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DVR without a monthly subscription

My parents were still using a VCR for recording TV. I knew they needed a DVR (digital video recorder) to record digitally to a hard drive rather than old magnetic tapes, but I didn't want to buy them an expensive subscription too. DVRs like TiVo require a monthly or yearly fee to cover the cost of the TV guide information, which they use to automatically determine show times simplify recording.

Because my parents were already used to manually entering the recording date and time, I didn't consider it a loss to buy a device without the TV guide information. So, I started looking for subscriptionless DVRs. They're suprisingly rare, but I did discover that many DVD recorders include hard drives for recording. After searching through reviews of many models, I bought a Magnavox H2080MW8 from Walmart (they had the lowest price).

For under $200, this box provides DVD playback and burning, photo and audio CD playback, a digital TV tuner, and live or scheduled recording to the 80GB hard drive (15 - 90 hours, depending on the selected quality). Unlike some DVD recorders, you can record to the hard drive, watch your recording, and delete it, all without ever putting a blank DVD in the machine. Recordings appear as video thumbnails for easy identification. The remote includes buttons to rewind, fastforward, and 30-second skip recordings. I have not yet tested burning a recording to DVD.

The interface is clean and easy to use, and the remote is fairly straightforward. I did not test the digital TV tuner since my parents have cable. But the best part is, there's no ongoing fee!

Magnavox H2080MW8 Owner's Manual PDF.


Joren said…
thanks. i been checkin sites for a while and this article describe me. but i'm 39 and still been using my vcr... thanks again

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