Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Panasonic Showstopper: TiVo-like capabilities without the subscription

I'm a long-time TiVo user. I thought my wife would like DVR capabilities, but I didn't want to shell out for another monthly subscription. (My brother says these nickel and dime payments are the bane of modern existence, so he keeps them to a bare minimum--including watching only broadcast TV. But I digress).

My solution: purchasing a Panasonic Showstopper on Ebay. These units do not require a monthly subscription. They usually go for between $100 and $150. I upgraded the hard drive using an external USB hard drive case and this software, RTVPatch W2K GUI. I also downloaded an image file (Showstopper& from This approach meant I didn't have to monkey around inside my computer.

In short order, I had a no-subscription DVR for about $200.