Dvr plus reviews

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Best DVR for cord cutters

Here’s the hard truth for cord-cutters right now: The ideal over-the-air DVR doesn’t exist.

While some products are better than others, all of them—from Tablo to TiVo to HDHomeRun with Plex—have at least one critical weakness. If you want to record broadcast TV channels from an antenna, you must decide which of those weaknesses you’ll tolerate.

DVR buyers cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:

The good news is that the lowly antenna is experiencing a rebirth, and we’re likely to see even more over-the-air DVR products. But if you want to start recording broadcast channels now, here’s a rundown of where the current products stand.

Updated February 1, 2021 with our Nuvyyo Tablo Dual HDMI review. If video quality is crucially important to you, this over-the-air DVR will record broadcast video in its native MPEG-2 format at a full 60 frames per second. That means you'll experience no degradation in video quality. On the downside, the Tablo Dual HDMI can't stream video outside your home or to mobile devices. Despite that drawback, it is one of the best products in its class, but it doesn't quite rise to top-pick status.

[ Further reading: The best media streaming devices ]

The best OTA DVR for most cord-cutters

If you don’t need four over-the-air tuners, the Tablo Dual Lite DVR—our previous top pick in this category—remains a compelling value. The Tablo Quad DVR is slightly more expensive, but it makes the fewest trade-offs and of any product in this class. We do have a few nits to pick—interlaced video can’t play back at 60 frames per second, and there’s a limited number of streaming boxes you can use for out-of-home viewing—but in a field that doesn’t include the perfect OTA DVR, the Tablo Quad DVR comes the closest.

Runner-up

For those who are all-in on Amazon hardware, the Recast is simple to set up, has no subscription fees, and lets you launch live channels by voice with Alexa. But because this over-the-air DVR is only compatible with Amazon's Fire TV devices, it's a non-starter for users of Roku, Apple TV, or Android TV players.

Best OTA DVR for power users

Channels DVR can be tricky to set up, as it requires you to bring your own media server hardware, and its $8 per month subscription fee is pricier than other over-the-air DVR solutions. But for those who invest the time and money, Channels provides an unparalleled level of polish, video quality, and power user features. 

What to look for in an over-the-air DVR

Evaluating over-the-air DVR solutions is tough, because there are so many factors that can make or break the experience. If you want to investigate further, here are some factors to consider:

Ad-skipping features: Advertising is still a staple of broadcast TV, but some DVRs provide tools to help you skip them. TiVo is the best in this regard, providing an auto-skip button for some programs, and a 30-second skip button for everything else.

Mentioned in this article

Antenna placement options: Over-the-air DVR is useless if your antenna can’t receive channels, so unless you’ve got coaxial cable wired to the roof, you’ll need to set up your DVR in a place with solid indoor antenna reception. Tablo can operate anywhere in the house, HDHomeRun must be wired to your router, and TiVo and Channel Master are tied to your television. Plan accordingly.

Granular recording options: Perhaps you’d like to keep only a certain number of recent episodes, or replace your recordings with higher-resolution versions when available. Not all DVRs are equal in the recording controls they provide. Our full reviews will provide more details.

Live TV time-shifting and catch-up: Want to pause for snack breaks? How about watching partway through a program so you can skip the commercials? Most DVR solutions support this type of time-shifting, but HDHomeRun and Plex currently don’t.

Number of tuners: More tuners means more simultaneous recordings or live viewings. TiVo has four tuners, Tablo has two- and four-tuner options, and HDHomeRun lets you daisy-chain multiple dual-tuner units together. 

Mentioned in this article

Out-of-home streaming: Tablo and Plex both allow you to watch live and recorded TV from outside the house. TiVo requires a $130 TiVo Stream for mobile device access.

Storage options: With the exception of TiVo Roamio OTA, all the DVRs we reviewed support storage on external hard drives. Tablo has also started beta testing a cloud-based storage service, but we don’t yet know what it’ll cost, and we haven’t tested it yet.

Whole-home support: Unless you only plan to watch on a single television, you’ll want a whole-home system, which means buying a networked tuner (Tablo or HDHomeRun) or setting up extenders (such as TiVo’s $150 Mini units).

Streaming service integration: Many of the DVR products we’ve reviewed are whole-home solutions that you access via apps on your existing streaming devices. In these cases, you can access all your favorite streaming services alongside over-the-air video without having to switch inputs. TiVo is a notable exception. It supports some major streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, but you’ll still need a separate streaming box to access others, such as Sling TV and Philo.

OTA DVR solutions still in development

The over-the-air DVR space should get more competitive over time. If you’re on the fence about today’s solutions, here are some future developments to consider:

Mentioned in this article

ATSC 3.0: Broadcasters are starting to test a new broadcast TV standard called ATSC 3.0 (also known as “Next Gen TV”), which can support 4K HDR video, better surround sound, interactive features, and easier access on phones and tablets. This new standard is incompatible with most of today's over-the-air DVR solutions, which rely on the current ATSC 1.0 standard instead.

Still, it's early days for ATSC 3.0. Major broadcast networks haven't yet committed to supporting features like 4K, and the FCC is requiring all markets to support ATSC 1.0 until at least February 2023. That means you can still buy current over-the-air DVR solutions with confidence, even if they're not guaranteed to last forever.

Our OTA DVR reviews

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

  • Some sticking points haven't changed, but Tablo's latest whole-home DVR for cord-cutters is inexpensive and easy to use.

    Pros

    • Easy to set up
    • Streams TV to lots of devices
    • Plenty of options for browsing and recording TV shows

    Cons

    • Video and audio streams are inferior to broadcast quality
    • No ad-skipping features
    • No way to channel surf while watching live TV
  • This DVR software for cord cutters justifies its premium price with features you won't find elsewhere.

    Pros

    • Records both over-the-air and live streaming channels
    • Slick software with lots of DVR creature comforts
    • Excellent audio and video quality for broadcast channels

    Cons

    • Complicated setup
    • No Roku or game console support
    • Subscription fee is higher than other over-the-air DVRs
  • Tablo's plug-and-play DVR delivers native broadcast quality, but loses some features along the way.

    Pros

    • Whole-home DVR delivers local antenna channels at full broadcast quality.
    • Loads of useful features for recording and watching local channels
    • Simple setup

    Cons

    • Can't stream outside the home or to mobile devices
    • Lengthy initial load times for channels
    • Clunky remote and sluggish hardware for direct HDMI output
  • TiVo's over-the-air DVR box feels a lot like cable, for better and for worse.

    Pros

    • One-button ad skipping for primetime shows, and a 30-second skip button for everything else
    • Plenty of options to fine-tune recordings
    • Lifetime DVR/channel-guide service is included

    Cons

    • User interface needs an overhaul
    • Sub-par app selection
    • The cost of whole-home DVR is much too high
  • Emby's do-it-yourself DVR packs plenty of features if you have the right hardware and don't mind jumping through some hoops.

    Pros

    • Support for a wide range of streaming devices
    • Built-in guide makes channel flipping easy
    • Lots of fine-grained control over recording

    Cons

    • Setup can be costly and complex
    • Apps could use more polish
    • Guide data requires ongoing expense or even more complicated setup
  • Built-in storage makes the Tablo Dual simpler to setup, but you might still be better off with the old model.

    Pros

    • Easy to set up
    • Tablo apps are available on most modern streaming devices
    • No subscription necessary for basic features

    Cons

    • Skimpy built-in storage
    • Long load times for live channels
    • Limited options for storage management
  • Tablo brings live and recorded broadcast TV to all your streaming devices--if you can look past some performance and feature limitations.

    Pros

    • Straightforward setup
    • Apps are available on a wide range of devices
    • No subscription necessary for basic channel guide and manual recording

    Cons

    • Live channels take a while to load
    • Smooth motion not supported on 1080i channels
    • Occasional glitches
  • This over-the-air DVR has a built-in hard drive and plays nicely with Sling TV, but our biggest gripes haven't changed.

    Pros

    • Combines over-the-air and Sling TV channels in one app
    • Built-in hard drive simplifies setup
    • No subscription fees for DVR service

    Cons

    • Can't pause live TV, auto-skip ads, or get a visual preview while fast forwarding
    • Limited ways to find and record over-the-air programs
    • No 60-frames-per-second or surround-sound support
  • Plex provides a powerful whole-home DVR for over-the-air channels, but the setup's a doozy and you can't time-shift.

    Pros

    • Recording options offer plenty of granularity
    • Nearly ubiquitous app support for DVR streaming in- and out-of-home
    • Low up-front cost if you have a PC or Shield already

    Cons

    • Complex setup with little flexibility for antenna placement
    • Confusing disparity between live and DVR apps.
    • Limited support for pausing and rewinding live TV.
  • Tablo’s DVR software is a simple solution for a single television, but it’s too light on features.

    Pros

    • Brings broadcast TV and streaming video onto a single device
    • Smooth, crisp video with 5.1-channel surround sound
    • Fairly easy to set up

    Cons

    • No whole-home DVR features, unlike Tablo’s network DVR
    • Sorting and search options are nonexistent
    • Limited control over recordings
  • TiVo's cord-cutting DVR gets a boost from voice control, mobile streaming, and lower subscription fees, but it's still missing some modern touches.

    Pros

    • Best-in-class recording and playback features
    • Simpler to set up than networked DVRs
    • Helpful voice controls with the Vox remote and Alexa integration

    Cons

    • Pricier than other options, especially for whole-home viewing
    • Poor selection of streaming apps
    • Bulky, noisy hardware
  • Tivo's latest DVR brings a software overhaul and voice search, but it still feels tethered to the past.

    Pros

    • The new software is simpler and slicker
    • Voice search is a powerful way to browse
    • DVR has loads of recording options

    Cons

    • Woeful app selection
    • Software still has some rough edges
    • Pricey DVR service and whole-home add-ons
  • The Stream+ is a fairly inexpensive way to record free over-the-air channels, but the software has some major shortcomings.

    Pros

    • Decent DVR features with no subscription fees
    • Channels load quickly, and at broadcast-TV quality
    • The remote's live TV and DVR shortcut keys are a nice touch

    Cons

    • No Netflix or Amazon Prime Video apps
    • Limited ways to browse and manage recordings
    • Android TV software is already outdated
  • HDHomeRun's whole-home DVR hardware streams native quality broadcasts on the cheap, but the software is still too crude.

    Pros

    • Streams live and recorded TV at full MPEG-2 quality
    • Setup is practically plug-and-play
    • Easy to add more tuners and storage over time

    Cons

    • Interface is an eyesore and often counterintuitive
    • No ad-skipping or visual preview while fast-forwarding
    • Dealing with scheduling conflicts is a hassle
  • The TiVo Edge DVR is new and improved, yet the experience is still sliding backwards.

    Pros

    • Top-notch DVR recording and viewing options
    • Much quieter than earlier TiVos
    • The antenna version has a backlit remote

    Cons

    • Recordings are getting pre-roll video ads
    • Whole-home DVR still requires expensive add-on boxes
    • App support is falling further behind dedicated streaming players
  • Primarily billed as a analog-to-digital converter, MediaSonic’s dumb-as-rocks recording may remind you of an old VCR.

    Pros

    • It’s cheap
    • No subscription fees
    • Video can be pulled from the hard drive as .MTS files

    Cons

    • The interface is a clunky, confusing mess
    • No conflict-resolution features for recordings
    • Time-shifting isn’t automatic and prevents switching channels
  • The VBox Android TV gateway is promising on paper, but bugs and limitations make for an aggravating experience.

    Pros

    • Over-the-air DVR works offline
    • Streams live and recorded TV to other devices at full broadcast quality
    • Lots of neat features for power users

    Cons

    • Crude, clunky, and confusing interface
    • Persistent issues with Wi-Fi connectivity and loading TV guide data
    • No Netflix or Amazon Prime video support, and weak performance with other apps

Jared Newman covers personal technology from his remote Cincinnati outpost. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for help with ditching cable or satellite TV.

Sours: https://www.techhive.com/article/3173175/best-dvr-for-cord-cutters.html

Are DVR viewings factored into TV ratings?

Whether we're talking Nielsen numbers or ratings reported from DVR data, one of the biggest challenges with DVR ratings is that they don't come in right away. If you TiVo "Fringe" on Friday night but don't watch the recording until Tuesday, the network's ratings can't show your viewing activity until that time. Because of the time-shifting nature of DVRs, networks are now interested in ratings during a time range rather than just the date and time that the show aired.

Most networks use Nielsen's Live Plus service to track ratings. Live Plus looks at who watched shows on their DVRs within different time frames. Generally, it tracks three major categories: Live-Plus-Same-Day, Live-Plus-Three and Live-Plus-Seven. Each one looks at a broader timeframe, so Live-Plus-Same-Day looks not only at who was watching when the show aired, but also who watched the show that day and the next. Live-Plus-Three and Live-Plus-Seven track who watched within three and seven days of the original airing, respectively. When Nielsen first rolled out its Live Plus service, network executives were uncertain, but it's become an industry standard.

These Live Plus ratings can make a big difference when a large portion of a show's fans are watching on their DVRs. In 2007 when Live-Plus-Seven was starting to gain traction with networks, 23 percent of 18 to 49-year-olds watching "The Office" did so on their DVRs within a week of the first run. That's a big ratings boost just from DVRs, and "The Office" isn't the only show that's benefitted from DVR ratings. A January 2011 episode of "Fringe" jumped an entire ratings point based only on Live-Plus-Three data [source: Anders].

The Live Plus ratings system has changed not only how networks report ratings numbers, but advertising as well. DVR viewing is so common now that Nielsen tried lumping its Live-Plus-Same-Day ratings into its live viewing ratings. There were still some Nielsen reports that separated the numbers, but the company began reporting the data all together for its daily releases. The logic was that there's not much difference between a viewer who watches live and one who starts watching 30 seconds or even 30 minutes after the show has started. Advertisers fought this change because the ratings boosts from Live Plus meant higher advertising rates, and Nielsen now reports live and Live Plus numbers separately.

Methods for collecting DVR ratings data have been controversial at times between these advertiser complaints and privacy concerns from DVR viewers, but despite resistance, it looks like DVR ratings are here to stay.

For more great TV articles, check out the links below.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Anders, Charlie Jane. "How the Nielsen TV ratings work -- and what could replace them." io9. Sept. 17, 2010. (April 28, 2011)http://io9.com/#!5636210/how-the-nielsen-tv-ratings-work--and-what-could-replace-them
  • Bachman, Katy. "Update II: Nielsen Modifies Live-Plus-Same-Day Plans." Adweek. Dec. 16, 2009. (April 28, 2011)http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/update-ii-nielsen-modifies-live-plus-same-day-plans-114299
  • Currie, Jon. "Nielsen's live plus baffles U.S. execs." Entrepreneur. June-July 2007. (Apil 28, 2011)http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/164947962.html
  • Fitzgerald, Toni. "Nielsen bringing back local live ratings." Media Life. July 6, 2010. (April 28, 2011)http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Television_44/Nielsen-bringing-back-local-live-ratings.asp
  • Hansell, Saul. "TiVo Is Watching When You Don't Watch, and It Tattles." The New York Times. July 26, 2006. (April 28, 2011)http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/26/technology/26adco.html
  • Reuters. "TiVo: Jackson stunt most replayed moment ever." CNN. Feb. 3, 2004. (April 28, 2011)http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/02/03/television.tivo.reut/index.html
  • Schneider, Michael. "TiVo takes on Nielsen." Variety. April 20, 2009. (April 28, 2011)http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002586?refcatid=1009&printerfriendly=true
Sours: https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/tv-and-culture/dvr-viewings-tv-ratings1.htm
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Streaming services run the gamut from free to expensive, with Fubo TV at the upper end of the market. It's expensive, but it might be the right cord-cutting choice if you want a lot of channels and if you like to watch sports.

FuboTV Specs

Starting price: $65 per month
Supported devices: Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Vizio and Samsung Smart TVs, web browsers, iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, Chromecast, Xbox
Cloud DVR: 250 hours
Simultaneous streams: 3

FuboTV launched in 2015 with a focus on soccer, but it has evolved since then into a great cable TV alternative. The lowest tier Starter plan costs $65 and comes with over 120 channels, including the major broadcast and cable networks, and supports 4K streaming for select content (some of its competitors do not).

FuboTV's interface is slick and well-designed and comes with 250 hours of Cloud DVR. Ultimately, this FuboTV review concludes that it's right for you if you're willing to spend an extra few bucks a month to build a more complete channel guide.

FuboTV won a Highly Recommended award in the 2021 Tom's Guide Awards for Best Sports Streaming Service.

FuboTV review: Pricing

FuboTV offers a free, seven-day trial of its default Starter plan, which costs $64.99 a month for over 120 channels, 250 hours of Cloud DVR storage and three simultaneous streams. 

The Ultra plan costs $84.99 and adds the Fubo Extra and Sports Plus packages on top of the Family plan.

All plans come with six profiles per account, so friends and family members can customize their preferences. 

On top of one of the plans, Fubo users can pay for add-ons, like Showtime and Starz. There are also over a dozen add-on bundles and premium channels, which we outline below.

Fubo's base plan costs the same as its two main live TV rivals, YouTube TV ($64.99 per month for 80-plus channels) and Hulu with Live TV ($64.99 per month for 70-plus channels). Both of those services stream local networks in most areas, as does Fubo.

Other streaming services are cheaper, but their prices are also going up. Take for example Sling (which now costs $35 per month for new members) and Philo TV ($25 for 59 channels), though neither of which such an expansive channel lineup.

FuboTV review: Availability and platforms

FuboTV is available on most major platforms: 

  • Web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox)
  • Most iPhones and iPads (iOS 10 and later)
  • Most Android phones and tablets (OS 5.0 and later)
  • Apple TV (4th gen and later)
  • Roku (model 3600X and later)
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • Fire TV (all models)
  • Vizio Smartcast TVs
  • All Chromecast devices
  • Xbox consoles

The only typical streaming device missing is PlayStation 4 (which has Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV).

FuboTV review: Interface

Fubo's interface is slick and well-designed. The black, gray and white color palette is more attractive than YouTube's stark, utilitarian look, though not quite as pleasing as Philo's interface. 

The menu is divided into a handful of tabs (which differ slightly between platforms). On the web, those tabs are Home, Sports, Shows, Movies, Guide and Recordings. On mobile, the Shows and Movies sections are combined into Entertainment, while Recordings is labeled My Fubo. 

The Home tab is broken down into sections, like Live TV, 4K on Demand, Live Sports, Popular Shows and Popular Movies. The Sports tab shows all the games that are airing that day or on future days. The Shows and Movies tab highlights popular titles and content on demand.

The Guide tab features the typical cable-like grid with a vertical list of networks and horizontal times. The networks are not alphabetized, so you may need to hunt for your preferred channels. But you can also favorite channels, so they always live at the top of the Guide.

The Recordings tab houses all the shows and movies you have recorded as well as a marker for how much Cloud DVR storage you've used.

FuboTV's search functionality is very fast, with results populating as you type, but it isn't as extensive as YouTube TV (which pulls in related video content from regular YouTube) or even Philo (which includes episodes as well as shows in results).

The show profile pages are fairly typical. They display upcoming episodes and give the option to record the series. (And you can choose to record all episodes or just new episodes.) And the playback window features the usual controls.

FuboTV review: Content and channels

Fubo's channel lineup is huge. The largest among the higher-priced streaming services, FuboTV includes almost all of the local networks as well as top cable brands. In summer 2020, they added Disney-owned channels like ABC and ESPN, but took away Turned-owned channels like CNN and TNT. Fubo is also lacking the A&E networks.

Fubo does offer the Viacom-owned networks, like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. For their full channel lineup, check here.

The add-ons include two premium channels and several packages geared toward different interests, primarily niche sports. The service recently added MLB Network + MLB StrikeZone and the NHL Network.

Here's a look at the add-on packages you can get from Fubo:

  • Showtime ($10.99)
  • AMC Premiere ($4.99)
  • $10.99 for Sports Plus (NFL Red Zone, NBA TV, Tennis Channel, GolTV)
  • $11.99 for Fubo Cycling
  • $5.99 for International Sports Plus (Zona Futbol, Fox Soccer Plus)
  • $4.99 for Adventure Plus (Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, Outside TV)
  • $7.99 for Latino Plus
  • $7.99 for Rai Italia
  • $14.99 for Portuguese Plus
  • $4.99 for Entretenimiento Plus
  • $5.99 for Fubo Extra (Cooking Channel, Game Show Network, Logo, TeenNick)

Fubo also lacks original programming, which two of its competitors — YouTube TV and Hulu With Live TV — have. Those services are similarly priced yet offer original shows (and in Hulu's case, award-winning titles like The Handmaid's Tale). Not to say Fubo should get in the originals game — honestly, there's too much stuff out there anyway — but it does make that high cost a bit less justifiable.

FuboTV review: DVR

One of the main knocks against Fubo used to be the low amount of Cloud DVR storage. But a recent package overhaul changed for several of the plans. Now, the Family Plan comes with 250 hours. But consider that YouTube TV and Philo both give unlimited storage. 

Like Sling, Fubo allows you to delete recordings, but it starts at only 50 hours, and makes you pay $5 per month for 200 hours. 

Fubo's Recordings tab has a handy tracker to gauge how much DVR space you are using.

FuboTV review: Video quality

FuboTV supports up to 1080p, depending on the channel and program. Most of the content I watched was only available up to 720p. 

Fubo also offers limited events in 4K (currently more than 130 of them) and only on devices that can stream 4K content such as the Apple TV 4K, Chromecast Ultra, FireTV Stick 4K, Roku Premiere and Android mobile phones with HDR10 displays. 

The 4K content is not available to be recorded. None of the other live TV services stream in 4K. Philo offers 720p streaming and 1080p on-demand content, while the other companies don't say.

FuboTV review: Verdict

Fubo is a decent option for cord cutters looking to get rid of cable television. And while it used to be one of the most expensive streaming services in the market, competitors have now risen in price to match that $65 a month family plan. None of the three streamers is the complete package; they all lack something, be it certain channels or enough DVR storage. Basketball fans will raise an eyebrow at the lack of TNT in Fubo, for example.

As this FuboTV review explains, it offers a ton of channels and storage with its Family plan and flexibility with add-ons. If you're looking for something cheaper, then go with Sling or Philo — just know that you won't have access to many networks. But if your preferred channels are only in Fubo's lineup, it may be the best cable replacement service for you. 

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.

Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/fubotv
Review: Stream+ DVR \u0026 Android TV Player From Channel Master

Video Streaming Services That Let You Cut Cable TV

While some streaming services, such as Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Netflix, are really designed to be additions to the channels you get with a pay TV service, a number of streaming services are designed to let you cut the cord on a traditional pay TV package by giving you access to familiar channels.

These include a few streaming services from AT&T—soon to be rebranded DirecTV Stream—plus the sports-focused FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and Google's YouTube TV. All combine at least a few live local channels with a smattering of cable networks, at prices that typically range from about $35 to $70 a month. Most services let you add extra genre-based channel packs, plus premium networks such as HBO Max or Showtime, for an additional monthly fee.

The content can vary by region, especially when it comes to local channels. So before signing up, you should go to each company’s website, plug in your ZIP code, and see what's available in your area. In general, video streaming services have been adding more local broadcast channels, such as ABC and CBS, but these are not always available in smaller communities.

Monthly bill: $70 to $140

What you get: Depending on the service, plans start at about $70 a month for a mix of live TV stations and cable channels. But major changes are afoot: AT&T and the private equity firm TPG are spinning off AT&T’s TV/video businesses, including DirecTV, U-verse, and AT&T TV, into a new company called New DirecTV. AT&T will have a 70 percent interest; TPG will hold a 30 percent stake.

The new HBO Max service, however, is not part of the deal. It will remain part of WarnerMedia, which recently announced it would be merging with Discovery to form a new stand-alone company that hasn’t been given a name yet.

DirecTV will continue to be the company’s satellite TV business, while the streaming services, including AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV, will be folded into a single brand called DirecTV Stream. AT&T has stopped offering AT&T TV Now service to new subscribers. (Current AT&T TV Now subscribers can keep their plans.)

Subscribers to DirecTV Stream will have the choice of using a set-top box of their own choosing (such as an Apple TV or Roku) or an AT&T Android streaming player, which costs $5 a month for 24 months. Plans start at $70 a month for a more basic package with about 65 channels and go up to $140 a month for a package with about 140 channels, including regional sports networks and Cinemax, HBO Max, Showtime, and Starz premium channels.

All plans come with a free cloud DVR and 20 hours of storage, but you can upgrade to an unlimited plan for $10 extra a month.

What you don’t get: Some local channels and regional sports networks aren’t available in all markets or in the most basic plan. And some channels, such as DIY Network, FXM (the FX movie channel), Nick Jr., Oxygen, and the Smithsonian Channel, are available only in the pricier plans.

Sign up:AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV

Monthly bill: $65 to $80

What you get: This sports-centric service, among the first to support 4K videos with HDR, offers a mix of live and on-demand channels from broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC in most markets); cable channels (AMC, Bravo, Discovery, FX, HGTV, Syfy, and TLC); and sports networks (BeIn Sports, FS1, Golf Channel, MSG, and SNY) and NBA TV). The service also now has ESPN (ESPN, ESPN 2, and ESPN 3, plus the SEC and ACC networks in certain markets), which had been noticeably lackluster for a sports-oriented service.

With the addition of TNT and TBS from Turner, you also get NBA and NCAA basketball, Major League Baseball, and PGA golf, plus a robust roster of regional sports networks for local-team action, including MLB and NHL games. However, these stations are currently missing because of a spat with WarnerMedia. (See “What You Don’t Get,” below.) The service comes with a free cloud DVR plus a 72-hour “look back” feature that lets you replay most programs that appeared in the previous three days.

Perhaps more than any other service, Fubo has continually rejiggered its plans and channel lineups. The most recent move is to kill the $85-per-month Ultra plan and replace it with an $80 Elite plan. Essentially, you get the basic Fubo Starter plan (see below), plus the 45 extra entertainment channels in the $8-a-month Fubo Extra add-on, a cloud DVR with 1,000 hours of storage, and access for up to 10 users at the same time at home.

Fubo's basic package is now the Starter plan, with about 115 channels, a cloud DVR with 250 hours of storage, and three simultaneous users, for $65 a month. Stepping up to the $70-a-month Pro plan gets you 1,000 hours of DVR storage and unlimited users. There’s also a $33-a-month Latino Quarterly package with 32 Spanish-language programs, 250 hours of cloud storage, and three users at a time.

Fubo offers several add-on plans. These include a three-user Family Share option, for $6 per month, and Unlimited Screens, which costs $10 a month. A 1,000-hour DVR add-on costs $17 a month, so those with a Starter plan would do better upgrading to the Pro package.

In corporate news, FuboTV completed a merger with the FaceBank Group, a celebrity- and sports-focused virtual entertainment company. As a result, FuboTV is now a wholly owned subsidiary of FaceBank, which in turn has been renamed FuboTV.

The company is also making a foray into the sports betting world, first with its acquisition of Balto Sports—a California-based fantasy-sports startup—at the end of last year, and now with a planned acquisition of Vigtory, a sports betting and interactive game company.

What you don’t get: Fubo recently dropped six A+E Networks channels: A&E, History Channel, Vice TV, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, and themFYI Channel. FuboTV’s biggest missing elements are Fox regional sports networks and the Yes Network, home to Yankees games.

Previously, it dropped Turner Networks channels, including Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TCM, and TNT. The loss of TBS and TNT, which show MLB and NBA games, could be tough news for many users of a sports-centric service.

Additionally, it looks like new subscribers to Fubo’s plans won’t get an MLB, NBA, and NHL channel as part of the package. Instead, it will be available either as part of the $8 Fubo Extra add-on package, which now costs $2 more per month than previously.

Sign up:FuboTV

Monthly bill: $65

What you get:Hulu + Live TV offers about 75 channels, including the major broadcast channels—ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC—in a growing number of markets. You also get cable channels such as A&E, the Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney, Fox News, FX, TBS, and TNT, among others. The lineup includes CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports, plus some regional sports networks.

Hulu recently reached a deal with Discovery to keep several Discovery channels on its service. These include Food Network, HGTV, and TLC, but not “90 Day Fiancé” and “Fixer Upper,” which are on the company’s Discovery+ service.

As part of an earlier renewal dealwith ViacomCBS, Hulu has added 14 new channels to its Hulu + Live TV service. These are BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, VH1, CMT, Nick Jr., TV Land, BET Her, MTV2, NickToons, TeenNick, and MTV Classic.

But Hulu + Live TV Now costs more—$65 per month—because of a price hike in December. That’s almost a year since the price jumped from $45 to $55 per month.

The service has ads in the Hulu video-on-demand part of the bundle. To go ad-free, you now have to pay $71 per month.

The basic service lets you create six separate profiles—though only two people can use the service at a time—and includes a cloud DVR with 50 hours of recording time. Both plans combine everything you get with the regular Hulu service with the additional channels available on Hulu + Live TV.

There are a number of add-on options. For example, a bundle with an enhanced cloud DVR with 200 hours of storage, the ability to fast-forward through ads in recorded programs, and unlimited simultaneous users at home costs $15 per month. An entertainment add-on costs $8 more a month, a sports package is $10 extra a month, and a package with Spanish-language programming is $5 more a month.

Hulu + Live TV is now widely supported on streaming players, some smart TVs, PlayStation and Xbox game consoles, and Android and iOS mobile devices. You can use voice commands on Amazon Alexa-powered devices to watch shows on Hulu.

What you don’t get: Now that it has a deal to get missing ViacomCBS channels, the service is mainly missing AMC, BBC America, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and PBS.

Sign up:Hulu + Live TV

Monthly bill: $35 and up

What you get: Sling has raised prices $5 per month for new subscribers. The Orange package now costs $35 and includes about 30 cable channels but no broadcast TV. It supports one user at a time. Sling Blue, also $35, supports three users and has a different mix of about 40 channels, including some local broadcasts—but not ABC and CBS—and regional sports. (Among other differences, Sling Orange includes ESPN.) A combined plan costs $50, up from $45.

Thanks to a one-year price guarantee instituted in 2020, existing customers had been able to keep their current price, but it went up starting in August.

Sling TV also increased prices for its themed add-on packages, though only by $1 per month. For example, Sports Extra now costs $11 per month instead of $10, and Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, and Hollywood Extra now cost $6 per month each, up from $5 per month extra.

The good news is that Sling has beefed up its cloud DVR. Everyone now gets 50 hours of free DVR storage, up from 10 hours. You can also get 200 hours of storage—up from 50 hours—for $5 per month with the DVR Plus add-on.

Among the latest news is that the company has updated its app, at first for Amazon Fire TV, but it will be rolled out to other devices later this year. It has a new home screen, an updated guide, and a dedicated DVR tab for recorded shows. There’s also a new “watch from the beginning” button for videos.

Sling TV also includes a new sports betting information channel from DraftKings. Rolling out first on Dish's Hopper DVR, Sling customers will eventually be able to access the DraftKings app to view betting odds, watch fantasy contests, and even make bets with DraftKings right from their TV.

Sling has a number of add-on packs for genres such as news, sports, comedy, kids, lifestyles, and Hollywood starting at $6 a month. A Total TV Deal bundles all the extra packs, plus the extended cloud DVR, for $21 a month.

Sling also has a number of channels that can be purchased without a Sling TV subscription, including CuriosityStream, $6 per month; Showtime, $10 a month; NBA League Pass, $29; and NBA Team Pass, a separate plan that lets you get out-of-market games for a single NBA team for $18 monthly on top of a Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and/or Spanish-language services plan.

Sling TV typically has a few promotions going on at any time, such as the first month for $10, plus 200 hours of free DVR service.

What you don’t get: You can get Fox and NBC in some markets, but ABC and CBS are still missing from both plans. And Sling doesn’t offer HBO Max. Also, Sling subscribers outside of several major markets can no longer get NBC on-demand channels. Sling had provided on-demand NBC channels in markets where the live NBC channel wasn’t available.

This affects all Sling TV subscribers who don’t live in Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Hartford/New Haven, Los Angeles, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, or Washington, D.C. Sling is recommending that these subscribers try using an antenna to receive local NBC broadcasts.

Sign up: Sling TV

Monthly bill: $10 and up

Note: T-Mobile pulled the plug on its fledgling low-cost tiered service at the end of April and is instead offering $10-a-month discounts on two other services, Philo and YouTube TV. Those who subscribe to T-Mobile Live will be able to pay $55 rather than $65 a month for YouTube TV, while TVision Vibe customers can get Philo for $10 instead of $20 a month. Philo is a skinny TV service that lacks local channels, while YouTube TV is a cable-replacement service with both local and cable channels. The deals are available to all T-Mobile and Sprint postpaid wireless customers.

T-Mobile says it will continue to sell the TVision Hub, a $50 Android-based streaming media device.

Sign up:T-Mobile TVision

Monthly bill: $65

What you get:YouTube TV offers access to more than 85 channels, including all the major local networks, plus the original programming on YouTube Premium. It has a nice selection of channels, including AMC, Bravo, Disney, ESPN, FX, Fox News, Fox Sports, MSNBC, National Geographic, Turner, USA, and some regional sports networks. You also get access to the original programming on YouTube Premium, usually $10 per month.

It has a cloud DVR with unlimited storage and allows up to three simultaneous users and six individual accounts. And thanks to a recent expansion, the service is available in most national markets.

But the company hiked its monthly price from $50 to $65, following last year's jump from $40 to $50 per month. The move came as YouTube TV finally reached a deal with ViacomCBS to bring eight of its channels—BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1—to the service. BET Her, MTV2, MTV Classic, Nick Jr., NickToons, and TeenNick will be added later.

The company has also reached a deal with WarnerMedia that will let YouTube TV subscribers get HBO Max service as part of a bundle. The service also lets you add premium cable channels, such as Showtime and Starz, and others, such as CuriosityStream and AMC Premiere, for additional monthly fees.

YouTube is also reportedly interested in acquiring the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket when its contract with DirecTV expires after the 2021 to 2022 season.

This summer, Google unveiled a new 4K Plus bundle—a $20-per-month add-on to the regular service. Benefits include 4K video support with the ability to search for 4K titles, the ability to watch content saved to your DVR offline on the Android and iOS apps, and unlimited streams from home. However, new users can get a one-month free trial and then a price of $10 per month for a year before the price goes up.

What you don’t get: Now that YouTube TV has reached a deal with ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia (for HBO and HBO Max), it has filled its biggest content holes, though it still lacks A&E, DIY Network, History Channel, and Lifetime.

For sports fans, YouTube TV did reach a deal with Sinclair to keep 19 of the 21 Fox regional sports networks on its service, but Fox Sports Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West aren’t part of it. And Yankees fans have lost the Yes Network (a deal-breaker in my house).

Also, the YouTube TV app has been removed from Roku's channel store as the companies try to hammer out a new agreement. Roku users who already have the YouTube TV app can continue to use it, but new customers can't access it on Roku. However, Google recently made YouTube TV available within the main YouTube app, since its agreement with Roku for that app runs through December 2021.

Sign up: YouTubeTV


James K. Willcox

I've been a tech journalist for more years than I'm willing to admit. My specialties at CR are TVs, streaming media, audio, and TV and broadband services. In my spare time I build and play guitars and bass, ride motorcycles, and like to sail—hobbies I've not yet figured out how to safely combine.

Sours: https://www.consumerreports.org/streaming-video/video-streaming-services-that-let-you-cut-cable-tv-a9076884300/

Plus reviews dvr

Does Optimum have a contract?

One of the best things about Optimum is it doesn’t have a contract! So you can cancel with no repercussions if you’re moving or want to switch to a live TV streaming service.

Does Optimum have fees?

What’s a cable TV provider without fees? Yes, it’s common for all TV providers to have fees, but we have to say we don’t like Optimum’s DVR fee.

The DVR fee is pretty pricey for the amount of (or lack thereof) storage hours you receive. An $11 per month fee for each set-top box is pretty standard, and they give you the option to rent a modem for $10 per month.

You’ll need a modem to connect your TV to Optimum’s internet (or any internet, but we recommend bundling to save the hassle of paying two separate bills. More on that below). If you don’t want to pay monthly for a modem, you could get one on Amazon.

Oh, and we almost forgot to mention–there are hidden fees.

At checkout, Optimum’s disclaimer says, “Depending on location, some or all service and equipment rates, plus certain add’l charges, are subject to state and/or local fee. A Network Enhancement Fee of $3.50, all other fees, equipment charges, surcharges, and taxes will be added to the monthly bill.” Geez, Optimum.

If you get the Select or Premier package, the installation is included. But whichever package you get, plan on spending–at the minimum–$21 in fees.

Sours: https://www.reviews.org/tv-service/cablevision-optimum-tv-review/
What is the Difference Between DVR and NVR

Channels DVR review: The best over-the-air DVR for cord-cutting enthusiasts

Channels DVR is a service that caters to the pickiest of cord cutters.

No other cord-cutting DVR does as fine of a job combining slick software and powerful features, and no other service can record both over-the-air and streaming channels in one place. By pairing Channels DVR with the right hardware, you can set up an experience that’s almost identical to a cable DVR, most likely at a fraction of the cost.

Editors' note, September 2, 2020: Channels has evolved, so this is our opinion of the product as it is today. If you'd like to read our opinion of the previous version of the software, our earlier review is at this link.

This setup doesn’t come easy, though. Like other DVR services that run on third-party hardware, Channels DVR requires a lot of disparate components that you must cobble together yourself, including a server device with sufficient computing power, an HDHomeRun networked TV tuner, hard drives with ample storage, and compatible streaming players. Channels’ subscription fee of $8 per month or $80 per year is also higher than other do-it-yourself solutions.

Mentioned in this article

Most cord-cutters should instead look to simpler options such as Nuvyyo’s Tablo DVR or should avoid over-the-air DVR entirely. But for power users who don’t mind the added setup and extra expense, Channels is the best cord-cutting DVR you can get.

How Channels DVR works

The Channels DVR service consists of two main pieces.

  • First, you must set up the DVR server software, which can run on a desktop computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux), compatible NAS box, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, or Raspberry Pi. The server captures live TV from an antenna or streaming sources, then stores your recordings on a hard drive.
  • To actually watch those recordings, you must use Channels’ streaming apps, which are available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, iOS, and Android. Channels acts as a whole-home DVR, with one server sending video to multiple streaming devices over Wi-Fi.

Figuring out the best way to set all of this up is where things can get tricky.

Mentioned in this article

For those who don’t already have a PC or NAS box (you’ll find our top NAS box picks at this link), I’d suggest using an Nvidia Shield TV Pro ($200). It can run both the Channels DVR server and the Channels streaming app for watching TV, and all you have to do is install the requisite server and viewer apps from the Google Play Store to get started. Alternatively, a Raspberry Pi is a cheaper way to run the server, but it’s a lot trickier to set up.

In all cases, though, you’ll likely need some extra hardware to make things work:

  • An HDHomeRun networked TV tuner is necessary for capturing over-the-air broadcast channels from an antenna. It starts at $100 for a dual-tuner model (which plays or records up to two channels at once) and must be hardwired to your router.
hdhomerunconnectSiliconDust
channelsdvrtveJared Newman / IDG
  • An external hard drive—preferably with at least 500 GB of storage—is a must for Nvidia Shield TV and Raspberry Pi users, because neither device has enough storage on its own. Desktop PC and NAS users may want to add some extra storage as well.
Mentioned in this article

Once all the hardware is squared away, you’ll need a subscription to the Channels DVR service. You can try it free for a month, after which it costs $8 per month or $80 per year. Other over-the-air DVR options are cheaper, including Plex DVR ($5 per month, $40 per year, or $120 for life), Emby DVR ($5 per month, $54 per year, or $120 for life), and TiVo ($7 per month, $70 per year, or $250 for life).

A slick TV experience

Why go through all the trouble to set up Channels DVR? For one thing, the aforementioned combination of over-the-air and live streaming is unique among cord-cutting DVRs. This would allow you, for instance, to combine local channels with a $20-per-month Philo subscription and access everything in one place, or use Locast to record over-the-air streams without an antenna.

channelsdvrgridcombineJared Newman / IDG

But even if you’re only relying on an antenna, Channels DVR just does a nice job putting everything together.

Practically all of the table-stakes features you’d expect from a cable DVR are present in Channels’ apps, including a 14-day channel guide, a search function, progress indicators for the shows you’re watching, and visual previews as you fast forward through content. Channels will even auto-record any live channel you’re watching, so you can pause or rewind; and yes, you can watch recordings while they’re still in progress and skip through the commercials.

channelsdvrlibraryFancyBits

For the DVR, granular recording options abound. You can create series passes for TV shows and sports teams, avoid recording reruns, add start and stop padding times, limit how many episodes to keep from a given show, and set up auto-delete rules for programs you’ve already seen. All these features make it easy to find new shows to record and to avoid filling up your hard drive with unwanted episodes.

channelseriespassJared Newman / IDG

Channels DVR also goes beyond the typical cable DVR in several ways. The service includes ad detection at no extra charge, and you can either auto-skip commercials or use a remote control shortcut to bypass them manually. (Unlike Plex DVR, which can delete commercial breaks from its actual recordings, Channels retains them in case there’s an issue with the ad detection.) You can use a web browser to manage the DVR and access recordings, and you can watch TV away from home on phones, tablets, computers, and compatible streaming players.

channelsadmarkupJared Newman / IDG

The interface is deeply customizable as well. Want quick access to your recording schedule? Add a button to the sidebar menu. Got kids at home? Add a “Kids” section to keep their content separate from your shows. The grid guide can also be filtered by genre and can also show just your favorite channels, as can the mini-guide that appears as an overlay while watching live TV.

channelsquickguideJared Newman / IDG

Meanwhile, video and audio quality are top-notch, at least for over-the-air recordings. If you have enough Wi-Fi bandwidth, Channels DVR can play broadcast channels at native quality with full surround sound support, and has no issues de-interlacing 480i and 1080i channels for 60-frames-per-second playback. This makes live sports, news, and talk shows look much smoother, like they would with an over-the-air antenna connection, and is a major advantage over Nuvyyo’s Tablo DVR.

Video quality isn’t as solid for streaming sources, but that’s not exactly Channels’ fault. To capture these video sources, Channels relies on the “TV Everywhere” streams that networks provide to their pay-tv subscribers, and many of them still top out at 720p and 30 frames per second. If more networks took streaming quality seriously, Channels would stand to benefit.

Some nitpicks remain

Although Channels displays a strong grasp on what DVR diehards want, it still doesn’t get everything right.

The biggest limitation is device support. Channels DVR is not available on Roku players, game consoles, or most smart TV platforms (except those running Fire TV and Android TV software).

On the recording side, there’s no way to weed out recording conflicts without just manually looking through your schedule for overlap. Although you can prioritize programs so that your favorites don’t get passed over, Channels provides no warnings when your HDHomeRun tuner is overbooked. It’d also be nice if Channels offered ways to filter out recordings based on source quality, so you could avoid programs that air on standard-definition channels. (You can limit recordings to one specific channel, but only through Channels’ web interface.)

channelsdvrskipJared Newman / IDG

And while the Channels grid guide is excellent, it has one major limitation compared to cable: You can’t browse it while live TV plays in the background. If you want to channel surf, you’ll have to use the mini guide overlay instead.

As of this writing, there are also some disparities between Channels’ apps on various platforms. The best Channels DVR software experience is currently on Apple TV, which is the only platform with a kids section, auto-play, and the ability to shuffle episodes of a program. The developers at FancyBits say they’ll add these features to Android TV and Fire TV, but it’s unclear when that will happen.

On the other hand, the hardware experience is better on certain Android TV devices. It’s possible, for instance, to remap the remote control buttons on a TiVo Stream 4K to control Channels-specific features, such as launching the grid guide or flipping through live channels. And if you have an Android TV game controller, you can use all those extra buttons to control Channels functions as well.

tivostream4kremoteJared Newman / IDG

Those kinds of details are exactly what makes Channels DVR so compelling. It’s not the simplest or cheapest solution for cord-cutters, but it feels like it’s being made by people who care deeply about a specific kind of TV experience. Those who can’t enjoy TV any other way will find Channels DVR to be worth jumping through hoops for.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

  • This DVR software for cord cutters justifies its premium price with features you won't find elsewhere.

    Pros

    • Records both over-the-air and live streaming channels
    • Slick software with lots of DVR creature comforts
    • Excellent audio and video quality for broadcast channels

    Cons

    • Complicated setup
    • No Roku or game console support
    • Subscription fee is higher than other over-the-air DVRs

Jared Newman covers personal technology from his remote Cincinnati outpost. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for help with ditching cable or satellite TV.

Sours: https://www.techhive.com/article/3229007/channels-dvr-review.html

You will also like:

Channel Master DVR

Channel Master DVR+

Channel Master DVR+

(* = affiliate link / image source: Amazon partner program)

As of: 2021/10/19 2:15 am

Channel Master DVR+
Overview
The new Channel Master DVR+ is a good value for the money. There are No subscription fees at all. The device comes with a premium program guide data from Rovi.
Feature List
  • DVR+, USB wireless Internet adapter, HDMI cable and DVR+ remote
  • 16 Gig Hard Drive For Storage
  • Also 1 Terabyte Option
  • Full DVR functionality and expanded storage capacity
  • 2 Built in Tuners
  • Network Cable Port
  • 2 USB Ports


The device also has a dual-tuner function, supports Vudu to rent movies from and the image quality is very good, unlike other devices that use compression. Here is a break down of the main features you should know about before buying it.

The Channel Master DVR+ Bundle is designed to record free, over-the-air TV through an antenna. In this article we are going to review the channel master dvr plus and discuss the features, what it can do for you and what other customers have commented about it so you can make an informed buying decision to cut the cord with this dvr without subscription device.

Cutting the cord or canceling your cable bill is a big deal and a bit nerve racking that you will have the right solution to get all your shows you love to watch. Figuring out all the pieces to get it done technically is challenging and a daunting task to say the least. Lucky for you the Channel Master + let’s you hit the easy button to accomplish a subscription free house hold.

Setup

1. Hard Drive and Accessories

Review of the Channel Master DVROver an extended use the Channel Master DVR+ has proven to be reliable. There is a  16GB of storage, built into the device which is essential for pausing live television and buffering.  It has 2 HD tuners built into it, so you can watch a show and record a show at the same time.

As of  8/24/2015 it will now work the slingbox 500 to give you more options to record and watch more prime time stations.  By default you have the Vudo service option.

You can optionally attach an external USB hard drive for more storage options and you can also attach it to other streaming media devices to get access to other networks like netflix, hulu, amazon prime etc…. It does not have that option built in.

There is an rj-45 network connection available that you can attach the device to your local network. It would of course have to be close to a network jack or your internet router to run the network cable to it. This would get you access to various online services that you could watch more TV shows or movies.

2. Design
The design is stylish, flat and very discreet unlike most living room boxes. It is just thick enough to allow all the ports on the back. These consist of an HDMI output, antenna input, USB ports (2), Ethernet Port and an IR extender port. The IR-extender port allows you to conceal the device, by putting an IR extender cable in a position that can receive remote codes. However if the Channel Master DVR+ is on display it is so discreet it will bend in with most living rooms.

3. Remote control

Review of the Channel Master DVRThe remote control that is provided is sufficient, although could be better. It is a full size clicker and has all the functionality of a DVR remote control such as:  a guide, directional pad, DVR and playback features which include skip and jump back buttons.

The downsides are the layout is not as well thought out as it might have been. Some buttons are awkward to use and are tiny. They are mostly of a similar size and very flat.

This does integrate with their built in channel guide. So, any station that was picked up on your setup will be available in their guide menu to scroll through and channel surf like you are used to doing.

You can pick up about 1-2 days worth of guide data over the air. If you want something more accurate use the network connection on the device to connect to the internet so it will get the more accurate data from channel vision servers.

Click Here to Get The Channel Master DVR+

Channel Master DVR Setup

The Channel Master DVR+ does need a lot more setup than most gadgets. The first thing you’ll need to do is connect the antenna which is not included to a position where you can get a decent signal. Then you’ll need to do a channel scan which can take up to four minutes. Optionally, you’ll need an external hard drive which needs to be connected by USB.

Lastly, you will need to get the DVR+ online. Internet connectivity isn’t essential, but recommended. The device can use the included program data with terrestrial broadcasts, but if you go online you get two weeks of data from Rovi for free, no monthly fee. Rovi’s guide data is more accurate and is worth the trouble of getting the DVR+ online.

The remainder of the setup is straightforward and takes less than 10 minutes.

What can you watch?

vuduprogramingThe Channel Master DVR+ records free TV without the need for subscription. The DVR+ provides a free Rovi program data guide. Vudu function is supported allowing access to streaming movies, prime time TV stations  and a pay to view basis.

It should be able to get all of the major networks as well as PBS and other stations. However, the reception may vary considerably, depending on your location, antenna and the weather. Vudu lets you use a large library of movies and TV shows. You only get pay-per-view though.

Customer Reviews

channel guideOverall I did not find any negative comments about the device. As you read through the reviews on amazon everyone was happy with the unit and it worked out of the box as expected.

I did notice that they added 30 plus channels now that you can view and they continue to do that.

One of the customers did point out that your Over the air antenna is key to getting your local shows. Some of you will be in a bad position based on where your house is located.

See if you can find your local tv stations website to get an idea of the range they broadcast their HD  programming over the air.  That will help you pick out the right hd antenna.

There were complaints about the remote being too small and not lighting up at night. They have released a new version of the remote this summer to fix that issue.

I did see people asking for an integrated approach to have access to hulu plus and netflix. At the time of this writing you still need an external streaming device to get access to them.

The device doesn’t include Wi-Fi adapter which means you will want to hook into a device like a Roku to get access to other streaming online services. Overall the Channel Master DVR+ delivers on the promise of an over-the-air DVR+ without any subscriptions.

Note: You can purchase an optional USB wireless adapter for it now in 2017.

Channel Vision DVR + Review Video

 

Click Here to learn more about the DVR+ on Amazon

Conclusion

The DVR+’s channel grid has a familiar layout that is easy to navigate for most users. This is a plus as any similar devices have a poor onscreen interface.  There are some niggles, however.  If you select a program from the grid that’s currently on, you won’t go straight to the live feed; instead, a prompt asks if you want to watch it now or record it. It’s a minor inconvenience and everything takes a few more clicks and searches than you might expect.

Sours: https://www.dvrwithoutsubscriptionhub.com/channel-master-dvr-plus/


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