Switching from DirectTivo to Comcast DVR...somebody please hold me - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-18-2004, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got my first HDTv and I live in Philly. Between not wanting to lay out $1k for a Tivo/HD receiver and going through Sixers and Flyers withdrawl I am switching over to the dark side.

I am going to miss my remote and that satisfying boopBeep! I think between the ergonomics of that remote and that glorious boopBeep Tivo has touched some primal chord deep in my subconscious. i don't know what I'm going to do without them.

Looks like the dual tuner 8000HD and iGuide that I'm getting has most of what Tivo has. No Tivo suggestions, no Tivo taping when I'm not looking (I love those surprises, although for some reason Tivo thinks I speak Spanish), and no Wishlists. Second to the beep I'm going to miss Wishlists the most.

Is there anything else, besides the cooler than ice cream UI, that I'm going to really miss? Has anyone been through "the change" and survived? Can someone please make me feel better about this?

I feel like I'm not going to be "in" anymore, like I'm not Gellin' with Magellin. Please, someone, tell me everything is going to be alright.
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post #2 of 22 Old 11-21-2004, 04:38 PM
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I feel your situation. I'm really hesitant switching from DTV to Comcast. I just haven't heard from many Comcast DVR users yet to convince me. My biggest requirements are dual tuners and a season pass feature. Also, Comcast's website is very vague. I would need a regular DVR upstairs and a HD DVR downstairs. Does this mean I'm paying $9.95 for each DVR and $5 for HDTV?
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post #3 of 22 Old 11-21-2004, 04:43 PM
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I just got my Comcast hookup on Friday. I got the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000HD DVR....it has a 160 GB drive and 2 tuners. Actually pretty nice. I currently have 2 TIVO's (1 Series I and 1 Series II)....the usuability isn't nearly as nice but then again I haven't quite figured out how to use the Comcast DVR.

I live in an area where I can't get satellite and also you can get more HD channels on COMCAST....I got the movie packages so HBO, Cinemax, etc. have HD channels.

Yeah, I miss my TIVO's but short of spending $1K for an HD tivo and getting a dish (which is out of the question for me) I think it is the best alternative.

Let us know what you do....

Wes
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post #4 of 22 Old 11-23-2004, 05:28 AM
 
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Got the Motorola 6412 w/120GB HD and dual tuner from Comcast yesterday after having a series 2 DirecTiVo. Different, but I will get used to it. Love that almost all of the locals except UPN and ABC are on the actual cable system. Called to cancel Direct and they offer a $250 credit towards their HD TiVo. I didn't bite.
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-23-2004, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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My install is tomorrow. I didn't cancel DirectTv yet, I think I should wait until everything goes smooth with Comcast. $250 credit is nice, but $750 is still way too much for what I'm getting at $10 a month. Maybe in 16 months when my promotion is over w/ Comcast the DirectTivo HD box will be affordable and I can switch back on another special.
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post #6 of 22 Old 12-08-2004, 01:55 PM
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I have the 6412 with Comcast and the new guide and I think it is great. It does have a season pass feature and states that it watches for time slot changes.

As for ergonomics I purchased the Harmony 680 to replace all of my remotes and it works awesome.
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-09-2004, 09:41 PM
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was going to get a cablevision pvr, but am simply not happy with cable's hd quality.
perhaps exclusive to cablevision, but the quality of hd signal looks extremely compressed... not nearly as impressive as what i experienced with directv's hd signal. i'm most certainly not laying out $1k for the hd tivo, nor am i even going to bother with paying extra for hd in the first place..

cable has the better deal, but the quality stinks... i'm contemplating ripping out the hd calbe and going with an SD directivo. HD just isn't worth it with excess cost and limitations... IMO.
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-10-2004, 11:20 AM
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Sorry to jump in here...But just got my comcast box(dual tuner) installed today...I have not been home yet to see which box I have...But just a general question about storage...I will be recording most things in HD, how many hours can I store of HD programing?
Thanks!

GO SOX!!!!
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-10-2004, 01:46 PM
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I've had the Comcast dual tuner for a week (also in Philly).

I give it a C+. C+ *ONLY* because you can infact record 2 HD programs at the SAME TIME.

The interface is improved from single tuner DVR. Still sucks, though.

I still have 2 tivos I use on other sets. Media room gets the DVR because of the HD.

I'm writing a review ;)
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-12-2004, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FreddyW
The interface is improved from single tuner DVR. Still sucks, though.
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

Hey I think you're wrong, but hey everyone is entitled.

***I should also mention that I have the 6412 with the i-Guide. I can't speak for any SA equipment and guides that are on those SA STB's.
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-13-2004, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I've had the SA8000 for a little less than a month now.

While I'm no expert, I had Tivo for about two years and here are my impressions of the Comcast system.

The guide really doesn't compare. The whole thing has a DOS'y feeling to it compared to Tivo. I don't know if that's clear enough, but I'm a programmer. Comcast is like using an old DOS or WIN 3.1 system while Tivo feels like XP or a Mac. That's just regarding the feel and look of the system even before we get into function. It seems like Comcast is a couple generations behind graphically and in information layout.

I have been having problems with my scheduled recordings. I don't think I missed a show in the 2 years I had Tivo (except for a DirectTv outage once). I have already missed a Survivor, an Apprentice, and my wife missed her Top Model show (probably a good thing :D ) and an ER episode. I almost missed Lost but I recorded it manually. My scheduling just isn't working correctly. I'm setting it up correctly, it just isn't working.

Many times while playing something from my DVR, if I pause, rewind, or fast forward the audio track goes off sync with the video. I need to stop the show then restart it, sometimes two or three times to get it back online. I asked a tech and they wanted me to reformat the HDrive but then I'll lose my saved shows. I'm going to try it next weekend after clearing the shows out.

The HD picture quality is out of this world. It's my first HD TV and system so that is from an HD newbie, not in comparison to another HD system. But I've never seen anything like it. I watch the Eagles and Sixers in HD and it's as close to being at the game as you can get without someone spilling a beer on you. I love it.

The regular channels are a dissappointment. There is a very evident difference between my regular channels and my old DirectTv channels. I called and they sent a tech out to check some levels or something. I'm the last house on the block and he said the levels are too high. They have to come out with a cherrypicker and work on the poles calibrating something. We'll see. I'm going to keep calling them until I'm happy. It really is unacceptably grainy. Watchable but there's just too much grain in the picture. I'm no videophile either.

The Remote is ok. I was spoiled by that magically perfect DirectTv remote that seemed genetically engineered for my hand, but the Comcast remote is decent by normal standards.

Things that Tivo had or did that I wish Comcast would do:

FF and REW are WAY to slow and I can't skip ahead like Tivo does. No sections to skip to. Also, when you fast forward at 2x or 4x on Tivo, when you click play it goes back a little bit to compensate for the time it takes for you to see your show come on, your brain to tell your thumb to click, and the remote getting the message to the unit. So your show starts like a half second before where you first saw it come on. It's AWESOME! One of those things you don't realize how much you'll miss until it's gone. I need that back.

I know that I wouldn't get the suggestions recorded like Tivo used to do. I can live with that. What I didn't know is that I can't search for programs by name or any kind of filtering. You just use the program guide, yech. Also I can't have autorecorded Wishlists. I miss that.

When I start watching a show it doesn't automatically buffer it like Tivo. I have to actually hit pause and then play to get it to start buffering and if I switch between tuners the buffer stops. It should be buffering both tuners at all times, whatever is on.

When I'm in VOD I can't read show information, dumb, and the pause, fast forward, and reverse is different from the DVR. This doesn't make any sense. No slow motion, no speeding up the fast forward or rewind.

If I shut the unit off and want to finish a show on my DVR from the day before, it doesn't pick up where it left off, I have to FF until that point.

Why can't I hide the 100 channels on my cable system that I don't get? Why do my kids have to read Naked Co-Ed Beach Volleyball on inDemand when scrolling through the program guide. I should be able to hide the channels I don't use, even some of the show titles are innappropriate for kids and I don't want to have to scroll through 80 channels to see what's on Starz.

I'm sure there is more, that's my quick gripe list.

Things that I like about Comcast that DirectTv didn't have:

PiP, that's nice.
I finally get to watch the Sixers, more Phillies, Flyers (hopefully next season), and Philly sports programming. And in HD to boot.
HD! HD! HD! I love it, I need more channels.
I didn't have to pay $1k for the box.

Other miscellaneous musings:

With all the great shows and programming on, why are my OnDemand choices so lame. There should be WAY more shows on there. Some of the channells have OnDemand but they don't have their best shows on. Ridiculous.

Why isn't any HD content on OnDemand? All those OnDemand movies on Starz especially should be available in HD.


I have to say that this, I can't really give much of an endorsement. I wanted HD for my new TV, which looks amazing (Zenith C34W37), and I am addicted to DVR. I live in Philly and missed my sports so I have good reason for making the switch.

I am REALLY REALLY REALLY crossing my fingers hoping that the new iGuide addresses some of these issues. If it addresses half of them I'll be thrilled. I knew I was downgrading from Tivo to Comcast DVR, it's just a little worse than I thought because when I was considering switching I was looking at the iGuide, not what I got. So until that arrives I am one unhappy camper. I hope when it gets here I feel better about it.

I talked to Comcast CSR last week and she said I would ahve iGuide by the end of the year. The post above makes it sound like I may have to wait even longer. GRRR!

My wife is mad at me for "getting rid of her Tivo" and I am looking to the iGuide to save some of my bacon.
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-16-2004, 01:34 AM
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I think it would be very difficult to go from having a TiVo to using the Comcast DVR. If I had never used a TiVo, the Comcast DVR would seem great, but since I'm used to TiVo, when I look at my brothers Comcast DVR, it doesn't come close to the functionality of TiVo. If Comcast paid me $100 a month, really don't think I would switch to Comcast and use their DVR. Now, from what I hear about Moxi, if Comcast started using that, It would be easier to switch. the Moxi is supposed to have functionality on par if not better than the TiVo.

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post #13 of 22 Old 12-16-2004, 02:46 AM
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Cable companies rarely put any effort into upgrades or technology that's not already 3 years old... simply because there's really no competition for them. My cablevision HD box is SLOW, horrible clunky interface, and doesn't have any sort of (audio) digital out.

There's satellite, but with the limited bandwith or dsl or directway... most people I know reluctantly remain with cable. If cable companies could compete for customers in all areas things would be very different. If cable companies had to compete with one another, there's no doubt that at least one carrier would have moxi (or some equivalent) deployed/developed in major markets already.

Amazing... we're days away from 2005 and I still haven't seen any dvr (satellite or cable) that even matches the speed and interface of ultimate tv. I guess it's the tv networks/ad agencies with some major doings behind the scenes... but the development of technology improvements with regard to dvr is at a snails pace.
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-16-2004, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by opus123
Cable companies rarely put any effort into upgrades or technology that's not already 3 years old... simply because there's really no competition for them. My cablevision HD box is SLOW, horrible clunky interface, and doesn't have any sort of (audio) digital out.
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

If only it were that easy.

Comparing satellite to cable is truly like comparing night to day. There are so many reasons cable is behind the 8 ball.

Satellite has relatively no infrastructure. Launch a satellite or two and your set. Cable needs to run a wire to each and every home. Miles and miles of cable, connectors, amps, and what not.

Comcast, for one, has bought much of its territory from companies that put minimal infrastructure investment in at best. Comcast has done a tremendous job to bring their entire network up to one Digital, VOD, DVR, and VOIP capable system.

Comcast is constructing a national backbone and will soon be a 100% digital network (simulcasting). Comcast has chosen no less than three DVR guide manufacturers: Microsoft FE 1.7, TV Guide i-Guide, and MOXI.

Of course Comcast wants to bring us, the customer, the best DVR possible. There are many ramifications on doing this , but mainly cost is a priority. Since each of these DVR guide manufacturers charges significantly different amounts for their product, Comcast is forced to weigh price and features.

I, for one, believe that Comcast's DVR offering(s) will be on par or surpass Tivo over time.

I'm also a fan of DirecTV Tivo, but everyone should know why the playing field is far from even.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-16-2004, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
quote:

Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

If only it were that easy.

Comparing satellite to cable is truly like comparing night to day. There are so many reasons cable is behind the 8 ball.

Satellite has relatively no infrastructure. Launch a satellite or two and your set. Cable needs to run a wire to each and every home. Miles and miles of cable, connectors, amps, and what not.
That's bunk. Comcast is enormously profitable. Look at their annual reports. The cablemodems for them, according to Brian Roberts himself (from I believe the 2003 annual report) is like printing money. It uses up less than 5% of their bandwidth.

There's no question that building infrastructure of any kind (cable, phone, whatever) is expensive. But those sats aren't free, and many aren't insured if something goes wrong.

markjkenna, I think you miss the point. the point is Comast has an almost complete monopoly on TV delivery systems. Sat is just a way for consumers to have CHOICE. Don't care whether it's Dish or DirecTV.

Come to Philly and see what the average citizen, let alone average business owner thinks/feels about Comcast. You hear about the insane deal our corrupt mayor just cut with those vultures?
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-17-2004, 09:07 AM
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I have had D'TV SD-TiVo for a year or so and just got Comcast's 6412 DVR. Yes, TiVo has wishlists and suggestions. Other than that, the 6412 seems to work fine. I think the channel guide for the 6412 is good - faster at scanning through pages of the guide than D'TV. I have had no problems with scheduling recordings, unlike the SA800 report above. Also, whoever said the HD quality of cable is inferior to D'TV HD has a bad cable hook-up or provider. I see more evidence of bit-rate throttling with D'TV.

The underlying killer issue for me in this is D'TVs unwillingness to rent the HDPVR box. $1000 outlay for something that is only probably viable for a couple of years versus renting for $10 a month is just a bad financial calculation. The D'TV box and service would have to be VASTLY superior, and I don't see it that way.

After the family learns to use the 6412 in the next few days, we are going to cancel D'TV.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-17-2004, 09:43 AM
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as far as the HD quality of cable....
i can't comment on comcast... but how else to you explain the ratio of recording SD to HD on cablevision's pvr?
It either records 40 SD or 20 HD (or 60 SD or 30 HD). I forget the exact #'s, but it's definatley one of the previous.. How else would you explain that if not for a compressed/altered signal?

The Hd signal i recieve from cablevision is at best the level of quality of progressive scan. Occasionally something on INHD appears to be of higher quality, but that's it.
What tipped me off was the difference in CBS signal, which IMO had always been the best next to DiscoveryHD.

Not trying to champion either one... I do think that Directv has the superior product by quite a bit... but their pricing is an absolute rip-off. $1000 vs. the $100 SD recorder.. for what... HD tuner and a bigger hard-drive?? PVR products had better get over themselves with thinking we're so naive, that we accept several hundred dollar diferences for only a larger hard drive.
Also having to pay an extra fee for the HD channels on sattelite, really makes you feel nickle and dimed to death.

I think cable has the best value... but the quality does not feel like anywhere near what 2005 technology should offer.

Maybe once cablecard usage catches on... the possiblity of a set top box competition will emerge.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-17-2004, 10:27 AM
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The Comcast 8000HD is the worst product I have ever used!

I have used the StandAlone Tivo with digital cable for 2 years and a DirecTivo for 2 years.

The Comcast good points:
2 tuners
Can record HD content

Bad Points:(I will just add what has not been mentioned)
Worst UI ever built

No show search abilities, hard to record something when you can not find it. The search by first letter of title and guide browsing are NOT search mechanisms.

Conflict Management is AWFUL, example if you have a Series set to record, and you decide to record a movie that conflicts with the Series. You decide to record the one-time movie over the series, it will also not record ALL future airings of the series.

If you go to the record list and want to watch a show that has already started recording and is 30 minutes into the show, it starts playback at REALTIME so you have to rewind back to the beginning and there is not quick way back to the beginning.

If you do the above case, then when the show is done recording it will jump you OUT of playback and into realtime again, how F@#$@ nice of it.

FF/REW is a joke, not nearly fast enough, no smart adjust like tivo, no quick way to jump to the middle of a show.

And the greatest part is it stops recording you scheduled shows for no apperant reason, I never had this happen with Tivo.

The Guide info is not as detailed as Tivo.

It only remembers you current position in one show. So if you stop watching a playback of one show, and your wife starts another, it will not remember where you were in the first show.
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-17-2004, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by opus123
The Hd signal i recieve from cablevision is at best the level of quality of progressive scan. Occasionally something on INHD appears to be of higher quality, but that's it.
What tipped me off was the difference in CBS signal, which IMO had always been the best next to DiscoveryHD.
Our Comcast HD quality is better than progressive scan. It doesn't match OTA, if that is what you mean by the CBS difference, but satellite doesn't offer local channels anyway. If they did it would be throttled to death. Discovery HD or HD mivie channels (HBO, etc) would be the fairest comparision as they both offer it. My Comcast is better overall on those channels than D'TV.
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-17-2004, 02:29 PM
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My Cablevision doesn't offer Discovery HD...
Glad to hear you're getting such a good picture... I haven't been so lucky.
I know what you're saying about Dtv... but my cable is still not offering digital sinal on most channels.
so ridiculous that we even have to have these type of conversations...
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post #21 of 22 Old 12-22-2004, 04:16 PM
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Had my Moto 6412 for a couple of days.
This unit will be utilized soley for HD content as nothing will compare to or suffice my ReplayTV 5000 series with commercial advance for SD. (I cannot live without this) (long live ReplayTV....or at least the guide, until everything is in HD!)

I did notice that there seems to be some degredation on analog SD side of video from Comp output compared to direct RF cable from wall to TV (strange, isn't it, thought it may be settings on TV but I have checked everything) My previous Moto HD box (no PVR) was beautiful in HD as well as normal analog SD channels.

My next step is to determine whether I will be able to modulate the Svideo output through my system to watch the HD programming on any TV in the house. (obviously it wont be HD on the SD TV's but this may be still be viewable.)

DrWill

Cheers,
Will
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post #22 of 22 Old 12-22-2004, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by whkdc
Had my Moto 6412 for a couple of days.
This unit will be utilized soley for HD content as nothing will compare to or suffice my ReplayTV 5000 series with commercial advance for SD. (I cannot live without this) (long live ReplayTV....or at least the guide, until everything is in HD!)
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

You may want to check these informative threads out:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=449214

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=464986

There is information on 30 second Skip as well.
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