antenna recording advice needed - we cut cable - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-21-2019, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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antenna recording advice needed - we cut cable

So we cut the cable and went back to old fashioned yagi antenna and receive digital broadcasts. What are our best options for a video recorder, like old style VCR but digital? Not interested in paying a subscription fee! If we were, we'd have kept cable.

Thanks for any help you can give. I am lost in this maze. I thought cutting the cable was going to be easy!

Larry
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-21-2019, 08:37 AM
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I am currently working on my plex system and getting ready to cut cable except for internet so I will use plex for the dvr service and you can pay a one time plex pass for life and get the supported tuners and connect through wifi or router. I'm still in the process of doing a lot of research
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-21-2019, 08:59 AM
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I use the Homeworx PVR 150, about $50. You would need to add a portable usb powered hardrive to record. It works just like a vcr did, you can watch one channel while recording another. Make sure to configure it properly.

1- connect antena to homeworx
2- connect a cable (75 ohms) from homeworx to tv to watch channels on tv
3- connect hdmi from homeworx to tv to watch recordings on hardrive
4- under menu, channel search section on homeworx, set modulation to "loop through" this allows for recording and watching at the same time.

To watch tv at the same time as recording, set tv to cable input and watch tv, switch tv input to hdmi to watch recordings

The recording programming is set on the hardrive, if you switch hardrives, you;ll need to reset your recording programming.

I hour recording is about 8GB.

It also features a seven-day EPG as long as the channel(s) sends EPG data.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-21-2019, 10:17 AM
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Since you posted to the DVD recorders group, and that your a little lost, a little sit-rep might be helpful.

The last North American ATSC DVD recorder stopped production in 2017. It was the Magnavox 800 series. No one makes a DVD recorder with a tuner and built-in DVD burner anymore for the North American market. All that are left are used or old stock from places like Amazon or eBay.

The situation for blank DVD media is dire.

The last independent maker of DVD media sold off its patents, trademarks and equipment earlier this year. For all the old stock available, any new stock under any of the old brand names is made by the same manufacturer and mostly only compatible with PC Bluray burners which will also burn DVD discs.. (sometimes) many new Bluray drives do not include the laser to read or burn DVD discs anymore.. probably as a cost saving measure. But they do not advertise this new deficiency.. its simply not listed as a "feature" that people came to expect. Older PC Bluray burners did burn Bluray discs or DVD discs.. this is no longer the normal case.. its converting over to Bluray burners only burn Bluray discs.. and the makers for media for Bluray drives is shrinking as well.

Optical media is truly on its way out. At least Optical blank media that you can burn.. on a standalone recorder or on a PC. Many new PC cases do not even include the 3.5 inch drive [bay] for inserting an old fashioned optical drive.

There are a few Bluray players you can buy for the home from places like Walmart.. but the big names have stopped making Bluray players.

Recording direct to hard disk is the most practical method now, but more often than not its in a format not suitable for archiving or sharing between your devices.

The Homeworx is a fair option.. and the lowest cost.. but its not as smooth a device as you might have expected from the years 2005 or 2006.

Tivo is also another option.. but be aware that Rovi is partitioning its company into a patent and licensing company and guide company and looking for a buyer.. so it may not be long for this world either.

Android TV and homebrew media servers that use MythTV or Windows Media Center are things to explore but not nearly as simple as a Homeworx or slightly used Tivo.

The Homeworx may survive longer than Tivo if the lights are turned out.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-03-2019, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Seal View Post
Not interested in paying a subscription fee! If we were, we'd have kept cable.
If I had a nickle for every optimistic misled soul who posted here with that sentence, I'd be richer than Mike Bloomberg.

Quote:
I am lost in this maze. I thought cutting the cable was going to be easy!
Welcome to reality: it isn't at all easy unless you're a millennial with the attention span of a fruit fly who only consumes TV via on-demand streaming to their smart phone. For anyone else who is used to viewing the traditional way (in front of an actual TV, using a personal recorder of some kind): forget it. The trendy-but-hollow promise of "cut the cord! save a fortune!never pay for TV again!" has a nasty underside, best exemplified by Krusty The Clown's classic line from The Simpsons:

"What they don't know is, I'm rife with disease!"

In other words, rife with "gotchas!" and hurdles and unanticipated problems. Chief among them being, our North American ATSC digital broadcast system is garbage. Reception thats great this month will turn on you and bite your ass off next month, varying channel to channel, even with a roof antenna. We have no decent standardized broadcast-embedded program guide, which is what cheapskate devices like the Homeworx depend on for timer settings. The Homeworx (and its clones) work tolerably for timeshifting, but not reliably, because the ATSC schedule data is often wrong to begin with or errors out while the unit samples it for timer status.

Other than generic Chinese units like the Homeworx with their DIY hard drive requirements, there are no longer any serious alternatives for antenna broadcast recording. Not to be unkind, but "cord cutting" is decidedly not a solution for anyone with zero interest in paying any type of "subscription fees" whatsoever. When the trend began ten years ago, it was spearheaded by youngsters who preferred streaming, and oldsters who still had the option of cheap WalMart-sourced ATSC broadcast DVD/HDD recorders. Today, decent recorders have disappeared, and the majority of cord cutters of all ages have a subscription to at least two streaming services (NetFlix, Hulu+) that obviate the need for recorders at all. The number of people who want to archive recordings permanently, or even need a recorder for timeshifting, has dwindled to nothing in the era of on-demand streaming anytime, anywhere, to any device.

So basically, you'll be living like your grandparents in the 1950s: watching only whatever you can get off the antenna at any given time. With some marginal recorder like the Homeworx perhaps adding a bit of VCR-style flexibility (minus the easy abilty to keep any recordings indefinitely, and minus truly reliable unattended timer recording). A subgroup of geeked-out wireheads here on AVS opt for computer-based recorders like Plex: all I will say there is "good luck with that" (I would rather gouge my eyes out and never watch TV again than deal with the horrendous crapfest we laughingly refer to as "PC Recorder Solutions" in the Windows 10 era).

The future is here, and it doesn't care whether some people don't like it. The rampant popularity of portable devices and streaming has nearly wiped out every other source technology. Broadcast "free" TV is losing its audience at a staggering rate: it may not even be viable in ten years time. Audiences have been literally halving year after year for even popular broadcast shows, eventually they'll have to hit the zero wall (except for sports and a handful of talent contests). So "cutting the cord" is an illusion for most: all we're really doing is changing to a different type of "cord"(with multiple small fees instead of one big monthly bill).
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Last edited by CitiBear; 12-03-2019 at 01:01 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-03-2019, 04:39 PM
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For currently $350 the OP could get a renewed Tivo OTA with no fees. For $300 I got a new one but it was a couple years ago, they may still occasionally go on sale for that but as I already have one I don't really follow them. If shopping for a Tivo just make sure it comes with "all in" where you have no monthly fees. Sometimes you see Tivos much cheaper but then you probably have to pay a monthly fee for the guide service.
Note you do need internet to get the guide for modern Tivos and I've tried those cheap Chinese iViews and such and like Citibear said, for the most part you get what you pay for, which isn't a lot.
https://www.amazon.com/Roamio-OTA-VO...dDbGljaz10cnVl
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-03-2019, 06:40 PM
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Citibear sums it up very nicely.

Truthfully, your going to wind up with a couple of subscription services. In my case I get all I care for from a "blended service" like Amazon Prime.. where your already paying for free shipping and a bundle of other services.

Tivo is still a thing, a good thing, and the Lifetime subscriptions tied to the box work very well.

Last edited by jwillis84; 12-05-2019 at 07:02 AM.
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