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I have Time Warner Digital Cable.. I was wondering are there DVR's out there that dont require a monthly subscription or monthly rental for the box itself? My understanding is Tivo is a subscription based. And i guess you can make a computer for it but that just sounds too complicated.. so any i guess set top boxes that work as a DVR that i can just purchase and not need to pay monthly?

asked Sep 10 '12 at 02:33

littleghettoazn's gravatar image


One of the problems I have with TWC's DVR/digital cable box (and probably other DVR/digital cable boxes) is that if you need to get your cable box replaced they don't have any way of easily transferring the recordings to another cable box (or are just possibly lazy) or at least another media. Also they also don't make it very easy to transfer recordings from their DVRs to a hard drive or DVD, and you can't open it up and retrieve them directly from the hard drive since you're renting the equipment and they have those stickers warning you not to open it (don't want to take a chance) and even if I could open it there are no guarantees that the hard drive is formatted in a format that my computer can read and that the videos are encoded in a format my computer can read.

Some of the problems with most consumer DVRs is that:
- Many of them either require a pointless subscription (mainly for the program guide which can always be found for free on the Internet anyways...)
- Some only have a QAM/ATSC tuners (which would be fine if cable companies would just ditch the stupid, over-priced digital cable boxes and just put the channels on clear QAM or at least have clear QAM equivalent channels of their NTSC basic cable programs, or if you're only using it for over-the-air programs)
- Others are some strange Internet-only DVRs

Though, after searching for a long time I found a DVR that seems to be exactly what I was (and you are) looking for.

Magnavox MDR513H/F7 320GB HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner:

Magnavox MDR515H 500GB HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner

I originally got the 320 GB model last year on Amazon for $189.99 (technically free since I used Amazon Gift Cards from SwagBucks), though for some reason the price has gone up since Amazon has stopped selling it and people on eBay and Amazon have been selling it for ridiculous prices in the $800s to the $1,400s, though you can still get it for a much more reasonable (and sane) price at Walmart's web site for $228 for the 320 GB model and $278 for the 500GB model.

It's great but not perfect. It only has one tuner so it can only record 1 show at a time, it doesn't have component inputs, it doesn't support dual-layer DVDs for some reason and it copies recordings from its hard drive to a DVD in a analog way where it has to pointlessly playback the whole recorded show to copy it to a DVD rather than directly copying (and possibly converting) the file to DVD.

I wrote a detailed review on Amazon about the DVR if you want to take a look at it: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2DVZ9NW4LD4PK/

answered Sep 10 '12 at 06:07

nickjuly4's gravatar image


edited Oct 08 '12 at 17:58

Unless you have a second hand computer that runs fairly descent speed and a tvtuner that you can slap into one of the PCI slots. And run Mythbuntu distribution of Linux on there you could do that on the cheap size. Or use windows XP media centre inequivalent and would do the same thing. There are two options there for you as well.

Here is the link of mythbuntu http://www.mythbuntu.org/

answered Sep 10 '12 at 21:03

Compucore's gravatar image


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Asked: Sep 10 '12 at 02:33

Seen: 1,192 times

Last updated: Oct 08 '12 at 17:58