The best DVRs with no usage fees are the Magnavox MDR533H, the Channel Master DVR+, and the HD HomeRun Dual MPEG2, as of July 2015. These units retail for $229.03, $299.00, and $109.99, respectively.
The 320 gigabyte hard drive of the Magnavox MDR533H records up to 75 hours at the highest quality setting, and can hold up to 600 hours at lower resolution settings. This unit also includes a built-in DVD player. It is compatible with most cable and satellite signals as well as over-the-air broadcasts, but is not equipped to access online streaming services, according to Top Ten Reviews.
The Channel Master DVR+ has a much smaller 16 gigabyte hard drive, but allows connection to an external hard drive. It uses VUDU to allow access to high-definition streaming movies and is also compatible with over-the-air stations, but it is not compatible with most cable providers and does not have access to digital channels.
The HD HomeRunDual MPEG2 is designed to be used with online television viewing. With a digital antenna, it allows access to over-the-air channels on your computer. There is no on-board hard drive on this device; it uses the viewer's computer to store recordings. This device is not compatible with cable or satellite signals.