There are several DVR boxes that have no monthly fee and will record shows.
Most of these No-Fee DVR boxes also have built-in digital (ATSC) tuner. Meaning they can play and record free-over-the-air channels such as CBS, FOX, NBC and much more.
So what’s the downside?
Subscription free DVRs often don’t come with many of the features a cable TV company monthly fee box has.
For example, commercials will not be skip-able, also support is often limited.
What is the upside?
The onetime price of buying the DVR and not worrying about monthly fees is the main positive.
If you are looking to cut the cable cord than a DVR box with no fees is also ideal since it can recorded over the air free TV broadcast.
Is a subscription free box right for you?
This question will no doubt depend on the person and what they are looking for in a home entertainment box.
While one person won’t mind fast forwarding through commercials another person might.
Most people looking for such DVRs are in the process of getting rid of cable TV.
There are many good units available with some of our favorite picks below.
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 Subscription Free DVR’s
- Mediasonic HOMEWORX
- EXuby X3200RF
- Fire TV Recast
Mediasonic ATSC Digital Converter Box with Recording / Media Player / TV Tuner Function (HW130STB)
The Mediasonic HOMEWORX connects to a TV through HDMI, Composite, or Coaxial cable.
It has a built-in TV tuner card so it can convert free over-the-air channels and record them.
It uses an external hard-drive or flash drive to record shows that must be bought separately.
The Mediasonic Homeworx is a very low-cost option with good basic functionality.
There are more expensive units with large internal storage and more functions, but for those looking to simply record and play back TV shows or movies it is worth a look.
Digital TV Converter Box for Viewing and Recording HD Digital Channels for Free (Instant or Scheduled Recording, 1080P HDTV, HDMI Output, 7 Day Program Guide) – Comes with RF and RCA Cable
This unit from eXuby is another low cost option for recording over the air TV channels.
It is a good basic DVR for picking up broadcast over-the-air and recording them.
It Connects to a TV with HDMI, Composite, or Coaxial cable.
Fire TV Recast, over-the-air DVR, 1 TB, 150 hours, DVR for cord cutters
The Fire TV Recast is a good option for those who use a Fire TV stick.
It has 2 version 500GB and 1TB for lots of storage of TV shows and movies.
It does not work with Cable TV and is built to work with free over the air TV channels.
It also does no hook to a TV with a cable but transmits video over the WiFi.
This means a compatible smart TV or Fire TV device will need to be used to watch recorded videos.
An antenna will be needed to pick up OTA stations depending how far away from the towers it is.
There are many good OTA TV antennas from large outdoor units to cheap indoor models.
The Fire TV Recast is a good option for those looking to get rid of cable and get rid of monthly fees.
Most locations in the USA can get 50-100 TV channels for free over the air such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, Univision and more.