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MegaZone's Series3 Review

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

  1. lgarnick

    lgarnick New Member

    Oct 24, 2003
    Can the S3 output Component and HDMI concurrently or do you have to select one to be active?
  2. cgould

    cgould Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Agreed! I have a VCR and RF encoder attached to mine, for "cheap remote viewing", so this works well.
    Question: Are both the HD and SVideo output same aspect, eg 16:9 program -> 16:9 on both outputs? or can you configure it? Or does it automatically/always letterbox the SD outputs?

    One annoyance for me on the Comcast 6412 is the Svideo out is ALWAYS letterboxed (assumes 4:3 output for 16:9 source), even though I'd be archiving a program to view on the same 16:9 later (just in SD)... annoying loss of visible data/really messed up aspect :(
  3. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    What type of memory? Is this a user-replacable SIMM? Be nice if we could upgrade to 256M or more ...
  4. waynemk

    waynemk New Member

    Jul 7, 2003
    I looked at the images of the back of the unit and didn't see anything for high end automated control systems like crestron or a simple IR miniplug in. Did i miss it or did they not include it in a high end system?

    if you are using 2 cards do you need to split the incoming coax or do you only need to plug in one. I assume both but wanted to ask.
  5. derekcbart

    derekcbart New Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Los Angeles
    You only need to plug in one coaxial cable. The cards take care of the rest as far as I understand.
  6. wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    You did not miss it. No TiVo has ever had this — although the S1 and S2 have an RS232 port and an IR mini-phono output jack (but they are used to control external cable and satellite boxes, not to control the TiVo itself).

    As I posted before, with an IR flasher (stuck to the front panel or in fact anywhere near the front panel) it is possible to control a TiVo with 100% reliability. I have done so for years, from an AMX controller (and Crestron, which is not the brand I personally favor, should be equally effective).

    But one-way IR control has many limitations, even when it is as reliable as it is with a TiVo. That is why I am looking forward to the HR20P, which DirecTV has announced will support a control port "for the custom installer market". The downside, of course, is that it is "not a TiVo". But DirecTV (aka Rupert Murdoch) has left its users little choice in the matter, as they are moving their HD content to MPEG4, which the HR10-250, the last TiVo-designed DVR for DirecTV, does not support.
  7. jodell

    jodell TiVo geek

    Jul 9, 2002
    Irvine, CA
    I would like to add a small amount of detail to Megazone's review of the S3.

    I have had my S3 for a few hours now and thought I would comment on the OTA HD reception. I am quite pleased with the tuner's performance. It pulls in a few more distant stations than the built in tuner in my Samsung HDTV or my HiPix HTPC.

    Another welcome tool for OTA users is the signal strength meter buried in the Messages and Settings -> Settings -> Channels menu. There is a signal strength meter for Cable (QAM only) and Antenna (OTA SD and HD).

    The channel changing speed is about on par with with my (former) Motorola 6412 and Scientific Atlanta 8300HD cable PVRs. I would like the channel change speed to be faster but it is not significantly different that either of the other two HD PVRs I used.

    I will not be able to comment on the Cable Card performance as it will take Cox Orange County until Tuesday to roll a truck to plug the cards into the S3. If the issue has not been completely beaten to death by then, I may add my two pence.

    So far, I am very happy with my purchase. I can already tell that I will quickly add an e-SATA enclosure or a larger internal drive as I watch a lot of HD sports and 32 hours goes quickly. :')

    I hope my humble addition to Megazone's review was useful to someone.

  8. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    Mar 3, 2002
    There is no selection, it appears to be concurrent. I haven't tried the component ports to be sure (and I don't have a spare cable) but since there is no output selection at all, it would seem to be concurrent.
  9. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    Mar 3, 2002
    Surface mounted, just like the other units.
  10. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    I just listened to Robert Heron's review of the S3 on Tuesday's episode of DL.TV. This is a nit-picky point, but he mentioned that the actual TiVo interface screens look like they were just "copied" from the S2 and not updated for the S3. As a result, the text is not as crisp and round icons are squashed ovals.

    Any truth to this or did he just have aspect ratio problems?

    Good to hear about the included HDMI cable ... but I, too, would need one longer than 3'. Oh well.

    edit: nevermind about the menu screens ... I found this thread.
  11. tgibbs

    tgibbs New Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    Has anybody yet had the chance to compare the OTA reception to that of the 10-250, or does anybody know what to predict based on the hardware? My 10-250 just barely brings in my major OTA locals, but it has problems when the wind is blowing hard. A little improvement would be a significant advantage; on the other hand, slightly worse would be a big disadvantage.
  12. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    Mar 3, 2002
    I don't see it - and you can see my photos for yourself.

    I think it may be 6'.
  13. abredt

    abredt West Valley TW L.A.

    Nov 4, 2004
    Can I output to a DVD recorder to make a copy of a recorded program or is there some way it blocks it?
  14. chrispitude

    chrispitude New Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Hi megazone,

    How fast is the matrix-style guide? On my Series 2, it scrolls and redraws soooo slowly.

    - Chris
  15. tgibbs

    tgibbs New Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    This is probably true, as the 10-250 is this way. Never really bothered me; I can't see that a round icon is inherently better than an oval one. I suppose that they could use narrower text in HD, but the interface is evidently designed to be clearly readable in all output formats, and certainly achieves that goal.
  16. wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    Is it just me, or does anybody else find it interesting, or at least amusing, that DirecTV released their new HD DVR (the HR20) the same week as TiVo released the HD Series3? (In fact the very next day, the HR20 was released 9/13, although it had a Los Angeles-only Beta that started in mid-August.)

    And just as the TiVo community is "up in arms" about missing features (MRV, TTG, and eSATA in particular), the DBS community is ranting and raving about features missing from the initial rollout of the HR20 (the ATSC tuners are not yet supported, nor is eSATA). In DirecTV's case, there's no CableLabs controversy, all the missing features appear to be due to a "slipped development schedule", coupled with a marketing requirement to ship the product on time "ready or not".

    But then, that appears to be the reason for the disabled eSATA port in the case of both boxes ...

    DirecTV has promised, publicly, to fix both major omissions with a firmware update "by the end of the year". That commitment, at least, is an improvement over TiVo being held hostage by CableLabs. On the other hand, the DirecTV boxes have never supported MRV and TTG anyway, and although they did announce a "2Go" feature for "portable media devices" (at CES in January), they aren't getting beat up about it. Yet.
  17. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    Are all the HD recordings just thrown in the root of that HDTV Recordings folder or are there subfolders?
  18. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I think that the HD folder is in ADDITION to the HD shows being displayed in the Now Playing list in the normal manner. The HD folder is an additional way to access the same recordings.
  19. Pab Sungenis

    Pab Sungenis New Member

    Apr 13, 2002
    Vineland, NJ
    I thought this was insisted upon by DirecTV, to avoid piracy. That if HDMI and HDCP were active, all other outputs were off.
  20. wmccain

    wmccain Custom AV Consultant

    Dec 15, 2002
    Palo Alto,...
    Not so. In fact, at the time that the HR10-250 was released, all other current-model DirecTV HD receivers (non-DVRs) had concurrent outputs. As have all subsequent DirecTV HD receivers (including the recently-released HR20 DVR).

    This omission was "TiVo's design error", they used an older-model analog video output chip that did not support two resolutions concurrently (HD and SD). However, the HR10-250 does output HD video concurrently in analog (on the component outputs) and digital (on the HDMI output).

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