Dish’s DTVPal DVR for Over-The-Air HD TV

Dish, the satellite people, sell the DTVPal DVR, a small box that is a digital video recorder (DVR) similar to TiVo. But this box only works with digital over-the-air TV. It gets its guide information for free digitally over-the-air as well. Therefore, unlike TiVo, it has no monthly fee. It costs $300 but is currently being sold with a $50 instant discount.


If you don’t need a cable tuner, this is a great alternative to TiVo. And if you mainly watch over-the-air programming such as NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, then you can consider ditching cable or satellite for the DTVPal.

Dish subscribers will see that the DTVPal DVR’s Program Guide is the same as that in Dish’s satellite boxes:

DTVPal DVR Program Guide

When we purchased this box, it was clear that the Dish company is still setup to only deal with satellite sales. We got an email welcoming us as a Dish subscriber and referencing their satellite offerings. We even got a service bill for $12.95. After calling Dish, we found out that this was actually just the tax due on the purchase of the box. But the bill made it look like we were Dish satellite subscribers.

Despite those annoyances, this is a great box that makes your television viewing more productive by allowing you to time shift your TV shows.

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