AVS Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All


Forgive me if this has been asked before but I've not seen a clear answer so here goes....


I am really getting tired of shelling out around $100 per month for my HD service from the cable company. It's not just the money but it's such a wasteful system. 100s and 100s of channels and I watch so little (1 or 2 hours per day at the most - more like 10 hours per week).


Consequently I'm investigating a move to an OTA system but it seems like taking a 20 step back in time to my days of programing my JVC.


If I understand it correctly on the one hand I have the DTVPal product for around $300 but I lose the option of recording a series and gain some interesting behavior traits associated with a Rev1 product.


On the other hand I could go the Tivo 4 route ($300 plus $130 annual subscription) and all the program guide stuff I'm used to (naturally on fewer channels) and the ability to share content across multiple STBs.


Does this paint an accurate picture or have I missed something?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts
That's about it, other than the part about "taking a 20 step back in time".


Using and programming those DVR's are basically like using any other DVR with a guide, really. You probably won't be setting many timers manually, if that's what you mean - although the option's there on the Pal, if you have to. If, for some reason, your area's not broadcasting the digital TVGOS data (and I would think a big market like Charlotte would have it), it will fall back to using PSIP data (which may start to introduce some unreliabilty then. If that's unreliable or non-existent for any channels, then you'll have to use the timers - and there's no guarantee of the reliabilty using those, either).


Just look at the difference between the two as "you get what you pay for", in one way or another. With the Pal, you may or may not have any problems. It's more of a gamble. With the TiVo, you should be able to just sit back and relax and enjoy it without really having to worry about those types of things. A little more guarantees and support.


And that's not even taking into account the TiVo's "extra capabilities", which you may or may not use.


One suggestion - if you do want the Pal, better grab it now (from Kmart.com or whatever), because it's going to go up in price by $100.00 real soon (under the "Channel Master" brand name. Most likely won't be "improved" any, either - just appears to be re-badged - software updates to the product under the Dish name ended awhile back).


You might want to consider the store's two-year, $30.00 extended warranty on it, too (factory warranty's only 90 days, and support from Dish/Echostar is virtually non-existent). The Channel Master version is *supposed* to have a one-year warranty (whether from the seller or Channel Master, I'm not sure), but that'll still come to considerably more, for one year's less coverage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,531 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/18280478


That's about it, other than the part about "taking a 20 step back in time".


Using and programming those DVR's are basically like using any other DVR with a guide, really. You probably won't be setting many timers manually, if that's what you mean - although the option's there on the Pal, if you have to. If, for some reason, your area's not broadcasting the digital TVGOS data (and I would think a big market like Charlotte would have it), it will fall back to using PSIP data (which may start to introduce some unreliabilty then. If that's unreliable or non-existent for any channels, then you'll have to use the timers - and there's no guarantee of the reliabilty using those, either).

Keep in mind that Dish Network DTVPal DVR isn't like your old Sony HDD with name-based recording. It's purely a timer-based DVR.


If guide data is available, the DTVPal DVR helps automate the creation of timers by filling in the start and end times whenever the user clicks on a program in the guide. But every recording is still locked to specific timers that record every week, regardless of whether the program is showing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,660 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaizen28 /forum/post/18280068



On the other hand I could go the Tivo 4 route ($300 plus $130 annual subscription) and all the program guide stuff I'm used to (naturally on fewer channels) and the ability to share content across multiple STBs.


Does this paint an accurate picture or have I missed something?

You could certainly go with the $130 annually but I went with the $399 lifetime, about 7 months of what you're paying for now(including the Tivo) and no more fees.

Another popular option is the $299 for 3 years which shaves $30 off your annual bill. I figured Tivo would be around for many years to come and I'm comfortable replacing the HDD(the main things that go wrong with a Tivo).

It's a fair chunk of change up front but I don't like reoccurring fees, and I haven't regretted it yet


BTW unless you get the XL version I personally would figure the cost of a 1TB drive in your expenses(~$100). The stock drive wasn't nearly enough for me, although maybe it would be OK for your limited use.

If you want to save a little I'd look for a old Tivo HD, at least my BB has a floor model for $179 and I doubt it's even been plugged in, I think other BBs have a similar offer if they have any left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,738 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/18280478


digital TVGOS data (and I would think a big market like Charlotte would have it)

In Charlotte, WTVI (the Char-Meck PBS station) carries TVGOS. If you can get WTVI's digital signal reliably, you're all set. The catch is that WTVI is the only Charlotte station that broadcasts on a VHF channel (11), so you need an antenna setup that is VHF-capable. And it's very low power even for VHF so if you're far from the transmitter (in NE Charlotte if I remember correctly) you may have problems with an indoor antenna.


[added] I forgot about WNSC, the South Carolina ETV station just over the state line in Rock Hill. They also carry TVGOS, as do the other SCETV stations. (I get my TVGOS from the SCETV stations in the Greenville area, myself.) It's on UHF (15) which is helpful if you're VHF-challenged.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,199 Posts
I've tried to cut down our cable bill a couple of times. It's hard because my wife keeps wanting things that aren't included in the lower tier of service.
At this point, I've given up on getting rid of cable altogether: Although it isn't a small amount of money, we do get so much for what we're paying -- more for the money than practically any other entertainment expense we could possibly incur, given the value of immediacy, ready-access, and such.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
Think about a home theater computer. I did the DTVpal then upgraded to a HTPC. The HTPC is a HUGE improvement, cost about $500 to build. You can also play your other media/watch online video like HULU/Netflix.


BTW your old JVC probably won't work for OTA, not many VCRs have ATSC tuners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/18280628


But every recording is still locked to specific timers that record every week, regardless of whether the program is showing.

Yeah, my Panny EH75V and EH55 work exactly like that with Dish Network's service, too, so I've gotten used to dealing with that issue. Fortunately, I have thumbnails which show me what's on every recording just in case the title's wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,223 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/18281128


If you want to save a little I'd look for a old Tivo HD, at least my BB has a floor model for $179 and I doubt it's even been plugged in, I think other BBs have a similar offer if they have any left.

Mine had one on the shelf, too, the last time I looked. So they're definitely out there.


I was lucky to get the same thing (never even plugged in) from Sears when they were clearing them out last year, but mine was only $148. Some supposedly even found them for $99. Haven't had any problems at all with mine so far.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top