Tivo won't be welcomed into our living rooms anymore!!!

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by sac84371, May 24, 2011.

  1. May 25, 2011 #81 of 177
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    The problem is that Tivo's window of having a clearly better DVR is closing. Sat DVRs are almost as good and in some ways better. Comcast has previewed a new Xfinity DVR and Verizon, TWC, etc. are not sitting on the sidelines either. Tivo has to maintain its status as the best DVR money can buy (vs. rent), and few of us here think they want to stay in that game.
     
  2. May 25, 2011 #82 of 177
    Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

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    Ask, and ye shall receive.

    Engadget
     
  3. May 25, 2011 #83 of 177
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    I use both a Tivo S3 and WMC in my home. And I am a *huge* fan of everything Microsoft, BTW. WMC is upstairs in front of my treadmill and the S3 is townstairs in the living room on the big screen. There is a reason that the one on the big screen is the TiVo.

    WMC has a ton of features and you cannot beat the price for the software and monthly fees, that's true, but the interface with the hardware is buggy at best with tunners occasionally dropping out or having to be plugged and unplugged to get them to work again. It lists channels as available in QAM that are not available whereas even my cheap 32'' TV in the bedroom knows which QAM channels actually exist and tunes them correctly. Which is totally unacceptable to me. I think they are using guide data from an outdated list, possibly provided by my Cable Co, that still lists analog channels that the Cable Co has long since discontinued.

    I get frequent audio drop outs (SB Audigy). Changing channels is brutally slow even with a Quad-core 2.3 and a high end GPU (5 seconds is not uncommon). The menu for navigating between live TV and the various streaming options is awful because it takes longer to get to live TV than just about anything else. And trying to set the two tuners to different input types is awkward (I wanted one on antenna and one on QAM).

    And I don't know about you, but I rarely own the same PC for 5+ years and I've been running the same TiVo for that long. And I paid 900 dollars for my WMC PC and that was custom built.

    My WMC PC takes up a lot of space, is loud, requires frequent updates and patches and mine doesn't even support cable cards.

    Until someone starts selling an off-the-shelf complete cable card compatible WMC solution for under 600 dollars that doesn't have all of the hardware issues I've seen with my custom box and doesn't take hours to setup then WMC is flat out not a competitor to the TiVo.

    So, stop dreaming. WMC does not exist as competition to TiVo or the cable company boxes in the real world and only a tiny % of the population would even have the knowledge to setup a working WMC box even if they knew it was an option.
     
  4. May 25, 2011 #84 of 177
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    My TiVo has never required any maintenance at all in 5 years of usage. My S2 went for 8 years without needing maintenance.

    Except for updates that are installed automatically while I am asleep, obv.
     
  5. May 25, 2011 #85 of 177
    larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    Wow. Could be a game changer for Comcast customers.
     
  6. May 25, 2011 #86 of 177
    anotherlab

    anotherlab New Member

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    I would love to see a quad tuner from Verizon. If I could get a quad FiOS DVR, I would have to think long and hard about keeping my TiVo HD box. The current FiOS DVR running IMG 1.9 is good enough that I couldn't recommend getting TiVo to most people. I do use the TiVo features that the FiOS DVR doesn't have, but most people that I know with a DVR would be (or are) happy with the current FiOS box.

    TiVo used to be able to compete by being essentially the only game in town. Then, when the MSOs starting adding DVR functionality, they could compete by being the "Cadillac" of DVRs. With the current generation of MSO DVR technology, TiVo can't claim to being the best in class. TiVo has to do better, or the subscription base will continue to drop.
     
  7. May 25, 2011 #87 of 177
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Just from the fact that TiVo doesn't miss recordings like the FiOS and Comcast DVRs do on a regular basis makes the TiVo better.

    For me to even consider using the FiOS and Comcast DVRs their recording reliability would need to have a huge improvement.

    And right now most of the people I know with those DVRs miss more recordings in one month than I'll miss in three or four years with my TiVos.
     
  8. May 25, 2011 #88 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    This entire post screams of a system plagued by buggy driver issues built by someone that overcharged you for a poorly built system. "Custom built" just tells me that you put your trust into someone else to build something you could have easily built yourself with minimal time and effort.

    I'm not going to blow smoke and say that I've never had issues with my HTPC. It's a PC so of course there are going to be issues. The thing is, once you've got a stable setup, there's no need for constant updates and patches. Turn off Windows Updates and leave it the heck alone. Letting your HTPC constantly update is an invitation for disaster. Windows updates are notorious for breaking more things than they fix. OTOH, the release of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 cured a lot of ills I was having with a recent build.

    I'm not dreaming. My HTPC is not only a contender for Tivo but a clearcut winner. Apparently you paid big bucks for a lemon and you're using it as a baseline to judge all HTPCs. HTPCs can be built on small platforms and can be dead silent if they're built properly. A mini-iTX mainboard system can be built with passive cooling that has a smaller footprint than a Tivo. Install a solid-state drive and you won't even know it's there. I've got a Dell Zino HD that's only about 12" x 12" x 5" and it does a fantastic job at streaming Blu-Ray rips from my server. It's also almost completely silent. My primary HTPC is built in a large rackmount chassis with ample cooling fans, but it's just slightly noisier than my Tivo. When the sound from my home theater is on you can't hear any of the equipment running in the background.

    First thing I'd recommend is that you get rid of the POS SB sound card. Go with a motherboard/CPU/graphics card combo that can bitstream HD audio via HDMI and you can't go wrong. Today's HTPC's rarely use sound cards anyway. The latest Intel Clarkdale and Sandybridge CPUs can bitstream HD audio and HD video via HDMI without the need for either a separate graphics card or sound card.

    Building a stable, working HTPC is not all that difficult. The biggest issue you'll have is bad drivers, as you have already experienced. Sometimes you may have to experiment with different hardware setups before you find ones that play nice together. Fortunately, there are lots of reference guides available that outline specific hardware matchups that should give you peace of mind.

    Channel changing on any DVR can be painstaking and Tivos are no different. If channel changing times are that bothersome to you then you should stick with a cable box. DVRs and HTPCs aren't designed for fast channel surfing. Every channel you watch has to get tuned and then buffered to the hard drive before you get a picture to view. If I want to channel surf then I surf the guide, not live TV. When I find something I want to watch I'll select the channel and wait the necessary time for the picture to be displayed. Fortunately for me, I stopped channel surfing years ago. Now I just surf the list of recorded shows on my HTPC or list of movies on my server to decide what to watch.
     
  9. May 25, 2011 #89 of 177
    dwgsp

    dwgsp Member

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    That sounds like a hobby, not an appliance.

    Ok, maybe not a hobby, but still definitely not an appliance. And definitely not something that my spouse would have any patience for.

    As I said earlier in this thread, many of us want a DVR that is an appliance. That is what Tivo set out to create, and for many of us our Tivos still satisfy that requirement. I realize this is not the case for everyone, and if you want an HTPC instead of a Tivo that is fine. But don't confuse it with an appliance.
     
  10. May 25, 2011 #90 of 177
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    We all know that you don't like Windows and that it doesn't work for you but it does work and work well for a lot of people and it is getting rather tiresome to have you interject into a thread how much you dislike it when someone mentions the OS.

    Your knowledge of the OS appears to be lacking as well since XP *is* capable of scheduling tasks to repeat in whatever minute or hour increment that you need and we have 4000 PC's running XP that are stable (including being stable for more than 6 weeks at a time since I use sleep mode on my laptop and don't reboot unless required).

    I don't manage the PC side but I do manage the server side and we have over 500 servers running Windows 2003 and 2008 which rarely have any OS or application issues. This includes enterprise applications such as Siebel and Oracle and SQL databases with 6 SANs spread across 3 primary data centers. We've been very happy with Windows as a server and desktop OS for the last 14 years since moving from a Digital VMS environment which I managed the 7 years before that.

    Scott
     
  11. May 26, 2011 #91 of 177
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    All just excuses. There is no source for a trouble free Windows system because such a thing does not exist for more than a few hours or days after install.

    This is why Windows consumers are discarding Windows in favor of information appliances that deliver the content that they want without all the pain. Your notion that they're going to reverse that trend in the DVR market for Media Center is completely out of touch with reality.

    You can't just "install it and leave it alone". The average consumer will not have either Windows or their network configured in a way that safely allows that kind of laissez-faire approach to running Windows.

    The only way that Media Center will make any impact in the DVR market is if it's ported to the Xbox or some other appliance operating system. That's unlikely to happen any time soon since Media Center probably relies too heavily on all the cruft built into Windows.
     
  12. May 26, 2011 #92 of 177
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    The fact that it's not practical to run a consumer appliance on Windows isn't an interjection, it's an important point in the discussion. If anyone is interjecting anything it's all this nonsense about using Windows in a consumer appliance forum.

    So all you need to have a stable, reliable Windows installation is a dedicated staff of IT professionals. Yes, that's relevant to the consumer appliance market.

    Stable, reliable, cost effective Windows is a Windows guy chimera. Talk to their users, customers, or finance guys and they often have a different view of reality. The truth is that most companies can't even conceive of how much time, effort, and money they're feeding the Windows monster to keep it happy.
     
  13. May 26, 2011 #93 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    Look through these threads and you'll find a plethora of complaints about buggy Tivos. The PCs I build generally run for weeks on end with no issues.

    I never said DVRs would ever be replaced by Media Center PCs. I just said that I think they're better when done right. I've iterated numerous times that HTPCs aren't for everyone.

    HTPCs aren't going to be used by the average consumer. They just want a dumb box that can record and playback TV.

    You do realize that the X-Box 360 is also used as a Windows Media Center Extender, right?

    You keep implying that I've indicated that Media Center PCs are somehow going to dominate the market when I've never said any such thing. My only argument is that a properly configured HTPC with the right hardware can easily outperform a Tivo. The average consumer will probably never use an HTPC because it's not something that's plug and play right out of the box, although there have been numerous attempts at marketing such devices in the past that enjoyed only lukewarm success.
     
  14. May 26, 2011 #94 of 177
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    Boy do you have egg on your face. Because, I built it all myself and it's all highly rated and well reviewed components. And I have 15 years experience building my own PCs so, I promise you, there's not a thing you can tell me here that I don't already know.

    So, try again with inventing made up reasons why my scenario is invalid.

    Exactly. So, what you mean is "Yes, Grakthis, you are absolutely right about everything." Good. So why are there so many words after this when you're telling me right here that I am right?

    And not letting your HTPC constantly update is an invitation for viruses. Or maybe you don't use yours for Hulu? Because, that's flash. And flash has to be updated or it gives you viruses.

    False. I write code for a living. This is blatantly, absolutely, false with no defense or argument that could possibly support it. You should stop making things up and lying to people.

    Nope. Try again.

    So, now you need a special PC built to be an HTPC with an SSD and a passive cooling system ($$$$$$$) AND you need a server to stream from AND you still haven't said a word about digital tuners or cable card support... I mean, I can get a streaming box for under 100 dollars and it doesn't need to be an HTPC. You have heard of the XBox, right? The PS3? PlayOn?

    That's great... and for the rest of us who don't turn on our home theatre just to watch Jeopardy, we don't want to hear the fans on our PC running.

    And calling anything rack mounted "slightly louder" than a TiVo is like calling Godzilla "slightly larger" than a gecko. That's ridiculous. But, feel free to prove me wrong, take an audio recording of each and let's see how they sound. Give us a baseline noise in the background to compare to.

    Ok, I stopped right here. Because as soon as you said that, well, let's just say your opinions on technology became invalid.

    So, in summary, yes, I am fully aware that HTPCs can be built and they can be stable and they can be under $1200...

    IFF you don't mind spending hours and hours researching hardware compatibility, driver compatibility and then you don't mind custom building it and then you don't mind supporting it for years afterwards and you don't mind it having a limited lifetime and you don't mind not getting any support for it etc etc etc.

    Which, is why I said, HTPCs are not going to compete with TiVos and CC DVRs till a third party offers an all-in-one solution, off the shelf, with support. Which, is literally being worked on, but it isn't out yet.

    Get your head out of the sand and wake up to the reality of the average user. They don't care that it's a driver problem or a hardware problem or a bad system. They just care that it DOESN'T WORK VERY WELL. The End.

    I hate Apple, but there are lessons to be learned from them. Things must work.
     
  15. May 26, 2011 #95 of 177
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    You're even more wrong than he is.

    People are not discarding windows. People are supplementing their windows PCs with mobile devices and smart appliances to add new technologies to their lives. They are not replacing their PCs.

    Windows 7 is a dominant OS by all measures and standards.

    I wish people posting on this forum would not talk about technologies they obviously know nothing about. Stick to what you know, kids.
     
  16. May 26, 2011 #96 of 177
    larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

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    I can only agree for right now. Whether Windows or XBMC or something else, we are heading into a time when a full featured computer is connected to our TVs and we will not be dependent on which app that particular hardware maker wants us to have access to. We'll have access to anything we want (Hulu+, Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, etc) when we want it and are willing to pony up for it.
     
  17. May 26, 2011 #97 of 177
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    wow, my TiVo DVRs only run for months on end with no issues :p
     
  18. May 26, 2011 #98 of 177
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    and a ferrari will outperform most any car sold. You really do not have a specific point here and likely that is hat leads to these discussions you get pulled into.

    Most consumers are not even compelled to get a cable company DVR. Heck most folks would not even buy a 50$ VCR
     
  19. May 26, 2011 #99 of 177
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    OK, so we've definitely established that you're a know-it-all and you can't learn anything new because you already know it.:D I learn something new everyday and I'm not afraid to admit it.

    I'd respond but I'm laughing too hard at the moment.:rolleyes:

    I don't use my HTPC to access the internet except perhaps for obtaining guide data updates. I don't use any online streaming services because most of them are simply inferior in quality to what I can get from NetFlix (i.e., Blu-Ray discs) and other sources (RedBox, torrents, etc.). I do, however, use an anti-virus program on my HTPC and keep it updated. FYI - I do update my PC, but I pick and choose which updates I allow to be installed. I also do regular backups so I can restore my system to a stable condition if an update goes awry. I've lost count how many times I've had to restore the system after performing a Windows update or after installing a new driver.

    You obviously don't visit the same forums I do. I'm not saying that all Windows updates will cause problems, but there are countless incidents where many of them do.

    Not so special. Mini-iTX systems are not all that expensive and are getting to be quite popular. There are lots of streaming boxes out there and I have used a few of them. I just don't particularly care for streaming services in general. What would you like me to say about digital tuners and cablecard support that I haven't already said before? I was simply addressing the issues you brought up. I personally use an SSD for the OS but a regular SATA drive for all my recordings.

    My HTPC stays on 24/7 and I barely hear any fans when the room is dead quiet. When my surround system is in operation I can't even tell the PC is in the room.

    The case is a rackmount design. It's not mounted in a rack, if that's what you're thinking. I use quiet fans and other quiet components recommended by sites like silentpcreview.com. Building a quiet PC isn't hard.

    And you obviously know far more on the subject than me. I'm just expressing an opion based on 20+ years of building my own PCs. I'm not a fan of SoundBlaster products. A sound card is completely unnecessary with today's motherboard designs. Most of them have integrated audio and many have HD video. The idea is to bitstream the digital audio to an external processor and then route it to the analog components in your home theater system. Some folks prefer to use something like the Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe to provide an analog output to their HT components. I prefer to keep everything in the digital domain as long as possible.

    You must have missed the part where I mentioned that the work in this area has already been done for you. Check out forums like the Home Theater Computer section of the AVSForums or missingremote.com and you'll find pre-configured systems aplenty that have been built and tested and found to work just fine.

    Apparently you've been living in the dark ages when it comes to HTPCs. Windows Media Center was originally released as a special edition to Windows XP. You could only get it with preconfigured turnkey systems. The same was true for the original ATi DCT cablecard tuners in that you could only get one if it was bundled with a pre-built PC. Pre-built Media Center PCs have been around since at least 2005. They just never made much of a dent in the mainstream consumer market. You'd only find them in exclusive Home Theater salons and similar specialty stores. I think even Best Buy and Circuit City sold Media Center PCs built by HP and others.

    I guess you're more interested in going off on a rant instead of actually reading anything I've previously posted. I have stated that the average consumer is not likely to be someone that would use an HTPC. It's a niche product that's geared more towards the enthusiast who is more apt to be able to deal with issues like hardware problems or driver issues. They're not for everyone.

    And what lesson would that be? In order to have a working system you must buy a box built to a configuration that cannot be updated? PC's are flawed, but they allow you freedom to build a system the way you want, not the way some company tells you it must be built. I'm also not a fan of Apple for this very reason. FWIW, I built a Hackintosh a while back just to see if I could get it to work. It works fine, but I just never use it.
     
  20. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    So do my PCs. I just didnt want to brag.:p
     

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