TiVo Alternatives?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Saturn, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    That may be your subjective experience, but I would say that it is not indicative of the medium's technological characteristics.

    Of course, there are many variables in play that will influence the nature of the perceived image. Aside from your visual acuity and personal preferences, there is the quality of the video processor, the type of display and how well (if at all) it has been calibrated, which picture mode has been selected as well as other settings in the display that impact on the video reproduction, not to mention the content itself and how it is being conveyed.
     
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  2. WVZR1

    WVZR1 Active Member

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    The WV...

    All of this is very true!! VERY VERY TRUE!!
     
  3. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    Well, in fairness to Bigg's point of view, there is a large degree of subjective interpretation involved. He sees what he sees and we can not dispute that unless we are sitting alongside him to assess his judgment.

    However, the science itself is objectively assessable, such as the pixel density between 2K and 4K or the variance in luminosity between an image in SDR and that same image in HDR.

    We've all probably seen one or another version of this viewing chart. Its generalized optimal viewing range shows that an upgrade from 2K to 4K will not make a worthwhile difference if one is sitting at a 9" to 10" distance from a 65" display.

    I myself take these charts with a grain of salt, but they do represent typical outcomes.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I would completely disagree. In terms of subjective experience, it depends on what you value. In terms of what you can discern objectively, 4k is much easier to see the impact it makes than HDR. I often have to put my TV's menu on to see if HDR is on (if it is it will be fully lit up blindingly bright), whereas 4k is usually obvious if it was mastered in good quality.

    True. My display is a 2015 model, but it is properly calibrated per AVSForum settings. Maybe I'd have different feelings on HDR if I had a 2019 LG OLED. I also don't really care about OLED, and if I had a large budget for TV toys, I'd get a Sony 85X950G.

    I think that chart is fairly accurate. It's a bit misleading though, as it shows a lot of screen/distance combinations that are WAY out of standard. Depending on which distance standard you use, you will typically get a proper viewing distance of about 6' to 9' for a 65" screen, which puts you in the upper part of the Ultra HD band. In fact, if you follow the edge of the Ultra HD/1080p dividing line, that's roughly the maximum distance that you should be seated from a display of varying sizes.

    What you begin to notice is that a lot of people have woefully inadequate screen sizes for the way their rooms are set up. Of course you're not going to be able to see 4k if you're watching a 55" TV from 15' away. Looking at the numbers, you also see that it's impractical to get a flat panel TV if you're sitting more than about 13' away from an 85" screen, as you quickly get into front projection territory.
     
  5. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    I'd say it has more to do with the extra bandwidth and higher bitrate than the actual resolution, especially if you're comparing video coming from a streaming service. 4K streams simply get sent at a higher bitrate. Compare a 1080p Blu-Ray to a 4k Blu-Ray and I think the difference would be much less obvious.

    HDR's a bit more nuanced. When it matters, the difference is big. But it doesn't always matter, it isn't always done right on the production side, and it isn't always done right on the TV/technology side. There are many many TVs, especially bargain priced ones that "support HDR" in that they can decode an HDR signal, but the screen itself doesn't do much to display HDR faithfully.
     
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  6. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I can see a crispness and a sharpness in Netflix 4k that I can't see on any 1080p source, even Blu-Ray that uses a higher bitrate than the streamed 4k.

    I've seen a couple of shows/movies where it was put to good use, but otherwise it doesn't seem to change much for the overall experience. Maybe I'd need a newer TV to see the difference, but I just don't care that much like I did with 4k. I love 4k, but I'm disappointed at the lack of 4k content to this day. I watch some 4k from Netflix, some from UHD Blu-Ray, and some from YouTube, but even then, only a small fraction of what I watch overall is available in 4k. Discs are a small portion of my overall viewing, and that's the only source where a majority of the content in available in 4k.
     
  7. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. The content won't get made in 4k/HDR until the hardware that supports it is more widespread, and there's no good reason to run out and buy new stuff when the content isn't there to make use of it. I don't even pay the extra couple of bucks for Netflix 4K. Not worth it to me, I've only got one TV that'll benefit at all from it and there wasn't that much available in UHD on Netflix in the first place.

    For me, I'm only replacing what breaks but anything new is going to be 4k/HDR unless it's something small, and I think that's where most consumers are at this point.
     
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  8. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    There's your issue right there--you're like the proverbial blind man trying to describe an elephant.:eek:

    You have an older (presumably NOT flagship) display and it hasn't been properly calibrated to boot. In point of fact, you can not transfer anyone else's settings to your TV with the assumption that it will translate properly. Firstly, every set (and every panel) is unique and, secondly, your viewing environment is necessarily going to differ in terms of ambient lighting, backlighting (if any), viewing habits, eyesight, viewing distance, program material, ad nauseam. You don't have to spring for a professional calibration, but at the least you should use a professionally mastered calibration disk such as the Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark or UHD HDR Benchmark discs to adjust your picture settings.

    Until you have garnered the proper viewing experience, your conclusions will be based on insufficient empirical evidence. I'm not arguing that you will change your mind, but at least you will have a firm basis from which to judge.
     
  9. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all of the above. In fact, my judgments are based exclusively on comparisons between the video output from Blu-Ray discs; every other medium--whether streaming, cable, satellite or other--is far too compromised by the transmission method to allow for an accurate assessment of the encode itself.

    And we haven't even mentioned the qualitative differences between native 4K and upscaled 2K or other authoring considerations that will impact on the PQ.
     
  10. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    There are a LOT of 4k TVs out there, but I think most people who buy them will only watch stuff in 4k if they just happen to stream something and Netflix happens to send it to them in 4k. I just don't sense that the average consumer understands the benefits of 4k, in large part because many people are sitting away too far away from TVs that are too small.
     
  11. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    I think if we start to talk about what "most people" experience it will be a very different conversation. You and I are not typical in terms of our A/V backgrounds. That is why I persist in pushing back on your impressions of HDR. I think you just need to investigate it a bit further.
     
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Although it doesn't have the capabilities of the newer models, it is an HDR10 display, and I have seen the benefits of HDR on a couple of movies and one TV show (Mindhunter). I just don't find most content to gain anything from HDR.

    I've found the AVSForum settings to be very good. I suppose I could get a calibration disc, but I haven't had the desire to go that far.

    I don't think I'm ever going to change my mind on HDR. I just don't see the point of it, or the benefit of it outside of a few very, very specific use cases. Also, there is even less HDR content than 4k content. Outside of movies, it's a small subset of shows on Netflix, and not much of anything else.

    That's an overly broad statement. Netflix's 4k encodes are stunning and you'd be really, really hard pressed to tell the difference between them and UHD BD. They are in no way equivalent to the complete mess that Comcast is pushing out with severe over-compression and bit starvation. There are a lot of degrees of quality in-between those two extremes, and most streaming sources do a mediocre job of encoding, but to cast such a wide net over streaming and cable/satellite just isn't accurate.
     
  13. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    My point is that there is plenty of 4k hardware out there, it's just a matter of whether people actually want 4k content, and I'm just not convinced that there's a huge demand out there.

    I don't dislike HDR per se, I just don't think it really changes anything like 4k does. 4k is a huge and very noticeable jump up in quality, HDR is often hard to see any difference at all, even though with a very few pieces of content, the difference is pretty obvious (particularly with dark scenes or natural lighting).
     
  14. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

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    Well, Plex DVR is dead to me. After several months and getting an Amazon Fire stick to use it with 30sec skip, Plex let me down. I wanted to watch the Packers last game of the season while it was still recording and I couldn't find it. I could tell (via 'top' logged into my linux box) that it had recorded and was apparently processing commercials, but it didn't appear in my "TV Shows" list until sometime after it was done recording. Can't watch while recording? Non-starter for football games. Maybe Channels is next. I like plex (and I'll keep it - if they offer another lifetime deal I'll probably take it) but as of right now Plex just doesn't handle the live/recorded handoff well at all.

    (I watched the game on my TiVo Mini, it worked fine, and I didn't even have to power-cycle my mini first (!) )
     
  15. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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  16. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

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    Does Channels have offline download on mobile apps? From what I can tell it has been on the roadmap for years but doesn't exist yet.
     
  17. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Not on Android. Not on any of them I think. Just remote streaming, like in the Tesla.

    The full screen Tesla display worked OK and I logged into the service, but I did not stream anything from my own server. I may be paranoid, but I don't like to forward ports.

    tesla-800.jpg
     
  18. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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  19. foghorn2

    foghorn2 Well-Known Member

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  20. saeba

    saeba Active Member

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    Dependent on needs. Certainly wasn't for mine.
     

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