Cablecard v/s Satellite - Recording Capacity/Quality Choice

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mrsparkle, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. mrsparkle

    mrsparkle New Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Bernville, PA


    All of my TiVo experience so far has been with a satellite-based service where my TiVo recorded the digital bitstream directly from the satellite. There was no need (or ability) to choose recording quality/capacity like in the stand-alone units. Is the same thing true for a Cablecard-equipped, stand-alone TiVo (Series 3 or TiVo HD), or will I have to make recording quality choices? Is it dependent on the channel being recorded (analog or digital) with digital channels, perhaps, being direct bitstream recordings but analog ones being handled differently?

    I'm getting ready to go HD, and must dump my satellite service since they no longer support TiVo. My only logical choice is a stand-alone TiVo with Cablecards, and I'm trying to get a handle on how much hard-disk space I'm going to need.
  2. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Yes, for digital channels the Tivo uses the digital bitstream directly when using the S3 or THD units. For analog channels of course the Tivo has built in analog encoders and you have a choice of different quality levels to use for the encoding. You can set a default encoding quality and when you setup recordings from analog channels you have the option of selecting what quality encoding to use. For digital channels there is no such option. You may find for HD channels the file sizes are actually bigger than what you are used to seeing on satellite since cable feeds for HD channels typically are not down-rezzed (i.e. no HD Lite although there may be some bit-rate shaping).

    Several cable companies are now digital simulcasting their entire analog channel lineup which means once you use CableCards you may not even have any analog versions of channels available - this is the case for my headend.

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