Farewell (for me) to ReplayTV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 04-13-2012, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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My two Panasonic Showstoppers may have been the best consumer electronics bargains EVER!! Both chugged along for 10+ years, through ReplayTV, Sonic Blue, the Ch. 11, sale to DirecTV, last summer's drama over the cutoff that never came, etc. etc. and I marvelled at how that dial up network kept working. Like a ghost ship with a candle illuminating one porthole.

I had been using digital cable on one unit since 2001, so when my cable company dropped analog I only had to disconnect the unit that was still running only on coax. But that spurred a purchase of an HD set for our family room, then months of deliberation over Moxi, TiVo, the cable co DVR (YUK!) or going OTA. I settled for Tivo, even though it will never be as good as ReplayTV, but at least it works and supports HD.

I kept my unused unit plugged into a phone jack and UPS, so it could at least maintain connection to the mothership, for, I dunno, sentimental reasons?

And when the program guide stopped updating this winter on my remaining Showstopper I browsed over to this forum. I waited a few weeks, tried every hack that users proposed, and finally decided I was investing too much time on trying to revive a dream. Plus, even with my "lifetime" subscription I still had to pay for the SD cable box. For a couple bucks more I could have settled for the cable co. DVR.

But no way I'd do that.

So I moved on to another Tivo, after the typical cablecard dance with the local MSO, and now the Showstoppers are at rest on a basement shelf with the Laserdisc player and Sony Betamax.

Best wishes for everyone still working to use ReplayTV. I understand the passion.
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post #2 of 35 Old 04-13-2012, 07:56 PM
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man, you're missing the boat if you settled for Tivo.

Want your Replay back? The closest you'll get is Windows Media Center--and in many ways it's better, with more flexibility.

Want an appliance for the family? Get the Ceton Q/Echo system.
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post #3 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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WMC/extenders weren't practical. Plus, at the time of the dialup flameout I already had one Tivo HD with lifetime subscription. So adding a Tivo was the logical incremental change.

I've looked at Ceton since their tuner card came out. The Q product you cite isn't available yet anyway.

For its flaws, Tivo looks like the survivor, if any, among 3d party set tops.
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 08:35 AM
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what was not practical?
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 09:52 AM
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Adam, just a question. I picked up an M card from Comcast on a whim. The Hauppauge 2650 is $100 and I have a netbook with Win7. Would this be sufficient as a start up, assuming I'm more interested in getting my full cable lineup in another room, rather than a full blown dvr setup which I will worry about later?
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post #6 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 02:48 PM
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If your Win7 box includes Media Center, and as long as you have a coax outlet in that room, that's sufficient to work with. All that Hauppauge box does is pass the digital cable signal straight through USB over to Windows Media Center for recording/playing/streaming, whichever you're doing at the time. You don't have to record; you can choose simply to use it to watch TV.

Between the Hauppauge and your Win7 laptop, you have the functional equivalent of a cable box plus TV set. The only ongoing cost is to rent the cableCARD from your cable provider.

You'll have two streams simultaneously, so you could watch one thing while recording another, or record two things at once. Once you realize the power of multiple streams of TV, you may want to go buy a cheap Windows box and monitor and just leave it there doing its thing as a TV set, and keep your laptop out of it.
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post #7 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 06:53 PM
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I looked at the box of the netbook and it's actually win7 starter, so I would have to shell out for an upgrade. With all the computer carcasses I have lying about, it's annoying to not be able to make this work without a lot of headaches. Luckily the cablecard is free for me.
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post #8 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 07:24 PM
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Well, the only "headache" you may have is needing a copy of Win7 that includes Media Center.

Beyond that, it's no big deal.
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post #9 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Well, the only "headache" you may have is needing a copy of Win7 that includes Media Center.

Beyond that, it's no big deal.

Depends on your cable provider.

With Time Warner, I needed a "Digital Tuning Adapter" which was yet another box + USB port and it caused a delay of up to 30 seconds to change channels.

From my research and experience "no big deal" doesn't often belong in the same sentence as cablecard. (shame, really)

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post #10 of 35 Old 04-14-2012, 08:58 PM
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Luckily I have Comcast. And although I was able to find a better price for the upgrade on Amazon, if I'm stuck paying for an upgrade anyway, then I need to consider whether some of my other computers would be a better candidate.
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post #11 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 03:14 AM
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I was going to drag up the old "where do we go from here?" thread but decided to post my comment here.

My 4 replayTVs are still working great (one using WiRNS and schedules direct). But at some point we're going to move on to some hi-def solution.

I followed Adam1991's posts in that thread about wmc and ceton cards but there were several issues with that approach at the time (lack of non-xbox extenders was one).

Well I recently bought a silicondust HD homerun prime (similar to ceton but it's external and connects to PCs via ethernet) and I set it up with wmc on several computers within my house (one hooked up to the main HDTV) and it's great (not replaytv great but much better than I imagined). I programmed my harmony 650 remote to control a microsoft mce remote and it is very close to the replay experience (and better than the FIOS menu system on the cable box).

I then looked into the situation with extenders and found that ceton announced something called the Echo was going to be out soon (I don't know when). With the echo, I can get rid of the cable HD DVR and a some cable boxes. This could be the answer to "where do we go from here". I see why adam1991 is so enthusiastic about it.

GB
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 11:10 AM
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Why not XBox?

The new Slim models are quiet and bulletproof for this application, and you can find them for as little as $135 if you're careful.

I don't know that an Echo will be that low priced. We'll see; I'm hoping the Echo gets released yet this quarter, but who knows.

Either way, an extender is way cheaper--and more bulletproof/wife acceptable--than a whole Windows machine sitting at a TV, no?

I've come to see MC and ReplayTV as direct equivalents. That's not to say that MC isn't missing some things I was used to in Replay; there are a handful of things that Replay did that I do miss. But overall they are insignificant.

On the other hand, MC makes up for it by doing many things that we all wished Replay would do. The golden situation would be that Replay never went out of business and continued over the past 10 years developing their platform. But given the reality of that never happening, I have chosen not to pine over what MC is missing but instead celebrate the additional functionality that MC brings to the table in these new times of digital everything.

That all being said, I personally could go back to three or four ReplayTVs in the house all watching analog TV, if I had to and if the programming were there to feed them.

It's really that close a horse race.

So you're using the tuner to feed invidual, specific streams to each TV instead of letting all streams come into one box and letting extenders figure it out for you dynamically. That puts you back in the Replay boat of figuring out, manually, which box to record what on, and then remembering which box has that recording. Further, if what's recorded is flagged copy-once, you are back to the cableco model of going to that particular TV to watch the show.

I know others choose to do it this way; I must be missing something. Is it the ability for the computer to do more than the MC/extender thing can do natively? Codecs? Different streams? Netflix/Hulu type functionality?
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 01:48 PM
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MC is a pretty poor DVR. It's only saving grace is easy setup with cablecard. Almost any of the software dvrs are better than MC. Besides DRM, MC makes you move through seemingly endless numbers of screen to perform the most mundane tasks. You have to be in a specific task and within that task you get about 5 lines of info per screen. Even Tivo is better in speed of use, even though it's a dog compared to replay.

Buy somebody's Sage License or use MythTV.

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post #14 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 11:34 PM
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Not sure what you're talking about. WMC displays more info on the screen than my Replay (granted, I have a 3k).

I press one button the remote (same one used for ReplayGuide) and I get the list of recorded shows... nicely grouped by show name (no scrolling through all the episodes).

I have other buttons that go straight to photos and music.

I agree that the "zones" equivalent is buried, but I seldom use that.

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post #15 of 35 Old 04-19-2012, 01:55 PM
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Yeah go to "recorded shows" and tell me within a couple seconds, the synopsis, the actors, when it was recorded and on what channel, what was the original broadcast date, when does the show play again in the future, when was it shown in the past AND for those past and future showings give all the info as well as tell you if you already watched them. In MC if you go to shows you get a title and a date for a couple of shows. After you scroll around you might find the ep you want. Then try to tell it to record the show next week at 2AM. The comp allows you to SEE and DO practically everything from one or 2 screens with just a click away. And I find MC constantly records the same shows (probably because there is minimal metadata). Even my Replay NEVER did that.

Tony
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post #16 of 35 Old 04-19-2012, 11:43 PM
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I go to recorded shows... find the Show Title (M.A.S.H.) (type 6 (m) to jump there). Then press select.

I then get a listed of episode titles (by date). I scroll to "Goodby Fairwell Amen" and press select.

Then I get a status page that lists synopsis, actors, Original Air Date, record time, channel, etc. I do not see previous times it was on, or next time it will be on.

I then select "Find other episodes" (or something like that), and I should see the 2am choice, I press record.

I don't really use Media Center for archiving and delete shows after they're recorded. Maybe that's why I tend to have a more manageable number. Of course I'm a year behind and still have about 630 shows and about 1.3TB recorded

I personally don't find anything missing for my needs. Keep in mind the 2k/3k Replay I'm used to only displays recorded shows in a big list..... things are grouped, but you have to page up/down through them all. I know the 4k/5k units have better show management.

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post #17 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Well, the only "headache" you may have is needing a copy of Win7 that includes Media Center.

Beyond that, it's no big deal.

Ok, I actually have an update. After a little digging I found one of those 3 pack windows 7 upgrade packages that had been used only once. I bypassed my win7 starter netbook, and did the upgrade on a Dell mini 10 I use. I ran the media center cable compatibility test and I got 3 failures. It fussed about the low ram, which I expected, it said a Dual core cpu or better is recommended, but thirdly it said my graphics card or driver doesn't meet the minimum standards. So I want to know, is my Dell mini really incapable? I chose it over my other netbook which I have never opened, because the Dell has hdmi out and because I could use the free win7 upgrade and test the waters. I don't think I could use the package on a Win7 starter system.
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post #18 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 09:26 AM
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When I use the term "best" it is always in light of the primary function of a program and how it accomplishes it. DVR software records your programs, organizes them and shows them on demand. In these type of discussions, the other person usually (and with Tivo ALWAYS) comes back and says it is "good enough". Tivo users (I have one) are like Apple fans who guzzle the Kool Aid and fear they might violate a sacred trust if they say the Tivo interface is as slow as a pig and is basically crippleware so as not to incur the wrath of content providers. So obtuse and slow, it has to be deliberate.

In Sage and I'm sure Myth, I mouse over HUNDREDS of recordings and get info. Clicking on them or right clicking allows me to do hundreds of things. If I had to use MC with 100 TV shows, 800 movies, and thousands of audio files, I get carpal tunnel and age rapidly.

Tony
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post #19 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonyad View Post

Ok, I actually have an update. After a little digging I found one of those 3 pack windows 7 upgrade packages that had been used only once. I bypassed my win7 starter netbook, and did the upgrade on a Dell mini 10 I use. I ran the media center cable compatibility test and I got 3 failures. It fussed about the low ram, which I expected, it said a Dual core cpu or better is recommended, but thirdly it said my graphics card or driver doesn't meet the minimum standards. So I want to know, is my Dell mini really incapable? I chose it over my other netbook which I have never opened, because the Dell has hdmi out and because I could use the free win7 upgrade and test the waters. I don't think I could use the package on a Win7 starter system.

Video card and monitor must be hdcp compliant to insure compliance with DRM with MC.

Tony
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post #20 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

Video card and monitor must be hdcp compliant to insure compliance with DRM with MC.

You're going to have to translate that into something I can understand. I have a Hauppauge cablecard usb tuner. I want to watch tv on my Dell mini, using the hdmi to connect it to Samsung lcd tv I use as an external monitor. I'm not worried about dvr functions right now. What is not possible with my setup?
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post #21 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 11:57 AM
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Unless the video card and the monitor are certified to be "hdcp compliant" it won't work, and you cannot "fix" it until those are made compliant. I would think almost everything made recently should be compliant. You could just as easily d/l anything you're interested in in less time than it would take to record it and watch it on the netbook.

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post #22 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

Unless the video card and the monitor are certified to be "hdcp compliant" it won't work, and you cannot "fix" it until those are made compliant. I would think almost everything made recently should be compliant. You could just as easily d/l anything you're interested in in less time than it would take to record it and watch it on the netbook.

I bought the mini in 2009, but considering it's equipped with a hdmi port, I would assume it's compliant and Dell lists the mini as Windows 7 compliant. The tv is a Samsung LN19C350. I don't know when it was manufactured, but it's not old. Anyway maybe I just need to update the mini drivers. I only let the Window 7 update do its thing.
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post #23 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 12:54 PM
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If you have a relatively new monitor somewhere, connect the vga port to it and see if you get the same error message.

Tony
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post #24 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 01:03 PM
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The mini doesn't have vga out, only hdmi.
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post #25 of 35 Old 04-20-2012, 03:45 PM
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Anyway today I had some time to apply a few Win7 updates for the video and whatnot. WMC stills claims my mini is a graphics failure, and this was just using the netbook by itself, without attaching it to an external monitor. Anyway the MC seemed kind of interesting. I connected to Cinenow and downloaded Silly Crazy Love which I had gotten free from Best Buy not too long ago. I think I'll throw caution to the wind, and try to get the Hauppauge connected. Strangely, Dell's site had a couple of Hauppauge driver upgrades for the mini, although I haven't even opened by Hauppauge yet.
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post #26 of 35 Old 04-22-2012, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Why not XBox?

The new Slim models are quiet and bulletproof for this application, and you can find them for as little as $135 if you're careful.

Does the "new Slim" have a model # that sets it apart from the standard Xbox? Does it have a fan or other moving parts (a spinning HD)? I know the ReplayTVs do too so it's not a horrible thing. It would be a nice improvement to get rid of the added noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

So you're using the tuner to feed invidual, specific streams to each TV instead of letting all streams come into one box and letting extenders figure it out for you dynamically. That puts you back in the Replay boat of figuring out, manually, which box to record what on, and then remembering which box has that recording. Further, if what's recorded is flagged copy-once, you are back to the cableco model of going to that particular TV to watch the show.

I know others choose to do it this way; I must be missing something. Is it the ability for the computer to do more than the MC/extender thing can do natively? Codecs? Different streams? Netflix/Hulu type functionality?

I'm not sure what you mean. The way the silicon dust HD Prime works is that all 3 tuners are available to any box hooked up to it. I'm not sure where the deconfliction process happens. I suppose that when a WMC computer or extender attempt access to the tuner, the tuner will let it know if there's no free tuner. I haven't allocated the tuners to specific computers. Each has access to all 3. 99% of the time, we're going to watch a recorded show. The chance of us needing all 3 tuners at once will be rare (we still have the 4 ReplayTVs in use - One that uses only OTA channels). The WMC does have access to Netflix which puts that under the same control screen as the DVR and live TV. Would the extender do the same? I'll have to look at one of your older posts because I remember you said there was an option that had to be purchased for the Xbox to use the full extender functions (or something like that). Does the Xbox (or can the Xbox) be set to default to extender mode?

GB
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post #27 of 35 Old 04-22-2012, 03:41 PM
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The current XBox is known as the slim; it has 4GB of solid state storage, and no spinning disc. That's optional, and not at all necessary for extender use.

It's extremely quiet. There is still a fan, but at normal viewing distances you can't hear it.
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post #28 of 35 Old 04-22-2012, 03:44 PM
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Oh--and yes, XBox can by default be set up to boot into extender mode. That's how mine are set up, because I don't use them for anything else. Wife, kids--all are happily using XBox to watch TV, because it looks and acts just like the WMC on the main TV.

'Tis true, sadly, that the Netflix screen that's on WMC does not extend to the extenders. If you want Netflix to appear on XBox, you have to go to another screen *and* pay for an XBox Live Gold subscription. There are tools for MC that can "sling" the native MC stuff like Netflix over to the extenders, but I haven't played with them. I just got a Roku and called it a day. On my remote TVs, I just change the input and pick up the Roku remote. Problem solved.
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post #29 of 35 Old 04-22-2012, 05:18 PM
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I agree there are other ways to get netflx onto the TV I was just impressed that it was there on media center. I'll probably try the Xbox slim.

You mentioned the xbox live gold subscription in other posts but I'd forgotten why it was needed. Now I know (again).

GB
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post #30 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 02:01 AM
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I finally have an update. After researching the graphics chips in both my netbooks I found they weren't hdcp compliant so I didn't have to devote any money with those. I have an older behemoth xps that would probably pass, but it requires a clean win7 install and with 5 user accounts and a lot of downloaded programs that can't be reinstalled, and sluggish behavior and drive failures I can't explain, I wasn't going down that road.

Luckily I found an open box Compaq 100b with win7 pro. The Hauppauge and cable card installed without too many glitches. When I left it, I verified a few of my hd channels and let it continue the guide download.

Before long I hope to address my lanquishing replay. I've been happy with my
Comcast dvr but I still miss my day long replay buffer.
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