DVR recommendation

Posted by: Wid

DVR recommendation - 06/27/10 07:10 PM


We've been considering getting a dvr so we can watch some programming that comes on later at night. I called our cable provider (Comcast) and they want $16.95 a month to rent theirs. That to me is ridiculous.

What would be a good stand alone dvr that wouldn't break the bank. I tried looking around and didn't make much sense of most of it.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/27/10 08:22 PM

Rick, a standalone DVR such as the TiVo still requires a monthly fee... in essance because the unit relies heavily on constantly-updating program data to allow for the great way it operates.
Posted by: Wid

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/27/10 08:29 PM


Well darn it, what to do, what to do?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/27/10 08:32 PM

Get a TiVo anyway. In a month, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Seriously.
Posted by: Wid

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/27/10 08:40 PM


I'll check into it. Thanks Mark.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/27/10 08:44 PM

Or get a TiVo with a lifetime subscription. It costs (a lot) more upfront, but if you keep the unit for several years, it pays for itself. Of course, the lifetime subscription is permanently attached to the unit, so you can't upgrade without the significant cost of buying a second lifetime subscription.
Posted by: fredk

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/27/10 10:50 PM

Originally Posted By: wid

Well darn it, what to do, what to do?

Repent and cancel cable.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 01:45 AM

Tivo. You can hunt Craigslist or ebay for a Tivo HD (or Series 3 but HD will be cheaper). Then you get a Cablecard from Comcast. Yeah, you have to pay the monthly fee but the GUI is much better than Comcast AND you can pull the shows off Tivo onto your PC/Mac and view it on the road. The Tivo will also play Netflix.

If you are handy w/ Linux, you can upgrade/replace the Tivo drives yourself. If not, you can always get pre-programmed drives on Weaknees or DVRUpgrade.

Sometimes you actually can transfer lifetime w/ a fee, I've done it before. But you almost never do that. I have one box w/ Lifetime and just pay a monthly, reduced rate on the 2nd box. W/ multiple Tivos, you can share shows between boxes, then you don't have to record the same shows in different boxes. Think of it as distributed storage.

The Tivo can also see video servers on the network and play video that way. It's not really DLNA, but it's close.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 01:54 AM

What do you use to transfer shows to your Mac? I know Roxio has a solution, but it pains me even now to pay for Toast...
Posted by: medic8r

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 09:49 AM

TiVo is indeed a life-changer.

DirecTV is cheaper, but you don't get real TiVo, you get their own knock off, which is not that bad, now that I've gotten used to it. On the plus side, I only pay $5 monthly for it.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 01:44 PM

Rick - you might also want to take a look at the Moxi boxes.

I've been sitting on the fence for over a year, wondering if I should get a TiVo or Moxi and dump the DVR that the cable company is making me rent.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 02:51 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
What do you use to transfer shows to your Mac? I know Roxio has a solution, but it pains me even now to pay for Toast...


I'm w/ you. I liked Toast but I hated paying for it.

There's a few open source ones I like and that work well. TivoDecodeManager works well. If I remember the other one, I'll post.

My HP MediaSmart Server EX495 now has a Tivo plug in. I don't know if it's a standard plug in for WHS.

pyTivo works great for sharing to the Tivo.

I've looked at Moxi for years. Sadly, they have never been able to release a box at a decent price point. The concept is fantastic, the execution, not so much.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 02:55 PM

Oh, it's a decent price point if you consider that they're competing with a TiVo+Lifetime. Of course, I think that's insanely expensive, too...

How's the UI? I noticed that there's not a lot of pics of it on their site...
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 03:07 PM

Which UI? Moxi? I've never seen it, to be honest. I don't know anyone that's even considered it.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 03:08 PM

Yeah, Moxi. The reviews I read of TiVo's new UI were not exactly positive.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 03:35 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Yeah, Moxi. The reviews I read of TiVo's new UI were not exactly positive.


I think the new Tivo GUI is nice but not worth buying a Premiere. I'd still just buy a Tivo HD and save the money. It doesn't sound like the performance is that much faster.
Posted by: Potatohead

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 04:56 PM

Tivo/DVR/PVR is so great, I could not go without one anymore, got my first one about four years ago. I still contend they add hours in the day because you can go run an errand, come home with the game (or whatever) half over and you just about finish watching the same time as the live broadcast anyway.

Up here we can rent them for about $20 a month but I just bought both of mine up front.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/28/10 05:36 PM

Tivo is like the TV version of Axiom. wink All the fans pour out of the woodwork.

Now if you add Tivo w/ your Slingbox like I do, you'll NEVER get anything done...
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: DVR recommendation - 06/30/10 01:36 PM

I'm with JP, I use DirecTV and their box and have been really happy with it.