Oh How I Miss My DVR
I recently moved, and in doing so had to switch cable companies. When I called to arrange for service I found out that unless you have stellar credit they charge a deposit for a DVR box. My heart sank! My credit is currently quite less than stellar (a story for another time), and I cannot afford the deposit nor can I justify spending it. Which started me down a road of wondering what to do...
Now, some of you may think that it is silly to be so bothered by losing the use of something that helps me watch TV. This may be because you are not a big TV watcher--and that is your prerogative--I, however, was raised on TV and admit to my TV addiction without shame! Though I also love to read, and write and play games, TV is a great inexpensive means of enjoyment for me. Oh, and for those that watch their TV online, yes I think this is great, but I don't have a comfy way to do this right now AND some of my favorite shows cannot be viewed this way for free.
If I had never had a DVR before this might not be such a big deal. But, alas, I spent the last 3 years growing oh so attached to one! It was so wonderful to be able to watch all my shows and yet not be a slave to my TV. I did get behind sometimes, and I was constantly wishing I could save more shows, but for the most part it worked out fabulously!
I also used my DVR for movies after discovering I had some movie channels included in my digital cable package. Once I started recording movies to watch I cancelled my Netflix account and saved some money! Yes, this meant spending some time determining when movies I wanted to watch were on the movie channels I had, but I am someone that loves planning and making lists, so it suited me. And once I got into the swing of things tvguide.com and a Word document made it all pretty quick and easy to plot it out.
So, going without a DVR box provided by my cable company launched me into a search for another option...
TiVo - This was my first thought. And before researching it I thought it may be a better option anyway because with the cable company you pay a monthly fee and pay to rent the box anyway. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there is a monthly service charge for TiVo as well! Not to mention that the box itself is quite expensive!
Moxi - I then decided to search around for other DVR options and stumbled upon Moxi. From my research Moxi seems to be TiVo on steroids. More features, more recording space, the ability to expand recording space with an external hard drive (maybe you can do this with TiVo too, not sure), and NO MONTHLY FEES! Unfortunately, Moxi is currently only available in an HD version, and not only do I not own an HDTV or pay for HD service (or have any plans to do either in the near future), I also cannot afford the hefty price tag that goes with their HD box ($799). I plan to keep an eye on them for a non-HD release, but with everything trending toward HD I seriously doubt that is likely.
Using a computer as a DVR -During my searching I also explored the possibility of using my recently replaced older desktop computer as a DVR. There is apparently some great software on the market for doing this, but alas, I need a TV tuner for the computer and do not have one.
So for now, I have switched my anal retentive plotting of movies to record over to planning out when my shows will be on and how to handle when 2 or more shows are on at the same time (yet another benefit of having a DVR was that I could record 2 shows on my living room TV while watching a third in my office!). Apparently after 6 months of on-time payments to the cable company I can get a DVR box without a deposit, and in the meantime maybe I will find a cheaper and/or better option.
I really do miss that DVR!!