Windows Media Center vs TiVo Premiere - Page 9 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:13 AM
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Correct - WMC will routinely record repeat shows set for new only series recording in my experience. My wife likes to watch The Doctors and she finally had to restrict the series to only record around 10am to avoid recording a bunch of other repeats at different times. Tivo will usually not do this because the guide data is more accurate, even though the guide data supposedly comes from the same source (Tribune Media).
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Correct - WMC will routinely record repeat shows set for new only series recording in my experience.

 

I guess that's why they give you more than one recording option. I have roughly 35 series and haven't had one repeat record that I know of... I think the old saying throwing the baby out with the bath water fits.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:33 AM
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I guess that's why they give you more than one recording option. I have roughly 35 series and haven't had one repeat record that I know of... I think the old saying throwing the baby out with the bath water fits.
I've never had repeat recordings on my WMC HTPC either. And I record PBS shows that have multiple showings during the week.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:45 AM
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Reviewing the above comments, I'd say WMC/MCE rely strictly on the guide to determine whether or not an episode is a repeat. What's probably needed instead is for WMC to check whether it's already recorded an episode, and not to record the same episode twice. That would require a way to uniquely identify an episode. I assume that's what BiggAW means by "SxxEyy data" - a season & episode number for each episode of a series.

I record the 60's series Get Smart on Me-TV. Naturally, the guide lists every episode as a repeat, so if I select only "first run" episodes I get nothing - there are no "first run" episodes anymore! So if I don't want two copies of the same episode, I have to delete duplicates myself.

I haven't looked at new series as closely, but I suspect that a new episode is likely marked "first run" even if it airs multiple times during the week of its actual first run. PBS often runs new episodes repeatedly like this.

BiggAW blames the guide data; ironically, WMC/MCE use Tribune Media's guide: the same source used by TiVo and the Zap2It.com website. In fact, they often make the same mistakes; for instance, in the DFW area, both list long-gone channels 21.2 and 49.2. But this isn't the first time I've noticed discrepancies between the WMC guide and Zap2it.com. For example, a few low-power stations listed on Zap2it aren't on the WMC guide. Not sure if it's Tribune or WMC that's filtering the guide data, nor if anything can be done about it.

BTW, the statement that "every other DVR on the market can do this" is wrong. Sure, it's a common feature of subscription DVRs, but no-fee DVRs (like my Pals) generally can't do it. My guess is that Tribune (and probably their competitors like Rovi) insist that you pay for that "SxxEyy" data via a subscription. Since WMC/MCE are free, no SxxEyy for you! wink.gif
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I've never had repeat recordings on my WMC HTPC either. And I record PBS shows that have multiple showings during the week.

 

I'm sure they happen with certain shows. The only time I have seen repeats (not the same issue reported here) is with The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. It recorded repeats since they weren't flagged as one. Craig even admitted they were cheating by not marking them as repeats.... I noticed in the last several weeks shows were flagged and I don't have a clue why they stopped cheating.

 

When I had TiVo  (for over a decade) I looked at the episode number perhaps a half dozen times. I noticed in the TiVo thread they disappeared for a while.. and the world keep spinning. Sure it would be nice and perhaps you might end up with a few less recordings (not so in my case). There are lot of features that would be nice and there are features only WMC offers which are nice as well.

 

We all know WMC is dead... it's not being maintained per se let alone enhanced. We also know overall it does a nice job of DVRing. For some people it may do a lousy job and meet none of their needs. That's perfectly valid (for them) and I don't think anyone would disagree. At the same time blowing your nitpicks up to the point that they must affect everyone is simply whining or attempting to blanketly dismiss WMC.

 

WMC needs to be looked at as an overall solution. Pointing out its weaknesses serves a purpose. Attempting to paint it as Black or White doesn't in my eyes. It only reduces the value of the thread. Especially, one outside of the let's tear it apart emphasis of say the HTPC forum. Let visitors see the forest and then they might be able to judge how important the trees are.

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Old 02-13-2013, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

My guess is that Tribune (and probably their competitors like Rovi) insist that you pay for that "SxxEyy" data via a subscription. Since WMC/MCE are free, no SxxEyy for you! wink.gif

 

WMC isn't free (by any means) and I'm sure they are getting paid for their guide data.

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Old 02-13-2013, 01:06 PM
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WMC isn't free (by any means) and I'm sure they are getting paid for their guide data.

By "free" I obviously meant subscription-free for the end-user. And yes, I'm sure Micro$oft pays Tribune something for use of their guide; but I'd bet it's a once-per-licensed-WMC-user fee that's nowhere near what TiVo and others pay. Otherwise M$ would be losing money every time one of us fires up WMC, and they're definitely not in that business.

Anyhow, like you I've never needed series/episode data. In most cases it's not important to the end-user. It might matter if you're watching a saga or soap opera, where it's important to watch the shows in order of original air date, but mostly it's just a convenient way for the software to uniquely identify a show so it can avoid recording the same episode twice. (Of course there are other ways to accomplish the same task, such as hashing the episode title.)

And like you, I don't find the issue of occasionally recording repeats to be anywhere near a show-stopper. If it happens, I just delete the repeat and move on. But I acknowledge if I were having the number of problems with WMC that BiggAW reported with MCE, a rather small thing like that could be the last straw....
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

WMC needs to be looked at as an overall solution. Pointing out its weaknesses serves a purpose. Attempting to paint it as Black or White doesn't in my eyes. It only reduces the value of the thread. Especially, one outside of the let's tear it apart emphasis of say the HTPC forum. Let visitors see the forest and then they might be able to judge how important the trees are.

I only use WMC as a secondary solution myself. I use it to record programs from local channels in hd that Dish only has in sd in our market. That would be Ion, The CW and PBS. I use my Tivo series 2 to record sub-channels that are in sd. Dish doesn't carry any subs in our market.

Last month I took advantage of a deal from Tivo that let me buy a refurb 500gb Premiere with lifetime for $423.99 (after sales tax). This will probably be the final piece in the "cutting the cord" argument I've presented to my wife. I now have an ota dvr+Roku player on all three of my homes tv's.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Last month I took advantage of a deal from Tivo that let me buy a refurb 500gb Premiere with lifetime for $423.99 (after sales tax). This will probably be the final piece in the "cutting the cord" argument I've presented to my wife. I now have an ota dvr+Roku player on all three of my homes tv's.

 

As I said in the first post of this thread if I had to recommend one solution (best fit in most cases) I'd say go with TiVo. My logic is it's the best investment. If you buy Lifetime and decide to punt at anytime simply upgrade the hard drive and via eBay you'll get most if not all of your money back (including the replacement drive). I did exactly that numerous times... upgraded a unit, used it until it sold (for a small profit) and repeated the process. I got paid to watch TV. :)

 

I went WMC last summer because I wanted to try something different. Not that I necessarily thought it was better... however having 4 tuners has proven to be of real value. I figured since my Mac Mini was getting long in the tooth if I punted I'd use the WMC PC as my desktop and worse case I can watch TV on it via the HDHomeRuns. Strictly DVR featues I could use either TiVo or WMC and I wouldn't care. For me the PC and Xbox 360 bring enough additional features to the table I'll stick with it for now.

 

Currently, I won't look at TiVo until their client ships and I see how it's priced. Xbox 360 at roughly $150 serves me fine. It's perfectly quiet and although I'm not crazy about the Live annual fee ($35 lately) it works perfectly for me and offers more Internet apps than TiVo if you want to go there such as ESPN.

 

I have tried Roku on several occasions and it's just not for me. All of the free content if offers never reaches a level that I'll bother to watch. There is always something else I'll watch instead. The pay for content the Xbox 360, PC, etc. more or less offers as well so there is no reason to keep one around. Also, I need HD audio for MKV files which isn't supported. That's where XBMC comes in... supplements the TV side (WMC) nicely. It also gives you endless Add-ons like Free Cable (legal app) that can get you a premium content fix on a low-end scale.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:06 PM
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As I said in the first post of this thread if I had to recommend one solution (best fit in most cases) I'd say go with TiVo. My logic is it's the best investment. If you buy Lifetime and decide to punt at anytime simply upgrade the hard drive and via eBay you'll get most if not all of your money back (including the replacement drive). I did exactly that numerous times... upgraded a unit, used it until it sold (for a small profit) and repeated the process. I got paid to watch TV. smile.gif

I went WMC last summer because I wanted to try something different. Not that I necessarily thought it was better... however having 4 tuners has proven to be of real value. I figured since my Mac Mini was getting long in the tooth if I punted I'd use the WMC PC as my desktop and worse case I can watch TV on it via the HDHomeRuns. Strictly DVR featues I could use either TiVo or WMC and I wouldn't care. For me the PC and Xbox 360 bring enough additional features to the table I'll stick with it for now.

Currently, I won't look at TiVo until their client ships and I see how it's priced. Xbox 360 at roughly $150 serves me fine. It's perfectly quiet and although I'm not crazy about the Live annual fee ($35 lately) it works perfectly for me and offers more Internet apps than TiVo if you want to go there such as ESPN.

It's true that TiVo doesn't scale well at all. Hopefully they will come out with the Mini soon. If you have to scale way up, MCE is the only solution at the moment, as bad as the UI is.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:07 PM
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Reviewing the above comments, I'd say WMC/MCE rely strictly on the guide to determine whether or not an episode is a repeat. What's probably needed instead is for WMC to check whether it's already recorded an episode, and not to record the same episode twice. That would require a way to uniquely identify an episode. I assume that's what BiggAW means by "SxxEyy data" - a season & episode number for each episode of a series.

I record the 60's series Get Smart on Me-TV. Naturally, the guide lists every episode as a repeat, so if I select only "first run" episodes I get nothing - there are no "first run" episodes anymore! So if I don't want two copies of the same episode, I have to delete duplicates myself.

I haven't looked at new series as closely, but I suspect that a new episode is likely marked "first run" even if it airs multiple times during the week of its actual first run. PBS often runs new episodes repeatedly like this.

BiggAW blames the guide data; ironically, WMC/MCE use Tribune Media's guide: the same source used by TiVo and the Zap2It.com website. In fact, they often make the same mistakes; for instance, in the DFW area, both list long-gone channels 21.2 and 49.2. But this isn't the first time I've noticed discrepancies between the WMC guide and Zap2it.com. For example, a few low-power stations listed on Zap2it aren't on the WMC guide. Not sure if it's Tribune or WMC that's filtering the guide data, nor if anything can be done about it.

BTW, the statement that "every other DVR on the market can do this" is wrong. Sure, it's a common feature of subscription DVRs, but no-fee DVRs (like my Pals) generally can't do it. My guess is that Tribune (and probably their competitors like Rovi) insist that you pay for that "SxxEyy" data via a subscription. Since WMC/MCE are free, no SxxEyy for you! wink.gif

I honestly don't know how it's done, I just want the SxxEyy data for myself, to cross reference to Wikipedia or torrent or whatever. I'm talking about the normal DVR options out there, which for my area (if I had an apartment that faced south), are the TiVo Premiere, MCE7, Comcast Cisco box, DirecTV HR44, or DISH Hopper. Given that I face northish, I have MCE7, TiVo, and Cisco. Maybe Motorola from the other cable company, but I seriously can't imagine that is much better.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:09 AM
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Reviewing the above comments, I'd say WMC/MCE rely strictly on the guide to determine whether or not an episode is a repeat. What's probably needed instead is for WMC to check whether it's already recorded an episode, and not to record the same episode twice. That would require a way to uniquely identify an episode.

It's a combination of things - Tivos have a 28-day rule where they won't record the same ep if it falls within that window even if it's mismarked as new. The other issue is that WMC guide data is not as up-to-date as Tivos - perhaps Tivo connects more frequently or has a better way of handling last-minute changes, but I have noticed differences between them and it's almost always more correct on Tivo. I would expect no less, given that I pay for Tivo data and don't for WMC.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:39 PM
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No, not in one box.

...

"One box" is a misnomer anyway because you still need an avr. wink.gif
In my case the AVR is a card in the PC. But I haven't achieved "one box" perfection either; my home isn't wired for Ethernet so my Internet connection is a WiFi adapter - and it's USB-attached.

Missed it by THAT much!
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:12 PM
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How does that handle amplification? I didn't know you could do that. Most avrs are big and heavy, I thought they needed all that to amp up the signal.

edit: ok I googled it and I think the answer is active vs. passive speakers
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:26 PM
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In my case the AVR is a card in the PC. But I haven't achieved "one box" perfection either; my home isn't wired for Ethernet so my Internet connection is a WiFi adapter - and it's USB-attached.

Missed it by THAT much!

One box isn't practical for most. Not counting tuners, adapters, and switches, I think I have 11 right now. Counting all those other things, 17. And there's several more things I could add.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:05 AM
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The issue is bad guide data, no settings will fix it until they fix the guide data. The lack of SxxEyy data, the repeat recordings, and the UI problems all combine together such that MCE does not, by my definition, function as a basic standard DVR. Every OTHER DVR on the market can do these things.
We've been using WMC7 since the week after Windows 7's release, and with ~20 series, we've never had an unexpected repeat.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Doesn't really have much to do with WMC but I thought I'd posted a few images of the monitor I mounted in my dedicated room. I'll use it when the HTPC is in the dedicated room and I don't want to turn on the projector. The monitor is mounted in the back of the room and it took a while to find one that would fit more or less perfectly... filling up the entire opening. Not a fan of Acer but it's 1080p, doesn't have a shiny frame, was on close-out and better yet it fits just right...

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

      

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Old 02-21-2013, 12:50 PM
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As I said in the first post of this thread if I had to recommend one solution (best fit in most cases) I'd say go with TiVo. My logic is it's the best investment. If you buy Lifetime and decide to punt at anytime simply upgrade the hard drive and via eBay you'll get most if not all of your money back (including the replacement drive). I did exactly that numerous times... upgraded a unit, used it until it sold (for a small profit) and repeated the process. I got paid to watch TV. smile.gif

I went WMC last summer because I wanted to try something different. Not that I necessarily thought it was better... however having 4 tuners has proven to be of real value. I figured since my Mac Mini was getting long in the tooth if I punted I'd use the WMC PC as my desktop and worse case I can watch TV on it via the HDHomeRuns. Strictly DVR featues I could use either TiVo or WMC and I wouldn't care. For me the PC and Xbox 360 bring enough additional features to the table I'll stick with it for now.

Currently, I won't look at TiVo until their client ships and I see how it's priced. Xbox 360 at roughly $150 serves me fine. It's perfectly quiet and although I'm not crazy about the Live annual fee ($35 lately) it works perfectly for me and offers more Internet apps than TiVo if you want to go there such as ESPN.


I have tried Roku on several occasions and it's just not for me. All of the free content if offers never reaches a level that I'll bother to watch. There is always something else I'll watch instead. The pay for content the Xbox 360, PC, etc. more or less offers as well so there is no reason to keep one around. Also, I need HD audio for MKV files which isn't supported. That's where XBMC comes in... supplements the TV side (WMC) nicely. It also gives you endless Add-ons like Free Cable (legal app) that can get you a premium content fix on a low-end scale.
Good summary.

I recently got a third TiVo to put in the bedroom because of the WAF. TiVo just does DVR better and simpler than anything else I've used, while still providing room-to-room sharing and downloading for personal/portable devices. On the other hand, I prefer WMC at my PC (which has a 24" HD monitor anyway) and have it hooked up to an adjacent 46" TV, which can readily and easily be used as a multimedia/PC monitor. Using special programs such as pyTivo, kmttg, and Streambaby, I can watch just about anything through the TiVo and it's the best I've used for TV programming, but the Windows PC (or an HTPC) is so much more agile and versatile that there is really a place for each if one can afford both options.

I don't think either solution by itself comes all that close to matching the strengths of the other, but I believe WMC comes closer to a jack-of-all-trades solution, while the TiVo is the best I've used for primarily TV viewing and sharing throughout the house.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:46 PM
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I recently got a third TiVo to put in the bedroom.... TiVo just does DVR better ... while still providing room-to-room sharing....

I don't have a TiVo but love to learn about DVR features. I knew WMC could do room-to-room sharing (with xBox extenders) but didn't know TiVo could do it too. But since it can, I'm wondering why you needed a third one. Does TiVo only share with other TiVos?
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:24 AM
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I don't have a TiVo but love to learn about DVR features. I knew WMC could do room-to-room sharing (with xBox extenders) but didn't know TiVo could do it too. But since it can, I'm wondering why you needed a third one. Does TiVo only share with other TiVos?

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Old 02-22-2013, 12:37 AM
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Is this what you wanted to post? If so, go ahead and copy and paste and I can delete my post

"Since getting ReplayTV's back in '02, we pretty much can't watch TV without a DVR, and the TV in our bedroom has been an old CRT TV (4:3 SD) that we're finally replacing with a wall-mounted LED TV (16:9 HD). The last of the ReplayTVs (no HD) is in turn being replaced with the third TiVo (the other two have been dedicated to our primary viewing HDTVs since they enabled room-to-room sharing about 4-1/2 years ago. Natively, TiVos only share with other TiVos, but PC-hosted software makes "sharing" with other devices relatively simple. The biggest limitation, which affects some users significantly and others (like us, whose cable provider only flags premium content like HBO and Showtime) not at all, are shows that are flagged copy never or copy once. That's solely dependent on your content provider, but as a fall back, we have very good OTA (Over-The-Air) reception and love that even if we were to pull the plug on cable, the OTA capability of our TiVo's will allow us to retain current functionality."
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:34 AM
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I don't have a TiVo but love to learn about DVR features. I knew WMC could do room-to-room sharing (with xBox extenders) but didn't know TiVo could do it too. But since it can, I'm wondering why you needed a third one. Does TiVo only share with other TiVos?

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Sorry about that. Kelson PM'ed me with detailed info about TiVo sharing. Bottom line was, TiVo shares with other TiVos (I assume that's what you're doing) or you can set up a media server. He didn't mention whether copy-protected content could be shared. I assume definitely not on a media server, and probably not with another TiVo either, since sharing actually copies the recording, rather than simply streaming it to the other TiVo. OTOH I think WMC streams to extenders, so sharing protected content is probably where WMC extenders would have the advantage.

Under the FCC's recently relaxed regulations, if you don't have OTA you're pretty much at the mercy of your cable co. Sounds like you're lucky enough to have both OTA and a reasonable cable co. to deal with.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:43 AM
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Copy-protected shows can be streamed between Premieres now, but they can't be transferred. Same as with WMC - they can only be streamed to extenders or watched on the PC that recorded them.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

I don't have a TiVo but love to learn about DVR features. I knew WMC could do room-to-room sharing (with xBox extenders) but didn't know TiVo could do it too. But since it can, I'm wondering why you needed a third one. Does TiVo only share with other TiVos?
Thanks to keenan, here's the response I tried to post:

Since getting ReplayTV's back in '02, we pretty much can't watch TV without a DVR, and the TV in our bedroom has been an old CRT TV (4:3 SD) that we're finally replacing with a wall-mounted LED TV (16:9 HD). The last of the ReplayTVs (no HD) is in turn being replaced with the third TiVo (the other two have been dedicated to our primary viewing HDTVs since they enabled room-to-room sharing about 4-1/2 years ago. Natively, TiVos only share with other TiVos, but PC-hosted software makes "sharing" with other devices relatively simple. The biggest limitation, which affects some users significantly and others (like us, whose cable provider only flags premium content like HBO and Showtime) not at all, are shows that are flagged copy never or copy once. That's solely dependent on your content provider, but as a fall back, we have very good OTA (Over-The-Air) reception and love that even if we were to pull the plug on cable, the OTA capability of our TiVo's will allow us to retain current functionality.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Copy-protected shows can be streamed between Premieres now, but they can't be transferred. Same as with WMC - they can only be streamed to extenders or watched on the PC that recorded them.
I wasn't aware of this, so that puts multiple TiVo Premieres on equal footing with WMC when it comes to sharing. It would make me wish it didn't cost so much to upgrade lifetime TiVoHDs to TiVo Premieres if we had copy once shows we wanted to room-to-room share. I'm thinking this will one day be the case.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tluxon View Post


I wasn't aware of this, so that puts multiple TiVo Premieres on equal footing with WMC when it comes to sharing.

 

I keep waiting for TiVo to go after the Client/Server market. I know they recently introduced the Stream but I'm far too old to care about viewing TV via portable devices. I'll gladly pay for Lifetime on a four or more tuner server and if there are no monthly fees up to $200 or so per client. If I have to pay monthly for the clients perhaps $100 tops. I have kind of lost track of TiVo as far as what markets they are leaning towards. However it definitely doesn't appear to be OTA so to a large degree I have little hope I'll be going back anytime soon.

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I keep waiting for TiVo to go after the Client/Server market. I know they recently introduced the Stream but I'm far too old to care about viewing TV via portable devices. I'll gladly pay for Lifetime on a four or more tuner server and if there are no monthly fees up to $200 or so per client. If I have to pay monthly for the clients perhaps $100 tops. I have kind of lost track of TiVo as far as what markets they are leaning towards. However it definitely doesn't appear to be OTA so to a large degree I have little hope I'll be going back anytime soon.
I'd love a single-server/multiple-client model of TiVo implementation, but I don't see that being as profitable for TiVo as their current business model. At the same time, increasing numbers of their customers are looking for ways to save money, so I can see a future where TiVo will have little choice but to go that direction if they want to stay viable into the future.

As for OTA support, I'm not sure they can yet build a space-friendly box that can record 4 cable tuners and 2 OTA tuners simulaneously, so that's probably why they limit choice to a box with either 4 cable tuners or 2 cable and 2 OTA tuners. I don't mind their efficiency of minimizing the number of configurations they manufacture, but it's causing them to fall behind in the growing array of choices consumers have for accessing any kind of media they prefer. For people who just want TV served up to them in a simple, seemless, and ubiquitous manner, TiVo is still doing quite well.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Regarding OTA I think it's simply not a viable market. And being OTA only I can say it... most in that market are cheap. The Channel Master DVR has disappeared at my local Fry's. It seemed to sell (to some degree) although there appeared to be quite a few returns. Sure there might be a lot of OTA people but whether you can sell to them is another story. Quite a while ago TiVo ran a $10 a month promotion for OTA only users. After a few months it disappeared for one reason or another. Obviously, their market is cable and or satellite... tons of users and ones who are willing to pay. So they have to compete with their offerings. Hopefully, the OTA users can ride along and get a few of the benefits.

 

Technically, I don't think the hardware would be difficult or that expensive. Remember it would be a server so the space factor is more forgiving. Rumor has it Xbox will come in two form factors... one strictly for entertainment (non gaming). I have zero issues using the Xbox 360 as a client and at the $150 I paid it's only slightly over priced (for extender usage only). For me $100 a client is a sweet spot... I wouldn't think twice buying one or more. To a large degree it's a mindset. TiVo is client/server now which happens to have a server (too) with each client. To some degree that increases the cost but probably to a lesser degree than one would think.

 

The other day I installed my Xbox in the dedicated room to check out some test patterns on the projector. It was so easy... within a few minutes I was viewing my ripped test patterns and some how I got into the Video/TV app. Going into CBS I had a list of all of their series... seasons and episodes. Instantly I was watching one after another (one minute previews) in HD and with a 120 inch image the HD image wasn't bad at all... rather impressive. It was a peek into what the future should be. Drop a box in and within a couple of minutes you have access to everything... everything being way beyond what we have ever had.

 

Long term I hope Microsoft can offer enough content (at a decent price) to compete. I have nothing against cable/satellite and I don't even mind their pricing. Right now I have roughly 35 series scheduled via OTA and they more than meet whatever time I have for TV so I'm happy to ride along. However, if someone can come out with something cool enough (at a decent price) I'll be willing to jump.

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Old 02-23-2013, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I keep waiting for TiVo to go after the Client/Server market. I know they recently introduced the Stream but I'm far too old to care about viewing TV via portable devices. I'll gladly pay for Lifetime on a four or more tuner server and if there are no monthly fees up to $200 or so per client. If I have to pay monthly for the clients perhaps $100 tops. I have kind of lost track of TiVo as far as what markets they are leaning towards. However it definitely doesn't appear to be OTA so to a large degree I have little hope I'll be going back anytime soon.

You're going to be in luck soon when Tivo releases the Mini (basically an extender for a 4-tuner box, with live TV support by stealing a tuner from the box). Supposed to be released by end of next month if you believe the rumors, but no one knows where they're going to price it at.

Biggest issue is that right now it *permanently* steals a tuner if you want live TV on it, there's no dynamic tuner allocation. You have to tell the 4-tuner host Tivo whether to allocate 1 or 2 tuners to Minis, and then juggle this every time you want to record more shows than you have tuners available.

Yes, it's dumb but like everything else Tivo it's always half-baked at release. They know it's not good and will make it dynamic eventually.

You're right, the 4-tuners don't do OTA so if you want this you'll never be going back to Tivo.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:49 PM
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I've seen plenty of (PC) tuners that can do both OTA and clear QAM (cable), but never one that could do both OTA and encrypted QAM (CableCard). Assuming tuners are rather generic and could be put in a dedicated box like a TiVo just as easily as on a PC card, I could see a TiVo with two of the former and two CableCard tuners, possibly with an RF switch so you could use one input if you were cable-only, or two inputs if you were mixed OTA/cable.

But the drawback would be that cable-only users could only record two encrypted channels at once. Since clear QAM is becoming more and more scarce, such a box would soon lose its advantage over the boxes with 2 OTA & 2 cable tuners they market now.

On another topic, I've been mostly impressed with the AverMedia Duet tuner card in my PC. Since I'm OTA only, I have to deal with a mix of strong and weak channels that cable users would never worry about. Luckily the tuners seem quite sensitive, and I haven't run into the 'disappearing card' problem (yet - crossing fingers).

Its one drawback, though, is that it seems to have a problem with adjacent-channel interference. The only two channels I have a problem receiving aren't my weakest channels, but they're relatively weak low-power channels right below strong full-power ones on the UHF spectrum. Again, something a clear QAM cable user wouldn't care about. Just thought I'd point that out for other HTPC builders - no show-stopper, but still something to consider if shopping for a used or refurbished tuner for your PC.
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