Has Tivo Been Superseded?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by algordon, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Aug 8, 2007 #1 of 17
    algordon

    algordon New Member

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    Glasgow
    Looking at the specs for the new Humax 9200 or at least the specs it will have, it looks to me as though the rest of the PVR world may be now catching up and maybe overtaking Tivo.

    Can the more techy minded say exactly what Tivo does what the new Humax doesn't (or won't in the future)? I appreciate the Humax won't offer suggestions but how many Tivo users use that facility anyway - FWIW I've never used it myself.

    I'm beginning to feel Tivo's time here has come and gone and can't see at least in the near future what Tivo even with new partners could offer that the rest of the market won't be offering.

    I'm also convinced that at some point we'll all get a letter/email from Sky offering compensation for the termination of the Tivo service. Can't believe they make much out of maintaining it - and it might make sense for them to cut the Tivo-ers loose.

    Feeling gloomy at the prospect of a Tivo-less world. :(
     
  2. Aug 8, 2007 #2 of 17
    mrtickle

    mrtickle Active Member

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    Aug 26, 2001
    Birmingham, UK
    Well, post these specs here so that we can examine them. Then we'll be able to tell you what it's not offering.

    As to why you are "convinced" that you'll get a letter from Sky, there are hundreds of previous posts here so it's pointless starting that from scratch - read back on the forum and you'll feel a lot less gloomy!
     
  3. Aug 8, 2007 #3 of 17
    ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    Nov 4, 2004
    Funny thing is that Tivo is planning to offer the Tivo service/hardware officially in Australia early next year!

    Can the Humax play a show while its still recording? Many other devices cannot.
     
  4. Aug 8, 2007 #4 of 17
    khadland

    khadland New Member

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    Aug 29, 2002
    Well according to this review :

    http://www.lordpercy.com/humax_9200-t_freeview_review.htm

    There's no season pass feature, program search is limited to a timeline view and it's still buggy.

    So that'll be a "no" then.

    Edit - just noticed the review's a year old, so perhaps they've fixed all that in the meantime...
     
  5. Aug 8, 2007 #5 of 17
    terryeden

    terryeden TiVo, Tivum, Tiva,

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    Surrey
    With the release of FreeView Playback (or whatever it's called) season passes etc should become available.

    T
     
  6. Aug 8, 2007 #6 of 17
    johala_reewi

    johala_reewi New Member

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    Oct 30, 2002
    Southampton UK
    But only like linked series similar to Sky+? AFAIK the Freeview EPG already has series links (for some programmes) and Topfield has a TPA which can process these but, they are still not as good as Tivo season passes.

    For instance, when a new season starts, a Tivo season pass picks it up, a 'series link' doesn't. Also, when episodes are repeated either on the same channel, or a +1 channel or another channel, A tivo season pass (or passes) will work out which episode is which and not get any repeats (and Tivo can do programme clash resolution). Series links just can't handle this at all. Not even going to mention wishlists (oh I just did :D).
     
  7. Aug 9, 2007 #7 of 17
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    Only Microsoft's MCE appears to have the ability to handle long-term series passes in the same way as the TiVo, since both of them use enhanced (i.e. coded) EPG data that can support the necessary series identification and episode matching. The only difference is that you explicitly pay for TiVo's EPG data, while Microsoft's data is free (if you ignore the cost of the operating system). In practice, the cost of Microsoft's hardware requirements is at least twice the cost of a TiVo plus lifetime subscription.

    However, the MCE EPG data is no more accurate than TiVo's, and has a nasty habit of recording every episode of a series, including the repeat on +1 channels. The only benefit of MCE in this regard is that it is very easy to keep expanding the disk space to cope with superfluous recordings.
     
  8. Aug 9, 2007 #8 of 17
    TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    I don't think that's the case any longer. Any ultra-cheap PC is MCE capable now.
     
  9. Aug 9, 2007 #9 of 17
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    Reading, UK
    Of course, you're probably right for the TiVo-equivalent single-tuner, single-user configuration.

    However, I think that anybody building an MCE machine nowadays should consider a machine that can handle multiple tuners, multiple concurrent users (via multiple Xbox360 extenders), and on-the-fly video transcoding for downloaded formats not supported by the Xbox codecs. That's what I built my machine to cope with, and why it cost a bit more. In my case, the multiple tuners are not much of an overhead, because the Hauppage Nova-T 500 card uses DMA, and very little CPU. However, the multiple users and transcoding are more resource-hungry.
     
  10. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    Multiple users who are not transcoding is a minimal overhead too.

    Also remember those cheapo entry level machines are dual core now. My MCE PC is a Pentium D 910, and that's blown away by these supermarket machines, which are usually Core 2 Duo!

    Mine can't transcode two things at once, but it's quite happy running MCE directly to a main TV while someone else uses a 360 and background services transcode TiVo video to WMV, run a BT client, and a web server uploading video to an expat friend. Only the transcoding bit makes a serious performance hit.
     
  11. DX30

    DX30 New Member

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    May 22, 2005
    The Freeview series links are similar to those on Sky+, but they aren't the same, so don't assume they have the same limitations.

    It's difficult to predict how good a job the various pvr manufacturer will make of implementing the Freeview Playback spec so don't expect that all features will be available on all models. But if fully implemented Freeview Playback don't have the series link limitations you mention.

    Provided the broadcaster continues to use the same series id the new series will be picked up by the series link.

    The episode id can be used to identify individual episodes, work out repeats, and schedule alternatives to resolve clashes. This works across channels - e.g. Eastenders on BBC1 and the repeat on BBC3 use the same episode id.
     
  12. Mike B

    Mike B Senior Munkee

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    Sep 16, 2003
    Reading,...
    Do you have information on exactly what fields are present in the freeview enhanced guide data for the provision of series links etc? Are all the actor/director/genre fields present as well?
     
  13. itm

    itm New Member

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    Aug 12, 2001
    London, UK
    Has anyone compared MCE with the alternative PC-based options? I currently use MediaPortal (open source) on Windows XP, and am very happy with it for playback of music and downloaded video, but I don't have a TV tuner installed. I'd be curious to know how the MCE feature set compares with something like MediaPortal.
     
  14. DX30

    DX30 New Member

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    May 22, 2005
    The Freeview Playback metadata gives you series id and episode id. With those a pvr manufacturer can implement something pretty close to Season Pass functionality, apart from first run/repeat.

    The content descriptors gives you the equivalent of genre, although the UK broadcasters don't currently take advantage of the sub-content but limit themselves to a few broad categories. (e.g. Film but not Comedy, Action, Horror etc).

    There is currently no actor/director metatdata broadcast - those would come with a TV Anytime rollout but that's not likely anytime soon.

    So in terms of functionality a good Freeview pvr implementation could get close to Season Pass, but would be very limited compared to Wishlists. Searching would be basically keyword and genre.
     
  15. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    The functional spec as published by the DTG makes no mention of wishlist functionality, only Season Pass/Series Link equivalent.

    It seems that Freeview Playback is a halfway house between TiVo's approach of "send the TiVo the data, let it work everything out for itself" and Sky's "Everything is done at the server end", but perhaps leans a little Sky's way.

    For instance Freeview Playback appears to have a concept of "Alternative Instance Information" - ie, in the case of a clash one of the alternatives is recorded instead. But this information appears to be directly in the EPG data for a showing, not derived by the STB from the database. (I could be wrong on that as only the functional spec is freely available; anyone have a copy of the relevant bits of the "D book" I could have a look at?
     
  16. terryeden

    terryeden TiVo, Tivum, Tiva,

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    Nov 2, 2002
    Surrey
    http://www.freeview.co.uk/docs/manufacturer_licence.pdf
    Makes mention of suggestions
    As for wishlists...
    So the EIT should have synopsis and genre - but no definite mention of actor or director. Unless you get it from a different source.
     
  17. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    Dec 25, 2006
    Not the same as TiVo's suggestions I believe. I think the intention is that if you set a recording for Dr Who it can pop up "Do you want to record Dr Who Confidential" but that would be coded in the EPG data for Dr Who.
     

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