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post #1891 of 11174 Old 05-09-2006, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Scrambling I know about, happens when switching resolutions. Not sure if it's the TV or box, but if your Dish box didn't do that, then it's probably the Cox box and the chipset it uses.

I know some remember zoom settings, I was just pointing out that many/most cable users use the TV stretch modes and not the Cox box zoom modes.

Got an HD DVR and never use it, wow!

Still don't understand the blanking on REW, but maybe it is the older CRT. I would think we'd all see it if it were the Cox box, but who knows?

Cheers, Dave
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post #1892 of 11174 Old 05-09-2006, 09:07 PM
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They have always had cable, I have Dish. But even if they did dish doesn't currently offer native pass through on any box.
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post #1893 of 11174 Old 05-10-2006, 04:23 PM
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So am I the only one that just gets channel 81(2,3,4) in HD on QAM from Cox Basic right now?

I am itching to call them but I doubt they'll know what I'm talking about.
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post #1894 of 11174 Old 05-10-2006, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

...IMHO, there 3 main differences between Tivo and most other DVRs. The biggest seems to be the search function where you can search by a lot more data points, like Director, Actor, etc., and not just Title/Date...

I would add a fourth, which would be easy expandability of capacity. It is difficult if not impossible to expand capacity on cable or DISH PVRs, and virtually impossible on all other HD DVRs. Tivo expandability is about as easy as adding a second HDD to a PC or a Mac.

Also, I think you might have buried the lead. The only reason the search function is so good on Tivo is because it is also an event-based/metadata-based recorder, and not a time-slot recorder like a VCR, and like so many other DVRs. When "My Name is Earl" expands to 40 minutes tomorrow, Tivo will get every second without any intervention from me. When "Desperate Housewives" runs 1:05 on Sunday, you won't be hearing expletives coming from my direction when the last crucial scene is missing on everybody else's DVR. Don't know about the upcoming 2-hour Monday finales of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Alias" which normally air on other nights? With Tivo, you don't have to. If you've set a SP properly, they'll just be there automatically. And if there's a conflict, you'll get plenty of warning.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #1895 of 11174 Old 05-10-2006, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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TomCat,

I understand what you are saying about timeslot-based, but I think you need to check the current status of non-Tivo DVRs. My 8300's New Episode option has never missed any parts of the programs you mention as long as the IPG is correct (and I doubt even Tivo can deal with incorrect IPG data). Several shows like Lost and DH vary their length from week to week and the 8300 records them completely. It also recorded the back to back episodes of The Unit last night without me doing anything to my "season pass" that was setup back in the fall. It has recorded special 2-hour episodes in the past without intervention and the special you mentioned is already properly flagged for recording Monday night. In fact, I believe the only option that will miss these is the "This Timeslot" option, but I could be wrong, I haven't used the others for some time.

As for expandibility, while some folks doing their own SATA expansion setups and those using Passport software run into some problems, there are quite a few who purchase kits over the internet (and even some now at Fry's and BB) who simply plug and play to add 250-300G of added capacity. It may not yet be as easy as Tivo, but it's also not all that difficult either and it's getting easier as more folks discover this capability. There does seem to be problems with attempts to add 400-500G HDDs.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1896 of 11174 Old 05-11-2006, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

I would add a fourth, which would be easy expandability of capacity. It is difficult if not impossible to expand capacity on cable or DISH PVRs, and virtually impossible on all other HD DVRs. Tivo expandability is about as easy as adding a second HDD to a PC or a Mac.

I bought Maxtor's SATA PVR Expansion drive on Amazon.

Plugged it right into my 8300HD, powered it up, responded to two on screen prompts, and I had 300 GB more.

Took about 90 seconds.

Not the most cost effective way to expand, but it sure was easy.
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post #1897 of 11174 Old 05-11-2006, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boofster View Post

So am I the only one that just gets channel 81(2,3,4) in HD on QAM from Cox Basic right now?

I am itching to call them but I doubt they'll know what I'm talking about.

I'd posted a while back that I was having trouble tuning ABC and CBS HD. They used to be 79.1 and 79.2 and now I think they've been moved to 80.1 and 80.2. I still can't tune em.

I'm using a Sasem USB HDTV Creator. Autumnwave (the U.S. Distributor) hasn't been much help. They recently released a newer version of their software, but it hasn't helped.

My Phillips projection TV, which has a QAM tuner, is able to tune those channels.

I would run a fresh scan right now, but it's a little hard to find time with my kids demanding attention......

Phoenix
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post #1898 of 11174 Old 05-12-2006, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwert000 View Post

I bought Maxtor's SATA PVR Expansion drive on Amazon.

Plugged it right into my 8300HD, powered it up, responded to two on screen prompts, and I had 300 GB more.

Took about 90 seconds.

Not the most cost effective way to expand, but it sure was easy.

Doesn't that only give you about 25 hours?

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #1899 of 11174 Old 05-12-2006, 05:23 PM
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For primetime film-source HD content, KPHO and KASW are about 8 gigs per hour, KPNX, KAET, KNXV about 6, and KSAZ about 4.5. The math in how many hours fit into 300 gigs is left as an exercise for the reader.
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post #1900 of 11174 Old 05-12-2006, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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TomCat,

The 8300 with a standard 160G HDD gives you ~20 hours of HD, so 300G "more" would give you another 35+ hours. There is quite a bit of overhead with the expansion HDD, that's why the average is closer to 35 than 37.5 using straight math with 8G/hr of HD.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1901 of 11174 Old 05-13-2006, 03:22 PM
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Thanks for the info, but Maxtor claims only 25 HD hours for the 300 GB exp. drive, so something isn't adding up. I'm only asking because my sister was considering this, but the cost per GB is about twice what a typical Weaknees upgrade would cost.

BTW her 8300 and my mother's (both brand new units) do not have any "New Episode" option as described. This is also the crux of the lawsuit that Tivo prevailed over Echostar in, so if they actually can do this, they are probably next on the list for litigation.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #1902 of 11174 Old 05-13-2006, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

Thanks for the info, but Maxtor claims only 25 HD hours for the 300 GB exp. drive, so something isn't adding up. I'm only asking because my sister was considering this, but the cost per GB is about twice what a typical Weaknees upgrade would cost.

Tom,

That is based on a 8GB/hr bitrate....we all know that all stations have different bit rates so the actual times will be different. I think the 8300 is not saving the nulls so the actual video/audio data is the only thing saved. Unless you only record CBS5 then you should be able to record a lot more than the 25 hours.
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post #1903 of 11174 Old 05-13-2006, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think Maxtor is claiming worse case whereas Weaknees is claiming average. I don't know of anything specific to any kit, Maxtor, Weaknees, or others out there, that would result in different "real" capacities once connected and formatted. I do know that the overhead goes up as the drive size increases, so there is definitely a cost factor where the cost/G is higher the bigger the drive. From what I've read in the SATA thread, 250G seemed to offer the best cost/G at one time, but that may have changed if 300G and higher have come down in price (and they probably have).

Cheers, Dave
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post #1904 of 11174 Old 05-13-2006, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

BTW her 8300 and my mother's (both brand new units) do not have any "New Episode" option as described. This is also the crux of the lawsuit that Tivo prevailed over Echostar in, so if they actually can do this, they are probably next on the list for litigation.

FWIW, the option has been in the software for a long time, ever since at least version 1.85.x.x, but it takes an IPG upgrade with the First Run indicator for the option to show up. Our IPG was updated when they released version 1.87.x.x., but it was just a coincidence for it to coincide with a software update. If you don't mind my asking, where are your sister and mother located and what cableco do they have?

Cheers, Dave
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post #1905 of 11174 Old 05-15-2006, 06:08 PM
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Cox/Chandler.

I asked my sister about this again. She seems to think that hers will find eps on non-standard days if she sets it up right, but that it only works about half the time if she leaves it alone. She says she has to go in and fiddle with it to have a fighting chance of it finding them most of the time. And it might be just pilot error, but I had to give her DVDRs of 8 different "Alias" eps that got blown out for whatever reason (but that might have been preventable). She also says if the episode is a non-standard length that it will not record the entire episode without her going in and fixing it each time. She misses Tivo.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #1906 of 11174 Old 05-15-2006, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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TomCat,

Are you saying your sister and mother both live in Chandler? If so, then they should have the First Run option (often referred to as the New Episodes option). The options are:

1. First Run only on this channel.
2. On this channel at any time.
3. On this channel any day in this time slot.

The First Run option (1) will record new episodes on a given channel regardless of time slot and length. For example, Grey's Anatomy was on last night from 9:00 - 10:00 and it is on again tonight from 8:00 - 10:00. The First Run recording I set up when the show first started last fall will record both these episodes without intervention. Similarly, Lost, Invasion, and ER have non-standard start/end times and the First Run recordings I scheduled last fall has recorded them all without any problems. Obviously, this option will fail if the IPG First Run flag is incorrect.

The Anytime option (2) will get all episodes regardless of time slot. This will get multiple showings of the same program if it is repeated at different times, like The Sopranos on HBO. Besides the duplicate recordings, the problem with this one is that if time slots vary, they could overlap other scheduled recordings and cause an inadvertent 3-way conflict and result in potential missed recordings.

The Any Day/This Time Slot option (3) will record multiple episodes of a given show in a particular time slot regardless of day. This is most useful for programs, like soaps, news, Oprah, etc., that are on multiple days at the same time each day.

There are also options to define how long recordings should be kept, how many recordings of a given show will be kept, and auto-deletion when space is needed for new recordings.

I can understand your sister missing her Tivo (not sure why she switched though), but it sure sounds like she doesn't understand enough about how the 8300 differs to get what she wants out of it. I'll be glad to help if I can.

Re 8 Alias eps. My guess is the options for how many episodes to keep and how long to keep them might have had an impact. Also, there is room for only ~20 hrs of HD and this could also have been a problem if she's saving a lot of episodes for marathon viewing and not watching the disk space usage.

Re Non-standard length. First Run recordings should not have a problem with varying start/end times. However, the other options will have to be changed each time. You can change the record start/end times for these, but they will be reset as soon as the next scheduled recording is done. A good example is Lost. One week it might be 61 minutes and 65 the next. You can change the end time to 9:01, but it will be reset to 9:00 and it will then have to be changed to 9:05 the next week. The "real" problem though is the option she seems to be using. Why is she not using the First Run option (1)? Or, if there is a good reason for that, why is she then not using the Any Time Slot option(2)? Either of these options should record these types of shows without intervention.

One of the biggest problems with the 8300 is that it doesn't let you know there is a problem. For example, when the HDD is full and auto-delete is turned off, it simply doesn't record any more. If there is an inadvertent 3-way conflict, it doesn't let you know that either and it doesn't record any of the 3 shows whereas Tivo uses a priority scheme to record 2 of the shows.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1907 of 11174 Old 05-16-2006, 08:37 AM
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Exactly. That is my biggest problem with the 8300. I have inadvertently missed important episodes because of these conflicts of which I was unaware.


Is there any word on the multi-room PVR option in Phoenix? I just moved down in Phoenix and am in the process of moving into my house. The GF wants her Tivo, so I think we are going to be a blended household, Cox and D!



Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

TomCat,


One of the biggest problems with the 8300 is that it doesn't let you know there is a problem. For example, when the HDD is full and auto-delete is turned off, it simply doesn't record any more. If there is an inadvertent 3-way conflict, it doesn't let you know that either and it doesn't record any of the 3 shows whereas Tivo uses a priority scheme to record 2 of the shows.

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post #1908 of 11174 Old 05-16-2006, 06:11 PM
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I guess it might be very possible for the features to be available, but not be that understandable by non-technical people. I am a pretty hard-core tech, but I haven't really had the opportunity to mess with my relatives' 8300's much, so you guys are helping us (and probably others) a lot.

It seems like it's just as important to make the features easily understandable and accessible as it is to actually have those features in the first place, which makes Tivo's approach all that more valuable, because if you don't understand the features you won't use them, which has the same end result as not having them. As friendly as Tivo is, though, I really didn't understand all the ins and outs of it until I had it for quite a while, and I picked a lot up on forums like this one. Non-techies probably don't really understand Tivo all that well, either, but then they don't really have to for the most part.

But understand, I take no real pleasure or comfort in the fact that Tivo might still be the only really good option out there. In a perfect world there would be a number of top-level PVRs duking it out and pushing each other to provide better products for all of us. When one platform has anything approaching a monopoly on features or reliablility, they tend to get fat and happy, which means even the best product starts to suffer, and that type of situation also ruins the motivation for competitors (if they have trouble keeping up, then why even try very hard?). It's the same reason why if not for the indirect affect from Apple's Mac OS, we'd probably still be using a command-line interface on our Windows PCs.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #1909 of 11174 Old 05-16-2006, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Tallen234,

I don't think we'll see any MR stuff until after the conversion to OCAP. Unfortunately, I don't know when that will be, but I believe that is where the priority is these days.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1910 of 11174 Old 05-16-2006, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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TomCat,

I think you will be surprised over the next couple of years as OCAP and Tivo come to cable. Unfortunately, this stuff has moved very slowly in the past due to the myriad of cable systems that were allowed to exist, but cable is finally coming of age and soon there won't be that much difference from one system to another. This will allow companies like Tivo to get in on the action and competition will drive features.

As for your relatives, I think you might want to have them download the latest User's Guide for the 8300 and read through it. Some features may not be available until they get version 1.88.x.x of the SARA software, but the guide may give them some idea of how various functions work. I didn't know they had updated the guide until the other day and I haven't gone though it all myself yet. If they have specific questions, I'm sure you'll ask them here and we'll be glad to help.

I've never used a Tivo, but I suspect there is/was a learning curve with it too. I suspect though that their User's Guide and Support Line are much better (especially since they deal only with Tivo) than what you get with the 8300 or cable CSRs. For whatever reason, the User's Guide is just now getting to where it should have been when the 8300 was first released. Unfortunately, it's taken this long to get a software version that seems fairly stable across most cable systems. However, there will always be things the 8300 can't do or doesn't do the same way Tivo does. If going back to Tivo is not an option, then it behoves your relatives to learn as much about the 8300 as they can. But I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir.

FWIW, I have a friend who is technically challenged and he is not having any problems with his 8300 or getting it to record his programs. IMHO, Tivo users seem to have more problems because of the differences, or at least they complain more vigorously.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1911 of 11174 Old 05-16-2006, 08:24 PM
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Hi, I just got my HD set up from Cox yesterday. I am curious if the current version of SARA is 1.87.16.1, and if not, what the current version is? I am having an issue with the HDMI and am curious if I will receive an automatic update at some point. Thanks for the info.
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post #1912 of 11174 Old 05-16-2006, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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You have the current version. When a newer version is released, your unit will be updated automatically. FWIW, there is a separate DVI thread here that includes HDMI issues. You didn't say what problems you were having, but you might get better/quicker answers/suggestions in that thread. I don't know of any particular problems with 1.87.16.1 though. Some folks get things working fine, others have problems and simply go back to Component. Of course, you are welcome to post questions in any thread.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1913 of 11174 Old 05-16-2006, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Tallen234,

I don't think we'll see any MR stuff until after the conversion to OCAP. Unfortunately, I don't know when that will be, but I believe that is where the priority is these days.

Sorry, what's OCAP?
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post #1914 of 11174 Old 05-17-2006, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Geez, doesn't anyone use Google anymore?

Quote:


What is the OCAP specification?

The OpenCable Applications Platform specification is a middleware software layer specification. The OCAP specification is intended to enable the developers of interactive television services and applications to design such products so that they will run successfully on any cable television system in North America, independent of set-top or television receiver hardware or operating system software choices.

The OCAP specification enables manufacturers and retail distributors of set-tops, television receivers or other devices to build and to sell attractive and capable devices to consumers that will support all services delivered by cable operators to devices currently available to consumers via lease from cable operators.

My simple view is that this should mean there will eventually be a lot more choices for STBs and IPG software in the retail marketplace. At some point, you should no longer be a slave to your cableco, just go out and buy the STB of choice much like you buy a VCR or DVD player today. Of course, how cable actually implements this and how fast we get from Point A to Point B is anyone's guess, but I think we'll start seeing things happen by the end of the year.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1915 of 11174 Old 05-17-2006, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

TomCat,

I think you will be surprised over the next couple of years as OCAP and Tivo come to cable....

I would be happy to be surprised, as more options are always better. The only problem with all of that is that the finale of "24" is less than a week away. I don't expect a cable/OCAP/Tivo combination to be ready for that.

Technology is a quickly moving target. Things could be very different in a couple years, but even with all of the current negatives of DTV considered, you will still find it hard to convince me that I don't already have the best option for HD with DTV/HD Tivos/OTA HD recording capability, and all seamlessly together in the same elegant platform.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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post #1916 of 11174 Old 05-17-2006, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

I would be happy to be surprised, as more options are always better. The only problem with all of that is that the finale of "24" is less than a week away. I don't expect a cable/OCAP/Tivo combination to be ready for that.

Technology is a quickly moving target. Things could be very different in a couple years, but even with all of the current negatives of DTV considered, you will still find it hard to convince me that I don't already have the best option for HD with DTV/HD Tivos/OTA HD recording capability, and all seamlessly together in the same elegant platform.

Tomcat,

I've been following your posts for a long time, but could you recap your current setup? I've got DirecTV, 5 SD Dtivos, 1 HD HR10-250 (get OTA just fine). I've even got a new R15 from D* and I'm playing with that (as it was free with their DVR4ME offer).
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post #1917 of 11174 Old 05-17-2006, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah, maybe so, but I haven't had any problems and I find it easy to record everything I want, so I guess I'm not the best person to try to persuade. I have a cable coming into my house, connected to a box that is in turn connected to a TV and receiver. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1918 of 11174 Old 05-17-2006, 09:39 PM
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I was going to post this in the non-HDTV forum, but after searching through there, I couldn't find any Phoenix related posts, and you guys know more about what is going on with Cox than anyone, so.....

I have emailed Cox about their plans for expanding the current InDemand VOD offerings and have received no replies. Among other things, I am interested in subscribing to the HowardTV channel, but Cox only offers a handful of the InDemand channels.

I rented a house in San Diego a year or so ago and the house had Time-Warner VOD that was fantastic - capabilities way beyond what Phoenix Cox offers. After a week of that it was depressing to come home and only have Cox Digital. And that was a year ago. Why is Cox so far behind in rolling out VOD technology?

Anyway, does anyone have information on when Cox might expand to include more of the InDemand offerings? Is it a technical hardware limitation?

Thanks guys, sorry for having to post this in the HD section.
Tom
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post #1919 of 11174 Old 05-18-2006, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Tom,

I don't think you're going to get any definitive answer because I doubt anyone knows and Cox doesn't talk much about current/future plans until there is a specific date for implementation. My guess is that while I'm confident the bandwidth is there, I don't think they have the needed hardware to make use of it in ways that we would like, including more HD channels. I'm sure they are working on it and perhaps more will happen once they complete the digital simulcast they are currently implementing thoughout the valley.

Cheers, Dave
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post #1920 of 11174 Old 05-19-2006, 09:17 AM
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For anyone who has been having QAM problem with Cox or has been following my issues with being unable to tune the ABC-HD and CBS-HD channels (80.1 and 80.2) with the Sasem USB HDTV Creator, the problem appears to have been identified.

I've been working with "rp" at Autumnwave on the HTPC forum, and used TSReaderLite (which was able tune channel 80) to collect data for them. Here's rp's description of the issue:

=========================
I have been in contact with the developers, and we believe we have discovered the problem in the software. The PSIP information tells our software that there are 4 'programs' in the stream, but the stream only contains 3. Our program waits for the 4th program, and it never receives it, and therefore has a PSIP Timeout error.
=========================

This makes sense, as this problem appeared immediately after CBS removed it's extra "channel" for the NCAA basketball tournament. I'd guess that's when the PSIP information became incorrect.

Autumnwave is going to update their software to make it "tolerant" of this when it happens, but if anyone knows who to ping at Cox to make them aware of this, it might be a good thing.

Phoenix
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