HD Recorder for under $50 ! [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-21-2013, 09:39 AM
I've been looking for a digital PVR option that wasn't expensive or require a subscription (dammit Tivo). This has largely been a fruitless search...until now.

Caveats first.

1/ It will record OTA (over the air) HD broadcast or 'clear' (unencrypted) QAM (cable company signal) only. In other words, if you need a box/card to decode the signal this box isn't for you.

2/ You supply the USB drive (or stick) to record to.

That said, if you're looking for a cheap and mostly no-frills recorder check out Homeworx HW-150PVR (link to Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/HomeWorx-HW-150PVR-Converter-Recording-Function/dp/B00CXAE92K)).

I cut my cable TV services and have gone to OTA plus Netflix. I can record programs and also timeshift (rewind etc.) programs I am watching. My demands aren't large. Mostly the demands are that my girls can now watch TV shows that go on past their bedtimes (The Voice) and I can watch an occasional football and the baseball playoffs on my schedule and FF commercials.

Hook up is simple:

cheap antenna > coaxial input > 150PVR + USB HDD > HDMI > Yamaha AVR > HDMI > TV

The box is advertised as an HD tuner for down converting to an Analog TV, which sells it's capabilities well short. It's an HD tuner with a bunch of output options (link with pics (http://forum.mediasonic.ca/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=1554)).

The box is single tuner. So, to watch one program while recording another, I split my incoming antennae signal. One branch goes on as above; the other goes to the TV tuner. So I watch TV as regular, while the box records on the other split.

It's not the most polished interface but it does the job. You can program to record using the OTA EPG (electronic program guide). For my broadcasters the guide only extends about a day out. Varies by broadcaster, apparently.

The company has set up a forum and they seem to be pretty responsive to user requests via firmware updates.

Hard to go too wrong for less than $50.


11-01-2013, 04:48 AM
Just a followup after I've been using the thing for a few weeks. The documentation is a bit sparse so it took some time to polish it up into regular use.

cheap antenna > coaxial input > 150PVR + microSDHC > HDMI + Digital Audio Coax > Yamaha AVR > HDMI > TV

Connection wise, it took a while to find the antenna loop through setting, so now don't split the antenna upstream; I use the pass through setting and run through the PVR. Much cleaner on the wiring.

Also, there's some quirkiness on DD5.1 audio via HDMI. The solution I found is to use the coxial digital audio out.

Picked up a 64Gb microSD card and a USB adaptor and so now record to that. Smaller and quiet.

Recorded several programs. Playback is decent.

As an added bonus, with basic computer skills and Handbrake, it's simple to take the recorded content over to the computer and convert it into other formats. For me, this means I can pop them into my nook tablet and watch them on the train.

All in all a versatile, budget PVR.