A good OTA set-top box will record TV shows from free over-the-air broadcast for later playback.
This makes them ideal for cord-cutters looking to get rid of paid cable/satellite TV.
What is an OTA TV Box with DVR?
Most TVs have a built in TV tuner that can play free OTA movie and TV shows but cannot record them.
An OTA TV Box with DVR can record videos for later playback.
This makes them ideal for users who are not at home when a program airs for later viewing.
Keep in mind most all units will need an antenna to get a good Over-the-Air signal.
Below is our favorite picks for best OTA TV converter box with DVR.
As always be sure to read reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is the right pick for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best OTA TV Converter Box with DVR
- Mediasonic Homeworx
- Viewtv AT-163
- Tablo Dual LITE OTA DVR
Mediasonic HOMEWORX HW130STB HDTV Digital Converter Box with Recording and Media Player Function
The Mediasonic Homeworx is a good low-cost DVR TV converter box that is good for those on a budget.
It can decode digital over-the-air broadcast to any TV old or new and can also record TV shows.
It does not come with any built-in storage and records to a flash drive or external hard-drive that is connected to it via a USB port.
External storage such as a Flash Drive will need to be bought separately.
Since there is no built-in storage be sure to buy a large-sized flash drive or have a few small ones to record with.
An HD TV show episode can take 400-500 MB of storage while a movie may take around 1GB. A cheap 8-16 GB flash drive would be a good start. If you plan on recording a lot than an external hard-drive may be a better option.
The back of the unit has standard cable RF coaxial in/out, HDMI, component video, and USB connections for external storage.
It can play HD 720p or 1080p video so it has no problems displaying any show broadcast over-the-air. One of the things I found useful was that any show recorded to a flash-drive could be taken to a computer and played there with the right software.
Mediasonic Homeworx is a good budget home DVR for free over-the-air TV.
The combination of low-cost and functionality make it a popular unit for those looking to cut the cable cord but still want to record shows from free broadcast.
A good OTA TV antenna along with the Homeworx is a good option for any cord cutter.
Viewtv AT-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box and Media Player w/ Recording PVR Function / HDMI Out / Coaxial Out / Composite Out / USB Input
The Viewtv AT-163 is another good budget unit that is similar to the Mediasonic Homeworx.
It is also popular with cord cutters looking for a low-cost OTA DVR.
Like most budget units while low-cost there is no built-in storage which needs to be bought separately.
Tablo Dual LITE OTA DVR for Cord Cutters – with WiFi & Automatic Commercial Skip
The Tablo Dual LITE is a good unit for recording OTA TV but does cost more compared to the budget units.
It connects to a Smart TV, Fire TV stick, smartphone, and many other devices using an App.
This means it doesn’t hook to a TV with a cord and only works with the App.
If you have a non-smart TV a Fire Stick or Android TV box will be needed to connect and watch recordings.
While some don’t like that it only works with the App many like it since recording can be played on multiple devices.
For example, one person can use a smartphone to watch a recording while another use a Smart TV.
The unit uses external storage or can use the Cloud to store recordings.
The USB port on the back of the unit is used with a Flash Drive or External Hard Drive for recordings.
There are many good OTA TV boxes that can record programs for later playback, with those above simply some of our favorite options.
The budget units work very well for the price and get the job done.
More expensive units can also be bought some with internal storage and more features.
Be sure too have a TV antenna ready to hook up to any box or they will not receive many if any stations.
Also, be sure to have a flash drive or external hard drive ready to record programs on.
As always be sure to read the specifications and features on any unit to be sure it is the right fit for you.