Recorder Market Is Unsettled Everywhere, Not Just USA/Canada Anymore - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 289 Old 01-23-2012, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Branching off from a couple of threads regarding the imminent discontinuance of the popular Magnavox DVD/HDD recorders:

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Originally Posted by DonB2 View Post

If I did not know better I would think that MFG's of OTA DVR equipment are being paid by SONY and other Studios not to make the devices.

Some background: the current confusing state of DVD/HDD and BD/HDD partly stems from "global" mfr business strategy contradicted by their local Japan-market decisions. To use your example of Sony: you would think as creator of the BD-R format, Sony would have aggressively marketed BD/HDD recorders in Europe (if not USA) as the natural upgrade path from their wildly successful line of RDR-HX-series DVD/HDD models (the most popular high-end recorders in Europe over the past decade). Against all expectation, Sony chose not to do this at all: they instead quietly agreed with Matsushita to concentrate on the Japanese BD/HDD home market and let Panasonic virtually monopolize whatever global opportunities it could find for BD/HDD.

Soon after, the highly refined Sony Europe DVD/HDD models were suddenly pulled and replaced with unbelievably crude Sony-rebranded DVD/HDD units sourced from Samsung (so basic they make the Magnavox 515 look like a luxurious Toshiba XS-55). For whatever reason, Sony cut itself off at the knees and trashed its entire recorder reputation (outside of Japan). This put a damper on the then-still-strong recorder business in Europe. Without the market-leading Sony RDR-HX series, other DVD/HDD brands faltered (including Philips and Toshiba).

Panasonic filled the void with a plethora of advanced Europe-spec DVD/HDD dual-tuner models thru 2011, while simultaneously trying to woo consumers to much more expensive BluRay versions. This plan apparently didn't gain traction given the listless worldwide economy, and Samsung sensed an opportunity to undercut Panasonic with a cheaper, more-limited configuration resembling a TiVO-HD with built-in BD player (but using the free Euro-standard EPG, with no disc burning or editing ability). This idea seems to have caught on, as several other brands are now fielding BD-player/HDD-recorder combos in Europe while Panasonic soldiers on alone with full-featured BD/HDD recorders (last years nifty DVD/HDD line seems discontinued).

Meanwhile in Japan there were more brands of BD/HDD recorders floating around the Akihabara district than anyone could keep track of. Whether this relatively smaller consumer base is better served because it is profitable or more as a show of corporate pride in the home market is unclear. Japan has always had a bewildering array of electronics products outsiders never even hear of, let alone get an opportunity to buy (anyone remember WVHS analog HDTV recorders?)

So any theory of what may or may not materialize in USA/Canada can only be guesswork. The fact that three dozen BD/HDD models were fighting over the Japanese home market last year while Europe, Australia & NZ were left to Panasonic (or otherwise-abandoned) is very puzzling. USA/Canada was ignored altogether despite the large number of interested off-air consumers here (though stubborn issues remain that make such recorders difficult to use with pervasive American cable TV nonsense). Perhaps demand will inch up now that Canada and more of South America have gone ATSC.

Since Funai sustained Magnavox sales thru WalMart with modest success a full four years after other brands folded, it is not unreasonable to think they might be willing to keep the "halo" going next season with a USA-spec BD/HDD model. While its no trivial matter to retrofit an ATSC tuner into the existing/discontinued Funai BD/HDD chassis, it isn't impossible, and with WalMart's backing Funai might just try it. There's no harm in contacting both WalMart and Funai to express your purchase interest, per wajo's petition: encourage a followup to the soon-lamented 515. Meantime, like many of you who already own an H2160 and MDR513, I'm fighting the urge to grab a 515 to complete the three-piece set.
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post #2 of 289 Old 01-23-2012, 04:46 PM
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Thanks, for the usual well-written, understandable post. I just wish it had been better news. Last I checked, the 515s were wout of stock at WalMart's web site, and none were on the J&R web site either. I can't totally disbelieve in basic economics, so the "If there is a demand, then there will be a product to fill the that demand" rule still applies, then I can only conclude that there just isn't sufficient demand to entice any manufacturer to continue production, let alone design a new machine for production.

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post #3 of 289 Old 01-23-2012, 05:46 PM
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Back-room deals to halt public access to products are not always just conspiracy theories. It is generally accepted that GM killed their first electric car back in the mid-90's in part because of pressure from the oil companies. Plus of course GM and others purchased and dismantled electric trolleys in Los Angeles so they could be replaced by their busses, which would create a big market for gas, bus parts, tires, etc. The below is from Wikipedia:

"During the period from 1936 to 1950, National City Lines and Pacific City Lines, with investment from General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack Trucks, and the Federal Engineering Corporation bought over 100 electric surface-traction systems into bus systems in 45 cities including Baltimore, Newark, Los Angeles (mainly the "Yellow Cars"), New York City, Oakland and San Diego. In 1946, Edwin J. Quinby, a retired naval lieutenant commander alerted transportation officials across the country to what he called "a careful, deliberately planned campaign to swindle you out of your most important and valuable public utilities—your Electric Railway System". GM and other companies were subsequently convicted in 1949 of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products via a complex network of linked holding companies including National City Lines and Pacific City Lines. They were also indicted, but acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the ownership of these companies."

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post #4 of 289 Old 01-23-2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I can't totally disbelieve in basic economics, so the "If there is a demand, then there will be a product to fill the that demand" rule still applies, then I can only conclude that there just isn't sufficient demand to entice any manufacturer to continue production, let alone design a new machine for production.

I can disbelieve it. There are outside forces on the supply/demand market rules, especially here in the US. Legislation and industry pressure are fighting to suppress the supply: laws requiring full digital HD broadcasts, HDCP, DRM, DMCA, analog sunset, etc. add more and more technical barriers and licencing requirements for manufacturers to be in compliance, while at the same time limiting consumers' flexibility and access to fair use. The demand is still there, but financial risk for manufacturers is even greater to provide the supply.

This falls in line with the other thread on here about Verbatim stopping blank DVD media production within Japan...the "demand" for recordable DVD discs has fallen as the supply in the DVD recorder market has dwindled.

I see this as the beginning of the end. Eventually, no one will "own" their digital media anymore. The introduction and push for High Definition content was the eye-candy carrot on the string to lure consumers into the pit.
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post #5 of 289 Old 01-23-2012, 08:56 PM
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Yeah, whats the go with this. I have started looking for a HDD/DVD recorder in Australia and there is stuff all to choose from. Im not keen on going to Blu ray. Pioneer dont make them anymore and it looks like other brands are getting out of them too. Like usual i am too late to the party AGAIN! Seems like the only choice we have is Panasonic or LG. There is no way i am getting into all this download stuff you got to pay for.
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post #6 of 289 Old 01-23-2012, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Since Funai sustained Magnavox sales thru WalMart with modest success a full four years after other brands folded, it is not unreasonable to think they might be willing to keep the "halo" going next season with a USA-spec BD/HDD model. While its no trivial matter to retrofit an ATSC tuner into the existing/discontinued Funai BD/HDD chassis, it isn't impossible, and with WalMart's backing Funai might just try it

When DVD recorders were introduced to the US market, VCR's were still in production and being sold -- they occupied lots of shelf space in B&M stores. DVD recorders didn't kill off VCR's, they died on their own accord. DVDR's just tried to fill the impending void. So, here we are at the end of the line for DVD recorders. If HD disk recorders were going to appear in the US, they would have done so by now to fill the void being left by DVD recorders. Hasn't happened, probably never will. Not one manufacturer has even hinted at entering the US market with an HD disk recorder. Walmart didn't get to where they are by trying to sell products that nobody wants to buy.

The future of HD video disk burning, for that small number of souls who still want to do it, will center around the PC. Small but extremely versatile HTPC's for which HD video disk burning is just one of a range of capabilities. Then there is always the networked TiVo and a PC with a burner. That by far is the easiest solution to operate and maintain, but everybody hates TiVo and would rather buy 3 or more DVD recorders than a TiVo.

So people who want to continue their hobby of collecting video on disks will still be able to do so. And in fact, the tools for doing so will have superior capabilities to what they are using today. They'll just have to get it into their heads that technology has moved on and get acquainted with the new tools once the old ones bite the dust.

- kelson h

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post #7 of 289 Old 01-23-2012, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Walmart didn't get to where they are by trying to sell products that nobody wants to buy.

This is certainly true. But consider, what tantalizes Magnavox fans about the possibility of a BluRay followup machine is the fact that *no one* aside from AVS geeks was clamoring for the original H2160 in the first place. It was totally uncharacteristic of WalMart to essentially re-patriate a product that had completely died of neglect and vanished from other retailers shelves a few months before. Its been quite astonishing to see the H2160 replaced by the H2160A, then the 513, and finally the 515 (despite the complete indifference of WalMarts primary demographic and its relegation to web-only or "ship to store" availability). Given how many times the Maganavox was refreshed (against all odds), its only natural many here assumed it would be replaced with a BD/HDD model once mfrg costs dropped sufficiently. It would not surprise me in the least to discover such a unit was indeed planned, but scuttled at the last minute by the unforeseen flooding disaster in Thailand that has choked off the world supply of cheap hard drives.

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The future of HD video disk burning, for that small number of souls who still want to do it, will center around the PC.

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So people who want to continue their hobby of collecting video on disks will still be able to do so. [...] They'll just have to get it into their heads that technology has moved on and get acquainted with the new tools once the old ones bite the dust.

Some will migrate to the PC, but many will not. Count me among the "will nots." I do a lot of graphics and video work on both PC and Mac platforms, but haven't the slightest interest in using them as video recorders for TV. The whole idea is unappealing to me: I'm used to dedicated standalone recorders. If my only choice is to use my computers, I'll wean myself from the recorder habit when my last Pioneer or Magnavox bites the dust. Another few years and a new web archive or streaming paradigm will probably emerge to replace what I do with recorders anyway. (Those who do manage to accommodate the HTPC solutions will of course find a wealth of options and swiss-army-knife features unavailable with standalones: I envy their more-adaptable mindsets. )

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Then there is always the networked TiVo and a PC with a burner. That by far is the easiest solution to operate and maintain, but everybody hates TiVo and would rather buy 3 or more DVD recorders than a TiVo.

The TiVO/PC combo is probably the best-of-all-worlds solution that would suit the majority of DVD/HDD recorder fans if/when standalones disappear altogether. I don't think anyone objects to the TiVO itself, because a single TiVO can (and does) offer the functionality of owning three separate DVD/HDD recorders, in less space with more features. The resistance to TiVO is no different from the resistance to cable or satellite subscription PVRs: its based on a passionate hatred of monthly fees. A disproportionate percentage of DVD/HDD recorder fans, at all income ranges, are against monthly PVR fees almost on principle. I've never quite understood this, considering how we get gouged monthly for almost everything else in our lives anyway, but it is a big strike against TiVO for some AVS members. Whether the complete disappearance of alternatives would change the attitudes toward TiVO fees is hard to guess. Some might grudgingly go with TiVo, others will retreat to cable/sat PVRs, the rest just drop out (or migrate to HTPCs).
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post #8 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Given how many times the Maganavox was refreshed (against all odds), its only natural many here assumed it would be replaced with a BD/HDD model once mfrg costs dropped sufficiently. It would not surprise me in the least to discover such a unit was indeed planned, but scuttled at the last minute by the unforeseen flooding disaster in Thailand that has choked off the world supply of cheap hard drives.

Can't argue with that statement. It's certainly possible.
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Some will migrate to the PC, but many will not. Count me among the "will nots." . . . Those who do manage to accommodate the HTPC solutions will of course find a wealth of options and swiss-army-knife features unavailable with standalones: I envy their more-adaptable mindsets.

Such is the case with any advance in technology -- something always becomes obsolete. I can't believe you, of all people, would elect to stay on the outside looking in. You made the jump from VCR to DVDR, didn't you. Seriously?!? You take on the task of transferring thousands of VCR tapes to DVD and you're gonna balk at shifting to a PC base (which is backward compatible)? It's coming time to make that next recording paradigm transition. You're a little older now (but younger than me) so the energy barrier for that next jump may seem a little higher -- but it's all in your head. You're too much of a hobbyist and forum animal to stay out in the cold and miss all the new fun. Stop the crazy talk.
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The TiVO/PC combo is probably the best-of-all-worlds solution that would suit the majority of DVD/HDD recorder fans if/when standalones disappear altogether. I don't think anyone objects to the TiVO itself, because a single TiVO can (and does) offer the functionality of owning three separate DVD/HDD recorders, in less space with more features. The resistance to TiVO is . . . based on a passionate hatred of monthly fees.

Oh . . . Bear, Bear, Bear.
C'mon Bear, how many times do we have to go through this? TiVo = $600 -- period (your second one is only $500). No fees ever again. Cheaper than 2-3 DVDR's (depending on brand). Stop with the monthly fee stuff. I've never read anybody on any of the TiVo related threads say they pay a monthly fee. TiVo haters love to spin it and twist it but it still comes out the same in the end: TiVo = $600 -- period.

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post #9 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 07:05 AM
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Has anyone considered or using the Channel Master HD DVR? It is subscription free for OTA recording free web video services, plus you can subscribe to PPV web movies like Vudu or Netflix. You could connect it to a DVD-R for disc burning. I do that now with my Comcast HD DVR and results are excellent. No BD burning of course since best output is S-video.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com/HD...n_p/cm7400.htm

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post #10 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Has anyone considered or using the Channel Master HD DVR?

It was a pretty buggy device, especially in its DTV Pal incarnation. Also, doesn't it only have a 90 day return window?

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post #11 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Has anyone considered or using the Channel Master HD DVR? It is subscription free for OTA recording free web video services, plus you can subscribe to PPV web movies like Vudu or Netflix. You could connect it to a DVD-R for disc burning. I do that now with my Comcast HD DVR and results are excellent. No BD burning of course since best output is S-video.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com/HD...n_p/cm7400.htm

That still begs the question of having to acquire a DVD recorder. Their imminent demise from the US market is what all the discussion is about.

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post #12 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

That still begs the question of having to acquire a DVD recorder. Their imminent demise from the US market is what all the discussion is about.

Is it all recorders that are going away, or is it just the beloved Maggy?

Not to support HDD-less recorders any more than I have to, but since the CM already has a hard drive (and ignoring its reliability issues), you could hook up a bare bones recorder as an outboard burner.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclone82 View Post

Yeah, whats the go with this. I have started looking for a HDD/DVD recorder in Australia and there is stuff all to choose from. Im not keen on going to Blu ray. Pioneer dont make them anymore and it looks like other brands are getting out of them too. Like usual i am too late to the party AGAIN! Seems like the only choice we have is Panasonic or LG. There is no way i am getting into all this download stuff you got to pay for.

If you are in Australia, let me suggest the MTV-7000D for your in-line records.
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post #14 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Is it all recorders that are going away, or is it just the beloved Maggy?

Not to support HDD-less recorders any more than I have to, but since the CM already has a hard drive (and ignoring its reliability issues), you could hook up a bare bones recorder as an outboard burner.

What's really left? The Panasonic EZ48? No thanks. Without a HDD how do you edit? You have to transfer to a PC for that. My choice would be to use one of the Hauppage units and go direct to the PC from the DVR. The better choice, IMHO, would be to spring for the extra $200 and get a TiVo instead of the CM-7x00 -- that is unless you already have the CM-7x00.

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post #15 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Such is the case with any advance in technology -- something always becomes obsolete. I can't believe you, of all people, would elect to stay on the outside looking in. You made the jump from VCR to DVDR, didn't you. Seriously?!? You take on the task of transferring thousands of VCR tapes to DVD and you're gonna balk at shifting to a PC base (which is backward compatible)?

I didn't necessarily mean I'd stay on the outside looking in: simply that I prefer standalones. I'm not PC-phobic: I've used the HTPC solutions, and just find them annoying- the features and flexibility are great, recording TV (or VHS) to a PC using the various none-too-satisfactory bolt-ons isn't. But thats just personal preference: a lot of people are just fine with it, especially if they need full HD (I don't, particularly). I'd rather stick with my current DVD/HDD units until they eventually fail or the PC solutions evolve into something that suits me better. But if I didn't already own a few Pioneers and Manavoxes, I would probably follow the many recommendations from AVSers like jjeff and yourself to go the TiVo-PC networked route. The TiVo provides the "standalone" feel and functional equivalent of multiple recorders, while offloading to the PC for burning or library storage plays to the PC strengths while avoiding the "100% direct to PC recording" pitfalls.

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C'mon Bear, how many times do we have to go through this? TiVo = $600 -- period (your second one is only $500). No fees ever again. Cheaper than 2-3 DVDR's (depending on brand). Stop with the monthly fee stuff. I've never read anybody on any of the TiVo related threads say they pay a monthly fee. TiVo haters love to spin it and twist it but it still comes out the same in the end: TiVo = $600 -- period.

Kelson, you sometimes take my reporting of other members views as my own personal opinion when such isn't the case: did you not see my remark that "I don't quite understand" some of the passionate resistance to TiVo fees? However misguided, this "fee" resistance is substantial on AVS and the prime motivation any number of members here seek out DVD/HDD (or hope for BD/HDD) recorders. This prevailing "monthly fee" complaint can be a little exasperating to those of us who actually prefer DVD/HDD (or BD/HDD) recorders for other, practical/functional reasons: we all get dumped in the same group, dismissed with the same "look at the wankers who can't abide joining the rest of the world with a monthly tithe" attitude. Its a bit unfair.

I pay a fortune each month in fees to Time Warner Cable. I don't like it, but understand its necessary to get some things that I want like internet access, several tiered cable stations, and multiple service zones in my household. If it ever reaches the stage where its a choice between food and TCM, cable goes, but for now I manage. If I were to add a TiVo, the monthly guide subscription would barely put a dent in my existing bill (and of course nothing at all with the lump-sum option). I'm personally not the least put out by TiVo costs, you get a lot in return if you know how to exploit the box.

So I'm in agreement with you on the TiVo. Others, however, misunderstand the TiVo advantages or stubbornly don't grasp the associated cost options. You could stand with a bullhorn in front of such people shouting about the $600 lump-sum one-time TiVo option, and how that is not much more than a Panasonic or Pioneer DVD/HDD recorder sold for in 2006, and the only response you'll get is "Wh-a-a-t? I can't hear you..." People hear what they want hear, until they change their own minds. Human nature. For some, its truly an economic issue: the Magnavox low price is the draw. For them, $229 is a major outlay and spending $600 lump-sum on a TiVo difficult or impossible. More often than not, they actually would be better off finding some way to finance a TiVo because the functionality they want (integrated EPG) is not available on a Magnavox. But if price is primary and convenience secondary, its nice they at least had the Magnavox option. Until now, anyway.

For the record I'm not especially fond of the Magnavox interface as a complete recorder: I use mine mostly as an external ATSC tuner for my older Pioneer recorders. The pain and disappointment Magnavox fans are going thru now, I already went thru in 2008 when Pioneer tanked (taking my beloved DVR-560 and DVR-550 recorder designs with them). The Magnavox is reliable and works reasonably well, but its a little too basic if you've owned a previous Pioneer, Panasonic , Sony, or Toshiba DVD/HDD. I've grudgingly adapted to mine, but they're better suited to someone who never owned another such recorder and can appreciate the Magnavox in its own right.

I created this separate thread to keep it out of the AVS Magnavox cul-de-sac, and give some background on recent worldwide recorder trends. The Magnavox obsession, while understandable, sometimes distracts us from the larger picture. If the current 515 sold for $499 instead of $229, and the constant flow of even cheaper refurbs hadn't kept going thru J&R for several years, Magnavox discussions here would be rather more varied than they are. Europe, Asia and Australia did not get $229 DVD/HDD recorders or $169 refurbs. The situation here with WalMart, Target and J&R was very unusual.
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post #16 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

What's really left? The Panasonic EZ48? No thanks.

I was thinking more along the lines of the generic Funai recorders under various brands. Yeah, they're junk, but for someone who wants a DVD and doesn't want to go the PC route, they're better than nothing. Kind of like army survival rations.

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Without a HDD how do you edit?

With great difficulty. I never said it would be easy. But some are willing to babysit the process.

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post #17 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 10:28 AM
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The fanboys are just as annoying as the haters as far as Tivo goes. I would love to buy a Tivo, but I'm not one to throw my money away on something I have no use for (the EPG service). The business model of crippling the device without the service and doubling the financial outlay is shady at best. So I'll just be labeled a hater.
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post #18 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Without a HDD how do you edit?

Well, you wouldn't, except for the pause/un-pause method to cut out short segments. But then, that's the way it was in the VCR days. If I wanted to do any editing, I had to dub from on VCR to another. Even at SP speed, that meant substantial loss of PQ. So I just didn't edit.

And as soon as I saw the HDD DVDR, I knew it was the machine for me!
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post #19 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Kelson, you sometimes take my reporting of other members views as my own personal opinion when such isn't the case:. . . So I'm in agreement with you on the TiVo. Others, however, misunderstand the TiVo advantages or stubbornly don't grasp the associated cost options. You could stand with a bullhorn in front of such people shouting about the $600 lump-sum one-time TiVo option, and how that is not much more than a Panasonic or Pioneer DVD/HDD recorder sold for in 2006, and the only response you'll get is "Wh-a-a-t? I can't hear you..."

OK, my bad. I won't bug you about it again.

By the way, have you seen these. Exactly what we've discussed. Twin HD tuners and AVCHD to DVD-R & DL. It can record the input stream as raw for maximum HD playback quality like a DVR. If you decide to keep the recording, it lets you select an encoding profile (MPEG-2 for SD DVD and H.264 for AVCHD and HiDef) and encodes to the HDD in the background so you can HS dub to disk later. If that's not enough it's a DLNA server which makes it a whole-house DVR since you can stream its recordings to any DLNA client like a BD player, game console or networked media player (i.e. WD Live-SMB). Just doesn't seem fair, does it.

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post #20 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 11:10 AM
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By the way, have you seen these.

Just doesn't seem fair, does it.

No, it isn't fair. Thanks alot MPAA, media conglomerates, and Congress (and other factors).
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post #21 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 01:49 PM
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The fanboys are just as annoying as the haters as far as Tivo goes. I would love to buy a Tivo, but I'm not one to throw my money away on something I have no use for (the EPG service). The business model of crippling the device without the service and doubling the financial outlay is shady at best. So I'll just be labeled a hater.

The Tivo fanboys also forget to mention what will happen to their Tivo hardware and also that lifetime service they brag about, if Tivo ever goes belly up. Yep, they never seem to want to mention that those Tivo units could also turn into $600 paperweights overnight if Tivo ever goes out of business.
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post #22 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 02:02 PM
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The Tivo fanboys also forget to mention what will happen to their Tivo hardware and also that lifetime service they brag about, if Tivo ever goes belly up. Yep, they never seem to want to mention that those Tivo units could also turn into $600 paperweights overnight if Tivo ever goes out of business.

People have been predicting doomsday for TiVo ever since it started. That was ten years ago. When will it just finally die already?

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post #23 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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By the way, have you seen these. Exactly what we've discussed.

Yes, I've been aware of those for awhile (and ChurchAVGuy still hasn't forgiven me for mentioning them to him). Really nice feature set, they'll probably go down as the high water mark of the disc/hdd concept. Unfortunately didn't sell all that well compared to the various Sony Europe models they were meant to replace. The DVD versions are slowly fading from availability, the BluRay versions are still being promoted but it seems only a matter of time before they are gone as well.

Those jumping to MPAA conspiracy conclusions as the reason these weren't marketed here need to take a step back and rethink. Nothing has changed since 2005, when mfrs first made the nasty discovery that DVD/HDD recorders were a total non-starter in USA. From 2003-2006, all DVD/HDD recorder lines worldwide matched nearly feature for feature. They sold like wildfire in Europe, Asia, Australia and NZ even at $799 prices inflated by additional VAT taxes. But in America, they stalled at $599, languished at $499 and finally died out at $449, victims of consumer apathy and ridiculously expensive / premature ATSC requirements.

The autopsy results have appeared in countless other threads: DVD/HDD recorders (and by extension, any possibility of BD/HDD) were killed in USA by unrealistic lowball consumer pricing expectations combined with the very sudden introduction, brilliant marketing and mass adoption of subscription Hi-Def cable/satellite PVRs. If it weren't for the fact that TiVo uses a combination of patent lawsuit threats and backroom deals, TiVo would have gone into the grave right along with DVD/HDD recorders. The only reason TiVo manages to hang on is because it can arguably prove it invented the EPG-HDD-PVR concept, giving it enough leverage to force cable companies to play along and integrate TiVo with their systems via CableCard technology.

Integration with cable frequencies and their guide systems is the essential feature missing from USA/Canada-spec DVD/HDD recorders: it sped their North American demise a good five years ahead of the other world markets, which are only just now moving away from disc recorders toward HDD-only TiVo knockoffs as HDTV finally achieves dominance over SDTV there. Europe, Asia, Australia and NZ all standardized early on a DTV broadcast system that was not ATSC, they all share a similar govt-promoted free EPG guide system, and standardized satellite systems allowing independent recorders to include satellite tuners and EPG at somewhat reasonable cost. Cable doesn't even enter their picture, and cable monopoly craziness is the root cause nothing works right in the US/Canada market unless we rent it from the cablecos.

There's also the price issue: Until a few months ago, people abroad willingly paid $900 for DVD/HDD or BD/HDD machines with dual built-in satellite / off-air tuners and reliable EPG with features somewhere between TVGOS and TiVO. Here in America, we didn't want to hear about it: all anyone saw was that the $99 vcr had been replaced by a $499 computerized gizmo, and they weren't having it. Not at that price, no how, and don't bother trying to explain the amazing advantages it has over a VCR. Pay no attention to the fact our monthly AT&T iPhone bill tops $400 and we spend $300 a year upgrading to new versions of Halo: we are a very frugal people.

It pays to remember that the Magnavox was not an instant hit five years ago, despite being the lone surviving DVD/HDD recorder and the only one ever to include ATSC/QAM tuning. Most consumers, especially WalMart/Target consumers, *still* balked at the then-$379 bargain pricetag. It wasn't until the price began dropping like a stone each month and the $169 refurb party started that everyone and his brother flocked to wajo's sticky thread eager for every scrap of info on their new toy. To this day, half the people coming here to ask about the Magnavox had no prior awareness of the DVD/HDD concept, and are only interested because they finally heard about the cheap price. The rest of us still then end up spending 20 posts convincing them they should buy the damn thing instead of a more-limited Toshiba VHS/DVD combo for $100 more.

So there is no conspiracy keeping advanced video recorders from our shores: certain products just do not fly with the American mass-market, even at fire-sale prices. The disc/hdd recorder is one of those products. There might have been a chance for it if we were primarily an off-air broadcast country, but not with our cable-tv addiction. No way.
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post #24 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 03:56 PM
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People have been predicting doomsday for TiVo ever since it started. That was ten years ago. When will it just finally die already?

So, are you personally guarantying that it will never happen? And will you personally also reimburse financially people who bought one if it does?

Bigger and more profitable companies that have been in business way longer than Tivo have failed. In this day and age, it can happen to any business. If anyone ever figures out a way to legally circumvent their patents, it definitely could indeed happen to them a lot faster than you might think.
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post #25 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 04:20 PM
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The prices of HDD's are slowly dropping. The 2TB drives I keep track of are down $20 from last week and running $115-130. Before the flood they sold for $80. Still a ways to go but the predictions that supply would fully re-establish by the end of Q1 look to be on track. Hopefully we'll get back close to pre-flood prices. I've been waiting a while now for a couple new drives.

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post #26 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 04:32 PM
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Yeah, with some brands they are also offering even larger drives, of 3tb and 4tb now. So I think the HD market as far as pricing goes, will eventually get somewhat back to what it was before the floods.
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post #27 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 05:03 PM
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So, are you personally guarantying that it will never happen?

No, but ten years in the business is enough time to know that they're not a fly by night operation. You're just one of a long line of TiVo doomsayers I've listened spew for ten years now. I'm still waiting for them to teeter over into the abyss, but they never seem to.

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And will you personally also reimburse financially people who bought one if it does?

Sure, I'll just rob you at gunpoint to get the money. See, I can make ludicrously overwrought arguments, too.

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post #28 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 05:25 PM
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Yeah, with some brands they are also offering even larger drives, of 3tb and 4tb now. So I think the HD market as far as pricing goes, will eventually get somewhat back to what it was before the floods.

The 3TB drives are nice and were getting close to 1.5x 2TB in price. I expect them to get down to the $100 range. My current NAS units don't support 3TB, but my next one will.

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post #29 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Yes, I've been aware of those for awhile (and ChurchAVGuy still hasn't forgiven me for mentioning them to him). Really nice feature set, they'll probably go down as the high water mark of the disc/hdd concept. Unfortunately didn't sell all that well compared to the various Sony Europe models they were meant to replace. The DVD versions are slowly fading from availability, the BluRay versions are still being promoted but it seems only a matter of time before they are gone as well.

I guess were back to PC burning, then. Doesn't seem a way out of it.

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #30 of 289 Old 01-24-2012, 05:29 PM
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No, but ten years in the business is enough time to know that they're not a fly by night operation. You're just one of a long line of TiVo doomsayers I've listened spew for ten years now. I'm still waiting for them to teeter over into the abyss, but they never seem to.


Like I said, ten years is nothing compared to many other businesses that were way bigger than Tivo is, and that have gone under. But seeing you are just another in the long line of people that try and pimp Tivo to others, you don't want to admit to seeing any possibility that they could indeed fail at some time.
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