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Discussion Starter #1
Microsoft, Tivo or Replay?


Which one and why?


I am posting this in all three groups as I can't seem to get a solid answer.


What do I do?


Eddy
 

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Since you're posting in a UTV forum, you'll probably get UTV as the answer. Personally, I'd go w/a Tivo (then again I own one). I LOVE my Tivo and for my DirecTV isn't an option ruling out Ultimate TV and DirecTivo (buildings obstruct my view to the DirecTV birds)


I've personally played w/UltimateTV for 20 minutes (need to get a full demo from an owner) and from what I could tell, it does maybe only 1/2-2/3rd of what Tivo can do. It didn't even let you mark recordings "save until I delete" until a recent update, which Tivo's had for a long time. It doesn't have wishlists, no thumbs up/down and recording of suggestions, no "season pass manager" that lets you prioritize, no "view recording history" to let you know why something won't or wasn't recorded or why it was deleted, etc. I will say that the UI looks a lot flashier than Tivo's and I do like 30 second skip.


I've gotten a full demo of Replay and I've found it has some really confusing concepts like guaranteed recordings, and no ability to see what it will and won't record ahead of time. 30 second skip is nice and their guide is REALLY fast. There are a few things that it does better than Tivo.


When I was looking at PVRs, my choices were Replay and Tivo. I ruled out Replay because at the time Sonicblue had just bought them out and judging by what S3 (now Sonicblue) did to Diamond, I was afraid the same fate would befall Replay. Back then Replay was about the same price as a Tivo w/lifetime subscription. But, Replay is now cheaper. The same time, I am a bit worried about Tivo's future since they still haven't made a profit.


I would read the very thorough comparisons at http://www.avsforum.com/ubbtivo/Forum5/HTML/005423.html
http://www.avsforum.com/ubbtivo/Forum1/HTML/004998.html


I noticed you're in Canada, are you planning to use these in Canada and on a DBS system or cable or antenna? Tivo doesn't exist in Canada and they have no guide data for Canada, so you're SOL at least for OTA and cable. Not sure about Replay on this. As for DirecTV, from my understanding, they don't sell service to Canada.. so I seriously doubt there'd be any POPs for your UTV or DirecTivo to make daily calls to.
 

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30 Second skip is available on TiVo now, although unofficially.


Under the latest software, v. 2.5.1, you can enter the "back-door" code S-P-S-3-0-S (where S = the Select key on the remote and P = the Play key).


I just got the 2.5.1 update on my TiVo Friday night and really love the 30 second skip!
 

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Eddy - if you do not have DirecTV, the choice is either Tivo or Replay, UTV doesn't enter the picture.


If you have DirecTV, or plan on switching to it, and you receive your locals on DirecTV, do not care about your OTA or basic cable channels, then the two choices are UTV and Tivo (DirecTivo, to be precise).


I have both UTV and DirecTivo, and I prefer the UTV over Tivo. The Tivo's are secondary machines, the UTV is my main viewing machine. However, I am a beta tester and have the next release of the software, so my comparison is a bit tainted.


Many people on these boards have compared the two, and there is a mini-religous following on the Tivo board here, so I would expect that you will hear many more pro-Tivo comments than pro-UTV comments (and many more UTV-sucks comments than Tivo-sucks comments because of it.)


Truth is, either machine is going to change the way you watch TV, and either one will be enjoyable for you to have if you haven't had one before. My personal recommendation to my friends and family is UTV.
 

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It doesn't cost you any extra $ to use the ReplayTV service.

It will cost you $9.95 a month to use UTV's service.

It will cost you $9.95 a month, or $249 as a one-time fee for Tivo's service.
 

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My opinions are pretty much the opposite of pjenkins'. I have UTV, 1 DirecTivo, and 1 StandAlone TiVo. Due to personal preference, the DirecTivo is my primary receiver with the UTV being secondary. I am a UTV beta tester too, so I guess I'm exposed to the same tainted opinion that pjenkins is. :)


You really need to see the boxes in action to make your own personal decision based on what features are important to you.


I am pretty sure TiVo, Replay, and DirecTV don't offer service in Canada at all though.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Axiom
I have UTV, 1 DirecTivo, and 1 StandAlone TiVo
exactly the same setup here!


I just keep a ton of movies on the 100+ hr directivo, the SA tivo is used to record cable channels not on directv yet, but I actually prefer to watch shows on the UTV. 30 sec skip and MUCH better FF is the main difference. Plus the UTV keeps it's place in a partialy viewed recording 100%, while the tivo is VERY flakey in keeping it's place.


Now if I could just get the beta software.....
 

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Actually, if you *get* DirecTv in Canada, then you might be able to *get* UTV service in Canada the same way.


I got it a few weeks ago and think it's great. My wife loves it. It almost makes the VCR obsolete. Our biggest problem with it is that we have 1 UTV and 4TVs with VCR so we can only use the UTV on 1 of the TVs so if we want to watch something on one of the other TVs we have to transfer it to tape. Also it can be a bit of a pain to have to pass another RG6 line for the dual tuner (I still haven't gotten my 2nd RG6 so my dual tuner isn't working).


That being said, those are minor complaints and overall we are extremely happy with it.


As far as comparing it to Tivo or Replay, I've never seen DirecTivo or Replay so can't comment on those but I've played briefly with the stand-alone Tivos in stores when they came out and I prefer UTV. It seems to change channels faster (although it could just be that after a few years of DSS, I've gotten used to slow channel surfing) and the recording quality is much better.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thewatcher


the UTV keeps it's place in a partialy viewed recording 100%, while the tivo is VERY flakey in keeping it's place.
Huh? I've never found Tivo flaky in keeping it's place.


It's nearly 100% predictable. If you're in the middle of a show and you exit out, it will remember it. If you've only watched a tiny bit (like maybe
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cwerdna


Huh? I've never found Tivo flaky in keeping it's place.
Let me clarify, my SA tivo does not have the problem, but my directivo does do it A LOT. Trust me, it's rather annoying.
 

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With the next upgrade to UTV. The choice will be moot. Get UTV now and relax.
 

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If one of these beta testers want to leak an assurance that UTVs next release adds everything Tivo has (keyword recordings (properly implemented and integrated into the scheduling system, not a half-assed Replay-themes style implementation), user-settable priorities, changing MyShows to list every upcoming recording not just one "record each time" entry for each repeating recording, ability to alter settings for or cancel single shows from a repeating recording, better handling of one-off shows for repeating recordings, repeating manual recordings, dual buffering without having to have a PIP up, easy switching between tuners without messing with PIP, status bar that conveys more information than "you are roughly this far into a recording of unknown length", allows faster horizontal guide navigation from the remote and not just the IR keyboard, um, what else am I forgetting?), speeds up the UI an awful lot and adds some short cuts so I don't have to plod through so many menus then I wouldn't be so quick to accept their assurances that their next release will make UTV the no-brainer favorite. So far the only leak is about control via the web which, although nice if correctly done, isn't what I'd consider the main thing to look for in a PVR.


I'm not saying it won't happen, but I wouldn't buy UTV today based on the assumption it will.
 

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I am not allowed to say anything. But I will say once again that I would never think about buying a Tivo again. There is no point.


Anyone that does, won't be dissapointed because Tivo is nice, but Microsoft has the means to deliver the software upgrade goods that Tivo can not and has not. I have not seen a single Tivo upgrade that is anything major compared to MS. Like everything else they do they usually surpass their competition by the 3rd software version. And this is no different.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DrStrange
If one of these beta testers want to leak an assurance that UTVs next release adds everything Tivo has (keyword recordings (properly implemented and integrated into the scheduling system, not a half-assed Replay-themes style implementation), user-settable priorities, changing MyShows to list every upcoming recording not just one "record each time" entry for each repeating recording, ability to alter settings for or cancel single shows from a repeating recording, better handling of one-off shows for repeating recordings, repeating manual recordings, dual buffering without having to have a PIP up, easy switching between tuners without messing with PIP, status bar that conveys more information than "you are roughly this far into a recording of unknown length", allows faster horizontal guide navigation from the remote and not just the IR keyboard, um, what else am I forgetting?), speeds up the UI an awful lot and adds some short cuts so I don't have to plod through so many menus then I wouldn't be so quick to accept their assurances that their next release will make UTV the no-brainer favorite. So far the only leak is about control via the web which, although nice if correctly done, isn't what I'd consider the main thing to look for in a PVR.


I'm not saying it won't happen, but I wouldn't buy UTV today based on the assumption it will.
let's see. It does list each individual recording the day of a repeat recording occurs (so you can cancel just one), and you can cancel just one individual recording (but keep the repeat recording alive) if there is a conflict. If you click on "info" you get time remaining (and a lot more information) in a recording, just doesn't show it on the progress bar. There is a quick 2 button shortcut to do a search. etc,etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thewatcher

let's see. It does list each individual recording the day of a repeat recording occurs (so you can cancel just one)
I didn't even know you could do that, but being able to cancel shows the day they're on isn't even close to being able to cancel them (or change their options) as soon as they appear in the guide data like Tivo can.
Quote:
and you can cancel just one individual recording (but keep the repeat recording alive) if there is a conflict.
Im sure I tried this but maybe I did it wrong. I thought I tried messing with both "resolve this conflict" and whatever button removes the show, and whether I clicked the "record daily or weekly" checkbox or not it deleted or dropped the priority on the entire repeating recording. I'll double check. Or is this something else you can only do on the day the recording airs?
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If you click on "info" you get time remaining (and a lot more information) in a recording, just doesn't show it on the progress bar.
Yes, this:

http://tivonews.com/features/compari...InfoBanner.jpg

A bit much just to see where you are in a show, and it still doesn't tell you how much of a show is recorded or buffered like Tivos status bar does. Also as with most UTV functions it takes a second or so to come up, and when fastforwarding that "time remaining" number (which is less intuitive than a begining-relative HH:MM) only updates every few seconds, so it's useless when trying to fastforward to a specific HH:MM position. It also keeps collapsing back down as I recall. This:
http://tivonews.com/features/compari...oStatusBar.jpg

tells me everything I usually want to know about my playback status in no more space than UTVs status bar takes up.


I just don't get why UTV doesn't display basic positional values on the status bar. Somebody recognized the need for one enough to put it in, but thought all anybody would want was a vague idea where they were relative to a buffer/recording of undetermined length? It's a weird omission.
Quote:
There is a quick 2 button shortcut to do a search. etc,etc.
Yes, "options" does brings up a search button and a couple of others, one of which is "go interactive" as I recall. I forget the third. But that's about all there is to that "etc etc". And the search "shortcut" only goes to the main search screen from which you have to pick another menu to get to whatever actual search you want, all of which takes an annoying amount of time in UTVs slow UI. Then there are the screens in which you have to tabtabtab or arrowarrowarrow your way through buttons, checkboxes, and text fields to get to the "done" button. If there's a single button that jumps to and/or executes the final step on those screens I'd love to know what it is. Tivo has 2-button fast-responding shortcuts to go to wishlists, search by title, search by time, and most of it's other key screens. Tivo also has shortcuts for deleting shows (a very common action that takes way too many steps on UTV), jumping to the beginning of a shows, and a few others that UTV lacks.
 

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hmm...maybe I just got a good UltimateTV. :)


When I click on the guide, it ALWAYS comes up in less than 2 seconds! And as for ease of use and speed, I can set it to record a show in the future pretty quick.


The following reads longer than it actually happens, really.


menu/OK/by day or time/OK/select date/OK/select time/OK/if the guide is not on the right channel, enter the channel, click OK once to record (twice for a repeat recording, 3 times to cancel). done. Less than 5 seconds.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thewatcher

hmm...maybe I just got a good UltimateTV. :)
You must have, or else I got a bad one...
Quote:
When I click on the guide, it ALWAYS comes up in less than 2 seconds!
Mine always takes between 2-3. No worse than My DirecTivo grid guide, though slower than it's two-column guide.
Quote:
menu/OK/by day or time/OK/select date/OK/select time/OK/if the guide is not on the right channel, enter the channel, click OK once to record (twice for a repeat recording, 3 times to cancel). done. Less than 5 seconds.
Here we have a major difference. On mine getting to the main search screen alone takes 5 seconds. Just bringing the search screen up after I pressed the "search TV" button took 3 seconds. The whole process took 17, and that was after drilling a few times to get the exact button sequence down, accepting all the defaults, buttoning-ahead wherever it would let me and selecting the closest show the guide brought up for recording. Most of that time was spent waiting on UTV to acknowledge my button presses and bring up new screens. If your 5 second figure is accurate than I have a seriously defective machine or we have some environmental difference, maybe the number of channels we get or something.


It took me 11 seconds to do the same thing on Tivo but date-based guide searches are a bad barometer anyway. Tivos and UTVs methods of selecting dates are different enough that comparisons could go either way depending on what date you choose. I'm more interested in routine functions like deleting shows (Tivos "clear" shortcut wins), getting to specific screens (Tivos "Tivo+N" shortcuts win), and other functions that Tivos quicker UI response, less cluttered screens, and "accept/done/whatever" that are never more than 2 button presses away make much quicker.


Anyway this is rather besides the point which was that unless the next UTV upgrade brings it's feature set to a complete and total superset of Tivos then assurances by blabbermouthed beta testers that UTV is about to make Tivo obsolete are based on their personal opinions of the usefulness of the new UTV features, and don't necessarily reflect how the rest of the world will feel about them. If you're worried about UTV overtaking Tivo then putting off a PVR purchase until you see what the features actually are may be prudent, but buying a UTV now based on beta testers teasing taunts about the future are not.


By the way I'd be all too happy to shut my mouth about all this. All somebody has to do is whatever is required to put me under the appropriate NDA. :)
 

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The reality is that both DTivo and UTV are quite good units. DTivo was slow to get two tuners working, but both have than now and many of the other feature differences are somewhat lower level. Most owners are quite happy with their product, regardless of which they have.


For the average non-PVR owner, the difference having either is the majority of the change. It's a little like someone looking for new transportiation. They have a beat up bicycle now and are asking for a comparison between a BMW and a Mercedes. Either way it's a big jump for them.


For many it may boil down to $. For now, DTivo units are cheaper.



Ed
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Carbo
Anyone that does, won't be dissapointed because Tivo is nice, but Microsoft has the means to deliver the software upgrade goods that Tivo can not and has not. I have not seen a single Tivo upgrade that is anything major compared to MS.
:rolleyes: What an ignorant statement. TiVo released 2.0 which was a major, major upgrade over 1.x. That was a far more significant upgrade than anything MS has put out to date. It was 2.0 that added many of the important features that UTV lacks. Just because you're too new to have been around, doesn't mean it didn't happen.


I'll debate your opinion about the future but not if it's based on a rewrite of the past.


-Dylan
 
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