My journey back to TiVo? - Windows Media Center is dying

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by g808, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Mar 17, 2012 #1 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    The hard drive in my Windows Media Center PC is dying, so instead of replacing, re-installing, etc. I've decided to give TiVo another go. I activated service on my old Series3 and am excited to get behind the wheel.

    What brought be back was the TiVo Premiere Elite and introduction of the upcoming extenders (Preview). Finally a 4 tuner DVR box with 2TB of storage! I could never go back to less than 4 tuners. The extenders are a must, so really hoping the pricing is reasonable and that they actually work as a whole home multi-room streaming solution to match my current WMC + extenders.

    Still waiting since my account says, "We're still processing your activation. Try again in 24 hours."

    Wish me luck!
     
  2. Mar 17, 2012 #2 of 102
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't have reason to switch from our 2 S3's but I'm curious why you are not just replacing the hard drive and cloning the failing one (you said failing and no failed)?

    Scott
     
  3. Mar 17, 2012 #3 of 102
    larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    I think the Elite and the annoncement of the Previews and whatever the IP settop box will be called is a step toward Tivo for many htpc DVR users. 4+ tuners and no-subscription extenders is literally the main reason many switched (and I considered it).

    My journey is likely to settle into 2 Elites in our two central TV areas (Family Room and downstairs Media room) with those IP boxes on the remaining three TVs in my home- if those boxes also support Netflix/Hulu, etc., which I assume is a no-brainer.
     
  4. Mar 17, 2012 #4 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    Don't want to go through the hassle since I'd rather do a clean install vs. clone. Plus it's an excuse for a change since WMC is going to be a legacy product for Microsoft from Windows 8.

    I could also go with one or two premieres instead of the extender if I really want a dedicated LiveTV tuner in other rooms along with the multi-room streaming, but the service could be killer. But that's getting ahead of myself for now. We'll see if the change sticks first. ;)
     
  5. Mar 17, 2012 #5 of 102
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If you're fixing to drop big bucks on new TiVos anytime soon, go read the $99 lifetime thread about getting it on your S3 and cutting your monthly bill/boosting its resale value.
     
  6. Mar 18, 2012 #6 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    Thanks. I figure I'll cancel after a couple months and see if they'll offer the $99 lifetime.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2012 #7 of 102
    tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    All you need to do is put a new drive in your computer and re image the drive from your backup drive. only takes 30 mins to do. You should make a backup image every week.


     
  8. Mar 24, 2012 #8 of 102
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You don't cancel, you call and threaten to cancel/say you're thinking of cancelling.
     
  9. Mar 25, 2012 #9 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    Again, I'm just making excuses for myself to try something new. ;)
     
  10. Mar 25, 2012 #10 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    Well, like most things I took the plunge and went all in. Ordered an Elite ($399 box + $399 lifetime) and regular Premiere ($79 new box + $399 lifetime) last weekend. They shipped Monday from Texas, and arrived on Friday in Northern California. It took longer than the TiVo CSR expected since said he thought it would get here by Weds when I ordered it last weekend.

    Anyway, I got the last couple m-cards from my local office earlier in the week, so I was eagerly anticipating the UPS man all week.

    Both boxes were setup and connected 10 minutes after UPS delivered them on Friday evening. The Cablecard paring and activation in the Elite went very well as it only took one call to the Comcast activation line to get it done. I wasn't as fortunate with the Cablecard in the regular Premiere unit. That took 2 calls to the activation line with 2-Tier support needing to get involved. Anyway, both cards are now paired/activated and both TiVo units are up and running. Even with that I was impressed with how far Comcast's CableCard support has come since I last had to do this with my S3 TiVo years ago.

    Even with the 20.2 update the HD UI is still considerably slower than my Windows Media Center, but having a single box vs. my WMC (PC + 2 external Cablecard tuners + 2 HD Homerun dual tuner units) it's a much smaller footprint and energy saver.

    Ordered a movie from Amazon on-demand and it took much longer to start downloading to my Elite than I'm used to on a Roku. I actually called Amazon support since I thought something was wrong and they were fantastic. They credited my account for the movie and actually gave me an additional $5.

    The multi-room streaming is also slower to start than I'm used to from my WMC extender, but still works nicely.

    I've also setup the jython fork of pyTivo and I'm able to access all PlayOn content thanks to its PlayOn plugin, which is awesome. I like having one box to access various content, which keeps TiVo on par with my WMC PC and extenders.

    I've setup all my Season Passes, so looking forward to giving this setup a good workout.
     
  11. Mar 25, 2012 #11 of 102
    dsnotgood

    dsnotgood Member

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    You will grow to love your TiVo. I made the same switch as you to two premieres with lifetime and it is awesome. I agree a little laggy but not anything major. Did you notice your picture quality to be better than your wmc boxes?
     
  12. Mar 25, 2012 #12 of 102
    tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    You can buy a new windows 7 desktop computer and put a ceton cable card in it and then get a 2 tuner antenna card so you can record 6 channels at a time to a 3 tb hard drive.

    I like my tivo but i sick of having to unplug my tuning adapter every week becouse of the gc file problem that tivo refuses to fix.
     
  13. Mar 25, 2012 #13 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    No real notice in improved picture quality. I thought the picture quality from my WMC box was pretty good.
     
  14. Mar 25, 2012 #14 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    Luckily no tuner adapter required here (yet). Between the 2 Premieres I have 6 tuners now. I had 4 with my WMC box and it was enough for us.
     
  15. Mar 25, 2012 #15 of 102
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    You won't see any difference between your Tivo and what you get from WMC. They both do equally well at recording the digital stream directly from your cable provider or antenna.

    I went the other direction several years ago and switched to WMC. I just started experimenting with XBMC and it looks quite promising. In fact, I like it so much that I've spent the last couple of weeks converting my collection of ripped Blu-Rays and DVDs to mkv format using MakeMKV. I forget the total number of titles, but it was probably in the neighborhood of about 700-800 movies.

    My HTPC has one Ceton InfiniTV 4 cablecard tuner installed (I used to have two installed) along with two Hauppauge 2250 ATSC tuners. I'm also using a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime three-tuner cablecard networked tuner that's shared between other PCs as well as my primary HTPC.
     
  16. Mar 27, 2012 #16 of 102
    dsnotgood

    dsnotgood Member

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    Well give us a update in a few days about how your liking it and impressions in general
     
  17. Mar 29, 2012 #17 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    So far, so good. I only switched to WMC once to watch something that was previously recorded on it. Other than that we've been exclusively using our TiVos. No hiccups in picture quality or recordings yet (knock on wood).

    I really like the mobile apps, especially the iPad app, which we use to view My Shows, To Do Lists, schedule recordings, start playback, etc without interrupting our viewing experience with TV menus.

    Also, loving the PlayOn integration with pyTivo. There was an episode of "Best things I Ever Ate" that showcased The House of Prime Rib in San Francisco. I love that place, and my girlfriend said I just missed it when I got home from work. Hulu said it could not be played back on connected devices, but PlayOn was able to stream it.

    Only minor nit so far is the bit of lag in the HD UI and Multi-Room Streaming delay in playback. With a WMC extender streaming playback starts instantly. Also, wish "My Shows" was mirrored on all Premieres instead of having to navigate to the Premiere box you want to stream from. Hoping the upcoming TiVo extender takes care of some of this.
     
  18. Mar 29, 2012 #18 of 102
    g808

    g808 Member

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    Oh, and not having a stop button is tougher to get used to than I thought.
     
  19. Mar 29, 2012 #19 of 102
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Does the Ceton not have the same issues with tuning adapters?

    Scott
     
  20. Mar 29, 2012 #20 of 102
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    I know right? That stop button is damn useful.

    I've thought about switching back to TiVo too, but as loud as my 360 as an extender is, it is more than TiVo has right now. I'm not sure what is taking so long to bring a consumer version of the Preview to market, but for now I'll stay with Media Center.

    I do have a Premiere Elite on loaner right now, though, and while I do really like the iPad app, the UI of the Premiere itself is still really laggy. Not enough to be a deal breaker like the lack of extender though.

    The scary part is that even though Media Center is a legacy product, in some ways it is still the best DVR option out there.
     

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