ZapperBox TV Tuner/DVR Offers a Way to Cut TV Subscription Fees

At a time when Americans face a staggering choice of streaming options and escalating subscription fees for streaming and cable TV services, Des Moines-based ZapperBox Inc. is offering an alternative: An inexpensive TV tuner/DVR that lets you receive and record high-definition TV signals over the air without any fees.

The ZapperBox M1 NEXTGEN TV DVR, which began shipping this week, can be used with any 1080p or 4K TV that is not equipped with an onboard digital TV tuner and is compatible with signals broadcast in the original ATSC 1.0 and more recent NEXTGEN TV (ATSC 3.0) digital formats.

The company says the device is the only commercially available DVR that is compatible with both TV standards. Over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and has been free since the earliest days of television.

The ZapperBox M1 NEXTGEN TV DVR receives standard HDTV signals and is ready to receive 4K Ultra HD broadcasts when they become available in the U.S. It supports Dolby Atmos sound and high dynamic range (HDR) video (standard high-definition broadcasts with HDR are available in some markets).

The box comes with a remote control and is available in single-tuner ($250) and dual-tuner ($275) versions, the latter of which allows you to record two channels at once while watching one of them or a previously recorded program. The DVR lets you schedule recordings and pause, fast forward, or rewind live TV. Live and recorded broadcast TV programs are displayed in an easy-to-navigate onscreen channel guide.

Setup involves plugging the 4.5 x 4.5 x 1-inch box into a wall outlet, connecting it to your TV via an HDMI cable (included) and then to an antenna, and attaching a hard drive to store recorded programs. The box should also be connected to your Wi-Fi network to receive software updates and access online TV features, which are available in some NEXTGEN TV broadcast areas.

The ZapperBox M1 is ready for the future, according to company founder Gopal Miglani. "Since the inception of ZapperBox in 2017, our vision has been to reshape entertainment experiences through innovation. The ZapperBox M1 exemplifies our dedication to pioneering technology. Our commitment to consistent software upgrades ensures that our customers will enjoy the latest advancements in the years ahead."

The ZapperBox M1 introduced last year is a straight digital TV tuner (sans DVR) that supports both the ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 broadcast standards. The company also sells the ZapperBox A1 indoor/outdoor antenna for $150. For more information, visit

Additional Reading:

NEXTGEN TV Aims to Keep Over-the-Air TV Broadcasting Relevant

What Is Over-the-Air TV?

Get the Right TV Antenna (A comprehensive resource that provides a rundown of the markets now broadcasting NEXTGEN TV, a search tool that shows a list of channels you can receive over-the-air in your area, a list of TVs with built-in NEXTGEN TV/ATSC 3.0 tuners, and more.)

brenro's picture

Aside from the ATSC 3.0 tuner isn't this the same thing TiVo's been doing since 1999?

brenro's picture

Apparently this is a bit of a big deal as it appears they've beaten everyone else to market with an ATSC 3.0 DVR.

cybergrimes's picture

SiliconDust has had the Scribe 4K available since April 2021.

• 4 tuner
• ATSC 3.0 (on 2 tuners)
• ATSC 1.0 (on 4 tuners)
• 1TB internal hard disk

geekandnerd's picture

I went to the ZapperBox website, and it makes no mention whether it has DRM support built-in, and if not, whether will it be offered as a firmware update. Without Digital Rights Management, you will be locked out of encrypted channels. Many channels are becoming encrypted, so this is critical. The ADTH 3.0 NextGen Tuner has DRM support built-in for less than $100, admittedly without the DVR. At over 2 1/2 times the price, I would expect the ZapperBox to be up-to-date.

HDTV1080P's picture

For only $25 more there is a dual tuner Zapperbox model instead of a single tuner model. Makes no sense why they even made a single tuner model. Also the onscreen Guide data and DVR require a subscription to use. Only $29.99 a year for up to 2 units. But the DVR should have really been free feature. Many ATSC 1.0 tuners have free onscreen program guide with free DVR function activated over USB. But of course the paid 14 day onscreen program guide is a premium guide that will most likely be better quality then any other free onscreen guide that might be limited to a few days or a week. HDMI output only support 720P, 1080P and 2160P. There should have bene a native source direct mode for 480i, 480P, and 1080i broadcasts

mayor85467's picture

That's great news! The ZapperBox M1 NEXTGEN TV DVR seems like an affordable solution to escape those rising subscription fees while still enjoying high-definition TV.

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