Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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In the lab: Subscription-less antenna DVR is great for casual TV fans

CM-7000PAL

Channel Master sent me their over-air DVR for possible media consideration. After spending a few days with it, I’m impressed. Enough to talk about it on my personal blog. Here’s how it works:

  1. Hook your antenna up to the receiver.
  2. HDMI out to your HDTV.
  3. Program TV recordings up to one week in advance using the over-air info guide.
  4. Record up to 35 hours of HD video, pause live TV, all that jazz
  5. Dual digital turners mean you can record to programs simultaneously.

Lindsey and I switched to over-air HD five years ago and have never looked back. We mostly watch TV for live events—including sports—occasional kids shows on PBS and Qubo, Masterpiece Theatre, and of course, HD Seinfeld reruns. This just makes it so we can watch 20 channels we have (half of which are in HD) on our own schedule, rather than “if it’s on.” (NOTE: We supplement over air TV with Internet TV, Amazon, and Netflix rentals).

At $325, the unit is a bit pricey. But depending on how much TV you watch, it could pay for itself in under a year.

As for me, I’m sold. No more missing grand slam tennis, World Cup, March Madness, and other championship sports.