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4-tuner OTA compatible tivo's

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jollygrunt777, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    I just keep one two, tuner box around so I can use it for OTA if I need to. With streaming I watch content from it on my two Elites. It came in handy when FiOS took all my services down for several days when they botched my internet upgrade to the 150/65 tier. OTA was the only way for me to watch any new content during that time.
     
  2. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I've had a HTPC dedicated to OTA recording for well over five years. I used to have DirecTV before I switched to FIOS and they didn't offer all of my locals so I decided to tinker with a HTPC and see what it was all about. Using one device for OTA freed up my HDTivos for recording other DirecTV channels so it was a win-win for me.

    When I moved to FIOS I kept using the HTPC for OTA and replaced my HDTivos with two series 3 models. I still prefer to use the HTPC for OTA because it's the best picture you can get from any source. OTA network programming is usually broadcast only once per week so scheduling conflicts are a real concern, which is why I have six ATSC tuners. I pad everything I record so multiple tuners are an absolute must. FWIW, I've never had to worry about any disputes between my provider and the local channels simply because I receive them directly.

    Tivo should consider coming up with an external ATSC USB tuner module with 2 - 4 tuners. It should be a relatively simple task to enable the USB ports for the tuners and include the necessary drivers. It seems to me that the infrastructure is already in place so it would be mostly a matter of sending out a software update to enable the use of such a device. A Tivo Elite with four digital cable and four ATSC/QAM tuners would indeed be a formidable device. The hardware should be able to handle eight data streams simultaneously, but I'm not 100% sure. Tivo tends to design underpowered DVRs to keep costs down. However, if the USB ports are up to version 2.0 and the SATA bus is compatible with SATA II I see no reason why it couldn't handle the load.
     
  3. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Ontario Canada.
    Or an HD-Homerun type device (ATSC in, network out).
     
  4. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the upcoming mini concept they should remove tuners from everything and just put them on peoples network to be used by what ever (TiVo DVR, computer, mini, stream) that way it would be affordable to have has many tuners as you wanted with just one "DVR".
     
  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Nevada
    There is a limit to the number of streams a single TiVo can record though. Due to I/O limitations of the hard drive, and bandwidth limitations of the network, you wouldn't really be able to do more then 4-6 tuners anyway. It's easier for TiVo to support if they simply include all the recording hardware in a single box because then they can test it and be sure that it will perform as expected.

    Plus I think having network devices with 2-3 tuners each, each requiring a CableCARD and tuning adapater, would be more expensive for the consumer.

    Dan
     
  6. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Rochester NY
    I pretty much agree that for entry level/cable only solutions DVRs with built in tuners are the logical solution.

    However once we start talking about whole home solutions and the possibility that the FCC might someday force the satellite companies to open their networks like the law intended, then you're talking allot of different types of tuners, I count at least 4 (cable, OTA, dish, & direct) plus IP solutions.

    Add in high end storage solutions and a system that breaks the DVR control units, tuners, & storage apart looks real interesting. You basically need a mini at each TV while the storage unit(s) and tuners are anyplace on your network.

    Yes I know I am dreaming but that is really what people around here are saying they want.
     
  7. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    The limitation isn't in the I/O bandwidth of the hard drive but in the design of the Tivo itself. A typical SATA II drive can easily handle well over a dozen data streams simultaneously. The SATA II standard supports up to 300mbps transfer rates. A typical HD program is broadcast at only about 8-9mbps so you do the math. The actual standard for ATSC broadcasts is about 19mbps and digital cable can be as high as 38mbps, although the numbers I mentioned are closer to actual bitrates. The only real bottleneck is with the seek times for the drive since it has to jump all over the platter to access all of these data streams.

    I ran a test on my HTPC a while back just for grins and giggles and I was able to record 12 HD programs simultaneously and play back a 13th show that was previously recorded with no glitches whatsoever. This was all from a single 1.5TB SATA II drive.
     
  8. ineed2upgrade

    ineed2upgrade New Member

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    FYI...

    I just completed a Tivo Advisors survey about a potential new device that would work as a replacement to a cable box as well as work with OTA. It would have either 4 or 6 Tuners record more than 300 hours of HD programming and a boat load of features that the current Premiere 4's aren't even equipped with...

    The features it listed and one's the survey asked if I would be interested in have convinced me to hold off on upgrading my poor Series 2 to one of the currently available Premiere's.
     
  9. tootal2

    tootal2 New Member

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    SATA II is old. everyone uses SATA 6 now.

     
  10. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    SATA 3 is overkill for most applications. All SATA 3 drives are backwards compatible with older hardware. SATA I drives are perfectly capable for most DVRs. In any case, you've just made my point for me. The transfer rates are even faster than before so the sky's the limit as to how many tuners you can use.
     
  11. gfgray

    gfgray New Member

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    Sorry to revive an old thread. But Tivo asked me to take a survey in which they asked some questions about a hypothetical 4-tuner OTA-compatible 300hr DVR. I rated it midrange as to whether I would buy one. But in my comments added that if it was Tivo Mini compatible, it would increase the odds that I would buy. I also let them have it over the performance of their Premiere OTA tuner.
     
  12. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    The 2-tuner Premiere's performance as an OTA receiver is a mixed bag. There is evidence that the demodulators in the 2-tuner Premieres are better than those in the older TiVo HD at handling static multipath (reflections from hills, buildings, etc) but worse at handling dynamic multipath (reflections from moving cars, planes, etc). The actual tuner chips are the same. But be careful what you wish for: It seems to be pretty clear that the tuners (and/or demodulators) in the newer 4-tuner cable-only Premieres are distinctly worse than those in the 2-tuner models. So TiVo engineers need to do their homework before releasing any new models.
     
  13. gfgray

    gfgray New Member

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  14. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I agree. I really hope for the rumored 6-tuner model that they picked someone other than Maxlinear for the tuners which are pretty crappy in the current 4 tuner units. Otherwise if 4 tuners cause all these headaches I can't imagine what 6 tuners will do...
    (I now fully expect a barrage of posts saying my 4 tuner unit works great, but for me my 2 tuner Premiere has been very solid but the Elite not so much).
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Generally, the more tuners you have, the better your cable wiring needs to be to support it. I had to add an amp to my parent's wiring to get their 2-tuner Comcast DVR to work on all the HD channels.
     
  16. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Your cabling probably has the older crimp-type connectors on it with copperclad steel RG6 coax cable. If you're using an amp to boost the signal then the signal coming into your house isn't what it should be. Either that or you're getting too much loss from the cable and connectors. If you use a lot of splitters you might want to consider a distribution amp to compensate for the signal loss from the spitters.

    I upgraded the wiring in my house about six years ago in anticipation of switching to the newer DirecTV dish. It's more sensitive to voltage drops with long cable runs and may not switch LNBs or transponders properly using copperclad steel cable. I never made the switch to the new dish as FIOS moved into my neighborhood and I jumped ship to get their internet and TV. I replaced my existing RG6 with solid copper core RG6 and used compression connectors on all coax connections. Even with the input cable split six ways, the signal is almost too strong, but that's typical of FIOS.
     
  17. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    It's a Comcast issue. They went from I think 0dB to like 3dB coming in the house, which was a big improvement, but still way too low. It's all Belden 1000mhz with compression connectors installed in 2000. There's only one central amp, that replaced the single splitter. It's a 4-way, with a cable modem, two TVs, and a location that used to have a DTA.

    FIOS is different, as you're generating the electrical RF signal locally, so every house starts out with the same signal strength. With cable, it can vary widely.
     

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