Mike has a Swan surveillance camera with a hard drive recording option that archives for seven days before it loops around. He'd like to expand that to a month. Can he? Leo says he might be able to with a larger hard drive, but it may be specially locked down to prevent upgrading or hacking it to his liking. It largely depends on the DVR.
Lot has a TIVO Series 3 and he did a a required update, but now it won't work when rescanning. So he's in a constant reboot loop. Leo says he can try going back to factory settings, but if that doesn't work, then the update is incompatible with that TIVO and it's more or less bricked his device. Leo would advise contacting TIVO and demanding they fix it or replace it.
Chris has a DVR with a lot of programs on it. Can he back them up before he changes companies? Leo says no. The programming is heavily encrypted because of copy protection. The only real way he can do it is by exploiting the analog hole. If his DVR has an analog connection, he can put a VCR in between the DVR and the TV connection. But he'll be recording in real time and it won't be in HD.
Paul wants to cut the cable and he wants to know if Sling TV plus an antenna for local channels is a good way to go. Leo says yes, but he may not need the antenna because Sling offers local channels as well. What about a DVR? Three makers offer over-the-air DVR service. TiVo, ChannelMaster, and the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun.
Bob was a Time Warner Cable client, but now he's with Spectrum and his "enhanced DVR" box is starting to fail. Leo says that chances are, it's the hard drive that's starting to fail. How can he get the shows off before he returns them? They say there's no way to do it since the data is encrypted. Leo says that the cable won't help him get those off because they are afraid of piracy. If it's a cloud based DVR, then he'd be OK. If not, he's out of luck.
Bill cut the cable and is now using an antenna again. He'd like a DVR for it, and is wondering about the Tablo 2-Tuner DVR?
If Bill couldn't get over the air television, streaming would be his only real option if he's cutting the cord. But if he's within line of site of stations, Leo says the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun and the Channel Master are his best bets. Leo doesn't know much about the Tablo, and he recommends ChannelMaster, but the Tablo looks OK.
Cathy moved from DirecTV to Dish and she wants to know how to get data off the old Hopper DVR. Leo says the encryption on the DVR prevents you from getting those programs off of it. The only way would be to use the "analog hole" by hooking up a recorder to the DVR like it's a TV and then recording while playing it back in real time.
Tim wants to know Leo's thoughts on Channel Master. Leo says it's a DVR for over-the-air antenna broadcasts. Leo doesn't get over-the-air broadcast TV because of where he lives, but he hears good things. Now he's learned that Channel Master will also stream video through Roku. That's pretty cool. If he's in the city and can get a good over-the-air signal, he will get the best broadcast quality because it's uncompressed. The key is to be close and within line of site of the main channels.
Chris wants a DVR and heard that TIVO may drop the Roamio. Leo says that TIVO is a good choice but it's kind of expensive. It's cheaper if he were to buy a lifetime subscription and it's not transferrable. A monthly subscription is better in the long term because we don't know how long TIVO will even last.
Jay is going to "cut the cable" from his HD provider but he wants to still do DVR recordings over the air. Leo says it can be done. Check out ChannelMaster.com. TIVO may do it as well, but it requires a monthly fee.