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** HD TiVo and HD DirecTV TiVo FAQ **

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by feldon23, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Feb 20, 2004 #421 of 1440
    hongcho

    hongcho .

    750
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    Nov 26, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Re: Lack of NTSC capability...

    The thing is, this will require them to have an NTSC tuner (which I doubt would be that hard) and an MPEG-2 encoder for each OTA tuner. I am sure this would have only added $100 (or even less) to the hardware costs, but the software to support them would have been much greater.

    I had the same concern about NTSC, but that's why I am keeping my ReplayTV (with 200 GB).

    This product is just adding two OTA ATSC tuners and HD recording capability to the existing product. Sure it seems this took a long time, but others (e.g., Dish 921) seem to have about the same difficulty getting those into a product.

    There will be Series 2 HD DirecTivo, I am sure. As the first HD DVR, I think this product is pretty sweet.

    Hong.
     
  2. Feb 20, 2004 #422 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

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    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    You are right, of course. And I'm nothing if not creative ...

    For instance, one of my three existing TiVos, a standalone Series 2, currently controls a big dish (C-band/DigiCipher II) satellite system. The TiVo thinks it's controlling a Motorola DCT2000-series cable box, but the RS232 serial commands are actually intercepted by my AMX controller, which emulates the cable box (using software that I wrote).

    But just the same, I'm very disappointed to find that the HD TiVo is not as "up-to-date" on customer-requested features as I had expected. Especially considering that the Hughes HTL-HD does have those very same features.

    (Sigh.)

    The work-around, as you suggested, will probably involve pulling two more 50' RG-6 cables to match the one that currently carries composite video. (That particular LCD panel has no S-video input, but it does have a top-notch comb filter — whereas another 17" widescreen LCD that I own does have an S-video input but the comb filter on its composite input is lousy with "dot-crawl". Go figure!) And I'll have to put a remote-controlled component video switch in the crawl space underneath the kitchen, as the kitchen LCD is wall-mounted.

    Much more "pain" than I anticipated, but there is some "gain": it will be possible to watch the master bedroom TiVo in the kitchen in high-definition.

    SOME GOOD NEWS

    As near as I can tell from the pictures and specs, the Hughes HD-DVR250 is built inside the exact same case as my existing Hughes HDVR2. That means I can swap out the old unit and swap in the new one without having to order a new faceplate for the Middle Atlantic rack in my master bedroom ...
     
  3. Feb 20, 2004 #423 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    124
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    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    In my previous posts, the references to NTSC were with regard to video from OTA ATSC and DirecTV, not OTA analog NTSC. When digital video is output in analog format on composite and S-video jacks, it is in NTSC format (525 total lines, ~480 visible lines, interlaced, analog).

    I couldn't give a fig if the Hughes HD-DVR250 had a terrestrial NTSC tuner. Current model non-TiVo HDTV DirecTV receivers, such as the Hughes HTL-HD, do have a terrestrial NTSC tuner, but I never use it ...

    Note that the Hughes HD-DVR250 is not the first HD DVR on the market. LG Electronics has had one out since last fall, at least. But it's not a TiVo!
     
  4. Feb 21, 2004 #424 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    124
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    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    You are correct, really. HMO is a better solution.

    The LCD panel in my kitchen has no "source components" of its own — but an awful lot of wiring lets it watch whatever is playing in three different locations of my house (usually TiVo, although it could be something else, such as a DVD). Each of the three locations has their own TiVo, so if HMO were universally supported, that could "do the job" (watching DVDs in the kitchen is rarely done and could be scrapped).

    But only one of my three TiVos, the standalone Series 2 in my home theater, currently has HMO support available (and not purchased, either — I have no use for MP3s or photos, so why would I spend $100 for a networking option that doesn't talk to any of my other two TiVos?). The other two TiVos are a standalone Series 1, which I have upgraded to two very large hard drives and a TurboNet card, but which will never receive HMO support; and a Series 2 DirecTiVo, for which HMO support might someday be forthcoming (but don't hold your breath) ...
     
  5. Feb 23, 2004 #425 of 1440
    Hootydog

    Hootydog New Member

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    Jan 19, 2004
    East Bay...
    ...but what is an HMO? I'm sure you are not talking about a type of health insurance carrier?

    :confused:
     
  6. Feb 23, 2004 #426 of 1440
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,978
    32
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Home Media Option; there's an entire forum dedicated to the subject here.
     
  7. Feb 25, 2004 #427 of 1440
    chriswood

    chriswood New Member

    23
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    Feb 25, 2004
    Santa Cruz...
    Hongcho

    Your post was just the one that I have been looking for... someone who has "Replay" and "Tivo" experience.

    I have pre-ordered the HD-250. It will be the first time that I have ever seen the Tivo user interface. I have used the RePlay ShowStopper for about 3 years.

    I (and my wife) LOVE the Replay user interface. It's incredibly fast "grid" architecture, and vast array of other great features, are superb.

    The "linear list" that I hear Tivo uses (to avoid using it's slow grid) seems like a major technological setback.

    I have 3 Panasonic HDS20 (that model number might not be correct... but it is close) HD STB's. The "grid" in it's user interface is a bit slow... marginally tolerable. It seems to run as a background task, so it is not very responsive... (again) marginally tolerable.

    How would you rate the Tivo interface against the RePlay interface?

    Best Regards,
    Chris Wood
     
  8. Feb 25, 2004 #428 of 1440
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    3,638
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    Feb 5, 2001
    I've used the Replay. That, and your comments, indicate why the Replay has failed. If you care at all about the guide format, then the DVR device has failed.

    The Replay interface is non-intuitive, the weird merging of live and recorded content makes little sense, and the lack of a play-scroll-bar makes it nearly impossible to know where (in the time cycle) you are in watching a show.

    When you use a good DVR, like the Tivo, you don't care what the real-time guide looks like. You only use it once in a while, to watch live sports, maybe some other live show, in which case you're just switching to the channel. If you're channel surfing live-TV enough to care about the guide, then you need to get rid of your DVR.

    Which you are. So I congratulate you. If you are this positive about Replay, you're going to lose your mind (in a positive way) when you get the Tivo.
     
  9. Feb 25, 2004 #429 of 1440
    DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

    2,119
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    Jan 6, 2000
    New York
    IMO, moving away from the grid will be a step up from what you are used to. If you give it a chance, you might find that you like the TiVo style guide. It offers much more information in the same amount of space, BUT in an intuitive, easily comprehensible format.
     
  10. Feb 25, 2004 #430 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    124
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    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    Does the HDTV TiVo allow the user to add OTA (terrestrial) ATSC channels that do not appear in the APG (Advanced Program Guide) downloaded from DirecTV?

    In a perfect world, this would not be an issue. But I have a couple of recent-model non-TiVo OTA/DirecTV receivers that use the APG, and it is clear from that experience that the APG coverage of OTA ATSC channels is a "work in progress". (The non-TiVo receivers do allow you to scan for, or manually add, terrestrial channels not in the APG. When you do, of course, the guide shows no real info for these channels. Just "Regular Schedule" at all times ...)

    This is not entirely DirecTV's fault (although I do believe they could do a better job). ATSC broadcasting is in a constant "state of flux", as new stations (mostly independents) come on-line and the existing ATSC broadcasters fiddle with their lineups of subchannels.

    In my area, there are numerous gaps and bugs in the APG's list of terrestrial ATSC channels. A partial list:

    • Several independent channels are missing altogether.

    • Most major channels are broadcasting in HD on their main subchannel, XX-1, and simulcasting in SD on XX-2. But the APG shows only XX-1, typically XX-2 is missing. (However my existing receivers add XX-2 to the guide automatically, with "Regular Schedule", as soon as you tune to XX-1, because the receiver detects the complete subchannel lineup from the PSIP that the station is broadcasting.)

    • For nearly a year now, the main PBS station in San Francisco has been broadcasting five subchannels, 9-1 through 9-5, each with its own unique program schedule (for instance, one of them carries "PBS Kids"). For some reason, the APG lists only four of them; the "middle subchannel" 9-3 is missing from the APG. (But 9-3 does get added automatically, with "Regular Schedule", as explained above.)

    • There are some outright "bugs" in the APG listings. One is that channel 9's "real physical" ATSC channel number, 30, also appears in the APG as if it were a terrestrial NTSC channel (could this be related to the missing 9-3?). Another is that virtual subchannels 60-1 and 60-2 appear in the APG but both tune to the same physical subchannel, 43-1 (however you can manually add 43-1 and 43-2 and then you can use those numbers to directly tune to both subchannels, which do not simulcast the same programming).

    A Related Question

    Does the HDTV TiVo permit tuning to terrestrial ATSC channels by both their virtual and physical channel numbers, or only by their virtual channel numbers?

    Current models of OTA and OTA/DirecTV ATSC receivers differ on this issue (from one brand to another). Panasonics and Samsungs allow you to tune both ways, but the LG models (marketed as Zenith, LG, Sony, and Hughes) accept only the virtual channel number. [Unless the channel is not remapping itself via the PSIP and does not appear in the APG (which remaps a few terrestrial ATSC channels that do not remap themselves). In that case, the LG models accept the physical channel number.]
     
  11. Feb 25, 2004 #431 of 1440
    Hootydog

    Hootydog New Member

    44
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    Jan 19, 2004
    East Bay...
    I'm having a similar problem in the East Bay. No matter how hard I've tried I can't seem to get program info on 7.1 CBS so I leave 7.2 in my guide just so I can get the programing even though I don't watch 7.2. 5.1 ABC on the other had works fine with the programing.
    I currently have a Samsung SIR TS-160 BTW.
     
  12. Feb 25, 2004 #432 of 1440
    hongcho

    hongcho .

    750
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    Nov 26, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    > Does the HDTV TiVo allow the user to add OTA (terrestrial) ATSC channels that do not appear in the APG (Advanced Program Guide) downloaded from DirecTV?

    The demo unit I've seen did not. But it allowed you to scan the OTA ATSC channels.

    > Does the HDTV TiVo permit tuning to terrestrial ATSC channels by both their virtual and physical channel numbers, or only by their virtual channel numbers?

    This will be one for TivoPony to answer.

    Hong.
     
  13. Feb 25, 2004 #433 of 1440
    chriswood

    chriswood New Member

    23
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    Feb 25, 2004
    Santa Cruz...
    DCIFRTHS / AbMagFab,

    THANK YOU for your responses.

    Actually, we only watch about 2% live TV... 98% of what we watch is recorded.

    My wife watches TV at two times during the day and we both watch at prime time. The first thing that happens during a "watch period" is to select (from the grid) what we want to record to watch the following day. Then we watch what was recorded the previous day. For gotta-watch shows that come on at a variety of times and channels, the keyword search quickly pulls up those shows (in a list) for the next week... we pick the non-reruns out of the selected list.

    Anyway, it sounds like that if we think Replay is great, then we are going to need a defibulator when the Tivo arrives.

    Thanks for the info... I feel much better.
     
  14. Feb 25, 2004 #434 of 1440
    hongcho

    hongcho .

    750
    0
    Nov 26, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    > How would you rate the Tivo interface against the RePlay interface?

    Tivo also has a grid guide, but it has always been very slow. Tivo has its own guide style that is responsive (which means that their internal guide database is "optimized" for their guide style and not the grid style).

    I think the grid style guide matters most if you don't have many recordings scheduled (that is, scanning for programs to watch/record "live"). But the pattern might change with Tivo.

    Also Tivo has a much better "search" interface compared to my RTV-3030 (yes, this thing is a bit old).

    It will definitely get some time to get used to the Tivo guide style from the grid guide (it is available, but it is SLOW), but it shouldn't be that difficult.

    Hong.
     
  15. Feb 25, 2004 #435 of 1440
    Darin

    Darin Way Left

    1,995
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    Dec 26, 2001
    Atlanta, GA...
    Same problem here in Atlanta. MAYBE half of my local OTA channels have guide info. The others... the guide seems to have no idea what those channels are (even though they are the "main" channels... none of my local stations multicast multiple programming feeds). While this is a nuisance on an HD receiver, this is a MAJOR issue for a product that differentiates itself by the fact that it's able to record by program ID. I don't know if DirecTV is to blame, my receiver, or my local stations. Probably a combination, which means it'll be even more difficult to get fixed.
     
  16. Feb 25, 2004 #436 of 1440
    chriswood

    chriswood New Member

    23
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    Feb 25, 2004
    Santa Cruz...
    It's me again (on a different issue)...

    I pre-ordered my HD-250 on Feb 5th. At the time I was not sure if I was going to be in the "first shipment" (their website did not give a clue).

    A week-or-so later I called and asked if I was going to be in the first shipment... after a several second pause (looking at something?), she said "yes".

    So I was happy.

    Now I see here that I missed the window by almost 2 weeks.

    I also see (according to this forum) that I will pay a (approximate) 3 week delay penalty because I will not be in the first shipment.

    A few weeks ago, I asked (in the avsform) if I (who live in California) should cancel that order and place a GG order, so that I could pick the thing up at a store, and because I am closer to the source (Mexico) so I should get it sooner. I could care less about putting 50% down or paying the sales tax.

    The few replies I received said I should save the sales tax and keep my original order... the time of receipt should not be more than 2 or 3 days.

    At the time, I could have placed the GG order in their first shipment wave. I have no idea what the GG situation is now... but the value electronics situation has deteriorated by about 3 weeks.

    Not having the time to read miles of posts on this forum, can someone tell me (or point me - with a link) if the GG first wave is also history?

    Chris Wood
     
  17. Feb 25, 2004 #437 of 1440
    CraigHB

    CraigHB __________

    809
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    Dec 24, 2003
    Reno, NV
    For a while, I waffled back and forth between which guide style I thought was better. I finally decided the TiVo guide is better. The grid guide is easier on the eyes, but not as functional. Once you get used to the plain-ness of the TiVo guide, you'll find it contains more information in less space and is easier to use.

    - Craig
     
  18. Feb 25, 2004 #438 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    124
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    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    I do not understand your answer, as the two statements appear contradictory.

    I asked, in effect, if there is any way to add missing ATSC channels or subchannels. You answered "No", but then said that scanning is supported — and that is one of three methods that I know of for adding more ATSC channels/subchannels. Just to be clear, the methods supported by my current non-TiVo receivers, such as the LG LSS-3200A, are:

    • A setup menu that lets you initiate a "scan" that checks your OTA antenna for all receivable local ATSC channels.

    • A setup menu that lets you add a specific ATSC channel "by number". (The LG version of this then checks that physical channel number and adds the channel only if it is receivable on the antenna. If the station is being remapped via its PSIP, the virtual subchannel number(s) are the ones that are added to the guide, otherwise the physical subchannel number(s) are added.)

    • When an ATSC channel is tuned, any subchannels that it is broadcasting that are not already listed in the APG are automatically added. (But most receivers, such as the LG, will not let you tune a channel unless it is already in the "receivable channels" list. So the automatic adding of missing subchannels is useful only if at least one subchannel is listed in the APG or has previously been "found" by one of the two user-initiated setup methods listed above.)

    So what, exactly, were you trying to say?
     
  19. Feb 25, 2004 #439 of 1440
    hongcho

    hongcho .

    750
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    Nov 26, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    William,

    I don't know why you find my answer contradictory since I consider scanning OTA channels (your first bullet) not to be the same as you adding a channel to, say, 68 (your second bullet). So, it does not let the user to manually add a channel, but it allows channel scanning for OTA. Matter of semantics? Maybe.

    I can't really be specific about the extent to which the scanning works. I've only seen "scan" function, but I am not sure what happens after the scan.

    Hong.
     
  20. Feb 25, 2004 #440 of 1440
    wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    124
    0
    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    Thanks for the clarification. The fact is, I'm happy to have any method for adding the channels that are missing from the APG, and scanning will do that.

    (And if memory serves, the standalone TiVos do not even have scanning for missing terrestrial NTSC channels. You have the accept the list of channels in the TiVo guide for your zip code, which in that case is provided by Tribune Media Services.)

    One reason that I don't consider scanning to be much different from manually adding a channel "by number" is that, in the LG-designed STBs, the implementation of the latter is just a special case of the former. That is, "scanning" checks your antenna in the range of channels 2-69, whereas the "manual add" performs the exact same check, but limited in range to the one physical channel number that you specify ...
     

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