Has anyone built a DVR, or bought a pre-made one without a subscription fee

Can you buy DVRs that do not have a monthly subscription fee? Or is making your own out of an old tower the way to go?

I have antenna TV, and was wanting a DVR to pause/rewind live TV as well as record TV shows. But I also want one that does not have a monthly subscription fee. I use websites like TitanTV to determine what is on live TV, and I assume some DVRs have software like that built in.

This device seems nice, but is $300. However there does not seem to be a monthly fee.

Windows Media Center is built into version of Windows 7 above Starter and Home Basic. No subscription fee for their listings.

My husband put together a home theater PC for us, using a Hauppaugevideo card that connects to our antenna.

We use Windows Media Center (which came gratis with the OS). It gives us a programming grid and DVR capability just like our DirecTV box did. It’s amazing, and costs $0 per month. Full disclosure: on occasion the codecs get confused communicating with our audio receiver, and the hubby has to mess around with reinstalling them to get it working again. No telling if you’d have the same problem - it could be unique to our set-up. But given that I have on-site “tech support” it still seems well worth it to me!

The other advantage of having an HTPC is that we can watch Netflix, Amazon video (though not in HD, which is stupid), and iTunes on the big fancy TV.

Also using a Home Theater PC to watch TV/movies. I’m running a cheap AMD APU in a cheap, but small home theater PC case. PC lives under the TV and records live TV, streams my bluray movie collection, etc.

First, you need a PC. Any PC with, oh say an Athlon II x2 or Core 2 Duo or newer and 1gb of RAM can work, you can make it work with something as low end as an Athlon 64 x2 and 512MB of ram using Linux

The easiest way I’ve found is
HDHomerun dual tuner
That is a network based tuner, so you have to connect this and the HTPC with a wired switch, not via wireless.
Mythbuntu - Linux with MythTV
Then you need schedules direct if you want listings (which does cost $25/yr)
Note that if you can deal with recording by time yourself you don’t need schedules direct per se, but then it works more like a VCR.

The other options are:
vs HDHomerun dual tuner:
PCI-E based tuner cards - Hauppage makes a lot of these

vs Mythbuntu & Schedulesdirect:
Windows 7 Ultimate includes windows media center, and I think it is a pay option now for Windows 8. Either of those will work at the cost of needing slightly better hardware and having to pay for the OS (but not the listings)

Note that this kind of thing is probably going out of favor right now - Cable & especially Satellite DVRs are getting better and the kind of people who used to build these things are probably today’s “cord cutters” who get most of their content via Hulu/Network websites/Netflix/Amazon Prime Video/(often supplemented by piracy). Honestly Hulu/Netflix/Amazon internet based streaming is probably a more typical use for a new PC, and you can build a nifty ITX system for that purpose for a few hundred bucks.

the Magnavox is a good unit, Walmart also sells it.