Techcheck with Doug Delony

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Tech Check: Unlimited DVR, Netflix all-in-one

by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 2 at 7:30 AM

HOUSTON – Put away your costumes. Halloween has come and gone, and that means the holiday shopping season is quickly approaching.

A new tech toy hit Walmart store shelves Thursday (exclusively), and it may have you rethinking your cable television bill.

Boxee TV is unlike the “Boxee” devices before it. It has apps (Netflix, Pandora, etc.), streams video from the web, and lets you hook up an antenna to record your favorite shows in HD. If you have analog cable, you can hook that up, too.

Hooking up these TV signals allows you to use what Boxee calls its “no limits DVR.” You can record as much TV as you want without having to delete any shows. That’s because the video isn’t stored on the device -- it’s stored online. Because it’s online, you can watch your shows on the go via tablet or laptop.

Boxee TV will set you back about $98, and the DVR service will cost you $15 a month. You’ll find that’s a lot cheaper than your cable company’s (likely) $100 monthly bill, but that doesn’t mean you should cut the cord right away.

A few notes: If you like your sports or your shows on HBO, stick with cable/satellite. You won’t find much of that programming online or via apps on any device. Also, if you’re only using the DVR, consider using a Windows computer with Windows Media Center to record your shows. A TV tuner USB will only set you back about $30. Even if you can’t record with “no limits,” the $30 is a one-time cost as opposed to $15 a month.

On Thursday morning, reported Boxee is offering up special deals for people who buy its new device sooner rather than later. If you buy during the holiday season you’ll get the DVR service free for three months plus a reduced $10 monthly fee for the lifetime of your subscription. Also, you’ll get three months of Netflix for free and $6 Vudu credit.

That leads me to my last note: Remember that with all of these kind of app-supported devices, just because a Netflix (and the like) logo is on the box, it doesn’t mean a subscription to that service is included.

On the web: