Newbie with TiVo - Amazing Product!

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by joe123j, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Jan 25, 2006 #1 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    Hi All.

    We recently got TiVo and now, I don't know how we ever lived without it. What a nice product this is.

    I love the featuers so much, that I begun to look at TivoTogo. After reading all there is to see about it, the transfer speeds were too slow for me. This and many other TiVo limitations let me to look in to home PVR's systems.

    I just setup SageTV server on my PC with a MediaMVP on my TV - What a nice combo! I don't get noise in my bedrooms like the TiVo box does, I can easilly add disk drives to my PC, setup was easy, lower costs overall, HD ability, can see weahter information and best of all, no sub-scription fees!

    I am not bashing TiVo. I think it is a wonderful product and I am happy the TiVo open my eyes to this new technology. I think that TiVo is great, but there are much better and cheaper solutions out there. I will unfortunately be canceling my TiVo service soon. I wish they charged less than 12.95 a month.
     
  2. Jan 25, 2006 #2 of 153
    dgh

    dgh New Member

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    TiVo lifetime usually works out to be nearly free once typical resale values are factored in.
     
  3. Jan 25, 2006 #3 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    Yes, if I stay with TiVo, I would go with the 300 lifetime subscription. For me, the total is $300 plus $200 for the box (after rebates). $500 bucks for one unit.

    For $250, I get SageTV server with tuner card, MediaMVP with license and that is it. My PC hardy uses any CPU cycles to record. I get a nice quite bedroom (no noise).

    Now, here is the killer: I have 5 TV's total. $500 bucks a pop is rather high for me. With SageTV, it is $99 per TV. $2,500 .vs. $400 bucks AND no noise in the bedrooms, faster service, can add more disk easily, can add more tuners, TV recordings are not encrypted, and oh yes, NO COMMERCIALS! There is a nice plug available for $10 bucks to skip commercials.
     
  4. Jan 25, 2006 #4 of 153
    jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

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    Good for you, joe!
    Sounds like you've found a solution that fits your needs nicely. It's good to hear success stories.

    Sorry you had to spend so much on a tivo just to find out that a home-brew solution fit your needs better. Maybe you can find someone who will be happy with the tivo you just bought so you can recoup at least some of your investment in it.

    Here's a forum for SageTV users, for tips, tricks and info from folks who have similar setups:
    http://forums.freytechnologies.com/forums/

    Good luck!
     
  5. Jan 25, 2006 #5 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    Fortunately for me, I bought TiVO at Costco. Costco has a life time return policy on things like this, so I can return it any time I want and get full credit.

    Again, don't get me wrong. I think TiVo is great. TiVo is like using a car when you have walked your entire life. SageTV is like using a jet plane when you have used a car (TiVO) all your life.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2006 #6 of 153
    jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

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    Good deal Joe!:)

    ...and for those who don't mind working on jets (;)), here are a few more home pctv software packages:

    MythTV
    SnapStream
    Meedio
    .... and that's just the few that come to mind!

    Here's a good site for the do-it-yourself'ers to get started, for those not afraid to crack your pc's case and jump on in!

    ...and for goodness sake,

    Have Fun!:D
     
  7. Jan 26, 2006 #7 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    I tried most of those, but SageTV was simple and easy to setup and use. If you use TiVoTogo to burn movies, you are already a Certified Jet machenic ;)

    Does the noise of your TiVo bother you? The one eval unit in our bedroom makes lots of disk noise throughout the night. It is beginning to bother me :(
     
  8. Jan 26, 2006 #8 of 153
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    I dont think costco is going to give you back the 299 lifetime subscription
     
  9. Jan 26, 2006 #9 of 153
    MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    I just don't understand how you can not count the hardware costs when you count the cost for SageTV. Did you get the computers for free?

    What is MediaMVP? Sounds interesting.

    EDIT: I looked into MediaMVP, seems like a cool product. I take it that you have a wired netowrk, since these do not natively support 802.11x? I don't really know, in that case, why the network speeds on the TiVo were a problem. I get faster than realtime on "Best" quality over a wireless network, using bridges. Which speeds was it that bothered you?

    I might look into getting a MediaMVP for the second TV, $99 is a good price for something like that, IMO. Can say 2 different MediaMVP access the PC at the same time? SHouldn't be a problem, I would think, other than the network speed perhaps?
     
  10. Jan 26, 2006 #10 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    I already have a PC. If you don't have a PC, then yes, you need to buy the hardware.

    If you do own a PC, then all you need is a video capture card to get the movies. For around $250 for hardware and licenses, I can get a total soltuion for watching movies on my my bedroom via the MediaMVP.

    Here is some info on the MediaMVP:
    http://sagetv.com/extender.html

    There is a wireless MediaMVP coming out.

    By the way, if you want to use TiVoTogo, then you need a PC. TiVoToGo was the culprit :D that let me to look at home based PVR systems like SageTV. The transfer rate was so pathetically slow with TiVoToGo, and the fact that showes are ecrypted, that I said heck, if I am going to have a PC to work with TiVo, why not just put everything on the PC - which is what SageTV does.

    So my PC acts like the central server storing all movies and each MediaMVP on each TV acts like a viewer. Each TV can watch a different recording stored on my SageTV PC server.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2006 #11 of 153
    MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    But can you use the PC for other stuff while SageTV is doing its thing? That's mainly the thing that has kept me from using the PC as a DVR (well, that and because I love TiVo, and have a lifetime sub on it:)).
     
  12. Jan 26, 2006 #12 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    No, I canceled that before my 30 days eval with TiVo.

    Costco WILL refund my TiVo hardware box I bought at Costco - they refund anything and with a smile :D
     
  13. Jan 26, 2006 #13 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    Yes, 100%. Actually, my computer uses at most 5-10% for SageTV activities. The reason is this. The video capture card is doing the encoding (all the hard work), so there is no CPU needed for that.

    When you stream a movie to a MediaMVP, the MediaMVP is actually a decoder. The PC is doing a simple send file to MediaMVP - hardly any CPU strain on the system. SageTV server runs in the backgrond if you like. So your PC is neither doing a encoding nor a decoding when using it with MediaMVP.

    Now, if you use TiVoToGo, heck, you have a lot of encryptions going which slows everything down thus one of the reasons for the pathetic up/down speeds with TiVoTogo even if you use hard wire links. Not so with SageTV :D

    Again, don't get me wrong. I love TiVo, but SageTV blows TiVo out the water thus why I am returning my TiVo and switching to SageTV. TiVo is just great for the GAF (grandma approval factor). The moment you play with TiVoToGo, you realize just how powerful it is and how much you want those features.
     
  14. Jan 26, 2006 #14 of 153
    ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

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    Okay, joe, we get it. Many of us are tech-heads and enjoy playing around with this kind of system, but there are more appropriate forums in which to discuss that experience -- this is a TiVo forum. Everyone here is being very patient, but it is time to take your viral marketing campaign elsewhere.
     
  15. Jan 26, 2006 #15 of 153
    MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    YEah, that's another reason I haven't tried any PC-based solutions. I have zero desire to use an EPG to choose recordings from, I want to do it with search criteria, keywords and suggestions. Of course, SageTV might pull this off, and just not advertise it.

    But everything I've read about PC-based solutions always tout 1) cheaper (well, if you don't count the PC) and 2) no DRM. Since I don't really care about that (my TiVo files have no DRM ;)) there hasn't been incentive enough to go with anything else.

    But the MediaMVP boxes seem interesting as a complement to TiVoToGo.
     
  16. Jan 26, 2006 #16 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    Yes, SageTV has about 90% of the same type of search functions, no not all, but most.

    Out of curiousity, if you use TiVoTogo, what is your best transfer rate between TiVo and your PC?
     
  17. Jan 26, 2006 #17 of 153
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    yes but I have also seen the guide data itself being an issue for not being fully filled out to do more.



    as for TiVoToGo rates - I get good rates but I have not checked them in a long time. I have software that transfers them for me to the PC and I just note they are there when I go to convert to AVI and put more on my smartphone.

    since I do have TiVos around the house that do MRV at better than real time over my wired network that is the rate I worry about and it works fine and is easy enough for my kids to do as well. See I actually want my shows to mostly stay on the TiVo DVR(s) since that is where I watch them. The ones I wnat on my phone end up on the PC for me so it is disengenuous to beat on TiVoToGo speed as being the reason to ditch TiVo. I have 4 tuners and they seperate out shows well for storage - kids on tyhe kids TiVo - primetime on the main TiVo - Sci Fi on my TiVo and extra tuner in the bedroom. all catagorizing shows in a very set it and forget it mode and I browse all shows from any TV ion the house and can starting watching anyone within a minute.

    also you say your Sage is in the basement. Does not sound like it is doing much else and most anyone would use a dedicated PC for such a task and a specialized case if in the living room. Add in the cost or it is not a real comparison. really deflates you whole marketing campaign here, I can tell you that.
     
  18. Jan 26, 2006 #18 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    The transfer rates are significanly degarded if TiVo is also doing something else, like recording a show. I tried it and got several pauses (TiVo hard wired to PC).

    When I tested TiVo transfering a TiVo show from PC back to TiVo, it was almost as fast as watching real time (some pauses), BUT when you get to the commercials, you are stuck since the data cannot come any faster and thus you have to wait.

    On SageTV using the MediaMVP extenders, watching a show does not take a minute, but it is instant. I can skip commercials real time, actually, SageTV can skip commercials automatically which is even better :D

    As for the basement PC - it was a trow away PC. SageTV server takes hardly any CPU cycles. I found it easier than to put it on my primary PC, but if you do put in on your home PC, you wont even know it's there since it hardly taxes the PC.
     
  19. Jan 26, 2006 #19 of 153
    MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Last time I checked it was around 800-900 kB/s, which I guess translates to around 7-8Mbit/s (?). Better than real-time, which is all I care about. Transferring from the tivo is done with rules in Galleon, so I don't really know when and how fast its transferring.

    True, right at the beginning of the show you can't skip ahead. But I wouldn't need SageTV to watch shows in realtime from the PC, only the MediaMVP.
     
  20. Jan 27, 2006 #20 of 153
    joe123j

    joe123j New Member

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    Jan 25, 2006
    Quick question for all you TiVo experts. Why is there NO automatic commercial skipping or removal in TiVo?

    Seems to me that you waste a LOT of disk space with commercials.

    Beyond TV, SageTV and others have auto commercial skipping, why not with TiVo specially since TiVo has been around so long?
     

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