DVR Help Needed

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DVR Help Needed

Postby FreeCandy44 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:04 am

Long story short, I have Comcast in my townhouse but its not a regular box. It is actually one of the small digital boxes that has no ppv or ondemand stuff. So I get all the regular channels plus movieplex and whatever crap is above 100. I mainly watch it for ROOT, Comedy Central, etc. I was notified today that my hours at work will be changing and ill be possibly missing some of the upcoming pens playoff games. I want to know if I can buy a DVR type of unit from like Walmart or Best Buy. I do not want to subscribe to or pay anything. I just want it to work like a old VCR would, set the time and bam hockey game recorded. Help a brother out.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby FreeCandy44 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:05 am

Also I have no internet streaming.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby blackjack68 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:26 am

How weird that the DISH Hopper is the banner ad on this thread for me.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby Twisted Wrister on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:36 am

would probably be cheaper to get an upgrade from Comcast than go the TIVO route, IMO.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby TPW on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:24 am

PVRs work like DVRs and don't require a subscription. They do require a computer to run through, so they aren't quite like VCRs, but they were the closest I could come to one with current technology.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... MgoddxkAIg
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:07 am

A few questions

1) do you care about it being HD? I'm guessing not since you have that little box. Does that thing have red yellow and white RCA connectors?
2) what is your budget?
3) do you have a desktop pc?

The HD-PVR that TPW recommended is the first product I thought of. Avermedia makes a similar unit. Those are both HD capable for this though. You could buy a slightly less expensive device like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815116029 or possibly this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815306013.

I'd use Windows Media Center to set your recording. There are some other options but it is the one I am most familiar with. If you are interested in that send me a PM and I'll help you pick the right device to be able to set it up.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:22 am

When you're talking about computer tech there are two different types of devices "a capture card" and a "tuner." Some tuners can also be capture cards, but not always.

A capture card is usually used for getting home movies or video game sessions onto a PC. Some DVR software knows how to use them for recording tv shows, some software doesn't. You would likely have a much more manual set up. They usually don't have any way to change the channel on your cable box to make sure Root is on.

A tuner is a device that replaces a cable box - you plug the cable right out of the wall into it. They also sometimes have RCA inputs so you can use a cable box with it (but not always). DVR software definitely knows how to use these. They will also likely include (or allow you to buy and use) IR blasters to change the tv channel on the box.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby JeffDFD on Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:29 am

Let me just say...PittSoccer33 is one nice person and always helping people. Gave me advice on a tv a ways back.

PittSoccer - if you are going to some Pens event or something let me know because if I am there I am buying you a beer or something!
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby FreeCandy44 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:55 am

Honestly this is a short term fix. I am thinking about going the recordable DVD player route. All I want to do is record the hockey game. I don't really care about HD, and im not going to burn it to disc. This is basically for the playoffs as long as the pens are in it. Anyways....I will not upgrade comcast and I "borrow" Wifi from my neigjboor. But its very poor quality. My cable box just plugs into the back of the TV ala the cable screwed in hole.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby Pitt87 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:25 am

FreeCandy44 wrote:Honestly this is a short term fix. I am thinking about going the recordable DVD player route. All I want to do is record the hockey game. I don't really care about HD, and im not going to burn it to disc. This is basically for the playoffs as long as the pens are in it. Anyways....I will not upgrade comcast and I "borrow" Wifi from my neigjboor. But its very poor quality. My cable box just plugs into the back of the TV ala the cable screwed in hole.


You may want to consider the cable card method. This way, you can let your PC record unencrypted. As long as your channels are marked 'Copy Freely', which I am certain sports are not, this could be an option for you: http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Recording_Digital_Cable#CableCARD
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:51 am

JeffDFD wrote:Let me just say...PittSoccer33 is one nice person and always helping people. Gave me advice on a tv a ways back.

PittSoccer - if you are going to some Pens event or something let me know because if I am there I am buying you a beer or something!


Thanks a bunch. Though I just love this stuff. I am pretty active on some HTPC forums helping people set these things up. It's just my favorite hobby - people can get so much more out of things they already have in their home and don't even realize it. I just helped my boss load all his kids DVDs onto an external hard drive. Now no more risk of the discs getting damaged - their smart tv plays right off the hard drive.

FreeCandy44 wrote:Honestly this is a short term fix. I am thinking about going the recordable DVD player route. All I want to do is record the hockey game. I don't really care about HD, and im not going to burn it to disc. This is basically for the playoffs as long as the pens are in it. Anyways....I will not upgrade comcast and I "borrow" Wifi from my neigjboor. But its very poor quality. My cable box just plugs into the back of the TV ala the cable screwed in hole.


Have you thought about a VCR? From what I understand about those little boxes, they send out an NTSC signal (do you keep the tv on "channel 3" like your old VCR/Nintendo?). That means that the DVD recorder you buy has to have an NTSC tuner in it - those are more rare and more expensive. If the little Comcast box has RCA jacks then any DVD recorder with RCA inputs will work, but make sure you are buying one with a tuner.

Pitt87 wrote:You may want to consider the cable card method. This way, you can let your PC record unencrypted. As long as your channels are marked 'Copy Freely', which I am certain sports are not, this could be an option for you: http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Recording_Digital_Cable#CableCARD


Broadcast flags are really only noticed by two groups of people - those who own Tivo boxes and those who use cable card tuners on an HTPC. They're a stupid form of DRM to prevent people from recording and/or manipulating a cable broadcast. There are three main ones -

*Copy Freely (record it, watch it on any pc or device that can read it, cut the commercials out, covert it to another format, burn it to disc, etc). Most cable systems only send local channels out like this.
*Copy Once (record it, watch it on that computer only). Many systems do this to channels like TNT, USA, AMC, etc
*Copy Never - I think only pay per view channels are like this

For a PC only Windows Media Center is capable of recording and watching Copy Once channels. A few other software suites - the mentioned Myth TV, Sage TV (bought out by Google), J River, Next PVR, XBMC (and probably others I'm not familiar with) can only handle Copy Freely.

In the Pittsburgh area Comcast sends everything except some movie channels (the premiums like HBO/Cinemax and some odd ones offs like Retroplex) marked as Copy Freely. I believe nationally they are like that too, and so is Verizon. Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Cablevision, etc customers aren't as lucky. Comcast could change that any day and there would be nothing you can do about it.

Using a capture device completely wipes out dealing with broadcast flags. The trade off is you still need to rent a cable box. It is the only way Dish Network and DirecTV users can record via HTPC.
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Re: DVR Help Needed

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:34 am

has anyone had their tivo go completely grey after the powering up screen?
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