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sbdt8631

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DVR Rent or Buy

I would like to get a DVR but I don't know that much about them and don't know if I should pay Comcast, my cable provider, Tivo or buy an independent model.  I am inclined to buy rather than get locked into a monthly fee but it doesn't seem as though I would get all the features unless I am am paying a fee to Comcast or Tivo.
I have tried a google search but all the models I have located give very limited information about the features included.  
If I buy, can you program it to record a specific show, Law and Order SVU, rather than a time so it gets it even if they move nights?  
Can you watch and record the same show at the same time in case you tune in after it starts?  
Will they record one channel while you watch another?  
I have read that some channels might be encrypted.  Which ones?  
Etc.
What's better?  Rent or Buy?
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thakurdinesh
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I will suggest to rent, because of two reasons. One if you will buy, it will be expensive to buy. Second is, after 2-3 years, the capacity of storage will increase, but you wont be having a choice of replacing it. But if you will rent it you can replace it with your cable provider with the larger storage capacity.

If you saves HD movies, on the latest ones you wont be able to store more than 10 movies. later in a year or two that capacity will increase from 10 to 100, as the storage disk increase. So in my openion I will not spent 300 bux on buying a new one, rather will spend 10-15 bux monthly as a Rent.
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rockiroads
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And yes you can select any program, this option is provided by the service provider. To save one show and watch other show at the same time you need Dual Tuner DVR which will cost more, but for extra $5 you can get from your service provider. With single tuner you can watch and store the same show, but can not store one show while wathing other show. THis option is only available with dual tuner.
I am a Tivo owner and very happy with it. The classic user interface is really well done. The new Tivo Premier has a new interface and it is nice too (you can opt for classic which is speedier). I have a lifetime subscription to avoid paying monthly fees. It even lowers the monthly on the 2nd Tivo without lifetime.
You specify the Title to record, whenever it happens to come on the specified channel. If the same title may be on multiple channels, you can use a "WishList" (which can be by title, actor, keyword, etc). Set up "Season Passes" to get the same show every week or whenever it airs. It is smart enough to only record the episode once if on multiple times during the  month. It can also be set up to ignore reruns.
On the new Tivos, they have 2 tuners (cable cards) so you can record two shows at once. You can also watch a 3rd from the list of shows you already recorded.
If you are going to watch 3 hours of prime-time shows, don't watch live. Record them and start watching after the 1st finished recording (9pm if prime-time starts at 8). Fast forward thru the commercials and at the end of the 3rd hour, you will have caught up since each show is about 40 minutes. So you watched 3 hours in 2. It will really change your life.
You don't need to worry about encryption since the show may be encrypted on disk but the device decrypts to play. If you are talking about premium channels, that is up to the cable-tv account. If you are talking about downloading to your PC, there are tools to do the encoding.
Also, Netflix and YouTube and other Internet shows can be downloaded and watched while the two tuners record.
Gary
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sbdt8631

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thakurdinesh:
When it comes to TV I am a dinosaur.  I don't have an HD TV yet so storage will probably not be an issue soon.  Under normal circumstances my wife can store everything we record on one or two VCR tapes.  (Yes I know, everyone can quit laughing just because we still use a VCR.  It's paid for)

rockiroads
Comcast wants $15 a month.  The ones I've looked at are $300-400, Approx.  There is one called FIIVO that got some hype, but again I couldn't find specifice information as to features.  I hate to rent for two years and spend the same money and own nothing.

d_willia
I'm inclined towards Comcast over Tivo.  Why pay for the box if you still have to pay for the service.  In a perfect world I want Tivo's features on a box I can buy without the monthly service.
Gary
But don't you have to buy the box and pay the monthly fee.  I went on their site briefly last night and it seemed that the box is $300 + $13 a month.  Comcast is $15 a month.  What is so much better about Tivo to justify the money?
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expensive then at $15 a month. Difficult one to call but if you definitely going to stay with your provider that supports your model (which it should) then go for it. At the end of the day you have to feel most comfortable with your decision and if feel buying is better because after 2 years renting it works out the same then buy it.
Whatever you get, it you want it future proofed a little then min has to be multiple tuners and hd.
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Thanks guys.  I called Comcast and they offered me a one year promotional price for a two tuner DVR that increased my monthly bill by only $7, with no commitment, so I decided to go that route for now.