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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see that Zenith has added their new ATSC HD PVR to their website. It will be able to record only ATSC or analog cable signals in both HD and SD as far as I can tell. The only input is via RF coax. Outputs include composite, Svideo, component and/or RGB. No DVI!!
 

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Not sure it does cable... From their web page details, it looks like it is on OTA only.
 

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It is ATSC/8VSB only -- so it will not receive cable signals that are 256QAM (which is the usual cable modulation system for digital television) but might work for those few cable systems that use 8VSB modulation.


A model with 256QAM cable compatibility is planned for later on in the year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If thats the case they ought not make more than 10 production units. How many people want to spend hundreds of $$$$ on a recorder only capable of recording a handful of OTA stations.


Where's the one with the built-in D* receiver? Is Zenith sleeping?

Quote:
Originally posted by TomB
Not sure it does cable... From their web page details, it looks like it is on OTA only.
 

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On top of that, no firewire output. A big mistake- why bother if you can't archive them? Wonder if pressure from the MPAA won out here?
 

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My understanding is that this unit is a US version of a current Korean unit. This explain the odd feature set.
 

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> How many people want to spend hundreds of $$$$ on a recorder only capable of recording a handful of OTA stations.


Considering the number of people who were snapping up the old Panasonic OTA tuner with firewire -- and now the Samsung SIR-T165 -- and pairing with a D-VHS VCR, I'd say that there is significant demand for OTA recording.


I'll probably be buying one of these -- it should work nicely for numerous HD and digital OTA stations here in Dallas. Conversely, I am not expecting any sort of recording solution that will support HD from C-Band satellite -- so no point in waiting for that. And I have no desire to have the ability to record from overpriced cable or small dish services.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveFi
On top of that, no firewire output. A big mistake- why bother if you can't archive them? Wonder if pressure from the MPAA won out here?
I never archive anything--even back in the horrible days of VHS (which are forever over for me), I never owned more than 3 blank cassettes at a time, constantly taping over them and replacing them as necessary. I do have a small collection of pre-recorded TV on DVD (i.e., "Series X: the Complete Nth Season") and I look forward to the day when I can buy these in HD format.


I love my TiVos. I hate the fact that I don't have TiVo-like capability for watching and timeshifting HDTV. I should think that there are a lot of people like me out there who don't give a damn about archiving television.


-- Mike Scott
 

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The industry's own statistics show that almost no one archives shows that are broadcast OTA or on cable channels. And, apparently a bunch of people "archive" stuff but never watch it.


Archiving is also one of the most important things the studios want to restrict to preserve their business models (e.g. syndication, DVD sales, etc.)


I hope archiving remains available for those that want it, but what we Tivo aficionados need -- and will have soon enough -- is HD timeshifting.


Mark
 

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Nope, I'm not interested in archiving any OTA HD programming; I just want to be able to time shift HD, which this unit will allow. A more feature-rich model from Zenith will follow later this year.
 

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I bought a cheap Dell and a MyHD card for about the same price as this new Zenith PVR. Unlike the Zenith as far I know, I am not limited in terms of storage capacity. I use my set-up for timeshifting, DMAshifting and archiving.


For DMAshifting, I have another setup at my parent's house in a neighboring DMA that allows me to see ABC HDTV programming on a delayed basis since my local ABC DTV station might go on the air by early 2004.


I archive the keepers. I have about 370 GB of storage space. Over time, some "keepers" might get deleted to the extent storage space is not added. Everybody has individual preferences but I like holding onto educational and travel programs.


With the potential of unlimited storage, I do not have to worry about having to watch program(s) on an accelerated schedule so that room on the 80 GB can be made for subsequent timeshifting recordings. Even a TiVo allows for 40 or 80 hours of NTSC recording so that people can watch on their own schedule.


The Zenith, in being new, would have a better tuner.
 

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I wouldn't mind the absence of a firewire port as long as the HD-PVR could save encrypted QAM streams.


That said, this is the digital domain we are talking about, and no matter how the Studios would like to deny it, people like to save and trade stuff- so Firewire in a HD-PVR will happen, it's only a matter of who's first.


But to not offer Firewire for OTA reception is senseless, because the floodgates are already open.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveFi
But to not offer Firewire for OTA reception is senseless, because the floodgates are already open.
Oh give me a break. As a percentage of the overall HD consumer market, the number of people that archive programs is very small - like less than 1%. If I were designing a hard disk PVR, I would really not care about adding a feature, any feature, that interested less than 1% of the market.
 

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I don't know how you equate your statement with mine. My statement was that saving OTA HD signals was already available on low-cost solutions- it's only a matter of time before an OEM like Dell or Gateway includes an HD capable tuner in their PC products.


To say less than 1% of the market is interested in Firewire connections seems just as big a stretch as you seem to be accusing me of (although I'm not quite sure what about).
 

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Sorry for my tone, DaveFi. What I was reacting to is that HD PVR manufacturers should or even would include some way to digitally archive recorded content.


My less than 1% figure was the percentage of people who archive content now - ie. think of all the VCRs out there and then guesstimate how many people tape shows that they then will archive (ie. not just watch once). It is way less than 1%.


Given that, I would think that PVR manufacturers could do quite well with no firewire output even if they were competing against other PVRs that had it.


As far as saving TV content on a PC goes - yes it is possible, and yes some people will do it, and more will do it when Dell/Gateway sell HDTV tuners (I agree that it is just a matter of time before they do so to boost PC sales), but in the end, I don't think a lot of people will use their PCs for HD recording or watching, it's just too finicky.


My take on true consumer products like the telephone, the TV and the car is that the number one feature is reliability. If you don't have reliability then forget it, people won't use it. People expect their TVs, telephone, fridges, and cars to simply work, and a general purpose PC interfaced to a TV will never get there since it is used for too many other things (note that if you dedicated a PC to doing nothing but controlling/recording a TV, then you might have something approaching reliability, but at that point you're better off buying a $600 HD Tivo).
 

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While I, too, have done little archiving with my Tivo, it has been handy to transfer a show to videotape to give to a friend or relative who forgot to record it. I will miss this feature if it is missing from the the HD Tivos.
 

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My feeling about the firewire issue -- having such a connection would increase the flexibility of a device, even if I don't intend to do any archiving at this point.


That said, I plan to buy the Zenith box without firewire -- but would have preferred if it had been included.
 

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The problem with the VHS comparison is that there are no such "all-in-one" archival devices for HDTV at all- which is a shame since it's been around for years now. There's not a single DVHS deck that has any type of ATSC tuner- this is not such a huge leap- so I'm thinking there are other things than just market forces at work here.


Offering firewire just helps- as it stands now I have no reason to purchase a device like this until it offers something I don't already have- encrypted QAM would be it. In the meantime I'll just use my $159 Fusion card.
 

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Considering the number of people who were snapping up the old Panasonic OTA tuner with firewire -- and now the Samsung SIR-T165 -- and pairing with a D-VHS VCR, I'd say that there is significant demand for OTA recording.


"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""


well I think alot of those; at least who snapped up the panny dvhs and stb's were looking to feed the output of the 5000's hd modulator into the stb and record the movie channels, not that they wanted to record ota. but I do know more then a few that archive some stuff off ota in hd and many more is sd... despite what some studies show there must be some demand for this stuff or why would the networks want the broadcast flag..
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveFi
...as it stands now I have no reason to purchase a device like this until it offers something I don't already have- encrypted QAM would be it. In the meantime I'll just use my $159 Fusion card.
Your Fusion card allows you to timeshift unencrypted QAM?


I agree--I'd prefer a one box cabler-tuner-PVR solution capable of timeshifting all the encrypted stuff that the IP holders will allow (which doesn't look as though it'll include pay-per-view, even the non-"On Demand" kind, but, given the rise of VOD, I can live without that). If I could get a "multi-tuner" QAM PVR with a DFAST POD card (as described in the cable-MSO/CE-OEM plug-and-play-DTV-over-cable agreeement) which could record two shows while I watched another with 30 HD hours of capacity, I would buy it, and pay quite a bit for it, if necessary. But I'll take what I can get in the meanwhile.


-- Mike Scott
 
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