With the switch less than a year away, will we again se DVRs that don't require TIVO fees?

FoxCitiesTV's picture
Green Bay

This has always irked me. Why can't I buy an HD DVR? I mean, I CAN, but then I have to hook to a telephone line and pay TIVO. Why can't I buy a DVR like Sony put out a few years ago to record OTA signals for free?

This REALLY bothers me!


Posted February 22, 2008 10:28pm in
FoxCitiesTV's picture

I imagine it's because Sony

I imagine it's because Sony doesn't -- or didn't -- see money in such a device without you paying monthly fees. For a device like a TiVo, they won't make money on hardware. If they did, the price probably won't be attractive to the general consumer who is used to 30 dollar DVD players. Bear in mind... they're computers, more or less. Time Warner's HD DVR's cost around 600 dollars apiece. Even the entry level HD TiVo is 300. TiVo makes their money on monthly fees. Scientific Atlanta/Cisco doesn't.

Your best bet is doing what I do and using a PC based DVR like Windows Media Center or MythTV. No monthly fees there. Maybe smaller companies that do flash memory devices will move into cheap, personal DVRs. There's a device called TakeTV that, with a tuner and maybe a Wifi chip, could be a DVR someday. Maybe EchoStar could make something under their Slingbox brand. That is, unless, TiVo would sue them again... :)

By the way... Sony was bringing out DVR functionality (likely as an addon) to PS3 in Japan. Wouldn't surprise me if we saw that in the US soon. By then, hopefully we'll see Netflix streaming and IPTV on the Xbox 360. If I could watch Hulu shows on my Xbox 360, I'd cancel cable today!

HCN3's picture

I think the bigger issue is

I think the bigger issue is that the content companies are still trying to lock up the content from consumers that wish to save some of these show for later viewing. Remember, technically, with the transition, the DVR data on the disk is now an exact copy of what was broadcast. Although most of the transfer options today would introduce a single generation digital to analog conversion to put it into a PC or DVD recorder, the fact still remains that the holy grail for content companies is to PREVENT consumers from doing that at all and sell them a locked, limited time access to everything that is broadcast. That way, if you wish to watch it again, they get money again.

Drew's picture

Bill, You can purchase a DVR

You can purchase a DVR without the Tivo Fee's like your old Sony or my old Panasonic. The Philips 3575h is unfortunately about as good as it gets right now. It does not have anywhere near the nice editing features as my older Panasonic e80-h. It's not anywhere in it's class but will get the job done if you want to record OTA Digital Channel programming to it's massive 160 GB hard drive. Go with the highest quality setting when you record (HQ). You have plenty of room for it. Go with component video cables and you should have a very decent picture. Throw the junk wires that come with the unit away. Also, the remote is the poorest excuse for a remote I have ever seen in my life. Very small buttons crammed into a small remote. It's almost impossible to read them. Go down to your local Wal-Mart and get their best "learning" remote. It's a large size Sony that allows you to put all your TV and DVR functions in the buttons where you want and most convenient for you. So after you are done buying that remote and some decent Component A/V cables you can add $50 more to a $300 basic Philips unit that is nothing fancy but will get the job done for you. You can purchase it online at Wal-Mart.com or buy it at your local Shopko for much more.
Hope this helps you


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