Continuing my survey of contenders to provide an over-the-air complement to Sling TV’s streaming pay-TV channels, next up is Channel Master’s DVR+. Unlike Simple.TV and Tablo, DVR+ won’t stream TV to your tablet or office, but it provides an easy way to watch and record OTA shows. And one of its best features is what isn’t there; despite robust, up-to-date guide data, there are no monthly fees with the DVR+.
(Apparently that lack of outbound streaming can be fixed with a Slingbox 500, recommended by Channel Master as a complement to the DVR+. That Slingbox 500 receiver had recently been renamed to Sling TV, but it’s unrelated to the Sling TV service that Dish announced last week at the International CES. I’ve read that the 500 will soon revert to its original name. How’s that for confusing?)
The most interesting changes in the DVR+ will be a huge expansion in the number of internet channels it will display in addition to OTA TV. You can catch a glimpse of what that might look like in my photo above, and you can find a more thorough rundown of the possible extra channels at Zatz Not Funny. That guide expansion is due to roll out in early 2015 as a software update for all existing DVR+ receivers.
When I reviewed the DVR+ last year, I focused on its even standing vs. a Windows Media Center PC. Since then, the DVR+ keeps improving while Windows Media Center, which was never as simple to use, stands still. If you’re a cord-cutter looking for an easy solution with no monthly fees, the DVR+ might be your best choice.