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Discussion Starter #1
The plan had been to replace our Sony HD200 receiver with one of the HD Tivo's when they came out. We time-shift a lot of network programming, and are fortunate enough to get HD OTA for all stations.

It drives my wife and I both crazy trying to remember to tape our shows for the night, on two VCR's if there's an overlap, and then watch the substandard playback later. Sounds like a job for Tivo, right?

Well, as much as our HD200 annoys us with rebooting and losing the Custom settings with power loss, it does some things very well. The receiver quality is very good, and it will pass a native signal to the TV. Our TV is a Pioneer Elite, and has a better stretch mode and line-doubling/upconversion than the receiver (or most anything else).

The other nice thing about the HD200 is the ability to accept our cable input. My wife in particular loves having antenna, cable and satellite all on one program guide.
 

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I'm at a loss as to what your topic title has to do w/your actual post? You're comparing the usefulness of your VCR to a HD recorder? Huh? Every (recent) HD STB I've seen all allow you choose whatever output resolution you desire (480i, 480p, 720p or 1080i). Maybe I'm missing something...


Brian
 

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The only thing it doesn't output is native resolution. This would be my preference as well, but it's not enough of an issue to prevent me from pre-ordering.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:
Originally posted by stickyfingers
I'm at a loss as to what your topic title has to do w/your actual post? You're comparing the usefulness of your VCR to a HD recorder? Huh? Every (recent) HD STB I've seen all allow you choose whatever output resolution you desire (480i, 480p, 720p or 1080i). Maybe I'm missing something...


Brian
To perhaps clarify a bit: we're tired of VCR recording and want to make the move to Tivo, but decided to wait for an HD-capable system.


The usefulness comparison regards the necessary replacement of my existing satellite receiver, not the VCR's.


Until the HD Tivo receiver can provide the additional benefits of timeshifting without making us take a step backward in terms of receiver features, it won't be ready for our purposes.


This is given my current understanding of the HD Tivo features; I'm actually hoping to be wrong about this...


Edit: An apology is also in order, Brian. In looking back over the posts, I realized that, due to a finger twitch/accidental double post, the one you responded to was a partial post. My original post was a bit more complete and would probably have made more sense. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Rick
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PJO1966
The only thing it doesn't output is native resolution. This would be my preference as well, but it's not enough of an issue to prevent me from pre-ordering.
Do you mean native, as in non-standard custom resolutions? 'Cause here's (one of many) a quote from a HDTivo spec sheet:
Quote:
Setup menu allows you to specify the Output Formats (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i) your TV is capable of displaying. While watching live TV or a recorded program, you can simply press the UP arrow on your remote to toggle between the output formats you've specified. All programs are converted to the selected format. There are also buttons on the front of the unit giving the same control.
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Native output just refers to passing the broadcast signal in whatever format (1080i, 720p, etc...) without any conversion.


What the spec sheet is describing is what my TV does (in my case, everything is upconverted to 1080i). As a quality (and freedom of choice) issue, I prefer to have the option of letting my TV do it rather than my receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick O'Shea
Native output just refers to passing the broadcast signal in whatever format (1080i, 720p, etc...) without any conversion.


What the spec sheet is describing is what my TV does (in my case, everything is upconverted to 1080i). As a quality (and freedom of choice) issue, I prefer to have the option of letting my TV do it rather than my receiver.
From all the info available now, the HD Tivo will record in the native format, then output in the format you select. The selection is made on the front panel or via remote. It's not as convenient as a native pass-through mode, but it's easy enough to cycle through the outputs to the broadcast's native mode and let the tv do the conversion.


cheers,


kim
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kimsan
...It's not as convenient as a native pass-through mode, but it's easy enough to cycle through the outputs to the broadcast's native mode and let the tv do the conversion.
And I thought *I* was picky...all you have to do is press a button *on your remote* *from your couch* ;)


Brian
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stickyfingers
And I thought *I* was picky...all you have to do is press a button *on your remote* *from your couch* ;)


Brian
That's assuming you know what resolution you are receiving. I prefer not to have to think, and I know my SO doesn't want to think about it either. I'm sure I'll adjust. Just having the abilty to time-shift HD will be worth any other inconvenience.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stickyfingers
And I thought *I* was picky...all you have to do is press a button *on your remote* *from your couch* ;)


Brian
It's a valid point though. If the monitor does better conversions than the HD TiVo, it would be nice to pass the unconverted signal through *without* pressing the button. It's certainly possibly that native passthrough can be added via software update.


Some are certainly likely to find the HD TiVo conversion to be good enough and leave the setting at whatever is native to their display.


I'm likely to have mine set to 480i for quite some time. The Sat/OTA capabilities make it a worthwhile unit, but the monitor might not make the budget this year :(


cheers,


kim
 

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So, all that trouble to use VCR to record in SD is better than a slight (possible) picture quality loss (but all the surround sound intact) of HD??? :)


I guess my math doesn't work here...


Hong
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The other issue is the cable input. Since these boxes are going to be distributed by DirecTV, what are the odds that they will ever make a version with that feature?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quote:
Originally posted by hongcho
So, all that trouble to use VCR to record in SD is better than a slight (possible) picture quality loss (but all the surround sound intact) of HD??? :)


I guess my math doesn't work here...


Hong


If it records native, then outputs a consistent signal (say 1080i, to match the Pioneer) without attempting to distort it, then fine.


If the output imposes its own stretch mode then No.

Example: if my Sony box is set to anything other than Variable (native), I get its proprietary stretch modes. Even the most tolerable of them (Panorama) looks grotesque compared to the Pioneer mode. Other Elite owners will know what I'm talking about.


The PQ difference is significant to me, and is not something I'm willing to sacrifice even for the convenience of Tivo.
 

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> The PQ difference is significant to me, and is not something I'm willing to sacrifice even for the convenience of Tivo.


I agree. But my point is SD without HD Tivo vs. HD with HD Tivo. I think the quality difference between SD and HD would be huge. No?


I don't know about the aspect ratio control since I don't have your display. However, I doubt that your Pioneer would be able to change the HD signal that much (SD, yes).


> The other issue is the cable input. Since these boxes are going to be distributed by DirecTV, what are the odds that they will ever make a version with that feature?


As others have mentioned in other threads, this won't happen until the OpenCable spec is finalized and most of the cable companies follow it.


Hong.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Very good point regarding SD vs. HD. The main advantage of good stretch modes and line doubling is the effect on SD. An HD signal won't need all that and so the quality difference becomes, as you said, pretty meaningless. So a big *duh* and a forehead slap for me.


The cable issue remains, but from what you say it may be a long wait...
 

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> ... so the quality difference becomes, as you said, pretty meaningless


I wouldn't say meaningless. If one says the difference between an SD and an HD, that person has not seen HD, yet.


Also, when I didn't really mean to say "a slight (possible) picture quality loss" to HD. It should have been to SD (for HD Tivo because it does not have as much flexibility) and even then I should have used "a slightly less feature".


As for HD, you will get as good a quality with HD Tivo as your current HD receiver.


So, to recap, except for not having more control over the aspect ratio FOR SD, there is no reason for you not to abandon the VCR and the HD receiver and go with an HD Tivo... unless you have multiple displays with different fidelities (but that's a different story).


[EDIT]Actually, I re-read the original post. So, the Pioneer has a better aspect ratio control. But that's usually for SD. With HD, it probably won't be able to do much. So, with HD Tivo, you still only lose that for SD, but an ability to watch recorded HD shows![/EDIT]


Hong.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick O'Shea
The other issue is the cable input. Since these boxes are going to be distributed by DirecTV, what are the odds that they will ever make a version with that feature?
I don't ever expect to see a DirecTV HDTiVo that is HD cable compatible. Maybe a DTV/Cable HDTiVo.


On the other hand, you can expect this in Q3 or Q4, 2004.


Motorola HDT500R


The Motorola HDT500R digital cable-ready receiver includes the features below, plus DVR functionality and an 160GB hard drive for recording favorite programs.


DTV Reception

HD Cable Reception

CableCARD Conditional Access For Premium Channels

On The Fly Aspect Ratio And Video Format Selection

Simultaneous NTSC & HD Output


Connectivity:

Component Video

S-Video

Composite Video

Optical Audio

Analog Audio

RS-232 Port

Antenna In
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H
I don't ever expect to see a DirecTV HDTiVo that is HD cable compatible. Maybe a DTV/Cable HDTiVo.


On the other hand, you can expect this in Q3 or Q4, 2004.


Motorola HDT500R


The Motorola HDT500R digital cable-ready receiver includes the features below, plus DVR functionality and an 160GB hard drive for recording favorite programs.


DTV Reception

HD Cable Reception

CableCARD Conditional Access For Premium Channels

On The Fly Aspect Ratio And Video Format Selection

Simultaneous NTSC & HD Output


Connectivity:

Component Video

S-Video

Composite Video

Optical Audio

Analog Audio

RS-232 Port

Antenna In
Interesting box -- but my first question is, of course, whether this will be the first non-Tivo DVR that doesn't suck. (Replay excepted, but IMHO they're a marginal player at this point.)


I would also note that the specs posted don't include an HDMI port, only component video outputs for HD. While specs can change, I find that somewhat surprising.


I'm guessing this info came from the article in Multichannel News I can't read because I don't have a subscription? :)


-T.
 

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Seriously, what is this thread about?


The following HD channels use 1080i:


*HDNet

*HDNet Movies

*CBS

*NBC

*HBO

*Showtime

*Bravo

*Starz


---> All the time, for everything


The following use 720p:

* Fox(1)

* ABC

* ESPN

* Any Fox Sports regional network that does HD(1)


(1)Whenever HD launches... estimated Fall 2004


--> All the time, for everything


----


All standard channels use 480i, all the time, forever.


=========


The Tivo will let you send whatever mode you'd like to the TV with a maxium of three clicks of the up arrow. You will be able to condition yourself to matching the channel/recording with the output format in, like, 3 microseconds.


You will appreciate the no longer being beholden to the clock / network schedule, no longer needing to watch commercials, no longer needing to choose between two simultaneously airing programs, lo, about 1,000,000x as much as you will be bothered by having to click the up arrow until the picture seems just right.


Mark
 
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