Monday, June 20, 2011

Seeking Advice from the Vast Interweb

All right, let’s see how good this whole social networking thing really is:

For the first time ever, I am going to put forward an actual, honest-to-goodness request for advice, and see where it gets me. If anywhere. I plan to publish this request via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and will let you know what happens.

I’m looking for direction regarding a DVR.

Background: A few years ago, for very little money, I purchased from a Lite-On DVR, not unlike that which is pictured here. It has a TV tuner (not a very good one, but it does have it) but no hard drive. It records directly to disc—DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD-R, and DVD+R, and maybe other formats I’ve forgotten and never used. Or at least it used to: About three weeks ago it suddenly lost its ability to recognize anything except a pre-recorded commercial DVD, which it plays like a charm. But it will not recognize the presence of any other disc, whether recorded or blank. One hears the mechanism working away for several minutes, after which it just gives up and pretends it doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

So I wish to replace it, and with something better. Which is where you come in, perhaps.

I don’t think I’m interested in TiVo: I’m not wild about the idea of adding another monthly fee into the mix. (Someone told me that there’s a no-service TiVo option, but if so I can’t find anything about it on their website.)

Here is what I want:

    • A set-top DVR;
    • with a built-in TV tuner;
    • and a hard drive;
    and the ability to burn to disc.

Naturally, if the purchase price doesn’t require me to take out a second mortgage, that would be okay too.

Some models I’ve seen online also include a VCR and the option to record either from disc to tape or tape to disc. That would be nice, but it’s not an essential feature.

So there. If you have a model you’d like to recommend, or warn me against, have at it. You can use the “comment” link here, e-mail me, or contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, as applicable. I appreciate your time and expertise.

No comments: