One of the nicest parts of viewing free over-the-air (OTA) TV is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to access the shows you love and there’s no pressure or need to lock into a pricey contract. Now you can enhance your digital TV experience without losing one of the best modern-day perks like the ability to pause, fast-forward or record live TV.
To record OTA TV, you need to pair your antenna with an OTA Digital Video Recorder (aka DVR), which is simply an antenna DVR. Some OTA DVRs work by using an app while others connect directly to the TV via HDMI. Either way, you should be able to set your preferences and record all of your go-to programs that you receive with your antenna. Some devices require paying a small monthly subscription to feature all their bells and whistles, including recording capabilities.
Not sure which one is right for you? Here are five OTA DVRs that you can use to enhance your antenna experience.
1. Tablo 2-Tuner with 128 GB Storage
Stream and record live TV, including local news and sports, simply and easily with the Table 2-Tuner with 128 GB storage (allows you to record up to 80 HD hours of TV). Want to watch two shows at once? You can stream up to two free broadcast channels from your TV antenna. You’ll need an antenna, WiFi connection and a smart TV (one that has WiFi capabilities) or a smart stick device like a Roku, Amazon Fire stick, etc. to connect your TV to your WiFi. While a $5 subscription to its 14-day TV Guide Data Service is recommended, it is optional. Bonus: with Tablo, you can watch TV on any device in your home (like a laptop, tablet or smart phone).
If you have an external hard drive laying around collecting dust, Tablo also offers a version that doesn’t have built-in storage. It can be found on their website. It’s a little cheaper than the Dual 128GB (with onboard storage). Want to watch even more TV at once? They also offer a four-tuner version, which allows you to watch or record up to four shows at a time.
2. ZapperBox ATSC 3.0
Get access to all things ATSC 3.0, the next-generation terrestrial broadcast designed to improve the TV viewing experience. Connect your antenna and TV to the over-the-air dual-tuner ZapperBox M1 for an enhanced viewing experience. Watch your local stations in 4K and enjoy pausing and rewinding live TV and DVR capabilities of recording two channels at once with a soon-to-be-available channel guide subscription.
3. HDHomeRun Flex Duo
Compatible with Windows, Android, Apple TV and more, the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex Duo 2 x ATSC Tuners lets you watch live TV on multiple devices simultaneously throughout your home using its multi-user network tuner solution. To access the optional DVR, you’ll need to connect a USB hard drive, which requires paid TV guide for DVR recording.
4. Sling Media AirTV
Use the Sling Media AirTV whether you’re at home or on the go, thanks to its handy app. The dual-tuner local channel streamer with DVR capabilities was created specifically for TVs and mobile devices. Best of all, there’s no bundle of cords and you don’t have to pay extra to send the content to multiple devices. All you need is an HD antenna, internet with at least 25 mbps and a media streaming player, such as a Roku or Fire TV. Use an optional external hard drive for local channel DVR.
5. ZOSI DVR Recorder
The 8-channel, 2 TB ZOSI self-adaptive DVR supports HD-TVI, CI AHD and CVBS cameras, meaning you can record your favorite programs and get 24-hour home security protection to make you feel safer at home. Utilizing a simple connection, you can gain remote access quickly and easily. Record during scheduled times or continuously. It offers recycling record mode, where it will overwrite the oldest video files on the hard drive when recording.