Why even use TiVo To Go?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Jon1, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    It's harder than a soundcard, but not at all difficult. :)

    Follow the interactive instructions in the Weaknees Interactive guide linked to in the upgrade section of this forum, and you should be fine. They are very detailed and easy to follow (I just upgraded mine for the second time). It's basically these steps:

    - take out the drive(s) from your TiVo
    - burn a boot CD with upgrade software
    - turn off your pc, open it up and disconnect the current computer drive(s)
    - connect the old TiVo drive(s) + the new TiVo drive(s) to the PC
    - put in the boot CD, start the PC, type one command line, wait
    - turn off the PC, put the new TiVo drives back in the TiVo

    It is a piece of cake. :)
     
  2. Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    I hope you are kidding :eek:
     
  3. jkalnin

    jkalnin Baad Spellor

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    Aren't the HD Kits from weaknees already formated and ready to install?

    I guess you are describing the way to do it using a regular store bought harddrive. I'd spend the few extra bucks and buy the easy to install kit.

    ***Quotes all from weaknees FAQ section
     
  4. beejay

    beejay Member

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    I was originally a skeptic about TTG...after all I have a perfectly good TV to watch shows on.

    But shortly after we transferred the first show (just to test speed and function), my wife say "Does this mean I could TiVo Y&R and then transfer it to my laptop and take it to work to watch during lunch the next day?" and my son said "Hey, I could transfer some movies and watch them when we are driving somewhere on vacation".

    So...

    I still like my TV, but I think we are going to be doing a lot of TTG.
     
  5. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Jon1, :D, no I wasn't kidding! I find the procedure very easy. Anyone who has done any computer hardware upgrades would probably be able to do a TiVo upgrade using a standard drive pretty easily.

    But, like jkalnin points out, you can buy the more expensive pre-formatted drives from weaknees too. Then you'd only have to open up the TiVo and replace the drive(s) there, and not worry about the PC part. But IMO, it's worth the few extra minutes to do it myself, especially since the difference in price for a standard 300GB drive and a weaknees drive is quite substantial (I would not describe it as a few dollars). Your milage may vary. :)
     
  6. Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    Can't you just simply add more hard drive to the PC and just transfer the TiVo recordings to the PC?
     
  7. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

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    Corner of...
    You can do that, but then you have to spend time transfering shows back and forth between the two. Not much of a hassle, but maybe more than you would want to do all the time.

    Trust me, doing the upgrade yourself is not that big of a deal. My first drive I bought from Weaknees and it took me all of 15 minutes to install from the time I received the box at the front door to powering up. Since then I've done the do-it-yourself route for a friend, which took us about an hour and a half. It only took that long because I had close to zero experience inside a computer before that.

    -Dylan
     
  8. jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

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    Some people want to be able to use their tivo to watch or record something else while transfering a show to their pc.

    Never figured why some folks just can't quite grasp that idea.
    :confused:
     
  9. audiocrawford

    audiocrawford New Member

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    I was going to post something similar.

    The transfers are done in the background, and don't require me to tend to my TiVo like a child, forcing me to watch what I am trying to make a DVD out of. I also can't cut out commercials, and the quality of the DVDs is going to be worse (since you have to make an external analog connection from the TiVo to the DVD recorder). And, chances are, if I am home and around the TiVo enough to attend to it and do it manually, I'm not going to want to tie up both my DVD recorder AND my TiVo at the same time; what am I gonna do, watch live TV??? ;)

    TTG isn't perfect - it has too many bugs and needs more features to interact with the TiVo beyond just transfering, but it makes a TiVo complete in my eyes. I think it's why I have no desire at this point for a 2nd TiVo, or even to upgrade my 140hr unit with a larger capacity. I keep my current shows on my TiVo for watching, and anything I want to save I transfer via TTG. Every few days I take five minutes and set up my transfers, let it go. All in the background.

    What works for one is going to obviously be different for another, but I can see many, many reasons one would choose TTG over a manual, analog connection with a set-top DVD recorder. Especially those cheapie models, when I've tried most of them and their performance leaves a lot to be desired. I love my higher-end RCA model (it has a built-in VCR, so it makes BEAUTIFUL DVD copies of old VHS tapes), but even using an S-video connection I still get a siginifigantly better picture transfering via TTG and buring off the PC.

    AC
     
  10. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    that is the beauty of it all right. and TTG looks to be getting a decent update next year to make it easier to use
     
  11. samo

    samo New Member

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    You can record while saving to DVD and as for watching TV while recording the simplest solution is time management. Most people sleep at night, just push record before you go to bed. And if you only have one TiVo then networking features are almost useless to you anyhow. Of course problem goes away altogether if you have multiple DVRs. But hey, if you have fun transferring Gigs of data to your computer just to burn a DVD of the movie, by all means - enjoy. :)
     
  12. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Well, the only way that 1400 shows could have gotten to my Server was via TivoToGo. Burning DVDs makes it hard to find stuff. They really are a pretty antiquated storage medium for video.

    A 300GB hard drive will set you back just $79. I put them in removable racks so I can slip one in or out of the server pretty easily. Some folks llike to put their HDs in external cases. It's a little more expensive and makes them more portable between machines, but I don't need that.
     
  13. TiVo Steve

    TiVo Steve New Member

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    Seattle WA.
    I use the TTG feature as talked about in this thread. Usually for a show that turns out to be better than anticipated. I then edit out the commercials/pledge breaks on my computer and burn to a DVD.
    I also use standalone DVD Recorders for recording shows (in real time, not a TiVo transfer) that I know I want to keep. If I use a DVD-RAM or DVD+RW/-RW disk I can edit out the commercials later (either on the DVD recorders or on my computer).
    As we all are aware, there may be nothing worth recording for days, then 4 shows on at the SAME time...

    A very Happy New Year to all :)
     
  14. samo

    samo New Member

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    That I have to agree with. I have 100+ Beta/VHS/8mm home movie tapes. I bought my first DVD recorder with an intention to transfer them all to DVD, but after transferring 15-20 tapes I quickly realized that except of preserving old tapes I'm not getting much in terms of the convenience. Media server is a way to go if you have a huge amount of recordings.
     
  15. Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    Can an external hard drive be plugged into a PC via a USB port?
     
  16. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Yeah- USB is the interface to nearly all external drives for PCs.

    This allows you to quickly switch the drive to another (ahem) server. ;) A 300GB drive allows you to store many more shows than the number of dvds with the same storage capacity, because there is no wasted space per disk as you have with the Dvds. No hassles with bad burns, very fast copy.

    But the biggest advantage is the simple ability to find movies quickly, because they all appear in one alphabetical Now Playing list on the Tivo. Dynamic NTFS volumes with folders spanning multiple drives means that a TivoToGoBack folder can have virtually limitless capacity (now 16Terabytes using the maximum size HDD's available today.) Using MPEG4 format files (that CC Tivos can puportedly play), that means the capacity of one PC is roughly 14,000 feature length movies. Compare that to Comcast's 5000 cartoons and soaps on VOD, and you get an idea why the carriers have a wee bit of a problem, even if Tivo stays in one place with 2006 technology. Yet they will continue to advance the goalposts.

    Take a look at DaveZatz's site for some further ideas concerning the limitations of .tivo file format.
     
  17. audiocrawford

    audiocrawford New Member

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    Personally, I still prefer DVD for long-term archiving.

    Hard drives die. Chances are, when it does (and it will, there is no "maybe" here), you've just lost everything (unless you pay thousands and thousands of dollars to a data recovery service for the chance to save some of it). You could have a mirror on another HD, but you'd have to maintain double storage to do so.

    You can't hand a hard drive to someone to watch for the night and return back to you.

    There are millions, if not billions, of DVD capable players out there, not to mention billions of DVDs themselves that people are going to want to watch. The technology isn't going away, in spite (and, probably because of), those new High Def disc based systems they are trying to push on a public that does not want them simply because they don't need it.

    There are many great DVD storage systems out there that can take the chore out of storage, and that's really what this is largely about. I'd be willing to bet I can grab a DVD off the shelf and have it playing just as quick as someone could navigate the Now Playing menu to your PC (which, unfortunately, doesn't allow folders for TTG content), scroll endlessly until you find the program, and get it playing (not to mention TiVo can't always do it in real time).

    Now, that said, I have a large TiVo media server. However, I always make a nice DVD of anything that I wish to keep "forever". I simply can't in good conscience tell anyone to go exclusively to HD-based video, because HD are not going to last as long as properly cared for DVDs. Personally, I have three "levels" of programming :

    1) On the TiVo. I keep nothing on the TiVo permanently. This is probably why I don't need an upgraded version. If it's something I'm going to want to keep after I've watched it, it goes to #2.

    2) On my media server via TTG. This is where I keep seasons worth of shows that I know I will like to watch, or travel channel specials and the like. Stuff that I don't want right now, but will in the near future.

    3) DVD. Anything that I wish to preserve, anything that I woud be heartbroken if my PC took a shock and my HD died tomorrow, or anything I'd like to share with friends (not going to lug over a computer to watch an episode of "Gilmore Girls" at a friends home).

    DVDs aren't going anywhere. You will be able to buy a device to play them for decades in the future. HD storage has it's uses and it's unique benefits, but to me it's more of a means to an end, instead of the end itself.

    AC
     
  18. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    I use time managemenjt for pulling shows to my PC via TTG. I just start them in the evening when I am done with the PC. And if you have one TiVo and one PC then networking features are useful, also there is the Yahoo HME features available over broadband that makes networking features useful as well.

    If you are happy using an attached DVD recorder then that works for you, but the same arguments can be used for either method. There is no one right way but the networking features and HME/TTG are very useful on a TiVo for a growing number of TiVo users. Look for even better implementations of these features in 2006
     
  19. Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    I am contemplating buying an external hard drive for this purpose. When I connect it, can it be set up to be dedicated to JUST TiVo files? I wouldn want to have other files and/or programs on it.
     
  20. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    you can put files on the extrenal drive and then add shortcuts to to them in the official TiVo directory on the PC.

    that way TTG still works without the drive adn you just get file not found for those particular files - plus you can then use folders on the extrnal to organize things there. just still no folders on the TiVo directory
     

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