Is there a DVR available for OTA broadcasts?

#1
Hope this is the right forum for this question. We cut the cord a few months ago, and are very happy with our OTA TV reception. We installed our antenna to our old Dish Network pole :) We do miss our DVR though. Is there a separate DVR available that we can purchase and hook up? thanks, Ed
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
Ed,

New versions of D2A Converter Boxes that can record to USB-3 portable hard drives or thumb drives are now available, but you have to buy the drives separately. I bought a copy of the View-TV version and I have its output feeding one of the USB ports on my TV, so I can switch between it and the onboard tuner in my HDTV with only a couple keystrokes on my TV's remote. As an OTA tuner, it is equal to my 2015 Samsung HDTV but for some reason the internal clock refuses to stay in my time-zone.

There are (apparently) three variations of the same box: the View-TV, Homeworx and E-Matic. Check out these links:

http://www.viewtvbox.com/

http://pocinc.net/blog/product-revi...nverter-box-and-dvr-solution-hw180stb-for-ota

* WOW+++ Walmart is closing-out the E-matic version for $19.97!
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ematic-AT...D-Display-and-Recording-Capabilities/28505040

I hope this helps.

Jim
 
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#3
There are a number of DVRs that have this capability. TiVo has several devices that can record OTA signals, but you need a subscription to their service. There are others that very by cost and complexity. There are very simplistic, inexpensive models that just record when you tell them to (like the old VCRs that you programmed to record at 3PM while you were at work), some that record on a set schedule, others that connect to the internet to get a programming guide like TiVo, and everything in between.

Amazon is a good place to start your search. I suggest the search term "OTA broadcast DVR" to get a good sampling.

Brands include Channel Master, TiVo, Mediasonic, Simple.tv, Samsung, Silicon Dust, Tablo, and others.
 

cpormann

DTVUSA Member
#4
Two Yearss ago I purchased the Channel Master DVR+, the Remote Control Extender and 1TB HD from Channel Master. I used a HDMI cable from Amazon and Ethernet cable tied to Hub I have installed behind my TV ( the Hub connects my DVR+ ,ROKU, Blue Ray to my Router – Yes the back of my TV is a Geeks playground, with all the HDMI cables Antenna Cable and connection for PC (my wife won't go near it even to dust)
This was not a cheap en diver. ($377.98 with shipping) But I can't stand watching so many Commercials
I am in a great location and get about 25 English OTA channels. Because I get such a strong signal from my LP345F log periodic antenna I have a splitter (Not Recommended but works for me) in the antenna line behind the TV splitting the signal to the DVR+ and to the TV this way I can record two programs on the DVR+ and watch one on the TV at the same time if I want to. Otherwise you would only be able to record one and watch another.

*You would think that a 1TB HD was overkill, however in less then 3 months I am using about 27% of the hard drive and after watching and deleting it runs between 25 and 30 per cent of the HD.
*I have received 4 updates to the software on the DVR+ and I have not had any problems with software bugs in the system. I have never seen the downloads of the schedule of programs for the guide, but it is always there. Note:the guide is free and comes thru your internet connection
*A lot of money YES but when you are not paying a Cable bill you will have the money.
* After 2 years no problems....
 
#5
Thanks for all the informative replies. Must confess I'm a bit of a noob on the TV stuff, not afraid to learn though. OK, so just so I'm clear in my own mind, we have a 55" VIZIO smart tv hooked directly up to our antenna cable, and I'd like to be able to record something. I think the options that fringe reception suggested are more along the lines of what we're looking for. So I'm assuming that I need one of the converter boxes with recording capabilities like fringe reception suggested, and go from there? The one on sale at Walmart looks interesting. Our budget is a bit tight, and cpormann, it sounds like you have an awesone set up, but looks a bit expensive and complicated for my brain, and we're not looking to get back into any pay services. something simple where I can just set a timer or record when I want to would be great. I'll probably buy the Walmart box on sale and just start messing with it. Thanks again, Ed
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#6
Ed,

I am going to buy an E-matic box and I hope you post your results here, too.

Jim

PS It requires a USB-3 hard drive or thumb drive to record.
 
#7
Just ordered mine, $21.57 inc tax free pick up at store. Will post results. thanks again, ed

Ed,

Cool Beans! Yes, please let us know your results.

Jim and the DTVUSA Staff
 
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#9
My wife just bought a 64GB thumb drive from BJs or somewhere like that on sale, and she paid something like $20. Will be fun to start the experimentation.

BTW does anybody have any suggestions for a 1TB external SSD, so I can start doing some research? Thanks, Ed
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#10
Ed,

Others have reported it MUST be a USB-3 compliant device and at twenty bucks, I doubt she bought what you actually need.

I bought a WD Elements USB-3 portable hard drive (from Amazon) for my View-TV version of the same device, but do to a death in my family I have not had the time to try it.

Please keep us posted on your results.

Jim
 
#14
Gosh, sorry the link expired.

Got the box. Was so focused on the recording part, didn't even realize it is also a digital converter. So am assuming I can use it on either a TV with or without a digital tuner?? Amazing the technology packed into it. 10 years ago, my digital converter only tuned the channels, and that was about it. Haven't gotten into this one yet, instructions look complicated to my old eyes, but eventually will plug it in and see what happens. Ed
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#15
Ed,

Super glad you snagged one before they got away! From what I have read, the hard copy (paper-manual) is written in Pigeon English. YouTube may have 'a better manual' available.

(No insult was intended for the wonderful Pigeons who are contributing daily to our representative republic).

Jim
 
#17
Yes, there was one sort of ghetto video on youtube, but it was simple, which was what I was looking for. The guy basically plugged it in, scanned for channels, picked one, and hit record.....couldn't be much easier than that. Still need to score a usb 3 storage device. Ed
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#19
Ed, that's a great question. Do to additional family complications (trying to resolve confused medical bills / Obamacare is stupid and absolutely brain-dead) I haven't setup my box yet. YOU have point now: lead us! (LOL)

Jim
 
#20
Which file system is better for the external hard drive, NTFS or Fat32? Thanks, Ed
NTFS is the newer file system that can handle 64 bit operating systems, and has been the standard for Windows drives since Windows 2000/Windows NT 3.1. FAT32 is the older system that's being slowly deprecated, but it's common for external drives and flash drives.

Depending on your device you may be required to use one or the other, but right now most equipment will handle both. FAT is the past, NTFS is the present, so if you have a choice use NTFS.
 
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