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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a Tivo user for many years. Started with Series 1, went to Series 2, and I'm thinking about moving to Tivo HD, but I have a few questions before I dive in.

1. How are the UI response times for the Tivo HD? This was my biggest complaint with Series 2. The software's become so bloated that there's a 1-3 second pause between every key press. The Series 1 was very snappy, and I'm hoping that the Series 3 systems are this way. Otherwise it's a deal breaker.

2. I currently have a Motorola HD DVR from Comcast. Yes, it's beyond awful, but is there anything (besides VOD) that the Tivo HD can't do that it can?

3. Besides HD and dual tuners, anything noticeably different between this system and the Series 2? Limitations?

Thanks for any insight.
 

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tjkrz said:
1. How are the UI response times for the Tivo HD? This was my biggest complaint with Series 2. The software's become so bloated that there's a 1-3 second pause between every key press. The Series 1 was very snappy, and I'm hoping that the Series 3 systems are this way. Otherwise it's a deal breaker.
If you have a 1-3 second delay with a Series 2, you have some other problem - maybe weak batteries?

There is no such delay with the THD. There are some UI performance improvements that are in the Series 3, but not yet in the THD, but should be soon.

2. I currently have a Motorola HD DVR from Comcast. Yes, it's beyond awful, but is there anything (besides VOD) that the Tivo HD can't do that it can?
You can't order PPV with your remote.

3. Besides HD and dual tuners, anything noticeably different between this system and the Series 2?
TivoToGo and Multiroom Viewing are not currently available on the Tivo HD.

Quality of recording from analog channels is noticeably better on the Tivo HD compared to the Series 2 boxes.
 

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tjkrz said:
1. How are the UI response times for the Tivo HD? This was my biggest complaint with Series 2. The software's become so bloated that there's a 1-3 second pause between every key press. The Series 1 was very snappy, and I'm hoping that the Series 3 systems are this way. Otherwise it's a deal breaker.
The stock software on the Tivo Series3 isn't very responsive. However, Tivo dramatically improved menu and guide responsiveness in the v8.3.x software released back in April.

When you buy a Series3, it usually comes equipped with one-year-old 8.0.x software, so you won't see the improved responsiveness until your box has downloaded and installed the update.

The new $299 TivoHD shipped with the older 8.1.x branch software. It doesn't yet have the 8.3.x software with these performance improvements. Hence, as of today, the TivoHD is not nearly as 'fast' as the Series3, and may not offer the responsiveness you desire. With 8.1.x, there is perhaps a 0.5-1.0 sec delay when navigating menus, but there are no delays whatsoever with DVR functions like pause, instant replay, rewind, fast forward, and 30-sec skip.

The TivoHD is expected to get 8.3.x (or later) this fall. In addition to various optimizations, a big reason for the performance improvement in 8.3.x is the change in indexing:

With 8.1.x, the Tivo indexes the guide data for all channels offered by your cable provider (and OTA if you have that setup). It doesn't matter what channels you actually receive or what channels you've removed from the channel list, it still indexes them all. Whenever you display the guide or perform any kind of search, the Tivo searches that entire index for all results, then hides the results for the channels you have unchecked. If your cable provider has 400 channels and you only subscribe to (or care about) 100, then the Tivo is searching a lot of unnecessary data, slowing responsiveness.

With 8.3.x, the Tivo only indexes and searches the information for channels that you have actually checked in your channel list. Searches are significantly faster as a result. The same goes for the guide; rather than processing the data for every possible channel and then hiding the channels you have unchecked [whenever you display the guide], it only processes the information for the channels you've checked.

As a result, 8.3.x guide display and searches become faster with the more channels you remove.
Note the TivoHD hardware is just as fast as the Series3 and has twice the available system memory. The TivoHD has a 300MHz CPU with 256Mb DDR400 memory and a new 7200rpm SATA hard drive. In contrast, the latest Series2 units -- which are faster than the older ones -- have a much slower CPU with 64Mb DDR266 memory and 5400rpm EIDE hard drives.

tjkrz said:
2. I currently have a Motorola HD DVR from Comcast. Yes, it's beyond awful, but is there anything (besides VOD) that the Tivo HD can't do that it can?
The Tivo can't do SDV either. SDV is basically a form of VOD used to deliver guide channels "on demand." Comcast currently uses SDV on just two cable systems in the United States, but they are expected to use it on more 750MHz systems in the next year. They aren't expected to use SDV on 860MHz systems anytime soon.

If your Comcast system has 110-115 QAM channels then it is likely 750MHz; if it has >130 QAM channels, then it is a 860+MHz system.


Tivo is working on a solution for SDV. You can read more about that in this thread.

tjkrz said:
3. Besides HD and dual tuners, anything noticeably different between this system and the Series 2? Limitations?
The basic software is the same. TivoToGo and MRV are not enabled with the current software.

There are a few enhancements to support high-definition, such as an extra wishlist option to record only those programs flagged as HD. A few pics:




TivoHD upgraded with 750Gb hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. That was very informative. Maybe the indexing problem is the reason my old Tivo is so slow. BTW, it's definitely not the batteries...this was one of the original Series 2 boxes, not the newer.

I believe I read that MRV and Tivo To Go are scheduled to be added to these boxes. Is that still the case?
 

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I believe I read that MRV and Tivo To Go are scheduled to be added to these boxes. Is that still the case?
Well the addition of MRV and TiVoToGo hasn't actually been publicly scheduled but TiVo has indicated they are working on it. So I would say it is planned but no one knows the actual timetable.

Good Luck,
 

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tjkrz said:
In layman's terms, what's QAM mean, and how do I find (or figure) out how many my provider has?
QAM is the modulation technology cable companies use to deliver digital cable channels.

If your TV has a built-in QAM tuner (most newer HDTVs do) then you can connect the coax cable to your TV and do a digital cable scan. Most channels will be encrypted, so you'll only get a black screen if you try to watch them, but the channel scan should tell you whether your system goes up to channel 110-115 or up to 130+.

Every QAM channel provides 38.8Mbps bandwidth, sufficient for 10-14 SD channels (depending on compression) and 2-4 HD channels (depending on compression).
 

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QAM, colloquially refers to direct tuning the digital channels on the channels they are actually sent on, rather than a virtual number, which you would do with a cablecard equipped tuner, or a cable provider's box.

In the case of bkdtv's statement, it means the number of carriers, or root channels if you will, the provider is sending out.
 

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tjkrz said:
2. I currently have a Motorola HD DVR from Comcast. Yes, it's beyond awful, but is there anything (besides VOD) that the Tivo HD can't do that it can?
A few things that the Moto and SA HD DVR's provided by CableCO's can do that the TiVo HD cannot.

TiVo HD Cannot:
1.) Display PIP (Great for watching Two Sporting Events)
2.) Put the current program in a smaller window when viewing the guide (I love to surf the guide while watching something.)
3.) Pull up the guide while watching a recording or delayed version of a show (it switch's to one of the live tuners.) This royally sucks IMHO.
4.) View recorded show list while watching a show (takes you out of the show completely) This also royally sucks IMHO.

The one thing that would IMHO make TiVo HD that much better is to Subwindow whatever you're watching (recorded or live) and keep it playing while doing any/everything else in the system. This has to be my biggest complaint by far on the TiVo HD.

CCourtney
 

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CCourtney said:
A few things that the Moto and SA HD DVR's provided by CableCO's can do that the TiVo HD cannot.

TiVo HD Cannot:
1.) Display PIP (Great for watching Two Sporting Events)
2.) Put the current program in a smaller window when viewing the guide (I love to surf the guide while watching something.)
3.) Pull up the guide while watching a recording or delayed version of a show (it switch's to one of the live tuners.) This royally sucks IMHO.
4.) View recorded show list while watching a show (takes you out of the show completely) This also royally sucks IMHO.

The one thing that would IMHO make TiVo HD that much better is to Subwindow whatever you're watching (recorded or live) and keep it playing while doing any/everything else in the system. This has to be my biggest complaint by far on the TiVo HD.

CCourtney
Totally agree with you. I just switched from Comcast PVR to TivoHD. I missed the video window when doing whatever else.
I also missed the ability to switch between two recordings with one key press.
:mad:

TIVO should improve this.
 

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Forgive me for jumping in to this thread to get some clarification for myself. I've seen references to QAM channels in a couple threads and I think I have a limited handle on that, but I have another question that will no doubt show my ignorance. I'm wanting to upgrade to either Tivo HD or the S3 box. However, I'm just using my regular coaxial cable connection to get my cable service from TW. My question is, will I have program information on Tivo for my over the air HD channels? If not, what do I need to do in order to have HD channels show up in the program guide? I know that it's not absolutely necessary to have the program information, I've just gotten used to the convenience and don't wish to part with it if I don't have to. Thanks!
 

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Abys said:
Forgive me for jumping in to this thread to get some clarification for myself. I've seen references to QAM channels in a couple threads and I think I have a limited handle on that, but I have another question that will no doubt show my ignorance. I'm wanting to upgrade to either Tivo HD or the S3 box. However, I'm just using my regular coaxial cable connection to get my cable service from TW. My question is, will I have program information on Tivo for my over the air HD channels? If not, what do I need to do in order to have HD channels show up in the program guide? I know that it's not absolutely necessary to have the program information, I've just gotten used to the convenience and don't wish to part with it if I don't have to. Thanks!
You may be mixing up the issues here -

"Will you have program information on Tivo for over the air HD channels?"

Yes, if you really mean OTA and actually have an antenna hooked up to the Tivo HD box.

Maybe, if you mean the rebroadcast versions of those signal that your cable company transmits -
Yes, if you use CableCARD(s)
No, if you don't use CableCARDs. In this case, you can record the QAM signal, but like a VCR - there would be no Tivo guide data associated (or "mapped") to the station. This "QAM mapping" feature is something many S3/THD users would like to see.
 

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lmsyl said:
Totally agree with you. I just switched from Comcast PVR to TivoHD. I missed the video window when doing whatever else.
I also missed the ability to switch between two recordings with one key press.
:mad:

TIVO should improve this.
Yipes. This could be a deal breaker for me. I'm very used to the moto box doing these things. I was going to buy one of the two HD Tivos..... I worried it wouldn't be able to do this. That's a shame.
 

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atmuscarella said:
Well the addition of MRV and TiVoToGo hasn't actually been publicly scheduled but TiVo has indicated they are working on it. So I would say it is planned but no one knows the actual timetable.
It's time to come out from under that rock you've been calling home this past month...

MRV and TTG for the HD models has been publicly announced and later confirmed by TiVo staff as being enabled sometime next month.

Version 9.1 is being speculated as the software update needed to make this happen, since the TiVo site mentions MRV incompatibilities between that and older versions of the software. That's probably due to protocol changes needed for CableLabs' blessing combined with the desire to keep boxes compatible in that regard.
 

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Maeglin said:
It's time to come out from under that rock you've been calling home this past month...

MRV and TTG for the HD models has been publicly announced and later confirmed by TiVo staff as being enabled sometime next month.

Version 9.1 is being speculated as the software update needed to make this happen, since the TiVo site mentions MRV incompatibilities between that and older versions of the software. That's probably due to protocol changes needed for CableLabs' blessing combined with the desire to keep boxes compatible in that regard.
You should check the date on the post you're responding to. He said that back in August.
 
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