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DVR Solution for Over The Air Broadcasts?

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by jzongker, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. jzongker

    jzongker New Member

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    Is there any DVR I can buy that will work with Google TV to allow me to schedule recordings of over the air broadcast from the GTV channel guide, without having to pay a monthly fee like with TiVo?
     
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, there isn't a close second to TiVo for an OTA DVR and you don't have to pay a monthly fee. I have used TiVo since 2000 and never paid a penny of monthly fees, just purchase a lifetime subscription and the premium compared to the rudimentary DVRs that can be used with OTA isn't that great. If you are going to buy the inferior product anyway, look at the recent Channel Master DVR, there are some threads here that discuss it, but it is a rather pathetic solution.
     
  3. jzongker

    jzongker New Member

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    An extra $499 for a lifetime subscription seems like a lot to pay to make a $99 TiVo function considering GTV already has all the channel data I need.
     
  4. chopper

    chopper Active Member

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    It's steal compared to what we pay a year for cable tv.
     
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    The $99 TiVo is sold at a huge loss, nowhere near manufacturing cost, much less able to recoup distribution cost, retail profits, and warranty coverage. It isn't unlike the smart phone you purchase at less than cost and the service fees recoup the loss and hopefully make a profit over the long run. TiVo has never made a profit from operations as far as I know but has managed to survive from licensing fees and patent litigation settlements. I understand if you don't want to pay it but you don't much about the situation if that is all you can offer. If you can find something anywhere near as good for a lower price, go ahead and let us know. TiVo customers are offered deals on subsequent TiVos and do also get better deals for lifetime service.

    TiVo offers monthly fees for those that don't want to pay for lifetime service but that is a stupid way to obtain TiVo service, over the long run the lifetime fee is much smarter and makes the used TiVo worth something when it is time to sell it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  6. KLINK

    KLINK New Member

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    See if this meets your needs:


    Magnavox-MDR-513H-F7-320GB-DVR-and-DVD-Recorder/14291489. I wanted to give you the Wal-Mart link, but I don't have enough posts to post a link.

    A friend of mine has he 500GB model and it works for him for OTA channels.
     
  7. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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  8. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I always start with the assumption that nobody wants a standard definition DVR these days but the OP hasn't indicated whether he has an HDTV or not and if not and he has no plans to acquire one soon or is happy with SD, that will work but it certainly isn't comparable to TiVo in terms of software or functions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  9. lkruper

    lkruper Member

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    Is the lifetime fee transferable to a new TIVO box? Also, how long does TIVO need to stay in business to break even? I ask this to be negative as I don't have an opinion on the product.

    -RobR
     
  10. jzongker

    jzongker New Member

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    Thanks KLINK. The Magnavox DVR looked really promising until I saw lkruper pointed out it doesn't record HD. So I guess the consensus is that TiVo and ChannelMaster are really the only two options? I'll probably end up going with PlayOn or TVersity instead unless I can find a cheap used TiVo with the subscription.
     
  11. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I am certain TiVo will remain in business until the internet TV revolution takes over and OTA, satellite and cable are all pushed to near extinction. I don't know that TiVo will be competitive in that market if that happens. I have seen it reported that TiVo has $700 million in the bank now and cash flow, although negative, wouldn't burn through that in a decade. Rumors of a takeover by Microsoft, or Google, or AT&T or other company persist but I don't think that happens. TiVo has reached huge settlements with Dish Network and AT&T but has other pending litigation that should provide additional cash.

    As long as there is viable market for a DVR for OTA, I think TiVo will dominate that market, it just isn't a very big market.
     
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I should add no, the lifetime subscription is tied to the box it was purchased for, lifetime of the box, not lifetime of the owner of the box. I have never had a TiVo die, other than hard drive failures over the years which are easy to fix. The first series 1 TiVo I owned did allow a single lifetime subscription transfer because some purchasers whined about that issue and I was able to take advantage despite knowing when I purchased my TiVo that it was lifetime of the box, not me. It would be absurd for a lifetime subscription to be transferable to dozens of subsequent TiVos but that isn't the first time I have accepted a handout. I transfered that lifetime to a TiVoHD. The requirement is that the lifetime needed to have been purchased by a certain date, January 21, 2000 if I recall correctly. I used the DirecTV DVR with TiVo for years and that lifetime was tied to the lifetime of the account and covered several TiVos. In total I have purchased three lifetime subscriptions and two are still being used and the DirecTV lifetime would still be good if I hadn't discontinued service.

    My TiVoHDs with lifetime are transferable to new owners which means they have some value if I decide to sell.
     
  13. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Just for fun, I decided to check on any TiVo deals available for me as a current subscriber. I could buy a TiVo Premiere with Lifetime for $500 plus tax shipped or a refurbished TiVo Premiere for $480 plus tax shipped. I paid $500 including lifetime for a TiVoHD in 2009, wish I had waited but that was the best deal I could find then.
     
  14. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    No, as ChrisG8 describes it is assigned to the box it was purchased. However, the Lifetime option raises the intrinsic value of the Tivo box. That's why if you go to eBay or Craig's List there's a big difference in prices for Tivo with Lifetime vs non-subscribed Tivos. The cost of the Lifetime is worth a little more than two years of the monthly subscription. However, the monthly subscription does not raise the value of the Tivo. That was the big selling points for me to purchase the Lifetime over the monthly fee.

    That would be hilarious. Could you imagine if that wasn't the case? "OMG the original owner of the Tivo died! I no longer have a lifetime subscription! All my season pass recordings are failing."

    That's about what I got mine for. I paid $99 for the Tivo Premiere + Antenna deal at Best Buy. Then a month later, I used the PLSR discount code to get a $100 off purchased the Lifetime and activate it. Unlike Google TV, I have no regrets spending the $499 on the Tivo over the $299 that I originally spent on the Logitech Revue.
     
  15. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    It is funny and obvious but I recall in 2000 when I purchased my first TiVo and followed the discussion that many early adopters were whining about the lifetime being tied to that specific TiVo. I couldn't have whined about that with a straight face but when TiVo settled the complaints with a one time free transfer, I sure took them up on the offer, finally used it in 2010.
     
  16. jzongker

    jzongker New Member

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    If I was to buy the $99 TiVo and not get the subscription, how usable would it be? I could find out when shows are on from the GTV guide right and then I'd have to schedule a manual recurring recording? All the recordings would just have the channel and date instead of the show title, but otherwise it would be fully functional?
     
  17. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    No recordings, manual or otherwise would be possible. It would have two working tuners you could switch between but that is all. As far as I know, no retailer is permitted to sell a TiVo Premiere for $99 without a service contract commitment but you might be able to find one somehow, most likely used. Until recently, the 30 minute buffer would work but a software update disabled that and I don't know anyway to even do that with a new Premiere set up. I picked up a used TiVoHD I am using without a subscription and the 30 minute buffer works with it.

    If you don't want to pay anything, perhaps you can find a cheap used desktop PC and make Windows Media Center work.
     
  18. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    I realize you keep saying this, but I have never experienced this. I bought my Tivo Premiere at Best Buy without signing up for any service contract commitment. Actually, purchased another one last November as a Christmas gift as well, and again and didn't sign any contract commitments. I highly doubt any brick and mortar stores like Best Buy are designed to handle these things. They're just box movers. It's not like they're going to make other customers wait in line while you make a decision of going annual or monthly right there and then. That's a tough call to make in the middle of the store. These are things that you can decide at your own convenience after you get home. Remember you still have a grace period to return merchandise in case there is any "buyer's remorse" 30 days after the sale. That not only includes the box but service contracts as well.
     
  19. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    That is why I said you may be able to buy it without the commitment. Here is the language at Best Buy.com:

    TiVo® - Premiere High-Definition Digital Video Recorder - TCD746320

    Non compliance with a requirement is not evidence the requirement doesn't exist. Try to buy one at TiVo.com or try to obtain service after a Best Buy purchase without entering into an agreement. It appears TiVo is disabling all features in an attempt to make the box only worth $100 without service. I don't know what an HDTV tuner without guide information is worth now but a TiVo Premiere without service isn't worth that price to me now even if it does cost $300 to manufacture and deliver to me.

    I have purchased a TiVo at Best Buy but it has been many years and it did include the requirement for service which was stated on the product description placard above the display product. At checkout, the contract was printed and clearly stated. At this point, TiVo may have given up on enforcing the requirement but try to get even one month's service without entering into the agreement after purchase to see the requirement enforced.
     
  20. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    For me, I had the Tivo plugged in but didn't activate it till after I swapped the Scientific Atlanta 8300/4250HD boxes for a CableCard. That took almost a month after the purchase. I wasn't sure whether or not to do the $9.99 OTA option or just get the Lifetime option. If I was pressed at the store to make the decision, then I would have just canceled the sale. That would have been too stressful.

    Anyways, the Tivo worked at limited capacity as you told me in the past. However, almost every thing I did was proceeded with an alert suggesting to activate the service. I couldn't even update the firmware without activating it and didn't have access to the Hulu app. Just wasn't ready to activate it till I got rid of the Time Warner's set-top boxes. Once I did activate it though for the CableCards, it forced me to make a selection on the service.
     

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