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Aluratek - Digital TV Converter Box with Digital Video Recorder - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 3.9 out of 5 stars with 141 reviews

78%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

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Page 1, showing1-20 of 141 Reviews
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    not user friendly but records OTA shows in 1080p

    Posted
    infinitehorizon
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I bought this because my Pioneer DVD recorder is on its last legs and I was hoping that it would be better than my recently purchased ViewTV AT-300. Alas, the Aluratek's innards are the same as the ViewTV's which makes it the same as several others on the market resulting in the same on-screen user interface. The various makes differ in their external appearance, availability of component output (the Aluratek lacks this feature), type of connection to your home's electrical outlets (the Aluratek has a regular plug not a block/wall wart), inclusion of a HDMI cable (the Aluratek does not provide one) and layout of the remote. I bought these boxes to record and archive TV shows and movies. When you are watching and recording, there is no way to pause the recording during the commercials. I have resorted to stopping the recording when a segment fades to a commercial and then starting a new recording when the program resumes (the box is responsive and commences recording promptly). I end up with 6 or so files for a one hour show (.mts format). This isn't really a problem as they play seamlessly back to back on these boxes as well as on my PC using the open source VLC media player. I haven't yet done a programmed time recording so I can't comment on this function. Manipulating the recordings is not intuitive. They are listed by channel name, date and time. To rename a recording, press the TIMER button on the remote. To delete a recording, press the EPG button. To go back up a folder, use the RECALL button. To toggle between the preview screen and full screen, use the HOLD button. None of this is mentioned in the little User's Manual which gives basic operating instructions but is otherwise lacking. For example, there is a GOTO button on the remote - go to what? The manual is printed in a tiny font and the screenshot illustrations are likewise tiny rendering them useless in some instances. Another annoying feature is that these boxes do not show the channel that you are tuned to. When you do the channel scan, they begin at the lowest frequency and start picking up channels and their sub-channels and number them sequentially as they progress up the frequencies. It is this numbering that is displayed on the boxes' front panel. Despite these drawbacks I give the Aluratek 4 stars because it does what it purports to do: record over-the-air programming (as well as convert digital signals for analog TVs). I'm using a Sandisk Ultra Fit 64 gb USB 3.1 flash drive - I just plugged it in, didn't mess with any formatting. The electronic program guide is free but not great so I use tvlistings.zap2it.com. The Aluratek has a time shift function so you can pause a program while you are watching it and then come back and resume the show where you left it. It also has a multimedia player function so you can play music or view photos on your USB device. Just be realistic in your expectations - it's not going to come close to cable/satellite DVRs or the commercial DVD recorders which sadly are no longer made, but it is one-tenth the price I paid for my Pioneer in 2005 (which required $300 in repairs in 2013) and you get beautiful 1080p recordings for free.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent OTA DVR and plays other files

    Posted
    Doug
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Well I've played with this for a few days now and I really like it. It works great! I tried an old thumb drive and it couldn't keep up. Use a good thumb drive (USB 3.0) and no problem. No skips or freezes. The USB port on the front does not appear to be 3.0 but that's how it worked for me. I also used a hard disk in a portable case and that worked perfect, too. That is what you need for big capacity. (My hard disk was self powered.) A 1 hour 1080i show will use over 4GB of space. You'll have to leave the drive running whereas the thumb drive won't make noise or use extra power. The box can be turned off or left on for unattended recording. The file format the OTA video saved is .mts which is nice because it seems more compatible with software (Pinnacle Studio). Use your HDMI cable (not included) for best video. It has a composite A/V cable included if you want to use it on older TV sets or use a coax cable to a TV antenna port and tune the TV to channel 3 or 4 like the old days with a VCR. It plays various video and music files also. The box is light and portable if you like. It's way cheaper than Tablo or TIVO. The guide is download free from the broadcast stations for several hours ahead. It's easy to select a show and tell it to record or manually setup a recording for anytime. Get it!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Perfect match

    Posted
    Bnlfan
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Purchased so I could record shows from OTA that come on when I am at work or asleep. It takes a usb 2.0 flash drive or external hard drive. I purchased a 3.0 usb 2 tb hard drive. It is backward compatible to 2.0 usb. I had a 4tb external drive that would register but not work. I assume the reason is because it was too large and self powered. The new one I purchased receives its power from the PVR usb connection. So if you want to be sure you can record...get a drive that is either a 2.0 usb or backward compatible to 2.0. Also, be sure it does not have to have its own power source. You can program it to record 1 time, daily or weekly. You can also set it to just change to the channel for viewing. Once the video is recorded you can edit the title to what you want. Pull the drive and transfer the video to another storage device to watch later. While hooked to my TV via the hdmi (not included) it has it's own volume control. It really increases the level of sound from my sound bar. Its incredible. This has been the best $125.00 combined that I have spent.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Low price reflects poor performance

    Posted
    customer
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is a barely functional video recorder for TV. Please note you must also purchase a USB device (thumb drive) to store the TV shows! It also is a receiver/tuner for OTA (over the air) programming. Record shows but will not allow you to watch a recorded show while another is recording. Menus a bit clunky, remote not very responsive (slow) and is difficult to use. My old TiVo blows this away--zero comparison. Programming is a bit difficult--only gives about 24 hours of channel data, however, you can set it to record a show weekly or daily. Saved recordings DO NOT list the show name--instead a run-together string of digits representing the date it recorded--confusing when you have multiple recordings. NOTE: You must have the unit ON or it will not record a scheduled show(!) On the plus side, the picture is good IF you have strong antenna reception. I bought two on BB deal of day price, returned one--keeping the one as an emergency recording device.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A must for all-in-one desktop computer.

    Posted
    abuyer
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    With a 24" desktop all in one computer having a HDMI input in the back, this TV converter box is a must if you don't want to buy an extra 24" TV, especially you don't have space for it. Yeah, you might say, hang it on the wall, but your house is going to full of TV monitors, assuming your place is a studio or one room apartment. Of course you do need an antenna; I just used an old rabbit ear antenna from my old big tube TV over 20 years ago. All I did was to connect the HDMI output from the converter box to the computer monitor's HDMI input in the back, and there, it is receiving over the air TV shows in my area, all of them, crispy sharp. Of course if you are watching TV, you can't use the computer, or vise versa. However, it gives you the convenience of all in one unit--TV and computer all in the same monitor without wondering where to put the TV or which wall to hang it, if your dwelling space is limited.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Used with Epson projector

    Posted
    Nineironputt
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I have a projector setup that we mainly use an xbox with. Every now and again we would like to watch OTA channels and this fit the bill perfectly. Pros; Easy setup small unit size OTA works great Cons; Remote does not transmit very far and you really have to be straight on pointing at the main unit within a couple of feet for it to work. Operation is a bit clunky and could use some updating. The record feature worked, but just barely. I ended up having the unit record a show for less than a minute to test and after watching the said recording the unit shut down and rebooted but won't boot until I removed the usb. Just a little glitchy. Overall my main concern was not recording but just to pick up over the air signals and display them through the HDMI to the projector and this fit the bill. If your main concern is recording shows and a smooth intuitive user interface, I would suggest looking elsewhere. But overall I would recommend for the basic operations.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Serves it purpose!

    Posted
    MrpePe
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I had brought a different brand last year and it kept resetting this one hasn't so far and have had it for a while plus the remote is MUCH BETTER than the other one it's bigger and easier to read, it works GREAT when cable is too expensive and it allows me to watch my recorded shows at a some other time!! Would suggest buying at least a 1 or 2 gigabyte Seagate backup plus slim portable storage to hold recordings, the smaller hard drives won't do much and act up after awhile! I haven't tried to record and watch another channel option yet and the other one doesn't have that option, I'm quite happy with the purchase so far and has brought one for my father to record his old cowboy shows in the back room where he does not have the cable monster!! Would recommend this product!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Works as advertised

    Posted
    Panchito
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Opinions on the Superbowl aside, I purchased this product to convert OTA signal to show the game on a projector. The setup process was truly plug and play and combined with the Mohu Leaf Antenna, it pulled in every channel available in my area. For the price, i would certainly recommend this product to those looking to view OTA channels without a TV. It does have the option of HDMI as well as component and the HDMI does carry the audio. I have not tested the capability to record to an external drive.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Works great at a great price

    Posted
    Steve
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I got a great deal on a 4k monitor from BestBuy but it didn't have a TV tuner built in. I am a cord cutter so I either Stream TV or use OTA antenna. If you are looking for a way to connect Coax to a TV that only has HDMI inputs then this is it. I picked up this little budget box so I can watch some football and it works great. The interface is easy to use. The ONLY con about the whole unit is you MUST point the remote directly at the box in order for the box to respond but I can live with that. All my other TVs have a TV Tuners built in or I would have bought one for every TV.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A good OTA receiver and DVR

    Posted
    AZreview
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I had ditched cable TV using an amplified antenna, but missed being able to record programs while I was away. This does the job for me. Remember to get a USB storage device for DVR. The user manual leaves a lot to be desired. The box says it is a dual tuner device. I haven't been able to figure out how to use that feature yet. A work-around is to use the RF out connector to connect to the tuner in your TV. Then you can switch your TV input to its tuner while the DVR is is recording.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great for cord cutters

    Posted
    Rolo
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    For anyone wishing to cut the cable tv cord this is an excellent buy. It is inexpensive and when combined with a portable usb drive which can be bought on sale relatively cheaply it serves as a usable alternative to cable tv DVR boxes. A person can view the programming for each station each day and if desired set it to record a program. I have several similar boxes and the only draw back to them are the remotes which aren't as responsive as they could be but with cable tv bills being so high, it is something I can live with.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Just what I wanted

    Posted
    Tech208guy
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    After Spectrum took away my ability to use my beloved TiVo, this gives it at least some functionality. I use it with my Insignia HD antenna which I have hung in my window. Easy to setup and use. My only complaint is times are in 24 hour format. I can do the math but it is not my first language and it just slows down the process. I have not tried the recording function yet but I think it will be a useful feature as it claims to have two tuners so I can watch one show while recording another. Plus it has the ability for unattended recording, I think.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    not recommended

    Posted
    WLB1
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    The purchase price for this item was heavily discounted - as it should have been. The software is very buggy; audio and video tend to fall out of sync after changing channels, the recording function has failed at least twice, and the remote must be pointed precisely at the unit or the command may fail. A request to customer support asking if there was a software/firmware update for this unit went unanswered. Buy at your own risk.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A great Digital to Analog Converter Box

    Posted
    RichardC
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I was really impressed when I hooked up this Digital to Analog Converter Box. It has to many things that it does for me to use them all. It will record shows and movies and it can back track as it is recording with out loosing its spot. But I like the info that it gives about the shows and the signal strength of the show that you have just tuned into. It is a really great box, cost a little more then a lot of simpler boxes, but for what it is capable of doing it is well worth the money.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Worked Great

    Posted
    PDubs
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Decided to cut the cord and switch to streaming with an antenna for live tv. I didn't realize that my smart tv didn't have a coaxial port on it so I had to buy a receiver for the antenna to work. I was extremely impressed with this one. It basically worked just like a normal cable box. I loved it. However, I had to return it because where I live, I could hardly pick up any channels at all with the antenna. If I didn't live in such a rural area, I would definitely get this.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Works as described

    Posted
    Gene
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    I own 2 of these DVR's and they work as described. The operation instructions leave a lot to be desired. It took me a couple weeks to figure out all of the operation features because the instructions are very difficult to follow. Someone in the US need to re-write the instructions in a format we can follow. I am recommending this product only to people that are patient in figuring how something works.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Works Well for the Price

    Posted
    shopper
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I have several of these converter boxes from different manufacturers. This one is easier than others to navigate than the others and is compatible. (I can record on one and play on another with a flash drive.) While my computer does not recognize the HD recordings completely, my Sony blue ray players do. The remote is actually easier to use than others I have, though it must be used closely to the box.l

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    AMAZING Tuner

    Posted
    Crdcutter66
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This tuner is unbelievable. Make the necessary attachments and it pretty takes over from. Fed up with satellite fees I decided to just with Prime, Netflix and Hulu for streaming but still wanted my local channels. This fit the bill to a tee! Good HD quality and even has pause and recording capabilities which I haven't quite mastered yet. But still very pleased with picture quality and channel access.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Resurrected Television

    Posted
    WhalerFan
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Our under the kitchen cabinet television sat silent for several years because our cable company required a separate cable box for each television which we were not going to do in the kitchen. I purchased this digital to analog converter for this television and it worked like a charm. It was easy to set up and I now receive 6 free over the air local channels. Good investment of any idle televisions.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Ok overall but can be a pain

    Posted
    Simple
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Works ok but it is annoying that it sometimes takes awhile to switch channels. You keep hitting the channel up or down button and nothing happens for like 10 to 15 seconds then it catches up but by that time you have hit it so many times it finally stops on a channel you didn't want and you start all over again. If you have patience its ok you will get there.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend