Do they make a stand alone (non Direct TV) Tvio with 2 tuners?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Thinking about Tivo for Mom for x-mas, but if the unit can record 2 things at once, it's essentially worthless. I see multituner devices for Direct TV, do they make a multituner Cable version?

    -vince
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    No. The MPEG encoder in the stand alone models is the reason they are more expensive than DTivos. Two MPEG encoders would make the Tivo even more expensive.

    -Robert
     
  3. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Even though it can't record 2 things at once, calling it "essentially worthless" because of that is a gross exaggeration. After all, one can always watch a previously recorded show while it's recording something new, which is my favorite advantage of the medium over alternatives. It's what makes watching nearly everything time-shifted to your own schedule feasible. Not to mention all the other advantages of Tivo vs. VCRs.

    And one can always split the cable, and bypass the Tivo to watch a 2nd program live, or record with an old VCR, to cover cases where two shows air simultaneously.

    Having a PVR even w/ only one tuner/encoder is vastly preferrable to not having one at all. The 2nd tuner on DirecTivo is a nice bonus, but it's not the main useful feature. It's like PVR == 10x better than VCR-only; 2-tuner PVR = 12x better.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I guess i should have said "if it can't do 2 at once, it's essentially worthless for me".

    The majority of Mom's recordings are primetime stuff, where she'll record 2-3 channels at once to have something decent to watch doing chores on the weekend. I think I could sell her on the Tivo idea in theory- but if it can't do at least 2 channels at once, there's no way I can pry that VCR remote from her grip...

    For some I could see PVR being 10x better than VCR- but when what her only goal is retaining specific programs for watching on the weekend (quality, variety, etc are non-issues)- then it becomes 1/2x better than VCRs.

    -Vince
     
  5. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Well, unless she watches an extraordinary # of conflicting programs, it's hard to imagine not being able to record at least 75% on the Tivo, shunting the rest to VCRs. That's still a lot of time saved programming those shows and shuffling tapes in & out. Plus she gets the random access playback, a ton easier to watch shows in the order she feels like, or switch from one to another, then later return where she left off.

    If she is so recording so many conflicting shows that only 1/3-1/2 of it could be on the Tivo, then I guess I agree that the advantage is greatly diminished.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    She has 5 VCRs. Really, unless the switch could be made entirely, I see the TIVO as more confusing for her (with tivo she not only has to keep track what tape things are on, but manage two different systems and remember which is doing what).

    Again, she's 100% happy with the VCRs-- and sees no real problem with tapes, linear playback, the cruddy SLP mode- the whole thing... but she goes through like 2 VCRs a year- so I thought if one TIVO could streamline the process it would be worthwhile. I'm more than happy to pay the price of 2 units- I just don't think that having 2 GUI to deal with really streamlines the process much.

    It sounds like they (TIVO or otherwise) simply don't offer a product that satisfies my specific need.

    -Vince
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    5 VCRs? Wow. Yeah, I guess in that case only dual DirecTivos (= 4 simultaneous recordings) would do for total replacement. She won't switch to DirecTV? Assuming she can get the locals via sat, it would be a lot easier than managing that much tape.
     
  9. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Vince, just get her 2 Tivos and be done with it. I'm assuming that DirecTV is not feasible for her, otherwise 2 DirecTivos would be simply awesome. It's also a bit difficult to anticipate how much of a benefit Tivo offers--I've seen it happen time and again with people who simply don't see the value of a Tivo, only to completely reverse tack and swear they can't have TV without Tivo after they've lived with it for a couple of weeks. On paper, the benefits of a Tivo just don't sound that big; in real life, Tivo becomes an essential appliance.
     
  10. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    5 VCRs?? Ok, think of it this way, there are only 4 "major" networks, so if she has 5 VCRs, she's obviously not recording with all 5 of them at the exact same time.

    Thus, I'm guessing she would often only run into schedule conflicts with 2 shows being aired at the exact same time, and not 3 shows at the exact same time. (There's not that much good TV out there!) And if so, she'd need a Palm Pilot and good Nikes to keep track of running back and forth between VCRs.

    So, think of it this way, if you get her a Stand Alone DVR, and keep just one VCR, she should be golden.

    You can split the cable signal, with a standard 3-way cable splitter, so that one goes into the VCR, one goes into the TiVo, and one goes into the TV.

    Thus, at the same time, she could:
    1. Record from the TiVo
    2. Record from the VCR.
    3. Watch a different program on live TV. (Or watch a previously recorded program from the TiVo.)

    Again, this is only in the rare case that there are 3 things going on live that she wants to view at the same time.

    It absolutely can't be confusing to her, because if she's managing 5 VCRs, each with different times, schedules, blank tapes, etc., the TiVo will simply make life easier in tracking down Season Passes to many of her shows that don't conflict.

    As as others have pointed out, with TiVo, you learn to live in Non-Live TV Land. She can be recording something with the TiVo, and watching something from her recorded list at the same time. All from the TiVo alone.

    Again, the moral to this story is that there's no way TiVo can make her job any more confusing, it can only make it easier if she's trying to manage all those recording manually.
     

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