DVRs

Can I get a DVR for my TV antenna?

Tablo 2-Tuner

Episode 1376

Bill from Denver, CO

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.

Is the Channel Master a good DVR for over-the-air broadcasts?

Channel Master DVR

Episode 1318

Tim from Denver, CO

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.

What's a good DVR?

TIVO Roamio

Episode 1304

Brad from Lancaster, CA

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.

How can I record the videos on my DVR?

Episode 1235

Elliot from Boston, MA

Elliot wants to know how he can get his DVR programs. Is there a box for it? Scott says that Hollywood is against getting the digital bits off a DVR because of piracy concerns. So really, the best solution is to exploit the analog hole, if there's analog connections. But this means he may not be able to get the HD signal. It'll either disable the output or downgrade to SD. Scott says it's silly, people are not going to sell copies on a blanket in their front yard, they just want a backup copy of the videos they record. But that's the way it is now.

How can I get video off my DirecTV DVR?

Composite cables

Episode 1212

Steven from Los Angeles, CA

Steven records Tennis matches on his DirecTV DVR and he would like to copy the video files off. Leo says that's called digital video extraction and television broadcasters are paranoid that people will pirate those recordings. But there is an exception called the analog hole. This is where Steven would put a recorder between the DVR and the TV itself. He can't do it via HDMI, though. That's still got HDCP copy protection. But the red/white/yellow composite or red/green/blue/white component connectors will allow him to do it. He may also need an analog to digital converter.

What is a good DVR for over the air broadcast TV?

TIVO Roamio

Episode 1178

Ruth from Roseberg, OR

Ruth ditched satellite, has the cable and bought a few Leaf antennas for her TV. She also streams sometimes with cellular internet and sometimes it fails. Leo says that may be due to bandwidth caps. Ruth says Netflix buffers while Amazon Prime has no problem. Leo says that after 6pm, Netflix is being used by everyone. And maybe Netflix hasn't pad tribute to the cell provider for higher speed internet. That practice was started by Comcast.

How can I cut the cable and still DVR programs?

TiVo Roamio

Episode 1170

Jeff from Los Angeles, CA

Jeff has had it with Time Warner. He's tired of paying $180 for TV, Internet, and phone, especially since he only watches a handful of channels on that cable subscription. He also hates it when he can't get his voicemail deleted even though he's retrieved the voicemail over email. His DVR has also been completely erased due to a service issue. How can he cut the cable? How can he record everything he needs all at once after doing so?