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Author Topic: DVR Luddite has questions  (Read 603 times)
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ATB
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« on: September 16, 2009, 01:00:01 PM »

My wife and I get HD over the air and we're wondering if we can use a DVR to record shows without having a cable/satellite subscription... and/or do you have to have a monthly subscription to the manufacturer of the dvr itself?

Ideally, we'd just buy one and use it to record stuff like we do a vcr...but do so in HD.

Lil' help


ps. did a search on DVR but didn't see a thread specifically discussing the tech.


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Ironrod
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 03:21:24 PM »

I can't answer that, but I'd like to piggyback another DVR question on your thread: Is there a way to permanently save a program recorded by DVR (e.g., burn it to DVD)?
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CeeKay
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 03:26:36 PM »

Tivo requires a subscription, not sure about any others though.

Quote from: Ironrod on September 16, 2009, 03:21:24 PM

I can't answer that, but I'd like to piggyback another DVR question on your thread: Is there a way to permanently save a program recorded by DVR (e.g., burn it to DVD)?

I know my cable companies DVR has an option to copy stuff to a VCR, but I'm not sure about DVD's.
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Hamsterball_Z
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 03:38:51 PM »

I had a Panasonic DVR at one time.  No subscription needed and it picked up a tv guide listing so recording a show was as easy as selecting it off a menu, just like tivo or cable dvrs.  It even had a DVD burner.  Panasonic wasn't the only one, there were a lot of brands making them at the time.  They're probably still available or you might be able to find a used one on ebay. 

Another option would be a PC with MythTV.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 04:11:51 PM »

1. Not sure. I know with our cable that we would need a HD DVR and we dont want to bother right now.

2. To record and save your stuff you could use a external hard drive. With ours we can hook up an external drive via USB and the DVR will write its OS to that and use it to record and bypass the internal drive. Then if we unhook the external it will go back to using the internal one. So in theory all the stuff we wanted to save would be on the external one. How to get it off from there is anyone's guess smile
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Crawley
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 06:31:31 PM »

The TiVo HD will record HD shows over the air. But the device requires a subscription in order to work. Subscriptions are monthly/yearly or lifetime based. http://www.tivo.com/dvr-products/tivo-hd-dvr/index.html
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Punisher
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 09:48:37 PM »

Tivo also has software you can purchase with your subscription that will allow you to save to DVD or a portable device I believe.
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Einsteinium
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 10:35:14 PM »

If you feel like building one, a DVR isn't that hard to make. I haven't done the Linux variety, but I've had one for 5 years in a Windows MCE box. About to put in a HD tuner card, http://www.hauppauge.com/ has the ones I use now. If you have an older computer (1-2 Ghz) with a decently large hard drive, this would be pretty simple. Plug in, scan, and it will act like a DVR with more personal control.

Sometimes there are copy protected programs, usually first run, that go away upon rerun. Other than that, I love my DVR.
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2009, 04:59:47 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on September 16, 2009, 03:21:24 PM

I can't answer that, but I'd like to piggyback another DVR question on your thread: Is there a way to permanently save a program recorded by DVR (e.g., burn it to DVD)?

TiVos have analog ports out to allow you to save to either VHS or DVD.  It won't make as nice of a copy but it can be done very easily.

Or, with a little more fiddling on the PC end of things, there is an open-source software project that will rip content via ethernet to your PC and then convert it to .avi.  You could then watch the ripped content from a media server or burn it to disc to watch on a PC.

The big problem is defeating TiVo's DRM, some shows have it and some don't.
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