|Brand Name||Channel Master|
|Item Weight||1.14 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||8 x 5.5 x 10 inches|
|Item model number||CM-7500BDL3|
|Batteries||2 Nonstandard Battery batteries required. (included)|
|Specification Met||certified frustration-free|
Channel Master DVR+ Bundle - subscription free digital video recorder with web features and channel guide (CM7500BDL3)
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- This bundle includes: DVR+, USB wireless Internet adapter, HDMI cable and DVR+ remote IR extender
- Watch and record over-the-air broadcast programming in pure, uncompressed HD, a higher quality video than what is provided through cable and satellite operators, displaying both SD and HD video resolutions up to 1080i/1080p
- DVR+ TV connection is HDMI only, does not function as a converter box and is not compatible with older analog televisions
- Full DVR functionality and expanded storage capacity requires an external USB hard drive, not included in this bundle
- Programming reception requires an over-the-air antenna, not included in this bundle
- DVR+ features streaming applications: VuDu, Pandora, YouTube, Channel Master TV and SLING TV which gives access to premium channels such as ESPN, AMC, TNT, History, HGTV and much more!
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From the manufacturer
Channel Master DVR+ Bundle - subscription free digital video recorder with web features and channel guide (CM7500BDL3)
The DVR+ is a subscription-free broadcast TV DVR that combines multiple features into the ultimate affordable cord-cutting solution for consumers, ensuring anyone can watch and record free HD-quality broadcast TV. Unlike other cord cutting solutions, the DVR+ does not require a broadband connection in order to receive, watch and record over-the-air programming. However, when a broadband connection is used, the viewer will enjoy enhancements such as an expanded 14-day program guide and access to streaming services. At this time DVR+ comes with VUDU, a subscription-free, pay-as-you-go service to purchase or rent thousands of the most popular and recent movies and TV shows on demand. Additional streaming services will be added through future software updates. DVR+ combines a High Definition dual-tuner DVR, the economical flexibility of an external hard drive (not included), streaming video services and a unique integrated TV programming guide all in one ultra-slim device, standing just over one-half inch in height. Not included in this bundle – external USB hard drive (required for full DVR functionality) and antenna (required to receive over-the-air signals). This bundle includes: DVR+, USB wireless Internet adapter, 12' HDMI, DVR+ remote and the 72 inch infra-red extender for additional remote control response area.
Watch, Record and Pause Free Over-The-Air Live TV
Before the wide adoption of cable TV in the 1980s, people got their TV programming from a 100% free source, over-the-air broadcast, through the use of an aerial antenna connected to their TV. Over-the-air broadcast has not gone away. Not only does it still exist, delivered over free public spectrum by your local broadcast stations, it got even better! It went digital in 2009. This means that over-the-air broadcast TV is the highest quality HD available, video signals that are uncompressed, unlike what you get from a pay-TV provider. What will you get from a TV antenna? A lot! The majority of television programming that is watched and recorded in North America comes from local broadcast stations. You’re going to get all of the major networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and The CW, including live local news and sports – as well as many other local stations that are probably not carried by your pay-TV provider. You will be amazed at the content you’ll discover. Many over-the-air TV metro areas also include channels carrying non-English language programming such as Spanish and Korean, and specialty channels that are not always offered through pay TV providers. With DVR+, consumers have access to all broadcast programming available in their area, not just the programming that pay-TV providers choose to offer.
A Familiar User Experience
The DVR+ was designed to give the consumer a TV and DVR experience that is very similar to the experience offered through pay-TV providers. Users will enjoy easy-to-use menus, a standard grid-format electronic program guide, and easy channel changing. DVR functions include standard Play, Pause Live TV and Record features as well as the ability to forward, reverse and skip through programming. Setting timers with DVR+ is easy. Users can record a current program simply by pushing the Record button on the remote control, or set future timers either through program name or manual time-slot selection.
DVR+ installation is easy with the simple on-screen set-up wizard. After walking through a few simple steps, the set-up wizard will prompt you to enter your zip code, automatically scanning all channels available through your antenna and adding them to the electronic program guide.
Integrated Program Guide
Without an Internet connection, the DVR+ program guide receives about two days’ worth of scheduling data provided from local broadcast stations. With an Internet connection, users will enjoy an enhanced program guide with 14 days of scheduling data that is updated daily, as well as the integration of streaming services directly into the program guide, eliminating the need to switch inputs on the TV in order to change from live TV to video streaming.
External Hard Drive
DVR+ comes with 16GB of internal Flash memory allowing about two hours of recording time and 15 minutes for pausing live TV. For full DVR functionality, DVR+ requires a USB external hard drive (not included in this bundle). The convenience of an external hard drive provides the consumer with economic flexibility, allowing you to use an existing external hard drive that you may already own, as well as choose the size of your storage capacity. Hard drive size requires a minimum of 80GB and there is no maximum size.
DVR+ includes two digital tuners, allowing users to record one program while watching another or record two programs at the same time. When an external hard drive is attached, users can also watch a recorded program while recording two live programs at the same time.
DVR+ is the perfect broadcast TV DVR solution when combined with a digital antenna. When also combined with a broadband connection, consumers can enjoy an enhanced program guide and access to online streaming services. Future feature upgrades such as additional streaming services are available either through a direct broadband connection or USB transfer.
The DVR+ is compatible with the Slingbox 500 (not included in this bundle), allowing you to access your TV and DVR from any connected mobile device, including all live and recorded content, from anywhere with a broadband connection. Slingbox lets DVR+ owners take their living room TV with them wherever they go, either around the house or around the world.
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Connectivity Technology||Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi||Wireless|
|Item Dimensions||5.5 x 8 x 10 in||14.2 x 7.4 x 2 in||11.4 x 7.3 x 1.8 in||2.7 x 8 x 4.3 in||11.4 x 7.3 x 1.8 in||1.6 x 6.1 x 8.7 in|
|Item Weight||1.14 lbs||3.7 lbs||1.9 lbs||0.7 lb||1.9 lbs||1.3 lbs|
|Internet Applications||Vudu||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, Pandora||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube||Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora||Browser|
|Total HDMI Ports||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|Total Usb Ports||1||2||—||2||—||1|
Does not include IR extender of HDMI cable. Does include, DVR, remote, power cable, usb wifi adapter and original packaging. Like new and hardly used.
Top customer reviews
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The latest software/firmware, the 134R, was released on May 10, 2016. This version improves the Sling TV app that was added in January, 2016 to the streaming services and eliminates the cutting out issue of this service. Some bugs in the previous software were also addressed. See my “SOFTWARE/ FIRMWARE PROGRESS” below for more details.
I’m a retired TV tech and have extensive experience with over the air broadcast TV. As my review will attest, I have become quite a DVR+ fan. For me the DVR+ has been a real help by reducing my $185 monthly cable bill (programming, boxes, and dvr rentals) to just $59 for broadband Internet only. An internet connection is not mandatory for the DVR+ to work, but does add to the functionality, and an Internet connection was needed for other things anyway.
PHOTOS ADDED: (1) The first one is a photo of my kitchen counter TV & DVR+ setup. The extremely thin design of the DVR+ makes it possible to fit all of the components between the counter and wall cabinets. The DVR+ is actually under the TV and since it produces no heat and has a sturdy metal case, there are no issues with this setup! The hard drive is hidden behind the TV. (2) The second picture is for the techno geeks like me who like to peek under the hood. (3) The third pic is my latest setup in the rec room (posted 2/9/2016). Got a deal on a 70" TV. I'm using the DVR+ connected via it's optic output to a receiver and a pair of Peavey PA SP1G 15" speakers (sub-bass and surround not in pic). The DVR+ is placed on top of a Sony BluRay player (right side of the shelf), they just happened to be exactly the same L x W dimensions that made a nice setup.
The DVR+ was introduced in December, 2013. It is the next generation DVR from the team at Channel Master (OTA specialists, Arizona), EchoStar (dvr manufacturers in UK), and Rovi (channel guide- formally known as Macrovision, in CA). I've owned two of these since February, 2014, (now have 5) and watched as the DVR+ slowly matured with several firmware updates (see “software/ firmware progress" below).
The DVR+ includes a lifetime subscription free channel guide (Internet connection extends the guide to 14 days, updated daily). It has silent operation, no internal fans, and doesn't get hot. Has a resolution of SD - 480i, 480P, HD - 720P, or 1080i (depending on local broadcast) with minimal data compression. That’s why it looks better than severely data compressed cable or satellite! The streaming services from the Internet; Vudu SlingTV, and Youtube (Pandora is audio only) can have up to 1080P HDX and are included in the same channel guide as the OTA channels. Youtube is a bit clunky on the DVR+, but I usually use Roku for that anyway.
On June 8, 2015, Channel Master added over 30 Internet “streaming channels” to their platform and additions are still being made (currently 33). These are also included in the channel guide and many are HD quality. You must sign up for Channel Master TV (free) to get these channels. To do so, have a computer ready. It requires inputting an on screen alphanumeric (similar to Roku). Currently the guide just lists the station and brief description, not specific programming. Nothing that streams from the Internet can currently be recorded, only the OTA channels.
When first connecting don’t be apprehensive of the DVR+ setup, it’s fairly easy with an automatic on screen setup wizard when first powered up. It asks what language, etc., and then does a channel scan (5-10 minutes). You then input your zip code and set up the time zone. It then installs Internet connection (either WiFi or Ethernet) and will ask for your network security password, so have that handy.
After that you need to update the software: Press “Menu” on the remote: “Settings” > “Tech Info” > “Software Updates”, then just follow directions. Takes about 15-20 minutes to download. After update is completed it may have this message, “WiFi device has been removed”. Don’t worry, that’s just because it’s done a reset. Press “Continue” and then press “Exit” on the remote. Done.
The next step is to connect an external hard drive. You won’t get full DVR+ functionality with this 16gb internal flash drive model without an external drive. I use Western Digital 1TB My Passport Ultra drives ($59 on Amazon). They have a full 3 year warranty as opposed to the Seagate’s 1 year warranty. To connect, power down the DVR+; attach the drive to one of the USB ports. Power up and the DVR+ will then “recognize” the external drive. Then you just confirm the hard drive addition when it asks.
I’ve noticed that several of the low star reviews posted on Amazon are dated many months ago without revisions. The DVR+ did have its issues when first launched Dec, 2013, but most have been resolved through software/firmware updates.
SOFTWARE/ FIRMWARE PROGRESS:
--103R: 12/2013 - Initial launch had problems with system clock, CEC interference with other components, and timing of recordings
--106R: 5/1/2014 -- Fixed the timing and CEC issues, but introduced remote control response time problems.
--108R: 6/7/2014 -- Fixed the remote hang up problems.
--111R: 9/16/2014 - Added streaming channel "Pandora", but a couple of bugs introduced. New software pinged the hard drives forcing them to run 24/7 and also introduced sound degradation.
--114R: 11/21/2014 - Several fixes: (1) The hard drive running 24/7 issue fixed. (2) Enabled recording only new shows (rejecting reruns) in a series. (3) Added YouTube streaming service. (4) Fixed the sound output and quality. (5) Channel Master claims to have an additional 30+ fixes in this update.
NOTE: A bug was introduced in this software update. An intermittent red recording LED failure on the front panel. When in “recording mode” the red LED lamp can fail. The front panel goes totally dark making you think power has been lost. TIP- Do nothing until the blue lamp returns (recording has completed), your recordings are safe. Then push the power button (on the console) for 5 seconds. The DVR+ will reboot and the red recording indicator returns to normal.
--123R: 6/8/2015: Additions and bug fixes. (1) Channel Master TV (30+ Internet streaming channels) was introduced. (2) 3TB hard drives now recognize full drive capacity. (3) Channel Master claims to have an additional 40+ fixes in this update. (4) Provided better navigation in the channel guide. A major bug introduce was the inability to access the streaming services, Youtube, Vudu, and Pandora.
--124R: 6/11/2015 - So, three days later this patch came out to fix the streaming channels bug. This introduced an issue with the video on Youtube to go to black while the audio played. Took a couple of days, but this issue has been resolved.
--132R: 1/6/2016 – Sling TV added to the streaming channel apps. Red LED recording light intermittent failure fixed – but I’ll wait to confirm that later. The Rovi failure to update on some units after 1/1/16 fixed. There are probably other fixes, but not yet posted.
--134R: 5/10/2016 - Improvements in Sling TV app connectivity.
Most complaints about the DVR+ in other reviews were about the remote. According to them it was too small, too difficult to see in the dark, used unconventional batteries (CR2032 coin type), inconvenient placement of the buttons. I understand these issues, but I just don’t agree. I really like the standard remote. For those that do not an “enhanced remote” is now available for $29 from Channel Master that solves all those issues: channelmaster.com/Enhanced_DVR_Remote_p/cm-7500xrc2.htm
WISH LIST – SOFTWARE/FIRMWARE IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED :
1. An option to allow deleting a program immediately after watching without going back to any menu. I'd like to see the red "RECORD" button on the remote as a toggle - if on an already recorded show, press that button and it takes you to the "DELETE" page.
2. Files in DVR+ recorded program folders should have more details to enable recognizing specific programs.
3. The ability to recognize when a "live" program (i.e., sporting events, awards shows, etc.) is scheduled to be recorded and permitting an option to record past the scheduled time for at least 1 hour.
4. Still needs more streaming services (apps), at least Netflix and Amazon Prime, and I like Qello (live concert recordings).
5. I'm not sure yet if the front panel red recording LED failure has been fixed with the 134R update, but, so far so good.
6. A software utility that would enable backing up the hard drive by utilizing both USB ports on the DVR+, one for the original drive and the second port for the backup drive.
7. A defragment utility for the hard drive. I’ve had issues with nearly full drives intermittently having video interruptions not related to signal input issues.
About CM Tech Support:I just wanted to give the tech support team at Channel Master a pat on the back. On January 1st (2016) my Rovi guide stopped updating on one of my now 5 machines. It seemed obvious to me that it was a software issue.
I emailed my issue to CM tech support with the specifics, and then called them later that afternoon. I’m a technician myself and had done all the troubleshooting I knew to do. So, 1st tier could not help. I was called later that afternoon by Tom, the tier 2 support guy. We went through the procedures I had done and then he agreed that it sounded like a software glitch. Long story short, he emailed me instructions on how to force the software, either current or previous, to reinstall on the DVR+.
I reinstalled the 124R, the current version at the time. That did not help, but just luck, the 132R cure came out that day. I upgraded to that version, issue with Rovi download refresh was solved. Thanks Tom for your kindness and instructions.
Below are some links for answers to questions you may have:
DVR+ Channel Master Q&A:[...]
DVR+ complete manual (please note this manual is a bit outdated, but still helpful):
Channel Master recommended hard drives and other accessories:
Antenna Selection Guide:
We have been HiDef TV fans since 2003. Back then, the only way to receive HD channels was through cable or dish. Not any more!
Check out antenna websites to see what you will receive with an antenna in your area. Ours is a fairly large attic antenna that pulls in over 60 channels, many are HD. The picture is incredible.
This DVR will tune and record them in HD if received in HD. You can also pause, rewind, and fast forward your shows - just like the cable companies DVR box.
We added a Seagate USB 1TB outboard drive. You can add a smaller drive with less storage. The outboard drive is necessary for full function and recording capacity. It works great.
We also bought an Amazon Fire TV box for streaming. Another great product. We now have plenty to watch.
Yeah, we gave up Discovery HD and the History Channel HD, but we gained a lot.
2003 cable bill - $44 month, 2014 cable bill - $81 month. Over $6000 since 2006 ! No cable bill $00000000000000!!!!!!!!!
Hope this helps. God Bless.