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Does Tivo have any competitors?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Gifted1, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Nov 14, 2013 #81 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I wasn't offering my services, just pointing out that by doing it myself I would potentially be taking work away from someone that does it for a living. As for changing light bulbs, I don't know of anyone that would call an electrician to perform that task unless it was an extreme situation. I do all of my own electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work as well as my own auto maintenance and repairs. I wouldn't charge for my services, mainly because I barely have the time to do it for myself let alone anyone else. I do, on occasion, perform such tasks for family and friends if they're in a bind. I've talked my mother-in-law out of calling a plumber on several occasions and fixed the problem myself (and no, I'm not a licensed contractor of any kind).

    The point is, those that can, do. Those that can't call a plumber. ;)

    The risk would be minimal beyond that point since most hackers would most likely not be wasting their time on older operating systems and would be concentrating on what's current. The number of people using XP beyond it's supported life will be far less than users or more recent versions of Windows. Hackers and virus developers go after whatever OS has the most users for maximum effect. That's the only reason Mac users aren't affected by viruses. There just aren't enough of them to make it worthwhile going after.

    The lack of free program guide data can definitely be an issue, but there are third party providers that will give you the data for a modest subscription fee. It would involve some tweaking in Media Center or whatever front end you're using, but it can be done.
     
  2. Nov 14, 2013 #82 of 177
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    One that takes potential work from someone is not normally called a competitor, if I need a electrician I may ask my friends if they know of a good one or look on the web for an electrician, if I get say five names they are competitors of each other, not someone like you who (if I did not know) I would never call. The consumer that wants a TV DVR can only purchase a TiVo, or rent a DVR from their cable co, if all this person has only OTA than TiVo is the only off the shelf option that makes sense, except for a few DIY people. When I fix something in my home I don't think of myself as a competitor to anybody as I would not do this work for money (or free) for someone I did not know. I help friends and family all the time with say putting in a new wall switch etc. but that not a competitor to anybody.
     
  3. Nov 14, 2013 #83 of 177
    tivoyahoo

    tivoyahoo New Member

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    Samsung's recent product launch and acquisition of Boxee combined with their consumer products position could make them a player:

    http://avproductreviews.com/samsung-smart-media-player-gx-sm530cf/
    "Samsung’s acquiring of Boxee could mean that they will offer a cloud DVR service at some point."
    "Nothing has been announced as of yet for a cloud DVR service"

    more links re the $138 street price GX-SM530CF cable card box / media streamer:

    http://www.samsung.com/us/video/blu-ray-dvd/GX-SM530CF/XAA
    Parts : 36 months, Labor : 36 months plus 3 extra months if you register online

    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1498949/samsung-gx-sm530cf-cablecard-tuner-and-media-streamer
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1495453/samsung-smart-media-player

    from http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-media-receivers/samsung-gx-sm530cf/4505-6739_7-35830635.html
    "A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said her company is working with Samsung to make on-demand content available along with live programming."

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-GX-SM530CF-Streaming-Player-Built-In/product-reviews/B00EYO241Q/

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-GX-SM530CF-Smart-Media-Set-Top-Box/32478996

    http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php...sm530cf-cable-box-and-streaming-media-player/
     
  4. Nov 14, 2013 #84 of 177
    waterchange

    waterchange Member

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    Wow, those prices sorta makes a TiVo (+ lifetime) seem like a bargain.
     
  5. Nov 15, 2013 #85 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    The basic hardware may be pricey, but you can add features and additional hardware, like more tuners, which brings the overall cost down to where it becomes competitive with Tivo. There are no fees attached with an HTPC for guide data or feature activation, as with a Tivo, so that needs to be factored into the cost. Assassin also provides support for what he sells. I haven't actually looked at his price list, but his HTPCs get a lot of good feedback from customers from what I've heard. He's a regular contributor over at the Home Theater PC section of the AVS Forums and is quite knowledgeable. I've built several HTPCs based on his recommended components and I haven't been disappointed.

    These are products for people that would like to venture into HTPCs but don't feel comfortable building their own. It's similar to people here that would rather use Weaknees or other service for upgrading a Tivo drive rather than doing it themselves.
     
  6. Nov 15, 2013 #86 of 177
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    A cloud DVR would never be as responsive as your own DVR and commercial skip could be disable as it is now with OD from ABC and FOX.
     
  7. Nov 15, 2013 #87 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    OK, you lost me. Where did this come from?
     
  8. Nov 15, 2013 #88 of 177
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I think he quoted the wrong post. Someone above mentioned Samsung bought Boxee which offered a cloud DVR.
     
  9. Nov 16, 2013 #89 of 177
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Your correct that was what I was referring to.
     
  10. Nov 16, 2013 #90 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Thanks for the clarification. I thought I was having a 60's flashback or something. :eek:

    Anyway, I agree about the cloud DVR. I can't address the commercial skip issue as it currently works fine on my HTPC using the ShowAnalyzer Suite. If commercial skip did disappear, there's always the 30-second skip function that's available on any WMC remote. I generally use commercial skipping for recorded shows and the 30-second skip when watching NFL games being recorded but currently in progress. Every commercial break is exactly 2 minutes long during the game and 2-1/2 minutes for the 2-minute warning break. 4 or 5 quick presses of the Skip button and I'm back to the game.
     
  11. Nov 16, 2013 #91 of 177
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    With a cloud based DVR they would have complete control. They could disable commercial skipping just like they do on a lot of websites with VOD abilities.

    A few weeks ago I missed the last couple minutes of The Walking Dead because of a glitch on my TiVo. So I went to AMC.com to watch it. All I needed was the last 2 minutes. It would not let me skip the commercial breaks. And the commercial breaks were just as frequent and just as long as they are on real TV. So I had to wait for 4-5 commercial breaks, 3+ minutes long each, just to watch the last 2 minutes of the show. It was agonizing.
     
  12. Nov 17, 2013 #92 of 177
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    This particular problem is only if you're running hardware that's ill-suited for HTPC use. I built an HTPC with a 35W processor and a high-efficiency PSU that uses far less than 100 watts.

    That being said, MCE is a disaster. The UI is terrible, it makes no sense, it's hard to use, and it doesn't have the features that TiVo does. Even though it's great in theory, I learned, after dropping about $1k on an MCE machine, that it completely sucks for a DVR. It was also unreliable, and would have random errors and crashes for no apparent reason on what was otherwise a brand new, clean machine. I still have the machine for playing back media, but it doesn't have a CableCard anymore.

    Especially with TiVo moving to 6 tuners and having the Mini to create a true whole-home DVR system, MCE has nothing going for it at this point. It's dead. I wish it wasn't, as with some serious development and a far better UI, it could be a really amazing and powerful DVR system, but it just didn't have enough market appeal.

    DirecTV is the biggest competitor to TiVo since they have a really neat whole-home DVR system, and since they don't support TiVo like cable and FIOS.

    This is also true.

    Well actually, U-Verse is IPTV, and has the fastest channel changing times of any major service in the US. Multicast allows it to work with the same (or less) bandwidth than regular cable. The PQ sucks only because AT&T hasn't built out enough bandwidth to the last mile.

    Cable will take a long, long time to convert to anything. They, for the most part, aren't even using MPEG-4.


    Cloud DVR systems can only work when provided through the MSO, as they require a ton of bandwidth. It's not going to work over the internet for the forseeable future.
     
  13. Nov 17, 2013 #93 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    We've already been down this road with you before. That's just your opinion and you're welcome to it. However, bashing a program simply because you had an issue getting it set up properly makes you a minority of 1. It also shows just how little tolerance you have for something that doesn't live up to your expectations.

    The UI is purely subjective. In fact, you're the only one I've ever heard that has such an extreme issue with it. User Interfaces are like remote controls. You can never design one that suits everyone. Clearly, the WMC UI doesn't suit you so let's move past it.

    I've built probably at least a dozen or more HTPCs with WMC using various mixes of hardware and software and only had an issue with one of them due to a faulty motherboard. I currently have three HTPCs that run 24/7 and they are 100% reliable and as simple to use as a Tivo for watching and recording TV. My wife, who is about as illiterate with technology as you can possible get, even knows how to use the HTPC in the family room to watch movies from my server and then return to live TV when she is watching the grandkids.

    FYI, MCE refers to the special edition of Windows XP with Media Center (i.e., Media Center Edition) that was released in 2005 so try and get with the program. The correct name for the program included with Vista and Windows 7 and currently available as an add-on for Windows 8 is Windows Media Center. If you're going to criticize something, at least know the name of the software you're bashing. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Nov 17, 2013 #94 of 177
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    To be fair a LOT of people still refer to it as MCE. I see it all the time on our forums and over on TheGreenButton.
     
  15. Nov 17, 2013 #95 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    They must be friends of Bigg. ;)
     
  16. Nov 17, 2013 #96 of 177
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    I'm sorry that I actually expect the interface of something to be better than Comcast's crappy DVR. MCE isn't. TiVo is far and away better.

    Yup.
     
  17. Nov 18, 2013 #97 of 177
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    For you maybe, but not for plenty other folks that use WMC. It does not suck at all as a DVR in my house, and my wife is the main user (I prefer the Tivo).
     
  18. Nov 18, 2013 #98 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I have been fortunate enough never to have suffered with a Comcast DVR so I can't comment to the UI. For me, I just want something that works and I'm not hung up on the bells and whistles or pretty menus. If the software does what it's supposed to do and it does it reliably then I'm happy. WMC works perfectly fine for my needs and has been extremely reliable by never missing a recording unless there were forces at work beyond my control (i.e.,.loss of signal or last minute schedule changes).

    I seem to recall asking you for details about your setup in a wasted attempt at getting your HTPC to work. I also recall you blowing me off and ignoring any offers for help. All you've done is complain about a setup you couldn't get working and then declaring WMC to be a complete disaster.

    I've said numerous times before that HTPCs are basically a niche product geared more towards hobbyists and tinkerers than mainstream consumers. OTOH, anyone with a working Windows 7 PC using the Home Premium version or higher can easily convert it to a HTPC by adding a tuner card. You could also just use it for music or video playback. The line between niche product and consumer appliance has gotten extremely fine over the years when it comes to WMC.

    Anyone that can build their own PC can build a reliable working HTPC (seriously, if you can hold a screwdriver and install software you can build one; fixing problems and troubleshooting are something altogether different and best left to more advanced users). Of course, since it's a PC, there's always a chance you'll have some issues with incompatible hardware, flaky drivers, etc. Bigg just had the misfortune of putting together a PC that had problems from the start. He's more of the exception than the rule when it comes to HTPCs. Then again, it's not something I would recommend for your aging parents that aren't tech savvy.
     
  19. Nov 18, 2013 #99 of 177
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    I tried a lot with that HTPC, and at some point, I needed something that works. That's why I have the Premiere XL4 now. Even if it had worked 100% (which is should have in the first place), the interface was a disaster and didn't make any sense.

    It was a BRAND NEW, completely clean machine and it had quite a few issues. There is no excuse for that. It has ZERO issues now that I'm not using it as a DVR. Gee, what changed? I'm not using MCE anymore for DVR. Interesting, isn't it?
     
  20. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Every once in a while someone has issues with WMC. I get that. It sucks when it happens and I'm truly sorry that you had problems. There's usually a reason why it occurs and most of the time it can be fixed fairly easily once you've isolated the source of the problem. The thing is, it isn't usually WMC that's the culprit but rather just a bad mixture of hardware, drivers, and/or third party software. The point being, there probably is an excuse for what happened to your PC. You just couldn't figure out what it was and just decided to blame WMC for your woes instead of isolating the real problem.

    Case in point - I tried upgrading a MSI motherboard with Windows 7 from XP and it totally flaked out on me. I'd get all sorts of blue screens and other assorted problems. I eventually succombed and bought a different motherboard and installed Win 7 with no further issues. Skip ahead about six months later when I tried reinstalling Win 7 on the same setup. This time it installed with no problems and worked like a champ. I assume that what had changed was that MS released Service Pack 1 for Win 7. I also installed upgraded drivers for all of the hardware. Perrhaps you had also tried installing Win 7 using the early version, which definitely had some issues with WMC and certain combinations of hardware and drivers. SP1 fixed a huge number of issues and made it extremely stable.

    I'm no fan of Microsoft or their products, but Windows 7 is the most stable platform they've developed to date (I've only tried Windows 8 briefly and I generally don't care for it. They shouldn't require you to re-learn the interface from scratch, but I digress).

    I use WMC on a daily basis with absolutely no issues. I've recorded thousands of hours of programming using WMC without missing a single show. I prefer it over any previous Tivo simply because it allows me to do everything from a single platform and UI. I can watch live or recorded TV, surf the internet, play games, listen to music, or stream movies from my server, as well as a plethora of other tasks. I mostly just watch recorded TV and movies, but you get my drift. ;)
     

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