Who else is ready to jump?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by eric23, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Mar 7, 2006 #81 of 380
    childe

    childe Tivoer since 11/2000

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    Leeds, UK

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    I've will confess I have recently begun to wonder how long Tivo will continue to serve my needs. It remains the best gadget I have ever bought, by a long way. However, I know that I will eventually want to migrate to HD. At that point Tivo will have to go. The only question for me is, when? My expectation (which is always subject to change) is in 2-3 years by when my investment in my current Sony 36" CRT TV will have paid for istself and I will feel justified buying a larger HD flat screen. By then I am hoping a 42" HD LCD will be around £500.

    So for me, the real key driver is the price of 42" HD LCDs. Once they are affordable, and I feel I have had enough use from my current Sony, I will probably jump ship. Until then I will definitely stick with Tivo. Someone suggested Tivo might be past its best, but the same could have been said of Mohammad Ali when he won his 3rd world championship. He was still the best compared to everyone else. For me there is no viable alternative to jump to. I value the Tivo exclusive features too highly, and with the number of repeat showings available, the singe tuner is not too big an issue.
     
  2. Mar 7, 2006 #82 of 380
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    Because of the importance in maintaining flexible and persistent season passes, Windows MCE is the only real alternative to TiVo at the moment and, unless I've missed something, not one that is currently supporting broadcast HD content.

    Of course, the problem with Windows MCE is that the hardware platform wasn't designed for low-cost media centres, and is still relatively expensive when compared to a TiVo. Now if somebody were to bring out a low-cost hardware platform with a dedicated software system that was designed for the job, they could call it ...



    ... a TiVo. :eek:
     
  3. Mar 7, 2006 #83 of 380
    eric23

    eric23 New Member

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    Jan 15, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    So who in the UK hacker community is going to take up the challenge of taking a US Series 2 software image, converting it to PAL, making it fully compatible with HD, capable of recording two inputs at the same time, make it work with the XMLTV open source project instead of having to use a subscription for listings, create a great web portal for scheduling recordings, and work on TiVoToGo functionality for those of us with portable devices?! ;) ;)

    Oh hang on, I think I might have broken just about every rule in the book about forbidden topics of conversation! LOL
     
  4. Mar 7, 2006 #84 of 380
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    Broadcast, can't be arsed with filesharing as a rule.

    looking at my last few days viewing I've watched several hours of live rugby (HD on Sky Sports), the Planet Earth thingy (HD on the BBC), and a couple of episodes of Bones and Cold Case (HD on Sky One). Only a Top Gear compilation and Casualty for the Mrs would have been in SD - and as the BBC will shortly be all HD I won't have to wait very long for them!
     
  5. Mar 7, 2006 #85 of 380
    AMc

    AMc Active Member

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    Mar 22, 2002
    East of England

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    Rejoining the thread for a moment....
    I really feel that broadcast TV is only going to be a necessity for a couple more years.
    Fast broadband is likely to make Video on Demand a more viable option than multichannel broadcast TV unless you're a continous channel surfer.
    The need by the content producers to address the audiences being leeched by illegal file sharing are likely to force them into licencing their content.

    At the moment I have an SD source (Telewest) and SD recorder (Tivo) and an SD display (32" CRT).

    My Tivo is essentially a clunky video on demand machine - clunky in that it has to download its programmes in realtime at scheduled intervals not in the way it works. I use it as VOD and watch when I want and what I want. If I were able to access the same programmes from a central server for a modest per view cost then I would do that and move the storage to 'managed hosting' at Telewest (or whereever).

    Admittedly archiving is a weak point but as it stands I buy what little content I want to keep (West Wing, movies) on legit DVD and I expect I will do that with Blueray or HD DVD in future.

    For now Tivo is the best option for me and its paid for. My next step may be a completely different way of accessing TV content. Who knows perhaps Tivo are secretly developing the VOD to beat all VOD (hollow laugh).
     
  6. Mar 7, 2006 #86 of 380
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    I'm a bit out of touch, Stuart.

    I still thought that it was restricted to not much more than a movie channel, and a football channel. :eek:

    Does this mean that you're moving away from Windows MCE towards SkyHD+ ?
     
  7. Mar 7, 2006 #87 of 380
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    I'm not convinced of that in the near future.

    We are still severely restricted by slow ADSL upload speeds, and services like SkyByBroadband are relying on file-sharing systems. Because of the speed differentials, only a small proportion of people supplying content will be able to view it at high-speeds.

    e.g. If 100 people leave their PC's switched on to supply content, they could only supply 50 people who want to watch their content at a maximum of 512Kbps. Given that you'll be lucky if enough of them have a requested programme on disk, then you're probably talking a lot less. It works for a very popular programme, but not for a broad spectrum of viewing.

    Also, people like myself who rely on remote access via GoToMyPC, etc, need the maximum upload capacity, and couldn't act as content suppliers. Also, a lot of people wouldn't ever want to act as content suppliers, for security and local performance reasons.

    To me, VOD should be provided by satellite or cable, whereby you put in requests for programmes, and they are broadcast and buffered to your disk in the background, during fixed broadcast slots which are shared by thousands of users. Just like the way your digibox is upgraded. Popular programmes would be repeated more often. The only way that could work via the internet, is if programmes were transmitted by shared multicast; something I doubt that current internet switches could handle, and definitely not something that could be fed by millions of file sharers.
     
  8. Mar 7, 2006 #88 of 380
    ndunlavey

    ndunlavey Just a user, really

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    Fat enough pipes for that must be a long way off yet, I think.
    My sums:
    1 film, compressed reasonably but still at broadcast quality = about 2GB = 16Gb = 16,000Mb
    average film length is about 90 mins = 5400 seconds
    dedicated bandwidth = (16000/5400) = about 3Mbps sustained for 90 minutes

    At today's 50:1 domestic contention ratios, that's a 150Mbps service.
     
  9. Mar 7, 2006 #89 of 380
    ndunlavey

    ndunlavey Just a user, really

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    Although, looking at it another way ....

    If you need 3 Mbps guaranteed for 90 mins, and you have 20:1 contention, and only half of your contention group are streaming at a time, that's only a 30Mbps connection. We're not too far off that now for people very close to exchanges.
     
  10. Mar 7, 2006 #90 of 380
    dialanothernumb

    dialanothernumb New Member

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    Just be aware that (if it is important to you) MCE does not do MHEG, so no DTT subtitles... and no earliy resolution of that.
    Of course the upside is no red button
     
  11. Mar 7, 2006 #91 of 380
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    To date they have announced Sky One, Sky Sports HD, two movie channels, Artsworld, National Geographic and Discovery HD. And there will be the BBC service showing simulcasts of "major events" and repeats of HD stuff like Planet Earth and Rome.

    MCE is still the main system for the house; I don't currently have any HD capable TVs, and I only anticipate buying one in the short term. I'll live with Sky+'s series links for HD stuff, but for the most part MCE's proper TiVo style recordings will be essential for most BBC stuff, C4, More4 etc.

    And with Vista, Sky might just start offering proper satellite tuners for PCs alwing everything to route through MCE - their sister company in the States has already announced that they will do that.
     
  12. Mar 7, 2006 #92 of 380
    sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    SkyByBroadband's peer to peer is a downloading service, not a streaming VoD service. If you watch the Sky content streamed it comes straight from their servers, old style.
     
  13. Mar 8, 2006 #93 of 380
    khadland

    khadland New Member

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    Amen - my parents and SO's parents both have Tivo, hacked with endpad & bigger disks by me. Apart from that it's just a box that takes care of timeshifting so they don;t miss their favourite telly. All of the continual woes and gripes spouted ad nauseam on this forum (such as minor scheduling slips, picture quality, channel lineups, lack of MP3 or whatever whizzbang) just pass them by without making a ripple. They might think about HD when their current TV blows up, and might think about changing Tivo if the box eventually dies or they lose the listings. Both are lifetime subbed - it's a done deal and they are more than happy with it.

    So how many UK Tivo users are like them, and how many are like the self-selecting technophiles that read and contribute to this forum? Remember that the doomsayers here are people that are interested enough in PVR technology to have found this forum, to have read it in the last few days, to have read a thread entitled 'who's ready to jump' and to have researched and experimented with the other options out there.

    As an analogy consider the misery that would be spread among the 'twatted up car' internet community if the main UK exhaust supplier stopped importing the latest and loudest exhausts so large that a family of squirrels could live in them - then consider how much that would bother you or I who have a standard exhaust on our standard cars and don't see the need for more noise or pops and bangs.

    Just my .02
     
  14. Mar 8, 2006 #94 of 380
    JeromeO'Donohoe

    JeromeO'Donohoe New Member

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    May 27, 2002
    Hertfordshire
    I had Telewest once. That should say it all. HORRIBLE company, awful UI on the box, rubbish picture quality. I wonder, where shall they be taking the feed from for the HD channels? it wont be out of the back of Sky's playout system, so i'm thinking that they'll be re-compressing....
     
  15. Mar 8, 2006 #95 of 380
    JeromeO'Donohoe

    JeromeO'Donohoe New Member

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    May 27, 2002
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    hmm. I drive a standard 1.2 honda Jazz...I don't see what that has to do with desiring better quality television. All the shows I watch (quality US television, in the main) is made in High Def with 5.1 audio - why the hell shouldn't I want to see that?
     
  16. Mar 8, 2006 #96 of 380
    thechachman

    thechachman New Member

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    Nov 28, 2004
    S London
    Will readily admit I'm very interested in what SkyHD will bring in the coming years, but I've also picked up two LT subbed boxes this week off another forums site.

    Given the plasma and upstairs LCD are SD screens, not overly concerned about HD for another 24-36 months if not longer and mode0 / 720x576 with a high bitrate allows the Tivo to view and stores artifact and flash free for us. Having all three networked and cooperating with conflicts and such is a dream really.

    Have a feeling the scramble to DTT and such may slow widescale HD takeup. Are there even any HD screens with inbuilt FV tuners available ?
     
  17. Mar 8, 2006 #97 of 380
    JeromeO'Donohoe

    JeromeO'Donohoe New Member

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    I will just point out, for the sake of it, that HD material looks much better than SD material even when scaled down. Observe how much better most of the football on MOTD looks this season, HD sourced as it is, in the main.
     
  18. Mar 8, 2006 #98 of 380
    cwaring

    cwaring VM Tivo User

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    Knaresboroug...
    No, simply says that you weren't happy.

    They've been fine with me.
    I haave Tivo so never used it ;)

    Again, personal opinion. I think it's fine but then I do wear glasses :eek::D

    Anyway, it's all subjective and also OT for this thread, so we'd better leave it there.
     
  19. Mar 8, 2006 #99 of 380
    thechachman

    thechachman New Member

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    Nov 28, 2004
    S London
    It does indeed, but shelling out a wedge for an HD panel and a new HD box for the sake of 7 or 8 channels makes no sense to me (or many others I suspect) in the near future.

    As long as most of us have SD displays and the majority of content is broadcast in SD I see no reason for us to question the value or usefulness of our Tivos ...
     
  20. Mar 8, 2006 #100 of 380
    mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Jun 2, 2005
    Lancashire, UK
    Funny you should mention the telewest UI, as with a tivo its something you NEVER use.

    My tivo has been from Telewest to NTL, to sky, then sky+ (!)
    then freeview and now back to telewest.

    Since tivo is the "front end", the interface didn't change at all when I changed
    providers - no annoyances with different UIs.

    I personally find that great ;)
     

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