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Old 08-26-2006, 11:55 AM   #151
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This is beginning to concern me, as well. I had the Sony DHG unit for several months, and the only way I was able to successfully receive all my are OTA HD channels was by re-mapping. If the S3 won't allow this, it's gonna be a problem. I'm not confident the TiVo guide, as good as it's been, will be able to handle all the nuances of digital channel mapping with multiple subs involved.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:12 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megazone
No. Why? Because it still wouldn't be able to record HD from the satellite receivers. They don't expose the raw digital streams and it isn't practical to record from HDMI or component in a consumer level product. So you'd, at best, record SD - and the S2 can do that, so why buy an S3 to get S2 performance?

Satellite users will either go with the satellite DVR for HD recording, or just because it is the cheap & easy option, or they can use an S2 for SD recording from a receiver. The S3 is aimed at the HDTV market where TiVo can record digital streams directly - ATSC from antenna and digital cable with CableCARD.

Speaking of HD, my 61" Samsung was just delivered - now I need to assemble the stand and wire it. :-)
I know I'm late into the discussion but for those of us that either: (i) live in Canada or elsewhere; or (ii) have a non-major MSO cable provider; we'd like to be able to buy the Series 3 now so that when cablecard DOES become an option we'll have a device that can use it.

I have been aching to upgrade my system for a long time now. I don't want to buy a Series 2 this year only to discover that next year my cableco supports Cablecard.

THAT'S why TiVo should include an IR/blaster s-video in-option as they do on Series 2s. If they do, sign me up as the first purchaser!

I'm hoping that with the feedback we've given since this beast was first shown, that TiVo has decided to include s-video or component in with an IR blaster as an option

...Dale
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:19 PM   #153
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THAT'S why TiVo should include an IR/blaster s-video in-option as they do on Series 2s. If they do, sign me up as the first purchaser!

I'm hoping that with the feedback we've given since this beast was first shown, that TiVo has decided to include s-video or component in with an IR blaster as an option

...Dale[/quote]


I hear you Dale but I think you can forget it. The fact is the TiVo website now says you must have cable card to use. Given how few sets are coming with cable card i think this more than anything else will contribute to tivo's downfall. i know i am getting ready to buy a new 40 in. sony hd-ready and it has not cable card option. so, unfortunately, i am going to have to forego waiting for series 3 and go with comcast dvr. tivo made some bad choices in developing this thing but cable card was the worst.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:30 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by chandler1818
The fact is the TiVo website now says you must have cable card to use. Given how few sets are coming with cable card i think this more than anything else will contribute to tivo's downfall.
You don't need a TV that supports CableCARD, it is the Series 3 supports CableCARD. You'll only need CableCARD in the Series 3 to recieve the encrypted digital channels and, possibly, to map the unencrypted QAM channels so that they can be linked to their guide data.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:40 PM   #155
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This isn't the first time somebody's been confused by the "my TV doesn't support cablecard issue". Tivo should probably attack this misunderstanding now before it starts affecting sales. How about an update to the cablecard FAQ that makes that perfectly clear?
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:49 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by greg_burns
This isn't the first time somebody's been confused by the "my TV doesn't support cablecard issue". Tivo should probably attack this misunderstanding now before it starts affecting sales. How about an update to the cablecard FAQ that makes that perfectly clear?

So, you can use Series 3 with a tv that does not have cablecard capabilities?
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:55 PM   #157
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QUESTION 1: Does the Series 3 have an ATSC Tuner BUILT IN?

Or does it just have a coax input that can take content FROM an ATSC Tuner? Humm... as I type this that doesn't make sense because without the tuner it couldn't change the channel.

OK, can someone confirm that it has an ATSC tuner and the "Antenna In" coax-input is where you attach an antenna?

If so, this may be a short term solution for me. I live in downtown Toronto, just a few blocks from the CN Tower where all the local HDTV stations have their antennas. Perhaps, if the TiVo Series 3 has an ATSC Tuner, I could use that to record my prime-time HD shows off the air.

I could then ditch my Rogers SFA 8300HD box (which I despise). I have a secondary digital tuner box that I own that I could still use to feed my Series 1 for all the other non-HD digital channels I want and have the secondary analogue tuner on the TiVo Series 3 record conflicting shows from analogue.

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE IT WOULD WORK?

I guess I'd loose my high-def movie channels but, hey, I can live with that so long as I could still record SD-digital movies on my other S1 TiVo for now.

QUESTION 2: Does anyone have suggestions on an affordable ATSC antenna?

I could place beside my condo window. It's about 20 feet from the TV so I need to get a cable over to it. I've never seriously considered this before so I'm rather week on my knowledge of how OTA HD recording works. Or, better yet, can anyone give a link to a website that discussess ATSC antenna options for high-rise condos? My Dell 4200 Plasma has an ATSC Tuner built in that I've never tried. If using the S3 with an ATSC-tuner built in is a viable option, I'll go out and buy an ATSC antenna and cable before buying an S3 to see if I get enough HD stations in Toronto to make it worth the while.

QUESTION 3: How does picking an OTA channel work when you also have cable?

I've had a TiVo for 7 years and never recorded OTA. If I want to tell TiVo to record a show off the ATSC Tuner (and not the analogue) how do I do that. So, let's say I want to record LOST off the ATSC-antenna but it is also on analogue cable. But, I'd want to record another TV show off the analogue channel at the same time. Can I tell TiVo specifically to record one show off the antenna and another off the analogue cable? If LOST is on, let's say the local Canadian network Global OTA and on the analogue cable signal, how do I tell it to record from global OTA and not global on the analogue cable - especially if they have the same "channel number". This is probably a very basic question for those who have recorded OTA for years but I honestly have no idea how TiVo handles that.

Many thanks.

...Dale
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Last edited by Dajad : 08-26-2006 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:56 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandler1818
So, you can use Series 3 with a tv that does not have cablecard capabilities?
Sure. You connect from S3 to TV via HDMI or component (RG&B) cables. Think about it. The CC tunes the channels for the S3 to record. If the card was in your TV, how could the S3 control it?
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:02 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 1: Does the Series 3 have an ATSC Tuner BUILT IN?
Yes

Edit: On a side-note the new DT's have neither ATSC nor NTSC tuner. By FCC mandate, to have an NTSC tuner you must include an ATSC one, Tivo chose neither for the DTs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 2: Does anyone have suggestions on an affordable ATSC antenna?
Try the cheapest pair of (amplified) rabbit ears you can find to start with. Works for me. Check out http://antennaweb.org

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 3: How does picking an OTA channel work when you also have cable?
The OTA channel lineup has got to be in the guide data. That is what all the fret is about with the QAM channels via cable. Hopefully Tivo makes it custimizable in some way in case the guide data is incomplete.
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:11 PM   #160
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So, you can use Series 3 with a tv that does not have cablecard capabilities?
Absolutely.
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:15 PM   #161
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Wow, thanks for the fast responses.

QUESTION 3 FOLLOW-UP


I'm still a bit fuzzy on OTA vs. Cable recording. How does it work with current NTSC OTA recording when cable is also present - or perhaps this isn't a practical question? Because if someone has cable why would they also want to record NTSC OTA?

QUESTION 4: When the two-way cable cards come out in the future, will they work with the Series III.

I personally do NOT ever want to use two-way cards because I never purchase premium services from my cable company, but I have a mole inside Rogers, my local Canadian cable provider, and they said that they likely WILL support cable cards once the two-way standard is fully ratified and implemented. So, that will give me some hope of future cable card use in Canada - well, assuming the TiVo will be able to handle the two-way card for one way digital content decoding/recording.

...Dale
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:28 PM   #162
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3. I don't think they would, but what about the people who don't have cable. I know it's an expensive box for NTSC OTA only but maybe some people are waiting for HD to come to their neck of woods. Also, for some people NTSC OTA can be a better picture than what their cable company provides.

4. All the experts say NO. Apparantly the Series 3 doesn't have the necesssary H/W to certify for CableCard 2.
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:09 PM   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 3 FOLLOW-UP
I'm still a bit fuzzy on OTA vs. Cable recording. How does it work with current NTSC OTA recording when cable is also present - or perhaps this isn't a practical question? Because if someone has cable why would they also want to record NTSC OTA?
1) The S3, unlike S2 boxes before S2DT, has 2 coax inputs, 1 for cable and 1 for antenna.
2) The reason for wanting OTA recording is ATSC - that's digital TV, SD or HD. These digital channels look great and, in some cases, the cable co's do not carry all the local stuff you can get ATSC in digital for or even HD. I know mine does not.
As others have said, by 2007 (can't remember if it's Jan or July), you will not be able to sell any TV or OTA TV tuner that cannot tune ATSC (digital). So anything that tunes analog NTSC must also have a digital tuner. BTW, the FCC has now set the analog NTSC OTA turn-off date to mid-2009 and everyone thinks that's going to stick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 4: When the two-way cable cards come out in the future, will they work with the Series III.
Yes, they will work in the S3 because they'll be backward compatible. However, the S3 will not be able to take advantage of any of the 2-way features, only the multi-stream features. M-cards, or multi-stream cards are just coming out (so called 1.5 cards; i.e., 1.0 one-way cards with multi-stream) that S3 can use as well. With M-cards or 2.0 cards, you should only need 1 CCard in the S3 to get dual tuner cable recordings. With 1.0 cards, you need 2. There is still debate as to whether you could use the dual-tuner capabilities for OTA NTSC/ATSC and single tuner for cable with one 1.0 Card. In other words, no one outside TiVo or the S3-Beta program knows for sure if S3 supports asymmetric channel lineups like the S2DT.
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Old 08-26-2006, 04:28 PM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_burns
"Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 2: Does anyone have suggestions on an affordable ATSC antenna?"
Try the cheapest pair of (amplified) rabbit ears you can find to start with. Works for me. Check out http://antennaweb.org
I'd suggest starting with an antenna which will likely work for you, rather than the cheapest. Antenna web will give recommendations on the sort of antenna to think about. Until you know what sort of antenna you need its pointless giving recomendations. Also individual circumstances can complicate matters.

(For example, rabit ears ($2.50 from Rat Shack) will only pick up one station for me, the rest are on UHF. Antenna web says I should be able use a small multi-directional Antenna ($25 from Rat Shack) but that didn't work because of trees in exactly the wrong place. I've ended up with the biggest directional antenna you can find, with pre-amp, and still I get drop outs in bad weather.)
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:11 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by stevereis

Yes, they will work in the S3 because they'll be backward compatible. However, the S3 will not be able to take advantage of any of the 2-way features, only the multi-stream features. M-cards, or multi-stream cards are just coming out (so called 1.5 cards; i.e., 1.0 one-way cards with multi-stream) that S3 can use as well. With M-cards or 2.0 cards, you should only need 1 CCard in the S3 to get dual tuner cable recordings. With 1.0 cards, you need 2. There is still debate as to whether you could use the dual-tuner capabilities for OTA NTSC/ATSC and single tuner for cable with one 1.0 Card. In other words, no one outside TiVo or the S3-Beta program knows for sure if S3 supports asymmetric channel lineups like the S2DT.
Hoo ha! That's exactly what I was hoping. I won't EVER want the two-way functionality, just the one way functionality (within the two-way standard) once Rogers finally starts supporting two-way cable cards. And multi-stream support is just icing on the cake. THAT's how much I HATE HATE HATE the SFA 8300HD PVR. I'd rather pay for two cable-cards (if I had that option with Rogers - which I don't) with an S3 than use this piece of crap that I can't wait to get out of my entertainment center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btwyx
I'd suggest starting with an antenna which will likely work for you, rather than the cheapest. Antenna web will give recommendations on the sort of antenna to think about. Until you know what sort of antenna you need its pointless giving recomendations. Also individual circumstances can complicate matters.

(For example, rabit ears ($2.50 from Rat Shack) will only pick up one station for me, the rest are on UHF. Antenna web says I should be able use a small multi-directional Antenna ($25 from Rat Shack) but that didn't work because of trees in exactly the wrong place. I've ended up with the biggest directional antenna you can find, with pre-amp, and still I get drop outs in bad weather.)
Well as for me, I am on the 26th floor with a clear line of site to the world's tallest free standing structure (the CN Tower) just a couple miles away - it looms before me. all the HD Channels of relevance broadcast from there. So I figure I just need to put something in the window, point it at the tower and I should be good to go.

I just have NO clue what to get because I have never used an antenna in my life - its always been cable. And the http://antennaweb.org site recommended by Greg, explicitly does not cover indoor antennas, only outdoor ones. I guess I can just buy whatever Radio Shack has and try it and then return it if it doesn't work. Perhpas that will be my Sunday project.

Thanks all!
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Last edited by Dajad : 08-26-2006 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:37 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by btwyx
For example, rabit ears ($2.50 from Rat Shack) will only pick up one station for me, the rest are on UHF.
Granted, I know next to nothing about antennas. The stations I do receive, with amplified rabbit ears (those are suppose to be for VHF reception right?) are all UHF according to antennaweb.org. Go figure.

I do know if I turn off the amplification, I can't get anything in my area.

Edit: I take that back. My rabbit ears antenna also has a UHF loop. It is an RCA ANT200B.

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Old 08-26-2006, 06:40 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Dajad
Perhpas that will be my Sunday project.
I assume your TV has ATSC tuner already to test with. Or did you get an S3 already and just aren't sharing.
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:50 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by greg_burns
I assume your TV has ATSC tuner already to test with. Or did you get an S3 already and just aren't sharing.
NO, TiVo hasn't even started distributing S2's at retail in Canada so I'm not on the S3 beta list - wish I was. My Dell 4200 Plasma has an HD tuner in it. I've had the beast for a year and a half (love it by the way) and I've never tried it because Rogers has everything I ever want (I subscribe to almost every channel) except a decent HD PVR. The SFA 8300HD PVR is a NIGHTMARE to use when you are used to TiVo - but I use it to record my HD whilie keeping my other two lifetimed S1s recording everything else I want.

I used to have cheapo UHF antennas floating around that I gave away years ago. Funny thing is, I live, eat and breath PVRs as TV-watching goes. I don't understand how people watch live TV anymore - for anything. So I figured, why even bother checking out the HD-OTA since I can't record it anyway - so I've had an HD tuner all this time and never bothered to try.

It's after 6:00 now and the stores are closed ... so I'll have to wait until Sunday to do some shopping. Radio Shack's franchisee also wen't belly up here in Canada a few months ago so I'll be hiking it up to Best Buy (which thankfully just started opening Toronto stores in the last year or so - no Circuit City here yet).

I'm really getting stoked about the possibility of using the S3 even without Cablecard. Seems like it will work for me (with my S1 recording all my other digital cable channels).

...Dale
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:57 PM   #169
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Many people (including me) have had very good luck with a small unobtrusive indoor antenna called the Silver Sensor. It costs about $25US.
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:57 PM   #170
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QUESTION 5: How much compression can Tivo get in HD-OTA recordings.

Sorry to hijack this thread but it occured to me that HD-OTA recordings will likely REALLY eat up the S3's hard drive. HD received via cable-card will be compressed. As with DirecTiVo, the S3 should be able to record an hour of HD per gig??? because the signal is already compressed? As I understand DirecTiVo, the compressed signal is recorded straight up - bit for bit.

But, the S3 would need to have a PS3 cell processor in it to accept straight in-the clear HDTV signals OTA and compress them to any degree. This makes me think that the HDTV signals recorded off air are going to REALLY chew up and spit out the S3 hard drive. If this is the case I'll probably need to get the 9th Tea or weaknees to put their largest hard drive in an S3 to get any recording capacity out of this since most of my recordings would be OTA ATSC HD content (that is until Rogers starts supporting Cable Card 2 some time in the next decade).

Am I missing something here?
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:00 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by jhays
Many people (including me) have had very good luck with a small unobtrusive indoor antenna called the Silver Sensor. It costs about $25US.

Thanks jhays. I see that Dell has that one on their website. Any idea if Best Buy stocks this beast. www.Tiger.ca (Tiger Direct Canada) doesn't seem to.

There seems to be two products called the Silver Sensor.

This one by Zenith

and

This one by Philips

Which are you referring to?

...Dale
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:04 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 5: How much compression can Tivo get in HD-OTA recordings.
I don't believe any HD recordings will be compressed at all with the S3. And I thought it was more like 8.5GB-10GB/hr for HD @ 1080i(?) That is news to me that is will be compressed when coming via cable.

The S3 will support external storage via an eSata drive.

I edited my post above to mention my antenna type; RCA-ANT200B.
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:06 PM   #173
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My Silver Sensor is the Zenith. I wasn't aware of the Phillips version.
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:30 PM   #174
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My Silver Sensor is the Zenith. I wasn't aware of the Phillips version.
The Zenith version works much better although they look the same.
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:41 PM   #175
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The Zenith version works much better although they look the same.
I had the Zenith version, and it worked so-so. I never felt it lived up to the hype.
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:59 PM   #176
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well we usually have a distribution channel like Amazon or BEst Buy do something boneheaded and then a product is shown too early or someone that works in that arena publishes some stuff as they want the cred for breaking it just before the release . 8 or 9 more weeks for logistics to get worked out could happen. My bet is more toward the front of October but October 19th is my Birthday

so I used the word imminent but more in the business distribution chain sense of a month or so.

PS TiVo typically makes the product available for sell from its site a few days before retail channels make it available.
Ah no. They don't want "cred". They want your "credit". As in credit cards. They put products up early so they can get preorders. They are retailers not forums. They don't need the "cred" of getting product up early. They just want to beat the each other to your wallet.
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Old 08-26-2006, 09:14 PM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 5: How much compression can Tivo get in HD-OTA recordings.

Sorry to hijack this thread but it occured to me that HD-OTA recordings will likely REALLY eat up the S3's hard drive. HD received via cable-card will be compressed. As with DirecTiVo, the S3 should be able to record an hour of HD per gig??? because the signal is already compressed? As I understand DirecTiVo, the compressed signal is recorded straight up - bit for bit.

But, the S3 would need to have a PS3 cell processor in it to accept straight in-the clear HDTV signals OTA and compress them to any degree. This makes me think that the HDTV signals recorded off air are going to REALLY chew up and spit out the S3 hard drive. If this is the case I'll probably need to get the 9th Tea or weaknees to put their largest hard drive in an S3 to get any recording capacity out of this since most of my recordings would be OTA ATSC HD content (that is until Rogers starts supporting Cable Card 2 some time in the next decade).

Am I missing something here?
The 250gb disk the S3 comes with will be good for 30 hours of HD programming.

I added a 300gb drive to my HR10-250 which also came with a 250gb drive,
and I now have 70 hours of HD capability.
(470 hours of SD content, but I really only use it for HD programming)


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Old 08-26-2006, 09:23 PM   #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 5: How much compression can Tivo get in HD-OTA recordings.
The S3 will do no compression on digital channels. It'll record the digital signal exactly as it receves. That puts the question of compression as to what's sent to you.

An ATSC signal is 19.4 Mb/s I think. That's 8.5GB per hour or there abouts. Not all of that signal is necessarily one channel though. They can fit 5 SD channels in that space, the TiVo will record any one of those channels (not the whole stream). The broadcaster can decide how to split this up, they can send one HD channel for the whole stream, or in exteme cases 1 HD channel (severly degraded) and 4SD channels at the same time (one local station does that). Its somewhat uncertain how much that HD channel will take up. My HD DTiVo says its "up to" 77 hours for its 600GB.

If you receive this through a cable company, they could potentially monkey around with that signal and compress it more, destroy the quality, but give them more bandwidth to use. DirecTV does that on satellite, I don't know if cable companies do.
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Old 08-26-2006, 09:40 PM   #179
texmex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
QUESTION 5: How much compression can Tivo get in HD-OTA recordings.

Sorry to hijack this thread but it occured to me that HD-OTA recordings will likely REALLY eat up the S3's hard drive. HD received via cable-card will be compressed. As with DirecTiVo, the S3 should be able to record an hour of HD per gig??? because the signal is already compressed? As I understand DirecTiVo, the compressed signal is recorded straight up - bit for bit.

But, the S3 would need to have a PS3 cell processor in it to accept straight in-the clear HDTV signals OTA and compress them to any degree. This makes me think that the HDTV signals recorded off air are going to REALLY chew up and spit out the S3 hard drive. If this is the case I'll probably need to get the 9th Tea or weaknees to put their largest hard drive in an S3 to get any recording capacity out of this since most of my recordings would be OTA ATSC HD content (that is until Rogers starts supporting Cable Card 2 some time in the next decade).

Am I missing something here?
What you're missing is that OTA ATSC HD content is in fact compressed MPEG-2. The digital HD streams from your cable company are also compressed MPEG-2. In both cases the S3 will simply write the stream to the hard drive without any further compression. The bitrates from both will vary depending on the source:
- High bitrate OTA HD will top out at ~19mbps (no multi-casting)
- Low bitrate (multi-casting) OTA HD may get as low as 12-14mbps
- I don't have cable, but I can only imagine that bitrates will vary between systems and even by channel. They may pass network HD untouched (19mbps), or they may smash it into HD-Lite like D* (1280x1080i, 10-12mbps).

I don't know where you came up with 1hr of HD per gig; a 16mbps stream will require about 7GB/hour. The DirecTivo comes with a 250GB drive and advertises 30 hours of HD recording - that's 8.3GB/hour. In reality, D* streams are SOOOOO over-compressed that you can record more than 30 hours.

The only thing that the S3 will compress is analog cable*, and in this task it will behave just like any S2 TiVo.



* didn't bother to check if the S3 will have an analog NTSC tuner, in which case it will also compress those streams.
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Old 08-26-2006, 10:16 PM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texmex
* didn't bother to check if the S3 will have an analog NTSC tuner, in which case it will also compress those streams.
It will.
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