DVR Without Cable

DVR without cable

It’s the one question that every cable cutter needs answered before finally pulling the trigger to quit cable: What happens to my DVR without cable? Having a DVR as handy as your cable or satellite TV box is a bit tougher when you cut the cord.

But have no fear, because Free TV Review has solved yet another cable cord cutting conundrum. We’ve simplified the process so you can easily have your DVR without cable!

DVR Without Cable – Overview

There are two main steps to a life of cable free DVRs:

  1. Purchase your preferred cable free DVR
  2. Setup your preferred cable free DVR

We split this into two smaller steps, as it makes the process much easier for those following along at home.

Purchasing a Cable Free DVR

A little research is required before finding your ideal DVR, but here at FTR we try to make things as easy as possible, so we’ve tried to consolidate some of the most recent research for you in a few digestible paragraphs. Below are four of the most popular DVR items for those cable cutters.

The process isn’t quite as seamless as your cable DVR but you may be surprised how handy the technology actually is. I challenge you to forget about the way you used to watch TV and focus on the way you could watch TV!

Channel Master DVR+

What is It?

The Channel Master DVR+ is very simply a DVR for local broadcast programming. It operates exactly how you would expect a DVR to work and even connects to the internet to download a free digital program guide (a big plus for those who don’t get one for basic channels).  While it does have some streaming/online capabilities, it’s mostly focused on recording local TV to be watched on the device at a future time.

Who’s it for?    

Novice / Simple Streamer

Why It’s great

  • Simple way to record local broadcasting
  • No monthly subscription fees
  • Minimal setup required

What to Watch Out For

  • Not the cheapest device, with starting price at $250
  • Limited streaming options – Can’t record shows off Sling TV!!
  • Requires external USB storage drive

Summary

If you want a simple device to record Bachelor, Modern Family and the local sports event, the Channel Master DVR+ is a very simple and convenient device. It might not be recommended for the techie in the family, but gets the job done in a simple way.

TiVo Bolt

What is It?

Is it wrong to define TiVo Bolt as a “productivity” or time savings tool?  Well it is.  And a whole lot more.  The TiVo Bolt is a Unified Entertainment System, and is meant to revolutionize your entertainment consumption experience.

Who’s it for?:   

Techies, Streaming Champs, Cool Kids 

Why It’s great

  • It simplifies the television watching experience.  Pulls in all the channel and services you have access to into one easy viewing window
  • Ability to fast forward through commercials (one click)
  • Watch shows faster (without impacting picture/sound quality)
  • Watch DVR content on mobile devices

What to Watch Out For

  • Upfront costs are $299
  • Annual subscription fees to TiVo (starting at $150 a year)
  • Is it a bit more complex to setup than the Channel Master

Summary

The TiVo Bolt is the real deal. It genuinely will help you watch more content in a shorter period of time.  When you have a ton of different “shows” you’re trying to keep up with, saving time by not watching commercials, switching between streaming platforms and changing inputs is a big deal. It’s much more functional than any Cable DVR you’ll ever see and also provides the added benefit of accessing via mobile devices.

It’s a tremendous asset for those that take their TV seriously, but may not be worth the costs for those that are just looking to record a show a few times a month. We here at FTR are big TiVo Bold fans, but you probably could have guessed that by now!

Tablo DVR

What is It?

Tablo DVR is a premium DVR product for those that are serious about streaming TV content.  It’s compatible with almost every streaming device (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV) and has several different models depending on if you need an OTA antenna for broadcast television.

Who’s it for?:   

Streaming Champs, Cool Kids 

Why It’s great

  • Allows you to stream to multiple TVs within your house with one box
  • Watch 2 to 4 different streams at one time (depending on device you purchase)
  • Watch DVR content on your mobile phone, tablet, laptop or almost any other web connected device.

What to Watch Out For

  • Cheapest model starts at $250
  • For maximum benefit you need to purchase the subscription package for the Channel Guide at a price of $4.99 a month, $99.99 a year, or a one time fee of $149.99
  • Does take bit of time to setup, but their website is very helpful
  • It does require an additional USB storage device

Summary

The Tablo DVR is our favorite streaming device. If we here at FTR were ever in the business of building a DVR without cable, the Tablo is probably exactly what we would build.  We could tell you why we love it so much, but Tablo has some pretty cool videos that do a much better job of telling the story.  Enjoy!

Tablo DVR Overview

Tablo DVR Simple Setup

Simple TV 2

What is It?

It’s simple.  That’s what it is. Simple TV 2 is exactly

Who’s it for?:  

Novice / Simple Streamer

Why It’s great

  • Lower priced than most similar products
  • Compatible with most streaming TV devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV)
  • Watch DVR content on mobile devices

What to Watch Out For

  • For full functionality you’ll need to purchase an annual subscription for$50 or a lifetime subscription for $150
  • Doesn’t have wi-fi capabilities (seriously??? Yes, you have to plug this one in with an ethernet cord!!)

Summary

Simple TV 2 is a pretty cool device.

Simple TV 2 DVR Overview

Which DVR Does Free TV Review Use?

The crew at FTR rocks the TiVo Bolt.  Yes, we’re a tad biased, as we grew up with TiVo before DVR was even a thing. TiVo was rethinking the television watching experience for years, while you and I were still rewinding movies before we brought them back to the Blockbuster store.

We ultimately picked the TiVo Bolt because it’s just the most functionately advanced out of all the DVR without cable devices.

What is the Best DVR Without Cable on the Market?

Without a doubt, it has to be the TiVO Bolt!


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