In an age of streaming media, one can think the the job of record our favorite shows through a hulking DVR box room over. That’s not necessarily the case. If streaming devices and smart TVs store us associated to ours Netflix and also Hulu accounts, today’s top OTA receivers are sleek, can store increase to thousands of shows and movies, and also some models can even connect to the Internet.
You are watching: Dvrs for over the air tv
In our opinion, the TiVo Edge for Antenna is the best over-the-air recipient in our opinion. Through its 500GB of DVR storage, class-leading interface and also content selection screens, devoted remote, built-in streaming apps, and support because that 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos, it’s the Ferrari of the OTA recipient world.
We’ve invested a the majority of time setting up OTA antennas, installing receivers, and generally tweaking these equipment to acquire the many out that them. We think the TiVo Edge because that Antenna is the best OTA receiver for many people, but we do have actually some various other suggestions in instance it’s not appropriate for you. Each uses very particular strengths, and one just could be the perfect fit.
The best OTA receivers in ~ a glance:
The best OTA receiver: TiVo Edge for Antenna
Why you should buy this: friend can cut the cord without losing any type of of the functions you love.
Who it’s for: Cord-cutters who still desire a remote control, 4K, HDR, and voice search, add to a cable-like experience.
Why us picked the TiVo Edge because that Antenna:
Moving right into the people of OTA TV can feel a little bit choose you’re taking a leap into the unknown, but going OTA through the aid of a TiVo provides the transition almost unnoticeable. With a classic remote control and an HDMI cable the plugs right into your TV or A/V receiver, the TiVo Edge because that Antenna works similar to the set-top box from your cable company.
The Edge for Antenna replaces our previous pick, the TiVo Bolt OTA, many thanks to boosted support for HDR (Dolby Vision has actually been added) and also Dolby Atmos.
TiVo’s hallmark auto-record feature and also 500GB of obtainable storage certain there’s always something to clock — an even bigger benefit when taking care of fewer networks than cable or satellite — and also the redesigned TiVo Home display screen curates every little thing into an intuitive carousel view. The traditional on-screen guide is superbly set out, with each channel clearly labeled. We additionally love options like voice-enabled search, as well as the capability to hunt for something to clock while your existing TV channel proceeds to pat in the corner.
Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos won’t do lot to boost your OTA endure (even the more recent ATSC 3.0 OTA typical doesn’t assistance Dolby Vision yet), yet it provides a big difference as soon as using the Edge as your streaming media player.
Streaming services like Netflix, Plex, Amazon prime Video, YouTube, and also Hulu space preloaded, therefore you likely won’t require a third-party box favor an apologize TV or a Chromecast, potentially saving girlfriend money while simplifying her setup.
To get the most out that the Edge, you’ll should pick a TiVo service plan: $7 monthly, $70 annually, or $250 because that a lifetime, transferable package.
Extending her TiVo endure to various other TVs in the home requires a $200 TiVo Mini Lux for each added TV, however you can also download the TiVo application for her smartphone or tablet, which lets you watch and manage her TiVo contents from any kind of iOS and Android device.
The ideal budget OTA receiver: MediaSonic ATSC Digital Converter Box
Why you should buy this: You want to suffer a basic OTA receiver, finish with recording and also multiple hookups, however don’t desire the significant investment that a Tivo or higher-priced OTA box.
Who it’s for: Those that want to endure the services of an OTA receiver while shopping top top a minimal budget.
Why we picked the MediaSonic ATSC Digital Converter Box:
If you’re spring to gain yourself nudged over into the world of cord-cutters and also OTA recipient ownership, but aren’t ready to fall the hefty dough required of a robust Tivo interface, the MediaSonic ATSC may be more up her alley.
In regards to hardware, there room multiple connections to obtain you started. When lined into your home’s antenna coaxial connection, you have the right to output video clip to nearly any TV in the residence thanks to the box’s HDMI, coaxial, and composite video clip outputs. The contained remote will certainly net you every one of the an easy functions you’ll must enjoy your recordings (more on the below), finish with play/pause, rewind/fast-forward, and also an alternative to regimen your favorite stations right into the clicker.
For record purposes, this is whereby the “budget” handle certainly comes right into play. Don’t suppose the automatically recording of content throughout multiple tuners the you’ll discover with several of the heavyweight OTA receivers on this list. If the MediaSonic is capable of 2TB of storage, that’s turn off of an external hard journey (USB 2.5 and 3.0 v MBR formatting). Together the product name suggests, the MediaSonic is likewise only capable of picking up and recording ATSC signals, so apologies to our NTSC hopefuls.
When all is said and also done, though, you’re just not walking to find a cheaper way into OTA viewing and recording. If the MediaSonic ATSC Digital Converter box may absence streaming apps and an intuitive user experience, it’ll absolutely get the task done.
The best OTA receiver because that Fire TV owners: Amazon Fire TV Recast
Why you need to buy this: that integrates perfectly v Fire TV devices and doesn’t require any kind of ongoing fees.
Who it’s for: Fire TV owners who desire to add free over-the-air TV viewing and also recording to your media choices.
Why us picked the Amazon Fire TV Recast:
If you’ve currently taken the first step toward finishing your dependency on cable or satellite through buying one of Amazon’s wonderful Fire TV media streamers, you have to seriously take into consideration going all the method with the Fire TV Recast. The is designed come augment the Fire TV’s already an extremely comprehensive set of streaming apps, choose Netflix, Amazon element Video, and Disney+, with free local TV and a DVR.
Like the Tablo double below, the Fire TV Recast deserve to live nearly anywhere in your house as long as the can attach to a power resource and her antenna’s cable, making that much less complicated to place your antenna whereby it can obtain the ideal reception. The Recast then supplies your home Wi-Fi network come transmit both live TV and your recordings to any type of Fire TV gadgets you have actually at home. You can also accessibility the content from a mobile maker using the complimentary Fire TV app.
Because the interface is tackled by your existing Fire TV device, it’s clean and also easy come use. If friend own any type of Alexa-enabled clever speakers favor an Echo Dot, you can regulate the endure with her voice, just as you can with various other Fire TV functions.
The best component of the Fire TV Recast is that there’s no added fee for any of its features. Simply plug that in, collection it up using your existing Amazon account and that’s it. It comes in 2 versions: A 2-tuner 500GB model and a 4-tuner 1TB model, which way there is a Fire TV Recast for almost any budget or family members size.
It’s not as clever as a TiVo: There’s no automatic recording of reflects you might be interested in, and also no ability to skip ads v a single click, and also it just works with Amazon’s Fire TV streamers. Yet these room minor drawbacks come what is otherwise a perfect OTA DVR upgrade for those in Amazon’s media ecosystem.
And if the Fire TV Recast isn’t precisely cheap, you deserve to equip every TV in your house with accessibility to its live and also recorded content for simply $30 (or less) v the brand-new Fire TV stick Lite.
Read our full impressions that the Amazon Fire TV Recast
The ideal OTA receiver for maximum flexibility: Tablo twin Lite OTA DVR
Why you need to buy this: v rock-solid Wi-Fi and support for tons of devices, this OTA DVR does it all.
Who it’s for: world with existing clever TVs or streaming gadgets like apologize TV, Roku, or Chromecast.
Why us picked the Tablo double Lite:
For starters, the Tablo double Lite is super simple to collection up and use. Its app-based interface is clean and simple, and after a quick scan, it lets you pick which of your accessible channels you’d favor to add to your overview instead of assuming you desire them all. However the Tablo’s vital advantage is its ability to it is in placed anywhere in her home, whether that’s near your TV or router. Unlike other receivers, which should be connected to your antenna, hardwired to her router, and also in part cases linked to your TV, the Tablo only requirements an antenna connection and also power. In fact, it has no TV output at all.
Instead, Tablo streams her OTA networks to your TV via a compatible media device, choose an to apologize TV fourth generation or a Roku. If you have actually the right smart TV, you might not require an external maker at all. This is the complete list of compatible devices, which is extensive and offers something for almost everyone, with the exception of playstation console owners.
With two OTA tuners, the Tablo double Lite deserve to receive and also record 2 different networks simultaneously, but you’re not limited to two devices. Depending upon the speed of your house network, approximately six devices can watch content simultaneously. Given how numerous of united state watch content on our phones and tablets, that’s a lot of potential screens powered by a single receiver.
The double Lite doesn’t come with any kind of built-in warehouse (Tablo sells a 128GB version if that’s what friend want), but this adds come its flexibility: You have the right to decide just how much warehouse you desire by simply including your own USB hard drive. Some kind of warehouse is required, however, also if girlfriend decide not to record shows.
On the own, the Tablo will offer you 24 hrs of guide info and the capacity to record and livestream any type of OTA contents you deserve to receive. Because that a subscription fee of $5 every month, $50 every year, or a one-time fees of $150, you acquire 14 days of overview info, advanced recording functions (like the capacity to begin a recording 2 minutes previously or later), and also a must-have function for regular travelers: Remote-view capability for access to the whole system from almost everywhere with a decent web connection.
For $2 much more per month or $20 per year, girlfriend can add Tablo’s Premium Service, which allows the platform’s automatic commercial skip feature.
The Tablo’s interface is written of a mix that the classic on-screen channel guide and also curated “suggested” content, sorted by genre, making it basic to check out what’s on tap. If you’re the impatient sort, though, channel transforms may prove frustrating since, unless you’ve obtained a an extremely solid Ethernet connection, yes sir a pretty notable lag as the Tablo melody in come the brand-new channel and also starts up the stream. There’s likewise no way to store watching one channel while friend surf the guide for something else.
Still, the Tablo double Lite OTA DVR is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get your OTA channels on demand.
If you choose the idea of connecting an OTA recipient to your TV, through a devoted remote favor the Edge for Antenna, Tablo’s brand-new $150 dual HDMI DVR is a much much more affordable method to go. Simply keep in mental that, unequal the dual Lite, it need to be associated to a TV.
The finest OTA receiver for ATSC 3.0: HDHomeRun connect 4K plus Plex Live TV
Why you have to buy this: that the just OTA recipient that allows you run on the ATSC 3.0 train because that the next generation of transfer TV, and Plex makes it even an ext powerful.
Who it’s for: DIY aficionados with a committed Plex server, a rapid local network, and also a desire to be on the leading edge that OTA TV.
Why we picked the HDHomeRun affix 4K to add Plex Live TV:
ATSC 3.0, or NextGen TV together it’s additionally known, is the latest and greatest version of free, over-the-air TV. As soon as it’s completely adopted, we’ll see all of our favourite TV stations begin to do content easily accessible in 4K resolution, v HDR video, and also even Dolby Atmos for immersive surround sound. Because that a deep dive into its many benefits, inspect out our complete ATSC 3.0 explainer.
As exciting as ATSC 3.0 is, there are a couple of caveats. First, only pick markets in the U.S. Have actually ASTC 3.0 broadcasts. Second, and more importantly, you need an ATSC 3.0-compatible OTA receiver to watch this channels. That’s where the $200 SiliconDust HDHomeRun affix 4K come in.
As the only currently available ATSC 3.0 receiver draft to replace your present OTA recipient (be it a set-top-box or her TV’s integrated receiver), the HDHomeRun attach 4K is your link to a world of future-proofed TV viewing. Uneven some earlier HDHomeRun products, the HDHomeRun connect 4K can connect over Wi-Fi and also Ethernet, for better placement flexibility.
It’s got four tuners (two that deserve to do ATSC 3.0 and 1.0 and two that only do ATSC 1.0) so you have the right to watch and/or document up to four channels simultaneously.
Speaking that recording, the HDHomeRun attach 4K has no integrated storage, for this reason if you want to record, you must sign up because that SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun DVR organization — a $35 every year subscription that allows you conserve programs to a NAS drive, or a PC, and watch them from a range of supported devices.
However, we think that Plex Live TV is a an ext flexible option. Plex is an extremely full-featured media server platform the organizes and also lets girlfriend watch every one of your music, TV, movies, and photos top top just around any an equipment you have the right to think of. When you subscribe to the Plex Pass organization ($120/lifetime), you get Plex Live TV, which have the right to use the HDHomeRun attach 4K together a live TV source.
Plex displays all of your available TV shows as with the rest of your media library, and also organizes them into three main sections: On right Now, beginning Soon, and brand-new Episodes Tonight. That a friendly, acquainted interface for Plex users, and naturally, it functions on every device that Plex supports, consisting of smart TVs, apple TV, Roku, iOS, Android, etc.
The beauty of the Plex integration is the your Plex Media Server is the DVR, so no additional storage is needed. Running Plex on a honking 16TB NAS (Network attached Storage) drive? Congrats, you’ve theoretically obtained a 16TB DVR. If your Plex Media Server has actually power to spare, you have the right to even allow a “remove commercials” feature, which will automatically attempt to piece all ads from her recordings.
Unfortunately, much an ext than through TiVo or Tablo, her Plex Live TV and also DVR performance will certainly vary based on your hardware and also network. Because Plex clients don’t natively know MPEG-2 video, which the HDHomeRun connect 4K distributes native OTA signals, they have to be transcoded come the H.264 format. Mac and also PCs have the right to handle this task effortlessly, however if you run Plex on a NAS drive, prefer the WD my Cloud mirror we offered for testing, you may find restricted support for your Plex clients.
The channel guide view can display screen up to 2 weeks of regime info, if accessible for your region. Channel transforms are similar to the Tablo: yes sir a unique lag together the new stream gets going, and also there’s no method to watch one present while hunting for another.
Spending $200 ~ above the HDHomeRun attach 4K and. Say, a one-time cost of $120 for a life time Plex Pass, is no a negative investment as soon as you take into consideration it place you way ahead the the ATSC 3.0 curve — particularly if you’ve currently got many Plex-enabled devices about the house and also a devoted Plex Media Server. However if this no sound choose you, or the assumed of setup up a Plex server and also using it to clock TV pipeline you in a cold sweat, friend should probably look in ~ our other picks.
Frequently asked questions
How does an OTA recipient work?
An OTA (over-the-air) receiver works in conjunction with your home’s TV antenna to carry out you through an experience closer come a cable subscription. Once your antenna is lined in, OTA receivers enable you to record over-the-air programming, sometimes throughout multiple stations at once. Numerous OTA boxes can store as much as 500GB or more of recorded shows and movies, as with a cable-DVR package. Progressed OTA receivers even have access to streaming apps prefer Netflix and Hulu.
Will ATSC 3.0 improve reception?
Yes. Once broadcasters space beaming signals in 4K with added HDR support, the picture we’ll watch on ours TVs need to be noticeably improved, especially compared to larger ATSC broadcasting. Like most major tech advances, though, the layout has arrived prior to hardware has completely caught up. It may be awhile before ATSC 3.0 is traditional in every OTA receiver-home.
Do smart TVs have a integrated antenna?
Not quite. While details smart TV brand can attach you to complimentary programming through Bluetooth and also Wi-Fi connections, OTA signals space only recorded by an outside antenna that calls for a link to her home’s TV (or compatible OTA receiver).
Bonus valuable advice sections
Get prepared for ATSC 3.0
ATSC 3.0, officially well-known as NextGen TV, is the next version the over-the-air HDTV broadcasts. With support for 4K resolution, HDR, and also Dolby Atmos, it’s eventually going to replace the existing ATSC system. The rollout the ATSC 3.0-compatible OTA receivers has actually been slow, but they’re start to present up now, and also we expect to see an ext soon.
Getting the most out of her OTA setup really begins with her antenna. The type you buy and where you place it will certainly determine exactly how many channels you receive. Digital Trends has a substantial guide to selecting the best antenna for your home, which we encourage you to examine out before you commit to an OTA receiver. And also don’t issue — any antenna the you buy this particular day will work with NextGen TV when it’s time to make the switch.
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Change of heart?
If you have tendency to have misgivings about changes to your entertainment options, you might want to take into consideration the TiVo Bolt Vox. It offers all of the same good features together the Edge for Antenna, consisting of a 4 tuner OTA receiver, but it’s likewise 4K- and CableCARD-ready, therefore if you decide you can not live without her cable subscription ~ all, at the very least you won’t have to trade in your receiver.