View Full Version : DVRs?

11-24-2016, 08:39 AM
Is this the place for questions on DVRs?
If not, please delete thread.
If so, then my question is, will a dvr
work with any cable provider?
Such as Directv or ATT?
Is any special equipment required other than
the recorder?. Does it connect into my existing
Thanks for any help.
I am totally ignorant on the subject.

Ed in Tx
11-24-2016, 09:12 AM
Likely would all depend on the DVR and the provider. I have a DVR that is made for OTA "over the air" only. Others have internet capabilities. DirecTV and ATT use their proprietary equipment and charge a DVR fee so they certainly don't want to cut off the money stream.

11-24-2016, 10:20 AM
so you are saying only Directv DVRs will work on my Directv system.
Cannot use ''universal''one.
Sh..t ! that sux.

Electronic M
11-24-2016, 11:52 AM
Depends on the systems, and how smart and or dumb they are. Some DVRs had a IR emitter plug in so that the DVR can control the cable box/sat box and use the service's box as a tuner.

If the box was made by/for a cable sat provider it will only work on their cable service, if it was made by Tivo you usually gotta pay a Tivo subscription for it to work , if it is an open (not made for/tied to a service provider) box like my Panasonic DMR-E80H then there is hope you can use it for free.

Your TV service plays a big part too. I don't know about satellite, but many cable companies are eliminating/severely cutting unencrypted channels. Most DVRs can only tune unencrypted channels (NTSC or clear QAM), and those that can tune encrypted ones need you to buy/rent a cable card. If all/most of the channels you care about are encrypted then you probably need to use a cable box to tune them....That means you can either set the box to the channel you like and manually change the box your self each time you want to watch another channel (some boxes prevent this by shutting off in 1-4 hours of no remote control activity), and use the DVR to record the box output or you can you can get a DVR with an IR emitter that will control the box.....

You might also be able to get somewhere using a HTPC as a DVR.

It is usually not as easy as it was in the VCR era...Cable/Sat/their Hollywood owners do NOT want ANYONE to record anything and thus make it as hard as they can.

Without good specifics it is hard to advise. You may be better off spending a few hours researching things your self.

11-24-2016, 01:57 PM
I need to know about directv.
has a satellite dish and a receiver. and remote control.

Electronic M
11-24-2016, 03:18 PM
Then 4 options are open:

Easiest: get a DVR from dish.

Get a no-subscription DVR somewhere that has Cable/sat box control through an IR emitter and set that up.

Get a no-subscription DVR hook it the A/V outs on the sat box and live with only being able to timer record one channel.

See if any HTPCs will work with the IR sat box control scheme better.

You will need to do research.

11-24-2016, 03:53 PM
dont you mean 'directv' not 'dish'?
mine is directv.
I know nuthing about that other stuff(ignorant)

11-24-2016, 06:41 PM
I have direcTV and their new tuners are all integrated into the DVR box, I have a main controller box in the living room and 4 smaller boxes in each bedroom. you can watch and record from any one of them, all recordings are made on the HDD in the main box in the living room but each other smaller box has full controll of everything and to the user is identical to the main box. You do pay for them, but the integration is seamless, you can click shows on the guide screen weeks out and its one touch recording. You can record a series, shows on 4 different channels at the same time, you can record an entire series even if the days/times change. One advantage of the fully integrated tuner/internet/DVR. Ive had mine for 3 years now and im very happy with it. Never one had an issue.

11-24-2016, 11:34 PM
I have 1 receiver, 1 tv.
dont need/want 4 dvrs so looks like Im out of luck.

11-25-2016, 07:12 AM
Its an expandable system, the main box is standalone with DVR, the add-ons interface with it like an old 'dummy terminal' computer system and literally only contain a basic processor and video board. Its not 4 separate DVR's per se. (i.e. you only really need the main DVR w/integrated receiver if you only want 1 DVR). You pay for what you add on (as per usual the main cost is the DVR/Reciever however, the add on terminals are cheap).

Other options may be available but you asked about anyone who had DirecTV, and this is what i have, and with my research its our only option. Works great thow. Im pretty sure they make it difficult to interface aftermarket systems to work with their receiver. Any information to the contrary is welcomed however.

Best regards,

11-25-2016, 08:18 AM
thanks keefla. just what I needed to know Yes their dvr/rcvr is needed so the
"card" will do its thing to get it all running. I did a chat with them.
Looks like I can get a free tivo mini due to when I became a customer. I need to call them
and see if that means no monthly $10 service fee.
thanks again

11-26-2016, 07:48 PM
On the subject of DVRs, is there a standalone deck that will record whatever is fed to it like the old VCRs used to without affiliation to cable/sat companies?

Looking for one i can hook to my existing setup and want to timer record on occasion..

Do they make such a unit and is it available these days?


11-26-2016, 11:45 PM
only if an acsess card is not required .

Electronic M
11-27-2016, 12:08 AM
only if an acsess card is not required .

Yup...Sat and encrypted cable channels will never be freely tune-able on any device not rented by the service provider (or designed and built in a pseudo illegal manner)...Granted it should be possible to record the output of your rented decryption tuner with a DVR (albeit you may need a copy protection remover in some cases)...

11-27-2016, 08:58 PM
On the subject of DVRs, is there a standalone deck that will record whatever is fed to it like the old VCRs used to without affiliation to cable/sat companies?

Looking for one i can hook to my existing setup and want to timer record on occasion..

Do they make such a unit and is it available these days?


I have a Magnavox DVR that works well. You can get them with all kinds of internal hard drive configurations. Mine has 1 terabyte and holds quite a lot. I recently plugged it into my mom's Time-Warner DVR and recorded some of the shows off her DVR to mine so I could burn them to a DVD. Worked flawlessly.

There may be cheaper vendors, but here's one on Amazon.

11-28-2016, 10:23 AM
For cable, there's always Tivo with a cable card. I recommend a used one with lifetime service.

For over the air, there's Tivo, or a small number of other DVRs (like the Channel Master model).

For recording the output of a box, there are devices intended for recording video games that can capture HD component video, and possibly HDMI. For HDMI you would probably need something to remove HDCP, but that's not as difficult as you might think. For example, certain HDMI splitters output a non-HDCP signal.

Unfortunately, Hollywood has managed to stop most other options. In other countries there's a plethora of DVR models, many with built in Blu-Ray recorders.