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What is the difference between Tivo and Windows Media Center?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dtivouser, Dec 28, 2013.

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  1. Feb 4, 2014 #181 of 312
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Absolutely. I went through two different Echoes during the beta testing phase and couldn't get either of them to work reliably well on my network. I was hoping that somehow the Android update would make things better until I found out about the issues getting units updated in the field. It wasn't that they couldn't put Android on the Echo and have it work but rather that it had to be flashed at the factory instead of being able to deploy a firmware/software update so customers could update them at home. You would have thought that they'd test the updating process more extensively before announcing the Echo would have it.

    At the very least they could have offered an upgrade program whereby you could send your Echo back to Ceton and trade it in for an Android version or have them upgrade yours, assuming that's even possible. I'm surprised they didn't at least offer the Android version as another option. Drop the price of the original Echo and offer the Android Echo at the original price.

    I had been looking forward to the Echo working with better codec support than the existing extenders. I was severely disappointed when the Echo turned out to be just another extender with only a few minor improvements over other units. They also need to drop the price below $100 to make it attractive. OTOH, lots of beta testers raved about it so whatever results you get with it seem to be a mixed bag, sort of like WMC. You either got them to work reliably or ended up being frustrated and tearing your hair out.
     
  2. Feb 4, 2014 #182 of 312
    rcanoza

    rcanoza New Member

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    While living in Los Angeles a few years ago I found the Tivo's listings for several basic-cable channels were 2 hours fast, probably due to the local cable monopoly being headquartered in St. Louis (this nuisance I could get used to; not until they forced an SDV tuning adapter on us did I cancel in rage).

    Lately my news repeats under the same title are somehow not marked as re-runs -- in either WMC or Tivo -- resulting in copies of the Saturday 5am edition, for example. Guide garbage in, guide garbage out. My slow-going project is to schedule everything via scripted manual line-items synced to an online .CSV online, which I manipulate at one-degree remove in Zap2it or something. Probably will be finished around the time of entertainment broadcasting's demise.
     
  3. Feb 4, 2014 #183 of 312
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    It's unfortunate that the PC DVR never panned out. In theory, it is far superior to a closed system like TiVo, but no one ever got theory to work in reality.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2014 #184 of 312
    Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    Personally, the TiVo has more accurate guide information than WMC for me. Which is odd since both use Zap2It.

    Right now, I just make sure my TiVo has the same season passes in it as my WMC machine and then copy the to-do list from my TiVo to WMC.

    I did install a remote administration panel for WMC - I haven't tried it yet to see how well scheduling works with it. Perhaps it can shorten the amount of time it takes to copy the listings over...
     
  5. Feb 5, 2014 #185 of 312
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I can't recall ever comparing the two side by side to see if there were any discrepencies when I was using both Tivo and a WMC PC. I can't ever remember a problem with guide data on either platform, except in the rare instance where a show I recorded on a regular basis was listed to be aired at some unusual time, only to discover that there was something different being aired in that time slot. The scheduled program was recorded but it wasn't what I expected to see.

    I've seen this occur mostly with syndicated or independent programming and it usually raised a red flag when I saw the time slot where it was listed. As for regular series recordings and season passes, they recorded reliably well with but a few instances where a show started much later than usual due to Obama jumping in or some special news report or sporting event that ran over.

    I'm wondering if WMC somehow isn't getting all of the metadata that Zap2it provides for each program listing. Either that or it's stripping some of it out. I doubt that Tivo, Inc., is adding data back into the guide datastream before it's being send to your Tivos.
     
  6. Feb 5, 2014 #186 of 312
    mschnebly

    mschnebly Member

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    My WMC PC has been rock solid for about a year now and never misses a beat with one exception. Sometime a new show shows as a repeat on the guide and doesnt get recorded. This seems to happen with two shows so I do keep and eye out for those. It's controlled with my Harmony One and I only use a keyboard to do the monthly updates.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2014 #187 of 312
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I'd be willing to bet that the two shows indicated as repeats are aired in another country before they get aired in the U.S. That technically makes them all repeats. Check the original air dates in the program descriptions and you'll probably find that it actually aired on an earlier date than the date in the guide.
     
  8. Feb 6, 2014 #188 of 312
    Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    That's the reason most of my WMC guide data is inaccurate - WMC picks up the US OADs, while my TiVo correctly knows that if it's new in Canada, it's listed as new.

    I don't know why or how TiVo seems to figure out that it's "new" to Canada - I just know if I set it to record all new Pawn Stars, or Mythbusters (both are constantly delayed weeks/months from US airing), it consistently picks them up as new (to me) episodes and has done so for the 8+ years I've had TiVo.

    WMC picks up the "real" OAD, and thus always missed those shows unless I constantly intervene by copying the recording list from TiVo.

    I don't know what's going on. Of course, the other annoyance is when guide data stops for a week and a half (it's happened 3-4 times over the past 3 years) - it always nearly runs out then it starts working again. There are a few persistent threads on the WMC forums when this happens - it's seems once it starts, it happens to everyone.
     
  9. Feb 6, 2014 #189 of 312
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    This is where opinions tend to differ regarding the accuracy of WMC vs. Tivo guide data. Tivo probably filters the data to reflect the OAD for the region where it's being broadcast for the first time whereas WMC just passes along the raw data. The OAD listed in WMC is accurate with respect to the entire world, but not necessarily for the region where you live. I realize that some people find it annoying, but you really can't blame WMC for listing the actual Original Air Date instead of a fudged date for some specific locale. It's a nice feature for setting up season passes, but nothing that can't be easily worked around if the OAD differs from the current date.

    I personally prefer knowing the actual OAD since it means that the entire series of episodes is probably available for download somewhere and I don't have to wait for them to air in real time where I live. For example, the season finale of Lost Girl airs in Canada this week whereas in the U.S. the SyFy Channel is only up to episode 4 or 5, IIRC. I've already seen episodes 1 thru 11 for the current season.


    On another note, here's a review of the latest Bay Trail NUC small form factor PC that may be of interest to anyone looking for an inexpensive HTPC:

    http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-nuc-dn2820fykh-bay-trail-system-review_135053

    The system retails for about $130 and comes with a wireless NIC. It does not come with memory or a hard drive, but it can be used with a standard 2.5" laptop drive or SSD. It can be used to run OpenElec with XBMC if you're only interested in watching movies or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center. The OpenElec setup will cost you about $160 or so since you can run it off a flash drive and won't need a hard drive, but you will need memory. The Windows 8.1 version will require a hard drive and a Windows license, bringing the total up closer to $300 (Windows 7 drivers are not available at this time). They didn't address using it as a DVR, but I suspect it wouldn't be a problem if you attach an external drive to it for adequate storage. The DVR function in Windows uses very little processing power so it should work fine. Total energy consumption for the Bay Trail NUC is only about 7-10 watts.

    I am personally not huge fan of low end PC systems, but this one is a ridiculous bargain for an entry level HTPC. I should note that due to the small size, adding internal peripherals isn't really an option. The unit also has a limited number of USB ports, but any inexpensive powered external USB hub will add more than enough USB ports for expansion. You can use USB tuners (lots of ATSC models and also Hauppauge and Ceton cablecard models) or networked tuners (Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH or SD HDHomeRun Prime for cablecard and SD HDHR Dual for ATSC).
     
  10. Feb 6, 2014 #190 of 312
    trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    No it is all besides the point which is why it belongs in the fine print.

    You already mentioned some of this. The point I made to this was that Tivos go on sale too and drop in price over the long run as well.

    I never argued that if you wait and shop for parts for a WMC pc and don't care about quality of the parts or have parts at home that you can't pay less money.

    I merely pointed out that if you wanted to go out and buy a 6-tuner WMC pc today the price is going to be about the same as a Romaio Plus. Everything you say about having parts at home or finding parts on sale is an asterisk to that. It may or may not apply. It may or may not save you money. It may or may not take up a lot of time. IT may or may not require a lot of work.


    NO I did not forget. The point was Tivos go on sale too. I merely pointed out that the Roamio Pro was recently $175 cheaper than its list price.

    You are arguing out of context here. I am replying to your $300 off the shelf pc response which was your reply to me when I said a WMC pc with 6 tuners is about the same as a Roamio Plus. Those $300 pcs aren't housed in nice Silverstone cases. I have a Silverstone case btw. IT was around $80 just for the case. A nicer cabinet case only makes a wmc pc more expensive.

    I don't think you recall anything about WMC except it working. ;) But forums are full of these discussions. And temps are always something to be aware about when being your own system configurator.

    NO preconfigured pc has a real copy of windows ie a disc with just Windows on it. Alot of them don't even give you a disc any more either. Again there is context here. You mentioned buying $300 pcs. I presumed they had Windows on them otherwise that is another $100ish expense.

    Again you lost context here. I mention a pc being louder or hotter only in reply to your notion that you can just buy a cheap pc and all is good. Cheap pcs aren't known to be quiet. And any time and expense in making your pc cooler and quieter just adds to the cost of your htpc.

    Put the kool-aid down and back away. :)

    Context!! And I don't have a Roamio. I have a WMC pc. :) Cheap pcs are cheap for a reason. It costs $$$$$ money to make your pc more efficient, quieter and cooler in a more pleasing form factor. And that only puts a WMC pc closer to the price of a Roamio Plus.

    Oh so you don't have time to invest in building a new couch? How could that be? AFter reading arguments for building your WMC pc, I thought time was unlimited and costs nothing?
     
  11. Feb 6, 2014 #191 of 312
    trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

    2,767
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    YOu only reinforce my point. :)
     
  12. Feb 7, 2014 #192 of 312
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Never mind. Disregard this post.
     
  13. Feb 7, 2014 #193 of 312
    Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    Actually, TiVo DOES list the correct OAD. However, the "new" flag is correct for the region it's in. TiVo uses the right OAD for the copyright date shown in the listings, and if you hit "info" it lists the proper OAD for that episode.

    So the raw data on TiVo is correct. However, TiVo does filter it so "new to you" episodes, even if the OAD is long gone (we're still having Pawn Stars from mid-2013 as "new"), it's still picked up as a "new episode only" season pass.

    WMC doesn't, which means "new episodes only" are kinda worthless except on network programming (which have identical air dates). And with a show like Pawn Stars which are endlessly reshown and syndicated, the season pass is sort of useless - record all and you get all the reruns as well, record new and nothing records, which means it has to be manually scheduled in. (And oddly, WMC only shows a set number of items in the "Other Showings", usually just not enough despite having the guide data).
     
  14. Feb 7, 2014 #194 of 312
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    I'm amused every time mr. unnatural brings up trolls. His definition for a troll seems to be 'anyone who disagrees with him'. :p
     
  15. Feb 7, 2014 #195 of 312
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    OK, looking back at tripleX's post I see that I may have been a bit harsh in my response. I got home late last night and posted that when I was getting ready to pass out from exhaustion so it didn't come across the way I intended.

    tripleX - while the original "context" of our discussion was in regard to an off-the-shelf PC for use with WMC, I only recommend using them as a starting point. Most people that build HTPCs tend to spend more than they would for a Tivo. Any price comparisons between the two platforms is moot because the value is in the eye of the beholder. HTPC users are more likely to invest in a nicer case and quieter fans and not gripe about the added cost. My mention of an off-the-shelf $300 PC was on target with the discussion as it pertained to what it would cost to build a basic HTPC. You can nitpick individual things about a HTPC vs. a Tivo, but everything you mentioned is easily resolved without breaking the bank.

    Apparently, what I view as common sense with regards to building a HTPC doesn't agree with your opinion so we'll leave it at that. I'd like to think people would have enough common sense to research something before they jump into it with both feet. There's no "fine print" involved. Anything you want to know about HTPCs is openly available to anyone that takes the time to do a little research.

    I have always recommended using an existing PC as a test platform before investing in any other PC hardware for use as a HTPC. If that's not feasible then I point them to the off-the-shelf turnkey option. I would never recommend that anyone jump in and buy all new hardware for their first HTPC build.

    Here's but one example of a low cost solution for a HTPC:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883265683

    Newegg has a huge selection of refurbished desktop PCs that could easily be converted for use as a HTPC. They're cheap and most of them come with Windows 7 pre-installed. Many of them are also in a small form factor desktop design that wouldn't be as obtrusive as a tower case.

    I just noticed that the PC I referenced does not have an HDMI output. It does, however, have a couple of expansion slots so you could add an inexpensive low profile graphics card with HDMI output that is HDCP compliant for about $40.
     
  16. Feb 8, 2014 #196 of 312
    heyted

    heyted New Member

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    What I was trying to get across is that most people do not consider the time spent doing something that they enjoy as an expense. Most people do not consider the price of going to see their favorite football team as the price of the ticket plus an hourly rate equivalent to their wage for four hours. I agree that some people do not enjoy working with hardware or software as a hobby-- dtivouser, are we having fun yet?

    Most TiVo users are stuck with the software that is on their TiVo (except for apps). Users of the TiVo service are legally required to accept whatever software TiVo Inc. decides to install on the TiVo at any time. I consider the ability for people to install and, in some cases, change the software on their HTPC until their heart is content an advantage that an HTPC has over TiVo. I agree that some people do not mind (or actually prefer) having no control over the software. It is just a personal preference.
     
  17. Feb 8, 2014 #197 of 312
    heyted

    heyted New Member

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    A low cost HTPC can be very quiet. Quality and nearly silent fans can be purchased or manufactured for a very low cost. Zotac did a great job with the D2550-ITX line with regard to noise. Mine is nearly silent.
     
  18. Feb 8, 2014 #198 of 312
    heyted

    heyted New Member

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    Sorry to hear you are having trouble with both. Did you get the TA to work with just WMC and drivers installed? Does/did the TA work fine with the TiVo?
     
  19. Feb 8, 2014 #199 of 312
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Quite true. Noise definitely isn't the issue. My HTPC is usually dead silent, and could be dead silent all the time if I replaced the stock HSF.
     
  20. Feb 8, 2014 #200 of 312
    dtivouser

    dtivouser Tivoless TCF Club

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    The TA works with WMC... sometimes. I can't rely on it. It all works fine, then I do something complicated like change the channel, and it breaks. Completely frustrated with trying to fix it.
     
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