TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

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heybro
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 9:17 pm

TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by heybro » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:29 am

Hello,

I have a big financial goal that I will accomplish in one year from now.
I have another big financial goal that I will accomplish in five years from now.

I've been living well below my means in order to accomplish these goals including not subscribing to cable/satellite. I've been using a DVD-Recorder with Rabbit Ears.

Recently, there have been more and more TV shows on cable that I've wanted to watch. I usually just buy the season on DVD or I'll get netflix and watch it from there. [Although some are not available on netflix even].

But, my DVD Recorder just died. It was only 8 years old (but I guess this is the life span of these types of DVR, DVD type products). My VCR lasted FOREVER so it was kind of shocking.

Anyways, I've now learned that I sort of have to make a decision because any DVR that I go and buy will either work for Rabbit Ears or it will work for Satellite but it won't work for both.

I always thought I'd get satellite once I reached my goal that is only 1 year away. So, it doesn't make that much sense to buy a DVR that I'll only use for a year especially when they are upwards of 400.00 in price.

Likewise though, I don't really want to subscribe to satellite right now because I don't like it pushing my goal back a little.

So, I'm at this stupid fork in the road and I'm really torn.

Any advice?

I never knew it would be so hard to spend money after living without spending it for so long! hehe.

And, no, I am not really interested in an internet based TV option. I have really low speed and therefore would not benefit from a low cost 'sling tv' after considering having to spend more for higher speed internet. And my DSL modem is real simple and wouldn't allow a TV connection and a computer connection at the same time.

Thank you thank you!

22twain
Posts: 1158
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by 22twain » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:45 am

Do you have wired cable TV service available in your area? TiVo works with both OTA and cable. For cable, you have to rent from your cable company a CableCard that plugs into the back of the TiVo box. At least that's my understanding; I use only OTA myself.

cutterinnj
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by cutterinnj » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:01 am

Consider a trial of hulu.
It had a lot of shows which aren't on Netflix.

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cockersx3
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Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by cockersx3 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:22 am

The Best Buy in my area shows a new Tivo Bolt (500 GB DVR built in) for $144 right now, and Amazon shows a similar price. It's $15/mo for the subscription which stinks, but still much cheaper than satellite and less than the $400 you were thinking. And you could always look at selling it when (if?) you switched to satellite.

Do you really need satellite? It's nice but still very expensive for what you get. I've read that for most people, nearly everything you'd want to watch would be OTA anyway - so you have to ask whether that marginal cost of those additional channels you can't get OTA (which is basically what the cost of satellite represents) is really worth it.

Hope this helps!

cpumechanic
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:42 pm

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by cpumechanic » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:54 am

Investigate HDhomerun options by silicon dust. They just released a DVR option that provides a nice schedule of upcoming shows, and stores to a home NAS (hard disk on your network) or to a local "always on PC" on your network. Cost for the DVR option is $35/year (not $15 per month) works well. And if you install a NAS on your network you have a useful location for storage that is more useful and flexible when compared to any DVR box.

They have boxes that use cable cards, and boxes that are direct over the air . All content is converted to "bit" that you can stream to all your TV's or to PC, or phone, or tablets on your home network. You will need a smart TV or some kind of tv box (Firetv, AppleTV or androidTV box) attached to your tv to install the HDHOMERUN software.. but that is the only downside if you own old TV technology.

Nice inexpensive DVR solution and $35 per year is very very cheep.

No I don't work for SIlicon Dust.. just happy they added this option.

Hope this helps

CPU
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

jimmyrules712
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:36 pm

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by jimmyrules712 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:21 am

What I use for an OTA DVR solution is a device called Tablo. I've had this setup for over 2 years and been extremely happy with it, and best of all my wife likes it to. It gives us OTA TV with guide and DVR on all 4 TVs in our house without needing to buy 4 DVRs.

My OTA antenna is connected to the Tablo device via coax, Tablo has a USB hard drive connected to it for recording storage and Tablo is connected to my home router via ethernet.

I have a Roku streaming box set up with each TV in the house. It has apps for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc. and it has a Tablo app. You can use the Tablo app to watch live TV from the antenna (with a full guide) and to control and watch recordings.

It requires some investment up front but pays off over time. The Tablo device is $220 for the 2 tuner version (means you can record or watch 2 shows airing at the same time). You have to buy or provide your own USB hard drive and you have to have the Roku or equivalent device which has the Tablo app (full list of compatible streaming devices with tablo apps here). You also have to pay for the TV guide service, either with a $4.99 a month subscription, $49.99 per year, or lifetime for $149.99.

Spirit Rider
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:31 am

heybro wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:29 am
And, no, I am not really interested in an internet based TV option. I have really low speed and therefore would not benefit from a low cost 'sling tv' after considering having to spend more for higher speed internet. And my DSL modem is real simple and wouldn't allow a TV connection and a computer connection at the same time.
I don't understand this. If you were planning on using Netflix, that is no different than using any other internet service such as Hulu or Sling TV.

The other question is what you are trying to do. You can easily stream SD with a 3Mb DSL, but HD will require of the higher tiers. What is the bandwidth of your DSL? Your DSL modem probably has a Wi-Fi router built in and that is how you would connect your TV. Either directly if it is a SmartTV or through the DVD recorder, a streaming media player or DVD player.

cjcerny
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:47 pm

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by cjcerny » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:40 am

There are really cheap OTA DVR options out there. For example, if you have a PC that runs Win 7 in your house, you can buy a very inexpensive USB OTA tuner for it and use the Media Center functionality that Win 7 has. There are a couple of other OTA DVR choices out there too, but they are usually $200+ if you want to avoid a monthly subscription fee. I guess my advice is: if you can get your OTA DVR functionality back again for $50 or less, do it.

mhalley
Posts: 5178
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by mhalley » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:38 pm

Another option might be to buy a used TiVo with lifetime subscription. You can get a premier for about 120 I think on eBay. What kind of device do you have that is broken? If it is a TiVo, maybe you could fix it by checking out weakknees.
https://www.weaknees.com/flat-fee-tivo- ... Ag_-8P8HAQ

TexasMu
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:39 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by TexasMu » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:42 pm

Heybro, try this homeworx PVR 150 for $35 on amazon + a portable hard drive
https://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HW-15 ... B00I2ZBD1U

I've been using this for 5+ years. Very similar to an old school VCR. Not for everyone but it gets the job done and is easy on the wallet :beer

simple man
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:44 am

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by simple man » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:33 pm

If you go with the Live TV option, I highly recommend Channel Master. Their box is the size of a notebook and has a wifi option to get 14 days of programming on the menu. Truly awesome.

heybro
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Post by heybro » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:52 pm

I get my netflix sent to me via DVD in the mail.

Hulu tv is missing MTV and AMC for starters. I still want to watch live tv on my actual tv.

Tivo Bolt requires an internet connection. By the time I upgrade my modem and internet to be able to do that, I could just as well afford Satellite, which requires no internet.

HDHomerun requires internet. My modem has one port. Even if I were to get it hooked up somehow, I would never be able to be online and watch TV at the same time.

Tablo requires internet.

Homeworx PVR is the only real solution here. It came out of the 'converter box' technology. I am a bit leery since I hated having a converter box. It was real clunky.

I just get the feeling that Satellite is now going to be the cheapest option. It doesn't require a higher internet speed or fancy WIFI system. It would give me all the shows and live channels I want directly to my TV. I wouldn't have to wait for something to come out on DVD and I would be able to watch stuff LIVE. It would have everything I want. No internet TV provides all content yet from every channel like satellite does.

I know the future is internet based TV but at this point, watching TV on a computer sucks. Instead, of having to pay for WIFI -- I'd rather pay for satellite and have TV on my TV. Furthermore, the very technologies that ask you to use WIFI even state on their boxes that a corded connection is more stable and reliable to the TV.

Argh.

It is a mess of a new landscape!
oh, and did I mention that everything we all currently own to get OTA TV will be obsolete in a couple years thanks to the new ATSC 3.0 conversion to 4K? I thought the change to HD was the end of that! At least my current TV will be more future proof with satellite, which won't force the 4K conversion as fast as OTA will.

But you guys have helped me be more confident that getting satellite is the best move for me based on my situation. Thank you thank you!

I think my ultimate point here is that Over the air TV used to be the cheapest option. All you had to do was buy a TV and you were set. But now, you are having to buy those pieces (TV, DVR, etc.) at greater replacement speeds which is slowly kicking me up to the next bracket (cable, satellite) because if I have to keep upgrading/replacing things so fast, I'd like to at least have some good content to enjoy to make it seem worth it.

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