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Old 01-23-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
bobdole888
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regular premier recoding 4 shows?

It seems that since the regular premier can record 2 shows on OTA or 2 shows on cable, it would suggest that each tuner is a dual-tuner. So why can't it record 4 shows, 2 OTA + 2 cable?
I doubt there is hardware limitation. Since the premier 4 can record 4 cable shows, it doesn't seem like the HDD or interface would bandwidth limited.
I wonder if Tivo would be releasing another version of premier to do what I suggested, 2+2 recording. I would think it's just a software tweak to make this happen.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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To confusing to the user. If you want 4 tuners get a Premiere 4 or XL4.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bobdole888 View Post
It seems that since the regular premier can record 2 shows on OTA or 2 shows on cable, it would suggest that each tuner is a dual-tuner. So why can't it record 4 shows, 2 OTA + 2 cable?
I doubt there is hardware limitation. Since the premier 4 can record 4 cable shows, it doesn't seem like the HDD or interface would bandwidth limited.
I wonder if Tivo would be releasing another version of premier to do what I suggested, 2+2 recording. I would think it's just a software tweak to make this happen.
Don't think "tuner", think "data channels". There is more to supporting a data stream than just the "tuner". A cable card can handle more than four data channels, but it takes internal support also. True, it's mostly software, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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I can't say for certain but I bet the two tuner Premiere could record 4 things, 2 OTA and 2 Cable, at the same time given the proper software. However it would be unbelievably confusing to the user and to try and market. They already tried an asymmetrical setup like this in S2DT and it was, and still is, a PITA to explain. People don't want to keep track of what source they use to get which program. They just want to setup recordings and forget about them. Heck they even disabled analog recording the 4 tuner units because the chipset they use can only encode two analog streams at a time and they didn't want that same type of confusion.

We are never going to see a TiVo with a 2+2 configuration even if it is technically possible. The best you can hope for is that some future version of TiVo will be able to record 4 things from either OTA or cable.

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
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I don't see what's so confusing about 2 OTA and 2 cable.
If the user chooses too many shows to record, tivo will just show a recording conflict. I don't think anyone really looks at when a show comes on anymore. We just schedule the shows that we want. If there's a conflict, we can pick which one to record. There's still alot of value to be able to record 4 on the regular premiere. Particularly during prime time, one can record all 4 major broadcasters for the whole night and not worry about conflicts.

I say give the user the choice. Don't hold it back just because you think dumb users won't know how to make use of it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bobdole888 View Post
It seems that since the regular premier can record 2 shows on OTA or 2 shows on cable, it would suggest that each tuner is a dual-tuner. So why can't it record 4 shows, 2 OTA + 2 cable?
I doubt there is hardware limitation. Since the premier 4 can record 4 cable shows, it doesn't seem like the HDD or interface would bandwidth limited.
I wonder if Tivo would be releasing another version of premier to do what I suggested, 2+2 recording. I would think it's just a software tweak to make this happen.
I believe the original 2-tuner Premieres have two tuners, each of which is capable of tuning OTA frequencies or cable frequencies, plus demodulators capable of processing 8VSB encoding (OTA) or QAM encoding (cable). There are not actually four different tuners in those models.

The newer models obviously must have four tuners, but specs are hard to find. (Has anyone photographed the chips inside?) Either those tuners are incapable of tuning OTA frequencies (really hard to believe) or the demodulators in those models are incapable of processing 8VSB encoding (somewhat easier to believe) or TiVo arbitrarily chose to exclude support for OTA frequencies and 8VSB modulation in order to appease their new pals the cable companies (disappointing but probably believable).
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:05 AM   #7
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When you look at them internally the 2 tuner and 4 tuner units have the same basic tuner modules the only difference is that the 2 tuner unit has 2 seperate inputs. Plus the 4 tuner unit has a MoCa module right at the input. I don't know what's inside those modules, but they look to be the same size and have the same numbers printed on the outside.

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:10 AM   #8
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I don't see what's so confusing about 2 OTA and 2 cable.
95% of TiVo users don't use OTA so how would they market it? 4 tuners if you use OTA and cable, but only 2 tuners if you use one or the other? That's what's confusing. Plus people who did have both would have to juggle their SPs so that they could actually record 4 things. And as you said most people don't care when shows are actually on any more so it becomes a maintenance problem if shows change schedules and cause a conflict only because it's on cable and not OTA, or vice versa. (SPs are channel specific so they wouldn't adjust dynamically to whatever is available)

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:45 AM   #9
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When you look at them internally the 2 tuner and 4 tuner units have the same basic tuner modules the only difference is that the 2 tuner unit has 2 seperate inputs. Plus the 4 tuner unit has a MoCa module right at the input. I don't know what's inside those modules, but they look to be the same size and have the same numbers printed on the outside.

Dan
According to the table in the TiVo Premiere FAQ, the Premiere and Premiere XL use:
Broadcom BCM7413 system chip
Microtune MT2131 tuners (2)
Micronas DRX 3946J (OTA?) and Micronas DRX 3944J (cable?) demodulators

EDIT: Apparently both DRX3946J and DRX3944J handle 8VSB (digital OTA), QAM (digital cable) and NTSC (analog), but the DRX3944J also contains a CableCard interface.

This TiVo Sales and Installation Guide seems to say an XL4 uses the same chips, which I find hard to believe because the XL4 surely has more tuners, plus this MaxLinear press release says that the TiVo Elite uses MaxLinear's MxL241SF single-die integrated tuner and QAM demodulator. So can someone please verify exactly which chips (and how many) are actually in the new 4-tuner Premieres? Thanks.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:03 PM   #10
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I'd actually like to know that as well.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bobdole888 View Post
I don't see what's so confusing about 2 OTA and 2 cable.
If the user chooses too many shows to record, tivo will just show a recording conflict.
The (potentially) confusing thing is that "too many" could be either 3, or 4, or 5 shows; depending on what channels they happen to be on.


The S2DT had the same issue, for it "too many" could be 2 or 3 depending on the source. (And it added to the potential confusion by attempting to record off of analog even if the SP had been set on the digital/cable-box version of the channel; in order to keep the more flexable cable-box free for live-tv or additional recordings)
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
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The (potentially) confusing thing is that "too many" could be either 3, or 4, or 5 shows; depending on what channels they happen to be on.
Exactly how would that be any more confusing than what happens now?

It seems like a perfectly reasonable suggestion to allow OTA and cablecard instead of one or the other.

I imagine the problem would be the scheduling software the TiVo uses which I get the impression hasn't changed for many years. Given how long it takes TiVo to make seemingly simple changes to the UI I wouldn't expect them to dare to tinker with their core software.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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Exactly how would that be any more confusing than what happens now?

It seems like a perfectly reasonable suggestion to allow OTA and cablecard instead of one or the other.
Right now a normal Premiere can always record 2 things. It doesn't matter if they're on analog cable, digital cable, or antenna (or any mix of those options). You can always record two shows; never 3.

As soon as you can "sometimes" record 3 or 4 people have to pay attention and know what source each channel is on and understand why the TiVo sometimes doesn't record a show when it was "only" recording 2 things. "If it's suppose to be a 4-tuner device why didn't it record my 3 shows; this product is stupid and broken and I want my money back).


Sure, you and I understand what source each channel is from, and can adapt by recording network shows from the antenna feed instead of the cable feed. And you'd understand when you wanted to record 3 things from one source that it could do that.

But TiVo just isn't in the market, for better or worse (and sometimes I think worse) of catering to power users. That's why the S2DT was such an anomaly for them. They've said publicly that they want their products to be as simple and non-surprising as practical; even at the expense of the possible maximum technical capabilities of the hardware platform.

There are a number of capabilities that have been requested that would make TiVo more flexible at the expense of some complexity (or potential confusion) which TiVo hasn't delivered, including:
1) negative padding (I want this recording to start 1 minute late)
2) automatic overlap when recordings are back to back on the same channel. (record any overlap on a single tuner and apply the date to both recordings)
3) turn clipping into a season pass option, rather than a global one
4) allow users to select how the TiVo treats episodes with partial guide data
5) allow manual channel mapping for QAM w/o cable card
(and probably others I can't recall offhand)
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:43 PM   #14
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What's your desire in negative padding?
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:20 PM   #15
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Yeah I think #3 would solve any problems and negate the reason for having #1

Edit: Personally I think #2 in addition to an option which automatically pads the start/end of all shows by 1 minute when possible would solve 99% of my issues with padding an overlapping

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:43 PM   #16
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Right now a normal Premiere can always record 2 things. It doesn't matter if they're on analog cable, digital cable, or antenna (or any mix of those options). You can always record two shows; never 3.

As soon as you can "sometimes" record 3 or 4 people have to pay attention and know what source each channel is on and understand why the TiVo sometimes doesn't record a show when it was "only" recording 2 things. "If it's suppose to be a 4-tuner device why didn't it record my 3 shows; this product is stupid and broken and I want my money back).
You are over complicating the issue. People select the shows they want and let TiVo take care of recording them. The mechanics of the scheduling are invisible to users other than those who like to delve into those things.

If it is physically possible for a Premiere to record off OTA and cable at the same time then I'm sure the reason they don't is because of the headache of reprogramming the scheduling algorithms which I don't think TiVo wrote themselves (might well be wrong about that but I was under the impression a third party wrote the original TiVo code).
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:07 PM   #17
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That would be fine if the TiVo could decide whether to record from cable or OTA depending on how things conflicted, but it doesn't work that way. SPs are channel specific so the user would be tasked with figuring out what is recording from which input. It would be confusing for most people to have to do that.

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:40 PM   #18
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What's so confusion about picking channels?
I can easily set a rule to record all fox cbs shows from cable and nbc abc from ota.
Like I said before, if the flexibility is there, I can get up to 4 shows per time slot instead of being limited to 2 shows. In the worst case if I don't manage it correctly, I'm back to 2 shows. So there's no loss to me.

If they every off the option to record 4 through a software patch, I'd take the offer instantly. Why wouldn't everyone with 2 tuner premiere with this bonus option?

What' so hard about marketing this new feature? Tivo can claim upto 4 shows recorded at a time. Other competitor do similar claims.
Like Dish hopper, they claim to record 6 shows at a time, but it's really only 3 at a time. You need to have 2 DRV's to have 6 show recorded.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #19
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There is already a way to do this.... Buy a 4 tuner TiVo. There is no way TiVo is ever going to convert your 2 tuner box, which you bought knowing it only had 2 tuners, to a 2+2'configuration even if it is possible. They would much rather sell you a new 4 tuner unit instead.

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Old 01-25-2013, 08:42 PM   #20
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There is already a way to do this.... Buy a 4 tuner TiVo. There is no way TiVo is ever going to convert your 2 tuner box, which you bought knowing it only had 2 tuners, to a 2+2'configuration even if it is possible. They would much rather sell you a new 4 tuner unit instead.

Dan
Yes, and how would TiVo get two more red lights on the front panel, I would be surprised if TiVo could just do a software change to make the TP into a 4 tuner model, I think some hardware would also have to be changed beyond the red lights.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:22 PM   #21
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Yeah I think #3 would solve any problems and negate the reason for having #1

Edit: Personally I think #2 in addition to an option which automatically pads the start/end of all shows by 1 minute when possible would solve 99% of my issues with padding an overlapping

Dan
I saw requests for negative padding years before they added clipping. But you're right, a per-season pass clipping option should be roughly as effective as manual negative padding.

Just now though, thinking about it, I can see a few scenarios where they don't give quite the same behavior. <Engage devil's advocate nitpicking mode>
First, and probably very uncommon, is for some reason you want to start (or end) more than 5 minutes into the program. That would exceed the clipping limit. (OTOH there's no guarantee that there would be an option for more than 5 minutes of negative pad anyway)

Second, you have a show you never want to miss more than a set number of minutes of. (I want to see 100% of this show but I know it always starts 2 minutes late.

Third, for clipping to work the show you know doesn't run full length needs to be the lower priority showing. But that means you can't also have it be the one recorded if there's a unusual additional conflict. Negative padding would give you the option of saying this is my #1 season pass; always pick it over everything else, but don't bother recording the last 2 minutes (those are just credits and commercials)
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