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Looking for a HD DVR without monthy fees

Discussion in 'Source Components II' started by nelmr, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. nelmr

    nelmr Active Member

    ...and it seems my choices are limited. I noticed a company called Moxi that sells them but they are $600. For that price I would rather build a HTPC. (side note, how reliable is the HTPC option, what happens if the PC reboots for updates, or crashes, etc...)

    Are there any other "TIVO" like devices that don't charge a monthly fee for the schedule? I currently have my tv service over fiber optic. We have over 300 channels but I find that I rarely watch the non-local channels, and only the ones in HD. For some of the other shows that we would miss, I don't mind picking up the Blu Ray disks at the end of the season. I just can't justify spending so much for TV anymore.

    So what options do I have?

    1) must be HD
    2) must support QAM and ATSC signals (so I can subscribe to just basic cable or use OTA)
    3) must have TV schedule w/o a fee
    4) must record at least two shows at once
  2. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I decided to completely cut my cable service (except for internet) and found myself in exactly the same boat. Hulu+ and Netflix are fine but we wanted to be able to record some programs that aren't on either. I didn't want to pay a subscription fee to Tivo, or have the the family deal with the hassel of using an HTPC so I added a $150 tuner card to my PC and an Xbox 360 to the TV. With the built-in edition of Windows Media Center I can schedule and manage recordings. The XBOX can run in Media Center mode and access live and recorded TV from the computer as well as scheduling and manageing recordings. I get the added benefit of a full listing guide and being able to access my music and pictures in the living room. Oh yeah... It plays games too.

    The card I bought has two QAM/ATSC tuners and two individual encoders. It came with an Windows Media Center remote and an IR blaster/receiver. With this setup I can watch TV on the computer upstairs while the TV downstairs is watching live or recorded TV. I could add an additional card (because WMC supports upto 4 tuners) but so far I haven't needed more than two.

    You can configure the Xbox to automatically launch Windows Media Center when it's turned on and program your universal remote to handle the controls. I have mine wired to the network using a ethernet-over-powerline adapter but the Xboxc has built-in wifi too.

    It's not perfect. The Xbox takeas about 30 seconds to start-up and load Media Center. And remote is sometimes a little slow to respond but it sure beats having to pay the cable company or TIVO.

  3. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Another option is ChannelMaster sells an OTA DVR for ~$350. It doesn't meet all of your prerequsites as it doesn't work with cable. I bought one just in case the Windows Media Center plan didn't work in practice but I never took it out of the box and returned it. It cost the same amount I spent on the tuner card and Xbox combined but I get a LOT more functionality.

  4. The DirtMerchant

    The DirtMerchant Well-Known Member

    So you get your TV signal via OTA antenna? Movies are through Netflix? Interesting.

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