Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 172 - AVS Forum
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post #5131 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by RosinBow View Post
Using the PLSR promo code it is only $400, that is exactly what we just did and the costs I listed are actual minus taxes for both options.

Horses for courses, we went with the TiVo horse after originally planning to pick up DVR+ which we had originally eyed when they were first released but decided to wait. We decided to look at it again now that the product has had time to mature. Thus, I am just pointing out costs as we looked at them. Not trying to start a war here only want to present the options as we viewed them in case someone else is in the same frame of thought and on the verge of making a purchase.

We didn't want to mess with ordering an external HDD and preferred to stick with what Channel Master had along these lines. Likewise we are using the intenal HDD in the Roamio at least for the duration of the warranty and may consider higher capacity at that time if our practical usage would actually benefit.
It does seem disingenuous to compare the sale cost of one item with the most expensive option of another. That is not a real comparison.

An external drive may be a better option anyway - that way if it goes out you don't have to replace the whole device and vice versa. Same reason the TV/DVD/VCR combo unit was a bad idea unless you were extremely limited on space, such as in an RV. Plus, if the DVR+ goes out completely out of warranty or you change to something else and you still can use the drive for the computer or possibly backup for your new system.

I would agree that using the TiVo setup is a better option if you have multiple TVs and sharing the the content among the TVs is important to you. If you did not care about sharing content, the DVR+ could be usable for 2 TVs for $600-650 by buying smaller external drives. If it is 3 or more TVs the TiVo would come out ahead. Other than that obnoxious noise it makes when you press "pause" that makes you want to insert an ice pick in your own temple

For us, we decided to limit it to one TV for now. It would help limit the time we spent watching TV and encourage that the time we did watch TV would be spent together as a family. This is one of the reasons we switched - less channels and less money means hopefully less time watching. When we had DISH we only had the two DVR system so we could record two shows at once. The DVR+ does that. We can still watch DVDs on the other TV if we desire and may put a cheaper Roku down there at some point in time (that room only gets used when we want to have a fire in the fireplace). This may change as kids get order.

Not trying to criticize your decision making process because it it about choosing what it right for you in your situation, but it does not really provide fair information to those reading this when the price points are skewed. Especially when you are doing it on a thread devoted to the system you are "bashing" rather than a thread devoted to comparisons.

So actual cost for 2 TVs would be:

$820 ($720 on sale) for the TiVo option (Roamio + Mini + Lifetime and content can be shared between TVs. (I don't know other details as $570 was too much for me to spend for one TV)

DVR+ $640(ish) for 2 DVR+ and 2 cheap small hard drives, $800 for 2 DVR+ with internal 1T hard drive, $720 for 2DVR+ and 2 3T hard drives. If you want WiFi connectivity add in $40 each for WiFi adapter or $50 each for WiFi adapter and HDMI cable if you order from CM through Amazon. Content does not share between TVs.

Looks like the real factor is if you want to be able to share content between TVs.
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post #5132 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post
The HDD in my Pal DVR has been spinning 24/7 since December 2008 with no problems.
Thanks everyone. I was mostly going off of concerns of others earlier in the thread and the sudden change I read about.
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post #5133 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mishmosh View Post
The DVR is dead in the water now that Roamio OTA has been announced. $50 buy-in, $15/mo fee with only a 1 year commitment. That is a no brainer! I only factored in a service life of 2 years for my DVR+. I figured I would get the latest and greatest in 2 years. The Roamio OTA has 4 tuners, 500gb HD, 2 week guide, and probably not buggy as hell like the DVR+. You don't need the Roamio basic for OTA, just the $50 Roamio OTA.
Interesting.

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post #5134 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxWasatch View Post
It does seem disingenuous to compare the sale cost of one item with the most expensive option of another. That is not a real comparison.
Not to argue the point, but that discount code has been around for years. I found it mentioned as far back as January of 2012. Yes TiVo could discontinue it at any time, but it seems unlikely after nearly 3 years.
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post #5135 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
With the new firmware, when the DVR+ is in standby is it still buffering a tuner?
If not then I agree there is no reason for the DVR+ to force the drive to keep spinning. Especially true since the recommended drives are cheap little USB powered portables and not AV drives.
I got a clearer response from CM on this:

"The only hard drives that weren't spinning constantly were Western Digital hard drives - our latest update accidentally changed that. However, our engineers will release a patch to fix it. All other hard drives will run constantly. This was how it was from the beginning and there has been no word of it changing. It's constantly buffering to keep the hard drive "ready" for a potential recording."

Looks like with the other response about modern HDs we should be good.
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post #5136 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxWasatch View Post
Looks like with the other response about modern HDs we should be good.
Personally, I would still buy an AV rated drive for use on a DVR and not a USB-powered portable.

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post #5137 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 12:54 PM
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After listening to a lot of complaints from my significant other I broke down and bought a TiVo. I was willing to live with the minor issues and basic feature set of the DVR+, but she made it clear she was unhappy. After some research I settled on the Roamio OTA due to the low upfront cost ($50). I know a unit with lifetime is a better long term investment, but I couldn't stomach the $600+ upfront cost (I live in one of the few states that charges sales tax on the subscription). As for the lack of cable support, we've been OTA and OTT only for more than 5 years so we didn't care about that.

Comparing the 2 devices it's clear that the TiVo is a more mature product with a substantially larger feature set. That said, it's still rough around the edges in a couple places. Most of the menus are HD, but when you want to change a setting you're dumped into an SD menu straight out of 1999. I was also confused by the guide at first. After setup it found all of my channels, as well as tons of duplicates and channels I don't actually receive. I went into settings and unchecked everything I didn't want in the guide, but they were still there. It took some searching online to find out that I needed to change a separate setting in a completely different place so that it only displays the channels I checked. I was also annoyed by the 30 scan feature. Pressing the skip button fast forwards 30 seconds rather than skipping 30 seconds. After more searching online I discovered a whole slew of hidden settings, and I was able to change this to skip rather than scan.

Once I got past these initial issues I found the TiVo to be pretty amazing. It's very fast with no slowdowns or performance issues. The RF remote is awesome. I no longer need to aim at the DVR. I also love the wishlist option. I was able to create a wishlist that records every NFL game with 30 minutes added to the end of each recording. No more manual recordings for every game like with the DVR+. And of course the season pass feature has new episode filtering which was a big complaint I heard about the DVR+. That, combined with the occasional audio dropouts, had become a regular topic of conversation in our house. Both of those issues have been solved with the TiVo.

So in the end I think the DVR+ is still a good product at it's price point assuming they fix the audio issues we were experiencing. The Roamio OTA is a much better alternative, but only if you can live with the $15 a month subscription fee (or the $570+tax upfront cost on a base Roamio with lifetime).
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post #5138 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jakep_82 View Post
After listening to a lot of complaints from my significant other I broke down and bought a TiVo. I was willing to live with the minor issues and basic feature set of the DVR+, but she made it clear she was unhappy. After some research I settled on the Roamio OTA due to the low upfront cost ($50). I know a unit with lifetime is a better long term investment, but I couldn't stomach the $600+ upfront cost (I live in one of the few states that charges sales tax on the subscription). As for the lack of cable support, we've been OTA and OTT only for more than 5 years so we didn't care about that.

Comparing the 2 devices it's clear that the TiVo is a more mature product with a substantially larger feature set. That said, it's still rough around the edges in a couple places. Most of the menus are HD, but when you want to change a setting you're dumped into an SD menu straight out of 1999. I was also confused by the guide at first. After setup it found all of my channels, as well as tons of duplicates and channels I don't actually receive. I went into settings and unchecked everything I didn't want in the guide, but they were still there. It took some searching online to find out that I needed to change a separate setting in a completely different place so that it only displays the channels I checked. I was also annoyed by the 30 scan feature. Pressing the skip button fast forwards 30 seconds rather than skipping 30 seconds. After more searching online I discovered a whole slew of hidden settings, and I was able to change this to skip rather than scan.

Once I got past these initial issues I found the TiVo to be pretty amazing. It's very fast with no slowdowns or performance issues. The RF remote is awesome. I no longer need to aim at the DVR. I also love the wishlist option. I was able to create a wishlist that records every NFL game with 30 minutes added to the end of each recording. No more manual recordings for every game like with the DVR+. And of course the season pass feature has new episode filtering which was a big complaint I heard about the DVR+. That, combined with the occasional audio dropouts, had become a regular topic of conversation in our house. Both of those issues have been solved with the TiVo.

So in the end I think the DVR+ is still a good product at it's price point assuming they fix the audio issues we were experiencing. The Roamio OTA is a much better alternative, but only if you can live with the $15 a month subscription fee (or the $570+tax upfront cost on a base Roamio with lifetime).
Thanks Jakep_82 for posting your initial review of the TiVo Roamio OTA. I will probably end up getting one and using the DVR+ for it's program guide in the system I have in the basement.
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post #5139 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 02:55 PM
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The DVR is dead in the water now that Roamio OTA has been announced. $50 buy-in, $15/mo fee with only a 1 year commitment. That is a no brainer! I only factored in a service life of 2 years for my DVR+. I figured I would get the latest and greatest in 2 years. The Roamio OTA has 4 tuners, 500gb HD, 2 week guide, and probably not buggy as hell like the DVR+. You don't need the Roamio basic for OTA, just the $50 Roamio OTA.
I disagree about the "no brainer" part.

The Roamio OTA costs $230 for one year, $410 for two. Since there's no lifetime, when you're done with it and ready to move up to "the latest and greatest," you probably won't be able to sell it for even the $50 you paid up-front. Maybe $35, for a net two-year cost of $375.

A DVR+ and a 500GB HDD cost $300 until it breaks - unlikely over a mere 2 years. At that time you could probably sell the combo for at least $150 (that's very conservative; used CM-7000Pals still go for upwards of $270 on eBay), for a net two-year cost of $150.

Both options include a 500GB HDD and a 2-week guide. The Roamio OTA does have 4 tuners while the DVR+ only has 2; a big advantage that will be a clincher for some, but hardly a "no-brainer" for everyone.

As for bugs, all DVRs have them, including TiVo. From what I've read, the DVR+ is probably buggier since TiVo has mostly stuck with the same basic software and UI since they began, while CM has gone with a totally new DVR each time they EOL their last model. But (again from what I've read) "buggy as hell" is really stretching it. The main complaints with 111R are low audio volume and that HDDs don't spin down; hardly deal-breakers IMO.
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post #5140 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
A DVR+ and a 500GB HDD cost $300 until it breaks - unlikely over a mere 2 years.
Or until CM stops supporting it and discontinues guide data. Nobody knows when that will happen, but at some point you'll be stuck with PSIP data which is far from reliable. That said I agree it's not exactly a no brainer. I probably would have stuck with the DVR+ if it was my decision alone.
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post #5141 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 05:48 PM
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You are correct, it's not the answer I was hoping for, but based on my past years of experience with digital video, it was the answer I was expecting. I am encouraged by the fact that 3TB drives seem fine, as I was hoping to not be limited to only 1TB in HD size. Thanks for the responses, all!
So, as it turns out, it's not so much a hardware issue as a broadcast issue. Earlier in the thread several folks have indicated this problem only on certain networks (ABC seems to be the most popular culprit), and with further testing, it is only the local ABC station that shows this behavior. It's usually more pronounced during commercials (and I have no issue with that) or live programming (national news, GMA, etc.), or when graphics are present on the screen.

Not sure if there's much that can be done about this, but if anyone has suggestions, I'm willing to listen. Maybe CM can come up with a firmware update to address this?
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post #5142 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 06:03 PM
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Since the last update, we have noticed a problem with our DVR+ maybe you all can help me with it. We have a lot of shows set up to record weekly. It seems that it doesn't want to record the shows each week. We are having to check it every time and click record on them and then click "update name search". That will set it up to record that time, but then the next time it comes on we are having to do the same thing. Has anyone else experienced this, and is there a fix?
Yes, Tim, I just experienced that last night. The scheduled recording dates/times are all blank, but the name of the shows are still there.
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post #5143 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 06:17 PM
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It does seem disingenuous to compare the sale cost of one item with the most expensive option of another. That is not a real comparison.
It seems disingenuous to suggest one shouldn't compare on what one would actually pay.

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An external drive may be a better option anyway - that way if it goes out you don't have to replace the whole device and vice versa.
It take about two minutes open up a TiVo and swap drives.

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Looks like the real factor is if you want to be able to share content between TVs.
Rather an (endless) list of features such as 4 tuners, not recording repeats... the cost is so close I can't see how actual features wouldn't be the deciding factor. It's pennies a day...
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post #5144 of 5279 Old 10-16-2014, 09:39 PM
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the cost is so close I can't see how actual features wouldn't be the deciding factor. It's pennies a day...
I'm rather surprised that in the endless TiVo debates which occur every day in the various threads of this forum that nobody ever takes the privacy implications of TiVo into consideration. Regardless of any CBA of TiVo's features, I guess everybody thinks TiVo's ability to spy on your viewing habits is acceptable.
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post #5145 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
Personally, I would still buy an AV rated drive for use on a DVR and not a USB-powered portable.
I've been using a pair of USB-powered WD My Passports in rotating duty on my home server for better than two years. When the system does a scheduled full backup (once a month), it starts out by clearing the prior backup set (a hundred GB or so) and puts 80GB or so back on. Then, over the course of the month, another 12GB to 30GB will be added.

So far: No problems.

I've a couple friends using the same kind of drives much harder than that, in the same kind of duty.

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post #5146 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 05:40 AM
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Way too much TIVO discussion! Isn't there a TIVO forum where you guys can have at it?


SEMIJim, I agree with Kelson on the AV Drives as the best bet for a DVR. Your example in no way compares with my use of my DVR which is..... everyday there is hard drive activity multiple times reading and or recording. While USB drives like the Passport are convenient and can be used, they are not the best solution for DVR use.


Just my humble opinion and I hope to get this forum back to discussing something other than TIVO!.
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post #5147 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 05:41 AM
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I've been using a pair of USB-powered WD My Passports in rotating duty on my home server for better than two years. When the system does a scheduled full backup (once a month), it starts out by clearing the prior backup set (a hundred GB or so) and puts 80GB or so back on. Then, over the course of the month, another 12GB to 30GB will be added.
I use them also for PC data backups and transportable storage when I need more room than on a flash drive. All intermittent use. This is not the same as servicing a DVR and being built for handling multiple AV streams while running 24x7. As I said, I like to use the proper tool for the job. I wonder how many of the stuttering problems people report would be eliminated if they were using an AV drive.

PC drives are designed more to operate in a burst mode which is more appropriate to handling large numbers of small file reads and writes. AV drives are designed to provide continuous, uninterrupted data streams from large files which is what you absolutely need for video playback. If your PC drive briefly lags during a data operation to do a seek or track reset, you'll never notice or care since data integrity is the only thing that matters. If it does it while you are watching an episode of your wifes favorite show, you will be on here complaining of the DVR+ stuttering issues.
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post #5148 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 12:10 PM
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Apologies to LenL for continuing the TiVo discussion. I agree it would be nicer for all of us to move to a "TiVo vs. all other DVRs" thread. But it does seem that a lot of folks are specifically weighing TiVo vs. DVR+, and they're coming to this thread to help them make that decision, so ... here I go again

Quote:
the cost is so close I can't see how actual features wouldn't be the deciding factor. It's pennies a day...
Yes, about a roll of pennies a day ... more like "quarters a day"

Not that I don't appreciate a nice rhetorical trick to minimize the cost difference, but over a year or two, "pennies (or quarters) a day" add up.

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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
I'm rather surprised that in the endless TiVo debates which occur every day in the various threads of this forum that nobody ever takes the privacy implications of TiVo into consideration. Regardless of any CBA of TiVo's features, I guess everybody thinks TiVo's ability to spy on your viewing habits is acceptable.
Well, not everybody....

In fact, privacy is one of my own personal gripes with TiVo. But I agree, it doesn't seem to be a widely shared concern; besides, I'm not certain the DVR+ is guiltless in that area, so I haven't mentioned it here.

(Although if you're paranoid, you can use a DVR+ without an Internet connection. Not so with TiVo.)
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post #5149 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 01:51 PM
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(Although if you're paranoid, you can use a DVR+ without an Internet connection. Not so with TiVo.)
Yes, and it has the added benefit of preventing unwanted firmware updates. Several people have complained that the DVR+ updated to 111R without their permission, which is only possible if you connect it to the Internet. It seems that privacy isn't the only benefit you get from unplugging the Ethernet cable from your DVR+.
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post #5150 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LenL View Post
Way too much TIVO discussion! Isn't there a TIVO forum where you guys can have at it?


SEMIJim, I agree with Kelson on the AV Drives as the best bet for a DVR. Your example in no way compares with my use of my DVR which is..... everyday there is hard drive activity multiple times reading and or recording. While USB drives like the Passport are convenient and can be used, they are not the best solution for DVR use.


Just my humble opinion and I hope to get this forum back to discussing something other than TIVO!.

You will never stop the TIVO people because this is their main competition. I think that some are salaried employees trolling the AVS site for prospects. The thing I do not understand is why the Moderators will not do anything about it. Especially since some TIVO people are such Bullies.











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post #5151 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 03:52 PM
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I only brought up TiVo because I bought one and I thought a head to head comparison with the DVR+ would be of value to some people. I currently own both, although the DVR+ is going on eBay soon so now I will exit this thread and move on.
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post #5152 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 05:44 PM
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I only brought up TiVo because I bought one and I thought a head to head comparison with the DVR+ would be of value to some people.
I think your comparison is outstanding and to a large degree reflects the typical (mainstream) user of which often isn't reflected here.
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post #5153 of 5279 Old 10-17-2014, 07:35 PM
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I've never had a Tivo, and have only dealt with OTA brodcast, comcast, and DirecTV, and I have to say that I am thrilled with the DVR+ My top feature I hope to be added is new episode only recordings. Other than that, I'm very happy with my purchase. I'm saving $100 a month (by killing my DirecTV) and will soon be fully compensated by my investment, which was my whole goal to begin with (eliminate monthly bills).

I'm sure there are plenty of TiVo fans that are thrilled with their device as well. Thats fine. I'm mainly here to learn about ways people are using their DVR+s and also to learn about new firmwares and whatnot.

Anyway, thanks for all of the info and support everyone.
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post #5154 of 5279 Old 10-18-2014, 06:44 AM
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Personally, I would still buy an AV rated drive for use on a DVR and not a USB-powered portable.
I'm supporting you in the advise.
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post #5155 of 5279 Old 10-18-2014, 06:47 AM
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JAKEP 82,

Your TIVO comparison was fine but then others had to join in and a TIVO discussion took over the DVR+ thread. Not your fault but a lot of the posts that followed should have been messages to you instead.


Just my humble opinion.
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post #5156 of 5279 Old 10-18-2014, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
Do you guys mean the remote control itself has issues or do you really mean you feel the DVR+ has a slow response to remote commands.

There seems to be a developing feeling the unit is "under-powered". I still think a lot of these issues will ultimately trace back to the external USB drives that are being used are really not AV drives.
It is my professional opinion that the CPU of the DVR+ is woefully underpowered. When it gets busy it can take 5 seconds or more to respond to a pushed button on the remote. And it ALWAYS take a "long time" to do anything even if it's not busy. When I switch over to my TV tuner and start changing channels it's instant... a breath of fresh air. Then I come back to the DVR+ and it's molasses in everything it does. It's not necessarily the "REMOTE" per se.... it's the unit itself and woefully slow everything.
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post #5157 of 5279 Old 10-18-2014, 07:37 AM
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I'm sorry to dismiss your prof opinion: you have no knowledge of a "power" the main CPU (do you know what CPU is ? have you read a brief from Broadcom ? Have you seen HW manual of it ?); you "conclusion" is not correct - just two words to put you on right track: TASK PRIORITY.
IR cmds processing task has LOW priority.
No need to beat dead horse so many times in one thread, if there is no horse
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post #5158 of 5279 Old 10-18-2014, 07:49 AM
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I'm sorry to dismiss your prof opinion: you have no knowledge of a "power" the main CPU (do you know what CPU is ? have you read a brief from Broadcom ? Have you seen HW manual of it ?); you "conclusion" is not correct - just two words to put you on right track: TASK PRIORITY.
IR cmds processing task has LOW priority.
No need to beat dead horse so many times in one thread, if there is no horse
Well, aren't you a snarky little devil. I'll resist your troll and say have a nice day.
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post #5159 of 5279 Old 10-18-2014, 08:07 AM
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PC drives are designed more to operate in a burst mode which is more appropriate to handling large numbers of small file reads and writes.
There is no such thing as a "PC drive," any more. There are so-called "desktop" or "client" drives and "enterprise" grade drives. Most knowledgeable IT people will chose the former for non-critical, non-24x7 use, and the latter for high-reliability applications.

But even that may no longer be necessary: Hard Drive Failures of Desktop vs Enterprise
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When viewed in this manner and from a reliability perspective, it appears the extra cost of enterprise drives may not be worth it.
I know, from personal experience, so-called "enterprise grade" drives are sometimes not all they're cracked up to be. For example: I experienced an uncommonly high failure rate in one of my RAID arrays that had been populated with IBM Ultrastar drives. I called 'em "Ultrascorch," because they ran so blazing hot.

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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
AV drives are designed to ...
It is questionable that there is any longer any significant difference between "regular" drives and "AV drives." See: AV Drive and, for example: Western Digital AV-GP 3TB Review

Personally: I rather suspect "AV drive" is kind of like audio tweak speaker wire

As for duty cycle: Our external drive sees little more duty than the backup drives on my home server.

I will note this: Before the 111R "upgrade" our DVR+ functioned nearly flawlessly, save every couple weeks it would decide not to pay attention to the remote and need a reboot. Now it:

  • Uselessly runs the external drive 24x7
  • Regularly responds exceedingly slowly to my remote (nothing else for which I use that remote exhibits this behaviour)
  • Occasionally yields trashed playback

If the thing behaved like this when it was new, I likely would have returned it. I can't wait to see CM's next "improvements."

Originally I loved the thing. Now I find it merely marginally adequate. I wish I could put 108R back

Jim

Last edited by SEMIJim; 10-18-2014 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Eliminated a redundancy
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post #5160 of 5279 Old 10-18-2014, 08:08 AM
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I disagree about the "no brainer" part.

The Roamio OTA costs $230 for one year, $410 for two. Since there's no lifetime, when you're done with it and ready to move up to "the latest and greatest," you probably won't be able to sell it for even the $50 you paid up-front. Maybe $35, for a net two-year cost of $375.

A DVR+ and a 500GB HDD cost $300 until it breaks - unlikely over a mere 2 years. At that time you could probably sell the combo for at least $150 (that's very conservative; used CM-7000Pals still go for upwards of $270 on eBay), for a net two-year cost of $150.
I can tell you my cost was much higher for the DVR+. I have about $425 invested with just the unit and a 1gig HD. The DVR+ remains extremely buggy. I still get missed recording regularly. I still get shows recorded that I never selected to be recorded. It's just frustrating. Even navigating the menus is frustrating. The two tuner limitation didn't seem to bother me when I purchased the DVR+ but I regularly encounter problems with it--either needing 3 shows recorded or want to record multiple shows and watching another. I am not too concerned after two years if my Roamio OTA does not have resale value. After all, I bought it for $50.

At least I know my WD DVR Expander will still get use when I get the Roamio OTA. I do not plan to sell the DVR+ as the guide alone is still worth something to me with my other TV.
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