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Get rid of Cable...Explain to a 10 year old. - Page 2

post #31 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

I am not pushing it on anyone. I just correct other people's erroenous counter points.

Well, I'm not sure what erroneous counterpoints I made. Everything I've posted is verifiable.
Quote:


No, we did not aquire the huge collection overnight. I have been doing this for over 15 years, so, in time, the collection grew. Someone has to start somewhere, right?

Right, and if you had that large of a collection and time to rip them, it makes sense. But not everyone has that. So if you're just starting to view or acquire content through new means, you're on a much more level playing field.

Quote:


As to netflix on demand, we tried the freebie when we were offered free subscirption for them throttling the shipments in the past. The stuff on there was mostly obsolete content, or some oddball TV shows. It was hardly worth the cost.

It was that way at one time, but it's grown substantially since then. And you don't have to subscribe to a disc plan now. Plus, Netflix isn't the only movie content streaming service.

Quote:


With 8 tuners we hardly need to go on Hulu to view previously aired content.

It's not just "previously aired." There are plenty of movies and some original content. Plus, if your DVR somehow missed a show, Hulu can often pick it up again, especially new series that you may not be aware of yet.

There is a place for all this tech. No need to proclaim one as the holy grail, because none of them are.
post #32 of 93
Hi everyone! Everybody here seems so smart wink.gif so I think this would be the correct forum to post my question. First off, let me start by saying that I'm not looking to steal cable or get anything for free. I'm just tired of paying a bunch of nonsense fee's to Comcast every month, well just because they can charge me. My Comcast cable bill is almost $300 a month. That includes the home phone, the xfinity house alarm, internet and television. I only have 2 cable boxes (DVR's) and 3 digital adapters. We also have an Xbox 360, an Asus RT-AC66U router and most of the computers are running windows 8 or 7 at a minimum. All 5 of our TV's are 3 years old or newer with the main "family" tv being a Sharp Aquos Quattron (it does have several USB ports and an Ethernet port) . All of our TVs are high def so we pay an extra fee to Comcast for that (monthly), we pay a monthly fee for two DVR's (I don't mind losing 1 of them but I MUST have at least 1 DVR), and my husband said he must have his Philadelphia sports channels (mad.gif). What do I need to do to get rid of all of THEIR equipment and still keep my services? I know I'll have to pay for the basic cable and that's fine but the rest of their recurring charges are criminal. PS...I'm stuck as far as using my own modem (which I already have) because I need the voice package with the house alarm and their required router (which I pay for monthly AS WELL) That is coupled with my own Asus router. I'm pretty tech savvy and not afraid to learn something new so fire away (please!!) with any suggestions and if I don't understand I'll just Google it biggrin.gif Thanks!!
PS...I forgot to mention that I really don't want to go the angle of having to stream television through my computer if at all possible. If it's worth my while I will...but I'd rather not.
post #33 of 93
Call Verizon and see what FiOS packages are available.
post #34 of 93
I already did...it isn't available in my area yet and Dish Network and Direct TV only have the NY packages which is no good either since we only watch Philly sports and all of our news/weather channels that we watch for our area are out of Atlantic City/Philly. frown.gif
post #35 of 93
Look into TiVO with cablecard.
post #36 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMCFashions View Post

What do I need to do to get rid of all of THEIR equipment and still keep my services? I know I'll have to pay for the basic cable and that's fine but the rest of their recurring charges are criminal..

You can't get rid of all of their equipment, even for the TV side, if you still want to keep the cable tier you're on right now. A lot of the channels will be only available through encryption, and I assume the Philly Sports channels are part of it. So you'll still have to pay for whatever cable tier that's on, and that's the majority of your cable TV bill portion. You're probably going to have to at least have a cableCARD to decrypt the channels you and your significant other want.

How much is the DVR on the bill? You'll have to weigh that cost against a TiVo+cableCARD (necessary if you must have a DVR.) Sometimes one cableCARD can be provided at no cost, but it depends on your local Comcast office. TiVo can be bought for the cost of the hardware and a monthly fee, or the cost of the hardware and a one-time fee (typically $400.) So if you go that route, you have to compare costs and if you go lifetime, see if you will keep the TiVo long enough to make it financially cost effective.

blueiedgod's computer setup is interesting, but again, you're only saving on the DVR/digital box costs, and you'll need some kind of content streamer at each TV. You still need cableCARD and still need the cable tier that has the sports channel.
post #37 of 93
I did consider that but I figured as long as I need to pay the recurring monthly charge to Tivo, I'm not really saving anything....just moving the fee from one company to another. I also considered buying a tivo box with a lifetime subscription but I wasn't sure that it would work with a Comcast card to give me what I'm looking for. The cards are VERY cheap...the first one is free and the 2nd one is only $1.99 a month.
post #38 of 93
Since I only need to "replace" the equipment on 2 tv's do you think buying 2 tivo boxes with lifetime suscriptions and putting the comcast cable card in them ($1.99 a month) would allow me to have the packages I am looking for? I know that one Comcast box alone costs $17.95 a month rental fee, and an additional $1.50 a month just for the remote plus $4.99 for some adapter fee...which really infuriates me!
post #39 of 93
CableCARDs should provide the same subscription as a cable box. The only thing they lack is the ability to use PPV and Video-on-demand, as they lack the communication necessary for those services. If those aren't needed, then a TiVo equipped with cableCARD (or a PC equipped with cableCARD) will get you the same stuff you already subscribe to right now.

In fact, most cable boxes nowadays have a cableCARD in them already. The tricky part is finding a device you can buy to own that uses one, and so far only a handful do (primarily TiVo and PC tuners.)
post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

CableCARDs should provide the same subscription as a cable box. The only thing they lack is the ability to use PPV and Video-on-demand, as they lack the communication necessary for those services. If those aren't needed, then a TiVo equipped with cableCARD (or a PC equipped with cableCARD) will get you the same stuff you already subscribe to right now.

In fact, most cable boxes nowadays have a cableCARD in them already. The tricky part is finding a device you can buy to own that uses one, and so far only a handful do (primarily TiVo and PC tuners.)
Perfect!!! That's exactly what I was looking for. We have the PPV and VoD service but only because its part of the package. We've only used it twice last year so I think it's safe to say that we wouldn't miss it. Thanks so much!!
post #41 of 93
We have two televisions. We pay almost $20 per month for the cable box and remote plus an extra 10 for some HD content (padding) so it seems to me that this $5 for local channels will really be $35 a month which I am not going to want to pay if I go the Roku route. Looking into Roku it seems that there are apps that can give you some local content so I will thoroughly exhaust what Roku has to offer before I worry about hooking an antennae to my plasma tv.
post #42 of 93
If you're on cable, Lifetime the TiVos, and they are cheaper over a 4-year period of time, and from there it's just savings, savings, savings.

If you're on Comcast, you can get Blast! Plus for not much more than Blast!, which includes all the locals plus a randomly selected half of the cable channels, but no sports. Or, basic cable is about the same price as the extra fee they tack on to cable internet if you don't have TV, so you may as well get it.
post #43 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

If you're on cable, Lifetime the TiVos, and they are cheaper over a 4-year period of time, and from there it's just savings, savings, savings.

If you're on Comcast, you can get Blast! Plus for not much more than Blast!, which includes all the locals plus a randomly selected half of the cable channels, but no sports. Or, basic cable is about the same price as the extra fee they tack on to cable internet if you don't have TV, so you may as well get it.

TiVO savings depend on number of TV's in the house. 1-2 TV's, maybe. any more than that and the costs are too much.

For a 5-6 TV household TiVO solution is about $3,000!!!!! HTPC solution is $800-$1000.

Both have expected 8-10 year life span. Both perform same function.

HTPC allows you to do more than TiVO.

If TiVO goes under, like ReplayTV, your lifetime subscription is not even worth the paper it was printed on.

If MS goes under, there are other TV Guide listing services available.
post #44 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

TiVO savings depend on number of TV's in the house. 1-2 TV's, maybe. any more than that and the costs are too much.

For a 5-6 TV household TiVO solution is about $3,000!!!!! HTPC solution is $800-$1000.

Both have expected 8-10 year life span. Both perform same function.

HTPC allows you to do more than TiVO.

If TiVO goes under, like ReplayTV, your lifetime subscription is not even worth the paper it was printed on.

If MS goes under, there are other TV Guide listing services available.

With TiVo Mini, you're at $250/TV for extra TVs, and over the course of 4 years, you make out a lot better than with the MSO's solution. The HTPC is a little bit cheaper, but not much, as it scales out at $180/TV with the Ceton Echo. I just switched from a couple of month old HTPC to a TiVo because MCE is such a disaster. I love the TiVo. It's basically everything MCE should have been, although neither is perfect. TiVo is not going anywhere, they have a bunch of good MSO deals for smaller MSOs.
post #45 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

With TiVo Mini, you're at $250/TV for extra TVs, and over the course of 4 years, you make out a lot better than with the MSO's solution. The HTPC is a little bit cheaper, but not much, as it scales out at $180/TV with the Ceton Echo. I just switched from a couple of month old HTPC to a TiVo because MCE is such a disaster. I love the TiVo. It's basically everything MCE should have been, although neither is perfect. TiVo is not going anywhere, they have a bunch of good MSO deals for smaller MSOs.

Been using WMC and MCE before, been using HTPC since the 90's, would never call it a disaster. TiVO on the other hand, is a disaster because it is so locked down, and primitive.

Mini just came out, remains to be seen how that works out. HTPC extenders have been around since 2003, so a good 10 years of history of reliable service is available.

Whole house HTPC solution for a 4-5 TV household will cost the same as just 1 TIVO that is capable of connecting to Mini's and then you have to add the cost of multiple Minis, and then you are limited to the 4 tuners in the TiVO, so you have to get another TiVO... the costs are just astronomical for the ability to watch TV, and nothing more, which HTPC does without a problem at 1/3rd the cost. And if you are tinkerer, then you can add more capabilities, which you can't to TiVO, no matter what. But, if you are not a tinkerer, it works just as well out of the box as TiVO.

TiVO solution for 6 TV's: $2700!!!!!

1x TiVo Premiere XL4
Product Lifetime service
Free ground shipping
$899.98 $899.98

1x TiVo Premiere XL4
Product Lifetime service
Free ground shipping
Includes Multi-Service Discount
$799.98 $799.98

4x TiVo Mini
Product Lifetime service
Free ground shipping
$249.98 $999.92

Subtotal $2,699.88
Shipping total (Ground) FREE
Try a TiVo DVR for 30 days.
Order total $2,699.88


HTPC solution for 6 TV's: $1000
HTPC: $300
4x CableCard tuner: $150
4X CableCard tuner: $150
5x Extenders: $400
Total $1000 or less!

Same 8 tuners, same capability, but 1/3rd the cost.
Edited by blueiedgod - 3/28/13 at 10:29am
post #46 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Been using WMC and MCE before, been using HTPC since the 90's, would never call it a disaster. TiVO on the other hand, is a disaster because it is so locked down, and primitive.

Mini just came out, remains to be seen how that works out. HTPC extenders have been around since 2003, so a good 10 years of history of reliable service is available.

Whole house HTPC solution for a 4-5 TV household will cost the same as just 1 TIVO that is capable of connecting to Mini's and then you have to add the cost of multiple Minis, and then you are limited to the 4 tuners in the TiVO, so you have to get another TiVO... the costs are just astronomical for the ability to watch TV, and nothing more, which HTPC does without a problem at 1/3rd the cost. And if you are tinkerer, then you can add more capabilities, which you can't to TiVO, no matter what. But, if you are not a tinkerer, it works just as well out of the box as TiVO.

You're fudging the numbers. The closest equivalent to the TiVo Mini at $250 is an XBOX at $200 or the Ceton Echo at $180. You're not going to get anything decent for under $100, if at all.

MCE is not only unreliable, but has a poor overall UX. It has a gorgeous interface that is totally dysfunctional. I tried it, and it sucked. I switched to TiVo, and TiVo is far better at being a DVR. Yes, it is a little bit slower, but it is a much better DVR. TiVo, while suffering from an extremely slow development cycle, cannot in any truthfulness be called a disaster.

The Mini works fine. I don't think we need years of testing to figure that out. The extenders from than are getting way on in age by this point.

Your math is totally wrong. For a typical HTPC, it's about $900, the same as a typical TiVo. TiVo Mini's are $250, the Ceton Echo is $180. Not that much of a difference. Yes, the HTPC does more. My current setup has both, in addition to Roku, Apple TV, and a Blu-ray player, as none of the devices do what the others do well, or at all. Yes, you can tinker with an HTPC, but the core DVR functionality isn't good at all. The interface is terrible, and cumbersome to actually use. TiVo has a much better UX as a DVR. TiVo also just works. You plug it in, and you don't have to worry about it. MCE does not work as well out of the box. It is a constant source of crashes and problems that TiVo just doesn't have. I know from experience. I had extremely high expectations from MCE, and it did not meet any of them. It turned out to be a train wreck. A few months later, I got the Premiere XL4.
post #47 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

You're fudging the numbers. The closest equivalent to the TiVo Mini at $250 is an XBOX at $200 or the Ceton Echo at $180. You're not going to get anything decent for under $100, if at all.

MCE is not only unreliable, but has a poor overall UX. It has a gorgeous interface that is totally dysfunctional. I tried it, and it sucked. I switched to TiVo, and TiVo is far better at being a DVR. Yes, it is a little bit slower, but it is a much better DVR. TiVo, while suffering from an extremely slow development cycle, cannot in any truthfulness be called a disaster.

The Mini works fine. I don't think we need years of testing to figure that out. The extenders from than are getting way on in age by this point.

Your math is totally wrong. For a typical HTPC, it's about $900, the same as a typical TiVo. TiVo Mini's are $250, the Ceton Echo is $180. Not that much of a difference. Yes, the HTPC does more. My current setup has both, in addition to Roku, Apple TV, and a Blu-ray player, as none of the devices do what the others do well, or at all. Yes, you can tinker with an HTPC, but the core DVR functionality isn't good at all. The interface is terrible, and cumbersome to actually use. TiVo has a much better UX as a DVR. TiVo also just works. You plug it in, and you don't have to worry about it. MCE does not work as well out of the box. It is a constant source of crashes and problems that TiVo just doesn't have. I know from experience. I had extremely high expectations from MCE, and it did not meet any of them. It turned out to be a train wreck. A few months later, I got the Premiere XL4.

If YOU want to pay $900 for a PC that can handle 4-5 extenders, and $200 for exenders that is your choice.

I am perfectly happy with our $300 HTPC, and $80 Linksys Extenders that work. We get full access to the following from any TV in the house with just a remote:

All of our cable channels with ability to Pause, rewind and fast forward Live TV
All of the recorded TV content (with commercials removed or automatically skipped)
All of the 1500+ movie titles in the movie library
10,000 song titles in the music library
Can tune live radio, and pause if I need to.

TiVO can't do half of the things and costs 3X more.

My 3 year old can navigate WMC menu with a remote, as well as her 86 year old great grandfather.

Edit: Additionally we get access to FREE HULU, number of "tube" channels, and Netflix on the "main TV" with just a remote, no keyboard, no mice.
post #48 of 93
You can't do much for $300 with a PC. Even entry level machines with Core i-series processors are in the $600 range, and then add the tuner, and you're up to $800... And that's without an SSD.

Comparing some outdated used extenders that now don't work with all TV providers to current, new extenders is not a fair comparison. I see you have FIOS, so have fun when channels start disappearing off of your old extenders because they can't decode them, and eventually they get no HD channels.

Yes, WMC can be kludged to do more than TiVo can, but the UX is horrible. The UX is bad for DVR functionality, and the farther you get away from core functionality, the worse it gets. TiVo has poor UX for peripheral functionality as well, but it is good for the core functionality.

The TiVo Premiere XL4 offers so much better of a UX than the MCE PC. The interface makes more sense, it's more reliable, it has Wishlists and Suggestions, etc, etc.
post #49 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

You can't do much for $300 with a PC. Even entry level machines with Core i-series processors are in the $600 range, and then add the tuner, and you're up to $800... And that's without an SSD.

Comparing some outdated used extenders that now don't work with all TV providers to current, new extenders is not a fair comparison. I see you have FIOS, so have fun when channels start disappearing off of your old extenders because they can't decode them, and eventually they get no HD channels.

Yes, WMC can be kludged to do more than TiVo can, but the UX is horrible. The UX is bad for DVR functionality, and the farther you get away from core functionality, the worse it gets. TiVo has poor UX for peripheral functionality as well, but it is good for the core functionality.

The TiVo Premiere XL4 offers so much better of a UX than the MCE PC. The interface makes more sense, it's more reliable, it has Wishlists and Suggestions, etc, etc.

Perhaps you are not aware, but Intel is not the only processor manufacturer in town. AMD makes very capable "DVR" processors, and does not suffer from CBS's frame rate bug, which Intel and nVidia do.

SSD is not a requrement. It's only benefit on boot up. A PC can be made faster with just a $10 4 Gb thumb drive as a REadyBoost device, outside of boot times.

Linksys and other "obsolete," as you have said, extenders are perfectly fine playing all Cable TV channels. They will play whatever HTPC they are connected to can play. In fact H264 has been supported by Linksys since firmware update in 2008 or 2009.

You are really grasping at sraws here. WMC DOES indeed have a wishlist, perhaps you just never looked for it.

Properly set up with quality hardware WMC is rock solid. Can't say the same about TiVO. Look at their forums, flooded with questions about failures.

A DVR does not need "cutting edge components" to fetch video feed from the tuner to the hard drive and then to video card or NIC to be fed to an extender.

Depending on the number of TV's needed to be served, one can achieve the same with a low power Atom, which I had done for a dual TV household. A barebones (mobo with dual core atom in a case) can be bought for under $80, sometimes they will even throw some RAM in with it. Add a $50 dual tuner (CableCard or ATSC, your choice), HDD an OS. It makes a really inexpensive (under $200) stand alone "DVR"

For multi TV household, a quad core Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4 can be easily found for under $50, and a matching motherboard with military grade componets and Ta caps for under $50 as well, if not free after rebate. Add RAM ($20 after rebate), 2 Tb HDD to match XL4 ($60-$80), case wuth a PSU ($30), a remote ($10) and OS ($10 - $50), and you are at or below $300.

Add a quad CableCard tuner: $130 - $170

Add 5 extenders $30 - $80 each: $150-$400

Total system: $580 - $870.

This is what just ONE TiVO will cost you with a lifetime plan, adding 5 Mini's will coast an additional $1250!!!!

Is the fact that TiVO uses "right to left" scroll instead of "up to down" scroll so ingrained that someone can not re-learn to scroll in a different plane and will pay 3X as much for half the functionality, just to retain the scroll?
Edited by blueiedgod - 4/2/13 at 10:04am
post #50 of 93
Ok, even if you build a really crappy PC, which admittedly will run MCE to some degree, as it's not very system-intensive, your scaling out costs are still similar to TiVo, and for a much poorer UX. Anyone building or buying a PC today without an SSD is a fool. I put one in place of the optical drive on my 15" MBP, and it makes all the difference. My MCE machine also has one. The difference is absolutely night and day, and also helps a lot with the rebooting needed to troubleshoot the mess that is MCE. MCE is far from rock-solid. It's constantly having issues, and in some cases, it will just stop working all together and require a reboot. I shouldn't have to go and reboot my DVR, that's ridiculous.

It's not just about the scrolling direction, it's the overall UX. MCE is just bad. It's not 100% user intuitive like TiVo, and I would never, ever, expect a roommate or a child or a S.O. to figure out how to use MCE. It's a mess. It looks pretty but it doesn't work well. TiVo is 100% user intuitive, and anyone can figure out how to use it, and use it easily, just as much as a power use like myself.
post #51 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Ok, even if you build a really crappy PC, which admittedly will run MCE to some degree, as it's not very system-intensive, your scaling out costs are still similar to TiVo, and for a much poorer UX. Anyone building or buying a PC today without an SSD is a fool. I put one in place of the optical drive on my 15" MBP, and it makes all the difference. My MCE machine also has one. The difference is absolutely night and day, and also helps a lot with the rebooting needed to troubleshoot the mess that is MCE. MCE is far from rock-solid. It's constantly having issues, and in some cases, it will just stop working all together and require a reboot. I shouldn't have to go and reboot my DVR, that's ridiculous.

It's not just about the scrolling direction, it's the overall UX. MCE is just bad. It's not 100% user intuitive like TiVo, and I would never, ever, expect a roommate or a child or a S.O. to figure out how to use MCE. It's a mess. It looks pretty but it doesn't work well. TiVo is 100% user intuitive, and anyone can figure out how to use it, and use it easily, just as much as a power use like myself.

Please define "Crappy"

You are just too dead set on TiVO's interface, which is no different than WMC's interface, other than WMC is actually layed out more logically, and you find all of your controls in the right place without having to navigate through a miriad of really s-l-o-w menus.

Besides, over 10,000,000 WMC users can't be wrong, compared with just 2,000,000 TiVO users.

I don't have to "constantly" reboot WMC, it is on 24/7 365 for years. I only have to reboot when I make changes to it, like adding tuners, or installing better commercial removal programs. For once a year one could live with a 1 minute boot up time vs 30 seconds that SSD provides. SSD is not break it or make it device, besides, if one really wanted one, there are plenty SSD's for under $60 that are big enough to house Win7 and WMC (64 Gb which I did put in my build when the right deal/price came up). Unless one is foolish enough to use it for recording and storing.

If you want to make generalizations, then 90% of the world are fools because they don't have SSD. SSD does ABSOLUTELY nothing other than faster boot times, and for WMC specicific, media tiles loading, which can be achieved with a cheap ReadyBoost device.

Perhaps, using your generalization TiVO itself is a FOOL for not putting an SSD in their system and relying on HDD for system and recordings.

Just the fact that you bring up MBP, tells me that you are willing to pay more for just a name brand to appear that you belong. MBP at $1500 does nothing more than a $300 Windows Laptop for most people who buy them.

If you chose to have i7 in your HTPC perhaps you had valid reasons for it, I don''t know you. But, i7 is not a neccessity, nor SSD, nor gobs and gobs of RAM, other than bragging rights on some internet forum. Same with MBP, unless you are a professional video or media editor, there is no reason for an average home user to own MBP and pay the price associated with it.

So, far, everything you have said just screams OVERKILL. Either it is from misinformation or lack of understanding, it is not my job to discern.
post #52 of 93
Agree to disagree and end the discussion. You two can argue via PM if you feel the need.
post #53 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Please define "Crappy"

You are just too dead set on TiVO's interface, which is no different than WMC's interface, other than WMC is actually layed out more logically, and you find all of your controls in the right place without having to navigate through a miriad of really s-l-o-w menus.

Besides, over 10,000,000 WMC users can't be wrong, compared with just 2,000,000 TiVO users.

I don't have to "constantly" reboot WMC, it is on 24/7 365 for years. I only have to reboot when I make changes to it, like adding tuners, or installing better commercial removal programs. For once a year one could live with a 1 minute boot up time vs 30 seconds that SSD provides. SSD is not break it or make it device, besides, if one really wanted one, there are plenty SSD's for under $60 that are big enough to house Win7 and WMC (64 Gb which I did put in my build when the right deal/price came up). Unless one is foolish enough to use it for recording and storing.

If you want to make generalizations, then 90% of the world are fools because they don't have SSD. SSD does ABSOLUTELY nothing other than faster boot times, and for WMC specicific, media tiles loading, which can be achieved with a cheap ReadyBoost device.

Perhaps, using your generalization TiVO itself is a FOOL for not putting an SSD in their system and relying on HDD for system and recordings.

Just the fact that you bring up MBP, tells me that you are willing to pay more for just a name brand to appear that you belong. MBP at $1500 does nothing more than a $300 Windows Laptop for most people who buy them.

If you chose to have i7 in your HTPC perhaps you had valid reasons for it, I don''t know you. But, i7 is not a neccessity, nor SSD, nor gobs and gobs of RAM, other than bragging rights on some internet forum. Same with MBP, unless you are a professional video or media editor, there is no reason for an average home user to own MBP and pay the price associated with it.

So, far, everything you have said just screams OVERKILL. Either it is from misinformation or lack of understanding, it is not my job to discern.

Crappy = low end and low quality hardware.

TiVo is much better as a 10-foot interface, and is far more user intuitive.

That count of users means nothing. The number of US CableCard users with MCE is TINY compared to US CableCard users of TiVo. MCE would pick up a few more if you included US and Canadian ATSC-8VSB users, but even then MCE is small.

I had several issues where MCE just lost track of it's codecs and wouldn't play anything, including Live TV. That is totally unacceptable behavior for a device that's supposed to be rock solid, and nonsensical, as it would happen at random, so it wasn't something I was doing.

An SSD completely transforms the computing experience because of how much faster everything runs. The HDD is the NUMBER ONE bottleneck on modern machines. Yes, I will say 90% of the world are fools, at least the part of that 90% who are buying $500+ machines. There is obviously a place for low-costs systems, but if you're spending a decent amount of money on a decent system, it is stupid to not put an SSD in. The computer industry went through this a few years back in the GHZ race with RAM, where they were always shortchanging the RAM and few buyers understood how important it is, now machines come with tons of RAM, and we're going through the same thing with SSDs. Eventually almost everything will be SSDs, except for external storage drives, and large storage servers/SANs/NASes.

Clearly, the need for an SSD doesn't apply to TiVo, as TiVo is an appliance and doesn't need an SSD because it doesn't need to run multiple programs and once and does a function that does a TON of disk I/O over time, but never all at once, and also needs a LOT of storage, which SSDs can't provide at a reasonable cost at this point in time

And clearly Windows 7 is exactly the same as Mac OSX. rolleyes.gif Also, comparing a $1500 MBP (which is on the low end, mine was in the mid $2k range with SSD and more RAM) to a $300 Windows laptop is utter nonsense. There is a hardware price premium, but it is NOT $1200, maybe a few hundred at most.

I have a 35w i3, which is well matched to HTPC duty. Anything less, although capable of running MCE itself, could have a bit of a meltdown when it comes to playing certain types of HD video off the web, or certain types of files, depending on what hardware accelerated and what's not, what codecs are used, etc.
post #54 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Crappy = low end and low quality hardware.

TiVo is much better as a 10-foot interface, and is far more user intuitive.

That count of users means nothing. The number of US CableCard users with MCE is TINY compared to US CableCard users of TiVo. MCE would pick up a few more if you included US and Canadian ATSC-8VSB users, but even then MCE is small.

I had several issues where MCE just lost track of it's codecs and wouldn't play anything, including Live TV. That is totally unacceptable behavior for a device that's supposed to be rock solid, and nonsensical, as it would happen at random, so it wasn't something I was doing.

An SSD completely transforms the computing experience because of how much faster everything runs. The HDD is the NUMBER ONE bottleneck on modern machines. Yes, I will say 90% of the world are fools, at least the part of that 90% who are buying $500+ machines. There is obviously a place for low-costs systems, but if you're spending a decent amount of money on a decent system, it is stupid to not put an SSD in. The computer industry went through this a few years back in the GHZ race with RAM, where they were always shortchanging the RAM and few buyers understood how important it is, now machines come with tons of RAM, and we're going through the same thing with SSDs. Eventually almost everything will be SSDs, except for external storage drives, and large storage servers/SANs/NASes.

Clearly, the need for an SSD doesn't apply to TiVo, as TiVo is an appliance and doesn't need an SSD because it doesn't need to run multiple programs and once and does a function that does a TON of disk I/O over time, but never all at once, and also needs a LOT of storage, which SSDs can't provide at a reasonable cost at this point in time

And clearly Windows 7 is exactly the same as Mac OSX. rolleyes.gif Also, comparing a $1500 MBP (which is on the low end, mine was in the mid $2k range with SSD and more RAM) to a $300 Windows laptop is utter nonsense. There is a hardware price premium, but it is NOT $1200, maybe a few hundred at most.

I have a 35w i3, which is well matched to HTPC duty. Anything less, although capable of running MCE itself, could have a bit of a meltdown when it comes to playing certain types of HD video off the web, or certain types of files, depending on what hardware accelerated and what's not, what codecs are used, etc.

User interface is something you keep bringing up, but the actual difference in interface is left to right and up down. Are you that dead set in your ways? Besides, that is just YOUR opinion.

I would hardly consider military grade components low quality. They are the most stable components you can get. Sure, it is not top of the line cutting edge hardware, but my point is that it is NOT NEEDED for this application. And Atom process is sufficient for "DVR" duties under WMC7.

As to SSD and $2,000 MBP: Do you use all that? Do you run multiple VM machines off it? Perhaps editing multiple HD videos at high speed? Maybe even modeling protein folding for cancer research? Or analysis signal from SETI telescopes?

If all you do is wacth, admittedly, cute kittens playing with hangy things off youtube, then you can achieve the same with lesser hardware at fraction of the cost.

So, inother words, why did you buy MBP? Just for the sake of having all this hardware? Or for the bragging rights?

If you paid $900 for an i3 HTPC, then I have a bridge fo sale. Interested?

Even with all 6 TV's on, viewing different content, a "crappy" as you have said, AMD Phenom X4 ($50 compared to $150 for i3) is utilized 75-80% with 75-80% memory utilization (8Gb). And a PATA (yes, PATA, not SATA) HDD has no problem keeping up with the system.

So, why does one need super uber hardware to achieve what can be done with much less expensive and just a capable hardware for the task?

Edit: The original topic has to do with cord cutting. Since $900 TiVO does not do OTA, TiVO don't need to apply. A $150 HTPC (or free if one were to repurpose an old computer, since it does not need to be HDCP compliant for OTA) with a $20 ATSC tuner (up to 12 of them) can easily do ATSC with the guide and scheduled recordings, as well as provide access to FREE HULU, AMAZON UNBOX (Unbox installation integrates into WMC) NetFlix, and personal digital media collection with just a remote.
Edited by blueiedgod - 4/4/13 at 9:58am
post #55 of 93
No, it's a lot more than up and down vs. side to side, which is a problem in and of itself, but there are many others. The whole MCE interface is half-baked, and wasn't fully designed for 10-foot operation. It looks like the primary target market is using it on a desktop PC, even though it is, in theory, a 10-foot interface. It's also cluttered on the home screen with only one option that really does anything.

I have used a lot of the power doing Photoshop and Aperture at the same time converting photos and doing photomerges... it was pegged pretty consistently while I was doing that. It also helps when multitasking on the internal screen and my 27" Dell monitor. The old Macbook did even more, with heavy duty video editing, and a series of encodes that I ran over the course of a week or two re-encoding HD video after editing and before posting to YouTube, among other projects. At the time, the Core 2 Duo was about the best thing out there, and that thing hurt for CPU power.

I bought it because it fit my needs well, came in a nice package, and has the Quad-i7, room for the SSD, etc.

You act like I'm some idiot for not being Ebeneezer Scrooge with my computers. Can you build a system that will boot Windows 7 for cheaper? YES. WIll it have as good of an experience as my system? NO. Will it be built out of as high quality components as mine? NO. Will it have a Core i-Series processor? NO. I built a decent system. If you want to build a bottom of the barrel, cheap, crappy system, go ahead, but I want a decent system with decent usability. And I'm not an idiot for building a decent system.

And TiVo has models that can do OTA, and do it a lot better than MCE. The better UX is often not price competitive, especially if you start building el cheapo computers that are running substandard hardware (many would argue that an i3 and only a dual core is substandard, which I sort of agree with, but I was after low power consumption, so I compromised on the CPU selection over a Quad i5), then of course you're going to undercut the TiVo. In fact, I'm thinking about doing OTA with my MCE machine in addition to my TiVo Premiere XL4, but that depends on where I am living and what OTA signal I can get, and how it compares to what Comcast is compressing the heck out of, or if I move to Rhode Island and get FIOS (probably not going to happen, as much as I envy having 100+ HD channels in crystal clear non-recompressed HD).
post #56 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

No, it's a lot more than up and down vs. side to side, which is a problem in and of itself, but there are many others. The whole MCE interface is half-baked, and wasn't fully designed for 10-foot operation. It looks like the primary target market is using it on a desktop PC, even though it is, in theory, a 10-foot interface. It's also cluttered on the home screen with only one option that really does anything.

Really?

TiVO Interface


WMC7 Interface


TiVO TV Guide



WMC7 TV guide


Sounds like someone is just too dead set in their ways and unwilling to learn something that is SLIGHTLY different, even if it is better.
post #57 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Really?

Sounds like someone is just too dead set in their ways and unwilling to learn something that is SLIGHTLY different, even if it is better.

Guess what? I've used them both, and I can say that aside from the TiVo Premiere's speed issues, the TiVo interface is far superior in every way. TiVo Central is focused on DVR functionality, whereas on MCE it's all buried in one menu, with several junk menus also on the same screen. Settings are easier to get to, working the scheduled recordings, SPs, etc is much easier on TiVo, with the exception of not being able to record an SP across multiple channels, and the whole interface is much more organized. On TiVo, everything is nicely listed and foldered in one dimension, perfect for remote use. On MCE, it's a two-dimensional system that was obviously made for a keyboard and mouse. MCE also orders things alphabetically when you use folder view, with no option for chronological view, which is what TiVo uses by default, and makes a whole lot more sense. TiVo's remote is far better than anything ever made for MCE, and makes it effortless to switch between the menus, Live TV, and previously recorded TV. TiVo also does what you ask it to. With MCE, before I shut the TV off every day, I would put it on MSNBC, and every morning it would be back on the main menu. WTF? I put it on MSNBC. The TiVo stays where you put it, with MSNBC on the next morning, and the remote works to turn on the TV, AVR, and TV, where the cheapo MCE remotes could only handle MCE stuff, requiring 3 remotes just to get to Live TV. The bottom line is that yes, MCE runs on very powerful, expandable hardware, but TiVo wins the day in the UX and reliability areas, which are what matter most for TV viewing.
post #58 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Guess what? I've used them both, and I can say that aside from the TiVo Premiere's speed issues, the TiVo interface is far superior in every way. TiVo Central is focused on DVR functionality, whereas on MCE it's all buried in one menu, with several junk menus also on the same screen.

What junk menus?

You mean, menus that let you access your music, videos, movies, HULU, and Netflix? Most people would have to disagree with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Settings are easier to get to, working the scheduled recordings, SPs, etc is much easier on TiVo, with the exception of not being able to record an SP across multiple channels, and the whole interface is much more organized. On TiVo, everything is nicely listed and foldered in one dimension, perfect for remote use. On MCE, it's a two-dimensional system that was obviously made for a keyboard and mouse. MCE also orders things alphabetically when you use folder view, with no option for chronological view, which is what TiVo uses by default, and makes a whole lot more sense.

Umm, you can organize it as you wish, chronological, by folder name, by program name, by time recorded, by time originally aired, by ratings... You obviously never learned how to use it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

TiVo's remote is far better than anything ever made for MCE, and makes it effortless to switch between the menus, Live TV, and previously recorded TV. TiVo also does what you ask it to.

You've got a point there. But, you realize that TiVO slider is a simple bluetooth remote that works with WMC, since there are bluetooth drivers available?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

With MCE, before I shut the TV off every day, I would put it on MSNBC, and every morning it would be back on the main menu. WTF? I put it on MSNBC. The TiVo stays where you put it, with MSNBC on the next morning, and the remote works to turn on the TV, AVR, and TV, where the cheapo MCE remotes could only handle MCE stuff, requiring 3 remotes just to get to Live TV.

You realize that if you do that with WMC, it will never go to sleep. Normal WMC users either program their logitech remotes to send out a "stop" command to stop Live TV, or just press "stop" before turning TV/AMP off, so that WMC can go into a lower power idle or hibernation mode when not needed. It will automatically wake up when it needs to record something, and then go back to low power mode.

It is quite possible that you either left default optimization settings to be performed around 2 am, which is why your system returned to main menu in the morning. The machine seems to know what is good for it. It will perform optimization based on when you tell it to, things such as defrag the HDD, receives latest channel maps (if you have CableCard) and updates TV guide listings, if you set it up get latest movie posters, and synopses for your digital collection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

The bottom line is that yes, MCE runs on very powerful, expandable hardware, but TiVo wins the day in the UX and reliability areas, which are what matter most for TV viewing.

Thank you, and it is just YOUR opinion, which is flawed since it seems you never used WMC to the fullest.

Quite a few reviews seem to disagree with your assessment.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1422535/windows-media-center-vs-tivo-premiere

http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/05/tivo-premiere-vs-windows-7-media-center/

Back to OP.

Here is a kit from TigerDirect, for $160 you get a PC capable of being HTPC and serving 3-4 TV's over the network. Add $30 for Win 7 license, and $60 for SDHR dual ATSC. You get the "DVR" for $250 and NO MONTHLY or SERVICE fees!!!!

You can connect additional TV's for $50 - $80 in extender/XBOX (banned or broken drive) hardware.

A really viable alternative to Cord cutters, since cost are fractional compared to alternatives, and user experience is far superior due to the wealth of options and "apps".

Alternative, as proposed by others, isTiVO. At $150 for dual tuner, and $500 lifetime service fee it comes out to $650. It will only let you view/record 2 channels, only on 1 TV. If you have more TV's you have to buy more TiVOs, since Premiere is not supported by the Mini. They give you $100 discount off additional service fees, whootoe doo! You pay $550 instead of $650.
Edited by blueiedgod - 4/7/13 at 9:57am
post #59 of 93
Junk is non-DVR stuff that's clogging up the UI. Microsoft's local media management systems are pretty awful. I remember back in the day when people used WMP, but that was at least 10 years ago. Thank god that's basically a dead program at this point.

You can't do folders chronologically, they sort to titles, and there is no normal vertical view. It seems nitpicky, but it affects the usability of the UI quite a bit.

Yes, you can kludge other remotes (like TiVo or TiVo Slide) to work with MCE, but the MCE remotes still suck, and you shouldn't have to kludge something together just to get a remote that is better than the generic AVR/Blu-ray/TV remote that has 8 zillion buttons and is hard and unergonomic to use.

I wanted it to buffer live TV 24/7, that's how a normal DVR works. I expect it to still be running in the morning if I turned it off that way.

If I have a hard time struggling with MCE, imagine the other 99% of the population. HOPELESS. TiVo is plug and play, with a 100% user intuitive interface. MCE isn't, and isn't.

The way you are pricing an HTPC is disingenuous, as you are cutting corners right and left, and buying all kinds of used/junk hardware.

An honest and realistic comparison would be $700 for an HTPC, including Windows 7, plus tuners and $180 per TV plus a MoCA adapter if you don't have Ethernet wiring. It may win over TiVo because of the lack of TiVo Mini for OTA. In the fall, TiVo is going to come out with OTA models that will work with TiVo Mini, however, and offer the TiVo whole-home experience for OTA users as well.
post #60 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Junk is non-DVR stuff that's clogging up the UI. Microsoft's local media management systems are pretty awful. I remember back in the day when people used WMP, but that was at least 10 years ago. Thank god that's basically a dead program at this point.

Contorl Panel - ADD/Remove Windows components
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

You can't do folders chronologically, they sort to titles, and there is no normal vertical view. It seems nitpicky, but it affects the usability of the UI quite a bit.

Stip on top of recorded TV, organize however you wish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Yes, you can kludge other remotes (like TiVo or TiVo Slide) to work with MCE, but the MCE remotes still suck, and you shouldn't have to kludge something together just to get a remote that is better than the generic AVR/Blu-ray/TV remote that has 8 zillion buttons and is hard and unergonomic to use.

TiVO didn't think slider was worth it, and killed it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

I wanted it to buffer live TV 24/7, that's how a normal DVR works. I expect it to still be running in the morning if I turned it off that way.

TiVO is too dumb to reliaze that TV is off. WMC knows when TV is off when connected via HDMI by default. Still not sure how you are getting 24/7 buffer, since buffer is only 40 minutes by default. Unless you change it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

If I have a hard time struggling with MCE, imagine the other 99% of the population. HOPELESS. TiVo is plug and play, with a 100% user intuitive interface. MCE isn't, and isn't.

The way you are pricing an HTPC is disingenuous, as you are cutting corners right and left, and buying all kinds of used/junk hardware.

An honest and realistic comparison would be $700 for an HTPC, including Windows 7, plus tuners and $180 per TV plus a MoCA adapter if you don't have Ethernet wiring. It may win over TiVo because of the lack of TiVo Mini for OTA. In the fall, TiVo is going to come out with OTA models that will work with TiVo Mini, however, and offer the TiVo whole-home experience for OTA users as well.

$700 HTPC is not NEEDED!

AMD would like to have a talk with you about calling them JUNK.
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