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Old 02-12-2014, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Lithia
49 posts, read 113,875 times
Reputation: 48

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I actually have verizon service now, and have been researching Tivo's the last few days. Here's how it works:

1) Call cable company to rent CableCard ($3-$5/month)
2) Buy Tivo box (prices for newest model Tivo Roamio: $200 -> $400 -> $600)
3) Buy Tivo subscription: this is where it deters a lot of people away. You can either pay $16/month forever (or until you switch to next option) or pay for a lifetime subscription up front; $500! This fee gives you the ability to utilize the DVR functionality, wifi streaming (iOS devices only), record up to 6 shows at once, Netflix streaming, and other features of the box. The lifetime subscription is good for the life of that box and you never have to pay anything again. Now, if you decide to upgrade in couple of years, you'll have to repay everything. Garbage! The monthly fee option is just like the fee Verizon or Brighthouse charges for their DVR boxes.
4) insert cablecard into Tivo box for use.

Now, if you want the Tivo features on a 2nd tv, they have something called the Tivo Mini ($100 for mini + $6/month or $150 lifetime subscription) that you hook up to your 2nd tv, and you'll have the same features as the main tv, and can record/watch live tv. It utilizes the turners and hardware of the main box.

What Verizon/Brighthouse provides is a basic DVR box that records up to 2 shows at once. If recording 2 shows simultaneously, you will not be able to watch live tv on that television. My box has a little lag, and I've heard the Brighthouse boxes are worse. Normal DVR boxes can also hold roughly 70-80 hrs HD programming. The new Tivo boxes are very quick and responsive and hold from 150-450 hrs of HD recordings.

I hope this info was useful. Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Sandy beaches...
404 posts, read 353,873 times
Reputation: 798
Not for the faint heart but just thought I'd throw it out there. If you're a bit computer savvy, you can roll your own HD DVR. Windows 7 comes with Media Center built-in, just add TV tuner and a remote. Buy an HDHomerun and you have two tuner channels to watch/record simultaneously. Add another and you have 4 channels. TV comes in via OTA antenna and it's all free. Have multiple TVs? Just pair it with an Xbox360 on the network (they're getting cheap) with a Media Center remote and they all tap into the same recordings on the main server or live TV. Media Center has an excellent Netflix plugin and also manage all your family pics/videos/music in one place. I cut the cable/satellite TV cord 3 years ago with this setup and have since more than paid for the initial hardware investment several times over.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Lithia
49 posts, read 113,875 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hokiepoke View Post
Not for the faint heart but just thought I'd throw it out there. If you're a bit computer savvy, you can roll your own HD DVR. Windows 7 comes with Media Center built-in, just add TV tuner and a remote. Buy an HDHomerun and you have two tuner channels to watch watch/record simultaneously. Add another and you have 4 channels. TV comes in via OTA antenna and it's all free. Have multiple TVs? Just pair it with an Xbox360 on the network (they're getting cheap) with a Media Center remote and they all tap into the same recordings on the main server or live TV. Media Center has an excellent Netflix plugin and also manage all your family pics/videos/music in one place. I cut the cable/satellite TV cord 3 years ago with this setup and have since more than paid for the initial hardware investment several times over.
I've also been considering this, but a bit scared. What OTA channels do you get? I don't want to make that investment without knowing I'd get some decent OTA channels. My daughter can survive off of netflix and youtube, but the wife can't break away from her garbage bravo & vh1 tv. I want to cut the cord, but just need a little push and security to make that jump. If it was me only, done, but gotta make sure everyone is happy.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:37 PM
 
4,817 posts, read 3,469,658 times
Reputation: 2858
Quote:
Originally Posted by hokiepoke View Post
Not for the faint heart but just thought I'd throw it out there. If you're a bit computer savvy, you can roll your own HD DVR. Windows 7 comes with Media Center built-in, just add TV tuner and a remote. Buy an HDHomerun and you have two tuner channels to watch/record simultaneously. Add another and you have 4 channels. TV comes in via OTA antenna and it's all free. Have multiple TVs? Just pair it with an Xbox360 on the network (they're getting cheap) with a Media Center remote and they all tap into the same recordings on the main server or live TV. Media Center has an excellent Netflix plugin and also manage all your family pics/videos/music in one place. I cut the cable/satellite TV cord 3 years ago with this setup and have since more than paid for the initial hardware investment several times over.
Homerun gives you 3 tuners but you still need a cable card, Xbox 360 interface is clunky and slow, the ps3 is way better, fios has an app for the Xbox 360, which gives you a guide unlike the homerun. I haven't tried it with the media center I unplugged my servers and using lighter Linux boxes to conserve power.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Sandy beaches...
404 posts, read 353,873 times
Reputation: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by DUNNDFRNT View Post
Homerun gives you 3 tuners but you still need a cable card, Xbox 360 interface is clunky and slow, the ps3 is way better, fios has an app for the Xbox 360, which gives you a guide unlike the homerun. I haven't tried it with the media center I unplugged my servers and using lighter Linux boxes to conserve power.
There's two Homerun devices, HDHomerun Prime uses a cable card like the Tivo you pay monthly fee to rent the card with cable subscription for your home DVR to record cable programs. HDHomerun Dual uses OTA antenna signal for free local tv. You want the right one for your application. It is true there are various faster, lighter, cheaper, more/less complex solutions so it boils down to your comfort technical and tinkering levels. I like MCE since it's the easiest one to get up and running and fits our bill since I have old computers laying around and our kids play Xbox. And since we're in Tampa it's more about being outside enjoying the weather vs inside watching TV right? :-)
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Sandy beaches...
404 posts, read 353,873 times
Reputation: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyce_1 View Post
I've also been considering this, but a bit scared. What OTA channels do you get? I don't want to make that investment without knowing I'd get some decent OTA channels. My daughter can survive off of netflix and youtube, but the wife can't break away from her garbage bravo & vh1 tv. I want to cut the cord, but just need a little push and security to make that jump. If it was me only, done, but gotta make sure everyone is happy.
I know how it is with cutting the cord, gotta convince the DW too. I ran the MCE setup parallel to our previous DirecTV/Tivo subscription just so the DW can get comfortable with it. We are in north Pinellas and had weak signal from NBC until we got an amplifier for our attic antenna. Now every channel comes in clear. If you already have a Win 7 computer/laptop, pickup an HDHomerun Dual - I got them on sale online for $50 - and try it out before you make the big investment. I do miss not having ESPN sports but oh well, more beer money to go to sports bar from not paying for tv service. Kids have tons of contents on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc. Maintenance has been surprising low as I haven't had to touch the computer much since it was built 3 yrs ago aside from adding a few nifty plugins such as a program that strip out commercials from a tv recording automagically.
There's some added benefits as we now also have a place to store all family digital pictures that we actually go thru and view now and then. Same for home videos of our vacations. Not to mention once in a while you can plop on the couch and surf the web on the big screen tv. Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Lithia
49 posts, read 113,875 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hokiepoke View Post
I know how it is with cutting the cord, gotta convince the DW too. I ran the MCE setup parallel to our previous DirecTV/Tivo subscription just so the DW can get comfortable with it. We are in north Pinellas and had weak signal from NBC until we got an amplifier for our attic antenna. Now every channel comes in clear. If you already have a Win 7 computer/laptop, pickup an HDHomerun Dual - I got them on sale online for $50 - and try it out before you make the big investment. I do miss not having ESPN sports but oh well, more beer money to go to sports bar from not paying for tv service. Kids have tons of contents on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc. Maintenance has been surprising low as I haven't had to touch the computer much since it was built 3 yrs ago aside from adding a few nifty plugins such as a program that strip out commercials from a tv recording automagically.
There's some added benefits as we now also have a place to store all family digital pictures that we actually go thru and view now and then. Same for home videos of our vacations. Not to mention once in a while you can plop on the couch and surf the web on the big screen tv. Good luck.
Thanks! my old PC (now daughter's) has windows 7 and I just built a win8 pc. I'll keep my eye on the HDHomerun sales and pick one up in the next few weeks. I just signed up for Netflix so going to try that out, along with our AmazonPrime. My Verizon contract ends in June, so I have a couple months to try somethings before fully cutting the cord.
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