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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by demon, Feb 28, 2007.
I just got a free download to my TiVo worth $15.00 from Amazon.
The credit showed immediately when I purchased in Amazon. I already had an Amazon account set up.
I took the credit, but I suspect I'll be watching movies on the PC to get the correct aspect ratio, unless they start supporting S3's with 1.78:1 in TiVo format.
Because I was in temporary housing w/o a DVR O) I missed all but the first couple of episodes of the season of the stuff that I watch on Fox, so I'm downloading an episode of Bones. I don't know what format this is encoded in, but since its .96 GB for a 1 hour program (2.3 Mbps average) I doubt that I'll be using this after the $15 credit is spent, unless they start offering HD format stuff. Life is too short to watch poor quality video.
BTW, I notice a bright blue dot displayed on the S3's front panel and I'm assuming that it indicates the download in progress. Is this dot displayed at any other time?
They've got some strange movies up on Unbox. For example, check out the documentary rentals. A lot of major docs are missing, but there is plenty available if you want to study China.
I have high hopes for such a service - especially as a thumb in the eye to the idiots who refuse to agree on a DVD / HD standard. But unless they get this going for HD and build up an Amazon.com type inventory, it is likely going nowhere.
I spoke with Amazon Unbox support about my issue, where my VIP Lifetime was changed overnight and is screwing up my download to the 2 units involved - I need to wait another 30 minutes until the VCM connection occurs to find out. Anyways, I did ask about Widescreen, DD 7.1, etc... and the rep said they are at the whim of what the provider's (Studios) give them, so I just hope they up the ante soon and provide what we would expect - Widescreen & DD content.... Who cares if it takes longer to download!!
Also, I suggested the movies / show are denoted with an attribute stating they will be 'blackout' for downloading after 90 days, since we don't know which ones are affected... Hopefully, they take heed in those suggestions.
The blue light is used to indicate that your Series3 is downloading video via a broadband connection (i.e., the Ethernet port). If you look at something (like a TiVoCast download) in progress in the Now Playing List, it'll be accompanied by a similar blue dot icon.
I just watched the first few minutes of that episode of Bones. Unfortunately, it's one of the few that I've seen--then again, it was free . Definitely no higher quality than typical SD digital cable; maybe a little less. The bitrate of the encoding is about significantly lower. Also, no closed captions--wagging finger of shame.
Difficult for me to believe that they're completely at the providers' "whim" in terms of content. On Xbox Live Video Marketplace every CBS show which airs in HD is available in HD (or SD--your choice), and at least one program that didn't air in HD (Star Trek: TOS). 22 out of 102 movies titles available in HD on XBLVM as well. Both sources are in their infancy, though and we can only hope that they improve.
Not a very auspicious beginning, but we'll see what happens. Unfortunately they only get one chance to make a first impression.
OK, after downloading The Perfect Storm and MI3 to my S3 , here are my conclusions so far:
-Both videos look WORSE than a DVD on my S3/ 73" TV.
-Both videos are letterbox and look terrible if I use any stretch or zoom. Deal break in my opinion.
-No 5.1, at least with these 2 movies. Doesn't look good.
My guess is that Amazon is targeting Joe Six-Packs, not home theater people. My video on demand produces a picture very similar to this and that's why I never use it.
I can see myself renting when I'm really eager to see a title, like, right now... for immediate gratification. A silly title that I'd only be interested in once.
But I doubt I'd pay to BUY anything when for similar $$ outlay I could get a better quality original DVD, with all the extras.
Thank you, Slimoli--you've saved me the trouble of downloading a movie. I can use all of the credits for catching up on Bones and House .
So true... You can buy Perfect Storm via unbox for $10 without special features or 5.1 and using their proprietary compression, or you can buy the real DVD for $9.50... from Amazon! If you want the HD version, you have to pony up $20 for the HDDVD.
I'll keep my NetFlix account for now, thanks.
This product is not for us, S3 users. All we can get is "best quality" 1:33/1 videos . The product is driven to the S2/stereo/4X3 public. The concept is great though and if Amazon doesn't deliver we will probably see Google or Yahoo with a better version.
I still say that Amazon would be smart to offer a small discount on the actual DVD of a movie that I have already rented.
How about a BIG one?
Or how about, let me download it free... if I've already paid for the actual disk?
I want to like this new service, I really do. But the economics of it don't make much sense to me. After the novelty wears off I suspect I won't be using it much. They'd have to get much better selection (and searching tools) and the prices would have to come down, as well.
Does anyone think Unbox should give you 48-72 hours to watch a rental... If you have kids at home, you usually dont get to start a movie until after dinner, bath and bedtime routines... so you start it at 9-10pm... MAYBE get 25-50% through it, and fall asleep... and go to work at 7am the next morning... its nearly impossible to watch an entire movie in 24 hours..... even Blockbuster gives you 2 days for new releases, and thats because they want to re-rent it to someone else... why would Unbox care if you had had it a couple days before expiring... who can sit through an entire 2-3 hour movie at home with no distractiosn these days.
I considered buying Departed because I keep getting passes over by Netflix. The movie is in high demand, so I would have to wait my turn to get the disk. I thought this would be the benefit of Unbox, but I can't get myself to download a movie that I am excited to watch when it is available in better quality, even when the credit is free. I guess I'll just wait my turn with Netflix or buy the DVD at target.
Regarding Rentals - they should be good for at least a week! Heck, they should be good for a month as far as I am concerened - it's not as if I am going to watch it umpteen times, anyways.
In fact, they should just institute tiered pricing for anything - Lifetime and Rentals at the following intervals: 12 months, 1 month and 1 day
Yeah, after using this I think I'm sticking to XBox Marketplace for my DVD rentals...thanks to the HD availability. 7gb vs. 2gb sucks, but I'm willing to deal with the extra download.
Me too... but the hard drive space is a pretty big concern. What do we have (currently)... 20 GB? I'm probably using 10-15 already for demos and XBLA titles...
Meanwhile, my S3 has 750 GB!
I like it too, for convenience and consistent interface. I *much* prefer to browse through what to watch via TiVo (which is always on) than via the Xbox 360's blade menu. Not to mention the 360 is very loud. I don't mind it so much when I'm gaming, but it's pretty bad when you want to watch a show and listen to dialog.
Heh. While that's nice, they also REALLY need to add a way to search/request downloads directly from the TiVo itself. Maybe via an HME app? Because lots of folks have expressed the desire to use the TV for the entire experience. Why should I have to get up and go to the office, to download a movie to enjoy in the living room? (Yes, I have a laptop... I'm just illustrating an example.)