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Old 11-15-2009, 10:33 PM
339 posts, read 1,349,994 times
Reputation: 126



I just moved and cancelled my directv service because it was getting expensive. I was going to go with dish network because I was still able to have dvr and hd service for much cheaper than directv. well the dish guy comes out and can't get a signal. my only other option is comcast and they are SO expensive once you start adding hd and dvr. It should be illegal. anyhow, i decide to contact my hd tv into the coaxial wall outlet and low and behold I received several channels (must have a QAM tuner). I got some channels in HD as well. Anyhow, I don't think i can live without a recording option. I have an old directv tivo here. Will it record tv without directv service. Somehow i doubt it. Do i have any other options to record my digital channels? Keep in mind i know nothing so please break down you suggestions in you simplest form. Someone told me I could use my laptop somehow to record but wouldn't that mean I can't use my laptop while it is recording? appreciate the help. Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:40 PM
Location: Lemon Grove, CA USA
1,055 posts, read 3,297,050 times
Reputation: 928
Without some sort of service my next suggestion would be a VCR. Other than that you could build your own media center and it could do the same thing a DVR does but that requires some technical know how to pull off. The problem you have with DVRs is they need a service to get current scheduling information. Without that they don't know when things come on so can't record them.

I would imagine you could use the record by time function, if there is one, to record on your DVR. It just wouldn't have any current scheduling information so would be useless beyond that.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:44 PM
Location: Tyler, TX
15,177 posts, read 16,603,893 times
Reputation: 7953
I've been using Windows Media Center (standard in the latest MS operating systems) on a dedicated PC for many years. I'm currently running Vista Ultimate on that box.

Last time I checked, you had to use a mix of an OTA HD tuner and a standard tuner in order to get the HD channels AND your regular cable channels. That was at least two or three years ago, though, and I don't know what's been happening in the tuner world since. Also, if you have any premium channels or anything you can't receive on a regular TV, you'll still need a converter box from the cable company to do the tuning. I run three conventional tuners with the "basic" cable service that gives us about 60 channels or so, which is fine for us.

If you're interested in looking at going that route, a good site for info on Media Center that has an active forum user base is TheGreenButton. You can also go to the Microsoft web site for their standard marketing blurb.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:41 AM
10,606 posts, read 15,800,706 times
Reputation: 9993
Swagger, one of the big tuner changes coming very soon is you'll be able to purchase a cable card tuner and install it in you current MCE box and rent the card from your cable company to get those premium channels on your Media Center. Right now as you know your required to purchase a Media Center certified PC, that will soon be a thing of the past.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:05 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
15,563 posts, read 47,067,024 times
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My old stand-alone tivo can handle recording without any programming info. You just set the date and time. Dunno if part of the agreement with Directv was for tivo to disable that feature. Check out the Weak knees forums.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:25 AM
Location: So. Cal
277 posts, read 529,503 times
Reputation: 168
I have been using SageTV (PC Based) for a couple of years now, it supports many different methods of recording and integrates it all into a nice programming guide, the real strong point IMO is that you can buy hardware extenders($200) that can let you watch TV or play your recordings using a SageTV networked media player.

I have been recording HD for many years on 4DTV C-band natively and now I record Direct TV using a Hauppauge HD-PVR as one of the many tuners in my SageTV server.
I also have 3 OTA and a DVB-S2 tuner in my Sage TV allowing me to record up to 6 things at once.
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