If you’ve been trying to get some info about the Channel Master CM-7000PAL recently, then you know this product has already been discontinued. We’re pretty sure a lot of people would be upset to learn about this. Actually, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Channel Master CM-7000PAL. It does what it’s supposed to do, and it’s also reasonably priced. Anyway, for those who might still be interested, here’s our objective Channel Master CM-7000PAL review.
Update: You are much better off going with the best selling Mediasonic Homeworx Converter Box here than this older model as it is out date. I wanted to keep this page on here in case someone was searching for it and landed here looking for information on it.
The Channel Master CM-7000PAL works just like most DVRs. You can watch over the air digital broadcasts, and you can record them too. You also have pause, rewind, and fast forward functions even for live TV, and they work quite well. You have a 60-minute buffer for rewind, and a quick 10-second skip back for those “what did he say?” or “what just happened?” moments. Its fast forward capability is actually fast reaching, up to 300x speed, and there’s also a 30-skip forward to avoid those pesky commercials.
You also get an electronic programming guide, parental locks, and closed caption support. And here’s the kicker you get all these without paying monthly subscription fees.
And before you start thinking about low quality issues, that’s not really the case here. What you see on your TV looks great and they really look like high quality HD without the artifact problems you may experience elsewhere. What’s more, the Channel Master CM-7000PAL is very reliable, so you’re not plagued with bugs all the time.
What’s the Catch?
So with all these features going for it, what’s the catch? Well, there are some minor annoyances here and there. In general it’s quite bland and utilitarian, with none of the polish provided by subscription DVRs. It looks quite plain, and the menu system is basic as well. The electronic programming guide (EPG) is quite comprehensive, unlike over the air units that provide only guide info on the channel you’re currently on. Perhaps it’s actually a tad too complete, since there’s no way to weed out the channels you don’t care for out of the TV guide. You have to really look for you favorite channel, since there’s no favorites list to rely on. You also get 8 days of TV guide info.
It also only has a 250 GB hard drive, which is good for 30 hours or so of HD programs. There’s no support for external hard drive expansion, even with the USB ports. You may find some other things to complain about, but that’s probably normal. Thing is, if you’re not paying subscription fees, there’ll be a lot of things you may find irksome. Some folks, for example, may not like the fact that you don’t get Internet TV with the Channel Master CM-7000PAL.
In the end, it’s a DVR you can use without having to pay monthly subscription fees. With all that going for it, it’s a good buy—that is, if you can still find one. IMO, it’s really the simplest and easiest DVR option for those who hate paying subscription fees.