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MegaZone's Series3 Review

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by megazone, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
    0
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    FOrgive me but...

    I have to sort of laugh that people are concerned about having to get a second cable card.

    Is it a money thing? We're going to plunk down 800, then 13 a month for service from tivo, $2 for the first cablecard and then some how the second $2 breaks the bank?

    are people worried cable will give them one card but not 2? I think if you get over the hump of it being illegal to deny the first card then they will give you another?

    am I missing something?
     
  2. derekcbart

    derekcbart New Member

    175
    0
    Sep 1, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Hi there.

    One more question.

    In the guide does it say which shows are in HD and which are in SD? I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that even though NBC is an HD channel that some of it's off-peak broadcasts may not be available for broadcast in HD. Is there any indication in the guide as to what's what?

    Thanks.
     
  3. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    0
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
  4. derekcbart

    derekcbart New Member

    175
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    Sep 1, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Great!

    I ordered mine a few hours ago and called TWC to install cable on Tuesday. (I'm currently with Dish.)
     
  5. wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    124
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    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    Question: (Could not find this answered in the FAQ or the review.) Are the S-video and composite outputs active (at 480i, of course) concurrently with the component and HDMI outputs (at 720p or 1080i)?

    For that matter, are the component and HDMI outputs active concurrently with each other (at 720p or 1080i)?
     
  6. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
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    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I'm surprised, I thought that would make it over from the DT. That's the way the HR10-250 works, only one OTA with one SAT input.
    I'm assuming that's also similar to the HR10-250, it takes about 6 levels of menus to turn this on and off. If I needed this, it'd be quite a pain.
     
  7. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
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    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    No., not at all.

    The unit has two tuner blocks. Both do NTSC, ATSC, analog cable and digital cable. You can record two of any sources - two digital, two analog, one of each - with or without CableCARD.

    You need CableCARD only for encrypted digital cable channels, or for guide data (and what it enables) on clear digital cable channels. Without CC you can record by time and channel.

    If you insert only one CableCARD, the entire unit goes single tuner. With no cards, or two cards (or one multi-stream), it is dual-tuner.
     
  8. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
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    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    It depends - Grid Guide yes, TiVo Guide no. I explain in the FAQ - and above in the review.
     
  9. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
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    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    ALL outputs are active concurrently.
     
  10. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
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    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    Look at the photos of the channel banner. There is a CC logo on the lower right. That takes you right to the CC menu where you can change the settings. Then exit back to the program.
     
  11. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
    0
    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    I still have the evaluation box for a little while longer. I believe I have the option to buy the one I have. Actually, as I said in the review, the first box has to go back to TiVo for analysis. They want to look at the reboot causing recording. I received a new box today. I need to swap them - and get my CCs swapped.
     
  12. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
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    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    I'm one of those people who never really noticed a slowdown. Keep in mind my main unit was a DVR-810H - 2xx series, and my second most used is a S2DT, the fastest of the S2s. I rarely use my RS-TX20, and then only as a DVD player these days. I'm planning to transfer the lifetime off of it to the S3.

    My general feeling is that the S3 is faster. I haven't noticed any delays - it response to everything instantly. Channel surfing is possible. The banner redraws instantly, and there is a two second lag as it locks onto the new channel and displays it. I expect that since it has to tune, buffer, read, decode, and display.

    If you hit 'left' off a program you're back to the menu *now* - no lag. Reordering SPM still takes a few minutes - 70 entries - but less time than my other boxes.

    The S3 has 128MB RAM for the main CPU, and more RAM dedicated to the encoders. And I'm sure the CPU is faster than the other boxes. It should be faster.

    I've been happy with the Pioneer, but the S3 is fast.
     
  13. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    Can it simultaneously output 480i on the composite/S-Video while outputting HD (720p/1080i) on the Component/HDMI?
     
  14. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
    0
    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    It appears to do so. I used it with S-Video on my SD TV then moved it to my HD TV with HDMI and watched HD channels on both with it set to 'Native' output.
     
  15. JCM3

    JCM3 New Member

    2
    0
    Sep 12, 2006

    You told me I was wrong yet went on to confirm what I had said. The first and last comments contradict each other. First you say it can record two sources simultaneously with or without a CableCARD but then say with a single CableCARD the entire unit becomes a single tuner. We need some clarification as to the effects of installing a CableCARD.

    Judging from your comments...

    With no CableCARD installed:
    acts as a dual-tuner and we can record any two sources simultaneously.

    With one CableCARD installed:
    acts as a single-tuner and we can only record one analog or one digital at a time.

    With two CableCARDs installed:
    acts as a dual-tuner and we can again record any two sources simultaneously.
    Is it one analog vs two digitals in this case or can two analogs be recorded?

    So is this correct?
     
  16. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
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    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    A single, single-stream card is a special case which is why I called it out. You need two single-stream cards, or one multi-stream card, for dual-tuner with CC.

    Correct.

    Correct for a single-stream card.

    Correct. Two analog, two digital, or one of each.
     
  17. wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    124
    0
    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    This is "good to hear". It means that TiVo learned from the mistakes they made with their only previous HD box, the TiVo-designed DirecTV HR10-250, which cannot do concurrent SD/HD output and has no "native" format mode, either.

    For the more "high-end" or "custom" users, at least one of these features (preferably both) are highly-desirable, if not essential. There are a number of reasons for this, but I will mention just two:

    1. Feeding a continuous SD signal to other rooms in your house (typically by means of a UHF modulator).

    2. Feeding an unmodified SD signal (on SD channels) to your video scaler or TV without losing the ability to see HD channels in HD (and without having to press any buttons on the remote, which is typically "hard to automate", even if the remote has a "format" button). Most scalers and TVs do a better job of upconverting SD signals than most source devices (set-top boxes) ... and they always provide a more flexible set of "aspect" controls (which are generally inaccessible if the STB has already converted to HD and added its own "pillar bars").

    You are "new to HD", so you may not know that these two features have a long (sad) history with HD afficionados. The very first HD decoder, the now-legendary Panasonic TU-DST50, could do these things ... but no other STBs, including later models from Panasonic, could do them both (a few, very few, offered a "native" option, but none could do concurrent SD/HD output). Finally, about 5 years ago, Samsung started offering these features on their HD STBs, and by the time the HR10-250 was released, nearly everybody did. Except TiVo.
     
  18. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    12,345
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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    That's a bit disappointing. I prefer the TiVo guide style. I'd like to see a number of shows at a glance to determine if they're HD or not instead of having to select them individually to see that.
     
  19. classicX

    classicX Don't scream.

    4,892
    0
    May 10, 2006
    Miles away...
    Does it output simultaneously on the Component and HDMI connections?

    Once the price drops and if / when the MRV is enabled, I will have one in my master bedroom, which has two TVs (one in the sitting room and one in the bedroom). It would be nice to be able to watch HD on either TV (or both) using one S3.
     
  20. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    As pointed out, this is a long requested feature, which the HR10-250 may never get due to hardware limitation. Its tripped up a lot of people ("Why doesn't my S-Video work"), me included.

    This makes saving to VCR, or installing something like a Slingbox much easier.
     

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