Q: In past columns you’ve discussed over-the-air TV and recommended an antenna for its reception. On several occasions, I’ve looked for video recorders with tuners that work in the digital over-the-air TV environment, as VHS recorders did in the old analog environment. I’ve had no success finding such a recorder. If I did locate a recorder, it had terrible reviews, and currently I can’t find recorders advertised anywhere.
Are there any companies manufacturing them? If so, are there any recorders that you might recommend?
A: They say nature abhors a vacuum, and I have been wondering about the dearth of recorders on the market, too.
Channelmaster (www.channelmaster.com), an antenna manufacturer, has come out with a recorder that looks like a winner. I haven’t tested it yet, but based on Channelmaster’s reputation, I’m willing to mention it here until I have the opportunity to test one.
The Channelmaster DVR+ is $249. It doesn’t include a hard drive. That might seem like a drawback, until you realize that it gives you the opportunity to choose hard drives according to your budget and needs, as well as allow you to build a collection of recordings on multiple drives.
There is a free on-screen programming guide. You can use VUDU for streaming content, either by a built-in broadband connection or with an accessory Wi-Fi dongle.
The system can pause and rewind live TV for up to two hours, just like a pay DVR. There are two tuners, so you can watch one program while you record another or record two programs at the same time.
I thoroughly enjoy my pay TV with its whole-house DVR, but even for someone like me the DVR+ has a lot of appeal. For example, I always record the Olympic Games opening ceremonies and like to save them for future viewing. I use the now-defunct D-VHS high-definition tape format for this right now. With the DVR+, I could store important events on a hard drive instead of fragile tape, and it would be much easier to program, too.
Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get more recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.