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stand alone dvr's???


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#1 of 18 victorb17

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Posted August 19 2007 - 02:20 PM

I finally decided to get a dvr the other day and have been looking around for them. I have been gravely dissapointed (i think). It appears the only options are 1. from my service provider 2. tivo 3. replay 4. some dvd combo.

Is there no stand alone dvr that just can pause, rwd, record at a date and time. that requires no service charge. I think it's rediculous another monthly charge. Thanks.
Victor

#2 of 18 Scott_J

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Posted August 20 2007 - 02:36 AM

I have a DVD recorder with hard drive (essentially, a DVR that also creates DVDs) that uses TV Guide Plus for the guide. There is no monthly charge for the guide info. Honestly, the guide isn't the most up-to-date out there, and it doesn't have info for every channel. But you get what you pay for. If you want a DVR without a monthly fee, I believe getting one with TV Guide Plus is the only option.

#3 of 18 Michael Harris

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Posted August 20 2007 - 04:48 AM

Another option is to make one out of your PC using a video capture card, such as those made by Hauppauge and software such as Beyond TV or Sage TV. I have setup using the Haupauge Win TV 250 and Beyond TV. Purchase of the BTV allows you to access their program guide for no fee and allows recording by putting in a channel number and time frame.

#4 of 18 Bob_M

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Posted August 20 2007 - 06:22 AM

>Is there no stand alone dvr that just can pause, rwd, record at a date and time. that requires no service charge. <
I have the same question, can you use a Tivo without paying the service charge?

Thanks Bob

#5 of 18 David Norman

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Posted August 20 2007 - 12:55 PM

None of the newer TIVO's can do this, but some of the older units can function as essentially a VCR. Many of the Series 1 units can be programmed and used as a manual recorder. You probably need to check the individual units for such functionality, but TIVO eliminated this potential somewhere in the Series 2 models.

I think the Toshiba and Pioneer DVD/TIVO can be used with what used to called "TIVO Basic," but I don't think those models are still produced.
 

 


#6 of 18 victorb17

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Posted August 20 2007 - 03:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_J
I have a DVD recorder with hard drive (essentially, a DVR that also creates DVDs) that uses TV Guide Plus for the guide. There is no monthly charge for the guide info. Honestly, the guide isn't the most up-to-date out there, and it doesn't have info for every channel. But you get what you pay for. If you want a DVR without a monthly fee, I believe getting one with TV Guide Plus is the only option.
who makes this? Thanks

#7 of 18 Scott_J

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Posted August 20 2007 - 03:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by victorb17
who makes this? Thanks
Mine is a Philips (this model). The reviews at Amazon aren't great, but I haven't had problems with it in the 1.5 years since I bought it. The main complaint I have is that every once in a while, it'll suddenly change channels automatically (though it's never happened during recording, just while watching TV).

The TV Guide Plus is available in other products, too.

#8 of 18 Bob_M

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Posted August 21 2007 - 02:14 AM

>None of the newer TIVO's can do this, but some of the older units can function as essentially a VCR. <

Interesting, so your options are a DVD with a built in hard-disk or a Tivo/DirectTV device with a monthly subscription?

I didn't find too many DVD's with hard disks up on Amazon. Even the suggested model above is no longer sold. Are these a dieing breed?

thanks Bob

#9 of 18 David Norman

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Posted August 21 2007 - 10:59 AM

I think most of them have been d/c. A couple years ago there were numerous models from Pioneer, Toshiba, Philips, and Panasonic that were either TIVO based or worked off of a free EPG. I think Sony also had some models.

Pioneer 810H, 433/533H, 520h dvr 640H
Toshiba rd-xs34, rs-tx60
Panasonic dmr-eh series --50, 55, 65, 85, 95 etc mainly differing in HDD size.

I think there were a couple more from 2005 andd maybe 2006, but I'm not sure there were any 2007 models.
 

 


#10 of 18 Bob_M

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Posted August 22 2007 - 08:46 AM

>I think most of them have been d/c<
Why is that David? thanks Bob

#11 of 18 David Norman

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Posted August 22 2007 - 11:48 AM

I'm not sure. I was at least looking half heartedly at one for a awhile and then all the tlak and discussion about the units just dried up. I ended up replacing my wife's dying trusty VCR with a new old stock Mitsubishi 2000 DVHS which I use as a SVHS VCR It is really well built just like those GOOD VCR's back in the late 80/early 90's before they went plastic and disposable. She simply likes her VCR, doesn't want to mess with learning something new, doesn't want to pay a monthly fee, and doesn't want to listen the the HDD and fan noise in the bedroom that most HDD based units have. VCR off is dead silent even in a silent room which I can't come close to saying even about the quietest DVR.

The one's with TIVO Basic may have stopped becasue TIVO seems to have discontunued support. I'm not sure if the EPG may have been a problem or if the companies just didn't sell enough of them to make a profit honestly. I just can't imagine that at least one company couldn't have made some money on something as basic as a HDD based VCR.

It's possible that the new requirement making the ATSC tuner mandatory could have played a role or the pending d/c analog channels, but I'm not sure why this would happen so far ahead of the deadline.
 

 


#12 of 18 Bob_M

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Posted August 23 2007 - 03:31 AM

Interesting David, EPG?? I guess the next best thing would be a recordable DVD using a few RW-DVD. Bob

#13 of 18 David Norman

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Posted August 23 2007 - 05:19 AM

EPG -- electronic program guide that some stations broadcast piggybacked on their signals. DVDRW would be OK except for the limitation on space. My wife doens't care about the Extended play loss of resolution so she using ST-160 tapes for 8 hours times -- soaps and a few prime time shows.


Several threads over on AVS and it looks like the required digital tuner law and poor sales in the US seem to be the cause of the demise.

http://www.avsforum....ad.php?t=889216

http://www.avsforum....ad.php?t=890515

If you live near the Canandian border (or have family in Canada) many units are easily available there and seem to be in real demand -- particularly the Panny's.
 

 


#14 of 18 Eric Peterson

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Posted August 24 2007 - 06:34 AM

I understand your frustration Victor. I was lucky enough to pick up one of the Tivo Basic units a few years ago and I use the hell out of it. That said, I would never pay for a subscription-based DVR (It's just a matter of principal with me!). I was shocked to find out that I could not find a non-Tivo DVR when mine failed a few months back. I ended up searching online and found a place that sold replacement harddrives, so I got mine back up and going. They also sell refurbished units, so you might want to check there.

http://www.weaknees.com/

I find it frustrating that the only way to have to a DVR is to have a Tivo DVR. I just don't believe that there isn't a market for such a thing. Personally, I have no use for all of the fancy Tivo features. I wanted to point and click on what I want to record and 95% of what I record is from "Turner Classic Movies", so their intelligent recording feature is just so much garbage.

#15 of 18 David Norman

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Posted August 24 2007 - 11:01 AM

Most of the current buyers for that type device just look for Series 1 TIVO or many of the Replay DVR units which are pretty easy to find and relatively cheap off EBAY.

The Panasonic EH55 (of EH75 if a VCR is added) and Pioneer 640H seems to be the DVD Recorder hot properties though for those costs a TIVO with lifetime subscription isn't much more if you don't won't the ability to archive.

Once you get to the $600 and up range, it becomes the territory of a decent home built HTPC.
 

 


#16 of 18 John_Walker

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Posted September 06 2007 - 03:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Norman

...

If you live near the Canandian border (or have family in Canada) many units are easily available there and seem to be in real demand -- particularly the Panny's.


I have a Panasonic DMR-EH55 (200 GB HDD, TV guide, DVD-+R-+RW, HDMI, upsampling, DivX playback etc) and its a pleasure to use. Having used it for several months now I would not buy one without the TV Guide and hard drive.

It was hard to get though as the market seems to be drying up here in Canada too. Odd because I don't think we even have TiVo up here although the local cable companies push their burner-less units. I also don't think it is the ASTC turner issue because that's still a ways off. Probably plain lack of market.

John

#17 of 18 Brian^K

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Posted September 07 2007 - 06:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Peterson
I just don't believe that there isn't a market for such a thing.
It is very easy to underestimate the costs and overestimate the willingness of customers to pay for things that we really really want. Both Sony and LG used to offer products in this space in the US and elected to discontinue those products years ago and not replace them. There simply wasn't enough money to be made. Even TiVo, with as much as they charge, has only had one profitable quarter in their entire history.

#18 of 18 John_Walker

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Posted September 11 2007 - 05:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Walker
I have a Panasonic DMR-EH55 (200 GB HDD, TV guide, DVD-+R-+RW, HDMI, upsampling, DivX playback etc) and its a pleasure to use. Having used it for several months now I would not buy one without the TV Guide and hard drive.

It was hard to get though as the market seems to be drying up here in Canada too. Odd because I don't think we even have TiVo up here although the local cable companies push their burner-less units. I also don't think it is the ASTC turner issue because that's still a ways off. Probably plain lack of market.

John

I spoke too soon. The new Panasonic DMR-EH55S is in at Future Shop. As far as I can tell the only upgrade is it is now capable of 1080p output.

Oddly enough I can't find it on Panasonic's Canadian webpage.

John


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