Cable Card TiVo DVR alternatives

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by hahathatsfunny, May 12, 2020.

  1. hahathatsfunny

    hahathatsfunny Member

    Jul 29, 2008
    Most or almost all of the TiVo alternatives I read about have Over the Air as the source. Are there any good alternative DVRs that support cable card instead of over the air?
  2. Ken H

    Ken H Better Living Thru Expensive, Electronic Devices

    Sep 5, 2003
    Ann Arbor,...
    Other than a TiVo, only Windows Media Center (included with Windows 7, and as a paid upgrade to Windows 8/8.1) can use a CableCard for DRM copy protected channels.

    When using a dedicated PC with Windows 7 for WMC, it's safe and secure, and you can even turn off Windows Update. Just don't use the PC for any other online tasks. Windows 8/8.1 is still supported until January 2023, so it would be acceptable to use until then for other on line use.

    There is one issue, which is easily fixed; Microsoft no longer provides the guide data that WMC uses. The solution is to get the free software EPG123 which lets WMC get data from another source, and pay $25 a year to Schedules Direct for the data itself. If you can set up WMC, then using EPG123 and Schedules Direct is easy and once it's set up, it works automatically.
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
    aristoBrat and mdavej like this.
  3. hahathatsfunny

    hahathatsfunny Member

    Jul 29, 2008
  4. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    Depending on your cable system and the kinds of things you record, you may be able to get by without being able to record copy protected channels. Off the top of my head, I know FIOS and Spectrum protect few channels besides premiums and sports. For premiums, you can usually get just about everything on demand, so no need to record. In that case, any software DVR that works with the HD HomeRun Prime or older Ceton InfiniTV devices will work. See the second table below and look for at least partial cable card support. In addition, Silicon Dust has its own really terrible but functional DVR software. There's also "Channels" and "Google Live Channels". I've use the latter with HomeRun tuners successfully. "Channels" can do a lot without a cable card because it can record on demand using your TV Everywhere login. It's probably the best software DVR out there at the moment, but it does have a fee, unlike most of the others. You get what you pay for.
    Comparison of DVR software packages - Wikipedia

    Personally, I've switched to a streaming service with an unlimited cloud DVR. Much cheaper and simpler than traditional cable card solutions and whatever Rube Goldberg system you'd have to use in place of Tivo. This is coming from a guy who ran a whole home Windows Media Center solution for several years before switching to Tivo for a few years.
    Ken H likes this.

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