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post #1 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Howdy,

I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Richard Bullwinkle, and while most of you will have no idea who I am, some of you will know exactly who I am. The most important thing for you to know is that I am here because Sonicblue has reversed a policy that prohibited employees from participating in online forums. Moving forward I will try to answer as many questions as I can.

I am also here because I have a wee bit of experience doing this. On that note, let me set some expectations:

1. Sonicblue has undergone great change as of late. The company priority moving forward is to build great products, and also build credibility in our dealings with customers, partners, shareholders, and creditors, maybe even competitors. I don’t mean to say that those weren’t important goals in the past at Sonicblue, but I wasn’t here then, and I only know that I wouldn’t have joined if it weren’t made clear that those would be the priorities.

2. I don’t lie. As far as I know, everything I tell you is accurate.

3. I speak for the company. If I say it is so, you may take it as gospel.

4. Some topics are off limits. I cannot talk about hacking the boxes, other than to warn against it. I will be advised by legal on certain topics that I should be careful what I say.

5. I’m also human. I don’t do the corporate drone very well, so I’ll let you in on my home life, my personal tastes, my experience with all sorts of stuff. I may offend you in the way I say things. I may say something in a way that I’ll need to correct later because it was not read the way I intended it. I won’t answer to personal attacks. I won’t respond to mob mentality. I won’t always say what you want to hear. Please don’t take differences you have with my personality against Sonicblue.

6. Finally, and least importantly, I’ve got history. I was TiVo’s Chief Evangelist for several years, and was an employee at TiVo very early. The fact is, I know the TiVo product better than I know Replay’s, so I won’t badmouth TiVo. Many friends still work there. I also won’t discuss the personal reasons why I left TiVo. I still have a great deal of love for the product and the people there.

So, thank you for having me. I look forward to many late nights on what I would call my side job. I have a real job here at Sonicblue… but that’s a different story. By the way, it is the holidays, and the month before CES, so my rampup may be slower than any of us would like.

Cheers,
-RB
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post #2 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 05:40 PM
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Welcome Richard! We've been eagerly awaiting your introduction to these boards.. we promise not to be too tough on you... well, at least *I* do ;)

A ham doesn't taste like pork chops, but that doesn't mean it's rhinoceros.

Knowing is half the battle.
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post #3 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 05:47 PM
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Cool,
You will soon learn we love our ReplayTV(s)... It is nice to know that SonicBlue is going to focus on the customer.
Quote:
4. Some topics are off limits. I cannot talk about hacking the boxes, other than to warn against it. -snip-
Can you at least tell us if you own one (hacked)? :p It's warmed my heart knowing that some of the other Replay Guys at least owned one, even if they could not discuss the activity itself... :p
Also, sooner or later you'll be asked which you like better (ReplayTV or Tivo)... I'll save that one for later... :D

WELCOME!!! aboard... I'll love having your knowledge and assistance...
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post #4 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 06:01 PM
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RB, welcome back online.

Can you provide a little insight into the future software capabilities of the Replay system and if it will compete better with TiVo. I would really like to have the extra hardware features and content sharing of the Replay but I don't think I can live without Season Passes, Wishlists, and overall conflict management.

I will buy a new PVR soon, If I do stick with TiVo (silly guys they would sure make the decision easier if they offered an upgrade path for my lifetime sub) I think I will just have to get me a Go-Video D2730

http://msnbc-cnet.com.com/2100-1040-978084.html

You guys at Replay sure push the envelope and lead the way in bringing great products to market. Thanks for raising the bar!
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post #5 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 06:02 PM
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Welcome RB. May i give you a Task to do and answer? Will you ever launch ReplayTV in Canada . I have been asking this question for a number of years now. I have heard all the canned responses, the guide data is there for both cable and satellite. I always respect a guy who shoots from the hip.


Thanks Kevin Main
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post #6 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 06:02 PM
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How many different names can one guy have??

:D

Looks like you've got it easy here, Richard. You already have people who like the "maintenance" reboots. ;)

Brett

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
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post #7 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh boy, here we go!

Canada: Well, sorry, but not any time soon. We are in a distant second place in standalone DVRs in the US, and we've got a hell of a mission ahead of us to catch up in that market.

As for future Replay upgrades, yes definitely. The upgrades will happen in several software releases, the first of which should happen in the first half of 2003. Over the next year you will find the Replay products will become easier to use, more intuitive, and yet also more powerful. In general, I would say that the overall focus is to make the Replay line of products much easier to use, while only adding a few key features.

What are those features? Well, stay tuned. Did I mention I'm known for tormenting customers with teases? However, ask around, I'm also known for downright leaking information to customers when it's the right venue. :)

Do I have a hacked box? Nope. Just got a pair of 320s to replace my old first generation Replay boxes. If someone will tell me how to fill the things up I'll work on hacking them! ;) Where are the Suggestions?

As for which I like better... we're having a pretty major storm here in San Francisco. I keep losing my connection. :) Seriously, I’m a HUGE TiVo fan, but given what the Replays can already do, and the stuff we’re working on, I will have no choice but become a diehard Replay user. They just have much more hardware power than TiVos: Ethernet, Digital Audio Out, Commercial Skip. And we’re going to push that hardware to do even more. Did I mention they’d be easy to use?

It all takes time, but the direction is clear, and the platform is here today.

-RB
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post #8 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Do I have a hacked box? Nope. Just got a pair of 320s to replace my old first generation Replay boxes.
i didn't think the 320s were out? does the 320 have a single hard drive? what brand & model? i thought maxtor was going to be the 1st with a 320GB hard drive -- and release it 1st quarter 2003? where did you get your 320s? are they available to the public yet? did i ask enough questions? ;-)

--kip
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post #9 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZroKewl
i didn't think the 320s were out?
4xxx 320 hours have been out. I'm guessing he's not talking about the 5xxx...
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post #10 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 07:21 PM
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Hi Richard,
Perhaps i can ask you to look into the problem that many of us who have a unit that has the software build ending in 300 have..I have been without commercial advance for 2 months and have been continually told that shortly a new software release would fix the problem ..but so far nothing.The problem is documented in several other posts but i thought id see if you could be of help.I do use the ir blaster and my serial number is rtv4508I2AA7000839.I thank you ahead of time for any help you can give me.
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post #11 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 07:42 PM
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Hi RB,

I have now tried two 5xxx boxes, the first was a 5080 and the second was a 5160. They made/make more noise than I am willing to live with full time on my living room. Many people here have mentioned the same problem, while some have said it doesn't bother them.

My questions are:
Does SonicBlue see this as an issue they plan to address?
Have I and other on this board just been unlucky with the units we received?
Do they all make the same amount of noise and it just bothers some more than others?

I have a Panasonic Showstopper which makes no noise in comparison.

Thanks,

-Bruce
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post #12 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 07:54 PM
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Richard,

Welcome aboard, and thanks for the mini-biography. It warms the heart to know that SONICblue still cares about its most devoted customers.

-Brian
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post #13 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:00 PM
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Hi Tivolu...errrr SonicRichard.

I'd really like to know if Sonic has any plans of integrating their PVR technology into cable boxes and/or satellite receivers. I currently own two DirecTiVo's and the main selling point for me was the fact that they're integrated boxes that will capture the stream without degradation. And I can't live without my dual tuners!!!

Of course don't put yourself in any trouble if you're under NDA, but if there is anything with regards to integrated boxes that you can tell us please do!

Ryan, N2RJ

Opinions expressed are solely my own, and not that of my employers, its parent company, affiliates and subsidiaries.
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post #14 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:01 PM
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Hi Richard,

Welcome to the forum!

Ok, Here is my most important question.

Is Replay planning on supporting newer DirecTV Receivers like the RCA DRG430 and serial connections?

I have a RTV 2020 & 5040 and both have IR Blaster issues with both missing channel changes, & not being able to change to channels 236 thru 248 at all.

It's very frustrating....

Thanks for any insight!

If only she could be paused like my ReplayTV.
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post #15 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:08 PM
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RB,

We miss ya', that's for sure. You treated us well for a number of years. Bob has been filling your shoes far better than anyone could have anticipated, but there's stil no substitute. Glad to see you back on the forums, the Replay people are lucky to have you.
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post #16 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZroKewl
i didn't think the 320s were out? does the 320 have a single hard drive? what brand & model? i thought maxtor was going to be the 1st with a 320GB hard drive -- and release it 1st quarter 2003? where did you get your 320s? are they available to the public yet? did i ask enough questions? ;-)

--kip
Define "out".

They wooed me well. They are 5000s. They're cool.

-RB
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post #17 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:18 PM
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Welcome Richard! I have many questions but I will let you get settled in first.

BTW, Since you have the room for it try recording FireFly on Fox.
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post #18 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by goinghome
Hi Richard,
Perhaps i can ask you to look into the problem that many of us who have a unit that has the software build ending in 300 have..I have been without commercial advance for 2 months and have been continually told that shortly a new software release would fix the problem ..but so far nothing.The problem is documented in several other posts but i thought id see if you could be of help.I do use the ir blaster and my serial number is rtv4508I2AA7000839.I thank you ahead of time for any help you can give me.
Hey there,

I know of one particular problem with Commercial Advance. I know that it skips too much content on some programs. I know that the particular problem is being worked on and will be fixed in the next release. I even know a tentative date for that release, but I don’t feel confident in telling you that date just yet. Let’s say that it is a minimum of 2 months away.

The problem I know if is characterized by the box skipping content that is not commercials in shows that are dark in content, like Alias, or Taken.

You seem to be stating that you have no Commercial Advance. That’s news to me. Would you mind characterizing it for me here? I’ll go and get more information for you.

Cheers,
-RB
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post #19 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:22 PM
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You are an evil evil teasing customer tormenting man, I like you.

Welcome to the boards, not that I've been here long myself but now that I have one I don't think I could ever go back to watching TV without my replay now.

Cyrl

Cyrl
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post #20 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:23 PM
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Interesting stuff here:
http://www.bullwinkle.org/song/
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post #21 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by bruce24
Hi RB,

I have now tried two 5xxx boxes, the first was a 5080 and the second was a 5160. They made/make more noise than I am willing to live with full time on my living room. Many people here have mentioned the same problem, while some have said it doesn't bother them.

My questions are:
Does SonicBlue see this as an issue they plan to address?
Have I and other on this board just been unlucky with the units we received?
Do they all make the same amount of noise and it just bothers some more than others?

I have a Panasonic Showstopper which makes no noise in comparison.

Thanks,

-Bruce
Good question!

I've only had brief conversations about box noise, and I know that some work was done to the casing to reduce noise. But there are some other tricks to reduce noise, and I don't know if we're doing any of them. I'll find out.

By the way, if you submerse them in water, they are much quieter. In fact, they're silent. :D

(The previous was a joke. Do not submerse any electronic equipment in water unless it is painted yellow.)

-RB
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post #22 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by raj2001
Hi Tivolu...errrr SonicRichard.

I'd really like to know if Sonic has any plans of integrating their PVR technology into cable boxes and/or satellite receivers. I currently own two DirecTiVo's and the main selling point for me was the fact that they're integrated boxes that will capture the stream without degradation. And I can't live without my dual tuners!!!

Of course don't put yourself in any trouble if you're under NDA, but if there is anything with regards to integrated boxes that you can tell us please do!
I wish I could tell you something definite, but it's one of those things that we keep banging on the problem. Everyone wants a deal with a cable or satellite company. To date Moxi got a cable company, but no distribution as of yet, and TiVo got DIRECTV, and has had a marvelous relationship with DTV. We talk to anyone who will listen, and in the mean time we're going to try to make our boxes so compelling that customers ask their carriers to integrate us. That's kind of the way it's done.

Nothing yet, but it is a goal of ours.

Cheers,
-RB
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post #23 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by fubie
Hi Richard,

Welcome to the forum!

Ok, Here is my most important question.

Is Replay planning on supporting newer DirecTV Receivers like the RCA DRG430 and serial connections?

I have a RTV 2020 & 5040 and both have IR Blaster issues with both missing channel changes, & not being able to change to channels 236 thru 248 at all.

It's very frustrating....

Thanks for any insight!
Hey There,

It sounds like you're saying there is a new Satellite Box that doesn't work with the Serial Port on a ReplayTV.

Is there more than one?

Moons ago, when I was an engineer and I had a brain, DirecTV had a spec stating how ALL DIRECTV boxes would respond to Serial commands. It made it easy to write one code base that handled all DTV boxes. It sounds like this new box violates that spec, or adheres to a new spec. I don't know the answer. But, I'll check it out.

In the mean time, place a piece of tape over your IR blaster to keep outside light from affecting your satellite box. That might help.

Cheers,
-RB
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post #24 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:41 PM
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apparently all units that have software ending in 300 do not have commercial advance at all.When i received the unit and i called tech support i was told that some boxes were sent out with a new software version that didnt work with commercial advance and that it would be fixed in a new release...that was 2 months ago...i still have no commercial advance and apparently many others have the same problem as i read the boards......
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post #25 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I'll look into the Commercial Advance problem on 300 boxes tomorrow.

-RB
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post #26 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:44 PM
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Hello there!!

Ok, since we have a new face and the Co. is going in a better direction I will ask this again..

Will the Showstopper units or the 2020 series ever get software upgrades that add new features or a better interface?

Thanks!
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post #27 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by MighTiVo
Not old news, the new news is that today Sonic Blue has apparently endporsed his partipation in the forums and he plans to be active:

I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Richard Bullwinkle, and while most of you will have no idea who I am, some of you will know exactly who I am. The most important thing for you to know is that I am here because Sonicblue has reversed a policy that prohibited employees from participating in online forums. Moving forward I will try to answer as many questions as I can.
I don't know if I'd say endorse or specifically requested... I was reluctant for several months, but I'm starting to see some serious potential in this little company.

-RB
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post #28 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:48 PM
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perhaps you can post what you find out about the commercial advance issue on here...would appreciate it
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post #29 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by StuckOnReplay
Hello there!!

Ok, since we have a new face and the Co. is going in a better direction I will ask this again..

Will the Showstopper units or the 2020 series ever get software upgrades that add new features or a better interface?

Thanks!
In a word, no.

I know of no plans to enhance those products further. Upgrades are planned for the 4000 and 5000 models.

I know this is disheartening news. I do hope we commit to plans to help people upgrade to the newer platforms for discounted prices.

-RB
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post #30 of 230 Old 12-16-2002, 09:13 PM
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Hi again Richard,

I thought I'd post 2 past threads about the DirecTV Issues for a little background.

Thanks again for any help!

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=198875

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=188162

If only she could be paused like my ReplayTV.
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