Suggestion for Tivo - MRV receiver box?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Hichhiker, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    532
    12
    Apr 21, 2002

    Advertisements

    I am still running the good old S2 DirecTV SD Tivo's

    I've been thinking of moving on to something that supports HD. I loved tivo since the early S1 days, but it really seems that Tivo pretty much is putting itself out of the market. I would like to have full HD access to tivo content in multiple rooms via MRV, but thats not really an option unless I buy a tivo for each room,which is pricey to start with and the monthly costs will be insane. And I do not even need to record that many shows at once.

    All of the competition (DirecTV, Comcast, AT&T) solves this issue simply by allowing their tuner boxes to be MRV clients. Of course Tivo does not have tuner boxes as they are not a cable company, so here is my suggestion - make one. Make a "client" set-top box. No tuner, no recording capabilities, but allow it to play content over the network from other Tivos in the house. Seems like it would be a relatively cheap box with no monthly fees and they will sell like hotcakes. If Roku can build a box they can sell for $99 - I am sure so can Tivo.

    What do you think?

    -HH
     
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,636
    1,299
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    All of the so called competition charges alot of money for their MRV boxes. And their DVRs are still crap compared to TiVo.
     
  3. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    532
    12
    Apr 21, 2002
    Their "alot of money" is not in same league with Tivo's "alot of money" - most charge $5/mos (and some are free) and provide the boxes for free (not to mention their boxes also provide live TV)

    And the quality of the DVR service is not the point - if it they provide something that works, where Tivo does not have a viable product at all, does not matter what the quality is.

    My point is that this is a simple product to fill a gaping hole in Tivo's product line.

    -HH
     
  4. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    1,792
    0
    Sep 15, 2006
    Here is an alternative solution until TiVo developes your idea. Assuming of course they do. Either way... this is a solution that will work. Maybe not the most ideal, but it will still work.

    1. Transfer all the shows you want to watch in another room to your computer.

    2. Convert the .TiVo file to MPG format. Quick and easy to do using one of several programs.

    3. Save that on your computers HD, &/or a DLNA certified NAS system. These can be had realtively inexpensively. All you need is one unit. Or you can just add more hard drives to your computer and run a "Server" software package as well that comes with Networked Media players.

    4. Purchase a "Networked Media Player" (They include the software needed for #3 that can run on a computer.) The WD Media Player Live sells for as little as $99. Their are many other brans on the market as well ranging in price from $79 to $299 as well. This device will play most all "media" type content that is stored on a DLNA certified NAS &/or computer running their software.

    So there you have it... a device that is in YOUR price range ($99). The only major drawback currently is that you would have to first TRANSFER the show to your computer and convert the .TiVo file to a .MPG, .MKV or other style file first.

    TGC
    Save it on a computer or even a DLNA certified NAS system.
     
  5. RichB

    RichB Oppo Beta Group

    578
    47
    Apr 2, 2003
    Massachusetts

    Advertisements

    That would make it a good idea :p

    For me, the device would have to be a tuner as well so I do not need to rent a box. So it needs a guide, streaming support, and a single tuner.

    - Rich
     
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,636
    1,299
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...


    Who provides MRV boxes for $5 a month? It certainly is not Comcast and not FiOS. FiOS is $20 a month. And with Comcast, I only know that their regular DVR is $16 a month around here. If they have an MRV box it will certainly cost more than the regular DVR.

    If the product was so simple then everyone would have one and they would be decent boxes. But everyone doesn't have one, and the other DVRs are crap compared to TiVo.
     
  7. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

    9,234
    54
    Aug 25, 2001
    Florida
    I think he was referring to the basic set top box that is able to see the recordings on the DVR. The whole house DVR is $19.99 on FiOS but the HD STB is $9 though which can stream the recordings. In some markets it is even cheaper and I believe $6 for the HD STB.
     
  8. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    532
    12
    Apr 21, 2002

    I was. Locally we have AT&T ($7/mos for extra STB) and DirecTV ($5/mos) - (I have no idea what Comcast offers)

    And by the way, the other DVRs are a lot less crappy these days. They moved forward, while Tivo's been basically stuck in time. I would still rather have a Tivo, but I can't buy what they don't have and I am not going to waste money buying a bunch of full DVRs just to use them as MRV stations.

    Its kind of like, "here it is, the only drawback is that it is not here". This is a solution, but not a realistic one. Its a lot of manual work for something that will be of questionable quality and usability and still NOT be a Tivo. Why not just get a cheaper and simpler non-tivo solution? Besides, if your solution is to break the DRM on the Tivo, there are much more efficient ways to do it. (at least there are for SD Tivos)

    I was suggesting that Tivo can head this off at the pass. Why not have Tivo make some money by selling essentially off-the-shelf hardware with already existing software as an add-on to the Premier. Think of it as a next-gen to Tivo Basic, or just Tivo Basic minus all recording and plus MRV.

    As for not having a tuner - I was thinking it should be a simple box. Tuner pretty much makes it a full on Tivo.


    -HH
     
  9. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

    9,234
    54
    Aug 25, 2001
    Florida
    Don't forget though I believe DirecTV is going to be charging a monthly fee last I read with a possible one time install fee. This may have changed but last I read it still applied just nothing was finalized.


    I think the problem you run into is by the time you get the hardware where you need it and the cost where they make money you might as well buy a TiVo. Also without streaming implemented many people won't see the benefit and there is still no word on TiVo planning to implement streaming.

    Now something you might be able to do is have KMTTG strip the TiVo container and then playback the files via a WDTV or Boxee box or some other network video streamer. Of course you are back to the issue without streaming it doesn't help most people.

    Windows Media Center faces a similar issue. Everyone keeps asking for extenders which we may see eventually, but the issue is by the time you get everything you need in the box it may cost as much as a 360. At that point you might as well get the 360 though the extender might be quieter and you may lose the DVD drive also. Now as the technology drops in price it may make more sense if they can put out a $100 extender.

    Of course Microsoft could solve their issue much easier since they would just have to enable live TV from one Win 7 PC to another which currently you can only do on an extender. This of course would be another issue with the TiVo extender. It would either need a tuner or the ability to stream live tv from the main TiVo unless you just plan on having it in rooms you only want to watch recordings.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,636
    1,299
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    The only problem with using a 360 is power usage. It uses too much. Depeding on the version it can even draw more than my WHS. My WHS with twenty four hard drives draws between 150 and 220 watts. A TiVo Premiere only draws around 23 watts.
     
  11. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

    9,234
    54
    Aug 25, 2001
    Florida
    I definitely agree. Though with the 360 you are only powering it on when you need to use it which if it isn't your primary viewing location may only be an hour or two a day.
     
  12. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    532
    12
    Apr 21, 2002
    All the better reason to gain foothold in the market before its too late.

    I did not realize Tivo is that behind. But it does not need streaming (would be nice though), just transfer would work too with a small amount of space. 8GB of microsd is under $15 (though is it fast enough?) - and how much space you need to store a few hours worth max? As for the cost, if Roku can build a box for under $99 to do this, why can't Tivo? Its exact same hardware needs - network in, HDMI out.

    Having DTivos for past 9 years, I never played with TTG (there is MRV, but not TTG in DTivos) - but it is nice to see a viable automatable alternatives to Tivo Desktop. That does make things a lot easier, considering I already have XBMC running on all tv's. Of course XBox can't handle HD, but there are a lot of options out there that can - I believe you can hack AppleTV to run XBMC or Boxee (not sure about HD support there though) and I wonder what is the state of hacking the Roku box.

    But again, my point in starting this thread was to point out that it would be nice to have a hack-free alternative to all of this and to gage the level of support for it (which so far does not seem like there is much of)

    Again, Roku box and a number of other boxes coming on their heels seems to indicate that the hardware price is already low enough. Building the technology into DVD/BlueRay players ala Tivo Basic would also work.

    Hehe, I am not a sports fan nor news junkie - so I cannot remember last time I watched live TV. Just watching recorded (or recording, if tivo allows that) content is good enough for me. Through in a unified scheduler for all tivos/extrenders so that you can request a recording from any box, and you have a great home setup. That said, I have streamed live TV from Tivo before (via hacks) - so its not like its rocket since to enable that (its a bit more difficult with HD as the stream bandwidth may exceed the wire bandwidth, but still)

    The true solution to my needs is pure HDMI distribution through the house, but its just so expensive at the moment (3-4k for the most basic complete system + wiring upgrade in the house to run the extra cat5's)

    -HH
     
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,636
    1,299
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    That seems pretty high. The transcoders to twisted pair have come down alot in price from a couple of years ago.
     
  14. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    532
    12
    Apr 21, 2002
    Yeah, hdmi-cat5 baluns are cheaper these days, but a matrix switch alone is still 2-3k. I suppose I could just distribute a single Tivo and use MRV on it to get contents from the other one, but our current distribution system allows us to watch different things on different TVs, and I would love to keep that :-/
     
  15. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    1,792
    0
    Sep 15, 2006

    You don't have to break the DRM. Using Tivo Desktop + 2.8 &/or pyTiVo you can transfer the shows to your computer. No DRM to break or anything. Of coruse you can't transfer the "Copy Protected" shows. But even the "Copy Protected" shows you can't even transfer from TiVo to TiVo either so it's a moot point. Even if you had a MRV only box. The "Copy Protected" shows would not be able to play on that box either. (At least currently).

    As far as it being manual. It doesn't have to be. TD+ can AUTOMATICALLY transfer shows as you see fit. You can setup the conversion from .TiVo to .MPG automatically too.

    In regards to quality. There is NO quality loss. The WD Media Player Live can play content in it's full 1080p/24 or 60fps quality along with DD5.1 audio as well. Many of the others can even play DTS. Something that the TiVo can't currently do either.

    I DON'T disagree with you that it would be nice for TiVo to have "JUST" an MRV box to watch shows on your TiVo. I would love to have an MRV box.

    The problem is, the marketability of a device isn't as good as you think it is. See I would want my MRV box to have dual tuners, & be able to set recordings on the "Mother Ship (TiVO)" that it is viewing from. Keep in mind though. Being it a TiVo device EVEN if it were a MRV box. TiVo would STILL want a monthly subscription fee for it. Probably around $5 a month as well.

    Here's an idea... set up a poll find out how many people would be willing to buy a MRV box with & without a single/dual tuner & pay $99 for it as well as a $5 subscription per month. I don't beleive that you will find very many people who would be willing to buy a MRV box for $99 and pay $5 a month subscription for it either.

    I agree though, once you have a tuner, or even dual tuner it almost makes it a full on TiVo again. Requiring Cable cards & additional fees from your cable company to make the tuners work. The subscription fees from TiVo would also have to be even higher as well.

    While you think TiVo shouldn't have a subscription fee for an MRV box. They would. Thats the way TiVo opperates. You may not like it. But they would anyways.

    However, without the tuners I wouldn't buy an MRV box. I allready have a WD Media Player Live. So I can play Blu-ray rips as well as other content that the TiVO can NOT currently play very well. (Example DTS audio)

    I allready have a DLNA NAS device as well. So any content my TiVo's record that I wish to keep I have TD+ automatically transfer to my DLNA NAS device.

    A Tunerless, MRV only TiVo would have LESS capability than the WD Media Player Live or many of the other stand alone media player devices available on the market.

    I DO like your idea. It would be nice for some people. However I honestly don't believe that the "mass market" consumer would spend the money on this device. Not enough people would buy it to make it a profitable device for TiVo.

    TGC
     
  16. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    1,792
    0
    Sep 15, 2006
    IF your worried about power consumption. Invest in wind power/solar power generation for your home. Then you don't have to worry about an electric bill.

    I would have added wind/solar power to my home. However my HOA won't allow the wind tower to be installed. I could install solar power only, however the area I am in would need both to provide enough power for me & my home.

    A 6kw system which is twice the power most homes need only run's about $15k. Lasts for more than 25 years & at least in Texas can pay for itself in as little as 2-3 years depending on your electric usage and what you currently pay for electricity each month.

    TGC
     
  17. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    1,792
    0
    Sep 15, 2006
    Just thought of something else...

    I have a WD Media player Live, so I will agree there have been times I WISHED that it could stream directly from the TiVo without first having to wait for my computer to download the show to my DLNA NAS device. This if of course required before I can watch the show on my WD media player live.

    However let me point out a few other things.

    1. TiVo doesn't currently support streaming. When it transfers a show, it copies it to the local system on the hard drive. Thus an MRV only box would still need some type of storage solution. Of at least 50gb. As some shows could be that big. I did a 6hr recording in HD of the olympics and it was 48gb. Not saying that YOU would do that. But it would need that capability for the mass consumer.

    2. Many people would want Tuners, if not even dual tuners to get rid of having to have a cable box on that TV as well. Consumers want as few boxes hooked to their TV as possible. So by the time you add the Tuners your back to a full blown TiVo.


    Mainly because of reason #1 is why you won't see a TiVo MRV only box. It would be nice if TiVo LICENSED their technology to allow 3rd party media players such as the Boxee, PCH, WD Live players to play directly from a TiVo DVR. Yet again, this would still require TiVo to implement STREAMING.

    Currently TiVo doesn't do Streaming & personally I believe it is going to be quite a long time before they ever do. If they ever do.

    You can ***** about it all you want. It isn't going to happen anytime soon. I was simply offering a SOLUTION that WOULD work in most instances. I NEVER said it was the BEST solution. Just that it was A solution.

    Just curious... What solution are you going to use, since currently they don't have a TiVo MRV only box, and it might be a few years before they do, if they ever do?

    TGC
     
  18. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    532
    12
    Apr 21, 2002
    Interesting. Not having TTG myself (DTivos) my experience with TTG is a bit dated. I know you can get the .tivo file to your PC and play it, but it is still under DRM. As far as I know, re-encoding it to a non-DRM format while pretty easy, is not in any form or shape supported by Tivo and should theoretically be illegal under DMCA. This may have changed, but I doubt it since if Tivo does support un-DRM-ing of their content - then what is the point of having DRM in the first place?

    I started looking it up and there are in fact some automation processes for using TTG - that makes it a lot more realistic choice than I thought.

    I was referring to the quality/usability of the interface. I am yet to see a half-way usable UP&P device - most have horrible problems with exact kinds of files they play and ff/rew issues - not to mention some of the most horrific UI's. (My Samsung TV's UP&P client is nearly useless). I do not have much experience with WD Media Player Live - will check it out. That said, given a file on a network share, playback is not really an issue. There are always XBMC/Boxee/etc solutions that work great.

    I think the market may be larger than you'd think. But it would be limited to Tivo owners (small market to begin with). I think most people do not realise the potential of something like this - people always get completely amazed at my home setup because I have a simple distribution system that lets me watch either of my Tivos or XBMC on any TV in house. For most people, this is not even in a realm of possibility - but it does not mean they do not want it.

    I think tuner is not really the right thing here. If you want a tuner, you can always get a stb from your TV provider - I see no reason to blend the two devices unless you ARE the TV provider - just makes the device more complicated - while not really providing any benefit. But I am totally in sync with you on being able to use it to set recordings. If you can do it using a web browser, there is no reason some software cannot be added to let you do same from the extender.

    As for monthly fee, I am afraid you are right, and I would think that would kill this product in its infancy. It would also expose the dirty little lie Tivo kept telling us, in that the reasoning for the monthly fees is so that you get the service such as TVGuide info, etc -- since THEY have to pay for it for you. This device will need no TVGuide data nor any other service as it would be completely driven by contents of the full Tivo's in the household. You dont have to pay monthly fees on DVD players - this is not any different. So charging fees for this would just underscore the fact that Tivo is not selling as much hardware as it needs to survive and is leeching of its subscribers to survive.


    I like the idea of the poll and I fear you may be right on the results. For one, *I* would not be willing to pay monthly fees of any sort for this to Tivo on general principle. I understand the fees for STB boxes from cable company - but this is different as they are not providing me any content (box WITH a tuner is a bit different, but as you said, it would invariably ALSO incur costs from cable company for the same box and same content)




    So the conclusion seems to be that, as it stands, Tivo simply cannot compete in this market. Of course there is a more radical solution to this for Tivo - stick to your core business and let go of some of the control on the periphery. There is no reason why Tivo could not just include a UP&P server so that devices like WD Media Player Live (and many TVs that now come with UP&P clients built in) would just work with it without 20 hoops to jump through. It would not be an ideal solution , but it may put them back on the map as a viable option for people. Mind you, I know this will never happen, but it is unfortunate for consumers AND for Tivo. Right now my real options are to buy two Tivos and invest thousands and thousands in HDMI distribution system, or just buy a truckload of tivos, or get all of this functionality, albeit with not-as-good-but-passable DVR, from someone else for next to nothing. Does not look good for tivo, does it?

    -HH
     
  19. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
    2
    Jan 2, 2004
    Moxi sells a 3 room solution like you want for 999$. Look it up.
     
  20. Hichhiker

    Hichhiker Just me.

    532
    12
    Apr 21, 2002
    Wow, thanks. I have not looked at Moxi, but Moxi Mate looks like exactly what I am looking for. At $299 for the box its a bit pricey, but still cheaper than tivo, and without monthly costs on the DVRs - it'll even out quickly.

    The only thing I need to find is some reviews of Moxi interface/usability. What does Tivo have on it?

    -HH
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements