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  1. Member
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    I'm currently using Dish Network and time slipping with a VCR. It time to move forward and replace the VCR and looking for options.

    I'd like to move into a DVR or something similar, but with no subscriptions. It makes no sense to me to subscribe to something for the sole purpose of recording what I'm already receiving.

    I've looker at Channel Master and they told me they only record OTA.

    What are the options I should look into to do simple time slipping? Multiple inputs might be useful because I may add OTA sometime this year, but not yet.

    Any suggestions on devices I should look into?

    Thanks,
    Walt
    Last edited by WaltP; 15th Jan 2016 at 02:04. Reason: better question
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    Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
    I'm currently using Dish Network and time slipping with a VCR. It time to move forward and replace the VCR and looking for options.

    I'd like to move into a DVR or something similar, but with no subscriptions. It makes no sense to me to subscribe to something for the sole purpose of recording what I'm already receiving.

    I've looker at Channel Master and they told me they only record OTA.

    What are the options I should look into to do simple time slipping? Multiple inputs might be useful because I may add OTA sometime this year, but not yet.

    Any suggestions on devices I should look into?

    Thanks,
    Walt
    There are no consumer electronic devices which can record the high definition output from a satellite receiver and over-the-air TV. The closest that you can get to that is one of the Magnavox DVD recorders below with an internal hard drive. These will capture over-the-air TV in their original resolution via the tuners, and capture from a satellite box's composite or S-Video connection in standard definition. Note that you must tune the satellite receiver to the channel you want to record.
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HD-DVR-HDD-500GB-with-ATSC-Tuner/46444957
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-HD-DVR-HDD-1TB-with-ATSC-Tuner/46444956

    There are a few HDMI capture devices which record to an external hard drive and don't require a computer. They do not have the ability record over-the-air TV from an antenna. Note that you must tune the satellite receiver to the channel you want to record. You would also need one of a few HDMI splitters that remove HDCP as a side effect, plus an external USB hard drive.

    This device allows setting one timer:
    http://www.amazon.com/AVerMedia-EzRecorder-Tuners-Capture-ER130/dp/B00LAP3GC8

    This HDMI splitter removes HDCP as a side effect:
    http://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-Powered-Splitter-1080P-VHD-1X2MN3D/dp/B004F9LVXC/ref=pd_c...2VVMWG59353CG2
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    Thanks, UQ. Tuning the receiver is not a problem -- VCRs work the same way.
    I'll look into DVD/HDD units.
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  4. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
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    And how many months/years does it take to offset the cost of a recorder instead of simply getting a DVR from Dish?
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    Originally Posted by Krispy Kritter View Post
    And how many months/years does it take to offset the cost of a recorder instead of simply getting a DVR from Dish?
    If I understand correctly to get a Dish DVR, the Dish subscriber first needs to have a receiver that allows DVR service. If he already does, then he would just need to buy an expansion drive to connect to the receiver for storage and pay a $10/month DVR fee. Dish recommends few specific external HDDs as expansion drives, which cost in the neighborhood of $100. Taking the upfront cost of the drive into account, it would take ~2 years for the DVD recorder to pay for itself. The downside is that the DVD recorder can only record from a Dish receiver in standard definition, while the Dish receiver's DVR function will record in high definition.

    However, if WaltP really does use the recorder for recording OTA TV, then the DVD recorder offers him something that not all Dish receivers provide.

    [Edit]I just discovered Dish also charges a one-time $40 DVR activation fee, which would cut the payback period by 4 months.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 20th Jan 2016 at 12:32.
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  6. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
    Thanks, UQ. Tuning the receiver is not a problem -- VCRs work the same way.
    I'll look into DVD/HDD units.
    Unfortunately, this is kinda like trying to attend the party a few years too late. Plenty of threads on this topic here. If you're o.k. with just recording in SD, Pioneer DVDRs (which were the best, in my opinion) still turn up on eBay, usually at exorbitant prices. Their condition will vary. I've seen the used Pio 460 / 560 units go for as low as $400., though typically for more if in very good condition, and a 660 described as "barely used" just closed for under $300., which I found quite surprising as these are relatively rare. For whatever it may be worth, the Canadian seller had a 100 % f/b score, based on over 200 transactions. I actually wanted to bid on that, but was out of town and ran into a glitch with the eBay app on my phone. The fact it closed that low just added to the missed opportunity.

    [Side note for usually_quiet: A home theater pro told me that there is a standalone HD recorder one could buy, though it is little known and overly pricey for the consumer market. I plan to press him for more details.]
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    [Side note for usually_quiet: A home theater pro told me that there is a standalone HD recorder one could buy, though it is little known and overly pricey for the consumer market. I plan to press him for more details.]
    You said the same thing a few weeks ago. Still nothing concrete to give us?

    [Edit]Also, those older Pioneer recorders do not have a digital tuner, which the OP wanted to record OTA TV. These new Magnavoxes have dual digital tuners and can record OTA TV in the original broadcast resolution on the HDD.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 21st Jan 2016 at 00:20.
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    Why do I need a tuner? My receiver has the tuner, I just want to record the output before it hits the TV.

    As for offsetting the cost, depends on the price. I've heard Dish charges $20 a month. If Seeker is correct with the ancillary pricing, that $140 startup and $20/month. So, if I get a receiver for $300, in 8 months I'm even. In 1 year I've saved $80, in 2 years a $320 savings. So is Dish DVR a better deal? If so, please explain why?

    If Dish really charges $10 a month, the break even is 16 months. Still more expensive in the long run.

    Oh, and I said "Multiple inputs might be useful because I may add OTA sometime this year, but not yet." It's not set in stone. If it has two inputs, that doesn't need a tuner, just a setting to record from which input. Unless I'm misunderstanding the term tuner.
    Last edited by WaltP; 21st Jan 2016 at 01:53.
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    Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
    Why do I need a tuner? My receiver has the tuner, I just want to record the output before it hits the TV.

    As for offsetting the cost, depends on the price. I've heard Dish charges $20 a month. If Seeker is correct with the ancillary pricing, that $140 startup and $20/month. So, if I get a receiver for $300, in 8 months I'm even. In 1 year I've saved $80, in 2 years a $320 savings. So is Dish DVR a better deal? If so, please explain why?

    If Dish really charges $10 a month, the break even is 16 months. Still more expensive in the long run.

    Oh, and I said "Multiple inputs might be useful because I may add OTA sometime this year, but not yet." It's not set in stone. If it has two inputs, that doesn't need a tuner, just a setting to record from which input. Unless I'm misunderstanding the term tuner.
    I quoted the $10/month DVR fee not Seeker. I found the fee on Dish's website. https://www.mydish.com/support/fees If you have a Hopper or Sling, the fee is $15, otherwise it is $10. I took the worst case scenario.

    You said that you were considering getting an antenna for receiving OTA TV. Does your Dish receiver have an ATSC tuner installed? If not, you will need to install an ATSC tuner at additional cost. The Dish receiver will need one to receive OTA TV as well as Dish's signal. Your other choice is to get a DVD recorder with a digital tuner and connect the antenna to it. The DVD recorder's RF out is a pass-through for the signal from the antenna. You could connect your TV to the recorder's RF out and be able to use the TV's tuner to watch TV directly from the antenna.

    When using composite or S-video input, you are limited to standard definition. If you would like to record high definititon OTA channels in high definition, the Magnavox DVD recorders I linked to can do that using their tuners.

    Note that since the Magnavox DVD recorders I linked to do not have analog tuners, they cannot record channel 3 or channel 4 out from the Dish receiver using their RF-in like a VCR would do. You need to use composite or S-video to connect the Dish receiver to the Magnavox recorder.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 21st Jan 2016 at 10:27.
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  10. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    [Side note for usually_quiet: A home theater pro told me that there is a standalone HD recorder one could buy, though it is little known and overly pricey for the consumer market. I plan to press him for more details.]
    You said the same thing a few weeks ago. Still nothing concrete to give us?

    [Edit]Also, those older Pioneer recorders do not have a digital tuner, which the OP wanted to record OTA TV. These new Magnavoxes have dual digital tuners and can record OTA TV in the original broadcast resolution on the HDD.
    This guy can be hard to reach. He travels a lot, doing elaborate custom high-end HT jobs. I have a bit more incentive now to track him down and get him back here, as I've had some vexing intermittent issues with one of my DirecTV setups. He has helped me with that in the past, when I found the DTV tech support leaving a lot to be desired.

    I had one of the prior generation of Magnavox DVDRs, until a power surge basically toasted it. That one probably had an analog tuner. I'm not up to date on what they have been offering lately.
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post

    I had one of the prior generation of Magnavox DVDRs, until a power surge basically toasted it. That one probably had an analog tuner. I'm not up to date on what they have been offering lately.
    Yes, all the older Magnavox DVD recorders that I can recall have a tuner capable of receiving both analog and digital TV signals, if they have a tuner at all. I think that starting about 8 years ago, new model DVD recorders had to have an ATSC-capable tuner or no tuner to comply with federal regulations.

    Since analog OTA TV is no more and analog cable TV is virtually extinct, Magnavox probably decided that having one or two digital tuners in their 2015 models would be as useful or more useful to most of their customers as having one analog/digital tuner. (The 500GB Magnavox model has one digital tuner, the 1TB model has 2 digital tuners.) It makes their product more competitive too. Tablo, TiVo, and CableMaster all offer models with multiple digital tuners for recording OTA TV.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 21st Jan 2016 at 14:45. Reason: Correction related to number of tuners available.
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  12. Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
    Why do I need a tuner? My receiver has the tuner, I just want to record the output before it hits the TV.
    You need a tuner in your new recorder for when you "want to add an OTA antenna" in future. The cost of the tuner is negligible these days: with so few generic (non-subscription) hard drive recorders available, virtually all include a digital tuner for OTA. Your DiSH box (usually) tunes satellite signals only: separate external OTA tuners are now hard to find, so getting the tuner built in to your new recorder is the way to go.

    Oh, and I said "Multiple inputs might be useful because I may add OTA sometime this year, but not yet." It's not set in stone. If it has two inputs, that doesn't need a tuner, just a setting to record from which input. Unless I'm misunderstanding the term tuner.
    Any recorder you buy will likely have at least two inputs, but you only need one for the DiSH box (since OTA recording would use the recorder's own internal tuner).

    Note the fine points mentioned by usually_quiet, and consider VERY carefully what you expect of any "recorder". In today's North American market, there is precious little to choose from and the specs are confusing. If you have DiSH service as your primary signal source, you are pretty much stuck subscribing to their proprietary DVR for full-quality HDTV recording. There is no recordable HDTV-quality connection from any DiSH tuner to external recorders: you can only record in standard-def using a non-DiSH-supplied recorder. If you don't care about that, or your particular DiSH system and TV are standard-def, you'll be happy with almost any generic recorder. But if you DO have a large-screen TV and HDTV DiSH box, you probably won't enjoy the downrezzed analog-converted standard-def recording quality limits of a non-DiSH recorder.

    Should you still be inclined to go for a generic recorder, because you feel price trumps video quality, then your only real choices are the Magnavox line of DVD/HDD recorders. They currently come in two versions: standard-def and high-def. Both machines look and work the same, have built-in tuner for OTA, and standard-def line input to connect your DiSH box. The major difference with the high-def version is that model will record OTA signals from its internal tuner to its hard drive in full HDTV quality (the DVD part remains standard def). They cost about the same, so unless you need the slightly faster DVD editing of the standard-def version, you should opt for the high-def models (MDR-865, 867 or 868). The 865 has a single OTA tuner and 500GB hard drive, the 867 has two OTA tuners and 1 TB hard drive, the 868 adds a huge 2 TB hard drive.

    One last heads up: be sure to understand there is NO way whatsoever to make permanent (outside the box) recordings from DiSH in full HDTV quality (short of using your computer as PVR with some tricky unsupported accessories). You are limited to standard-def output only: the high-def originals are locked inside the DiSH receiver. Your options for permanent HDTV storage are greater with OTA, because most PC accessories support OTA and several "no-name" OTA recorders use standard USB hard drives for standard file storage. Do note, however, HDTV files are *huge* and editing them requires good PC-based software. The Magnavox recorders are a weird, hybrid exception: they can't offload HDTV recordings as generic files, any external hard drive is treated as proprietary and encrypted to the recorder. They CAN make downrezzed standard-def DVD copies of HDTV material on their hard drives.
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    is it only "time shifting" and you never keep anything you record

    the Dish DVR is the simplest and easiest , a convenience factor, and if it fails they replace it

    however .. IF you keep some recordings, then one of the magnavox HD units is a good choice
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    Since HD is not an issue (I don't have it now with VCR), and I don't save stuff (commercials and promos all over the screen), Magnavox sounds like the winner.
    I'll look into the HD so that if/when I add OTA I'm ready for it.

    Of course Dish DVR is the easiest. But the one-time price of a recorder vs paying the same price every 2 years is not cost effective.
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    Longtime participants here may recall that orsetto and I have liked the Pioneer DVDRs a lot, myself from the model 520 onward, until their final ones -- now all mostly historical curios (?). Well, not exactly: I still use mine regularly, and intend to keep doing so, until they eventually wear out or are beyond any DIY repair.

    I continue seeing some used ones on eBay -- mostly from Canada, such as this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/PIONEER-DVR-560H-k-DVD-RECORDER-160GB-HDD-HARD-DRIVE-1080P-HDM...3D111986512296

    That seller's name became very familiar years ago, and I had wondered whether he was trying to sell the same unit (unsuccessfully) for three years or more, or if he might be gradually liquidating pallets of them ? The stratospheric asking prices would have to be a major drag on sales. Spending that much scratch on old hardware in uncertain condition is a major risk. I don't know anything about this seller, so this is not an endorsement, even for those willing to pay such an amount. But looking over his 'Items for Sale', I could see that he is specializing in this general area of electronics, and has been dealing with significant volumes of it.
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  16. I find it strange that you guys in the us/canada can't record with the equivalent of a dvb card (atsc?)+ cam (to decrypt).
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    Originally Posted by themaster1 View Post
    I find it strange that you guys in the us/canada can't record with the equivalent of a dvb card (atsc?)+ cam (to decrypt).
    CAMs aren't available in the USA for our satellite TV services. There is no legal requirement for it, and the service providers would rather rent/sell receivers. The USA has a legal requirement for cable TV services to provide CAMs (called CableCARDs), although there are very few third-party devices available to use them. The FCC has always treated satellite TV providers differently, perhaps on account of their smaller market share.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 12th May 2016 at 19:33. Reason: typos
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  18. I'm a DISH Subscriber, I have the Hopper 3 receiver and 1 Joey, I can record 8 shows at the same time in HD, 2000 hours worth on board the receiver. This setup is pretty awesome IMHO. I still have a Sony DVD recorder hooked up to it for when I want an actual disk, although not in HD they still come out looking good when upscaled via playback.
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  19. Originally Posted by sum_guy View Post
    I'm a DISH Subscriber, I have the Hopper 3 receiver and 1 Joey, I can record 8 shows at the same time in HD, 2000 hours worth on board the receiver. This setup is pretty awesome IMHO. I still have a Sony DVD recorder hooked up to it for when I want an actual disk, although not in HD they still come out looking good when upscaled via playback.
    I'm wondering if you had any problems hooking it up? I have a Hopper 3 receiver and Joey, too. I hooked my combo DVD recorder/VCR to the Joey via the RCA a/v plugs and that works fine, but it doesn't work for me when I tried to hook another one up to the main Hopper receiver. No picture, no sound. I think in the past, when I had the older DISH 722, I had it hooked up with an S Video cable, but the Hopper doesn't have S Video. It only has one outgoing HDMI cable, to the TV. I even tried putting the coaxial cable directly to the DVD Recorder, but the coaxial cable is a different kind or something. It doesn't fit at all. I've been very frustrated.

    Thanks for your help.
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  20. I have my DVD recorder connected via the yellow/red/white rca component plugs on the back of the Hopper 3, works perfectly. Maybe you need to change your "input" settings via the remote for your combo box?
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  21. Thanks, I tried that...didn't help...
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  22. I finally got it to work! Not sure why I couldn't before. So thanks!
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