientific Atlanta (maybe others?) make HD set top boxes (STB) for the cable industry with inboard hard drive based DVR's. They contain multiple tuners so you can record up to 2 programs, watch a 3rd off the disc, etc. Some are already 2nd or third generation, e.g. the SA8300 which is replacing the earlier SA8000 in some markets.

But these only work in the CATV environment; if you want a PVR/DVR for over-the-air use, a(n) HTPC is likely the best solution. PVR for satellite is yet another subject, but is well discussed in other AVS forums. Search this forum, the HD Hardware area, or even up at the top menu level for HD PVR or similar keywords and you should find a lot of useful info.
post #3 of 12
I was watching the "What's New at CES" show on HDNet about a month ago and seem to remember an announcement from some guy at the JVC booth that they were going to make an HD DVR with a built-in DVD recorder and their own program guide. At least i think it was JVC. Maybe look around for this info . . . . .
post #4 of 12
I think part of the problem is lack of devices with FireWire. It's a catch 22. HD PVR makers are forced to include the entire electronics chain in the box (tuner, DVR, etc), and sometimes the display which raises the prices to astronomical levels.
post #5 of 12
if only 5 % of the people have hd, what percentage of people would buy an hd dvr?

would it really be worth making at this point?
post #6 of 12
there is very little access (besides free to air) to hdtv programming. By access i dont mean availability i mean access to the video directly. Having direct access to the mpeg2 (video compression) stream from your cable or sat provider would make a HDTV pvr much more fesible. At the moment, because of lock in to your providers tuner you must either buy their own PVR box (which has access to the decrypted streams) or use a pc tuner and encode on the fly. Unfortunatly there is no commercial hardware available for pcs to tune digital cable/sat (there is but DVB-S cards are being locked with stronger encryption) or do real time HDTV compression as the power required is huge (though cell processor may be able accomplish this tho it is not available yet) Recompressing the stream after being decoded causes quality loss as well. The pc would also need to use a IR sender (such as IRblaster) to control the hdtv tuner.

In reality HDTV pvr is a mess because of a) lock in to cable/sat provider hardware b) lack of processing power to do realtime hdtv encoding on pc
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I just found out that my local cable company is going to be offering HDTV (local channels plus Discovery HD, ESPN HD, and some others) for $8.00/month on top of basic cable! :D $6.00/month on top of digital cable. That includes an HD PVR! That is a very enticing offer that I will have to go for as soon as I get my projector.
post #8 of 12
I just noticed that my local cable would offer it, but it would still end up totalling about $44.00/month more than what I pay now because I'd have to get their 100 channel digital basic package.

Right now, I have an over the air tuner, all I want is to be able to TiVo those things in HD. I don't want to miss '24' next time it's on -- THAT'S IT. Isn't there some way I can just buy a $300 DVR unit of some kind that would be able to do that?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoma44
I just noticed that my local cable would offer it, but it would still end up totalling about $44.00/month more than what I pay now because I'd have to get their 100 channel digital basic package.

Right now, I have an over the air tuner, all I want is to be able to TiVo those things in HD. I don't want to miss '24' next time it's on -- THAT'S IT. Isn't there some way I can just buy a $300 DVR unit of some kind that would be able to do that?
you won't get an HD unit for $300.00 or anywhere near that, sd yes, hd no.

i found a 2 hd units from sony yesterday on the internet, one was $800.00us and the other was $1000.00us.
post #10 of 12
$300 is how much non-DVR regular HD OTA boxes cost, HD-DVRs are $800-1000 and they only do the network local HD channels. Renting a cable HD box is the cheapest way under $10/month and you get encrypted HD channels as well.
post #11 of 12
Toshiba makes a HD DVR that only works with certain of their latest HDTVs with ATSC tuners and/or cable cards, and I believe it uses either firewire or HDMI to send the signal to the DVR. Sound & Vision reviewed a Toshiba DLP HDTV using the HD DVR in the current issue.

Maybe if and when when the media rights issues get resolved in the consumer's favor the FCC will mandate that cable companies make the digital stream available to OEM DVRs.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoma44
Right now, I have an over the air tuner, all I want is to be able to TiVo those things in HD. I don't want to miss '24' next time it's on -- THAT'S IT. Isn't there some way I can just buy a $300 DVR unit of some kind that would be able to do that?
That's exactly what I do w/my LG 3410a, but it was no where near $300 (and still isn't even second hand). I justified purchase of my HD DVR because 99% of the HD I watch is OTA; I guess I'm in the minority, and low volume=high prices (and few products).
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