Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 515 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #15421 of 17284 Old 01-27-2018, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 3D Guy View Post
I'm leaving satellite TV and am looking at this CM DVR+ as an alternative.
I also notice the STREAM+ is supposed to be newer, but it only uses a MicroSD card limiting current recording capacity to a max of 512GB (approx 80 hrs) while this CM DVR+ uses an external hard drive (1TB? 2TB?)

Not sure which one I should get.
Do you think one is better than the other?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
As you've heard the DVR+ is discontinued, so you can't buy one new. There's a risk that Channel Master will abandon providing the 14 day guide, at which point the DVR+ would rely on the 1 or 2 day PSIP data the broadcast stations put out. I think that risk makes buying the DVR+ at a premium price over the units without 14 day guide data like the Homeworx boxes a stretch. If CM continues to provide the DVR+ with a guide it's probably worth buying a used one.

There are the Tivo Roamio units that have many of the same features as the DVR+; no telling if the new owner of Tivo (Rovi) will continue making hardware. They have been reported to say they want to focus on licensing and leave the box-making business. So there might be some risk there as well.

If you can wait at least 2 - 4 weeks, we'll be reviewing the Stream+ in it's thread when it starts to arrive (at least a few of us have it on order). There is a rumor that CM will get the USB port working to record to a hard drive.
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post #15422 of 17284 Old 01-27-2018, 08:08 PM
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Embedded in 3D Guy's post was a question about the maximum HDD size the DVR+ supports. Just so you know, it's 2 TiB which is about 2.2 TB. (There are ways to support some larger HDDs but then you start to run into other limits such as 999 recordings per drive.) Most folks use a 1 or 2 TB drive with the DVR+.
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post #15423 of 17284 Old 01-27-2018, 11:36 PM
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Exclamation please do not derail the thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Guy View Post
I'm leaving satellite TV and am looking at this CM DVR+ as an alternative.
I also notice the STREAM+ is supposed to be newer, but it only uses a MicroSD card limiting current recording capacity to a max of 512GB (approx 80 hrs) while this CM DVR+ uses an external hard drive (1TB? 2TB?)

Not sure which one I should get.
Do you think one is better than the other?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Please, take a look at Stream+ dedicated thread - all pros&contras are there posted ad nauseam !
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post #15424 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Guy View Post
I'm leaving satellite TV and am looking at this CM DVR+ as an alternative.
I also notice the STREAM+ is supposed to be newer, but it only uses a MicroSD card limiting current recording capacity to a max of 512GB (approx 80 hrs) while this CM DVR+ uses an external hard drive (1TB? 2TB?)

Not sure which one I should get.
Do you think one is better than the other?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fshagan View Post
There are the Tivo Roamio units that have many of the same features as the DVR+
Sorry, although it's heresy, I have to agree that neither CM product is a great option. Tivo is your best bet right now. It's $199 when you can find it on sale, otherwise $299, has 4 tuners and 1TB hard drive and no signs of going away anytime soon. DVR+ has the advantage of working off the grid, but unless you're using this in the wilderness or in a motor home, you're probably not going to be off the grid.

I have several Tivos and am getting a Stream+ to play with. With future HDD support, it may very well be able to replace my Tivo when it dies. DVR+ was never a compelling option for me since it was at least half the machine Tivo was for the same price. Stream+ is at least cheap and has the added benefit of being able to run all Android TV apps.

But as P Smith said, this is all hashed out in the Stream+ thread.
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post #15425 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 01:21 PM
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Unfortunately I tend to agree with mdavej at the moment. There are a lot of things I don't like about TiVos, but they are a supported product with better streaming options than the DVR+, and despite a bit of FUD about Rovi's future plans right now, I don't see them going away anytime soon. The DVR+ is a discontinued product that you can only buy used; every feature still works, but uncertainty about its future is much more reasonable than with TiVo. Sling TV has already announced that the DVR+ will not be supported "soon," although they didn't give us a firm deadline.

There's a lot of uncertainty about the Stream+ too, but it's coming from the other direction: it's a new product that nobody actually owns yet. So hopefully the uncertainty there will be going down soon, and folks can make an informed choice.

Bottom line: if you can wait a few more weeks, hold off and see what folks have to say about the Stream+ after the first ones ship in mid-February. If you only want an OTA DVR and don't care about anything coming from the Internet, a used DVR+ is a good choice. It'll probably set you back about $200 plus the cost of a HDD, and it has 2 tuners, a grid-style guide, and name-based recording, even with only PSIP for guide data. Of course you can use its Internet-based features while they still work; just keep in mind you may need to live without them someday.

But if that doesn't meet your needs and you need a DVR now, either buy a TiVo (make sure to get one with lifetime though) for the long term, or buy a cheap box like a HomeWorx to "tide you over" until the Stream+ comes out, when you can choose between it and TiVo.

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post #15426 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 01:38 PM
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It looks like channel 503, Azteca Noticias (Spanish) will be the next CMTV channel to bite the dust. "We are experiencing issues with this channel but are working to get a fix for it soon. Stay tuned." Yeah, right.
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post #15427 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
...DVR+ was never a compelling option for me since it was at least half the machine Tivo was for the same price. ...
So, since DVR+ is discontinued, it is now OK for people who never liked it or bought it to post how bad it always was?

Really?
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post #15428 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 02:22 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I'm seriously looking at the Tivo Roamio OTA with lifetime subscription.
I'll still have to pick up a Roku if I want to get SlingTV. I just called SlingTV at 888-361-7149 and they transferred me to tech support. He put me on hold, then confirmed that the CM DVR+ will no longer have SlingTV app. He thought it had already been discontinued on the CM DVR+ but said they are dropping it. He suggested I get a Roku or AirTV if I want SlingTV in the future.
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post #15429 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 02:42 PM
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Sorry, although it's heresy, I have to agree that neither CM product is a great option. Tivo is your best bet right now. It's $199 when you can find it on sale, otherwise $299, has 4 tuners and 1TB hard drive and no signs of going away anytime soon. DVR+ has the advantage of working off the grid, but unless you're using this in the wilderness or in a motor home, you're probably not going to be off the grid.
Even though I'm not off the grid, I am in the camp that exclusively uses PSIP for my EPG. For me, having an untethered product more than makes up for having only two tuners. I never like the idea of having to use the Internet to receive guide data, which amounts to an ongoing relationship with the entity providing it. Sure, I'd love it if the DVR+ had 4 tuners, even if it was twice as thick. But I take a holistic approach in this regard, and count the total number of tuners in my house, which currently equals 4. Three of them are recording capable. I agree that the DVR+ has its share of problems, but if CM had put 40% more effort into perfecting this product it would have been the apex DVR on the market, bar none. Nothing would have even come close, and CM could have built on that platform for their next DVR iteration.
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post #15430 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RTPVid View Post
So, since DVR+ is discontinued, it is now OK for people who never liked it or bought it to post how bad it always was?

Really?
Is anything I said untrue? Is talk of alternatives not ok even now that you can't buy them anymore?

FWIW, I always liked the idea of the DVR+. Integrated SlingTV and no subscription fee were huge advantages. The SlingTV advantage is now (at least will very soon be) gone. In the early days, one could possibly argue that CM a better value than Tivo, but not anymore.

I honestly never thought I'd buy a Tivo, much less recommend one. I ran WMC for years and have tried many other DVRs and tuners. DVR+ was too expensive for me back then considering I could do almost the same thing by tweaking the hardware/software I already had. Tivo was WAY too expensive. But then WMC switched to Rovi and ruined it. Tivo was still using Gracenote, and I could get a good price on used lifetime units, so I switched. It worked beautifully for about a year, then the unthinkable happened. Rovi bought Tivo and brought all their incompetence with them. It was horrible. It still is. But I've learned to live with it.

So I could have ignored the OPs question and kept my mouth shut, or lied and said that DVR+ (or Stream+) was a great choice or tell the honest truth knowing it would not be well received.

Anyway, I dropped in a while back to help with remote codes even though I don't have a DVR+. But I've said what I wanted to say and don't want to cause any problems, so I'll bow out. Hope to see some of you in the hifi-remote forums in the future to close the loop on the DVR+ remote project.
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post #15431 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RTPVid View Post
So, since DVR+ is discontinued, it is now OK for people who never liked it or bought it to post how bad it always was?

Really?
They have been doing that since before the DVR+ was launched.
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post #15432 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Guy View Post
I'm leaving satellite TV and am looking at this CM DVR+ as an alternative.
I also notice the STREAM+ is supposed to be newer, but it only uses a MicroSD card limiting current recording capacity to a max of 512GB (approx 80 hrs) while this CM DVR+ uses an external hard drive (1TB? 2TB?)

Not sure which one I should get.
Do you think one is better than the other?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Right now, the DVR+ is kind of expensive. Right now, the TiVo Roamio/OTA is not on sale. Right now the Stream+ is on sale.

You did not mention whether you will use streaming services or rely on OTA. You did not mention how many sets you need to support. All of these things play into the best solution. If you are under the gun to get something so you can drop your service, give the Stream+ a try. Don't invest much, though, because you will have opportunities to change your mind. Here are some things to consider...
  • Consider TabloTV
  • Look for TiVo sales
  • Watch ebay for DVR+s

It's tough to beat a TiVo with Lifetime for $200-$300.
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post #15433 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 06:25 PM
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I'd love it if the DVR+ had 4 tuners, even if it was twice as thick.
Yes, I think "thinness" became a bit of a religion over at CM and E* when they were working on this. But I suspect they could've added more tuners even without making it thicker. Might've had to sacrifice the internal 1TB HDD for extra circuit board space, though.

They could've planned 3 models instead of 2: the same $249 base model, a $299 model with a built-in HDD (perhaps less than 1TB so they could get them cheap in bulk), and a $349 model with no built-in HDD but 4 tuners vs. 2.
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post #15434 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 07:10 PM
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Is anything I said untrue? Is talk of alternatives not OK even now that you can't buy them anymore?
I agree with your recommendation to 3D Guy for reasons I stated earlier. And I for one appreciate your efforts that have made the enhanced DVR+ remote much more useful. Thank you.

Many of us, though, just disagree with your opinion that:
Quote:
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DVR+ was ... half the machine Tivo was for the same price.
Statements like that imply that everyone who ever chose a DVR+ over a TiVo was misinformed at best. It may be a true statement now, but not for most of the four years the DVR+ was being marketed. The base DVR+'s regular price was $249 (add about $50 for 1TB external storage) and was put on sale at least once a year for prices ranging from $199 down to as low as $144 in its final year; a new 500GB TiVo Roamio OTA with lifetime was $299 when it was on sale when (as we later learned) the Roamios were being cleared out to be replaced by the new Bolts; more like $399 most of the time! You might've been able to get a used 1TB TiVo with lifetime for around $300, but used vs. new isn't a true apples-to-apples comparison.

As for the DVR+ being "half the machine Tivo was," I suppose that's a matter of opinion. It does have half the tuners, and that's a show-stopper for many; but a 2-tuner DVR isn't "half" a 4-tuner DVR; there is the law of diminishing returns, after all. The DVR+ was always intended to be not the best DVR on the market, but a no-fee DVR that was good enough for most folks, at a lower price than a TiVo with lifetime. I think it filled that niche well.

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post #15435 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 09:09 PM
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As for the DVR+ being "half the machine Tivo was," I suppose that's a matter of opinion. It does have half the tuners, and that's a show-stopper for many; but a 2-tuner DVR isn't "half" a 4-tuner DVR; there is the law of diminishing returns, after all. The DVR+ was always intended to be not the best DVR on the market, but a no-fee DVR that was good enough for most folks, at a lower price than a TiVo with lifetime. I think it filled that niche well.
And as you and others have pointed out, the antenna signal strength diminishes as it is connected to more and more devices. Given the multipath problems people have had with the DVR+ it wouldn't necessarily be a good thing to split that signal to another two tuners in addition to the two the DVR+ already has. Plus, I'd guess that most people who use an OTA DVR also have the antenna connected to their TV. A 4 tuner DVR+ and 1 TV would be 5 devices right there! If that same antenna is feeding TV's in other rooms or other OTA devices that could easily become a problem. "Half the machine", in this context anyway is to a large degree in the eye of the viewer. Two tuners of clear reception beats four tuners of crapola any day of the week.

As an OT aside, I just ordered my HD Stacker antenna a few minutes ago. When it arrives I'll wait until I have some cool weather so I can chisel a hole through the rocky, limestone infested soil to plant a 20' mast and survive an hour or so in the attic. Given the new location and height I think this will probably solve most, if not all the multipath problems I've experienced. Plus, this antenna is also a VHF antenna, so even if the federales repack the TV spectrum back to the VHF band I'll still be in business. It's also supposed to be a good FM antenna, and that will definitely be put tot the test. The ultimate payoff would be if I can still pull in the approximately 100 stations I currently receive and not have to have an amplifier between the antenna and receivers.
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post #15436 of 17284 Old 01-28-2018, 09:36 PM
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And as you and others have pointed out, the antenna signal strength diminishes as it is connected to more and more devices. Given the multipath problems people have had with the DVR+ it wouldn't necessarily be a good thing to split that signal to another two tuners in addition to the two the DVR+ already has.
To be clear, signal strength and multipath are two different problems. Dealing with multipath requires some sophisticated digital signal processing, but the way around the signal strength issue is simple: amplify the signal before splitting it to compensate for the splitter loss.

IIRC the DVR+ uses tuner chips with a loop-through signal. Presumably those chips amplify the signal by 3.5dB; split it two ways; send one half to the next stage of the tuner and the other half to the loop-through pin. That way you can easily daisy-chain tuners with minimal signal degradation from one tuner to the next.

I don't know if TiVos use a similar design but I would hope so.

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post #15437 of 17284 Old 01-29-2018, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 3D Guy View Post
Thanks for all the info. I'm seriously looking at the Tivo Roamio OTA with lifetime subscription.
Although I haven't found anything definite yet as to it's future - it's worth noting that new Roamio OTA's are now listed as out of stock on the TiVo website - with only refurb units available to purchase.
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post #15438 of 17284 Old 01-29-2018, 02:38 PM
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Yes, I think "thinness" became a bit of a religion over at CM and E* when they were working on this. But I suspect they could've added more tuners even without making it thicker. Might've had to sacrifice the internal 1TB HDD for extra circuit board space, though.
I like the thin profile a lot, but would be willing to sacrifice it for more tuners, or even a DVD recorder. And as thin as it is, they had a lot of leeway to add hardware and still be a lot smaller than other DVR's. It could be the size of a laptop and still be a sleek unit.

Quote:
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To be clear, signal strength and multipath are two different problems. Dealing with multipath requires some sophisticated digital signal processing, but the way around the signal strength issue is simple: amplify the signal before splitting it to compensate for the splitter loss.
I was under the impression that any signal problems would be exacerbated down the line as the signal was split more an more, i.e. multipath, noise, etc. Is this not correct?
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post #15439 of 17284 Old 01-29-2018, 04:21 PM
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Although I haven't found anything definite yet as to it's future - it's worth noting that new Roamio OTA's are now listed as out of stock on the TiVo website - with only refurb units available to purchase.
Yeah, I deliberated about this.
I just bit the bullet and bought the Tivo Roamio OTA 500gb w/ lifetime subscription and 2yr extended warranty (expires 1/13/20) on eBay for $320. Will definitely be getting a bigger hard drive for it.
I figured Tivo has been around a long time. With my "lifetime subscription" I'm hoping Tivo's 2 week channel guide will be around a while. One of the things I worried about was CM's 2 week guide being discontinued and only having a 48 hour guide to schedule recordings.
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post #15440 of 17284 Old 01-29-2018, 05:42 PM
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Yeah, I deliberated about this.
I just bit the bullet and bought the Tivo Roamio OTA 500gb w/ lifetime subscription and 2yr extended warranty (expires 1/13/20) on eBay for $320. Will definitely be getting a bigger hard drive for it.
I figured Tivo has been around a long time. With my "lifetime subscription" I'm hoping Tivo's 2 week channel guide will be around a while. One of the things I worried about was CM's 2 week guide being discontinued and only having a 48 hour guide to schedule recordings.
Just to be clear, if the DVR+ is running version 135R, the 14 day guide should continue indefinitely. Of course, that's not guaranteed in writing by CM. If running earlier versions, the 14 day guide may someday go away, and the guide will revert to 2 days, or less, of PSIP data.

While we're not supposed to talk much about the DVR you purchased in this thread, unless you really need more storage space, I recommend that you wait until after your warranty has expired before opening the box. Opening the box voids the warranty, and since "lifetime" applies to the box, not the human, the expensive subscription could be lost if the box dies during warranty. At least wait as long as you can!
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post #15441 of 17284 Old 01-29-2018, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
I was under the impression that any signal problems would be exacerbated down the line as the signal was split more an more, i.e. multipath, noise, etc. Is this not correct?
No. Weakeniing the signal exacerbates one potential problem: it reduces the signal relative to the noise floor (which is essentially constant) and can therefore reduce the signal/noise ratio. But that's easily compensated for by amplifying the signal before the split - that's why folks use preamps.

Multipath is the result of delayed reflections (echoes) of the signal itself, so it gets weakened along with the primary signal by splits - and strengthened by amplification, so the ratio between the primary signal and the echoes never changes. It has to be dealt with by identifying the echoes and subtracting them out digitally.
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post #15442 of 17284 Old 01-29-2018, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Guy View Post
One of the things I worried about was CM's 2 week guide being discontinued and only having a 48 hour guide to schedule recordings.
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Just to be clear, if the DVR+ is running version 135R, the 14 day guide should continue indefinitely. Of course, that's not guaranteed in writing by CM.
We don't know for sure, but we believe the 135R update puts the DVR+ on the same Internet guide server as the upcoming Stream+. If so, the DVR+'s Internet guide should last as long as the Stream+ does.

Whether or not TiVo keeps selling OTA DVRs, I'm pretty sure their guide is safe as well. (At the moment, Rovi supplies the guide data for both TiVo and CM, although we believe CM is keeping its options open in case it can get a better guide deal elsewhere.)
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post #15443 of 17284 Old 01-29-2018, 09:03 PM
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Have a issue that may be narrowed down to the DVR+. I bought a Samsung MU8000 the other day and had it setup with HDMI from the DVR+ straight to the tv and optical out to a Onkyo 515 receiver. The issue is audio/video was out of sync so I hooked up the DVR+ to the Onkyo and main out to the tv and it took care of the issue. I returned the Samsung and bought a Sony 900E and hooked it up like I did with the Samsung using the optical out to the Onkyo and had the sync issue again with the Sony. I guess it doesn't really matter just was curious what could be causing this.

I have a Apple TV using the optical from the tv to the Onkyo and there's no sync issues.
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post #15444 of 17284 Old 01-30-2018, 08:38 AM
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We don't know for sure, but we believe the 135R update puts the DVR+ on the same Internet guide server as the upcoming Stream+. If so, the DVR+'s Internet guide should last as long as the Stream+ does.

Whether or not TiVo keeps selling OTA DVRs, I'm pretty sure their guide is safe as well. (At the moment, Rovi supplies the guide data for both TiVo and CM, although we believe CM is keeping its options open in case it can get a better guide deal elsewhere.)
Almost. At some point in the future, Stream+ may get a firmware update that points it to a different guide server (like the DVR+ 135R firmware just did). In that case, CM would still be serving a guide, and updated Stream+ units would be pointed to it, but DVR+ wouldn't have a way to point to this relocated guide since there are (presumably) no more firmware updates for DVR+.

Scott
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post #15445 of 17284 Old 01-30-2018, 09:48 AM
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Almost. At some point in the future, Stream+ may get a firmware update that points it to a different guide server (like the DVR+ 135R firmware just did). In that case, CM would still be serving a guide, and updated Stream+ units would be pointed to it, but DVR+ wouldn't have a way to point to this relocated guide since there are (presumably) no more firmware updates for DVR+.

Scott
Stream+ doesn't work that way. There is no guide server. It runs the Android Live Channels app, so Google is and always will be the "guide server" for its own app. CM has no say in what guide server Stream+ uses, Google does. If they decide to develop their own app, that's another matter, but I don't see them ever taking that on.
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post #15446 of 17284 Old 01-30-2018, 09:57 AM
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I have a strange issue. My local NBC affiliate started broadcasting Descriptive Audio and none of the audio selections would disabled it.
I had eng-> stereo selected originally. Trying SAP did not disable it. Is there some selection elsewhere to disable Descriptive Audio?

Sony XBR55A1E
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post #15447 of 17284 Old 01-30-2018, 10:11 AM
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Stream+ doesn't work that way. There is no guide server. It runs the Android Live Channels app, so Google is and always will be the "guide server" for its own app. CM has no say in what guide server Stream+ uses, Google does. If they decide to develop their own app, that's another matter, but I don't see them ever taking that on.
Ah, I stand corrected. Thanks.

So, with version 135R, the DVR+ is talking to the Android Live Channels app guide server? If so, then DVR+, Stream+, and any other Android device are getting the same guide data. That is encouraging for the longevity of the DVR+.

In that case, the eBay market for DVR+ units is going to be large (for those, like me, who require an external USB disk for spousal happiness).

Thanks,

Scott
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post #15448 of 17284 Old 01-30-2018, 10:21 AM
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wrt 135R does anyone know if that also includes a change away from the tr50 address? I've stayed with 124R for the time being. I realize any more fw updates after this are probably unlikely but wondered if e* let cm take that over too such that blocking tr50 won't do any good in the future.
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post #15449 of 17284 Old 01-30-2018, 10:31 AM
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Stream+ doesn't work that way. There is no guide server. It runs the Android Live Channels app, so Google is and always will be the "guide server" for its own app. CM has no say in what guide server Stream+ uses, Google does. If they decide to develop their own app, that's another matter, but I don't see them ever taking that on.
I'm not sure that Google does provide any guide listings. In some developer forum talks with other people who have built things for Live Channels - it doesn't appear that Google is in the listings service. In looking at the framework, whether you are an app like Pluto TV and want listings in Live Channels or you are providing OTA listings - Google provides the framework for you to incorporate listings - but it is up to you to provide those listings. HDHomeRun using Live Channels, for example, downloads TV listings from Gracenote to a server they control. That server then supplies the listings for the View app and the View app is what can be added to Live Channels for OTA listings.

https://source.android.com/devices/tv/
https://developer.android.com/traini...f/channel.html
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Last edited by eherberg; 01-30-2018 at 02:04 PM.
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post #15450 of 17284 Old 01-30-2018, 10:41 AM
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Ah, I stand corrected. Thanks.

So, with version 135R, the DVR+ is talking to the Android Live Channels app guide server? If so, then DVR+, Stream+, and any other Android device are getting the same guide data. That is encouraging for the longevity of the DVR+.

In that case, the eBay market for DVR+ units is going to be large (for those, like me, who require an external USB disk for spousal happiness).

Thanks,

Scott
No, I'm not saying that at all. DVR+ and Stream+ are fundamentally different devices. DVR+ runs Linux, not Android, and has way to run, nor has ever run any Android apps and does not and never will use the same guide data source as the Stream+. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the DVR+ has a very uncertain future in terms of guide data. We already know the apps are going away soon.
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