TiVo without the DVR?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by hahathatsfunny, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. hahathatsfunny

    hahathatsfunny Member

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    I was wondering if TiVo might decide to make a box that doesn't have the DVR functionality, but instead just has the equivalent of the Roku (all the On Demand), plus a cable card and maybe an OTA tuner, on screen EPG, TiVo's menus, and perhaps some hard-drive for storage download (for Amazon downloads)? And maybe a Blu Ray unit?

    Right now, as a member with an old lifetime box, I can get a new TiVo with lifetime for about $500. But that is only because I have an old lifetime unit. For most people, such isn't available.

    I was thinking the box mentioned above without the DVR could be priced at under $200 maybe? Subtracting the DVR component would lower the cost. It would be a radical shift in direction, but with streaming becoming more prevalent, I was wondering if TiVo could be a company without the necessary focus of the DVR.

    I know about the Roku, but
    How much would a device that like cost, and are there any other manufactured set top boxes with essentially a cable card tuner?
     
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    The cost of cable tuners with cable card support is pretty high. About the only piece of hardware you mentioned removing was the hard drive and then you mentioned adding it back in. If by removing "DVR functionality" you mean just making it so it can not record cable or OTA there are no savings.

    They might be able to produce a device for streaming from another TiVo that doesn't cost much but once you add tuners and storage you effectively have another TiVo.

    Just to give you an example, you can buy a 4 tuner cable card tuner for a PC - it costs $399 and that is just the tuner card.

    Thanks,
     
  3. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    Those features are definitely not one of TiVo's strong suits, but going in that direction may bring in some talent to bolster those areas, which could then be ported to DVR units. It could also poise TiVo for a time when when a strict linear(?) distribution of content isn't as prevalent (i.e., more On Demand/streaming being the norm).
     
  4. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    It is pretty clear from what people have been saying about TiVo's surveys that they understand they need to get multi room viewing working and the only way to do that is with streaming. The question is will they go with a central control unit with maybe 4 tuners and small streaming devices or simple add streaming to their current DVRs.

    For a 2 TV house I am inclined to believe it would cost less to build a 4 tuner DVR and small streaming device than it does to build 2 dual tuner DVRs.

    For a 3 TV house I am certain it would cost less to build a 4 tuner DVR with 2 small streaming devices than it would to build 3 dual tuner DVRs.

    It will be interesting to see where TiVo goes from here.

    Thanks,
     
  5. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    The really stupid part about streaming is that they could do it today on the Premieres if they wanted to, and it would solve the MRV copy protect issues that people complain about.
     
  6. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    MRV yes, TTG no.
     
  7. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    I had this MRV copy issue on Comcast in the Hartford CT area, I called and asked to speak to a higher up executive, they told my I would have to get a call back, within a week someone from Comcast did call me back and I asked him to look into if Comcast was using copy protect on all channels except the ones that the law said they could not (like networks), if so please look into this and remove the copy protect on all stations that the station itself does not require such protection. I did not think I would get anywhere but within a month all copy protection was taken off except stations like HBO etc.
     
  8. rayik

    rayik New Member

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    A unit with OTA tuner and tivo guide only would be something I'd buy. $50 - $100 for the device and $20 / year for the guide data and I'd buy it tomorrow simply to have a nice two week guide for OTA.
     
  9. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    You can do this already with an inexpensive ATSC tuner and Windows 7 with Media Center. Install the tuner and drivers, run through Media Center setup, download the guide data, and presto! You've got a DVR with free guide data! You can also record programs without having to subscribe to the Tivo service (or any other service, for that matter).

    Take it one step further and get your self a Ceton InfiniTV 4 cablecard tuner (now available on Amazon.com). For the price of a single cablecard you can get all of your subscribed digital cable or FIOS channels on your HTPC and play them back on your primary TV. You can also stream them to any other TV in your house using a media extender (currently the XBox 360 is the only extender being marketed, but older models are available on ebay).

    I've got a Media Center TV with a quad-tuner Ceton and four ATSC tuners for a total of eight tuners. Media extenders allow me to watch live TV from any one of the tuners as well as share any recorded shows located on the primary HTPC. I pay about $50 per month for the FIOS Xtreme digital program package and $3.99 for one cablecard. A rooftop antenna gets me all of my local channels in HD (they're also on FIOS but I prefer OTA for lcoals).
     
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    So that when the one device fails, all the programs are lost, and none of the units work at all? So that if I choose to migrate to another platform, I have to potentially replace all four units, or at the very least the most expensive component? No, thanks. With three full blown TiVos, if any one fails, I can merely shift the recording schedules temporarily over to the other two, and the programs I really don't want to lose are all moved to the video server - which is backed up daily - as soon as they get recorded, in any case.

    Probably not, since the central device would need to have greater robustness (preferably a RAID array), greater storage capability (definitely a RAID array), and much greater performance to handle not only the additional tuning requirements but also the additional streaming requirements. A box that can record a minimum of 5 simultaneous HD streams while simultaneously sending a minimum of 3 real time HD streams on the network is not going to be had for under $700, and I suspect not for under $1000. Don't forget, with much, much fewer of the central unit being sold than the commensurate number of stand-alone units, the markup is going to have to be higher.

    I'm skeptical. It would not surprise me if the breakeven were not 4 or even 5 viewing locations.
     
  11. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Wonder if Media Center in Vista does the same? Edit: Did some checking at Amazon. Seems it's optimized for W7. On to Ceton Website for more research.
     
  12. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Only if one wishes to limit oneself to the utter pile of worthless crap shoveled out by the national broadcast networks. Only if one wishes to support an industry that steals more than 5 - 10 times the amount from every American than they might pay for (badly over-priced) CATV services. Only if one wishes to deal with Windows and support Bill Gates.
     
  13. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    The Ceton tuner currently only works with Win 7 Media Center.

    Bitter much? Just remember that one man's crap is another man's treasure. Chances are there are a lot of people that think what you watch is crap so try being a little less judgemental. I happen to like a lot of network programming, although I agree that there is a lot of useless crap being aired (reality TV sucks). The OP was looking for an inexpensive way to record OTA programming and since most everyone here already has a PC, you only need to add a tuner to turn it into a DVR with Media Center (included with XP Media Center version of Windows as well as almost every version of Vista and Win 7). The Ceton tuner will turn your PC into a Tivo on steroids.
     
  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Actually there is a driver (or plugin) that lets the Ceton card work with Sage, but you only get the non-copy protected channels, I think.
     
  15. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Actually, it also works with MythTV, but only if the CCI byte is set to 00.

    When talentless blodd suckers continuously get richer and richer by stealing from me, yes.

    Some people make a very good living selling manure for fertilizer. That doesn't make it anything else but manure. Pandering to the most salacious, basest common human emotions will always draw a large audience. Gladiators fighting to the death in an arena was a huge draw. Public executions always attacted huge crowds. Just saying the names Survivor, The Apprentice, Gray's Anatomy, or As the World Turns makes me want to take a shower. Speaking from a purely artistic viewpoint, I might acknowledge the validity of some of these forms of entertainment if it were not for the fact the companies supplying them care not at all if the programs themselves are pre-empted by technical or other difficulties, but have 14 different fits if 10 seconds of commercial gets interrupted.

    There is a big difference. I pay for the programming I watch. Broadcast television forces me to pay for what somneone else watches, which makes it crap regardless of the content. That said, I refuse to acknowledge any artistic merit in any work that glorifies evil, scummy, or hurtful thoughts and intentions, or atttempts to excuse such behavior. I do, nonetheless, acknowledge the right of every adult citizen to watch such material if they so choose, but NOT at my expense, nor do I expect (or want) them to bear the costs of my entertainment, no matter what they may think of it specifically. This most especially since the amount charged by the suppliers of the commercials is unrelated to the actual cost of developing the content or its quality.

    Hardly. In fact, not even remotely. The most important features of the TiVo are conspicuously missing from WMC, not the least being (according to my understanding) the ability to edit and transfer recordings irrespective of the CCI byte, Wishlists, and Suggestions. Unless I am mistaken, I infer from reports the Wishlists utility is badly attenuated and Suggestions is missing altogether. Not only that, but it is not open source, which completely removes it from my consideration, no matter what.

    Given some recent changes in CableLabs rules, there is some hope the Ceton card may have expanded support for 0x01 and 0x02 CCI byte values under MythTV, but those changes are not yet set in stone. If and when they are, I might consider adding a Ceton card to my server.
     
  16. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    It's called SageDCT. You still need Windows 7 to use it, IIRC. You also need SageTV version 7.

    That all depends on what you consider important. I can record up to eight channels simultaneously and still watch a 9th recorded show or a movie streamed from my server, all from a single user interface. You'd have to access four separate Tivos to equal that. My HTPC does everything I want it to and far more than my Tivo ever will or can (try watching a Blu-ray in 1080p with HD audio on your Tivo:p). There are very few things that cannot be done with an HTPC that you can do with a Tivo. Tivo does have software features that are more mature than WMC, but WMC still does an admirable job for what it's designed to do. In all the years I've used Tivos (11+ and counting), I think I've used wishlists maybe once or twice and found they weren't something I couldn't live without.

    I use other means to determine what shows I want to watch. If there's a movie I want to see I'll get it on Blu-Ray from NetFlix or RedBox (streaming sucks by comparison). If there's a TV series I want to see I'll set it up to record as a season pass. If there are past episodes I want to see that I've missed I'll either get them from NetFlix or download them in HD from the internet. There is nothing of any importance to me that a Tivo can do better than my HTPC. Obviously, YMMV.

    I'm no Microsoft fanboy, but seeing as how the vast majority of the population and business world uses Windows, it makes sense to embrace it, at least to a certain extent. Otherwise, you'll be on the outside looking in, but at least you can stand your ground and protest to your heart's content. The only way I see Microsoft robbing you is if you let them;).

    I won't get into a debate about what TV programming is good or bad (although I do agree with your assessment of the specific programs you mentioned) because everyone has their own personal tastes. There's a lot of crap on network TV but there's also equally as much, if not more, crap on pay TV so it's all a matter of choice.
     
  17. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    But only on non-copy protected channels. That means it's a boat anchor for those of us, like me, who are on CATV systems that copy protect everything (except locals). Right now, this consitiutes perhaps 20% of viewers. Unless something is done to stop it - which is highly unlikely - I suspect in 5 years it will be close to 100%.

    First of all, *I* almost never record anything. The TiVo's do it, which is to say they select what to record without bothering me. I only fairly rarely use any UI, at all. I turn on the TV and press <Play>. I could never tell you what is recording, or when, although with three TiVos, up to six channels can be recorded simultaneously. I only very rarely have any focal need for more than 2 tuners, although I am sure there are frequently times when 3 or more are active.

    I'm not cerrtain, but I think the Premier can handle 1080p. OTOH, I don't have a Blu-ray player or any Blu-ray media, so the question is moot for the moment at least.

    My TiVo's would be all but bricks without Wishlists.

    How do you know you want to see it? How do you know when you want to see it? Determing such things is far, far too much trouble and takes far too much time. The TiVo knows what I want, and records it. It's sitting there, waiting, in a list that contains almost nothing that I don't want to watch.

    Which means you have to try to figure out what you want to watch at least 3 days ahead of time by searching through a pile of litter comprised of more than 100,000 movies you have no desire to ever watch. Just to come across a few thousand or so you might want to watch at some point. It also means you have to know what you want to watch in order to figure out what you want to watch. I almost never know what I want to watch until I look at the list of what's available. Do you go through the list of every good movie that has ever been made in your head every time you access Netflix?

    Yes, and what's worse, the selection of both Blu-ray and streaming offerings are extremely limited. I browsed through the Netflix offerings, and when I did find one I liked, it usually was only offered in DVD. My Tivos have built a list of over 2000 programs we really like to watch any time my friends, family, and I want, and the list is growing.

    Yes, although in many cases a Wishlist can be more effective. There are some filtering operatons that are streamlined for Season Passes, but there is nothing a Season Pass can record that a Wishlist cannot. The reverse is definitely not true. TiVo could eliminate the season Pass altogether, and every user could still have all the same programs recorded via a wishlist. What's more, since a Wishlist is not ID and channel specific, there are many instances wher a single Wishlist can replace three or four Season Passes.

    Even though by a wide margin most of the programs my TiVos record are not via Season Passes, I'm not suggesting that TiVo eliminate the Season Pass. It's too convenient for some recordings, but a Season Pass can never be set up to record a movie that has not even been made, yet. Nor can you order it from Netflix. A Wishlist can be set up to do this, quite easily.

    How do you know you want to see them? Do you sit there and contemplate for hours on end what old series you might like to see, and then go searching for them on Netflix?

    I define proper business as obtaining a fair compensation for labor. If someone works industriously to deliver a quality product, they deserve fair payment for their labor. If a second individual performs less work or work of less quality, then they deserve to receive lower pay. Arranging - via whatever means - to obtain a larger amount than that means removing money either from consumers or workers (or both) in order to line one's pockets. Often, this is done by mooching only a very small, perhaps unnoticeable, amount from thousands of workers or millions of consumers. A small increase in margin is enough to cover the extortion. In the case of a monoloply, the company doesn't even bother to hide the fact they have a 100,000% margin, or more. Either way, it falls under my definiton of "theft". In the case of Microsoft, I agree they are not stealing fom me, since I don't spend any money on them. I've never had my pocket picked, either, but just because a particualr pickpocket hasn't stolen from me does not mean he is not a theif.


    Yes, but I myself choose whether to pay for pay TV or save the money and do without. There is a direct exchage relationship between me and the provider.

    It is not a matter of choice, which is my point. If NBC charged viewers of The Apprentice to watch the show, I wouldn't kvetch. I would still offer my opinion concerning the program, jsut as I would offer my opinion of a painting or a novel. The thing is, however, NBC does not get the viewers of The Apprentice, or even viewers of NBC to pay for the programming they watch. Instead, they force everyone, even people who don't have a TV at all, to pay for it. American Consumers fork out nearly a $TRILLION a year to the national broadcast networks, and they are given no choice about it. In the case of a giant, over-bloated company like Microsoft, at least the user agrees to be over-charged. They could always choose not to buy the software - like I do. With the broadcast networks, I don't have a choice. I'm forced to shell out well over $1000 a month to pay for all that crap, and I don't even watch it.

    I want my money back. $75,000 or so should cover it. What I don't understand is why you don't want your money back. Do you really think the networks have delivered perhaps $20,000 - $100,000 worth of programs to you, depending on your age and income? That's what they have cost you.
     
  18. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    Count me as another person who doesn't use suggestions or wishlists.

    Suggestions for me only ever recorded shows or movies I don't have any interest in or already had season passes for new episodes.

    If I am the least bit interested in the show, I add a season pass. I then give the first couple of episodes a shot and it either stays or it goes.

    As far as Netflix, I do the same thing. Then every other day, I watch whatever comes. If I feel like watching a specific movie, I probably own it. today I hit the limit on the queue. I don't know if that is just for coming soon or all shows.
     
  19. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    What the heck are you talking about? Tivos CANNOT transfer recordings "irrespective of the CCI byte" either. Heck, I can't even transfer *PODCASTS* that I could re-download. (I don't remember why, but I had a vaguely reasonable reason why I wanted to transfer a bunch of podcasts from one Tivo to another.... I knew I couldn't do it already, but I would have done it if I could.)

    I thought that people have developed plugins that were even more capable than wishlists.

    (I have never even SEEN a windows media center machine btw.)
     
  20. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    I didn't even notice the comment you quoted which is incorrect to begin with.

    You can do the same with WMC recordings as you can with TiVo recordings. The big advantage on WMC is they are already on the PC. Many WMC users run Show Analyzer which automatically flags all commercials and skips them or you can take it a step further to edit the commercials out. With DVRMS toolbox, you can also do just about everything KMTTG can do.
     

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