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I'm in the market for a HDTV DVR. I have an over the air antenna only. I mainly want to record digital TV programs. In Los Angeles, it's 2.1, 4.1, 7.1 etc..


What is the best value DVR I can get to record digital TV shows?


Can i get Direct TV DVR HR21? Will this work without subscribing to Direct TV and only using my OTA antenna?


Thanks for all your help.
 

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The DirecTV HR20 and HR21 DVRs are only available to those that commit to two years of DirecTV service, and they carry a monthly fee.


Bookmark this thread:

Echostar TR-50 HDTV DVR: Official Thread


If you can't wait until July for a subscription free OTA DVR, then take a look at the TivoHD for $229-$249. It does require a $129/yr subscription. A subscription-free version was available for $698 until a few weeks ago, but that offer expired.
 

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There are also the Sony DHG-HDD250 and -500 units which were discontinued a couple of years ago, but which are available on eBay and other aftermarket sources. Their big problem is that they rely heavily on the Gemstar (now owned by CBS) TV Guide On Screen (TVGOS) program guide which is currently broadcast OTA via an analog TV station in each city, and those signals will of course disappear a little over a year from now. Even the clock setting comes from analog broadcasts on these units, and you can't set the clock manually.


One of the forthcoming government-subsidized digital-to-analog converter boxes (the Echostar TR-40) is supposed to take the new digital version of TVGOS and convert it to an analog signal that can be used by the Sony units and other devices that use analog TVGOS. Owners of the Sonys are pinning their hopes on this box for keeping their units usable after analog shutdown, but we probably won't know if this actually works until sometime this summer.


My advice is to get a TivoHD now if you can stand the monthly fee, otherwise wait for the Echostar TR-50 DVR.


I have two of the Sonys myself, so I'm waiting to see how the Echostar TR-40 works out.
 

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As a Sony owner, I'm not pinning my hopes on just that one, particular unit. If it works, great - but if not, I still believe there'll be another box or solution of some sort out by 2/09.
 
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