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Old 07-08-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
lrhorer
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Grande Cable Premier vs retail Premier

I would like to do a comparison between the Premier TiVo I received from Grande and a retail box. I have seen some things that suggest there may be some moderately significant differences between the two. I certainly hope so, because this unit is considerably more pathetic than what I had surmised the stock Premiers are.

First of all, the Title Search, one of the very most powerful and important features of the previous platforms, is a piece of crap on this TiVo. There are no filters, and the list is limited to 8 or 10 or so entries. This is utterly useless. The legacy TiVo platforms all offered extensive filters in a 2 or 3 stage progression. Are all Premiers this badly crippled?

Secondly, although the unit does sport much, much faster networking, speed doesn't help if it doesn't work in the first place. I'm using kmttg to transfer material from the TiVos to the video server. This was working on all the TiVos for a while, but then about a week ago, the Premier quit transferring videos via TTG. I called TiVo support, and they have no suggestions. Any attempt to transfer via TTG results in the TiVo returning the following error:

Code:
Server Busy
too many transfers in progress
There are no transfers in progress. Rebooting does not help. Transfers to the TiVo work just fine.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
moyekj
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For search TiVo intentionally crippled SDUI search by removing the filters (didn't bother me too much as I never really use the filters or even search on TiVo anymore). Supposedly in HDUI search all the capabilities are there (with help of A,B,C,D buttons) but I never spend much time in HDUI since I dislike it so much.

For 2nd error perhaps try booting up TiVo with ethernet disconnected for 30 minutes or so to clear out any supposed pending transfers that are not cleared. Don't know if it will help at all but worth a shot if nothing else is working.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:28 AM   #3
lrhorer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
For search TiVo intentionally crippled SDUI search by removing the filters (didn't bother me too much as I never really use the filters or even search on TiVo anymore).
It is the only one I do use. At least once every 2 weeks I udo the following search:

Titles => HD => Movies => No sub-category => 0

That brings up a list of all the HD movies showing in the next 12 - 14 days. On the Premier, this is not possible, at least not in the SDUI.

Score a major failure for TiVo, here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
Supposedly in HDUI search all the capabilities are there (with help of A,B,C,D buttons) but I never spend much time in HDUI since I dislike it so much.
You and me, both.

Until I actually got a Premier, the worst I could reasonably do was fail to recommend the Premier. After adding up all the features, however, I fear from now on I may be compelled to actively recommend against it. I'll need to nose around in the HDUI a bit, and dig a but further into the features, but so far the Premier isn't even reaching the level of the S2 - and that is pretty poor. Of course it is nowhere nearly the pile of dog pookey the SA8300HD is, but then that is saying very, very little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
For 2nd error perhaps try booting up TiVo with ethernet disconnected for 30 minutes or so to clear out any supposed pending transfers that are not cleared. Don't know if it will help at all but worth a shot if nothing else is working.
I'll give it a shot.

Other than network speed, this thing is far from impressive, and even the network speed is not all that impressive in an absolute sense.

Last edited by lrhorer : 07-09-2012 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:55 AM   #4
moyekj
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For searching HD movies a wishlist works just fine to accomplish your example using SDUI:
Wishlist->Category=HD, Subcategory=Movies

Then to bring up list it's as easy as TiVo-3 and scroll to wishlist and View upcoming.

Great feature of Premieres I use a lot is the RPC remote. This makes it very easy for me to manage scheduling on multiple TiVos from one place whether at home or away from home, search for upcoming Season Premieres, cancel future recordings, save and re-arrange season passes and a lot of other stuff without the need for any PROM hacking.
Overall I find the Premiere much better than my unhacked S3. Also Cox here is not heavy on copy protection so everything I record can be offloaded if desired, but typically I only do that for vacations these days.

During NBA season I also often need 5 tuners during prime time so now having a 4 tuner unit makes it so I don't have to deal with scheduling conflicts manually on my S3 unit anymore - I have 6 tuners with 2 boxes and 2 cablecards which is sufficient for my needs while the rest of the family can use the S3 for whatever they want.

Almost forgot the best feature by far for me: Multi-room streaming (MRS) works extremely well and allows me to stream shows that are still recording which for long sports recordings is critical. When I'm done I don't have multiple copies and can delete from wherever I'm watching. I just can't imagine going back to the Middle Ages and having to use MRV copying and deleting in multiple locations and only in front of each unit.

H.264 playback is also superior on Premiere compared to S3 OLED units. In fact for my use the only thing I can think of my unhacked S3 OLED unit is better at is 30 sec skip which is instant compare to Premiere units which have frame delay.
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Last edited by moyekj : 07-09-2012 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
lrhorer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
For searching HD movies a wishlist works just fine to accomplish your example using SDUI:
Wishlist->Category=HD, Subcategory=Movies
It doesn't work fine, at all. First of all, it returns nothing but a raw list, not an indexed list. Secondly, it is sorted by date, which is pretty much useless. The list can't be searched, and there is no way to jump around in the list other than 7 titles at a time or else jump to start or end. 'Quite unacceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
Great feature of Premieres I use a lot is the RPC remote. This makes it very easy for me to manage scheduling on multiple TiVos from one place whether at home or away from home
So does TivoWebPlus, although I have relatively little need to manage the TiVos, locally or otherwise. I let them handle that: they are good at it and I have better things to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
search for upcoming Season Premieres, cancel future recordings, save and re-arrange season passes and a lot of other stuff without the need for any PROM hacking.
The PROM hack is a given, considering all the other things it offers, but I have never once done any of those things, nor do I care to do so, but even if I did, TivoWebPlus and other utilities are capable of them on S3 units.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
Overall I find the Premiere much better than my unhacked S3.
I would not buy any device that cannot be hacked, and comparisons to unmodified TiVos are somewhat disingenuous. What is most important is what a device *CAN* do, not what it does right out of the box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
Also Cox here is not heavy on copy protection so everything I record can be offloaded if desired, but typically I only do that for vacations these days.
Enjoy it while you can. Verizon is already positioning themselves to implement at least some level of copy protection. I just moved to a system that did not copy protect anything a few weeks ago. About two weeks ago, they started copy protecting Cinemax (and I suspect HBO, but I don't get HBO). I'm sure there are more to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
During NBA season I also often need 5 tuners during prime time
What's "prime time"? I have TiVos. I have no idea when or on what channel anything airs. 'Not that the TiVos are particularly active between 19:00 and 22:00 on weekdays. It is probably their least active times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
so now having a 4 tuner unit makes it so I don't have to deal with scheduling conflicts manually on my S3 unit anymore
I only very rarely ever have, and TivoWebPlus makes resolving the conflicts much easier on the occasions they do pop up. I record a hell of a lot - many times more than anyone could ever watch - 24 hours a day, but with 8 tuners, it has been a fairly rare event that 3 are in use at any given time, and very rare that four are in use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
- I have 6 tuners with 2 boxes and 2 cablecards which is sufficient for my needs while the rest of the family can use the S3 for whatever they want.
The additional costs for CableCards on the S3 units is a real pain, no question about it, but I have no particular use for a unit with 4 tuners, given the extra cost. The more distributed the tasks are, the better I like it. That way when - not if, but WHEN - one of the devices fails, it takes out a minimum of content with it and shifting the recording load requires a minimun of effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
Almost forgot the best feature by far for me: Multi-room streaming (MRS) works extremely well and allows me to stream shows that are still recording which for long sports recordings is critical.
Obviously, MRS is of no use at all to me, because I only have one Premier (yet another effective flaw of the Premier). Personally, it is not of any great concern to me, though, since I don't even use MRV. Indeed, for many years I did not even bother to implement MRV on my TiVos, despite it being trivial to do so, and even when I did, I found myself rarely ever using it. The things being recorded on the TiVos falls into two categories: context based and server source. The "context based" programs are programs that are recorded to be watched for the most part where they are located in the first place. For example, the theater is primarily used for watching movies and little else, so all of its context based programming is movies. OTOH, we only very rarely watch a movie in the living room, so very few context based movies are recorded there. Of course I don't sit endlessly and agonize over which program belongs in which category. That is simply the way the Season Passes, Wishlists, and Suggestions are set up. Context based programs are ones which stand a fairly high chance of never being watched at all, as there are far, far more individual programs than anyone can watch.

Server source programs are ones that are destined for the video server. They are mostly movies, but a large percentage are TV series I wish to keep. These are distributed around the house, and any that are particularly choice may be recorded on two or even three different TiVos, at different times if available, to make sure they are not missed. Although smaller in number than the context based recordings, I consider these to be the primary function of the TiVos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
When I'm done I don't have multiple copies and can delete from wherever I'm watching. I just can't imagine going back to the Middle Ages and having to use MRV copying and deleting in multiple locations and only in front of each unit.
Then don't delete. The TiVo will do it for you, you know. I do delete programs after I watch them, but if there are duplicates, I don't bother to run around the house deleting the others. Of course there is a program called kmttg out there that allows one to delete programs from all the TiVos in the house from a single location. Have you ever heard of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
H.264 playback is also superior on Premiere compared to S3 OLED units.
You mean it supports more formats? That is a pretty modest advantage, especially since most users are going to have to recode any h.264 content themselves, in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
In fact for my use the only thing I can think of my unhacked S3 OLED unit is better at is 30 sec skip which is instant compare to Premiere units which have frame delay.
I never use 30 second skip, but the list of features that are available on S3 class units that are simply not possible at all on the S4 is quite large, and many are what I consider to be deal breakers.

A short list:

1. Transferring copy protected content
2. TivoWebPlus
3. TyTool (even today, still useful when transferring a program TTG cannot)
4. caller ID ( I hate it, but some people love it)
5. elimination of pause ads
6. modifying video output
7. preventing upgrades until a more convenient time
8. use of TCL and Expect to implement monitoring and management features (for example, I have the TiVo email me when it is ready for an upgrade)
9. backport driver support for things like USB adapaters, etc.
10. telnet, ftp, etc.

And, oh, yeah, the Title Search.

Last edited by lrhorer : 07-09-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
moyekj
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To each his own. The way you use your TiVo and what you record is almost polar opposite to me. I never record movies on my TiVos and other than sports most recordings happen around 5-11pm for my TiVos which is when I sometimes need 5 tuners to meet my needs. Suggestions are first thing I turn off as they are useless to me. I have no need to upgrade hard drive space as I pretty much watch recordings within a few days of being recorded or else transfer off for long term storage so I usually sit at 40% capacity or less even on my 250GB Premiere. # tuners is more important than hard drive space for me. For my needs the Series 4 platform + software (SDUI) is superior in almost every way and the S3 OLED unit is relegated for use by rest of the family.
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Last edited by moyekj : 07-09-2012 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
moyekj
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For your search issue you may want to <shudder>try the HDUI</shudder>. From my understanding the search filters are there with help of A-D buttons but I never could tolerate HDUI long enough to become very familiar with it. I suppose a lot of people like all the pretty little thumbnails that HDUI uses but personally I'd rather not have them. I hardly ever use Search on TiVos themselves anyway since most new show scheduling I do through the RPC interface.
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