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Any advice for a DVR?


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I think I'd like to get a DVR, but I'm probably making things too complicated. Just seems like there ought to be a simple way of doing what I want.

My first limitation is that I want to BUY a DVR, not RENT one. I have a problem with renting a consumer appliance. And that's even before we get into the element of renting something where part if the rent is to cover the price of the spying that the device is doing on me.

This pretty much rules out anything from the cable company. And, to me, TiVo has even more ethical problems than renting from the cable company.

What I'd LIKE would be something like a VCR. Buy it, take it home, plug it in, and hire a nine year old to program it.

I'm on a fairly basic cable. Most of the channels are the basic, old style analog cable channels, although there are a few channels that I assume are the new digital ones. (My new tv is the only one that gets them, and they're numbered like 105.7).

About the only thing I want to do with it is to be able to watch Agents of SHIELD, when I want to.

(I've been paying for Hulu. But I dislike having to bay by the month for permission to watch broadcast tv, AND having to sit through commercials, too. And now it seems like Hulu only has like half of the episodes.)

Searching Amazon for "DVR" gets thousands of hits, most of which are for recording security cameras. The ones that are for actual DVRs seem to have restrictions, like "will not record unencrypted cable channels".


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I am happy with TiVo. What are you issues with it?

1). You must pay them a fee, every month, or it will stop working.

2). It sends records of everything you record, or play back, to TiVo.

3). Which they then collect, to profile you. And to sell, and use for marketing.

4). They've actually been caught, (in other countries), downloading software to their boxes, to make the boxes add additional commercials (which TiVo gets paid for) in addition to the commercials that were in the show you recorded.

5). They basically stole the OS which they base their boxes on. (I say basically because what they did us probably legal. They just figured out a way to twist the licenses from the people who generously wrote Linux, for free, and gave it to people, for free, with the restriction that you have to comply with this license, without actually giving the consumer a right that he's supposed to have).

Mostly, it bothers me to realize, every time I connect to the internet or watch tv, that the TV company and the ISP and the cable company and the ****ing NSA are all making a note in their little black books, detailing that I just clicked that button.

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Have you considered just watching online streams if that is all you want?....ABC.com has some, but you can find them all online


I used to use a OTA tuner on my pc, but not really worth the trouble anymore unless ya want hard copies

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Looking around, it looks like MythTV CAN do what I want. And I'm not allergic to becoming a Linux tinkerer.

But it looks like, if I want to buy a box with the right components per-installed, we're talking $1,000.

Which seems like a heck of a lot for a souped-up VCR.

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Thanks. Looks like a really good fit. (Had to read a long way down the page, before they admitted that yes, it does have a cable tuner. Although I have to confess that I'm not certain that what I'm receiving, right now, actually is Clear QAM. What I'm receiving is the "cable ready" signals that have been common for cable TV for 30 years. (Where channels 2-13 are identical to the old, broadcast, channels.))

Although it looks like I'd need a $299 box and subscription AND a USB hard drive.

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Well, to be fair, the NSA was monitoring people's Xboxes or some other video component.

Xbox One initially was set-up where you had to have the new Kinect hooked up to it in order for it to turn on and work.  Because they confirmed that they could monitor you with the camera (I think the actual moods/expressions for marketing purposes), people had huge complaints, so they changed it before launch.  I have a big problem with that too.


But just for renting a DVR box, who cares if the cable company pays attention to what you watch or record?  He said he only has basic cable for the most part and only wants to watch Agents of Shield.  I think your taking the big brother thing a little too far on this one Larry lol.  


So, the cable company and NSA will know that you only record Agents of Shield on your DVR and that you watch a few shows on basic cable.  I don't think that is vital information :)

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