Instructables

Can someone recommend a hard drive based HD-capable PVR?

OK, here is what I need:

- Should be hard-drive based, an optical drive is not necessary.
- Should record and play back at least 720p or 1080i from component or HDMI
- Shall not require a subscription
- Should be network-connected to play media files from one or more computers on the network
- I'd really, really prefer not to use a PC for this - a standalone box would be best.

Does such a beast exist? I'm going nuts trying to find something like this! It's sort of a "pick any three" sort of deal so far...

zoltzerino4 years ago
Try a Humax. we bought a normal scart one. no problems with it ever. I know the do HD products (I think the foxsat is one of them) they use freesat HD, which, is FREE!. You will need a satelite reciever dish though. From scratch this costs around 350 GBP (400 - 450 USD???).

Hope that helps.
jeff-o (author)  zoltzerino4 years ago
I'm afraid none of the Humax products are likely to work in Canada...
Oh, sorry.
jeff-o (author)  zoltzerino4 years ago
No worries. The cable company here pretty much has a monopoly, and they're greedy basterds. :/
bobdole3694 years ago
- Should be hard-drive based, an optical drive is not necessary. No problem here. - Should record and play back at least 720p or 1080i from component or HDMI Such a thing does not, and will not exist. - Shall not require a subscription .... more on this. - Should be network-connected to play media files from one or more computers on the network easy to do. - I'd really, really prefer not to use a PC for this - a standalone box would be best. The closest you are going to get is to use a PC..... Now some more detail. No DVR or PVR or any device currently on the market - is going to record HDMI. This is due to the presence of HDCP. Content producers guaranteed that full resolution recording is impossible as time goes on. This is sort of what took so long for HD to take off. The MPAA and content producers saw what happened in the music industry and want to guarantee that there is NO way for users to record content. So copy protection is built in end-to-end into the HDMI connector tech! Thus even if someone did build a HDMI recorder, it would only record a blank screen as the device wouldn't play into it unless it identified itself as a trusted display with no unprotected full rez output. There does exist a way: And thats through the analog hole, but you aren't going to like it. Hauppauge has released the ONLY consumer level device capable of recording component up to 1080i. Unfortunately its not exactly user friendly, its sort of expensive ($199) and the included software sucks bad. Lots of software is starting to support it, so you could build a PC around that and have your fix. GBPVR seems to support it, as well as sageTV. You might find the "black magic" series of HDMI capture cards. These won't work the way you want. It's only for recording from high end video production equipment, and HD cameras. It does nothing with sound, so you would need to re-mux the audio back in. In short - the best solution on the market that does essentially what you want - that is to record HD content - is an HD TiVO. You must use a cablecard based cableTV system such as Comcast in the states. It does not support satellite. Basically the HD TiVO becomes a decrypting cable box with a recorder. It does not support any inputs besides digital cable (and I'm fairly certain only USA style digital cable).
jeff-o (author)  bobdole3694 years ago
I realized later that it was foolish to ask for anything that records through HDMI. But not component, either? I don't even know if I can use a Tivo in Canada - I couldn't find any information on cable cards on my cable company's website...