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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if the upcoming cablecard HD Tivo will be able to control standalone HD DirecTV receivers via a serial connection or IR connection?

Since DirecTV has dropped Tivo, I will not be purchasing any new DVR from DirecTV in the future. I love my Tivo!

Instead what I'd ideally like to have is a dual tuner standalone HD Tivo and two standalone HD DirecTV receivers. That way I can get the best of both worlds. I'll have a fully functioning Tivo with all its new features, plus two tuners with HD content.

Yes, I'd be converting the DirecTV HD signal in order to record it on the Tivo and would likely be losing some picture quality in the process, but I'm willing to give that up in order to keep two tuners.

Does anyone know if such a setup will be possible with the upcoming equipment?
 

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Hobbit said:
Does anyone know if the upcoming cablecard HD Tivo will be able to control standalone HD DirecTV receivers via a serial connection or IR connection?

Since DirecTV has dropped Tivo, I will not be purchasing any new DVR from DirecTV in the future. I love my Tivo!

Instead what I'd ideally like to have is a dual tuner standalone HD Tivo and two standalone HD DirecTV receivers. That way I can get the best of both worlds. I'll have a fully functioning Tivo with all its new features, plus two tuners with HD content.

Yes, I'd be converting the DirecTV HD signal in order to record it on the Tivo and would likely be losing some picture quality in the process, but I'm willing to give that up in order to keep two tuners.

Does anyone know if such a setup will be possible with the upcoming equipment?
Nope directv and dish are exempt from the cablecard "law"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well that just sucks. :(

Maybe I should start looking at Dish instead of DirecTV. Maybe the folks running Dish aren't stupid enough to prevent Tivos from working with their satellite receivers like Murdoch is doing.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, then, maybe I'm not making myself clear about what I'm talking about.

I'm not looking for a integrated dual tuner HD Tivo that can accept satellite inputs like the DirecTivo does. I know that will never happen now that Murdoch is running things.

Originally I had a standlone S1 Tivo hooked to a standlone DirecTV receiver. I used the S-video output of the DirecTV receiver hooked to the Tivo to get the audio and video. The Tivo changed channels on the receiver via a serial wire connection.

This setup worked extremely well and only cost a few hundred dollars.

What I am looking for is an updated equivalent of the original setup in the upcoming HD world and one that has dual tuner:

A standalone dual tuner HD Tivo.
Two standalone HD DirecTV receivers.
The units hooked together with the HD equivalent of S-video, whatever that is called.
The Tivo changing channels on the receivers via serial wires (or IR blasters).

The DirecTV receivers will be leased in the future so they will cost only a few dollars a month.

All of the cost will be in the standalone Tivo. If the cablecard HD Tivo already comes with two tuners, then it already has almost everything it needs. The only additional bit needed is the serial control output for changing channels just like it did on the original S1 Tivo. It just has to have two of them. It's got to have something like that anyway, won't it?

I can't see how this would cost thousands of dollars, unless the cablecard Tivo itself will cost that much, which I doubt.

Does this make sense?
 

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The problem is that to record an HD signal, you would need to record from either DVI/HDMI or component. Both of these are uncompressed signals. The equipment needed to compress HD realtime is still out of reach of most people, as you are looking at several thousand bucks.

The reason the HD Directivo and the upcoming series 3 unit are able to handle HD is because they record the already compressed MPEG-2 HD signal as sent by Directv, cable, or you local stations, no compression is necessary.
 

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maharg18 said:
The problem is that to record an HD signal, you would need to record from either DVI/HDMI or component. Both of these are uncompressed signals. The equipment needed to compress HD realtime is still out of reach of most people, as you are looking at several thousand bucks.
I'd guess it is significantly more than that. The last time I recall someone doing a search the realtime HiDefinition encoder that was found was like $40,000.

So cost wise this seems like a non starter until the prices have fallen drastically (which could be close to a decade). And even then you get the hassle of handling controlling two separate HiDef boxes if you want dual tuner (and making sure that the boxes don't accidentally receive each other's commands; always an issue if you stick with IR).
 

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vstone said:
Don't the new HD consumer video cams compress to tape or DVD?
They record a digital stream from CCDs already designed to produce the correct kind of signal.

Have you tried transcoding video on your PC?
Even if you have a dual processor 3+ GHz system, it's just not easy. It's certainly not realtime.

H
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay, I think I'm missing something really basic about HD setups then.

If OTA and cable HD signals are already compressed, then than means that HD TVs must be accepting compressed signals as input, right?

Well, then, wouldn't an HD DirecTV receiver have to output a compressed signal as well so the HD TV could show it just the same as a cable HD signal?

If that's the case, why can't an HD Tivo be stuck in the middle between the compressed output of a DirecTV receiver and the HD TV, just like it can be between the output of an HD cable box and the HD TV?

That's just how you set up any other standalone Tivo - by putting in between the signal source (output of a cable box, etc.) and the TV.

Why is this different for HD setups?

I understand that the new HD DirecTV satellite signals will use a different compression, but that new compression can't be passed on in the signal directly to the HD TV because it has to be able to receive OTA and cable style compression which is different from what you are saying. So the output of the HD DirecTV receiver has to match the way the cable and OTA signals are compressed, I think.

What basic thing about HD setups am I missing here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ah! Thanks, that's what I missing.

I didn't know that the HD Tivo replaced the cable box. That's what the cablecard stuff is all about then. I thought it was just a rule that allowed external boxes to control cable boxes. I didn't realize it was for replacing the cable box itself.

I guess I am really and truly screwed then. No new HD Tivo will be able to record anything from new HD DirecTV, ever, it seems.

So the dilemma is then to use the very poor DVR that DirecTV is now offering, or switch to HD cable and get an HD cablecard Tivo.

Good grief, what a choice: terrible DVR and good HD satellite signals, or great Tivo and terrible HD cable signals (and price). :(

What choices here are other folks making?
 

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As much as I despise Comcast, I will seriously considering going back to them when the Series 3 comes out.

Also, concerning HD quality, Directv is widely regarded as having the worst quality at this point due to compression and downrezzing. Hopefully that will change someday, but for the time being most HD on cable should be superior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I see. Around here it is Time Warner instead of Comcast. I'll have to check out what they are offering now.

I admit the last I looked at Time Warner cable was many years ago when I got fed up with ever increasing prices, no additional channels, and terrible quality SD signals and switched to DirecTV. Maybe they have made big improvements since then. I can only hope so.

Sounds like I'm going to have to turn in my DirecTV badge and go back to cable.

If this is what Murdoch wanted when he ousted Tivo, then that's what's he's going to get. :D
 

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Hobbit said:
So the dilemma is then to use the very poor DVR that DirecTV is now offering, or switch to HD cable and get an HD cablecard Tivo.
Well, no, not really. Unless you are talking about the HR10-250 being the "very poor DVR", you don't have this as an option. There is no non-TiVo HD DVR for DirecTV yet. --And won't be for a good while most likely. Yes, the R15 is very poor, no doubt. But not by design. It's buggy. When the bugs get worked out, it will be a fantastic box. And that may very well be before the HD version is on the shelves. So you have some time before you really know what your options are. Keep an open mind. The HD DVR DirecTV puts out may not be bad at all...

Ricky

Another thing to note: the only comments I ever see about DirecTV's HD signals are that they suck. Everyone calls them "HD-Lite", and claim that the OTA HD channels look so much better. COnversely, most of the people I know who have HD cable (We're Time Warner around here) are blown away by the quality. YMMV of course, but I wouldn't assume DirecTV=great HD and cable=terrible HD.
 

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Hobbit said:
Ah! Thanks, that's what I missing.

I didn't know that the HD Tivo replaced the cable box. That's what the cablecard stuff is all about then. I thought it was just a rule that allowed external boxes to control cable boxes. I didn't realize it was for replacing the cable box itself.
But based upon the information that I have, it will not replace the cable box completely. Cablecards will not allow PPV purchases and OnDemand viewing, which could be big if you want to use bundled OnDemand like our cable system does with HBO.
 
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