Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by thebeast1190, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

    Apr 2, 2005


    My wife and kids like our htpc. It works fine, but does do a few odd things.

    Reboots. I have had a couple in 10 months. One time I was gone for 3 weeks this summer and missed an episode of Breaking Bad and had to purchase it. Not sure what happened. But looks like WMC crashed and didn't come back up.

    I got a BSOD once. And got 2 or 3 errors where essentially Windows said my hard drive can't be found. Reboot took care of it.

    I still get false error messages popping up. They come in waves and disappear for weeks and then start coming again. They either say the show you want to record is copy protected or has low signal and can't be recorded. Meanwhile the shows are being recorded just fine.

    An annoying random minor interface error is when I delete a show after watching it, WMC takes me back to the list of tv shows, but not before sometimes suddenly moving to/scrolling down the list to some random location a few screens away in the list of shows.

    WMCs season pass list is a bit buried in menus. No direct way to get to it.

    But all in all WMC is way more responsive, has a great tv guide layout, records what you want recorded, works great with a 360 extender, ... I also put some of my music and movies on there. And have iTunes on there as well which can talk to iTunes on my other computers.

    If TiVo gets more responsive I would consider going back to it. On the other hand I am probably going to get another extender and then let my htpc do double duty as a 2nd pc for the family and see how that goes. As that will only increase the value of the setup. Although there are downsides there as well. You are running an extender and the pc at the same time. And a 360 extender isn't that power efficient. The responsiveness isn't as good as WMC hooked up to the tv directly although seems better than Tivo at least compared to navigating any menus in Tivo.
  2. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Reboots could be caused by automatic updates if you have it set up that way. Otherwise, I'd say you've got some instability in your setup that's causing unwanted reboots. You might want to consider a fresh install from scratch. At the very least try uninstalling any drivers and update them with the latest versions. Then, try repeating WMC TV setup and see if that helps.

    I get similar error messages from time to time, but never missed a recording. There is apparently a delay between the time WMC polls for available tuners before the tuner actually initiates and acknowledges that it's ready. I would love to see a fix for this, but it's more of a nuisance than a problem.

    The WMC season pass list is easily accessed from the recorded TV list by going to the "Add Recording" option at the top of the list and then selecting "Series" on the To Do list. My Harmony One remote has a lot of menu buttons on the LCD display that give me direct access to a number of menu items, but I don't recall if that's one of them. You could probably create a macro to take you to the list with a single button press.
  3. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

    Apr 2, 2005
    NO automatic updates. And yep something is causing it. :) It doesn't happen often enough for me to redo everything in hopes of it fixing the problem at least for the time being. I mean it has only happened 4 times in 10 months. One was a BSOD. 2 times I turned on the tv to a hard drive not found screen.

    And then something happened this summer when I was gone as it looks like Media Center wasn't on when I came back. And there was a gap of a few days before my return where it didn't record a show.

    But not like my Premiere didn't reboot or freeze a few times while I had it..... Series 2 was rock solid though. Not sure I ever had a reboot.

    Yep not a show stopper. But it does get annoying. Luckily it just doesn't happen that often.

    Yeah but not as handy as Tivo. There's a few minor things like this that are more accessible on tivo.
  4. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

    Apr 2, 2005
    Another difference is how each system lists your recorded shows.

    Tivo lists your show folders according to the date of the latest episode.

    WMC lists either recordings by date or alphabetically by show folder.

    Pick your poison I guess. Switching from Tivo I wanted WMC to do it like Tivo did. Now I guess I'm used to the way WMC does it and there are advantages to it.

    You don't have to go in and out of folders to find today's recordings. Or if you have lots of shows then you can easily find the show alphabetically.

    Also you can rapidly switch between WMC's 2 ways of listing shows. The option is right there on the screen. It is just another list like a tv show list, but always displayed above.

    Tivo had another way of displaying shows if I remember right. I don't remember it being very accessible relatively speaking, and forget if it changed on the Premiere.
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002


    Folders can be sorted by date or by name. And with either sorting method, grouping can be on or off.

    I prefer mine to be sorted by date and in groups. But I'm sure there are people that prefer it to be sorted alphabetically.
  6. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    IIRC, you can also list recorded shows by the original air date in WMC. If your recording was a rerun it will appear at the end of the list as opposed to the beginning if the original air date occurred before the first recorded program. Otherwise, it will end up somewhere in the middle. Personally, I prefer to list them accoring to the date recorded. I tend to watch the oldest shows first until I get caught up with the latest recordings. I'm a bit anal about watching recorded TV shows before watching anything else I have socked away, like movies on my server. I try not to have more than 6 or 7 days of TV shows backlogged at any time.
  7. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    Malvern, PA
    This past weekend I decided I'd put my little Dell Mini 9 to use. In the years since I got it for free with a Dell laptop I purchased, it's gone from the bees knees to paperweight. With iPads, nook tablet and iPhones bouncing around the house, it's tiny screen and keyboard became liabilities.

    So as an experiment, I installed the Ubuntu version of XBMC on it...and I'm pretty impressed. It won't replace my TiVo by any stretch of the imagination (as it's not a full fledged HTPC, lacking a tuner or processor worth a darn)...but as a media streaming device for my stored media, it's pretty boss. It's much more responsive than my TiVo, 360 or PS3 for gettting AVIs, MKVs, MP4s or other media off of the file server.

    It's too weak to compete against the Netflix, Youtube and downloaded Revision 3 content on the TiVo, of course. And lacking a tuner and cablecard, it can't record anything. It also lacks anything resembling a decent resolution output (800x600 being what I use). It boots in less than 20 seconds though and is super-quick to navigate and is controllable from my iPhone, which is a nice thing.

    Overall it's the best streaming box I have in the house...but it took me three hours to get it set up. :)
  8. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Yeah, sorted by date in groups is by far the most useful day to day¬Ö But I also use sorting alphabetically to find a specific show.. Can be very useful when one has pages and pages and pages of content.
  9. blue_ironman

    blue_ironman New Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    I just got an HTPC set up with an indoor OTA antenna and Hauppauge 2250 as a test drive. So far, I've been more than pleased with how everything looks and works. I'm not an expert when it comes to PCs, but I'm not a rookie either. (Think someone who can install RAM, but not build the thing from scratch.) I was amazed at how quickly I had my stuff up and running. Ordered a pretty basic Dell (with enough RAM and HD space), the antenna, the tuner card, a wireless mouse & keyboard, and WMC remote via Amazon Prime on a Wednesday evening. I found it on my porch Friday when I got home from work, and I had everything up and running by the time I went to bed. I should also mention we had company that night, and I managed to find time to cook dinner and entertain them in the meantime.

    One week in, it's recorded all the shows it was supposed to and in very good quality. It's easy to use, and I've now gotten it linked to my main desktop with lots of media and extended to my XBox. I'm flying high.

    Now, I just have to decide if I'm going to take the plunge and see if I want Comcast. We're able to drop our Centurylink triple play (phone, DSL, Directv) and go just to internet, so I want faster cable internet in order to stream to the HTPC. But then with package deals, it's not much more per month to get my sports channels back....

    Thankfully there's lots of good info on here about Comcast and Cablecards, but it also looks like I could be signing myself up for a lot of headaches. I am confident the PC can handle it, just not so sure about Comcast's billing department.
  10. tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    The Ceton Companion app just came out it will let control windows media center from anywhere with your phone. I dont think you need a ceton card to use it. but it cost 5.00


  11. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    I downloaded it to my Motorola RAZR the minute I heard about it several days ago.;) Now I just need to set it up on my HTPC.

    Trust me, if you can install RAM then you can build a PC from scratch. It's mostly a matter of mounting the CPU and cooler, installing the RAM, mounting the motherboard to the case, installing the PSU, installing a hard drive(s) and optical drive, plugging in cards and then plugging in a bunch of wires. If you can handle a screwdriver then you can build a PC.

    Connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor and boot that puppy up. Go into the BIOS and make a few selections for proper boot sequence and possibly a setting or two (there are lots of guides that will tell you what needs to be configured), insert the Windows installation disc into the optical drive, save your settings and let it boot to the installation disc. From there it's just a matter of installing software.

    FYI - only install one hard drive initially or you may have problems getting Windows 7 to install properly. Once you've gotten past the OS installation you can add as many drives as you want.

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