specifically, why do the 'other' DVRs come up short compared to TiVo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by bxd20, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. bxd20

    bxd20 New Member

    Jun 27, 2007


    Other DVRs in general don't?? Wow - that's a big one, I use FFWD a lot and it would stink to have to hit play and then use the 5 second skip back (assuming other DVRs even have that feature - another one i use a lot).

    Thanks for all the comments guys/gals!!
  2. jtown

    jtown New Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    For me, capacity was the item that sealed the deal and got me to spend $600+200+400 for my S3 vs. $15/month for the cable company's DVR. $600 for the S3, $200 to transfer lifetime, $400 for the first 1tb drive.

    The cable company's Motorola DVR had a 120 gig drive but, despite having USB/eSATA/firewire/network expansion potential, there was no existing way to add capacity and no plans to offer expansion in the near future. I would have put up with the crappy interface and the unreliability of the cable company's DVR to avoid spending so much money but, even for casual use, the 120 gig drive couldn't cut it for HD. 1 football game and a couple movies and it's full.

    Right out of the box, the S3 had double the capacity of the cable company's DVR. Then I put in a 1tb drive and had over 8x the capacity. Now I have over 16x the capacity and a library of over 100 1080i HD movies recorded off HBO/SHO/UHD/HDNet/etc. stored on the tivo and at least as many archived on my PC. Some stuff, like the Star Wars movies, isn't available in HD from any other source. I can set up to record the 5 sunday/monday NFL games and watch them at my leisure throughout the week without worrying about running out of space.

    For me, it's all about the space.
  3. ScottUrman

    ScottUrman Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Don't forget the ability to download shows from the internet through Amazon, YouTube, TivoCasts, and more coming...
  4. jkalnin

    jkalnin Baad Spellor

    Jan 8, 2003
    Warrington, PA
    Plus the odd features like the ability to transfer VHS recordings to the Tivo, then move the content to a PC to burn to DVD. So the Tivo is a VHS->DVD converter in a way.

    To expand on a feature that may not be clear to non-tech folks: you can take video content from your PC and transfer it to your Tivo. So, if you download movies or transfer them from something like a video camera, you can move these from your PC to your Tivo for a better viewing experience (TV vs Monitor).

    The Tivo evolves. There are enhancements in the OS all the time adding new features and functions.

    Tivo hardware is DEPENDABLE! I can assure you that a Tivo box will outlast almost any DVR on the market.

    Nobody is wow'd when they come in and see a DVR sitting next to your TV, but when they see a Tivo people are generally impressed and/or curious. This isn't a feature, its just a fact if you like being a show-off of sorts.
  5. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001


    That's not really fair to call that a 'feature', since presumably you're just using the A/V inputs and setting a manual recording (which will end up titled with whatever TV show was on at the time).

    I think the actual Tivo/DVD recorder combinations did allow this, though. (With the intention of burning home videos from a camera, IIRC.) (Though unfortunately you can't edit recordings on them or even burn transferred recordings, which is why I bought a non-Tivo hard drive/DVD recorder to use _along_ with my Tivos. I would still far prefer having the reliability of a Tivo/DVD[or blu-ray recordable] recorder combination, with those two features added.)
  6. jkalnin

    jkalnin Baad Spellor

    Jan 8, 2003
    Warrington, PA
    I used my Tivo to transfer a VHS tape to DVD, so it is a feature in my book. The info is missing, but the DVD player wouldn't do anything with it anyway. You can edit the file with VideoRedo before burning it to DVD.

    End of the day, you can do this with a Tivo and you can't with a generic DVR, which is what the OP was all about.

    OK, you can do manual recording from the A/V input to create digital files from analog sources. ;)
  7. wtherrell

    wtherrell Active Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Recently had a 3rd party repair rep in to switch out both of my cable boxes. When she brought up the subject of the TWC DVR she asked me what was so good about TIVO. She had the TWC DVR. I demonstrated TIVO suggestions and TIVO wishlist search by Actor and Director. She was blown away. "I've got to get one of these", was her next comment. ;)
  8. DancnDude

    DancnDude Thrice as nice TCF Club

    Feb 7, 2001
    Madison, WI
    I think #1 is reliability. My parents' u-verse box keeps forgetting their settings...for some reason it keeps setting them back to SD instead of 720p every few weeks. It's also happened at least once where the box just completely lost all the scheduled shows and my mom needed to set up everything again from scratch. I think something is happening when they send "updates" to the box that causes loss, but I don't know for sure.
  9. reh523

    reh523 New Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Dish has a great product hard to beat for the price. You will not hear that a lot here though. So why do I have HR-21 simple NFLST I think most the people on this forum care a lot about the delivery of the content. I care more about the content. In my case it is Football!

    But the Dish with the dual room through one box is nice....
  10. eric_n_dfw

    eric_n_dfw Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Roanoke, TX
    From my experience, UVerse does not but Dish VIP 722 does.
  11. eric_n_dfw

    eric_n_dfw Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    Roanoke, TX
    I tried UVerse last winter and absolutely hated the DVR software. It was extremely slow to respond to button presses with no audible feedback so you'd end up hitting the button multiple times and the commands would "stack up". No auto-skip-back and the 30 second skip was more of a crap-shoot than really 30 seconds. Also, while SD picture quality was generally very good at my house, every time I saw it's HD quality it was very blocky. This was seen at several other people's homes and even at the AT&T Experience store in north Dallas! (I didn't have an HDTV in my home at the time I used it) And I mean VERY blocky, to the point of distraction on fast moving stuff like NFL football. It actually looked like a YouTube feed at times.

    When I got my HDTV, I tried Dish and was fairly unimpressed with the DVR (same complaints that others here have voiced) plus they never could get my dish aimed well enough to not drop signal all of the time. (I had come from a DirecTV dish I personally installed 9 years prior with extremely rare signal dropout ever - like only when getting pelted with hail!) The picture quality was pretty good, but it did seem a bit fuzzier than the same HD program OTA.

    Then, in July, I bought a TivoHD and got a pair of Time Warner cable cards. I had some issues with lost signal on them a few times for it was a whole neighborhood problem they they did fix. The picture quality seemed on par with OTA but I still would get some breakup occasionally. The number of HD channels was much fewer than Dish, but being back on the Tivo made up for it!

    Finally, my wife and I decided that paying $58 a month to TWC was ridiculous considering that we can get nearly a dozen HD channels OTA where we live and were only watching a few shows on the cable HD channels. So, (today actually), we canceled TWC and are just doing OTA and DVD's.

    In a year, when the new DirecTV HD Tivo's come out, they may be able to woo us back. But we'll see.
  12. jmpivo

    jmpivo Felxer

    Mar 21, 2005
    Bon Air, VA
    So the wifey is now Tivo-literate which says a great deal about the user interface and clicker. She's there watching all things HGTV and Desperate Housewives and such. I'm next to her on my laptop sucking down SciFi stuff(Ok, Maximum Exposure stuff too :rolleyes:) from the S2 in my TimeOutRoom upstairs and from her DT right here. Both happy.

    Waiting for my new HD Tivo from Santa. And yes, we used Comcast and FiOS units and sent them back. Tivo rules for all the previous expressions on this subject, but Multi-Room Viewing and Tivo-To-Go continue to seal the deal. As mentioned, I'm just about ready to transcribe several prized VCR tapes to Tivo/TTG as well. -later -jeff
  13. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Yes, which is *EXACTLY* what you are doing. I do it *all the time* on my XS32.
  14. jblake

    jblake New Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    For me it's the UI. It's like the difference between a Mac and a Windows PC. And I'm a Mac user :)
  15. tgibbs

    tgibbs New Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    It's a bit like asking, "What makes a Mercedes better than a Ford?" They do pretty much the same thing. But even leaving aside performance features, when you get in a Mercedes, it becomes obvious that somebody has thought deeply about every single aspect of the car: "Does that knob really belong there? Would it be easier to reach if it was an inch higher or a bit larger? Is there a better way to do what that knob does?" So there are lots of little subtleties about a TiVo--the way it automatically backsteps a bit when going from fast forward to play to compensate for reaction time. The way every feature of the machine can be accessed with the directional pad and select, without the need for other buttons. The way hitting "left" on the pad backs you out of almost any menu. All of these are individually minor things, but once you have experienced it, an imitation TiVo just feels annoyingly clunky.
  16. dn1985

    dn1985 New Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    My UVerse DVR automatically backsteps a little bit, but the fact that it's soooo slow to receive commands means I still have to press the 7seconds back button a couple of times to get to where I wanted to stop.

    Uverse also, as far as I can tell, saves where you are in each program, something I've seen no other DVR but Tivo do.

    Still, I prefer Tivo immensely.

    Tivo's UI is fast, pretty, easy, and powerful. The Season Pass recording options are better than any other ones out there. The only thing I don't like about it is that you can't watch or hear TV (PiP or in the background of the UI) while you're going through your lists or scheduling season passes, which most other DVRs offer. And even that isn't that big of a deal.

    Also the :up: and :thumbsdown: buttons are great, they've helped my Tivo Suggestions introduce me to new stuff I never knew about or never thought I would like! Also, this is so cheesy, but it's kind of nice to hear the :thumbsdown: sound as an audible manifestation of how much I hate a show. It's so satisfying to hit that when my Tivo Suggestions tries to record something like The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody :rolleyes:

    Another minor, but nice, thing is that sometimes when a preview for a new or popular show comes on, there's the option to hit the :up: to automatically schedule a recording. So I'm thinking "Oh, this show sounds interesting, but I'm way too lazy to go look it up and set a recording for it." Problem solved!

    And wishlists, of course. I have a few dozen of them, and they make my week. It turns out every actor or actress I love has been in at least one Lifetime Movie and when they show up on my Now Playing list it's like a nice gift!

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