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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a long bout with Tivo's horrible customer service and many defective Series 2 units, a friend of mine convinced me to check out ReplayTV.


Then I read that Replay had Component Output and Digital Audio - I immediately ordered two 5500 models directly off of replaytv.com - yes, I'm an impulse buyer.


Then, after I ordered it of course, I find out about Commercial Advance and Internet Video Sharing being available only on the 5000 series. I'm thinking of returning one of my yet to be received 55xx before my 30 day return period. Some questions....


1- Is Ebay the only place I'm going to find a 5000 series unit? What are the different 50xx models (do they work like the 55xx series where 5040 is 40 hours, 5080 is 80 hours, 5120 is 120 hours etc....).


2- What are the prices for the 50xx models? From what I can tell they are more expensive then the 55xx models - I guess they're in high demand & short supply.


3- How solid is the Internet Video Sharing (poopli)? How many users, what type of connection can I expect? Do you folks experience many dropped or incomplete downloads? In summary, how happy is everyone with this service? I almost sounds too good to be true which is why I am hesitant


4 - Is there somewhere I can go to find a nice list of all the cool & different things I can do with my replay? Ex:


Burn to DVD with DvArchive

Share Videos (5000 series) on Poopli

Stream video from 1 replay to another over my network. Pause on 1 replay, pick up on another


replaytv.com gives me the basic pros of the system but what really caught my attention were some of the items I listed above.


Also, any other info. for a new Replay user would be appreciated.


Thanks much
 

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Also, there is a hack (although not a very elegant one) that will allow you to enable CA and IVS on 5500 series replays. I'd suggest, however, that if those features are important to you (they are to me!), search high and low for a 5000 series.
 

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I suggest you keep the 2 55xx, buy a 5040 with lifetime from ebay.

Convert the 2 55xx to monthly at $6.95/month.


Everything you playback on your 5040 will have automatic CA regardless

of whether you recorded on 55xx or 50xx.


Your 5040 will have IVS, which (after received) can then be streamed to

any of your 55xx units.


You'll have 3 tuners to resolve most conflicts you'll encounter.


If you are comfortable with leaving a server running 24/7 you can skip

the 5040 and just perform the procedure to enable CA/IVS on 55xx.

You'll need to connect through your own proxy server from that point

on to maintain the features.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by camster39
After a long bout with Tivo's horrible customer service and many defective Series 2 units, a friend of mine convinced me to check out ReplayTV.
Just a word of caution. DNNA doesn't set the world on fire with customer support either. For instance, they have removed customer support from their 800 number and put it on a normal number.
Quote:


1- Is Ebay the only place I'm going to find a 5000 series unit? What are the different 50xx models (do they work like the 55xx series where 5040 is 40 hours, 5080 is 80 hours, 5120 is 120 hours etc....).
I would guess that e-bay may be the only source. About a month ago DNNA had a fire sale on ReplayTV 5040 units and many of us picked them up at $30 each. Of course, they sold out of stock at that price!
Quote:


3- How solid is the Internet Video Sharing (poopli)? How many users, what type of connection can I expect? Do you folks experience many dropped or incomplete downloads? In summary, how happy is everyone with this service? I almost sounds too good to be true which is why I am hesitant
Very solid. Poopli is nearing 4,000 users with the preponderance of those users 50XX users. Of course, I would guess that a majority of the users are not active (you know, signed up once to check it out and then decided to move on). However, you can check out the "top 50 users last two weeks" and see that nine sends in the last two weeks is the lowest to qualify as top 50. Note that Hover has sent over 1100 shows! You can actually create a Poopli account without a working ReplayTV unit right now (we are hoping that this will be changed soon because of people who put in bogus IVS addresses and then request shows), so why not create an account and check things out? Do a search for your favorite show--you'll see it is available (I haven't found a show yet that was aired within the last month and wasn't available).


Welcome to the wonderful world of ReplayTV!


Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for the info. Looking forward to hooking up my Replays when they get here.


Re: Poopli - am I going to mess things up if I register before I receive my 5040? RTV-ID for example - what would I put in that field just to check things out?


Also, how long would say a 30 minute show take to retrieve over a cable connection - an hour show, a two hour show etc.... I'm sure it varies tremendously based on numerous factors but I'm just looking to get an idea of the transfer speed.


Also, on poopli - are the files downloaded directly to the PC and then streamed to the replays or is it downloaded directly to the 50xx series - then can be streamed to other replays in the house (55xx series for example). Any good articles out there explaining this?


Thanks again
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by camster39
Thanks very much for the info. Looking forward to hooking up my Replays when they get here.


Re: Poopli - am I going to mess things up if I register before I receive my 5040? RTV-ID for example - what would I put in that field just to check things out?


Also, how long would say a 30 minute show take to retrieve over a cable connection - an hour show, a two hour show etc.... I'm sure it varies tremendously based on numerous factors but I'm just looking to get an idea of the transfer speed.


Also, on poopli - are the files downloaded directly to the PC and then streamed to the replays or is it downloaded directly to the 50xx series - then can be streamed to other replays in the house (55xx series for example). Any good articles out there explaining this?


Thanks again
You can enter anything you want to register. i.e. - 11111-11111-11111. You'll have to edit your settings in poopli once you get your units, but I don't think it will screw anything up.


As far as how long, here's a link to a thread where I asked the same question: link


Figure ~8 hours for a 1 hours show (standard) over a 256k upload. The speed is bottlenecked by the upload of the sender. If you find someone with a fast upload (512k>), the time is reduced substantially. The shows are downloaded to the Replays hard drive, so yes, they can be streamed to other Replays. Even if they were on a PC running DVArchive, you could still stream them to any other Replay on your network.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by camster39
After a long bout with Tivo's horrible customer service and many defective Series 2 units, a friend of mine convinced me to check out ReplayTV.


Then I read that Replay had Component Output and Digital Audio - I immediately ordered two 5500 models directly off of replaytv.com - yes, I'm an impulse buyer.
Now that you've heard all the good stuff...you do know that Replays, even those with those outputs you mentioned, can't record anything better than 480i and I believe Dolby ProLogic audio, right? (I know it's limited to 2-channel analog audio, no DD or anything.) So the outputs don't really mean much. I still love my Replay, but I don't want you to get the wrong idea.


IVS is rock-solid stable...kinda. I had my underground cable drop cut by a sloppy contractor with a backhoe, and four days later, when it was fixed, my send of 4 hours of the Olympics picked up again without any problem. But the servers that are used for IVS (the RDDNS servers) go down fairly regularly, but it's usually only a few hours, and as I said, the send can resume on its own once everything is back in working order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxH
Now that you've heard all the good stuff...you do know that Replays, even those with those outputs you mentioned, can't record anything better than 480i and I believe Dolby ProLogic audio, right? (I know it's limited to 2-channel analog audio, no DD or anything.) So the outputs don't really mean much. I still love my Replay, but I don't want you to get the wrong idea..
That's OK, can't be worse than Tivo. I have to get away from Tivo so all these other features are just "extras".


Anyway - just curious, and I was wondering this before. What is the purpose of having Component output? Does this actually attempt to make a 480i into a 480p? I know there is upconversion done on some TV's - is that pretty much what replay is trying to do with component out?


Thanks
 

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Just what you said. It up-converts 480i to 480p. It just doesn't do it very well. YMMV, but most find that the S-Video out is the best way to go.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chain777
Just what you said. It up-converts 480i to 480p. It just doesn't do it very well. YMMV, but most find that the S-Video out is the best way to go.
Certainly not all. My Toshiba (--HX81) has a clearly better picture when I use the component out compared to S-Video out. Thus I recommend giving it a look and comparing. The difference is so great that I can tell which input I am using when I start watching a show without doing any A/B comparisons.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by richierich
Certainly not all. My Toshiba (--HX81) has a clearly better picture when I use the component out compared to S-Video out. Thus I recommend giving it a look and comparing. The difference is so great that I can tell which input I am using when I start watching a show without doing any A/B comparisons.



Then your Toshiba display is a pretty damn impressive piece of equipment, because it ain't the ReplayTV's 480i to 480p up-conversion, which has, in many, many posts here, been given meiocre reviews at best; and a number of these posts are from industry engineers & experts - with access to equipment/SW/experience which go far beyond the scope of the subjective assesments given by the majority of owners.
 

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The menus will almost always look better through component out, because they can be displayed at true 480p. But unless your TV has a really crappy line doubler or scaler, I forget which, the Replay's picture during playback will almost certainly be worse through component than through S-video, when you let your TV do the work.
 

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*ooooohhhhhh**ahhhhhh*ehhehehh*


MaxH, you're a bad, bad boy!

Don't tease me with stuff like that, YOU KNOW just how much I've always been let down by the quality of the OSDs...


*sniff* Basturd! *sniff**Wahhhhhhh!*
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by richierich
Certainly not all. My Toshiba (--HX81) has a clearly better picture when I use the component out compared to S-Video out. Thus I recommend giving it a look and comparing. The difference is so great that I can tell which input I am using when I start watching a show without doing any A/B comparisons.
That's why I said "YMMV" and "most".


Like Max inferred, your TV is the determining factor. TV's with quality line doublers (Sony Wega's come to mind) will show the limitations of the Replay's up-conversion when using component vs. S-video. What you're describing with your Toshiba is that the Replay's doing a better job than your TV with the up-conversion. It tells you something about the quality of your TV's line-doubler...
 

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I just got a 5504 (refurbished) and am not generally impressed with the picture quality - s-video or component out - on my 130" projected tv image from a Panasonic PT-L300.


Now before you jump on me and say that it shouldn't look that good, I used to have a TIVO hooked up to this setup and it looked much better. Is it possible that I have a defective REPLAYTV? Can anyone who has seen both in action give me a good comment (preferably on a larger display) or two?


The picture is soft (expected) and somewhat dark (not expected).


It may be possible that my cable box is giving a not very good s-video out (I tried composite as well)? I have only used this cable box's component out and it always looks at least ok.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by AdamGott
I just got a 5504 (refurbished) and am not generally impressed with the picture quality - s-video or component out - on my 130" projected tv image from a Panasonic PT-L300.


Now before you jump on me and say that it shouldn't look that good, I used to have a TIVO hooked up to this setup and it looked much better. Is it possible that I have a defective REPLAYTV? Can anyone who has seen both in action give me a good comment (preferably on a larger display) or two?


The picture is soft (expected) and somewhat dark (not expected).


It may be possible that my cable box is giving a not very good s-video out (I tried composite as well)? I have only used this cable box's component out and it always looks at least ok.
So glad you posted that. Last night and tonight I ran A/B comparisons between my new RTV-5508 versus my 4-year-old RTV-3060. (Input source: Time-Warner analog coaxial, live TV. Display: 27" Trinitron CRT.)


Result: Exactly as you described. Too soft.


The 3060 sharply and crisply defined text, facial lines, background details. But the 5508 softened everything, making actors look like their faces had all been airbrushed. Mind you, the picture is still very viewable and would probably please most consumers - but I'm a g.d. videophile, come on now!


I then repeated all tests after fully swapping both coax sources (B to A, A to B), S-Video cables, and the AVR channel pair I used to switch back and forth - just to rule out a faulty cable, input source, or AVR issue.


Now, here's the most telling part: I have a secondary video out from the 3060 using just the yellow RCA-style plug. I compared it to the 5508's S-Video. Result: the 3060's RCA output was noticeably sharper and more pleasing than the 5508's S-Video output. Amazing.


The 5508 is now repackaged for return to Amazon.com.


I, too, would like to hear from others: did we get stuck with faulty units - or is this how the new models perform? Because I was really looking forward to finally playing with DVARchive and all the wonderful networked features, but with such noticeably lesser video quality compared to my 3060, I'd feel I was giving up too much just to enjoy those great networkable features. Thoughts, anyone?


Jerry
 

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I've never seen a side-by-side comparison, but it's known that the older models (except for the 4xxx series) had a 'better' mpeg encoder. It's a subjective thing, and some find the softened picture a good thing. I'm not one of those, but I've learned to live with it. I can't give up all the features of the 5xxx series. When I do happen to turn on live TV, it bothers me how noticeable the difference in picture quality is.


I avoid live TV for this reason. I can envision switching to a HTPC eventually to overcome this, but not yet. Crap, now you have me thinking. For what I could sell my 5xxx's for, I could easily build a HTPC; with multiple tuners - and perfect DVD copies...crap. I wish I didn't read this thread.


I wonder what RichA is up to?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chain777
I can envision switching to a HTPC eventually to overcome this, but not yet. Crap, now you have me thinking. For what I could sell my 5xxx's for, I could easily build a HTPC; with multiple tuners - and perfect DVD copies...crap. I wish I didn't read this thread.
Here is my 'history':


1. TIVO user for about three years (geez, has it really been that long? I guess I SHOULD have picked up that lifetime subscription!).


2. Dabbled with a HTPC for the past couple of months, a Hauppage WINPVR-250 card.


3. After less than satisfying results with HTPC I looked to replay after hearing about all of it's features that seemed to be features I wanted in my HTPC.



I was not very happy with the HTPC results. Something (either the decoder card, SAGE TV, or driver updates) made my computer unstable and I had to do a lot of babysitting. It wasn't nearly as user friendly as TIVO or REPLAYTv (TIVO is still winning that war I think) and it was definitely not ready for my family to start using it. I could have spent more time but opted for a $50 refurbed 5504 and after a week I am really impressed. I have transferred a few movies to my pc and the quality is either better or at least comparable to the PVR-250.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by AdamGott



I was not very happy with the HTPC results. Something (either the decoder card, SAGE TV, or driver updates) made my computer unstable and I had to do a lot of babysitting. It wasn't nearly as user friendly as TIVO or REPLAYTv (TIVO is still winning that war I think) and it was definitely not ready for my family to start using it. I could have spent more time but opted for a $50 refurbed 5504 and after a week I am really impressed. I have transferred a few movies to my pc and the quality is either better or at least comparable to the PVR-250.
That's why I won't delve into HTPC's yet. At this point, the only viable alternative I see is DirecTivo. I love the fact that is captures the stream without any further processing, preserving the audio and video perfectly. But you give up CA, IVS, and what I think is the best navigation of any PVR out there.


The 5xxx series would be perfect for me *if* it had the stability and the mpeg encoder of the pre-4xxx series machines.


If only DNNA could work out a licensing deal with one of the cable or satellite companies to use the 5xxx's software...
 
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