Which OTA DVR? Prime PHD-VRX or Channel Master 7400? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 04-12-2013, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to buy a DVR but I haven't seen a review which compares these two DVRs.
Has anyone tried both and can comment on the pros/cons of each?
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post #2 of 47 Old 04-12-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom63376 View Post

I would like to buy a DVR but I haven't seen a review which compares these two DVRs.
Has anyone tried both and can comment on the pros/cons of each?

Try here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460149/updated-list-of-consumer-available-dvrs-in-the-us/0_50

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post #3 of 47 Old 04-12-2013, 06:16 PM
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The VRX has a much better tuner. In fact, dual tuners for 2 antennas or cable and antenna. 7400 overheats and has poor tuner reception. VRX, despite certain reported recording issues, is a better choice.
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post #4 of 47 Old 04-12-2013, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.. I read the thread from the link above and its clear that neither are good choices.
The CM7400 overheats and has a weak tuner. The VRX is full of bugs.

The thread has me looking at TViX and the older CM7000PAL. For something as cool as FREE
OTA TV channels you would think there would be more of a market for OTA DVR players..
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post #5 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 10:38 AM
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I was on the same search for the past two weeks and ended up ordering the DVICO TViX M6620N yesterday. I almost ordered the Prime PHD-VRX but it does appear that there are many issues/bugs and that it's not as easy to operate with the separate program guides for each tuner. I would suggest taking a closer look at the DVICO TViX M6620N.
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post #6 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 12:32 PM
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The PHD-VRX is made by ePVision. What's this "Prime" version? Does it suck less? wink.gif
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post #7 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 01:02 PM
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What's this "Prime" version? Does it suck less?
Oh, come on now, it's not that bad. Guess you never sat through a TiVo guided setup, or deal with a MSO's DVR that came with no documentation at all. eek.gif

PrimeTV was another name that the company had.
Take a close look here, namely the 2nd line under Consignee;
http://www.importgenius.com/importers/epboard-design

Also note what item was shipped. wink.gif

This was posted in the VRX thread last summer;
http://www.dandb.com/businessdirectory/startdateepboarddesign-anaheim-ca-17052426.html

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post #8 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

I was on the same search for the past two weeks and ended up ordering the DVICO TViX M6620N yesterday. I almost ordered the Prime PHD-VRX but it does appear that there are many issues/bugs and that it's not as easy to operate with the separate program guides for each tuner. I would suggest taking a closer look at the DVICO TViX M6620N.

Andy, what made you pick the TViX over the 7000PAL ??? I am just wondering how you ruled the 7000PAL out as it seems to have the best reputation from all the threads I have read. They seem to be about the same price (about $350-$379 for a Brand-New Old Stock). The only downside I see with the 7000PAL is that you can't bring the content back to your PC to edit out the commercials or burn to a DVD. It almost seems like these are the only good choices if you refuse deal with Tivo's pay us forever plan.
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post #9 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 03:48 PM
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I can't speak for him, but my decision to buy a TViX over a DTVPal/CM 7000 Pal was because the DTVPal won't let you offload recordings, it won't let you play external files, and it doesn't have a fully reliable way to keep accurate time. You were either forced to use TVGoS time (no longer a problem), use PSIP time (and hope your stations' clocks were right), or set the clock manually and deal with gaining eight seconds per day (which wasn't even an option when TVGoS was available). The TViX allows moving files around through multiple means and also supports NTP for keeping the clock correct.
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post #10 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tom63376 View Post

Andy, what made you pick the TViX over the 7000PAL ??? I am just wondering how you ruled the 7000PAL out as it seems to have the best reputation from all the threads I have read. They seem to be about the same price (about $350-$379 for a Brand-New Old Stock). The only downside I see with the 7000PAL is that you can't bring the content back to your PC to edit out the commercials or burn to a DVD. It almost seems like these are the only good choices if you refuse deal with Tivo's pay us forever plan.

Several reasons:

* Power consumption - I like that the TViX actually can be shut off when it's not recording or being used.
* Hard drive - Even though it may add cost, I like the option to choose the type and capacity of the hard drive.
* Ethernet connection - allows NTP time and the ability to access files and play them on other devices.

I had been using Windows Media Center for several years. Prior to that I had ReplyTV, Tivo via DirectTV DVR, Sony DHG, and Dish VIP. My Windows Media Center PC had a hardware failure and I decided not to fix or replace it. I would prefer a DVR 'appliance' vs. a PC at this point in time. Actually I really like the idea of Aereo or Boxee.tv but neither are an option in Tijuana, Mexico. I have other constraints with watching TV via the internet since many of the USA based services do not allow streaming outside of the USA.

Getting off topic - I have been using simple.tv for a couple of weeks. I really like the concept of their network based approach where the simple.tv is more of a network device that you can then play back on many devices such as PC's, iOS devices, tablets, etc. The concerns that I have with simple.tv are:

* Too many issues with reliability/bugs and limited features
* Single tuner
* Fee for program guide ($50 / year, $150 /lifetime) - more reasonable than Tivo
* If you want to just sit down and watch TV with your remote it's not so 'simple' since you need to use a device with a browser to tune channels
* Since the simple.tv is controlled by their cloud controller and integrated program guide if simple.tv doesn't survive and turns off the controller, the device is a brick

I would prefer to avoid paying $500 to Tivo for a lifetime program guide and will not purchase a DVR that does not support a low power mode when not in use.
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post #11 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys..

I'm not going to pay Tivo $500 so forget that! It looks like the TViX is the way to go.
Before I jump in and buy one, I have a few TViX questions..

1. How good is the tuner for pulling in signals and resisting the urge to drop sound or puke up artifacts?
Is the tuner at least as strong as the CM-7000PAL ? As good as the VRX? At least better than the CM-7400?

2. Can you put a 3TB or 4TB inside it? What is the max size internal hard drive it will accept?

3. Will it handle a USB Wifi adapter? I don't have Ethernet near my TV.

4. Does TViX even need to be connected to the internet?

5. There are no less than 8 PVR models listed on TViX site. Which one it the best one?

6. Are there any frustrating things about the TViX ??
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post #12 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 07:29 PM
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These units do have their own threads, but oh well... wink.gif

1) The tuner is about the same as the LG TV I have, which is the same as the old Zenith (owned by LG) DTV converter boxes. I've found these tuners to be far more reliable than say old Sony ones (from the mid 2000s), which failed to pull in the same stations that the LG tuners could.

2) The maximum drive size is 2 TB, but since the drive is swappable and formatted normally with NTFS (no asinine encryption like the DTVPal), you can have as many in-service HDDs as you wish, provided you don't wear out the SATA connector on the DVR. You can also just transfer your recordings to a USB HDD or NAS to keep space open on the internal drive for new recordings while maintaining access to your old ones over your home network.

3) It comes with a USB WiFi antenna.

4) An Internet connection is only useful for downloading the latest firmware (if you don't want to put it on the HDD yourself and do the update that way) and updating the clock via NTP. WAN connectivity is not required, although having the TViX on your LAN is useful for transferring files without having to physically connect a USB storage device. If you have no Internet access at all, you can set the clock manually or let PSIP do it (shudder).

5) You want M6620N+ for ATSC. The M6640N+ is the DVB version.

6) The biggest user complaints are:

a) A red recording "dot" (affectionately termed "the meatball") stays on the screen the whole time a recording is in progress. The only way to not see it is to watch a program you're recording using the tuner in your TV. Plasma owners especially dislike this, since they don't want to burn the image onto their screens.

b) Whenever a scheduled recording is about to begin, you must tune away from whatever channel or recording you were watching and switch to the channel that is about to be recorded. After about 15 seconds, the recording dot will appear to indicate that the recording has started and you can tune away from it. If you select "Cancel" to not interrupt what you were watching, you're cancelling the timer and won't record the thing you had set to record at all. There is no way to start a recording without interrupting your current activity, due to hardware limitations.

c) ION stations that use the AirBox service (encrypted MPEG-4 channels) can cause the TViX to crash with their guide data. Although stations have rolled out a "fix" recently that decreases the likelihood of crashing, it's still not perfect. If you're affected by this problem, the only solution is to delete ION, qubo, and ION Life from your channel list. Thankfully ION has no worthwhile programming, so it's not a huge loss...
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post #13 of 47 Old 04-13-2013, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom63376 View Post

There are no less than 8 PVR models listed on TViX site. Which one it the best one?

Have fun reading: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1195962/official-dvico-tvix-m6620n-hd-atsc-qam-tuner-topic
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post #14 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 06:46 AM
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If you want to just sit down and watch TV with your remote it's not so 'simple' since you need to use a device with a browser to tune channels
* Since the simple.tv is controlled by their cloud controller and integrated program guide if simple.tv doesn't survive and turns off the controller, the device is a brick
That is NOT a DVR. That makes that Brightview look good. wink.gif

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post #15 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

b) Whenever a scheduled recording is about to begin, you must tune away from whatever channel or recording you were watching and switch to the channel that is about to be recorded. After about 15 seconds, the recording dot will appear to indicate that the recording has started and you can tune away from it. If you select "Cancel" to not interrupt what you were watching, you're cancelling the timer and won't record the thing you had set to record at all. There is no way to start a recording without interrupting your current activity, due to hardware limitations.

I am sold. I will buy the TXiV M6620N.
For the above quote, let me see if I understand.. When a recording is scheduled to occur I can either:

Not be using the TViX at all and the unit is turned off (in standby mode) ??
** or **
I need to change channels to the show about to record, wait for the red meatball, then I can tune to any channel I want. (And the Red Meerball stays on regardless of the channel I am tuned into for the full recording time) ??

Many thanks to all who helped me NOT to buy the CM7000PAL or VRX. smile.gif
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post #16 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 11:36 AM
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It's too bad Tivo does not make their device more energy efficient when not recording or being viewed. If they did that it would likely be the device that I ordered vs. the TXiV M6620N. Sure Tivo has it's downsides but it certainly is the most mature platform as far as features and reliability.
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post #17 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 11:40 AM
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I agree, it would be nice if Tivo at least had the option to place it in standby where the HDD spins down. If Tivo didn't take such a ridiculously long time to turn on after a power interruption(~15 minutes) one could just pull it's plug when you weren't recording.
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post #18 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom63376 View Post

For the above quote, let me see if I understand.. When a recording is scheduled to occur I can either:

Not be using the TViX at all and the unit is turned off (in standby mode) ??
** or **
I need to change channels to the show about to record, wait for the red meatball, then I can tune to any channel I want. (And the Red Meerball stays on regardless of the channel I am tuned into for the full recording time) ??

If the TViX is off when it's time to record something, it will turn itself on, tune to the channel, record it, and turn itself off again. The HDD spins down when the unit is off.

The meatball is only present on a channel you're recording. If you use the second tuner to switch to another channel or start watching a previously recorded program, there will be no meatball. There is, however, a red "R" that appears in most menus to remind you that you're recording something in the background.
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

If Tivo didn't take such a ridiculously long time to turn on after a power interruption(~15 minutes) one could just pull it's plug when you weren't recording.

Wow, that's pretty sad. TViX takes 30 seconds to boot.
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post #19 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I agree, it would be nice if Tivo at least had the option to place it in standby where the HDD spins down. If Tivo didn't take such a ridiculously long time to turn on after a power interruption(~15 minutes) one could just pull it's plug when you weren't recording.

Does that time include going out to buy gas for your generator? biggrin.gif
Seriously, mine don't take anywhere near that long.

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
normal on a two month old set..
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post #20 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

If the TViX is off when it's time to record something, it will turn itself on, tune to the channel, record it, and turn itself off again. The HDD spins down when the unit is off.

The meatball is only present on a channel you're recording. If you use the second tuner to switch to another channel or start watching a previously recorded program, there will be no meatball. There is, however, a red "R" that appears in most menus to remind you that you're recording something in the background.

Thanks for clearing that up.. TViX looks like the undisputed champion of DVRs. I'm ordering one.
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post #21 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 06:29 PM
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I use the PHD VRX work very well for recording shows and playing biggrin.gif
The updating the firmware also works great you do need to unplug ever thing for the update to work the first time

The guide that PHD VRX has is good one for most weekly shows
I am using my Yahoo (ZAP), Titan TV and TV Guide for finding programs/moves I want to record ( up to 2 weeks) even better if you have PIP
This is all FREE biggrin.gifwink.gif
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post #22 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

The meatball is only present on a channel you're recording.
So if you want to chase-play a recording -- i.e. start watching a football game after 30 min of recording so you can skip through commercials -- you can't do it without getting the "meatball" on the screen for the whole show while it's recording?

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post #23 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I just ordered a TViX PVR M-6620N direct from tvixdvico via fleabay.
It ships from South Korea so I hope it doesn't take too long.

Now I have to start reading that monster M6620N tread. I've been dreading
the task since its up to 68 pages now..

The antenna connector on the back doesn't look like a standard RF connector
that I am used to seeing with cableTV/coax connectors. Where would I go looking
for a plug like that?

Thanks Guys!
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post #24 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 08:54 PM
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I just read the whole M6620N thread yesterday. It took hours.

Any reason that you didn't order from Digital Connection in California? Yes, it's slightly more expensive and you have to pay shipping but they offer an 18 month warranty. I don't expect you will have anything other than the 14 day return period (buyer pays return shipping to S. Korea) via buying from tvixdvico on eBay.

Also, how do you know that the eBay seller tvixdvico is actually the manufacturer vs. just some eBayer in S. Korea?
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post #25 of 47 Old 04-14-2013, 10:36 PM
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The TViX website has a list of authorised resellers, and I don't know if that eBay seller is one of them. I hope you didn't just buy a unit intended for the Korean market, because you can't change the OSD language to English on those. The TViX website has a list of authorised resellers for the United States, and Kei's Digital Connection and Media Concept USA (which sells them on its own site as well as on eBay) are among them. Most of us bought ours from Kei, though, as she reads this thread and has interacted with the TViX developers on our behalf.
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So if you want to chase-play a recording -- i.e. start watching a football game after 30 min of recording so you can skip through commercials -- you can't do it without getting the "meatball" on the screen for the whole show while it's recording?

If you go into the file menu and start playing the recorded file of a program that's still recording, the recording dot won't display. Many users say that TiVo's so-called "chase-play" method doesn't really work, though. When you do this and press the info button on the remote, the file will display a duration equal to its length when you started playback, e.g. if you have a recording set from 8 - 9 and start playing the file at 8:20, the duration of the file will say 20 minutes. When you get to the 20 minute mark, the TViX will think the recording is over and stop playback, because it doesn't check to see if a file is getting appended as you're playing it. The time would now be something like 8:35, so when you selected the file a second time, it would say it had a duration of 35 minutes, and you'd have to jump forward by 20 minutes to pick up where you left off. Fifteen minutes later, you'd hit the 35 minute mark and get sent back to the menu again.

In my experience, this doesn't happen, though. When I tried to watch an in-progress recording, it was true that the program length didn't update as the recording got longer, but when I reached the 20 minute mark, my file kept playing. When I checked the time counter, it just said I was watching beyond the end of the file, e.g. the current position was 20:17 / 20:00. I don't know why my experience differs from everyone else's, but perhaps I just got lucky once. I never have a reason to do this, so I haven't tried it again.
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post #26 of 47 Old 04-15-2013, 03:54 AM
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If Tivo didn't take such a ridiculously long time to turn on after a power interruption(~15 minutes)
Where did you get from?? I have timed it more than once and boot up time from unplugged is between five and 5 1/2 minutes. This is the "HD" version. I would find it hard to believe the Premier's would take 3x longer, if that is what you were referring to.
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Sure Tivo has it's downsides but it certainly is the most mature platform as far as features and reliability.
It's not that "mature". It's still a power hog, which puts it back in the dark ages AFAIC. Ever take a listen to the drive thrashing around when nothing is going on (no record or playback)? I'm surprised the actuator arm doesn't fall off. When I first heard it, I just thought it was a short term, occasional deal. No it wasn't. I hear it throughout the day. And this is on two machines (HD's).

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #27 of 47 Old 04-15-2013, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I just read the whole M6620N thread yesterday. It took hours.

Any reason that you didn't order from Digital Connection in California? Yes, it's slightly more expensive and you have to pay shipping but they offer an 18 month warranty. I don't expect you will have anything other than the 14 day return period (buyer pays return shipping to S. Korea) via buying from tvixdvico on eBay.

Also, how do you know that the eBay seller tvixdvico is actually the manufacturer vs. just some eBayer in S. Korea?

It's not exactly a common item so I had no idea where to buy one. I went to amazon and ebay.
Amazon wanted $358 which was $68 more. It looked like I was buying direct from the company
when using ebay and all 53 of 53 reputation feedbacks were perfect so I felt safe doing it that way.
The warranty issue didn't cross my mind until you mentioned it but its too late now..
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post #28 of 47 Old 04-15-2013, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Where did you get from?? I have timed it more than once and boot up time from unplugged is between five and 5 1/2 minutes. This is the "HD" version. I would find it hard to believe the Premier's would take 3x longer, if that is what you were referring to.
I have a HD and truthfully I haven't actually timed it, it just seemed like 15 minutes the couple times I accidentally unplugged it. Not sure why it should even take 5 1/2 minutes when something like our iView takes what seems like 5 1/2 seconds but I guess the Tivo has more to load.
Even at 5 1/2 minutes for the Tivo it still wouldn't really be practical to power it down between recordings, I mean if one were running late and your program was just starting you wouldn't want to miss the first 5 minutes of your program waiting for the Tivo to boot up. Reminds me of a old Sony BD player I had, you would turn it on, start and finish making popcorn, get drinks ready and it would just about be to the main menu of your movie, talk about slow!
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post #29 of 47 Old 04-15-2013, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

It's not that "mature". It's still a power hog, which puts it back in the dark ages AFAIC.
Seriously? You think 30 watt is a "power hog". We leave a porch light on all night that uses more power than the TiVo running all day.
We all know you have a massive woodie for TiVo and never miss an opportunity to take shots whenever and where ever possible, but that's pretty lame nit-picking.

Yes, I know you'll come back with more anti-TiVo rhetoric to "show me" that I'm wrong -- I would expect no different.
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post #30 of 47 Old 04-15-2013, 09:05 AM
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Yes, seriously. What are you lighting up with your "porch light" that would consume more than one of devices running 24 hrs, the entire street?
For something to draw that amount when it isn't doing anything makes it a power hog. I guess you have never heard of the Energy Star rating? You also don't have a clue about "standby power" either.

Nothing "lame" about that, unlike your cheap shot.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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