Why use ReplayTV at all? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 90 Old 09-26-2012, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I've looked through FAQs and tried many different search strings both here and on Google, but can not find a simple answer to this simple question: Why would anyone still be using ReplayTV today? I'll explain...

I bought a 5504 that came with a promotion for 3 free years of service. Set up, activated unit, and began using. A few months later, I moved and became a Time Warner -now Bright House- subscriber with a DVR set top box. Initially, I used my STB and ReplayTV concurrently; enjoying the ease of use, commercial skip, and extra capacity of the RTV. However, after a month or two of that configuration, I found that my Bright House STB met my usage requirements and the RTV was not of any benefit. Plus, I wanted to have as few pieces of equipment as possible in my home theater setup. I unplugged the ReplayTV, packed it in a box, and put it in storage in the garage.

Fast forward about ten years... I'm moving some stuff around in the garage and open the box of the ReplayTV and say, "Holy ****! I completely forgot about this thing!" Immediately, I began the thought process of selling it on Craigslist or Ebay. This prompted a question, "If I found that I no longer needed this unit, why would anyone else?" You see, 10-15 years ago, a TiVo, ReplayTV, or any other sort of DVR was an exotic, esoteric piece of equipment that was highly touted and sought. Now, practically every cable and satellite company and piece of equipment has advanced DVR capabilities, plus extra features like 'start over' live tv, free On Demand programming, and such. So, again, here's my question and I'm asking seriously and not in a smart-assed or tongue in cheek manner: Why is anyone still using what I consider to be an antiquated, feature lacking piece of unsupported, self troubleshot and maintained piece of equipment?
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post #2 of 90 Old 09-26-2012, 09:58 AM
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My wife uses her Replay to capture the AV output from the DishNet Receiver in the bedroom.
She subscribes to an ethnic package with 5 channels. Dish won't let you have one of their DVR's for that $15/month subscription- so the Replay works great for her in this role with the 25" bedroom TV.

I moved on to a TiVo-HD several years ago, and we have a free (for 2-years) HD DVR from the cable co too.

"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...."

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post #3 of 90 Old 09-26-2012, 10:56 AM
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Some people still only watch over the air.
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post #4 of 90 Old 09-26-2012, 02:20 PM
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If ReplayTV meets your basic TV recording needs, why pay more (monthly) for the cable company DVR? In my area comcast charges $15/month for DVR service. And that's for one DVR. I have three Replay units that I don't pay anything for monthly that record everything we need. Plus I can stream from one unit to another.

Granted, most cablecos have this ability....but is it worth the extra monthly cost? For me, it's definitely not.
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post #5 of 90 Old 09-26-2012, 06:14 PM
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Here' s a few reasons...
  • The ReplayTV responds well to the remote. I've found cable boxes annoyingly slow.
  • The ReplayTV channel guide is great. The cable company one is slow and full of ads.
  • Ability to add storage.
  • Ability to transfer shows to other media/devices.
  • Ability to archive shows.
  • Commercial Skip

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post #6 of 90 Old 09-28-2012, 03:47 AM
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Actaully, just dawn on me I don't use mine that much anymore either. I have a HTPC running XBMC and I'm able to watch most shows online or download shows to my HTPC like F1 and Indycar with no commercials...sure it's a day or 2 later, but my ReplayTV changed my thinking long ago with needing to watch something at that moment. The only thing I'm using my ReplayTV now for is to capture football games and that's about it. Once football is over it will go back to just sitting idle. It was a great piece of technology for it's time and at one time ranked as my most used home theater equiopment, but those days are long gone now...have to admit it sad in someways because it was a work horse at one time!
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post #7 of 90 Old 09-28-2012, 06:15 AM
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You ask why anyone would stll have a decade old ReplayTV. We have 3 networked ReplayTVs (5000 series connected to DirecTV units via Patterson Translators) and love them. They are connected to HDTVs in 3 rooms (although not quite HD, video looks quite good). The three units can each record different shos independently and can be watched from any room.

Show me a TIVO or other provider supplied DVR that can automatically skip commercials AND let you request and receive missed shows via IVS (Internet Video Sharing) from other ReplayTV owners and I might consider switching. Also, with DVArchive I can easily move shows from any of the units to our desktop computer as .mpg files. Until then I'll keep buying used ReplayTVs on eBay and Craigslist for pennies.

By the way, activation now costs zero, no monthly fee and the Channel Guide still updates automatically.
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post #8 of 90 Old 09-28-2012, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

Actaully, just dawn on me I don't use mine that much anymore either. The only thing I'm using my ReplayTV now for is to capture football games and that's about it. Once football is over it will go back to just sitting idle.
I hope you unplug it (from AC power) the other 7.5 months- it will save you some $$ on your electric bill and it will also save wear on your hard drive.

"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...."

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post #9 of 90 Old 09-28-2012, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spcemnspff View Post

Why is anyone still using what I consider to be an antiquated, feature lacking piece of unsupported, self troubleshot and maintained piece of equipment?

Its still way better than the craptastic comcast DVR they offer and actually charge you for.
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post #10 of 90 Old 09-28-2012, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spcemnspff View Post

So, again, here's my question and I'm asking seriously and not in a smart-assed or tongue in cheek manner: Why is anyone still using what I consider to be an antiquated, feature lacking piece of unsupported, self troubleshot and maintained piece of equipment?

Because one man's treasure is another man's trash.

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post #11 of 90 Old 09-28-2012, 02:24 PM
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free On Demand programming,
youve obviously never tried to use these things. theyre terrible the cable od takes forever to load and the tivo functions are rudimentary at best and sluggish and limited. the dtv od has to download first which is a joke thats not od,u have to wait , it can take hours, but at least that has the same tivi as its dvr.rolleyes.gif
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post #12 of 90 Old 09-29-2012, 06:33 AM
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I'm enjoying an interesting capability (old news?) of my SS these days.

I have it connected to the composite output of an LG BD390 BluRay player, and the SS records to a 4:3 format that is laterally compressed, so changing the TVs (Hitachi LCD) format to 16:9 during playback gives me the original aspect back!

I can't move the recording off the SS due to copy protection, of course, but it's still useful if I want to take (or mail) a rental disk back but haven't finished viewing it yet. PQ isn't bad, IMO, and full-screen is great!

Maybe this 'trick' is particular to my equipment?
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post #13 of 90 Old 09-29-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leedef View Post

You ask why anyone would stll have a decade old ReplayTV. We have 3 networked ReplayTVs (5000 series connected to DirecTV units via Patterson Translators) and love them. They are connected to HDTVs in 3 rooms (although not quite HD, video looks quite good). The three units can each record different shos independently and can be watched from any room.
Show me a TIVO or other provider supplied DVR that can automatically skip commercials AND let you request and receive missed shows via IVS (Internet Video Sharing) from other ReplayTV owners and I might consider switching. Also, with DVArchive I can easily move shows from any of the units to our desktop computer as .mpg files. Until then I'll keep buying used ReplayTVs on eBay and Craigslist for pennies.
By the way, activation now costs zero, no monthly fee and the Channel Guide still updates automatically.

Those are good reasons to keep Replay.

Also, WiRNS has a good multi-Replay scheduler (JIT). There's some improvements I'd like, but as it is it's very good.
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post #14 of 90 Old 09-30-2012, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leedef View Post

You ask why anyone would stll have a decade old ReplayTV. We have 3 networked ReplayTVs (5000 series connected to DirecTV units via Patterson Translators) and love them. They are connected to HDTVs in 3 rooms (although not quite HD, video looks quite good). The three units can each record different shos independently and can be watched from any room.
Show me a TIVO or other provider supplied DVR that can automatically skip commercials AND let you request and receive missed shows via IVS (Internet Video Sharing) from other ReplayTV owners and I might consider switching. Also, with DVArchive I can easily move shows from any of the units to our desktop computer as .mpg files. Until then I'll keep buying used ReplayTVs on eBay and Craigslist for pennies.
By the way, activation now costs zero, no monthly fee and the Channel Guide still updates automatically.

That's exactly right. No cableco system can do all those things. For those of us who grew up on ReplayTV, the bar is high--WAY higher than any cableco is willing to achieve. The Arris Moxi-based system that Arris sells to cablecos is a serious step in the right direction, and frankly is so much better than older cableco offerings that Joe Sixpack is ecstatic at the feature set and has no real reason to look any further.

Of course, the cablecos are moving away from analog--which makes the tuner in the ReplayTV useless, and which forces the damnable cable box anyway.

So, the REAL solution is a cableCARD and either Tivo, or Windows Media Center, or--now this is the real solution--the Ceton Q/Echo/Companion Apps solution.

Anyway, 18 months ago I moved from three Replay 5500s to Windows Media Center with a four tuner Ceton card and extenders at the remote TVs. I also added ShowAnalyzer to skip commercials, and it's as good as if not better than the Replay behavior.

It all works great. I then added Remote Potato for remote scheduling/viewing--yes, remote viewing--and it also works great. I have zero regrets moving to this solution.

So, the question comes back around to: why does anyone use ReplayTV anymore?

Mostly the answer is, because they have it and it's in place and it's working, and why mess up a functional thing. Usually you'll hear from satellite subscribers on this one.

But as things change for those people who are on landline cable systems, who still use Replay for whatever reason, they will one at a time discard their Replays for something else.
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post #15 of 90 Old 09-30-2012, 09:01 AM
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As a standalone box a Replay network is STILL far above what's out there, unless you're content to be fixed in one spot watching commercials and all kinds of junk. You can go from room to room and resume where you left off besides having the Replay's inshow navigation features. Nobody comes close to those. I used Replays up until I went to SageTV a PC based system that nothing comes anywhere close to.

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post #16 of 90 Old 09-30-2012, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

As a standalone box a Replay network is STILL far above what's out there, unless you're content to be fixed in one spot watching commercials and all kinds of junk. You can go from room to room and resume where you left off besides having the Replay's inshow navigation features. Nobody comes close to those. I used Replays up until I went to SageTV a PC based system that nothing comes anywhere close to.

Au contraire.

Windows Media Center with a commercial skip add-on does exactly all of that.

It does all of that and more, because it can handle modern digital cable systems in and of itself--something that Replay will never do. Replay may play OK with a kludgy set-top box, but it's still a kludge.

If you've never seen it all working, you should spend some time looking into it.
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post #17 of 90 Old 09-30-2012, 06:53 PM
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I have MCE thanks, but never use it as it does about 25% of what Sage does. If I had to do it today, I would buy used Sage licenses.

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post #18 of 90 Old 09-30-2012, 08:45 PM
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What does Sage do that Windows 7 Media Center doesn't do?
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post #19 of 90 Old 09-30-2012, 09:15 PM
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Windows Media Center is great, but if you have Time Warner Cable, they set the copy flag on all channels removing a lot of functionality. If you have a decent cable company, I agree, Windows Media Center with cablecard is probably the Gold Standard right now.

Of course the OP asked the question and it's been answered... ReplayTV is still quite functional in many situations.

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post #20 of 90 Old 10-01-2012, 05:48 AM
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no doubt, the copy once flag--which I never get, even on Starz/Encore--gets in the way if it's there.

But at least with WMC you can use CableCARD to tune the channels and an extender to watch the recordings, even the copy-once recordings.

Cablecos have moved away from analog and are overall moving to all digital, which will lets any given cableco require a STB or cableCARD to receive every channel other than locals. (Fortunately, my cableco still puts the standard lineup out in the clear--digital, but still in the clear. Any clear QAM tuner can pick up what my cableco puts out for the standard lineup, just like it was when I plugged the cable from the wall into an analog tuner.) If all the non-locals are encrypted, that puts a crimp into anything that isn't a cableco STB or a cableCARD tuner-equipped system.

If you're happy paying the $15/month for the cableco STB to feed each ReplayTV, and if you have the ReplayTV channel changing dance all worked out, then there's no reason to do away with ReplayTV.

I'm still waiting to hear about the 75% of other things that Sage does that Windows 7 Media Center doesn't do.
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post #21 of 90 Old 10-01-2012, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

What does Sage do that Windows 7 Media Center doesn't do?

It's like asking what does Replay do that Tivo doesn't. While they do a lot that is similar, Sage will do it in half the time. You do not have to flip through screens to find upcoming episodes, recorded data, histories, record options, etc, etc. If you are on a screen that has a title ALL of that is a click away. Sage plugins make everything automatic also. There are no operations to run to do CS, fanart, metadata, on and on. There are hundreds of plugins. You don't like this weather presentation, choose another. Dozens of menu configurations, file cleanups, histories. Add to Windows will CONSTANTLY record the same episodes again and again, Sage NEVER does unless you want it to. Group and present recordings in dozens of ways, metadata searches, multiple recording directories, record shows on any combo of channels. Software clients and every software client can do anything the server can.

I use HDHomeRun tuners and there is never a DRM issue with Comcast with the cablecard tuners. Once it is recorded, there is no DRM in Sage.

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post #22 of 90 Old 10-01-2012, 03:24 PM
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So, I take it you haven't seen Windows 7 Media Center.

You're still basing your talk track on XP Media Center Edition.
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post #23 of 90 Old 10-01-2012, 05:26 PM
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I only have Win 7 machines.

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post #24 of 90 Old 10-01-2012, 06:22 PM
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You referred to MCE, which hasn't been the name for it since XP.

You have Win7 machines; have you run Media Center? Have you hooked up extenders?
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post #25 of 90 Old 10-02-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spcemnspff View Post

I've looked through FAQs and tried many different search strings both here and on Google, but can not find a simple answer to this simple question: Why would anyone still be using ReplayTV today? I'll explain...
I bought a 5504 that came with a promotion for 3 free years of service. Set up, activated unit, and began using. A few months later, I moved and became a Time Warner -now Bright House- subscriber with a DVR set top box. Initially, I used my STB and ReplayTV concurrently; enjoying the ease of use, commercial skip, and extra capacity of the RTV. However, after a month or two of that configuration, I found that my Bright House STB met my usage requirements and the RTV was not of any benefit. Plus, I wanted to have as few pieces of equipment as possible in my home theater setup. I unplugged the ReplayTV, packed it in a box, and put it in storage in the garage.
Fast forward about ten years... I'm moving some stuff around in the garage and open the box of the ReplayTV and say, "Holy ****! I completely forgot about this thing!" Immediately, I began the thought process of selling it on Craigslist or Ebay. This prompted a question, "If I found that I no longer needed this unit, why would anyone else?" You see, 10-15 years ago, a TiVo, ReplayTV, or any other sort of DVR was an exotic, esoteric piece of equipment that was highly touted and sought. Now, practically every cable and satellite company and piece of equipment has advanced DVR capabilities, plus extra features like 'start over' live tv, free On Demand programming, and such. So, again, here's my question and I'm asking seriously and not in a smart-assed or tongue in cheek manner: Why is anyone still using what I consider to be an antiquated, feature lacking piece of unsupported, self troubleshot and maintained piece of equipment?


For the same reason some people still use VCR's: because it works for them.
Not everyone can afford or even have digital HD 3D 60" plasmatronic holographic TV & cable. I still have my 3300 [connected to basic cable on a 32" LCD" in the bedroom for news and such.
Do I need HD to watch 60 minutes and watch Da Arnold make a bigger fool of himself on TV, no.
When these machines first came out more than a decade ago they were an expensive godsend for those like me who have timeshifted everything.
Its a shame that Replay sat in a box unused for so many years when someone else could have benefited from it.
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post #26 of 90 Old 10-03-2012, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

You referred to MCE, which hasn't been the name for it since XP.
You have Win7 machines; have you run Media Center? Have you hooked up extenders?

I was referring to Win7 MC XP MCE was useless. 7 is an incremental improvement with the digital cable support. All my tvs have media pcs and I don't have games boxes or extenders.

Tony
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post #27 of 90 Old 10-03-2012, 05:02 AM
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All my tvs have (Win 7) media pcs and I don't have games boxes or extenders.
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post #28 of 90 Old 10-03-2012, 05:06 AM
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that's one thing Sage does, is be able to use any PC to view any other PC's recordings.

Myth does the same thing.

The tradeoff is in dealing with copy protection, and is why MS went the extender route.
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post #29 of 90 Old 10-07-2012, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

I hope you unplug it (from AC power) the other 7.5 months- it will save you some $$ on your electric bill and it will also save wear on your hard drive.

Funny never even thought about that and I still have the original 80GB drive in it! I actually have X10 modules throughout the house, probably could just use an appliance module to turn the reply on/off on just Sundays.
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post #30 of 90 Old 10-07-2012, 08:58 AM
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I love my replays. The most importnat unique features for me are
• the best streaming from one unit to another (Tivo downloads, standard Comcast DVR doesn't do at all, I haven't used Anywhere, but it is a large extra cost)
• best interface - straight-forward vs beautiful - I hate the Tivo bar that blocks subtitles
• the limited-to-HD size buffer! - I set a RTV on a channel and come back hours later to watch shows that aired earlier. I don't even have to record. (Tivo has only 30 min, Comcast 90 min)
• easy PC transfer as needed on Mac or PC - mainly for shows that you cannot purchase, but I know I want to watch again
• control of all machines from one unit or a computer (Tivo may do some of this, Comcast does not from the units)
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