Tivo vs UTV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 66 Old 04-04-2002, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, now that UTV has a software update, the debate rages on...

I'm a Tivo Fan, but I have to be honest, I've never used or even seen a demo of UTV but I would like to...I want to buy another PVR and thought about having both systems in the house....but I'm not sure if it's worth the extra monthly $$$.....so I gotta ask, as UTV fans, with this latest sw update, what would be your argument as to why UTV is superior (aside from P-in-P)?

-Ed

HD Everywhere
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post #2 of 66 Old 04-04-2002, 08:39 PM
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1) 30-Second Quick Skip
2) Cheaper (Sony box free after rebate for new subscribers - me)
3) Keyboard
4) Interactive TV (for those that like it)
5) Internet (for those that don't mind WebTV)

Those are my 5.
Oh...and PIP :)
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post #3 of 66 Old 04-04-2002, 09:27 PM
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My five are as follows:

1. PIP (I know you didn't ask for it, but I use it all the time)
2. keyboard
3. new faster menus
4. equipment price (I bought my 2nd RCA for $39)
5. RCA name (matches my other equipment, and I really trust the brand)

The new upgrade really made a good piece of equipment great...

1 RCA DWD490 UTV upgraded to 120GB
1 RCA DWD490 UTV upgraded to 80GB
1 RCA DWD490 UTV stock
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post #4 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 05:45 AM
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I agree. I used to own several DTivo units, but was never satisfied with the hardware. The UTV hardware seems to be superior to me and with the current software upgrade, the UTV box pretty much covers all that Tivo does with the exception of a few things...
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post #5 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 05:50 AM
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1) automatic soft padding
2) ALWAYS keeps it's place when you go back to a partially viewed show(directivo is notoriously bad about this)
3) much quieter
4) can keep watching a recording or live TV while doing most every function (checking the guide, checking my shows, etc...)
5) internet
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post #6 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by edrock200
Well, now that UTV has a software update, the debate rages on...
TiVo and UTV have very different styles of doing the same thing--recording video to a HD.

If recording everything for delayed viewing was my chosen way of watching TV I'd pick TiVo. That's what it's designed for. That's what its whole ballyhoed "Tivolution" is all about.

Tivo's presentation style is designed to encourage watching everything delayed--entering any menu except TiVo's EPG causes the ongoing program to disappear from the screen and the audio to stop--but the program will still be available from the recording buffer after returning from a menu screen.

TiVo has a uniquely styled EPG although it offers DirecTV's traditional grid also. TiVo's EPG is made up off white lettering with the program playing in the background. It uses a vertical format for displaying listings. I find it hard to read and the program behind it hard to see.

TiVo does have the best program search algorithm. While ver. 3.5 has improved UTV's program finding abilities I doubt they're as finally honed as TiVo's.

UTV is better suited than TiVo for a user who doesn't choose to totally timeshift all TV watching. Watching an ongoing problem is easy to do with the program being continually available with audio while entering most menus or setting up recordings. UTV arguably has the most pleasing EPG of any DVR product. Easy to read, pleasant colors, not a distraction from the ongoing program.

Why not get both a TiVo and a UTV and compare them on an extended basis for oneself? Unfortunately DirecTV's pricing structure strongly discourages doing so. Having two DVR's of the same brand causes the second to be free of additional service fees and only subject to the $5. monthly extra receiver fee.

UTV offers 3 hrs. of MSN-TV internet included in its service fee with additional MSN-TV service options. If that's important to a user it could be the deciding factor in choosing a DVR but it really has nothing to do with a DVR's main purpose of easily and tapelessly recording TV programs.

In the final analysis the choice depends on which DVR a user likes better. Nitpicking feature against feature of two or more brands in a product category is only part of the story. Presentation style and suitability of use for a particular user style is at least as important, IMHO.

A last thought. Posters favoring UTV appear to generally have a less fanatical style when discussing their preferred brand than TiVo supporters some of whom can be downright obnoxious in their insistence on the superiority of their product.
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post #7 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by arjay
A last thought. Posters favoring UTV appear to generally have a less fanatical style when discussing their preferred brand than TiVo supporters some of whom can be downright obnoxious in their insistence on the superiority of their product.
I've noticed this too...I think many people just don't like the fact that UTV is MS...I really don't care about that...though I am a Tivo fan, I can't honestly say one is better than the other since I have no experience with UTV...however the PiP, soft padding, IWink and advanced search features sound tempting...

If I can find one cheap enough I'll have to pick one up and take it for a spin...does MS ever plan on deploying the Remote Record feature though? That would have definately put UTV on top in my book....right now though the two units, from what I've read, seem to be about even, each with there own plusses and minuses. I'm glad that the UTV community now have all these great features added.

The PiP would be nice for sports....anyone know of a great UTV deal? ;-) Does UTV have storage expansion options? I'll run a search against this forum actually...

Oh, also to sevans26 Tivo and DTivo actually do have the 30 second skip option...you have to punch in a code on the remote.

Regardless, thanks for all the feedback without any "Tivo-bashing." Sounds like the update yesterday made UTV very worthwhile....

HD Everywhere
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post #8 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by edrock200


....anyone know of a great UTV deal? ;-)
www.orbitsat.com has a Sony UTV receiver for existing customers for $49.95 after rebate.

Karl

1 RCA DWD490 UTV upgraded to 120GB
1 RCA DWD490 UTV upgraded to 80GB
1 RCA DWD490 UTV stock
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post #9 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by arjay
A last thought. Posters favoring UTV appear to generally have a less fanatical style when discussing their preferred brand than TiVo supporters some of whom can be downright obnoxious in their insistence on the superiority of their product.
Yea, it kind of reminds me of the Apple vs. Windows/Intel people. I used to say to people "It's just a computer, not a way of life". In this case it would be ""It's just TV, not a way of life". I guess some people take this stuff pretty serious (maybe too serious).

Jay
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post #10 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by arjay
Why not get both a TiVo and a UTV and compare them on an extended basis for oneself?
I did just that. I switched from Dish to DTV in January. At the time there were deals to be had for UTVs and DTivos, so I bought and subscribed to both, with the intentions of finding a "winner" for me.

Coming from Dish and the DishPlayer, I liked and was comfortable with the UI on the UTV. The DTivo was totally different, and in many ways, more cumbersome for me to use. I expect that's partially because of the comfort I had with the DishPlayer/UTV interface. Over the last couple of months, though, I found I was doing most of my recording on the DTivos, mostly because of Season Passes and the ability to exclude repeats. I was frustrated while watching recorded shows on the DTivos, though. First, I had to program the 30-second skip into the Tivo remote. Second, the fastest fast-forward on the DTivo is 60x, where the UTV is 300x. Third, I HATE how the fast forward on the DTivo is circular, i.e., fast forward to the end and instead of stopping at the end so you can back up a little (I use that to see the coming attractions at the end of a show), it loops around to the beginning of the show again. I HATE THAT!. Fourth, the DTivo noisier than the UTV. Fifth, the daily dial out is ridiculous. There's areas of the country that don't have unlimited local calls, so with four Tivos I'm looking at $.16 to $.40 per day added to my phone bill.

Now, the DTivo was the winner before 3.5. And if 3.5 wasn't coming, I would have sold my UTVs. Now that I have 3.5, the UTV can do everything I needed the DTivo to do without the annoyances. UTV with 3.5 is the winner for me and I'll be disconnecting my DTivos.

Quote:
Originally posted by arjay
A last thought. Posters favoring UTV appear to generally have a less fanatical style when discussing their preferred brand than TiVo supporters some of whom can be downright obnoxious in their insistence on the superiority of their product.
Quite true, they remind me of Mac users with their fanaticism and air of superiority. OTOH, many of the users in the DTivo forum are very friendly and helpful. How I wish that this UTV forum had half the activity and contributions that the DTivo forum does.
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post #11 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by edrock200

Oh, also to sevans26 Tivo and DTivo actually do have the 30 second skip option...you have to punch in a code on the remote.
TiVo's code for 30 sec. QS is pushing the following button's on its remote:
SELECT--PLAY--SELECT--3--0--SELECT
Repeating the code toggles the feature.

Unfortunately enabling the 30 sec. QS option disables both "skip to end" and "skip to tickmark" which use the same button. TiVo's normal FF speed is 60x; much slower than UTV's 300x. Disabling the standard skip features loses more than 30 sec. QS is worth, IMHO.
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post #12 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by utvlvr


www.orbitsat.com has a Sony UTV receiver for existing customers for $49.95 after rebate.

Karl
Great! Before I purchase, I just want to make sure no one knows of a "$0 after rebate" deal...

HD Everywhere
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post #13 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin L
There's areas of the country that don't have unlimited local calls, so with four Tivos I'm looking at $.16 to $.40 per day added to my phone bill.
The DirecTiVo only has to call once every 30 days or so. You can either unplug it from the phone line until you have to connect it to make it call, or change the dialing options to make it fail until you need to use it.

Alternatively, you could buy TiVoNET and never call again. Like the RePlayTV, it will use the broadband connection. That also enables a true, secure, Remote Record that does conflict resolution. :-)

/carmi
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post #14 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 12:29 PM
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It does sound like UTV's latest update has closed the gap in some areas, and offers some unique features Tivos don't have.

Competition is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

The number one thing I want in a DVR is to be able to record what I want to watch. Other people prefer other options more... arjay likes to watch live tv. Many Replay 4000 owners really like the video extraction hacks that are now available. I don't have any reason to make my own VCDs, etc.

I like being able to have shows record, be able to adjust priorities of my shows, skip reruns, configure how many to keep ahead of time, how long to keep shows, etc.

My wishlist for the Tivo software (not that anyone asked! :)) would include:

1. 30 second skip without disabling the skip to tick mark feature. This way I'd leave it on all the time probably...
2. Enhanced wishlist functionality (ability to use NOT, AND, OR, for example). Some of the enhancements UTV's 3.5 has sounds sweet!)
3. Grouping/Sorting in the Now Playing list (Sounds like the UTV update provides something similar).
4. If I attempt to schedule a show to record and no tuner is available, give me a list of alternate airings of the show to choose from.

I may pick up a UTV also to try out... I need a bigger multiswitch though! :)

Brett

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post #15 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by majortom
The DirecTiVo only has to call once every 30 days or so. You can either unplug it from the phone line until you have to connect it to make it call, or change the dialing options to make it fail until you need to use it.

Alternatively, you could buy TiVoNET and never call again. Like the RePlayTV, it will use the broadband connection. That also enables a true, secure, Remote Record that does conflict resolution. :-)
/carmi
Hi., Carmi.

I'm aware of how to get around the daily call, but why should I have to? It would be very inconvenient to go around the house and reach behind cabinets, furniture, etc. to plug and unplug a phone line. Since the program guide comes from the satellite, the only reasons I can think of the daily call is to verify the location of the receiver and to upload my anonymous viewing habits. Now I don't see why I need to be verified every day, especially since you can unplug the line and let it verify once a month. I think the second reason is the real reason for the daily call - to monitor (I know it's anonymous) my viewing habits, of which I'm confident they sell that information. I don't have a problem with Tivo making money off anonymous information from me. What I have a problem with is that I have to pay for the phone call to aid them in this pursuit of profit. I don't gain ANYTHING directly from that daily call. Yet, it costs me money to make it. Therein lies my complaint.

Your second suggestion about buying TivoNet still costs me money for something I don't receive a benefit for. The only plus is it does give me Remote Record.
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post #16 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by majortom


The DirecTiVo only has to call once every 30 days or so.
/carmi
If it has to call in once it's one time to many... doesn't TiVO trust their users to be paying their bills?

If UTV doesn't need to call in then there is no need call period!!!

Take your FUD elsewhere!!!
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post #17 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrb


If it has to call in once it's one time to many... doesn't TiVO trust their users to be paying their bills?

If UTV doesn't need to call in then there is no need call period!!!

Take your FUD elsewhere!!!
I don't think it's a matter of trust...if there is ever a way to hack a system, someone will do it. However, the daily calls send Tivo user viewing data which Tivo then sells to networks....I don't thing they can send that information up the satellite and sometimes the info is time sensative. However, I agree, it does suck that it has to call everyday. I didn't even think about the fact that some people pay per call...

HD Everywhere
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post #18 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrettStah
arjay likes to watch live tv.
Brett, please do me the favor of not posting about me or my TV viewing preferences unless you're responding to a post of mine. We have gotten into so many stupid squabbles because of our differences in the way we interprete words.

Yesterday's exchange with you and DrStrange on the UTV vs. ReplayTV thread was an ordeal. Nevertheless my opinions will be heard even if disagreed with by another poster. I will attempt to discuss issues, and opinions about them, without getting into my personal views of another poster. Interestingly, nobody else from this Forum jumped into yesterday's exchange on either side.

Of course you (as everyone) is free to do whatever you wish. I'm asking a favor. There's nothing offensive about what you said in the quote above but I'd prefer to talk about my viewing preferences instead of having you do it unless you're responding to a specific post of mine.
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post #19 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 02:27 PM
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You can purchase the sat-w60 Sony UTV at www.mini-dishes.com for 29.95 after rebate this is for existing or new customers. It will be 20 bucks cheaper than orbitsat.com. I have personally ordered from both in the last two weeks. I received my order from orbitsat 1 week after I placed the order and I received my order from minidishes in 3 days. I would save the 20 and purchase from minidishes. You will love utv. I had a dishplayer and what a step up utv is.
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post #20 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 03:35 PM
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Getting back to the original topic for this thread, one really nice feature I have noticed since I got 3.5 is that the tuner live buffer has been increased significantly. I just got home and turned on my tv to find that I have over an hour and 40 minutes stored in my live buffer. I do have an upgraded 120GB hd in my UTV with about 62% used disk space. Nice unexpected bonus.
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post #21 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by edrock200


I don't think it's a matter of trust...
Try not calling in and see if your service isn't cut off... I don't recall that on written on the box when I bought mine? As you said ...it sucks! And what we watch is no ones dam business unless I decide to do so on our terms not theirs!
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post #22 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 04:06 PM
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1. You can opt out of the anonymized data collecting with a toll-free phone call to Tivo.

2. Tivos do not need to dial in every day. The Tivo will attempt to dial every day, but it isn't required. As it was mentioned previously, you do need to connect to the Tivo mothership once every 30 days with a DirecTivo. In fact, I've been too lazy to hook up a phone line splitter, so I get a message every few weeks on one of my DirecTivos, and I switch the phone cord from the other one to that one. Obviously it hasn't been a pain is the you-know-what enough for me to actually hook up a phone splitter (which I already own several of). If my Tivos were not so convenient to reach, it would be a pain, obviously.

3. I also think that it should be optional, but then again I think DirecTV requires that all receivers be hooked up to a phone line anyway if you have more than one of them. So, since I have two of them, I'd need them hooked up anyway.

4. It would be cool if you could configure the Tivos to only dial out every X many days.

5. Arjay, I always try to be accurate in what I post. If I post anything inaccurate and you notice it, please point it out to me so that I can correct it. I mentioned you because I was using you as an example of someone who finds things other than recording capabilities more important in a DVR.

Brett

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post #23 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by maverick44
You can purchase the sat-w60 Sony UTV at www.mini-dishes.com for 29.95 after rebate this is for existing or new customers. It will be 20 bucks cheaper than orbitsat.com. I have personally ordered from both in the last two weeks. I received my order from orbitsat 1 week after I placed the order and I received my order from minidishes in 3 days. I would save the 20 and purchase from minidishes. You will love utv. I had a dishplayer and what a step up utv is.

Well crap...I just ordered from Orbitsat! Oh well...only $20.

:)

Can't wait to get it, try it out, and compare it to my DTivo...

HD Everywhere
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post #24 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrettStah

3. I also think that it should be optional, but then again I think DirecTV requires that all receivers be hooked up to a phone line anyway if you have more than one of them. So, since I have two of them, I'd need them hooked up anyway.

5. Arjay, I always try to be accurate in what I post. If I post anything inaccurate and you notice it, please point it out to me so that I can correct it. I mentioned you because I was using you as an example of someone who finds things other than recording capabilities more important in a DVR.
Regarding point 5: 2nd request. Please don't use me as an example of anything unless you're responding to a post of mine.

Regarding point 3. You may be correct. I know a single DirecTV receiver doesn't need a phoneline connection but don't know if a second receiver on an account triggers that requirement. I believe Dishnet only enforces the phoneline connection requirement for an account with five or more receivers.

TiVo is the only DBS DVR to require a periodic phone connection to maintain operability. UTV only requires a phone connection for its MSN-TV service. None of Dish's DVR's do except for MSN-TV service.
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post #25 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 07:01 PM
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Regarding your response to my point 3: I've just verified that for DirecTV at least, 2 or more receivers (whether DVR or not) on the same account do indeed need to be plugged into the same phoneline.

Regarding your response to my point 5: Consider any mention of your viewing habits by me as a response to one or more of your posts. Or add me to your ignore list.

Brett

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post #26 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrettStah
Consider any mention of your viewing habits by me as a response to one or more of your posts. Or add me to your ignore list.
Thanks for nothing (except for the warning!)

I won't ignore you. Instead I'll respond to every point I see you make with which I disagree--over and over again no matter how stupidly nitpicking the exchange may become.
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post #27 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 07:44 PM
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What warning?

But it's good to know you'll keep being the arjay we all know and love...

:)

Brett

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post #28 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 08:09 PM
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All DTV receivers are "required" to be connected to a phone line. That is the only way DTV knows which PPV's you have ordered. In reality though, they rarely enforce it unless you add a second box, and even then they are hit or miss.
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post #29 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin L
Hi., Carmi.

I'm aware of how to get around the daily call, but why should I have to? It would be very inconvenient to go around the house and reach behind cabinets, furniture, etc. to plug and unplug a phone line. Since the program guide comes from the satellite, the only reasons I can think of the daily call is to verify the location of the receiver and to upload my anonymous viewing habits.
Actually, you don't need to unplug the DirecTiVo boxes, just change the dialing rules (e.g. add a *99 to the beginning of the dialing sequence).

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Now I don't see why I need to be verified every day, especially since you can unplug the line and let it verify once a month. I think the second reason is the real reason for the daily call - to monitor (I know it's anonymous) my viewing habits, of which I'm confident they sell that information. I don't have a problem with Tivo making money off anonymous information from me. What I have a problem with is that I have to pay for the phone call to aid them in this pursuit of profit. I don't gain ANYTHING directly from that daily call. Yet, it costs me money to make it. Therein lies my complaint.
Actually, you get several things from the calls:

Enhanced guide data - TiVo supplies much more guide data than is sent over the satellite. This enhanced data is used for episode verification, and wishlists.

New software versions: TiVo ships its upgrades via the phone lines to ensure an accurate delivery of the upgrade.

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Your second suggestion about buying TivoNet still costs me money for something I don't receive a benefit for. The only plus is it does give me Remote Record.
Kevin, your second statement contradicts your first, but you are right that it would cost you money for features that may not matter to you. :-) I agree that remote record is not that useful most of the time. I do think that the TiVo web interface is almost more useful to set up programs while I am at home.

/carmi
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post #30 of 66 Old 04-05-2002, 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by wrb


.... snip

Take your FUD elsewhere!!!
Do you know what FUD means? Can you explain how pointing out that DirecTiVo receivers only need to call in once every 30 days or so spreads fear, uncertainty or doubt? Also, can you tell me how does this (clearly truthful statement) promote TiVo over its competitors (something required for FUD)?

/carmi
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