Somebody slap me (thinking about leaving)...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by larrs, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    Out of the blue I got a brochure from DirecTV. I haven't had D since 2002 (where I was introduced to Tivo, BTW), but they had a "come back" special so I went to the site and started to look through it and now I am actually cosidering leaving Tivo.

    I have a cableco that is included in my HOA fees, so it would seem to be a slam dunk to stay with cable and Tivo, but it is actually very interesting price wise. Here is a rundown:

    I have 4 tivos, 8 tuners (planned to go to 5) and 6 total TVs. I have one lifetime S3, two Premieres and one THD. I currently pay $0 for cable (actually I pay for it, but that fee will never go away as it is in my HOA), $10 HD upgrade fee, $10 cable card fees, $6 cable box fees (non Tivo TVs), and $27 in Tivo fees. That runs $53. It would be $65 if I added another Tivo. I get a whopping 36 HD channels, and only 5 regional sportsnets.

    With the D* offer I received, it comes to $80 per month for two years including all equipment- I'd be out $300 up front. I would get all of the same channels, plus a boatload more HD and more Sportsnets plus dozens more regular channels as well as access to their free Cinema movies (they say over 4000, sort of like netflix streaming). I would get only 2 DVRs (half of my Tivos never record anyway, but we use them for MRV) and the other 4 TVs would get HD receivers that act as clients to watch programs streamed from the DVRs.

    We also use the tivos to stream movies from our computer, but it appears the D* boxes can do that as well. And, since I only get Netflix streaming, I could potentially eliminate that $8 per month if the D* content is worthwhile.

    I would give up Pandora (I have it on my PCs and two Blu Ray players), Amazon (but D* has their own VOD of course) and Tivos.

    I really need some help here as I am really considering this move. What am I missing?
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    You don't have to give up Pandora or Amazon VOD if you have a PC that can run PlayOn. You can also use that to stream movies from your computer, or use a DLNA server on the computer. Oh, and Netflix too.

    I don't think you're missing anything. There would be a period of adjustment to get used to the different UI, but as someone who has had both kinds for 4-5 years, it works.
     
  3. deandashl

    deandashl New Member

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    That's a LOT of TiVo's and TV's.
     
  4. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    Every time I have tried this I found I needed to reset the DVR or receiver afterward to get sound from regular television after using the DLNA receiver. I am having better luck keeping an S2 standalone TiVo connected to the TV for these things.
     
  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Don't forget all the money you're going to lose by having 4 paid for, but unused, TiVos. You can probably sell them, but probably for only 1/2-1/4 of what you paid for them. It's spent money, so it's not an immediate hit, but it is something you should consider.

    Maybe instead you should ditch one of the TiVos and build an HTPC with a Ceton card instead. 4 tuners from 1 CableCARD, no monthly fee and the ability to stream programs to any room in the house using an XBox 360 or MCE extender. (I'm actually considering this option myself)

    Dan
     
  6. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    Consider yourself slapped.

    Maybe this year DirecTV will replace Comcast as the Worst Company in America.

    DON'T SIGN WITH DIRECTV.
     
  7. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    I have thought of this as well. The Xbox works great as a media extender and the Netflix/Xbox Live movie rentals interfaces are lightyears ahead of Tivo's. However, I am still not sold on the PC (although I have an HTPC today that is basically only a video server).
     
  8. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    I saw in another thread that you are using PlayOn. Doesn't that restrict Amazon and Netflix to SD quality? And, how do you serve up movies to your receivers using PlayOn? Or, do you need another piece of software?

    This is the most important part to me. I have an 8TB RAID array I am filling with my movie collection- the Tivo isn't perfect in this regard, but it is pretty darn good if you encode the movies correctly.
     
  9. MrSkippy53

    MrSkippy53 New Member

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    I think with the d boxes you can also stream to an iPad...
     
  10. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    I don't know about being restricted to SD with PlayOn - I have not tried to view HD content. I have watched video files from my NAS box on the HR21 and it worked fine.
     
  11. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Windows 7 MCE looks pretty nice from the little bit I've played with it. (I only have a crappy OTA USB tuner) Plus the Ceton card costs less then one TiVo lifetime subscription and can record 4 programs at once, instead of just 2, so it seems like a bargain from that perspective. The only thing I might worry about is the stability, and vulnerability, of Windows. Although I just checked an my PC with Windows 7 x64 has been running for >8 days and is still fine. (I think it only rebooted then for a security update)

    Dan
     
  12. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    Many of my video files are HD. I need to find out if they will stream OK to the D receivers. I would assume so since they will stream HD from an HD DVR, but I still need to do some research. My offer is "supposedly" only good until March 31.
     
  13. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    +1 for MCE on Win 7. I've been using an HTPC for over four years and MCE for about a year. I got my Ceton tuner back in August of last year and never looked back. I've got a few extenders around the house (X-Box 360, Linksys DMA2200, and an HP x280n) and they all work pretty well for streaming live TV and recorded shows from the primary HTPC.

    The one major caveat with an HTPC is that if it's stable and working, don't screw with it. It's tough to resist the urge to update drivers and hardware. You tend to create more problems this way so if you're a tweaker and upgrader like myself, be forewarned that you will likely create your own problems by messing with your setup.

    FWIW, I like to reboot the main HTPC every few days or so just to clear out the cobwebs. It tends to keep things running smoother with the extenders and avoid errors such as tuners not being available.

    Aside from the initial hardware costs, which are much less than buying multiple Tivos with lifetime service, the only monthly fees I pay are for my Xtreme HD package from FIOS ($40.99 for Xtreme HD and $3.99 for one cablecard plus local fees and taxes). I use four ATSC tuners with an antenna for HD locals and get the other FIOS channels via the Ceton tuners.
     
  14. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    It looks like it is a total equivalent. The cost of owership is almost exactly the same (since I need to at least buy one more Tivo and I should upgrade the S3 with Lifetime to a Premiere- one cablecard, more goodies later). After all of the outlay upfront it looks to be exactly the same.

    That means with D* I end up with a bunch more channels at the same cost. However, my luck is such that the day I do it, the DirecTivo will be released and I'll be locked out of it.

    The one thing I am really torn over is the fact that what D* seems to have almost exactly what I want (if the ability to view my video collection on the D* boxes works). IF tivo had extenders like Moxi so I am not paying for boxes where I really don't need recording capabilites and IF Tivo had streaming, so we didn't have to worry about the broadcast flag and IF tivo would get off the dime and get the new UI finished and IF...but I really love my Tivos.

    For now, I am going to leave out the option of the Media Center PC. I would still need boxes from my cable co at each TV (we are all digital and need at least a DTA at $2 and no HD or an HD box at $7 each) for watching live TV and something to use as an extender at each TV for watching recorded shows. Someone can correct me if this is wrong.
     
  15. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    Yes, PlayOn is SD and of course requires a computer running full time to host it. It's also unsanctioned by the folks they scrape content from, so things could vanish temporarily or permanently as sites make changes, etc. So yeah I'm not a fan. A $60 or $80 Roku is a better solution in my opinion.

    Regarding the DirecTiVo, there's no telling when it's going to show up. And all signs point to it running on older DirecTV hardware with fewer features than you'd get with current DirecTV-only hardware. I find DirecTV's whole home solution compelling and it's better than MRV in implementation.

    But it may be a lot of effort to blow up your current solution. Although, as Dan said you'd at least recoup some money if you chose to sell your TiVo hardware.
     
  16. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    If you have Internet as a bundle with your cable then make sure that you account for the fact that you'll be paying a separate fee for Internet if you go with D*.

    Consider also that evidence of test activity on a likely whole home TiVo solution has been spotted in the wild. Given TiVo's recent development pace, we may have it in as little as five years. :) But there's always the chance that it will arrive while you're still locked in on a D* contract.

    I'm still happy to be rid of D*. They went from being a way to escape cable to being just another cable company. Of course, I'm lucky to have a cable company (WOW) that frequently beats D* on customer service.
     
  17. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    Yeah, and that effort is huge if I end up stuck with something worse than what I have now for 24 months... the interesting part is there is little info out there about the media streaming on D* boxes. Given the number of subscribers they hae, I would think a bunch of people would be using it and posting on forums about it. This really scares me and makes me lean ever so slightly to Tivo/cable.

    Sometimes the known (even if somewhat flawed) is better than the unknown.
     
  18. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    I'll say just one thing about DirecTV and then leave it alone. The one major beef I've always had with them is that no matter what you do with your setup you're locked into a lengthy commitment to their service. If you aren't satisfied with it you're basically SOL unless you want to pay a hefty early termination fee. If you want to make any changes to your service you have to start the clock over from scratch.

    They are the only service provider I know of that requires any sort of commitment, regardless of what deals they may or may not offer. Some providers will give you a lower rate if you commit to a long-term deal, but they don't hold a gun to your head and make you do it. DirecTV gives you no options whatsoever. If you sign up, it's for the long haul. It's the main reason I left them for FIOS. It's also the best decision I ever made regarding a TV provider besides dumping Comcast over 13 years ago.
     
  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    No, it doesn't, they're exactly the same ($399) and Tivo MSD sub is $100 cheaper.

    No, they're not, assuming an apples to apples comparison of 4-tuner HTPC w/extender vs. two Tivos w/lifetime.

    <sigh> Lots of misinformation here - good thing OP is ruling out a WMC solution so we don't have to argue about this yet again.
     

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