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Old 10-07-07, 04:14 AM   #1
dhowerter
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Are there any standalone DVR Boxes to record on you can buy WITHOUT a monthly charge?

Perhaps someone here can help me

Are there any DVR (Digital Video Recorder) Boxes to record on you can buy WITHOUT a monthly (or yearly) charge? (or at least a very cheap monthly charge, like a couple of dollars a month)

In other words, a box (**New OR Used**) that would have audio / video inputs and outputs and let you record shows/movies on a Hard drive / other memory inside the box and play any of it back at will on a TV (NOT a PC -
but uses no video tapes or discs ).

And, of course it would only be a *one-time* purchase; you would just buy the box and that is it, ***NO monthly service charge***. (or a very cheap one)



I already have digital cable with a program guide, so I just need something to record on , kind of like a digital VCR. (just bare bones recording does not need a lot of frilly options

My cable company does offer a DVR Box (which would do what I want) but it costs an extra $25 a month and I definitely do NOT want any kind of box with an additional monthly charge over what I'm paying now :-( (unless like I said, the monthly charge is very cheap like a few dollars a month)



Does anything like what I want exist? (set top box that lets you record / no tapes or discs / no or *very* cheap *monthly* charges)

If so, what exactly is it called (brand and product name) and if you have any clue what it costs (new or if possible, used), that would be nice too Any other info / product page links on it you could provide would also be appreciated.



If they do sell DVR Boxes completely separately (no services or DVD Burner parts , what are they called technically? Just "DVR Box"?

For example, if I were to go to Best Buy's homepage and use the Search blank, what terms would I enter to find one of these DVR Boxes?

.
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Old 10-07-07, 10:47 AM   #2
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Any standalone DVR with a hard drive will do what you want. You just have to program in the times and channels you want to record.

They will also come with a DVD burner so you can take the programs off the box and play them on a TV not connected to it, but you don't have to use it.

I'm not recommending this particular model as I have no experience with it, but here's one - http://www.amazon.com/Philips-DVDR35.../dp/B000P76KXY.
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Old 10-07-07, 05:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Any standalone DVDR with a hard drive will do what you want. You just have to program in the times and channels you want to record.

They will also come with a DVD burner so you can take the programs off the box and play them on a TV not connected to it, but you don't have to use it.

I'm not recommending this particular model as I have no experience with it, but here's one - http://www.amazon.com/Philips-DVDR35.../dp/B000P76KXY.
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Old 10-08-07, 07:35 AM   #4
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Unless you find a TiVo with Lifetime or a TiVo DVD Recorder with Basic on eBay, I agree with the above: find a DVD Recorder with a hard drive.
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Old 10-08-07, 08:43 PM   #5
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I bought an HD DVR made by Sony a few years ago. The model is DHG-HDD250. At the time, it was one of the first (if not THE first) DVR's to record HD. I paid $600 for it, but I'm sure you could find it much cheaper now. I wanted to avoid monthly subscription fees.

It will record up to 30 hrs. of HD and up to 200 hrs. of SD. It has an on-screen guide provided by TV Guide, which gets updated daily for free via the local PBS station. I can schedule shows up to a week in advance, and it's as easy as highlighting a show on the grid. It will receive analog cable, digital cable, analog OTA, and digital OTA. I record all of my HD shows OTA.

Last edited by Joe Schmoe; 10-28-07 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 10-09-07, 12:12 PM   #6
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I bought a DVDR with a hard drive for this very reason, and 3 months later I got my dvr back because the cost was well worth it (plus the HD)... However, I pay $9.00 a month for HD-DVR not $25.00 which is ridiculous.
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Old 10-11-07, 02:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
I bought an HD DVR made by Sony a few years ago. The model is DHG-HDD250. At the time, it was one of the first (if not THE first) DVR's to record HD. I paid $600 for it, but I'm sure you could find it much cheaper now. I wanted to avoid monthly subscription fees.

It will record up to 30 hrs. of HD and up to 200 hrs. of SD. It has an on-screen guide provided by TV Guide, which gets updated daily for free via the local PBS station. I can schedule shows up to a week in advance, and it's as easy as highlighting a show on the grid. It will receive analog cable, digital cable, satellite, analog OTA, and digital OTA. I record all of my HD shows OTA.


Hmm couple questions:

Hmm, so that is a DVR Box only right? (no dvd recorder)


I don't really need a DVR with the DVD recorder part, just the DVR part: the ability to record programs using timer settings I set up manually (just like a VCR) and with NO monthly service

In other words the basics :-D



BTW I already have a program guide with my digital cable service, so could I manually program in the information for timer recordings into the DVR Box?

(I don't have a phone jack anywhere near my TV I assume thats how your DVR box gets its TV Guide program guide)



Couldn't I just get a used/new DVR Box (no dvd recorder part) off Ebay for what I want to do?

.

Last edited by dhowerter; 10-11-07 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 10-11-07, 09:12 AM   #8
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what about an HTPC (Home Theater PC)?

then you could use it as a DVR, media server or whatever else you can think of a PC doing on your TV.
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Old 10-11-07, 08:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhowerter
Hmm couple questions:

Hmm, so that is a DVR Box only right? (no dvd recorder)


I don't really need a DVR with the DVD recorder part, just the DVR part: the ability to record programs using timer settings I set up manually (just like a VCR) and with NO monthly service

In other words the basics :-D



BTW I already have a program guide with my digital cable service, so could I manually program in the information for timer recordings into the DVR Box?

(I don't have a phone jack anywhere near my TV I assume thats how your DVR box gets its TV Guide program guide)



Couldn't I just get a used/new DVR Box (no dvd recorder part) off Ebay for what I want to do?

.
It's a DVR only (no DVD recorder). The program guide information comes from my local PBS station. I do not have a phone line hooked up to it. (I don't even have a phone jack in that room.) I'm not sure if the guide info comes via cable TV or OTA. I have analog cable and rabbit ears hooked up to it.
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Old 10-14-07, 12:56 AM   #10
dhowerter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSpacey
what about an HTPC (Home Theater PC)?

then you could use it as a DVR, media server or whatever else you can think of a PC doing on your TV.

Problem is my PC is nowhere near my TV

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Old 10-14-07, 01:01 AM   #11
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Joe Schmoe -

Ok, interesting ...

When you look through the list of programs you have recorded on your DVR, does it list each program's name (on your particular model)?

I ask because I've heard that when you use a standalone DVR Bpx with no monthly service to record programs, because there is no service, all you can see for each program you have reocorded is the date you recorded it and the start and stop time.

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Old 10-14-07, 01:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhowerter
Joe Schmoe -

Ok, interesting ...

When you look through the list of programs you have recorded on your DVR, does it list each program's name (on your particular model)?

I ask because I've heard that when you use a standalone DVR Bpx with no monthly service to record programs, because there is no service, all you can see for each program you have reocorded is the date you recorded it and the start and stop time.

.
Not true. It shows the name of the show as well as the title of the episode. If you have several episodes stored, each one is displayed under a separate title under the program heading. Each episode has a brief description of the story and lists some of the actors' names, and it shows you if it's a repeat. Unlike Tivo, however, you can't tell the DVR to skip repeats when you set up a weekly recording schedule; it will record every episode, new or old.

Last edited by Joe Schmoe; 10-16-07 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 10-14-07, 10:34 PM   #13
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i need one of these as well. so whats the best deal going on a system that will do the above mentioned with a dvd burner
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Old 10-16-07, 11:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
Not true. It shows the name of the show as well as the title of the episode. If you have several episodes stored, each one is displayed under a separate title under the program heading. Each episode has a brief description of the story and lists some of the actors' names, and it shows you if it's a repeat. Unlike Tivo, however, you can't tell the DVR to skip repeats when you set up a weekly recording schedule; it will record every episode, new or old.

I see. Perhaps if you have a DVR and can't get the program guide (from your local station) it would do what I said and only show the start/stop time and the date. (Heck thats not a problem for me anyway, I know when all my shows start/stop

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Old 10-22-07, 09:47 AM   #15
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so any more specific model numbers for people on a budget?
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Old 10-25-07, 12:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chew
Unless you find a TiVo with Lifetime or a TiVo DVD Recorder with Basic on eBay, I agree with the above: find a DVD Recorder with a hard drive.
I agree with the TiVo choice. There are some DVD recorder versions of Tivo that you can still get lifetime on, or you could just use the free basic service.

Or you could find a broken tivo with lifetime, then buy an HD tivo and transfer the lifetime to that.

If you go with a dvd recorder with hard drive, I'd go with Lite-On. I've had a Panasonic but I took it back and switched it for a Lite-On since it's easy to make it region free

You could also get a media center pc and a xbox 360. You put the computer wherever you want and you can link the 360 to it as a media extender.

If you have a regular xbox, you can buy a tuner for it and turn it into a free dvr.

Right now I have a media center pc, xbox 360, tivo series 3, tivo series 2, and a dvd recorder with hard drive. So if you have any questions about any of those I can help.
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Old 10-25-07, 08:57 PM   #17
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I had one of these for a long while.

http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-SD-H40.../dp/B0000AA9E8

True TIVO, only with limited scheduling (only 3 days and no "favorites"), but it worked pretty well. And FREE!!! I don't know how available, and if there is a replacement, but worked well for me, till the DVD player broke...
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Old 10-25-07, 10:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I had one of these for a long while.

http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-SD-H40.../dp/B0000AA9E8

True TIVO, only with limited scheduling (only 3 days and no "favorites"), but it worked pretty well. And FREE!!! I don't know how available, and if there is a replacement, but worked well for me, till the DVD player broke...
There's actually a few on eBay right now, going for pretty reasonable prices.
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Old 10-28-07, 01:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mister Pee-pers
I agree with the TiVo choice. There are some DVD recorder versions of Tivo that you can still get lifetime on, or you could just use the free basic service.

Or you could find a broken tivo with lifetime, then buy an HD tivo and transfer the lifetime to that.

If you go with a dvd recorder with hard drive, I'd go with Lite-On. I've had a Panasonic but I took it back and switched it for a Lite-On since it's easy to make it region free

You could also get a media center pc and a xbox 360. You put the computer wherever you want and you can link the 360 to it as a media extender.

If you have a regular xbox, you can buy a tuner for it and turn it into a free dvr.

Right now I have a media center pc, xbox 360, tivo series 3, tivo series 2, and a dvd recorder with hard drive. So if you have any questions about any of those I can help.




Mister Peepers / ALL -

Yes actually I do have a few questions you might be able to help me with (anyone else can chime in too)


1. About the "Free Basic Service" with Tivo, I'm getting mixed messages from other sources.
Basically, if you have any Tivo model with "Basic" (**by name - that's a uppercase B **) service, it can record programming without a monthly charge, correct?



2. Now can you record programming with no monthly charge on the following Tivo units? :
- Tivo Series 1 units
- Tivo Series 2 Units
- Tivo Series 3 units

Some people say that it depends on which exact model of series 1 unit you have which determines whether it can do tht or not, so how do you know which can and which can't?

Also, I've heard some people say that Tivo series 2 and 3 units can NOT record any programming AT ALL (basically its a doorstop) without the paid monthly service while other people have said you CAN record (with manually setting recording timers) on a Tivo Series 2 or 3 without the paid monthly service.

Obviously those 2 contradict each other ;-); could someone please help clairfiy that for me? (multiple confirmations would be nice)



3. About transferring the Lifetime from a broken Tivo to a new Tivo HD, I thought that you could not do that, that once a tivo box died the lifetime thing kinda died with THAT box..

Oh and btw a Tivo HD (I assume thats High definition) box has composite and rf output right? (composite= yellow video plug and rf = like the coaxial post on the back of your TV



4. Finally, do you need to mod (mod chip or soft mod) a Xbox to turn it into a dvr? Or does someone sell a disc that does it (along with the tuner I assume)?
Oh and just ot be clear, are we talking Xbox 360 or Xbox 1 here?

.
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Old 10-28-07, 03:32 PM   #20
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I have a Tivo Series 1 with Lifetime service. It's my understanding that once the machine dies, that's it. Tivo has offered to let me transfer my Lifetime service to a new Series 3 HD model (for a price, of course), but I won't be buying one because I'm happy with my Sony HD DVR.
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Old 10-28-07, 03:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhowerter
Mister Peepers / ALL -

Yes actually I do have a few questions you might be able to help me with (anyone else can chime in too)


1. About the "Free Basic Service" with Tivo, I'm getting mixed messages from other sources.
Basically, if you have any Tivo model with "Basic" (**by name - that's a uppercase B **) service, it can record programming without a monthly charge, correct?



2. Now can you record programming with no monthly charge on the following Tivo units? :
- Tivo Series 1 units
- Tivo Series 2 Units
- Tivo Series 3 units

Some people say that it depends on which exact model of series 1 unit you have which determines whether it can do tht or not, so how do you know which can and which can't?

Also, I've heard some people say that Tivo series 2 and 3 units can NOT record any programming AT ALL (basically its a doorstop) without the paid monthly service while other people have said you CAN record (with manually setting recording timers) on a Tivo Series 2 or 3 without the paid monthly service.

Obviously those 2 contradict each other ;-); could someone please help clairfiy that for me? (multiple confirmations would be nice)



3. About transferring the Lifetime from a broken Tivo to a new Tivo HD, I thought that you could not do that, that once a tivo box died the lifetime thing kinda died with THAT box..

Oh and btw a Tivo HD (I assume thats High definition) box has composite and rf output right? (composite= yellow video plug and rf = like the coaxial post on the back of your TV



4. Finally, do you need to mod (mod chip or soft mod) a Xbox to turn it into a dvr? Or does someone sell a disc that does it (along with the tuner I assume)?
Oh and just ot be clear, are we talking Xbox 360 or Xbox 1 here?

.
1. Correct, no charges.

2. From what I've read Series 1 will work without paid service. I don't think any standalone/non-dvdr Series 2 has a free option. Series 3, nope unless I've missed something.

You may be able to use a Series 2 and 3 as a vcr with manual recording but I'm not 100% sure on that. I can tell you when my Series 2 runs out in a couple months

A good place to check all this stuff is www.tivocommunity.com

3. It can be broken and you can still transfer it when they have the transfer offers. If you have one that breaks and you go out a buy a new one, you can't just transfer it because you want to.

Composite yes, but I don't think RF. I can't get behind mine to check right now.

For doing the media center pc stuff, it's a xbox 360.

The original one did have a tuner that microsoft was selling for it. I'll see if I can find a link for one. I did a little searching already and found what looks like people modding it, installing linux and using a USB tuner.

edit: I guess it wasn't a tuner for the first xbox but a Media Center Extender kit. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/m...er/mcxkit.mspx

A search on ebay for "xbox media extender" turns up 5 listings and it looks like they are going for about $50

I'll PM you some info on modding stuff in case it's evil to post links here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe
I have a Tivo Series 1 with Lifetime service. It's my understanding that once the machine dies, that's it.
If you send it to them to get fixed and they end up having to change the machine, the lifetime goes with it.

Last edited by The Man with the Golden Doujinshi; 10-28-07 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 11-03-07, 01:33 AM   #22
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Mister Peepers / ALL -

Thanks for the reply

BTW, since you seem to be familair with tivocommunity.com, if I were to post my Tivo Series 1,2 and 3 (and heck Tivo HD too) question about using them like a VCR (with no monthly fee) over in those forums, any suggestions on which subforum would be the best place to post the question(s)?

.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhowerter
Mister Peepers / ALL -

Thanks for the reply

BTW, since you seem to be familair with tivocommunity.com, if I were to post my Tivo Series 1,2 and 3 (and heck Tivo HD too) question about using them like a VCR (with no monthly fee) over in those forums, any suggestions on which subforum would be the best place to post the question(s)?

.
On the slim chance you're still waiting for an answer, I'd try TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion
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Old 11-09-07, 01:47 AM   #24
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Bought a DVDR3575H/37 not to long ago and love it. Can record to hard drive or DVD. Can record while watching something else. Can watch any part of the currently recording program. Can pause live tv. Each saved program has its own resume. The clock set itself and got DST right. Can hold a hundred hours of shows. I have finally found true love. shhh don't tell the girlfriend.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:00 PM   #25
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BaronofHell /ALL -

Did your DVDR3575H/37 set the clock itself through a phone line, through a over the air signal, or something else?

Can you MANUALLY just set the clock if you want to? (like if your TV is nowhere near a phone jack or the over the air signal is not available in your area, which is possible since I live in a suburb, not in a major city)
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