The Channel Master Stream+ (CM-7600) combines a streaming media player with an OTA DVR, presenting a unique, all-in-one product that’s perfect for cord cutters. But how does it perform? And is it worth the money? Read our Channel Master Stream+ review to find out.
A Little Background
It’s no secret that cable companies have a stranglehold on consumers. Expensive bills burn a hole in the pocket while little choice only adds to the frustration. As most of us are aware, pricey cable TV packages bundle tons of channels most consumers only ever flick through while channel surfing. This has led many consumers searching for a cheaper, more cost-effective way to watch their favorite TV programming.
For most, this has led them to consider “cutting the cord”. Unfortunately, ditching your cable provider means that you’re going to have to say goodbye to some of the modern conveniences you’ve become accustomed to, namely your DVR and channel guide. The channel guide is something that most consumers take for granted. The live listing of everything that is on every channel makes finding what you want to watch a breeze. In addition, the DVR function allows you to record live TV so that you can watch it later. Saying goodbye to either is a pretty big blow to TV enjoyment.
Fortunately, you don’t have to stick with price gouging cable companies to keep your channel guide and DVR functionality. Cord cutters rejoice, there are several third-party DVRs and channel guides that don’t require a cable TV subscription.
What is the Channel Master Stream+?
One of the most interesting and affordable DVRs on the market is the Stream+ (CM-7600) from Channel Master. Unlike most of the DVRs on the market, the Stream+ requires no monthly subscription fee. Additionally, the Stream+ features an integrated channel guide, so you don’t have to flick through the channels to see what’s on.
These two features alone are often enough to pique the interest of cord cutters, but the Stream+ has one more trick up it’s sleeve. The Channel Master Stream+ is also a streaming video player powered by Android.
Channel Master Stream+ Cost
With the Stream+, you get two great products in one — a streaming media player and an OTA DVR. So, how much does the Channel Master Stream+ cost?
Consumers get all that functionality for only $149. This makes the CM-7600 Stream+ not only one of the most affordable third-party DVRs on the market, but one of the most versatile as well.
Channel Master Stream+ DVR Functionality
The Channel Master Stream+ works with any antenna, making installation super easy.
When it comes to recording television programming, the Channel Master Stream+ (CM-7600) is simple and intuitive. The Stream+ also allows users to schedule their recordings via the channel guide. Users can schedule single recordings or an entire series. Furthermore, users can watch one show will recording another and even record two shows simultaneously!
Unlike many DVRs on the market, the Stream+ relies on an external hard drive to store recorded TV shows. Other DVRs often use either a built-in hard drive or cloud storage.
The problem with built-in storage is that it can fill up quickly. High definition over-the-air broadcasts chew up a ton of storage space and having to delete stuff in order to make room for new recordings can be frustrating.
Cloud storage often succumbs to the same problem; however, it has the added disadvantage of requiring an Internet connection to use. This means that if your Internet cuts out or you live in an area with a slow or spotty connection, you can have issues watching your recorded content.
With the Stream+, uses can simply plug in their own external hard drive, making upgrading to larger storage virtually hassle-free. In addition, because all of your recordings are stored locally on the drive, you don’t need an active Internet connection in order to watch or record your favorite OTA programming.
In addition to being able to record all your favorite programming, the Stream+ also feature a comprehensive channel guide at no additional charge. When you consider that many third-party DVRs charge a monthly subscription fee for their channel guides, the Stream+ offers exceptional value for money.
In addition, the channel guide of the Stream+ offers programming information for two whole weeks! That’s fourteen days of channel info, meaning you can see what’s on well in advance and schedule your recordings way ahead of time.
Integrated Streaming Apps
The Channel Master Stream+ also allows users to connect to streaming media apps. The Android-based player can connect to the Google Play Store, meaning that you can download all of the apps that you use to stream media from YouTube to Netflix to Hulu and many, many more.
As an added bonus, the Stream+ organizes all of your OTA channels and streaming services into one intuitive interface. This means that users won’t have to flick back and forth between pages or tabs in order to access all their available services and channels.
The Stream+ from Channel Master is a great option for cord cutters who can’t do without a channel guide or a DVR. At $149 the Stream+ won’t break the bank but it offers features that usually only come with a cable TV subscription. Furthermore, the Stream+ enables users to provide their own external hard drive, allowing for easy storage space expansion.
The Stream+ packs a lot into a relatively affordable package. Given the fact that the channel guide is 100% free and the DVR feature is flexible, the Stream+ belongs in any cord cutters living room.