Any Way Around A DVR?

chisue

Cable has a higher charge for our service using a DVR. We use it to record Masterpiece Theater presentations and the occasional sports event -- to watch later. Is there another way to accomplish this -- an app? Enlighten me!

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graywings123

Internet connection and YouTubeTV. Youtubetv stores your recordings in the cloud. You can try it for a month to see if you like it.

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socks

Could you join your local PBS for less per month and stream Masterpiece that way? Of course if you record other programs, that wouldn't help. I joined our local station for $6 per month. I think we pay $10 per month for our DVR. Maybe you can buy your own machine, not sure about that. Cable TV, telephone, internet sure does add up every month, doesn't it?

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graywings123

I;m looking into it now because verizon just upped my bill by $8 by increasing dvr prices.

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maddielee

If you have cable, do you have “On Demand” in your package? Most shows show up within days of airing.

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Annie Deighnaugh

borrow dvds from library?

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

I think that Tivo still exists out there, but I don't know about the pricing.

High and always increasing cable + internet pricing is why I "cut the cord" and now pay for 30mps internet, and get my programming via Roku and PlayStation Vue. Vue includes the ability to DVR most (not all) programming -- but the programs can't be kept indefinitely, they will expire. I do not know if that is standard or not.

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terilyn

I think Sling gives you the option to record.

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jrb451

PBS does have an app and you can stream their programming with it. Good way to keep up with missed episodes.

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murraysmom Zone 6a OH

I have antenna tv (free) instead of cable and I have TiVo. It's $7.99 a month. I'm pretty happy with that setup.

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chisue

maddielee -- YES! That's the answer! I just tested this. Using On Demand, I could play the episode of "Endeavor" that we recorded to watch Sunday night (when it first aired). So...other than capturing a sports event to watch later, we wouldn't need a DVR cable box at all. A plain box would be less expensive, right?

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Michael

I'm watching PBS Masterpiece (all) on Amazon Prime Video.

Endeavor Season 6 is now being streamed on Prime.

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Texas_Gem

You can also just go to their website and stream from there.



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nicole___

We have VHS(bought one @ a Goodwill) and record whatever we want. Not dependant on a service to do it for us.

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Michael

A VHS can record OTA broadcasts legally. It can also be modified to record streaming services like Netflix and peers, however it's considered an illegal activity by Netflix and peers.

So, if you stream PBS, it's illegal to copy it. If you're watching PBS OTA, it's legal.

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Texas_Gem

Perhaps I'm "new school" but I don't understand why anyone would need or want a device to record/save a video when it airs if you are able to go to the website and stream it anytime you want to. You don't need an app, you don't need a device, all you need is a computer with an internet connection.

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chisue

Texas_Gem -- Old lady here. I don't want to watch on my computer screen, but on my TV. If I stream to my computer, how do I 'move' the image to the TV screen? (Something every 9-year-old knows, eh?)

We did discover that we can get a smaller capacity DVR cable box for less per month. It holds 20 hours instead of the 200+ hours of the box we have now. That's *plenty* for us. I don't know the monthly cost difference between that and a non-DVR cable box.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I can cast/mirror my phone screen, tablet screen, laptop etc as long as I have bluetooth on the device and my tv and a good internet connection. There is a cast icon that I click on and it finds my tv and voilapoof it is now showing it on my tv. Look up casting on google. I watch you tube videos all the time on my tv.

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/stream-video-tv-pc-mac-phone,news-18335.html

just follow the guide you do not need any of the devices mentioned if you have smart tv and your devices are able to mirror.

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Chessie

I actually have a 25ft hdmi cable that stays plugged into my tv. If there is something that I want to watch via my laptop (I have never had cable, but I do have Prime and Netflix, and I use a Firestick on that set so that covers most things I want to see) I simply plug in the laptop and watch the content on the set.

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girlnamedgalez8a

We stream everything on our TV through Roku. We subscribe to Sling, Hulu, PBS, Netflix & Amazon Prime. We do not watch sports though.

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girlnamedgalez8a

I should have mentioned that we share these services with our daughter which keeps the cost down. It works for us!

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Texas_Gem

If you have a Chromecast device (they cost 25-35 dollars) connected to your TV, you can cast any Android phone, tablet or computer screen to your TV.

You can also connect your TV to your computer using an HDMI cable.


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Michael

but it's hardly the same quality picture or sound.

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Texas_Gem

True- it's usually as good or better

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chisue

Electronics. I get further behind every day. Casting? I'm not sure I still cast a shadow, with all the rain we've had.

Current status: After failing to get cost relief by spending an hour on the phone with, we went to the Comcast 'store' 20 minutes from our house. We brought home a 20-hour-capacity HD-DVR cable box. We will buy our own modem/router rather than pay $13/month to rent theirs. When we return the old equipment our monthly cost will be $133 with all taxes and fees included.

But wait! Maybe it's $155/month. Or something else. Comcast has emailed us four 'new plans', all different -- but none is the $189 they were going to charge us.

We'll try to sort this out when we go back, returning the old cable box and the old modem/router. But first, DS has to order a new modem and install/activate the whole thing for us.

I will ask if there is a price difference between Plain Cable Box and DVR Cable Box. I will ask if there is a senior discount.

Thanks for the help!

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Texas_Gem

Lol, I know the newer stuff can be confusing, but you can really save a lot of money. Absolutely you should have your own modem, renting your modem and router is kind of like in the old days when you could "rent" your home telephone from the telephone company.

You'll waste a lot of money on it.

If your son is somewhat tech savvy and could help you get it set up and configured, I would really consider a Chromecast.

It connects to the back of your TV



And works over Wi-Fi. This is what my TV looks like when I'm not casting anything to it. Various background images, along with current time and weather.

Then I can go to any device (or computer) and select a video.

In this case, I've opened YouTube on my phone and I'm playing the music video for Happy. I click on the cast icon that I'm pointing at here,

Select the device I want to cast to

And the video will be "casted" onto the television.

We watch most everything this way. It also allows me to cast my own photos and videos so if I want to show my friends/family the latest video of my kids being goofy, we don't have to crowd around my phone, I can just cast it to the television.

Hope this helps. It's really worth it in my opinion. The Chromecast costs less than 50 bucks and there is no recurring fee for it.

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Chessie

Chromecast is just another media streaming device. It's a Google product. There are also Roku devices (and Roku tv sets) and Amazon FireSticks (and Fire TV sets as well). I personally never use my phone to have to cast to a set. Just plug in a Roku or Firestick and you are done. Or a tv set with built-in Roku or Fire. They work nicely too. With Chromecast, you need a smartphone, as that acts as the "remote". Roku and Firesticks have their own remotes. No phone required.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-finds/2019/05/15/apple-tv-vs-roku-vs-amazon-fire-stick-vs-chromecast-which-streaming-device-is-right-for-you/#2a0215a926f1

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I do the exact same thing but don't need a chromcast or anything like that. My TV is a smart tv and my android phone has a cast icon on it just like yours does. I just click on the cast icon and it finds my TV, Bluetooth is on both and both are on the same wifi network. As soon as it finds my TV it connects and I am watching on the TV what is on the phone.

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chisue

How much would we save, and what would we miss? (There's also the factor of our being familiar with using this setup.)

We will still need Internet, and Comcast has the best option here. We paid $128/month when we started four years ago. What would we NOT have without this $133/month plan? (Fees and taxes are $33.)

It's Comcast Internet (60Mbps) + Cable to two TVs: Sports & News Package (for Cubs, Bears and CNN), On Demand, and a 20-hour DVR (to *maybe* watch a long night game later). The remotes are speech responsive and can do 'go back' and give game and player stats, etc. on request.

Texas_Gem -- You are such a sweetie to send me a 'picture book' of how this all works! Thank you!

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chisue

Chessie -- Thanks for the Forbes rundown on these devices. I'm guessing they wouldn't let us see CNN, and there wouldn't be an On Demand feature? No recording except the Roku setup?


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Bookwoman

chisue, the channels you'll get depend on which streaming services you have. In the end, some people are finding they pay the same or more when they start adding up all the various monthly fees for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, etc. It all depends on what you watch.

For sports, you may need to stick with Comcast in your market, but you could investigate who else carries the Chicago teams.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

It all depends on what content/what channels you want to watch, and which you are willing to go without. I can't answer for your market, but there are so many different streaming services now. I use a Roku to access them -- even though I bought a smart TV, I have just continued using the Roku since it is so easy and I am all set up on it. Many of them offer a choice of a la cart sports and premium (like HBO) channels. They also have service tiers, just like the traditional cable services. There is one, FuboTV, that is heavy on sports. I have PlayStation Vue, there is also Sling, Amazon Prime, and more. Look at this site for a summary of the top services, and then go to each's website to actually see the selections of channels for each in your locale..

PBS Passport requires a $60/year 'donation' in addition to any streaming service, AFAIK.

Roku also has its own selection of channels, including major news outlets, some free, some have to be subscribed to for $. Britbox and Acorn for British TV, for example. Many of these would duplicate what I get from the Vue service.

As I mentioned, I have only 30mbs internet and have no trouble with streaming smoothly.

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Michael

True- it's usually as good or better

That depends on the viewing device (TV) and sound system if used.

I keep up with new tech, so my TV is 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos compatible, along with an Apple TV streaming device and compatible Yamaha home theater for sound. I always stream with a wired internet connection.

There are thousands of new TV's that are not performing to expectations because the other components like streaming device, sound system, internet connection, HDMI cables (nothing extravagant) are not delivering what's available or expected.

It all depends on your listening preferences. There are some people who are satisfied with a 24" black and white.


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artemis_ma

Texas Gem, I live in a rural area where internet is slow and sometimes dodgy. No need to throw out my DVR. Or VCR, for that matter.

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