By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Gilbert, Ariz. – Over-the-air (OTA) antenna resource Channel Master has launched a new more powerful way of maximizing the entertainment value of free broadcast TV programming, while adding further ammunition to those considering cutting their cable cords.
The company announced its new Channel Master DVR+ ($250 suggested retail) offers cord cutters a TiVo-like means of finding and recording OTA programming, while omitting guide listing fees, like those TiVo and many cable, satellite and telco TV companies charge for DVR services, in addition to programming subscriptions.
The DVR+ guide information is fed by free guide listings transmitted in broadcasters’ digital signal information and gathered by a Rovi-developed electronic program guide (EPG) menu and interface system that viewers can use to search for programs they would like the DVR+ to automatically record for them.
The DVR+ can also connect to the Internet to receive EPG data and select streaming services. The unit has an Ethernet port for a wired connection and or viewers can purchase a $40 optional Wi-Fi dongle to connect to a wireless in-home network.
The internet connection also enables accessing streaming content from Vudu, which is shown in the program guide. Channel Master said it will be adding additional streaming partners in time.
Recorded TV shows can be stored to the unit’s 16GBs of internal Flash memory (good for two hours of recordings) or to an optional attached external hard drive that connects via a USB port.
The DVR+ has dual-tuners allowing viewers to watch one program while recording another, or to ecord two programs at once.
The DVR+ unit features a sleek thin set-top design and connects to a separate optional antenna to tune free OTA broadcasts.
The box includes an IR extender to enable hiding it out of sight.
An HDMI output enables connecting the DVR+ directly into most TVs, without the need of a separate adapter.
Channel Master said it will start shipping the DVR+ in early January and will be available via Channel Master's online store and Amazon.
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