Best option for elderly relative

Tanrage

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May 21, 2015
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I have an aunt who's very much a technophobe to the point she still uses a VCR to tape her favorite shows when she's out. Her Current VCR is in it's last legs and she's finally considering upgrading to a DVR rather than simply finding a used VCR online somewhere.No she lives in a a retiree focused trailer park where the owners have not allowed the cable company to lay line, instead as part of her rent she get a lineup of channels comparable to a "Basic Cable" package from a Big Dish, she doesn't require a cable box nor does she she get HD channels and she has no interest in spending additional money for a minidish. So could someone please point me to a decent and not too expensive DVR, hopefully on able to record two programs at onc eif need be? Barring that could someone help me figure out what components I'd need to build one myself? I've found Optiplex computers for 50-75 dollars with 60 gig HDs and two gigs of memory, is this a sufficient base to build on? And what else would I need?
 
Since she is using a VCR to tune in and record the channels have to be NTSC.
This should work and has two tuners.
http://www.epvision.com/
I think that something like this would be better for your aunt to operate than to have to deal with a PC based solution.
If you go PC then you would need to install 2 tuners (internal or external),
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=583562&gclid=CNWCwu_r1cUCFcMSHwod7q8AnQ&Q=&is=REG&A=details
software to record, and video board to connect to the TV. Don't know if you will be saving much.
 

hansen01

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Apr 14, 2013
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Questions that need to be considered before pursuing a pc build
Does she have hdmi or vga inputs to her tv?
Do you have the time to build pc and customize the user interface (xbmc or windows media center)?
Are you willing to double (or more) the amount you are about to spend on the pc?

If yes to all then pc could be an option.
 

Tanrage

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The answer to all is yes. I just want a device that will offer a vcr-like user interface because of her technophobia, one that will work with the in house satellite system at the park and has a remote or is at least compatible with one.
 

hansen01

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two channel tv tuner (~$100 new but cheaper used)
Kodi (formerly XBMC) running as shell, meaning when the computer turns on it is what comes up instead of windows explorer.
Next PVR for recording (http://www.nextpvr.com/nwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Configuration.AnalogueDeviceSetupDialog)
VGA or hdmi out to tv
There are many options for remotes

PC requirements, free pci-e
vga or hdmi out

People don't usually gravitate to pc solutions for these types of things unless they like messing around with pc's. Price is similar and there maybe some cheaper options for dvr with limitations as long as the signal the channels are coming in as are compatible with them. Research amazon for options that may record what you need. If I understand correctly most of the major DVRs are for recording digital tv services.

If your relative is recording shows on VHS then any option will be more complicated but once learned will be much more convenient.


Here is a guide to setting up nextpvr with kodi
(https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB0QtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DrMk6BiWCRXM&ei=Yr5fVdHJK8vfoASu5INo&usg=AFQjCNGSeRE8W2myB2cCDTFpwdMAwPN3fg&sig2=o7bAlNByKjNfB3m0KI4wuA&bvm=bv.93990622,d.cGU)
 

hansen01

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Just be sure and check that the signal coming in is compatible with the card you buy. 60gb is not alot but storage is cheap if it gets filled.
 
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