Low power standby?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by dsm42, May 8, 2011.

  1. May 8, 2011 #1 of 35
    dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    Is there any way to get a TIVO box to be an a minimal power (~1W) standby state that it will be woken up from automatically when it needs to record a scheduled program (or quickly woken up when it needs to be used)??

    We're building a net-zero-energy house and are huge TIVO fans (we have two Series-3 units currently), but do not want to have any device that's not absolutely necessary consuming more than a few watts 24-hours/day!

    Thanks much for any advice!
     
  2. May 8, 2011 #2 of 35
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    With current hardware, no.

    You could put it on an appliance timer, to turns on in the afternoon, and off late at night.

    My opinion is that TiVo is a sacrifice for power. Either you sacrifice the TiVo, or 24W savings. Or add 30W or so intake, or take 24W from elsewhere.
     
  3. May 8, 2011 #3 of 35
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The Premiere does use a third less power than the S3/TiVoHD boxes. That is not a very big carbon footprint. Plus it needs to be running for updates and to be able to record when it needs to.

    Sure some of the cable company DVRs shut down the hard drives, but many still use more power than the Premiere plus is nowhere near as reliable. Tonight my brother told me his Comcast DVRs missed two recordings this past week. My Tivos might possibly miss that many over a three or four year span.
    My brother has missed close to a dozen so far this year with his Comcast DVR.
     
  4. May 8, 2011 #4 of 35
    lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    I have a TiVo on an small digital timer that turns off the TiVo at 4am and back on at 4PM, I almost never record in that time period, but if there is a program that i want I just slide the on switch on the timer till the next evening. I do this more to extend the life of the hard drive that to save the 3.6KWH/month, that for me is about $0.58/month. Don't tell me that turning a hard drive on and off twice a day will cut the life as I turn my computer on and off (sleep mode) about 5 times a day and my hard drives have never failed over the 5 years I normally keep a given computer. I have my present computer about 1.5 years and have over 2600 start/stop counts on the drive. (you can get that information from HD Tune). I have been doing with TiVos for over 6 years and never had a hard drive go bad. The longest any given TiVo been on this timer has been 3 years, that TiVo-HD is now at a friends home for about a year and still working (without the timer).
     
  5. May 8, 2011 #5 of 35
    P42

    P42 Active Member

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    Tell us more about the house!
     
  6. May 8, 2011 #6 of 35
    dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    We're in the Boston area, so minimizing heating load is most important. We're going to have foot thick walls that will be extremely well air sealed and dense packed with multiple layers of insulation (and a filtered, heat recovery ventilation system for fresh air exchanges). The house is angled towards due south to maximize passive solar gain through triple-paned, specially glazed windows, and to maximize PV power production on the roof (which will generate enough power for everything in the house). The HVAC system is a very efficient air-source heat pump (that does both cooling and heating), with many zones and simple ceiling fans so that it has to work as little as possible. We'll have solar thermal panels for hot water with new technology that will pump the water using thermal energy instead of electricity, and a system that uses small efficient pumps to bring hot water to faucets on demand so none is wasted. All appliances will be significantly above Energy Star standards, lighting will be LED or florescent (they make nice dimmable fixtures of both types now), and we're working hard to make sure that there will be no 'vampire' loads (hence my question here!). We're also working on automating and monitoring as much of the house as possible using systems that don't consume much power themselves (a very challenging task in itself!). Our intention is for the house to be extremely comfortable with the amenities a modern family would want, and to end up costing less on a lifecycle basis than a 'standard' house would. Plenty more but running out of time and room here! :)

    We plan to create a website and blog about the project but haven't had the time to do so yet...
     
  7. May 8, 2011 #7 of 35
    dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    BTW - thanks for the replies re: power consumption, and the timer idea would help, but we hope to have multiple TVs that we can watch recorded shows from, and having multiple devices that are consuming 24W when we're not using them is hard to swallow (and we don't want to wait for them to boot up when we want to watch TV).

    One thought I had was to have a single DVR and hard wire it to the other TVs, but don't know how far you can wire HDMI cable and still have it work reliably and how much it would cost to do so. Also, this would prevent us from being able to watch different shows on different TVs which would not engender family harmony! Any other creative solutions along this line?

    And are there any DVR solutions out there that use minimal power when not being used, but are reliable and can turn on instantly when needed??
     
  8. P42

    P42 Active Member

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    dsm42 - do please send me a PM when you create a website / blog on this project.

    I believe what you are looking for is a "whole house DVR", where there is one DVR with many tuners and a large amount of disk space, and then streamers at the other TV locations. Power wise the DVR consumption would be similar to today, and the streamers would consume about 5w (I'm basing this on the power consumption of Roku).
    Verizon offer this today, and maybe some of the cable companies, no idea on what the power consumption is.
    Tivo and others are rumored to be working on similar solutions.

    From a usage perspective these devices are expected to be left on all the time, so fast booting isn't something they consider at design time. Power has been reduced, but only to gain the energy stay label.
    I do agree, there is room for improvement. You'll not get 0w, as consumers don't want to wait, but they could design the devices with a lower power idle state, but this would mean that you would lose the buffer of what was running for the past 30 minutes.
     
  9. smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious, have you ever measured how much energy consumption there is when the Tivo boots? I wonder if the very long signature check at bootup negates some of the savings?

    I agree with you about (lack of) damage to the hard drive. I power-cycle my computer daily, shutting it down around midnight and booting it up around 9am. I can't even recall the last time I had a disk failure. Absent a defect, modern hard drives seem fairly robust.

    Back to the main thread, I thought the Premiere had a standby mode where it stops background recording? At least, there's something on my Premiere under Settings & Messages -> Standby. It appears to blank the screen until the Tivo button is pressed. Other than that, I don't know for sure what it does.

    EDIT: Also, what happens if you disconnect the cable input? It can't record with no signal... Just cobble together an automatic cable disconnect. Grab the Tivo's scheduling info from either the ipad app's new API or the online web scheduler (does the online scheduler have a to-do list?) and switch the feed (or even power the Tivo on/off) accordingly.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Standby on the TiVo shuts off the video output.
     
  11. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    The boot takes maybe one or two watts more for about 8 minutes, not a problem, unless your trying to watch something and have wait out the 8 minutes. The hard disk is running even if no recording is taking place, so removing the cable would not save any real power, but I never tested that as I not going to remove the cable from the TiVo as you would never know when the cable cards are re-maped. With my TiVo on for 12 hours that never been any problem for me.
     
  12. kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    I suppose if cost isn't an issue, you could throw an SSD inside. Would that be practical for DVR use though? Just don't get anything fancy, and go for the lowest speeds and prices you can find.
     
  13. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    SSD in not a good solution for any DVR as all SSD have a limited write and TiVo has a 30 minute buffer running 24/7.
    I not going to look the thread up but there was a big discussion on trying out an SSD not too long ago.
     
  14. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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  15. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, because on my Series 2 single tuner, the manual states that programs scheduled to record will still be recorded while in standby mode.
     
  16. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    Standby mode doesn't mean low(er)-power mode with the past and current TiVo models. The harddrives still spin, the processor still processes, the tuners still tune. Basically the only thing standby mode does is cut the A/V outputs.
     
  17. Videodrome

    Videodrome tivo - please wait..

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    I had asked this question about a year ago , and was mocked, and told to unplug it. However you could this with a Htpc, just sayin...
     
  18. kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    How much additional power is that HTPC going to suck up though, just to run the OS and other things? Also, not sure-how does Sleep and Hibernate and the like work the HTPCs? What if it's asleep or hibernating and something's set to record? Will it record, or no?
     
  19. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    ...and turns off front all panel lights on Tivo HD. Various combinations of outputs and display lights are turned off on Tivo brand (later)S2 units. Still not exactly a "low power" mode though, considering...
     
  20. PedjaR

    PedjaR Member

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    I think the only practical use of standby is that the emergency messages will be ignored.
     

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