Scribe Duo: A New OTA DVR for Cord Cutters
The HDHomeRun Scribe Duo that debuted this week at CES 2019 may turn out to be one of the best new devices to replace a cable TV subscription.
HDHomeRun tuners are a popular choice for cord cutters willing to cobble together a DVR using an external hard drive or space on their PC.
The Scribe Duo is the first HDHomeRun tuner that comes with a 1TB internal hard drive, and promises to be a more elegant solution for a mass audience. The hard drive has enough space for 150 hours of recording TV shows, live sports and movies with 1080i picture resolution.
Subscribers to HDHomeRun’s Premium TV service will also be able to use the Scribe Duo to record premium channels such as ESPN and National Geographic. The Premium TV service has 37 channels for $34.99 per month. The 1TB hard drive can hold 1,000 hours of recordings for premium channels.
The Duo comes with two tuners, allowing users to watch one program while recording another. You can also record two programs at once.
The Scribe Duo arrives during a record breaking era of people dumping cable TV subscriptions for streaming and free over-the-air channels. SiliconDust announced this week that customers will get a free year of its DVR service for buying a Scribe Duo. It typically costs $35 per year.
SiliconDust, makers of HDHomeRun tuners, first announced their plans for a fully fledged DVR last year, but that prototype had less hard drive space and slightly different name.
Scribe Duo vs Fire TV Recast: a new competition in the OTA DVR market
The Scribe Duo’s most likely competitor will be the new Fire TV Recast released a few months ago by Amazon.
I’ve reviewed the Fire TV Recast and overall it’s a dependable and solid OTA DVR for people already using Fire TV devices. The biggest asset the Recast has going for it is that there is no monthly charge for a guide or DVR service.
On paper, the Scribe Duo could pose a serious challenge to Amazon’s entry into the OTA DVR market. The Scribe Duo is expected to be priced at $199.99. That’s $30 cheaper than the Recast.
The Fire TV Recast ($229 at Amazon) has 500GB of storage – about half of the Scribe Duo. The Recast also must be used with a Fire TV or Amazon devices such as a Fire Tablet.
HDHomeRun tuners already have widespread device support including Android TV, Fire TV, Apple TV, iOS devices Xbox One consoles, smart phones and PCs. There is no support for Roku. You can read my reviews of the HDHomeRun Quatro, and HDHomeRun Extend to compare it with the Recast.
SiliconDust announced a second product at CES 2019 for current HDHomeRun owners. The HDHomeRun SERVIO will add 300 hours of recording for programs with 1080i resolution, and 2,000 hours of HDHomeRun Premium TV recording. It has a 2TB hard drive. The SERVIO costs
The company said no configuration for the SERVIO is required. SERVIO customers will get a free year of SiliconDust’s DVR as well.
So, what do you think of the Scribe Duo so far? Do you already own a HDHomeRun tuner or Fire TV Recast? Tell fellow readers about your cord cutting experience in the comments below.
Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016.
Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. You can follow Jim on LinkedIn, YouTube and at X at @james_kimble