Motorola DCT6208 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-16-2004, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Do not buy this box!!! Do not try this box!!! It is a waste of time and money!!! You will only be frustrated!!! Having been an avid TIVO user for several years, the Motorola DCT6208 is buggy, poorly engineered, and contains some of the most archaic features around. Simply put, what was Motorola thinking??? It would be similar to Motorola launching a five-year-old cell phone in today's market. Don't let the DVI OUT and HIGH DEFINITION RECORDING lure you in...

Here's why:

1. No season pass manager. You can record a time slot daily, weekly, etc. but it has absolutely no correlation to the actual show (e.g. if "24" doesn't air for three weeks, it records anything that plays in that slot; when "The Apprentice Season Finale" runs for two hours, it only records one even though it confirmed that both hours would be recorded; etc.). Why bother?

2. Since the time changed for day light savings time, the DCT6208 records all the wrong time slots. I've had to manually edit the recording preferences for every program that I previously scheduled.

3. High definition playback is buggy. First, if it works...it's slow to respond. Often there is significant delay between pressing play, fast forward, etc. and the deck actually playing, fast forwarding, etc. Second, if you happen to hit "fast forward" without hitting "pause" first, the deck often locks in a slow fast forward mode until the end of the recording without allowing you to power off, etc. If you pull the plug, everything will be erased and the deck will take several hours to reset and re-load programming. By the way, I've already reproduced this on two DCT6208s.

4. The guide stinks. Despite paying $100 for cable it's chocked full of ads with little real-estate dedicated to actual program information. I realize that it's a different company...but Motorola selected and agreed to the partnership.

And, just so I'm not completely negative...Motorola is the only manufacturer to provide high definition recording for cable...that I know of (TIVO provides high definition satellite recording). And the DCT6208 has some of the most impressive OUTs/CONNECTIONS including DVI, OPTICAL AUDIO, FIREWIRE, USB and all the usual suspects COMPONENT, S-VIDEO, RCA, ETC. It's just truly disappointing because the DCT6208 had so much potential.

Why Motorola...WHY??? TIVO...I'M COMIN' HOME!!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-10-2004, 11:10 PM
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DCT6208 is my only choice if I want to PVR HD networks. It's certainly no TiVo but it could be so much worse. Have you ever used the DCT2000 digital cable? Yes, the two column guide stinks, but it's better than the slug-slow DCT2000 or DCT5100's single column guide. I'm a long time TiVo user and I think you were just expecting too much from your cable company's DVR. You're comparing a new product with one that's been refined for over 5 years. It will probably never reach TiVo's level of excellence, but much can be done with the software if given some time.

1) Of course Season Passes would be nice and it could use better scheduling ability. I can deal without season passes (they have caveats of their own - we missed Survivor because of them) but we would like the ability to override a repeating recording with a single event without canceling the repeating recording.

2) This is a brand new box. Glitches like that will be fixed by future upgrades I"m sure.

3) I had no problem at all with responsiveness with PVR HD functions.

4) I don't mind the ads but with all of the screen real estate aviailable I think they could have allocated some more space for the guide!! Not a deal breaker for me though. It's functional enough to get your shows scheduled.

I guess I just have a hard time complaining about it. It's giving me the ability to timeshift HDTV programming for $5 more per month. The dual tuner DirecTiVo HD PVR is clearly a great solution for DirecTV users with a big wad of cash and OTA reception ... but thanks to Motorola and Comcast, I at least have this option!!

-- Rob
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-11-2004, 03:17 AM
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Just a few comments...
  1. Digeo's Moxi is among the first HD PVRs for cable to offer comparable functionality to the Tivo. Digeo was originally founded by the inventor of WebTV, and its team includes former Tivo and UltimateTV employees. Charter Cable, Comcast, and Adelphia have all placed orders for the Moxi PVR and plan to deploy it to select markets later this year. Read more about it in this thread and this thread.
  2. There is hope yet for future Motorola HD DVRs. Microsoft is promoting their latest TV Foundation software for the DCT6412, Motorola's second-generation HD DVR (with dual tuners) coming this summer. Microsoft's software features include season passes. Read more about it in this thread.
  3. Scientific Atlanta just announced a new software upgrade for their model 8000HD DVR. This upgrade claims to add functional name-based recording for first-run episodes (a la season pass). The SA8000HD is currently available in select Time Warner cable markets, and will be deployed by Cox and Comcast to select markets with Scientific Atlanta equipment in the next 4-8 weeks. The new software is slated for availability later this month. You can read more about it in this thread, or here after the software is available.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-29-2004, 09:47 PM
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I am sorry but IMO, Tivo's UI is very overrated. What is important to me is the program content, not the UI. I view my UI less than .01% of the time.

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-31-2004, 04:53 PM
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I am sorry but IMO, Tivo's UI is very overrated.

I view my UI less than .01% of the time.
I still have trouble believing that you've spent any significant time using the Tivo, based on your comments. Most people like the Tivo UI because it puts an intuitive interface on advanced recording features. They could care less about pretty graphics, but what they do care about are advanced recording capabilities that are simple to use and reliable. Many of Tivo's most loyal users are technophobes, which says volumes about the usability of the product. My aunt can't figure out how to use her PC or program a VCR, but she loves her Tivo.

In 15 seconds, you can setup a Tivo season pass for "24" that will record every new episode (and only new episodes if you want) ever shown, regardless of when it's showing, with a ~100% reliability. Wishlists are also setup in a matter of seconds; with these, you can setup the Tivo to continually record all comedies with Julia Roberts, all action movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger, all dramas directed by Steven Spielberg, or all sporting events with the Washington Redskins -- regardless of the date, time, and channel.

http://www.pvrcompare.com/TivoSeasonPassManager.jpg http://www.pvrcompare.com/DTivoSPRecOpts.jpg

Similarly, you can setup the Tivo to record by one or more keywords you type in; you could type in "Stargate Atlantis" (using on-screen keyboard) and it will automatically record every episode of that series when it begins, several months from now, as well as any interviews or features associated with this show. You could type in "interview Tyson" to automatically record all interviews of Mike Tyson, regardless of when and on what channel they are shown. You could even type in a description to record a specific episode of friends, regardless of the date, time, and channel it is shown.

http://www.pvrcompare.com/TivoWishlistCreate.jpg http://www.pvrcompare.com/TivoWishlists.jpg

Here are a list of essential recording features -- as generally agreed upon by members of TivoCommunity -- most of which are not offered by the Motorola 6208 and Mitsubishi HD-6000:
  1. Record two different cable or satellite programs at once;
  2. Record one cable or satellite program while watching another live;
  3. Record two cable or satellite programs while watching a recording;
  4. Instant replay, pause (at least one-hour), rewind, and slow motion for both live and recorded programming with a very high level of responsiveness;
  5. All episode recording ("season passes") to record every episode of a program, regardless of the time it is showing, with the ability to automatically differentiate between new and repeat episodes (and ignore repeats if desired).

    The newest trend at the networks is to schedule new episodes of popular programs (ex: American Idol) at a different time every week -- as a means to get you to watch their other shows. It is near impossible to reliably record these shows on a weekly basis without name-based (season pass / episode recording) functionality, which records based on program names and descriptions rather than times. Traditional time slot recording just doesn't work very well for these programs.
  6. Multiple fast forward and rewind speeds (4x, 20x, 60x or comparable) with built-in time compensation for overshoots;

    It would be rather annoying to fast forward through commercials, only to miss the start of the program following the commercial break (necessitating a rewind). To prevent that, the Tivo automatically skips back after you end the FFW while at 20x and 60x speed; the timing is such that you end up with the last second or two of commercials, even though you hit play (or the FFW button again, if at 60x speed) after the commercials had ended and the program had begun.

    Such FFW/RW functionality enables one to consistently watch one-hour network programs in ~40 minutes, without ever having to bother with instant replay or rewind.
  7. Automatic disk space management - automatically delete oldest recordings (that you haven't marked as "protected") in order to make room for new recordings; ability to specify the maximum number of episodes to keep on weekly recordings, and the maximum number of days or weeks to keep individual recordings.
  8. Automatic bookmarks -- remembers where you left off in every recording when you do something else; for example, if you watch the first half of a recorded Stargate episode, then watch something else live or recorded, it will ask whether you want to resume or start over the next time you watch the Stargate recording. It should bookmark every recording, not just your last viewed recording.
  9. Automatic conflict resolution -- if three or more shows conflict (i.e. are showing at the same time), it will record two based on the priority order that you have set. For example, a season pass for Stargate at the top of your list would have the highest priority for recording, while a season pass for 24 at the bottom of your list would have the lowest priority, in the event of a conflict.

    http://www.pvrcompare.com/TivoSeasonPassManager.jpg
  10. Record from buffer -- if you're watching a program live, and at some point into the program (say, 27 minutes) you decide you'd like to watch it again, you can hit the record button and it will save the entire program -- from the time it began until the time it finishes.
  11. Find by Title - easily find any program showing in the next two weeks, just by selecting the first few letters of the title from an onscreen-keyboard;
  12. Wishlists / recording by keyword -- ability to automatically record all content that meets certain criteria (actor, director, certain actor or director in a specific genre, certain sports team, or by specific keyword you input, etc), regardless of the date, time, and channel it is showing.

    Wishlists are very popular with sports fans, because they allow you to record all games of your favorite team (collegiate or professional), regardless of channel, without the hassle of having to schedule daily or weekly recordings. Other examples of wishlists to auto-record regardless of date, time, and channel: all comedies with Julia Roberts; all dramas directed by Steven Speilberg; all Sci Fi shows with "Taken" in the title; all documentaries about the Civil War.
  13. Intelligent conflict management records series based on the priority order you have set, and if any program is missed due to conflict (ex: if three network programs are showing at the same time), the Tivo will attempt to record that missed program or episode at the next date and time that it is showing;



  14. Folders / grouping for recordings -- ex: all weekly Stargate:SG1 recordings automatically grouped in a Stargate:SG1 folder and organized by date; all weekly Redskins games grouped in a "Teams / Redskins" folder;
  15. Timeline graph -- graphical display showing where you are in the live or recorded program relative to the starting point and the end; this displays whenever you use a PVR function like pause, rewind, or fast forward;

    http://home.comcast.net/~bklfowler/tivotimeline.jpg
  16. Skip intervals or "tick marks" -- ability to easily and instantly skip forward or backward in live and recorded programming in longer intervals with one button press (i.e. skip ahead or back in 15min increments at one touch of a button).

    With this ability to skip to "tick marks" evenly spaced throughout the program (see above screenshot), you can skip to a sporting event's halftime show in less than two seconds.
  17. 30-second skip button for commercials;
  18. "Save to VCR" function -- ability to click on a recording and select "Save to VCR"; the DVR then turns on the VCR (or DVD writer), asks for a new tape (or DVD-R disk), and starts and ends the recording at the appropriate times using its built-in IR transmitter. At the start of the recording, it adds a screen with the program title and a description. Moreover, it does all this in the background using a separate set of composite outputs, without interrupting your viewing of live or other recorded programming on the DVR.
  19. Manual recordings by date, time, and channel -- in the rare case that you need this.
Modern STBs also provide other usability enhancements that the 6208 does not -- like the ability to display only the channels you want in the guide and individual favorites lists for every member of your family.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-02-2004, 02:05 PM
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I have the DCT 6208 from Comcast in NJ. The DCT 6208 is no Tivo, but it does do the following items: 4, 7, 8, and 18 from your list.

Items 1, 2, and 3 will be addressed with the new dual tuner DCT 6412. Not available yet :(

I am hoping that Comcast will deploy the new Microsoft software along with the DCT 6412 and then I will have "Tivo" like features.

For the person who has never had or used Tivo, then the DCT 6208 will make them very happy.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-03-2004, 01:14 PM
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I agree with Kipp and I think I can further explain (Kipp, correct me if I'm wrong). Being technically inclined people (I can tell from Kipp's posts and I work in the tech world), we can figure out how to record stuff. We also have enough brains that if the President is going to give a speech, more than likely shows will be offset, etc. We're not technophobes.

But I think the main point is, who cares if the UI gets rave reviews, awards, Grammys, Oscars, Pulitizers, etc? It doesn't change the content that we want recorded, doesn't change how we view the show, doesn't change 99.9% of our viewing time. Yes it would be nice to have a "better" (remember that's subjective) UI, but we want features, compatibility with want we have, room to grow, and financially doable. The UI is near the bottom of my wish list items.

At least that's my thoughts.


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post #8 of 13 Old 06-03-2004, 01:39 PM
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Yes it would be nice to have a "better" (remember that's subjective) UI, but we want features, compatibility with want we have, room to grow, and financially doable.
Refer to the list of 18 items above. You seem to be under the impression that the Tivo is just a version of what you have now with a better interface. That is not the case. The 6208 is missing essential features for recording, managing recordings, and watching recordings.

Consider that 25% of every hour on the networks is commercials. The Tivo makes it much easier and faster to skip commercials.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-03-2004, 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by bfdtv
Refer to the list of 18 items above. You seem to be under the impression that the Tivo is just a version of what you have now with a better interface. That is not the case. The 6208 is missing essential features for recording, managing recordings, and watching recordings.

Consider that 25% of every hour on the networks is commercials. The Tivo makes it much easier and faster to skip commercials.

No, I know exactly what Tivo is. ;) I know that in terms of functionality, the Tivo is better than the 6208. What I was trying to get across is the misrepresentation of this. When I hear UI, I take them to mean how the user accesses the features of the unit. Since most of the people around here tend to be technically inclined (not the general masses), the UI doesn't really matter that much. As Kipp pointed out the guide is actually viewed a small portion of the time. Plus I watch programs for the program's sake not to see a guide. So in reality it's the functionality of the Tivo, not the UI that is better.

Plus if I'm correct, unless someone is a D* sub, they cannot use the Tivo to record HD, right? So for those of use who aren't a D* sub, the 6208 would be better because it allows us to record HD. Now obviously this will change once Tivo comes out with an HD unit for everybody. But then we get into the buy vs. lease argument, which we all know is a whole nother thread. ;)


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post #10 of 13 Old 06-03-2004, 09:09 PM
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Plus if I'm correct, unless someone is a D* sub, they cannot use the Tivo to record HD, right?
That's correct. I could really care less whether the DVR I use has Tivo on the front of the box. What I really want are those features listed above. Tivo just happens to be the only one with them right now.

Digeo has created a lot of interest with the Moxi because it is the first box announced to offer most of those features by year's end. Charter, Comcast, and Adelphia have all announced plans to deploy the Moxi in various quantities.
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-04-2004, 05:02 AM
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Tim,

I don't think many people look at the UI for very long as you say. But, the UI, or software that each uses is instrumental on how each provides the features necessary to even watch the show you intended to record.

Tivo uses their own software design running on Linux.

Motorola DCT uses the Gemstar / TV Guide software.

Tivo has all the features we want and I think everyone would agree that is is the standard. All DVR's are compared to Tivo. That is just the way it is.

For those that have put off getting a Tivo, or those that now can get the new DCT 6208, we are all curious on how the two compare. And the major way to compare is the UI. The DCT 6208 with the Gemstar / TV Guide software only does 4 of the 18 (see list above) very important features.

We can only hope the cables companies, in my case, Comcast, will listen to us and look at Tivo and see their product (TV Guide software) is so far behind.

Our hope is that they will deploy the new DCT 6412 with the new Microsoft TV 1.7 DVR software. That looks really nice and offers many of the Tivo features and then some.

http://www.microsoft.com/tv/content/...tion_Main.mspx

Mark
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-04-2004, 12:11 PM
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Any one have a clue on where to send feedback/ recommendations for the Motorola box? It seems that the HTPC forum tends to put wish lists together for software developers. Maybe if we could generate a similar wish list someone at Motorola may pay attention.

Here are a couple for me-

Allow one button return to file playback - watching a prerecorded show and live sports event - press Prv Channel - would pause the playback and switch to live on previously tuned channel - pressing again would switch back to the recording and resume playback.

Configurable program guide - allow removal of channels that I don't subscribe to or watch.

Network capability - If I have multiple units I should be able to watch a file recorded in the living room on the unit in the bedroom.

Brian
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-04-2004, 12:20 PM
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Oh - one more -

Output resolution - NATIVE

Brian
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