Pros Easy set up. Only took about a few minutes and I was recording. Upgradable hard drive. Uses PSIP for program guide. DON'T NEED TVGOS. Dual tuners. Record two things at the same time.
Cons Not really a problem for me but I wonder why they didn't make it at least cable ready. Maybe because it's made by Dish Network. That might explain that.
Summary I needed a DVR that didn't really need the TVGOS to set the time and date and record on time. There is no TVGOS available where I live. PSIP does the job. I only get about 24 hours of guide but I don't care. Dual tuners allowed me to record two things at the same time. I get everything OTA. It would have been nice if it would have been able to handle cable tv but that would have only tempted me to order cable and I don't want to do that. The idea of FREE TV is what it's all about and I get over 20 channels OTA and that's all I need. I could get more if I want to rotate the antenna. I have the latest firmware and have had no problems. Great box for us who are simple and don't want to pay for TV. $250 is half the price of my first VCR. Yeah, I'm that old. Had black and white TV too. Had to get up to change the channel. ENOUGH. Oh yeah, after the 90 day warranty, I'll open it up and put in a bigger hard drive for less than $100. That's a big plus with this box.
Pros - No monthly fees
- Easy set up
- I get all local channels in digital + HD
- DVR is great
- F207 code running well
- No monthly fees
Cons - On screen guide pretty basic and has no video when active
- Some extended information not available in guide which should be the via TVGOS
Summary This unit got a bad wrap from early adopters probably because it was released before the code was stable. I have had no issues with the F207 code. This is a great way to reduce monthly TV fees to zero. Think about it...
- Fee based TV prices are higher than ever
- Every dollar counts more than ever
- The digital cut over is complete
- Alternative mediums on internet are increasingly available.
- Without 200 channels of reality shows to flip through, we may actually start reading books again.
... nuff said.
Pros The capability of the unit is very good. Reception is excellent Features are very good.
Cons The unit randomly locks up and reboots. Sometimes it requires removing the power from the unit to reboot it. This happens during simple viewing, recording, and watching a recording. I have called the company at least 8 times. No customer service.
Summary This is a great product but unfortunately is full of bugs. Customer service is vey poor. I have called half a dozen times. They promised to send a new unit by 2 day delivery on 28 December. It is now 24 January and no unit. Now they say I must return the unit first and have promised to send UPS labels which have not come either. I would like this unit to work properly as it has great potential.
Pros No subscription. Superb video quality. Dual Tuners. HDTV tuner for older HD tvs that didn't come with an ATSC tuner. Stable with the new firmware. Future Updates. Optical Digital Sound. New firmware allows buffer to be recorded as well.
Cons It is exactly what the review says it is. It is much more like a fancy VCR than a current DVR. Was extremely buggy at first with F202 firmware. Short warranty and no return policy. No name based recording.
Summary I preordered my DTVPal DVR because I didn't want to purchase a Dish service and I didn't want to pay a subscription fee to Tivo. I have always only used free Over The Air TV signals.
My area went Digital Only in August 2008. Our transmitters are in the mountains and they couldn't be worked on in the Winter, so we changed early to meet the deadline. Then the government extended the deadline. I'm sorry that they did. Going digital has been amazing around here! I used to get a pretty good signal, but usually received a little bit of fuzz in the sound and picture. With digital I have a constant 85% signal strength which allows for perfect picture and sound.
So I thought a DVR would be really nice. Then the DTVpal showed up. I was very excited only to find that it would constantly power cycle about 2-3 times an hour whether I was watching live TV or a recording. The recordings sucked because many shows were broken up in to 20 minute segments with the remainder as a different segment with 2-3 minutes missing as the unit rebooted. That was with updates F201 which was my original and also with F202. I was irritated, but had faith Echostar would fix it. They finally did with the F206 firmware. It works perfectly now and is very stable. It hasn't power cycled since the new firmware. F206 is a must have update. Finally it has added the ability to also record the buffer when the recording button is used in the middle of a program.
Still it isn't a Tivo, but if you want less expensive then this is definitely a smart way to go. Oh and who knows what future upgrades might bring to the device!
Pros This thing has been such a nightmare but now with the 206 Firmware it seems stable. And provided it stays that way this DVR is a STEAL!!!
Cons It took Dish Network wayyyy too long to make this right and their customer support is more than lacking.
Also the recording is timer based not name based and that is a big bummer.
Summary Still for the money and it looks like it's finally a stable product, this unit is a no brainer for folks that do not subscribe to cable or sat, and I have purchased two of them.