/>
X

Hands-on with Channel Master's DVR+ (pictures)

The new Channel Master DVR+ ($250) is looking to become the over-the-air recording solution for subscription-phobic cord-cutters.

Matthew_Moskovciak.jpg
Matthew Moskovciak
IMG_2248.jpg
1 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Channel Master DVR+

It's a familiar story. Cord-cutters give up their cable subscription to shed the ever-increasing monthly fee, only to find that the best solutions to record free, over-the-air TV, such as the TiVo Roamio and Aereo, require -- you guessed it -- another monthly fee.

The new Channel Master DVR+ ($250) is looking to become the over-the-air recording solution for subscription-phobic cord-cutters.

IMG_2208.jpg
2 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Thin design

The design is unlike any other DVR I've seen. It looks like a thicker, more rigid version of the Mohu Leaf flat antenna, but it's just a DVR -- you'll need to connect a separate (not supplied) antenna to receive over-the-air broadcasts.
IMG_2213.jpg
3 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Relatively deep

There's not much else to the slim, gray box, although it's pretty deep (10.5 inches), so you'll need considerable room on your TV stand.
IMG_2241.jpg
4 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Ports on the back

The DVR+ has an HDMI output on the back, so it doesn't require a separate box, which competitors like Aereo and Simple.TV require. There's also an Ethernet port on the back, but if you want to connect wirelessly, you'll need to spring for the $40 Wi-Fi USB dongle.
IMG_2235.jpg
5 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

USB drive nearly required

Inside, there's 16GB of built-in flash memory, which can record 2 hours of HD content, but it's really designed to be used with an external hard drive (not supplied), which can be connected via a USB port on the back.
IMG_2230.jpg
6 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Remote

The included remote has a simple, sensible design and can be programmed to control a TV as well.
IMG_2222.jpg
7 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Program guide

Most DVRs charge a monthly fee for electronic program guide (EPG) data, but the DVR+ provides that info, supplied by Rovi, for free.
IMG_2215.jpg
8 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Dual tuner

Unlike the original Simple.TV, the DVR+ has dual-tuner capabilities, so you can watch one program while recording another, or record two programs at once.
IMG_2227.jpg
9 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Records programs by name

The DVR+ also records programs by name, rather than just VCR-style commands such as "record channel 4 at 7 p.m. for an hour." That means if your favorite show moves its time slot, the DVR+ will also be able to find it, as long as the title stays the same.
IMG_2233.jpg
10 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Vudu included too

Connecting the DVR+ online also allows you to stream content from Vudu, which shows up right in the program guide.
IMG_2257.jpg
11 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

USB Wi-Fi dongle

The biggest hurdle for the DVR+ may be the upfront cost. $250 isn't cheap, especially when you have to bring your own hard drive and antenna, plus pay an extra $40 for the Wi-Fi dongle accessory.
IMG_2250.jpg
12 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Power adapter

IMG_2253.jpg
13 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

IR extender

The DVR+ does include an IR extender, so you can hide it in a cabinet and still control the DVR+ with the included remote.
IMG_2244.jpg
14 of 14 Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Side view

The DVR+ will start shipping around CES 2014 and will be available for purchase via Channel Master's online store and Amazon. Channel Master also says it intends to add bundled packages that include a hard drive and antenna in the future, although no specific bundles are available yet.

For more information, see CNET's full story on the Channel Master DVR+.

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

38 Photos
New movies coming out in 2021: Netflix, Marvel and more

More Galleries

New movies coming out in 2021: Netflix, Marvel and more

65 Photos
2022 BMW R18 B and Transcontinental have big bagger style with German tech

More Galleries

2022 BMW R18 B and Transcontinental have big bagger style with German tech

75 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
Lincoln Aviator Shinola concept amplifies Detroit-style luxury

More Galleries

Lincoln Aviator Shinola concept amplifies Detroit-style luxury

22 Photos
2022 Toyota Tundra teasers give a glimpse of what's to come

More Galleries

2022 Toyota Tundra teasers give a glimpse of what's to come

8 Photos
2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 wants to coddle at every opportunity

More Galleries

2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 wants to coddle at every opportunity

48 Photos