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Old 08-24-2013, 08:49 PM   #91
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I think the only difference is the storage 150 hours vs. 450 hours. Is it worth $200?
Heck no it isn't worth it. At least not to me. From what I've read, there is absolutely no difference between the Plus and the Pro other than one says Plus and one says Pro and one has a 1TB drive and the other has a 3TB drive. $200 is a lot to pay for 2TB. I can buy 2TB drives all day long for about $100. Add to that fact that 450 hours is a ridiculously large amount of stuff to have stored away. I guess if you have a bunch of kids and try to record/keep a lot of stuff for them, that too could impact it. In my house it's just my wife and I and she doesn't watch a lot so it's mainly me recording. If my kids still lived with us or were really young I could see wanting a lot more space.

I guess it all depends on how you use your Tivo. How much you record and how long you keep it. Even if I wanted that much space I'd buy a Plus and add my own 2TB drive to it and pocket $100. That's just me though.

Bottom line, you're the only one that can answer that question and it all depends on how you use your Tivo and how much.

Good luck with your decision. I really don't think you can go wrong with either one. I can't wait to get my new Roamio Plus in a few months.

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Old 08-24-2013, 08:52 PM   #92
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Beautiful! That's exactly what I needed. Would you still have to have Comcast re-pair the Cable Cards after a swap or does it retain all that info too?

Side Question: My only concern with going to a one box solution is that if I ever did lose that HDD and replaced it, I'd have to reinstall all my SP's manually or when they become available, and I have over 100 of them... There's still no way to backup SP's without removing the Hard Drive right?
Cable card pairing is associated with the motherboard codes on the TiVo and the cablecard info. I'm not sure if you would need to re-pair it after a drive swap, but I doubt it.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:54 PM   #93
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KMTTG can backup and restore season passes from Premiere units (and presumably Roamios)
I'm using PyTiVo but haven't ventured into that realm yet. I'll have to look into that. I'd love to be able to backup my SP's.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:03 PM   #94
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Cable card pairing is associated with the motherboard codes on the TiVo and the cablecard info. I'm not sure if you would need to re-pair it after a drive swap, but I doubt it.
Used to be if you used the available software to "clone" your existing Hard Drive there would be no need to re-pair the CC's. If you bought a drive formatted by Weaknees or someone like that, then you had to re-pair them. So hopefully whatever is embedded on the MOBO will restore ALL the data needed. I hope so... It's the "getting it to work with Comcast's Cablecards" that is the true PITA. Comcast has still never been able to get it right for me without much escalation and many, many, hours of time on the phone...
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:09 PM   #95
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Used to be if you used the available software to "clone" your existing Hard Drive there would be no need to re-pair the CC's. If you bought a drive formatted by Weaknees or someone like that, then you had to re-pair them. So hopefully whatever is embedded on the MOBO will restore ALL the data needed. I hope so... It's the "getting it to work with Comcast's Cablecards" that is the true PITA. Comcast has still never been able to get it right for me without much escalation and many, many, hours of time on the phone...
That would only work if configuration data was stored in flash, and got re-applied to a new hard drive when it is replaced.

That seems extremely unlikely to me.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:44 PM   #96
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I think the only difference is the storage 150 hours vs. 450 hours. Is it worth $200?
If you need more than 150 hours, it's falls into the "worth it" category. You'll pay around $140 right now for a 3TB drive. You'll have to open your unit and swap drives. And sure, that's usually straightforward, but not everyone is comfortable doing that. And while it usually goes OK, anything can happen. What if you drop the drive onto the motherboard while putting it in place, or your hand slips while attaching a cable and you tug too hard on some wire? You're the one assuming responsibility for any damages, and that's a risk that has a cost to it. Should any problem occur later that requires you get warranty service, you'll have to put the original drive back in before shipping it back. Is all that worth $60 to avoid any potential hassle in the future? It's a thin margin, for sure.

Generally I'd say that if your intent is to immediately upgrade before using it much at all, buy the Pro and avoid it all. If your intent is simply to upgrade later if/when you need to, then buy the Plus. The only place it really makes sense is to upgrade the drive on the Basic unit since it has a feature the Plus and Pro don't have... OTA, and maybe to a lesser extent someone who is fine with no MoCA, no Stream built-in, only 4 tuners, and going for Cable there's value to upgrading the drive on it as an alternative the the $400 difference with the Pro model.

Each person will need to evaluate it all based on their own expectations and desires, skill level, and acceptable risks.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:11 AM   #97
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Cable card pairing is associated with the motherboard codes on the TiVo and the cablecard info. I'm not sure if you would need to re-pair it after a drive swap, but I doubt it.
In Comcast land you have re-pair the card after changing out the hard drive unless you do a bit to bit copy, each C&D all will change the data on the cable card even if you use the same drive so a re-pair is needed.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:18 AM   #98
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In Comcast land you have re-pair the card after changing out the hard drive unless you do a bit to bit copy, each C&D all will change the data on the cable card even if you use the same drive so a re-pair is needed.
Ugh. I was afraid of that. So while it's nice to have it reinstall the base software, without the SP's it's still almost as big of a nightmare because you have to call Comcast to get the Cablecards re-paired... I've never had it happen without a lot of hitches. Comcast should be shot for how poorly they support Cablecards for TiVo.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:35 AM   #99
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Ugh. I was afraid of that. So while it's nice to have it reinstall the base software, without the SP's it's still almost as big of a nightmare because you have to call Comcast to get the Cablecards re-paired... I've never had it happen without a lot of hitches. Comcast should be shot for how poorly they support Cablecards for TiVo.
Comcast is quite good with CableCARD support/activation/re-pairing if you call their CableCARD support number. Not so much if you call the regular support number.

Two years ago, I would have agreed with you. Now, to update anything with a card takes less than 10 minutes.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:37 PM   #100
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Anyone wanting to maximize the hard disk space might want to wait before deciding on the Plus or the Pro. The HDXL could be upgraded to a larger hard disk than the HD.

Does anyone know if that's true between the Plus and the Pro?
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Yes.
What are the different limits?

If the biggest hard drive I can use in the Plus is 3tb and I can use a 4tb disk in the Pro then I go with the Pro. If the max on both is 3tb, then I might go with the Plus.

Thanks,
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:45 PM   #101
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What are the different limits?

If the biggest hard drive I can use in the Plus is 3tb and I can use a 4tb disk in the Pro then I go with the Pro. If the max on both is 3tb, then I might go with the Plus.

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There is nothing to indicate that there are different limits not sure why he posted that. Plus and pro appear to be identical.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:31 PM   #102
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Comcast is quite good with CableCARD support/activation/re-pairing if you call their CableCARD support number. Not so much if you call the regular support number.

Two years ago, I would have agreed with you. Now, to update anything with a card takes less than 10 minutes.
That number can't help you if Comcast can't help them. I activated an Elite about a year ago and it took all day to get it working even with the number you posted. It was Comcast's fault 100%. The "Local head end" didn't copy the numbers right or some crap. It's been that way with 5 TiVos. So... I'll believe a ten minute install, when it happens to me. So far, it hasn't come close.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:36 PM   #103
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If you need more than 150 hours, it's falls into the "worth it" category. You'll pay around $140 right now for a 3TB drive. You'll have to open your unit and swap drives. And sure, that's usually straightforward, but not everyone is comfortable doing that. And while it usually goes OK, anything can happen. What if you drop the drive onto the motherboard while putting it in place, or your hand slips while attaching a cable and you tug too hard on some wire? You're the one assuming responsibility for any damages, and that's a risk that has a cost to it. Should any problem occur later that requires you get warranty service, you'll have to put the original drive back in before shipping it back. Is all that worth $60 to avoid any potential hassle in the future? It's a thin margin, for sure.

Generally I'd say that if your intent is to immediately upgrade before using it much at all, buy the Pro and avoid it all. If your intent is simply to upgrade later if/when you need to, then buy the Plus. The only place it really makes sense is to upgrade the drive on the Basic unit since it has a feature the Plus and Pro don't have... OTA, and maybe to a lesser extent someone who is fine with no MoCA, no Stream built-in, only 4 tuners, and going for Cable there's value to upgrading the drive on it as an alternative the the $400 difference with the Pro model.

Each person will need to evaluate it all based on their own expectations and desires, skill level, and acceptable risks.
I agree 100% with this. And that's why I ultimately chose the Pro.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:43 PM   #104
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That number can't help you if Comcast can't help them. I activated an Elite about a year ago and it took all day to get it working even with the number you posted. It was Comcast's fault 100%. The "Local head end" didn't copy the numbers right or some crap. It's been that way with 5 TiVos. So... I'll believe a ten minute install, when it happens to me. So far, it hasn't come close.
I've installed a lot of CableCARDS over the years. It's always hit and miss. My last experience was installing an HD for my Sister. They couldn't get the card to pair so she couldn't get the premium channels. I called like 4 times, even found instructions online and explained to one tech exactly what to do. Finally they said they had to send a tech. The tech showed up, called someone on his radio, asked for someone that "knew CableCARDs" and within 2 minutes they got it working.

They really need to train the phone techs better to deal with these cards.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #105
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Ugh. I was afraid of that. So while it's nice to have it reinstall the base software, without the SP's it's still almost as big of a nightmare because you have to call Comcast to get the Cablecards re-paired... I've never had it happen without a lot of hitches. Comcast should be shot for how poorly they support Cablecards for TiVo.
It sucks you have had a hard time with Comcast and cablecard. My experience was very good on three separate occasions.

Last year I bought a Premiere in April and August. I self installed cable cards in both using the cablecard support number. A real person answered. She was a thickly accented woman who was helpful and activated both in about 5-10 minutes. No problems.

Thursday I swapped out a premiere for a Roamio Pro. I had the exact same experience. Quickly answered by a thickly accented latina. I told her what I wanted to do. She asked for the various numbers on the cable card screen. After, she asked if I was transferring service to an Elite and I told her it was a new Tivo Roamio. She transferred the Premiere to Roamio in about 5-10 minutes. No truck rolls, no problems.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:29 AM   #106
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There is nothing to indicate that there are different limits not sure why he posted that. Plus and pro appear to be identical.
The HD and HDXL also appeared to be identical, but there was a difference in the amount of disk space the Tivo would recognize.

I guess we won't know for sure until someone drops a 4 gig disk into a Plus and into a Pro.

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Old 08-26-2013, 02:07 AM   #107
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The HD and HDXL also appeared to be identical, but there was a difference in the amount of disk space the Tivo would recognize.

I guess we won't know for sure until someone drops a 4 gig disk into a Plus and into a Pro.

Bob
So far, it doesn't appear that a 4tb drive is doable, according to Weaknees.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:20 PM   #108
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Lifetime is tied to a cyrpto chip on the motherboard. So as long as the motherboard does not fail you can replace the drive and the power supply and you will retain your lifetime. But if the mobo goes you're SOL.
If you sent it to TiVo for repair, wouldn't they transfer the Lifetime to the new Motherboard?
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:26 PM   #109
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They don't actually do that. They simply send you a refurb unit and transfer the lifetime service to the new unit. However they only offer that option if the TiVo is less then 3 years old, and if it's beyond a year it costs $199 for the "repair".
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:41 PM   #110
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They don't actually do that. They simply send you a refurb unit and transfer the lifetime service to the new unit. However they only offer that option if the TiVo is less then 3 years old, and if it's beyond a year it costs $199 for the "repair".
Oh ok, makes sense I guess. That's a lot cheaper than losing a lifetime unit.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:12 PM   #111
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Does every hour of HD TV by definition take the same amount of memory?

Maybe it shows my ignorance but I feel like some audio tracks of the same duration take the different amounts of memory ?

Also, I've noticed YouTube videos have two or more settings of "HD" ... is there much a possiblity that the average hour of HD becomes more memory intensive over the years or is is a standard that just can't change?

Do older programs filmed in regular resolution take up HD levels of space if they're shown on an HD channel?

I've been living with 45 hours on my series 3 but it does make me monitor what gets recorded in HD and angry at times when the Tivo Suggestions chooses to record a few 3 hour movies or ball games in HD and wipes out all my other Tivo Suggestion choices.

With Roamio everything must be HD .... as well over 1/2 of my Tivo suggestions are not yet HD but the ratio is switching very quickly now.

As the move from regular to HD is already a 5 fold increase it would make sense that if I want the same amount of stored programing I would eventually need 5 times what I preffered before. As I'm feeling a little "Tivo Suggestions Deprived" now.. and they get wiped out entirely on during football season (or during the olympics etc).

Even though I've lived with 45, it seems like 2.25 is the old 45 and 3 would let me start recording movies which I've never done much of in the past(3 max) for fear of running short of time..even in standard resolution. With all the tuners.. recording 5 or 6 movies off of HBO and deleting the ones I start and don't like is a real option.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:17 PM   #112
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Does every hour of HD TV by definition take the same amount of memory?
No. The bitrates used by different channels varies wildly. The HD hours TiVo says is a rough estimate at best.

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With Roamio everything must be HD
That's not true. With Roamio everything must be digital but it does NOT have to be HD. If your cable company does not have analog, or if it simulcasts, then you're already recording digital so switching to the Roamio will be no different.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:23 PM   #113
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If you need more than 150 hours, it's falls into the "worth it" category. You'll pay around $140 right now for a 3TB drive. You'll have to open your unit and swap drives. And sure, that's usually straightforward, but not everyone is comfortable doing that. And while it usually goes OK, anything can happen. What if you drop the drive onto the motherboard while putting it in place, or your hand slips while attaching a cable and you tug too hard on some wire? You're the one assuming responsibility f........

Each person will need to evaluate it all based on their own expectations and desires, skill level, and acceptable risks.
This is vital... it might be easy for me to slip into the "penny saved penny earned mode" that is my norm....its not like we can all work extra hours at the job to suddenly have more disposable income... the limits are often on customers desire to pay me....

Still, if there is a strong chance of being without a TV for days or spending hours upon hours on hold waiting ,, crossing your fingers that you'll get the actually the tech at the call station that is actually knowledgeable etc... the pain of that experience very well might be worth pushing that disposable income budget away from cappuccinos or a trip to a restaurant in terms of comfort.

I might even find it more convenient to replace a faucet than make an appointment and wait around for a plumber (let alone pay him). However, all those little screws and plastic stuff that can snap if pulled a direction you didn't know you shouldn't..... not worth $60 in likely aggravation, let alone worst case of breaking it and needing to buy it again.

It doesn't sound THAT easy for people who aren't in the habbit of replacing cards on their computers etc their-selves.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:30 PM   #114
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No. The bitrates used by different channels varies wildly. The HD hours TiVo says is a rough estimate at best.



That's not true. With Roamio everything must be digital but it does NOT have to be HD. If your cable company does not have analog, or if it simulcasts, then you're already recording digital so switching to the Roamio will be no different.
Thanks.. those are important.

on the first.... it seems only logical that over time, resolution and hence memory demand is going to grow a fair bit . Over 5 years it might not be suprising to see your average HD movie take 30% more memory per hour.. huh? I'll almost certainly keep the unit 5 years or over given my past replacement cycle

on the second... that was something I was worrying unnecesarily about I guess ... not that there are many, but there are still some shows on cable channels that don't have duplicate hd channels...
I had a false/unjustified worry about losing them if I upgraded to plus or pro.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:59 PM   #115
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on the first.... it seems only logical that over time, resolution and hence memory demand is going to grow a fair bit . Over 5 years it might not be suprising to see your average HD movie take 30% more memory per hour.. huh? I'll almost certainly keep the unit 5 years or over given my past replacement cycle
Actually no. HD has a maximum for resolution of 1920x1080, which is already being used by most channels. So it's not possible for resolution to increase over time. If anything the size of recordings will go down in 5 years as more cable companies transition to H.264 encoding which can use lower bitrates to achieve the same visual quality. (an H.264 HD video is 30-40% smaller then an MPEG-2 HD video of equivalent quality)

Eventually we will transition to 4K resolution, which is 4x the resolution of current HD, but that's more then 5 years out. Plus when that happens they'll be using H.265 which is even better at compressing video and can get a 4K video down to about the same size as a 1080i MPEG-2 video.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:53 PM   #116
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Thanks for the info about the 1920x1080 current cap and H.264 . I looked them up and learned a bit from the read. I guess how complicated a picture is interms of blocks of color has some impact but that would be more a matter of artistic choices in film production I guess .... discussion moving bit out of thread.

How big video files will be is pertinent but complex discussions of why probably belong elsewhere .. so I'll resist my temptation to ask more.

I do have a related question though....

I saw that there were HZ standards in the us and europe .. that refers to frame rate I take it. I guess that 60 comes out to roughly 60 frames per second...

When I replay tivo in super slow motion I don't think that the controls are nearly that sensitive (and, that really isn't a criticism.. I don't expect the investment it would take to allow that for recreational viewers..... but ,

do you have any idea what the actual frame per second rate is when I use the "frame" advance feature on my tivo box.

Has that control gotten any finer since the series 3 ? (again not an expectation but just wanted to confirm at least that it didn't go the other direction)
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:56 PM   #117
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Those 4K sets looked amazing.

While I was waiting for the Magnolia sales person to come back with my Roamio Pro I ordered I took a look at an 84" 4K set, smaller 4K set and an OLED TV. All three looked amazing, but the 84" 4K set was really breath taking.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:16 AM   #118
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Thanks for the info about the 1920x1080 current cap and H.264 . I looked them up and learned a bit from the read. I guess how complicated a picture is interms of blocks of color has some impact but that would be more a matter of artistic choices in film production I guess .... discussion moving bit out of thread.

How big video files will be is pertinent but complex discussions of why probably belong elsewhere .. so I'll resist my temptation to ask more.

I do have a related question though....

I saw that there were HZ standards in the us and europe .. that refers to frame rate I take it. I guess that 60 comes out to roughly 60 frames per second...

When I replay tivo in super slow motion I don't think that the controls are nearly that sensitive (and, that really isn't a criticism.. I don't expect the investment it would take to allow that for recreational viewers..... but ,

do you have any idea what the actual frame per second rate is when I use the "frame" advance feature on my tivo box.

Has that control gotten any finer since the series 3 ? (again not an expectation but just wanted to confirm at least that it didn't go the other direction)
It's a little bit complicated. First off there are basically 2 formats for HD video 720p and 1080i. 720p is simple. It's 1280x720 progressive frames displayed at 59.94 frames per second. Progressive frames are exactly like a photo you would take with a camera. 1080i is interlaced. Interlaced video is a series of alternating fields. So each "frame" really only contains every other line. If you were to combine the fields into progressive frames then it would only be 29.97 frames per second. However the fields don't actually match up like that. When interlaced video is shot it actually captures the odd fields and then the even fields a split second later. So there is some motion between them. If you try to combine them into a full frame you'll get a combing effect where every other line doesn't match. The reason they do this is because way back in the days of analog they discovered that 60Hz interlaced video creates a smoother picture then 30 frames per second of progressive. And the technology of the time did not allow them to create TVs that could do 60 frames per second progressive. The reason this carried over to HD is because there is a limit on the amount of bandwidth available for digital broadcasts. If you count the actual number of pixels then 720p and 1080i are very close and can be compressed to similar digital sizes. There is not enough bandwidth in the broadcast spec to allow for full 1080p video. (at least not with MPEG-2)

Now the one complication in all this is movies. TV shows are specifically shot at either 720p/59.94 or 1080i/29.97, but movies are typically shot at 24 progressive frames per second on film. For SD they used a technique called telecine to convert 24fps film to 29.97 interlaced video. But when the BluRay spec came along they decided to leave movies at their native 24fps and full 1080p. While 24fps is not as smooth as 60Hz interlaced it preserves the original experience and removes the artifacts that were introduced by the telecine process.

The next move for movies is 48 frames per second. 48 frames per second is enough to create smoother motion without losing the unique look of film. A lot of new movies are being shot at 4K resolution at 48fps as a way of future proofing. As of right now the only devices capable of playing them at full resolution and frame rates are the DLP projectors used in movies theaters, but a future revision of the BluRay spec will likely include support as well for home use.

Anyway I hope that wasn't to far over your head. As you can see by my signature I'm sort of an expert in digital video. So if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

Edit: Oh and the reason the frame advance doesn't work perfectly on your TiVo has nothing to do with the frame rate. It has to do with the way MPEG-2 and H.264 video are encoded. They use a technique called temporal compression. What this means is that some frames can not be displayed unless the frames around them are decoded first. So moving one frame at a time can be very difficult. Especially moving backwards. Moving forward usually works OK after an initial jump to a safe spot, but moving back can be very jummpy. TiVo does about as good as it can given the resources it has. In VideoReDo we can do a much better job, but only because we buffer several seconds worth of video every time you seek.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:25 PM   #119
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Dan I was going to well actually you when you said most channels use 1920x1080 (i is implied there for cable), but then you corrected yourself below. It's about half and half, although I think 1080i has an edge. Since the major nets are split in half and they own a lot of crappy cable channels, that about splits it down the middle.

4K will initially be H.264, although long-term it will move to H.265, which can do 4K on a cable QAM (38mbps). Cable systems will eventually keep SD in MPEG-2, HD in MPEG-4, and 4K in H.265, although for now, everything is MPEG-2, and there is no 4K. MPEG-4 HD's would free up a lot of space for other uses.

Very few cable companies have channels that are analog only. Some have basic channels in analog, but that's archaic at this point. Comcast has gone all-digital across their systems.

As for TiVo storage, all channels will be about the same, but there will be some variation, such that if you recorded all off of, say ESPN, you would have fewer hours by the time you had hundreds of hours of content than if you recorded all off of the Weather Channel or MSNBC. Also, Comcast triple-channels most of their HDs, usually with one fast-moving one per QAM, and two more normal ones for a nominal bitrate of 12mbps (5.5GB/hr). FIOS doesn't re-compress HDs they get in MPEG-2, so they can have anywhere from 14-19mbps, with 2 HD's per QAM. As a result, a TiVo on Comcast will get somewhere around 20-33% more hours of HD for the same size drive than a TiVo on FIOS. Of course the upside with FIOS is far better picture quality.

When the cable companies moves to MPEG-4, which a few are for some channels, and FIOS is completely, the TiVo's capacity will go way up, as the files will be way smaller. Moving to 5 HD's per QAM, nominally 7mbps, will more than double the capacity over FIOS's current bitrates, and almost double over Comcast, while improving picture quality.

Hence, over time, storage requirements will shrink.

Cable systems need more bandwidth. 860mhz upgrades have been good, and right now Comcast has extra bandwidth on those systems. However, the move to 24x8 DOCSIS 3 over the current 8x4 or less systems will eat up more QAMs, as will network DVRs (basically making everything ON Demand, IMO a massive waste of bandwidth), more VOD, 4K channels, and more HD channels. They will have to get it somewhere, and the next logical step is MPEG-4. Current 860mhz systems would have a significant amount of free bandwidth for upgrades if they switched all their HD channels to MPEG-4, even if they started running 24x8 D3. They would go from nominally 40 QAM's for HD as they are running now (120 HD's, a few are not triple-channeled, so maybe low 40's, plus locals aren't shared the same way, as they share with their subchannels) to nominally 24 QAM's, with 5-channeling, freeing 16 QAMs, which would move them from 8x4 D3 to 24x8 D3 while keeping the same number of open QAMs that are currently on the 860 systems, which is somewhere in the 20 QAMs range. They could also move to 1ghz systems, which are the only Comcast systems currently using or planning to use 24x8 D3, which would give them another ~140mhz, or 23 QAMs for a total of about 43 QAMs open for expansion.

They could do a lot with those QAMs, say deploy H.265 4K channels, some "super HD" channels with high-bitrate feeds, etc. Although knowing Comcast, they will put one or two lame 4K channels up, and then do a network DVR and more XOD.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:27 PM   #120
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On FiOS it's not even close to 50/50. The majority of channels are easily in 1080. One or two channels also recently switched from 720P to 1080i.
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