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I know this is not a satellite thread but it is a TV one. With all the messed up non straight information coming from the satellite companies, Until they can figure out there business, I'm not going to contribute to it on equipment and monthly charges. I'm really thinking of just watching OTA TV and get a DVR.


Ok so the question is about Antennas and DVR's. My DRV 5ver is just out of paint and should be ready in 7-10 days. So I'm not sure what antenna it has on the roof. Should I add a wing to it for better reception or something else?




1. is the Channel Master DVR+ , http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master-DVR-Bundle-subscription/dp/B00JGZQ17Q


2. Is the Nuvyyo’s Tablo DVR , http://www.amazon.com/Tablo-HDTV-Antennas-4-Tuner-Wi-Fi/dp/B00MWLZR0I


3. Is Tivo an option? http://www.amazon.com/Tablo-HDTV-Antennas-4-Tuner-Wi-Fi/dp/B00MWLZR0I


The Nuvyyo’s Tablo has a 4 channel version, but is that over kill?


Does anyone have either of these and what do you think? CNN likes the Channel Master between the two, even though they both have 3.5 start ratings.


Thanks for your input.



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There is also the Simple.tv as another option and I think the TIVO option is called the Roamio OTA.


This issue with these is the extra costs like

Hard Drive space for recorded shows - will it require a dedicated eternal HD or will it work with a NAS, etc.

How much is the service for the programming guide to be able to record?

Will it also incorporate streaming or will you need to add a roku or chromcast, etc.

Some of these streaming devices integrate better than others with some of the OTA devices. Roku in each room to access the recorded shows from the OTA DVR (Simple.TV)


Then as you mention the antenna is an issue.


There is a relatively new antenna from Winegard rayzar Automatic that re-positions automatically. Another (Rayzar Air) is multidirectional. (I am not sure how well this will survive in the wind?)


If the normall sensor with HD addition is used then i must be properly positioned in each location. I use a compass and antennaweb.org for positioning.


Currently I have built a HTPC (Home Theater PC) with internal TV Tuners for DVR. But I am looking at these options.



My initial costs for setting up a new system based on the OTA DVR, HD, and Rokus in each room was a little over $400 to get set up. (not including a new Rayzar Automatic)

But I thought I would wait because each device is relatively new and quickly adding features. So, I thought to wait a little while to let the dust settle and then start building.

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Check out the Magnavox MDR557H/F7 . Available from Walmart for under $300. We've been using an older model for over 4 years with no problems.



That looked AWESOME as it states that it records OTA and cable. And that was VERY attractive. But it is only a 1 channel recorder.

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The issue with ClearQam (unencrypted cable or no set-top box) is that it is disappearing. Just this past year we were in two campgrounds where the cable company stopped offering it.

We are in a campground now where we can get a few unencrypted Cable channels with very poor reception.

From what I can tell and from recent experience it seems to be the trend, so the QAM option is not as quite as good as it once may have been.

I could easily be wrong about this.

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Here's some info on a few OTA DVRs:


Program guide requires subscription.
Can be used without program guide.
No HDMI out so content must be streamed to device.
No internal hard drive. Requires USB external drive.
Channel Master DVR+
Program guide is free. Will acquire guide data from internet if connected, otherwise uses PSIP data from OTA signal.
16GB built-in storage which gives about 2 hours recording. External USB hard drive needed for longer recording.
Magnavox MDR557H/F7
Only one tuner.
TV program is down-converted to standard definition prior to saving to hard drive or DVD.
No program guide.
All units require subscription for program guide.

Romio (for digital cable and antenna)
4 digital tuners.
Guide subscriptions:
$499.99 lifetime

Roamio OTA (for antenna only)
4 digital tuners.
Guide subscription:
$14.99/month. No annual or lifetime offered.
ePVision PHD-VRX2

Dual tuners. Tuner-1 is digital and analog. Tuner-2 is digital only.
Can view ATSC, Clear QAM, and NTSC but only records digital ATSC and Clear QAM. Will not record analog.
Requires external USB drive.

Can update clock from internet.

I own the following boxes:

Mediasonic HW180STB
Single tuner.
Requires external USB drive.
Acquires program guide from PSIP data in OTA signal.
Sets clock to time data broadcast from station that it is tuned to. If the station is broadcasting incorrect time the recording will not start at the proper time.

iView 3500STB
Same as above.

Both boxes are virtually identical. They can be purchased on Amazon for about $35 plus the cost of a hard drive. They do the job but it takes a while to figure out the best way to do things.

I also have a PC running Windows 7 Media Center with two dual tuner SiliconDust HDHomerun boxes. This setup works very well for me.

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  • 1 month later...

We have a Silicondust HD Homerun tuner. I can watch live Off The Air TV on any network attached device in the rig (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone). If I want to record something I use Microsoft's Media Center on a Windows 7 computer. It is simple, reliable and no subscriptions required. Unfortunately, Media Center which was included for free with Vista and Win 7, became an add-on for Windows 8/8.1 ($$$) and has been removed entirely from Windows 10.


I am currently testing 3rd party replacements on both Windows and Linux. I don't believe I have found the perfect product, but several have come close. If all else fails, I can add an OTA tuner to my satellite receiver and use that DVR.


Safe Travels...

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