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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by riekl, Apr 28, 2009.
Too bad TiVo CPUs can't be upgraded like the hard drives can...
I agree fully. Pick your choices of words: reliable, predictable, self-healing (when problems do occur), comfortable, dependable, indispensable, capable, trainable, and so on.
IMHO, TiVo comes closer to being a Personal video recorder than most any other mass-marketed DVR out there.
TiVo's specialty is being a mini-Google of video programming sources. Utilizing that capability TiVo's ongoing Wishlists are one of its most powerful features. TiVo Search with its new GUI indicates where TiVo is headed. Moxi's searches are limited to the EPG data it possesses at the time a search is set up and aren't ongoing.
A TiVo user who uses TiVo as it is designed, to watch TV (almost?) totally timeshifted is unlikely to find much appeal in Moxi. But TV watchers are individuals and watch TV in many different ways. Competition between the two can only be good from a TV watcher's POV. Moxi is designed with a different philosophy than TiVo.
There are perhaps three times as many non-TiVo DVR users as TiVo users and twenty times as many non DVR users. That's where TiVo, Moxi, cable and satellite co.s compete; TiVo and Moxi as both standalone and OEM products.
Moxi isn't difficult to use. It's GUI, while very different from others, is fun to use and gets to the job at hand without glitches. It does require a short, steep learning curve, but once a viewer learns how Moxi's GUI works with its built-in shortcuts it quickly navigates to all Moxi's functions.
Where Moxi falls short is that currently a printed User Guide isn't included with its DVR and Moxi's downloadable User Guide isn't nearly as detailed or convenient to use as TiVo's classy Viewer's Guide.
A li'l nitpicking about functionalities:
Both TiVo and Moxi have similiar FF/RW functionality when progressively stepping through the speeds, with TiVo providing more compensation. My preference would be in-between but closer to Moxi's. User adjustable would be ideal! Moxi does provide user adjustable skip functionality.
Moxi and TiVo differ in what they do when a command is sent to FF/RW in the opposite direction from one already selected. TiVo slows down a speed while Moxi reverses to the slowest speed in the opposite direction. What is the logic behind TiVo's functionality? It always seemed awkward to me. YMMV!
When you are fast forwarding in a program to skip commercials, you simply press FF a fourth time to play.
When you are fast forwarding in a program to find a scene, you start out with 20x or 60x speed, but then you use REW to slow the FF as you approach the particular scene you want.
What is the logical reason for doing it another way? Why would someone want to immediately go from FF to REW? Maybe if you overshoot? But you are a lot less likely to overshoot on TiVo because it does allow you to slow the FF speed as you approach the scene you want. TiVo also provides more autocorrection (on play, or 4th FF) to minimize the chance of overshoot.
I agree. The inability to do provide industry-leading functionality for both liveTV and recorded TV is one of TiVo's biggest failures.
Most cable company DVRs are oriented more towards liveTV viewing, and studies show that most cable company DVR users record less than half of their programming. It unrealistic to expect many users to instantly switch from the cable DVR model of 60% liveTV and 40% recorded to the TiVo model of 10% liveTV and 90% recorded. These users rely heavily on their program guide, and the TiVo's default liveTV guide and inferior grid-guide (no genre highlighting, no record indicators, no picture window) produces thousands of returns and cancellations in the first 30 days. TiVo needs to offer a much better liveTV experience, so as to provide a painless transition for those with cable/satellite STBs and DVRs.
Dish Network has done an excellent job in this area. Dish Network satellite DVRs work well for those that like to record all of their programs -- second only to TiVo -- yet they also provide an excellent liveTV viewing experience, with the best EPG available anywhere. As a result, it is much easier for a user to switch from a cable DVR (or a cable/satellite STB) to a Dish Network DVR; the experience is universally positive, whereas the same is not true with TiVo. TiVo will never become successful as a mass market CE or cable/satellite DVR product until they do something about their inferior experience with liveTV.
I agree. The interface is intuitive and functional, and it works well for what it does. Call me silly, but you know what bugs me most about the current interface? The stretching on 16:9 displays. It purely a cosmetic issue. I have no problem with the general layout or functionality.
First, thanks for your answer to my questions regarding FF/RW functionality! I still find TiVo's reverse bahavior awkward, but now at least understand why they chose it. I overshoot at top speed on purpose and then reverse direction at slower speed to find what I'm looking for. I have no idea which'd ultimately be faster if there was a competition between the two modi operandi, but my way is natural for me.
(Did you read the two PM's I sent you at AVS Forum about FF/RW functionalities? The OOPS! one re-covers ReplayTV's totally SNAFU'd FF/RW behavior. No wonder ReplayTV made such a big deal out of 30 sec. skip!)
I probably disagree with 90% of TCF posters regarding watching TV live vs. timeshifted. I more often than not watch recordings set up as Season Passes while taking place. If something is worthwhile I want it as soon as available, not randomly later.
I've always felt that while TiVo isn't set up to maximize watching TV MY way, its stability, reliability, and continued independence are redeeming features. But TiVo's competition is improving. TiVo (and other DVRs) should function well either way. Toward that objective Moxi may encourage TiVo to provide an enhanced TV experience regardless of whether users watch timeshifted or not.
(Back in the old days I never understood the passion of DrStrange for TiVo until realizing that timeshifting was at the center of that passion. When DrStrange almost grudgingly heralded ReplayTV's 5000 series software revisions as approaching TiVo's functionality, I didn't care. I never took ReplayTV up on their free swap offer when they couldn't make MRV compatible between RTV's 4000 and 5000 series. To this day RTV4XXX's are my favorite ReplayTVs even though FF/RW compensation is totally fugged.)
I got a moxi and I love it! In explaining to tivo why I was switching I received an email from a Jessica Loebig from tivo who says she is concerned with tivo customers concerns and wants to here from tivo customers about any problems they might be haveing! Everyone should let her know of their disdain for tivos changes. email@example.com
User adjustable would be ideal!
Check around the forums, I recollect that you can adjust the compensation by some of the available remote codes.
S1 speed issues are largely negated with a CacheCard (or sticking with the original small drive).
My S1 DirecTiVo with 200GB and CacheCard is a bit snappier than mom's S3 (250GB), and a lot faster than the neighbors S2 DirecTiVo which is used in grid view (mostly due to grid view). And more reliable than the S3 so far.
Oh the S1 has no ads (except the one item on TiVo Central). The pause ads, ads when you get the delete screen, etc are annoying on the S3.
Hope Moxi works out - they have been the next best thing for at least 5 years now.
I think it was 2.x or 2.5 that you could enable the back doors and adjust the FF compensation in TiVo. TiVo changed the compensation going from 1.x to 2.x and again when going to 3.x.
I liked the 1.x version the best, but that was the fastest timing IIRC.
On the point that navigating the Tivo interface is slow, I would have to agree.
I have 3 Tivos, a series 2 ST, a series 2 DT, and a series 3.
The series 2 ST and particularly the S3, are, at times, painfully slow when navigating through the interface and the guide. For example you press page down in the guide and you ended up waiting quite a few seconds at times for the information to populate.
For some reason, on my STDT it seems to go much faster.
It's not a nuisance to me at all, but other members of my household are constantly complaining to me about it.
I've been wondering lately if this is in fact "just the way it is" or if this is indicative of some other issue, for example, a pending hard drive failure. I don't have any other issues that would point to that, but why the difference in navigation and data population speed?
cable interfaces are SLOWER!!!!!!
Why do people expect so much more from a TiVo than anyone else?
"I can't believe after all these years TiVo doesn't have a holographic interface, allow me to surf the interent, work more than two TV's at once, have 4 tuners, do cable AND satellite, firmware upgrade to allow hardware upgrades, liquid skin to self heal, and blow me. I'm going to switch to a cable DVR, I'M MAD!!"
Almost everything everyone bitches about NO ONE ELSE DOES EITHER!!!!!!!
Sick of your "HORRIBLE" TiVo!!!! Go rent a cable DVR for a few months.
I just came from Comcast MOTO DVR, TiVo is easily superior, not perfect, but superior. Should TiVo be doing more? sure. But it's currently the best and more upgrades are on the way.
Once again, most people who complain about TiVo fall into two categories....
Never had a TiVo OR
never had a cable DVR
I've had both, TiVo is better.
Could be hardware failure, but more likely it's "just the way it is", due to the S3 having to do a lot more.
Many S3's have many more channels in their database than an STDT. That's especially true if the S3 is set up for OTA in addition to cable. Note that S3 database contains program info for all channels you might ever receive, not just those that you mark as "Channels I Receive". So the database is much bigger.
In addition, there's many more filtering options on your searches that might be invoked; filtering operations are generally what cause the slow data population speed. The TiVo goes off to the database and fetches a page of info to show you. It then filters that page by any other requirements you have (for example, "HD"). If there's less than a screenful remaining, it has to off to the database and fetch another page of info, thus causing a delay.
One of the most important filters that can slow things is the "Channels I Receive" filter that is always run. If you have a lot of channels that you marked as not receiving, then those channels will cause delays when their info get fetched and then discarded as above. I'm located in an area where I get get signals from two metropolitan areas. When I had OTA enabled on my S3, I would have my choice of at least 6 channels for any network show (analog vs digital vs HD on each of Cable, Washington DC, and Baltimore stations). If I marked 5 of those channels as ones I don't receive, that means a search might be throwing away 83% of the page it gets from the database - thus requiring many pages to be fetched from the database in order to get a full screen of data. It was quite slow, but got much faster when I redid guided setup and dropped OTA.
All of this is just to say the the S3 is doing a lot more than the S2DT, and thus it can be slower in some circumstances.
You don't say? Well I used to have Moxi and when 2 of them crashed on me, I went back to Tivo. I much more prefer Tivo over the Moxi interface.
And the Moxi is still $100 more expensive.
Although Moxi's EPG is superficially much prettier yet more confusing than TiVo's Live Guide IMHO they function in a similiar fashion. Now that I know its modus operandi I like Moxi's GUI. It's pretty, fast, and picks up every stitch.
I've never used Dish's current EPG but always liked ReplayTV's GUI.
TiVo's current GUI is a bit boring but gets the job done with dispatch. If TiVo provided a PIG (user optional of course) I'd find TiVo more suitable for watching TV 'my way'.
TiVo can be much much cheaper than Moxi when storage capacity isn't a consideration and TiVo Service is paid monthly. HDTiVos cost $250 or less.
YMMV of course, but for me TiVo and Moxi compete more on style and functionality than price. They both require relatively expensive commitments when compared with cable co. DVRs. (I've got $1500 in TiVo Service currently not being used which I'll probably never use again.)
Who was talking about the EPG? bkdtv might be right that TiVo needs to improve their EPG to sell better. Too bad that it goes against the entire TiVo philosophy.
Of course, the other DVRs live and die by their EPG, since they are not more than glorified cable boxes. Personally, I don't care what the EPG looks like since I rarely use it. Well, except for in the Comcast "DVR" where the EPG WAS the use interface.
I just don't think TiVo should even bother competing with the cable DVRs when it comes to EPG. What user in their right mind would buy a TiVo to get a better live TV experience?
Moxi's EPG is an integral part of its GUI, unlike TiVo's. Compared with Moxi TiVo's GUI is, well, boring. But it gets the job done. Moxi's looks good and works 'good' too!
TiVo's philosophy is what's being debated. I've always disagreed with TiVo's total-timeshift 'philosophy' but still recognize that they make a damned good DVR. But how does it play in Peoria?
Your point may be a double-edged sword; why wouldn't users want a DVR to enhance their live TV experience? As long as specific features are user selectable or adjustable to maintain TiVo's signature timeshifting capabilities how is it in TiVo's interest to shun a significant part of the potential DVR audience? It's all about sales.
I use an EPG, BTW. The thing I like least about TiVo is probably one of the things you like best, not allowing a playing program whether live or recorded to remain audible when I'm in its menus. If TiVo incorporated a user selectable PIG in S4 how would you be disadvantaged?
I agree with this part of your post for sure. I would LOVE to have a simple way to view my photos, home movies, music etc. from my Macintosh on my HDTV. Yes, there are "ways" to do it now, but they require subscriptions, uploading to websites, and 3rd party software. I'd love it if TiVo could simply "build them in" and make it much more convenient. THAT would be huge for me. I'd love an "AppleTV with Cable cards".
I'm on a Mac, too, but with old TV set.
For us, Tivo Desktop (I think it's 1.9.4), it's the free one, works fine in showing iTunes stuff.
In addition, we set up pyTivo--a few steps to set up, but works like a charm. You get a list of the folders you've added to it, which can include podcasts, TV and movies, etc.
Is there an issue with either or both that you have an HDTV? If not, I'd highly recommend one or both. There are no subscriptions and no uploading to web sites!