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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: denny on December 03, 2010, 05:38:22 PM

Title: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 03, 2010, 05:38:22 PM
So, still living in the past, we're a 2 VHS household. But that can't last forever, so I've been thinking DVR and I need some edumacation. We get our cable signal from a VERY small local co. called Countryvision run by a family out of their garage. No Comcast, no Dish Network, etc. We don't use a cable box, just the tuner on the TV. So, what are my options for a DVR in that situation? what have you got and how do you like it?
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: bluesman on December 03, 2010, 05:46:13 PM
Comcast for me Denny. 

I used it for the first time a couple weeks back to record Brewmasters.  Works great...I can fast-forward through all the commercials which is a plus.  I don't watch very much TV but the wife wanted it so I agreed to get it.

Makes life alot easier as I can record and watch when I have time.  I can get you the price breakdown if you're interested.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 03, 2010, 06:16:16 PM
Ron, I can't get Comcast or anything but the cable I already have.  Not even decent satellite reception.  I guess what I really want is a digital version of my VHS decks.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: bluesman on December 03, 2010, 06:22:58 PM
I presume you've contacted your current service provider and asked them if they could offer some alternatives.

How about this outfit.

http://www.usdirect.com/directv/or-eugene-direct-tv.html
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: euge on December 03, 2010, 06:36:47 PM
Denny, I think you might need something like Tivo (http://www.tivo.com/)
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 03, 2010, 06:41:41 PM
Thanks, Ron, I've checked into that before but no service where I live.  Euge, I really don't want to pay a monthly fee like Tivo.  Yeah, I know I'm being difficult!
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: Hokerer on December 03, 2010, 06:43:38 PM
Thanks, Ron, I've checked into that before but no service where I live.  Euge, I really don't want to pay a monthly fee like Tivo.  Yeah, I know I'm being difficult!

Good luck.  We just get over-the-air programming and just try and find a DVR that'll support that :(
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: euge on December 03, 2010, 06:55:37 PM
Well, Denny if you have an extra PC laying around you could install something like MythTV (http://www.mythtv.org/). All you would need to do is buy a tuner card and they're fairly cheap.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: dj99 on December 03, 2010, 07:09:48 PM
Good luck.  We just get over-the-air programming and just try and find a DVR that'll support that :(

I've been using Snapstream Beyond TV on my Windows machine hooked up to the TV for years now for over-the-air TV.  It supports many tuner cards with ATSC & QAM.  The guide is free, and there are no monthly fees.  Netflix looks really good this way also.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 03, 2010, 07:25:56 PM
Well, Denny if you have an extra PC laying around you could install something like MythTV (http://www.mythtv.org/). All you would need to do is buy a tuner card and they're fairly cheap.

Yeah, that's something else I've considered, but a place to put it is the problem.  I have a pretty difficult set of circumstances to deal with, but I really appreciate all the suggestions.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: akr71 on December 03, 2010, 07:47:34 PM
I know you said your provider is a pretty small outfit, but would they not have some options for you.  Surely some of there other customers would be interested in a DVR too?...

They might at least have the contacts and the volume buying power to get their customers a set-top cable box.  I don't believe (but I'm not positive) that your provider would need any infrastructure upgrades.  After all, a DVR is essentially just a hard drive and video card.

My DVR has 2 tuners in it, so that I can watch one program and record another, or record 2 programs and watch something else I've already recorded.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 03, 2010, 08:13:41 PM
I just sent my provider an email so we'll see what they say.  I'm kinda skeptical, though.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: Slowbrew on December 03, 2010, 09:02:14 PM
There are several computer based options.  Euge mention MythTV which works great but requires you to run Linux.  Linux scares some people.  You can also run MS Media Center on on Vista or Windows 7 but it also requires a TV Tuner card.  A third option is Apple TV if you're a Mac dude.

There are many options for Digital Video Recorders.  The trick is finding one with a hard drive so you don't have to by a never ending supply of DVD-Rs.  Another feature of many of these is they come with built-in NetFlix and Pandora and stuff like that.  Amazon has a resonable selection to get a feel for what's out there: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_38?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=digital+video+recorder+with+hard+drive&x=0&y=0&sprefix=digital+video+recorder+with+hard+drive .

I use Media Center at the moment because it came with the PC which also has a HD/NTSC TV Tuner Card in it.  We play the video back on the big screen with a laptop that has a HDMI port on it.

Paul
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 03, 2010, 09:05:46 PM
I have a DVD recorder at the moment, but I'm looking for a solution that doesn't require me to buy DVDs.  I do use the recorder for stuff I want to keep, but for everyday watch it once and delete it stuff it's not a good solution.  OTOH, that will take erasable DVDs.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: weazletoe on December 04, 2010, 12:15:16 AM
Hey Denny, I left my DVR in Ohio. I can give ya a website, and some simple instructions, so you can download pretty much anything you ever wanted to watch. Fact is, I hardly ever watch a television broadcast at all anymore. The day after the show airs, I download it, and watch it at my leisure. Leftme know if you're interested.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: tumarkin on December 04, 2010, 12:16:28 AM
sure, weaze, post the website & instructions..... inquiring minds want to know
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: euge on December 04, 2010, 12:20:39 AM
Hey Denny, I left my DVR in Ohio. I can give ya a website, and some simple instructions, so you can download pretty much anything you ever wanted to watch. Fact is, I hardly ever watch a television broadcast at all anymore. The day after the show airs, I download it, and watch it at my leisure. Leftme know if you're interested.

sure, weaze, post the website & instructions..... inquiring minds want to know

Yeah. It isn't Hulu or something like that is it? ;)
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 04, 2010, 12:28:21 AM
If I could watch Iron Chef America, Chopped, and Throwdown whenever I wanted to, I'd be a happy guy!  Those are what keep me from getting bored while I'm on my treadmill.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: punatic on December 04, 2010, 03:11:34 AM
Check out DirecTV.  If you have a clear view of the sky towards the southwest from where you are you should be able to see the satellite. They offer some great new subscriber deals, including DVRs.  I've tried many services and DirecTV is my hands-down favorite.

WARNING!!!  Once you've DVRed you'll never watch TV in real time again.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: malzig on December 04, 2010, 03:16:51 AM
Euge, I really don't want to pay a monthly fee like Tivo.  Yeah, I know I'm being difficult!
Chances are, if you got a DVR from a cable supplier, you'd pay as much or more than you'd pay to TIVO each month.  In addition, with TIVO, you could keep the service you have, exactly as it is now.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Food Network shows are available from any legitimate online source (Hulu, iTunes, etc.).
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 04, 2010, 03:20:18 AM
Hulu has a few Food Network things.  I had DirecTV  out for a site survey...no go.  And for less than a year of Tivo I can buy a DVD recorder that uses RW disks.  That's likely what I'll do.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: punatic on December 04, 2010, 03:23:14 AM
If I could watch Iron Chef America, Chopped, and Throwdown whenever I wanted to, I'd be a happy guy!  Those are what keep me from getting bored while I'm on my treadmill.

Wow!  The treadmill is working...  You look great! Years younger!
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 04, 2010, 03:26:41 AM
Thanks!   ;D
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: euge on December 04, 2010, 03:39:09 AM
David St. Hubbins?

Fantastic. I knew you weren't a humorless bastard... ;D
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: weazletoe on December 04, 2010, 05:43:13 AM
  Those are what keep me from getting bored while I'm on my treadmill.

  I just had a thought.........STAY OFF THE D@$% TREADMILL!!!! Who do think you're trying to impress? Problem solved.  ;D
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: Mikey on December 05, 2010, 01:29:38 PM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6311822&SRCCODE=GOOGLEBASE&cm_mmc_o=VRqCjC7BBTkwCjCECjCE

How about this one? I don't have any personal knowledge of it, but it sounds like what you're looking for.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: 1vertical on December 05, 2010, 04:22:40 PM
Our internet is wireless and we live where cable is not an option.
Planning on soon upgrading to ROKU a streaming media player
since we have a scrip to Netflix, we will be watching whatever we want
when we want and no commercials...this box seems to be the answer
as you are not just trapped with netflix but can stream a lot of other stuff
as well and Pandora radio

http://www.roku.com/netflixplayer/default.aspx?utm_source=NFLX&utm_medium=NRD%2B&utm_campaign=HT (http://www.roku.com/netflixplayer/default.aspx?utm_source=NFLX&utm_medium=NRD%2B&utm_campaign=HT)

Has not happened yet, but it will soon.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 05, 2010, 04:30:23 PM
Thanks for suggestions.  I'd looked at the Channel Master, but it only does OTA digital and I've got analog cable.  I decided to order a DVD recorder that uses RW disks...http://us.toshiba.com/video-electronics/dvd-players/dr570 .
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: James Lorden on December 05, 2010, 10:43:04 PM
  I had DirecTV  out for a site survey...no go. 

Do you live in a cave?  :P
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on December 06, 2010, 02:18:57 AM
  I had DirecTV  out for a site survey...no go. 

Do you live in a cave?  :P

No, he lives in Oregon.  I had the same thing.  Direct TV would only serve me if I climbed about 40' up a few Douglas Firs and cut off some branches.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: tschmidlin on December 06, 2010, 09:06:20 AM
  I had DirecTV  out for a site survey...no go. 

Do you live in a cave?  :P

No, he lives in Oregon.  I had the same thing.  Direct TV would only serve me if I climbed about 40' up a few Douglas Firs and cut off some branches.
Yeah, they're suggestion for me was to cut down a doug fir that is blocking the line of site. ::)
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: denny on December 06, 2010, 04:35:05 PM
  I had DirecTV  out for a site survey...no go. 

Do you live in a cave?  :P

I live in a deep draw between 2 very high tree covered hills.  When I moved there 16 years ago, I was the last house on the cable TV line and the first house in the area not to be on a telephone party line.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: thirsty on December 06, 2010, 08:00:46 PM
Ok I want to just say it was many minutes before I realized the Spinal Tap guy was Denny.
Title: Re: DVR questions
Post by: punatic on December 06, 2010, 08:18:37 PM
  I had DirecTV  out for a site survey...no go. 

Do you live in a cave?  :P

I live in a deep draw between 2 very high tree covered hills.  When I moved there 16 years ago, I was the last house on the cable TV line and the first house in the area not to be on a telephone party line.

And I thought I lived the furthest out on the far side of BFE!

I had a problem with my neighbor's albizia trees blocking my view of the DirecTV satellite.  My neighbor hired a contractor to knock them down (they are an especially nasty invasive species here in Puna).  I had DirecTV on the phone before the contractor had his D9 down off of the flatbed trailer.  Love my Sunday Ticket!

Albizia blossom honey does make very tasty mead, and my bees love the blossoms.  There is excellent nectar flow when the albizias bloom in the summer.