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Any good standalone dvrs out there?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by habibrobert, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Netflix alone has over 30 million streaming subscribers. I think the quality must be acceptable to a large number of people.

    habibrobert stated that he his provider was comcast. I assumed he had broadband. I think many people on this forum have broadband.

    I didn't say that every single show could be found online, but chances are that most of the shows that the OP was looking to copy could be found.

    I think the fact that almost most of the titles that you are interested in are either unavaliable or unacceptable quality online would indicate that your viewing preferences are not representative of what most people watch.
     
  2. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Probably the same crowd that believes "reality" TV is quality TV.:rolleyes: In today's culture, convenience will always win out over quality. People would rather have something now rather than wait for something better. It's more a case of it being immediately available rather than acceptable.

    What's ironic about Netflix streaming is that they only stream older content. For newer releases you have to get it on either DVD or Blu-Ray, but that requires waiting for the mailman to deliver it. The world will go to hell in a handbasket if you get put on a waiting list.:eek:
     
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    The exact same thing can be said for McDonalds. They've served billions of customers.

    Yes, you did. It may not be warranted. For many people, it is not.

    Yes, of course, including me. That doesn't necessarily mean his broadband connection, if he has one, is up to par for strreaming HD video.

    Again, that is an assumption.

    That may be true, but I know for a fact I am not alone in this respect, and I would not assume the OP is either of a like mind or a dissimilar one. In addition, that is not quite what I said. I said, "That I do not already have".

    The bottom line is, you made the following blanket statement:

    And I simply pointed out it most certainly does make sense to do so, for quite a few reasons. You can see about 1800 of them right here.

    Oh, and BTW, another big one that I forgot to mention. If I have NetFlix service, and I discontinue it, all those thousands of titles (most of which in which I have no interest) suddenly evaporate. Not so for a personal library.
     
  4. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Maintaining the availability of obscure titles isn't as simple as copying them to your computer, as you have suggested, because the hard drive will eventually fail on a computer. You need to build an in home data center, which requires time, money and expertise. And like a netflix subscription, as soon as you stop investing in the maintenance of your in home network, you run the risk of losing some or all of your video library. A significant amount of work is required here and it is just so you can watch TV.Even after you've done all this work, you're still faced with the possibility that the show is copy protected, so you need a hacked Tivo to circumvent the copy protection.

    I think the OP should pursue streaming first.
     
  5. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I assume that you're referring to a media server. If so, it requires no more expertise to build and configure than any Windows PC. I have an unRAID server that boots from a flash drive, no installation necessary other than setting the BIOS to boot from a USB device. The server is configured via a web interface from any PC on the network. It's actually quite simple to set up and use. There are other similar software solutions available from FlexRAID and SnapRAID or just plain Windows Home Server. Most, if not all, of these solutions offer parity backup that will rebuild your data if a drive fails. FlexRAID allows you to configure multiple parity drives for extra added protection.

    Streaming sucks in general. The quality just doesn't stack up against OTA broadcasts or Blu-Ray and you're lucky if you get anything more than stereo audio. I'd never recommend streaming to anyone I actually liked.;)

    I rent Blu-Rays and DVDs from Netflix, rip them to my server with the HD audio intact, as applicable, and play them when I have time. Once viewed, they're deleted, not only because I don't own them, but also because I rarely have the time to watch a movie a 2nd time. It's my own "On-Demand" library consisting of "time-shifted" rental movies.
     
  6. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    CT
    Not that I care, BUT making a copy of a rented movie even if you only watch it once later and then delete it, is still illegal.
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    I never mentioned anything about simplicity or complexity. I also never said anything about "obscure". Perhaps two or three hundred of the titles I have are among the 500 most popular films of all time. Casablanca, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, and several hundred others are anything but "obscure".

    Yeah, I've had several fail. 'Never lost any data. (Not due to a hard drive failure, anyway.)

    That is an exaggeration. A PC with a RAID1 or RAID5 array will work. Indeed, at the outset, even just a PC with a single large hard drive may suffice. One can easily grow from there, adding both additional storage and redundancy as time goes by. I started out with a 4 spindle RAID1 + 0 array built from 160G drives, long before I was saving videos on the LAN. Some people even use laptops.

    Not much, really.

    Surely, but what doesn't? A NetFlix subscription at a minimum costs just south of $3000 for a 30 year subsciption, or nearly $6500 if one has a minimal (one DVD / BRD) DVD subscription. My servers cost a bit more than the former, but nowhere near the latter.

    Not so much. Even if so, said experience is a valid asset for any person. Obtaining it has positive implications far beyond the ability to manage a video library.

    Not at all. A proper backup strategy is essential for any important data. Every show (or any other file) more than a day old is copied onto the backup server with absolutely no intervention on my part, and any show more than about a month old is stored on one of several hard drives kept in a vault away from my house. The entire house could burn to the ground, and very little data would be lost. Maintenance of the online storage amounts to adding a hard drive every few months to expand capacity and upgrading the OS every couple of years. The vault requires no maintenance whatsoever.

    Even if it were asignificant risk, it is only a risk. Cancelling one's NetFLix sub means the library is gone, completely and immediately.
    A moderate amount of work is required to maintain a pair of systems that control my HVAC systems - saving me well over $2000 a year, handle my finances such as they are, manage my telephone system, wake me in the morning, provide Caller ID at every workstation, allow me to manage remote LAN systems for my 3 siblings, control 3 of my 4 TiVos, maintain network time for all the systems on the LAN, hold all of the software I have downloaded or purchased along with their licenses, keep manuals of all the major appliances and electronic equipment I own, mange IP addresses and connectivity for all the devices on the LAN, control my Christmas tree lights, and control and maintain all the UPS systems throughout the house. Oh, yeah, and they allow me to watch the movies and series I want immdeiately whenever I want. Managing the latter is mostly not separate from manaiging the rest, other than capturing cover art for the shows from the web and eliminating commercials.

    It isn't "just" anything, but one of the most important advantages is I get to watch what I want, when I want, not what and when sonmeone else decides I should.

    Not even a little bit. The TiVos are hacked because without it, they are missing many of the TiVo's most important capabilities, even after discounting copy protection. Indeed, my current CATV provider only protects two channels, and I only subscribe to one of those channels, but even if they protected none, I still would hack all of the Series III TiVos.

    To put it another way, hacking comes first, then saving to an external PC.

    I think he should do whatever he wants, but I certainly would never even consider it. No way, no how.
     
  8. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    Technically, yes, but in practical terms, it is not really, or at least not enforcably so. (One just has to love all the unenforcable laws on the books.)The copyright owners would have to sue and subpoena the evidence, and since he is deleting all evidence of the actions as he goes, they would be hard pressed to actually obtain any evidence. I think it would be essentially impossible to obtain a search warrant, and even then they would pretty much have to catch him red-handed.

    That said, I have never done this myself. OTOH, I have never rented a BRD at all, and only very rarely ever rented a DVD.
     
  9. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    True, not that I care that you or anyone else cares.;) The intent of the law is based on illegal distribution and the pirating of intellectual property and not so much how you decide to watch something you legally rented or purchased. As long as I don't distribute it outside the confines of my own home, the law will be blind to my actions. The Feds have no way to monitor how I watch a movie nor would they be so inclined as to waste resources on doing so. As lrhorer stated, it's an unenforcable law in this context. It may be illegal by the letter of the law, but nobody really cares as long as I keep it to myself. I'm doing nothing to infringe on anyone's copyrights or steal intellectual property. The movie arrives in my mailbox and leaves the next day via the same carrier. The intellectual property does not leave my home by any other means nor is it shared with anyone outside my household. This should be more than sufficient to satisfy the intent of the law.

    People should be more concerned about the thievery taking place on Capital Hill than someone time-shifting a rental movie with no intent to distribute it. The A-holes that wrote the law are bigger crooks than I'll ever be, not that it makes it right. At least I admit that what I do is illegal.;)
     
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    Yeah, maybe. I'm inclined to think it is more based upon a bunch of paranoid fools having way too much money on their hands and access to a corrupt bunch of idiots who get off tinkering with the law.

    Even if they did have a way to monitor you or an inclination to waste resources, I think the complaint or suit would have to come from the copyright owner.

    Well, the MPAA thinks you are. OTOH, they think you are stealing their intellectual property if you don't pay for tickets at the movie theater, leave without watching the movie, go out and buy two copies of the film on DVD, toss them in the shredder on the way out, go home, rent a streaming copy, and shut off the TV just as the streaming starts.

    Oh, please, trust me, I am. At worst you deserve a literal, gentle slap on the wrist.

    If you ask me, they should all be strung up by their genitalia in public, naked, in early winter. 'Cut them down in the fall.
     

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