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Best over-the-air DVR solution

For cord-cutters and former Aereo customers

Jim Richardson is the managing editor for home audio/video and pro audio learning content on Crutchfield.com.

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Watching Channel Master's DVR+

Looking for a simple way to cut the cable or satellite TV subscription or to replace your Aereo service? A new DVR from Channel Master makes it easy to record over-the-air TV broadcasts. You won’t have to pay a monthly fee for the program guide or connect an outboard hard drive.

Channel Master DVR+ program guide

DVR+ program guide.

The Channel Master 1TB DVR+ has 1 terabyte of storage capacity built in, enough to record up to 160 hours of high-definition programs. Because the DVR+ has two HDTV tuners inside, you can record two programs at once or record one program while watching another. Of course you can also pause live TV or skip backward and forward. The free program guide lets you schedule recordings 14 days in advance.

Channel Master CM7500TB1 DVR+

The DVR+ connects to the Internet via an Ethernet home network cable or through Wi-Fi, using Channel Master's optional USB Wi-FI adapter. The network connection is needed for program guide downloads, future software updates, and to use the pre-installed VUDU streaming video app.

Channel Master CM-3000HD indoor-outdoor TV antenna

Add the Channel Master SMARTenna for a quick and easy way to receive free local high-def broadcasts on your HDTV.

To receive the free HDTV broadcasts, you’ll also need an antenna, of course. If you live in an urban area, like those formerly served by Aereo, an indoor antenna like the Channel Master SMARTenna should do the trick. For more information about selecting the right TV antenna for your home, read our antenna buying guide.

Ready to order? You can add the 1TB DVR+ and SMARTenna to your shopping cart with one click.

  • michael from BAY SHORE

    Posted on 7/15/2015 6:14:55 PM

    I bought this Channel Master DVR , Jan 23 2015 and am very satisfied with it. I dumped TIVO because I did not like the fact that a monthly service fee (no matter what it is used for) is the same as paying a fee for a cable company's subscription package. If I can get tv programming for free, why pay for it. Besides you get the same over the air programming no matter how fancy the packaging. The CM has a very good programming guide, fast scrolling to locate programs, easy to find what you're looking for. You can schedule to record a series(s) or record one program. You can expand your recorded programs on an external drive. I have a 4TB drive installed. CM is constantly adding new programs extracted from the internet. You must have an internet connection for this but not to watch over the air programs. The only weakness at this time is that you cannot limit the number of series recorded to say only 10 programs a time. The CM will record each and every program in the series until the drive is filled. But you can have CM record only new, or all programs in the series. Which is a plus. Since I've owned CM dvr, new programming channels has been added like youtube, etc. Tis is the best DVR out there at this time.

  • Les from Wichita Kansas

    Posted on 8/9/2015 11:52:01 AM

    I have Sony Smart TV's (3) all with their own Sony built-in tuners. I tried a CM DVR + and believe me the tuners that take over to capture and select the stations signals coming into the DVR + are not even half as good as the Sony Tuners built into the high end Sony TV's, not even half as good. On top of that the CM locked up quite frequently and many times had to be re-booted to start working again. The picture quality thru the CM and it's tuners was not anywhere near as good, sharp, and clear as the TV's without a DVR + attached to them. So I had to return the unit to CM and I lost all the money I had paid for Shipping and Handling. NOT A GOOD EXPERIENCE.

  • LStewart from Hampton

    Posted on 12/5/2015 3:48:18 PM

    We purchased the CM-7500 and overall very pleased with it. We still are not able to get Channel 13 very clear but received over 15 channels very clear and the 13 issues is due to the flat antenna we are using....looking to install an antenna in the attic so it should improve. The channel guide for recording shows works very well and we installed an additional 1TB hard drive and have no issues with additional recording. A good purchase and after 10 months not one lock-up or hick-up form the unit...works excellent.

  • jeff from AZ

    Posted on 1/6/2016 3:41:54 PM

    I do not see Pause/Rewind/Fast Forward buttons on the graphic. This is unacceptable!

  • Tim

    Posted on 1/24/2016 5:06:36 PM

    I bought a Tablo recorder for 250 online. It is awesome. First off it acts as a slingbox. I can watch antenna tv in any device that gets Internet. That alone was worth the price. It has 2 USB connects to add external hard drives to store your shows. I'm using a 1 terabyte drive and can't imagine needing anymore storage but can add and switch out storage drives. This device is truly amazing. I no longer have to worry about being on time to watch a game. And I can record shows and watch them anywhere. Plus can watch in any room that has internet. Has made my cord cutting days so much better. To initially set it up you will need to spend around $500-600 (for antenna, Tablo DVR, lifetime subscription to channel guide which is really useful and you can set up series recordings this way, and hard drive) but after that there are no cost. After 6 months you are saving 100 a month.

  • Don from Parker CO

    Posted on 2/9/2016 2:30:03 PM

    I use Windows Media Center for my over the air TV DVR. I have a internal 2 tuner card and an external 2 tuner cable card tuner. I can record 2 over the air and 2 cable channels at once while watching a 5th pre-recorded program at the same time. I see both the over the air and cable channels intermixed in the schedule guide which is awesome. The cable card rental is only $1 a month from comcast but I can drop cable any time and continue to use the over the air channels. Only problem is that windows media center cannot be installed on windows 10 so I will be staying with windows 7 for as long as possible.