For the growing number of cable cutters – making cable or satellite television redundant – there are more ways than ever to stream video. However, free TV via the mobile network is often associated with a major restriction: even if you live in an area with good reception, you are stuck Live television, Good for sports, award ceremonies and local news, but not much else.
So the demand for over-the-air (OTA) DVRs. In recent years we have seen some promising models, including TiVo, Tablo, SiliconDust and the Channel Master DVR +. The latter is arguably the best: dual tuner (the ability to watch one program while another is being recorded) and no monthly on-screen subscription fee for the electronic program guide (EPG). While TiVo is the best in class, it charges an annual service fee of $ 150 in addition to its $ 300 hardware price (after the first year).
But Channel Master may have a new rival in the form of Magnavox. Yes, you read that right: the brand you can best remember from your grandparents' house is lively and lively (now under the umbrella of the Japanese Funai Corporation), and at CES 2016 it has some new antenna-friendly ones Receive DVRs that have caught my attention.
The three new Magnavox models, MDR877H / F7 ($ 400), TB560HP / F7 ($ 450) and TB560HS / F7 ($ 500), are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2016. six on the 560HS) and at least 1 TB of storage for hundreds of hours of recording time. More importantly, they all have a free EPG on the screen that looked good and offered pretty quick navigation when I tried it.
It gets better. These models also have WiFi and can transfer live and recorded programs to iOS and Android devices elsewhere in the house. In addition, Magnavox promises the possibility of downloading programs to view them offline and – on the MDR877H – burn shows to the integrated DVD recorder.
Sounds too good to be true? As usual, television channels – like CBS, the owner of CNET – can mark programs as non-copyable so that such content cannot be transferred to mobile devices or discs. Other disadvantages: none of these DVRs seem to have streaming apps like Netflix, Vudu, YouTube or Amazon. Disc playback and recording on the 877H is limited to DVD and not Blu-ray. And the remote controls looked like an old video recorder.
However, earlier models in the DVD series, such as the MDR557H and MDR867H, already seem to be reasonably well rated by Amazon. For me, this means that these Magnavox models could be worth considering if you want to cut the cable.