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Discussion Starter #1
Last Updated: May 19, 2010


The following table compares the off-air and cable HDTV recorders available for purchase and ownership. These are the only standalone products still available that will record high-definition without a satellite subscription or cable STB/DVR rental fees.


There are satellite DVRs that can receive OTA signals, but those leased DVRs do not function without both a satellite subscription and DVR fee. Cable companies will not activate any other consumer-owned DVRs, aside from those below and the discontinued Sony DHD. The Cisco, Motorola, Pace, and Scientific Atlanta recorders sold on ebay/craigslist will not work on any U.S. cable system.


One SD recorder (Magnavox 2160) is included for comparison.

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 Magnavox
H2160
TViX
6620N
DTVPal
DVR
TivoHD
DISCONTINUED
Tivo PremiereMoxiMoxi v2
TRIPLE TUNER
 SD RecorderHD RecorderHD RecorderHD RecorderHD RecorderHD RecorderHD Recorder
INTRO & PRICING       
Release dateDec 2008Nov 2009Dec 2008Jul 2007Apr 2010Apr 2009Nov 2009
Price online$227$369 + HDD$299$175
XL: $349
$229-299
XL: $399-499
$499$599
DVR subscription fees required?NoneNoneNone$12.99/mo
or $129/yr
$12.99/mo
or $129/yr
IncludedIncluded
One-time payment as alternative to fees?NoneNoneNone$299-399$299-399IncludedIncluded
Total upfront cost without any future fees$227$400+$300$575
XL: $750
$598-699
XL: $698-$898
$499$599
        
TUNERS1
ATSC/QAM/NTSC
2
ATSC/QAM
2
ATSC
2
ATSC/QAM/NTSC
2
ATSC/QAM/NTSC
2
QAM
3
QAM
        
SOURCES SUPPORTED       
Antenna: Off-air channelsXXXXX 
Cable: Analog channels*X  (Unreliable)X($129 option)($129 option)
Cable: Unencrypted digital SD/HD localsX(Unreliable)XXXX
Cable: Encrypted digital cable channels with CableCard   XXXX
Cable: Switched Digital Video compatible (Issues)   (Requires TA )(Requires TA )(Requires TA )(Requires TA )*
Separate coax inputs for antenna and cable   XX  
        
BASIC FUNCTIONALITY       
Program guide  XXXXX
High-definition picture with Dolby Digital XXXXXX
Pause, instant replay, and rewind on liveTVXXXXXXX
Record X different channels simultaneously122222*3**
Recording time estimate (built-in)33 SD hours
(66 SD w/ SP)
 30 HD hours21 HD hours
XL: 157 HD hours
46 HD hours
XL: 156 HD hours
75 HD hours75 HD hours
Recording time with plug-and-play external drive 300 HD hours* 165 HD hours
XL: 300 HD hours
190 HD hours
XL: 300 HD hours
375 HD hours*375 HD hours*
Record scheduling methodTimersTimersTimersName-basedName-basedName-basedName-based
Recorded programs are listed with program title  XXXXX
Watch one channel while you record another XXXXXX
Watch a previously recorded program while recordingX XXXXX
Watch a recording-in-progress from the beginningX XXXXX
Remembers where you left off in every recordingXXXXXXX
Pause, replay, 30sec skip, slo mo, multiple speeds of FF/RWX(All except slo)XXXXX
Skip 15+ minutes at a time X XXXX
Play recordings at 0.8 - 1.3x speed with audioX      
Progress bar (on trickplay) shows current position in videoXXXXXXX
Conflict management   XXXX
Record programs it thinks you will like using free space   XX  
Set default settings for single and series recordings    XXX
Correctly handles Daylight Savings Time (DST) changes(Manual)X(Unreliable)XXXX
Closed captions on recordingsX XXXXX
        
PROGRAM INFORMATION       
Method of guide data delivery antennaantennaInternet or phoneInternet or phoneInternetInternet
Days of informationNoneCurrent program
(when available)
8 days
in these markets
14 days14 days14 days14 days
Program titles on all channels  Most localsXXXX
Basic program descriptions  Most locals
in these markets
XXXX
Poster images for every program    X 
Detailed program descriptions, actors, original airdate, new or repeat   XXXX
Program information available 24/7/365   XXXX
Program information never goes out for a channel   XXXX
No CableCard needed for info on ClearQAM channels   (Requires CableCard )(Requires CableCard )XX
Source of program information PSIPTVGOS
PSIP as backup
Tribune Media
via TiVo servers
Tribune +Rovi
via TiVo servers
Tribune Media
via Moxi servers
Tribune Media
via Moxi servers
        
LIVETV FEATURES       
Buffer always active when recorder is onX(Only after pause)XXXXX
Buffer time for pause, replay, rewind on liveTV6 hours SDUnlimited
(One tuner only)
1 hour HD
(One tuner only)
1 hour HD
(30 mins per tuner)
1 hour HD
(30 mins per tuner)
3+ hours HD
(1.5+ hrs per tuner)
4.5+ hours HD
(1.5+ hrs per tuner)
Number of tuners with independent liveTV buffers1112223
Swap between multiple tuners without losing buffer or pause position   XX(Loses position)(Loses position)
Pause, replay, etc available when recording in background XXXXX
Buffer is not reset when you change the channel on a tunerXX    
Save entire buffer to a recordingX X    
Save buffer for current program to recording   XXXX
        
RECORD FEATURES       
Records HD video without quality loss(Records in SD)XXXXXX
Records Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundXXXXXX
Timer-based recording (records using VCR-like timers)XXX(User option)(User option)  
Name-based recording (records and tracks programs by their name)   XXXX
Record only new episodes and ignore repeats option   XXXX
Custom series recordings to record by user-defined criteria   XX  
Series manager to prioritize what is recorded when 3+ programs conflict   XXXX
Adjusts schedule automatically when programs change their days, times, and/or lengths   XXXX
Programs missed due to conflicts are automatically recorded the next time they air   XXXX
Overlap protection to eliminate conflicts when programs overlap by up to 5 minutes   XX  
Keeps recorded history to prevent same program from recording twice   XXXX
Restrict series recordings to a single timeslot   (Req manual timer)(Req manual timer)XX
Start recordings early or end late(Schedule edit)(Schedule edit)XXXXX
Keep only the last X episodes of a show   XXXX
Keep each recording "until I delete" or "until space is needed"  XXXXX
Deletes oldest recording (not "keep until I delete") when space req'd for new recording  (Bugged)XXXX
Record from antenna and cable channels simultaneously   XX  
Record composite/s-video inputX      
Edit recorded videoX(Only after offload) (Only after offload)(Only after offload)  
        
GUIDE FEATURES       
Guide implementationNoneNoneGridGrid / TiVo-styleGrid / TiVo-styleGrid / Moxi-styleGrid / Moxi-style
Grid-style guide details  9 channels
3 hrs per channel
8 channels
1.5 hrs per channel
?6 channels
3 hrs per channel
6 channels
3 hrs per channel
Customizable favorites list   XX(Based on usage)(Based on usage)
Picture window while browsing guide   (Overlay)XXX
Guide genre filters (show only movies, only sports, etc)   XXXX
Create recording from program guide selection XXXXX
View program guide without interrupting recorded playback  XXXX
Record indicators for future programs in guide  X (Not at release)XX
Permanently delete individual channels from box XXXXXX
Displays antenna and cable channels in a single guide  XX  
Displays digital and analog cable channels in a single guide  XX(With analog dongle)(With analog dongle)
Connects daily to an Internet time server to ensure accurate clock X XXXX
Navigate through guide 90+ minutes at a time XXXX
Navigate through guide 24 hours at a time  XXXXX
Guide data available for past timeslots   XX  
        
SEARCH FEATURES       
Search program titles and descriptions  XXXXX
Search results sorted by name or popularity  (Name only)XX(Name only)(Name only)
Search program titles, descriptions, actors, directors, and categories   XXXX
Search with multiple fields and boolean operators (AND/OR/NOT)   XX  
Save searches   XX  
Record all future matches of a saved search ( examples )   XX  
Search available VOD titles on Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster   XX  
        
DVR UI       
High-definition DVR interface (with screenshot) Some menusUpconverted
SD
SD on HD
background
XXX
Picture window in menus / Can it be hidden or turned off?  (Most)
No, always on
 X
Yes, can be disabled
X
No, always on
X
No, always on
Number of programs shown on recorded list screen676891010
Recorded list shows name and date of every recording (Only for OTA)(Name only)XXXX
Recorded list can be sorted by name or date(Date only)(Date only)XXX(Name only)(Name only)
Recorded list distinguishes between watched and unwatched programs    X  
Multiple episodes of same program grouped into folders with episode names and dates   XXXX
Play entire folder of recordings, back-to-back with one button press   XX  
Single-click delete with Recently Deleted folder and undelete   XX  
Record schedule shows names and dates of all upcoming programs (Locals only) XXXX
Recorded history shows why programs didn't record  (Limited)XXXX
Free disk space estimateXXX(Recently Deleted)XXX
No advertising of any kindXXXpause ,
main menu
 XX
        
CAPACITY EXPANSION       
External drive interface USB eSATAeSATAeSATAeSATA
Plug-and-play external drive expansion Up to 2 TB Up to 1 TBUp to 1TBUp to 6 TB w/ RAIDUp to 6 TB w/ RAID
Maximum recording time with plug-and-play expansion 300 HD hours 165 HD hours
300 HD hours on XL
190 HD hours
300 HD hours on XL
375 HD hours (2TB)
1000 HD hours (RAID)
375 HD hours (2TB)
1000 HD hours (RAID)
Interface seamlessly integrates contents of internal and external drives   XXXX
Contents of external drive are encrypted and inaccessible to a PC   XXXX
Allows unlimited number of interchangeable, plug-and-play drives     XX
Allows internal hard drive upgrades (voids warranty)Up to 500 GBUp to 2 TBUp to 1 TBUp to 1.26 TB
Up to 2.1 TB on XL
Up to 2.2 TB??
        
REMOTE SCHEDULING       
Schedule recordings via web and mobile phone   XXXX
Real-time conflict management for remote scheduling     XX
Edit and/or delete scheduled recordings online     XX
View list of recorded programs and upcoming recordings online   XXXX
        
PARENTAL CONTROL OPTIONS       
Separate, content filtered recorded list for children   X(Only in SD UI)  
Require 4-digit PIN to view blocked content  XXXXX
Block certain channels (i.e. require PIN to tune)  XXXXX
Block TV programs at or above certain rating (ex: TV PG)  (If info available)XXXX
Block movies at or above certain rating (ex: R, NC-17)  (If info available)XXXX
Block unrated movies and/or TV programs  XXXXX
Block all programs with specific content (sexual content, violence, etc)  (If info available)XX  
Parental controls temporarily disabled when PIN is entered, and then:  XXXXX
(a) Parental controls re-enable after channel change or recording exit  X   
(b) Parental controls re-enable after a preset time period     XX
(c) Parental controls re-enable after period of remote inactivity   XX(Uses preset timer)(Uses preset timer)
(d) Parental controls re-enable after DVR is set to off/standby   XX(Uses preset timer)(Uses preset timer)
Parental controls can be turned off completely (with PIN)  XXXXX
        
OFFLOAD RECORDINGS       
Offload implementation SAMBA, FTP HTTP
View 1 , 2
HTTP
View 1 , 2
  
Download all recorded files from OTA & unencrypted cable channels X XX  
Download all recorded files from encrypted cable channels flagged as CCI=0x00  XX  
Download all recorded files from encrypted cable channels flagged as CCI=0x02      
Software to automatically download episodes of favorite series after they record   XX  
All recordings downloaded as is, including full HD with DD5.1 X XX  
View and edit recorded files on a computer X XX  
Burn recorded files to Blu-ray disk or DVD X XX  
Transfer recordings to mobile device (iPod, ZuneHD, etc) (W/ other software) XX  
Transfer HD and SD recorded files from computer back to DVR X XX  
Format of recorded files TS MPGTS/MPG  
Network throughput for recorded file downloads 25Mbps 9 Mbps60Mbps  
        
MULTI-ROOM FUNCTIONALITY       
Multi-room implementation   Transfers
to other DVRs
Transfers
to other DVRs
Streams
to DVRs or extenders
Streams
to DVRs or extenders
Network throughput for multi-room   16-24Mbps70-90Mbps??
Each DVR can send HD recordings to X rooms simultaneously   1112
Multi-room viewing works with copy protected recordings (ex: HBO)    (Not at release)XX
Pause a recording in one room and resume it in a another   XXXX
Completed recordings can be viewed in another room   XXXX
Recordings-in-progress can be viewed in another room    (Not at release)XX
FF/REW through entire recordings without waiting for transfer    (Not at release)XX
All DVRs in home can share a single series manager       
Recorded programs on multiple DVRs are all combined into a single list   (Sub menu)(Sub menu)XX
Network throughput sufficient to skip all commercials without delay   SometimesAlwaysAlwaysAlways
Set-top extenders available to view recorded programs     XX
Set-top extenders can schedule, manage, and delete recordings       
Set-top extenders can view EPG and liveTV using DVR's tuners     XX
        
PC MEDIA       
DLNA compliant X  (Not at release)XX
DIVX support Up to 1080p (Requires PC )Up to 1080pUp to 480pUp to 480p
MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 support X(Not enabled)XXXX
WMA Pro 7.1 audio support X  X  
Full 1080p output on PC video files X  XXX
Browse network shares without PC software X     
Transfer PC videos to DVR for viewing X XX  
Stream PC videos to DVR for viewing X (Limited)(Limited)XX
Play music stored on computer elsewhere in home(DVD only)X XXXX
View pictures stored on computer elsewhere in home(DVD only)X XXXX
Play videos, music, or view pictures while recording TV(DVD only)  XXXX
        
NETWORK CONNECTIVITY       
Wired network connection 100Mbps100Mbps100Mbps100Mbps100Mbps100Mbps
Wireless network connection 802.11n(Requires bridge)($39 option)($39 option)(Requires bridge)(Requires bridge)
Connects daily to an Internet time server to ensure accurate clock X XXXX
Download software updates using network connection XXXXXX
Ticker bar to show headlines, stock ticker, sports scores on screen     XX
Subscribe to specific RSS video feeds and podcasts   XX  
Amazon OnDemand SD/HD with "TV Passes"   XX  
Blockbuster OnDemand SD/HD   XX  
Roxio CinemaNow    X  
Vudu OnDemand HD and HDX      
Netflix SD/HD streaming   XXSD only
(Requires PC)
SD only
(Requires PC)
Youtube X XX(Requires PC)(Requires PC)
        
CONNECTIONS       
HDMIv1.1v1.3v1.1v1.1v1.3v1.3v1.3
Component / S-Video / CompositeX/X/X-/-/XX/-/XX/X/XX/-/XX/X/XX/X/X
Maximum native output resolution480p1080p1080i1080i1080p1080p1080p
High-definition output through HDMI and component? (HDMI only)XXXXX
Downconverts HD video to SD over s-video and compositeX(Composite only)(Composite only)X(Composite only)XX
Native output mode to output all video as is without conversion   XXXX
All HD and SD outputs active simultaneously  XXX  
Allows 16:9 anamorphic output through SD connectionsX?XXX  
Coax passthrough for TV tunerX (When off)    
Firewire (IEEE 1394)       
       
HARDWARE DETAILS       
System chip?Realtek
RTD1283
STMicro
STi7109
Broadcom
BCM7401
Broadcom
BCM7413
Broadcom
BCM7400
Broadcom
BCM7400
Processor DetailsSingle-core
133MHz(?)
Single-core
400MHz
Single-core
266MHz
Single-core
300MHz
Dual-core
400MHz
Dual-core
350MHz
Dual-core
350MHz
Graphics Details2D only2D only2D only2D only2D + 3D
(Supports OpenGL)
2D + 3D
(Supports OpenGL)
2D + 3D
(Supports OpenGL)
System memory32 MB (?)
SDRAM
256 MB
DDR400
160 MB
DDR400
256 MB
DDR400
512 MB
DDR2-800
256 MB
DDR2-800
512 MB
DDR2-800
Hard drive (internal)160 GB(Sold separately)250 GB160 GB
1000 GB on XL
320 GB
1000 GB on XL
500 GB500 GB
Power consumption33W (in use)20W (in use)22W38W26W32W32W
ENERGY STAR certified    X  
        
OTHER       
Multistream CableCard slot
A single "M-CARD" supports all tuners with digital cable
   XXXX
Supports wired and wireless USB keyboards    X  
Requires phone line? Requires Internet connection?NoNoNo(Req Internet or phone)(Req Internet or phone)(Req Internet)(Req Internet)
Supports cable company OnDemandNoNoN/ANoNoNoNo
Built-in DVD writerX      
        
WARRANTY       
Parts warrantyOne yearOne year90 daysOne yearOne yearOne yearOne year
Extended warranty available?Walmart.com
2 years for $20
3 years for $29
 Sears.com
2yr for $45
TiVo.com
2 years for $30
3 years for $40
TiVo.com
2 years for $30
3 years for $40
  
Cost to repair/replace after warranty expires?$369$300$150$150$75 + parts cost$75 + parts cost
Cost to transfer lifetime service to a replacement DVRN/AN/AN/AFree for three years
$199 after three years
Free for three years
$199 after three years
N/AN/A
        
SCREENSHOTS       
Recorded list ViewView 1 , 2 , 3View 1 , 2 , 3 , 4ViewView
Browse TV   View 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  
Program guide ViewView 1 , 2View 1 , 2 View 1 , 2View 1 , 2
Program info ViewViewView 1 , 2ViewView
Record schedule  ViewView   
Search  ViewView 1 , 2View 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5View 1 , 2View 1 , 2
Main menu  ViewViewViewViewView
Progress bar  ViewView ViewView
Create recording  ViewViewViewViewView
Record options  ViewViewViewViewView
Manage/edit programs to record  ViewView  
Network video playback  View 1 , 2  
Multi-room viewing  View 1 , 2  
Offload recordings  View 1 , 2 , 3View 1 , 2 , 3  
        
VIDEO DEMOS  ViewView 1 , 2ViewView
        
DISCUSSION THREADSViewViewViewViewViewViewView

A more concise comparison of the DTVPal DVR, Moxi, TiVo Premiere, and DirecTV DVR is linked HERE . This is not a comprehensive feature breakdown; it only lists and compares those features that differ between the four products.


Another DVR sold online is the Channel Master CM-7000PAL. This is a rebadged DTVPal DVR with a longer warranty for an extra $100 MSRP.

Notes

* On most cable systems, installing a CableCard allows one to receive digital versions of all cable channels, thus eliminating the need for analog tuners.

* Third tuner is disabled and unusable when a Cisco STA1520 SDV tuning adapter is connected. Moxi does not exhibit this limitation with the Motorola MTR700 tuning adapter.

* Moxi allows recording of one analog channel when the $129 USB analog dongle is connected. The analog dongle is treated as a separate third or fourth tuner, all of which can be used at the same time.

* This capacity assumes use of 2TB external drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
reserved
 

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I have Verizon Fios with two tivohds in 2 rooms with cable card rentals. I need fios in a 3rd room, but do not need tivo and also want to avoid renting a STB. Can anybody confirm if the DTVPal will work with verizon fios?


Unlike other cable providers where if you don't want to rent a stb, you can plug the coaxial directly into your tv and receive basic channels, Fios does not allow you to do that. You need a STB!! Kind of annoying.


Please advise. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Future questions regarding specific devices should be asked in the appropriate thread. The thread for each product is linked at the very top of the table; just click the product name to display its thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aronsonstack /forum/post/17847290


I have Verizon Fios with two tivohds in 2 rooms with cable card rentals. I need fios in a 3rd room, but do not need tivo and also want to avoid renting a STB. Can anybody confirm if the DTVPal will work with verizon fios?

The DTVPal DVR only works with signals from an antenna. It does not work with cable or FiOS.


There are distribution systems you can use to send the signal from the TiVo (or any other STB/DVR) to another room with full remote access. The best is probably the combination of the Slingcatcher and Slingbox . The Slingbox takes the A/V output and remote signals (using an IR blaster) from the TiVo or any other device, and makes them available on another TV with a Slingcatcher. The Slingcatcher effectively mirrors any device connected to a Slingbox, albeit with loss to picture quality and remote responsiveness.


Call your local Best Buy to see if they have any Slingcatchers left for $99. That product is $199 online, but many stores have (or had) them for $99. If you can find one for $99, then also find a Slingbox Solo or a Slingbox HD. As mentioned above, there is quality loss with this method, so it's most suitable for a third room with a non-HD display.


Another alternative would be some sort of media streamer device, if you are willing to give up liveTV. You could set your PC to download all recordings from the TiVo to a networked hard drive, and then access and play those recordings from a media streaming product like the WDTV Live. Ask in the TiVo thread if you want more information on that.
 

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I don't understand why you don't list a PC based DVR in the chart. They are certainly still available. I've got 6 Tuners in mine that will record up to 30 programs at once, and the cost is less than most of these and doesn't have most of the limitations of these. And a dual tuner system wouldn't cost as much as any of these with some smart shopping. Only drawback is you have to put it together. Takes about an hour or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewell /forum/post/17891829


I don't understand why you don't list a PC based DVR in the chart. They are certainly still available. I've got 6 Tuners in mine that will record up to 30 programs at once, and the cost is less than most of these and doesn't have most of the limitations of these. And a dual tuner system wouldn't cost as much as any of these with some smart shopping. Only drawback is you have to put it together. Takes about an hour or two.

AVS has a dedicated forum for HTPC solutions. There are some excellent PC software solutions for recording local channels and analog channels, such as Windows Media Center, SageTV, and BeyondTV.


This is a table comparison of standalone DVR products, i.e. consumer electronics devices that do not require PC setup, maintenance, or any kind of PC, Windows, or keyboard navigation to use. They consume 1/4 to 1/6 the electricity of the typical HTPC during recording and playback, although using sleep mode will minimize PC consumption. Picture quality on standalones is generally superior to HTPCs, most of which are not setup to handle the proper color conversion from YPrPb (used by HD content) to RGB (used on computers) output; that is correctable through the right hardware and software, but it increases setup complexity.


If you don't mind the setup and maintenance, which varies in time and effort by platform, then PC software and tuner solutions add TiVo-like DVR functionality for locals and analog channels to an existing PC for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately, cable channels (i.e. non-locals) are available only in encrypted digital form on more and more cable systems, including FiOS, RCN, and soon all Comcast systems. This trend will continue, as other large MSOs plan similar analog->encrypted digital transitions over the next two years.


At this time, only one PC tuner is available to support encrypted digital cable -- the ATI OCUR ($200-$250). That single-tuner product is discontinued and requires a CableCard to support every PC tuner, unlike standalone CE devices which support multiple tuners with a single CableCard. Ceton will address that limitation with their four-tuner CableCard device for Windows 7 Media Center, slated for release by March 31 @ $399. Some $250-$300 dual-tuner solutions for W7MC, including a new CableCard HDHomerun, are expected in 2H 2010.


Specific discussion on Windows Media Center, BeyondTV, and SageTV, as well as the Ceton tuner mentioned above can be found in the AVS Home Theater Computers forum.
 

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OK, I understand the dedicated part. But must disagree on a some of your equations. With newer hardware, power consumption can be kept at about the same levels as the ones in the chart. And with HDMI out, picture quality is as good if not better than standalone units. Don't have cable, but if I did I wouldn't use a PC for it unless the cableco stb provided firewire out for encrypted channels. OK, I'm outa here. I applaud your chart for feature comparison. Best I've ever seen by a long shot.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/17063966


The following table compares the off-air and cable HDTV recorders available for purchase and ownership. These are the only standalone products still available that will record high-definition without a satellite subscription or cable STB/DVR rental fees.


There are satellite DVRs that can receive OTA signals, but those leased DVRs do not function without both a satellite subscription and DVR fee. Cable companies will not activate any other consumer-owned DVRs, aside from those below and the discontinued Sony DHD. The Cisco, Motorola, Pace, and Scientific Atlanta recorders sold on ebay/craigslist will not work on any U.S. cable system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/17892490



This is a table comparison of standalone DVR products, i.e. consumer electronics devices that do not require PC setup, maintenance, or any kind of PC, Windows, or keyboard navigation to use. They consume 1/4 to 1/6 the electricity of the typical HTPC during recording and playback, although using sleep mode will minimize PC consumption. Picture quality on standalones is generally superior to HTPCs, most of which are not setup to handle the proper color conversion from YPrPb (used by HD content) to RGB (used on computers) output; that is correctable through the right hardware and software, but it increases setup complexity.

Not that they are elegant DVRs - but your table does omit non-PC based HD D-VHS recorders, which will record and playback HD video from cable co/fios via firewire (as well as DTV OTA with an ATSC tuner in a firewire display),without a STB if you have a display with firewire in/out,or a stb w firewire. To include all your subscribed premium channels you would still need a cable card to do the decrypting. Verizon charges like $4/month for CC
 

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Where are D-VHS recorders available as "new" stock? (as opposed to refurbs like the batch that recently appeared at B&H Photo)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell /forum/post/17977008


Where are D-VHS recorders available as "new" stock? (as opposed to refurbs like the batch that recently appeared at B&H Photo)

They are not.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonPerson /forum/post/18099962


I wonder what kind of reincarnation this is?

http://www.channelmasterstore.com/CM...cm-7000pal.htm

The Channel Master CM-7000PAL is a rebadged DTVPal DVR, albeit with a one-year (instead of 90-day) warranty for an extra $100 MSRP.


Sears has an exclusive on the DTVPal DVR, so the CM7000 DVR is what you will find at other online retailers. Crutchfield and SolidSignal are both taking preorders.
 

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A very impressive table for the various models.


However, although not present in any, I would suggest in the CONNECTIONS sub-table to include a line for IEEE1394 (MPEG2 TS) for completeness.


IEEE1394 is still relavant because
  1. a lot of people still have D-VHS,
  2. cable company STB's still output it,
  3. it is still a HTPC interface when available,
  4. and it was the technology proposed by the FCC in all the HDTV standards and white papers regarding digital signal communication between all devices until the industry squashed it.


Regards,

Tom
 

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The row on the chart labeled "Analog channels on cable" is misleading. I'll explain.


Many cable systems offer analog tiers. But most of these systems also use STBs which lack an analog tuner (i.e. the Cisco/SA8240HDC DVR, etc.) The solution? The channels on these analog tiers are simulcast on as a 256QAM digital signal on another frequency. The STB tunes the digital channel, while the TV tuner will tune the NTSC analog signal.


For example, if channel 31 is selected on the TV's remote control, the TV tunes to CNN on NTSC channel 31 at 267MHz. If the remote for the DVR is instructed to tune to channel 31, it tunes to CNN on 256QAM at 489MHz.


So, the Moxi (and other DVRs with digital only tuners) will receive those analog tiers just fine without the optional $129 "dongle."


How do you know if the analog tier is simulcast digitally on your cable system? You can a) ask your cable company, b) check the diagnostic pages of your STB, or c) form a list of all of the STBs used on your system, and check the manufacturer's website to see if any of them have digital only tuners.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipfreak /forum/post/18264139


I found this http://www.frys.com/product/6147839?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG


I'm hoping it's what I'm thinking it is, but it's too good to be true.

The Channel Master CM7000PAL is a rebranded DTVPal DVR for an extra $70-$100 with one-year warranty. The hardware and software is identical to the DTVPal DVR listed in the table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 /forum/post/18217879


The row on the chart labeled "Analog channels on cable" is misleading. I'll explain.


Many cable systems offer analog tiers. But most of these systems also use STBs which lack an analog tuner (i.e. the Cisco/SA8240HDC DVR, etc.) The solution? The channels on these analog tiers are simulcast on as a 256QAM digital signal on another frequency. The STB tunes the digital channel, while the TV tuner will tune the NTSC analog signal.

Some people are only interested in basic cable, i.e. the $15/mo plan from the cable company.


Aside from locals, digital tiers are almost always encrypted and unavailable without digital cable and a CableCard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 /forum/post/18217879


For example, if channel 31 is selected on the TV's remote control, the TV tunes to CNN on NTSC channel 31 at 267MHz. If the remote for the DVR is instructed to tune to channel 31, it tunes to CNN on 256QAM at 489MHz.

Digital simulcast, also known as analog-digital simulcast or "ADS," is available to the vast majority of digital cable subscribers. That said, it still isn't available everywhere. In perhaps 20-25% of markets, "ADS" also requires a Cisco SDV tuning adapter which supports a maximum of two tuners.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18264262


Some people are only interested in basic cable, i.e. the $15/mo plan from the cable company.


Aside from locals, digital tiers are almost always encrypted and unavailable without digital cable and a CableCard.

Point being? If ADS is being used, it is used on this tier, too. Thus, the analog adapter would not be needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18264262


Digital simulcast, also known as digital-analog simulcast or "ADS," is available to the vast majority of digital cable subscribers. That said, it still isn't available everywhere. In perhaps 20-25% of markets, "ADS" also requires a Cisco SDV tuning adapter which supports a maximum of two tuners.

Then perhaps the chart should have an asterisk, with the note: "Not necessary on a "vast majority" of analog cable tiers. How many potential Moxi purchasers see that added expense on the chart and decide not to consider a Moxi, not knowing that the analog adapter is not even needed on their cable system?
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 /forum/post/18266374


Point being? If ADS is being used, it is used on this tier, too. Thus, the analog adapter would not be needed.

A significant percentage of cable customers (roughly 1/3) still don't have digital service. Not every customer with extended basic (i.e. 50-60 analog channels) has or wants to pay for the encrypted digital tier. Many are content with the analog cable channels + unencrypted HD locals. I understand that digital versions of the analog channels are available for a negligible premium (ex: $0 to $6/mo) for many, but that is not the case for everyone.


Many living in apartments, condominiums, and communities receive the full lineup of analog channels as part of their monthly rent, association, and/or maintenance fees. In these cases, the individual tenant or owner often has no direct relationship with the cable company, so they are forced to pay full price for digital cable if they want digital versions of those channels. That is on top of what they are already required to pay to their landlord or association.


The Moxi does not support analog channels out of the box. I can't mislead members and suggest that Moxi offers that feature when it does not. I made it clear that Moxi supports both unencrypted and encrypted digital channels. The line item for encrypted digital channels even mentions CNN, TNT, USA, ESPN, and HBO. I just added an additional note at the bottom, and I am open to suggestions as to how I might rephrase feature descriptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 /forum/post/18266374


Then perhaps the chart should have an asterisk, with the note: "Not necessary on a "vast majority" of analog cable tiers.

As a guesstimate, ADS might be available on 65% of U.S. cable systems without a SDV tuning adapter and 90% with a tuning adapter. That may be the vast majority, but it still leaves millions of customers without access to digital versions of their analog channels. As an example, virtually no Comcast customers in VA and MD (my area) have ADS.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18267002


A significant percentage of cable customers (roughly 1/3) still don't have digital service.

Digital service is not needed, nor is it the question. I only had analog service before I got my DVR, and had no idea that my analog tier channels were actually being received by my cable box on "stealth" digital channels. See, my cable box only had a digital tuner. If I pressed "14" on my cable box remote, it would tune KTLA on 585 MHz 256QAM. If I pressed "14" on my TV remote, the TV would tune KTLA on 123 MHz NTSC. I never knew this until I discovered that my cable box had no analog tuner - even though it was being used by analog only customers. Moxi owners who subscribe to analog only cable will likely NOT need the analog tuning option if their cable system utilizes ANY of the Motorola or Cisco/SA STBs that do not have analog tuners (of which there are more than two dozen.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18267002


Many living in apartments, condominiums, and communities receive the full lineup of analog channels as part of their monthly rent, association, and/or maintenance fees. In these cases, the individual tenant or owner often has no direct relationship with the cable company, so they are forced to pay full price for digital cable if they want digital versions of those channels. That is on top of what they are already required to pay to their landlord or association.

If their cable system uses any of the STBs with no analog tuner, those versions are already there in "stealth" form. They may be already tuning them with their STB without knowing it. They would only pay the $1-$2 or so charge for the Moxi's CableCARD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18267002


The Moxi does not support analog channels out of the box.

No, but it will tune the "stealth" digital versions of those channels with just a CableCARD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18267002


I just added an additional note at the bottom, and I am open to suggestions as to how I might rephrase feature descriptions.

I saw the new note. Hope people don't think that just because they don't know that their cable box might already be tuning those "stealth" digital frequencies instead of the analog frequencies that they need the analog option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18267002


As an example, virtually no Comcast customers in VA and MD (my area) have ADS.

They have an analog tier? They deploy none of the Motorola or Cisco/SA digital only STBs anywhere on their system? I have a partial list of Motorola and Cisco/SA digital only STBs if you want it.
 
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