Crap SA8000 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-30-2004, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I decided to save a bundle by switching to Comcast DVR from my Dish 501. They delivered a SA8000. The installer said I would have to be patient with channel changing....??

This thing is a horrid piece of crap. It is so slow doing anything my wife, who is calm and rational 99.9% of the time, actually threw the remote across the room.

Is this the normal behavior of the SA8000 or did I get a lemon?

I believe Comcast will offer HD recording soon and if they use the SA8000HD can I expect the same poor performance?

Is there some "tweaking" (no content hacking) I can do to increase peroformance?

Or should I just buy a Tivo/RTV and throw this one out the window as I drive by the local Comcast office?

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-30-2004, 04:14 AM
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Unfortunately, no, the SA8000 and SA8000HD aren't as responsive as the products from Tivo and Dish Network, in terms of both channel changing and and PVR functionality. With the latest software releases, the SA8000 isn't nearly as bad as it once was, but the Comcast in your area could still be using an older software version.

That said, the hard drive on your SA800HD could be going bad, or it could be fragmented, making it even less responsive than normal. I would drop by your local office and swap it out with another. If the replacement isn't much different, then the standalone Tivo would be an excellent choice, particularly if you only subscribe to analog cable (extended basic). The SA Tivo has a built-in analog tuner for extended basic cable, but relies on IR remote signals to control and record channels from a digital cable box.

Because of the way Tivos work, and what they let you do, it's generally preferable to have extra capacity. You can buy the 40-hour model (which is actually only ~12 hours at the high quality setting, iirc) for $79 and then replace the drive with a Maxtor Quickview 160Gb for about $120. You would first need to setup the drive with a PC using the instructions over at TivoCommunity. If you don't want to mess with drive setup on a computer, you can purchase a pre-setup 160Gb HD add-on kit with mounting bracket from Weakness for $190. This is still a lot cheaper than buying the 140 hour model from Tivo for $399, minus a $50 mail-in rebate.

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-30-2004, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I am not adverse to doing some tinkering. I have 2 modded xboxes with 160GB HD in each.

I am curious as to whether Tivo or Replay TV is the best bet for transferring recorded shows over to the computer via network. And which is more user configurable. I realise I could do a search and I will when I get home from work but I was wanting to gather the info so I can make a quick purchase before this weekend so I do not miss an episode of 6 Feet Under.

TIA.

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post #4 of 10 Old 06-30-2004, 08:24 AM
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The SA8000HD channel tuning seems to be faster than the SA8000...but I got rid of the SA8000 in January, and just got the SA8000HD a couple of weeks ago. I only use the SA8000HD for HD DVR'ng.... I don't recall, but I'm pretty sure the HD box uses a faster CPU than the SD version, so that probably accounts for the better responsiveness.

For SD digital, I use a ReplayTV....and IR blasting to the regular digital cable box now. I don't do channel surfing with it, but change times are slower...especially since the cable box doesn't have an enter key...which means enter 3 digits and wait for it to accept and then wait for it to tune to the channel, etc.

The ReplayTV that I got to replace the old SA8000 was my 5th ReplayTV....the others are just on standard cable. I've played around with moving MPEGs from my ReplayTV and burning to DVDs or streaming back....its a neat feature, but I don't have much use for it currently. I had the choice of turning a computer into a big media server or putting bigger drives in my ReplayTV...and I've opted for upgrading the drives in the ReplayTVs.

The fact that I use WiFi to connect my computer to the ReplayTVs is a factor...my neighbors like to set up their nodes without looking to see that I'm already on the (exact) same channel (and I'm not using 1, 6 or 11). Plus there are like 6 or 7 nets that I know of....in fact I'm running two....a dedicated 'g' for my ReplayTV link and the general 'b' for my laptops.

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-30-2004, 12:07 PM
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Qooop,

If you want to transfer recordings from the DVR to your PC, I believe you may need to get an older ReplayTV with their discontinued software. They were sued by the networks and forced to drop several features that were associated with Internet distribution. You may be able to hack their new products to use the old software, I do not know.

Tivo lets you access your PC's MP3 and music files on their box, but they do not allow you save television recordings to the computer. Tivo has announced software (Tivo2Go) that will allow customers to view content from their box on a computer using special software; this software will also allow customers to burn DVD recordings of television content. It's planned for release this fall. As an aside, Tivo also lets you schedule recordings over the Internet.

Personally, I would recommend the Tivo for its DVR functionality, which imo, is easier to use and more powerful than the Replay software (better conflict resolution, wishlists, suggestions, etc).

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post #6 of 10 Old 06-30-2004, 12:52 PM
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The In Home Video Sharing feature is not the same as the Internet Video Sharing that the networks were suing over...along with automatic commercial advance. See the ReplayTV forum on how to reenable the features in newer boxes.

And they weren't forced to drop the features...they voluntarily disabled the features and the networks withdrew their suits (but indicated that they could sue again at a later date).

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post #7 of 10 Old 06-30-2004, 07:26 PM
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TheDreamer,

Can you voluntarily agree to do something with a gun to your head? :)

Qooop,

I only have experience with the Tivo software. I've played with the ReplayTV software (10 minutes), but I don't own one. You can probably find better comparisons on both TivoCommunity and in the AVS ReplayTV forum.

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-01-2004, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
TheDreamer,

Can you voluntarily agree to do something with a gun to your head? :)
The networks were suing SonicBlue...they hadn't named DNNA, the new owner... DNNA, decided that with the new model they would leave out the two features....nobody had a gun on their head, yet.

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-02-2004, 07:04 AM
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TheDreamer,

You don't need to be named in a lawsuit to have a gun to your head. The threat of a lawsuit can be just as effective.

I don't think there's any question that a) the networks were willing to name any new owner of ReplayTV -- that's what they said in the press, and b) none of ReplayTV's potential suitors wanted the baggage of the lawsuit, which was well underway (filed Fall '01) before DNNA every came into the picture in Summer, 2003.

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post #10 of 10 Old 07-02-2004, 01:51 PM
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But its a non-issue for this thread...because the features can be easily re-enabled..and they don't have anything to do with the the feature used to convert shows to DVDs.

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