1st day with Tivo, 3 questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Lovern, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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    We just got our first Tivo and I have a few questions:

    1) On best quality, live action looks pretty good; I only see occasional small compression artifacts. But I was surpised at how bad The Simpsons looks. Large, obnoxious compression artifacts abounded, and I thought I noticed bad some bad audio too. I wanted to believe we had accidently recorded in lowest quality, but we hadn't. I watched 3 episodes tonight so I don't think it was a fluke. I'm not sure I want to watch it on Tivo rather than S-VHS. Is it possible we're doing something wrong, or is that the best Tivo can do with The Simpsons? Is it because it's animation? I like King of the Hill, too. I'm watching on a 60" 4:3 HDTV.

    Aside from that, Tivo seems very cool and we're glad to have it.

    2) I understand the version of Linux running the Tivo can't see any more than 137GB of a hard drive. Is there any hope that existing Tivos can someday be upgraded to a version that can see more?

    3) Do Tivos ever need to be defragmented? Or do they do that automatically?

    Greg
     
  2. MikeSh

    MikeSh Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg, I can't answer your ? #1 but I can answer #2 & 3

    "2) I understand the version of Linux running the Tivo can't see any more than 137GB of a hard drive. Is there any hope that existing Tivos can someday be upgraded to a version that can see more?"

    Yes there is hope but nothing that I have read so far indicates that this is coming soon. Do you really need more storage then a pair of 120gig drives can provide?

    "3) Do Tivos ever need to be defragmented? Or do they do that automatically?"

    I believe that the clear and reset option will take care of this.

    For great Tivo info check out;
    www.tivocommunity.com

    They have all the info in the world concerning Tivo. If you ever think about getting satellite, you have got to look at the Hughes hdvr2 combined sat recv with Tivo. I now have 2 of these and love them.

    MikeS.
     
  3. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    1 - I've never had any particular problems with the Simpsons. This is on cable? Maybe some problem with the transmission, or that particular channel?

    2 - Probably, but I don't know any particular date. I don't see much need for that much storage on a SD machine.

    3 - You never have to defragment or clear & reset. Video files are enormous, you don't get tiny blocks of free space scattered about the drive when they get deleted, no fragmentation. Plus they are running a custom file system ...
     
  4. Adam Horak

    Adam Horak Stunt Coordinator

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    On a 60" set, I think the limitations of Tivo's encoding are pretty clear. Even on my 47" set, I often see compression artifacts on many types of material (best quality setting). Of course my digital cable signal pretty much looks like crap to begin with though.
     
  5. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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  6. MikeSh

    MikeSh Stunt Coordinator

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    If you like Tivo, then you need to check out the DTV combo unit, the Hughes hdvr2. It records the direct sat feed, no compression at all. I saved about 15 bucks a month going from cable to DTV with Tivo. Geez, I really love this machine.
     
  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Does your's have the variable bit rate encoding setting? I forgot what exactly its called, but its another setting you choose yes or no on in the main setup. I think its description says something to the effect that it saves space with certain programming when applicable. Take a look at that and fiddle with it.

    Animation can be difficult for compression sometimes. Lossy compression has issues when there's a sudden change in color and there's no shading, as in going from a character on the Simpsons to the background, and thus the borders look fuzzy. However I find on the best setting that I don't have much trouble. But then again I'm using Dish and the locals are overcompressed, so I'm used to some quality issues in almost all my shows.
     
  8. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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  9. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    VBR is only available on the series 1. Series 2 has different hardware, different MPEG encoder chip, only does CBR with current software (don't know if it's VBR capable).
     
  10. Mark_E_Smith

    Mark_E_Smith Second Unit

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    Actually you might want to try a lower quality for animation it might actually improve the PQ.

    TiVos use a modified MAC/Apple disc format, they do not need to be defragged ever.

    2 X 120 Gb of storage is a whole lot, you might try experimenting with lower setting on some programs.

    The DTV TiVos are very cool I have 4 [​IMG]
     
  11. Greg Lovern

    Greg Lovern Agent

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    I watched more Simpsons tonight and, surprise, they look fine, as good as live action. I can still see compression artifacts, but they're not anywhere near as bad.

    All I can think of is that those first three episodes must have been recorded in lower quality. They're deleted now so I can't go back and check.

    It's good to know I can retire the S-VHS cassettes after all..
     
  12. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I'm using a Series 1, I didn't know there's that much difference in the software.

    I believe there's a place to set the default quality level for when you make a season pass and when it picks up its suggestions. You'll want to keep an eye on what you got set there. And the Tivo always writes over the suggestions first and won't delete your shows until it runs out of space for new shows, so if you set the suggestions to a high rate you won't have to worry about them sucking up space for your selected shows.
     
  13. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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