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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

Looking to cut the cord to Dish, and want to get a solid OTA DVR that my wife and children can use. Looking for the best rock solid option. I hate that Tivo has a $15 a month charge, is there anyway to get a lifetime sub for that?

Or am I better getting the Channel Master DVR? Is it a solid easy to use product? Do we think Channel Master will be around to support their guide?

Looking for Pro and Cons on both and any feedback is much appreciated!
 

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A little searching will bring many answers... just suggesting... you'll learn a lot more that way.
 

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Get a Tivo with lifetime, not as cheap as a CM+ but from your description it sounds like your best bet.
Note I have a very nice Sony HDTV, it used to have a very nice TVGOS guide, until Rovi decided to stop supporting it :( Now it's just a nice HDTV. If it were a DVR(like the one of the DHG Sonys or LG) I'd have a very nice, well......just something to think about.
Of course Tivo could go belly up and you'd be in the same boat but personally I'm not worried :)
The CM+ is probably a pretty decent DVR, just depends on what your expecting and the price you can justify.
 

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I haven't used a Tivo but investigated it before getting the CM DVR+. I didn't want to pay either $15 per month for a guide or buy a lifetime guide for what amounts to about 3 years of subscription (it looks to me like we are on the cusp of big changes in the OTA / Internet TV space and 3 years could bring big changes). The least expensive Tivo Roamio unit is at Best Buy for $50 but does not have the option of a lifetime guide, so it's a $15 a month commitment.

I like the DVR+ a lot; dead simple to set up and it functions just like a cable DVR. Negatives for some people are that it only has two tuners (I think the Tivo uniits have 4 or 6). If you are in a metro area the included Rovio guide is very nice, going out about two weeks.

I suspect the Tivo is better, but for me, the cost difference was too great.
 

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CM+ is a decent mid range DVR with mid level features but with only 2 tuner which may not be enough for your needs-not sufficient for me.
As another member stated and if you can afford it your best bet is Tivo Roamio + Mini's w/Lifetime.
CM does not have whole home support at this time if that is important to you.
I personally have Tivo's + CM+'s + Mini + Sony DVR + LG DVR + Media Center PC + others......
Tivo is used daily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
CM+ is a decent mid range DVR with mid level features but with only 2 tuner which may not be enough for your needs-not sufficient for me.
As another member stated and if you can afford it your best bet is Tivo Roamio + Mini's w/Lifetime.
CM does not have whole home support at this time if that is important to you.
I personally have Tivo's + CM+'s + Mini + Sony DVR + LG DVR + Media Center PC + others......
Tivo is used daily.

I thought you could not get Tivo Roamio OTA with Lifetime. Is it possible?
 

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I personally feel the 2 tuner limitation is a BIG limitation, especially with programs routinely running a bit longer than the 30/60 minute time slots and potentially losing bits of the start / end of programs.
This is not 2006 where we were just happy to have the option to buy a Tivo S3 which could record HD broadcasts! 6 Tuners is sooooo nice on my Roamio (top model).
 

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WOW, that would be $650 (150 for the Unit, 500 for Life Sub). That is pretty expensive :)
Lifetime sub = $400 with PLSR discount code so make that $550.
Yes, that is expensive but completely reasonable for a high-end box with the high-end feature set that TiVo offers. People who recognize the high-end value of TiVo and can afford TiVo, buy TiVo -- for the rest there is the DVR+ and the iView.
 
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There are a couple of ways to look at the pricing. One is to consider what you are paying now for cable / satellite and a DVR. If you're paying more than $50 a month than even the Tivo Roamio Basic with lifetime ... around $550 to $600 ... is a good deal with a 2 year payback. A DVR+ runs about $300 plus the hard drive (if you don't have one laying around), so at $360 or so it comes out to about 14 months payback time.

My concern is that over the top TV is coming very quickly with Sling.TV, HBO, the network channels and others just starting to offer programming without the affiliate / cable / satellite middleman in the mix. I don't know that the Tivos people are buying today with "lifetime" subscriptions will be updated for the coming way of watching TV, so choosing the least expensive but acceptable option for my non-technical family makes more sense to me. YMMY.
 

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My concern is that over the top TV is coming very quickly with Sling.TV, HBO, the network channels and others just starting to offer programming without the affiliate / cable / satellite middleman in the mix. I don't know that the Tivos people are buying today with "lifetime" subscriptions will be updated for the coming way of watching TV, so choosing the least expensive but acceptable option for my non-technical family makes more sense to me. YMMY.
OTA Broadcasts and linear cable channels are not going anywhere for a very long time, While there will be more and more Streaming Services available over the next several years, they will not replace OTA and linear cable, there simply is not enough bandwidth for everyone to stream everything they want. Besides are you really willing to pay $5-$15/mo for every channel you want to stream. A great DVR like TiVo is the best option for the foreseeable future.

TiVo has been updating their software at a record pace over the last two years, and have added Amazon Prime Streaming, and I would bet HBOGo and or HBO Now will be on the list next.
 

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I have been using TiVo for OTA since the introduction of the above mentioned Series 3. I stick with it as I paid for lifetime but have also tried some alternatives. My warning is that TiVo customer support is not at all knowledgeable about OTA. Over the years I have tried calling many times over guide issues. There is also the critical problem of virtual channels vs. "real" broadcast channels. Anyone considering OTA needs to understand that many local stations do not actually broadcast on the channel number that they advertise themselves as. If TiVo has the guide information on the wrong "real" channel, one either has no guide information to record from, or worse can not even manually tune that channel.
I have been told more than once by TiVo reps that I simply need a new antenna. No matter how many times I repeat that my reception is great but that the problem is that their information is wrong, they will come right back to blaming my antenna. TiVo's "channel problem" section on the web site is not even set up for OTA. One must enter "ANTENNA" for the name of the cable company and I put my own phone number for the cable company's phone number.
On the other hand, I tried Channel Master's first attempt at an OTA recorder and returned it due to fatal flaws such as a "known bug" that caused a glitch every 30 seconds on some channels. I would consider the new version, but really hope something else comes along when my old Series 3 finally gives up the ghost.
 

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My concern is that over the top TV is coming very quickly with Sling.TV, HBO, the network channels and others just starting to offer programming without the affiliate / cable / satellite middleman in the mix. I don't know that the Tivos people are buying today with "lifetime" subscriptions will be updated for the coming way of watching TV, so choosing the least expensive but acceptable option for my non-technical family makes more sense to me. YMMY.
Yeah and that's what a $70 Roku or even cheaper Fire TV stick is for, assuming you want something Tivo doesn't provide.

Doesn't change the fact that channel-based delivery and DVR functionality is not going away any time soon, nor that having a DVR and being able to watch what you want (with commercial skip) when you want has a lot of value.

If you go streaming only be prepared to watch a lot of commercials and have stuff come and go whenever they feel like doing it. To me it's just a nice bennie to have as an option, but there's no way I'm giving up the control that a DVR provides over how I watch content.
 

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Yeah and that's what a $70 Roku or even cheaper Fire TV stick is for, assuming you want something Tivo doesn't provide.

Doesn't change the fact that channel-based delivery and DVR functionality is not going away any time soon, nor that having a DVR and being able to watch what you want (with commercial skip) when you want has a lot of value.

If you go streaming only be prepared to watch a lot of commercials and have stuff come and go whenever they feel like doing it. To me it's just a nice bennie to have as an option, but there's no way I'm giving up the control that a DVR provides over how I watch content.
What some of us want is one box that does it all ... allows us to subscribe to streaming services such as Netflix, play media (video and slide shows of our images) from our network, and play OTA TV. The DVR+ has a great interface so far, with the streaming services they support as "channels" in the guide. Add more, and include local network streaming, and the mass appeal of the device soars.

Switching inputs is a major barrier in my house (that has killed the HTPC and Roku type devices). You turn the system on and its all there.

Someone will do it, either Tivo, CM, some subsidiary of E*, or one of the current players in the field. The new device will make the 1980's technology of switching inputs a thing of the past. In another thread someone mentioned that Tivo does have an app that lets you stream content from your network and they have added Amazon Prime. I don't know if you can get that from an older Tivo unit or if it's only from the Roamio series. If they didn't include it for the older boxes with "lifetime subscriptions" you have to spend another $500 to $600 to get it. That's the type of built-in obsolescence that all hardware can face, and why the "lifetime" option doesn't appeal to me. Sure, it will still be usable, but not for everything I might want to do. I can record and fast forward through my VCR too, but I want the new options.

We don't know what will come in the three years. I don't want to have to think too much about buying the next box. So for me, the CM DVR+ fits the bill right now; the WAF is really high with it, it looks like it will give me a few years of service, and the payback time is short enough.
 

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What some of us want is one box that does it all ...
Years ago there was a gentleman who posted the perfect response to such posts... "I want a pony." I can't help but fondly remember them when I look back.
 

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What some of us want is one box that does it all ... allows us to subscribe to streaming services such as Netflix, play media (video and slide shows of our images) from our network, and play OTA TV.
TiVo has recently implemented 1-pass in which they integrate the major Internet streaming content sources you may subscribe to (Amazon, NetFlix, Hulu, etc.) into the program search interface so not only do you not switch inputs you never have to deal with the interface for the various suppliers. Everything runs transparently through the TiVo interface. New fledgling streaming services like Sling TV and HBO Now are just that -- new kids that have yet to prove themselves viable in the market going forward. When they have worked out their kinks and shown themselves to be viable enough to invest resources in, TiVo will do something to accommodate them just as they have recently done with the other services that have shown themselves viable enough to be considered "major players". TiVo also provides a server app that you can run on a Media-PC. It enables bi-directional transfers of non-protected recorded content for unlimited storage space on a server. It enables you to publish your photos on the server to the TiVo so you can stream them as a slide show. It enables you to publish music on the server to the TiVo for playback -- formats are limited. It enables you to publish videos on the server to the TiVo for playback -- formats are limited. All of this is done from the TiVo interface.

If they didn't include it for the older boxes with "lifetime subscriptions" you have to spend another $500 to $600 to get it. That's the type of built-in obsolescence that all hardware can face, and why the "lifetime" option doesn't appeal to me. Sure, it will still be usable, but not for everything I might want to do. I can record and fast forward through my VCR too, but I want the new options.
People continually abuse the concept of lifetime as if one could possibly buy a box that does everything a TiVo does with continuing support for $150-200. There are two ways to buy a TiVo -- either buy it outright for its full purchase price or pay a little upfront and a continuing monthly fee. Is this concept so different from buying vs. leasing an automobile? Leasing makes it possible for people to drive a car they can't possibly afford to buy -- that is crux of the TiVo subscription model.

Technology marches on and if you want to march with it to have the latest and greatest you have to pay -- simple fact of digital-age life. New faster processors and other advanced hardware are put in new boxes that enable new features that weren't possible before. Old hardware can't keep up so you eventually have to upgrade if you want those new features.
 
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