Is there a PVR without subscription service?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by GeorgeE, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. GeorgeE

    GeorgeE Auditioning

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    I'm looking for a PVR that does not require a subscription and does not needs to "phone home". I will only use it as a regular VCR.

    I now I will be missing on the great features that the TiVo and ReplayTV services offer, but I have no phone line connection where this unit will be operating.

    Is there something like this on the market?

    Panasonic has a model that fits my requirements BUT it's a TV-PVR combo.
     
  2. Doug Craig

    Doug Craig Agent

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    The only thing I know about that meets that criteria is the Panasonic DMRHS2 or the Toshiba RDX2, both which are also combo units - they're DVD recorders, too.

    Dish Network subscribers have an option that's similar to what you're talking about, too.

    I'll be interested to hear if anyone else comes up with something external to a dedicated computer with a great video card...
     
  3. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    If Im not mistaken, most if not all PVR's come with the option to pay monthly ($10 avg) or a one time hit of about $250.
     
  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    The closest thing to what you want is RCA's Scenium combo DVD/PVR. However, given its price and features, IMO it's not worth it. MSRP for this is $600. These days you can get a 40 hr series 2 Tivo standalone for $200 after rebate, with the $250 subscription fee that's $450 & you still have ~$150 left over to get a separate DVD player. So you don't save much, if anything. The RCA's guide data only runs forward for 3 days (vs. 10+ forward, 2 back on Tivo), don't work for satellite, and the programming options are much more primitive. No search & record features either.

    Just suck it up and pay for lifetime service on a standalone model. Or consider satellite integrated models, which are cheaper (DirecTivo = $5/month, or free w/ DirecTV's top-tier programming package; Dish Network = free, albeit more expensive hardware to begin with).

    It's worth it; I doubt any other product category discussed on this forum has a higher owner satisfaction rate.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Is the phone line the big issue?

    There are some wireless phone extensions you can get. A friend ordered a sat system, but said there was no phone outlet nearby. They charged him $30 for a wireless unit.
     
  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I was under the impression you can use any TiVO as a standard VCR.....
     
  7. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    I've also been interested in just using a hard drive based recorder like a VCR would be used. I have no need for any subscription service. I've been told that Tivo will behave like a standard vcr if not plugged into the phone line. But I've never seen this or tested this. I'd be interested in what you find out.

    cheers,


    --tom
     
  8. Tom Moran

    Tom Moran Agent

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    If you are willing to consider a computer based PVR you can get much better picture quality than any of the other units mentioned here by getting the Format DV/TV device. www.formac.com
    I personally find the picture quality of all PVR's leaves a lot to be desired which is why I am essentially building my own with the above mentioned device and a G4 Mac.
    If your source is analog or digital cable or broadcast TV MPEG based recorders are passable quality but with Sat TV, which is already MPEG compressed, the additional MPEG compression of consumer PVR's degrades the picture significantly.
    A computer based system like the Formac uses the DV format which is a much higher quality and data rate so programs eat up more Hard drive space but hard drives are cheap and I will have way more capacity than any PVR with dual 120GB hard drives.
    This option is by no means close to a set top PVR in price but it has none of the limitations of these devices either and if you happen to have an existing computer to use like I do, the cost is not nearly as high.
    Tom
     
  9. TonyTone

    TonyTone Supporting Actor

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  10. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    If you don't mind putting together your own HTPC, the ATI All-In-Wonders are PVRs without the monthly fee, so they might be worth considering.
     
  11. TerryHenson

    TerryHenson Agent

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    I have used a stand alone Tivo as a vcr for 3 years. It has never been subbed. It is handy for recording widescreen HD channels and even though it's not recording in hd resolution, the picture quality is nice. I also have 2 directivos that are subbed and love them too. [​IMG]
    Terry
     
  12. Mike Brantley

    Mike Brantley Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Tom Moran

    Tom Moran Agent

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    "if you have a DirecTiVo receiver, I don't think that there would be any additional MPEG compression taking place since the DBS signal is being recorded directly to the HD without the need for the signal to be encoded first, unlike most standalone PVRs;"
    True...but a DirecTivo is hardly "a PVR that does not require a subscription service"... [​IMG]
    Tom
     
  14. TonyTone

    TonyTone Supporting Actor

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  15. AlbertH

    AlbertH Stunt Coordinator

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    the new replays can download programming info via network if you have high speed internet access.
     

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