TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #1
ps0303
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
TiVo vs FIOS DVR

I'm new here and I just happened to be looking at something on the net and saw where people have been using TiVO on their FIOS service. Here is my setup and I want to know how I can benefit from going to TiVO.

I have 2 HD Multi Room DVR's and two normal FIOS boxes. I have the two multi room DVRs because we record a lot and currently you can only record two shows at a time but then you can't watching anything else on that TV.

How do I benefit from going to TiVo from what I have?
ps0303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
HenryFarpolo
Registered User
 
HenryFarpolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Andover Ma
Posts: 207
I will let others chime in, but your second sentence is a big reason.

With a TIVO Roamio Plus, you get six tuners vs the four you have now.

Your monthly rate for two FIOS DVR's is close to forty dollars. Around 15 for the TIVO.

Depending on the model of the FIOS boxes you may also gain recording capacity with the one TIVO box.
HenryFarpolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
mattack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: sunnyvale
Posts: 17,193
Also, as long as the shows are not copy protected, you could download them to a computer for backup/to keep/etc.
mattack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
ps0303
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
So right now I have and pay per month/yr the following:

Multi-Room DVR (1) $19.99/mo. - $240/yr
DVR (1) $16.99/mo. - $204/yr
SD Set Top Box (2) $13.98/mo. - $335/yr
------------------------------
Total per month: $64.94/mo - $780/yr

So with TiVo I would need:

TiVo ROAMIO Plus w/lifetime $499.00

So that takes care of the multi room DVR that I pay $240 yr. for. What would I then purchase for the three other TV's, three mini's @ a one-time payment of $149.99 ea.?

Then I would just need to get a card from VZ to insert into the main ROAMIO so I can get the channels? Do I also need a card for the mini for each TV I have one hooked to?

Thanks for helping me understand.
ps0303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 03:15 PM   #5
BigJimOutlaw
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,598
The Roamio Plus is $400 for the hardware, and $500 for the lifetime service fee. The Mini is $99 plus $150 for Lifetime.

Roamio Plus w/ Lifetime = $900
Minis with Lifetime x3 = $750

So the upfront cost is $1650 for a Roamio Plus + 3 Minis and Lifetime service on everything. ($1550 if the 'PLSR' coupon code still works for $100 off the Roamio's Lifetime service.)

If you chose to pay monthly for anything, you can dock that Lifetime fee from the upfront cost.

The 1 cablecard for the Roamio is all you need. The 3 Minis borrow tuners from the Roamio as needed.

The upfront cost is hefty, but it's a long-term saving after the break-even at around 2.5-ish years.
BigJimOutlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 03:15 PM   #6
waterchange
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 109
TiVo Roamio Plus + lifetime is $900 ($399 box + $499 lifetime).
three TiVo Mini + lifetime is $750 ($99 + $150 x 3).

So $1650 total. This is equivalent to about 2 years of what you're paying now. But remember that after 2 years, you're ahead. And you could sell the Roamio and Mini's at that time if you want (guessing for 50% or more of what you paid).

You need one cablecard the Roamio. The Mini's won't need a card ... they connect to the Roamio to view recorded shows or borrow a tuner for live TV.
waterchange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
NYHeel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
So right now I have and pay per month/yr the following:

Multi-Room DVR (1) $19.99/mo. - $240/yr
DVR (1) $16.99/mo. - $204/yr
SD Set Top Box (2) $13.98/mo. - $335/yr
------------------------------
Total per month: $64.94/mo - $780/yr

So with TiVo I would need:

TiVo ROAMIO Plus w/lifetime $499.00

So that takes care of the multi room DVR that I pay $240 yr. for. What would I then purchase for the three other TV's, three mini's @ a one-time payment of $149.99 ea.?

Then I would just need to get a card from VZ to insert into the main ROAMIO so I can get the channels? Do I also need a card for the mini for each TV I have one hooked to?

Thanks for helping me understand.
Actually the Roamio Plus is 400 + 500 lifetime for a total price of $900.

I'll do a monthly fee comparison so it's apples to apples. For your setup you would need 1 Roamio plus and 3 Minis. That would cost $700 total upfront. Then without lifetime you would be paying $15+6*3 a month plus $5 to Verizon for a cable card for a total monthly charge of $38. So you'd be saving $27 a month but have an upfront charge of $700. Assuming no interest, you'd break even in 26 months.

Of course many prefer lifetime over monthly. I just wanted to use monthly because it's closer to what you have now. Also, you can save $25 on the Roamio Plus if you buy from weaknees with their coupon and $10 each on the Minis if you buy from Amazon. Factoring in the $55 savings would get your break even date to 24 months.
NYHeel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 03:16 PM   #8
InFromTheCold
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
So right now I have and pay per month/yr the following:

Multi-Room DVR (1) $19.99/mo. - $240/yr
DVR (1) $16.99/mo. - $204/yr
SD Set Top Box (2) $13.98/mo. - $335/yr
------------------------------
Total per month: $64.94/mo - $780/yr

So with TiVo I would need:

TiVo ROAMIO Plus w/lifetime $499.00

So that takes care of the multi room DVR that I pay $240 yr. for. What would I then purchase for the three other TV's, three mini's @ a one-time payment of $149.99 ea.?

Then I would just need to get a card from VZ to insert into the main ROAMIO so I can get the channels? Do I also need a card for the mini for each TV I have one hooked to?

Thanks for helping me understand.
It looks to me as if the Tivo prices you're quoting are for the Tivo lifetime service subscriptions only, but not the cost of the equipment itself (an additional cost).
InFromTheCold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
HenryFarpolo
Registered User
 
HenryFarpolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Andover Ma
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
So right now I have and pay per month/yr the following:

Multi-Room DVR (1) $19.99/mo. - $240/yr
DVR (1) $16.99/mo. - $204/yr
SD Set Top Box (2) $13.98/mo. - $335/yr
------------------------------
Total per month: $64.94/mo - $780/yr

So with TiVo I would need:

TiVo ROAMIO Plus w/lifetime $499.00

So that takes care of the multi room DVR that I pay $240 yr. for. What would I then purchase for the three other TV's, three mini's @ a one-time payment of $149.99 ea.?

Then I would just need to get a card from VZ to insert into the main ROAMIO so I can get the channels? Do I also need a card for the mini for each TV I have one hooked to?

Thanks for helping me understand.
The price for the Roamio is $399 currently, with an additional $499 for lifetime. Or a monthly of around $15.

You would need one cablecard for the Roamio not for the Mini.

The Mini is around $89 currently on Amazon with a monthly of $5.99
HenryFarpolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 05:18 AM   #10
ps0303
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
I guess I should clean my glasses off. After all of you explained to me the real price, I'm now wondering where the benefit of TiVo is. A two year payoff seems a long time. Having a device that could record up to 6 items at a time is great but the mini uses one of the recorders tuners to watch TV. Hmm, I really have to think about this.
ps0303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 07:46 AM   #11
HenryFarpolo
Registered User
 
HenryFarpolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Andover Ma
Posts: 207
The Mini only uses one of the tuners on the plus when the Mini is active. The plus has Dynamic Tuner Allocation (DTA), which frees up the tuner when the Mini is not being used for live or recorded TV.
HenryFarpolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 07:56 AM   #12
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,611
Recording and watching each requires a separate tuner, unless you're recording the channel you're watching. Doing this with a FIOS DVR requires both a DVR and a set top box for watching one channel and recording another. They also have a multi-room DVR with two tuners that would do the same thing.

I'm not going to throw numbers at you regarding the benefits of a Tivo vs. a FIOS DVR setup. I'm on FIOS and I use Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) throughout my house with cablecard tuners for watching, recording, and sharing TV. Aside from the initial hardware costs for the PCs and tuners, the monthly cost for FIOS TV programming is the same and I only need to rent a couple of cablecards, same as multiple Tivos.

There are no monthly or lifetime fees for the Tivo service and the vast majority of the software you need is either included in Windows 7 or 8 or it's free. When you crunch the numbers, you'll see that HTPCs are actually more cost effective in the long run. They're also more versatile and easily upgradable. Note that it helps to be a little PC savvy, but you don't have to be a guru to set one up and use it as long as you don't start using the PC for other things that can ultimately hose things up.

The best part about FIOS is that they don't flag any of their content except the premium channels, making it easy to share recordings with other PCs. I generally use one PC for recording and I can access the recordings from any other PC to watch on other TVs.

If you want more info, send me a PM and I'll forward some links for you to check out.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 08-28-2013 at 12:17 PM.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #13
aaronwt
HD Addict
 
aaronwt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern VA(Woodbridge)
Posts: 14,028
FiOS only flags the HBo and Cinemax channels. The other premium channels can be transferred without issue.

Well at least on normal Verizon FiOS. If you have Frontier FiOS it might be different.
__________________
Roamio Pro
TiVo Mini x4
Roamio Basic OTA
39TB unRAID1--53TB unRAID2--36TB unRAID3
XBL/PSN: WormholeXtreme
aaronwt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #14
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,611
I don't subscribe to any of the premiums at the moment. It was my understanding that all premium channels can't be copied. I knew about HBO and Cinemax so I just assumed it affected the other premiums as well. I won't be subscribing to any premiums now or in the future so it's a moot point in my case. Still, it's good info to know. Thanks for the clarification.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 12:51 PM   #15
wmcbrine
Resistance Useless
 
wmcbrine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
A two year payoff seems a long time.
Not really. I just semi-retired my Series 3 last week, after six years. Our other Series 3 had a similar run, ending in hard drive failure, but only after six years. (And I'll fix it one of these days.)
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
wmcbrine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 02:02 PM   #16
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,611
DirecTV locks you into a 2-year contract if you sign up for one of their DVRs or advanced receivers, so it's not really all that long. I've had numerous Tivos in service for at least 4 or 5 years apiece, if not longer.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 05:13 PM   #17
mostman
Registered User
 
mostman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 506
Looking to do the same thing here. Pretty much the exact same setup as the OP. Can I just use the Cablecard that's in one of the FIOS DVRs in the TiVo? Or will I need to order a new one?
mostman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #18
waterchange
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mostman View Post
Looking to do the same thing here. Pretty much the exact same setup as the OP. Can I just use the Cablecard that's in one of the FIOS DVRs in the TiVo? Or will I need to order a new one?
You can't just keep the cableCARD in the FIOS DVR; order a new one. See this thread: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=485118
waterchange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 09:33 PM   #19
mattack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: sunnyvale
Posts: 17,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
I guess I should clean my glasses off. After all of you explained to me the real price, I'm now wondering where the benefit of TiVo is. A two year payoff seems a long time. Having a device that could record up to 6 items at a time is great but the mini uses one of the recorders tuners to watch TV. Hmm, I really have to think about this.
2 years is a long time? Instead of paying $15/month or whatever for something *the cable company* owns, and you have to give up if you cancel cable? As opposed to something you own,
that you could sell and recoup some of your purchase price (ESPECIALLY with lifetime service)???
mattack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 09:58 PM   #20
NYHeel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,280
Listen, you don't get TiVo to save money or based on price. While it may break even or eventually come out ahead, nobody is buying a TiVo to save money over their cable DVR. One gets a TiVo because it offers an excellent UI, excellent usage flexibility with the stream and transferring options, and upgrade potential. It's a premium product for which one has to pay a large upfront premium price.

Now you can sometimes come out ahead with a TiVo over the cable DVR but I really don't think TiVo buyers are doing it for the very limited savings.
NYHeel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 07:10 AM   #21
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYHeel View Post
One gets a TiVo because it offers an excellent UI, excellent usage flexibility with the stream and transferring options, and upgrade potential.
The quality of the UI is highly subjective and open for debate. My feeling is that if I can access the features I need without referring to the manual, then the UI is more than adequate.

Streaming is limited to the services Tivo includes in the software. Transfer is limited to other Tivo devices and/or a PC with the Tivo Desktop software or similar app.

Upgrade potential is limited to storage capacity only.

I bought my first Tivo because it had potential for being hacked and modified. While many of the features the hackers used to add are now part of the Tivo software, many still aren't and Tivo has essentially closed the door on any future hacking. They have made it easier to upgrade the hard drive in the latest model so that's one in the plus column for Tivo.

With the possible exception of the UI (which can be highly modified to suit your tastes on a HTPC), a HTPC offers far more options for streaming, transferring (dependant upon your TV provider, of course) and upgrading (i.e., add more features, stream from any source, Blu-Ray and DVD playback, additional tuners, unlimited storage, etc.).

One generally gets a Tivo because it's convenient, offers more features than the local cableco's DVR, and is essentially plug and play. People are willing to pay extra for the convenience it offers. If you're just looking for a good DVR that is reliable and easy to use, then a Tivo may be what you want. If you want something to use streaming services then you can buy any media player like a Roku for that task.

FYI - a lot of people do buy Tivos to save money vs. their cableco DVR. You get more bang for the buck and can actually recoup a portion of your investment if you go with lifetime service. OTOH, I went with a HTPC because it costs me less in the long run than buying Tivos and paying for their service. I can always repurpose the HTPC for other tasks if I decide to retire it from HTPC use. My last couple of HTPCs have found new life with other family members. A Tivo just becomes a doorstop unless you sell it.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 08-29-2013 at 07:17 AM.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 09:53 PM   #22
mattack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: sunnyvale
Posts: 17,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
I can always repurpose the HTPC for other tasks if I decide to retire it from HTPC use. My last couple of HTPCs have found new life with other family members. A Tivo just becomes a doorstop unless you sell it.
A HTPC just becomes a doorstop unless you [do something with] it.
mattack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 07:31 PM   #23
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post
A HTPC just becomes a doorstop unless you [do something with] it.
That's the silliest argument I've ever heard. Anything becomes a doorstop unless you do something with it. A HTPC can still be used as a desktop PC, a server, a router, or any number of other devices if it's configured properly. I built a router using pfSense software and old PC parts I had lying around and it's better than most commercial routers you can buy. A Tivo is absolutely useless for anything but a DVR. Unless it's got lifetime, it's not even worth trying to sell it. I've got several series 2 DirecTivos that I purchased new and upgraded years ago that have never been activated on an account, so for all intents and purposes they are still brand new. I paid about $175 apiece for them new and invested even more in additional hard drives. Today they are essentially worthless. I'm not even sure if Goodwill will take them so I can get a tax break.

The one good thing about PCs is that even if the primary components become obsolete (motherboard, CPU, memory, and graphics card), many of the components can still be salvaged for future builds (PSU, case, keyboard, mouse, hard drive, optical drive, add-on cards, software, and monitor). Even old PC hardware can find new life under the right circumstances, such as my router build.

With a Tivo you can still use the hard drive for PC use, but nothing else is really salvageable except maybe the remote and power cable. OTOH, I've been toying with the idea of using one of my old DirecTivo cases as a new home for my mini-ITX HTPC. Now that's what I call making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 08-30-2013 at 07:41 PM.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 07:41 PM   #24
Dan203
Super Moderator
 
Dan203's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Nevada
Posts: 25,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
A Tivo just becomes a doorstop unless you sell it.
If anyone is using a lifetime TiVo as a doorstop they're an idiot. A lifetime TiVo always has value. Even today you could find someone who would take and use an old S1 TiVo with lifetime. Now monthly is a different story.
__________________
Dan Haddix
Super Moderator
Developer for VideoReDo
Dan203 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 07:52 PM   #25
bradleys
It'll be fine....
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,945
I am a pretty tech savvy guy... Trained as a software developer and now lead JAVA development teams.

But it would honestly take me a lot of research and time to build, configure and setup an HTPC - my father or heck even my brother wouldn't even know where to start!

A TiVo (or any consumer grade device) is far easier. Within an hour of receiving your spur-of-the moment overnight shipment it is setup and running. Easy to use, no confusing botched settings and a service center (call and chat) ready to help in case you can't figure out where the hdmi cable goes.

I know you like your HTPC's and I am sure they are comparable and maybe even better in some ways - but for the average consumer, they are not a reasonable option.
__________________
TiVo S2 (Retired)
TiVo Series 3 (Sold)
TiVo HD (Sold)
TiVo Premier (2 TB Upgrade)
TiVo Roamio Plus
TiVo Mini
iPad TiVo app
TiVo Stream (Sold)
Personal Video Share powered by PyTiVo
bradleys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 10:04 PM   #26
Dan203
Super Moderator
 
Dan203's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Nevada
Posts: 25,236
And that is why MS has stopped development of Media Center. Just not enough people using it to justify the cost. They kind of screwed Ceton too, because Ceton was just about to release a consumer DVR using MCE. The whole product had to be scrapped last minute.
__________________
Dan Haddix
Super Moderator
Developer for VideoReDo
Dan203 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 09:04 AM   #27
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleys View Post
I am a pretty tech savvy guy... Trained as a software developer and now lead JAVA development teams.

But it would honestly take me a lot of research and time to build, configure and setup an HTPC - my father or heck even my brother wouldn't even know where to start!

A TiVo (or any consumer grade device) is far easier. Within an hour of receiving your spur-of-the moment overnight shipment it is setup and running. Easy to use, no confusing botched settings and a service center (call and chat) ready to help in case you can't figure out where the hdmi cable goes.

I know you like your HTPC's and I am sure they are comparable and maybe even better in some ways - but for the average consumer, they are not a reasonable option.
Two questions:

1. Can you use a screwdriver?

2. Can you install Windows on a PC?

If you answered yes to both questions then you can build a HTPC (not sure where your father or brother enter into the mix).

Setting up a HTPC is simply a matter of installing a tuner card and stepping through Windows Media Center setup. There's no huge learning curve for a basic DVR setup using Windows Media Center. Just in case you do need help setting one up, there are lots of resources available. There's no research required because it's already been done for you. Here's one of the best sources:

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/


FYI, everything you've stated about Tivos vs. HTPCs are the same things I have stated before in numerous threads. They're not for everyone. The main reason most people avoid them is fear. Fear that they won't work, fear that they'll have to maintain them constantly, or fear that the family won't know how to use it. All of these fears are unfounded with today's hardware, but it's a PC so Murphy's Law can enter in at any time. Getting to know WMC's UI has a slight learning curve, but so does a Tivo's. For a tech savvy guy like yourself, they should be right up your alley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
If anyone is using a lifetime TiVo as a doorstop they're an idiot.
No argument there.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 08-31-2013 at 09:16 AM.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 02:12 PM   #28
bradleys
It'll be fine....
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,945
Little more then that I am afraid... Start with a PC, preferably one that will fit nicely in my entertainment center. Does it have HDMI out? Do I need an upgraded video card? Which one? How do I connect to cable? Ok, Ceton cable card reader - I see they range from $200 and $300, what are the differences and what would work for me?

What are my best options for power consumption? Do I leave it on 24/7 or turn it off when I don't need it?

I am not trying to bust your balls, I am sure it is a decent product - but what is a consumers motivation to seek out all these answers? Is it significantly cheaper? It can be, but if you build a comparable product, your not going to save much against a TiVo with lifetime.
__________________
TiVo S2 (Retired)
TiVo Series 3 (Sold)
TiVo HD (Sold)
TiVo Premier (2 TB Upgrade)
TiVo Roamio Plus
TiVo Mini
iPad TiVo app
TiVo Stream (Sold)
Personal Video Share powered by PyTiVo
bradleys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 04:26 PM   #29
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleys View Post
Little more then that I am afraid... Start with a PC, preferably one that will fit nicely in my entertainment center. Does it have HDMI out? Do I need an upgraded video card? Which one? How do I connect to cable? Ok, Ceton cable card reader - I see they range from $200 and $300, what are the differences and what would work for me?

What are my best options for power consumption? Do I leave it on 24/7 or turn it off when I don't need it?

I am not trying to bust your balls, I am sure it is a decent product - but what is a consumers motivation to seek out all these answers? Is it significantly cheaper? It can be, but if you build a comparable product, your not going to save much against a TiVo with lifetime.
No problem. Most of the answers you're seeking are in the link I posted previously so I encourage you to take a look. Another good source of info is the HTPC forum over at the AVS Forums. For Windows Media Center questions, the place to go is The Green Button forums.

The latest Intel and AMD CPUs have integrated GPUs, meaning that you won't need a separate video card. Most motherboards also sport HDMI outputs these days, unless you're cheaping out with a low-end product. There are several forum threads and websites with recommended components to use. Basically, any Intel compatible setup going as far back as the Clarkdale CPUs up to the current Haswell models will work and all contain integrated graphics that are more than capable of playing 1080p Blu-Rays with full HD audio. If you want an AMD setup, then a Liano or Trinity CPU will suffice. Just get a compatible motherboard with HDMI output and you're in business.

You can also buy an off-the-shelf PC with these features and go from there. HTPC cases are great, but can be a bit pricey. Chances are you're better of starting with a mid-tower case and then upgrading later on if you decide you want to stick with the HTPC. I always encourage people to experiment with the PC they're currently using if they have Windows 7. Unless you're using Home Basic, you've already got Windows Media Center. Get a cheap tuner card for OTA reception and play around with it. Just don't blame me if you get hooked and things start to escalate.

There are basically two schools of thought about whether to leave your PC on 24/7, as I do, or set it up to sleep when not in use and wake automatically when it's time to record a program.

If you're comparing a dual or quad tuner Tivo with lifetime to a HTPC with the same number of tuners, the cost is probably going to be a wash between them. The real benefit is that there's no limit to the number of tuners you can add and adding more storage is as simple as installing a new hard drive. You can also consolidate more components into a HTPC, such as a DVD or Blu-Ray drive. Late model Tivos tend to limit you to cablecard tuners whereas you can mix and match as many tuners of any type as you like in a HTPC.

The motivation to go with a HTPC is mostly due to intrigue on the part of the consumer. Most people venture into it because it's interesting and not so much for cost savings. That part gets realized once you get a grasp of what it can really do for you and your lifestyle.

I got into it because I was curious and I was looking for a better way to record local channels than tying up several HDTivos on my DirecTV account. I really had no idea what I could do with one until I started looking into it. The more I looked, the more I liked. I've been using HTPCs for over six years now and I've barely scratched the surface with the possibilities it offers. For now, I primarily use it as a DVR and for watching Blu-Rays ripped to my server. The one in the family room gets used daily for watching live TV.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 04:57 PM   #30
aaronwt
HD Addict
 
aaronwt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern VA(Woodbridge)
Posts: 14,028
Even low end video cards have HDMI. The last video card I bought was only $30 and it had HDMI output.
__________________
Roamio Pro
TiVo Mini x4
Roamio Basic OTA
39TB unRAID1--53TB unRAID2--36TB unRAID3
XBL/PSN: WormholeXtreme
aaronwt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVoŽ is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:46 AM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |