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Picked up a 4504 at Circuit City real cheap (it will be $125 after the rebates). So far it's still in the sealed box. I've been reading this forum and PlanetReplay and have some concerns. First, I see that many of these units do not have commercial skip working - that is a major reason I wanted the unit in the first place. I find it unconscionable that a company would sell something where a major feature it advertises and lists on the box does not even come close to working. And saying that a fix is coming is unacceptable (I went through that once with Sprint PCS and they never did fix the problem - but that's another story).


Cablevision just changed its whole channel lineup - and I see others complaining that their guides were not fixed to show the new channels. I am concerned about that.


I see people have problems with the IR blaster - I have a General Instruments Cable box and am concerned about how well the IR blaster will work.


People say that there is an annoying delay when channel surfing - this will likely cause my wife to throw one of our many remotes at my head. She likes to surf - and my explanation of the channel guide did not enthrall her.


My wife is seriously questioning our "need" for this device and its monthly cost when "we already have several VCRs in the house."


I know I could open the box and try it out, but obviously a return in a sealed box is always easiest. I am having some serious doubts about the wisdom of my purchase - and would like some thoughts/comments.


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dougef
First, I see that many of these units do not have commercial skip working - that is a major reason I wanted the unit in the first place.
You can still skip commercials yourself :) I have a Showstopper and Quickskip with a little dash of Instant Replay works wonders. It sounds like from that other thread that a fix exists but it may mess with IR Blaster stuff until they fix both issues.

Quote:
Cablevision just changed its whole channel lineup - and I see others complaining that their guides were not fixed to show the new channels. I am concerned about that.
Tell Replay and/or tell Zap2It since that is their provider (and who they will tell.) Be sure to get all the information you can before calling them. Typically changes will be done in a couple of business days. At least all the ones I've been involved with have. YMMV.

Quote:
I see people have problems with the IR blaster - I have a General Instruments Cable box and am concerned about how well the IR blaster will work.
Typically, most problems can be resolved with a combination of positioning, forting, and settings-tweaking. Others have better details on these, but I think the best performance for now is several seconds (maybe up to 7-8 in some cases?) for channel changes. Remember that 1-2 seconds is going to be the buffer filling up.

Quote:
People say that there is an annoying delay when channel surfing - this will likely cause my wife to throw one of our many remotes at my head. She likes to surf - and my explanation of the channel guide did not enthrall her.
This sounds like she needs to try it out then. You can still "surf" the channel guide to see what is on and then pick something and go to it. I "surf" a lot as well, and let me tell you when I'm doing it on true live television (cause something is recording I don't want to watch) it's pure hell because I have to watch several seconds of each show (multiply that by the number of channels you have) to see what it is (of course, assuming it isn't on a commercial when I get there which as we all know every channel is on a commercial at the same time) in order to decide if I want to watch it, as opposed to skimming my channel guide and picking a show out in a few seconds.

Quote:
My wife is seriously questioning our "need" for this device and its monthly cost when "we already have several VCRs in the house."
-No changing of tapes

-No storage of tapes

-No hunting for blank tape at last minute

-No searching tape for blank space at last minute

-Watch first part of show while remaining part is being recorded

-Ability to pause to answer the phone/door/call of nature

-The following scenario goes away with one push of the pause button:

"Honey, can you take out the trash/walk the dog/open the door for me while I take the laundry out/stir that fragile sauce before it burns/etc.?"

"Can it wait? The game is on!"

Hell, that right there should make the unit pay for itself.

Quote:
I know I could open the box and try it out, but obviously a return in a sealed box is always easiest. I am having some serious doubts about the wisdom of my purchase - and would like some thoughts/comments.
Not sure about CC (can't remember taking back an opened electronic device there) but doing so at Best Buy was painless (I had a Showstopper that wouldn't download v3 of the software.)

Quote:
Thanks.
De nada.


--

Daniel
 

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I suspect that surfing may become a thing of the past once you both get used to unit. At any given time, I have 20-40 hours of content that I REALLY am interesting in watching on one of our two PVRs. Why would I surf through the 90% crap on TV when I can watch exactly what interests me at any time. For example, I am currently recording "Taken". I'm not even going to bother watching it until I have all 10 episodes on my ShowStopper. Meanwhile all my wife's and my favorite shows are still recording as well.


My favorite features of having a Replay and a ShowStopper.


a) Pause live TV/QuickSkip back 10 seconds to catch something I missed cause the doorbell rang, the dogs barked, blah blah blah...

b) I go on vacation and miss not a second of TV I'm interested.

c) I go on vacation and realise, "Crap, I forgot to program the Replay to record abc movie." I go to Kinkos and go to www.myreplay.com and set it to record the show I forgot.

d) Because of a baseball game, the time slot for my show is moved by an hour. The Replay still records my show while my pal's VCR records the end of a baseball game instead.

e) I can search for shows by keyword in the Replay GUI.

f) I have a Dr. Who theme channel that seeks out Dr. Who where ever it might live in my lineup whether I know the specific channel or not.


I just can't explain at how much it will change how you watch TV. I walk the dogs when I want regardless of what's on. My wife and I go out without even thinking about when things will record knowing that when we want to watch a show it will be there. I rarely watch commercials anymore.


Best,

Matthew in CO.
 

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Can I ask which Circuit City in CT you bought your unit at?
 

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CC has a 30 Day happy policy. Bring it back for any reason and they return your money. I returned an open and 10 day used 4504... just said the picture didn't look good enough on my big screen. That was it. No restocking fee.


BB has something similar, although I have heard that some stores try to do a restocking fee.. but I think corporate policy is only to do that for computers.
 

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I have a 4508 & 4504 and CA works just fine about 98% of the time. Believe it is just on the 5000 units that that may be a problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bogie3
...Believe it is just on the 5000 units that that may be a problem.
Nope build v300 was only on a few 45xx's. And it's a moot point anyway, when v310 goes gold, CA will be turned on for any remaining v300 45xx's as soon as they connect to the server and install v310.


CA has always worked on the 5000's.
 

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Plus, there are much better ways on the ReplayTV to find out what's on before actually changing the channel.


1. You can surf the channel guide and get descriptions before changing.

2. You can surf the heads up display. Just hit up or down while watching a livetv. You'll see a small banner at the top of the screen with descriptions of whatever channel you are thubming through. You can also hit left or right to move forward to see what's coming on hours or days down the line. And, if you find something you want to record while surfing, you can just hit record.

3. You can use ReplayZones as a good way to see what's up without actually surfing the old way. For example, if you're looking for a good movie to watch, you can go into the zones and choose Now Showing...and it'll show you all the movies currently playing. The Now Showing option is listed in other categories as well.


Lyndon
 

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You know, I didn't even know about that Now Showing option on the Zones! You learn something new every day.


Thanks Lyndon!
 

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This is of course all my opinion and just my 2 cents only:


Keep it. Why?

1. You are safe from a financial point of view. You got a great price on it, and even if you decide you don't want it, I'll buy it and pay the shipping (that would be my third.) And if that doesn't make you comfortable, just sell it on eBay. Units like that one are regularly going for $200-$230. Here's a search string you can use on eBay to return a reasonably pared-down list of RTV's: replaytv -(panasonic,pv,keyboard,blaster,drive,upgrade,remote,showstop per) (take out the spaces and return, I can't figure out how to make it look right in HTML.)


2. Test drive it for a month and you'll never use your TV the same way again. Much of this is so subtle that it simply can't be explained - it has to be experienced. Give it the month, though; it does require a little bit of user training and experience. Don't try to learn and use every little feature at once. Start with the basics, then build on that. Go back and read the manual (and stay on this forum) after a week, two weeks and a month - you'll pick up little tricks that will enhance an already great experience. Once you and your wife get through that, you'll never go back. You need to be prepared to invest a little time getting it up and running, network configured etc. This forum will be your lifeline if you run into problems.


3. She's wrong about the channel surfing. She won't surf channels, she'll surf the Replay Guide (that's the place where your stored shows are listed). After all, why surf through hundreds of channels for the 1% of shows that are of interest, when you can "surf" through the Replay Guide, where 100% of the shows are of interest. OK, she may occasionally regress and surf the channels, but I'll bet dimes to donuts that she'll do it using the channel guide. It's an incredibly superior experience. You can instantly see what is showing on multiple channels (rather than having to wait through a commercial to see what's actually playing) and when you select the show, you'll see a synopsis of the show. Think of it as channel surfing on steriods. Gosh, there I go trying to explain somthing that really has to be experienced...


4. Anyone can do it. I bought our first RTV a couple of years ago. Gave it to my wife for Christmas. Boy did everyone in the family have a good laugh over that one. She's not at all techie, quite the opposite. And I'm very much a techie, so this is just the kind of gadget they all know she would hate and I would love. My wife and kids all thought I bought myself a gift under the pretext of buying a gift for her. But I'm the one who had the last laugh - neither my wife nor any of my 3 (teenage) kids can live without it now. If the RTV were to go on the fritz, I'd hear the whining in the next county. I bought our second RTV a year later, and noone was laughing that time...


5. Channel surfing delay: there is in fact a small delay when changing channels. It is a fundamental byproduct of the nature of a DVR: it has to encode the video to do its job. This delay is noticeable on a 4xxx RTV, but in my opinion not bad enough to be a problem. The 5xxx series on the other hand does have a nasty problem in this respect. In any event, you can select "Bypass" and eliminate the problem. Of course you'll also eliminate the RTV functionality as long as you have Bypass on, but that's your choice.


6. Can't comment on the IR Blaster, I use the serial cable. However, keep in mind that on this forum, you'll only see the people who have problems, not the other 99% who don't have problems.


7. Commercial Advance. It's been working almost flawlessly for me for a year, but it's not 100% perfect for all the reasons you've seen in the forum. And there was (is?) a version that doesn't have it properly enabled yet, although I thought that had been fixed.


8. Show sharing. Sooner or later you will goof up and forget to record her favorite show. Get someone else on the internet to send it to you - that's called a diving catch!


OK, that was more like my $1.00.


Bottom line: keep it, you won't regret it.
 
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