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Old 12-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #1
videobruce
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Series 3, HD or Premiere? Considerations with OTA & SDV.

Sorry for another one vs the other thread, but I have specific concerns that need answers. After doing more research I have come across various issues between these three models.

Concerns/issues:
1. OTA performance; the consensus seems to be the Premiere is worse than either Series 3,
2. SDV; Is the Premiere any better than either Series 3 with TWC systems with their TA?
3. Overall problems with basic functions; recording, playback and Guide usage for example. I don't envision doing any Internet video watching. I may want to do transfers to a PC.
4. Other than the display which many seem to like, would the HD be a better choice over the original 'three' since it is more 'green' and has some newer components?

The Series three are attractive for the possible better OTA performance and price. The Premiere is attractive for being considerable newer with the assumption SDV with the problematic Tuning Adapter would work better.
Coming from a 7 year old designed DVR, I'm concerned about getting a 5 0r 6 year old design vs one that is only two years.

Last edited by videobruce : 12-05-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:06 AM   #2
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The transfer rates to or from a PC are several times faster for the Premiere, and something like 10% faster for the orginal S3 than for the HD. The HD can't quite transfer at real time rates for HD videos. That's with hardwired ethernet. WiFi can always make things worse.

I also wonder if the S4 model is generally better with regard to CableCARD, Tuning Adapter, including the SDV tuning failures that sometimes occur. I suspect it's going to be very difficult to get a meaningful answer to that kind of question but it doesn't hurt to ask. I am skeptical there is much difference.

Are you aware that with TWC you probably will only be able to transfer local broadcast station channels to your PC, due to their copy protection policies?

TiVo seems to have stopped supporting Series 3 models (S3 and HD) with software updates. This may or may not be significant to you. At least one cable operator has started encoding digital channels with H.264 (instead of the common MPEG2) and Series 3 models will need at least a software update to handle this encoding. I believe the newer models will get this or don't need it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:21 AM   #3
videobruce
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Quote:
10% faster for the orginal S3 than for the HD. The HD can't quite transfer at real time rates for HD videos.
That is news to me. Cost cutting with the slimed down MB??
Quote:
I also wonder if the S4 model is generally better with regard to CableCARD, Tuning Adapter, including the SDV tuning failures that sometimes occur.
One would think that would be the case.
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with TWC you probably will only be able to transfer local broadcast station channels to your PC, due to their copy protection policies?
No, but I have OTA also.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Concerns/issues:
1. OTA performance; the consensus seems to be the Premiere is worse than either Series 3,
My OTA-only experience is that my Premiere's reception is similar to that of my older TiVo HD on most channels (distant) but dramatically better on a couple of local channels. It may be that the Premiere is better at handling static multipath interference (reflections from buildings, hills, etc), which I believe is my problem with those channels. Some people contend that the Premiere is worse at handling dynamic multipath (reflections from passing trucks, planes, etc), but that isn't a problem at my location. YMMV. I would suggest that you get the Premiere (with two tuners, since the four-tuner models don't handle OTA).
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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The transfer speeds for the variouis models have been reported on this forum, but I don't have the link handy. Other than the time required, not achieving real-time only impacts watching videos while you transfer them back to the TiVo with pyTivo or StreamBaby.

I know there have been reports of SDV tuning failures on the Premiere. But are they less frequent than for Series 3 models? Again I don't see how you could ever collect enough statistics on this, averaged over all TWC regions and numerous TiVo's, to give a meaningful answer.

You don't need OTA to be able to transfer local broadcast stations to the PC. Their copies will not be protected on TWC (or any other cable co), as required by FCC regs.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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Only the premiere can do streaming, older models can only transfer, which is hindered by how TWC treats their customers.

Older models cannot use the Stream, nor the upcoming "Mini", or any other bells and whistles under development.

Older models have older drives and use more energy. S3s seem to have a prevalence of caps having issues, so either downtime/modifications/new power supply could be a future requirement.

Premieres are easy to upgrade to 2TB. S-3 cannot go that big, through the HD can. Four tuners are the future, and seems to come in handy more often that users expect.

S3 needs two cablecards, others only need one.

Premiere with lifetime will hold more value than the older units. Older units with lifetime are cheaper, but by how much?

If I were you, I would pick up a premiere and check it out. You have 30 days to return if you want to drop to an older model. You cannot do that in reverse.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:18 AM   #7
videobruce
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Quote:
older models can only transfer, which is hindered by how TWC treats their customers.
What/how is this hindered? Are you talking about this CCI deal?
Quote:
Older models cannot use the Stream, nor the upcoming "Mini",
I haven't looked into this "Mini" yet. I assume it is just a device to remotely watch recordings on a regular TiVo?
Quote:
S3 needs two cablecards, others only need one.
Does that include the HD version?
Quote:
Older units with lifetime are cheaper, but by how much?
Around $200.

At present, the 'deal' I have through TWC is their "Triple Play" for $80 plus MTA, etc. for a final cost of $91/mo which is good until next August. The last 'package' I had expired by two months, but the price never went up. I don't know what will happen next year as far as pricing. I believe the DVR is now extra, unlike my package which is included in the price.
At the current pricing, as much as I don't like their DVR, it isn't worth it to have a TiVo except for OTA. I would want one that can do both so that leaves out the Premiere 4's.

I figured going the eBay route.

Last edited by videobruce : 12-06-2012 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #8
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Apparently there will always be confusion about what to call the Series 3 models. Both the S3 (model 648....) and the HD (models 652... and 658...) are Series 3 models. (If you don't believe the HD is Series 3 just look on the front panel.) Many (but not all) people designate the model 648.... as the "S3" or "original S3"). But others say "S3" and mean all Series 3 models.

Anyway, only the Model 648..... (original S3) requires two CableCARDs (single or multiple type). The HD can use either two CC's or one multiple type ("m-card").

Yes the transfer limitation on Series 3 models is a result of CCI copy protection. It also prevents transfer on newer models, but they have another mechanism (streaming) that enables MRV. The key difference is that transferring, which is the only MRV mechanism provided for Series 3 models, actually creates an additional copy of the video on the destination TiVo, which violates CCI protection. Streaming does not create an additional copy, just allows you to view the video through another TiVo.

The Premiere has OTA tuners. The Elites do not. I'm not sure "S4 Premiere" is a sensible label.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
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The HD should of been a Series 4. Series 4 should be five.
Unnecessarily confusing.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtroo View Post
Only the premiere can do streaming, older models can only transfer, which is hindered by how TWC treats their customers.

Older models cannot use the Stream, nor the upcoming "Mini", or any other bells and whistles under development.

Older models have older drives and use more energy. S3s seem to have a prevalence of caps having issues, so either downtime/modifications/new power supply could be a future requirement.

Premieres are easy to upgrade to 2TB. S-3 cannot go that big, through the HD can. Four tuners are the future, and seems to come in handy more often that users expect.

S3 needs two cablecards, others only need one.

Premiere with lifetime will hold more value than the older units. Older units with lifetime are cheaper, but by how much?

If I were you, I would pick up a premiere and check it out. You have 30 days to return if you want to drop to an older model. You cannot do that in reverse.
Some people are having success putting 2TB drives in original S3s (OLED, 648), but it's a little less straightforward a process to do so.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:55 AM   #11
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I had the same choice to make and ended up getting a $49 refurb Premiere for the following reasons:
1. I can use it with the Stream in the future
2. The newest update makes the Premiere HD interface snappy
3. The OTA antenna input works fine (a requirement for me as I'm ota only)
4. The low initial cost will let me upgrade to a new box next year if I decide I want the latest-and-greatest and if the new tivo will have OTA and 4 tuners.
5. So far (after only a month) my Premier has been trouble free and flawless.
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