what happened to the plain old DVRs

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jake_J_HT, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. Jake_J_HT

    Jake_J_HT Auditioning

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    I know I remember seeing HDD VCR replacements years ago before the subscription services really took hold and then they disappeared.

    I don't want a subscription service for an EPG, and I don't want satellite. I just want a digital recorder to replace my VCR. I'm perfectly capable of programming my weekly Enterprise or other occasional series. These new DVD recorder/DVR combos are too expensive and I don't need DVD-R capability either. I just want a big fat HDD recorder. Is there anything out there to satisfy my simple needs?

    Jake
     
  2. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    There are a whole lot of graphics cards + software that can do this, if you don't mind doing it on the PC.

    If you want to do it on a standalone unit, try and find an old Series 1 Tivo, I believe they worked without the subscription service. The PC would probably be a better alternative though.

    If you feel like tinkering with a DIY solution, there's http://www.freevo.org, a Linux-based amateur project. No clue how good it is, but I've been thinking about trying it out.

    I still think a regular Tivo is worth every penny though... [​IMG]

    /Mike
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    There are a few things to search for:

    ShowStopper
    Replay

    I dont know about their subscription service plans.

    But I will say that one of my great love of PVR's comes from the search feature which needs the listings. I can search for my favorite shows/actors and one-button program to record.

    When I look at my recorded shows, the title and descriptions are all available. Without the subscription you would just see:

    Wed 4/9 channel 7, 7pm 60 minutes
    Wed 4/9 channel 4, 8pm 30 minutes

    The fatter the hard drive, the more of this you will see. And how will you know which listing is that favorite Letterman episode or the un-watched Firefly/Enterprise/ER shows? It will quickly become frustrating to use.

    I think you would be disapointed if you got a PVR without listings service.
     
  4. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    I'm using an old Tivo with out the service to act like a HDD VCR and a time shifter.

    So you can't do this on the new ones?? Ie they force you to have the stupid (IMO) service??

    And Bob, I have that type of listing you describe... but it doesn't bother me one bit since I know the days and times of shows I care about.

    Not to mention with my digital cable the TIVO can't change the channel so all that channel info the service provides is useless, since my digital cable (it's over DSL lines) provides it all [​IMG]
     
  5. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Jake:

    ReplayTV is selling a refurbed 5040 for $330 with lifetime activation. I understand they are selling so many of them that the are sending out new units to keep up with the demand. Go to ReplayTV and check it out.

    Parker
     
  6. Josh J

    Josh J Auditioning

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    You could technically record on a Tivo box without the service but it would be a lot more of a pain in the ass.
     
  7. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    That's what's keeping me from getting a PVR. I don't record very often (usually if i'm gonna be out of town and don't want to miss something in particular)so paying for a subscription is worthless to me. I would have thought HDD recorders that work just like a regular VCR would be the logical step for VCR replacement rather than subscription based units.

    I never have, nor ever will record much, I just hate having to dig up a tape for the occasional recording(the only reason I still have a VCR).
     
  8. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  9. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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  10. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

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    The RCA Scenium combines a 40GB DVR with a progressive scan DVD player for $4-500.
     
  11. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    As regards the original topic I think the DVRs may start showing up after the initial liscense agreements with Tivo , Replay , etc run out. They are not manufacturers after all and needed to get the hardware companies to build their boxes so the hardware companies won't be able to sell their own for a while.

    Personally I just installed my second WinTV PVR250 (Fathers day present) While it comes with it's own guide , Titan TV's website is so slow it's easier to look up my schedule on YahooTV (fairly accurate , 2 weeks info and fast) and enter the info on the scheduler or use a third party program that records in the background. I can set up the remotes to get any time jump I want . If you want to see what a PC based recorder can do check out people like Frey technologies with Sage TV. Computers with 4 tuners , internet remote control are some of the advanced things that can be done.

    The reason I went this route was DRM (Digital Rights Management) . There are some really scary capabilities that can be implemented with digital products to keep you from recording almost anything. Just because you're allowed to time-shift doesn't mean that they have to make it easy. There was (is) talk of embedding DRM in hardware (like hard drives , motherboards , processers , operating systems ) let alone what they can do with things like Tivo (a downloaded upgrade removed standalone capabilities at one point I believe) STBs that can downres an HDTV image if no encrypted link exists to the TV. ABC sports could decide that you can't record Monday Night Football and you wouldn't be able to on your new VCR , Tivo , or almost any new digitally aware recorder. I decided that if I wanted a PVR that I could control I would have to buy the parts now and build it even if I didn't need it yet.

    I used the ABC reference because a Congressman used it in a statement a couple of years ago to the effect that they could (with HDTV) stop us from recording Monday Night Football but that "that just isn't going to happen" ; but Congressmen don't always get re-elected.
     
  12. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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