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Drop Dish, move to Tivo?

799 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  classicsat

I'm currently a Dish customer with 942 PVR but watch mostly digital OTA stuff and FoxNews ... plus I only have 1 HD output. $60 seems like alot to pay for this, so I'm considering switching to Tivo. I would purchase 2 of the 180/20 hour Tivo HD boxes (I have 2 HDTV's in my house) and would pre-pay on the 3 year plan so I would be spending about $15 per month (+ aquisition costs for the boxes).

I would only use the Tivo boxes to record digital OTA stuff (no cable) and would get my FoxNews stuff from FoxNews web site.

Some questions:

1) With the digital OTA only would I only get 20 hours of record time with this Tivo box (even if the programming is SD)? I think yes because the Tivo box needs to record the entire ATSC signal. Am I correct?

With the Dish 942 any OTA stuff (SD or HD) takes about 5 Gig per hour.

2) Does Tivo do a good job with the program guide for the OTA programming? 14 days out?

3) Will Tivo to go compress HD stuff down to a smaller size so you could fit more hours on the portable player? Pocketdish will not allow any HD or OTA stuff to be sent to the portable player. To Dish, all the OTA stuff is "HD" no matter what it is.

4) Can the 180/20 Tivo box record 2 digital OTA channels at the same time? Does it have 2 ATSC tuners?

5) Can the 180/20 Tivo box record 1 ATSC and 1 NTSC OTA channel at the same time?

I know the current Tivo 180/20 box does not support Tivo to go ... but it's coming next month according to this forum.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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1. It will only record 20 hours of HD programming, correct. But it is easily upgradable to a larger hard disk capacity if you need that.

2. Certainly.

3. The HD tivo does not yet have the ability to send programs anywhere, but this is supposed to be coming in the next month or so via a software update. Internally, it does not do any compression (as this would cause loss of signal resolution).

4. Yes.

5. Yes.

Thanks for the response. Follow-up on the Tivo to go:

I understand from your response that no further compression is possible internal to the Tivo box. I also understand that the Tivo to go is a 2 step process (move to PC, then convert and move to portable device). Question:

1) When you convert and move the program to the portable device, does the Tivo to go software allow you to do further compression as well as conversion?

My objective is to take an ATSC/MPEG2 encoded program that might be 5 Gig for 1 hour program ... and compress this to less than 1 Gig (which would be fine for a portable player) ... so I could get 30 hours or so onto my portable player.

Will the Tivo to go software running on my PC allow me to do this?


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For digital sources, the Tivo directly records the digital stream, as broadcast.
Only analog channels are encoded internally before recording to the HDD. You can adjust recording quality of analog channels.

When you convert for a portable device with Tivo Desktop, it does convert it to a resolution appropriate to the portable player, which will create smaller file sizes for sure.

Does anybody have any experience as to how much the Tivo Desktop would compress an HD program (or ATSC), which I estimate to be about 5 Gig per hour, to for a Creative Zen portable player?

Any experience or data in this area would be appreciated.


Since those features are not yet enabled on the TiVo HD boxes, nobody that can say has experience with with transfers and conversions from the HD TiVos.
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