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View Full Version : DVR ? for OTA tv watchers that dumped cable or satellite


fun4me
01-20-2013, 09:36 PM
I really love having a DVR but hate that our Dish bill has more than double since we signed on a few years ago. I want to cancel them and just go with OTA channels. We get quite a few and some of my fav. shows are on those channels. I just dread getting rid of our DVR. I really love the ability to pause live shows. I'm thinking about getting a Tivo and using that for an OTA dvr. The only thing holding me back is the monthly fee. It would be nice not to have one.

Are there any other options besides building my own dvr? I'm not really tech savvy but can follow instructions if they are laid out very simply...I haven't found any on line that are simple enough for me. There seems to be too many options and the cost to built it seems like a lot. Especially since I don't have any old laptops around to use. Any other option that aren't too expensive?

brymolmom
01-20-2013, 10:40 PM
We got rid of cable a few years ago. We have an antenna for the local stations and got a PC and connected it to the TV. Using Windows Media and having purchased a separate tuner - we are able to record shows and then watch the recorded show. We recently purchased a second tuner 'card' and can now record 2 shows at a time - which is plenty for us.

Take a look at your Dish bill and then decide what to do based on that. Even though all of the above cost around $500 or so - we 'made that' back in savings within 8 months if ditching cable. In other words - even if things seem a bit pricey upfront - if you can get rid of your Dish bill - in the long run it might be worth it.

The only thing we pay now is our $7.99 monthly netflix bill.

fun4me
01-21-2013, 12:44 AM
We got rid of cable a few years ago. We have an antenna for the local stations and got a PC and connected it to the TV. Using Windows Media and having purchased a separate tuner - we are able to record shows and then watch the recorded show. We recently purchased a second tuner 'card' and can now record 2 shows at a time - which is plenty for us.

Take a look at your Dish bill and then decide what to do based on that. Even though all of the above cost around $500 or so - we 'made that' back in savings within 8 months if ditching cable. In other words - even if things seem a bit pricey upfront - if you can get rid of your Dish bill - in the long run it might be worth it.

The only thing we pay now is our $7.99 monthly netflix bill.

This is exactly what I want to do but I don't know where to start. I try googling but get overwhelmed with all the info. I'm afraid I will get a computer that won't be fast enough or something.
Do you know where I could find some information on exactly the kind of computer I need and a list of things i need to install on it? Are you able to play blu-rays with your media center?
Our blu-ray and roku player just went out so if I can do all those things with the media center that would be great. Thanks for answering. $500 doesn't sound bad at all. That is about what we pay for 6 months of dish.

ThisIsJason
01-21-2013, 01:41 AM
A company called Channel Master makes a OTA DVR with no monthly fee, just the upfront cost of the unit.

Here is a CNET review of one of the units they make: http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-video-recorders-dvrs/channel-master-cm-7000pal/4505-6474_7-34142156.html

JB2K
01-21-2013, 06:29 AM
The easiest way, by far, is to use the granddaddy of DVRs -- Tivo.

Let's face it, while I don't mind building my electronic toys, the mere thought of such a task could be daunting to some, here...

AFAIK, Tivo is compatible with OTA (TV antenna) and most traditional cable systems.

Yes, there are some fees involved, but if you can get a box with "lifetime service" from eBay, or elsewhere on the secondary market (the lifetime service is tied to a particular box, not a person), the inital outlay of cash will pay for itself in a year or two.

DawnM
01-21-2013, 07:20 AM
The other thing you can do is to buy a program called PlayOn. It only works with a PC, so Apples won't do it.

You will also need a Roku to stream it through.

PlayOn has two programs you can buy. One is just the streaming which allows you to stream any shows on websites to your Roku. So, if you wish to watch the latest CSI, as long as it is already on CBS.com, you can stream it.

PlayOn also has a program called PlayLater. This works more like a DVR and allows you to save your programs to your computer and even when it is no longer on the website for viewing, you can watch it.

You have to have your PC on while it is working as it pulled from your PC.

This will not allow for the convenience of pausing live TV or playing back live TV, but once it is saved on your PC you can pause it and rewind it.

Dawn

hsmamato2
01-21-2013, 08:05 AM
I considered this option a few months back, and had it narrowed to two choices, a Tivo with lifetime membership from ebay,or Walmart.com had a dvr recorder for around 280.00 that looked like it would work for recording tv shows OTA..... (I haven't yet pulled the plug b/c ds watches animal planet all the time,and I can't find what he loves except on that tv channel)
If it weren't for those shows I would have done it too....I like the dvd/dvr option the best, b/c then I wasn't tied to the Tivo company for recording,etc- it all,it seemed more independent.....

DawnM
01-21-2013, 08:08 AM
Is it this one?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HDD-and-DVD-Recorder-with-Digital-Tuner-1TB/20710259

Walmart also has one with less memory for $228 I see.

I wonder how well they work? Can you program it to record a series?


I considered this option a few months back, and had it narrowed to two choices, a Tivo with lifetime membership from ebay,or Walmart.com had a dvr recorder for around 280.00 that looked like it would work for recording tv shows OTA..... (I haven't yet pulled the plug b/c ds watches animal planet all the time,and I can't find what he loves except on that tv channel)
If it weren't for those shows I would have done it too....I like the dvd/dvr option the best, b/c then I wasn't tied to the Tivo company for recording,etc- it all,it seemed more independent.....

fun4me
01-21-2013, 10:32 AM
A company called Channel Master makes a OTA DVR with no monthly fee, just the upfront cost of the unit.

Here is a CNET review of one of the units they make: http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-video-recorders-dvrs/channel-master-cm-7000pal/4505-6474_7-34142156.html

Thanks, I'll check this out.

fun4me
01-21-2013, 10:35 AM
Is it this one?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HDD-and-DVD-Recorder-with-Digital-Tuner-1TB/20710259

Walmart also has one with less memory for $228 I see.

I wonder how well they work? Can you program it to record a series?

That is the one I was considering too. The only reason I decided against it is that it doesn't record in HD.

I may have to go with the Tivo or the channelmaster if I can't figure out the Windows Media Center.

lovemygoofy
01-21-2013, 11:02 AM
I use the original HD Tivo and love it more than I can express:love:. We had been using the cable company's DVR for the last 6 months and I was done the other day. The TIVO is just simpler to use and I love that I can stream netflix and other things from the TIVO so I don't need to hook up the other machines to my tv.

We do have a lifetime subscription which was purchased at a reduced rate option from TIVO after registering the machine. You can purchase refurbished TIVOs from the website as well. I told my husband the other day if I had to chose between him or the TIVO, it would a difficult choice;) It is simple enough that I can hook it up myself and the customer service is just outstanding and I have used it alot when my husband is away.