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Old 04-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
jwight
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Question Considering TiVo - need some input

Didn't see a "newbie" forum so will post here, mods can move if it's in the wrong place.

Looking at replacing a whole house AV system in a house we just bought with a TiVo setup using HD antennas for OTA programming and high speed broadband for Internet streaming (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu plus, etc.)

Based on info from the TiVo site it appears this could be done using the Premier TiVo boxes but need to check that they will in fact connect with a home wifi network. Also, will they stream 1080 programming if it is available? Any reliability issues with the boxes themselves (we have TWC now and the Scientific Atlanta boxes suck)? Anything else we need to know to make this work (if it will...)? Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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They will connect wifi, but that is not optimum. Hardwired or MoCa preferred. They require an internet connection to function.

1080- yep.
Reliable- yep- good (wired) internet helps.
You'll want this for streaming content, as TWC will limit your ability to copy content from unit to unit.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:11 PM   #3
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As you can see I'm also from the Dayton area (North Dayton Digital Cable lineup, but all part of TWC Southwest Ohio). I don't have a Premiere box but AFAIK from reading this forum, you will be able to do what you want with them.

Unfortunately, there may be issues in the "reliability issues" department. You won't get away from Scientific Atlanta (actually Cisco now) equipment with your
Tivo(s). For each TiVo, You will need a (Cisco) CableCARD (CC) to get digital cable, and a (CISCO) tuning adapter (TA) to get the many channels that TWC carries via Switched Digital Video (SDV). Both are furnished by TWC. The TA is free and the CC is $2.50/mo.

The CC plugs into your TiVo. TWC does not update the firmware in these cards. Perhaps because of this, or just due to TWC ineptitude, many TiVo's do not respond to EAS alerts properly. Typically the TiVo freezes for the duration of the alert message and switches to showing the C-SPAN2 channel, or just a blank screen, but NOT the EAS message. During this time remote control commands do nothing -- you have no control. One one occasion I lost all channels after an EAS and had to power-cycle the TA. Quite commonly recordings in progress are terminated prematurely.

But the main source of unreliable performance is the TA. Every few weeks I have to power-cycle both my TA and TiVo because all the SDV channels go missing. Frequently tuning a channel (either manually or for a scheduled recording) fails because the correct SDV frequency doesn't get transferred from the TA to the Tivo.

Most cable cos have very poor support for Tivo's because they have no incentive to do so other than fear of FCC sanctions (which is a very weak factor). From reading this forum over the years and my own experience with TWC I would say TWC is among the worst.

Having said all that, I still keep my TiVo. I take advantage of OTA antenna stations, Netflix, Amazon VOD, pyTivo and PlayOn plus the pyTivo PlayOn plugin to ease the pain and to keep myself ever ready to cut the cord. And, as you already seem to know, the TWC DVR's are not all that reliable either. BTW, TWC also supplies Samsung DVR's, not just SA/Cisco, although I doubt the reliability is better. I think the reliability problems are due to deficiencies in the TWC cable plant, not the in-home equipment.
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Last edited by dlfl : 04-21-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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i connect a tivo premierexl to my wireless network using a cisco-linksys dual-band wireless 802.11n gaming ethernet bridge, and have been able to stream 1080p content without issues, and 99.9% uptime (2-3 connection reboots in the past year). it is much more reliable than with my previous provider's box using the same wireless network set-up.

i don't have twc, so no advice on their equipment.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. The TWC stuff is not an issue as the plan is to drop cable completely. We'll get network shows through the antennas and everything else via the Internet. Not optimum but TWC is just too expensive and unreliable at this point. I assume we'll need a TiVo box at each TV?
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jwight View Post
Thanks for the replies. The TWC stuff is not an issue as the plan is to drop cable completely. We'll get network shows through the antennas and everything else via the Internet. Not optimum but TWC is just too expensive and unreliable at this point. I assume we'll need a TiVo box at each TV?
Keep in mind that by going OTA you're limiting yourself to the 2-tuner units and you won't be able to use a mini as an extender.
You may have already considered this, but it's worth being sure you know the OTA limitations.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. The TWC stuff is not an issue as the plan is to drop cable completely. We'll get network shows through the antennas and everything else via the Internet. Not optimum but TWC is just too expensive and unreliable at this point. I assume we'll need a TiVo box at each TV?
Yes. you need a Tivo box on each TV that you want a Tivo DVR connected to. If you can get away with just having one Tivo on the main TV you'd want to access DVR content on, you might consider getting some cheaper streaming box (i.e. Roku) and regular ATSC tuner on the other TVs.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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Didn't see a "newbie" forum so will post here, mods can move if it's in the wrong place.

Looking at replacing a whole house AV system in a house we just bought with a TiVo setup using HD antennas for OTA programming and high speed broadband for Internet streaming (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu plus, etc.)

Based on info from the TiVo site it appears this could be done using the Premier TiVo boxes but need to check that they will in fact connect with a home wifi network. Also, will they stream 1080 programming if it is available? Any reliability issues with the boxes themselves (we have TWC now and the Scientific Atlanta boxes suck)? Anything else we need to know to make this work (if it will...)? Thanks in advance!
Call DirecTV and negotiate a deal for a Genie or two. They'll deliver and install it for free. Your monthly charge is up to what you can negotiate.

Works flawlessly and if something goes wrong with the hardware you call them back and theyll replace, or fix. No cost, no hassles, no questions asked..

Why anyone pays for yesterday's technology when you can get it for free is beyond me.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Call DirecTV and negotiate a deal for a Genie or two. They'll deliver and install it for free. Your monthly charge is up to what you can negotiate.

Works flawlessly and if something goes wrong with the hardware you call them back and theyll replace, or fix. No cost, no hassles, no questions asked..

Why anyone pays for yesterday's technology when you can get it for free is beyond me.
........ and that's when the fight started.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:31 PM   #10
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........ and that's when the fight started.

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Old 04-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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Why anyone pays for yesterday's technology when you can get it for free is beyond me.
Some of us like to watch TV when it is snowing, or raining, or cloudy.

DirecTV sucks.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:55 PM   #12
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Some of us like to watch TV when it is snowing, or raining, or cloudy.

DirecTV sucks.
LOL!!! You're really going to go with that old wives tale?

I had 10x as many outages with a Premiere and FIOS in 2 months than I had in 3 years of DirecTV.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:58 PM   #13
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And if it turns out you hate it, you're stuck with it for 2 years unless you pay the ETF.

Not really "free". A) You get what you pay for and B) If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn't.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #14
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You're really going to go with that old wives tale?
i hear what you're saying, but calling it an old wives tale isn't the whole truth either, at least not based on my dtv experience over 5+ years.

every windy day brought intermittent macro blocking, and every heavy rainstorm meant no tv for at least a couple of minutes, if not a half hour or longer, and that's with a solid install, good line of sight, and a great signal - the swm really impacted my hd performance.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #15
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And if it turns out you hate it, you're stuck with it for 2 years unless you pay the ETF.

Not really "free". A) You get what you pay for and B) If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn't.
Um, yea, sorry, It was free and it's light years better than the 2 premiere setup I had before it.

Oh, and two years is still better than a LIFETIME of hating something.

But seriously... What's to hate about 10 Tuners, 600 hours of space, delivered, installed for FREE?

All it needs is a peanut remote and make those stupid annoying noises...
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #16
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i hear what you're saying, but calling it an old wives tale isn't the whole truth either, at least not based on my dtv experience over 5+ years.

every windy day brought intermittent macro blocking, and every heavy rainstorm meant no tv for at least a couple of minutes, if not a half hour or longer, and that's with a solid install, good line of sight, and a great signal - the swm really impacted my hd performance.
Once again, I had 10x more "outages" with a Premiere and FIOS than DirecTV.

And don't get me started on Verizon and their "customer support".
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:44 PM   #17
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This thread is about using OTA. Which is actually free. Not fake free install where they always need to add some part that costs extra, not fake "leases" that make you pay full price for stuff and then also pay monthly on it, not fake "free equipment" that they add ETFs and DVR fees on.

As far as service quality: I stay in hotels every week. About half use DirecTV. About 10% of the time in one of these hotels, the signal goes in and out, macroblocks, acts weird, or just stops working. The ones with cable work 99% of the time. So cable is 10 times better from my own sampling of 200 different setups over 4 years.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:54 PM   #18
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Keep in mind that by going OTA you're limiting yourself to the 2-tuner units and you won't be able to use a mini as an extender.
You may have already considered this, but it's worth being sure you know the OTA limitations.
let alone the programming limitations.

I tried OTA but the networks only have so much content.

The whole point of tivo becomes moot when i have to switch between inputs and 5 different services to watch The Daily Show or whatever else is on netflix/hulu/amazon
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:25 PM   #19
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This thread is about using OTA. Which is actually free. Not fake free install where they always need to add some part that costs extra, not fake "leases" that make you pay full price for stuff and then also pay monthly on it, not fake "free equipment" that they add ETFs and DVR fees on.

As far as service quality: I stay in hotels every week. About half use DirecTV. About 10% of the time in one of these hotels, the signal goes in and out, macroblocks, acts weird, or just stops working. The ones with cable work 99% of the time. So cable is 10 times better from my own sampling of 200 different setups over 4 years.
I don't live in hotels so there is no need to get angry about my experience with TiVo and Cable at my home.

Lighten up Francis....
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:31 PM   #20
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Lighten up Francis....
Lighten up, yourself. So TiVo didn't work for you. The way your going on makes you sound like a shill for DTV.
If it weren't for your join date and post history, I probably would have reported your comments here as spam.

The OP is interested in cutting costs, not transferring them from one company to another.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:42 AM   #21
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Lighten up, yourself. So TiVo didn't work for you. The way your going on makes you sound like a shill for DTV.
If it weren't for your join date and post history, I probably would have reported your comments here as spam.

The OP is interested in cutting costs, not transferring them from one company to another.
Why are you guys so angry? The OP said "he was considering TiVo"

I gave him my experience and opinion. Go ahead and report me if it makes you feel better.

Shill? Spam?
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:18 AM   #22
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...need to check that they will in fact connect with a home wifi network. Also, will they stream 1080 programming if it is available?
I have had mixed results with wireless, the only way I've gotten multiple tivos to work reliably on wireless-N is to have a tivo N adapter functioning as a bridge to my router. (Which means you need one at each box, plus one hardwired to your network.) I've tried a handful of different routers/configurations, and they all had issues of one kind or another. That said, the speed is great - more than sufficient for streaming - once it is working. The Cisco bridge linked earlier in the thread looks interesting, you might try those over the tivo adapters if you want to go wireless.

Pretty much the only advice I've gotten with wireless issues is to go hardwired or MoCa instead. I did try moca, but had connectivity issues there as well - it can be dependent on whatever you've got going in with the wiring in your home. Splitters buried in walls, etc can be problematic. Seems to work great for most people though.

Whatever networking hardware you get, just make sure you can return it if you have problems. From my experience, getting one tivo to connect to wireless is no problem, but getting multiple boxes to see each other and Netflix etc... just be prepared for a little more troubleshooting.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:41 AM   #23
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This thread is pretty bad 22 posts and only 5 of them (posts 2,4,7,18 & 22) have anything to do with answering the questions that the original poster asked. At least he/she did get some useful answers from those posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwight View Post
Didn't see a "newbie" forum so will post here, mods can move if it's in the wrong place.

Looking at replacing a whole house AV system in a house we just bought with a TiVo setup using HD antennas for OTA programming and high speed broadband for Internet streaming (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu plus, etc.)

Based on info from the TiVo site it appears this could be done using the Premier TiVo boxes but need to check that they will in fact connect with a home wifi network. Also, will they stream 1080 programming if it is available? Any reliability issues with the boxes themselves (we have TWC now and the Scientific Atlanta boxes suck)? Anything else we need to know to make this work (if it will...)? Thanks in advance!
The only other advice I have that the few people who did actually try to help you didn't say is:
  1. You may want to look at used Series 3 units with lifetime service they work great for OTA
  2. And if you are not in a hurry you may want to wait until fall to see if TiVo gets new hardware out.
Good Luck,
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:24 PM   #24
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The whole point of tivo becomes moot when i have to switch between inputs and 5 different services to watch The Daily Show or whatever else is on netflix/hulu/amazon
That's only partially valid, since Tivo *does* support Netflix, Hulu (PLUS), and Amazon (purchases only, not the Amazon Prime free [with prime] streaming.

Those are VERY big caveats, IMHO, esp since Hulu Plus still has commercials… But some people like those services… and they work directly through the Tivo.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:22 PM   #25
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Thanks again for the replies, even the off topic ones. Compared to the old days - like 10 years ago - we're just faced with too many choices at this point. We're still researching and may end up with some version of the Control 4 setup using a split OTA HD antenna plus two TiVo boxes to start - along with TWC broadband for Internet content. Will report back once we've made the decision.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by E. Norma Stitz View Post
Call DirecTV and negotiate a deal for a Genie or two. They'll deliver and install it for free. Your monthly charge is up to what you can negotiate.

Works flawlessly and if something goes wrong with the hardware you call them back and theyll replace, or fix. No cost, no hassles, no questions asked..

Why anyone pays for yesterday's technology when you can get it for free is beyond me.
"Free", as in like $40/mo more than cable a month for 2 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthAlabama View Post
i hear what you're saying, but calling it an old wives tale isn't the whole truth either, at least not based on my dtv experience over 5+ years.

every windy day brought intermittent macro blocking, and every heavy rainstorm meant no tv for at least a couple of minutes, if not a half hour or longer, and that's with a solid install, good line of sight, and a great signal - the swm really impacted my hd performance.
It is a wives tale which has been propagated by the cable cos, at least for DirecTV. I've heard DISH is not as reliable. The guy I sit next to at work lives across the street from the water and was watching TV during the hurricane as 90mph wind came in off the ocean and slammed into his dish and rain poured down, causing aerial and coastal flooding. If the dish isn't aimed right, of course it's not going to work well. SWiM improves the reliability a lot, as it amps everything right at the powered LNB.
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