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Can this DVR run "standalone?"

Discussion in 'ViP612/622/722/722K DVR Support Forum' started by wwwjimbo, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. wwwjimbo

    wwwjimbo New Member

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    Nov 27, 2009
    I have an antenna on my house and it's connected to an HDTV. I want a device to perform the functions of my old VCR -- record different channels at different times, record one channel while I'm watching another, etc. I don't want to sign up for cable or satellite and I don't want to pay for the services that these DVR's offer for program lists, etc. I just want it to record programs for me like my old VCR.

    Can these machines be manually programmed and operate without the monthly service offered by the DVR companies?

    Thanks.
     
  2. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    The Dish DVRs cannot.
     
  3. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    About the closest you'll find are either the Tivo HD
    or the Echostar DTVPAL - DVR (try Sears).
     
  4. Don M

    Don M Legend

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    You might also consider a DVR with a built in hard drive. Pioneer made one that was supposed to be good. You will have to find one online, however. They can be pricey. Another possible solution is a Panasonic DVD recorder that can record and play on DVD-Ram. Best Buy has them. One drawback is you would only be able to record one show at a time.
     
  5. SaltiDawg

    SaltiDawg Active Member

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    No hassle or disrespect, but is there any other kind of DVR? :confused:
     
  6. lujan

    lujan Hall Of Fame

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    I've asked this very same question on other forums and have only found the DTVPal which can be used with an OTA antenna. If there are other reasonably priced solutions, I would like to know as well. I would like one that can be used with basic cable.
     
  7. CABill

    CABill Hall Of Fame

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    I still have my DISH 942 DVR and it will still record digital OTA channels like a VCR (you have to manually pick the channel and start-end times). Most people would have discarded them (maybe saving the drive) because it was limited to VCR like operation.

    Even to use it as a VCR, you would need to connect it to a sat dish (at least occasionally). You don't need a subscription to DISH, but unless you have downloaded some program guide, you can't get to the Timers menu to create a new timer. This won't provide Guide info for the OTA programs (you need to subscribe to locals to get that). Without a somewhat current Guide downloaded, you would be limited to selecting existing recordings and playing one of those, watching the current program on a digital OTA channel (you can pause/record that), and existing timers for OTA channels will fire.

    Other DISH DVRs won't allow you to record OTA if the receiver isn't active on an account. Actually, I'm not sure what a 921 might do (never had one) - it would be the only other receiver that MIGHT let you use it as a VCR.
     
  8. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    Your best bet might be a HTPC with a tuner card.
     
  9. dragon342

    dragon342 AllStar

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    There are many dvr availble in the market right now that do not need any kind of account or setup! try best best buy!
     
  10. wwwjimbo

    wwwjimbo New Member

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Best Buy was my first stop. They carry the Tivo and Direct TV DVR's and told me (on two separate visits) that you must subscribe to the service to be able to use them. One of the reps said "buy it & try it -- if it doesn't work the way you want, you can return it."

    I'll check out the other brands mentioned here.

    Does anyone know why basic DVR's aren't generally available like the old-fashioned VCR's were? Everyone made a VCR but only a couple make DVR's -- what's changed?

    Thanks.
     
  11. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    Tivo's '389 patent ?
     
  12. Don M

    Don M Legend

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    You're right. By definition a DVR does have a hard drive. What was I thinking?
     
  13. Don M

    Don M Legend

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    It is my understanding that the studios are dead set against allowing home viewers to record their programming digitally. This opposition has kept DVRs off the market. Japan already has consumer HD DVRs, but I would not hold my breath waiting for them to be available here. They tried to keep VCRs off the market, but since they were analog the opposition wasn't as strong. When the Supreme Court ruled that time shifting via VCRs was legal, VCRs became common place. Now that we have the ability to record digitally it's a whole new ball game.
     
  14. olguy

    olguy Hall Of Fame

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    By definition a DVR is a digital video recorder. There are several solid state, no moving parts DVRs available. Granted, they are not for home entertainment but they are out there. Digital video recorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  15. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    Many? The only one I can think of that doesn't require a subscription is the Echostar ATSC DVR. And as far as no set up, at the very least it would have to scan for channels available. I agree with 4HiMarks, a HTPC with a tuner card or the HD Home Run would be your best all-in-one entertainment unit.
     
  16. bloom

    bloom Mentor

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    I used a 921 this way for a while - recording over-the-air signals. I had to hook it up to a satellite feed to get the timers to work, but then it would record manual timers for up to 24 hours.
     

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