I have both a Tivo Series 2 and a Tivo Premiere.
My cable company recently upgraded their infrastructure out of the 1980s and into the present day. But something strange has happened as a result.
My Tivo Series 2 is behaving exactly as it had been behaving before the upgrade.
But my Tivo premier is doing something I don't understand.
I often make redundant recordings with the two boxes- same recording quality (Best), and same length, channel, etc. Before the upgrade, the same recording on my Premiere would generally be about 10-15% larger in terms of file size than it's Series 2 counterpart. After the upgrade, an identical recording on the premiere will only be about 70-75% as large as the series 2 counterpart.
The recordings on the Series 2 seem to be about the same size as they've always been at a given length and quality. The Premiere recordings are only a little over half they sizes they used to be. I verified to make sure my default quality was set at "Best," and it is.
Another thing that may or may not be related: I often transfer the recordings to Tivo Desktop and then edit them with VideoRedo software. When I transfer from my Series2, the file behaves normally during editing. When I transfer from the premiere, the software has trouble syncing the frames on playback with the frames in the frame-by-frame navigation system. In other words, it won't show the correct picture in the navigator that it shows on the viewing module. It will also get stuck in loops where I can't advance or reverse the navigation more than a few frames unless I actually hit play. I have a feeling this will make no sense unless you use VideoRedo like I do. When I perform a Quickstream Fix, the video then begins behaving normally. The Sync issue (but not the navigation loop) used to happen sometimes before the upgrade, but it now happens every single time I try to edit a Premiere recording, plus the loop now occurs.
Strangely, I haven't noticed any significant loss of video or audio quality in the apparently undersized recordings. That being said, I'm not enough of a techie to necessarily recognize subtle differences. Could it be that my cablecard is receiving at a lower bitrate or resolution than my cable box? Or is this just a case where my Series 2 could be trying to record at a higher quality than the source is capable of delivering, and thus inflating its file sizes artificially?
As a point of reference, my Series 2 last night recorded an hour and 45 minute program at best quality at a size of 4718 MB. The Premiere recorded the same program with the same specs at 3400 MB. Before the upgrade, I would have expected the latter number to be at or above 5000 MB.
I talked to Tivo Support about this for a very long time, but the guy was pretty unhelpful. He kept obsessing over the fact that the Series 2 has an expanded hard drive, which isn't really relevant considering the file sizes haven't changed on it at all, and are consistent with what my prior, unmodified Series 2 was doing.
Also, he had me check the disk usage for the program referenced above. For some reason it showed up on my series 2 as 4.2 GB, but only .03 GB on my Premiere. This seems like a mistake- whether it just displays wrong on the Premiere or if there's something really screwed up with the internal workings of the thing. That's only like 30 megs, and yet I still have a solid quality 105 minutes of video out of it.
Any help or advice would be much appreciated. I just can't trust these small files to be high quality, even though they appear to be, without some understanding of why they're turning out that way.