VideoHelp Forum
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18
Thread
  1. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Central FL
    Search Comp PM
    I'getting tired of paying Brighthouse to rent the HD-DVR every month. Can anyone suggest a reasonablely priced easy to operate DVR to replace the one from Brighthouse? I'm not interested in TiVo,so please don't suggest that. If it could also record DVD' s that would be a plus. Thanks in advance!
    Quote Quote  
  2. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Click my signature for two units with 160GB HDDs I think you'll like.
    Quote Quote  
  3. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
    Search Comp PM
    wabjxo's suggestions are about your only choice. I think Toshiba may still make one model of DVD recorder with a hard drive, but Philips has announced intentions to abandon the North American marketplace for all DVD recorders in 2009. I don't know if Magnavox will continue to sell the H2160 after that or not. DVD recorders are dying in North America, so buy one while you can if you want one.
    Quote Quote  
  4. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Minneapolis MN
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by mowermanEd
    I'getting tired of paying Brighthouse to rent the HD-DVR every month.!
    If you really want HD you really don't have any new options other than a HTPC unit that you build. All DVDRs will be SD only. Also note that many of the HD channels that you now see may not be available with anything other than a cable cos. STB. They are scrambled and not in the clear. If you have a QAM tuner in your TV you'll probably get the same channels in a DVDR or HTPC.
    Quote Quote  
  5. Member orsetto's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: NYC
    Search Comp PM
    There is nothing that will record HD at the quality level of premium cable channels. The only machines easily purchased in the USA are the Phillips and Magnavox extensively covered by wabjxo. Especially at their bargain price, they are a good compromise for many folks, but do not expect HD results. If you connect their ATSC tuners to a good outdoor antenna or clear QAM service, they can in some cases record very satisfying HD downrezzed to SD. But don't count on it: so far, ATSC has been more bust than boon, with broadcasters selling off or overtaxing their HD bandwidth to push multiple channel streams. The QAM situation is even more variable, some systems ignore it outright while others shuffle the channel numbers around every week in an effort to encourage decoder-box sign-ups.

    Note that any recorder is going to cost $200+ upfront and will be a complete pain to use for timeshifting compared to your integrated DVR. Most people who switch from the cable DVR to their own recorder to save money are bitterly disappointed. Unless your cableco is charging w-a-y more than the typical $9-12 a month for the DVR, think carefully before you drop the service.
    Quote Quote  
  6. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Location: The Animus
    Search Comp PM
    Isn't there also the problem of cable-card compatibility? I don't know the stories behind it but how can you get a cable-card for a non cable company dvr legally? Can you call up your cable company and ask for one? Do you have to rent it from them anyway?
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
    Quote Quote  
  7. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by yoda313
    Isn't there also the problem of cable-card compatibility? I don't know the stories behind it but how can you get a cable-card for a non cable company dvr legally? Can you call up your cable company and ask for one? Do you have to rent it from them anyway?
    Microsoft MCE is about the only potential cable-card platform. Tests are under way but not very successful as yet. The cable companies really don't want to support this. Microsoft is promising adequate DRM to protect content.

    As for rent, the cable company insists on installation of cable card to reduce support calls. They charge you for the programming subscriptions plus a small monthly card rental. Current cards don't support two way communication so forget pay movies or VOD. "Cablecard 2" will support two-way communication.
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
    http://www.kiva.org/about
    Quote Quote  
  8. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Location: The Animus
    Search Comp PM
    @eddv - so the cablecard is the only way to get all of the cable hdtv channels then correct? The non-qam ones right?
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
    Quote Quote  
  9. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    If you ever dump paid TV altogther, DISH Network is offering the DTVPal DVR for recording over-the-air digital broadcasts. It can be ordered now, but won't be shipped until sometime in December, and user reviews are scarce at present. It is difficult to say whether it's is a good product at this point. However, there are no ongoing fees, just the initial purchase price of about $300, and purchase is not tied to DISH network satellite service. It records HD programming from antenna in HD, but won't record from analog cable or clear QAM, and doesn't have line inputs. It is just a DVR and has no DVD burner
    Quote Quote  
  10. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Central FL
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by orsetto
    There is nothing that will record HD at the quality level of premium cable channels. The only machines easily purchased in the USA are the Phillips and Magnavox extensively covered by wabjxo. Especially at their bargain price, they are a good compromise for many folks, but do not expect HD results. If you connect their ATSC tuners to a good outdoor antenna or clear QAM service, they can in some cases record very satisfying HD downrezzed to SD. But don't count on it: so far, ATSC has been more bust than boon, with broadcasters selling off or overtaxing their HD bandwidth to push multiple channel streams. The QAM situation is even more variable, some systems ignore it outright while others shuffle the channel numbers around every week in an effort to encourage decoder-box sign-ups.

    Note that any recorder is going to cost $200+ upfront and will be a complete pain to use for timeshifting compared to your integrated DVR. Most people who switch from the cable DVR to their own recorder to save money are bitterly disappointed. Unless your cableco is charging w-a-y more than the typical $9-12 a month for the DVR, think carefully before you drop the service.
    I guess for the $10 per month that Brighthouse charges, I should just shut-up and be happy with what I've got. Thanks to all for the info provided!
    Quote Quote  
  11. Member zzyzzx's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2000
    Location: Baltimore, MD USA
    Search Comp PM
    They used to have DVR's at WalMart stores. Now they are available at Walmart.com only:

    I have the predessor to this product and I highly recommend it:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-MDR-513H-F7-320GB-DVR-and-DVD-Recorder/14291489

    I only have it connected to an antenna.

    Walmart also has a HD DVR, but it doesn't have the DVD recorder built in.
    Quote Quote  
  12. Member zzyzzx's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2000
    Location: Baltimore, MD USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    There is nothing that will record HD at the quality level of premium cable channels. The only machines easily purchased in the USA are the Phillips and Magnavox extensively covered by wabjxo. Especially at their bargain price, they are a good compromise for many folks, but do not expect HD results. If you connect their ATSC tuners to a good outdoor antenna or clear QAM service, they can in some cases record very satisfying HD downrezzed to SD. But don't count on it: so far, ATSC has been more bust than boon, with broadcasters selling off or overtaxing their HD bandwidth to push multiple channel streams. The QAM situation is even more variable, some systems ignore it outright while others shuffle the channel numbers around every week in an effort to encourage decoder-box sign-ups.
    I'm very happy with my 3+ year old Phillips DVR. I also love the multiple channel streams since I am getting way more channels and now have a weather channel and two music video channels and no monthly fee.
    Quote Quote  
  13. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2007
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    And it's now recently available at Amazon, same price, free shipping, no tax in most states.

    http://www.amazon.com/Magnavox-MDR515H-F7-500GB-Digital/dp/B004PYDE1E/
    Quote Quote  
  14. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Happy with that?
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
    http://www.kiva.org/about
    Quote Quote  
  15. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2007
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by edDV View Post
    Happy with that?
    If you are talking to me, I don't own that exact model, but I do own a similar older Funai-made model, the Philips 3576, and I'm happy with that. What clued me in to this product line is this comprehensive thread over on avsforum:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940657

    From what I have read in that extensive thread, each later model is an improvement over the previous models, so I would be safe to say that I'd be happy with the 515H if and when I owned one.
    Quote Quote  
  16. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    I'm thinking there is no realistic alternative. You must pay the DVR rental or settle for less.

    Prove me wrong.

    As for me, I care less about current series except Monday. The rest is hour and hours of Netflix.
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
    http://www.kiva.org/about
    Quote Quote  
  17. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    I talked to Comcast and there is no longer a downgrade from HD to SD. The only choice is expanded basic ~$64 or HD version at $94 or locals only at base cable ~$15/mo.

    I'm thinking SD locals + Netflix sounds ok?

    Am I wrong?


    * By SD locals that includes HD broadcasts from 15 local stations.
    Last edited by edDV; 25th Mar 2011 at 20:39.
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
    http://www.kiva.org/about
    Quote Quote  



Similar Threads