Is it possible to do this?

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-13-14, 08:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: US
Posts: 106
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is it possible to do this?

First, I don't have cable or dish service - just "air" TV. We often record programs on DVDs for viewing at a more convenient time, but I am wondering whether there's a way to record onto an external hard drive instead, since that's basically what a DVR is. What equipment would be required to do this?

I see that there's a product called a "VONNIC DVR DVR-C1104SEFD 4CH H.264/120FPS Full D-1 SATA No HDD" at Amazon, but it appears it is designed to be used with security cameras. Would this work? I imagine a tuner would be required, but I do have a couple of converter boxes that serve that purpose for recording on a DVD recorder.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-13-14, 08:16 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
There is lots of software to do this with your computer. You just need a USB TV tuner for your computer and a video card with HDMI out.
 
  #3  
Old 08-13-14, 08:44 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
There are stand-alone tuners that have USB jacks for connecting an external hard drive. I think they go for around $40. Or, you could get a recorder with a hard drive. Magnavox makes three models with HDDs from 320 to 500 GB in size which at the LP speed (picture quality fairly decent) will give in excess of 100 hours on the 320. Price is about $250. as I recall.
 
  #4  
Old 08-14-14, 07:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: US
Posts: 106
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ray, thanks, but that will only permit me to view the recorded program on the computer screen, isn't that correct? My goal is to be able to view it on an HDTV.

Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 08-14-14, 07:50 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: US
Posts: 106
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Furd, thanks.

Yes, I could spend $300 on a DVR (there is a Magnavox listed on Amazon for about that price), however this being a DIY forum, I was hoping to find a DIY way around it. (Also, I have a hard time justifying that expenditure given that we don't watch enough TV to justify paying for satellite service. )

Regarding the stand-alone tuner/external HDD combo, there has to be some program-ability in one of the components, doesn't there? IOW, a way to program a certain recording time/channel, and so forth. How would that be done?
 
  #6  
Old 08-14-14, 02:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
This is the unit I have: Amazon.com: iView 3500STBII Multi-Function Digital Converter Box with Recording and Media Playback: Electronics

I have not tried to use the recorder function because I use this tuner to feed into an older (analog) Panasonic recorder. But, yes, the I View tuner does indeed have the programming software built in. According to the comments I have read an external hard disk drive is the preferred device although some people have had success using a thumb drive.
 
  #7  
Old 08-14-14, 04:22 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: US
Posts: 106
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Furd, thanks again - this looks very interesting. I have a 500 GB USB drive I'm not using for anything right now, so it may be just what I'm looking for. I'll study this a bit more.
 
  #8  
Old 08-14-14, 04:46 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Ray, thanks, but that will only permit me to view the recorded program on the computer screen, isn't that correct?
No. As I said if you have a video card with HDMI output it can be used to stream to your TV. In fact many people use a computer with an outdated Windows OS to do just what you want to do.

Here is a complete free software solution. You just need a tuner and video card. MythTV, Open Source DVR Here is another link: 5 Great Linux Media Center Distributions To Transform Your TV Yes, they are for Linux but but it is free and often easier to use then Windows. A great way to reuse an older computer.
 
  #9  
Old 08-18-14, 07:46 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: US
Posts: 106
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ray, thanks. (Sorry for the delay in responding)

This does look really interesting. I have not used Linux, but wouldn't mind learning. I wish I actually had an old computer, besides my two outdated laptops. I've kept my desktop upgraded since I built it in 2005, but finding an outdated one for cheap is pretty easy of course.
 
  #10  
Old 08-24-14, 10:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: US
Posts: 106
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Smile Furd, thanks again

I purchased the IView 3500, and it works great. I hooked up a 500GB external drive and it is very easy to record, play back, and even pause live TV. Connected it via HDMI cable to the Sony HDTV and the pic quality is 1080i - looks great, very happy so far. Sure beats messing around with the DVD recorder and the discs.

Even if you have to buy an external HDD, you can set this up for around 100 bucks - what a deal! (Incidentally, the HDD has to be formatted as FAT32, which my W7 desktop doesn't seem to offer as an option, so the IView 3500 needs to format it, but that takes less than 30 seconds.)
 
  #11  
Old 08-24-14, 01:04 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
Glad it is working for you. I might have to try it someday.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: