Review of Channel Master DVR+ 1TB No pain cutting the cord!

Discussion in 'Write Your Own Review' started by TLS Guy, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    It is a long time I have been as enthusiastic about a product as I am about this dual tuner over the air DVR.
    I have noted a lot of friends have had a lot of pain getting away from the clutches of cable or satellite TV. This mainly relates to inability to time shift but also quality problems. The quality problems have related to periods of signal loss and pixilation.

    This is the unit installed in our Eagan home.

    [​IMG]

    It is the slim black unit to the lower right of the picture.

    This unit oozes quality. It is all metal construction and is much heavier than its size would suggest. This unit is made in India and fit and finish are superb. Right away it inspires confidence.

    So what is this unit? It is a dual tuner DVR for over the air signals. Since it is a dual DVR you can record two programs at once, or watch a program and record another at the same time.

    There are Internet Apps such as YouTube and a life long subscription to VUDU. There is also an APP for Slingshot and Pandora.

    Wi-Fi is not included. The Wi-Fi USB adapter is extra and you must use their device. It comes with a USB cable extender. I found this was required for an optimal Wi-Fi signal.

    The unit can be ordered with 16 GB or 1 TB hard drive. Obviously the 1 TB is required unless you want to use an external USB hard drive.

    Now I have repeatedly said that for stable reception an outdoor roof antenna is the best solution. Loft is second best and other indoor antennas a distant third.

    Now the choice of antenna depends on how your TV towers are located. Fortunately at out location all the transmitters are about 20 miles due North. This means an antenna with good forward gain and rear rejection can be used. In this situation nothing beats a Yagi-Uda array. So I had this UHF band Yagi-Uda array installed on the chimney. It was on special for $20.

    [​IMG]
    If your transmitters are all around then an omnidirectional antenna is the best solution.

    Be reluctant to be sold a preamp by the installer. These increase signal and noise and in my view tend to be of marginal benefit.

    Once everything was connected, the first step is to get Internet connection to update the software. This went without a hitch. Then signal strength was checked and I got a full bar.

    The channel scan was then completed which went like lightening. I was able to receive 45 channels that had better picture quality then Comcast Xfinity. Picture quality and sound quality of this unit are superb. The default audio is Dolby Digital which works flawlessly.

    The station information took and hour or so to populate, then you could view and set recording quickly from the remote menus.

    The Apps work fine, but I don't like streaming from these type of boxes. For streaming I have set up an Intel NUC i5, which was the subject of my previous review. That unit can be seen to the left of this unit in the first picture. That unit is the high road to trouble free high quality streaming.

    The online user manual is excellent and written in faultless English with excellent grammar. This is highly unusual!

    The amount of time before and after the start of a program is user adjustable from the set up menu.

    This unit is fast in operation and has been 100% glitch free. There have been zero lockups and no reboots required. The software is excellent stable and highly intuitive.

    I have to congratulate Channel Master on this superb unit, which makes cutting the cable a breeze.

    Best of all this unit is available for $249, rather than the usual $349 I paid between now and Black Friday.

    The bottom line is that our viewing at Eagan has never been better than with this DVR and the Intel NUC. We also have a Panasonic BD player and ChromeCast.

    Ancillary equipment is Marantz pre/pro, Panasonic 52" plasma screen, Quad 909 and 1.5 Quad 404-2 power amps. Left and right mains 3.5 way towers of my design and build with integrated isobaric coupled cavity sub/bass section. The center is one 4" full range Jordan Watts metal coned driver in a small sealed enclosure.

    As you can see I can recommend this unit without reservation.
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  2. Bucknekked Audioholic Chief

    Bucknekked
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    TLS Guy
    I cut the cord two years ago and went with a Channel Master DVR + antennae.
    We have a local vendor here in the Phoenix area who does guaranteed installs so I gave this husband and wife small business the job of making it work in our home. Worked out perfectly.

    I too can give an unconditional recommendation. The product works as advertised. It does firmware updates without incident (usually) to stay current and implement new functions. New channels have been added (as promised).

    The DVR functionality works and the guide is great. The picture quality is simply outstanding and makes our old cable vendor look out of focus.

    Its far too often that products disappoint: this one sticks out because it is actually one that works.
    Thanks for writing the review and trying it out. It served to remind me of a great decision we made to cut the cord and adopt a new way to see TV

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