Newbie - couple of questions...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by JKeats, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. JKeats

    JKeats tivophyte

    Nov 9, 2005


    Okay... so don't hate me - I'm currently a ReplayTV user.

    One of my units, however, is dying and RPTV's support of their stand-alone units has been pretty shoddy for a while now. I called and all they can offer me is a pay-for-repair service for my unit that's only 4 or 5 months old.

    At any rate, I'm considering switching to TIVO but have a couple questions.

    I was told that the recording qualities on the replays is better than on the TIVO's (just regular units... not talking about HDTV or anything). Is this true? I know that on the RPTV units a setting of "medium" for quality translates, basically, to DVD quality. Can anyone shed some light on the TIVO recording qualities for me?

    On my RPTV unit I can burn shows onto a DVD if/when I want. The files are just mpeg's and it's quite simple to do (I have my units on a home network). I know this is possible on the TIVO as well, but aren't the files in a propriatary format of some kind? Any info on this would be much appreciated.

  2. Moebius

    Moebius Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    Not there...
    In my experience, RPTV's PQ was somewhat better than TiVo, however I found (at that time 3 years ago) TiVo's interface far more intuitive and switched despite this. Honestly, these days, I record most programs at the High setting on TiVo and don't have much trouble. There's some macroblocking on rare occasions, but not much, even on a plasma.

    As for burning to DVD, it's a hair more complex for TiVo, but not much. The TiVo Desktop app lets you pull programs off, but they're in a .tivo instead of mpeg format. They can still be easily burned to DVD though, and there are programs out there that will allow you to transcode to mpeg as well.
  3. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Yeah, basically .Tivo is just MPEG2 with some DRM on it (annoying, but Tivo has always been trying to carefully tread between doing the best it can for it's customers, but not totally pissing off the big media companies).

    IMO Tivo's image quality is fine (except the DVD recorder units). I've heard it's not as good as Replay, but I record different shows using all 4 quality settings, and even Basic is quite watchable (especially if the source is good quality and you're not sitting right next to the TV).

    And of course the interface, season pass manager, conflict resolution, etc. are fantastic.

    Only issue with buying a Series 2 now is that a newer model with two tuners, a built-in Ethernet port (versus using a cheap USB adapter), a larger hard drive, and (probably) more powerful hardware is coming out very soon.

    Besides the lack of a second tuner, I love my Series 2 Tivo. Literally saves me 20+ minutes a day I used to spend pooring over that night's TV listings and getting them into my DVD-Recorder or VCR.
  4. JKeats

    JKeats tivophyte

    Nov 9, 2005
    thanks for the info!

    when's this new model due out? two tuners wouldn't be much use for me, but a build in ethernet port and more powerful hardware would be nice. maybe i should wait.

    thanks again!
  5. mick66

    mick66 Dirty Burger

    Oct 15, 2004
    The 'verse


    I can't dispute that RTV's pic quality is slightly better than Tivo's because it is. But when the signal coming into your TV is already less than DVD quality (and all analog TV is) how can it be lowered to medium quality and be better than the original signal?
  6. TydalForce

    TydalForce Active Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    I've never seen a Replay, so I can't compare. But I can offer some insight I think, since I have a Humax DRT800 - its a TiVo with a built-in DVD burner.

    I record everything on "High" quality (second only to "Best"). If I look closely, there is a minor quality loss compared to regular TV, but I tend to sit far enough back that I don't notice. Its perfectly acceptable.

    Burning directly to DVD is rediculously easy. I've only done it a couple times, but it pretty much comes down to "Burn a DVD? What do you want on it? How good of a quality? OK gimmie a minute... <burns> here you go!" Sure, I'd like more options but I can't complain about the ease of use.
  7. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    I used to have a Pioneer DVR810. Although it had a few notorious picture quality issues culminating in a class action lawsuit it really wasn't bad. It came with free TiVo Basic with standard TiVo service as an option.

    The greatest disadvantage of having any TiVo based DVD recorder (so far) is that none of them offer editing capabilities. The TiVo DVD software trades simplicity for flexibility and features. In a way this is surprising because it's the direct opposite of how TiVo deals with timeshifting options. TiVo is definitely the best timeshifting DVR available, but other recorders are better for recording DVD's or even watching TV mostly in realtime.
  8. Weapon X

    Weapon X New Member

    Nov 14, 2005
    I too have the Humax DRT800 and don't recall it asking for what quality to burn I missing someting ???
    I have burnt a TON of DVDs and it uses the quality that the show was recorded at.
  9. Frankenstien

    Frankenstien New Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Speculation is sometime in May, but nothing official. Feel free to search the forums, there's been plenty of chatter.

    Also the Series 3, an HD unit, is slated to be out second half of this year. No official release date. Again feel free to search the forums on this one too.

    Good luck :) :up:
  10. Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

    Apr 13, 2004
    Hartsville, SC
    One thing you need to be aware of is that although burning to DVD can be easy, (ie. Using a TiVo with built-in DVD recorder) burning a show from a TiVo requires the purchase of several items to accomplish this. In many cases your existing software will not work either.

    Some things you'll need.

    The Supported Options
    1) Sonic MYDVD 6.2 or better <-- User reviews on this site aren't very good and this is the only supported option from TiVo. I won't get into my own experience with it. :)

    2)TiVo Desktop <-- A freely downloadable package provided by TiVo that allows you to transfer shows to your PC for burning or viewing, however TiVo doesn't provide the codecs for you to view these files. You must purchase them separately. In many cases if you have DVD playing software installed on your PC you should have the required Codecs, otherwise you'll have to drop some cash to purchase them.

    The unsupported options
    3)A program, likely freeware, to Free the DRM from the TiVo file. Support for this software is spotty and makes the option not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to work at this to make it work tho you might get lucky however and not have a problem.

    4)NeroVision <-- There are reports that NeroVision will burn the .TiVo files, but I haven't tested it. From what I can tell you have to strip the DRM from the file to use Nero, but I can't tell you how.

    5)Galleon <-- There are a couple of apps that will replace the TiVo Desktop. My favorite is Galleon and I'm using version 2.2. It allows you to auto transfer shows from the TiVo based on Keywords.

    At any rate, expect to have problems when working with TiVo files. You will not have the same experience you have on the replay, so if you are prone to frustration and really like the the open nature of the files replay provides, stick with it. However, if burning is secondary for you, TiVo provides the most dynamic user interface on the market and is growing with features being added regularly as well as a user base that is constantly writing and updating free apps to work with the device. Replay is dead at this time, or so the reports go. :) However there are many features that Replay has that I wish TiVo would embrace, but I fear that TiVo is too scared of Hollywood to add them.
  11. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The quality you record the show will set the quality of the DVD recording 1, 2, 4, or 6 hours on one DVD. You can't change it.

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