Sound Advice: DVR+ has a lot of appeal

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Ques­tion: In past col­umns, you have 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 have had no suc­cess find­ing such a re­corder. I say no suc­cess, be­cause in the past I if I lo­cated a re­corder, it had ter­ri­ble re­views, and cur­rently I can’t find re­cord­ers ad­ver­tised any­where. Are there any com­pa­nies man­u­fac­tur­ing them?

Fur­ther­more, are there any re­cord­ers you are will­ing to rec­om­mend?


Answer: They say nature abhors a vacuum, and I have been wondering myself about the dearth of recorders on the market. Channelmaster, an antenna manufacturer, has come out with a recorder that looks like a winner. I have not tested it yet, but based on Channelmaster’s reputation I am willing to mention it here until I have the opportunity to test one.

The Channelmaster DVR+ is $249. It does not include a hard drive, which may seem like a drawback until you realize 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, and 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, and 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 myself 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. For more information:

Read product reviews by Don Lindich at

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