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Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 3

post #61 of 3123
perhaps change its name to "K777" wink.gif
post #62 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister B View Post

Channel Master had better get this unit released or at least provide more details, that new Tivo basic with OTA capabilities looks interesting.
Ditto, the 4 tuners & WiFi would be nice.
post #63 of 3123
It certainly wouldn't hurt for CM to release at least a preliminary spec sheet. If it doesn't compare well to the competition, best to find out now, before releasing a product that won't sell. (And if it does compare well, folks may put off buying that Roamio.)
post #64 of 3123
EchoStar marketing says there will be two models. The less expensive model will not have an internal hard drive. Both will have USB disks...
Quote:
some people now save content libraries on USB hard drives the way we used to with VCR tapes! This product is perfect for that function.

There will be a program guide and availability is supposed to be for the holiday shopping season. This is from an email I got last week...

http://thebeersoncomcast.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/echostar-dvr-details

The DTVPal was way ahead of its time. Poor marketing, a steep price, and ineligibility for the government coupon coupled with reports of buggy software proved too much to overcome. I was hesitant to pay $170 (as I recall) for my first DTVPal, but quickly decided that these things were a bargain. I paid $300 for my fifth DTVPal (1t upgrade installed) and now I see them going for more on ebay.

I do expect the guide to be Rovi -- just over the internet instead of broadcast. The new devices will support internet apps...
Quote:
Specifically, waiver of the analog broadcast tuner requirement for the two models of the Channel Master K77 will provide consumers with access to new, competitive, cost-effective choicesthat combine over-the-air television content – including dual-tuner watch-and-record capability – with over-the-top streaming content functionality from providers such as VUDU and Pandora, all in a sleek, ultra-thin, energy-efficient form factor.

And the FCC waiver request specifically says dual tuner.

The less expensive model will likely be very similar to simple.tv. Simple has kind of floundered and ES may think they can do better. The Simple units are single tuner. With lifetime, they go for $300, but have been showing up on woot NEW for half that. So, $300 for the less expensive K77 is probably about right.

I think EchoStar/Channel Master has reentered the fray at the perfect time.
post #65 of 3123
Thanks for the update. I know we'd heard before that there would be a USB-only model as well as an HDD-equipped model.

Keep in mind that although USB is plenty fast for an HD DVR, most USB thumb/flash drives are too slow to record HD. So if you're considering the USB-only model for recording, you'll need to factor in the cost of an external HDD: perhaps $110, maybe a bit less if you shop around. (Thumb drives are often OK for SD recording and are fine for SD and HD playback; just not for HD recording.)

Rovi provides an acceptable EPG and it'll probably be subscription-free. The cost is partly built into the DVR in the form of license fees, and partly paid in the form of viewing habit info collected and targeted ads shown on the guide display. (The DTVPal was able to avoid all of those thanks to a settlement of a lawsuit between Echostar and Rovi.)

Sorry, but I think $300 is too much for a 2-tuner DVR with no HDD. That would make it over $400 once an external HDD is added, which isn't that far from the cost of a TiVo with lifetime.

Most competitive 2-tuner no-HDD recorders are $230 or less (the TViX 6620 is $300, but it's more of a media server). Assuming this is better than those, I could see $250. The HDD-equipped model could then be in the $350 range, which still seems rather high but if it's really good....

BTW, it looks as if they mistakenly pasted a press release into their FCC waiver app. Waiving the analog tuner requirement has nothing whatsoever to do with providing streaming Internet content. The Internet doesn't use tuners rolleyes.gif
post #66 of 3123
BTW I can't resist commenting on this passage from E*'s letter:
Quote:
Channel Master is an amazing partner to work with, they are the undisputed world experts on OTA. They actually still hold the original patent for the very first aerial TV antenna from 1949.

Total BS, of course. Patents only last 17 years. CM may still "hold" it but a 1949 patent has no legal force anymore. And maybe the were the "undisputed world experts on OTA" when they were an actual company and not just a brand name for sale to the highest bidder, but that hasn't been true for years.
post #67 of 3123
I don't care who badges or retails the box as long as it is from the same genes as my DTVPal DVR. EchoStar knows how to make reliable hardware. The traditional Dish grid and menus are sooooooo much better than the Roku/Simple/Aereo lists of programs.
post #68 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Rovi provides an acceptable EPG and it'll probably be subscription-free. The cost is partly built into the DVR in the form of license fees, and partly paid in the form of viewing habit info collected and targeted ads shown on the guide display.
My understanding is that the Rovi Internet based guide is not a substitute for TVGOS and only goes out a couple days -- it is targeted at things like HDTV's where the data is used for informational purposes and not for scheduling recordings. It will be interesting to see what course they take with guide data. Quality guide data and the ease of recording it affords is at the heart of any DVR. If they hope to sell this to the common people of the wider marketplace they will have to provide quality guide information either as part of the purchase price or as a subscription. They may very well follow the model established for the CM-7400 -- PSIP so they can claim "subscription-free" with the option of a subscription guide for full utility.
Quote:
Sorry, but I think $300 is too much for a 2-tuner DVR with no HDD. That would make it over $400 once an external HDD is added, which isn't that far from the cost of a TiVo with lifetime.
The CM-7400 sold for $400 with internal HDD and no guide. What makes you think a new model will go for less? $300 for the model without HDD seems to me to be about the minimum I would expect. A 2TB USB external can be had for under $90. If it is less, that will be a pleasant surprise. The biggest question I have is will that external drive be encrypted or will users be able to simply plug it into a PC and copy over the transport stream.
post #69 of 3123
Interesting. If the "new" Rovi guide only goes out a couple of days, it offers little value beyond PSIP (actually I expect Rovi & PSIP data to be "merged" into a single guide a la the CM-7000Pal). Perhaps CM/E* will offer an option to subscribe to the CM-7400's paid guide as well, which would also be good news for CM-7400 users worried about the continued existence of their guides. The best option, though, would be to let folks buy a Schedules DIrect subscription and just enter their ID/password into a screen on the DVR.

As for prices, first of all you'll notice the CM-7400 didn't do so well at that price point. And hardware costs have continued to drop, following Moore's Law. But there's also more competition now from cheaper (or cheaper-seeming) devices.

TiVo's "buy cheap now & pay the rest monthly" model is a huge barrier to entry in the DVR market. A lot of folks look at the $100-150 "list price" of a TiVo and wonder why they should pay over $300 for a competing DVR. After all, a $10/month subscription billed automatically to your credit card doesn't seem like a lot (especially if the CM/E* also ends up requiring $2-5/month for a reasonable guide).

In response, competitors have tried going the low-cost route, offering "less for much less." I think the iView/Homeworx missed the mark, but just barely. It's only a 1-tuner USB device, but at around the cost of a CECB, a lot of folks will take a chance. If the OEM releases a new model with a standalone clock, overcoming its biggest drawback, it's going to be tough competition.

All things considered, I suspect even $250/$350 is pushing it in today's market. I'd like to see them get it down to $199 USB/$299 HDD, although I realize that's probably too optimistic.
post #70 of 3123

Now that TiVo has 4 tuners and supports the Mini for OTA I really think mainstream all other DVRs are dead (aren't they already smile.gif). I'm not saying there isn't a (tiny) market for them but realistically it's pretty much cutting off your nose to spite your face to go elsewhere. Look at the numbers...

 

$700 - Roamio with Lifetime

$250 - Mini with Lifetime

$250 - Mini with Lifetime

---------

$1,200 Total Investment

 

$240 - annual cost based on 5 year lifetime

$80 - per TV a year

$.66 a day for 3 TVs.

$.22 a day per TV

 

If 22 cents a day is too expensive than you really aren't interested in TV. smile.gif Mainstream doesn't have one TV nor are they going to jury rig external drives, do manual or continual updating of recordings, etc. Sure someone will but those someones will be making less of a market than now. Even if cord-cutting spreads like wildfire it will only flame TiVo's acceptance and enforce them as the de facto standard. Bargain hunters realizing TiVo returns a good chunk of their investment if you ever leave will make it all that much more appealing.

post #71 of 3123
Tivo is tempting with the Roamio/mini option. For my five sets, it's $1700 or $340/set which is comparable to a less smart configuration.
post #72 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Now that TiVo has 4 tuners and supports the Mini for OTA I really think mainstream all other DVRs are dead
Roamio's 4 tuners are more than a little compelling. 4.5 yr ago when I bought my TiVo HD the price with lifetime was $700 ($300 for TiVo; $400 for lifetime). So the price has stayed the same for me with the addition of two tuners and 3X the HDD size.

I didn't even give any thought to the mini's.
post #73 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post


Roamio's 4 tuners are more than a little compelling. 4.5 yr ago when I bought my TiVo HD the price with lifetime was $700 ($300 for TiVo; $400 for lifetime)


I had TiVo for over a decade and if I had to guess I'd say my out of pocket was well under $500. Ran through many HD and Premiere models with Lifetime. I would purchase one, upgrade its drive and sell it on eBay for a small profit. Once sold rinse and repeat for longer than I can remember. With the $10 OTA special pricing I bypassed Lifetime with my last one and that actually cost me a few bucks. 

post #74 of 3123
The only concern with the Roamio configuration is that as the number of users grows, the likelihood of conflict grows. With five DTVPals, I have ten tuners and a little over 2t of space (320gx4+1t). It's not uncommon for me to record two shows at once. That only leaves two tuners for the rest of the household. What happens? Can the remote user watch one of the tuners that is already in use or does he get a 'no tuners available' error? Of course, if your main unit craps out, it's another $700 and an outage.
post #75 of 3123
please, don't turn the thread into another TiVo's
:backtotop:
post #76 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

BTW I can't resist commenting on this passage from E*'s letter:
Total BS, of course. Patents only last 17 years. CM may still "hold" it but a 1949 patent has no legal force anymore. And maybe the were the "undisputed world experts on OTA" when they were an actual company and not just a brand name for sale to the highest bidder, but that hasn't been true for years.
Yes, as we know the original Channel Master company produced excellent antennas and amplifiers. Now they are part of PCT and sell Chinese made versions. But, not necessarily bad products, just different. The drop amps made by PCT and sold under the Channel Master name are very good performers, and I am glad to see they are partnering with Echostar again for the new K77 DVR.
post #77 of 3123
True; several CM products are still OK. Their antennas are still decent, and someone who worked for a competitor checked out their "new" CM7777 preamp and found the noise figure was considerably better than the advertised 5 dB.

The amp is a new, different design than the "old" CM7777, but still a competently-designed amp. My theory is that the high advertised noise figure basically eliminates quality control. Most of the new amps are probably pretty good, but if you happen to get a "stinker," well, they only advertised 5 dB.... rolleyes.gif

But some of their recent products have me scratching my head. The CM7000 CECB was slightly buggy and lacked RF pass-through, but was still a good receiver. But the CM7001 receiver that replaced it.... eek.gif Let's just say most folks would be better off buying a cheap iView or Homeworx, even if (as many cable users have discovered) they found the recording capability useless.

And the CM7400: so promising, yet so flawed, and the premium price tag certainly didn't help. I just hope they learned their lesson and will get it right this time.
post #78 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

But some of their recent products have me scratching my head. The CM7000 CECB was slightly buggy and lacked RF pass-through, but was still a good receiver. But the CM7001 receiver that replaced it....

I don't know how you can say that the 7001 "replaced" the 7000, aren't they entirely different components, designed for entirely different uses.

The 7000 was a CECB D2A converter for older standard definition NTSC style TVs.

The 7001 was a high definition OTA and cable tuner designed for use with HD monitors.

.
post #79 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Now that TiVo has 4 tuners and supports the Mini for OTA I really think mainstream all other DVRs are dead (aren't they already smile.gif
). I'm not saying there isn't a (tiny) market for them but realistically it's pretty much cutting off your nose to spite your face to go elsewhere. Look at the numbers...

$700 - Roamio with Lifetime
$250 - Mini with Lifetime
$250 - Mini with Lifetime
$1,200 Total Investment

(irrelevant calculation of per-diem cost omitted)

Mainstream doesn't have one TV nor are they going to jury rig external drives, do manual or continual updating of recordings, etc. Sure someone will but those someones will be making less of a market than now. Even if cord-cutting spreads like wildfire it will only flame TiVo's acceptance and enforce them as the de facto standard. Bargain hunters realizing TiVo returns a good chunk of their investment if you ever leave will make it all that much more appealing.

Guide: 7 days (per videobruce's chart)
Total tuners: 4
Video distribution: via in-home networking

As opposed to:
3 K77s @ (say) $370 ea.
$1,110 Total Investment

Guide: 2 days (assuming Rovi; a few stations may provide more via PSIP)
Total tuners: 6
Video distribution: via USB drives

Seems to me that, far from "jury-rigged," using USB drives would make more sense to Joe & Jane Sixpack. Sure, you can't make an HD recording directly to a USB flash drive, and copying a recording from an internal hard drive will be slow, but other than that, it's just like using a VHS cassette, something the Sixpacks are probably quite familiar with. And while folks should consider the resale value of a DVR, how many really do? Sadly, most probably throw them away (or at best, store them in a closet) when they upgrade! It's not like they're buying a car, after all.

Looking at it that way, the K77 alternative actually looks pretty good. The real challenge is competing with TiVo's nice long EPG and low up-front cost, made possible by that mandatory subscription.
post #80 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Guide: 7 days (per videobruce's chart).
Guide: 13 days (per actual user)

As to distribution via USB drives -- that assumes the content is not encrypted on the drive an locked to the device that recorded it. Both of which are unknown at this point as is your guesstimate at a price.

We will have to wait and see what comes out and how it plays.
post #81 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Looking at it that way, the K77 alternative actually looks pretty good.

 

I don't think that's a very accurate way of looking. smile.gif How does the K77 transparently distribute recordings between TVs? If that isn't as slick as TiVo it's a show stopper - along with numerous other TiVo usage features. External drives are beyond stupid. Even the techies here at AVS virtually reject them (and upgrade their TiVo's internally). Who in their right mind would want to juggle three DVRs when you could only one... far too abstract comparison not real world usage.

 

Personally, I tried PSIP with NextPVR and XBMC... I'd give up TV/DVRing before I used it.


Edited by Charles R - 8/28/13 at 10:13am
post #82 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post


Video distribution: via in-home networking

As opposed to:

using USB drives would make more sense to Joe & Jane Sixpack

So are you saying "tennis shoe networking" is preferable to Ethernet? confused.gif

With the TiVo's, watching a recording remotely from another TiVo is almost exactly like watching normal playback directly. There's only one additional "drill down" step to access the recordings from the remote machine.
post #83 of 3123
I think there will be plenty of people in the general market for who a single DVR for the family room is all the solution they want. IMHO the success of the K77 with the larger market will hinge on the availability of quality guide data (not PSIP) at reasonable price, ease of use and dependability. If they release another DVR with alpha firmware like they did for the DTVPal DVR, they might as well orphan it at launch.

Unlike many, I thought the CM-7400 with the $50/yr guide ($25/yr Schedules Direct would have been better) was a decent offering at its $400 price point. What totally killed it in my eyes was the heat issue.
Edited by Kelson - 8/28/13 at 10:51am
post #84 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Unlike many, I thought the CM-7400 with the $50/yr guide was a decent offering at its $400 price point. What totally killed it in my eyes was the heat issue.

 

I think the heat issue was way overblown. My local Fry's had one running 24/7 for endless months without any issue. It was located right next to the PC components department and the guys/one gal in white shirts never missed a show. smile.gif Who's to say it wasn't successful? Given its potential market... I'm guessing it did OK. I saw far more leave the shelf than returned with stickers.

 

I think it's hard to base a product's take on AVS feedback. By nature it's often not the target market and our wants/requirements are often silly. As an example I base my receiver's value strictly on one feature... Virtual Dialog Lift. To mainstream it's completely irrelevant for good cause.

post #85 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiscojim View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

But some of their recent products have me scratching my head. The CM7000 CECB was slightly buggy and lacked RF pass-through, but was still a good receiver. But the CM7001 receiver that replaced it....

I don't know how you can say that the 7001 "replaced" the 7000, aren't they entirely different components, designed for entirely different uses.

The 7000 was a CECB D2A converter for older standard definition NTSC style TVs.

The 7001 was a high definition OTA and cable tuner designed for use with HD monitors.

.
Come on, be serious. Of course the CM7001 is the replacement for the CM7000! They're both DTV receivers with SD outputs (even RF). Adding HD outputs and QAM tuning capability was a no-brainer once the government's CECB program had ended. CM didn't increase the model number by exactly one purely by accident!

But instead of building on the successful CM7000, CM instead went looking for the cheapest STB they could find that met the new requirements, slapped the CM7001 label on it, and doubled the price anyway. So despite the implicit promise of a similar product, the CM7001 has a poor UI that omits the CM7000's "favorite channel" list. And (unlike the CM7000) there's not even a way to skip unwanted channels - not even with the parental controls! (The CM7001 has plenty more problems, but to be fair, it does fix one problem the CM7000 had - the latter's remote had no "-" or "." button rolleyes.gif )

To be fair, CM did pretty much the same thing with the "CM-7000Pal" DVR (except this time, they added a suffix instead of bumping the model number). It also adds HD outputs (but not clear QAM tuning). But (aside from being a DVR) it's actually much more similar to the CM7000 CECB. That's because E* did what CM should have done, and based the DTVPal DVR on the CECB which preceded it, which in turn resembles the CM-7000 since all CECBs were pretty similar.

I wouldn't argue that CM marketed a $349 DVR to replace the $69 CM-7000, but it's actually more worthy of the CM-7000's good name than the CM-7001.
post #86 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

 Who's to say it wasn't successful? Given its potential market... I'm guessing it did OK.
The CM-7400 did have a rather short life in the market and it was not supplanted by a successor on its heels (i.e. TiVo HD --> Premier --> Roamio). So one has to ask why, and what will CM/E* do differently in the new offering to give it more legs with the larger market. I would assume this unit to be an OTA-only DVR. Given that clear QAM is disappearing with encryption it would be silly to waste any development effort in that direction.
post #87 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post


The CM-7400 did have a rather short life in the market and it was not supplanted by a successor on its heels (i.e. TiVo HD --> Premier --> Roamio). So one has to ask why, and what will CM/E* do differently in the new offering to give it more legs with the larger market.

 

For what reason? Did everyone who was interested purchase one and that was that... saturated the market. Lost a vendor? Corporate redirection? I guess I can't define success and as such I can't define failure.

post #88 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

So are you saying "tennis shoe networking" is preferable to Ethernet? confused.gif
In many cases, yes; particularly if your home doesn't have Ethernet in every room! Joe and Jane Sixpack are not often AVS Forum power-users.

And when it comes to moving recordings in bulk, I can walk a HDD from one room to another way faster than I can push its contents through even a gigabit Ethernet.

BTW: the previous comparison omitted cabling, routers, MoCA equipment, etc. Probably not a huge expense (unless you need cabling run through your home), but still not favorable to the TiVo side.

If you're fortunate enough to already have everything you need, and can just piggyback onto your home's pre-existing infrastructure, by all means go for the TiVo solution; but I get the feeling the K77 isn't really aimed at you.
post #89 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Unlike many, I thought the CM-7400 with the $50/yr guide ($25/yr Schedules Direct would have been better) was a decent offering at its $400 price point. What totally killed it in my eyes was the heat issue.

The poor tuner didn't help, either. If you're going to make an OTA DVR, using a sensitive tuner is crucial.
post #90 of 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

The poor tuner didn't help, either. If you're going to make an OTA DVR, using a sensitive tuner is crucial.
Yes, a critical concern. The CM-7000Pal had a good tuner, whereas the CM-7400 did not. Hopefully the new Echostar version will have a good tuner as well. Reportedly the new TiVo Roamio does have a sensitive tuner, so the upcoming K77 needs to have a good tuner as well as a thorough and affordable program guide.
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