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Cable company DVR versus Tivo


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#1 of 5 peterac

peterac

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Posted September 30 2006 - 10:01 AM

Hi all,

I am in the process of setting up a plasma tv with 5.1 surround sound. As part of this setup I would like the ability to record cable (as in a Tivo).

Eventually I am going to put together a HTPC which will do all of my DVR tasks, however, I am not there yet and I want the ability to easily record programs now.

I do not think it makes sense to invest in a Tivo when I can subscribe to Cablevision for their service without making a hardware investment.

My first question is: am I doing the logically correct thing?
Secong question: Since the cable company limits the storage space, could I easily archive shows to DVD? If so, how would I do this?

Thanks,
Pete R.

#2 of 5 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted September 30 2006 - 04:04 PM

1. Yes. Posted Image When I had standard def TV I was a huge TiVo fan. Loved the interface, the ease of finding and programming shows, the flexibility of the Season Pass settings, the system's ability to automatically handle scheduling changes. I loved the series 2, loved home networking and TiVo-2-Go, loved being able to share shows between TiVos (I had 3 at one point) and easily burn them to DVD. But I couldn't justify paying about $25 a month above my HD cable bill for three boxes that couldn't record in HD. Not when for about $7 extra I could get 2, two-tuner HD-DVRs from the cable company.

Much less could I justify the new HD-TiVo series 3, which retails for $800, has none of the home networking, TiVo-2-Go or DVD burning abilities of the Series 2 and would still require me to rent 2 cable cards per unit from my cable company to run them. All that without considering the monthly or lifetime TiVo service fee.

2. Depends. Posted Image No commercial HD-DVR that I'm aware of, including TiVo's series 3, makes it possible to burn hi-def DVDs or directly export digital content as digital. If you have an external digitizer or a video capture card with component or S-Video inputs then you can off-load SD video to your PC, or a stand-alone DVD recorder with component or S-video inputs - but everything would be going through two conversions - digital to analog to output to component or s-video, then analog to digital. Generally it is best to minimize such conversions. (Which is why it was nice to back-up my TiVo files to my PC hard drive with TiVo2Go.)

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Joe

#3 of 5 peterac

peterac

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Posted October 01 2006 - 02:50 AM

Thank you Joseph.

Can anyone else add to point number 2?
Is anyone doing this?

Thanks,
Pete R.

#4 of 5 Stephen Tu

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Posted October 01 2006 - 05:52 AM

Many of the cable company DVRs have a IEEE1394 Firewire port that in theory would allow you to archive to PC, and store on DVD (as data, converting to a playable video DVD would require transcoding). Whether or not the port is activated & which shows are protected from export (5c settings) is fairly hit or miss though, you should read through the massive firewire thread over at avsforum HDTV recorders section for more info.

As for first question, for HD purposes, I agree that for most it makes more sense to rent cable company DVR at this time than spend $800 on series 3. Depends somewhat on which software platform your cable company is using on your region, from what I read some are much worse than others (I see worst complaints about SARA on SA boxes), frustrating some users enough to believe the $800 is worth it.

#5 of 5 aaron campbell

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Posted October 06 2006 - 04:21 AM

I think Tivo is screwed with the series 3. Cablecards suck. I had nothing but trouble when I used 1. The cable co's don't want customers to have them, so they can charge you more for a box. Just my 2 cents.

Aaron