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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

what is the best recorder to purchase?


 

I want

 

1) to record digital tv from my antenna

2) has a hard drive

3) no subscription fees

4) hopefully has a dual tuner (can watch or record 2 or more channels at a time)

 

does this exist?
 

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Your best bet would be upgrading to four tuners. Especially if you have a limited number of channels and are OTA only. OTA content is less repeated than subscription so when you miss a recording you take a bigger hit. Basically you double the number of channels when you have four tuners. If you want instant plug and play try TiVo (they have a no subscription option) and if you want to not instantly reject perhaps a better solution (strictly based on x needs) take a look at WMC.

 

Most everything else isn't ready for prime time and you'll pay for it more than you'd ever save... especially long term.
 

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If your willing to put up with a bit of growing pains then the CM DVR+(~$250 less USB HDD) may be your ticket, check the DVR+ master thread for more info.

It's dual tuner and only has HDMI output.
 

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The best option for a hassle free OTA DVR is a TiVo. A new 4 tuner Roamio is $200 or less and then just consider the lifetime subscription of $400 as part of the overall purchase, so $600 or less for the best DVR on the market. If that's to rich then maybe a used 2 tuner Tivo with lifetime off Ebay for around $300 which will be less than the new CM DVR+ and the necessary hard drive add on which will run about $400 or more if you don't have a hard drive handy.
 

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The OP was pretty clear he doesn't want to pay any subscription fees.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription#post_24453709

 

The OP was pretty clear he doesn't want to pay any subscription fees.
 

What's why no one recommended any.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription#post_24453709


The OP was pretty clear he doesn't want to pay any subscription fees.

It all depends on how you look at it, to me the TiVo is a $600 DVR with no subscription and well worth it compared to the $400 DVR+ or HTPC solutions.


TiVo does give you the option of only putting $200 down on a $600 DVR and then making monthly payments (subscription fee) if that's easier on the wallet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription/0_100#post_24453787


It all depends on how you look at it, to me the TiVo is a $600 DVR with no subscription and well worth it compared to the $400 DVR+ or HTPC solutions.


TiVo does give you the option of only putting $200 down on a $600 DVR and then making monthly payments (subscription fee) if that's easier on the wallet.
Don't waste your time trying to explain -- it has been attempted many times. They always go back to "The Subscription" nonsense -- it's the stock in trade straw horse to make the TiVo sound bad.


And in fairness, you can pick up a 1TB external HDD for $60-70, so the DVR+ cost is more in the $325 range not $400.
 

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Yep, there's a few folks here that refuse to consider Tivo under any circumstances no matter how hard you try to point out that they just work and the math (especially with resale value) for a lifetimed Tivo is very favorable. They just spew the usual 'subscription fee' or 'patent defense' nonsense and ignore everything else.
 

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How we'll does TiVo work with OTA if it is disconnected from the internet for awhile?

Does it just need to connect occasionally to update the guide?


That is one thing that made me hesitant on TiVo, since I might be living in an RV for awhile when it sometimes isn't connected.

I like the ChannelMaster DVR+ feature-wise, but my less than two weeks with it haven't been great, and in fact it has stopped working completely now.
 

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Good question, there is about 2 weeks worth of guide data loaded every day when it connects to the TiVo mother ship and you can program it manually but I have no idea how long it will function without those daily connections. Is there WiFi available at some of your RV spots?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription#post_24459702


Good question, there is about 2 weeks worth of guide data loaded every day when it connects to the TiVo mother ship and you can program it manually but I have no idea how long it will function without those daily connections. Is there WiFi available at some of your RV spots?

The real issue is that the Guide (Channel Lineup) will most likely be different at each place you stop . . .
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription#post_24459702


Good question, there is about 2 weeks worth of guide data loaded every day when it connects to the TiVo mother ship and you can program it manually but I have no idea how long it will function without those daily connections. Is there WiFi available at some of your RV spots?

I'm sure some will have WiFi. So, if a lack of connection just means I don't get guide data for awhile, it might not be so bad. Too bad it can't use PSIP as a backup.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription#post_24460214


The real issue is that the Guide (Channel Lineup) will most likely be different at each place you stop . . .

Good point, but If you had an internet connection and a zip code you could do a new guided set-up each time you arrived at a location.
 

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I'm not a phone expert but don't a lot of todays smart phones have the capability of becoming wifi hot spots? So in theory if you had cell coverage, the right phone and data plan couldn't that become your internet connection for the few minutes it needed to update?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription#post_24453511


The best option for a hassle free OTA DVR is a TiVo. A new 4 tuner Roamio is $200 or less and then just consider the lifetime subscription of $400 as part of the overall purchase, so $600 or less for the best DVR on the market. If that's to rich then maybe a used 2 tuner Tivo with lifetime off Ebay for around $300 which will be less than the new CM DVR+ and the necessary hard drive add on which will run about $400 or more if you don't have a hard drive handy.
I've been considering getting a Tivo and just picked up a Premiere (2 tuner) on a clearance table at Walmart for $98 and debating whether it's worth keeping it or getting a Roamio basic. I've looked on the Tivo website and only see $499 for the lifetime subscription unless you're already a customer. Where are you getting the $400 lifetime from? I did find an older discount code that some people have used in the past that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't for new subscribers. Is that what you're referring to?


I've been reading that some say the OTA tuner in the Premiere was not so good but the Roamio is supposedly better. I have cable but may want to use the Tivo OTA features down the road. I've also been considering just using this for occasionally taping OTA shows without a subscription. I've read that you can supposedly use it like a vcr for timer recording without any guide info. I've also read that you can't use it at all to record anything without a subscription, not sure which is accurate. I know it doesn't make much sense to buy a Tivo and not use all it's features but it would probably just be used to record OTA shows to be watched in bed rather than using my cable DVR in my basement. I've been considering getting the Homeworx PVR + portable hard drive for around the same price but it seems like the Tivo would be the better option. Does anyone know for sure if the Premiere can be used without a subscription and also the Roamio?
 

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Yes, for new subscribers that code is suppose to still work if you purchase the TiVo from anywhere but TiVo its self.


I've got both the 2 tuner Premier and the 4 tuner Roamio basic and have found that both tuners work equally well at my location which is 35 and 45 miles from the broadcast towers. Others have reported the Roamio is better so it probably depends on your situation (antenna, pre-amps, distance and direction to towers, multi path issues, etc).


I've never tried recording without a subscription so can't give you a positive answer on that one but I'd always heard that you can't. It supposedly can be used as a digital tuner without the subscription but I'm not sure what use that would be unless you had an older TV without a digital tuner.


If it were me I'd return the Premier and get the Roamio, its definitely the better DVR but the Premier does have one small advantage, cable and OTA at the same time, the Roamio can only do one or the other.
 

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Agreed - the 4-tuner Roamio is easily worth the extra $100 (or less, I've seen them go as cheap as $150) over that clearance Premiere, especially if you're going to put lifetime on it. The sub discount code is PLSR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102  /t/1521474/dvr-without-subscription#post_24462296


...... the Premier does have one small advantage, cable and OTA at the same time, the Roamio can only do one or the other.

Correction: "the Premier does have one major advantage, cable and OTA at the same time, the Roamio can only do one or the other."
 
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