An outside the box idea... (how feasible?)

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by EndBoards, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005


    Well, I am familiar with setting up reliable systems, and I do have the benefit of centralization. I have a 3.5 TB server running XP with a couple thousand shows stored in MP4 and DivX format that are served to the Tivos using pyTivo.

    I have a DivX player (IOData LinkPlayer) that accepts these shows in streamed form, but I prefer transfer to streaming. With Tivo MRV, it is true that I lose access to the shows on the Tivo or server that goes down. But it is a graceful and minor degradation. Since the Tivo we watch most has 1.5Tb on it, we happen to have a large number of movies local to the Tivo so even if everything else goes down, we have redundant copies available. You can't do that on these thin client things.

    Of course you might object that huge drives cost a lot of dough. Sure they do.


    But in a few years? The cost of adding a TB drive to a streaming client will be minimal- and yet you will be prohibitted from benefitting from them if you let the movement towards streaming embrace, extend, and smother you.

    I just don't get the big deal with streaming. I can watch shows as they are transfered to the Tivo. The two differences I see are that I cannot skip ahead, and secondly that after I am done watching I have a copy on the Tivo whereas with streaming I don't. So aside from the skip ahead, all I have to do to be like streaming is to delete the show after I am done.

    Big deal- I'll let the Tivo automatically delete it when it needs space.

    Now- if "streaming" means connectivity with internet sites, with multiple codecs supported, as well as Sling support, then I'm all for that. But Streaming as a replacement for transfers?

    Thank you very much, but No, thank you very much.
  2. gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Mar 23, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Assuming that the necessary bandwidth is available, I think real-time streaming is much more logical than transferring the entire program from one location to another. ReplayTVs have been capable of room-to-room streaming for years. Unfortunately, the company never got around to producing an HD capable unit. :(
  3. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    If you use GIGABIT Networking like I do. The AVIONIX system works GREAT. I just wish it had the capability to do DVR functions as well.

    I currently have my AVionix SERVER systerm set up with 6 Terabytes with RAID 5, & an additional 6 Terabytes worth of backup storage as well.

    (YES you should back up a RAID 5 system, Virus's etc.. can still delete data even from a Raid 5 system)

    I have on my server 135 SD movies and 65 Blu-Ray movies, and 68,000 MP3's, 265 Home Movies in HD format (WMV-HD) and about 35,000 Family photographs (40 years worth).

    It works like a charm. There haven't been any Hardware issues as of yet. (knock on wood) and there haven't been any "Speed" or networking issues as of yet. The player unit (mediamax 4 with HD-DVD) works great and works great as A DVD/HD-DVD player. I have 3 of these units, & all 3 unites can watch a Movie at the same exact time, While the server is "Ripping" a blu-ray movie. It is a VERY ROBUST system.

    I don't see any reason (Other then legal issues surrounding the cable card) why a system like this couldn't easily work in DVR fashion for recording Cable/OTA.

    With the power this system has, I dont' see any reason why it couldn't also be capable of recording 4 OTA/CABLE feeds & run 3 players at the same time.

    The server claims it is capable of feeding & playing up to 30 players at the same exact time. I never tried this, Just know it works great with 3 & ripping a movie at the same time.

    This is a true Server/Client system THAT WORKS!

  4. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    I know it's OT but how did you rip Blu-Ray movies to hard drive?
  5. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    Sep 15, 2006



    The server unit is equiped with a blu-ray Drive & LICENSED software to rip the movies to the hard drives.

    The Player unit has a HD-DVD drive that if I wanetd would/could rip HD-DVD movies & send them to the server.

    When I bought the equipment, there was also a licensing fee I had to pay to be able to rip HD-DVD & Blu-ray movies. In addition to the cost of the Hardware.

    It has the option to save a movie (DVD, HD, or blu-ray) as an image file (including extras) or just save the Movie itself. I tried to remove the files from the backup hard drives and play them on my PC. However, Avionix and the licensed "ripping" software uses some form of DMR encryption.

    This isn't an inexpensive system. 3 players, 1 Server, Additional storage, and the License for HD/Blu-ray DVD's was well over $15,000. Keep in mind though thats a server with 12 Terabytes worth of storage, a blu-ray drive, HD-DVD Drive & of course 3 Media players. Oh don't forget the cost of the "Ripping" License. Which I think was about $1250 alone.

    I also DON"T buy any movies anymore. I have & rip those movies I wish to keep to my server.

    I have plenty of room for growth as well. Since each blu-ray movie takes an average of 25gb. Click though took 50gb. HD-DVD take a minimum of 15g Although T2 on HD-DVD is 30gb. Normal SD DVD's average about 6gb. Although some are as little as 4gb & some as large as 8gb.

    I mentioned the system here because it works so well, & I would love for Tivo to do something similar but add the TIVO Interface as well as TIVO DVR functions to the system as well.

    I like the system but not to fond of the "User Interface". Tivo is much better.

  6. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    Wow, even at well over 15K, you got a great deal. My understanding from the site was that the mediadeck4 players MSRP is $6000 each with HD-DVD. So that is what- $18K there and then you also got the honkin server and ripping license.

    Anyway it's not for civilians, but my 3.5 terabyte server stores the equivalent of a 10 terabyte server since I am compressing to MPEG4, and cost about $1800 to put together from an obsolete computer. Ripping is a pain in the neck compared to the Kaleidascape loader that purportedly rips up to 6 dvds per hour.

    Slysoft has an HD ripper that removes more of the HD-DVD crap that what it removes from Blu-Ray files.

    dvdfab had an HD decrypter that also handles bluray, but my impression was that it is still beta.

    Dvdfab is free. Slysoft is a 21 day trial. I never bothered because although I have an HD-DVD player, I don't see any reason to buy any of those fricking expensive disks. I rented a few from Netflix, but I don't get this hyperventilation about HD.
  7. snathanb

    snathanb New Member

    Sep 13, 2006

    There's no need for GigE networking in that setup. A 100BaseT network can stream Full bit-rate HD without a hiccup, with plenty of bandwidth to spare. If fact, several concurrent streams. While I certainly advocate (and practice) purchasing GigE for all new NICs, switches, and routers, there's no need to replace working gear with GigE for this setup.

    Besides... that's kind of pathetic. You obviously have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on equipment for entertainment, yet brag about how you are stealing (yes, it's stealing to rent movies, them rip them and keep them to watch whenever you want in perpetuity) movies, when you obviously have the means to pay for them.

    So, gentlemen, please cease and desist on the discussion about how to steal movies in this thread.
  8. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

    Apr 18, 2002
    Fairfax, VA
    They're using MoCA over coax and they tell me HD streaming is tentatively slated for early 2008.

    The CD/DVD player is still in the plans and they're shooting for a fall deployment. They also use the coax for multiroom viewing but are using the 1394 specification to move content. The extender box will be bundled with the DVR. FYI It's only one CableCARD slot, the multistream version (M-Card). What they showed at CES was a plastic and metal box with nothing inside. ;)
  9. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    Pardon me. I don't see the part where he said he rented a movie and copied it. You may have read where I said that I rent HD movies, but that I haven't even tried to copy any HD movies. Why? Because they are too fricking expensive.

    To buy. Did you ask yourself why that was relevant to my decision whether to try out DvdFab or Slysoft's HD rippers? They are free or have a long free trial, so it wasn't cost. In case you haven't noticed, I engage in a lot of experiments, so it is not lack of ability or curiousity. The answer was implied but I will spell it out for you. The answer is that I won't copy them without buying them. Here on TCF, folks get thrashed for suggesting that others consider ripping rented movies. No explicit policy here because none is needed. Most folks are honest.

    I happen to have a couple hundred DVDs and I am not yet through tranfering all of them to DVD. I have netflix but I vastly prefer buying over renting. I know it is not common to buy a lot of dvds, but although I have a ton of children's videos, most are not. If something is not worth watching more than once then ask yourself if it is worth watching the first time. If it is worth watching multiple times, then you are wasting your money renting. Anyway, I recognize many people simply can't pay the money up front to buy, but if you think that somehow something magical is going to happen to prevent DVDs from being ripped to Hard drives especially as hard drives plummet in price well- that's the same mistake that the music industry made. OK- shut down the ripper companies, and you've only made it worse- then the code magically pops up in the open source community. Now you have a couple thousand HD rippers where there was once only two. It's just numbskull brain damaged dumb to fight a war without knowing about the phenomenon you are fighting.

    I am on record as advocating that the movie industry agressively promote the consumer pattern of buying dvd quality content via unbox in order to pre-empt this consumer pattern and economic ecosystem around ripping.

    It's already begun. Both Kaleidescape and Avionix have high end commercial systems. Kaleidescape has been unsucessfully challenged in court, but no mention was made of the copyright issue which was central. Instead, the folks that control DSS sued narrowly over breach of contract.

    If it is the content industry's choice to fight this in the courts, they should re-examine the MP3 debacle and ask themselves if court rulings would have done anything to stop the ripping. When you give consumers no legal way to do what they really want to do, a substantial number of americans will "drive 65 in a 55 zone". It's just plain stupid to engage in magical thinking that they won't. Repression won't work- you cannot control what goes on in the privacy of people's homes, and efforts to slow down P2P distribution have largely failed. The content industry needs a winning strategy, and the legal track isn't it. It has only been financially interesting to the armies of hollywood lawyer-advisors who loudly advocate it.

    Hollywood instead needs to aggressively get behind making Unbox servers an extremely attractive in place to retain purchased dvd copies of movies. Heck- I'd do it if they made it a reasonable price (eg- $1 if I send in the original dvd). I can maybe only rip 4 or 5 movies a day. It is slow, but is very much worth it for the better resolution.
  10. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

    Apr 18, 2002
    Fairfax, VA
    Not passing any sort of judgment here, merely pointing out relevant line.
  11. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    Mar 29, 2005
    Thanks. I missed that part.

    My point is the same. Distributing physical copies has this inherant danger. Ironically, the content industry views electronic distribution suspiciously, when in fact the unbox scheme of retaining the owned copy on their servers is the way out of the same debacle as MP3.

    The lawyers are in the drivers seat and I predict they will make a fortune off a repeat of MP3. Any content industry folks in the audience need to ask themselves why what they are doing with video will result in any different outcome than the utter failure the music industry experienced with these same policies.

    There is still time, but it will take an aggressive policy of promoting the unbox like scheme- do it with blockbuster, netflix, with target audiences on PS3, XBox live, Tivo, and Windows MCE video players.

    But do it now, because in 3 years it will be too late. The consumer pattern of ripping/ trading will have become entrenched by then, and nuclear force will not dislodge it.

    Your move Hollywood. Do you have the balls to save your ass or are you going to play it dumb? There is a sequence from Midway where they leave out Billy Mitchell's demonstration in 1925 and prediction about Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese, but you get the drift. The conversation is between some fly boys in the bar:

    Sh*t. Wait and see!
    the Marines were practicing dive-bombing off Haiti.
    Everybody said: "Premature, wait and see."
    We waited, then the Germans showed us in ' in Madrid.
    You mean like at Pearl Harbor? Pearl Harbor, sh*t!
    In ' it was proved that Pearl Harbor could be attacked from the air.
    And Admiral Ramsey predicted it would happen, in detail.
    When was that? pal.
    Wait and see. We waited.
    December th, we saw.
    The wait-and-seers will bust your ass every time.

    One of you brilliant young Hollywood mavericks in the audience. I know you guys lurk here because I have talked to some of you. Just take a risk, show that clip and give upper management the spiel about how they are relying on battleships and they are going to get blown out of the water. They may laugh you out of the room, but document your predictions, and remind them in 5 years how you were the one who saw how it would turn out. You don't have to risk a lot of political capital- just make the pitch. Not a lot to lose for a huge payoff. Think about it.
  12. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Let me point out one fact...

    I have an "Unlimited" account with I am still on a plan that they no longer offer. ---- 8 Movies at a time, unlimited/month with 2 coupons for instore rentals of movies or Games/month as well. $39.95.

    Yes, I may "SAVE" a few movies to my server. However, it is only a TIME saving issue. NOT a money issue. AS I could EASILY get that movie back in the mail with in a day or two & yet still wouldn't cost me a single DIME more. I would still pay my $40 a month.

    With the way works. I can easily get about 48 movies a month (8 movies swapped about every 5 days) If I want to "PUSH" the "Time" envelope. However, I average about only about 24 movies a month. So even the ones that I save to my server to watch a little later I have & am paying for!

    In addition to that, consider the fact that I also paid over a $1000 in licensing fees as well.
    While money isn't a big issue with me, I will gladly pay what I think is fair. I do feel I have paid my "Dues"

    In addition to that. 98% of the movies that I do copy to my server unit don't stay on my server more than maybe a month or two. When my family has finished watching the movie, it is deleted & they move on to the next movie. Our server is used more like a "Buffer" zone for the movies we watch.

    Justin Thyme..... I got a good deal on the system. Keep in mind prices on the web site are MSRP. My Wife's brother works at a Dallas outlet of the Avionix system so I got even better prices.

    I only mentioned the Avionix/Kaleidascape system as something similar to what "ENDBOARDS" was "WISHING" for. I just mentioned that these systems are EXACTLY what he was talking about, minus the TV/DVR/TIVO functions.

    Maybe Tivo or someone will combine these units with DVR functions.



    One more fact. I also DON"T Share &/or Sell any of the movies &/or music I have ripped.

    I think the RIAA & MPA Need to worry more about the people that are trying to make money from selling illegal copies of music & movies than worry about home users!
  13. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Is it really, or just what they are stuck with and happy to have anything?

    I much prefer the Streamloading (Copyright HDTiVo) that TiVo does with MRV where you can start playing "instantly."

    However, there are cost advantages to stream only devices because they don't need an HD or much memory. Future solid state memory based devices might be a good compromise on cost/performance.

    I think there is room for all approaches in the market.

    See: TiVo: The Next Generation
  14. EndBoards

    EndBoards New Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Yes, this system sounds very close to what i'd like to see.. I don't envision needing nearly as much space as you guys are talking.. and it's gotta be at a cheaper price point than $15k..

    But this is the ideal that i think i'll work towards unless Tivo gets home media (MRV, access to personal content on my PC, possibly TTG, etc, etc..) going on the S3 in the next couple of months..
  15. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    as regards TiVo MRV and streaming. Is the file any safer on the original TiVo then the next TiVo via MRV? I have yet to see a TiVo hack that got shows via MRV copying. The hacks all work on getting the original recorded file off the fist TiVo that recorded it. MRV does not make one whit of difference to securing a file. I can see MRV getting approved in some form some time next year and TiVo putting out MRV in some form now that does not need cable labs approval as it sidesteps digitally encrypted content

    TTG is of course a completely different matter
  16. EndBoards

    EndBoards New Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    I don't have an answer to that question..

    What I do know is this:
    Tivo hasn't released any concrete information on what MRV will look like, when it will be here, and what other networking features (like access to home movies, mp3's, photos, playback of my own ripped DVD's, etc..) will be available on the S3. Their efforts seem to be concentrated on releasing a box with even fewer features than the full blown S3.

    Right now, as I understand it, you can MRV over your LAN (be it a stream, copy, or whatever else) between a CableCard HTPC running Vista MCE and an Xbox 360 extender. Dedicated extenders (that aren't Xbox 360's) are on their way soon.

    Tivo's solution might be great. I'm willing to wait a couple of months to see. But right now, today, an MCE PC seems to be way, way ahead of where Tivo is. And the way I see it, even if Tivo got a blank check from CL to do whatever they wanted, it's likely that their very best product would still have some disadvantages to a server-based solution.

Share This Page

spam firewall