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Let’s not kid ourselves, we may sign up for a cable connection to get live TV but most often than not it’s only the news that we end up watching live. For all our favorite TV shows, we set the DVRs to record.

Everyone is jamming to their own beats trying to manage their schedules, which don’t necessarily line up with show timetables. Missing the latest episode though is out of the question as is waiting for the rerun. So, not having a DVR that you can depend on, can ruin your viewing experience.

There are multiple DVRs in the market, but there aren’t a lot of right choices. Each cable provider offers a slew of DVR devices with varying features. With different storage limits and a varying number of simultaneous streams, there are a ton of things to check out before deciding on a DVR. If you have a big household and a DVR that only allows a very limited number of streams at a time, everyday quarrels are sure to become the norm at your place.

Choosing the right DVR deserves your time and attention and shouldn’t be an afterthought. Sure, you can change it down the road but that’s a hassle you’d be better off avoiding. To help you out, we’ve compiled the best DVR each provider has to offer and listed their features so you can make an informed decision on the matter. So, let’s get to it.

Best DVR for Spectrum Cable TV: Spectrum201

    • Monthly DVR Rent: $11.99
    • DVR service fee: $12.99/mo. to $19.99/mo. depending on how many boxes you use
    • Tuners: 4
    • Inbuilt Storage: 1TB
    • Output resolution: 1080p/60, 10-bits
    • USB 2.0 master ports: 2

Spectrum cable TV plans are the choice of many and while Spectrum’s channel lineup and service is a great attraction, its DVR has its own lure.

Spectrum201 Advanced Cable DVR, previously known as the World Box 2.0 and World Box DVR, is produced by two OEM brands: Humax and Technicolor. Both offer the same quality service and identical features so whichever you get your hands on will surely improve your TV experience. It works well for SD and HD channels, which is great.

The only complaint users have had with Spectrum201 pertain to the archaic interface, which was a chore to navigate. However, Spectrum HD receivers now have a guide update, making this a non-issue.  Now you get a full-screen HD guide sporting a black background that is easy on the eyes. And, since the navigation is still the same, Spectrum users have had no trouble in finding their way about. What’s more, is that this has also resolved problems with resetting.

Spectrum201 comes with 4 tuners that allow you to record 4 channels simultaneously and while there are DVRs out there that offer more, it’s unlikely that you need as many. Even if there are more people in the house, it’s not an issue. You can easily set the DVR to record the episode when they are repeated.

In addition to that, Spectrum DVR offers a whopping 1 TB of storage. That is easily 300 hours of SD content saved. You’ll also be happy to learn that it can keep up with output resolution of 1080p/60, 10-bits, and come with 2 USB ports that you can use to connect it to your entertainment setup at home. The best part though is the price. Spectrum DVR box is quite affordable at a rent of $11.99 a month and depending on how many cable boxes you use you are charged a DVR service fee between $12.99 and $19.99.

Best DVRs for Cox Cable TV: Contour Record 6

    • Monthly DVR Rent: $8.50
    • DVR service fee: $19.99 a month
    • Tuners: 6
    • Inbuilt Storage: 2TB
For more details Visit Spectrum Cable TV

Cox TV offers only three DVR devices for you to choose from Contour Record 2, Contour Record 6, and Contour 24 and among them, the Contour 6 is hands down the better option. The reasoning is simple, where Contour 6 allows you to record six shows simultaneously, Contour 2 only allows for two, which is great for 1 to 2 people but doesn’t work for a small household. Contour 24, on the other hand, is a bit too much for the average household.

In many ways Contour, 6 also trumps the Spectrum201. For starters, it offers double storage. With 2 TB space, you can store up to 1000 hours of SD resolution shows. What’s more, the DVR has a mind of its own and helps you get quality content by recommending movies and shows based on what you have been watching lately.

In addition to this, if you get Contour Record 2 for the other TVs in your home, you can create a Whole-Home Connected DVR service that lets you access shows and movies stored in a DVR connected to another TV in the house to the TV that you’re watching. Pretty neat, right?

Well, the Contour 6 DVR equipment charges are $8.50 a month while the DVR service fee is $19.99 a month. So what do you think? Will you be getting Cox Counter Record 6?

Best DVRs for DirecTV: Genie 2

    • Cost: Free with subscription
    • Record up to 5 shows at a time
    • Inbuilt Storage: 2 TB
    • Output resolution: 4K

The star DVR for DirecTV cable is of course the Genie 2. Offering 4K resolution and Dolby Digital surround sound, you can connect it to 8 TVs wirelessly. This DirecTV DVR lets you schedule recordings over your phone and other mobile devices and even allows you to pause and rewind live TV. Neat, right?

You can even watch shows that aired 72 hours ago and record On Demand content. There aren’t many DVRs that offer this level of service. It is also compatible with smart TV and offers HD resolution up to 1080p, which is great as not all channels broadcast in 4K resolution. Then again if you don’t have a 4K TV set, we’d suggest you go for Genie Lite. It offers pretty much the same features, except 4K resolution, and when you don’t need it, why get it.

The best part though is that you get DirecTV DVR Genie 2 free with your DirecTV subscription and the free installation helps you set it up as well without any hassle. However, be ready to face a $7 monthly charge on any extra DVR that you get.

Final Words

Well, we tried our best. We examined all the DVRs offered by Spectrum cable TV, Cox, and DirecTV to find the best ones. If you get these you are sure to have a good viewing experience. All that’s left is for you to do now is calculate how much the whole deal will cost you, the plan you get, and the devices you rent. So, what do you think? Did this help you decide on which DVR to get? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you buy a DVR?

Buying a DVR is not a wise decision because even after you have bought it, you still have to pay for the service to keep it up to date. And, at the end of it all, if you switch providers, you might find the new cable service isn’t compatible with the device you own, which might limit your options. Spectrum signals are encrypted so getting some other DVR to do the job might not be possible.

Do Smart TVs come equipped with inbuilt DVRs?

Yes, high-end smart TVs boast built-in DVR features using which you can record your favorite shows and movies as they air.

Can a Roku be used as a DVR?

Roku has DVR capabilities and storage so you can use it as a DVR and record shows and movies.