Navigation Menu+

Digital Video Recorder for cable TV

Before You Buy a Set Top Digital Video Recorder

New 4.3 Inch TFT Touch Screen

Update: The world of DVRs has changed pretty drastically since the debut of the TiVo. For a while there were some competitors, but only TiVo has remained standing as most of TiVo's competitors have gone out of business. And if you don't own a TiVo, you'll likely end up using one of the DVRs supplied by your cable company. If you are still interested in buying a DVR, we have some questions you should ask yourself before plunking down your hard-earned cash.

Before you purchase a Set Top Digital Video Recorder (DVR) there are some decisions to make. What's your budget? What are your specific needs? Do you want to record just to a hard drive or to DVD as well? Is their a particular manufacturer you prefer? Are you a Cable or Satellite subscriber? Below are some things to think about before purchasing a Set Top Digital Video Recorder ( DVR ).

How much am I willing to spend?

Set Top DVRs range in price from about $100 to upwards of $1000. TiVO and ReplayTV both offer $99 models (plus a $13/month service charge) that can record 40 hours of programming.

continue reading below our video

What to Consider When Choosing a DVR

After that the prices climb as the hours of recording increase. Other Set Top DVRs vary in price depending on the size of the hard drive (the bigger the drive, the more hours you can record) and whether or not they record to DVD. Some even have VCRs built-in as well.

What do I want to do with my DVR?

Do you want to record lots of TV shows, watch them and then delete them? Then a TiVO or ReplayTV box with a large hard drive would be best. Or do you plan on recording TV to a hard drive and then keeping the shows by putting them on DVD? Then you'll need a set top DVR with a built-in DVD Recorder.

Most Cable and Satellite providers offer a DVR service for a monthly charge, usually under $20. A few even offer DVR service for free. These DVRs are leased and remain the property of the Cable or Satellite provider. The clear advantage in this is that there is no up front cost for these DVRs, they are part of your monthly Cable or Satellite bill.

Do you prefer a certain manufacturer?

Some people I know love Sony and will only buy Sony electronic products. Others love Panasonic. If you are like them, this could be a factor in your decision. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to electronics. Even if I haven't heard of a manufacturer, I'll try and do some research and find out about their products. Don't sell yourself short just because of brand loyalty.

Audio/Video Connections.

Try to get the best connections for your set top DVR and your Television and Home Theater set up (if you have one). If your TV has S-Video or Component inputs, use those instead of Composite (RCA) inputs. If you have a surround sound set up, connect digital optical or coaxial audio instead of composite (RCA) audio. You will get much better picture and sound with higher quality connections.

Final thoughts.

Deciding on a Set Top DVR isn't easy, but sometimes the decision is made for you. If you subscribe to Cable or Satellite, it makes sense to use their DVRs. However, if you want more recording time or DVD recording capability, then you might want to go with TiVO, ReplayTV or a combination DVD/Hard Drive recorder. I encourage you to read about the various Set Top DVRs and decide what's best for you.



Digital Converter Box + Flat Antenna + HDMI Cable for Recording & Viewing Full HD Digital Channels for FREE (Instant & Scheduled Recording, DVR, 1080P, HDMI Output, 7 Day Program Guide & LCD Screen)
Home Theater (eXuby®)
  • Watch FREE DIGITAL channels on your HDTV, Tube TV, LCD, LED, Projector, etc. - Multiple outputs: HDMI, Component, Coaxial and RCA - With the LCD screen you will...
  • Sit back and ENJOY the pristine 1080p FULL HD resolution - Or watch at the resolution your heart desires: 1080p, 1080i, 720p and 576p
  • Got to leave in the middle of your program? Just PUSH RECORD/PAUSE - Not going to be home to watch your favorite show? Just SCHEDULE IT for recording
  • You will ALWAYS KNOW EXACTLY what s playing for the NEXT 7 DAYS thanks to the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) - Also, plug in your hard drive and watch MOVIES, listen...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - Purchase your Digital Converter Box and if you are not satisfied send it back within 30 days for a FULL REFUND. NO QUESTIONS ASKED...
Digital Converter Box + Flat Antenna + HDMI Cable for Recording & Viewing Full HD Digital Channels for FREE (Instant & Scheduled Recording, DVR, 1080P, HDMI Output, 7 Day Program Guide & LCD Screen)
Home Theater (eXuby®)
  • Watch FREE DIGITAL channels on your HDTV, Tube TV, LCD, LED, Projector, etc. - Multiple outputs: HDMI, Component, Coaxial and RCA - With the LCD screen you will...
  • Sit back and ENJOY the pristine 1080p FULL HD resolution - Or watch at the resolution your heart desires: 1080p, 1080i, 720p and 576p
  • Got to leave in the middle of your program? Just PUSH RECORD/PAUSE - Not going to be home to watch your favorite show? Just SCHEDULE IT for recording
  • You will ALWAYS KNOW EXACTLY what s playing for the NEXT 7 DAYS thanks to the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) - Also, plug in your hard drive and watch MOVIES, listen...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - Purchase your Digital Converter Box and if you are not satisfied send it back within 30 days for a FULL REFUND. NO QUESTIONS ASKED...
AllAboutAdapters Digital ATSC HD TV Tuner For Air Broadcast Channels With USB DVR Recording + Media Player Support
Home Theater (AllAboutAdapters)
  • Premium digital ATSC TV tuner for receiving free over-the-air digital broadcast through antenna for North America areas. Enjoy digital TV programs on your HDTV set...
  • Simultaneous HDMI out, component YPbPr out, composite RCA and RF A/V output for connection with all TVs. Maximum HD output resolution up to 1080p. Supports DVR function...
  • Supports time-shift function so users will never miss any part of the TV shows and easily skip the commercials. Maximum USB external drive support up to 3 TB or...
  • Supports media player functions for playback of graphic and audio/video files. Selectable aspect ratio control in 4:3 and 16:9 mode for all HDTV and standard TV...
  • Supports parental control with V-Chip technology, allowing users to block inappropriate TV programs. Compact size with metal enclosure and full-function IR remote...
Get Rid of Cable - Use this Digital Converter Box To View and Record Full HD Digital Channels at no Cost (Instant or Scheduled Recording, DVR, 1080P HDTV, HDMI Output)
Home Theater (UnAssigned)
  • WATCH FREE DIGITAL CHANNELS - On your HDTV, tube TV, LCD, LED, projector etc. - Multiple outputs: HDMI, component, coaxial and RCA - With the LCD screen you will...
  • 1080P FULL HD RESOLUTION - Sit back and enjoy pristine video quality - Or adjust the resolution to your heart s desires: 1080p, 1080i, 720p and 576p
  • TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR PROGRAMS - Have to leave in the middle of your program? Not going to be home to watch your favorite show? You can pause, record, or schedule...
  • ALWAYS KNOW WHAT S PLAYING - Use the electronic program guide (EPG) to know every show and movie and when it is on 7 days in advance - Also, plug in your hard drive...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - Purchase your Digital Converter Box and if you are not satisfied send it back within 30 days for a FULL REFUND. NO QUESTIONS ASKED...
TiVo TiVo Roamio 500 GB DVR (Old Version) - Digital Video Recorder and Streaming Media Player
Home Theater (TiVo)
  • Record 4 shows at once (4 tuners)
  • Up to 75 HD / 500 SD hours recording capacity (500GB)
  • Works with digital cable, Verizon FIOS or HD antenna
  • Access TV and streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, VUDU and more without switching inputs
  • Requires subscription to the TiVo service - as low as $12.50/month with annual plan



Related Posts