Best DVR Capable Streaming Service

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Cayenne1, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Cayenne1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2016
    Knoxville, TN
    We are interested in the streaming service that has DVR capabilities that best emulate a cable DVR.

    Our setup is a hard wired internet to an AppleTV 4K feeding a Samsung UHD TV. We do not record a lot now with our DirecTV satellite DVR. Just a number of TV series (i.e. "This is Us", "The Zoo", etc.), news and special events.

    We have Amazon Prime which provides the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward shows in its library. I've read that may be a problem with many services on live broadcasts. That's an issue if you cannot pause a live show to take a call.


    There is a similar thread that asks what is the best streaming service But, there are so many variables in that question nearly every service has been suggested. For instance, lowest cost?, sports?, most channels?, viewing device?, local channels?, movies?, viewing device?, etc.
  2. waw74, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019

    waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    it's really going to depend on what you watch,

    I use combination of an HDHomeRun box with the "channels" app on the appletv

    the hdhomerun is TV tuner with a network port.
    you connect your cable or antenna to it.
    plug an ethernet cable to your network.
    and you can access the tuners from your network.
    There are different models, with varying numbers of tuners, and over the air or cable tv support
    some also have a cable card slot that lets you receive the encrypted channels from your cableTV provider.
    the rental on a cable card is much cheaper than a box, and will serve multiple devices at once.
    also some channels use copy protection and you can't watch those
    ---for me it's the HBOs, and any fox network (fox news, sports, Nat Geo, and FX)

    Channels is a live TV app for AppleTV and iOS
    it connects to the hdhomerun, and the interface looks just like a cable box.
    It pulls guide info from the internet.
    It will let you watch and pause Live TV. (if you quit the app, or change channels, you loose the buffer)

    Channels also offers a DVR upgrade ($8mo / $80 yr)
    This will give you a full DVR, with show subscriptions and everything.
    You do need a computer running full time to run the software. It also works on several NAS devices.
    It doesn't have to be a fast computer, but you do need a decent amount of hard disk space.
    The DVR upgrade also lets you access from outside your network if you want. including a web interface that will let you schedule recordings remotely.

    HDhomerun also has a new subscription package,
    it's $35/month for about 35-40 channels.
    You have an antenna for your local channels, then the "cable channels" will stream over your internet connection.
    Those two sources are then combined into the same pool from the HDHomeRun Box.

    Outside of setting up the cable card version, these are pretty much plug and play
    plug in the HDHR box, launch the app on the aTV, it will find the tuner, and let you scan channels.

    HDHomerun Premium TV (add-on channel package)

    Channels DVR

    I have't looked into this too much, but another option for local DVR is the amazon fire recast.
    It's a single box with tuner and DVR built in.
    You do need an amazon box at the TV to watch though.
  3. hinesmj macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2015
    New York
  4. eyeseeyou macrumors 68030

    Feb 4, 2011
  5. spaceywilly macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2009
    I've been using Youtube TV and I love love love it. Reasons:
    • Availability on many platforms. I did not anticipate how much I would appreciate this. Being able to pop up a Chrome tab to watch the Bruins game while I'm at work, or put it on my iPad when I'm in bed, or watch on my phone if I'm on the go, or... well you get the point. I can watch the Bruins anywhere.
    • Unlimited DVR storage. This is another one I didn't expect to care about but I love it. They made it really simple to just click a + sign to start recording any episode of a show. I'm a big Rick and Morty fan and it's amazing to be able to just pull up any episode at any time. And not to harp too much on the Bruins but they've been playing on the West Coast so all their games have been going super late. With Youtube TV I can just catch up the next day.
    • Multiple location support. The big reason I switched to Youtube TV is this one. I have a rental house in NH and an apartment in MA. I was paying for cable TV at the NH house, but I spend a lot more time in MA. With Youtube TV now I can just watch it wherever I am. They just have a rule that you need to check in at your home location "every so often" but other than that I am now able to get my precious Bruins at both locations with just one monthly payment. Big win there.
    • Second time mentioning many platforms. Another nice thing about this feature is that it's easy to add access to many TVs in your house. I just picked up a Roku Express for $29 last night and the Youtube TV app on it is great. No more monthly payments for cable boxes.
    I'm happy to answer any questions!
  6. imaccooper macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    A 4th vote for youtube tv. Their DVR is fantastic. Completely unlimited for up to 9 months. You can sign up now for a free trial and see if it works for you.

    Also, the thread you linked to has so many answers because so many people want different things. I think youtube tv is the best, but if you are not into sports and would rather have HGTV, Hallmark, etc. then something like Philo might be the best. Without knowing an individual, it is hard to recommend something like this short of just saying the one I like the best. That is why you will see so many different answers.

    The more information you post, the better we can help.
  7. eyeseeyou macrumors 68030

    Feb 4, 2011
    AirTv + basic sling tv with premium channels you want + External HD antennae, in theory, sounds like the ultimate money saver and best option even though I use youtube tv.
  8. shamelin73 macrumors newbie


    Jan 28, 2019
    East Texas
    Youtube TV has been great. It also works on a mobile device if you travel you can still get to your recorded shows.

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