Sorry if I threw too much at you. I'm certainly not trying to talk you into a TiVo. It's certainly not the right product for me ... but it did seem to tick most of your boxes. Price-wise, I think you're looking at the TiVo Bolt VOX (and not the Bolt OTA) when you're looking at the TiVo site. It's true that the Bolt VOX w/lifetime is around $850 total
. The Bolt OTA on the other hand is $500 w/lifetime
. If you went with the previous model of the Roamio OTA, you're looking at $350 via weaknees site
or TiVo's site
for a refurb. (I wouldn't have any problem with it being a refurb.) That's what I was thinking of when thinking about the price differences -- that $350 price point.
For your use-case, there isn't going to be too much of a difference. Go the HDHomeRun/Plex option - you have a lot more flexibility in future tuner additions as well as clients that can be attached to your television. (As well as better PC or mobile viewing). This does come with the overhead of needing them connected via your network as well as a machine to run the recording engine on.
I was just suggesting that given your needs to simply have it hooked straight up to a television - have a guide - record 2 channels, etc - that for $350 you have a simple solution that meets those needs. If alternative client use isn't a priority - I'm not sure an HDHomeRun/Plex solution is the best fit. Note that TiVo has things like Skip Mode for most primetime programming for quick commercial avoidance. For me - I already have an auto commercial removal for things TiVo doesn't have SkipMode for so it isn't a feature that jazzes me like it does some others.
I should point out that although network based solutions like HDHomeRun aren't as simple as connect-to-the-TV solutions like TiVo ... it also ain't rocket-science. The guides
posted above, for example, do a pretty good job of getting you up to speed (and there are others, as well). So if you're thinking of a more home-brew approach using network tuners, it won't be as simple (and it won't be connected directly to the TV as you mentioned above -- HDHomeRun connects to your network and antenna. A client of some kind would still need to be connected to the TV). But it's also not some daunting task that only tech-geeks can master either. :-)
In short: If you want the HDHomeRun/Plex solution, here's how it fits your requirements:
I want only local channels
. -- Yes, you can use with an antenna to get your locals.
I want to hook the device to my Samsung Smart TV
. -- Kind of. The device itself doesn't hook up to your TV. It hooks up to your network. It's only a tuner. You hook up a client to the TV. Note that if you go the Shield route, the Shield can act as the recording engine and client while hooked up to the TV. Otherwise, both the tuner and recording engine are on the network. Side note: tablo has a recording engine
that can work with the Shield also.
I want to be able to record two shows while watching a third
. -- Yes, can be done with either option.
I want to be able to view program schedules a week or two in advance and tag/record from that schedule and view that schedule on my TV.
-- With guide data subscription, yes
I want to record to DVR
. -- Yup. Either choice gets you that.
So far, it will be on one TV with a small chance of a 2nd TV literally under the 1st TV (lower floor)
-- Pretty much a wash with only 1 TV (or even a possible 2nd TV). You could get a TiVo mini for the 2nd TV (or wait for the promised streaming box apps) with a TiVo recording solution. With a Plex/Emby solution (or Tablo), you could get an inexpensive streaming box/stick for the 2nd TV
So it looks like your main sticking point is how important is it to be a cablebox-like solution of having the box connected directly to the TV? If fairly important (and I understand the wife-acceptance-factor of that requirement) - then perhaps a network tuner isn't the right solution. If not that important (and the additional slight overhead involved comparing HDHomeRun/Plex or Emby against TiVo) - then the network tuner solutions compare pretty favorably with TiVo.
I should also point out that should you want to archive recordings, I think a network-based solution is easier. Although it is true that there are easy tools out there for removing programs off a TiVo - I still don't find them as flexible or easy when compared to just pulling titles off my external hard drive. :-)