My wife wants to get a DVR, mostly so she can tape her Soaps every day without the awfulness of a Video Tape. I don’t like the idea of paying for a TIVO every month, an I would rather build a DVR out of a computer. But she doesn’t like the start up costs for that. Are there any other options for a DVR besides TIVO or building one myself out of a computer?
Most cable/sattlelite TV providers now offer a DVR service in addition to their TV service. If you’re a new customer, equipment is usually free, and there is a small extra fee (mine is 6 bux per month) tacked onto your bill.
You could also get a DVD recorder with a hard drive and use that as a DVR.
We have the Pioneer DVR-640H-S
One downside is that I have to program the satellite receiver and the DVR. The DVR is supposed to be able to remote blast the receiver to turn it on and control it, but that doesn’t work reliably. Given that it is a Bell receiver I am perfectly willing to put all the blame onto it though.
Another downside to this DVR is the interface for editing titles is annoying. That’s probably only important when(if) you want to burn content to a DVD.
the start up costs of a computer dvr may be a little daunting, but I love mine. I think my start up costs were around 500 dollars. you don’t need a screaming machine to run windows xp media center. then if you put two tv tuners in the system you can watch one show and record another at the same time. it is also possible to teach xp media center to skip commercials during playback. third, you can copy your dvd’s to the computer so your whole collection is at your fingertips. another advantage is you can get free software to broadcast your tv, videos, and music over the net. anywhere my laptop or pda has access to the net I can watch my home tv or watch my movies.
did I say I love my media center?