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dumb question on dvr's


DVR's are great, but I don't require all the intelligent services that make up the monthly fee.  I simply want a machine would record tv shows onto a harddrive, pause live tv, 30 second fast forwarding, etc.  The user would have to input the time, date, and channel to record, much like a vcr.  Does such a dvr exist?

fee phobe
Friday, April 30, 2004

I think if you buy a All-In-Wonder card like the ones from ATI you get free (but uh, not exactly perfect) scheduled recording with Guide Plus or something like that. All of the recording software out there will likely do schedules, for TV capture software it's an basic feature people come to expect.

Li-fan Chen
Friday, April 30, 2004

Or Freevo for the uber-nerds:

http://freevo.sourceforge.net/about.html

Infinite Monkeys
Friday, April 30, 2004

Or MythTV, also for uber-nerds.

www.mythtv.org

sgf
Friday, April 30, 2004

If you're looking for something prebuilt, Panasonic DVD recorders DMR-E80H and DMR-E100HS have hard drives and require explicit programming.  I'm not sure about how they handle pausing live TV.  They're typically more expensive than a tivo + lifetime subscription, however.  If you can put the DVD recorder feature to use archiving home movies or whatever then perhaps you could justify one.

I have one of the Panasonic recorders without the hard drive and it can do most of what you ask but only has a 6 hour capacity per disc.  It doesn't have the exact equivalent of a pause live TV function but can play and record different shows simultaneously.

RCA made one called the Scenium.  I don't believe it's manufactured anymore but they're available on eBay.

There are also tivos that come with a basic subscription that doesn't require an additional monthly fee.  Toshiba makes one.

Doug
Friday, April 30, 2004

I am planning on building a DVR soon, my second try really. I am thinking of putting in your basic 256Mb DDR333 + Fast Celery + All in one Mobo + ATI AIW card + el cheapo quiet case. Have it hook up to a remote server for the actual hard disk reading and writing.. any suggestions on a good (even quieter) alternative?

Li-fan Chen
Friday, April 30, 2004

Li-fan Chen - you can use one of VIA's Mini-ITX series - the lower powered ones don't have any fans and even the higher powered ones can have their heatsinks upgraded to be passively cooled.  I built a MythTV box using a 1GHz Nehemiah and it works really well.

r1ch
Saturday, May 01, 2004

Li-fan Chen,
  If you're planning on a Linux variant (MythTV etc.) watch out for the ATI AIW cards - driver support is bad. The Happague PVR 250/350 seem to be better supported.

sgf
Saturday, May 01, 2004

You can get a Windows XP media center machine and that includes dvr functionality with no additional charges.

chris
Saturday, May 01, 2004

Question,
 
If you buy a box with a lifetime service package, and that company goes under, can you redirect your box to another service provider?

If you buy a box with one company, can you redirect your service to mythtv or freevo?

Speaking of "Windows XP media center machine", is there  software that can use your cable modem connection for recording?

fee phobe
Saturday, May 01, 2004

The open source apps like MythTV (and, presumably, freevo) use things like XMLTV to pick up information from free services so that no subscription is required.

r1ch
Saturday, May 01, 2004

I have TIVO and don't pay the fee.  I know when the shows I like are on, and just set it to record like a VCR.  I personally don't see the value in paying for the service.  TIVO works fine without it, other than some nag messages.

Jason
Sunday, May 02, 2004

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