Rumor: Time Warner to deploy HD PVR by 10/03 - AVS Forum
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Old 07-29-2003, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Heard today from an industry insider I trust that Time Warner will begin beta testing their HD PVR this week and plan to release it by October of this year.

It's said to have DVI and component outputs. Source didn't know about Firewire and will allow you to record two HD signals at once while watching a third.

This could be a big boost to cable since satellite users would have to pony up, I'm guessing $1K to get the upcoming HD PVRs from DirecTV and Dish, while you'd pay about $13/mo. for the cable box plus the remote rental.

If I'm Dish and Direct, I'm thinking about putting some type of subsidy on the boxes or allowing customers -- as an option -- to buy directly from them and have a monthly charge appear on the bill, with a two-year commitment or something.

With the hiigh costs of HDTVs, I"m sure Joe Six Pack might be a bit stunned to know that it's going to cost him another $400 for an HD receiver and $1K if he wants Tivo.

My source also said he'd heard rumors (this is way too he said-she said for my taste, but I report it anyway) that with the open cable agreement, we might see an HD Tivo box for cable.

Would that make you switch?

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Old 07-30-2003, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Langston Wertz
My source also said he'd heard rumors (this is way too he said-she said for my taste, but I report it anyway) that with the open cable agreement, we might see an HD Tivo box for cable.
I'll say that with the open cable / cable plug-and-play agreements ... we WILL see several HD cable PVRs. Don't know from whom ... but there are companies out there that will want the market share (I would imagine Tivo would be one of them). Only question is whether we are going to see the continuation of integrated tuners (with POD slots) or Firewire-only boxes (like the upcoming RCA device).

Note, I have absolutely zippo inside industry information for the above.
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Langston Wertz


Would that make you switch?
I'm open to any format but unfortunately cable is not available were I live so satellite is the only thing for me.

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Old 07-30-2003, 09:09 AM
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One question. Will this HD PVR allow you to tape the stored content to a lower resolution SVHS tape before you record a different program? Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2003, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Victor C
One question. Will this HD PVR allow you to tape the stored content to a lower resolution SVHS tape before you record a different program? Thanks.
One note about the cable PVRs. It's almost impossible to know what the features are untill they are deployed in your area. Fireweire, DVI, USB, additional outputs, etc. are often "optional" at your cable company's discretion ... or only become enabled as software updates are released.

For example, I have an SA Explorer 8000 (SD cable PVR). It's got two Firewire connections and a USB connection ... all of which do nothing. Also, one of the composite outs does nothing although some people in different areas have reported they are functional with newer software.
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:10 AM
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Langston,

Have you heard anything about local deployments (i.e., in Charlotte) of the box (either to beta testers or come October)? I wasn't sure if your source was here in Charlotte or elsewhere.

I was suprised to see the local TW website specifically state that the HD PVR would be available later in 2003.
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:01 PM
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I have a bunch of money and time "invested" in DISH Network HD equipment (6000 receiver w/all the bells & whistles) and have been gritting my teeth waiting through the interminable delays regarding release of the PVR921. E* refuses to give any hard information about its release date, preferring instead to let their customers who desperately want this box to twist in the wind, month after month, year after year. And I have no interest in watching over- compressed HDTV from D*, either, even if they get HD-TIVO.

So, if TimeWarner Cable here in Charlotte offers a PVR that can dump HD content to a D-VHS deck via firewire for archiving, it's buh-bye Charlie; thanks for the memories (of delay, after delay, after delay.....).

Langston, could you go back to your source and ask about firewire support for D-VHS? It's pretty crucial.....and if they need any beta-testers, I hereby offer my services!
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:12 PM
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I'm right there with you archiguy, where do I sign up? Thanks for the great news Langston!
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Old 07-30-2003, 04:43 PM
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Since TW Cable is only charging $6.99 for their regular PVR I doubt if they will want anything more the the HD version. I've got a good friend at TW Cable who is going to try and check this out. One big guestion is how much capacity will it have for recording HD.

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Old 07-30-2003, 05:00 PM
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Althought the SA8000 DVR has been available in other parts of the country we are just getting the SD DVR here in NYC. When they called about it recently I asked if the HD version was going to be available and the answer they gave me was later in the year, but had no other information. REcently I was surprised when I ordered a second HD box that they showed up with the new Pioneer 3510. If I call TWC NYC HD dept. right now they still tell me they do not have any other boxes except the SA3100HD. They are totally clueless, so any information available here is appreciated so I can get on them and push them. They are bringing the SA8000 on Saturday, so for the time being I will have both the Pioneer 3510 HD and SA 8000 hooked up until the new HD DVR is available. The customer service is clueless, but the service has been great and I do not miss E* or my Dish.

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Old 07-30-2003, 06:37 PM
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Is there any info about aspect ratio control on the 8000HD? I would hope that they would not make the same mistakes they made with the 3100HD, but who knows.

I am getting the 8000 Friday after playing with it today. I liked it a lot. Very well done.

I hope these next 2-3 months go quickly, and before I know it I have an HD DVR in my lap. I don't see how satellite can compete with this. They are giving it to me for FREE (it would take 12 years at $7/month to equal the cost of the Dish PVR assuming it is $1000).
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Old 07-30-2003, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I hear that at least in Charlotte, there is discussion of turning on Firewire and of not using it all. If turned on, it would be for DVHS dump....I also hear the S-video will be "hot" allowing you to dump to a regular VHS or even use the unit on a regular set.

As for who gets the betas, I have no idea who will. I just hear -- and again from someone else today -- that they will go out by Friday to a select few.

Locally, the SD-PVR is outstanding. I'd heard of some bugs in other TWC areas, including about 90 minutes down the road in Columbia. But in my time with the unit, I found it realible and quite good. I just wish it could search for programming by actor or keyword and do the season pass thing. It's cool to not have to worry about a show running 2 hrs or airing on Friday instead of Tuesday, as happened to me with "Fastlane."

....I feel your pain on the 921. I hope to see all the majors with HD PVR by Thanksgiving. I do think though that satellite better find a way to make their PVRs more affordable, as I stated before, perhaps with some type of deferred billing, as Direct does with Sunday Ticket pricing. Otherwise, I can see a lot of defections to cable, especially when TWC launches an HD Tier.

And it's kind of strange here, because in neighboring Rock Hill, Comporium Cable (a sister of TWC, which provides service for a few Charlotte TWC employees who live across the border) has been running ESPN-HD for some time, yet TWC here does not.

Anywhow, it's a great time for HD. Finally getting content and means to time shift it.

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Old 07-30-2003, 07:10 PM
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Langston, speaking of satellite making HD PVR;s affordable, have you heard about the latest stink with Dish now set to charge a new PVR fee of up to 10 bucks a month per receiver in addition to the 5 bucks a month extra reciever fee? http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=17141

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Old 07-30-2003, 07:17 PM
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What do you mean by season pass thing? I am not familiar with Tivo, although I do have a Replay. But the 8000 can record a show all season with or without reruns. Isn't that a season pass?
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Old 07-30-2003, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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season passes on tivo record a show anytime it's on, not just in one set time window (Sunday 9-10 p.m.). I also like how it will record shows with actors you like in them. I've been surprised many times to come home and find certain folks on the unit.

I tested a Tivo about three years ago and liked it so much I bought it from the company. I later bought another. I will say this about Replay, though, it's an excellent unit. I've tested two different models and the 480P output is tough. I was "time shifting" HD, at least in a small way. That was really cool. There are lots of great PVRs/DVRs out there.

For me, though, you've got to have dual tuners no matter how you go. Once you go dual, you don't go back. Right?.....

I have heard about the Dish pricing. If they don't charge for their HD tier for highest programming customers then charge the others the $10, it might not be so bad, since DirecTVers are now paying $11, right?

I am interested in this $1,500 HDTV, SuperDish combo Charlie plans to push by Xmas. Dish I hear wants to get the price point to $999. Selling a 40'' (I think) plasma and the SuperDish at this price means a large loss for Charlie but probably a two-year commitment from you and will likely lock you into Dish services.

Charlie probably figures when he offers you up to 50 HDTV channels, you won't want to switch.

For newbies without sets, it's an easy way to get into HD without all the questions and hassles.

Cable can't compete with such an option and neither can DirectTV, at least for now.

I think the next few months should be interesting, especially if we begin to see a lot of Firewire products hit the market. I thiink a lot of folks are waiting on that.

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Old 07-30-2003, 07:52 PM
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I am pretty sure you can record a show whenever it is on, regardless of what channel. I will confirm this Friday.

As for the searching thing, it came in handy a few times for me, but I won't miss it much.
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't remember that one specifically on the Replay. But I hear you. For me, though, I like being able to record two different shows at same time. Sometimes keeps peace with the wife, if you know what I mean.

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Old 07-30-2003, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dkan24
But the 8000 can record a show all season with or without reruns.
It depends on the software. There is an SA interface and a Pioneer interface ... each with different versions ... and different abilities. The version I have (SA from March) doesn't have anywhere near the functionality of a Tivo Season Pass.
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Old 07-30-2003, 11:41 PM
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huh - thats interesting. I remember reading a few weeks ago that most people thought that the software wasn't that good. I used it for an hour and thought it was very good. I will check on Friday to see what version it is. From what you said , I would assume its Pioneer. I know that my current boxes are all Pioneer Passport.
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Old 07-31-2003, 01:36 AM
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Does anyone know if hd dump to dvhs is available, if one would be able to send that to a computer via firewire or if the dvhs player would treat the data as a prerecorded dtheater tape and not allow transfer?

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Old 07-31-2003, 06:05 PM
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TWC los angeles deployed a PVR without HD capability and has indicated an HD-PVR in the Dec/Jan time frame. I have a plasma screen with no internal tuner and if I want to record a show ( on VCR) I can't watch anything else. So I would be very interested in the HDPVR with two tuners/ PIP/ and all the neat features it appears to have.
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Old 07-31-2003, 07:25 PM
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According to my TW source for HD in Charlotte, the device that they are beta testing is the Pioneer Voyager 4000.

Has anyone out there evaluated it yet?
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Old 07-31-2003, 07:36 PM
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I officially threw in my name as a candidate for the beta testing here in Durham. Hopefully, it will work out and I can post my comments.
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Old 07-31-2003, 07:38 PM
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Here is some info on the Pioneer Voyager 4000:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pi...,93185,00.html

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Old 08-01-2003, 01:25 AM
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Thx for the post. This is exciting news!!
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Old 08-01-2003, 05:19 AM
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I just had a TWC Charlotte tech at my house yesterday to help resolve some issues with my new DVR. The only issue, so far, is that it can't recieve a signal, whereas my old digital cable box had no problems. Turns out, they're gonna have to rewire my living room.

Well, I asked about beta testing the HD-DVR box and he said that they only allow employees to beta test things like that. But, it should hit the public by the end of the year.
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:21 AM
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According to the web site referenced by arungupta above, the Pioneer 4000 DVR will not allow simultaneous taping of two HD streams, as the DISH 921 (vaporware!) is supposed to do - only one HD and one SD stream at once. Also, there was no mention of it's hard drive capacity (describing it only as "robust") and thus, no clue as to how much programming can be recorded on the disk.

Perhaps some AVS members in Chicago can go check out booth #138 at the NCTA show this week and give us an update....?
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:17 PM
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Is the OpenCable agreement still pending? It's just a proposal rightnow, correct?
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:40 PM
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archiguy,

The NCTA show in Chicago was the first week in June -- two months ago. But I was there, saw the demo, and it looked pretty good. But there's a big step from having a prototype and delivering a deployable box in production quantities. Just ask the Dish 921 folks...

OpenCable and the CEA "Plug and Play" agreement are two separate things. The "Plug and Play" agreement between the CEA and the NCTA is what will allow the deployment of "digital cable ready" TV's and other devices. But until that is approved by the FCC, none of it happens.

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Old 08-01-2003, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gmclaughlin
OpenCable and the CEA "Plug and Play" agreement are two separate things. The "Plug and Play" agreement between the CEA and the NCTA is what will allow the deployment of "digital cable ready" TV's and other devices. But until that is approved by the FCC, none of it happens.
I'm not up to date on where this stands. Let me guess... the FCC is just sitting around doing nothing on this? Have they indicated when they might address this. If the two parties are agreed, what's the holdup?
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