ChannelMaster DVR+ Announced

Earlier, I blogged about the abysmal quality and user interface of the ChannelMaster CM7400 Over-The-Air DVR.

Last week, I received an announcement from ChannelMaster for their new DVR+ product, an upgraded unit for the same application. There are a few differences:

  • No built-in WiFi; instead, they offer a separately-priced dongle.
  • Minimal (2 hours) onboard storage; owner is expected to add an external USB drive.
  • No component outputs; HDMI only. No surprise there—Hollywood greed wins again. Owners of dinosaur TVs like mine will have invest in a converter box.
  • RF-out port is gone (no great loss).
  • List of upcoming programs appears to be obtained from the internet now instead of the OTA broadcast guide, which should increase its advance span.

But none of this addresses the elephant in the room, which is whether this unit is going to suffer the same awful user interface problems and bog-down behavior as the one it replaces. So I responded to the promotional mailing:

Your earlier product with the same functionality has been a MAJOR disappointment:

(link included here to my earlier review)

What assurances do I have that your new product won’t suffer from similar frustrating deficiencies?

The response was deadly unenlightening:

Joe B. (Support)
Dec 30 11:28 PM

Thanks for your response. We are continually trying to improve our products and support to better serve our customers.

Clearly, the message here is that “we have to buy it before we can find out what is in it.” Having spent three hours today in Obamacare hell, and given that nobody is going to fine… um, “tax” me if I don’t buy the DVR+, I believe that my course of action is going to be not to buy it.

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