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I'm looking to pick up a PVR for my Christmas present to myself. After scouring the web for info on these PVR things, it seems this is the most knowledgable forum, so I'm hoping someone can clear up a few things I'm still unsure on. Any response to any part of the post appreciated.


For reference sake, I'm looking at getting a ReplayTV 5080, though I haven't totally ruled out a Tivo Series 2 (I like Tivo's conflict resolution system, but I think the Replays network friendliness, 480P capability and betting input/output connections win out).



1. I've read up a bunch on the Replay 5080 and the Tivo and have found conflicting info on this point - I'm hoping someone can clarify it for me. Can you watch one program live and record another program on a different channel ? I know you can watch a recorded program while recording another, but for those rare instances when there are two things on at the same time that I want to see (usually a hockey game interfering with nightly TV), I want to know if I can use the same TV to watch both. I've got a digital cable box, a cable ready TV, and a cable ready VCR on the same TV ... and have 2 premium stations that need to be descrambled through the box. I currently run all audio/video source through a Sony S-video switchbox (along with a DVD Player and an Xbox), that automatically senses and routes sources.


2. What are the chances that a simple "To-Do" list for conflict resolution (a la Tivo) might be implemented in a future software upgrade for the Replay 5xxx units ? I don't know Sonic Blue's history on continual software support or improvement, so barring specific info, a comment on that would help me out.


3. Presuming I love the system and I'm a mildly knowledgable computer geek (who has built a few machines, yet toasted a Playstation while attempting to install a MOD chip) .... how hard is it to upgrade the HD if I want to beef the system up ? Will they repair it for a reasonable fee if I toast it somehow ?


4. My system right now is pretty basic (a decent 35" TV, audio through a standard stereo receiver). When I move in 6 months, the wife is letting me get a decent HD ready widescreen (16:9) HD(ready)TV (no more than 60") and a surround sound system. How will the Replay work out with the widescreen ? Does it maintain 4:3 aspect and just leave black space on the sides of the screen ? Is it watchable ?


Thanks for your help. I know it's not a break the bank purchase, but I like these kinds of gadgets and like to do my homework before committing to a new toy. I like a lot of what Replay has to offer, though I still can't shake the feeling that I'll buy the thing and a super new model will be out 2 months later (with 16:9 support, dolby digital, 100Mbps Ethernet support, etc).
 

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I'm new here, and this is my first post, but I'll TRY and answer something for you.

Quote:
Presuming I love the system and I'm a mildly knowledgable computer geek (who has built a few machines, yet toasted a Playstation while attempting to install a MOD chip) .... how hard is it to upgrade the HD if I want to beef the system up ? Will they repair it for a reasonable fee if I toast it somehow ?
If you've installed a harddrive before, installed Windows and windows programs or linux programs (or whatever you use), you can do this. Isn't at all very hard. I did it with my old tivo, and from what I hear doing it on replay isnt much different. And please, keep the original harddrive. ;)


That's all I have time for now.
 

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1) You can do this with Replay or TiVo using your setup provided the 2 shows are not both premium stations requiring the cable box. While the Replay is doing its thing, you can certainly watch whatever you'd like directly on the TV or through the VCR. In the future you'll probably want more units as you gain more control of things.


2) We've heard it may be in the works but of course don't bank on it. It's not exactly needed the way things are set up. I have both Replay and TiVo and this is not something I miss on the Replay.


3) This one is simple. It would take some effort to mess it up in my opinion. Thanks to the hard work of many here it's so foolproof you can practically upgrade one blindfolded.


4) Will depend on the display. Yes... in any case it's watchable.


I think you'd like the 5000 but as with anything try it out first! :)
 

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It's sad, but i haven't watched many HD shows now that I have the replay. I'm already used to recording stuff in advance and watching it whenever.


Of course only 9 cable channels actually have HD and half of them only have it prime time. Why did I get HD again?
 

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Very sad. I'm in the same boat. HD both cable and OTA (put the antenna up during the worst winds we've had in years, only to have it bend to the wind gods on day 3...)

Have to admit though, for those things I record off the OTA STB via S-Video, while not HD, the 16x9 crystal clear NTSC (once scaled by the TV)video beats anything I've ever recorded in full analog via a VCR. :) If only it were 5.1 AC3 Dolby :(
 

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1. Please keep in mind (correct me if I'm mistaken), but the record one live thing while recording another live only works with the DirecTivo units if you have DirecTV (requires a dual LNB dish and a second receiver). But, you can only do it on an RTV if you don't have a box. You could do one thing via the box and something else straight from the wall.


2. Anything is possible, just keep asking for it. People are listening.


3. I can't tell you to do it. But, if you don't care about voiding the warranty, it's a mindlessly simple process. Please keep a backup of the original.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ReplayLyndon
1. Please keep in mind (correct me if I'm mistaken), but the record one live thing while recording another live only works with the DirecTivo units if you have DirecTV (requires a dual LNB dish and a second receiver). But, you can only do it on an RTV if you don't have a box. You could do one thing via the box and something else straight from the wall.
I think you mean that you can watch something else live while an ReplayTV (or standalone Tivo for that matter) is recording something else (by passing through the RF input signal directly to your TV).
 

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1. This absolutely requires two tuners. Tivo has it; Replay doesn't. KenL's solution works as a special case because the second tuner being used is in the TV or VCR.


2. We can only hope.


3. Its a pretty simple process, but of course you void your warranty when you crack open the case.


If you've got a home PC and a router, #3 has another type of solution. Because the 45XX and above units can stream between units, there's an application that's been developed called DVArchive. This cool little app allows a PC to look like Replay unit to other Replays, and allows recorded shows to be moved from a Replay to the PC. It even has a scheduler that can do this automatically. So, add your big GB disks to the PC instead of the Replay, and you not only get the advantage of extra storage, but you get to maintain your warranty on the Replay unit.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kcl
...This absolutely requires two tuners. Tivo has it; Replay doesn't. KenL's solution works as a special case because the second tuner being used is in the TV or VCR.
Nope I don't believe TiVo "has it" in this situation. They don't make a cable-ready unit with 2 tuners that I've ever heard of?


Just to clarify, the DIRECTV® DVR (not even called a TiVo any longer, and they do seem to be adamant about the new name) doesn't even tune (let alone record) any cable or OTA channels.


Any "TiVo" in elvindeath's described setup would indeed require the other tuner (TV or VCR) to view a live program while recording another. Same as a ReplayTV or Scenium digital-media server. Nothing "special" about feeding cable to the PVR, VCR and TV... in fact I'd say it's quite standard.


Better still in either case would be 2 units so you can record (and watch) 2 separate things -- (on 2 separate TV's) all @ the same time. ;)
 

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The DirecTivos or UTVs are only feasible if you can get all channels that you'd like to record from via DirecTV, and are willing to get DirecTV.


And Ken is right that "DirecTivos" are not officially called Tivos, but this was true for the first generation ones too. They have de-emphasized the Tivo logo (but it's still found on many screens and on the front of the new models) with the latest software update and emphasized the DirecTV logo, since they have decided to make the new model their officially supported DVR. All billing and customer support issues (and marketing) are now handled by DirecTV. Tivo develops the software (and hardware specs) in conjunction with DirecTV, but DirecTV has the final say-so on features (and always has had this say-so). Tivo apparently gets $3 of the $5 monthly fee.
 
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