It’s quite amazing to be able to record TV shows, movies, and sports to watch later. You will also be able to watch items about which you would not usually be home without considering the satisfaction of skipping through ads. You would need a DVR system to do this although most of the DVRs have monthly rental fees, sadly.
Most cable television subscribers incur a subscription fee to replace and are shocked if they can, fortunately, pay for DVR TV and movies without charge. Many DVR boxes offer subscription-free service and can record shows.
There is no monthly charge. Many of the No-Fee DVR boxes are also fitted with wireless tuners (ATSC). That means they can play and record the CBS, FOX, NBC, and many other free-over-the-air networks without any problems
The main positive side of DVRs without subscription is the one-time expense of purchasing the DVR and not caring about monthly costs. If you want to replace the cable with a DVR box, the DVR without a subscription is perfect since the cable can be captured over the air TV.
Do you really want a subscription-free box?
Without a doubt, this issue would depend on the user and what they are looking for in a home entertainment box. Although one individual won’t mind fast-forwarding through advertisements, another individual may have the purpose to save money. Any users who are looking for those DVRs are watching cable TV free.
What’s the downside of a subscription-free box?
Free subscription DVRs don’t come with many of the full monthly subscriber box functionality. Commercials may not be skip-able, and sometimes many of the features is also constrained as well.
With some of our favorite selections below, you will find several nice units. As always, make sure you read Amazon, forums, and other feedback and reviews to make sure that a unit is the correct one.
Best DVRs without Subscriptions
Amazon Fire TV Recast
The Fire TV Recast is the most popular version of over-air DVR yet and has a great plain, polished design and was created by Amazon. The product is less expensive because of its absence of subscription fees than most other alternatives.
Nevertheless, Amazon’s DVR has a range of big constraints – namely because it requires a Fire TV to be viewed on TV – which would make it a non-starter for many cable cutters. One feature has not improved over the years: we are all eluding from the ultimate cord-cutting DVR.
- You’ll be able to record live TV from over-the-air channels
- You can watch recordings right next to services like Netflix and Hulu (on one interface)
- You don’t have to pay any monthly subscription fees
- You will be able to store up to 150 hours of recordings
- It has the ability to record up to 4 shows at once
- You can even watch on-the-go with a compatible mobile device
- It also connects to the internet to watch recordings on all your devices
The Recast helps you to see what is actually on and what will be on over the next two weeks with a free channel guide on connected Fire TV screens, the Echo Show, and the Fire TV app. There is no need to use a channel guide or DVR functionality of the Recast, like Amazon Prime.
Therefore, to properly use this unit, there are three things that you need: the Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR and an Amazon Fire TV. You can capture live TV on OTA networks (such as NBC, CBS, FOX, etc.) and view the videos on your fire interface in Amazon if you have these things. You can also run Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. with this device.
The model comes in two versions: $229.99 for two tuners and $279.99 for four tuners. A 500 GB disk is available in the two-tuner recast, which can record 75 hours of HD content, and a 1 TB hard disk is equipped with a 150-hour capacity in the four-tuner recast.
Obviously, you’ll have several more hours available if you mainly capture SD channels. Amazon is preparing to allow additional storage via the USB port behind the refresh, which has still not been allowed.
The refurbishment comes with integrated storage for 75 or 150-hour options. The two-tuner and four-tuner options are possible to record two or four channels at a time. Bear in mind that only over-the-air channels obtained by an antenna will record this unit.
Unfortunately, you cannot connect it up to a cable box and capture cable shows. Yet this is by far the strongest DVR without rental fees for cables that do not have any cable at all.
- Easy to set up
- No subscription needed
- Reliable recording
- Plenty of DVR space
- Amazon’s mini-guide doesn’t get in the way of live TV.
- The unit turns out to be much smaller
- Requires a Fire TV device, Echo Show, or Fire TV mobile app
Another good way for cord-cutters to find a monthly subscribe free DVR is to use Tablo Dual-Lite. The Tablo Dual Lite attaches, like the Amazon Fire Recast, to an HD antenna to view and monitor live television on over-the-air networks.
In comparison to the refresh, the Tablo Lite does not have internal storage, so an external hard drive or USB stick is required only. You can use almost any storage source that connects via USB, but just keep in mind which is actually appropriate.
- You can watch and record live TV from NBC, FOX, CBS, and more
- There’s no need to pay a monthly subscription fee
- You can also connect an external storage device to store recordings
- You’ll be able to record up to 4 shows at once
- This product connects to the internet to stream recordings on all your devices
- It also offers an automatic commercial skipping feature
In contrast to other home DVR solutions, the configuration is refreshingly quick. You don’t have to set up a separate media server unit, choose multiple tuner brands, or follow many installation protocols from numerous firms. This means that there are fewer possible failures.
This model has two versions: a 2-tuner DVR with USB storage options and a SATA-compatible 4-tuner version which is $220. You can record up to four shows simultaneously and load a SATA hard disk directly into your computer with a 4-tuner edition.
There is a grid-based live TV channel guide on the app side, and menus for searching by category, channel, and type of show. A scheduling menu lets you access all future recordings, and Tablo can display a warning and include a conflict resolution menu if you have generated a problem.
Both Tablo Dual Lite models have some advanced capabilities such as the ability to manage recordings and automated commercial skipping, which is also a very useful feature. Please note that Tablo has a subscription package, but that this device is optional. Whereas a monthly subscription is required on most Tablo devices, the Tablo Dual Lite does not.
By reducing load times for Live TV networks, Tablo has solved one of the key sticking points. The viewers always have to wait more than 10 seconds to load a live channel, and all the devices normally come closer to 6 seconds.
In the past, with Tablo systems, it’s down from 15 seconds or more. In the end, Tablo Dual Lite is actually a compelling choice for its simplicity and price.
- Easy to set up
- Streams TV to lots of devices
- Many options to browse and record TV shows
- Automatic commercial skipping feature
- Visual and audio sources are poorer than broadcast quality.
TiVo is one of the best on the block when it comes to DVR service. They have had been in the game from the beginning. You can cordlessly exit the box with an OTA model. The TiVo Roamio OTA is the best choice for quick download and usage.
- This pre-owned product has been professionally inspected, tested, and cleaned
- When kept at arm’s length, there would be no visible cosmetic imperfections.
- This product comes with batteries that will exceed 80% capacity relative to new.
- Accessories may not be original, but they will be fully available and compliant. The product can be included in the generic package.
- The product is compatible only with HDTV Antennas. May does not work with cable or satellite TV.
- No monthly TiVo service fee required.
- You can record four shows at once and up to 150 hours of HD programming. Pause, rewind, and record free HD programming. At the press of a button, SkipMode skips whole commercial breaks of filmed programs. QuickMode speeds of pitch-corrected audio from recorded and buffered shows 30 percent higher.
- Searches TV and streaming content simultaneously.
- It integrates access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, VUDU, and more.
Although TiVo includes full functioning subscriptions for digital video recorders, TiVos can be used without a subscription. TiVos cannot receive updates to its software guides without a subscription. This excludes users from programming records.
This model has been discontinued, but renovated units are still available on Amazon. It’s also the best offer and it includes the membership forever. This DVR functions for the transmitting and streaming respectively of OTA (over-the-air) signals (Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc.).
A newer model called the TiVo Bolt OTA is affordable, but a $70 per year subscription or $ 250-lifetime subscription fee would be expected.
The TiVo Roamio is an incredibly polished DVR for free over-the-air TV recording. The connection is decent and intuitive, making it easy to capture displays and series as dead as you want. It has Wi-Fi support and a hard disk of 500 GB.
The excellent remote works by RF so that behind a cabinet you can conceal the package. And the hardware is lightweight, elegant, and sound in itself.
If you have an Android or iPad, you can stream outside the building. You can do all that for less than $50. You must pay 14.99 / mo. extra if you want the channel guide. The 500 GB hard disk also arrives, but you have approximately 72 recording hours.
When all of it is enabled, you can actually check all of your numerous streaming video platforms to find your favorite programs.
- Supports streaming and download to Android and iOS devices.
- 72-hour HD recording capacity.
- Integrated Wi-Fi
- Any form of subscription is not needed.
- Online content from Amazon, Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube.
- Only OTA content or streamed footage can be captured from providers you have subscriptions to.
Mediasonic HOMEWORX HW180STB
One way you can see the free broadcasting channel on your television is to have a digital adapter, or a tuner box, as it is often called, whether you have an old tube television or a flat-screen with no digitized TV tuners.
Today there are several converter boxes with virtually the same features. With a simple $35, Mediasonic HOMEWORX HW180STB has the same features as more costly boxes, but it’s a cheaper unit.
- The Mediasonic HOMEWORX connects to a TV through HDMI, Composite, or Coaxial cable.
- It has a built-in TV tuner card so it can convert free over-the-air channels and record them.
- It uses an external hard-drive or flash drive to record shows that must be bought separately.
- Even There is a more affordable system with huge internal storage and more functions so for someone who wants to only record and play television shows or films, it’s worth USB multimedia playback, music, and photographs from a USB drive.
- The Mediasonic HOMEWORX is a very low-cost alternative with decent basic features.
This package of $35-mostly a digital to analog conversion-has no advanced functionality in other solutions like Tablo and TiVo Roamio OTA. The menu structure is clunky and sometimes frustrating, there is no simple way to fix differences in the schedule, and even some basic activities like weekdays are choreographic.
Yet it is one of the cheapest ways to record free TV broadcast outlets, at $35 without a cable subscription. And because Mediasonic HOMEWORX HW180STB stores record in a Windows-recognizable format on external hard drives, the PC owners can archive their recordings on the go.
The Homeworx is large than most TV boxes broadcasting but smaller than a television station or cable channel. Attach any antenna, then connect it to a TV with HDMI or composite video display, and watch live television channels.
Connecting an external USB hard drive helps to record. Even if your converter box does not work for a DVR, plug-in on a USB drive would be good to encourage you to interrupt live TV.
The only aspect that counts as advanced is the ability of Mediasonic Homeworx HW180STB to take off a disk, connect to a device, and capture the video files stored in the. MTS format.
This format is supported by both the Windows Media Player and the Windows 10’s Movies & TV Player, so you can take your files to your computer. The files can also be submitted to a smartphone app playing MTS files such as iOS VLC and Android.
- It’s cheap
- No subscription fees
- The video can be pulled as MTS files from the hard drive.
- Very easy setup
- The interface is a clunky, confusing mess
- No conflict-resolution features for recordings
Terk TUNVR2 HD Digital TV Tuner with USB DVR Functionality
The Terk TUNVR2 helps you to benefit from free local HD channels and enables you to record one channel while monitoring another channel. With quick and fast preparation of recordings, you can record and watch your favorite shows any time you want.
All you need is a USB storage unit, a cable antenna, an HD TV, and you’re good to go with the power converter, HDMI cable, and two AAA batteries remote included. It has a composite output for older televisions.
- The USB port allows you to store content on a USB device
- The easy-to-use interface enables you to schedule recordings of your favorite programs to watch later
- Fast-forward through commercials
- Includes a remote for easy control from the best seat in the house
- RF antenna in and out jacks enables you to record one channel while watching another
- Includes 5 VDC power adapter and 4.9 ft. (150 cm) HDMI cable for quick installation
If you have an antenna and don’t want to lose out on your favorite programs, this gadget is nice to be able to capture it. It tracks simply and can only monitor what the reception antenna is, which is also not perfect depending on the conditions and has little to do with the DVR box. It was supplied with a handbook to keep close to you before you get used to the features.
The Terk HD Digital TV Tuner with recording now allows you to attach an antenna and connect it to any TV, digital home theater, or projector. Record and watch for quick and fast recording schedules without paying a subscription fee for more channel options. The Terk TUNVR2, without paying a monthly fee, offers simple programming options.
It’s not a specialized apparatus, though. No time-consuming records are available-you have to stop them manually until you start a manual recording. No company skips you easily go ahead before you go too far, catch up and start playing.
When using the RCA cable link, this unit distorts colors. So, you should change your TV once and you’ve just benefited marginally when you’re using it on an analog TV to transform signals.
- Very nice compact OTA tuner.
- Picture is sharper
- No monthly fees
Color maladjustment on the analog signal
AirTV 2 DVR
The AirTV 2 Player provides its Sling TV app with free DVR over-the-air. Currently, the function is beta but supports serial registrations, including the ability to overrun. And if you have captured the same program from Sling’s cloud DVR on a cable station, the over-the-air records would appear on the same menu.
- An HD antenna, a video streaming player such as an AirTV player, Roku, Fire TV, AirTV Mini, or Android TV, a minimum of 25 Mbps broadband internet (recommended), and an external hard drive for local channel DVR (optional) would be required.
- AirTV connects a single HD antenna (sold separately) to your home Wi-Fi network to broadcast local channels such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and more seamlessly in HD across your house via AirTV player, Roku, Fire TV, mine AirTV, and Android TV devices.
- Seamlessly integrate local channels right alongside your favorite Sling channels for All-in-One access.
- You can use the Sling TV app on your iOS or Android device to watch live or recorded content outside of your home.CPU: Pixelworks XCode 5116
- You can record up to two shows at a time and set recordings for single episodes or series, in and outside the house. You will stop, rewind and fast-forward live TV while recording.
The AirTV 2 is a complete overhaul with less room and a smarter look to launch. It sits upright, like a modern cable modem, but is much smaller – it can be 2.3 cm wide, 5 cm high and 6.5 cm deep. The system has two online tuners such that two channels can be captured or watched simultaneously.
The beta, however, has certain limits. You cannot set manual logs, install buffer times, erase previous episodes automatically, or stream the TV show on other screens, as with Live Channels.
But its main drawback is that for overhead channels you would use the official AirTV Tuner. Be mindful that AirTV cannot record streaming channels, only those local ones, hence you will be restricted to the non-Antenna Streaming channeled channels like TNT, ESPN, CNN, and other channels if you are a Sling subscriber.
AirTV 2 has a very strong value whether you are, or are planning to become, a long-term Sling TV customer. It makes this unit a super-cheap DVR because the AirTV is still running without a Sling subscription, though the omission of the live pause and browser support is restricting.
With $99 plus nearly $50 for the hard disk, AirTV is a perfect deal for cord-cutters who want to stream their antenna television. However, the best thing is, there is no monthly subscription fee for AirTV2.
- The AirTV 2 is inexpensive and is easily paired with the Sling TV
- Doesn’t require a Sling TV subscription
- No monthly fee
- Supports out-of-home streaming (though it’s one stream only)
- Doesn’t include a hard drive
- DVR can’t pause live local TV.
Features to Look For
There is a range of things to remember whether you’re searching for the right DVR without a monthly fee. We’ve already shown you our suggested items, so here are some characteristics to remember if you’re shopping on your own:
- Does the computer have internal storage or an external disk? Does it storing files in the cloud, and if so, has it a cost?
- Does the DVR stream data through Wi-Fi or direct connections via an HDMI cord on your device? Both options are workable, but more people choose the Wi-Fi connection because it allows you to look at all your desired gadgets.
- Several DVRs also act as streamers, which means they have embedded applications such as Netflix, Hulu, etc. If you’re looking for an all-in-one option, this is a fantastic one, but if you already have a streaming player, it won’t be completely important.
- Is it possible for the system to capture more than one show/channel? Check for the number of tuners used to verify this. 2 shows are captured concurrently by a 2-tuner DVR.
- What kind of recording functionality does the system provide? Will you pre-planning the recordings? Will one show be captured while you are watching another? May you set this to record your favorite show only with new episodes? Check the functionality of the system for details.
- Some DVRs have a TV guide in a grid format that displays upcoming programming details. This is a valuable but not completely necessary function. Even, bear in mind that for this feature, certain DVR firms charge extra.
If you accept these features and configurations, you will find the right DVR for your particular case without subscription costs. The best DVR without subscription fees is given in the overview above. Both these items work somewhat differently, bear in mind. See what fits well for you and strive to find the ideal from all perspectives.
One of the easiest opportunities to save money over time is to invest in a DVR that provides service without subscription fees. In most cases, the subscription or a high one-time fee for lifetime DVR service is also needed for all DVR. Multi-day guide details cover art prices, and most DVR services pass these costs to consumers.
However, if you are prepared to compromise some more fancy features, the above DVRs allow you not to subscribe to free channels on the antenna. The main thing is to choose one that is completely suitable for your needs and that works the way you already want it.
You should have no issues selecting the best DVR without a subscription to your needs and all types of products on the market if you check out the aforementioned DVRs.