I will NOW use Unbox, thanks to Xbox!

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by lawilson2, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. lawilson2

    lawilson2 New Member

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    This is in no way new news, but it's new to me, and it might be new to someone else.

    I have a Tivo S3 and like others, I don't like how it looks on the Tivo, especially on my 62" TV. So, I decided to try the Xbox 360 as a media center extender after downloading the show (Bionic Woman) to my desktop. FULL SCREEN viewing, Tivo functionality, and sweet streaming from my desktop. Yeah, it's not HD, but it's in full screen and near DVD quality.

    The downside is that I read that this is just for purchased or free content, but it's a start!

    Edit: This is why you shoudn't post this late at night. lol. I just realized that I can do the exact same thing on the Tivo by zooming. So I guess the xbox would come in handy with a video that isn't available on the Tivo yet.
     
  2. d_anders

    d_anders Sr Legacy Member

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    Ahh, yeah. People who complain about Unbox on their TiVo don't have the settings on their TV set right, or don't have the right mode fixed between the two. Too many that complain here don't have things worked out right.

    I get full screen on my 50" 1080p Sony and it looks as good or better than broadcast SD. I certainly would like HD via unbox at some point, but for what I'm receiving (and how fast), I have no issues.
     
  3. MikeMar

    MikeMar Go Pats

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    Are you stretching a 4:3 show to 16:9???
     
  4. lawilson2

    lawilson2 New Member

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    What other solution do you propose?
     
  5. MikeMar

    MikeMar Go Pats

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    watch it in it's original format and not stretch everything :D
     
  6. lawilson2

    lawilson2 New Member

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    Yeah, that works too. :D
     
  7. jbernardis

    jbernardis Active Member

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    they're not really 4:3 shows - they're letterbox so stretching does not lose anything.
     
  8. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    I still think you're better off, for now, doing what you said before you edited. The PC files are 1.78:1 files and should have a better picture than the letterboxed 1.33:1 images, so the Xbox will (I think) have a slightly better picture than the TiVo.
     
  9. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Interesting. I hadn't thought of using the the Xbox to view Unbox video. I don't particularly care for it on TiVo (I just started downloading some of those free NBC pilots unto both TiVo and my PC, and I'm going to compare).

    You don't need to use MCX--the WMP server works just fine for this. The Zune server doesn't, since it and the Zune only handles its own special flavor of WMDRM. I mostly use the Zune server with the Xbox, since it does handle MPEG4, but switching is easy and reasonably painless.
     
  10. Stu_Bee

    Stu_Bee New Member

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    I don't quite buy that all the "complainers" issues are caused by incorrect TV settings. I can transfer videos from PC -> Tivo and not experience the vertical jiggling effect I see when watching some Amazon Tivo-Unboxed movies (ex. "Hot Fuzz" viewed on a 42")
     
  11. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Is this the "jiggling" you're talking about?

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=361527&highlight=ghost+rider

    If so, that is definitely nothing the user can control.
     
  12. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    In preliminary comparisons (of the Bionic Woman pilot), I would say that the copy on TiVo, zoomed to fill the screen, seems just a tad sharper. I'm surprised to see that the TiVo copy is a bit bigger (1GB reported on the INFO screen as opposed to 837.41MB on the PC). The PC versions is encoded as VC-1 (aka WMV9 Advanced Profile); TiVo S3 and TiVo HD have chips which can play VC-1, but I don't think that TiVo S2 does so the TiVo encoding is probably MPEG-2. I wouldn't call either version "near DVD quality"--there some serious artifacting--but it's fairly good for sub 3 Mbps video.

    Given the relatively low (though watchable) quality of the video, lack of 5.1 sound and captions and the fact that all of this stuff is gonna air in HD (with surround sound and captions) next week, I'm thinkin' I'm gonna wait. However, I don't see anything to recommend the Unbox PC version streamed to the Xbox over the TiVo version.
     
  13. acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

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    Interesting.

    I downloaded Hot Fuzz back when it was on a $0.99 special and the pixelization was so bad it was unwatchable.

    I had ordered two unbox videos at one time and I wondered if there was a problem when doing multiple downloads. I couldn't think of how that would be a problem, but I did wonder.

    It is interesting that you had a problem with the video as well.

    Al
     
  14. Stu_Bee

    Stu_Bee New Member

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    No..the jiggling I experienced was a vertical up/down oscillation. It was really apparent if you look at the top/bottom letterscreen borders...it was always oscillating several lines up and down.
    I believe it was the same issue as seen on "Letters from Iwo Jima" which was worse because it required reading the jiggly subtitles.

    Of course our different Tivo models might be displaying different symptoms due to the same cause.
     
  15. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Thanks. That's a problem I haven't encountered.

    I find it odd and discouraging that the quality of the videos can be so different.
     
  16. mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    I wouldn't say that I had a problem with the video per se--it is what it is, <3 Mbps widescreen 480i, which is never going to produce more than an adequate picture, particularly when processed to fill a 46" 1080p panel. Given the amount of bandwidth Amazon seems to want to spend on these downloads, they can't afford for the files to be much larger, which would be required for higher quality (it took about an hour to finish a 837 MB download, which is an average of 238 Kbps).

    Doing multiple downloads shouldn't have any effect; I'm sure that they're using a protocol guaranteed to deliver the entire file. They don't try to download them simultaneously, anyway.

    It's a shame that their encoding of Hot Fuzz was so bad. I watched it on HD DVD. I didn't particularly care for the film (I didn't think it was even close to being as much fun as Shaun of the Dead), but the transfer on the HD DVD was spectacularly good.
     

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