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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have an old 3060 unit and works super, but i want to get a new unit. I ahve been looking at the boards here and am a bit confused.


Could you all in your wonderful exp please tell me what you think is the best unit to get?


I will want to upgrade it immediately with the largest drive and the latest stuff. Which unit is the best for this. And can you please recomend what I should do to it.


It will be my christmas present to myself :)


Thanks for all your help.


Erich
 

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You should consider a 3060. The 4xxx and 5xxx series are really buggy. For example:


* Even with a lifetime paid activation, their servers have locked out boxes so that they stopped working; some people reported the problem lasting several days.


* The newer units do a "scheduled reboot" periodically. While they apparently avoid doing this when recording, their are problems with this happening while watching live TV.


Making it worse, SonicBlue has laid off most of the Replay developers, so the people who actually know the system well enough to fix the various bugs aren't there anymore, and those that are are too focused on the next new feature for the next product to spend enough time getting the old units stable.


Just pop a 120G in your current unit.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Erichb1
I will want to upgrade it immediately with the largest drive and the latest stuff. Which unit is the best for this. And can you please recomend what I should do to it.
I would get either of the "current" 40 hour units (either a 4540 or a 5040, your choice, the differences have been enumerated on countless other threads).


Throw in a Maxtor MaXLine II 320GB drive and you'll be all set. Alternatively, simply put the 320GB drive in your PC, and use DVArchive to emulate a second ReplayTV on your PC and transfer shows between the two of them over your network. No need to even crack open the ReplayTV.


(Incidentally, while it's true there are some "bugs" in the current software that affect the units occasionally, they aren't as bad as crowbert makes them out to be.)


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow really? thanks I guess that is a good point. See i knew you all would know. Do they still sell 3060s? I have one but i guess i would like to get another on. I have see the links for getting a new drive into the 4000s+ but none for the 3000 series. Any links to this wouldbe be very helpful.


Thanks for the response!


Erich
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by crowbert
Making it worse, SonicBlue has laid off most of the Replay developers, so the people who actually know the system well enough to fix the various bugs aren't there anymore, and those that are are too focused on the next new feature for the next product to spend enough time getting the old units stable.
Ok, this is the 3rd or fourth time I have seen this in various threads. Is this confirmed? We know that some people were laid off, but do we know that "most" replaytv developers are gone and that no one knows the system well enough to fix it. I just want to try and curb some FUD before it scares some people away.



Back to the topic at hand. I have 3 3k series units and I am going to keep them for the time being. While I really want to get one of the newer units and sell off my current ones I waiting for the software update that is supposed to occur the beginning of 2003. I want to see what is included in that release.
 

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The best unit doesn't exist yet. Once they design a DVR that is self aware it can realize it's own faults and design a child model that will free of problems.


Till then, wait for them to fix the damn 5040 or get a tivo.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MinnesotaJim
I would get either of the "current" 40 hour units (either a 4540 or a 5040, your choice, the differences have been enumerated on countless other threads).


Throw in a Maxtor MaXLine II 320GB drive and you'll be all set. Alternatively, simply put the 320GB drive in your PC, and use DVArchive to emulate a second ReplayTV on your PC and transfer shows between the two of them over your network. No need to even crack open the ReplayTV.


(Incidentally, while it's true there are some "bugs" in the current software that affect the units occasionally, they aren't as bad as crowbert makes them out to be.)
You know that absolutely sounds like a winner to me. :cool:


BTW I certainly agree about some of the histrionic FUD we occasionally see here. Many of those who like to compile laundry lists of worst case scenario's and whine about the product have never actually used the units. It's apparent that PVR's in general are not (quite) yet for those who fear advancing technology. There'll aways be some risk (and on-the-fly beta testing) involved in blazing trails. But for those who don't measure up to the challenge (and the rewards) there's always the VCR *pity* or a Showstopper *boring* to tide them over? And hey if they are really helpless *gasp* AOL and a TiVo? ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Erichb1
Wow really? thanks I guess that is a good point. See i knew you all would know. Do they still sell 3060s? I have one but i guess i would like to get another on. I have see the links for getting a new drive into the 4000s+ but none for the 3000 series. Any links to this wouldbe be very helpful.
No, they only sell the 5000 series units, but there are still a bunch of 4500 series units on the market now as inventories get cleared out.


My understanding is that the drive upgrade proceedure is exactly the same for all existing units. The same software works for all models. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. The only restriction is that on 2000 and 3000 series units, they won't recognize more than the first 137G of the drive, so people usually use 120G drives for upgrades.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MinnesotaJim
(Incidentally, while it's true there are some "bugs" in the current software that affect the units occasionally, they aren't as bad as crowbert makes them out to be.)
The newer units are less stable than the older ones. So if you're replacing an older unit, you should hang on to it until you're certian that the new features are worth the cost. Personally, I wouldn't buy a newer unit unless you really need the networking features.


I'm quite happy with my upgraded 2020, though I'll admit that I would like the networking. For example, I would love to extract the rant on cusions from the Coupling episode "Her Best Friend's Bottom." (Showing again tonight on BBC America; I highly recommend it.)
 

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I wouldn't fear the new units at all. I think the activation troubles have been few and far between. It gets magnified here because people come here to get help with their problems. Granted, I didn't have to activate mine because it was a 4000, not a 4500 or 5000 series, but I haven't seen a big outrage about activation problems here. I remember seeing more threads about dial-up problems a year ago than activation problems now.


I had a 3030 before I got my 4040, and I prefer the newer ones. Mostly because of DVArchive, but not relying on the phoneline and Commercial Advance are also big advantages to me. Also I was able to upgrade to a 250 GB drive, no 137 GB limit on the 4000 and newer models. The only issue I've experienced are the scheduled reboots, but it hasn't affected my recording. The only problem it would present is if you leave the room for a few minutes while watching a show, you could possibly miss the reboot warning.


As for the bugs, I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones without them. From what I've read here there is a software update coming next month. I'd say the upside on the newer units outweighs any of the advanteges of the older models, if you can even find a 3000 outside of Ebay.


I'd be curious to know if Crowbert had a 4000 or 5000 at one point
 

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My recommendation would be a 4504. It gives you high-speed downloads and updates via ethernet, and allows you to transfer programs to other 45XX+ units. Then, as previously mentioned, pick up a few hundred GBs if disk, add it to your home PC, and use DVArchive to move files from the Replay to the PC. You get fast updates and practically unlimited additional storage without having to crack open the Replay. I replaced two upgraded SS2000s and a 3060 with three 4504s and a few 120GB disks on my home PC, and I'm quite happy with the result. IIRC, with rebates you can get a 4504 for $150 or so, and I picked up the 5400rpm, 120GB disks when Fry's was selling them for $109.


Conversely, if you're interested in the SS2000s or the 3060 I've replaced, send me a PM. :D
 

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Wonder if I made a mistake? I'm in the same boat as Erichb1, with a long time solid 3060 and I wanted to finally get another unit for my HDTV. I just picked up a 5040 today at Good Guys with their 10% off coupon and $50 rebate from SB. I haven't activated it yet and could use some advice on whether I should keep it or look for some 4504's to upgrade.


I read the boards and thought that the picture quality of the 5040 in any similar mode was better than my 3060 with a clean digital STB input. Is the 5040 quality better with the component output than the S-video from a 3060?


I have 100Base-T with broadband in the house and planned to end up with 2 units to share shows between rooms - so an Ethernet unit is a big plus. And I know I need to get two compatible units - both 5000's or 4500's. I also like the modem and Ethernet option, since it would allow me to off-load the unit in the future to someone w/o Ethernet.


To improve overall image quality, I wanted to upgrade to 250 - 320GB drives, so I can record at the highest quality. I got the 5040 since the 3000 series has a 137GB drive size limit and 5040s are available. But a 4xxx or 45xx would work as well.


So I sounds like if I keep the 5040, I'm going to sacrifice some stability, perhaps remote response time (and I guess the remote control on the 5000 is missing some capabilities to control a lot of key functions on my TV - like change channels and TV/VCR). My 3060 hard drive wines, but the 5040 always on fan is a mini wind tunnel - not sure which is worse but I was hope for it to be less noticeable. Are these issues with the rebooting, reduced remote functions and noise the same on a 45xx? Am I sizing up this comparison fairly or am I missing some details. Any more insight on which ReplayTVs to upgrade to will be appreciated.
 

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If you have DBS, avoid standalones altogether if you are concerned about PQ. Bit-bucket recorders like the DTivo and the 721 are significantly better in that area. And if you still want to use a stand-alone, remember to divide the capacity by 3 for best quality (still not as good as a bit-bucket). For instance, a "80"-hour Replay only records 26.6 hours at best quality.
 

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I'm getting digital cable service (and HDTV cable) in a couple days to feed the new 5040. I don't have DBS, so the DBS/TiVO combos aren't an option for me. I also have preferred the ReplayTV features over the TiVO.


Once I have the digital cable setup, I'll verify that the SA 3100 box can output the HDTV via component output to my Sony 40XBR700. I hope that I'll be able to record via s-video output from the 3100 to the ReplayTV for time shifting simultaneously. If this is possible, I should be able to compare the PQ recording to the ReplayTV (with forced MPEG encoding on, vs bypass un-encoded like the 4xxx series) with the HDTV signal using the PIP side by side feature (I haven't tried this on the HDTV capable set yet - feed one HD signal and one Std Def signal for the side by side PIP).


If these test go well, I should also be able to test the 5040 component output vs its s-video output PQ via the PIP side by side as well (assuming that both output ports are simultaneously live. Then I can compare the 5040 vs my trust old 3060 PQ and determine if the 5040 is really with it (before I pay the $250 activation fee). If all goes well, then its a new quiet fan and larger drive and I'll be set. But I would love to see a DBS ReplayTV option or better yet, an HD PVR product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow thanks for allt he commants.


Please keep them comming. I am esp interested in DigitalB's results of the PQ of the 5000 series vs the old 3000s and 4000s.


Thanks VERY much people.


Cheers,

Erich
 

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Regarding PQ on my new 5080 vs. my 2020 (w/ 80 Gb drive upgrade): I've been looking for the alleged horrible degradation that some here on the forum have reported. I don't see it. This is going from my Dish STB to the Replay via S-Video, then the Replay to my Sony 51HS10 RPTV, also via S-video. I record almost everything at Medium quality; I reserve high quality for just a very few shows.


I was thinking of getting a component switcher to use the component outs on the 5080 (the Sony only has one set of component ins, so I'd need the switcher to share that set of ins with my DVD player), but after seeing the PQ on the 5080, I'm not sure that I need to bother. It looks fine to me. Sure, I see some pixellation on some scenes, and if I was more of a video purist, I'd no doubt freak out about it. But for the most part, if I want higher quality, I'll jump up the recording quality to High. The vast majority of shows aren't that important to me; the benefit of the other things the Replay does outweighs the digital artifacts that I see.


I also suspect that the 5000 series will change for the better in terms of the buggyness problems that others complain about, thanks to software upgrades (I review software for a living; the 5000 series is very far from unusable, though I agree that it does have some bugs, and I'm not liking all of the interface changes from the 2000 series). How many software upgrades did those of us who had 2000 series go through?
 
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