DVR for OTA TV

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OldOne
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DVR for OTA TV

Post by OldOne » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:20 pm

I need a DVR for recording OTA TV programming from stations including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and the various UHF channels available in a big city. This DVR will be connected to a TV that receives only OTA TV signals through a roof antenna. I don't want to pay for anything like TIVO charges; WIFI connection is not necessary; I just want a DVR that will mostly be used for PBS programming and maybe some college football if that ever happens in my lifetime. I'll be using this on a 2nd TV (call it secondary TV) which is connected, as I said, (ONLY) to a roof antenna.

What I have now on my primary TV is AT&T Uverse and I'm not happy with neither Uverse nor AT&T and am considering options. So, I want a DVR that I can use to record mostly PBS programming in case I drop Uverse and the Uverse DVR with no recording option available.

I see DVR's such as Nuvyyo Tablo Quad DVR, Amazon Fire Recast, Plex, and several others which may work just fine. But I'm mainly wanting simplicity, that is record the program and play it back when I want - no frills.

As for dropping Uverse and adding YouTube TV, Sling TV or some of those options, I'll figures that out later. Main thing now is to get a DVR for my OTA TV. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:44 pm

You get what you pay for. For value, features and convience its impossible to beat a Tivo. They sell an OTA model designed specifically for use with HD antenna and internet streaming. It does all the work flawlessly recording what you want, inserts skips for commercials, updates itself on several times a week, and is bulletproof reliable. Or you can cheap out and cobble together one or more lesser devices getting something a level of magnitude less capable and reliable. Different strokes for different folks.

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noraz123
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by noraz123 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:50 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:44 pm
You get what you pay for. For value, features and convience its impossible to beat a Tivo.
I agree. I would recommend looking for a used Tivo that has a lifetime subscription. Here's an example of one in my area - https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/ele/d/ ... 05657.html

That one is newer and is selling for $250. I have seen older ones with lifetime subscription sell for $100 or so.

You would need an internet connection so you can update the channel guide info.

Stinger72
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Stinger72 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:00 am

3rd reply on the Tivo.. By the time you get something working that is bulletproof, you will have spent similar. I'm going the same route, although I'm a long time Tivo user since Series one, we cut the cord and am shopping for an OTA Bolt.. Amazon has them for $137 (so does Best Buy).. Then you decide if you want to pay $6.99 a month, or $249 for Lifetime. They had a recent sale that was $249 for the OTA bolt + lifetime, but I missed that.I could also buy used, but think I may do the $137 and just do $6.99 a month. I already have Mini's throughout the house, so it really makes sense for me to be able to share the OTA DVR.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:09 am

I too would recommend an older TiVo OTA DVR-1TB with Lifetime Guide Subscription. They are great machines for OTA programming like you want. They are less great for streaming but if you ever wanted that you can always use a Roku or Chromecast for that as long as you have sufficient HDMI inputs on your TV. It sounds like you'll be happy with OTA only.

I've had one of these for 4+ years now. The fan started getting noisy after a couple of years and I found the Weaknees.com site which carries a large inventory of high quality repair parts and provides excellent instructions for doing repairs. I changed out my fan and the DVR is still running strong. I love the machine and will be very disappointed if/when it dies and I am unable to fix it.

I do not use the TiVo minis for other TVs, I just use it on one TV. Since I stream (using Roku or Chromecast) as well as using the TiVo I just stream on the others. But the TiVo is our go-to for most watching because it is so intuitive and convenient for recording and watching OTA programming.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bikesandbeers
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by bikesandbeers » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:11 am

I have a FireTV recast. The tivo is much beter as a set top box. However if you want to stream recordings to multiple devices, including tablet, the recast works well.

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GerryL
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by GerryL » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:23 am

Some years back, someone on this site mentioned that Tivo sometimes had brief sales when they were selling off old models. I set up a Google news alert and, sure enough, one day I was notified about a sale on refurbished and new OTA Tivo DVRs with a lifetime subscription option. Paid out once and have been happily Tivo-ing ever since. I rarely watch live programming anymore, opting to time shift shows even if I watch them same day.

With Tivo it is actually the ease of programming that you are paying for with the subscription. Every other option I considered back then was just more effort than I wanted to put into it.

brybogle
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by brybogle » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:03 am

Get an HDHomeRun tuner, this connects your OTA antenna to your ethernet network. Get an Android TV, preferably an Nvidia Shield but even those $50 models (like the Tivo Stream) will do. Verify it can play TV off your antenna via the Live Channels app. Buy an external HDD or microSD card to store your DVR videos, and you're done. It's not as seamless as a Tivo, but there's no monthly fees.

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KSOC
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by KSOC » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:10 am

TiVo here too. I bought a Roamio OTA (500 GB hard drive) with Lifetime service, in 2015 for $300. It's been flawless. I second weaknees.com for refurbed TiVo's.
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crefwatch
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by crefwatch » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:30 am

My TIVO Bolt runs very hot, and has no fan. So I added an external fan which lowered the surface temperature to the room’s. The commercial skip is almost worth the monthly fee. I saw that the OP mainly watches PBS, however. I would not want to manually program every recording I wanted- I remember VCRs in the 1980s.

Millennial
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Millennial » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:34 am

I used Plex for this. It's really great (especially because we can access the recordings and live TV from any TV in the house via Roku apps).

It is not simple though. Based on your list of wants, I would not use Plex.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by bob60014 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:38 am

I have used Tablo (older version) in the past without issue. Easy to set up and I'm sure they have updated it.

A440
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by A440 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:00 am

If you tend to watch a lot of PBS shows, another option for PBS is to use their Passport streaming service. Either $5/month or $60/year for a tax-deductible member donation. You still wouldn't be able to DVR other channels, but many channels offer streaming shows for free. If they have what you want for free, maybe consider getting a chromecast device https://store.google.com/us/product/chromecast for $30. You TV would need an available HDMI port.
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saywhat
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by saywhat » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:39 am

Been using Tablo Dual for 3 years now. It can record multiple shows at the same time and stream to multiple displays/TVs. If you want "auto" recording features (like TiVo) then the subscription fee is $5/month or $150/lifetime of the account. There is a lot of flexibility as well and can stream to Roku, Samsung TV, phone, computer, etc.

I has worked really well for us and would recommend it!

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OldOne
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by OldOne » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:26 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:44 pm
You get what you pay for. For value, features and convience its impossible to beat a Tivo. They sell an OTA model designed specifically for use with HD antenna and internet streaming. It does all the work flawlessly recording what you want, inserts skips for commercials, updates itself on several times a week, and is bulletproof reliable. Or you can cheap out and cobble together one or more lesser devices getting something a level of magnitude less capable and reliable. Different strokes for different folks.
I'm sold. I'll look at the HDHomeRun too but after looking closer at Tivo Bolt OTA (or older model at some of those available sources) I think that would work best for my needs. I'd want the lifetime subscription and be done with that. That would take care of this one TV I have connected to roof antenna.
Now, another question . . will the Tivo Bolt VOX OTA unit work for Uverse, or Direct or DISH service? I pay AT&T $10/month for DVR rental. I'd pay Direct TV, or Dish TV for rental too. Would a Tivo work instead?

Hopefully I can get away from the cable and satellite TV completely. I'm streaming more and more now days.

Thanks for all the feedback from all of you.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by lazydavid » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:36 am

OldOne wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:26 am
Now, another question . . will the Tivo Bolt VOX OTA unit work for Uverse, or Direct or DISH service? I pay AT&T $10/month for DVR rental. I'd pay Direct TV, or Dish TV for rental too. Would a Tivo work instead?
The "OTA" means "Over The Air". This is a special version of TiVo units that can ONLY receive signals via an antenna. There is no cable or satellite tuner, no slot for a CableCARD or Satellite access Card.

If you want a Bolt that can do antenna and Cable (but still not satellite), I would be willing to sell you mine. We cut the cord completely last year, and are using YouTubeTV via Amazon FireTV devices, and have added a FireTV Recast for recording from antenna (one of our local channels is not on YTTV but has several shows we really like), so our TiVos are no longer used.

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galving
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by galving » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:42 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:44 pm
You get what you pay for. For value, features and convience its impossible to beat a Tivo. They sell an OTA model designed specifically for use with HD antenna and internet streaming. It does all the work flawlessly recording what you want, inserts skips for commercials, updates itself on several times a week, and is bulletproof reliable. Or you can cheap out and cobble together one or more lesser devices getting something a level of magnitude less capable and reliable. Different strokes for different folks.
Fully endorse the TiVo option.
I always avoid the monthly fee option, even pre-paying for a lifetime service if necessary.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by BuddyJet » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:47 am

Before deciding on a TiVo, I’d suggest a careful look at the Amazon Recast. There are no monthly fees after purchase. The DVR is pretty easy and you can watch the device through the home internet or even when away from the house. It also allows watching live tv from devices without an antenna connection so you are not just limited to DVR.
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leviathan
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by leviathan » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:04 am

I have this (viewtv at 163). I use it as a tv tuner connected to monitor. I haven't tried, but it has the PVR capability.
https://www.amazon.com/AT-163-Converter ... B00GGVPKKC

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:29 am

My suggestion is to go with the older TiVo OTA-1Tb DVR for your antenna TV (with lifetime guide). Then if you want to add streaming buy a Roku. Each of these devices are excellent at what they do. All you need to do is change inputs depending on which one you want to use (you do need at least two HDMI inputs and three if you are keeping cable/satellite for awhile). Combination devices involve more compromises. Specialized devices are the best at what they do.
Have a plan, stay the course, and simplify. And while you're at it, ignore the noise!

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by crefwatch » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:00 pm

My Tivo is OTA only, but I believe that the Cablecard capable Tivo (which they have made and developed for an even longer time) is much more expensive. I would think that, regardless of the number of tuners in the Tivo box, the Cablecard may have a limit (perhaps as low as 1 or 2) simultaneous tunings through the cable/satellite company. Check into that carefully versus your needs. Especially, if as I have, PBS is one of your weakest and sometimes intermittent OTA stations!

Chip
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Chip » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:04 pm

crefwatch wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:00 pm
I would think that, regardless of the number of tuners in the Tivo box, the Cablecard may have a limit (perhaps as low as 1 or 2) simultaneous tunings through the cable/satellite company.
It may vary by cable company, but my cable-card equipped Bolt can tune in up to six channels simultaneously. i.e. watch 1 and record 5.

j9j
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by j9j » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:08 pm

++1 on TiVo option. I have had a variety of dvr solutions. I keep coming back to TiVo(since early 2000s).

And lifetime sub has always been best value.

TexasMu
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by TexasMu » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:54 pm

There is a low tech / low buck version called Homeworx HW-150PVR that just needs a portable hard drive and an antennae. You have to manually set your recordings but will repeat daily, weekly, etc. You can also take the recordings off the portable hard drive and watch on a pc.

Here is a link to it on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HomeW ... 484&sr=8-3

It goes for $40 so not much of a loss if you try it and then move on to a Tivo.

Seal the Deal
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Seal the Deal » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:28 pm

I wouldn't pay TiVo prices, or for a monthly subscription.

I have an older version of a channelmaster DVR that has worked flawlessly for 5+ years.

Here's a link to their current OTA DVR, $99.

https://www.channelmaster.com/Stream_OT ... m-7600.htm

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by lazydavid » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:29 pm

Chip wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:04 pm
It may vary by cable company, but my cable-card equipped Bolt can tune in up to six channels simultaneously. i.e. watch 1 and record 5.
That’s a neat trick, since the Bolt only has four physical turners, and is therefore only technically capable of tuning four channels simultaneously. The older Roamio and the new TiVo Edge both have six tuners.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by chemocean » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:01 pm

I use IView 3500STBII (~$45) on unencrupted digital cable, but it works with an antenna also. Its a converter that just happens to allow the digital signal to be recorded on any digital media (USB flashdrive or a 1 tetrabyte harddrive). Its like a digital VCR and you have to fast forward the commercials (up to 32X). Just the cost of the iView and any digital media, no subscription.

brybogle
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by brybogle » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:24 pm

In short:

If you're willing to pay $250+, Tivo with lifetime subscription. Only does Tivo stuff, but does it really well, plug and play.

If you're willing to pay $125+, hdhomerun with an Android TV stick. Also gets you YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, etc, etc. hdhomerun gives you more flexibility in the future, for example, to stream a football game to your phone when you're out. Or connect with cablecard rather than only antenna, etc. More of a DIY option though.

If you're willing to pay $50+, some of the more manual options can be used. Presumably no guide, you are just programming channels and times.

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GerryL
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by GerryL » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:48 pm

brybogle wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:24 pm
In short:

If you're willing to pay $250+, Tivo with lifetime subscription. Only does Tivo stuff, but does it really well, plug and play.

If you're willing to pay $125+, hdhomerun with an Android TV stick. Also gets you YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, etc, etc. hdhomerun gives you more flexibility in the future, for example, to stream a football game to your phone when you're out. Or connect with cablecard rather than only antenna, etc. More of a DIY option though.

If you're willing to pay $50+, some of the more manual options can be used. Presumably no guide, you are just programming channels and times.
Note: I access Netflix and YouTube through my OTA Tivo box. Several other streaming apps are also available through Tivo.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Monsterflockster » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:53 pm

saywhat wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:39 am
Been using Tablo Dual for 3 years now. It can record multiple shows at the same time and stream to multiple displays/TVs. If you want "auto" recording features (like TiVo) then the subscription fee is $5/month or $150/lifetime of the account. There is a lot of flexibility as well and can stream to Roku, Samsung TV, phone, computer, etc.

I has worked really well for us and would recommend it!
Tablo is the best product for the price. I’d go with the on-site storage. Easier than linking your own portable starage and works better too.

criticalmass
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by criticalmass » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:02 pm

OldOne wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:20 pm
I need a DVR for recording OTA TV programming from stations including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and the various UHF channels available in a big city. This DVR will be connected to a TV that receives only OTA TV signals through a roof antenna. I don't want to pay for anything like TIVO charges; WIFI connection is not necessary; I just want a DVR that will mostly be used for PBS programming and maybe some college football if that ever happens in my lifetime. I'll be using this on a 2nd TV (call it secondary TV) which is connected, as I said, (ONLY) to a roof antenna.
Why do you think TiVo is too much? I think TiVo is a good value. Just be sure you get the lifetime subscription included. I paid about $200 for the older OTA model, which included the hardware and lifetime subscription for broadcast. It has several tuners, allows you to rewind live tv up to 30 minutes on all of them while watching live, or can record simultaneous shows. The guide is essential for setting up automatic recordings and extremely useful for watching tv. You can even record while away from home via their webpage.
There are other solutions out there, so if you find something better for the price go for it.

Biggest downside to TiVo is the fan gets noisy after a year or two until you lubricate it every now and then. I use a tiny drop of chain lube.
Last edited by criticalmass on Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

criticalmass
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by criticalmass » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:09 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:29 pm
Chip wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:04 pm
It may vary by cable company, but my cable-card equipped Bolt can tune in up to six channels simultaneously. i.e. watch 1 and record 5.
That’s a neat trick, since the Bolt only has four physical turners, and is therefore only technically capable of tuning four channels simultaneously. The older Roamio and the new TiVo Edge both have six tuners.
This is mistaken. Some Bolt models have six (6) tuners. Some Roamio models have 4 tuners.
6 is overkill for my needs by far.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:48 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:02 pm
OldOne wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:20 pm
I need a DVR for recording OTA TV programming from stations including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and the various UHF channels available in a big city. This DVR will be connected to a TV that receives only OTA TV signals through a roof antenna. I don't want to pay for anything like TIVO charges; WIFI connection is not necessary; I just want a DVR that will mostly be used for PBS programming and maybe some college football if that ever happens in my lifetime. I'll be using this on a 2nd TV (call it secondary TV) which is connected, as I said, (ONLY) to a roof antenna.
Why do you think TiVo is too much? I think TiVo is a good value. Just be sure you get the lifetime subscription included. I paid about $200 for the older OTA model, which included the hardware and lifetime subscription for broadcast. It has several tuners, allows you to rewind live tv up to 30 minutes on all of them while watching live, or can record simultaneous shows. The guide is essential for setting up automatic recordings and extremely useful for watching tv. You can even record while away from home via their webpage.
There are other solutions out there, so if you find something better for the price go for it.

Biggest downside to TiVo is the fan gets noisy after a year or two until you lubricate it every now and then. I use a tiny drop of chain lube.
Or get a new fan from Weaknees and spend a few minutes replacing it and you re good to go for two more years and counting.
Have a plan, stay the course, and simplify. And while you're at it, ignore the noise!

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Chip » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:19 am

lazydavid wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:29 pm
That’s a neat trick, since the Bolt only has four physical turners, and is therefore only technically capable of tuning four channels simultaneously. The older Roamio and the new TiVo Edge both have six tuners.
I have the 3 TB Bolt+, which has six tuners. So, as noted by criticalmass, not as neat a trick as you think.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by lazydavid » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:01 am

Chip wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:19 am
I have the 3 TB Bolt+, which has six tuners. So, as noted by criticalmass, not as neat a trick as you think.
You did say Bolt and not Bolt+ :)

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by ncbill » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:45 am

Chip wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:19 am
lazydavid wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:29 pm
That’s a neat trick, since the Bolt only has four physical turners, and is therefore only technically capable of tuning four channels simultaneously. The older Roamio and the new TiVo Edge both have six tuners.
I have the 3 TB Bolt+, which has six tuners. So, as noted by criticalmass, not as neat a trick as you think.
6 tuner Tivos are digital cable-only, no OTA tuners.

Models that tune either digital cable or OTA (one or the other, not both at once) top out at 4 tuners for the most recent models (Roamio/Bolt)

on eBay I recently saw a base Roamio w/ lifetime service (4 tuner, OTA or cable) upgraded to a 3TB drive (~450 hours of HD shows) sell for a little over $200.

Tivo will be the simplest setup...antenna to Tivo, HDMI cable from the Tivo to HDTV.

Other solutions involve network boxes connected to the antenna then sending the signal wirelessly to a FireTV/Roku/etc connected to the TV & most of those (excepting Recast) still require a separate payment (annual/lifetime) for the channel guide.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Monsterflockster » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:04 am

criticalmass wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:02 pm
OldOne wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:20 pm
I need a DVR for recording OTA TV programming from stations including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and the various UHF channels available in a big city. This DVR will be connected to a TV that receives only OTA TV signals through a roof antenna. I don't want to pay for anything like TIVO charges; WIFI connection is not necessary; I just want a DVR that will mostly be used for PBS programming and maybe some college football if that ever happens in my lifetime. I'll be using this on a 2nd TV (call it secondary TV) which is connected, as I said, (ONLY) to a roof antenna.
Why do you think TiVo is too much? I think TiVo is a good value. Just be sure you get the lifetime subscription included. I paid about $200 for the older OTA model, which included the hardware and lifetime subscription for broadcast. It has several tuners, allows you to rewind live tv up to 30 minutes on all of them while watching live, or can record simultaneous shows. The guide is essential for setting up automatic recordings and extremely useful for watching tv. You can even record while away from home via their webpage.
There are other solutions out there, so if you find something better for the price go for it.

Biggest downside to TiVo is the fan gets noisy after a year or two until you lubricate it every now and then. I use a tiny drop of chain lube.
I went Tablo because of the cost. I got the “DVR” for $99 and paid the lifetime subscription. That’s it.

With TiVo you need bolts in other rooms with Tablo you can steam via an ap to as many TVs and computers in your house. I even have it set up to access shows through the ap when I’m not home.

I do agree tha TIVO is great. It was just 3x more expensive for what I use it for.

rec630
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by rec630 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:33 pm

ChannelMaster also has/had an OTA DVR but not sure how the latest product compares/performs to their older product or competitors.

A couple of years ago Magnavox also had one that let you burn to a DVD but not sure if discontinued, at least in the US. Was available via Walmart and some specialty stores. As people just use rented cable company DVRs and US demand decreased, supply went down and prices went up.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:17 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:02 pm
Biggest downside to TiVo is the fan gets noisy after a year or two until you lubricate it every now and then. I use a tiny drop of chain lube.
I was going to post this too. I have to periodically open up my Tivo and lubricate the fan. I use silicon lubricant spray, taking extreme care to not drip any lubricant on the electronics. I also bought a spare fan, just in case the original stops working. My maintenance routine is to choose a time when I know it won't be recording anything for a few hours, use compressed air to clean off the dust, apply a few drops of lubricant to the fan and manually spin the fan to distribute the lubricant, and then I let it sit for a couple of hours to give the lubricant time to work its way in to the innards of the fan.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:27 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:17 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:02 pm
Biggest downside to TiVo is the fan gets noisy after a year or two until you lubricate it every now and then. I use a tiny drop of chain lube.
I was going to post this too. I have to periodically open up my Tivo and lubricate the fan. I use silicon lubricant spray, taking extreme care to not drip any lubricant on the electronics. I also bought a spare fan, just in case the original stops working. My maintenance routine is to choose a time when I know it won't be recording anything for a few hours, use compressed air to clean off the dust, apply a few drops of lubricant to the fan and manually spin the fan to distribute the lubricant, and then I let it sit for a couple of hours to give the lubricant time to work its way in to the innards of the fan.
Why not just install your new fan (it's easy and Weaknees has an excellent "how-to" video) and buy another for future backup? It seems like you're risking damage by continually opening the unit up and oiling it.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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IlliniGuy
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by IlliniGuy » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:26 pm

I have both a TiVo (Roamio with lifetime service) and a Tablo.

The TiVo is great at recording shows off my antenna. It is terrible for streaming (e.g., Netflix) compared to Roku and other streamers. I also can’t watch on my iPad or on other TVs via TiVo Mini units because I can’t connect the TiVo to my router via Ethernet due to location. While there are solutions to this, they are not simple or cheap.

I bought the Tablo last November with a Black Friday deal to give me options for watching on my iPad and other TVs, and it does that very well. I considered paying for a Tablo subscription and ditching the TiVo, but the Tablo with the subscription, while very functional, is not as slick and easy to use as the TiVo. The Tablo is accessible via my Roku, so it’s convenient to have the Tablo app along side the streaming services.

If my TiVo died, I wouldn’t replace it, and I would just get the Tablo lifetime subscription. However, I’m happy to use the TiVo as long as it keeps chugging along. TiVo, while great at it’s primary task, is expensive and not as versatile at other functions.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:38 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:27 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:17 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:02 pm
Biggest downside to TiVo is the fan gets noisy after a year or two until you lubricate it every now and then. I use a tiny drop of chain lube.
I was going to post this too. I have to periodically open up my Tivo and lubricate the fan. I use silicon lubricant spray, taking extreme care to not drip any lubricant on the electronics. I also bought a spare fan, just in case the original stops working. My maintenance routine is to choose a time when I know it won't be recording anything for a few hours, use compressed air to clean off the dust, apply a few drops of lubricant to the fan and manually spin the fan to distribute the lubricant, and then I let it sit for a couple of hours to give the lubricant time to work its way in to the innards of the fan.
Why not just install your new fan (it's easy and Weaknees has an excellent "how-to" video) and buy another for future backup? It seems like your risking damage by continually opening the unit up and oiling it.
There's not much damage risk to opening the unit, short of breaking a plastic tab on the cover. I find it's useful to clean the accumulated dust on a regular basis, along with maintenance on the fan. I do have many cats though, so dust is a constant problem even with HEPA filters (litter, dander, etc).

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Stinger72 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:47 am

galving wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:42 am
Fully endorse the TiVo option.
I always avoid the monthly fee option, even pre-paying for a lifetime service if necessary.
I would normally agree with this, but unless you are able to secure the amazing deal that just happened in early June and get an OTA bolt with lifetime for $249, I'm not sure I'm sold on the lifetime value given the changing times. I have always purchased lifetime on my Tivo units, but with my recent purchase to an OTA bolt from a cable card Roamio, I opted $6.99 a month instead of paying $249. Essentially, I am betting I choose a different solution in the 35 months it would take to payback the lifetime MSRP cost.

I'd imagine local channels will all offer online streaming of their channel in the upcoming years. Again, I never felt that way previously with the Tivo, but I'm there now.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by KSOC » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:52 am

Stinger72 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:47 am
galving wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:42 am
Fully endorse the TiVo option.
I always avoid the monthly fee option, even pre-paying for a lifetime service if necessary.
I would normally agree with this, but unless you are able to secure the amazing deal that just happened in early June and get an OTA bolt with lifetime for $249, I'm not sure I'm sold on the lifetime value given the changing times. I have always purchased lifetime on my Tivo units, but with my recent purchase to an OTA bolt from a cable card Roamio, I opted $6.99 a month instead of paying $249. Essentially, I am betting I choose a different solution in the 35 months it would take to payback the lifetime MSRP cost.

I'd imagine local channels will all offer online streaming of their channel in the upcoming years. Again, I never felt that way previously with the Tivo, but I'm there now.
I see your point. $250 for what really. No way I would have bought mine without the Lifetime included. As far as streaming local channels in the future, I'm sure that will occur, but without the TiVo service, could you record, pause, skip & schedule?
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. | Nobody told me there'd be days like these.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Bitzer » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:43 am

Can I access recorded programs from the Tablo cloud DVR anywhere? For example, can I access my cloud DVR using my Android phone from the car? Thanks!

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Monsterflockster » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:09 am

Bitzer wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:43 am
Can I access recorded programs from the Tablo cloud DVR anywhere? For example, can I access my cloud DVR using my Android phone from the car? Thanks!
Yes. But you will need to set it up through your network. You may be able to with the cloud storage subscription but I don’t do that as its $5 a month.

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OldOne
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by OldOne » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:43 pm

OK. After reading all these comments and suggestions I settled on Tivo Bolt Vox for OTA. After getting it hooked up to my TV and turned on, following on-screen instructions, what I got after going through a lot of this and that and waiting I got this message which read: PLEASE REPORT THIS PROBLEM You have encountered an unexpected error, and the UI cannot continue. Please report this issue as a part of our beta program. Please include the following information in your report. . . . . and it goes on with some more words/statements that I won't include here. There is no way out from that message. I turned the Tivo off and back on and same problem. I get the same message. What "Beta program"?

I'll try again tomorrow and if I get the same message will box up the Tivo and take it back. I will not contact Tivo Tech Support. I had high hopes for this device but won't waste time with Tivo Support. The danged thing should have worked after all these years Tivo has been doing business.

I took a photo of my TV screen with Tivo's message but did not know how to show it here.

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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by lazydavid » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:37 am

Your machine was not new. It was previously purchased by someone (likely a longtime TiVo customer), who enrolled it in TiVos beta program. They ran into an issue, and rather work on getting it addressed (or opting out of the beta program), they returned the unit. The retailer simply resealed it and resold it to you.

My advice would be to exchange it for a new unit, and double-check the seal on the box before you leave the store. You will not see this issue.

Stinger72
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by Stinger72 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:55 am

OldOne wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:43 pm
OK. After reading all these comments and suggestions I settled on Tivo Bolt Vox for OTA. After getting it hooked up to my TV and turned on, following on-screen instructions, what I got after going through a lot of this and that and waiting I got this message which read: PLEASE REPORT THIS PROBLEM You have encountered an unexpected error, and the UI cannot continue. Please report this issue as a part of our beta program. Please include the following information in your report. . . . . and it goes on with some more words/statements that I won't include here. There is no way out from that message. I turned the Tivo off and back on and same problem. I get the same message. What "Beta program"?

I'll try again tomorrow and if I get the same message will box up the Tivo and take it back. I will not contact Tivo Tech Support. I had high hopes for this device but won't waste time with Tivo Support. The danged thing should have worked after all these years Tivo has been doing business.

I took a photo of my TV screen with Tivo's message but did not know how to show it here.
I just did the same thing and moved to the Bolt, bought it from Best Buy and it had an error after it updated over the internet. I called support and they told me it was because it didn't have a subscription, and I imagined they were wrong as they could not have possibly had an error such as that instead of just saying it wasn't active. Well... I turned out to be wrong. Once I activated, the error went away immediately. So.. Bottom line - Horrible programming.. but simply activate and it will go away. Go online and activate, it will save you time over what I did with support. I honestly thought the Tivo support person was trying to get me to activate a bad unit, but he was right.

I think it's because the BOLT OTA unit only uses the latest code, and that code has been notoriously hated by many. Once I activated it's been working as expected.

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OldOne
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Re: DVR for OTA TV

Post by OldOne » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:30 pm

My advice would be to exchange it for a new unit, and double-check the seal on the box before you leave the store. You will not see this issue.
I returned it to Best Buy. I believe that is a discontinued model and only 1 of the 3 Best Buys I tried had but that one in stock.
I just did the same thing and moved to the Bolt, bought it from Best Buy and it had an error after it updated over the internet. I called support and they told me it was because it didn't have a subscription, and I imagined they were wrong as they could not have possibly had an error such as that instead of just saying it wasn't active. Well... I turned out to be wrong. Once I activated, the error went away immediately. So.. Bottom line - Horrible programming.. but simply activate and it will go away. Go online and activate, it will save you time over what I did with support. I honestly thought the Tivo support person was trying to get me to activate a bad unit, but he was right.
The problem with activating is that, when activating, Tivo asks for the Tivo Service # which is on the back of the unit. And, they ask for MAK (Media Access Key) # which has to be accessed thru the Tivo main menu, which is available IF you have not been locked out ("Please report this problem") as I was. So, I could not complete activation nor could I finish what I started with the Tivo setup.

I don't have patience for trying to work around and solve all that nonsense. I'll try something later. Thanks again for all the input.

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