Interface differences from Tivo DVR to HD DVR

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by fredk, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. fredk

    fredk New Member

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    Oct 20, 2008

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    I'm thinking of upgrading to HD, I currently have a samsung dtv tivo dvr. I love the tivo interface, especially the buffer on two tuners and the wishlist. I'm affraid of going to HD because I've read the HD DVR currently available thru dtv does not have either of these features.

    The most important question I have, is there something on the HD DVR that replaces the wishlist? Can you at least still search for keywords or titles like you can on the tivo dvr? I think without this available, I'll wait until next year when tivo is available again thru dtv.

    What other major differences can I expect if I make the switch now?

    That really sucks about not having a buffer on both tuners. I always like to keep one on the weather channel, so when the local on the 8's come up, I can just fast forward.
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    You can search for keywords and titles, and the search is far more powerful than TiVo's in that it includes "Boolean" operators and ways to restrict searches to channels or to words only in a title, etc. You can have an "autorecord keyword search" which is similar to wishlists. Previous searches are kept in a list so you can review them, much as with wishlists.

    The DirecTV DVRs do not have "Suggestions", though you can get something similar to this through DirecTV's web site.

    The major difference you will see is that things are in different places in the UI. You will find this frustrating at first until you become used to it. Some things are easier to access in the TiVo interface, some are easier in the DirecTV interface. Learn the functions of the colored buttons in different parts of the UI - they can be useful shortcuts.
     
  3. fredk

    fredk New Member

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    Thanks, Steve. Well, that seems ok, wonder why all the complaints against the HD DVR compared to the old Tivo interface. As long as you can autorecord keywords, that works for me. The 50 SP max is fine with me, I checked mine and I only currently have 46, and half of them I could erase.

    Just to get this straight in regards to the buffer, with the HD DVR you get 90 minutes on just one tuner? The other tuner, nothing.

    Also, on the HD DVR, do you still get that 8 second rewind feature?
     
  4. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    The issue is that there is only one "live TV" buffer. If you want to switch back and forth, you can press record for both tuners and then switch back and forth as you like.

    The complaints are largely because it is "not TiVo". I understand the emotional attachment that causes this and there's nothing wrong with it, but I also understand that it is very much subjective.

    To be honest, I'm not sure if the "8 second rewind " feature is there. Perhaps someone else can comment.
     
  5. dishrich

    dishrich Well-Known Member

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    I think he means the "skip back" key - & yes they do that, too...
     
  6. shibby191

    shibby191 New Member

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    You'll find a ton of info on the DirecTV DVRs over at www.dbstalk.com

    Good luck.
     
  7. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Although it is more like 6 seconds on the HD DVR, which is somewhat less useful in practice than Tivo's 8 seconds. Also, while Tivo skips ahead it is not really very-accurately 30 seconds, and when the HD DVR skips ahead, it is somewhat less than 30 seconds (although the 30SLIP feature is possibly even more than 30 seconds). IOW, it will for instance take 6 button punches on the HD DVR to skip ahead as far as Tivo can in about 4 button punches. Different, but not something that you won't adjust to pretty quickly.
     
  8. joed32

    joed32 New Member

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    I really miss the wish list feature on the Tivo. The one on the HR2X is difficult to use and still finds shows on channels that you don't get. It doesn't save your "wish list" only a certain number of recent searches. Other than Wish List I'm fine with the new interface.
     
  9. rlj5242

    rlj5242 Active Member

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    I've noticed that my HR20 is right on the money with the skips. While watching Fringe, it will say that it will be back 60 or 90 seconds. Two or three button presses and I'm there exactly at the transition from commercial to program.

    -Robert
     
  10. shibby191

    shibby191 New Member

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    Same here. I never use 30 second skip anyway even on the Tivo (I'd much rather FFW, just what I'm used to). But during Fringe I've tried the 30 sec slip and when it says 90 seconds I hit it 3 times and it comes back right on time.
     
  11. cramer

    cramer Member

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    w.r.t. 30 skip, this is due to a fundamental difference in the underlaying technology. To skip exactly 30s ahead requires decoding 30s worth of video. Tivo makes a best guess and drops you there instantly -- decoding resumes at the next I-Frame X MB ahead in the stream. I'm not sure the various MPEG decoders in various tivo models can decode 30s in a fraction of a second. (where "decode" = "walk each frame" the information doesn't have to be fully decoded; it just needs to skip each (variable length) frame for a total of 30s.)
     
  12. Fezmid

    Fezmid New Member

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    My biggest complaint is the stability. Maybe I've just been unlucky since I just got mine in August, but with the two national lockups, my wife is not happy and wants the TiVo back. We never had a single issue with the TiVo missing recordings or locking up.

    Overall, the interface just doesn't seem an polished as the TiVo. And I *HATE* that it always plays TV in the upper-right hand corner of every menu. I record everything, so when I'm done watching a show I don't want to be dumped into live TV! Seems very counter-intuitive to me.
     
  13. fredk

    fredk New Member

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    Yeah, from what I've been reading, it's not very reliable, especially when it comes to recording. With my tivo dvr, in the past 8 years it has never missed one recording, nor has it ever locked up.

    What is that, like a picture in picture type thing when you're in the menus? No way to shut that off?
     
  14. shibby191

    shibby191 New Member

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    Get ready for it on the new DirecTivo unit. Tivo is about the only receiver/DVR out there that *doesn't* have the PIG (picture in guide). Heck, even the Comcast Tivo has it. Basically it's a standard feature in the industry that Tivo never had until the Comcast Tivo. It would be nice to have an option to turn it off though.
     
  15. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    I think you are close to explaining this. But skip technology does not require full decode of the entire video in the skip, only the I-frame at the end of the skip. If skips required decoding all frames there would be too much latency between skips, since encoded frames are not sent in serial order and decoding of intermediate video frames (from P and B encoded frames) requires waiting for successive frames to be decoded. 30SLIP would indeed require the full decoding, however, and can explain why 30SLIP is so painfully slow in comparison to 30SKIP.

    For a typical 30 minute program, it takes 58 skips on a HR10 to traverse the full length, meaning that each skip is about 31 seconds. The easiest way to skip would be to jump ahead a fixed number of GOPS in the decoder buffer output (accompanied by a jump the approximate number of bits ahead in the bitstream on the input side of the decoder to prevent buffer underflow or overflow). Since GOPs are 14 frames long for MPEG-2 (and I-frames are then close to but not exactly 1/4 second apart) Tivo probably must skip exactly 64 GOPs to make an approximate leap of 31 seconds, and since the GOPs don't divide into 30 seconds evenly and since it can only jump to an I-frame, that could explain why the jump is limited to approximately 31 seconds.

    But for the exact same recording on a HR20 (the reference recording was "The Office", recorded OTA as MPEG-2 on the HR10 and from DVB sat as MPEG-4 on the HR20), it takes 68 skips to traverse the full length, meaning that each skip there is only about 26.4 seconds. Again, the technology limits the leaps to I-frames, but in this case MPEG-4 has irregularly-spaced I-frames. I-frames can be as far as 200 frames apart in MPEG-4 (over 6.6 seconds) but are typically sent also at scene changes to minimze pixellation there as well as once about every second to keep the channel-change acquisition time tolerably low.

    It could very well be that this irregularity is what affects the accuracy of 30SKIP on the HR2x platform and is why it takes more skips to get to the same place as compared to the HR10. While the skips on the HR10 are probably uniform compared to each other, the irregular spacing of I-frames in MPEG-4 could mean that the skips are not quite as uniform (some may be 25 seconds, some may be 28) on the HR2x, depending on the activity within the content and the relative encoding agressiveness, which is much more dynamic than in MPEG-2.

    In the same way, a jump back 8 seconds probably involves jumping back 17 GOPS on the HR10, and the 6-second jump back on the HR2x is again probably not as uniform.
     
  16. pretzelbag

    pretzelbag New Member

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    Mar 11, 2003
    Tyrone,

    Thanks for a great explanation, even though most of it went over my head (I have no idea what an I-frame or GOP is, but don't need to know to comprehend the basics). I've had an HR21 in parallel with my HR10 for about 4 months and have always wondered why the 30 second skip gives different results on each machine. The HR10 to me gets me right back to the beginning of a show after 2 mins of commercials, while the HR21 is always 2-3 seconds off, it seems.

    And I agree that the 6-second jump back on the HR21 is too short. I wish I could set it to 8 or "as close to the 8 I think I see with my HR10". Heck, maybe even 10 seconds is optimal (meaning Tivo and D* are both 'wrong'), but I know 6 seconds isn't.

    -pretzelbag.
     
  17. sjberra

    sjberra New Member

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    Remember most of what you read on the interwhine is complaints about something, you rarely see kudos about it.

    You have to be one lucky person never to miss a recording with the HR10, read back over this forum and others like it and you will see the same style of complaints about dropped recordings, missed recordings, short recordings, automagic reboots of the HR10 as the HR2X series. Personally got so sick and tired of the kids and the wife yelling about these issues on the HR10's that I had that I replaced most fo them with HR2X's on my own dime, have 1 HR10 left and it is rarely used for anything, and that will go away once the MPEG2 HD channels disappear.

    Bottom line - both products have issues, neither one is a dieties gift to the world for doing things. Then again you could wait 10 or 12 months for the Tivo unit, providing there are no schedule overruns, which given the track record for the base product is highly unlikely that there will not be any.
     
  18. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Boy, I can't disagree with that. I averaged 4 missed recordings a year with the HR10s 2004-2007, but then that is two HR10s recording 25 hrs + a week between them, or about 35 recordings a week, meaning 1 bad recording out of every 450 attempts, about a 99.8% success rate. The number of failed recordings with DISH DVRs 200-2003 was about 10 times that, which was unacceptable enough to drive me to DTV (but I hear things have improved at DISH). The tales of wiped HDDs were about 30:1 for DISH : DTV, also.

    My HR20 has had a couple lockups, a couple black recordings, and 1 short recording since December, which puts it at about 99.5% or so, also a comparatively good track record.

    But since 6.x, my HR10s are much less reliable. I was getting 3 or 4 spontaneous reboots a week between the two, usually skunking recordings (or putting a 7-minute hole in them). As a preventative measure, I reboot them daily before prime time and make sure the tuners are not on CBS or CW (where most reboots seem to come from). This has increased reliably considerably, although I still got a reboot about 11 PM last night.
     
  19. sjberra

    sjberra New Member

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    Wish I had a rate that low with the HR10's
     
  20. EricG

    EricG TiVo Junkie

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    The...
    I hope at least we will have the option to turn PIG on or off with the NEW HD DirecTiVo.
     

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