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Old 11-10-2013, 01:39 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
FWIW, MCE will never die. Just because MS stops supporting it doesn't mean it can't be used indefinitely. It just means that there will be no further updates or releases. Even if MS stops providing guide data there are third party providers that can fill the gap. I know people that are still using Win 98. Any OS can be useful for as long as there is hardware available that can use it.
Like I said with the possibility that CableCARDs could be going away in the next few years that may not be true. If the industry shifts to some new technology MS would need to recertify MCE for the new technology. Since MCE is discontinued that's unlikely, and because the certification process is so expensive it's unlikely a 3rd party will pop up to fill the void. I'm sure PC based DVRs for OTA will remain for the long term, but for cable their days are likely numbered.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:19 AM   #62
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I wouldn't expect MCE to be recertified for any new technology since it's no longer supported. I'll be curious to see what happens on the cablecard front if that technology is going away. People with existing cablecard devices aren't going to be very happy if their provider suddenly tells them their hardware will no longer work on their system. I'd suspect that existing cablecard users will still be able to keep their cablecards while any new customers will have to use the newer technology for getting their TV signals.

I'm not sure what the laws regarding cablecard use stipulate, but I'm pretty sure that if you have a cablecard device that you want to use then the provider still has to support it. Any new technology will probably have to allow for cablecard use well after the new technology is implemented. Otherwise, I can see lawsuits galore against the cablecos, with Tivo at the forefront.

Things could get very interesting.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #63
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Cablecard won't be going away for a long time because it's embedded in millions of cable STBs now. Support for third-party devices is what you have to worry about with the FCC's incomprehensible Charter decision.

This will hopefully be a moot point if the FCC enforces the requirement that cable come up with an IP access standard by end of next year, which could enable Tivo and others to ditch cards (and hopefully attract new entrants, lack of competition being the biggest issue with Tivo today). Last I saw Verizon and others were working on it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #64
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What else is out there besides Tivo?
Another option, in some cases, for those that like to tinker is a HTPC running MythTV and other open source software. This is not an option for those people that have cable with the channels not flagged "copy freely". Fortunately for me, Comcast has all nonpremium channels currently marked "copy freely" except one in my area. The exception is MoviePlex, but I can stream MoviePlex movies from the Comcast web site, so it is ok. I canceled all of my premium channels many months ago, and I use Netflix.

You can purchase complete HTPC hardware with no operating system, or you can put together your own HTPC. To save money, I recently used a TiVo Premiere case and hard drive to put together my HTPC. I am not the first person to do this -- do a search for MythVo. There are no mandatory service fees. I used to not like the idea of using a computer as a dvr, but I have been happy with it so far.




I purchased another TiVo Premiere a couple months ago, and I sold the wireless adapter, power supply and remote that came with it. Here is the cost break down with the total prices shown including shipping:

Tivo = 40 purchased - (7.53+8.03+26.85 sold) = -$2.41
Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver = $114.95 (I could have paid less)
ZOTAC Mini-ITX Motherboard D2550ITXS-B-U = $167.99
4GB Crucial DDR3 2 2GB Memory Modules CT25664BF1339 = $37.68 (I could have just purchased 2 GB)
Total = $318.21

The Atom processor in the motherboard listed above is a good choice because of its energy efficiency. The processor can easily handle the load thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 that plays friendly with Linux with full hardware acceleration. I have Mythbuntu installed and the award-winning XBMC media player.

A warning if others want to try this:
I originally carefully drilled many holes in a circular pattern above the fan. After testing it, the assembly went from nearly silent to sounding like multiple untuned whistles. The alternative worked out well -- I cut out the sheet metal and glued on black foam to protect the fan. It runs very quiet.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:50 AM   #65
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I've got a mini-ITX setup with an AMD E350 as a satellite HTPC in the spare bedroom. It was painfully slow until I recently installed an SSD for the OS drive. I'm not all that crazy about the mini-ITX platform because you only get a single PCI-e slot and they tend to cost more than either a micro-ATX or full-sized ATX setup. Cases are way overpriced as well. It seems like the smaller you get, the more it costs, with fewer expansion options available. I'd actually prefer an Intel NUC or a Gigabyte Brix to a mini-ITX platform for a satellite system. They can be used with more powerful CPUs for better performance (i.e., faster menus, etc.). It's not a good choice for DVR use unless you can set it up with networked storage to hold the recordings. There are several different network tuner options available.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:25 PM   #66
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I've got a mini-ITX setup with an AMD E350 as a satellite HTPC in the spare bedroom. It was painfully slow until I recently installed an SSD for the OS drive. I'm not all that crazy about the mini-ITX platform because you only get a single PCI-e slot and they tend to cost more than either a micro-ATX or full-sized ATX setup. Cases are way overpriced as well. It seems like the smaller you get, the more it costs, with fewer expansion options available. I'd actually prefer an Intel NUC or a Gigabyte Brix to a mini-ITX platform for a satellite system. They can be used with more powerful CPUs for better performance (i.e., faster menus, etc.). It's not a good choice for DVR use unless you can set it up with networked storage to hold the recordings. There are several different network tuner options available.
This thread has turned into "is there any other way to get a DVR function besides TiVo (or a DVR from a cable co)?" that has little to do with the OP original question as DIY DVRs are not competitors of TiVo any more than your a competitor of local plumbers because you fixed a faucet in your own home.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:34 PM   #67
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The OPs question has been answered. The answer is No.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #68
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And that's a sad but true answer.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:27 PM   #69
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The OPs question has been answered. The answer is No.
Yes I gave a detailed answer in Post #7 and hear we are at Post 69, I guess we just like to ramble on .
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:52 PM   #70
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The OPs question has been answered. The answer is No.
Lock the thread
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #71
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I know this isn't what the OP was asking but I got a fee DVR from TWC for 1 year, and even for free, what a piece of crap that is.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:48 PM   #72
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The OPs question has been answered. The answer is No.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atmuscarella View Post
Yes I gave a detailed answer in Post #7 and hear we are at Post 69, I guess we just like to ramble on .
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Lock the thread
Same ole, same ole -- why pick on this thread?
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:42 AM   #73
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Like most threads, once the original topic has been satisfied, the thread tends to diverge into other (somewhat) related topics. Whether the thread gets locked or not is entirely up to the mods. Since it hasn't devolved into a pissing contest or something derrogatory to other members, I see no reason to lock it. If the current topic is of no interest to you then why not simply ignore it? It will eventually die of its own accord.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:01 AM   #74
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Like most threads, once the original topic has been satisfied, the thread tends to diverge into other (somewhat) related topics. Whether the thread gets locked or not is entirely up to the mods. Since it hasn't devolved into a pissing contest or something derrogatory to other members, I see no reason to lock it. If the current topic is of no interest to you then why not simply ignore it? It will eventually die of its own accord.
Or even if the original topic has not been "satisfied"!

Hint for those unhappy with thread: Thread Tools ... Ignore this thread
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:29 AM   #75
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Same ole, same ole -- why pick on this thread?

My point was that if a mod is going to make a statement like that, then he should lock the thread
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #76
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Lock the thread
Just when we're getting pictures of hotrodded S4 cases?

The fun's only beginning!
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:13 PM   #77
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This thread has turned into "is there any other way to get a DVR function besides TiVo (or a DVR from a cable co)?" that has little to do with the OP original question as DIY DVRs are not competitors of TiVo any more than your a competitor of local plumbers because you fixed a faucet in your own home.
Based on that statement, if I fix my own faucet, then I'm taking potential work away from a local plumber. That sounds like competition to me.

On a similar note, I used to own a multitude of Tivos going back to the original HDR-112 SA Tivo up to the S3 digital cable models. I started going the DIY route with a HTPC and several OTA tuners when I had DirecTV and they were just making the switch to their non-Tivo HD DVR. I dumped DirecTV and switched to FIOS just so I could continue using Tivos.

When the InfiniTV4 came out, I stopped using Tivos altogether. Had it not been for cablecard tuners for PCs I'd still be using Tivos today. When one product supplants another, it becomes a competitor to the original product, regardless of whether it's a niche product or one that's commercially available.

There are actually quite a few turnkey HTPCs available and there used to be a lot more. Now, HTPCs aren't going to take away a significant market share from Tivo, but it does dip into their customer base. That's enough to qualify it as a competitor, even though it may target a slightly different market than Tivo. I don't think there's any specific percentage of market share that signifies whether or not one product is competition for another. If a product provides a similar function, then it's a competitor, plain and simple. Just because some people don't see it that way doesn't make it any less of a fact.

From the OP's original post:

Quote:
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Are there any other companies out there that sell DVR units?
A HTPC configured as a DVR definitely falls under this category. Here's just one example:

http://assassinhtpc.com/

So the answer to the OP's original question is Yes, there are other companies that sell DVR units.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 11-13-2013 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:55 PM   #78
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My point was that if a mod is going to make a statement like that, then he should lock the thread
I think my statement was misinterpreted. I meant the OPs question was answered so there is no harm in derailing the thread to talk about MCE, or whatever. Threads have a tendency to evolve over time. It's part of the fun of this forum. As long as the OPs question was answered I see no harm in leaving it open to go in whatever direction you guys want.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:22 PM   #79
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Based on that statement, if I fix my own faucet, then I'm taking potential work away from a local plumber. That sounds like competition to me.
Assuming your not a license plumber people are not going to hire you to do plumbing for them so your not competition to any plumber, as mowing your own lawn does not make you a competitor to landscapers. I and most of the people on this forum change their own light bulbs, are they competition to electricians??
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:10 PM   #80
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I wasn't aware that they stopped supporting Vista. That seems like an extremely short lifespan for an OS release, although I suspect Vista wasn't as popular as MS would have hoped, which may account for the lack of support. Win 7 got a much higher level of acceptance so maybe it will get extended a while longer.

I am surprised that MS has already announced that support will end for Win 8 in 2018. That doesn't give their customers much incentive to upgrade if they know they'll only get 4 or 5 years out of it. Win 8 isn't exactly flying off the shelves in stores so perhaps MS is viewing this as the next Vista and just intends to cut their losses and move on.
There are two dates to keep in mind: the end of regular support, and the end of extended support.

The main difference is that extended support does not offer non-security bugfixes. However, by the time the OS gets that far pretty much all of the non-security bugs that they're going to fix have been.

So for most people, the end of extended support is the real drop dead date. After that date, you may be vulnerable to newly discovered security bugs. If you're willing to take the risk, though, you can keep using them. I expect XP to carry on for quite a while still.

The end of extended support:
XP SP3: 4/8/2014
Vista SP2: 4/11/2017
Win7 SP1: 1/14/2020
Win8.1: 1/10/2023 (however, a later service pack will extend that date)

The only real gotcha would be if they discontinued the program guide, or started charging for it. They reserve the right to do that, with a 30 day notice, but a 3rd party could provide the data. There's no other "kill switch" that I'm aware of in Media Center.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:16 AM   #81
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Assuming your not a license plumber people are not going to hire you to do plumbing for them so your not competition to any plumber, as mowing your own lawn does not make you a competitor to landscapers. I and most of the people on this forum change their own light bulbs, are they competition to electricians??
I wasn't offering my services, just pointing out that by doing it myself I would potentially be taking work away from someone that does it for a living. As for changing light bulbs, I don't know of anyone that would call an electrician to perform that task unless it was an extreme situation. I do all of my own electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work as well as my own auto maintenance and repairs. I wouldn't charge for my services, mainly because I barely have the time to do it for myself let alone anyone else. I do, on occasion, perform such tasks for family and friends if they're in a bind. I've talked my mother-in-law out of calling a plumber on several occasions and fixed the problem myself (and no, I'm not a licensed contractor of any kind).

The point is, those that can, do. Those that can't call a plumber.

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So for most people, the end of extended support is the real drop dead date. After that date, you may be vulnerable to newly discovered security bugs. If you're willing to take the risk, though, you can keep using them. I expect XP to carry on for quite a while still.
The risk would be minimal beyond that point since most hackers would most likely not be wasting their time on older operating systems and would be concentrating on what's current. The number of people using XP beyond it's supported life will be far less than users or more recent versions of Windows. Hackers and virus developers go after whatever OS has the most users for maximum effect. That's the only reason Mac users aren't affected by viruses. There just aren't enough of them to make it worthwhile going after.

Quote:
The only real gotcha would be if they discontinued the program guide, or started charging for it. They reserve the right to do that, with a 30 day notice, but a 3rd party could provide the data. There's no other "kill switch" that I'm aware of in Media Center.
The lack of free program guide data can definitely be an issue, but there are third party providers that will give you the data for a modest subscription fee. It would involve some tweaking in Media Center or whatever front end you're using, but it can be done.

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Old 11-14-2013, 10:24 AM   #82
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I wasn't offering my services, just pointing out that by doing it myself I would potentially be taking work away from someone that does it for a living. As for changing light bulbs, I don't know of anyone that would call an electrician to perform that task unless it was an extreme situation. I do all of my own electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work as well as my own auto maintenance and repairs. I wouldn't charge for my services, mainly because I barely have the time to do it for myself let alone anyone else. I do, on occasion, perform such tasks for family and friends if they're in a bind. I've talked my mother-in-law out of calling a plumber on several occasions and fixed the problem myself (and no, I'm not a licensed contractor of any kind).
One that takes potential work from someone is not normally called a competitor, if I need a electrician I may ask my friends if they know of a good one or look on the web for an electrician, if I get say five names they are competitors of each other, not someone like you who (if I did not know) I would never call. The consumer that wants a TV DVR can only purchase a TiVo, or rent a DVR from their cable co, if all this person has only OTA than TiVo is the only off the shelf option that makes sense, except for a few DIY people. When I fix something in my home I don't think of myself as a competitor to anybody as I would not do this work for money (or free) for someone I did not know. I help friends and family all the time with say putting in a new wall switch etc. but that not a competitor to anybody.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:57 PM   #83
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Samsung's recent product launch and acquisition of Boxee combined with their consumer products position could make them a player:

http://avproductreviews.com/samsung-...er-gx-sm530cf/
"Samsung’s acquiring of Boxee could mean that they will offer a cloud DVR service at some point."
"Nothing has been announced as of yet for a cloud DVR service"

more links re the $138 street price GX-SM530CF cable card box / media streamer:

http://www.samsung.com/us/video/blu-...GX-SM530CF/XAA
Parts : 36 months, Labor : 36 months plus 3 extra months if you register online

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1498949/sa...media-streamer
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1495453/sa...t-media-player

from http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-medi...-35830635.html
"A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said her company is working with Samsung to make on-demand content available along with live programming."

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-GX-SM5...ws/B00EYO241Q/

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-GX...p-Box/32478996

http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/...-media-player/
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:44 PM   #84
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A HTPC configured as a DVR definitely falls under this category. Here's just one example:

http://assassinhtpc.com/

So the answer to the OP's original question is Yes, there are other companies that sell DVR units.
Wow, those prices sorta makes a TiVo (+ lifetime) seem like a bargain.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:25 AM   #85
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Wow, those prices sorta makes a TiVo (+ lifetime) seem like a bargain.
The basic hardware may be pricey, but you can add features and additional hardware, like more tuners, which brings the overall cost down to where it becomes competitive with Tivo. There are no fees attached with an HTPC for guide data or feature activation, as with a Tivo, so that needs to be factored into the cost. Assassin also provides support for what he sells. I haven't actually looked at his price list, but his HTPCs get a lot of good feedback from customers from what I've heard. He's a regular contributor over at the Home Theater PC section of the AVS Forums and is quite knowledgeable. I've built several HTPCs based on his recommended components and I haven't been disappointed.

These are products for people that would like to venture into HTPCs but don't feel comfortable building their own. It's similar to people here that would rather use Weaknees or other service for upgrading a Tivo drive rather than doing it themselves.
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:08 PM   #86
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The basic hardware may be pricey, but you can add features and additional hardware, like more tuners, which brings the overall cost down to where it becomes competitive with Tivo. There are no fees attached with an HTPC for guide data or feature activation, as with a Tivo, so that needs to be factored into the cost. Assassin also provides support for what he sells. I haven't actually looked at his price list, but his HTPCs get a lot of good feedback from customers from what I've heard. He's a regular contributor over at the Home Theater PC section of the AVS Forums and is quite knowledgeable. I've built several HTPCs based on his recommended components and I haven't been disappointed.

These are products for people that would like to venture into HTPCs but don't feel comfortable building their own. It's similar to people here that would rather use Weaknees or other service for upgrading a Tivo drive rather than doing it themselves.
A cloud DVR would never be as responsive as your own DVR and commercial skip could be disable as it is now with OD from ABC and FOX.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:27 PM   #87
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A cloud DVR would never be as responsive as your own DVR and commercial skip could be disable as it is now with OD from ABC and FOX.
OK, you lost me. Where did this come from?
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:46 PM   #88
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I think he quoted the wrong post. Someone above mentioned Samsung bought Boxee which offered a cloud DVR.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:09 AM   #89
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I think he quoted the wrong post. Someone above mentioned Samsung bought Boxee which offered a cloud DVR.
Your correct that was what I was referring to.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:46 PM   #90
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Your correct that was what I was referring to.
Thanks for the clarification. I thought I was having a 60's flashback or something.

Anyway, I agree about the cloud DVR. I can't address the commercial skip issue as it currently works fine on my HTPC using the ShowAnalyzer Suite. If commercial skip did disappear, there's always the 30-second skip function that's available on any WMC remote. I generally use commercial skipping for recorded shows and the 30-second skip when watching NFL games being recorded but currently in progress. Every commercial break is exactly 2 minutes long during the game and 2-1/2 minutes for the 2-minute warning break. 4 or 5 quick presses of the Skip button and I'm back to the game.
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