dual tuner dvr hd

M

Mark Modrall

Jan 1, 1970
0
Not sure if this is the right forum to ask the question in, but I'm
looking for a straightforward dual tuner dvr with a hard drive. I've
been looking around online, and it's not clear from any of the listings
I've found which ones *require* a Tivo or cable provider subscription to
operate.

Basically, i'm just trying to replace the vcr; I don't want a $20/mo subscription fee. Are there any reasonably priced things in that category? Thanks Mark Z [email protected] Jan 1, 1970 0 I really do not know what they cost, but I am pretty sure if you just buy your own DVR you shouldn't need a subscription. I am not sure, but if couldn't get a DVR free and clear, that is I own it and it works, I simply don't think I'll ever have one. Even if you can get a DVR free and clear, I doubt many of them have two tuners. So if that's what you need I think you'll need to buy two.Also you may want the ones with ATSC or digital cable tuners, because really, there is not much good on regular TV.(unless someone there avidly follows two soap operas) I would have to look into it, I might be able to build a PC that can do this. While you only have one AGP slot, there should be no reason that two such cards would not work simulateously.They go in PCI slots. And I am sure setting it up would not be easy, in fact you would be best off buying two different brand cards. Let the person who builds the PC pick them, I think it would be best if they had different chipsets. The name on the box means nothing. All depends on if you are happy with NTSC (not hi def). Also the ATSC tuner I installed in a PC required a subscription, not to work, but to download the channel list. Not only does it not seem to have a feature to seek out all ATSC channels, I happen to know their channel list was out of date for this area as of about 6 months ago. I know this because I have worked on TVs with built in ATSC and digital cable tuners. They also had a slot for a smartcard, but even without it it found about 20-30 channels I didn't know we had. Perhaps you might be better off with a DVR and a DVDr. I'm assuming you want to record two shows at the same time. Perhaps the combo of the two, that is if you are achiving one or both shows. If you are time shifting both, a DVDR would be less than desirable, since you will have to keep buying blanks. It all depends on why you are recording. We would need to know that to give any more informed advice. JURB H Homer J Simpson Jan 1, 1970 0 J j Jan 1, 1970 0 From messing around on forums, I've seen a couple of people who have built their own DVR's with dual tuners, they are happy, but the software is buggy at times. The people who use Microsoft Media Center PC's seem much happier. I have a single tuner HP MCE PC that I've been using since they first came out and it's performed flawlessly. I also have 2 Linksys Media Center Extenders that are wired in, so I don't have to listen to a noisy PC over my TV. They work fairly well, I have to reboot them every now and then (turn them ON/OFF) but your mileage may vary. A Alasdair Campbell Jan 1, 1970 0 j said: built their own DVR's with dual tuners, they are happy, but the software is buggy at times. What software are you talkng about exactly? I currently run 3 DVB-T tuners, and I've heard of people running 4 or more sucessfully using Linux, with multiple clients throughout the house. There's no real reason why 2 identical tuners will pose more of a problem than two completley different chipsets, though, as ever with computers it's best to research which tuners work well and which sink like a brick. Unless you live in one of those Microsoftian Utopias that often play a part of MCE's advertising (you know, where everyone is unoffensive, wears pastels and windows just works) - I would strongly advuse against using MS Windows as your PVR server. Having your main Windoze desktop running your TV software is going to cause a lot of problems when you want to play games, perform any sort of intensive disk operation (anyone defragging?), restart your computer because of security updates, or jsut because "it needs a restart". Using GNU/Linux software on affordable hardware can result in very competent setups, that are headless, easy to shove in a cupboard and offer 24 hour uptime. All the server does is move around the MPEG2 video, you can run VDR on 500Mhz processors and with a few hundred megabytes of ram an a 100Mbps LAN. Another feature of some of the many Linux based software is the ability to record more than one channel per tuner. As digital TV is multiplexed onto one carrier wave, the tuner can pull as many channels from the signal as your hardware will allow. So with 3 tuners I never have to worry about recording too many programs at once, while wanting to watch live TV. Linux based software will encourage and assist you in the removal of adverts from recordings, burning to DVD, transcoding to a stronger compression format for archving, all the time integrating well with Windows networks. Microsoft will forever stoop to the demands of DRM, until the world realises what a shit deal it all is. iPod not so useful anymore oncce you realise how crap iTunes is? If you can't receive a digital signal then you should look at MythTV. This software was built around using the Hauppage PVR Hardware MPEG2 line of cards and is competent if fairly complicated to setup. Fortunatly there are booting CD's that will turn your old Win98 machine into a MythTV setup within a few minutes. If you CAN get digital, then I'd have a look at VDR - german based software built around DVB-S receivers but which works very well with DVB-T. A simple interface and fantastic reliabaility are what convinced me to use this program. You can use VDR as your recording server and then connect with prettier clients if you prefer. After using this software for months now, I can testify that my time spent in front of the TV is now well spent and fairly light, rather than hours of flicking though the detritus and gobshites that are everywhere on UK Freeview. Plus no adverts! If you are fairly techy then you might already have a Linux based file server in your house, it's easy to turn this into a PVR server. Needless to say, if most of this sounds gibberish, then perhaps Windows MCE is for you, however I'd avoid it like the plague. The people who use Microsoft Media Center PC's seem much happier. I have a single tuner HP MCE PC that I've been using since they first came out and it's performed flawlessly. Consider yourself lucky - I've not head many good things about Media Centre Edition, except from people with the budget to buy high spec computers and well known branded digital receivers. I also have 2 Linksys Media Center Extenders that are wired in, so I don't have to listen to a noisy PC over my TV. They work fairly well, I have to reboot them every now and then (turn them ON/OFF) but your mileage may vary. These are supported by some Linux based PVR software. VDR is one of them though the interface is polled from the server, meaning it's a little sluggish. A Alasdair Campbell Jan 1, 1970 0 Mark Modrall said: Not sure if this is the right forum to ask the question in, but I'm looking for a straightforward dual tuner dvr with a hard drive. I've been looking around online, and it's not clear from any of the listings I've found which ones *require* a Tivo or cable provider subscription to operate. Basically, i'm just trying to replace the vcr; I don't want a$20/mo
subscription fee.

Are there any reasonably priced things in that category?

Thanks
Mark

Try here Mark,
http://www.pvrjunction.co.uk/compare/
UK based site but the products must be similar to US ones.