Wow, lots of questions. Let me try and answer what I can.
Originally posted by gambit0
After I registered with the ReplayTV site it said my model was a 4040. The guy I bought it from said it was no different from the 4500 except that he upgraded me to a 120 hour drive. He said that it could also do IVS and I saw something that looks like an Ethernet place to put a cable/cord into.
True, the only difference between a 40xx and the 45xx is that the 4000s came with lifetime activation as part of the purchase price, while the 4500s allowed you to pay for lifetime or monthly after your purchase. Otherwise they are identical, and they both have ethernet. However, while a 40xx and a 45xx may share shows both over a home network and over the Internet, they can't do either with a 50xx or 55xx, which can also only share between themselves. But if you sign up for Poopli and indicate your model number, you'll only see the available shows from compatible units (4000s and 4500s).
I hooked up my ReplayTV to my phone line but now I want to hook it up to my computer/internet to use the photos, copy and burn CD's/VCD's and DVD's as well as send and receive shows. Now it seems that the first thing I need to do is obtain a long Ethernet cable/cord (cable or cord)? And then a router/switcher/hub thing.
You could get by with an ethernet crossover cable between your computer and your ReplayTV, but that's inconvenient for most people. If you have dialup internet service, you're not going to be able to use Poopli and your ReplayTV will probably have to use the phone line to get it's guide data. (There are ways around that, but they're more complicated, and if you do have dialup you can try those after you get all the basics down.) If you have cable or DSL internet service, you should already have a router between your computer and your cable/DSL modem, if nothing else than to protect your computer. (The WBR-G54 and WBR-G542 by Buffalo Technology are very popular.) Then, if your ReplayTV is in a different room, you will need the router to be a wireless router, and you will need a wireless bridge or something that can act as a wireless bridge. There are a lot of threads on what hardware people here like or don't like, so you may want to read more about that.
The people at ReplayTV said to get a Linksy Wet11. The guy I bought the ReplayTV from said to get a Linksys BEFSR41?
Don't listen to anything they say about networking. They build DVRs, not routers. They also tell you to open ports on your router that are like leaving your front door wide open with a sign saying "HACKERS WELCOME".
Another question I have is that I can't quite figure out the difference between the DVARCHIVE, which I think is a downloadable program and Poopli, which I think maybe a website where I can go and download and upload films/shows? Now there seems to be this other thing called reVue?
DVArchive is an amazing program that allows you to store shows from your ReplayTV on any computer and play them back over the network on your ReplayTV. It does much, much more than that, but that's it's basic function.
Poopli is a web site where you can let people know what shows you have on your ReplayTV, and they can ask you to send them a show over the internet; you can also see what everyone else has and ask someone else to send one to you. It's kind of like those need a ride/can give a ride bulletin boards, it's at its core a way to help people find what they're looking for, but then both parties have to do the actual sharing themselves.
I think I am going to order a 20 foot Ethernet Cord/Cable and maybe the Linksys BEFSR41, if that seems to be right. The thought of getting that hooked up gives me day sweats.
Please read some threads on routers before buying anything. But once you're trying to set things up, you can come back here, and someone who has the same router can probably give you some advice.
The DArcive thing seems to be what I have to have inorder to burn CD's, VCD's and DVD's.
DVA will get the shows to your computer. ReVue is a nice little program that will make rtv_tools much easier to use, and rtv_tools is what will actually edit those files so they are ready to be burned. Or so I've heard. I still haven't played with them much. But there's plenty to read on these programs. Here's a good place to start: jbarr's ReplayTV to DVD HOWTO guide
Getting that up and running gives me both day and night mares. Which brings me to my final query, the likes of which takes my panic well over the top. I bought a VCR/DVD combo about a year ago and paid a little over four hundred for it, only to find that it could only play what is called certain regions and certain CD and DVD formats. So to release that burning sensation in my head I gave it away a week after I got my ReplayTV. Now from everything I read so far it says that my ReplayTV can not store/copy anything to a DVD recorder/player. I also have a TV/VCR combo and it seems to record everything from my ReplayTV to a tape fine but when I try to copy something from the VCR tape to the ReplayTV it doesn't work. My neighbor says that is because my TV/VCR combo is to old a model and it doesn't have any out feeds or something like that.
That's right, you need to have the outputs from a VCR or DVD player going into the inputs of your Replay to record anything from tape or DVD to your Replay.
So, I am now hunting for another VCR/DVD unit but now I am getting attracted to just getting a DVD recorder/player. My notion is that if I can't get the ReplayTV to copy things directly to a new DVD player/recorder I should be able to send what is recorded on my ReplayTV to my computer and burn it (with the help of DArchive) to CD's and DVD's and also reverse the process??? Can anyone tell me if this Herculean rocket-scientific feat can be done? I don't see why I can't just copy stuff from my ReplayTV direct to a DVD recorder with some wires and plugs and belles and whistles and a little magic?
You can plug a VCR or standalone DVD player/burner's inputs to your Replay's outputs, play your show on your Replay and press "record" on the other device to record directly to tape or DVD. There's even a "Send to VCR" option on the Replay that gives you a countdown to hit record. But you can't edit out commercials or change the size of the recording or create chapters for multiple episodes with that method the way you can when you export, convert, and burn to DVD. You'll have to decide which you prefer, as both are quite possible and done every day, most likely.
Anway, the most important thing is to start reading older threads and skimming for those on creating DVDs, and on choosing routers and setting up a network. (The search function is very literal, and is only recommended if you're looking for something specific, like mentions of "Wet11" or "BEFSR41".)