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Old 09-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
jollygrunt777
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Question 4-tuner OTA compatible tivo's

Will there be any newer tivo's that are OTA compatible with more tuners than the current Premiere version which has 2?

Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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No one knows but my guess is no
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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If you are an OTA user and either need more than 2 tuners or have multiple TVs I would recommend looking at the used original Series 3 models with lifetime service after you get a Premiere as your primary DVR (again I recommend with lifetime). Just for the record I am an OTA only user and use an Original Series 3, a TiVo HD, and a Premiere, (all with lifetime and upgraded hard drives) but really have never needed more than 4 tuners.

Good Luck,
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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It's sad, but atmuscarella is probably right. Just not enough profit margin or customers to justify the market.

My OTA is now handled by my existing Windows 7 PC, Media Center, and two HD HomeRun network tuners.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:53 PM   #5
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The current platform can only support a maximum of 4 tuners, regardless of configuration. So a 4 tuner OTA unit would only be able to record OTA. I doubt there is enough of a market for such a device.

On the plus side now that Premiere units have streaming capabilities, rather then just transfers, having multiple units in different rooms is much more convenient. Although the cost can be a bit prohibitive.

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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...
On the plus side now that Premiere units have streaming capabilities, rather then just transfers, having multiple units in different rooms is much more convenient. ...
When you look at using TiVo DVRs for OTA only versus cable several things change such as:
  1. There no issues with MRV as there are no copy restriction flags
  2. There is no need to spend money for cable cards as they are not needed for OTA only use. So when you have multiple DVRs or an original Series 3 DVR it doesn't cost you anything extra every month like it does if you are using them for cable.
The above make it easier to have multiple DVRs and easier to keep older Series 3 units in the mix.

Personally as an OTA only user I would rather have multiple DVRs than a single 4 tuner unit.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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The advantages to streaming apply even if the shows aren't copy protected....

1) All trick play functions work immeditaely. You don't have to wait for it to actually copy the data to the remote DVR

2) When the show is done you get the normal keep/delete prompt and if you select delete it deletes from the remote TiVo.

3) You can get a Stream and watch your shows on an iPad. (or transfer them for ofline viewing)

Don't get me wrong the S3 is still a good DVR, but for a multi-room setup the Premiere is just a better experience.

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Old 09-07-2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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The advantages to streaming apply even if the shows aren't copy protected....

1) All trick play functions work immeditaely. You don't have to wait for it to actually copy the data to the remote DVR

2) When the show is done you get the normal keep/delete prompt and if you select delete it deletes from the remote TiVo.
Umm, if I start a transfer, I can start watching it *close* to immediately. I would suspect that most people when transferring something, are intending to watch it in its entirety, so as long as the transfer is faster than realtime, I don't think that's much of an issue.

(I admittedly talked about what to me is a very special case of me purposely transferring something AND skimming through it, e.g. old talk shows I had offloaded.. but I think that's a very rare use case.)
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:58 AM   #9
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Umm, if I start a transfer, I can start watching it *close* to immediately. I would suspect that most people when transferring something, are intending to watch it in its entirety, so as long as the transfer is faster than realtime, I don't think that's much of an issue.

(I admittedly talked about what to me is a very special case of me purposely transferring something AND skimming through it, e.g. old talk shows I had offloaded.. but I think that's a very rare use case.)
What about things like sports where there is a bunch of pre-game crap you don't care about? Or when a show starts with 5 minutes of "previously on" and then an immediate commercial break. MRV is not very convenient for those situations. Streaming is just like if you were sitting in front of the TiVo watching it locally. You can skip around as mich as you want immediately.

I had multiple S3 units for years. And in those years I always had them in the same room distributed to the rest of the house using various devices. It was always kind of a PITA, but better then MRV. Now that I have two Premiere units I decided to try the streaming. It worked so well that I moved one of the TiVos into the other room and got rid of the wireless HDMI thing I was using. Streaming is a seamless experience. MRV is a kludge they decided on way back when networks weren't fast enough to support real streaming.

If you like your S3 units that's great. But I think for most people the streaming offered on the Premiere units is what they really want in a multi-room experience.

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Old 09-08-2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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OTA is what got me started with HTPCs back when I had DirecTV. I had multiple HR10-250 HDTivos, but I didn't want to allocate them to OTA-only use. DirecTV only offered a few of my local channels, and those were only for one local market (I get both Baltimore and Washington stations via antenna).

I tried an OTA tuner with a spare PC I had built and eventually expanded it to six ATSC tuners. At the time I was using BeyondTV with Windows XP. It worked great for recording OTA channels and it integrated nicely into my home theater system with my Tivos. Eventually I switched to FIOS and picked up a couple S3 Tivos for recording FIOS channels.

The Ceton InfiniTV4 was introduced a couple years later so I decided to switch to Windows 7 and give one a try. It didn't arrive until five months later, but it was well worth the wait. I still used my Tivos as a backup until I was comfortable that WMC would work well enough. It worked out far better than I could have hoped and eventually stopped using the Tivos altogether. I now had a box that could record both digital cable channels and all of my locals. I added Blu-Ray and DVD playback a short while later and now it's a one-stop unit that does all of my home theater chores.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #11
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HTPCs are nice. But they are power hogs, can be a bit loud and are significantly more expensive then a dedicated device like a TiVo.

That being said right before the Elite was announced I was seriously considering switching to an HTPC. At that point TiVo seemed to have stagnated and I was getting very irritated with them. However over the last year they seemed to have kicked it into gear and I'm actually excited by what they have to offer again.

Although the all in one box concept does still appeal to me. If only it weren't so expensive to build one.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:07 PM   #12
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My computer uses 85 watts but it hibernates 12 hours a day so it does not use that much power. A computer with intel new i7 22nm ivy brige uses 55 watts. older computer will use a lot more power.

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HTPCs are nice. But they are power hogs, can be a bit loud and are significantly more expensive then a dedicated device like a TiVo.

That being said right before the Elite was announced I was seriously considering switching to an HTPC. At that point TiVo seemed to have stagnated and I was getting very irritated with them. However over the last year they seemed to have kicked it into gear and I'm actually excited by what they have to offer again.

Although the all in one box concept does still appeal to me. If only it weren't so expensive to build one.

Dan

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:16 PM   #13
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A TiVo Premiere XL4 only draws 23 watts max when using all 4 tuners. So even running 24/7 it still uses half as much power as your HTPC which hibernates 1/2 the day.

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #14
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Multiply that figure by the number of Tivos you have to run to have the same number of tuners in my HTPC (currently at 17) and see who's the real power hog. If you're only running one Tivo Elite vs. a HTPC with four tuners then the Tivo is a clear winner when it comes to power consumption. Double or triple the number of tuners in the HTPC and we're talking a whole new ballgame.

HTPCs can be built to be completely passive (i.e., no fans) and dead silent. You can also just go with quieter fans for a minimal cost. My Tivos have always been noisier than my HTPCs because the drives constantly seek and never rest. I'd never dream of having one in my bedroom because of the noise. At least I can shut off my HTPC when I want or at least put it into sleep mode whereas a Tivo never shuts down without pulling the plug. You can easily make a HTPC as power efficient as a Tivo for that reason alone.

The cost of a HTPC vs. a Tivo has been beaten to death so I won't rehash the subject. Just suffice it to say that HTPCs can be built to meet just about any price point and certainly below what a Tivo with lifetime costs. It all depends on what features you want it to have. With a Tivo, you're limited to what's in the box. With a HTPC you can start small and expand as your budget and imagination allows. It's nice to have options.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:34 PM   #15
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Multiply that figure by the number of Tivos you have to run to have the same number of tuners in my HTPC (currently at 17) and see who's the real power hog.
Why do you need 17 tuners? Are you really recording 17 different channels at a time? If so don't you run into I/O issues?

For most people 4 tuners is fine, and with the upcoming Mini you'll be able to watch those 4 tuners in any room in the house. And I can almost guarantee that a TiVo Mini will draw a lot less power then the only available MCE extender. (i.e. XBox 360)

Plus there is something to be said for buying something off the shelf and having it just work. Having to buy all the parts for an HTPC, building it, installing the OS, finding the drivers, etc... is a PITA. Fun for geeks like us sure, but most people wouldn't even know how to do it let alone want to. This is likely why Ceton is releasing a complete MCE DVR. They've already captured the geek crowd and they need a ready to go unit to attempt to break into the main stream.

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Old 09-09-2012, 12:53 AM   #16
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I have 6 tuners on my computer. 4 cable a 2 ota. i think 17 tuners would wear out a hard drive.

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Why do you need 17 tuners? Are you really recording 17 different channels at a time? If so don't you run into I/O issues?

For most people 4 tuners is fine, and with the upcoming Mini you'll be able to watch those 4 tuners in any room in the house. And I can almost guarantee that a TiVo Mini will draw a lot less power then the only available MCE extender. (i.e. XBox 360)

Plus there is something to be said for buying something off the shelf and having it just work. Having to buy all the parts for an HTPC, building it, installing the OS, finding the drivers, etc... is a PITA. Fun for geeks like us sure, but most people wouldn't even know how to do it let alone want to. This is likely why Ceton is releasing a complete MCE DVR. They've already captured the geek crowd and they need a ready to go unit to attempt to break into the main stream.

Dan

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:35 AM   #17
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Five of the 17 tuners are networked and shared by other PCs throughout the house. I don't recall ever using more than about 6 or 7 tuners simultaneously in my primary HTPC so 17 tuners is a bit of overkill. The point is that the cost of the additional tuners over and above the basic PC is a drop in the bucket compared to buying extra Tivos for the additional tuners.

In reality, you'd need a Tivo at each TV in order to share recordings or use a tuner. I can put together a small form factor PC or get an extender at the fraction of the cost of a Tivo to do the same thing and much more.

While the XBox 360 is the only extender currently marketed, the Linksys and HP extenders can be found on ebay for $100 or less. The Ceton Echo is beginning beta testing in a couple of weeks and I'm signed up to get one. I agree the XBox is a power hog, plus it gets too hot and is noisy, which is why I never use mine.

Dan's arguments have been brought up countless times in these forums so I'm not going to keep beating a dead horse. Same goes for the cost of ownership. If you're pinching pennies that tight then you probably shouldn't even be considering a Tivo. HTPCs are aimed at hobbyists and not someone that just wants a plug and play device. They can be frustrating at times if they don't work right, but they're not as bad as when I used to hack my Tivos and ran into problems.

It all depends on what you want out of your DVR. Tivos are great DVRs and I'd recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat that doesn't have any technical expertise. OTOH, if I know someone has the smarts to work on PCs then I'd definitely steer them towards a HTPC instead.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:11 AM   #18
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Well, hang on. The desire for a 4 tuner anything suggests the OP is not wanting to have multiple anythings, so MRV may be a moot point. To put it another way, if the OP intends to have multiple DVRs of whatever type, then 4 tuners in one DVR is not particularly attractive. (Indeed, that is one major reason I have no desire for a 4 tuner DVR.)

Given the lack of anything even remotely interesting on OTA channels (other than PBS), if my TiVos were OTA only I would be hard pressed to keep even one tuner active, let alone four, but if one is going to limit ones' self to OTA, then I think mr.unnatural has a point. OTA programming lends itself marginally, if at all, to most of the more important features of the TiVo (excluding the Premier), and the ATSC tuners are relatively inexpensive. Thus, IMO, for an OTA only machine, an HTPC might be a near optimal solution.

Dan203's objections are well considered, although some steps can be taken to mitigate some of them. Unfortunately, mitigating one will usually accent the others. In particular, making the unit quieter and more energy efficient will almost surely increase its cost. Assembling the unit from used parts will make it less expensive, but may make it louder and more of a power hog, etc.

The best thing about an OTA HTPC, though, is it can easily avoid Microsoft software.

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Old 09-09-2012, 09:28 AM   #19
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For most people 4 tuners is fine
For lots of us, 2 tuners per box is fine. I have never had any desire to spend extra money on a 3rd and 4th tuner for any one box.

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and with the upcoming Mini you'll be able to watch those 4 tuners in any room in the house. And I can almost guarantee that a TiVo Mini will draw a lot less power then the only available MCE extender. (i.e. XBox 360)
At the moment I have no interest in such a box, but I might in the future. (I guess that is good, because the box won't be available until the future!) If it can stream from a plain vanilla server, which would include an HTPC, of course, I might be interested.

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Plus there is something to be said for buying something off the shelf and having it just work.
There is a lot more to be said for buying something off the shelf and modifying it to fit one's needs and desires. The alternative is to accept what some idiot engineer has decided is good for you. (Or worse, what some bean counter has decided they can make profitable.)

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Having to buy all the parts for an HTPC, building it, installing the OS, finding the drivers, etc... is a PITA. Fun for geeks like us sure
I disagree, at least for myself. Easy? Sure. Trivial? Probably. Fun? Not really. It's pretty boring, actually. 'Kinda like washing dishes or vacuuming. I would rather be designing something or reading a book, or - goodness me - watching TV.

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This is likely why Ceton is releasing a complete MCE DVR. They've already captured the geek crowd
Not me. There are far too many critical features unavailable in that arena, the absence of any one of which makes it unacceptable.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:56 AM   #20
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lrhorer made a good point in that a HTPC for OTA only can be even cheaper than what I was inferring. There are several freeware DVR apps out there that work very well for recording OTA. MythTV has been around for quite a while and has a very active support community. You'll save yourself an additional $100 or so by not having to purchase a Windows 7 license.

From a hardware cost perspective, I just picked up an Asus F1A55-M LX micro ATX motherboard and an AMD Liano A4 3400 CPU from Newegg for $120 with free shipping (this is for a server upgrade). 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM will probably cost about $20-40. The Corsair CX430 PSU regularly goes on sale for less than $20 after rebate. A 1-1.5TB drive will average about $100. An inexpensive mid-tower case will cost about $30 and you can probably get one with free shipping. Used SiliconDust dual ATSC/QAM tuners are going for about $35 on ebay. If you want Windows 7 Media Center then factor in another $100 for Home Premium, although you can probably get an OEM version of Win 7 on sale for less. Total cost for this WMC PC is approximately $445. A MythTV version is only about $345. If you don't want to build one then dealnews.com has turnkey PC deals daily for even less, sans tuner.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:23 AM   #21
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my computer uses about 500 watts when playing call of duty mw3 at 1080p 90 fps
It makes my ps3 look obsolete. But its recording 4 shows while playing cod mw3.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #22
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To each their own I guess. But I still think you guys are in the minority. I still think that for most people buying one TiVo with 4 (or 6) tuners and a couple of Minis to use around the house would be a lot cheaper (both upfront and power usage wise) and easier to setup. I know you guys want flexibility, but most people just want something to work. They don't want infinite options to configure everything. They just want simplicity and will (usually) scrafice flexibility to get it.

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Old 09-09-2012, 12:28 PM   #23
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Tuners in any for or fashion is fine. I don't care if I have to have multiple Tivos to get what I need. However, I would like for TiVo to implement cooperative scheduling and an integrated NPL. Then it would not matter which box records it. I should not have to care which one records it or which one it is that has the recording. It should just work like one virtual TiVo.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:42 PM   #24
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To each their own I guess. But I still think you guys are in the minority. I still think that for most people buying one TiVo with 4 (or 6) tuners and a couple of Minis to use around the house would be a lot cheaper (both upfront and power usage wise) and easier to setup. I know you guys want flexibility, but most people just want something to work. They don't want infinite options to configure everything. They just want simplicity and will (usually) scrafice flexibility to get it.

Dan
No argument here as that's pretty much what I've been saying all along. Most people want a plug and play box they don't have to mess with. That's what separates the average consumer from the hobbyists. If off-the-shelf items don't give us what we want, we have to find a way to get it. HTPCs just happen to offer the flexibility we're looking for, but they're not for everyone.

All of the arguments about cost and energy consumption are moot when it comes to niche items like HTPCs. I doubt that the owner of a Ferrari is going to worry about the cost of the car or the gas mileage it gets. It's all about the performance. OTOH, the owner of a Honda Civic is probably more conscious about gas mileage, just wants reliable transportation, and isn't as concerned about performance (unless the owner happens to be a teenager).

A lot of HTPC owners will trick out their HTPCs with high end hardware and create media center PCs that are also superb gaming machines. These can get to be extremely expensive and are even more of a niche product for hardcore gamers. Most HTPC enthusiasts build their first one out of curiosity and then escalate it to a higher purpose once the bug bites them. Some people try it and never quite take to it. It's all a matter of personal preference. The thing is, until you try it you really don't know what you're missing.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:43 PM   #25
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Tuners in any for or fashion is fine. I don't care if I have to have multiple Tivos to get what I need. However, I would like for TiVo to implement cooperative scheduling and an integrated NPL. Then it would not matter which box records it. I should not have to care which one records it or which one it is that has the recording. It should just work like one virtual TiVo.
That's what a 4 tuner box is good for. Everything is scheduled and recorded by a single box, so you don't have to worry about which TiVo records what or manually manage conflicts.

Plus you only have to buy one box and one subscription so it's a lot cheaper to get up and running.

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Old 09-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #26
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That's what a 4 tuner box is good for. Everything is scheduled and recorded by a single box, so you don't have to worry about which TiVo records what or manually manage conflicts.

Plus you only have to buy one box and one subscription so it's a lot cheaper to get up and running.

Dan
Tell that to those that have already purchased more than one box. I don't why know every one seems to think that the 4 tuner box should be the answer to what TiVo really needs to do with cooperative scheduling and an integrated NPL. A 4 tuner TiVo really does not solve this.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:07 PM   #27
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I don't think it's the "answer", but I think it's the plan. I've been asking TiVo for cooperative scheduling for nearly a decade, back when TiVos only had one tuner and cooperative scheduling would have improved the product immensely, but they never listened. Now that they have boxes that are capable of recording 4 channels at once, and 6 tuner units on the horizon, their motivation for developing cooperative scheduling has diminished even further. Which is why I think it's unlikely to ever happen.

If you're a cable user and currently use both of your TiVos in one room then it's a no brainier to upgrade to an XL4. In addition to having a single To Do and My Shows list, which is awesome, it also only requires one CableCARD, one tuning adapter and one "outlet". Depending on how much your provider charges for those things it could be a large monthly savings. Plus if your two current units have lifetime you can likely sell them and cover most, if not all, of the upgrade cost.

If you need to access them in multiple rooms then I'd hold off until the Mini is released and then judge if it's worth it based on it's cost. (no one knows yet how much those things are going to cost)

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Old 09-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #28
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looks like macrosoft is removing internet tv from wmc on 9-20 Wont be able to watch podcasts in wmc if this happens.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:42 PM   #29
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I never watched much internet TV so it's no loss to me. I'm sure there are other ways to watch it on a PC without resorting to WMC. Still, I'm sure it's a convenient feature for those that do watch it.

Cooperative scheduling has never been an issue for me either. It's another reason why I opted for an HTPC over multiple Tivo boxes. I used to have to create a schedule grid and assign specific shows to each Tivo so there wouldn't be any conflicts. If something special got aired in addition to my regular shows it was usually a nightmare trying to work around it and still get all of my shows. With multiple cablecard plus ATSC tuners in a single box and a method to share the recordings with any TV I never had any issue with conflicts. It's also why I've got so darn many tuners. At a cost of about $35-50 for each cablecard tuner and about $25-50 for each ATSC/QAM tuner, it's just cheap insurance against any chance of a scheduling conflict. Some people see HTPCs as a headache (i.e., glass half empty syndrome). I see it as a solution that gives me peace of mind.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #30
astrohip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
That's what a 4 tuner box is good for. Everything is scheduled and recorded by a single box, so you don't have to worry about which TiVo records what or manually manage conflicts.
Having had an Elite for about half a year, I will only use 4 tuner boxes in the future. Even though I had (still have, actually) two 2-tuner S3s, the ease of a single box is great. I love it. I'm considering getting another Elite for my wife, to replace the S3 she uses. Mainly so we can stream. Although the Mini may change my mind.

I'm keeping the S3s running though. In the case of a natural disaster, I want to be able to get OTA. I have an excellent roof-mounted antenna system feeding all my wall/coax outlets, and I need the OTA capability of the S3s.
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