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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. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    My point is, your argument that HBO doesn't matter is ridiculous, because by the same logic, nothing on cable matters, so you may as well just use OTA. Definitely not the case.
     
  2. trip1eX

    trip1eX Active Member

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    ? It's emotional because it was all about control and not about any benefits of that control. Control for control's sake. You are doing the same thing.

    His and your "control" is all a bit of a mirage and theoretical. I mean in theory you could build your recording tv software and have all the control you want. What's stopping you? And then considering that you really only have 1 choice for recording cabletv software and that all the hardware, except maybe cases and remotes, is pretty standardized, the control here is a mirage as well.

    I guess you could say you have more choices if you want a worse WMC pc. I mean if you want your pc louder than a Tivo and run hotter or have a bigger case etc then you can do that and save some money. But you can't do better, despite all your control, with power efficiency nor how quiet it is to any degree that matters nor probably how compact a Roamio Plus is. And probably can't do better than a Tivo remote either. So control seems like an emotional argument that serves a psychological need. The word "control" is meant to win over emotions rather than logic.

    A few years ago WMC had a lot going for it over Tivo. But now WMC has none of these advantages it had. I mentioned these earlier in this thread.




    You are all mixed up. I said, "You want the WMC pc to be much cheaper than a Roamio Plus. But when someone points out that this comes with many caveats then you say you can overcome those. But when someone points out that the WMC pc is then no longer a cheaper option you cry foul!!!"

    The caveats in this case are the fact your much cheaper WMC pc will be a POS. I've mentioned specifics in earlier posts.

    And what you just said only backs up what Bigg says,

    " He's obsessed with MCE, even though in reality, TiVo is the far better option for all but the most hard-core tinkerers."

    This also reaffirms what Bigg says. And which I agree with.

    But I just leave the hard-core tinkerer part out because I haven't heard of a tinkerer that needs to be told they can tinker. And in general this isn't the vast majority of people especially, or at least, when it comes to DVRs.

    If you really think WMC is only for those who love building computers and tinkering with them so much that they never count the time then why nitpick those like Bigg or myself who say Roamio is the way to go?

    And personally a few years there were some very pragmatic reasons to go with WMC over a Premiere. WMC had 4 tuners and extenders and a speedier UI. The Premiere's default storage was also pretty laughably low by most measures. Now WMC has none of those advantages. And MS has discontinued further support on top of it.
     
  3. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    You waited a whole 10 days before stirring the pot this time. You must be slacking off. :rolleyes:

    Nobody is trying to convince you that WMC is better than your Tivo. You use whatever suits your needs and I'll keep using WMC or whatever PC-based setup I desire. I just picked up a SageTV server license so I plan on playing with that when I can find the time. I'd also like to take a crack at using Media Portal and the latest XBMC version that supports cablecards. This thread was supposed to be about WMC so I haven't branched out to discuss those areas in more detail.

    You can argue all of the insigificant points you like but it still doesn't change the fact that a PC-based DVR or media center PC is far more versatile than any Tivo ever made. Both platforms have their pluses and minuses. I just feel that a HTPC has more in the plus column overall than a Tivo, but that's just my opinion.

    Heat and noise are irrelevant because they're things you can fix if you deem it necessary, and it won't break the bank to do so. Cost is also a non-issue because anyone planning on building a HTPC won't think twice about spending more on it than a Tivo. Energy consumption with today's PC hardware is at an all-time low. My NUCs probably consume about the same energy as a Tivo, if only slightly more (the power supply is only rated at 19.5 watts, IIRC). You can use a Raspberry Pi with OpenElec (an XBMC distribution) for streaming 1080P Blu-Rays with HD audio that will use less energy than a Tivo. I haven't heard of anyone using it as a DVR, but I have no doubt it can probably be done with the right setup.

    I only pointed out that it's possible to build a HTPC for the same or even less than a Tivo. In reality, most people will opt for a more expensive solution. If you want to continue to nickel and dime the argument to death then that's on you. That horse has been dead for quite some time now so please put down your club.

    You and Bigg seem determined to try and convince the rest of the world that WMC is a POS and should not be used under any circumstances. The real truth is that you seem to be trying harder to convince yourselves of this because the majority of people that have tried WMC aren't buying it. I get the feeling that you guys must have been traumatized by Bill Gates or someone from Microsoft at a very early age to exhibit this much hatred and contempt. I think you'd be surprised to learn just how many members here also use HTPCs and are active in the Home Theater PC section of the AVS Forums.

    I'm not here to pick a fight with anyone. If you don't like WMC then that's your right. It's also my right to use whatever platform I choose. All of your comments aren't going to change my thought process nor do I expect mine to change your way of thinking. Like I said, it's all good.

    Peace. :D
     
  4. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Hay guys, the original question was what is the difference between TiVo and WMC, not the difference between people who use WMC and people who don't. I think at 233 posts the original question has been answered to death, the difference in people will never have an answer, so let kill this thread as it has done its job.
     
  5. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I couldn't agree more.
     
  6. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Yeah. There was also the whole server/client model, where with TiVo you had to have one box per room, with CableCards after HD came around. Before that, in the analog/ Clear QAM days, you could have a whole ton of tuners stacked into one HTPC, integrate OTA HDTV before some cable companies ever had HD, etc, etc. But the biggest thing was the extenders. Now TiVo has TiVo Mini, every cable company is all-digital and has just about every HD under the sun, etc, etc.
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    False, unless you are making the trivial distinction that it must be recorded by the same device that stores the video. Editing encrypted videos from the HTPC is problematical, and saving encrypted videos in such a way that they will survive the loss of the HTPC is impossible.

    False

    Hmm. Not so much, really. I much prefer to NOT have the tuners loaded into the centralized server. I recently upgraded the arrays in my main servers to 24T, but neither one has a tuner. The TiVos have them.

    Misleading. When I was with a CATV system that copy protected everything, I freely copied and edited encrypted, copy protected videos transferred from my TiVos. Well, of course they weren't either encrypted or protected when they got copied, but they were one or both leaving the headend.
     
  8. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    You seem to have little notion of what "rock solid" means. If I had to reboot any server once a quarter, it would go sailing out the door. Any device that has to be rebooted every three months is far, far from being rock solid. Admittedly the Premiere is not as stable as the S3 platform, or at least the one the CATV company provides me is not, but my S3s are rarely rebooted. Aside from extended power outages, my servers get rebooted once every two or three years or so.
     
  9. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Don't understand what your getting at here. Media center is the only PC based software approved by Cable Labs to record encrypted digital cable using a CableCARD. You seem to be implying that you can use a TiVo to record the shows and then simply offload them to some of network storage. Which is true with some channels, but not all. And that functionality can be taken away from you by the cable company at any time. Just ask any TWC user.

    That being said if your cable company decides to set the CCI byte you're SOL no matter what platform you use to record it. A protected WTV file can only be played on the PC that created it, and you can even have trouble if you swap out a few parts and reload the OS. The biggest advantage it has over TiVo is that all files are portable, so you can backup and move any WTV file as long as you still have the original machine to play it.
     
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Not really. Can you say MPAA? They wield some big guns, and they have their fingers deep into the guts of a lot of CATV companies. Stop and think... who used to own Time Warner Cable outright?
     
  11. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    If you are insisting the same device that records the video stores the data, then you have a point. Using one device to record and another to store the video makes the point moot. What is a approved by CableLabs and what is possible are also two very different things.

    Over 12,000 Gigabytes (over 2000 videos), so far, converted to MP4 / h.264 via VideoRedo. (Feel free to insert a blatant plug for your software here, although it has no bearing on encryption or CCI.)

    False.

    Not legally, at least not at this time.

    You seem to forget: I was a TWC user. San Antonio was one of the first, if not the very first, city to be treated to the joys of CCI > 0, and most of our channels were not only encrypted, they were SDV. More than 90% of my videos were set to CCI 0x01 by TWC, and more than 50% were on SDV channels.

    Not true. Those of us with S3 class TiVos and a smidgen of gumption can sail on uninterrupted and unperturbed.

    Which is a very big reason I cannot ever recommend an HTPC, especially not on a system like TWC.

    How many machines will still be around substantially intact 20 years from when they were purchased? I have videos I recorded from 2006 onwards. I'm not sure there is a single piece of hardware still around from when the earliest ones were recorded, and I know there is no software. Not only can I play them all without the original hardware, I could, if I choose, play them on virtually any piece of modern hardware, anywhere.
     
  12. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yes they can. They are allowed to flag every channel except broadcast channels as copy never if they want.

    What you are doing is technically a violation of the DMCA and you could be prosecuted if you were caught. Now the chance of that happening is nill, but there is a reason TiVos have gotten progressively more secure over the generations. These companies put a lot of pressure on TiVo to sure up the devices specifically to prevent what you're doing. And if the industry ever moves on from CableCARDs you're going to be SOL because they're going to make sure the next generation stuff is locked down air tight.

    Now I'm not routing against you. Heck our business depends on customers like you. But we can see where the industry is headed and eventually archiving content is no longer going to be possible. There are even provisions in place that will allow MSOs to disable analog outputs, remotely, if they meet certain requirements. Once the loop is closed we're all going to be SOL.

    Yeah TiVo's scheme is much more flexible in that respect. Their public key encryption method allows any device on the same account to play a recording. Although that's moot if you have no way of moving the recording off of the original device.
     
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Sure it does - it's still cheaper than Tivo for whole house once you get beyond a couple of TVs. I've seen your arguments saying that it's not and don't agree with them (for the reasonably tech-savvy among us, that is - certain folks here had no business rolling up WMC).
     
  14. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    That's fine except that you have now entered a gray area that is not allowed for discussion here. Eveything we're talking about here is stock hardware and software, not something you had to hack to get around encryption issues or the CCI byte. The only modifications being discussed are all legal add-ons for WMC that tweak it for additional features or appearance.

    AFAIK, any Tivo newer than a series 3 cannot be hacked to circumvent this issue. A lot of people that want the added tuners or extender capabilities that Tivo offers will likely opt for the newer models, making your argument completely moot. FWIW, my last S3 had a PROM mod that allowed me to do exactly what you're referring to. I'm on FIOS so I don't need any of that with my HTPC since I can simply transfer files over my network without the need for any special software (i.e., Tivo Desktop or kttmg) and edit them with VideoReDo. If I was on a system that flagged the content then it would be another matter entirely. It really doesn't matter to me since I gave up archiving TV shows years ago. It just takes up too much storage and I'll probably never get around to watching anything I've saved. I've already got over 20TB of movies and videos on my server that I will probably never have the opportunity to watch in my lifetime.
     
  15. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Not true at all, at least not in my case since I'm on FIOS. There are scripts available that will automatically transfer recordings to a server or other type of network storage once the recording has completed. If the shows are flagged then it can be problematic. I don't rack up a lot of recordings before I watch them so anything I would lose is minimal at best. Besides, there's always torrents to retrieve lost shows.
     
  16. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    They can flag whatever they want, other than broadcast channels.

    Nope. CableLabs is not a regulatory authority at any level, the fact their actions (not the user's) are mandated by FCC regulations notwithstanding. CATV companies are required to support CableCards, but they are not even required to forbid non-compliant devices from being attached to their network. They are allowed to refuse to support such devices, however.

    Oh, and just for the record, I'm not doing anything with the CCI byte. I'm no longer with TWC, remember? My current CATV provider does not aggressively set the CCI byte, so any one of my neighbors has an option to avoid the CCI byte restrictions merely by dumping TWC.

    Per CableLabs specs. CableLabs specs have no force of law.

    No company has any legal authority. They often act as if they do, and people buy into it, but they do not. There are regulations which in some cases protect companies from various influences, but those regs are produced by legal authorities, not by the companies themselves. The fact the companies often have legislators in their hip pockets is another matter.

    It' also true TiVo must acquiesce to the pressure from the CATV industry in order to survive, but that, also, is in no way a matter of law.

    So would every owner of any S3+ TiVo and any HTPC. As far as being locked down tight, the S4+ systems already pretty much are.

    I wouldn't bet on it, but if it happens, it happens. My library is already pretty comprehensive, and I long ago realized no one can prevent a fool from giving away his freedoms. This is a pretty niche freedom, so gaining a lot of grass roots support for a stand against such a restriction is going to be pretty hopeless. OTOH, Macrovision and DRM on music both failed pretty miserably, so maybe in the long run so will copy protection on CATV feeds.
    There are even provisions in place that will allow MSOs to disable analog outputs, remotely, if they meet certain requirements. Once the loop is closed we're all going to be SOL.
     
  17. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Calling any HTPC "stock" is stretching it.

    I won't go into the details of the modifications here because their discussion is indeed frowned upon in this forum, but that in no way makes them illegal and it certainly does not mean they do not exist.

    Correct, at least for the moment.

    If even one person prefers to keep their old units, then the argument is by definition not completely moot. It is an option.

    It's not about watching or not watching any particular program. It is about having the choice available.
     
  18. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Not at all. Stick a tuner in any off-the-shelf PC and you've got an instant HTPC. In fact, any PC that is used for any type of media playback is considered a HTPC by definition.

    No need. Been there and done that. ;)
     
  19. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The DMCA is very broad and basically says that you are not allowed to take any steps to circumvent copy protection of any kind. So by hacking your TiVo to allow the CCI byte to be disabled you have violated the DMCA.
     
  20. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Actually, it is the only system that CableLabs certified, and fully functional. There are other systems that can get certain channels, or ClearQAM, but not everything.

    In which case, you're not using a PC DVR, so what's your point?

    Comcast and FIOS only flags HBO. Everything else is unflagged. So it's not mandated by the cable providers. Comcast and FIOS are doing it right, TWC is not.

    They legally can, but it's still a botched implementation of what the CCI was supposed to do (well it never should have existed, but that's another story).

    Technically true, but it's hard to do much of anything these days without violating the DMCA. Heck, the legality of Jailbreaking an iPhone has been questioned based on the DMCA.
     
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