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looking down the barrel of the comcast changeover i am toying with giving up my 3030 & 5080 and just getting the comcast DVR. with a toddler in the house i just don't have the time (and I have my JP1 remote away years ago) to deal with installing the codes necessary on both boxes so they could talk to the thompson 1011s comcast gave me.


as i understand it I can either buy/subscribe to a tivo that will control them or hand over another $10 a month to my master and overlord.


is there another (cheap) option i am missing?


does anyone have the comcast DVR, is the interface as horrible as their VOD interface?
 

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My answer to this problem was to learn about the various DVR boxes I could put together that would give me features at least similar to the ReplayTV. Right now I have two solutions. One is SnapStream's BeyondTV and the other is Windows 7 Media Center. With the added third party tools, MC7 will record analog SD and digital HD, process the shows for commercials and play them back with similar results to the ReplayTV for SD analog. BeyondTV is more like the ReplayTV 5500 Series with non-automatic Commercial Advance. My wife insists on fully automatic Commercial Advance just like the ReplayTV, so she has an MC7 box with three tuners.


My understanding is that TiVo and cable company DVRs function much like a old VCR. You can fast forward over material, but you can't jump, and anything like Commercial Advance is out of the question.


Windows 7 Media Center is somewhat easier to set up. Microsoft has done a pretty good job of making it pretty easy. Even QAM (digital) is fairly easy with a few tricks. The third party add-ons you need for killing commercials are cheap and work fairly well now.


For really cheap, there is MythTV ( http://www.mythbuntu.org/ ). This is harder to get going in my opinion, but has a feature set similar to the ReplayTV and has the least dollar outlay.


Personally, I could not tolerate a cable company DVR or a TiVo after having ReplayTV. Yes, I know many do, and they have to compromise the features that made ReplayTV so great.


Bye.
 

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Since you don't want to play with cable boxes (I assume you're talking about comcast dropping analog cable and encrypting everything), you may want to consider a cablecard tuner. Windows Media Center and Tivo HD both support it.


Robert
 

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I have the Comcast Sciientific Atlanta SA8300HDC DVR (SARA OS), & I must say compared to RTV its pretty brutal (& my rental is closer to $15/ mo than $10/mo). At least SARA OS lets you expand storage, but it's locked to the DVR so its lost if the DVR takes a poop on you. Other then that, same interface as Comcast VOD (clunky), no search capabilities, no incremental skip other than 7 second instant replay, limited grid info, no multi room, no DVArchive type stuff, no remote programming, occasionally loses cache (buh bye paused programming).

But I have no desire to stream TV from my computer and the other DVRs out there are expensive, so what are you gonna do?

10 seconds to FF thru a 3 minute commercial block to watch HD aint the end of the world.
 

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Just a note, TiVo is announcing a new hardware and software today at a 6pm event in NYC. So you might want to wait and see what they have to offer.


I don't think Tivo is ever going to be the cheapest option, though.
 

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The Moxi box DVR option looks very interesting. Two or three tuners using a cablecard, with true streaming to Moxi Mates (essentially diskless display boxes). Cheaper than Tivo as well when you include the sub. I'm thinking of that as my most logical upgrade path when/if my replays die.

http://moxi.com/us/home.html


There's a long thread here in the AVS forums for the Moxi box.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1095015
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Doodle /forum/post/18234041

http://www.silicondust.com/press


If Time Warner has their way, I'll be going with this.

I spoke with them at CES... It won't be like the other HD Home Run boxes.... it will be Windows only and DRM will still be enforced. Maybe be a good solution for a PC w/o a cablecard slot, but it's no utopia.


Robert
 

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Here's another tentative - early endorsement of Windows 7 media center.


I'm still at the early stages of playing around, but it's cheap to do so. I ebay'd a DUAL analog/digital HD tuner PCI-E card for 30 bucks, am adding a 40 dollar radeon 4350 card to get rid of some current screen lag (my current s-video out card was a 7 dollar toy I got a while ago).


I get free major network HD from my brighthouse standard cable subscription. I get "free" standard cable with my condo so this is a better way to go than trying the over-the-air HD signals.


I'm using free add-in tools to give better control of my now-dual screen system, and also to allow all the PC's in my house to be keyboard remotes to the media center (in addition to the remote that came with the 30 dollar card).


As another poster has mentioned, it's a bit of a science project, but I think it will be my path to HD. Right off the bat I can record an analog and digital source at the same time, can easily expand storage, have full access to the recorded files, and a path for adding cablecard if I ever want the scrambled channels.


One thing I *REALLY* like about one of free add-ins is the ability to resize the screen with single-line granularity. No more ESPN bottom bar cluttering up sports events.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwz /forum/post/18247892


One thing I *REALLY* like about one of free add-ins is the ability to resize the screen with single-line granularity. No more ESPN bottom bar cluttering up sports events.

Which add-in is that? And what other add-ins are you finding useful? Is there a decent site that wraps all of this sort of info up into one place?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy Doodle /forum/post/18230500


My understanding is that TiVo and cable company DVRs function much like a old VCR. You can fast forward over material, but you can't jump,

I have no experience with cable company DVRs, but that is absolutely false regarding Tivo. They work extremely well, and in some ways are superior to Replays. (Replays have their own strengths, of course.) Not only can you skip ahead in 30 second increments or back in 7 second increments, you can also skip either direction in much larger blocks. In some ways they are more "maneuverable" than the Replay. Take it from somebody who has owned both since 2001.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by prophet5590 /forum/post/18248233


Which add-in is that? And what other add-ins are you finding useful? Is there a decent site that wraps all of this sort of info up into one place?

"The Maxifier" is the add-in that solves some two-display problems, and allows you to fine-tune the display rows and columns (at least on an s-video, I hope it does the same when I move to better cabling).


I really like "input director" that allows any other computer to share control of the keyboard.


I also use "logmein" free under firefox when I want to grab one or both of the screens.


I haven't found one place for info. "The Green button" is one discussion area. Lifehacker just has an entry discussing add-ins.


I'd love to see a thread on REPLAYTV types that setup 7MC systems and how they tweak for best experience.


One other great feature of 7MC is that the first FF step plays accelerated audio. I'm coming from Replay 3xxx tech which goes silent even on the first FF speed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindLemonLarry /forum/post/18248644


I have no experience with cable company DVRs, but that is absolutely false regarding Tivo. They work extremely well, and in some ways are superior to Replays. (Replays have their own strengths, of course.) Not only can you skip ahead in 30 second increments or back in 7 second increments, you can also skip either direction in much larger blocks. In some ways they are more "maneuverable" than the Replay. Take it from somebody who has owned both since 2001.

That is exactly how the Replays work (at least my 50XX series). If you want to skip back/forward 20 minutes, you hit 2-0-skip back/forward.


Anyone know how to do this in 7MC? That's about my biggest gripe about 7MC so far.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nithos /forum/post/18249637


That is exactly how the Replays work (at least my 50XX series). If you want to skip back/forward 20 minutes, you hit 2-0-skip back/forward.


Anyone know how to do this in 7MC? That's about my biggest gripe about 7MC so far.

I'm pretty sure you enter the number, then hit skip forward or back, and it skips that amount of button hits. So 9 quickly followed by skip forward should give you the same as hitting the button 9 times. There are registry entries for setting the skip forward and backward intervals.


Yep replaytv did that better, as well as "nnn" jump taking you to that hour:minute into the recording.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindLemonLarry /forum/post/18248644


In some ways they are more "maneuverable" than the Replay. Take it from somebody who has owned both since 2001.

From this statement, it would seem you must not have owned either one. The ONLY thing Tivo has is HD, and to say it has comparable navigation features to Replay is laughable. I cannot think of any Tivo feature which is superior to Replay, most are crudely executed copies of Replay features, some are comparable. And absolutely ridiculous is the inability to STOP livetv buffering. You leave it on a menu, and few minutes later get startled with a blare of noise as it starts to buffer livetv.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwz /forum/post/18250114


I'm pretty sure you enter the number, then hit skip forward or back, and it skips that amount of button hits. So 9 quickly followed by skip forward should give you the same as hitting the button 9 times. There are registry entries for setting the skip forward and backward intervals.


Yep replaytv did that better, as well as "nnn" jump taking you to that hour:minute into the recording.

Ah, it's button pushes and not minutes. In my limited testing, I just tried to skip ahead/back 1 minute. Thanks, I will try it again tonight.
 

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Comcast hit with their digital sword here a couple of months ago. My response has been to purchase a refurb Mac Mini ($499), add EyeTV ($85; combo cable/OTA tuner and DVR software) and Plex (free and excellent home theater software. This combo is great and I get a computer out of it too. There is also a software plugin to eyeTV called comskip that skips commercials, just like my venerable ReplayTV 5040. I added a 2-terabyte external drive so that I can store vast quantities of photos, videos and music. All the eyeTV recording is digital so it records HD when I can pull it in. So basically I have an HD ReplayTV plus computer plus streaming engine (netflix, hulu and many other streaming choices). I'm happy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindLemonLarry /forum/post/18248644


I have no experience with cable company DVRs, but that is absolutely false regarding Tivo. They work extremely well, and in some ways are superior to Replays. (Replays have their own strengths, of course.) Not only can you skip ahead in 30 second increments or back in 7 second increments, you can also skip either direction in much larger blocks. In some ways they are more "maneuverable" than the Replay. Take it from somebody who has owned both since 2001.

Replay you can skip ahead and back any number of minutes--just type in the number and hit either the skip or quick back button, and there you go.


In the Replay recorded shows guide, you can quickly maneuver through the guide by thinking of the remote number pad like a telephone pad: 2 takes you to A, 3 takes you to D, 4 takes you to G, etc. One press of the button.


Replay is very flexible, perhaps more so than some think.
 

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In 7MC, it is possible to skip forward or back by a certain number of minutes. Just type in the number of minutes and seconds to skip and hit RW or FF. For example, to jump 5 minutes forward, enter 5 0 0 FF. This is close to what Replay offers except you have to enter number of seconds. I would prefer to not have to enter the seconds and just skip in number of minutes...less to enter that way.


I recently got 7MC to phase out my two RTV 50XXs. So far I am liking it a lot. I don't have a cable card tuner yet, so I can only record analog and clear QAM cable channels. It's very nice to be able to set two things to record at once without having to browse over to my other Replay.


I'm using an XBox 360 to extend 7MC to my TV. It's pretty good although you can't do everything such as watch programs in 1.5x speed.


I'm using ShowAnalyzer to automatically skip commercials like on my Replays. It's pretty good though doesn't quite seem as good as Replay. I haven't tweaked the settings yet which may improve things.


I'd say there are two main things that I miss from Replay that don't seem to exist in 7MC. First there is no way to organize your recorded shows. On Replay, we have categories that are used to organize shows. No such thing in 7MC...you only get one big list of all shows which you can order by date recorded, title, or original air date. If you order by title, it does group multiple instances of the same show into a single item on the main list. This is very bad if you have a lot of series recordings. For example, on Replay I can set up a category for my kids and set it to record every Spongebob. On Replay, I never even have to see those recordings unless I browse to that category. On 7MC, I'll have Spongebob scattered everywhere in my recorded shows list unless I sort by title.


The other main thing I miss is the Jump button on the Replay remote. I always used it to swap between two shows. In 7MC, if you want to swap, you'll have to search through your recorded show list to find that last thing you were watching again.


Another thing is you can't pre-pad series recordings for some reason, so I have some shows where the beginning gets cut off.


Also miss the Replay Photo screensaver. 7MC has a great slide show viewer, but there is no way to do a photo screen saver if you've paused a show while watching on the 360. There is this ability if you are watching on the PC though, I believe.


Overall, I am pleased though. Once I get my cablecard tuner, I'll be able to record 6 shows at once which beats the two my two Replays could do.
 

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Running Win7 with an Avermedia dual tuner. One in is QAM (for as long as that lasts), the other is just pulling off the Moto cable box. The other "tuner" is Hulu Desktop, Netflix streaming, and other online sources.


We started just recording sports in HD. Soon we had quit recording shows we could stream. Now the Replay is relegated to kids shows and the few home improvement shows that provide "filler" when you just want something in the background.


I've still got to get some codec stuff straightened out (it's easy to break TV viewing in 7 when playing with codecs). Also I have not found a solid comm skip solution for Win7.


All in all the added flexibility of a media PC combined with HD is awesome.
 
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