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HDTV DVR for Over-the-Air Signal?

Discussion in 'General Nonsense' started by FordGT90Concept, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    I'm trying to find a good HDTV DVR for over-the-air (rooftop antenna) signals and I am really getting no where with it. Some of my known, basic requirements:
    -Must be dual-tuner (record one show, watch another).
    -Must have a coaxial cable in for the antenna.
    -1080p preferred but 1080i will do (meaning HDMI/YPbPr output).
    -Must have a coaxial cable out as well (to TV).

    Basically the goal is get an HDTV tuner that will work on my old CRT TV and when I decide to upgrade that TV to a 1080p LCD, it will complement it with dual-tuner/DVR capabilities.

    $100-150 budget

    I am quite lost at this point. :confused:
     
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  2. farlex85

    farlex85 New Member

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    Are you putting a tuner into a computer, or getting an entire dvr? Also, over the air television only comes in 720p or 1080i, as of yet no 1080p on tv. :(
     
  3. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    An entire DVR--stand alone unit for my entertainment system. I'm using an RCA DTA-800 and it just isn't working well enough for how much use it gets.

    1080i would be fine then. 1080p would probably be out of my budget anyway. XD
     
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  4. farlex85

    farlex85 New Member

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    Well, from what I've seen Tivo or provider's DVR (Direct TV, cable company) is really the best way to go if you want a unit. Tivo generally gets very good reviews still, it just costs an arm and a leg. If you care to be a bit adventurous and have some spare decent pc parts laying around, you could build an HTPC using a tv tuner, like perhaps this one. Should work out to be a bit cheaper depending on how much you have to buy, and will definitely be cheaper in the long run as it doesn't require monthly fees. You can use Windows or try some free stuff like Linux based MythTv. Provides you more flexibility, but you can likely expect to pull your hair out a bit, but for me it's worth the money. Also the picture won't be that good as you'll have to use an RF converter until you get a new TV.

    Sorry if that wasn't much help, but I haven't heard of much outside of Tivo and provider's dvr that do very well, and those can be costly, especially w/ a dual HD tuner. Definitely haven't seen anything from $100-150, but perhaps someone else has.
     
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  5. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    I already have Dish Network w/ DVR but that doesn't cover anything local. Monthly subscriptions...that's what I thought but it doesn't make any sense. I just want to buy the hardware and use it until it breaks/gets replaced. I shouldn't have to subscribe to the hardware, ya know?

    So, basically HTPC is the only way to go? That just doesn't seem right. :confused:


    Edit: If I did go HTPC and got this one:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116037

    How would it look playing back recorded content on a 1080p HDTV (1080i record/playback probably)? Would it look the same as the original recording? It doesn't say anything on there about HDTV. Would the card need HDCP capability? Would HDMI be the best?


    Bah, I think it will just cost more than I'm willing to spend in the near future...

    Also, how good a video card would be necessary for 1080p? No gaming but it needs to be sufficient to turn that 1080i video back into something viewable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
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  6. farlex85

    farlex85 New Member

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    I know it's terrible right? I can't say for sure, perhaps there is a way around the monthly fees (probably not fully legit), but from what I've seen it's the one thing all DVR's have in common, and is the best reason to build your own.

    And I can't speak exactly to the playback, I don't see why it wouldn't be an accurate re-creation, although I'm sure some of the cards to a better job of encoding than others. It will require some research. Finding a good tuner is difficult sometimes as well, for some reason there seems to be not one that I have been able to find that has received universal praise, there is always something wrong w/ them to someone.

    The real thing is (and I'm just ruining your whole idea :laugh:) that tv just doesn't look very good on flat panels. Even high def television will often look pixilated and messy. It's really a shame, but if your main motivation for buying a flat screen is tv, I wouldn't. You'd be better off w/ a projection or CRT most of the time. Blue-ray and video games look astonishingly good, but tv is just meh. Hopefully that will change in the next few years.

    And as for the video card, a weak one works fine, it pretty much just has to be able to display the resolution your wanting. You can get some decent cheap motherboards w/ solid built in video w/ an HDMI port, which is what I would aim for (or a low end radeon, 3450 maybe?, so long as it has HDMI out).
     
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  7. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    Yeah, so basically its coming down to $1000 for something I would use once a month, maybe. I think I'll have to pass for the time being. :(
     
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  8. Deusxmachina

    Deusxmachina New Member

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    Man, OTA and HTPC were made for each other, imo. I see lots of people putting HTPCs together mainly to play Blu-Ray discs, and I don't think that's a big deal with them compared to a standalone.

    You can put a decent HD HTPC together for maybe even $300 and have no monthly fees and never have to put another penny into it unless it breaks or you want more hard drives. Plus, it doubles as a real computer. Mine completely changed the way I watch TV. It cuts out commercials, it records anything I want whenever it's on, can play any file, internet radio, I can do anything I want with the files once I have them, blah blah blah.

    Mine's an HTPC and isn't used for anything else. If you're on a serious budget, add an ATSC (or three!) tuner cards to your current computer and just don't hog it when it's recording TV. It's not necessary to have a dedicated HTPC, but it's nice.
     
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