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Channel Master TV

Dual-tuner HD DVR records over-the-air digital TV broadcasts, Internet-ready

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    On-screen program guide

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    Vudu movies

Item #: 659CM7400
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Channel Master TV

by Steve Kindig
Channel Master

Read a letter from Channel Master about their latest software update for the Channel Master TV and their switch to a full 1-year warranty on this product.

Attention, cord-cutters!

You're not ready to give up watching TV entirely, but you're tired of writing that big monthly check to your satellite or cable TV provider. If that's where you're at, Channel Master has a brilliant alternative. Their CM-7400 DVR makes it easy to record over-the-air high-def TV shows without paying for a subscription. Simply connect the CM-7400 to an indoor or outdoor antenna and start recording your favorite network shows in crystal-clear HD — to watch whenever you want.

Channel Master TV on-screen guide

The on-screen guide makes it easy to select and record programs.

Over-the-air HD — amazing picture quality, free for the taking

The CM-7400 can record up to 35 hours of high-def programs, and provides great DVR conveniences like pause and forward/reverse skip using the remote control. And you know what? Over-the-air high-def broadcasts look as good or better than cable or satellite HD. This is a dual-tuner DVR, so you can watch one over-the-air channel while simultaneously recording another, or set it to record shows on two different channels at the same time. Recording shows is a snap using the on-screen program guide.

You'll find both HDMI and component video connections to ensure compatibility with virtually any HDTV. This DVR is a terrific solution for projector-based home theaters, since projectors never include a built-in tuner. Note: This DVR cannot record satellite or scrambled cable TV signals.

Stream movies from Vudu™

The CM-7400 makes it easy to access great Internet entertainment, too. You can either connect a network cable to the back-panel Ethernet port, or go wireless with the built-in Wi-Fi®. You like movies? Vudu's on-demand service has over 30,000 HD titles available for instant streaming. And their highest-quality "HDX" option combines a stunning 1080p picture with Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound. You can also share photos from Flickr, and keep tabs on your Facebook friends.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • built-in ATSC tuners receive free over-the-air digital TV broadcasts (antenna required)
  • QAM cable TV tuner receives unscrambled programs without a set-top box (cable service required)
  • dual ATSC tuners let you to watch one over-the-air broadcast channel while simultaneously recording another
  • records up to 35 hours of HD content or up to 150 hours of SD content to built-in 320GB hard drive
  • versatile playback modes, including pause, fast-forward/fast reverse, and forward/reverse skip
  • setup wizard with auto channel scanning
  • timer recording with on-screen program guide
  • can record and play back 3D content
  • Internet-ready with Vudu apps for accessing streaming movies, music and more
  • built-in Wi-Fi® to link to a wireless network
  • selectable resolution (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/30Hz or 1080p/24Hz) — 1080i performs best for most TVs
  • 1 set of audio/video outputs (HDMI, component video, composite video, and RF)
  • RF input for antenna signal
  • optical digital audio output
  • Ethernet port for a high-speed connection to a home network
  • front and rear USB ports for viewing files on a thumb drive
  • multibrand remote control
  • 10-5/8"W x 2-1/8"H x 8-3/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year parts and labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • HDTV over-the-air receiver/ DVR
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6' DC cord)
  • 2-prong AC plug insert
  • IR remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 6.5' HDMI cable
  • 7' RG-6 RF coaxial cable
  • 6.5' Audio/Video cable (with a composite video/stereo RCA connectors on each end)
  • User Guide
  • Quick Start Guide
  • "Read This First!" note
  • Vudu HD Movies offer sheet
  • Important Safety Instructions

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Channel Master TV
Subscription Free HD DVR
On Demand Entertainment
Personal Media Storage
Audio/Video Connections
Remote Control

Channel Master TV

Overview: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 is an over-the-air HDTV DVR (digital video recorder) with on-demand entertainment access and Clear QAM capability. The Channel Master TV CM-7400 enables free over-the-air HD broadcasts, adds full DVR functionality (including the ability to pause, rewind, & record live TV), supports non-premium Clear QAM digital cable channels, provides storage and management for your personal media content, plus allows access to web content; such as On Demand Movies/TV shows and more for Vudu Apps - delivered right to your TV. The Channel Master TV CM-7400 lets you view and record local over-the-air digital broadcasts in your area, as well as unscrambled Clear QAM digital cable channels, using its dual ATSC tuners and Clear QAM tuner, along with its electronic program guide. With the CM-7400, you can pause, fast forward, and rewind your over-the-air programs. And unlike many other DVR services, there are no monthly subscription fees to record your over-the-air HDTV programming. In addition to accessing and recording free over-the-air HDTV content, the Channel Master TV CM-7400 gives you access to various on-demand Internet content, such as movies, music, photos, social networks, and more (subscription fees may apply). The Channel Master TV CM-7400 comes with an infrared remote control which operates the CM-7400 DVR and up to two other components.

Note: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 requires an over-the-air antenna for free TV broadcasts, a Clear QAM service provider & subscription for non-premium digital cable channels, and a broadband Internet connection for web movies/TV shows and apps.

Subscription Free HD DVR

Free HDTV: Over-the-air broadcasts provide the highest quality of HD available without any video compression or compromised video quality. All cable and Satellite providers use video compression techniques which degrades picture quality. You will notice a difference between their picture quality and what is available over-the-air with Channel Master TV. Over-the-air broadcast stations include major networks; such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and PBS.

Note: In order to receive live over-the-air broadcasts, you will need an outdoor or indoor antenna (sold separately) depending on your location.

Dual ATSC Tuners: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 is equipped with dual ATSC digital tuners which allow you to record two different over-the-air digital broadcasts simultaneously. You can also watch a previously recorded program while recording the two simultaneous broadcasts. This service is totally free of charge.

Note: The CM-7400 is not equipped with an NTSC tuner.

Clear QAM Tuner: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 also features a Clear QAM digital cable TV tuner that can receive unscrambled programs without a set-top box (cable service still required). You can record available Clear QAM digital cable channels as well. Clear QAM support varies city by city; check your cable provider for compatibility.

Note: Channel Master TV is not compatible with premium subscription cable services, so you will not get content that is only available on a premium cable service such as HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Disney, etc.. The CM-7400 does not support Satellite TV signals.

SD (Standard-Definition) and HD (High-Definition) Compatible: Using the built-in HDTV over-the-air tuner, you can view and record both standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) digital programming. You can view up-converted standard-definition and native high-definition over-the-air digital broadcasts on a connected HDTV. You can also view both native SD and down-converted HD programming on a connected SDTV.

Electronic Program Guide: Other DVR manufacturers and service providers are required to pay fees for the television guide data that is delivered to the box via the internet or a service provider network. This expense is passed on to the consumer as a monthly DVR fee. With Channel Master TV, basic television guide data is transmitted free-of-charge by the broadcaster and the Channel Master CM-7400 receives this info and appropriately inserts it into the on-screen guide. The Basic Program Guide provides a 2-day viewing and recording window for ATSC/Clear QAM channels. While this info is basic and all depends on what the broadcaster decides to send, it is free. The electronic program guide offers the following search functions.

  • Channel List: The Program Guide will display a list of channels and programs available to watch in your area based on your selected TV source.
  • Title Search: Title Search allows you to find programs in the Program Guide by a keyword within the title or description. Keywords can be entered using the unit's on-screen keyboard or from the remote control's keypad.
  • Advanced Search: The Advanced Search option offers the ability to use additional search criteria to narrow your search. You can search by using criteria for keywords, genre, and people.

Note: If you desire additional program information, Channel Master TV offers a Premium Program Guide upgrade for a fee of $49.99 annually. The Premium Program Guide offers additional program information for both ATSC/Clear QAM, including a 14-day viewing and recording window.

320GB HDD: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 allows you to record over-the-air digital broadcasts (MPEG-2 & MPEG-4) on its internal 320GB hard disk drive. The unit can record up to 35 hours of high-definition (HD) video and 150 hours of standard-definition (SD) video.

Note: Storage hours will vary based on the format of the content.

Recording TV: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 allows you to record ATSC/Clear QAM programs currently playing or scheduled in advance, through its electronic program guide. You can schedule up to two recordings simultaneously. You can also set additional recording options, such as:

  • Record Episode: Records only the current episode.
  • Record Series: This option lets you record all available instances of the program within the Channel Master TV Program Guide
  • Find Other Times: Takes you to an 'Upcoming Programs' screen displaying the current program's future episodes scheduled for the next 14 days (if you subscribe to the Premium Program Guide service). This list displays new episodes and/or repeat programs.
  • Priority: Set the priority of the episode to record if multiple recordings are scheduled at the same time.
  • Bonus Time: Add bonus recording time before and/or after the scheduled recording time; great for live events. You can add up to 1 hour prior to a scheduled event or 3 hours after an event has ended.
  • Manual Recording: When no guide data is present or when you are receiving limited guide data in the Program Guide, you may elect to perform a manual recording. You can manually enter the channel number, date, start time, record length, and how often for your desired recording.

Note: DVR recordings can be kept for 1 week, 1 month, until space is needed on the HDD, or until you manually delete them.

Controlling Live TV: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 lets you pause (up to 1 hr), fast forward (up to 5x), and rewind (up to 5x) live TV through its built-in 320GB HDD and built-in DVR capabilities. A replay function lets you view the previous 7 seconds of a program.

Programming Information: During a live TV broadcast, you can bring up the program information on the top of your TV screen. The title of the program, program duration, description of the program, channel number, and any TV ratings for what you are watching is displayed. Program details of the program you are watching may be available for some broadcasts.

Closed Caption Support: The CM-7400 supports digital Closed Captions. The unit offers many options for Closed Captioning (CC), including font size, colors, edge style, service, and opacity.

Parental Controls: You can restrict your family's viewing based either on program ratings or on a channel-by-channel basis. The parental lock feature is protected by a 4-digit pass-code.

On Demand Entertainment

Wired or Wireless Network Connection: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 lets you connect to the Internet via your home network, using its hard-wired Ethernet (RJ-45) port or its built-in WiFi. Once connected to your home network, the CM-7400 lets you access Vudu HD movies and various other web media applications from Vudu Apps.

Ethernet Port: A 10 Base-T or 100 Base-TX LAN port is required for a hardwired Ethernet connection to the CM-7400. Use a standard Ethernet (LAN) cable with this unit (Cat5 or better with a RJ-45 connector).
Built-in WiFi: The CM-7400's built-in WiFi supports IEEE 802.11A/B/G/N standard, as well as WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security. The TV's built-in WiFi operates at 2.4/5.8 GHz radio frequencies.

Vudu Apps: Vudu Apps provides you access to a wide range of Internet services and applications including streaming video, music on demand, photo browsing, social networking and more. Vudu Apps uses a unique, cloud-based architecture optimized for consumer electronics devices, including delivering the latest applications to consumers without the need for software downloads or frequent firmware updates. Vudu Apps has many popular online applications; like Vudu HD Movies, Picasa, Flickr, The Weather Channel, The New York Times, Twitter, Facebook, and more. Vudu apps can be browsed by category.

Category Content
Featured Apps Vudu HD Movies, Flicker, Picasa, Facebook, Twitter, Associated Press, Weather, The New York Times, Dailymotion, Stock Tracker, Dolby Digital Plus
News Associated Press, The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, NBC Meet the Press, NBC Today Show, Face the Nation, CNN Daily, and more
Arts & Entertainment the digg reel, The Screening Room, Scene Steelers, Indie Film Nation, The New Your Animated Cartoons, iFanboy, Scam School, and more
Internet Culture RocketBoom, digg Nation, Totally Rad Show, Tekzilla, Best of Revision3
Gaming Attack of the Show, X Play
Science & Technology Discovery, Nova, Hidden universe, TedTalks, Walt Mossberg's Personal Tech, Andy Jordan's Tech Diary, HAK.5, Pixel Perfect, SYSTM, Irrelevant Astronomy
Music Philharmonia Orchestra, XLR8R, UVTV, From the Top at Carnegie Hall
Sports ESPN Around the Horn, ESPN Mike & Mike Moment, Motorz
Travel & Lifestyle Good Housekeeping, DeliciousTV, DiveFilm HD, London Landscape TV, New York on the Clock, The City Concealed

Note: Please visit www.VUDU.com for the most current list of apps.

Vudu HD Movies: Vudu is an on-demand movie service available on the Channel Master TV CM-7400. Vudu HD Movies lets you choose from over 30,000 titles; including the newest releases, classics, and independent films (content updated daily). The latest movies and TV series are available on Vudu the same day they are available in stores, so there is no wait. You can rent or buy these movies from the comfort of your home, without ever leaving the couch. You can browse the Vudu Movie/TV Show Library by "Most Watched", Tomatometer", Release Date, Alphabetically, or by 16 different genres. Vudu offers 1080p picture quality with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1ch surround sound. There are no subscription, sign-up, or late fees; you simply pay for what you watch. At this time, the Vudu service is only available in the United States.

Movie Type Video Resolution Sound Bandwidth Required Rent Own
HDX 1080p 5.1ch Surround Sound 4.5-9 Mbps $5.99 $19.99
HD 720p 5.1ch Surround Sound 2.25-4.5 Mbps $4.99 $19.99
SD 480p Stereo 1.2 Mpbs $3.99 $14.99
Movie of the day 480p, 720p, 1080p Stereo or 5.1ch 1.2-9 Mbps $0.99 N/A
$2/2 Night 480p, 720p, 1080p Stereo or 5.1ch 1.2-9 Mbps $2.00 N/A

Note: Watching movies on VUDU requires a broadband Internet connection of at least 1 Mbps. All purchased content is restricted from download to the CM-7400. But if the content is purchased instead of rented, you can stream this content as frequently as you choose.

Social Networking: Vudu apps contains online social networking sites; such as Facebook & Twitter.

  • Twitter: Twitter is an online social networking and micro blogging service using text-based posts to share information amongst other Twitter users (also known as 'Tweets'). Using Twitter requires an existing Twitter account. If you do not have a Twitter account, go to http://twitter.com to create an account before continuing.
  • Facebook: Facebook is a social networking service and website. Using Facebook from Channel Master TV requires starting the Facebook application inside the VUDU Apps screen.

Photo Sites: Vudu apps include personal online photo management apps like Picasa and Flickr.

  • Picasa: Picasa is a free software application for organizing and editing digital photos. The Picasa Web Album manages user accounts based on a specified email address where you can either enter a password or keep the account limited to your public content. Entering a password enables access to non-public content.
  • Flickr: Flickr is a photo management and sharing application. The integrated Flickr application in Channel Master TV enables you to save a User ID set up with or without a password.

Internet Browsing Note: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 does not have an open internet browser that will allow you to visit any website; only Internet content from Vudu HD Movies and Vudu Apps.

Personal Media Storage

Dual USB Ports: The CM-7400's front-panel & rear-panel USB (type-A) ports allow you to import movie, music, and photo content to the CM-7400 for playback and storage.  Movie, music, and photo content can be transferred from a standard USB storage device to the Channel Master TV's 320GB hard drive or viewed directly from the storage device.

Media Management: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 has built-in media management capabilities that allow you to store, play, and manage your personal media content directly from the Channel Master TV user interface.

  • Video: You can view your videos by title or sort them by date and by folders.
  • Photos: You can view your photos by thumbnail view, sort them by date taken, folders, or play a slideshow.  You can also have music playing in the background while viewing a slideshow.
  • Music: You can sort your music by Albums, Artists, Genres, or create personal Playlists.

Supported Media Content: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 supports various movie, photo, and music content.

Media Type Media Formats
Movie MPEG-1/2/4, H.264, WM9, DivX, AVS, MP4/MOV, MKV, and VC1
Photo BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG,  and TIFF
Music AAC, MP3, PCM, WAV, WMA, WMA Pro, and Dolby Digital

eSATA Connector: The External Serial ATA connector may support future upgrades.

Audio/Video Connections

Antenna Input/Output: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 over-the-air HDTV DVR is equipped with a threaded coaxial RF-type cable/antenna input and TV output to connect between your indoor/outdoor antenna and your television. The antenna output provides both standard-definition video and mono audio to your television via channel 3 or 4.

Video Outputs: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 is fitted with both high definition (HDMI/component) and standard definition (composite) video outputs.

  • HDMI Output: The unit's HDMI connection provides both high-definition video (up to 1080p) and digital audio (up to 5.1ch) to your TV or home theater system's A/V receiver.
  • Component Video Output: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 features one set of component video outputs to send a high-definition video signal (up to 1080i) to your TV.
  • Composite Video Outputs: The CM-7400 also features a single composite video input to send a standard-definition video signal (480i only) to your TV.

Audio Outputs: The CM-7400 is equipped with both digital (optical) and analog (RCA) audio outputs.

  • Digital Audio Output: The over-the-air HDTV DVR is equipped with an optical (toslink) digital audio output to transfer Dolby Digital or PCM audio to your home theater receiver.
  • Analog Audio Output: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 also features analog stereo RCA outputs to transfer audio directly to your television or stereo receiver.

AC Power Adapter: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 operates off of standard household AC current, using the supplied AC power adapter.

  • Input: 100-240V~ 50-60Hz, 0.9A
  • Output: 12V - 3A

Convenience Features

Setup Wizard: The first time you install the CM-7400 DVR, the Setup Wizard screen appears and guides you through the system setup process. The Setup Wizard scans for local digital over-the-air channels, as well as unscrambled QAM cable stations (if applicable) and helps you set up the settings for your local area and TV display.

  • Video Settings: You will need to select the resolution (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/30Hz or 1080p/24Hz) that your TV supports You can also adjust the display format (16:9 Pillar, 16:9 Wide, 16:9 Zoom, 4:3 Crop, 4:3 Letterbox, 4:3 Squeeze, or 4:3/14:9).
  • Audio Setting: The Audio setting menu enables you to change the audio output of Channel Master TV CM-7400. The unit's HDMI or optical connections can provide two audio data types: Dolby Digital or Linear PCM (only Dolby Digital audio through these connections can then be decoded to provide full, 5.1-channel surround sound).

Multibrand Remote Control: The Channel Master TV CM-7400 comes with an IR remote control for wireless operation of the over-the-air DVR. You can set up the remote to control as may as two additional devices. These devices can be your TV and Blu-ray/DVD player. You will need to program the remote control using the remote codes in the included Quick Start Guide, or you can scan the remote control's database of device codes. The supplied remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) for direct channel entry.

Note: The remote operates off of 2 "AA" batteries.

Software/Firmware Upgrades: It is possible to update the software/firmware of the CM-7400 using the unit's USB 2.0 port or Ethernet jack. Go to Channel Master TV to get the latest software/firmware version.

Note: The tested Channel Mater TV CM-7400 contained software/firmware version 1.074.2 (as of 12/21/2011). An immediate software/firmware upgrade (v.1.0.74.3) was available.

 

A software update was released on January 18th, 2012 that corrects the lock-up issues that some customers had reported in their reviews. The issue was related to how the CM 7400 downloaded program guide data.

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Channel Master TV Reviews

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1 out of 5

Waste of money

Written By Larry, Hemp[stead NY on Sunday, November 04, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I only gave this one star, because the page requires an entry.

This is the most disappointing electronic device I have ever owned. I have owned it for almost a year, and have had problems since day 1. The unit runs extremely hot, over 119 degrees through the case. It consistently locked up, which was finally fixed with the January update. However, it would still on occasion lose all programming and have to be reprogrammed. I attribute this to heat issues within the unit. Finally in October of 2012, the hard drive failed. Again Channel Master insists it is not the heat, but off the air programming issues. They did send me a replacement, which worked for 2 days, and now locks up every few hours, requiring a hard power off, and reboot.. Even though it has been fully updated with the patch for the over -the-air guide, Channel Master still refused to accept the fact that the unit has design flaws. They are in the process of providing me with the premium over - the-air guide for free, but it has been two weeks, and all of a sudden the support is just dragging.

Notice that Crutchfield no longer sells this unit.
Pros:
Good concept for an alternative over the air DVR, but not designed properly. You can probably fry eggs on it.
Cons:
Overheats Freezes up many times a day Looses programming.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works Great, So Far

Written By ToddM, Fairfield, CT on Monday, May 21, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I owned a Channel Master 7000PAL, which was great until it stopped working (after 1.5 years) - luckily I had the extended warranty from Square Trade (highly recommend getting). Once you have a DVR it's like having heated seats and a sunroof in your car -- you can never not have them again. So I bought the new Channel Master DVR, even-though I was a bit spooked by some of the reviews talking about overheating, etc. But so far the unit has worked very well. Easy set-up and it has built in wi-fi, so it connects to the Internet for updates and you can watch on-demand movies on VUDU. The unit does run a little warm, but not hot. I just put two spacers below the box to make sure there is enough air-flow. A couple of things are not as good as the old Channel Master: The remote is good, but the layout was better on the old unit. The tuners in the old box picked-up a few more stations than my TV did -- the new one gets fewer stations (I'm using antenna as still get over 50 channels). The Channel guide is better on the new box, but only looks forward for about a day or so -- some stations only post a few hours ahead of time (some PBS stations just stopped posting at all a few days ago). You can get the optional guide service for $50 a year, which is much more comprehensive and looks forward 2-3 weeks.

Overall, this is agreat DVR -- easy to use, great picture & sound. Definitely has some quirks (hence the 4 stars), but doesn't crash like the old one.
Pros:
Changes the way you watch TV, no cable and rental bills, excellent HD picture and sound, very small, can record 2 shows at once while watching a third show that you've already recorded. Easy set-up, good guide & show information. Really a great unit!
Cons:
A bit Pricey (but cheaper than cable or dish). Tuners not as sensitive and remote not as intuitive as the old Channel Master unit (but doesn't crash as much) and does run a bit warm (but not a deal-breaker). I would definitely get the 3 year extended warranty from Square Trade -- well worth it.
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5 out of 5

Great DVR, Exactly what i've been searching for

Written By jmorrow, Stockton, CA on Thursday, May 10, 2012
 
For the longest time i have been looking for the perfect solution to eliminate the cable TV bill. I came across the channel master tv 7400 ,and wow! I am speechless, this DVR is awesome, does exactly what i need. The vudu service is great, and i can finally record my favorite shows while i am away. channel master has definitely raised the bar! Cannot wait to show off my DVR to friends and family!
Pros:
Easy to use, no monthly bill, and real simple to setup. definitely recommending this to friends and family
Cons:
None
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2 out of 5

Cm7400 - a work in progress

Written By Ncar, Rindge, NH on Monday, April 09, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I left satellite TV for over the air reception for a number of issues and really needed a way to not only record programs but I needed the tuner as well. [My set is an older JVC HD set but it has no digital tuner built in.] The 7400 fit the bill in those areas and works well WHEN you keep it cool. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it has problems that are heat related. I too installed the latest s/w but it would just go bonkers or totally refuse to do anything after being on for around 3 hours. When it refused to do anything even the front panel power button wouldn't shut it off. I had to pull the plug to reboot it. Finally I read about the usb powered laptop cooler idea. I had one and installed it under the unit plugging it into the back usb port. That port is powered all the time and the 7400 now runs cool to the touch [below body temp] all the time and hasn't had any problems since. The cooler I am using is a very quiet one from staples. It is an inexpensive plastic one with two fans that you can't hear when running. I doubt it uses much power. So if you have one of these and want it to work I highly suggest you add a LT cooler. Now we know why Crutchfield is no longer carrying them. Too bad, because they do fill a certain need for those of us who want to get our TV over-the-air and watch it whenever. I look at it this way, no matter what - in six months without satellite TV I will have broken even on my costs.
Pros:
I very useful unit when you keep it cool.
Cons:
No matter what CM claims heat does make it not work well, and it will run hot and fail without additional cooling. CM support is NOT live under any circumstances, but are fair at getting back via email - except I suspect their support people are told to deny any heat related issues and to be in general vague in their answers.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Channel Master CM-7400 = BAD

Written By EdP, Dallas, TX on Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I own the earlier CM-7000 PAL, designed by Dish Network and re-badged by Channel Master and the CM-7400. Both have heat issues, no matter what CM claims, but that appears to be mitigated by setting the units on a USB powered notebook cooler.

The glitchy, flaky, convoluted software is another issue that was never resolved on the CM-7000 and is a bad work in progress on the CM-7400.

My current 2 week experience with a CM-7400 (Hardware version A1-300) upgraded to the latest firmware (1.0.81.1) has included: -several lock-ups -scheduled timer loss -barely 1 day of channel information is available which is different from the 7 to 10 days available OTA on the CM-7000 here in Dallas. Channel Master is trying to force you to subscribe to their optional pay guide.(Come on Channel Master turn the available 7 day OTA guide on like the CM-7000) -marginal OTA channels that I have de-selected randomly re-appear. -it will not allow me to cancel manual record timers, even conflicted timers, so they continue to record -the tuners are weak (the CM-7000 has better tuners) -it randomly refuses to turn on from standby -when using FF it will suddenly jump to the end of a recorded show -the remote response is sluggish at best
Pros:
Luckily I purchased from Crutchfield and after working with their GREAT tech support, they are sending me a replacement unit in hopes that it functions. I am very guarded, but hopeful and will try and remember to update this review after trying the replacement.
Cons:
Horrible Customer Service from Channel Master, Runs HOT, Locks up, Flaky software, Weak tuners, Sluggish response, Over-Priced
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Needs frequent reboots

Written By Tim, Anchorage, AK on Thursday, March 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
When it works, it works great. The problem lies in that it will turn on but will not display a picture. The only way to get it to work is to give the box a reboot. This causes problems when you're trying to record programs and it quits on you. As others have mentioned, it does run warm. The box could benefit from more vents to help cool it some. I am returning it and asking for an exchange in hopes I get a good one. I also payed the $49 for the 14 day guide service. I'm hoping I can transfer to the new box. Otherwise, I might return the second one if I get it.
Pros:
When it works, having the guide and DVR is nice.
Cons:
Needs frequent reboots. Runs warm. Not the most user friendly DVR I've used.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

review this product

Written By MEvans, Fort Worth, TX on Friday, March 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've already had some issues with this product. I've had to turn it off and on to "reset" the box. The menu kept rolling once and it wouldn't update the guide with programs. It stays very hot to the touch. It doesn't know if the program is new or a rerun.
Pros:
better than no menu or VCR
Cons:
runs hot. issues with the guide rolling and no information for programs.
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4 out of 5

Still has some bugs

Written By Kent F., Fullerton, Ca on Saturday, March 17, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've been using two PAL7000 in my home for the past several years. Had to replace one of them, no option but to purchase 7400, though scared after reading the reviews. Its not that bad and does the job--attached to Sony 52" and 5.1 sound system. Had to purchase the premium guide immediately, much more information and the Record requests are worth it, since gives you option to record only new shows, etc. Calling Channelmaster tech is useless, spent 3 days trying to call, but always goes into voicemail. So used online support email to ask about the following bugs: When I uncheck mark the boxes for channels, click on BACK, the channel on the guide remain as selected for the day, but there is an overnight process causing a couple dozen channels to return, which of course expands the channel listing on the guide. REC is on the front of the box when using it, but when SDB goes red (turn off), the REC goes to the clock. REC should be consistent whether SDB is on or off. (yes I know there is green lamp for record, but it is very faint from across the room.) REC lamp indicator should be red, not green to follow industry standards for recording programs. When requesting a recorded program, example: 8-10 pm AND there is another program at 10 pm selected to record, the device has a conflict and wants me to unselect one of the programs. (no bonus time selected) CM tech support returned email next day to say they are working on these fixes for next release.
Pros:
Fun exploring the added channels via vudu. Lots of interesting podcasts daily. Love the 30 second Fast Forward--glad they kept it; Time Warner doesn't have 30 second FF, hate it when i go to my moms to watch recorded programs. Love the premium channel guide; worth the $49 per year. Compared to previous DVR, the 7400 cuts down on the electric meter by 1 KWH per day since no fan. That's $5 month on electric bill!
Cons:
Worst tech support known to man kind My personally selected channels to view on Guide (I only want 10 chan) but the next day there are 40-50 channels checked. I've given up deseleting them daily and scroll thru the channels now--waste of time. Yes it gets hot! CM says theirs don't get hot in the lab?? The most used keys on the remote don't light up! When deleting a show, the first time it goes to trash. Then you need to click on it again to permantly delete it. Too much work deleting.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Nice unit

Written By KinP, Aiken, SC on Monday, March 12, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Everything as advertised. Small problem with setup but Crutchfield support quickly found my error and help me resolve it.
Pros:
Nice compact and simple
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

I love my Channel masters

Written By Nurtz, Independence, KY. on Thursday, February 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I started with the CM7000 about 2 years ago and decided to add another downstairs. Love 'em both. Crutchfield is my choice of supplier as they have never failed me.
Pros:
7400 has wireless Wi Fi and improved menus.
Cons:
Price
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4 out of 5

Channel Master DVR

Written By MikeM, Elk Grove Village, IL on Saturday, February 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Not as easy to navigate asTivo (which I have downstairs), but still does an excellent job. Great picture quality.
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5 out of 5

We love the Channel Master 7400

Written By blocknlot, Columbia SC on Wednesday, February 15, 2012
 
My wife and I have been using the Channel Master 7400 for one month. We have has no problems and has been working much better then expected based on past reviews on this DVR. I think the word working flawlessly pretty much sums it up. No issues, works far better then any cable TV or Satellite DVR ever did for us. We got rid of pay TV in Dec and to us, this machine was the perfect solution. I have no idea why some other have problems but we have none and I am sure there are many more like us. I also do not understand people talking about the "heat" ... This box runs about 22 degrees above room temp, give or take 3 degrees, I and I am sure the engineers who developed this fine product are well aware of the operating temperatures. It certainly can not be called hot, gosh, it only uses 35 watts. I measured the temperature many times, always came in about the same. I think some of these reviews are having everyone feeling the box and creating some kind of hysteria that is not warranted.
Pros:
Works exactly as it should, far beyond our expectations, we just love this product and no one else in the country offers anything like it. It's completely up to me if I want to pay for a program guide and We love having all the features of pay TV DVR without paying for TV or any subscription service.
Cons:
We honestly can not think of any. With any device there are some, but none so glaring that it comes to mind. Oops got one, it would be nice if there was an indicator to indicate when the DVR was recording when you have the power off. Meaning, the unit shows when it is recording if you have the box on, but when you shut the box down, it doesn't show it's recording, even though of course it still is and will. Nothing is perfect and felt the need to find at least one thing to put in the "cons"
9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Channel Master CM7400 DVR

Written By JamesB, Amarillo, TX on Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The CM7400 was easy to setup and works beautifully when it works. The picture is great, it is relatively intuitive to operate. However, iIn the two weeks I have had the unit, it has locked up three times causing me to have to do a hard reset each time. Before purchasing the DVR I read that it runs hot, so I built wooden stand-offs to put under the recorder before installing it so it would have plenty of air circulation. Even with the stand-offs it truly does run very hot, but I don't know that heat is the cause of the lock ups. When it freezes, it will not respond to the remote control and the only way to shut it down or restore operation is to pull the power. I am going to get a replacement unit and see how the second DVR works.
Pros:
Easy to use, great picture
Cons:
Locks up every few days and runs hotter than typical electronics
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

bad electrical design

Written By rwc, selah wa on Wednesday, February 01, 2012
 
this unit runs as advertized but it has a very bad electical design --- it runs as hot when its off as when its on. it will not surprise me if we start hearing of fires
Pros:
works well
Cons:
way to hot
3 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great OTA DVR

Written By ctmjr, Winston Salem, NC on Monday, January 30, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Fast and easy installation with startup wizard. Software Wi-Fi update ran flawlessly. Great features including channel schedule guide for recording selections; I did choose the Premium Guide feature. HD video and audio on the TV is a good or better than previous HD cable service.
Pros:
Ease of use. Great HD video and audio output (HDMI).
Cons:
Surface tempurature of unit is 115 degrees F, whether the unit is ON or in STANDBY state. Unit does not have an onboard cooling fan. Hopefully, this will not shorten the life of the unit.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Over the Air recording is essential

Written By David, Vancouver, WA on Sunday, January 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
We purchased the new model of the Channel Master DVR after also purchasing the first model which was completely unacceptable. In my opinion they cured all of the problems from the last model. The fit and finish of the new model is very nice, the old one was two cheap tuners and a recorder in a plastic box. The menu system is very good. Be advised that although the marketing for this model claims 14 days the menu program system is not included, that will cost you an extra $49 per year. The including program guide works off what comes from the digital signal and is good for most channels about one day. You will notice after that most channels will show "to be announced". It is dissapointing that a company that expects to sell about $100 worth of electronics for this price that they could not at least include 90 days of program guide. As other folks have said this thing runs hot. Because of Channel Masters reputation, the last model and the heat issue I highly recommend the extended warranty for $50. Be advised that the included warranty is just 90 days on labor. I think this indicates little confidence in their products quality. Solid manufactures always include a full one year warranty.
Pros:
Record your favorite TV show, great skip ahead, nice software
Cons:
Super hot, little progam guide features, erases all your recordings when upgrading software
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Channel Master cm7400

Written By AliG, UC, CA on Saturday, January 28, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I like the concept and potentual of over -the -air HD tv in a DVR my first experience has been disappointing. I had to return it because the software kept freezing and i had no control of the device what ever state in which the software had froze whether running a recording or looking at a menu I was even unable to turn it off. The box runs very hot it needs a fan like most boxes of its type.
Pros:
Great concept
Cons:
Too many bugs
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Channel Master TV

Written By JimW, Boulder City, NV on Saturday, January 28, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great product.
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5 out of 5

CM-7400

Written By George, Chicago, IL on Saturday, January 28, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've had my unit for a month now, I don't find the unit to be hot but I do have it sitting on a laptop cooler. It's wired to the internet and have purchased the Program Guide. Did have some clock issues but after downloading the latest software update I'm bug free.
Pros:
Audio and video quality as good as my Dish DVR.
Cons:
A little pricey but worth the investment.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Channel Master TV

Written By SamC, Sacramento, CA on Monday, January 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Much improved when compared to the older version. Easy to set up. More features. I am completely satisfied. Unfortunately, some residential area has weak antenna signals. So you must check what is the signal strength in your area before making your purchase.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Recording problems on some channels

Written By WarrenR, Overland Park, KS on Sunday, January 22, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
On two channels the KC area, the CM-7400 incurs frequent instances of picture and sound breakup and the sound track is badly out of sync with the picture. The interruptions are so frequent as to make the channels unusable. There is some evidence of the problem on some of the other channels also. Signal strength doesn't seem to be an issue, one channel has a very strong signal and the other medium strength. The tuners in my Panasonic TV and LG LST-3410A handle all channels with no sign of the problem. I would not buy this product unless Channel Master can remedy this serious defect.
Pros:
The premium guide is easy to use for planning future recording and viewing.
Cons:
Picture and sound quality is mediocre on some channels is very poor on some others.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

No longer a cable slave

Written By Will, Seattle, WA on Sunday, January 22, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was tired of being owned by the cable company but had to promise the boss that she would not experience a loss in quality, reliability, or convenience in switching to over-the-air TV. So far, the Channel Master box is delivering. The best benefits are:

* Setup was a breeze and the unit receives twice as many stations as my PC tuner card. * The onscreen menus and remote functions require very little learning to master. * The unit is silent including zero hard drive noise (I don't miss the 24/7 audible hard drive noise of the cable company DVR). * Even with the free program guide, series recordings are added as the listings become available (usually about 36 hours before airing). * As a pleasant surprise, the video and audio quality of OTA TV exceeds cable.

The drawbacks are:

* As mentioned in most other reviews, the box runs very hot even when off - hopefully it it is because the casing is designed to be the heat sink. * Integration with my infrared repeater system and universal remote is a bit buggy, especially with the power-on and skip back functions. I am surprised at the lack of a back-panel i/r port. * Though the unit can read music/photo/video files via its USB port, it can't write files via USB or function as a uPnP/DLNA server or renderer and therefore share recorded TV off board.

So, bottom line, I give this product 4 stars, down a star for the missing i/r port and unwanted space heater effect.
Pros:
Easy to set up and use; better video and audio quality than cable
Cons:
Runs hot; no back-panel infrared port; no home network sharing
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

really hot

Written By rw, yakima wa on Thursday, January 19, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
this unit seems to work as promised -- however it runs very hot (90 to 100 degrees) to the touch. it runs hot enough that we turn both of our units off when we leave the house or when we go to bed.
Pros:
works as well as the direct tv box
Cons:
bad electrical design -- runs very hot
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Just what we wanted...but...

Written By SJB, Grover Beach, CA on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is exactly what we wanted but it overheats and after awhile freezes up then we have to unplug it to reset it. We were hoping it was a lemon but it's obvious others are having the same problem. We have solved the problem though...we sit it on its side! It stays quite a bit cooler and it hasn't froze up since we did that...3 weeks or so. It worked perfectly. My issue is for the price why do we have to sit it on its side to make it work. My husband is thinking of putting a computer fan to see if it will keep it cool. Since it's obviously not a lemon we are probably keeping it since it works on it's side.
Pros:
Does everything it's suppose to
Cons:
Runs too hot and freezes if you can"t keep it cool.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Channel Master 7400

Written By jj, Montana on Monday, January 16, 2012
 
Where do I start. The unit set up relatively easily. When I programmed the channels (I did this numerous times) the unit has failed to find the Fox channel. This unit runs extremely hot! On the right hand side of the box I can not touch it and hold my hand there very hot!!! For that reason alone I must return the unit for a full refund. It has failed to function on so many levels that I am not going to bother explain the problems. I have an issue with not being able to talk to a person at Channel Master. That in it self sends off red flags (poor technical support). So I must return this unit I am afraid that it is going to catch fire.
Pros:
Easy set up
Cons:
Every thing from product function, to technical support.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Big disappointment

Written By Sad Joe, Vernon, CT on Monday, January 16, 2012
 
Preordered for early to mid december. Got it mid January. Unit hangs when it wants, must pull the plug to reboot, as remote becomes unusable. Did software update, reset to factory defaults, same thing. Very frustrating. Did not even get to recording, constantly see 'snowflake' in bottom right of corner as the unit is puking on itself. What could be worse? Channel masters support, that's what! Called to set up replacement or refund and was told "we're too busy, leave a message and we'll get back to you" I'm sure they'll call back when I'm at work away from the device.
Pros:
Nice little space heater for the price.
Cons:
And that's about all it's good for.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Exactly what I was looking for

Written By IanBHop, Masisonville, KY on Saturday, January 14, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
For Years I have been satisfied with just using an antenna with my tv and only watching what was free over the air. I have a power amplified antenna in the attic that runs directly to a built in tuner in my tv. This set up has worked great for years. But I have wanted the ability to record my favorite programs and watch them at a different time. I was excited to discover the new Channel Master OTA dvr and ordered one as soon as I could. The dvr was delivered this week and I was intially very impressed with the equiptment and set up process. Came with all the necessary cables. The set up process was super easy. The menu and remote were easy to navigate and had quick responses compared to cable and satalite menues I have played with. I only ran into problems when I did a scan for OTA channels. The Channel Master only found 1 channel compared to the 16 channels that my tv would pick up. This was with the same antenna set up. I called Channel Master tech support and they were zero help. Called Crutchfield and they were very helpful but ultimitaly could not solve the issue. I was about to give up and send it back, but I decided to go buy a cheap set top antenna and see if that made any difference. It did! The cheap antenna picked up every channel. I figured out that the power enhanced feature of my antenna was interfering with the Channel Master tuners. When I unplugged the power amp, the Channel Master picked up everything.
Pros:
Easy to use remote and simple menu. Sharp clear menu picture. Easy wifi connection. No monthly fees.
Cons:
The box does run very hot, and that does worry.
9 out of 10 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Don't Upgrade Firmware to (v.1.0.74.3)

Written By BarryL, Philadelphia Market, Pennslyvania on Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After upgrading, some functions started misbehaving. Also noticed unpredictable hesitation during playback. Otherwise is a great replacement for Sony's DHG-HDD250 DVR that no longer can be serviced by them as NO parts are available any more(so don't send it in for service). Setup was very easy and went very fast. Free guide is adequate even if you want a program recorded repeatedly daily, weekly or whatever it's frequency is. Pondering subscription for extended guide, little pricey(let you know in a month if I can live without it). Lots of outputs but don't know why they left out S-Video as all the others are on it. Menus with the universal remote are easy to navigate. If you delete a recorded program, it's not permanently deleted. You can still recall it or select to permanently remove it immed. Playback is full HD via HDMI, SD via other outputs.(HD could be on component-output but didn't test it yet). Awaiting for Crutchfield to replace this unit with another and I won't be upgrading it anytime soon till Channel Master fixes their mistakes in ver (v.1.0.74.3) . Box does run very hot, and knowing that electronics don't like heat, I purchased the extended warranty(think I'll keep a small computer fan on it). A larger case would still be o.k. If my other Sony DVR flakes out, I'll still buy another Channel Master as others on market don't come close. Because of the hot case I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
Pros:
Better than others out on the market. Since CBS is having problems updating OTA TV-Guide-On-Screen, this unit does not rely on their data and gets it from somewhere else.
Cons:
Would like to see digital display dim even more. Box is very hot but read on. Does NOT tune NTSC low-power TV stations which we still have in our area.
8 out of 9 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Nice When It's Working

Written By Danny, Madison, WI on Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The only reason I give 4 stars instead of 5 is that the product I received is faulty and has caused me to miss a couple of Packer games that I really wanted to see. As always, Crutchfield is handling the situation with class and sending me a replacement as soon as they become available again.

I'm assuming that I just got unlucky with this lemon of a unit and my next one will be better. My unit runs extremely hot which is probably not what it's supposed to do. In open air (not enclosed), the top and sides are warm to the touch and the bottom is blazing hot. After a while the heat must get to be to much and the unit stops working right. Even with new software updates installed, I end up having to unplug the power cord and plug it back in to make it work.

The unit setup is quick and easy, and the channel guide is very straightforward. I've stuck with the basic guide so far, but might end up getting the premium guide so I can view TV schedules further in advance without having to go online.

I previously had my TV acting as the tuner, so sound was being output from TV to stereo. Sound quality is a major improvement with this unit.

Regarding apps, I really haven't used them yet. I can output my iMac sound and video to my stereo and TV, so I'm guessing the apps don't offer much different than what I can find online. If someone else in the house is using the computer, I guess it is nice to have the apps to offer some options when nothing good is on TV.
Pros:
I love having a DVR for my over-the-air TV and not paying any monthly fees. I've been waiting for this forever! Channel Master had a previous version but I decided to stick it out and wait for this one that has WiFi capability and has some apps on it.
Cons:
I've had it for 3 weeks and like clockwork, it overheats after about 5 days. I'm a die-hard Packers fan and was travelling during their last 2 games over the holidays. Got back to town each time, was looking forward to watching the game, only to find that the unit over heated and didn't record the game.
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Goodbye Cable!

Written By John, Tucson, AZ on Monday, December 26, 2011
 
I've owned a Direct TV HDTV HDR for years now, and after paying over $80/month for content I didn't use, I elected to go with the Channel Master TV DVR. Since most all our recordings are from local channels (mainly PBS), the decision was an easy one. Setup was simple, but I would highly recommend the "Premium Programming Guide" feature ($49.99 for an annual subscription). The standard guide was all but useless. Overall, a great product if you're looking to cut the cord to cable or satellite TV.
Pros:
Simple Setup, Premium Guide, connectivity options, simple software updates
Cons:
Remote programming
12 out of 23 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Channel Master TV

Written By Al, Dothan, Al on Thursday, December 22, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After waiting months for this to come to market, it was a big let down. First off, the tuner can NOT pull in the TV channels well at all. All I was able to get was 1/3 of the channels I could get with my T.V.

There is NO "pass thru" on the box. This means it needs it's own antenna feed.

This box does not have a fan. It runs hot! I called Crutchfield and am sending my back.
Pros:
Nothing!
Cons:
Poor tuner, no pass thru, runs hot.
8 out of 12 people found this helpful
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We'll repair or replace your item in five business days or less after we've received it, or your plan is free. And, as always, we pay for all shipping.

Protection from Normal, Everyday Use

Repairing your average mechanical or electrical failure can cost as much as buying a new device. With SquareTrade, you're covered — including parts and labor.

3 Year Protection Plan
3 Year Protection Plan
Your Price: $53.99
Add to Cart

For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Channel Master TV, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_659CM7400/Channel-Master-TV.html ).