AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, Alan - tell us why you like Replay TV so much better than Tivo. I played with an old one a while back and thought the interface was much better than Tivo - but only spent a little time with it.


Also, a few questions:

1. Can I use the Replay TV as the only satellite TV interface for my clients. Most of the DirecTV boxes are lacking in one way or another.


2. Can I use it to eliminate unused channels (so the client doesn't have to scroll over a hundred messages telling them "you don't receive this channel call customer service"). And can I make the customized guide the default guide so they don't have to select it?


3. How does it handle channel up and down commands? If the client hits channel up does the Replay send a 3 digit channel command to the DirecTV receiver?


4. How is it as far as preventing the untechnical end user from screwing it up? Does it have lots of toggle commands that could put it in the wrong mode etc.?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
I can answer some of your questions now but I will need to play with the DVR to answer some of the others.

1. I never use a DVR as the only interface on a system. Partly this is a residual habit form dealing with Tivo and having Tivo lock up meant the client had no TV and I an emergency service call. I am curious as to what you consider a deficiency in the Direct GUI as I think they are pretty good. Yes, I could do without the video display but clients like it so my feelings may not matter. Then again I think cover art is stupid but clients love it. I want the data and Replay only provides guide info. On the other hand, in my lab I do, indeed, use it as the sole interface. ( But I also have an Audio Research SP-8 ( tubes ) and Cary Audio 300B mono blocks ( tubes ) and I would never install such a system in a client's home. Too many potential problems, impossible to automate, and entirely inconvenient to use).


The Replay GUI is not as fast as the IRD, it lacks pay-per-view information on the guide ( I spoke with them at CEDIA and they claim D* considers this proprietary information ). When searching for a show to record it is painful to have to enter the title one letter at a time and you have to enter the entire name of the show. Supposedly they are working on a database like Request's that will pop up suggested response based upon the letters entered. The guide is not as colorful as the D* IRDs; more like the boring E* GUI.


2. I need to check on this. You do tell it in setup what channels you have but I need to see what happens if you only have total choice and not total choice plus.


3. It stores channels in RAM so, yes, you get 3 digit channel commands. Same with the jump command. It is therefore much slower than the IRD in this respect. An other reason not to use this as the sole TV interface.


4. We have only installed 10 units so my frame of reference is limited. To date I have had no service calls save for a bad unit that had to be replaced ( within 2 weeks of the installation ) and an other instance where the client manually turned of the IRD so the unit never successfully recorded a show. ( Actually this was the same client. No he did not have Crestron and once we figured out what he was doing we did solve the problem. ). Also we had one unit that received a corrupted download so the Guide info was wrong. Once this was corrected there were no issues. I purchased no Tivos for clients and yet we installed 12-15 units. We are still being paid to keep those units working. We install the Replays on an existing LAN and we never go back. Equipment will brake but there are no connectivity issues. In short they got the hardware right. No fixed baud rate modems, no USB network connections because they were more suited for 802.11- as if Access points do not exist!!!!!


The unit is far from perfect but here is why I like it.

1. Unit has a 10/100 NIC.

1a. It takes less than 5 minutes to set up and is ready to use in about 10 minutes. I have never used it via dial up and have no interest in doing so. Therefore I have no idea if it is as unreliable as Tivo in terms of connecting to its server farm using dial up. But it truly bothers me to have to charge 5-700 dollars to setup a 399 piece of equipment that takes between 5-3 days to setup


2. It has component output


3. You can send a recorded show form any Replay on the LAN to any other in real time. You can send any recorded show to any other Replay but this takes time ( So Q we can trade movies ). A useful feature if your client has a second home.

4. With 5000 units you can control any Replay from any other. So if I need to make 2 recordings at the same time, which Directivo can do, I do need the second receiver and the second Replay but I do not need to leave my seat to do so.

5. Commercial skip: It will not record commercials. Sometimes it messes up and it fails to record part of the show so....

5b. I can use the advance button to skip 30 seconds or I can tell it to skip commercials in playback and if it goes too far I can rewind and locate the parts missed.


6. Larger Hard drives: 40,180,120 and 250 are available. You can hack the Tivos but I have no intention of doing this for a client.

7. Tech support that actually reponds. Ok they suck too but they are better than Tivo- which is not saying much. But unlike Tivo I rarely have to contact Tech support.

8. Discrete Power commands. ReplayTV guys didn't even know they existed. But they do.

9. Soon a serial control protocol


Tivo's software may be slightly better at the moment but you can improve software via firmware ( and since it is always on the LAN this takes place without any of the firmware issues with Tivo ) but hardware is much harder to fix. Tivo should hire someone in our profession to make their choices. They have yet to get one hardware choice correct. Directivo has the advantage of being able to record directly form the MPEG chip set, an additional Satellite receiver built in without having to pay the additional 4.99/month( but no ability to record off air ), and pay-per-view guide info. No client has complained about the difficulty in recording pay-per-view as they are more interested in recording all of " Sex in the City," or the Yankee games. Manual recording could be a little easier and faster. They claim to be working on it. It will not benefit me as they will not make any changes to 4000 series firmware. And you cannot communicate across platforms so a 4000 series cannot control or download a recording form a series 5000 unit.


Let's see what others say.


Alan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
I just ran setup again. There is a category for adding or deleting channels. By deleting the channels you do not subscribe to you can have Replay skip over them.


Alan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by audiblesolutions
...

When searching for a show to record it is painful to have to enter the title one letter at a time and you have to enter the entire name of the show.

...

5. Commercial skip: It will not record commercials. Sometimes it messes up and it fails to record part of the show so....

5b. I can use the advance button to skip 30 seconds or I can tell it to skip commercials in playback and if it goes too far I can rewind and locate the parts missed.


Alan
You're not quite right on these points.
  • Typing in criteria for searches (show titles, actors, directors, keywords) is tedious, but it isn't necessary to enter the complete name. Just start with the beginning of the title (or person's last name) and enter enough to identify it uniquely. There are also some remote control shortcuts that simplify data entry.
  • ReplayTV does record commercials; nothing is filtered out while recording so no part of the show will be missed. The 'automatic' commercial advance only skips over commercials on playback.


    It works best when it's turned on by default in the system setup. It's spotty if off in the system setup but turned on for an individual show, at least for 5000 series systems. [Note that 'automatic' CA is not available with the new 5500 series systems, but 30 second skip is.]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
I have been paying more attention to Replay since Q asked for this thread.

There seems to have been a software upgrade and gpsjim is correct. You can now type in part of a show's name and Replay will return a bunch of different shows. This is not how it was when I first had the Replay in the Lab.


But the key question that has been bugging me is, if Q is using Crestron, as I assume he is, why has Q's programmer not written a macro to limit the stations you can select on the DSS IRD to those the client has purchased. It is a tedious program to write but not that difficult. This has no effect on the guide, of course, but in normal operation it does prevent one from being able to use channel up/down buttons to select channels that you do not subscribe to. It would also force mis-entered channels form the keypad to the next channel that is subscribed to.


Again, ReplayTV is not perfect only better than Tivo. Directivo and Dish PVR are something I have little experience with. One could argue that what ever the problems with the Tivo GUI and software two satellite tuners and the ability to record directly form the MPEG chip makes these devices better than either a stand alone Tivo or ReplayTV. I find the setup over a LAN so easy and fast and the ability to share recordings over the network and the ability to add off air broadcasts very powerful. I have also been paying attention to the speed of channel changes since this post went up. There is perhaps a 1 second delay between the time Replay generates the channel change command and the time the IRD would perform the same operation. I did not find this bothersome nor have any clients complained. However you do need to re-enter the command every so often as sometimes the command sent is incorrect ( 21 in place of 521 ). According to the Replay area on AVS the 5500 series do not permit you to send recordings over the WAN but will soon have serial control ( I do not know if it will be serial one-way or bidirectional ). Other than this- and we tell the client ahead of time about this potential problem- there have been zero service calls for any Replay installed. Instruction on use of the Replay took about twenty minutes. Of course, drawing the Replay screens for the touch panel took 5 days ( I have grown to both love and hate Photoshop ) but I had to draw screens for 4 different skews of touch panels.


Software problems can be fixed. Hardware is an other story. Why manufacturers do not hire someone like Q to tell them how a product should perform is beyond me. One of the reasons Request is such a cool product is that they hired a custom installer as part of their marketing team.


Alan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by audiblesolutions
But the key question that has been bugging me is, if Q is using Crestron, as I assume he is, why has Q's programmer not written a macro to limit the stations you can select on the DSS IRD to those the client has purchased.
LOL, trying to push my buttons Alan :D.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
No, not at all. My issue had more to do with displaying DSS channels on the touch panel whereas your was in selecting channels but it is the same issue. If you don't like the way the IRD works you cannot change everything but you can change this. Hey, I'm a small Crestron vendor and I suspect you are anything but. If I could write the macro I have the feeling your programmer could as well.


As I re-read your original post to answer your Replay questions ( especially number 2 ) this was one of the questions that kept coming to mind.


Alan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alan, we handle it a little bit differently, focusing on "favorites" rather than all channels. I like to give our customers a decent sized list of direct access "favorite" button and and a "favorites up" and "favorites down" button can jump to the next favorite channel. But it's basically what you are referring to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Hi, if your Replay is not inputting the infrared codes correctly, it is usually because the emitter is not in the right position over the IR reciever. If the problem still persists, there are delay codes (you have to get them from tech support) that will slow down the codes a bit so it won't skip digits. The early replays had problems with certain GI cable boxes but my 5040's (I have three) work flawlessly.


There are two delays that total about 2 or 3 seconds, first is the delay from when you select enter until the codes are emitted. Faster codes result in skipped digits. All DVR's have a delay when you change channels while the info gets written to the harddrive and the que fills up.


You can hide or unhide any channels very easy in the setup, and there is a reset to unhide all.


Harddrive upgrades are really easy on the Replay's and after the drive has been low level formatted to check for errors, the actual installation takes about 20 minutes (if you are not trying to copy the mpeg partition which has recorded shows).


The post above is correct, the entire show is recorded and a "show" is made up of two files, the muxed MPEG and an index file. The index has the timecode info on where the commercials begin and end. If its indexed wrong, you can turn CA off and rewind and watch in its entirety.


There are numerous sites and threads devoted to the diff between Tivo and Replay and usually people stick with the first one they bought (Replay was first to market--my first Replay cost $1,500 and I was on the waiting list for 6 mos in 1997 or 1998).


I also think the Replay codec produces a better quality picture on stnd. Replay has a really nice picture slide show where you load digital pictures, also acts as a screen saver.


Check out www.planetreplay.com and look in the tools section regarding DVARCHIVE, it is a really neat tool that installs on a pc to make the pc a "Replay Server". It also allows you to take control of any Replay in the network so you can use the PC keyboard to type instead of one character at at time (but you have to be able to see the Replay-tv screen from the PC). With this tool, you can download shows to your PC, edit and burn to VCD or DVD.


Planet Replay HAD a great show sharing board, it was like a video Napster, but I think they got a cease and desist and now it is really thin, but you can still post requests for shows and maybe get lucky if you missed West Wing or whatever. There is another show sharing board on Yahoo eGroups.


But Replay has been on the edge in three areas where Tivo has been chicken: 1. the 30 sec quick skip button (Tivo, I understand now has an undocumented feature that does this and users call it a "hack"); 2. Commercial advance; and, 3. Internet show sharing.


It seems the motion picture copyright police sued Replay so they are backing off of 2 and 3, but at least they tried. For whatever reason, bad marketing or whatever, Tivo has won the battle and I hope Replay doesn't become the Beta format of DVR's.


Sorry for the ramble, but it makes me angry because Replay can't seem to get a fair shake in the media, whether its CNN or TechTV, all they want to alke about is Tivo and don't even mention Replay. Even the Sept. issue of Eletronic House Magazine, where they reviewed Tivo and then predicted the future would "even allow you to view shows in any room of the house" and a bunch of other stuff Replay already does--shows how clever and in the know they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by audiblesolutions
8. Discrete Power commands. ReplayTV guys didn't even know they existed. But they do.

Alan
whoa nellie, do tell. how do you get the discrete commands? where/how did you find these?


equium

replay 4508
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
One of the good things about having a big mouth is that people get to know you and if they are not literally bored to death may actually take a liking to you. I pass secret codes and macros along to the appropriate people and they return the favor. On the negative side one does tend to eat a lot of leather.


Alan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by audiblesolutions
One of the good things about having a big mouth is that people get to know you and if they are not literally bored to death may actually take a liking to you. I pass secret codes and macros along to the appropriate people and they return the favor. On the negative side one does tend to eat a lot of leather.


Alan
does this mean you're not going to share with us?:confused:
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top