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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Channel Master Offers DVR Without Subscription

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


How much are you paying each month for your TiVo? There's a new competitor that has no monthly fee and lets you record your favorite shows in HD!

I have never used a TiVo-branded DVR even though I'm all about getting TV over the air instead of through pay TV providers. I guess I just have trouble getting past the typical $15 a month subscription price for TiVo!

Here's an option for a DVR without a subscription

Now there's a TiVo competitor called Channel Master that has something called the DVR+. You buy this thing that's the size of a laptop computer for $249 and never pay a monthly subscription fee again!

So with DVR+, you can record your favorite programming and watch it on your schedule, just like you would with a TiVO -- but it's a DVR without a monthly subscription fee! I should note that the DVR+ requires a USB external hard drive for full DVR functionality.

A staff writer for The Dallas Morning News  who tested out the DVR+ liked it quite a bit. "I was able to set up and use the DVR+ without consulting the instructions at all. To me, that’s a sign of a complete product," the writer noted. "It’s not fancy. It just does its job very well."



Moving a little closer to home, one of the visitors on my website who was an early adopter of DVR+ wrote the following review about his experience thus far:

"I have the Channel Master DVR+ and it is a great product. In Chicago with rabbit ears in the attic, I get over 80 channels. The device can also access a guide through the internet and produce a searchable guide similar to what you see with cable. You can scroll through the guide and pick the shows you want to record. You can pick individual shows or record the same show every day or week with one record entry."

"Unfortunately, the price for everything you need is closer to $400. The $249 price is JUST For the DVR unit -- you need an external drive to record more than an hour or two of shows. You will also need an HDMI cable to your TV (btw I think it ONLY outputs in HDMI signal,) and unless you have ethernet right at your TV, you will need a wireless wifi adapter which I think was $39. You can save money on the hardfile though buying it at Amazon or somewhere else. Still if you save $50 or more per month on cable it pays back quickly."*


So there you have it. By the way, if you've never heard me talk about free TV over the air, listen up: If you live in a midsized or large metro area, you can get a lot more channels than you knew were available locally just by pulling the signal out of the thin air with an over-the-air antenna. It's not unusual to get 20 to 40 channels for free rather than the 10 you thought you had locally.

Simply visit AntennaWeb.org to see what kind of reception you'd get in your neighborhood using an over-the-air antenna.

* Special thanks to flyboyusa for the review.

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