DVR question

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by rjp, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. rjp

    rjp Senior Member Thread Starter

    timer warner cable is charging me $22.99 a month ($10 for the converter, $12.99 for the DVR) to "rent" a cable converter box and a DVR. even though they are both in the same box

    my question to you all:

    is there a device available to purchase that will do both of these things so i can quit paying the ridiculous "rent" for this thing. if it's out there i certainly cannot find it anywhere on the internet.

    do cable companies own the market on these things?

    is the FCC allowing this?

    i figure that, even for $500, i would have it paid for in 2 years and then it would be mine.

    any help would be appreciated.

    BTW - time warner tells me i must have both, can't have one without the other :)
  2. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    San Francisco, CA
    You've never heard of TiVo?

    Some people don't want a TiVo because (a) if you pay for the service by the month, it ends up costing about the same as the cable company charges or (b) if you pay for a lifetime subscription (lifetime of the box, not you) then it costs a lot up front. Let me tell you that a TiVo with Lifetime more than pays for itself when compared to a cableco DVR. For example, you can buy a TiVo Premiere 4 (if you need four tuners and don't need the extra capacity of the Premiere 4 XL) for about $200. Add $500 for Lifetime and, at your current cableco's cost for a DVR, it will pay for itself in about two and a half years. The thing is that at the end of those two and a half years, you still have a fully functioning box that you're not paying anything for whereas with the cableco option you have to keep paying. And if you decide you no longer want the TiVo, ones that have Lifetime generally sell on eBay for close to what you paid. (In other words, after a couple of years you very well may be able to recoup much of your initial $700 outlay.) No guarantees on resale value, of course, but historically that's what's happened.

    The icing on the cake is that the TiVo is simply a better DVR. Can you add external storage to your cableco DVR so you can save more recordings? Most cablecos don't allow this. Can you transfer shows from your cableco DVR to your PC? Probably not; with TiVo you can, except for shows marked as "do not copy" by the content provider (generally premium services like HBO or Showtime).

    I could go on and on but I won't. :)
    mdm08033 likes this.
  3. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    San Francisco, CA
    Oh, in all fairness I should have added that your cableco will likely hit you with some service fee for installing a cablecard in your TiVo so it can record multiple digital streams. The old style TiVo boxes required multiple cards but I think all of the new ones require only one card. Your cost might vary. Comcast charges $1.10 for a cable card, but I was just checking out competition and saw that Astound's cablecard price was considerably higher.
  4. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    What if I want to record OTA TV?
  5. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    There's only really one good choice. I've been looking at getting one of these. It's a Magnavox DVD recorder, with Hard Disc Drive, and ATSC tuner. It doesn't do high-def recordings, but it does work over-the-air to make SD recordings on the hard drive that you can edit and save onto DVD.


    They sell them through and a couple of other places, and they come with three basic sizes: a 320 GB HDD for $228, a 500 GB for $248, and a 1 TB HDD for $278.

    Basically, this is the type of unit I've been using for years, except mine is from Pioneer in the old analog TV days, so it doesn't have an ATSC (digital TV) tuner. I have to use it with an external converter-type box to feed it digital TV signals through a line input. Since the Pioneer's got some age on it, I'm starting to have some problems with writing out to DVD-R's. It doesn't seem to like certain brands these days, so I think the handwriting's on the wall and I'm going to have to spring for one of these.

    They were apparently pretty much out of circulation for awhile, but some devotees of OTA broadcasting and recording managed to convince Walmart to lobby the company that makes the Magnavox-branded items to keep the factories rolling on these decks. As I say, I've not used one, but the reviews are largely positive, and it's the only game in town for us OTA, do-it-yourself-without-subscription guys.

  6. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    I may have seen one at Fred Meyer, I'll have to check. Thanks for the info.
  7. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Forum Resident

    San Francisco, CA
    TiVo's first HD box, the Series 3, had both cable tuners and over the air tuners. I'm pretty sure the TiVo HD model (sort of a dumbed down Series 3) also had over the air tuners. I think it wasn't until the Premiere line that TiVo eliminated over the air tuners in their boxes.

    I should also mention that some people simply put together a PC dedicated to DVR use. Apparently this is the least expensive option, but it does have a bit of a DIY factor to get a PC optimized solely for video recording/playback.
  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    great price for the 1TB...
  9. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    I really feel sorry for those who missed out on getting a MOXI before the company got bought-up, and essentially put the retail-end out of business.
    It was as a significant jump ahead of the other DVR's as OPPO was for all-in-one players! I love mine: lifetime free-with-purchase TV grid, 3-channel
    simultaneous record, great interface, HD...:love:

    Now playing on]Ariel Stream[/URL]: Basia - Until You Come Back To Me
  10. Parhelion

    Parhelion Well-Known Member

    I picked one of these up for my wife when our Sony GX300 stopped working. The menus take a bit of getting used to, but she's been using it for over a year now and I haven't heard any complaints. :)
  11. maclen

    maclen Forum Resident

    Bought one of these in December. Although i haven't used it a lot YET, i'm very happy with it. I love having the hard drive allowing me to burn DVDs off it.
    button likes this.
  12. You'll still have to pay the monthly cable card fee to your provider that all aftermarket DVRs require these days. If you are handy with computers, most have switched to using something like MYTHTV for a cheap DVR.
  13. mdm08033

    mdm08033 Forum Resident

    I cut the cord back in the fall of 2011. We started with a $92 Sony Blu-ray SA-CD player to access amazon Prime and Netflix. Next, I was lucky to jump on the $100 TiVo Premier because they had a special $10 monthly fee special for over-the-air only cord cutters. I purchased the TiVo Premiere because of it's fabulous graphic user interface and convenient, if slow, access to Amazon Prime and Netflix.

    Last summer I added a Roku for a snappier Netflix interface and a greater variety of free streaming "Channels." For the best over the air experience I purchases an Antennacraft roof top UHF/VHF antenna from Radio Shack for $60 and paid a handyman $300 for installation. For rock solid streaming I added a $100 ethernet over power solution. Worth every penny to avoid fishing cables.

    Last but not least I switched ISP from Verizon Fios to Comcast. Verizon wanted $90 per month for internet and Comcast offered $60. Between gorgeous over the air uncompressed TiVo recordings, rock solid streaming from Amazon Prime/Netflix and occasional trips to Redbox for new releases on Blu-ray, we have more quality programming than we know what to do with.

    Yes local sports are MIA except for the stray free over the air Phillies/Flyers/Sixers game. My wife also misses her television junk food like House Hunters on HGTV. If I really wanted to I could pay for an proxy service that would hide my location and allow me to subscribe to MLB.TV and watch the Phillies. I could also borrow an access code for HBO Go and see HBO on demand programming streamed on my Roku.

    My next addition will probably be a Mac Mini so my wife can stream House Hunters from HGTV, BBC shows and the channel that Comcast passes through their web portal in the living room.

    T'mershi Duween likes this.
  14. beatlesfan68

    beatlesfan68 Forum Resident

    Detroit, MI USA
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

    I just use the internet as my DVR. ;)
  16. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Hey forum member rjp, as a fellow Time Warner Cable sufferer, here in Ohio, would you do me a favor? Once you get a worthy answer to your question in this thread, would you please tell me just why I'm also paying those bast#$rds at Time Warner another $85 dollars each month, on top of that $22.99 fee, for the converter/DVR box? Talk about your monopolies!!! Competition is always king and we cable buyers should demand that other cable companies be allowed to come in and help keep the prices down!
  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    My advice: call the cable company and tell them you've gotten a great offer from Dish Network. They hate that. At the worst, they'll cut your bill by 10% or so.

    The alternative: follow through and dump the cable and try Dish or DirecTV. I'm not a Time-Warner fan either.
  18. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Thanks Vidiot for the great suggestion! In all truth, the companies that make all of these TV programs, should hate Time Warner, because their slow rising monthly bills just makes more people like me, want to turn the TV off, once and for all! While typing this, I'm actually watching a re-run of "Mister Ed" on the Hallmark channel. THIS is what I'm paying for, so do I really need to say more?

    Forgot to mention, in this episode of "Mister Ed", "Ed" is playing records! Where else can you find a talking horse playing records at 7 in the morning? Time Warner Cable in Northeast Ohio is where!!!
  19. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Well, you inadvertently answered the question earlier in your post. The THIS channel runs MR. ED weekday mornings at 4:30, and it can generally be found free, over-the-air as a digital subchannel of a local television station. In Cleveland (since you mentioned Northeast Ohio), THIS-TV can be found on WBNX-DT3 (55.3 virtual, 30.3 RF).

    The station also airs GREEN ACRES where you're likely to see a pig spinning records at any given moment!

    THIS-TV is a sister network to MeTV.

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